Monday, May 24, 2010

The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews

The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews is a story of second chances. This little novella is full of so much history and surprise that I couldn't put it down! It's a true story (with some name changes) about a part of World War II that most people are unaware of and that happened right off the shores of our country.

Mixing past and present Andy Andrews meets people who lived through this time and weaves their tales into one story. A story of love, hope and healing. Andrews proves once again that he has a gift for the written word. This story should be read and remembered for its not only historical significance, but for the lesson it teaches on forgiveness and letting go.

About the book:
In the classic storytelling style of The Noticer and The Traveler's Gift, New York Times best selling author Andy Andrews now delivers an adventure set sharply against the warm waters and white sands of the Gulf of Mexico in WW II America.
Saddened and unable to abandon her resentment toward the Nazi war machine that took her husband's life, the young and attractive Helen Mason is living a bitter, lonely existence. Betrayed and left for dead, German U-boat officer Lt. Josef Landermann washes ashore in a sleepy town along the northern gulf coast, looking to Helen for survival.
The Heart Mender is a story of life, loss and reconciliation, reminding us of the power of forgiveness and the universal healing experience of letting go.

This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson as part of their BookSneeze program. Ah-choo.
They also sent me a copy to give away.
Want one? Leave a comment and we'll choose a name.
Be sure to check out the website devoted to this book.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer

Is it too early for me to declare a favorite book of the year? A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer may just be the best of 2010 for me. And it's a historical novel. If you know me at all you know that means a lot. I'm just not that into historicals. But this one? It's wonderful. You have GOT to read this one. It's so well written that I found it hard to believe that it's the authors first published novel. I kept flipping to the back to make sure I was reading " her first novel" correctly.

I think what I enjoyed the most about this novel is the lack of "the big bad person from the past who shows up in town after many years for revenge" that is so prevalent in historicals. Don't get me wrong, there is conflict, but it's from an unexpected source and takes the reader by surprise.

I also appreciated the way these characters take the Word of God to heart and how they try to mold themselves into what Christ would have them to be. This truly is a beautiful story.

Back cover copy:
When a dressmaker who values beauty tangles with a liveryman who condemns vanity, the sparks begin to fly!
Jericho "J.T." Tucker wants nothing to do with the new dressmaker in Coventry, Texas. He's all too familiar with her kind--shallow women more devoted to fashion than true beauty. Yet, except for her well-tailored clothes, this seamstress is not at all what he expected.
Hannah richards is confounded by the man who runs the livery. The unsmiling fellow riles her with his arrogant assumptions and gruff manner, while at the same time stirring her heart with unexpected acts of kindness. Which side of Jericho Tucker reflects the real man?
When Hannah decides to help Jericho's sister catch a beau--leading to consequences neither could have foreseen--will Jericho and Hannah find a way to bridge the gap between them?

This book was provided for review by the author and by Bethany House. To learn more about Karen visit her here.
To purchase this book visit Amazon.

So Over My Head by Jenny B Jones

FINALLY! The third installment in the A Charmed Life series about Bella by Jenny B Jones is here! So Over My Head follows Bella on more adventures in Truman, Oklahoma. This time she's solving murders at the local traveling circus that camps in her town for training every year and she's still trying to figure out the truth behind her father's new fiancee's facade. And if that's not enough she's also got to decipher her feelings for her boyfriend, Luke. She's definitely in over her head this time!

Jenny B. Jones never disappoints. This volume is full of her usual wit and laugh out loud humor. These books are perfect to share with your favorite teen readers. Course, I love them too and I'm, well, let's just say it's been a while since I was a teen. But I have teenagers at home. That should count for something.

I hope this isn't the end of Bella's story.

You really should check out this author's website. She's very funny, her blog keeps me giggling.

The One Year Bible for Women

This book was provided for review by Tyndale House Publishers.
The One Year Bible for Women is a wonderful way to read through the Word in one year. The Bible begins at the beginning of Genesis, Matthew, Psalms and Proverbs and moves forward from there. It's written in the New Living Translation for easy understanding and includes a verse-finder in the back of the book. Its beautiful packaging makes this soft-cover volume perfect for gift-giving or for your own enjoyment. If you struggle in your daily reading then this might be the solution for you.

Life, In Spite of Me by Kristen Jane Anderson

Life, In Spite of Me by Kristen Jane Anderson (with Tricia Goyer) is the incredible story of one girls triumphant battle from depression and suicidal thinking to a life full of purpose. If you're stuck just muddling through life and are tired of nothing having any meaning to it then you must read this book. Kristen grew up in a Christian home, went to church every week and knew all of the right things, but was still missing something. When faced with several tragedies in a short amount of time she ended up falling over the edge herself and lived through her suicide attempt. Her journey back to life includes the moment she realized that she needed to quit living her so-called "Christian" life and make the decision to have a real relationship with Jesus Christ. Once she truly gave her life to the Lord she found the hope that many people (even church going people) are missing. Her story is one of hope in a world of hopelessness. It is a reminder that we cannot do it ourselves. Very well written and easy to read. This book has the potential to change many lives.

About the book:

Why does my life have to be so painful?
What’s wrong with me?
It’s not going to get better.
It could all be over soon, and then I won’t hurt anymore.

Kristen Anderson thought she had the picture-perfect life until strokes of gray dimmed her outlook: three friends and her grandmother died within two years. Still reeling from these losses, she was raped by a friend she thought she could trust. She soon spiraled into a seemingly bottomless depression.

One January night, the seventeen-year-old decided she no longer wanted to deal with the emotional pain that smothered her. She lay down on a set of cold railroad tracks and waited
for a freight train to send her to heaven…and peace.

But Kristen's story doesn’t end there.

Life, In Spite of Me this remarkably joyful young woman shares the miracle of her survival, the agonizing aftermath of her failed suicide attempt, and the hope that has completely transformed her life, giving her a powerful purpose for living.

Her gripping story of finding joy against all odds provides a vivid and unforgettable reminder that life is a gift to be treasured.

Includes notes of encouragement Kristen wishes she had received when she was struggling most.

Life, In Spite of Me is a remarkable story of life beyond despair and hope that triumphs over tragedy.”
—Louie Giglio, pastor, Passion City Church/The Passion Movement

“Suicide is a liar and a thief. It promises peace to those who are escaping but delivers unimaginable pain and rejection to those left behind. Kristen Jane Anderson’s riveting story unmasks the thief and gives hope a face.”
—Dr. Dennis Rainey, president, FamilyLife Ministries

“When I first met Kristen, I was overwhelmed with her smile, and then I saw her wheelchair. It was a defining moment for me. I had not heard her story or why she’d ended up at Moody. But it was her smile—and it is still her smile—that dismantles me. Kristen has something. It is something otherworldly. She had every reason to die, but now she has every reason to live. I hope you’ll read her story, see her smile, and know why she lives.”
—Michael Easley, former president, Moody Bible Institute

To purchase this book visit Multnomah.

This book was provided for review by Waterbrook Multnomah.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Indivisible by Kristen Heitzmann

Kristin Heitzmann's Indivisible is the latest in the "Christian" fiction market to incorporate mild obscenities within the story. This reviewer is aware of the difference in the categories listed on the back of the book (and this is listed purely as "fiction") but is disappointed when Waterbrook/Multnomah markets a book such as this, one that will be sold in Christian bookstores. I don't understand why we (as Christians) need to bend to the way of the world when we are called to be separate and different. The characters in the novel may be unsaved, but your readers are most likely people who don't want to read this kind of stuff and choose Christian fiction for that reason. I'm once again, disappointed.

About the book:
Battling his own personal demons, Police Chief Jonah Westfall knows the dark side of life and has committed himself to eradicating it. When a pair of raccoons are found mutilated in Redford, Colorado, Jonah investigates the gruesome act, knowing the strange event could escalate and destroy the tranquility of his small mountain town. With a rising drug threat and never-ending conflict with Tia Manning, a formidable childhood friend with whom he has more than a passing history, Jonah fights for answers—and his fragile sobriety.

But he can’t penetrate every wound or secret—especially one fueled by a love and guilt teetering on madness.

From best-selling author Kristen Heitzmann comes a spellbinding tale of severed connections and the consequences of life lived alone.

Follow Kristen Heitzmann online at
This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sing by Lisa T. Bergren

Sing by Lisa T. Bergren is the second book in The Homeward Trilogy. It is not one that I would have picked up to read but I am glad that I had the chance to read it. Sing follows the stories of three siblings through the 1880's in three separate parts of the globe. Odessa is still in Colorado, Moira is in Europe and Domenic is at sea. The villain from the first book revisits in this volume and stirs things up again as he insists there is gold to be found on the land that Odessa and her husband own.

Sing is very well-written and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Lisa addresses some issues with her characters that would be controversial in today's world, let alone back in the late 1800's. I really enjoyed how Moira always felt the pull of God in her heart, no matter how far away from Him she wandered.

About the book:

How much are your dreams worth? Can wealth and fame satisfy your heart as deeply as family and faith? Award-winning author Lisa Bergren’s latest novel, Sing, explores the lives of two prodigals who must decide if they are willing to pay the price their dreams demand. Moira and Nic St. Clair have both defied their father’s desires for them and instead travel to the edge of their dreams and find themselves standing upon the precipice of decisions that will alter their lives forever.

Bergren first introduced the St. Clair family in the novel Breathe. Maintaining her strong and well-researched story line in Sing, she immediately transports readers to the end of the 19th century and weaves the plot amid scenes from Europe, Brazil and Colorado. Moira St. Clair takes center stage in this dramatic saga, as the reader follows her on a treacherous journey across the Atlantic into a lifestyle that proves to be even riskier and more daring than her life upon the stage of the European opera. Believing the promise that she could become “the perfect specimen of modern womanhood,” Moira travels farther and farther away from her family’s heritage of faith. When she encounters a deadly nemesis from her past, she must quickly decide what she values most in her life, before it’s too late.

Bergren takes the reader on a suspense-filled and arduous spiritual journey as she weaves the lives of the three St. Clair children into an unforgettable prodigal story. Her award-winning prose is a strong voice showcasing God’s mercy and grace in the lives of defiant believers, and her characters and their trials will be remembered long after the final pages. Sing is a brilliant addition to Bergren’s Homeward Trilogy, and fans will be eager to learn what comes next in the lives of the St. Clair family.

Visit Lisa at her website to learn more about her and her other books.

This book was provided for review by The B&B Media Group and can be purchased here.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Right Call by Kathy Herman

The Right Call by Kathy Herman is the third and final installment in her Sophie Trace Trilogy. In this book we find Police Chief Brill Jessup investigating four murders in her small town. Each one a little closer to home and those she loves. Her daughter Vanessa has now entered into a relationship with Ethan Langley and while they work to building something that will last, it is threatened by the killer who is still on the loose.

Kathy always writes with a lot of suspense and action, this book is no exception. While I did find it a little long at times (I had to skip a page here and there to get back into the action) it was overall a good read.

About the book and author:

It’s summer in Sophie Trace, the setting of Kathy Herman’s latest page turner, The Right Call. Based on 2 Peter 2:19b: “For a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him,” The Right Call demonstrates how we’re all slaves to something—either to God and righteousness or to the flesh and its pitfalls.

Ethan Langley is home from college for the summer, eager to renew his friendship with Vanessa Jessup (Police Chief Brill Jessup’s daughter) and her infant son, Carter. Before Ethan is even settled his world is rocked by a random shooting that leaves four people dead, including someone close to him. Ethan tries to deal with his grief by staying busy and concentrating on his growing love for Vanessa. When a coworker from the previous summer, Stedman Reeves, seems somewhat obsessed with the shooting—but also sympathetic to Ethan’s deep loss—the two seem to connect.

While Chief Jessup is scrambling to find a suspect in the shootings, Ethan gets a late-night call from Stedman, who sounds panicked and needs to see him right away. Stedman confesses shocking details: due to a series of bad choices, he is going to be framed for the murders. All the evidence points to Stedman’s guilt, and he knows that there is no way he can prove his innocence. Stedman implores Ethan to go to Vanessa’s mother with this information.

When the wrong people find out that Ethan knows too much, those around him are placed in danger. What should he do? Going to Chief Jessup with the truth could save Stedman from doing life in prison—but it could be a death sentence for and Vanessa and Carter. He’s been dealt an impossible hand, but it’s his move. Will he make the right call?

Best-selling suspense novelist Kathy Herman brings this vivid story to life in her new book, The Right Call, the third book in the acclaimed Sophie Trace Trilogy. Filled with heart-pounding suspense that delivers heart-changing truth, The Right Call uses the perilous story of a young college student to reinforce the importance of walking closely with God, to be armed with wisdom and strength in order to face the toughest of circumstances.

Click here to view the book trailer. To purchase this book click here. Or to learn more about Kathy visit her

This book was provided for review by The B&B Media Group.