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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Where She Belongs

Johnnie Alexander is the award-winning author of Where Treasure Hides.  Johnnie is an accomplished essayist and poet whose work has appeared in the Guideposts anthology A Cup of Christmas Cheer.  In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with her grandchildren, and taking road trips.  She lives near Memphis, TN.

You can connect with Johnnie at her website, Welcome to My Spacious Place, found at  Be sure and stop by her Facebook page HERE.

Can love redeem a broken past?

Shelby Kincaid is ready to move forward afer the death of her husband left her devastated.  With high hopes for the future, she longs to purchase her family's homestead, Misty Willow, so she can raise her young daughters in the only place she ever truly belonged.  She plans to transform the abandoned house into the perfect home of her memories.  But she has her work cut out for her.

AJ Sullivan never wanted Shelby's family homestead in the first place.  His grandfather left it to him as punishment for not following his wishes, and he's let it fall into ruin.  AJ's more than happy to unload it to this spitfire of a woman.  But even after angry exchanges over the state of the house, he can't get her off his mind.

My Thoughts:
Where She Belongs is the first book in Johnnie Alexander's Misty Willow series.  Johnnie is a new author to me and I was a little wary that this book would be your typical "contemporary romance".  I was pleasantly surprised and Johnnie Alexander's book has earned a spot on this avid reader's keeper shelf and I will be following the Misty Willow series closely.
Shelby and AJ's story is one of moving life beyond devastating family history and finding one's place. Shelby learns that finding one's place isn't always tied to the confines of the physical realm and that God really can  accomplish for us above and beyond anything that we can even imagine.  His plans are so much better than ours!
"He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.  He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support.  He brought me out into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me." Psalm 18:16-19
Alexander's plot in Where She Belongs is intricate and well-developed.  Her characters carry a depth to them beyond what you will find in many other contemporary romances where boy meets girl and in the end they live happily ever after.  Alexander delves into family dynamics, bringing out every emotion along the way.  There are many unexpected twists and turns and in the end, I closed the book thinking, "Wow...I did not see that coming".  In the end, Where She Belongs is a lesson in this truth:
Your past does not define your future!  Often God brings about the greatest good out of some pretty ugly and painful bad...this is AJ and Shelby's story and Johnnie Alexander tells it well.
The second book in the Misty Willow series releases this Fall and I can not wait.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of giving this review.  All opinions are my own and a positive review was not expected.

Happy Reading Ya'll,

Thin Ice

Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than fifty novels, including Buried Secrets and the Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series.  In addition to many other honors, she is a seven-time finalist for and three-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America.  She is also a member of that organization's elite Hall of Fame.

You can learn more about Irene's books and connect with her at her website found at

If Ginny Reed is still alive - who is the woman buried in her grave?

After losing her parents and her sister, Christy Reed has been mired in grief.  Now, life is finally starting to feel normal again - until an envelope addressed in her sister's handwriting arrives in the mail.  And the note inside claims she is still alive.

FBI Special Agent Lance McGregor, a fromer Delta Force operator, is assigned to reopen the case...but he's coming up with more questions than answers.  Is Christy a pawn in a twisted cat-and-mouse game - or the target of a sinister plot?  As Lance digs deeper, one thing becomes clear:  someone in the shadows has a deadly agenda.

My Thoughts:
In Thin Ice, the second book in her Men of Valor series, In the first book of the series, Buried Secrets, we met Mac McGregor.  Thin Ice tells Mac's brother Lance's story. Irene Hannon does not fail in giving readers a fast paced and action packed thriller.  Hannon offers a page turner and deftly combines suspense, mystery and a bit of romance.  Thrown in that mix are reminders of the importance of faith when dealing with great difficulties.
I appreciated the characters of Lance and Christy and how Hannon "grew" the two throughout the novel.  While the story line and ending between Lance and Christy was a bit predictable, Hannon delivered on the unexpected twists and turns along the way and kept me engaged.  The third book in the series and the third brother's (Finn) story releases this Fall.  While your reading experience would be enhanced by reading all the books in the series, each book can be read as a stand-alone.

*I was provided a complimentary copy of the book by the publisher for the purpose of giving this review.  All opinions are my own and a positive review was not expected or asked for.

Happy Reading Ya'll,

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

You're The One That I Want

Susan May Warren is the bestselling, Christy and RITA Award-winning author of more than forty novels whose comelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike.  She spent eight years as amissionary in Russia with her husband and four children efore returning to Minnesota's north shore to write full-time.

Visit her website at

You can also connect with Susan on Facebook HERE.

Owen Christiansen has been in a downward spiral since an injury ended his NHL career.  But a job on an Alaskan crabbing oat offers a fresh start...maybe even a shot shot at romance with Elise "Scotty" McFlynn, the captain's daughter.
Used to being one of the guys, to never relying on anyone, Scotty doesn't believe in happily ever after - especially with someone like Owen.  Her instinct is confirmed when Casper Christiansen arrives to drag his prodigal brother home, bringing with him a truckload of family drama - and even worse, the news that Casper is wanted for questioning in connection to a crime back in Minnesota.
But Owen is more than the sum of his mistakes, a truth both he and Scotty discover when she escorts the brothers to Deep Haven as part of her new job on the Anchorage police force.  Thrust into an unfamiliar world of family, faith and fresh starts.  Scotty begins to see potential for a happy ending...if she's brave enough to embrace it.

My Thoughts:
You're the One That I Want is the last book in the Christiansen Family series by Warren.  The Christiansens feel like family friends and I really hate to see this series come to an end.  Each book in the series - 6 total - shines the light on one of the Christiansen siblings.
One of my favorite things about the books in this series is the letter at the beginning to each sibling from their mother.  Another thing I appreciate about Susan's writing in this series in particular is the way she effortlessly weaves a strong gospel presentation throughout the story without being preachy. Consider this quote as an example:
"His father had put down the roller and was wiping his hands.  He looked up with solemn eyes.  'So you made some bad choices.  Some of God's best players were His imperfect, broken prodigals.  In fact, iffy players are God's best picks.  He specializes in short-tempered, reckless, flawed people to accomplish His plans.  Consider Moses, the murderer; Rahab, the prostitute; Samson, the playboy; Paul, the terrorist; and Peter...the impulsive.  God is constantly using broken, messy people to restore the world and bring glory to Himself.  To touch other people, like you did with Scott in the raft.  And I'd bet they each thought God couldn't use them before His grace tracked them down, brought them back to His purposes.  You can never outsin God's love, Owen.  Or limit what He can do with you if you let Him."
Warren has touched on Owen's story in all of the books in the series, but closes the series with a picture of the "bad" boy's transformation.  Warren is a master at that...showing a character's struggle with faith and growth during the story.  Owen and Scotty's story is a beautiful picture of how God pursues us with His scandalous love and great mercy.
Don't miss this series.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  A positive review was not expected and I have not been compensated in any way for the review.  All opinions are my own.

Happy Reading Ya'll,

Mermaid Moon

About the author: 

USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written several romantic suspense novels including Tidewater Inn,Rosemary Cottage, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series. Her books have sold more than 3 million copies.

Connect with Coble: websiteTwitterFacebook

About the book: 

Mermaid Moon (Thomas Nelson, January 2016)

Mallory's mother died fifteen years ago. But her father's last words on the phone were unmistakable: "Find . . . mother."

Shame and confusion have kept Mallory Davis from her home for the last fifteen years, but when her dad mysteriously dies on his mail boat route, she doesn't have any choice but to go back to Mermaid Point.

Mallory believes her father was murdered and childhood sweetheart Kevin O'Connor, game warden in Downeast Maine, confirms her suspicions. But Kevin is wary of helping Mallory in her search. She broke his heart---and left---without a word, years ago.

When Mallory begins receiving threats on her own life---and her beloved teenage daughter, Haylie---their search intensifies. There's a tangled web within the supposed murder, and it involves much more than what meets the eye.

As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father's killer---it is also about finding herself again . . . and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together.

Purchase a copy:

My Thoughts:
Colleen Coble has been one of my favorite suspense novelist for quite some time.  I keep thinking, "How long can she keep this up?" believing that at some point the stories will stop being fresh and will start sounding the same.

You will not find this to be your experience with Coble's novels.

I have read a number of her books and each time, I turn the last page thinking, "Wow, she's done it again."  Mermaid Moon certainly did not disappoint.  This is book two in Coble's Sunset Cove series.  And although this is book 2, Mermaid Moon can be read as a stand alone.  While the love interest thread is a bit predictable, the journey is a beautiful one.  Coble's plots are well thought out and suspense at its best.  Her characters are well-developed and scenarios are believable.  This one is a page turner for sure and one not to be missed.

Mermaid Moon Colleen Coble

Happy Reading Ya'll,

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Midwife's Choice

Delia Parr is the author of sixteen historical and inspirational historical romance novels, including The Midwife's Tale, Hearts Awakening, Love's First Bloom, and Hidden Affections.  The mother of three grown children, she was a longtime high school teacher in southern New Jersey before retiring to Florida's sunny west coast.  In between visits to her grandchildren in several different states she spends her time writing and volunteering alongside other women who share a bond of sisterhood as sisters of faith.

In a time when the traditional ways of medicine are constantly bein questioned by new doctors fresh from medical school, midwife Martha Cade tries to balance her life's calling with the demands of her family.  Recently reunited with her estranged seventeen-year-old daughter.  Martha finds herself torn between guiding her child and allowing her to be an adult.  At the same time, she must decide whether she'll risk reopening the heart she'd long closed off to love.

Though a small town, Trinity, Pennsylvania, is fraught with secrets, and as a midwife, Martha moves among its people.  She knows which homes are filled with light and live, which families have slipped into grief which wives are unhappy, and which husbands dare to cross lines...As Martha struggles with the conflicts of being a mother, a midwife, and a woman, she learns the greatest lessons of all - that hope can shine even in the darkest hours, and that faith has a way of making the impossible possible.

My Thoughts:
The Midwife's Choice continues the story of midwife Martha Cade which began in the first At Home in Trinity book, The Midwife's Tale.  Both books are the first I have read by Delia Parr.  Parr's character Martha is based on real life heroine Martha Ballard (1785-1812).
Parr writes in such a way that I felt a part of the small town of Trinity.  I especially related to Martha's character as the author skillfully portrays a mother's heart.  The tension within Martha as she wrestles with her calling as a midwife, her role in the small community of Trinity and her role as a mother is palpable throughout the story.  Parr portrays the time period through description and characters so vividly that readers are transported to another time and place.
In The Midwife's Choice, Parr opens up the reader's thinking about midwifery and alternative medicine.  Martha's story will continue in The Midwife's Dilemma releasing March 29, 2016.

*I was given a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a review.

Happy Reading Ya'll,

Rising Darkness

Nancy Mehl is the author of twenty-one books, including the Road To Kingdom and Finding Sanctuary series.  Nancy writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman and their Puggie, Watson.

You can connect with Nancy at her website HERE.

Sophie Wittenbauer left her strict Mennonite hometown under a cloud of shame and regret.  Certain she's left her past far behind her, she's now focused on her job at a newspaper and is shocked when she stumbles upon the name of someone she knew in her old life.  But when she learns the man - a prisoner - claims a suspect from a decades-old unsolved crime is hiding out in the small town of Sanctuary, Missouri, she can't resist following the lead in hopes of furthering her career.

Almost immediately upon her arrival, Sophie's confronted with a face from her past and fears her intention of using a false identity to investigate is doomed.  But with the help of Santuary's charismatic young pastor, Sophie knows she's getting close.  Will she be able to conceal the truth of her own past long enough to find the suspect before someone puts a stop - fatal or otherwise - to her investigation?

My Thoughts:
I so enjoy Nancy's writing.  I first discovered her gift while reading her Road to Kingdom series. And it was in that series where I "met" and was drawn to Sophie's character.  I left the Road to Kingdom series wondering what would happen to Sophie and where life would take her.  You can only imagine how happy I was to see her story completed in this final book in the Finding Sanctuary series.

Nancy is masterful at weaving a story of faith and a bit of romance that is ripe with suspense and mystery.  She's an engaging writer that keeps you guessing until the very end.  I thought it was beautiful how she kind of caught readers up on several characters from the Road to Kingdom and others in the previous books of the Finding Sanctuary series in this book.  Often times in series, too much story is re-told and the characters and circumstances get stale along the way.  This doesn't happen with Nancy's books.  The ending to Rising Darkness is just genius!  Kingdom and will love these small towns and the people that live there.  Nancy invites her readers in and you will feel like you belong there to.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of review.

Happy Reading Ya'll,

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

On This Foundation

Best selling author Lynn Austin has sold more than one million copies of her books worldwide.  She is an eight-time Christy Award winner for her historical novels, as well as a popular speaker at retreats and conventions. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and live in Michigan.

Learn more about Lynn and her writing at

Stone by stone, the wall will rise once more around God's City.

When news reaches him that Jerusalem's wall is shattered and its gates burned with fire, a distraught Nehemiah seeks God's guidance in fasting and prayer.  Granted an unexpected leave from his duty as cupbearer to the Persian king Artaxerxes, Nehemiah sets out for Jerusalem to rebuild the city wall - never anticipating all the dangers that await him on his arrival.

The leaders of the surrounding nations become his fierce enemies, plotting to assassinate him and stop the wall's reconstruction forever.  A drought, meanwhile, has left the country impoverished, with many families resorting to selling their children as bondservants just to keep from starving.

Capturing the rebuilding of the wall through the eyes of a number of characters, On This Foundation is the powerful conclusion to The Restoration Chronicles.  This exploration of faith in the midst of oppression offers hope that, in spite of appearances, the gracious hand of God is upon those who believe.

Previous two books in the series:

My Thoughts:
I read well over 60 plus books in 2015 and Lynn Austin's On This Foundation was one of my very favorites.  Lynn's take on the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem is well researched and multi-dimensional.  She allows readers to "hear" the story from a number of characters which adds a depth often missing in some historical and biblical fiction.  Austin's artistic liberty does not diminish the Biblical account and only drives readers to Scripture and further study.  She actually encourages readers to read the Biblical account from Scripture and always provides the Biblical references behind her stories.  I won't be missing anything Austin writes in 2016 and you shouldn't either.

*I was provided a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Blessings and Happy Reading Ya'll,