Sunday, February 5, 2017

Still Life (#2 in Chesapeake Valor series) by Dani Pettrey



This is the second book in the Chesapeake Valor series. I was so excited to receive it from Bethany House in exchange for a review since I loved the first book and was waiting for the sequel. Now I have to wait several months for Book 3 (oh man!).


This story concerns Avery, whose past comes back to her when her friend Skyler comes up missing. She has been taking forensic pictures for a crime scene analyst, Parker Mitchell, who becomes involved with her on this case along with their other friends who consist of several other law enforcement types (FBI, etc.). Avery goes to a showing at an art gallery as Skyler’s guest but Skyler does not arrive and the portrait of Skyler that was the featured portrait in the show has been replaced by another picture which was not done by the featured artist. The artist is incensed and Avery is devastated because her friend never arrives. The artist orders the picture thrown away but Avery manages to sneak it out and save it so they can check it out for clues. There are several things going on as they retrace the steps of Skyler and others. In the midst of the investigation, another investigation comes along when a terrorist makes his way ashore after being smuggled into the country. There is a lot going on but it all builds into the conclusion which is unexpected, to say the least.


Dani Pettrey keeps getting better and better! I love her books and they will always be permanent residents in my bookshelf.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Maybe Its You by Candace Calvert



I was excited to get this book since I have read the first two books in the series already. This one is about and ER nurse named Sloane who has had a rough time of it and has tried to lose herself in a new town at a new hospital to avoid scrutiny and publicity. However, she becomes close to Micah, who is the PR man for the hospital and is also best friends with an aspiring reporter. All things come to a head when they try to help girls caught up in a sex slavery operation operated by the Russian mob and Sloane’s past is exposed rather dramatically. There are lots of twists and turns in the story and it definitely is not a book you will want to put down while you do mundane things like every day life. I want to see more by this author so hopefully this series will continue or she will come up with a new series that is just as riveting.


I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review. So just to be up front about it, I would have bought this one the minute it was available anyway because I’ve been waiting for this third installment in the Crisis Team series.

The Sisters of Sugar Creek by Cathy Liggett




This was a fun English / Amish story with some surprises. It involves Jessica, whose aunt was killed in a fire at their church, leaving her with the aunt’s quilt shop as an inheritance. Aunt Rose’s friend, Liz, becomes close with Jessica after Rose dies and they decide to carry on one of Rose’s traditions, which was to deliver anonymous gifts to people with some sort of issue. Their first project together involves Lydia, an Amish widow, whose husband was killed as he was volunteering to help fight that same church fire. Lydia discovers their mission and they become friends. Since Lydia is an avid quilter and knitter and Jessica is not, Jessica hires her to work in the shop and do the classes and customer work while she does the managerial / marketing side of the business which is more her forte.


The really unusual aspect of this story is that all three women find a love interest in the course of the story and so all three have to come to a happy conclusion by the end of the book. If I could recommend one thing to this author it would be to not get in a hurry next time. Make it a three book series featuring on of the three ladies in each book and building on their story as she goes. I felt a little rushed and cheated having it all crammed into this one book. However, I am the first to complain when I read book one of a series and have to wait months for book two so she dodged that bullet. Actually, I enjoyed this story very much and would have taken it to heart either way.


I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review and am very grateful that I picked this one out of the offerings last month.


· Random Acts of Kindness Cards: http://blog.tyndale.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/RandomActsKindness_Cards.pdf
· Amish Friendship Bread Recipe: http://blog.tyndale.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Amish-Friendship-Bread-Recipe.pdf
· Lemon Bars Recipe: http://blog.tyndale.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Lemon-Bars-Recipe.pdf
· Shepherd’s Pie Recipe: http://blog.tyndale.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Shepherds-Pie-Recipe.pdf
· White Chocolate Chex Crunch Recipe: http://blog.tyndale.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/White-Chocolate-Chex-Crunch-Recipe.pdf
· Blank Recipe Card: http://blog.tyndale.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Blank-Recipe-Card.pdf
· Blog Post: http://readthearc.com/stitching-hope-through-random-acts-of-kindness/

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green




This is a wonderful historical romance which gave me a lot of new knowledge about the founding of New Orleans and how it was settled and populated. The first population was made up of soldiers and convicts that France shipped over to populate the “New World.” Then, due to other conflicts going on elsewhere, they were slow to send rations and supplies for the population and there was mass starvation. This story details the many hardships encountered in this rough place where the climate was less than comfortable (humidity, heat, mosquitos etc.).


Julianne is one of the convicts (falsely convicted) that is sent to New Orleans to help populate it. She is a midwife and hopes to help the other women give birth. She is also hoping to find her younger brother who ran off to be a soldier a few years earlier and was sent to New Orleans. She becomes aquainted with Marc-Paul Girard, an officer who was once aquainted with her brother.


I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it will be a permanent fixture on my shelf and become required reading when my homeschoolers reach the American History phase of their education.


I received this book from Bethany House in return for a fair and honest review.

Bible Trivia, Jokes & Fun Facts for Kids by Troy Schmidt



What kid doesn’t love knock knock jokes? This book has its fair share along with other jokes and fun facts. There are some little quizzes to make you think and some scrambles and some matching and some Bible words that you see how many other words you can make using those letters. My 6th grader is reading the Bible through this year and she enjoys the offerings in this book as a way of processing some of what she is reading as well as a light change of pace from constant reading. We throw some of these exercises in as a little break time. The younger children are also enjoying the book so I will keep it with my homeschool curriculum for years to come.


I received this book from Bethany House in return for a fair and honest review.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

For the Record by Regina Jennings



This story takes place in Missouri in 1885. The town of Pine Gap has citizens taking the law into their own hands. They are calling themselves the BaldKnobbers. Betsy Huckabee is a reporter for her Uncle’s local paper and has dreams of writing for larger papers. Deputy Joel Puckett is the Texas lawman being sent to town by the Governor of Missouri to restore order in the community. Betsy sees an opportunity to get a foot in the door with the Kansas City Star by writing serial stories for women about the dashing new deputy but she doesn’t count on falling for him Deputy Puckett has something to hide and wants his anonymity.

This story was well thought out and had some surprising twists and turns. It did take a while to get captivating. It was always interesting but it didn’t make me want to keep reading in the first half of the book like it did in the last half of the book. The first half too a few days and the last half took one long evening. All in all I enjoyed it very much and look forward to what this author may write next.

Bethany House gave me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Where Does Love Hide? by Mary Manz Simon



This little board book has a wonderful message and it is presented so simply that the little ones can grasp the lesson. The simple but very sweet illustrations make the book fun for the small fry. This is a lift-the-flap book and on the first page the little girl is playing with a stack of blocks and love is hiding at her house until she invites a friend to play. You pull down the flap (the stack of blocks) and there is her friend that she is offering a block to. There is a verse, Proverbs 17:17 -- "A friend is always a friend." Similarly, each page has a flap of some sort (i.e., door, stack of cookies, sand castle, bush) and another definition of love such as helping or sharing and each set of pages has a simplified verse to go with it. This is a great start to teaching your child to love the Word and get it in their hearts. I really enjoyed this simple little book with my grandkids and they loved it too. My only advice is put it away and don't leave it lying around for them because they tend to get a little too enthusiastic about lifting the flap and the flaps can get torn off way too soon.


I received this book from Tyndale for the purpose of an honest review. I would definitely purchase another copy in the future as a gift to a small child.