Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pound Foolish

Book info and review
About the book: Pound Foolish | Book Four in the Windy City Neighbors series (Castle Rock Creative, October 2014)

Greg Singer coordinates consumer sports shows for powerboats, four wheelers, snowmobiles, and jet skis---macho toys for outdoor men like himself. But the job puts tremendous stress on his marriage with Nicole, who for the first time notices the handsome lawyer at the end of the block. "Greener pastures?" When the recession hits Greg's industry, he thinks the crisis is merely an opportunity for God to bless him with unmatched prosperity, a promise he hears preached each  Sunday, and he steps out in bold faith . . . But is he being "pound foolish"?

The fourth in the Windy City Neighbors series, Pound Foolishexplores the economic upheaval and uncertainties challenging every family. Intersecting with Penny Wise (book three), the Jacksons employ the innovating storytelling technique of "parallel novels." Though each book follows its own drama and story arc, the characters' lives become intertwined and affect one another. Pound Foolish returns us to Beecham Street---a typical American neighborhood . . . where a growing friendship brings new meaning to prosperity.

My thoughts: POUND FOOLISH is the fourth book in the Windy City Neighbor series. I enjoyed the first book in the series Grounded, but didn't care much for the third book, Penny Wise. This fourth book is about a married couple with realistic struggles. An overwhelmed, loey, homeschooling mom who things her husband is gone too much working and she is in desperate need of me-time and a date with her husband. His response is typical male. Go on a short two day vacation where he fishes all day and she still does all the work. 

Fans of the Jacksons' books will want to read this newest book. The Jacksons' have a firm grasp of humanity and are able to write realistic characters with unique voices. Readers will root for Nicole and want to give Greg a good talking to. Mostly. Sometimes she needs the talking to. And I really think they need a new church and  not one that preaches prosperity instead of the gospel.  

Like I said. Realistic characters.  

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/DYPC6


About the authors: Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where their parallel novels from the Yada Yada House of Hope and Harry Bentley series are set. As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books.

Find the Jacksons online: websiteFacebookTwitter

 Blog Tour Schedule

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Though Mountains Fall

Title: THOUGH MOUNTAINS FALL
Author: Dale Cramer
Publisher: Bethany House
January 2013
ISBN: 978-0764208409
Genre: Historical/Amish

Unique Amish Historical from a Bestselling, Award-Winning Author

Amish pacifism is sorely tested in the Paradise Valley settlement in the 1920s. When an army of bandits descends on them, the Amish are saved by the last-minute arrival of government troops. But they soon learn that soldiers can be as cruel as the bandits themselves. Then a bishop travels to Mexico, and Caleb's daughters are finally able to marry, though the ban still looms for Miriam even as her beloved Domingo decides he must go off to fight in the coming war. As Caleb's frail hope of peace and freedom in Mexico slips away, he is left to ponder the question: In times of trouble, on whom should we rely?

Inspired by Actual Events!

"I want you to promise you will always be my sister."

There were tears in Miriam's eyes as their foreheads touched and Rachel whispered, "No matter what. Always."

Now in its fourth year, the Amish settlement in Mexico is thriving. But as new settlers arrive, sons and daughters marry, babies are born, and crops grow thick, a storm looms on the horizon. And Caleb Bender knows--perhaps better than anyone--that the worst of storms don't come from the western skies.

They come on horseback.

When their very existence is threatened, the Amish turn to the Mexican government for help, only to discover that the rulers of men are fickle and security is an illusion. Tried by fire and riven by war, Caleb and Domingo come to understand that the kingdom of God is not to be found in land or buildings or gold or armies, but in the hearts of peaceful men trying to feed their families.

Watching helplessly as daughters Rachel, Miriam, and Emma are drawn inexorably toward their separate destinies, Caleb is forced to confront the most important decision of his life.

THOUGH MOUNTAINS FALL is the conclusion of the most heartbreaking historical Amish series I ever read. I hated what these poor Amish pioneers went through in search for freedom from government. I laughed with them with things went right. Cried with them when everything went wrong and my heart ached… as I saw a clearing in the plot of the book and knew another bad storm was just ahead.

I will probably always wonder what happened to certain characters in this book—they were that real.


If you like historical Amish fiction and don’t mind crying as you read, then THOUGH MOUNTAINS FALL and the first two books in the series, Paradise Valley and The Captive Heart. Highly recommended. 5 stars. 352 pages. Available in ebook, paperback, audio download, and hardcover. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Hot Words for the ACT



Hot Words for the ACT
High school to Adult. Price $9.99
Barron’s Study Green

Hot Words for the ACT is a professional paperback book that will show high schoolers or adults who want to go to college how to best study volcabulary for the ACT test.

In Hot Words for the ACT Ms. Carnevalee, M.A. provides the tools to instill high school students (and adults) with a lifelong love and understanding of words, without being overwhelming.

This go-to book for college bound students presents and defines more than 250 words that commonly paper in the verbal portion of the ACT exam. The book also includes:

 > Helpful anecdotes illustrating how vocabulary strengthens students’ verbal scores
 > Memory tips amd review exercises
 > An alphabetical word index

Vocabulary enrichment for the ACT Engish, Reading and Writing tests
College bound students who successfully complete the book’s exercises and master these words will expand their lifelong vocabulary, enrich their essay writing and speaking, and improve their chances for acceptance at the college of their choice.

Hot Words for the ACT starts simply enough. A brief selection of words with their definitions, short exercises to show knowledge of the words. I would’ve liked to have seen more than two exercises per section. I did like that they went into detail about the words, different meanings, parts of speech, plus examples.    

Memorizing words is the key in this book, but college-bound students will greatly increase their vocabulary. Learn different ways of saying things and understanding rarely used words will teach the value of a good vocabulary and impress peers and others of your command of the English language. It will also instill self-confidence as well as children and teach them the history of how our English language grew and changed. Recommended. Laura V. Hilton

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Swept Away Book spotlight and GIVEAWAY !!!!



Swept Away Quilts of Love Laura V Hilton Cindy Loven



Swept Away

He survived a life-altering event. She is facing one.

Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her grandmother who doesn’t want to be cared for. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned.

Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but also as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between him and his new employer’s granddaughter.

It doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts online researching him. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.

Author review:


I loved writing Andrew and his trail journals and getting to know his secrets. 

If you like contemporary romance, humor, unexpected twists, and a strong faith message, you’ll want to pick up Swept Away. 

Set in the mountainous region of West Virginia and Pennsylvania. I was there once on a candidating trip to Pennsylvania. Who knew that such a trip would provide research for a future book! I was at the Fort mentioned in the story. Peeked in the window of the tavern...

I especially loved writing the trail journals. Who knew how Andrew's story would come to light? He even kept me guessing. 


Landing page for Litfuse tour:  http://litfusegroup.com/author/HilLov


************************************************************************



We are beginning a month of fun! Today is the release of Swept Away, Quilts of Love by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven
Be sure to drop in (http://cindylovenwrites.blogspot.com)during the month, there might be extra little prizes being given away!

The Rafflecopter runs from November 18th until December 15th at 12 am. 

To celebrate we are having some giveaways.

Grand Prize Package includes:
Quilted Wall Hanging made by me (Cindy) and my mom.
Copy of Quilts of Love
Bookmarks
Jelly Beans
WV magnet





Second Prize Package includes

Handmade pillow with the heart block on it from the cover of the book (as similar as I could make it)
Copy of Quilts of Love
Bookmarks
Jelly Beans
WV magnet


(and no you don't win my dog and you don't win my fuzzy red blanky)

Open for the US only. 


Enter Via Rafflecopter.
I made it super easy, 3 possible entries, that is all. Just click and enter!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Great Kings of the Bible: How Jesus is greater than Saul, David and Solomon

Great Kings of the Bible: How Jesus is greater than Saul, David, and Solomon
Elementary. Price $9.99
Christian Focus Publications www.christianfocus.com

Great Kings of the Bible: How Jesus is greater than Saul, David, and Solomon is a hardcover book that will teach children about the similarities and differences of Jesus, versus well-known biblical kings of Saul, David, and Solomon.

The three greatest kings of Israel were Saul, David, and Solomon. Saul was the first king of Israel. David led Israel’s army to great victories, and Solomon built a temple for God.

However, many years later a different king would come. This king was born in a stable, not a palace. He served thee sick, the poor, and the needy and was without any sin. This king is Jesus, God’s Son. He is different… His greatest victory was his death on the cross (and resurrection) and because of that God made him, the greatest of all kings, the King of Kings.

In Great Kings of the Bible: How Jesus is greater than Saul, David and Solomon Pastor Reju compares each of these three kings, individually, with Jesus. Saul was a tall man, somewhat a coward who tried to hide when Samuel called the new king. He died because he killed himself after a defeat, and his body was hung on the wall by his enemies. Jesus’ body was hung on the cross by his enemies…

Great Kings of the Bible: How Jesus is greater than Saul, David and Solomon is simply written, skipping most of the details one would read in the Bible or hear in Sunday school with more of a summary. Saul was jealous of David and pursued him for many years is said, instead of going into detail about the different events. David is shown as a mighty warrior, with a wild side, dancing on the streets in abandon, yet beating all the enemies—much as Jesus conquers sin. And Solomon was the wisest king and it compares his wisdom with Jesus.
Great Kings of the Bible: How Jesus is greater than Saul, David and Solomon is a great tool for teaching children the basic information about Saul, David, and Solomon and comparing them to the King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ. Excellent for Christian schools, Sunday schools and children’s church, and homeschool parents. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Interview with Julie Arduini

Why do you write the kind of books you do?

I long to see readers find freedom through surrender so I write about surrender issues that we all probably face.

What is your current work in progress?

Entangled, Book 2 in the Adirondack series. This is Carla’s story and I can’t wait to share it.

I can't wait to read it, Julie. How do you choose your settings for each book?

I want to introduce readers to Upstate NY so this series is based in the Adirondacks. I’m already thinking of ideas for another series and that would be the Finger Lakes region.

I've driven through that area years ago. Beautiful country. What three things about you would surprise readers?

I was born on Good Friday with tornado warnings, I hate eggs, and enjoy NASCAR.

I'm not overly fund of eggs either. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

 I enjoy taking amateur nature photos. Anyone can take a look on Instagram or Pinterest @JulieArduini.

 Tell us about Entrusted

Entrusted is about a city girl who moves to the Adirondack mountains and produces a lot of change for the local grocer.

Is there one particular message or “moral of the story” you hope readers walk away with?

To surrender fear. For Jenna, it’s the fear she won’t belong. For Ben, it’s fear of death and change. God’s got those things. And He’s got you.

Will we know what happens to your character after the end of the book?

Not only that, all the characters from Entrusted will be included in Entangled. Jenna has a few key scenes with Carla in Entangled.


 What’s on the horizon for you?  What will you be writing next? 

After Entangled comes the last in the series, Engaged. That will be Trish Maxwell’s story. I’m also one of the Write Integrity authors involved in the romance where readers choose the heroine, The Love Boat Bachelor.

Where can readers find you online?

 You can find me across social media (FB, Twitter, G+, Pinterest, Instagram) @JulieArduini. I’d love for readers to visit me at my website, http://juliearduini.com.



Julie Arduini is an author with a passion to encourage readers to find freedom through surrender. Her first Adirondack contemporary romance, Entrusted, gives readers hope to surrender fear. A Walk Through the Valley will soon be available as an infertility devotional with 5 other authors. She blogs every other Wednesday at Christians Read and is a frequent contributor to Jasmine’s Place. To learn more about her writing and love of chocolate, visit http://juliearduini.com. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Story Keeper

Title: THE STORY KEEPER
Author: Lisa Wingate
Publisher: Tyndale
August 2014
ISBN: 978-1414386898
Genre: Women’s fiction

“She’d noticed immediately that I understood the lure of a good story. Sometimes a world that doesn’t exist is the only escape from one that does.”

Successful New York editor, Jen Gibbs, is at the top of her game with her new position at Vida House Publishing -- until a mysterious manuscript from an old slush pile appears on her desk. Turning the pages, Jen finds herself drawn into the life of Sarra, a mixed-race Melungeon girl trapped by dangerous men in the turn of the century Appalachia. A risky hunch may lead to The Story Keeper's hidden origins and its unknown author, but when the trail turns toward the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a place Jen thought she'd left behind forever, the price of a blockbuster next book deal may be higher than she's willing to pay. 

THE STORY KEEPER is pure Lisa Wingate. Within pages of starting the book I was fully connected with Jen—and then when she started reading the old slush pile manuscript, I couldn’t help but feel for Sarra.

My daughter, reading over my shoulder while I waited in line somewhere, commented, there’s a lot of bad grammar in this book. I told her that Ms. Wingate writes the way the character talks, thinks. Pure point of view.


Both storylines are written in first person, which doesn’t bother me but may detour some readers. If you like women’s fiction, you will absolutely love THE STORY KEEPER. Highly recommended. 449 pages. Available in ebook, paperback, hardcover, audio, and MP3. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

I Have Seen God

Book info and review
About the book: I Have Seen God: The Miraculous Story of the Diospi Suyana Hospital in Peru(Monarch Books, October 2014)

The miraculous founding of a top class hospital for some of the world's poorest people

Klaus-Dieter and Martina John---both brilliant, talented, and highly qualified doctors---turned their backs on lucrative careers to follow their dream to open a first-rate medical facility for the Indians of the Peruvian Andes, some of the world's poorest people. The Peruvian Andes natives suffer appallingly from the diseases of poverty and, although they make up approximately 40 percent of Peru's population, are ignored by the authorities.

Having studied at the universities of Harvard, Yale, and Johannesburg during his training as a surgeon, Dr. Klaus-Dieter John together with his wife, Dr. Martina John, a pediatrician, developed a concept for a modern hospital in the Peruvian Highlands.

Turning down other offers, including a professorship, they set themselves the task of raising the millions of dollars needed. God opened the hearts and consciences of individuals and companies to create not just a health center, but a fully equipped hospital. Their story and vision has captured attention around the world and today they have the backing of 180 corporations and 50,000 private supporters.

The hospital's name, Diospi Suyana, means "we trust in God" in Quechua, the native language of the people it serves. It is a testament to their experience that with God the impossible can happen. The incredible conviction and profound faith of the Johns will refresh your heart and stir your spirit.

My thoughts:  Wow, this was quite a reading adventure! The story about two German medical students who dated--off and on--served on many different committees together and mission trips, and then later married and went to serve as medical missionaries to Peru. 

Written as a memoir, this book will engage the reader as if Dr. Klaus-Dieter John is sitting across the table from you, telling the story. A wildly popular book, as if the edition I have it is in it's 8th printing, and has been translated from the original German version into many different languages including the English version I have.  I seriously enjoyed this book... not because it's a missionary story, not because it's a true accounting of events, but because God really moved in ways that some would consider unbelievable, unless they themselves experienced it. Or if they read this honestly written accounting as a statement of fact. Faith. 

Don't miss I HAVE SEEN GOD. Recommended. 

Purchase a copy:  http://ow.ly/DtGoz

About the author: Klaus-Dieter John studied at the universities of Harvard, Yale, and Johannesburg during his training as a surgeon. He and his wife Dr. Martina John, a pediatrician, have dedicated their lives to the establishment of the hospital in Peru.


Find Klaus-Dieter online: website

 Blog Tour Schedule

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Love Finds You in Nazareth, Pennsylvania

Title: LOVE FINDS YOU IN NAZARETH, PENNSYLVANIA
Author: Melanie Dobson
Publisher: Summerside Press
November 2011
ISBN: 978-1609361945
Genre: Historical romance

They were strangers when they
married, but they both long for love.

Christian and Susanna had never met when they
were chosen by lot to marry in a Moravian
community in Germany. But in 1755, they traveled
with a dozen other newly married couples to
Nazareth, Pennsylvania, to help establish a
Moravian borough and share their faith with the
surrounding Indian nations.

Susanna’s heart warms toward her new husband
even after she learns that he had wished to marry
another woman in Germany. As war rages between
the British and French Indians and their young
marriage faces hardship, Susanna wonders if
Christian will ever return her love.

LOVE FINDS YOU IN NAZARETH PENNSYLVANIA is based on a real community and events in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. It is heartbreakingly sad at times, and heartwarming beautiful at others.

It was hard to read what some of these Moravian missionaries faced in their effort to get the salvation gospel to the Indians. I didn’t like their approach toward marriage and family, keeping husbands/wives/children separate from their families and only allotting them one hour a week for mothers to see their child, one hour a month (or less!) for a husband and wife to be locked in a bed chamber with a guard outside the door for marital relations.


It was horrible to read some of the events in this book, but that said, it was based on real life. And fans of historical romance will probably enjoy this book. I couldn’t put it down. Recommended. 312 pages. Available in paperback, hardback, and ebook. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fabulous After 50


Title: FABULOUS AFTER FIFTY
Author: Shirley Mitchell
Publisher: Whitaker House
June 2013
ISBN: 978-1603747370
Genre: Nonfiction

Faced with the constant barrage of a youth-oriented culture, many women today have developed a negative attitude toward the unpleasant reality of aging. Author Shirley W. Mitchell challenges women approaching 50 not to fear their futures but to embrace them. Realize that going through physical, emotional, and spiritual changes can take you into a realm of amazing possibilities. Among the topics Shirley covers are...

~ Overcoming midlife fears
~ Coping with loss
~ Creating and fulfilling dreams
~ Shaping spiritual life
~ Improving fitness and diet

The quantity of years in your life does not need to decrease the quality of your life. Here's dynamic proof that living longer can also mean living better!

FABULOUS AFTER FIFTY is the first book by Ms. Mitchell I’ve read. I’m used to being on her talk show “Aging Outside the Box” and I expected to hear Ms. Mitchell’s deep southern accent as I read the pages of the book. It did shine through in some places and I smiled as I imagined Ms. Mitchell saying the words.

I loved the top ten lists that are included in the chapters as well as the attitudes of aging. Ms. Mitchell also included biblical truths in each chapter. A great reminder that over fifty is our second adulthood and we need to keep dreaming, keep working, and exercise to keep our minds and bodies strong, active and healthy. Highly recommended. Available in print and ebook. 192 pages. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Interview and Giveaway with Mary L. Ball


What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

I enjoy fishing and singing with my husband and ou church group.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

For me, it’s the challenge of finding time to write.  I have elderly parents with dementia. I’m an associate pastor’s wife and I also keep my grandson around the school schedule. I get up early before the rest of the world wakes (LOL) and work on my story. During the day, I write when I can, as often as I have time.    

I”ve heard it said that an author Must write each day for so many hours. That’s not necessarily true. Writers have to adapt to the situations in their lives, and still find time to create novels. 
  
What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Don’t give in to negativity. Keep on writing and submitting your work to publishers.

How did Christmas at Angel Ranch get started?

The publisher of one of my novellas, “Postmarked Ever After” mentioned how fun Christmas novellas were. Having never wrote a themed book before I thought I’d give it a try.
  
Tell us about Christmas at Angel Ranch.

Kayla is a home designer for a well-know design firm, or was, until a police raid proves the decorating company is laundering money. The investigation shows her innocence, but she's without a job, no prospects for employment.   

 To get away from the dishonesty surrounding her, Kayla returns home to the mountains of North Carolina to help with the family business until the New Year. 

Angel Ranch is a hunting lodge that caters to elite hunters, and Reed Jessup is ready to trade in his corner office for a few weeks of R&R. He arrives with his rifle and a trophy buck on his mind.   
When Kayla and Reed meet, two mistrusting hearts collide. Can love prevail, or will it take a Christmas miracle?

While you were writing Christmas at Angel Ranch, do you think it mattered where the book was set?

Yes, it did.  Angel Ranch is a hunting Lodge, so the setting needed to be a place where hunting was enjoyed and an every season sport.
     
Both of your lead characters have “baggage” that keeps them from wanting to pursue a new relationship. Do you think sometimes we let our past get in the way of what God has planned for our futures?

 Yes, too often people let the past stand in the way of reaching full potential. They may feel as though they can't achieve certain goals because of mistakes, but with God it's possible.

Each of us must work to overcome, and remember that with God, we are new creatures.  He doesn’t look behind at our mistakes, neither should we, except to learn from them.

I write a lot about God's plan in a person's life, in my novels. My characters struggle with their desires, verses trying a new path ordained by God.

Along with letting the past hold someone back people can be too focused on the things they want, overlooking situations that God places before them.

   What’s on the horizon for you?  What will you be writing next? 

I have a new released coming on Nov. 19 by Prism Book Group, “Redemption in Big Fork Lake.” This novel takes the reader back to visit with the characters in my debut novel, “Escape to Big Fork Lake.”

Next, is a romance, with suspense elements. It’s tentatively titled, “Sparks of Love.” 
I’m thinking of making this into a series.    

T         Tell us about the giveaway you’re offering. 

             In Chapter 3, Kayla’s hums along with her favorite Christmas tune. I would like 
t            to give away an eBook (Mobi or ePub) to a reader who comments and shares 
              their favorite Christmas song.

Where can readers find you online?









Mary L. Ball is an inspirational fiction author and lives in North Carolina between the wondrous mountains and beautiful beaches. She writes about real-life problems, suspense or mystery blended with romance.

Mary hopes her books encourage people to see the wonder of love and a divine guidance that awaits everyone.

Her novels include, Escape to Big Fork Lake, Stone of Destiny, Postmarked Ever After and Redemption in Big Fork Lake.  She is also a contributing author of 21 Stories of Faith. 
   
Purchase links:


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Grounded

Title: GROUNDED
Authors: Neta Jackson and Dave Jackson
Publisher: Castle Rock Creative (previously published by Worthy Press)
June 2014 (previously published in May 2013)
ISBN: 978-0982054475
Genre: Women’s fiction

…. But hope may be just across the street.

Grace Meredith is a beloved contemporary Christian recording artist whose career-and personal life-hits unexpected ­turbulence. She feels grounded-in more ways than one.

Grace's ­fiancĂ©, bothered by her outspoken stance on purity and her near-constant travel, has broken off their relationship. Exhausted and unable to continue her current concert schedule, Grace returns home to Chicago, where she is soon stranded in a major snowstorm. Facing new questions about her future and her faith, Grace finds herself connected for the first time with the residents of her neighborhood. What she discovers in these unexpected relationships could change everything.

Welcome to the Neighborhood The first in the Windy City Neighbors series, GROUNDED is an uplifting, contemporary story about ordinary people wrestling with the spiritual and practical issues of real life. The series employs the innovative storytelling technique of "parallel novels," each with its own drama and story arc, but whose characters' lives become intertwined and affect one another. GROUNDED welcomes you to Beecham Street-a typical, isolated American neighborhood that might just be a place of hope.

GROUNDED is the first book in the Windy City Neighbors series. I have read the third book in the series, Penny Wise, but not any of the others, so when the fourth book Pound Foolish came up in my pile to review I decided I better play catch up. 

I absolutely loved GROUNDED. I have enjoyed most of Ms. Jackson’s previous books (Yada Yada Prayer Group etal) but didn’t enjoy Penny Wise as much as I usually like her books. Grace is a hurting character who made mistakes as a teen and is trying to share a message to save other teens from her mistakes—but when the whole concert tour is based around her engagement, everything goes bad, from her fiancĂ© breaking up, her agent dumping her off on another agent, a bad cold and voice strain, a horrific experience on a flight, and a Chicago blizzard…  Wow.  

I really connected with Grace and I loved her new agent. I hoped Grace would be able to get settled while she was grounded and I couldn’t help but keep reading to see what happens with her and her career.


I do not have book two in the series, Derailed, but it seems the books are mostly stand-alone, though set in the same neighborhood. I will be reading the fourth book in the series, Pound Foolish) later this month. 321 pages. Available in ebook, paperback, and hardcover. 



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Aileen's Song

Title: AILEEN’S SONG
Author: Marianne Evans
Publisher: White Rose
August 2014
ASIN:  B00N47L8UC
Genre: Contemporary romance

Aileen, Siobhan, Kassidy and Maeve–long ago they made a purity pledge to God and a friendship vow to one another. Now this quartet is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime...

All her life, Aileen Brewer has dreamed of singing on stage and winning the heart of Liam Douglas. When she sings, she exudes confidence and charm. Away from the spotlight, she's the shy, curvaceous woman who has always tried to maintain a sweet, Godly spirit despite her radical upbringing and a sense that she's not quite good enough.

During a music festival at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Aileen takes the stage with her three best friends, and Sisters in Spirit is born.

Liam, a Christian record producer, is captivated by the wallflower of his youth who has blossomed into a magnetic performer. He champions a record deal, and a quest for Aileen's heart begins, but can she find confidence enough to take command of the group...and accept Liam's love? Can Liam help her see the beauty of the woman she has become?

Dreams just might come true in ways only God could orchestrate...

AILEEN’S SONG is the first book in the Sisters in Spirit series by Ms. Evans.  I enjoyed getting to know Aileen and her three besties… And the boy Aileen has had a crush on forever.

I have read one of Ms. Evan’s previous books By Appointment Only and loved it, so when I was offered the opportunity to review AILEEN’S SONG I jumped at the chance.

This book seems a little more young adult than the previous book I read. The characters were more immature and talked like high schoolers even though they were college graduates and holding down teaching jobs or owned their own studio.

There are things I’m not fond of in this book. The faith message is weak. Yes, they are devote Catholics. Yes, they sing Christian songs. Yes, they pray together. But you could take out the few prayers, the Catholicism and the names of the song and have an ABA novel. There is no growth.

I give this story 3.5 stars. Available in ebook only.


Monday, November 17, 2014

An Amish Wedding Invitation

Title: AN AMISH WEDDING INVITATION
Author: Serena Miller
Publisher: Howard Books
February 2013
ASIN:  B00AYIDRF8
Genre: Nonfiction / Amish

Amish fiction author Serena B. Miller takes you "behind the barn door" in this true e-short account of her experience of attending an Amish wedding.

In her years of researching her Amish novels, Serena Miller has gotten to know several Amish families in Holmes County, Ohio. When she was invited to attend the wedding of one of her friend’s daughters, she expected it to be a casual affair: muck out the barn, throw a potluck together, send the bride and groom off on their honeymoon in a buggy with a Just Married sign hung on the back. But when the young bride shyly brings her a formal, professionally printed invitation, she realized everything she thought she knew about Amish weddings was wrong.

From the hand-arranged centerpieces—made from flowers the bride grew herself—to the portable kitchens the family rents to the elaborate and formally served meal, she realized that every detail of this wedding has been carefully and beautifully orchestrated by a bride and a society that cares very deeply about marriage. On the day of the wedding, Serena sits through the three-hour sermon preached entirely in German, after which the ceremony itself lasts under two minutes. She sees the grace with which the bride cooks for and serves her guests, and then stays to clean up after everyone has gone home. She is inspired by the way every member of the community seems to have some role to play in the event.

Serena, a pastor’s wife, has attended hundreds of weddings, and draws comparisons between the overblown weddings she normally attends and this “simple” wedding. She is inspired by the immensity of the vows this young couple is making—not just to each other, but to their community—and the faithfulness of the community that puts the focus on the marriage far more than the wedding itself.

AN AMISH WEDDING INVITATION is NOT a story. It is a first person account of Ms. Miller’s invitation to an Amish wedding and what she experienced. She talked about the preparations, the work frolics, the food, the services, the seating, wedding gifts and more. 


If you are interested in a real life experience of attending an Amish wedding, then AN AMISH WEDDING INVITATION is an ebook to consider. I picked it up for research purposes because I’d never attended a wedding, but have been told about them. It was as I heard. An interesting read. 46 pages, ebook only.