Saturday, April 19, 2014

Wildwood Creek


Title: WILDWOOD CREEK
Author: Lisa Wingate
Publisher: Bethany House
February 2013
ISBN: 978-0764208249
Genre: Contemporary

With love and loss tangled together, how was she to know where her life would lead?

Allie Kirkland has always heard the call of her father's unfinished destiny. When she's offered a production assistant's job on a docudrama filming in the hills near Moses Lake, Texas, the dream of following in her director-father's footsteps suddenly seems within reach. The reenactment of the legendary frontier settlement of Wildwood is a first step into the film industry. A summer on set in the wilderness is a small price to pay for a dream.

But in 1861, the real Wildwood held dangerous realities. Town founder Harland Delavan held helpless residents, including young Irish schoolteacher Bonnie Rose, in an iron grip. Mysterious disappearances led to myths and legends still retold in the region's folk songs. Eventually, the entire site was found abandoned.

When filming begins, strange connections surface between Allie and the teacher who disappeared over a century ago, and everyone in Wildwood--including Blake Fulton, Allie's handsome neighbor on the film set--seems to be hiding secrets. Allie doesn't know whom she can trust. If she can't find the answers in time, history may repeat itself...with the most unthinkable results.

WILDWOOD CREEK is a gripping story, half set in historical Texas, and half set in modern day. I fell in love with both Bonnie Rose—who struggled to rise beyond her past, to Allie, trying to make a career choice that her parents don’t approve of. I had to keep reading to see what happened, with both women.

Chapters are clearly marked so you know what time period and point of view you’re in.

If you’re looking for a great contemporary novel, look no further. WILDWOOD CREEK is everything you looked for and more. Discussion questions are included at the end. $14.99. 375 pages. 5 stars. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Daddy Next Door / The Soldier's Sweetheart

Title: DADDY NEXT DOOR
Author: Carol Voss
Publisher: Love Inspired
August 2013
ISBN: 978-0373878345
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Not Your Everyday Hero

Nearly setting her house on fire isn't the way Alyssa Douglas is supposed to begin her new life. Luckily Ben Cooper, her handsome new neighbor, is there to charge to her rescue. A widowed single mother, Alyssa has moved to Rainbow Lake to build a future for her young sons in the big-hearted Wisconsin seaside town. And she's getting a warm welcome from Ben, a crusading reporter struggling to raise his daughter. With his help, Alyssa starts to believe that anything is possible—even second chances. But are Ben and Alyssa finally ready to trust each other with a love that can make two families one?

DADDY NEXT DOOR is the first book I read by Ms. Voss. It is a formula romance and fairly predictable. Alyssa is a strong heroine who doesn’t think she is. After the death of her husband she wants to take care of herself and her sons, but no one will let her, so in retaliation she moves to her grandmother’s summer cottage, determined to prove herself to her well-meaning friends and family who want to help her.

Ben is a giver, caring and kind, and not the first person Alyssa needed to meet, especially when she accidentally sets the chimney on fire. He’s quick to step in to help and she’s just as quick to get prickly. Alyssa needs to learn that sometimes it’s okay to allow others to bless us, because that is a blessing to them. But it’s a long road to get there.

A quick and easy read. Discussion questions are included at the end. $5.99. 215 pages. 3.5 stars.

****


Title: THE SOLDIER’S SWEETHEART
Author: Deb Kastner
Publisher: Love Inspired
July 2013
ISBN: 978-0373817108
Genre: Contemporary Romance

The Single Dad's Fresh Start

Army vet Will Davenport knows all about missions but nothing about raising his young daughter. Settling in Serendipity, Texas, he hopes they'll both find the peace that has always eluded him. But when the widower goes to work for a local beauty, he gets much, much more. Samantha Howell is ready with a helping hand for everyone else but insists on taking care of her problems on her own. Will wants to be her hero, but too much stands in their way. For a future with Samantha, he has to bury the past. But forgiving himself may be his most difficult mission ever.

THE SOLDIER’S SWEETHEART is a sweet romance. Samantha is taken by surprise when Will shows up out of nowhere insisting her brother offered him a job in her store, and acting all surprised she didn’t know about it. He has a four-year-old daughter who he’s never—or rarely—seen and he’s eaten up with guilt about how lousy he is as a husband and father, but he does love his daughter even if he doesn’t have a beginning clue how to be a dad.

Samantha is getting mad at her friends and other single girls for pushing themselves at the widowed ex-military man working for her, but she’s the one by starting it by taking his picture on her cell and sending it to all her friends.


Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to like these characters, I didn’t. The story/romance is sweet, and not predictable. But it was just a story.  $5.99. 218 pages. 3 stars. 


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Callie's Contest of Courage / GIVEAWAY!!!

Title: CALLIE’S CONTEST OF COURAGE
Author: Jan May
Publisher: New Millennium Girls
April 2014
ISBN: 978-0-9835281-3-5
Genre: Tweener

Follow Callie on her journey of trust, hope, and the power of prayer.

Eleven-year-old Callie Fleming is a passionate animal lover! She's been waiting all year to enter photos in the I Love Nature Photo Contest. Her dad, who is the coolest dad in the world, is an award winning photographer and Marine Corps Reserves Sergeant. She is leaning on his help to win. But when her father is untimely deployed overseas and becomes strangely silent to her emails, she finds her whole world crashing down on her. Can she muster up the faith and courage to step out on a journey that whisks her away from all the things she loves? Join Callie on a journey of hope, trust and the power of prayer!

CALLIE’S CONTEST OF COURAGE is about a modern day girl whose daddy went overseas to fight. Callie is trying to win a photo contest to get a zoo internship, and she wants her daddy’s opinion of her work. But Daddy disappears from contact and her mom takes her and her brother to visit family for awhile.

This was an engaging story that was real cute and easy to read. I read it in a matter of hours. I enjoyed it except for one tiny thing; I wanted Mickey to get back what he lost.

Tween girls will love CALLIE’S CONTEST OF COURAGE. It has a valuable faith message for them as well.  Don’t miss this book! $7.95. 160 pages. 5 stars.

Giveaway!  Leave a comment on this to enter to win a copy of CALLIE’S CONTEST OF COURAGE, a “white” book bag that girls can decorate however they want,  and other tween girl books, such as Riley Mae and the Rock Shocker Trek, and others.

Include contact information! 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Spotlight: Deadly Ties

HER ENEMY WILL STOP AT NOTHING FOR CONTROL…
SHE WILL RISK EVERYTHING FOR FREEDOM.

 
A horrific crime shatters Lisa Harper’s idyllic childhood. Her father is dead and her desperate mother, Annie, quickly marries Dutch Hauk, an abusive monster who soon reveals his hatred for Lisa.  To protect her, Annie defies her ruthless husband and forfeits custody to a trusted friend. Enraged, Dutch vows to keep Annie and Lisa apart—and he does. Years later, though keenly aware of Dutch’s evil intent, Lisa and her mother seize a chance to be a family, safe in a home where love dwells. But they fail to fathom how far Dutch will go to keep his vow. 
 
Determined to control his women, Dutch proves resourceful. His associates in crime are feared at the highest levels across the globe—and for Lisa they plan a fate worse than death. Yet she too has formidable connections, including former Special Operations Officer Mark Taylor. Burdened by his own traumatic past, Mark has loved Lisa from afar. Now, for Lisa and her mother to survive, Mark must risk his life—and even more difficult for him, he must trust God. All as one question haunts them: Can Mark and Lisa untangle these deadly ties before it’s too late?
 
“Vicki Hinze has…talent for transforming the unlikely into something beautiful.”
—PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY

Product Details

  • Series: Crossroads Crisis Center (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books (February 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601422067
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601422064

Buy a copy:  http://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Ties-Crossroads-Crisis-Center-ebook/dp/B004FGMZ7G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1397137787&sr=8-3&keywords=deadly+ties


Biography

A USA Today best selling and award-winning author, Vicki Hinze, has written over thirty-five books (fiction and nonfiction) and hundreds of articles that have been published in as many as 63 countries. She is also a columnist for the Social-In Network (Global).

Vicki writes most often in Romantic Suspense, Thrillers with a romantic element, and Military Romance or Military Thrillers either for the general market or for the Christian market. She has written series, political thrillers, suspense, paranormal romantic suspense, time-travel suspense, women's action adventure, thrillers, psycho-thrillers and contemporary romance with a strong mystery element. All of her books contain elements of suspense, mystery and romance. She enjoys genre-blending and is known as a trailblazer for doing so. 

After her fourth published novel, she returned to college and earned an MA in creative writing then a Ph.D. in Philosophy (Theocentric Business and Ethics). She founded Writers' Aids to mentor other authors, which evolved into Writers' Zone, where she answers questions on craft, the business of writing and the writing life and maintains a free online writers' library, ON WRITING, on her website, www.vickihinze.com. By request, some of those articles are on Kindle. Additional podcasts, workshops, lectures and feature articles are also in the writing library. 

Hinze is a sponsor of The Book Club Network, International Thriller Writers, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

Between family and writing commitments, she has little time for hobbies and her other interests. Her favorite non-writing activity is home-improvement projects. Knocking down walls appeals to her. For fun, she designs book covers.

Organizations in which she is active: ITW, MWA, RWA, ACFW, NINC, ACRA, AG, AWSA, Emerald Coast Writers, the Book Fun Organization. She is the founder of Christians Read. 

Hinze's blog (vickihinze.com/blog) is divided into five categories: My Kitchen Table (chat), On Writing (Craft, business, life of writing), My Faith Zone (spiritual journey), Thinking Aloud (a thought to ponder for busy days), and Vicki Hinze Today, which contains all kinds of articles from multiple sources on things of interest relating to the book industry. 

Raised in New Orleans, Hinze then married a Hurricane Hunter/Special Ops officer. They and their children moved every few years. Mississippi, California, Illinois, Florida and Texas. They settled in Northwest Florida.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pocket Genius: Facts at Your Fingertips

Pocket Genius: Facts at Your Fingertips
Elementary. Price $7.99
DK: www.dk.com

Pocket Genius: Facts at Your Fingertips is a collection of hardback books designed to help your elementary age child have basic facts in a variety of subjects at your fingertips.

Pocket Genius: Facts at Your Fingertips include topics such as:
Ø      Ancient Egypt
Ø      Animals
Ø      Bugs
Ø      Dinosaurs
Ø      Earth
Ø      Horses
Ø      Human Body
Ø      Mammals
Ø      Rocks and Minerals
Ø      Science
Ø      Sharks
Ø      Space

I was sent the Horses and the Human Body ones to review. The Human Body one covers: All about your body, from bones and breathing to blood and the brain; Clear and crisp photographs and diagrams with bite-size chunks of information; Spectacular full-page images; Amazing stats and incredible facts. The horse one includes the above mentioned, but with Profiles of more than 130 horse and pony breeds and Amazing stats and record-breakers.

Pocket Genius: Facts at Your Fingertips will help reinforce your child’s knowledge reading the information and fun facts about the different subjects.


The only bad thing I found was for those who believe God created the world, these books do support evolution. They also support the Common Core, the new standard of education. These are perfect for fun study, playing school or keeping skills up during the summer or as supplements to unit studies. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Cynthia and the Amazing Bunny

Title: CYNTHIA AND THE AMAZING BUNNY
Author: Fern Kuhn
Publisher: Self Published
April 2013
ASIN: B00C6N5WB6
Genre: Children

Cynthia wants a pet bunny, so she keeps asking her mom to go to the pet store but they never find a bunny. Cynthia’s mom and dad are getting frustrated. Finally, they tell Cynthia one last trip.

Cynthia asks to hold all the bunnies in the store – but each one she says, “Sorry, you’re not the one.” Will she ever find the bunny she is looking for?

CYNTHIA AND THE AMAZING BUNNY is a short book perfect for Easter time.  I downloaded it when it was free and my daughter read it on Nook. I read it today. My daughter says she gives it five stars. She enjoyed it. As an adult I found it more telling and not showing, and the pictures weren’t very good. I would give it three stars.  So I’m averaging my daughters rating and mine, to give it four stars.

If you are looking for an Easter story that is about bunnies, not the Easter bunny, and not about Jesus, then this is a cute story.  22 pages. 99 cents. 4 stars.




Sunday, April 13, 2014

What Follows After

Title: WHAT FOLLOWS AFTER
Author: Dan Walsh
Publisher: Revell
April 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2120-6
Genre: ‘contemporary’

In October 1962, Colt Harrison and his little brother, Timmy, hatched a plan. They would run away from their Florida home, head for their aunt's house in Savannah, Georgia, and refuse to come home until their parents got back together. But things go terribly, terribly wrong. Colt's mother and father must come to grips with years of neglect and mistrust in order to recover their beloved sons, their love for one another, and their brok
en marriage.

In this emotional story, Dan Walsh takes readers on a journey to rediscover the things that matter most in life--love, truth, and family.

Oh, man. A friend of mine told me I probably wouldn’t like this book. But it was next in my to-be-read stack, and I loved Dan Walsh’s other books. WHAT FOLLOWS AFTER is very much an emotional story. It packs a wallop, and I cried. Mr. Walsh created very real characters and I cared very deeply for each of the characters.

Even though WHAT FOLLOWS AFTER is a book that happened more than fifty years ago (before I was born) it is still recent enough that it isn’t really considered historical. But yet, in my opinion it isn’t contemporary. The publishers did classify it as contemporary though.


I did enjoy WHAT FOLLOWS AFTER. It is emotionally gripping, and I read it one sitting. Highly recommended. $14.99. 4.5 stars. 315 pages.