Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Flora's Wish by Kathleen Y'Barbo

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
 
 
Flora's Wish
Harvest House Publishers (February 1, 2013)
 
by
 
Kathleen Y'Barbo


MY TAKE:

The name Fatal Flora had my attention from page 1. What a horrible moniker to be crowned with, who could do that to a girl? What could possibly earn that nickname?

Lucas McMinn is sure she's a bad girl, but now that he's met her he's finding it hard not to fall under her sweet, lilac scented spell. Is she really bad news or is she the target of some other really bad guys?

Kathleen Y'Barbo's stories are always full of fun and romance, but I also love her characters quirks and unique personalities. Their realness and relate-ability. (Even if I haven't had 4 fiances keel over before they made it to the alter). Faith is always a strong thread throughout as well and I appreciate how well it's interwoven into the fabric of the stories.

Flora's Wish is a great read, I loved the details, especially all of Lucas' inventions and gadgets. Put me in mind of Inspector Gadget for the 19th century...only a whole lot better looking. :) I find it intriguing that the series is titled The Secret Lives of Will Tucker, seeing as Will Tucker is part of the bad news surrounding Flora. I'm curious to see how the series will follow what appears to be the 'bad guy' and if we'll see him find his own redemption.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

May 1887--Flora Brimm is determined the fifth time is the charm. Back home she has a reputation as "Fatal Flora," a woman whose previous four fianc├ęs died in untimely accidents. Flora is desperate to marry, because producing an heir is the only way she can keep her family's estate. She's confident this visit to Eureka Springs with her grandmother will help her land a husband.

Pinkerton detective Lucas McMinn is hot on the trail of Will Tucker, the thief who broke his sister's heart. When he discovers the slippery fellow with Flora, he thinks they are in on the devious plot together. Will Flora be able to convince Lucas of her innocence? Will Lucas catch the elusive Mr. Tucker?

And, more importantly, will Lucas survive if he pursues Flora's heart?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Flora's Wish, go HERE.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

RITA and Carol award nominee Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than forty novels, novellas, and young adult books. In all, more than one million copies of her books are currently in print in the US and abroad, and her books have been translated into Dutch, German, and Spanish, to name a few.

Kathleen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She holds a BBA from Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School and a certification in Paralegal Studies, and is a former member of the Texas Bar Association’s Paralegal Division.

A tenth-generation Texan, Kathleen Y’Barbo has four children of her own as well as seven bonus kids she gladly inherited when she married her own hero in combat boots. Kathleen is proud to be a military wife, even if it did mean giving up her Texas drivers license.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

CFBA: Shattered by Dani Pettrey

Song Stuck on the Brain: Brave by Josh Groban


This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
 
Shattered
Bethany House Publishers (February 1, 2013)
 
by
 
Dani Pettrey


MY TAKE:

Dani Pettrey is back with Shattered, another nail biting suspense set in Alaska. It's full of heartpounding moments of every kind, from near death avalanches and near kisses. :) The plot is full, with plenty of twists and turns. Which is important, because the Suspense is as important to the story (or more) than the Romance fighting to survive it.

I knew after reading Submerged, the first book in the Alaskan Courage series, that I had found my next go to author for romantic suspense. I love Dee Henderson, Brandilyn Collins, Terri Blackstock... they're the measuring tape I use for up and coming authors in the genre. Let me say, Dani definitely measures up.

I love that the Alaskan Courage series follows a set of siblings that are close knit. It reminded me a little of Dee Henderson's O'Malley series in concept, and that could never be a bad thing in my book. But please don't mistake my comparison as a challenge that the series is a copy of Dee's. It's definitely not. Dani has her own writing style and the series are definitely unique in their own ways.

With Shattered, Piper and Landon fight for their lives as they seek evidence to prove her younger brother Reef innocent of murder. Finding that evidence has them flying from the icy regions of Canada and Alaska down to the unusual (to them) warmth of California and back again. But they're not the only ones that are making a connection. Piper's brother Gage is finding the walls around his heart being cracked by the reporter helping them investigate. Her sister Kayden is all prickly around the man that works in their family store. Love is ready to flare at slightest spark and I can't wait to see what Dani Pettrey has planned to ignite next.


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Piper McKenna couldn't be more thrilled that her prodigal brother, Reef, has returned to Yancey, Alaska, after five years. But her happiness is short-lived when Reef appears at her house covered in blood. A fellow snowboarder has been killed--but despite the evidence, Reef swears he's innocent. And Piper believes him.

Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he's also sworn to find the truth. Piper is frustrated with his need for facts over faith, but he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth may mean risking Landon's career.

With Piper waging her own search, the two head deep into Canada's rugged backcountry--and unexpected complications. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Shattered, go HERE.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

In real life, Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of one’s faith and plenty of romance. She’s a huge fan of dark chocolate, is always in search of the best iced mocha and her dream is to one day own a little cottage on a remote stretch of beach. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters.

Just in case you’re curious…The real Dani does love traveling. She’s been to some amazing places (Greece, Hawaii, the Keys) and there are many more she hopes to visit in the future.

And while she’s not quite up to sky-diving, cave diving or heli-skiing (too high, too enclosed, too cold!) she and her family love hiking, canoeing, wave jumping and a ton of other outdoor adventures a little further down on the risk scale.

Dani is the acclaimed author of the romantic suspense series Alaskan Courage, which includes her bestselling debut novel Submerged and latest release Shattered. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail biting suspense, the deepening of her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Holy Scriptures, Book of Mormon and more FREE for Kindle and e-readers

I just received some truly awesome news! Some fantastic and dedicated men have spent a long time converting the Holy Scriptures Inspired Version, Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants, as well as Church History books like Lectures on Faith, to e-books. And not just in pdf. You can now get them for your KINDLE.... For FREE! How awesome is that? I downloaded them already and they look to be really well done and easy to access from book and chapter. 

I had to share the wealth, so to speak, so if you are interested in getting an e-book version for your Kindle or another e-reader format, go to CenterPlace.org 








Wednesday, February 06, 2013

CFBA: Redeeming Grace by Ward Tanneberg

Song Stuck on the Brain: Like Sugar by Matchbox Twenty from their new album North.


This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
 
Redeeming Grace
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas;
1st edition (February 28, 2013)
 
by
 
Ward Tanneberg




MY TAKE:

I read the summary of the book when it came up for review option and thought, "Sure, this one sounds interesting. I'll give it a try." Then when my book arrived and I saw that it was nearly 600 pages I about croaked! Not that I'm leery of hefty prose, I've read plenty that could match or put that page count to shame, but they've all been in a fantasy/Suspense genre - Never suspense. It begged the very big question for me, Can Ward Tanneberg keep me hooked and in suspense for that long?

Short answer? YES!

Longer answer? Okay, so the first chapter was a little overwhelming as it jumped from local to local introducing characters and events that don't appear to tie together. Yet, despite the disoriented feeling, I was still hooked with enough emotion and dilemma by the main character that I didn't want to stop reading. That feeling never went away. Despite the story going back in forth between present day and the horrible events that led to Grace Grafton's misfortune years earlier, it began to make sense.

There's a large cast of characters, but I didn't find it too hard to keep up with them. The bad guys are truly, disgustingly bad, when Grace faces her tormentor in the end, I felt her rage and hurt and pain just as clearly. The writing is strong, the characters are well built and the plot is substantial but easy to follow without giving away too much at a time.

The only draw backs I found had nothing to do with the story itself, and everything to do with the editing/printing. I didn't notice anywhere on the book where it was stamped Advanced Reader Copy, but for the publishers sake I hope it was. There were several times where sentences were repeated twice, as if copied and pasted too many times. In one place it was a whole paragraph and it was duplicated three times in a row. Clearly the editing needed to be tweaked.

Despite that annoyance, I would still highly recommend Redeeming Grace. I would hate to see a talented author's story get missed because a publisher didn't check their galleys better. It happens, especially in this digital age. So, acknowledge you'll see a few typos and put that aside, because Redeeming Grace is a suspense that is NOT to be missed.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Seven years ago, Grace Grafton died in a boating accident while partying on the Georgia, South Carolina coast. Was her death the result of alcohol and drugs or something more sinister? Nobody knows: her body was never recovered. Now years later, a woman reads in disbelief the note addressed to her: Hello Grace, did you think we wouldn't find you?

Those nine chilling words end Grafton's self-imposed sanctuary of witness protection. Now she and everyone she loves are in grave danger. Long believed dead, she has a secret that can change the world. She knows the man running for president is guilty of a double murder! But who will believe her?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Redeeming Grace, go HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Ward Tanneberg is a pastor/writer/novelist who has given more than 50 years to evangelism, youth, college and pastoral ministry, including two Pacific Northwest churches and 23 years as the senior pastor at Valley Christian Center in Dublin, CA. In 2008, he was named President/Executive Director of The CASA Network. Ward speaks extensively at 50+ retreats and ministry leadership events in the USA and elsewhere. When at home he meets weekly with a group of business and professional leaders. He and Dixie have 2 children, 3 grandchildren, 4 step-grandchildren and a great grandson.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

B4B: Twice a Bride by Mona Hodgson

Song Stuck on the Brain: Overjoyed by Matchbox Twenty


by




MY TAKE:

Twice a Bride is book 4 in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series. All of which have been very enjoyable. Willow is actually the sister-in-law to the Sinclair sisters, but has been welcomed into the family with open arms, especially now that she is returned from being institutionalized for depression after her first husband died in a tragic accident. Everyone treats Willow as if she's fragile, afraid she can't stand on her own and make a new life for herself, but Willow is determined to prove them wrong. To show them the faith she has learned to depend on and to prove to herself that she can move forward and be happy. She never anticipated that love or marriage would be a part of her life again. 

Trenton Van Der Veer isn't your average romance hero. He has a speech impediment that has left him with all kinds of scars in his life, spiritually and emotionally. He's had his heart broken and abused by a selfish young girl. The last thing he wants is a wife. He hires Willow under mistaken impression she's married. When he discovers she's a widow, he realizes he's relieved. Willow is talented, they seem to fit like two pieces of a puzzle, but can they overcome their past to find a happy future?

Willow and Trenton are both and inspiration, their frailty becomes their strength as they grow in faith and it's so encouraging. The surrounding stories with the sisters, and the family dynamics keep things light hearted and rolling along at a fast pace. Romance blooms between more than just the Willow and Trenton as well, so you get more sweetness for your buck.

A great read over all. I do recommend you read the earlier books first. They're great and it makes the read smoother, but Twice a Bride can be read as an individual novel if you chose to be a rebel. :)


ABOUT THE BOOK:
Love lost doesn’t mean love lost forever.
Can unexpected romance deliver a second chance for two deserving widows?

Full of resolve, young widow Willow Peterson decides to pursue her dreams to be an artist as she settles into a new life in the growing mountain town of Cripple Creek. When she lands a job working as a portrait painter with handsome entrepreneur and photographer Trenton Van Der Veer, the road before Willow seems to be taking a better-than-anticipated turn.

With questions tugging at several hearts in town, including the Sinclair Sisters’ beloved Miss Hattie, change is traveling down the tracks as several unexpected visitors make their way out West. Will the new arrivals threaten the deep family bonds of the Sinclair sisters and the roots of love that are just taking hold for Willow?

Filled with the resonating questions that all women face, this romance awakens hope against grief, love against loss, and dreams against life’s unexpected turns.

Read a Sneak Peak of Twice a Bride HERE.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Over the last twenty-five years, Mona Hodgson’s publishing credits have grown to include nearly thirty children's books, contributions to more than ten books for adults, and four historical novels, including her debut, Two Brides Too Many in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series. Mona is a popular speaker for women's groups, schools, and educators’ and writers’ conferences. She lives in Arizona with her husband and has two daughters and several grandchildren.

"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."