Monday, October 31, 2011

Lonestar Angel by Colleen Coble

If you're looking for page-turner that will keep your attention with mystery, suspense, and a little romance but will not freak you out so that you can't sleep at night then Colleen Coble's Lonestar Angel is the book for you. Coble has long since been at the top of my must-read author's list and this book just took her up another notch. I loved the way her characters realized that what they were missing was a true relationship with God and how they found Him while they were searching for other things. Very well written without being preachy.

Eden & Clay met and had a whirlwind romance which produced a baby. They married without really knowing each other and within months were in the middle of an international incident which left them childless. Broken, Eden fled and began a new life far from Texas in Indiana. Now, five years later, it seems that her divorce was never final and her child may actually be alive. Eden returns to Texas with Clay to search for their Brianna and finds much more than she ever expected.

This book is one of my favorites of this author (after her Mercy Falls series) and I'm giving it 4 out of 5 stars only because sometimes I got confused with all of the characters and remembering who was who.

Thanks, Colleen, for this CLEAN READ.

This book was provided for review by BookSneeze.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren

Baby It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren is the latest in the When I Fall in Love series by Summerside Press. In this volume we're transported back to 1949 in the town of Frost, Minnesota where Dottie Morgan wants nothing to do with Christmas or the people who celebrate it. She's hidden herself in her home and has built up walls to keep herself from being hurt, again. The death of her son haunts her and the sins of her past seem to crush her. A freak snowstorm on Christmas week forces her to open her home and eventually her heart to people she never thought she could. Friends and strangers come together for a story like none other.

This book had me sobbing towards the end. Very heart warming and true to life.If you have a person on your Christmas list who loves to read then this would be a perfect gift for them. Include some tea or hot cocoa and maybe a pair of warm mittens. Trust me, they'll love it.

About the book:
Hope finds the hopeless when a storm hits.
It's Christmas weekend 1949, and despite the threat of a storm, the townspeople of Frost are determined to continue their holiday traditions, if only as a means to forget the war that they had all just suffered through. But the suffering hasn't ended for Dottie Morgan who lost her only son in the war. She's preparing to wallow in her isolation for the weekend, when Violet, nearly a spinster at age 29, dares to make a request that will force Dottie to publicly revive the memory of her dead son.
When a storm traps the two women at home with a strange young man who has an unbelievable confession and a neighbor with more to do with Violet's past than she would like, no one can predict how this Christmas will give them all a second chance.

About Susan May Warren:
Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia, Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.
Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of My Book Therapy
, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.
Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!)
A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at:

This book was provided for review by Litfuse.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Crossing by Serita Jakes

Riveting. Heart pounding. Keep-you-awake-all-night reading kind of suspense.

What a tangled web we weave. You think your sin only touches your life? This book-while fiction-reminds us that our sins reach out and destroy not only us but those we love.

I'd not heard of Serita Jakes before reading this book, and while doing so I found out that she's the wife of Pastor T.D. Jakes. I love me a book by another pastors wife!

Very well written for a new novelist. Many twists and turns and I was completely surprised when the murderer was revealed. The only thing this reader didn't appreciate was that the phrase, "Oh my God" was used throughout the book.

Loved the way each chapter started with the words of the dying murder victim, what a clever idea!

This book follows former high school cheerleader Claudia as she navigates her way through life ten years after her best friend and high school teacher was murdered on a school bus on the way home from a football game. Claudia sat with her dying teacher until the end, she's found herself reliving those moments too often lately, more so now that her husband has re-opened the case. As people try to piece together what happened on that fall evening a decade earlier, Claudia feels her life spinning out of control. Revelations and truth are being unveiled at every turn and life as she thought it was will never be the same.

Serita Ann Jakes has been involved in Christian ministry all of her adult life and has served alongside her husband T.D. Jakes throughout their marriage of nearly 30 years.

This book was provided for review by Waterbrook Multnomah.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund

Once again Jody Hedlund gives us a fictional account of something that really took place. This lady knows her stuff! This book is very well written and you can tell that she spent a lot of time in research. Be warned, though, the scenes where the husband and wife are falling in love with each other are a little intense. Nothing vulgar or across any lines, but enough to make me blush at times.

Priscilla White is a young single woman in New York. Her family wishes to marry her off but she is determined to remain single, especially since she is barren because of a childhood illness. Her hearts desire is to become a missionary to far away India, but it seems that God has other plans. Into her life appears Eli Ernest, a doctor who also wishes to remain single but is told that in order for him to be a missionary he must marry. Priscilla is told the same thing. A marriage of convenience is what they agree to and soon Priscilla is joining Eli on a trek across the frontier known to us as the Western USA.

Priscilla's story is based on a true one of the first woman to make the trip. Hardships meet them at every turn, but when God has a purpose for a life He will always see it come to fruition.

This book was provided for review by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.

Purchase this book here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Guest post by author Melody Carlson

Today's post is by best selling author Melody Carlson.

Teens and Their Supernatural Pursuits

by Melody Carlson

Have you even wondered why some teens are drawn toward things like Ouija boards or psychics? Or why séances are still popular at sleepovers? Does it just have to do with Halloween and that spine-chilling need for a good scare? Or could it be something more? And, as a Christian, should you be concerned?

Those questions, as well as some confused reader letters, prompted me to tackle the “supernatural” in one of my teen novels (Moon White, TrueColors, Nav Press). And whenever I write an issues-based novel, I’m forced to research—and often in some dark places. So I began scouring websites, learning more about Wicca and the occult, trying to grasp what was really going on with today’s teens—and how I could write about it in a helpful and relevant way.

But, as usual, when I write a teen book, I go back to my own adolescence...trying to connect with my inner teen...and I suddenly remembered a short era when a friend and I got very interested in witchcraft. I had honestly forgotten about this time and was fascinated to recall how we scoured some witchcraft stores on a local campus—I think we even purchased a few things. Fortunately, this interest was short-lived and I became a Christian not long afterward.

However, as I reconnected with my inner teen, I had to ask myself—why had I looked into witchcraft back then? Why do teens dabble with it now? Suddenly the answer became crystal clear. I was searching. I’d been calling myself an atheist for several years by then, but I was spiritually hungry—starving in fact. Consequently I was looking for spiritual answers—something that would fill that empty void within me. I wanted a supernatural force in my life and I didn’t even care where it came from. I needed something bigger than me, more powerful than me, something to hold onto. I had no idea at the time that I was really searching for God.

This realization changed the way I viewed my research. Instead of feeling disgusted and dismayed by the witchcraft/Wicca sites (which are not particularly enjoyable) I began to recognize that these people (mostly girls) were simply searching too. They wanted a power source in their lives just like I wanted one in mine. They just hadn’t found God yet.

This led to another discovery. A girl who’s attracted to a religion like Wicca is usually seeking to gain some control over her life. Something is wrong and she wants to change it. To do so, she’s often enticed to purchase something—like “magical herbs”—to create a potion that will give her some control over her situation. Unfortunately, she doesn’t even realize she’s being tricked.
But think about it, wouldn’t you love to have control over a bad situation sometimes? Wouldn’t you love to be able to change the circumstances that make your life unpleasant? So what if someone offered you the “power” to do just that? Perhaps if you’re fifteen, you wouldn’t see that person as a charlatan and you would fall for it.

Which brings me to another important factor in understanding this generation’s attraction to the supernatural. Follow the money. The more I researched, the more it became painfully obvious that Wicca and witchcraft and the occult are money-making enterprises. Thanks to the internet, these savvy distributors sell anything imaginable—and many things you can’t. That leads to some serious motivation—these marketers want to hook their unsuspecting young customers and reel them in. Of course, these potions and trinkets and how-to books don’t come with a money back guaranty. Nor are they approved by the FDA. Yet they are a multi-million dollar industry.

So, in a way, it’s a perfect storm. Teens that are insecure, lost, unhappy, and up with an unregulated industry that offers supernatural answers and power and control...for a price. And, oh yeah, I never even mentioned how this opens a door for Satan to slip in and wreak havoc. For’ll have to read the book.

Melody Carlson is the best selling author of over 200 books. She writes for a broad audience including YA, Women's Fiction and even some chick lit. Her books are true-to-life stories and her teen series' are worth checking out for your young readers.

Learn more about Melody Carlson at her website.

And more about Moon White, her book for teen girls struggling with spiritual issues, here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner

It doesn't happen very often that I read a book (totally mesmerized the whole time) and finish it to find the only thing I can say is, "wow." That is exactly what this book did for me. It blew me away. Meissner has solidified her place as a top author with this one, it's sure to win awards.

This story follows the life of Marielle Bishop as she marries widowed Carson and moves into the family mansion in Fredricksburg, Virginia. The family mansion of his deceased wife, rumored to be full of ghosts. Marielle spends time trying to learn more about his first wife and learns more than Carson wants her to know. She hears rumors of the ghosts and Adelaide, the family matriarch, is all too willing to lead her down the path of a ghost hunt.

This book twisted and turned several times and ended up visiting the Civil War era. Truly fascinating reading.

Thank you, Susan, for this CLEAN READ. I truly enjoyed it. I've read all of this author's books and this has to be her best work yet.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Diary of a Teenage Girl BECOMING ME by Melody Carlson

Diary of a Teenage Girl BECOMING ME by Melody Carlson is a true to life glimpse into a teenager girl's world. Caitlin O'Conner is just turning sixteen and is going back to school after Christmas vacation. She's had a makeover during break and captures attention when she steps foot in school again. Attention from the cool kids. She ditches her BFF for these new friends and is faced with new problems. Problems at school with friends (both girls and boys) and problems at home where things seem to be unraveling before her eyes. She journals it all and you get to sit and read over her shoulder as she faces life one day at a time.

Melody Carlson's ability to write what a sixteen year old is thinking is incredible. She gets it all. I totally remember being that fickle teenager. One day you like this guy and then the next day this other one is paying attention to you. So glad I don't have to deal with what Caitlin is dealing with anymore! Caitlin is faced with some tough decisions. This book is recommended for all teen girls.

Thanks, Melody, for this CLEAN READ.

About the book:

In the fictional Diary of a Teenage Girl, sixteen year old Caitlin O'Conner reveals the inner workings of a girl caught between childhood and womanhood...and empty life without Christ and a meaningful one with Him. Through Caitlin's candid journal entries we see her grapple with such universal teen issues as peer pressure, loyalty, conflict with parents, the longing for a boyfriend, and her own spirituality.

Follow Caitlin O'Conner as she makes her way from New Year's to the first day of summer--surviving a challenging home life, changing friends, school pressures, an identity crisis, and the uncertainties of "true love."

Caitlin experiences heartache, and encounters a new reality in her life: God. See how rejection by one group can-incredibly-sometimes lead you to discover who you really are.

About Melody Carlson:

Melody Carlson published her first book in 1995 and she had been writing prolifically ever since. To date, Melody has published over 200 books, making her one of the top 20 most prolific authors of all time. With sales of over 1.4 million her award-winning books include: Homeward, Love Finds You in Sisters, Oregon; Limelight; The Diary of a Teenage Girl series; the True Colors series; and the Carter House Girls Series.

In her professional life, Melody has worn many hats; from pre-school teacher to political activist to senior editor. Currently, she writes full-time and freelances from her home. She has two grown sons and lives in Sisters, Oregon with her husband, Chris, and Bailey, her chocolate lab. They enjoy skiing, hiking, and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.

Meet Melody and learn more about her vast library of books at her website.

This book was provided for review by Glass Road Public Relations.