Friday, February 24, 2012

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen

My mother-in-law has been telling me for a couple of years now that I need to read Julie Klassen's books. I haven't had the chance to until now and now that I have, I wish I'd read sooner! The Maid of Fairbourne Hall was my introduction to this author of historical fiction and what a delightful adventure it was. The first couple of chapters went a little slower than I'm used to when reading, but soon I was able to simmer down and relax with this glimpse of 19th Century England.

Margaret Macy lives with her mother, siblings and step-father in his home in London. She's got her eyes on one of the Upchurch brothers but her step-father has other plans, he wishes to marry her off to his letch of a nephew, Margaret would rather disappear. Which she does. She sees an opportunity to escape and she takes it, and through a bizarre set of circumstances ends up employed as a maid in the Upchurch home. Carefully disguised she manages to avoid being recognized as she tends to household duties that were always done for her. As the date of her 25th birthday approaches, her step-father is desperate to find her and wed her to his nephew so they can all share her inheritance.

You'll want to get a copy of this and step back in time. It was a truly enjoyable trip. And I feel the urge to speak in a British accent.

This book was provided for review by Bethany House Publishers and can be purchased here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Blue Moon Promise by Colleen Coble

Never failing to disappoint, author Colleen Coble spins another engaging tale of romance and suspense in her new release Blue Moon Promise. In this book we follow Lucy Marsh into a marriage by proxy. Lucy debates this arrangement until she loses her job and is about to be forced to abandon her siblings. She follows her new father in law along with her two younger siblings to Texas to meet Nate Stanton, her new husband. Nate is surprised to find out that his father wed him off and that is indeed legally binding.
We all know there is always more to the story. Colleen Coble is a gifted writer and once again gives us a story that you don't want to put down. This is the first in a new series and the only bad thing I can say about it is that we have to wait for the rest of the series to come out. I devoured this book in a few short sittings. It was a welcome retreat from the other books I've read recently.
Thanks, Colleen, for this clean read!
This book was provided for review by Booksneeze.

You can purchase it here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

No We Can't by Robert Stearns

This review was written by a guest reviewer, my husband.

In his book, No, We Canʼt, Robert Stearns challenges our thinking on the idea that we can all just coexist. While the idea of coexistence sounds nice, this book explains many of the reasons why it will not & can not, work.

Stearn’s focus is that the houses of militant secularism and radical Islam
are threatening the freedoms that we enjoy in the West.
I found this book to be both thought provoking and alarming at the same time. Many who pick it up to read will certainly view it as just one mans way to try and scare us in regards to Islamic take over. While others will be challenged to be more vigilant and aware of what is happening on a daily basis.
I recommend you read No We Can't: Radical Islam, Militant Secularism,and the myth of Coexistence to learn how real the battle is for the souls of

About the book:

The world is shifting. It is dissatisfied, baffled and craving transformation.

Religious tolerance is prized more than truth. From clever slogans to celebrity endorsements, we are bombarded with seemingly peaceful messages of coexistence.

But beneath the bumper stickers and T-shirts is buried this truth: Coexistence is a myth. Instead, a war for world domination is raging--between radical Islam, secularism and Judeo-Christianity.

What does it mean for you as a believer and why should you care?

From years of global outreach, Robert Stearns predicts a coming perilous culture clash. With clarity and astonishing depth, he shows you

  • the power of radical Islam to reshape Western culture
  • why Judeo-Christianity is losing strength
  • what believers can and must do
  • and more.

The ultimate dominance of any of these worldviews will create a tipping point in global culture. What role will you play?

About the author:
Robert Stearns is founder and executive director of Eagles' Wings, a global movement of churches, ministries, and leaders; the publisher of Kairos magazine; and founder of the worldwide Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem. Stearns consults regularly with high-ranking government, international, religious, and business leaders and is a frequent columnist in Charisma and Ministries Today magazines. He has been featured on WABC in New York City, GODTV, The 700 Club, 100 Huntley Street, TBN, and many others. Robert and his family live near Buffalo, New York, and spend a great deal of time in Jerusalem.

This book was provided for review by Bethany House. You can purchase it here.

Letters to Heaven by Calvin Miller

Letters to Heaven by Calvin Miller should be more aptly titled Letters to Dead People. This is a memoir of sorts, detailing how certain people shaped the authors life, his ministry and his thinking. It's a nice tribute to those mentioned (some he knew, some he did not), but to assume that all of these folks are in heaven seems a little juvenile, not at all what a seasoned minister ought to think. Of course, he does make mention that he is a Baptist minister and his thoughts of Penecostals are made known. That left me with a sour taste in my mouth.

Parts of this book seemed like he was tooting his own horn (when he mentions time and again that he pastored a rather large church). While I don't think that was his intention, it arises from time to time in the midst of the letter-stories.

One account that I enjoyed was the letter he wrote about a woman and how she was remembered as a woman of God. The description of her was so beautiful that I could only hope that others remember me the same way.

Letters to Heaven is an interesting look at how other people can have an influence on one life.

This book was provided for review by PR By the Book and is published by Worthy Publishing.

You can purchase a copy for yourself here.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Last Plea Bargain by Randy Singer

I'm usually a pretty big fan of Randy Singer's writing. This one, not so much. I got about halfway through the book and couldn't stand to read any further, it just never grabbed my attention. I'm talking, read a page and then have to read it again because my mind wandered so much. I never connected with the characters and really couldn't wait to stop reading this one. Like I said, I've really enjoyed his other books but couldn't get into this one at all. There were too many characters, I wasn't sure if the main character was male or female until I was a good bit into the story (with a name like Jamie one doesn't know for sure). I have a few other Randy Singer novels on my bookshelf (both read and unread) that have been enjoyed by myself and others, I won't give up on this author but I can't recommend this book.
About the book:
Plea bargains may grease the rails of justice, but for Jamie Brock, prosecuting criminals is not about cutting deals. In her four years as assistant DA, she's never plea bargained a case and vows she never will.
But when a powerful defense attorney is indicted for murder and devises a way to bring the entire justice system to a screeching halt, Jamie finds herself at a crossroads. One by one, prisoners begin rejecting deals. Prosecutors are overwhelmed, and felons start walking free on technicalities.
To break the logjam and convict her nemesis, Jamie must violate every principle that has guided her young career. But she has little choice. To convict the devil, sometimes you have to cut a deal with one of his demons.
This book was provided for review by Tyndale.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Not in the Heart by Chris Fabry

I really didn't enjoy reading this book. The main character, Truman, made me angry. I wanted to shake him and tell him to wake up before he lost his family. Truman is addicted to gambling and loses most everything he has because of his addiction. It seems he can't break free from it even when his life is threatened by a loan shark trying to collect. Truman goes home to his wife and children when he's offered a book deal: write the story of a man on death row, a man who is to be executed in a month, a man who insists he's innocent, who is also willing to die (in his innocence) and give his heart to a young man in need of a heart transplant. The young man happens to be Truman's son. I suppose that's one sign of a good writer, making a character believable. Chris Fabry succeeded in that area, but the book left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I did like the investigation portion of the book and how everything was woven together in order to prove who the killer was, I just didn't particularly care for Truman. Even his lack of caring for his own son annoyed me. I've enjoyed Chris Fabry's other books (Dogwood, June Bug and Almost Heaven) and thought that he was getting better with each story he wrote, but this one didn't do it for me.

About the book:
Truman Wiley used to report news stories from around the world, but now the most troubling headlines are his own. He's out of work, out of touch with his family, out of his home. But nothing dogs him more than his son's failing heart.
With mounting hospital bills and Truman's penchant for gambling his savings, the situation seems hopeless...until his estranged wife throws him a lifeline--the chance to write a story of a death row inmate, a man convicted of murder who wants to donate his heart to Truman's son.
As the execution clock ticks down, Truman uncovers disturbing evidence that points to a different killer. For his son to live, must an innocent man die? Truman's investigation draws him down a path that will change his life, his family, and the destinies of the two men forever.

This book was provided for review by The B&B Media Group. You can purchase a copy of this book here.