Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Captured by Grace

Author: Dr. David Jeremiah
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers
August 2010
ISBN 978-0-8499-4616-5
Genre: Religion/Christian Life/Inspirational

Whether you are a new believer, a growing Christian, or a seasoned saint, CAPTURED BY GRACE is a volume that needs to be in your library, in your hand, and in your heart. It is, quite simply, the clearest presentation of grace in all of its aspects and attributes that I have ever come across. Teaching from personal experience, allegory, analogy and testimony from Jesus, the Apostle Paul, and many others throughout the ages on into the present day, Dr. David Jeremiah’s book is not only clear, it is comprehensive, compelling, and challenging.

After all, grace changes everything.

As an added bonus, Dr. Jeremiah challenges you to continue the journey by logging on to the ministry website, www.CapturedByGrace.com and enriching your life and your library with resources that will bring the book “home” in a way that will change your understanding of grace, and your relationship with Jesus, forever.

This book would make a wonderful gift for your pastor, Sunday School teacher, or anyone that you treasure and want to see grow in the Lord. 216 pages. $14.99.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Anna Finch and the Hired Gun

Author: Kathleen Y’Barbo
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
June 2010
ISBN: 978-0-307-44481-3
Genre: Inspirational/historical

Anna Finch has so far escaped all her father’s plans to marry her off. But now, it seems her father has taken his desire to see her wed too far, as he has hired a Pinkerton agent to trail her and be her hired gun, keeping her safe and, supposedly out of trouble.

If Jeb Sanders thought that keeping Anna Finch out of trouble would be an easy job, he had much to reconsider. The first time he meets her, he is shot in the side. And then he catches her meeting up with the infamous Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp. Convinced that she is an informant for them, Jeb has to work double time to keep her in his sight.

If Anna has any dreams of writing the truth about Doc Holliday then she has her work cut out for her. Between her father trying to sell her off like prized-horseflesh to an unsuspecting groom, and the hired gun trailing her every move, getting the story is more complicated than she ever dreamed.

ANNA FINCH AND THE HIRED GUN is the sequel to The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper. I absolutely loved The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper so was thrilled to find that ANNA FINCH AND THE HIRED GUN is more of the same lighthearted, humorous and totally engaging writing.

I couldn’t put ANNA FINCH AND THE HIRED GUN down. I literally fell in love with both Anna and with Jeb, and especially enjoyed the sparks that ignited between the two of them. Having a real life person, Doc Holliday, making appearances in the pages of the book was an unexpected bonus. I thoroughly enjoyed reading ANNA FINCH AND THE HIRED GUN and highly recommend this book. $13.99. 325 pages.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Sheriff's Surrender

Author: Susan Page Davis
Publisher: Barbour Books
December 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60260-562-6
Genre: Inspirational/historical

Gert Dooley is the best shot in town. She came out west after her brother’s wife died to help him out with his gunsmith shop. Hiram as stopped talking after his wife’s death, and Gert test-fires the guns and does the talking for him. She’s known as the best shot in the town.

When the sheriff of Fergus is found dead, the townsfolk vote Ethan Chapman in as interim sheriff until a new sheriff can be elected. Ethan never wanted this job, but he fills in because he can’t let the town down.

When the ladies in town discover that the old sheriff had been murdered they go to Gert to teach them how to shoot for protection and they form a Ladies Shooting Club. The men in town want this club disbanded—but then another body is discovered. Ethan turns to Gert and her club to help him find the murderer before he strikes again.

THE SHERIFF’S SURRENDER is the first historical I’ve read by Ms. Davis, but I am a long time fan of her suspense books. I found THE SHERIFF’S SURRENDER starting out kind of disjointed, in many different points of view, and I got a little confused. But by the time the sheriff was murdered either I’d gotten used to the storytelling method, or the story had tied together some so it wasn’t as confusing.

Ethan is a man who loves to serve, but he doesn’t like to be in the limelight. He doesn’t want to be sheriff, but there is no one else to do it, so he steps up to the plate. I hoped that he would be able to solve the murders and maybe even fall in love in the process. Gert isn’t so well developed as a character, but the reader can still identify with her. This is a light, easy read with a fun mystery thrown in to keep the pages turning. $10.97. 320 pages.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Survival Instinct

Author: Rachelle McCalla
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
February 2010
ISBN: 978-0-373-444383-3
Genre: Inspirational/romantic suspense

Abby Caldwell is forced to return to Devil’s Island to retrieve her engagement ring from an ex-boyfriend, given to her five years prior. Her ex-boyfriend has threatened her with bodily harm if she doesn’t return the ring. Scared, Abby finds a ride on a ferry to the island, but is shocked when the ferry driver leaves her, and the three members of the Frazier family stranded on the island.

Scott Frazier remembers Abby as a former classmate and someone he was interested in getting to know better—but she had a boyfriend back then. He is glad to see Abby again, but worried more about his frail mother, stranded on the island. He doesn’t know how she’ll react. Scott and Abby search the entire island for a way off, finally finding a canoe that is hardly sea-worthy. But they decide to brave the elements on Lake Superior, and canoe to the next nearest island where there is a park ranger on duty all year around.

When Scott and Abby finally get help, the Coast Guard rescues Scott’s step-dad, but his mother is missing. With bad weather coming in, the Coast Guard performs a search and rescue, but no sign of her is found. And it soon becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want her to be found—or to leave Devil’s Island alive.

SURVIVAL INSTINCT is the first book I’ve read by Rachel McCalla, but it won’t be the last. This author has breathed fresh live into this genre, and I couldn’t put this book down. I enjoyed seeing Devil’s Island, a real life part of the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior.

Abby and Scott were both realistic characters, and Scott’s mother is a real trooper, I couldn’t help but fall in love with her. I enjoyed reading this family’s adventure, and can’t wait to read more books set in and around Devil’s Island. This is one of the best Love Inspired Suspense I’ve read this year. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $5.50. 212 pages.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Doctor's Blessing

Author: Patricia Davids
Publisher: Love Inspired
August 2010
ISBN: 978-0-373-87613-6
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary

Amber Bradley is a nurse midwife in Amish country, helping Amish women to be able to deliver their babies safely at home. But when the new doctor arrives in Hope Springs, he is totally against home births and refuses to sign the release forms to allow her to do her job.

Dr. Phillip White is the grandson of the owner of the clinic, and he is there on a temporary basis while his grandfather recuperates from an injury. Phillip is expecting his stay to be relatively quiet in the rural area, but is stunned to find it is largely Amish. When the Amish refuse to patronize him, he loses most of his patient base due to his refusal to allow home births.

Amber is attracted to the handsome doctor but angered by his refusal to recognize her career as real and viable. What will it take to convince Phillip to recognize Amber as a midwife, the Amish right for home birth, and to decide that maybe Hope Springs isn’t so backwoods after all?

THE DOCTOR’S BLESSING is the second book in Ms. Davids Brides of Amish Country series. While not technically an Amish book, the Amish are well represented, and there is a lot of facts given about them and their lifestyle in this book. I enjoyed a midwife theme too, as I had most of my children at home with a midwife.

THE DOCTOR’S BLESSING is very well written and I couldn’t help but care for Amber and Phillip. The characters from the first book also made appearances. If you are looking for a good romance, then don’t miss THE DOCTOR’S BLESSING. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $5.50. 217 pages.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Six-Liter Club

Author: Dr. Harry Kraus
Publisher: Howard Books
April 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4165-7797-3
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary/medical thriller

In 1984, Dr. Camille Weller has the distinction of being the first black female trauma surgeon at the Medical College of Virginia. Not only that, but she isn’t even working there twenty-four hours when she becomes a member of the elite Six-Liter Club—a club membership based on saving the life of a patient who has lost six liters of blood.

But Camille struggles with racism and sexism as a black female doctor. She also gains a rep for bending rules when she treats a woman with breast cancer by not following the normal treatment plan. But Camille’s private life becomes even more complicated. Camille was born in Africa to a white missionary doctor to a native mother, and orphaned as a young child. Raised by a white southern aunt, Camille is troubled by nightmares and flashbacks of the Congo.

A counselor assumes Camille is repressing memories of abuse—but could they be caused by the terror of the Congo instead? What will it take for Camille to get past these and succeed in a field dominated by white men?

THE SIX-LITER CLUB is the first book I’ve ever read by talented author Dr. Harry Kraus. Rich in details, I could see the location that the character was in, see the minute details (like blood under the fingernails) and hear the accent that the characters speak in.

Written in first person, I was in Camille’s head, experiencing everything she experienced. There are some medical terminology, but for the most part the book is written in normal language. If you like medical thrillers, then you won’t want to miss THE SIX-LITER CLUB. 320 pages. $13.99.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Driftwood Lane

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
July 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59554-800-9
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary romance

Meridith Ward is stunned to find out her father and her stepmother have died in a tragic accident and named her as guardian to three children she’d never even met. Meridith and her father have been estranged ever since he walked out on her and her mother years ago when Meridith was a young child. But Meridith is the only relative, other than an uncle no one knows how to contact. Without her, the children will be forced into foster homes and seperated. So, reluctantly, she puts her life on hold and goes to Nantucket, planning to give the uncle custody as soon as he shows up.

Jacob Walker is stunned to hear of his sister’s death, and even more hurt to realize that they named the older sister—someone unknown to the kids—as legal guardian. His thirteen year old niece, Noelle, swears Meridith is crazy, so Jake determines he’d discover the truth and fight her for guardianship. But when he arrives, Meridith mistakes him for the handiman she hired and Jake doesn’t bother to correct her, figuring he could get the proof he needs to get the kids.

With the kids in on his secret, Jake does the work Meridith wants but he soon decides she is far from crazy. What will it take for the five of them to have a happy ending?

DRIFTWOOD LANE is the best book in Ms. Hunter’s Nantucket series that I’ve had the privilege of reading so far. I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting this island vicariously and getting to know Meridith and Jake through the pages of this book.

Meridith and Jake are both realistic characters and Ms. Hunter is a stellar story teller, helping them to come to life on the pages of this book. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. If you are looking for a good romance, don’t miss DRIFTWOOD LANE. It is the perfect summertime read. $14.99. 320 pages.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington

Author: Tricia Goyer & Ocieanna Fleiss
Publisher: Summerside Press
July 2010
ISBN: 978-1-60936-000-9
Genre: Inspirational/historical

Rosalie Madison was engaged to marry her best friend, Vic, but she didn’t want to marry him before he went off to war. Vic promised to come back in April to marry her, but Rosalie wasn’t certain she really loved him enough to commit—and so she sent Vic off to war without telling him she loved him. And Vic never returned. Instead, he became a casualty of war.

Kenny Davenport is supposed to write about the celebrity visiting Seattle, and get a picture of her coming on stage. But not watching where he is going, Kenny ran into a woman and an officer, spilling coke on them. The woman gets into his face, and the next thing Kenny knows, he and this woman, Rosalie, are on stage being introduced as love-birds.

Kenny likes Rosalie, but his boss wants him to interview her, when he learns she’s a riveter at the factory. Rosalie refuses, not wanting to be known as Rosie the Riveter—but even more than that, she doesn’t respect reporters. But it comes down to trust Kenny enough to let him do his job, or Kenny won’t have a job to do. What will it take for Rosalie to trust Kenny with her heart?

LOVE FINDS YOU IN VICTORY HEIGHTS, WASHINGTON is set during World War II. My mom used to work in an airplane factory doing the same job that Rosalie did, and a lot of the things my mom told me were very similar to what is in this book, from the activities to the work.

I enjoyed reading about Rosalie and Kenny. I did find the slang a bit hard to get used to in a book, but it is realistic for that time period. I hoped Kenny would be able to achieve his dreams. There were some things in the book I didn’t care much about, and some parts of the book I skimmed through, but for the most part I loved reading LOVE FINDS YOU IN VICTORY HEIGHTS, WASHINGTON. I also enjoyed reading the blurb at the front of the book telling about this real life suburb of Seattle. $13.99. 344 pages.

About Tricia Goyer: Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty-four books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock , Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife. For more on Tricia visit www.triciagoyer.com

About Ocieanna Fleiss: Ocieanna Fleiss is a published writer and has edited six of Tricia Goyer’s historical novels. She lives with her husband and their four children in the Seattle area. For more about Ocieanna visit her blog.

Link to buy the book: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Finds-Victory-Heights-Washington/dp/1609360001/ref=sprightly-20

Contest info: Tricia is giving away 5 Victory Prize packs during the blog tour. Info can be found on this blog post http://triciagoyer.blogspot.com/2010/08/win-victory-prize-pack.html

Blog tour schedule: http://www.litfusegroup.com/Blog-Tours/love-finds-you-in-victory-heights-washington.html

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Malacca Conspiracy

Author: Don Brown
Publisher: Zondervan
June 2010
ISBN 978-0-310-27215-1
Genre: General Fiction/Military

In a novel intended to portray events that could easily occur today, it’s all about the details. Don Brown, a former line officer in the United States Navy JAG corps, delivers the details.

This military thriller spans the globe as the world comes face-to-face with a power-hungry despot in the small nation of Indonesia. The Islamic nation has developed nuclear weapons capability, and has demonstrated their willingness to use them. Now, it is up to the United States and her allies, some found in most unlikely places, to bring this madman’s reign of tyrrany and violence to an end, while at the same time holding tenaciously to the delicate details that make up everyday life: faith, hope and love.

In the words of Lieutenant Commander Zack Brewer, “the lessons of THE MALACCA CONSPIRACY are these. That life is fleeting . . . but we must courageously seize the moment in the here and now.”

Wonderful truths that will revolutionize the way in which we live, should we choose to embrace them and make them our own. 349 pages. $14.99.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lucky Baby

Author: Meredith Efken
Publisher: Howard Books
August 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4165-9550-2
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary

Meg Lindsay has never wanted to be a mother. After all, why would she want to be something she despised? All her life Meg’s mother had told her what a disappointment she was. And even though she tried, Meg never measured up. and the emotional bruises still hurt.

But then China started calling to Meg, and she found that she wanted to adopt a little girl from China. She knew exactly what this child would look like, would know her voice. And Meg found her, Zhen An, a girl destined to live her life in an orphanage. Her only friend was Wen Ming. Wen Ming promises Zhen An they’ll be sisters forever, but then Zhen An is ripped away from her, to go to another home in America.

Meg doesn’t know how to handle a child who resents her, blames her for stealing her from her “real home” and her “real family.” What does it take for Meg and Zhen An to find each other and discover what being a real family means?

LUCKY BABY is inspired by the story of how Meredith Efken received the gift of one of her daugthers, but it is not completely a true story. Some parts of it were real, but most of it is creative license. No matter which parts were true and which weren’t, and even the truly fantastical parts, were all woven so well together that the story flowed seamlessly, holding my interest until the end.

The story is written both in Meg’s point of view, and in Wen Ming’s point of view, though one part is written in Zhen An’s. I enjoyed most all of this story, though I did hope that Meg would find the peace she longed for with her family, and that Meg’s husband, Lewis, would see his great need.

I never truly understood what an adopted family might go through. My sister was adopted, and was treated as my sister all my life. My parents didn’t seem to go through any great struggle with her. But I do know a couple families who claim their child is emotionally damaged from the trauma of adoption, so that really opened my eyes a little, to what some families might face. Don’t miss LUCKY BABY. This is a story that will stay with you for a long time. An interview with the author and discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $13.99. 293 pages.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

100 Prayers God Loves to Hear 100 Praise Songs

Created by: Stephen Elkins
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers
August 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4003-1549-9
Genre: Childrens

100 PRAYERS GOD LOVES TO HEAR 100 PRAISE SONGS is a hardcover book, including two CDs that kids can listen to anytime. The book teaches that prayer is important for everyone, both grownup and young, and at anytime during the day, prayer isn’t just for bedtime.

Included in this colorfully illustrated book are prayers of blessing, thankfulness, praise, and comfort. The book also includes prayers from Scripture, including prayers of David, Moses, and Jesus. Inspirational prayers of Charles Wesley, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther are included as well as beloved children’s prayers such as Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.

The CDs include 100 Praise songs, such as I’ve Got Joy Down in My Heart, Come Thou Almighty King, Into My Heart, The Full Armor of God, Shout With Joy, and What A Friend We Have in Jesus among many others.

My eight year old and five year old daughters were both super excited when this book came in the mail and could hardly wait for me to review it. We put the first CD on right away so we could listen to it. We all enjoyed listening to the songs, and the colorful images of this book drew the girls right in. I like the little thoughts that are included on the pages with each prayer, sometimes telling about the person who prayed that prayer, and giving a small application for the child to remember. Under the pictures are inspirational quotes or scripture about prayer.

If you are looking for a children’s book then 100 PRAYERS GOD LOVES TO HEAR 100 PRAISE SONGS is a book/CD combo that is sure to please. This will appeal to young children from toddler hood into the early elementary grades as well as their parents/grandparents while teaching important and valuable lessons about prayers. $19.99. 207 pages, 2 CDs.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Amish Proverbs and giveaway!!!

Leave a comment to possibly win a copy of this book! Void where prohibited by law.

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Publisher: Revell
August 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8007-1953-1
Genre: Inspirational

Suzanne Woods Fisher has collected more than 200 proverbs that cover the rich heritage, folklore, faith, values, history, and essence of the Plain People. The proverbs are used as teaching tools and practical living among the Amish—but they are not just for the Amish. Many of them are relevant to us in our daily lives.

Interwoven with the proverbs are beautiful pictures of Amish people, buggies, quilts, farmland, and more, and a few short stories about different people associated with the Amish and how they used the proverbs to apply to their lives.

My maternal grandmother was Amish, so I was quite familiar with most all of these proverbs as they were passed down from my grandmother to my mom, and from Mom to me, and many of them live on as I pass them on to my children. Some of them I had forgotten, but I laughed when I remembered Mom saying that proverb.

AMISH PROVERBS is a beautifully done hardcover book that will make a beautiful gift for any occasion to someone in your life who is interested in the Amish lifestyle. This is a book to cherish, to keep as a display on your coffee table, or an end table, and let guests thumb through it.

If you or someone you know enjoy Amish fiction—and all things Amish, then you will want to pick up a copy of AMISH PROVERBS. $13.99 hardcover. 203 pages.

the author is sponsoring a contest with a brand new KINDLE as the prize! Check out the details at the Suzanne’s website

Suzanne will be hosting a Facebook Blog Tour Wrap-Up Party on September 1st, with a live chat and when the KINDLE winner will be announced. Go here for the details: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=140502785980491

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dead Ringer

Author: Sharon Dunn
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
May 2010
ISBN: 978-0-373-44395-6
Genre: Inspirational/romantic suspense

Lucy Kimbol is upstairs in her loft typing flies for her fishing class when she hears noises downstairs. When she investigates, she catches somebody crawling outside her bedroom window. The intruder gets away with her most valuable fishing rod, and some jewelry. Lucy calls the police, but doesn’t expect that they will help her. She doesn’t have a good relation ship with them.

Detective Eli Hawkins is new to the small town, transferred over to help solve a string of serial killers. He is shocked to discover that Lucy is a dead ringer to the other girls that were murdered. And she’s a member of the on-line dating service that the killer frequents.

Determined to keep Lucy from being the next target, Eli rents the duplex next door to her, while stalking her when she goes on dates. But Lucy is reluctant to believe Eli’s warnings. Winning her trust is the only way to keep her safe—if he isn’t already too late.

DEAD RINGER is the most recent book by mystery writer, Sharon Dunn. I guess who the killer might be early on, but it still didn’t distract from a good read. I enjoyed getting to know suspicious, reserved Lucy, and kind considerate Eli.

If you are looking for a good romantic suspense, then DEAD RINGER would be a book to consider. Available at www.steeplehill.com, or at www.amazon.com. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $5.50. 213 pages.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Running Around (And Such)

Author: Linda Byler
Publisher: Good Books
May 2010
ISBN: 978-1-56148-688-5
Genre: Inspirational/Amish

Lizzie Glick is growing up Amish, and is unhappy when her father decides to give up his successful business and become a cow farmer. In spite of his family’s wishes, he sells their farm and moves to a community with few other Amish, and Lizzie wonders how she and her sisters will ever meet boys if there aren’t any.

But other things need their attention before boys. When Mam comes down with a terrible sickness and goes to the hospital, Lizzie is forced to help out to keep the house running. And when Emma (Lizzie’s big sister) is old enough to start running around, Lizzie is forced to get a job to help save money to start Emma’s hope chest.

When Lizzie turns sixteen, she learns that running around is more confusing than she thought it would be. How does she tell which boy likes her? And even more confusing, which does she like back?

RUNNING AROUND (AND SUCH) is the first book by this real-life Amish writer. I picked this book up, thinking that since I am writing about the Amish it might be beneficial for me to read. And there are some good parts, informative, mostly about the running around (toward the end of the book.)

Otherwise, all I can say is Oh, the drama! Lizzie, though in her mid-teens, is whiney, prone to crying and wailing, and selfish beyond belief. She tends to over-react to almost every situation. Since there are two other teen girls in the family there are several moments with more than one teen girls sporting attitudes. The writing isn’t exactly top-notch, there is a lot of telling, weak writing, and jumping around in time (going from current day to backstory without warning) which was quite jarring.

However, the book did get exciting toward the end, and I will be looking for book 2 (coming in October 2010) When Strawberries Bloom to learn more about Lizzie as she looks for her potential husband. Several Amish recipes and a glossary are included at the end of the book. $13.99. 343 pages.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Licensed for Trouble -- and giveaway information

Enter PJ Sugar's "Sweet" Giveaway

Enter PJ Sugar's

Licensed for Trouble, Susan's brand new PJ Sugar novel, is in stores now! To celebrate the release, we’re giving away a Kindle!! You can enter using Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail using the icons below.

One Grand Prize winner will receive a A SWEET Kindle prize package that includes:

  • A brand new Kindle (Free 3G, 6”, Latest Generation)

  • The entire PJ Sugar series by Susan May Warren

To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest.

Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on September 2nd.

Be sure to check out the blog tour here or purchase a copy of Licensed for Trouble here!

Author: Susan May Warren
Publisher: Tyndale Fiction
August 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4143-1314-8
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary

PJ Sugar is still out to prove herself as a PI, and still trying to figure out where she fits in the world. Since her sister, Connie, kicked her out of the house, PJ has been sleeping on the couch at Jeremy’s office, but he is suggesting that it might be time for her to find someplace else to sleep. But then a lawyer shows up, sharing that PJ is the sole beneficiary of the Kellogg family fortune.

Okay, never mind that there is barely enough money to pay the real estate taxes, or that the sewage has backed up, or that there isn’t any electric, or that the mansion is virtually falling down, at least it will be a roof over her head. And a fully stocked library begging to be read. And a box full of the personal affects of one--PJ Kellogg.

Then a man who calls himself Max Smith shows up, promising to do handiwork in exchange for PJ finding him. Max has amnesia and washed up on the beach outside of the Kellogg mansion as naked as a baby, with no recollection how he even got there. What can a wannabe PI do, except take the case?

LICENSED FOR TROUBLE is the third book in the PJ Sugar series by Susan May Warren. Readers will want to read the first two books in this series before starting this book as they all tie in together.

I enjoyed reading more about PJ and her dilemma about which man is right for her—Boone, the local police officer and voice from PJ’s past, or Jeremy, her boss. Plus having not one, but two mysteries in this fun story, really helped keep the pages turning. I did figure out some of the pieces easier than others in the cases they were investigating, but some of the parts I didn’t figure out until the very end. Susan May Warren has crafted another winner. Don’t miss LICENSED FOR TROUBLE or any of Ms. Warren’s books.

About Susan May Warren: Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of twenty-four novels with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Book of the Year.

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 www.MyBookTherapy.com, 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: www.susanmaywarren.com.

Link to buy the book: http://www.christianbook.com/licensed-for-trouble-p-j-sugar/susan-warren/9781414313146/pd/313146?event=AFFp=&

Blog tour schedule: http://www.litfusegroup.com/Blog-Tours/licensed-for-trouble-blog-tour.html)

Monday, August 16, 2010

The 7 Fatal Mistakes of Dating

Are you dating and wondering what it is you are doing wrong? Maybe you have friends that just have failed relationship after relationship. Or maybe you feel helpless in helping your teen or young adult child figure out relationships.

The 7 Fatal Mistakes of Dating As discussed in Glaen by Fred Lybrand

1. Date the Wrong Person

✔ There are two things that must be true for a lasting match--- Chemistry AND Basis

2. Have the Wrong Goal

✔ Dating just to have fun is a dead end. You really need to have a long term relationship in mind for it to last.

3. Be the Wrong Person

✔ If you are disguising who you really are you will attract someone who will never like you.

4. Kiss Before You Converse

✔ The physical will cloud the essential...and if it dries up your relationship will die.

5. Talk without Listening

✔ Relating is a two-way exchange of giving and receiving. If you want someone just to listen to you, why not hire a counselor?

6. Be a Control Freak

✔ Controlling the other person will guarantee the burying of love.

7. Act Like You are Married

✔ You are married when you are married; so, acting the part sets up a game of hurt feelings and failed expectations.

Fred Lybrand is video blogging about each dating mistake.

Author Fred Lybrand wrote his book Glaen as a way to share his insight and knowledge of human relationships and romance. He created a storyline that allows readers to walk alongside believable characters as they discover and explore an exciting and more effective way to relate to those with whom they will share life’s most intimate relationships. Having spent more than twenty-four years as a pastor, Lybrand is deeply involved in caring for people, and he wants others to know the freedom that can be found in relating to others truthfully and without pretense.

“With my interactions in counseling, churches, and the business world, I can tell you that we need a heavy dose of truthfulness and genuine relating with one another,” explains Lybrand. “Hollywood continues to give us the false impression that just cheating and ‘cycling through’ relationships is the way to go. I know everyone won’t change, but imagine the health that could come about if we had an outbreak of honesty and truth in relating with one another? Finally, an epidemic I’d like to be a part of.”

Glaen by Fred R. Lybrand
The Barnabas Agency February 2010
ISBN: 978-0-578-04652-5/softcover/171 pages/$14.99
Website: www.glaen.com ~ Blog: www.glaen.wordpress.com
Become a fan of Glaen on Facebook!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Her Abundant Joy

Author: Lyn Cote
Publisher: Avon Inspire
June 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-137342-8
Genre: Inspirational/historical

Mariel felt forced to leave Germany after her father’s shameful death. But the only way she would be allowed to go to Texas with some of her other countrymen would be either as a wife or as a servant. So, Mariel signed on as a servant, and endured a grueling voyage from Germany to Texas. But when they get there, they discover a rugged frontier, with no shelter and huge amounts of rain.

Texas Ranger Carson Quinn is just looking forward to a hot meal, a hot bath, and a warm bed, but he couldn’t leave these immigrants just standing in the rain with no place to go. So he rents them a warehouse to stay in overnight and to store their belongings in and promises to take them to their land holding, but warns them it would be an even worse journey that the voyage, and that many would die enroute. Still, many of the Germans opted to walk all the way to their new homes.

Mariel wasn’t given much choice. She longs to be free of her cruel taskmaster, but doesn’t know quite how to get free. As Carson watches Mariel struggle to hold her head high, he longs to protect her—but war is brewing, since Mexico will not accept the U.S. annexation of Texas without a fight. What will it take for Mariel and Carson’s love to have a chance?

HER ABUNDANT JOY is the third and final book in Lyn Cote’s Texas Star of Destiny series. I have read the first two books in the series, but HER ABUNDANT JOY stands alone. I think this was the best book in the series.

I enjoyed getting to know Mariel and Carson and the trials of living on the historical Texas frontier. One had to admire the courage of both the rangers and the settlers. This was a good series, and if you like historical fiction then HER ABUNDANT JOY is not to be missed. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $12.99. 294 pages.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Lord's Prayer

Author: R. T. Kendall
Publisher: Chosen
March 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8007-9489-7
Genre: Inspirational/nonfiction/spiritual life

Most of us know The Lord’s Prayer by heart. Some of us say it at least once a week in our church services. But how many of us pray this prayer by rout, without paying much attention to what we are praying?

Dr. Kendall’s book THE LORD’S PRAYER will help transform the way you pray and live. The author takes us line through line of this familiar prayer, exploring what you are saying, what it means, but not only that but when and why you should pray The Lord’s Prayer, and how unanswered prayer could be a sign of God’s favor.

THE LORD’S PRAYER is divided up into five parts.

Part 1: Focusing on God
Part 2: God’s Prayer List
Part 3: God’s Prayer List for Us
Part 4: A Chosen Benediction
Part 5: A Further Reason for the Lord’s Prayer

This is a book that should be read and reread so you can grasp every phrase of this important guideline to prayer. In fact, Dr. Kendall himself suggests that when you read the last page, you close it and start rereading it again.

Dr. Kendall comes with a lot of endorsements, and one of these men mention that many Christians pray only briefly, like when their clergy instigates it during church services. Prayer is something that should be done “without ceasing.” God should be as real to us as the person sitting next to us, or the person you talk to next on the phone.

If you want to transform your prayer life and draw closer to God then THE LORD’S PRAYER is a book to consider. $13.99. 205 pages.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Emmy's Equal

Author: Marcia Gruver
Publisher: Barbour Books
October 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60260-207-6
Genre: inspirational/historical

Emily Dane is a rather immature 21 years old, used to getting her way. She is devastated when her family decides to take a trip to southern Texas, and begs to go to St. Louis to visit Charity, but her parents disagree and insist that she accompanies them on their trip. Emmy vows to hate every minute of it and is determined to make the trip miserable.

Ranch foreman Diego Marcelo believes he’s in love with the Ranch owner’s daughter, but his Choctaw mother insists that she is not the one. His mother insists that the one who will ease his loneliness will come from the north. Diego scoffs, insisting he is not so lonely, but is happy as things are.

When Emmy arrives, Diego finds himself jealous over the attention that his boss’ son pays Emmy. Both Diego and Emmy possess strong wills and find themselves clashing at every turn. Will they be able to surrender their wills and work together to prevent certain disasters?

EMMY’S EQUAL is the third book in the Texas Fortunes series by Mr. Gruver, but it easily stands alone. I enjoyed getting to know Emmy and Diego and the different challenges that each of them faced.

I did find Emmy quite a bit immature acting, doing some incredibly stupid things, mostly at the beginning of the book. I was shocked to read that she was 21 years old, the way she was acting, I thought much younger. The sparks between Diego and Emmy were entertaining, and I did hope that the two would mature and find love and happiness. $10.97. 320 pages.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer Sensations Download N Go

Enter a comment to win your own copy of this wonderful teaching guide.
Author: Amanda Bennet and The Old Schoolhouse
108 pages
Homeschooling/Internet Studies
© 2010 The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC and Amanda Bennett

This is a wonderful opportunity to explore new horizons and expand your knowledge of the world around you, and the technology that is increasingly available. SUMMER SENSATIONS, by Amanda Bennet and The Old Schoolhouse truly lives up to its title: there is a virtual potpourri of experiences that await you in this interactive module. Who would have thought of taking a video camera down an indoor water slide?

This learning module takes full advantage of the internet in an exciting and informative manner, while bypassing the not-so-appropriate offerings that are available. The links are quick, accurate, and timely, engaging the children while keeping the parents fully informed. Making use of time-lapse photography, one can enjoy seeing an entire year go by in 40 seconds, or a year in the life of a tree. Not sure of the meaning of a word? Click on the appropriate link and get a full dictionary account from one of many sites.

In this module, one will answer questions such as: “What are seasons?” “What is summer, and when is it?” “Why are the days longer in summertime?” And of course, my personal favorite, “Who invented the snow cone machine?” This is just a sampling of the many topics available for exploration in this module. And there is an abundance of suggestions for further reading, as well as instructions for lapbooking as you study.

From the introduction, I gleaned the following information: “The name, Download N Go™, comes from the concept that these studies are ready to use as soon as you have downloaded them.” And that is exactly what you get, from a uniquely Biblical perspective.

From what I’ve seen of these modules, I’m very impressed. The activities are open-ended; one can do as many or as few of the exercises as one wishes, without losing any of the wonder and enjoyment of God’s creation, so that your children can learn and your personal plans are respected. The activities are graded, and suggestions are made to include the older students as well.

You can order the modules individually, in 4-week bundles, or in semester-long blocks off material. Prices vary, so one would need to visit the website at www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com to make the appropriate decisions.

(http://downloadngo.com) and the link to the purchasing options page – there are several packages that come with free items (http://downloadngo.com/shop_subscription.php) DNG is also having some sales the month of August too:

Back-to-Homeschool Sale , July 30 – August 15:

Autumn Treasures 50% off
Summer Sensations free with every bundle purchase
20% off every bundle purchase
Expedition China will be offered at 50% off regular price August 6 – 13 http://downloadngo.com/ExpeditionChina.php

Finally, an educational approach that harnesses the power and wealth of the internet for the education of youth, and the glory of God.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Author: Ronie Kendig
Publisher: Barbour Books
July 2010
ISBN: 978-1-60260-777-4
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary

Former Navy SEAL Max Jacobs is suffering from PTSD. His rage is uncontrollable, and he believes all is just as it ever was, except for the horrible nightmares. But trying to get situated into real life is trying after seeing the horribleness of war, and now Max’s wife, Sydney has filed for legal separation, with divorce pending.

Sydney still loves Max, but when he refuses to get help for his anger issues, she doesn’t know what else to do. Her brother insists that she place a restraining order against Max, not allowing him within fifty feet of her. Sydney gives in, but she continues to break the restraining order herself to talk to Max.

When Max tries to kill himself, the man who’d been following him for days is first on the scene and takes him to a warehouse. There Max in introduced to a bunch of “discarded heroes” like himself that are needed for a black-ops. Max is unable to resist the call of duty and signs on.

The group handles everything with precision and lethal skill—until they are clled to rescue a missionary family from the revel-infested jungles and must not only avoid an enemy, but also a reporter hunting their identities.

NIGHTSHADE is book one in Ms. Kendig’s Discarded Heroes series. The book started a bit slow for me, but once the pace picked up I was unable to put the book down and had to keep reading to find out what happened next. Ms. Kendig is definitely a writer to watch.

Sydney and Max are both realistic characters, as well as some of the other characters that Max works with—and Sydney as well. I enjoyed getting to know this cast and am looking forward to reading the other books in this series. $12.99. 367 pages.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Vanishing Act

Author: Liz Johnson
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
August 2010
ISBN: 978-0-373-44406-9
Genre: Inspirational/romantic suspense

Nora James has vanished eighteen months ago when she watched thugs shoot her father down in the middle of an alley. Now she has a new identity as Danielle, an auto mechanic, in a small town of Colorado. She is safe, and feels safe, until her boss, Andy, has to go out of town to care for his mother, and asks her to teach his class at the community college.

Nate Anderson is an FBI agent hired to find Nora so he can get her to the safe house. But his last source shows her someplace in this small town of Colorado, but he doesn’t know where. Nate enrolls in community college, and takes an auto mechanic course, due in part to the car trouble he had on the way into town.

His teacher, Danielle, seems to have a lot of trouble following her, but Nate doesn’t feel comfortable dividing his time between her, his class, and trying to locate Nora, but what can he do? Leave her to fend for herself when trouble keeps escalating? Or is it possible that Danielle is hiding something that Nate needs to know?

VANISHING ACT is the most recent release by author Liz Johnson, and it is good. Some of the events seem a bit contrived, even out of character, but the over all suspense is enough to keep the pages turning, and it held my interest throughout the book.

I enjoyed getting to know Danielle and Nate, and hoped that they would be able to work things out. I did figure out one of the bad “guys” early on, but the other one kept me guessing until later on in the book. Discussion questions are included at the end of the story. $5.50. 215 pages.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Jesus You Can't Ignore

Author: John MacArthur
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN 978-1-4002-0206-5
July 2009
Genre: Religion/Christian Life

A saying that I grew up hearing a lot was, “Stay out of the kitchen if you can’t stand the heat.” Various turns of phrase are similar in nature, the crux of the comment being rooted in the application of hard truth on an equally hard life. In THE JESUS YOU CAN’T IGNORE, pastor, author, conference speaker and seminary president John MacArthur continues to masterfully play the one string that has been his hallmark and calling card: speaking the truth in love, but above all, speaking the truth.

John MacArthur masterfully brings his insights to bear on the foibles and failures of the postmodern movement, challenging his readers to fully grasp the confrontational nature of Jesus Christ specifically, and Christianity as a whole. In the introduction, Dr. MacArthur states: “It is the very height of irrationality and arrogance to call Christ Lord with the lips while utterly defying him with one’s life.” As Dr. MacArthur takes a fresh look at the Gospels which he has spent preaching and teaching since 1969, his emphasis is narrowed down to Jesus’ interaction with history, culture, and religion, and the “hard sayings” that Jesus is known for. As Jesus meets with the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Sanhedrin, the Synagogue, and the Roman government, he quietly but decisively draws the line in the sand. Again, from the introduction, Dr. MacArthur declares, “it really does matter whether we believe the Bible is true or not; and it likewise matters whether our faith is in earnest or not.”

With an historical appendix, Josephus on the Major Jewish sects, John MacArthur rounds out yet another apologetic, for speaking the truth without apology.

If you are concerned about the tendency the world (and in most instances the church) has in being more conversational than confrontational, this is a book that must be on your shelves, and on your mind. 218 pages, hardback with jacket. $22.99

Sunday, August 8, 2010

His Princess Girl Talk With God

Author: Sheri Rose Shepherd
Publisher: Revell
July 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8007-1952-4
Genre: Inspirational/devotional

You’re the daughter of the King!

HIS PRINCESS GIRL TALK WITH GOD is a devotional specifically designed for teenage girls touching on all the issues that girls deal with today. Teen pregnancy, drugs, and eating disorders are just some of the issues Ms. Shepherd touches on in this devotional. The issues are gently covered, reminding us that our bodies are the temple of God, that premarital sex is wrong, and other truths, but yet reminding us of God’s offering of grace and forgiveness if needed.

Each devotional starts a short story, spanning only two small pages, then a love letter to girls from God, and followed by a verse for memorization or reflection. I used this devotional with my fourteen year old daughter just to get the feel of it, and she enjoyed it, feeling it was definitely teen girl friendly. My eight year old daughter enjoyed the love letter part, feeling that was the most beneficial for her.

If you are looking for a good devotional for your favorite teenage girl, then definitely consider HIS PRINCESS GIRL TALK WITH GOD. It is a book written by an author who definitely understands teenagers and the issues they face. $14.99 hardcover. 172 pages.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Plan A Woman in a Plan B World

Author: Debbie Taylor Williams
Publisher: Leafwood Publishers
March 2010
ISBN: 978-0-89112-641-6
Genre: Inspirational/nonfiction/Christian Living

Every girl has their dreams. Dreams of the perfect man, the perfect home, the perfect amount of children. Their dream career, dream car, and the list goes on. But what happens when our dreams hit reality, and suddenly we’re faced with Plan B? When our marriage goes south, or children do drugs, we get fired from our job, or are faced with major health problems?

THE PLAN A WOMAN IN A PLAN B WORLD addresses all these issues. She had three major sections:

1. Live Out Loud: Choosing to Disarm Land Mines in Your Mind
2. Love Out Loud: Talking it Over with Friends
3. Laugh Out Loud: Living with Humor and Joy

Complete with Bible references and verses, this book will minister to your spiritual side as well as your practical side, showing us that God will be with us in the Plan B world, or the Plan C world or even the Plan G world.

Ms. Williams shares real life stories to help women realize that settling for less in life is not an option when things don’t turn out as planned. They can let God reignite their hopes and dreams.

I can relate to much in this book. I think right now I am problem on Plan L or Plan M, because not much has ever gone according to my dreams. It did me good to read over this book and see what another woman has to say about some things. Ms. Williams suggests reading this book with a friend so you could discuss it and pray together. I can see where that would be helpful. If you are looking for a good book to help you adjust to the unexpected plan changes that come your way, then THE PLAN A WOMAN IN A PLAN B WORLD is the book to consider. Discussion questions and a small journal is included toward the end of the book. $14.99. 235 pages.

Friday, August 6, 2010

That's Where God Is

Authors: Dan and Ali Morrow
Publisher: David C. Cook
August 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6434-8
Genre: Inspiration/preschool

When a little boy goes to visit his grandfather one Sunday, he asks Grandpa where God is. Grandpa wisely suggests that the boy looks for Him, and mentions that he bet that God will be found everywhere.

So, the little boy goes out looking for God. And he finds Him with the animals He created, in the kindness of others, in the weather, and other ways the boy discovers that God is everywhere.

Sunday the boy reports back to his grandfather and grandpa tells him another way that God is found—inside our hearts if we believe. So he was able to lead his young grandson to the Lord.

THAT’S WHERE GOD IS is a very touching children’s story that is sure to appeal to kids of all ages. I read it out loud and the story and pictures had both my five year old and my eight year old captivated. Verses are included on some pages, as well as a guide for leading a child to Christ.

If you are looking for a new children’s book, then you will want to pick up THAT’S WHERE GOD IS. This book is sure to be a favorite of both the child and the grownup reading it to them. Ideal for birthdays or just anytime. $12.99 hardcover. 36 pages.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Under a Maui Moon

Author: Robin Jones Gunn
Publisher: Howard Books
July 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4165-8339-4
Genre: Inspirational/women’s fiction

Carissa and Richard’s marriage is falling apart. Neither one of them are communicating well with each other, and the last straw is when an intruder appears at Carissa’s home and Richard takes the side of the intruder and doesn’t validate Carissa’s concerns. To make matters worse, Carissa goes to work on Thursday and discovers that she’s been “let go,” with one of her employees nieces taking over her job effective immediately.

One of the doctors that Carissa worked with is kind enough to hand her keys to his Maui house so Carissa and Richard can go and have a “second honeymoon.” But with the death bells to their marriage tolling, Carissa makes arrangements to go by herself, figuring it is the first step to leaving Richard—before he leaves her.

The people in Maui are friendly, and Carissa soon finds herself attracted to handsome Kai. She’s toying with the idea of becoming romantically involved with him when God shows that His hand is still on her life—and love is closer than she realized.

UNDER THE MAUI MOON is not the fun type of read that the Sisterchick series, but it still takes us to a romantic destination and gives a literary tour of this vacation spot—perfect for those of us who can’t afford to go on their own.

Carissa and Richard were both at fault with the downward spiral of their marriage, but neither one of them wanted to be the ones to take the initiative to make it work. I couldn’t help but care for this struggling couple and hope that they find ways to make their marriage work. 224 pages. $14.99.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sarah's Garden

Author: Kelly Long
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
July 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59554-870-2
Genre: Inspirational/Amish

Sarah King is used to it just being her and her garden. Her father jokes that instead of having a green thumb, she has a green arm. Her garden is famous among the Amish for the many varieties of heirloom vegetables she grows, and the family’s road side stand is an important source of income for the family.

Grant Williams is the new veterinarian to the Amish farmers and he’s bought a former Amish farm and moved into it with his housekeeper and butler. But when going to the roadside stand to buy fresh vegetables for his housekeeper, Grant meets Sarah and is instantly smitten.

The King family reaches out to Dr. Williams, helping him to become incorporated into the community, volunteer Sarah’s services to help Grant plan and plant a garden, and invite him into their home, yet they warn Sarah to guard her heart against him. What will it take for an Englisch man and an Amish girl to be together?

SARAH’S GARDEN is Ms. Long’s debut novel, and the first book in the Patchwork of Heaven series. Sarah is a spunky, sassy, and spry heroine, and quite an expert in the heirloom gardening which piqued my interest in this. I may have to take on a new hobby so I can try a lot of the vegetables that she was a wealth of information on.

Some things I found a bit unrealistic or unthoughtful, but overall, the book was a light, sweet summer read. Ms. Long included a lot of Amish phrases that most Amish authors don’t use, which was nice. There were some tender romantic moments in the book. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $14.99. 304 pages.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Walking On Broken Glass

Author: Christa Allan
Publisher: Abingdon Press
February 2010
ISBN: 978-1-426-70227-3
Genre: Inspirational/women’s fiction

Leah Thornton’s life got derailed in front of the frozen apple juice in the supermarket. Leaving her groceries, Leah leaves the store only to be confronted by a friend that she is a drunk, her life is out of control, and she needs to get help before its too late. But Leah is coping the best she knows how after the premature death of her daughter.

When Leah admits her friend is right and agrees to go into rehab, will Leah be able to deal with this decision? Will she be able to sacrifice what she wants to get what she needs? Or will she let her marriage and her faith suffer for her decisions?

WALKING ON BROKEN GLASS is the debut novel by talented author Christa Allan. Ms. Allan is a southern woman who can write about a southern woman with the kind of confidence that comes from knowing how they would react. And she has the talent to take the serious and not so pretty side of life and write about it with power, passion, and the ability to bring the reader into the story.

WALKING ON BROKEN GLASS is not a fluff story. This one is full of the nitty-gritty side of life, the not-so-pretty part. Leah is a woman who hasn’t dealt with some bad blows very well but doesn’t know how else to cope. The reader has to admire her courage to even listen to her friend when she is approached. The reader will cheer Leah on through out the pages of this book as Leah is forced to deal with the ugly picture of her life. $13.99. 352 pages.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Big 5-Oh!

Title: THE BIG 5-0H!
Author: Sandra D. Bricker
Publisher: Abingdon Press
February 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4267-0235-8
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary romance

Olivia Wallace is nearing a landmark birthday—the trouble is that all her birthdays have been bad luck. There was the year her boyfriend was caught making out with another girl at Olivia’s birthday party, the year her husband died, the year she had a broken leg, and the list could go on.

This year, Liv’s best friend decides to help Liv escape the doldrums of the Ohio winter, and sends her down to Florida to house-sit her mother’s house. On the flight down, Liv meets handsome passenger, Jared Hunt, and is stunned to discover Jared is her next door neighbor in Florida. But then Jared’s twenty-five year old son decides to pursue Liv. Liv is flattered, but not interested in a boy half her age. Nor is she interested in the flirtatious octogenarian chasing her.

Jared Hunt’s wife died from cancer several years back, and he has never found another woman who measured up to her until Liv catches his eye. Liv keeps him laughing with her actions, but is there anyway that he can convince her to pull up roots and settle in Florida?

THE BIG 5-OH! is an adorable story that will keep your interest from page one. Liv is a realistic heroine who has a rough road, including a bout with cancer, including radiation and chemo. Cancer survivors will relate, especially with how unattractive Liv feels after having gone through that ordeal.

Add a dog with a lampshade collar, a rogue alligator, and a crazy cast of characters and you have a story that will keep you laughing. Ms. Bricker definitely knows how to write a romance that will have you laughing out loud while cheering the characters on. Don’t miss THE BIG 5-OH! Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $13.99. 273 pages.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Bishop

Author: Steven James
Publisher: Revell
ISBN 978-0-3007-3302-5
August 2010
Genre: Fiction/Suspense

One of my favorite “arm-chair” reads has always been the cases of Sherlock Holmes. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created the quintessential detective, who always saw the details that everyone missed, and grasped the significance of those details as he ran his nemesis “to ground.” Two issues have always bothered me with these mysteries: the reader is never given the details that Sherlock Holmes has to work with until “after the fact.” And Sherlock Holmes, for all his analytical genius, has always been rather “flat,” as a character.

Steven James brings us Special Agent Patrick Bowers, the 21st century equivalent of Sherlock Holmes . . . only better. For the reader is given all the details, allowed to draw his or her own conclusions, and is still left dumbfounded at the insights that Bowers brings to the table. And Patrick Bowers actually has a life outside of his detective shield. And a family. And relationships. And all the tensions, troubles and turmoils that accompany life, and family, and relationships. And Special Agent Patrick Bowers refuses to duck.

In THE BISHOP, Bowers once again faces off against seemingly insurmountable odds. One serial killer from his past has disappeared. Two more, playing a deadly game which began on the cyberscreen, are engaging in murder while framing other individuals. And his step-daughter’s biological father is seeking custody after nearly 15 years of silence. All of Special Agent Bower’s cutting-edge skills are brought to bear as he continues this deadly game of chess, in which there are no clear winners, and where everyone loses something, even if it is only innocence.

Steven James has crafted a work of fiction which touches so much on real life that is hard to separate the two. While this is the fourth book in the Patrick Bowers series, and allusions are made to the previous works, this novel can be read on its own without any loss of tension or enjoyment. This is the first novel I’ve read from Steven James, and I fully intend to purchase the previous books in the series. For further information, one can go to his website, www.stevenjames.net. $14.99. 520 pages.

Troubled Graves (Lantern Beach Exposure Book 4) by Christy Barritt

  Troubled Gra \  (Lantern Beach Exposure Book 4) by  Christy Barritt (Autho r) Some things are best left buried . . . Gunner Mathias is try...