Monday, February 27, 2012

Need You Now by Beth Wiseman - Review

Need You Now
by Beth Wiseman

Brad and Darlene Henderson, with their three teenaged children, Chad, Grace and Ansley, recently moved to the small town of Round Top, TX from Houston. Brad commutes daily for his job and Darlene is a stay at home Mom who decides she'd like to find a job outside the home for the first time in her married life. She gets hired by a small special needs school.

Brad and Darlene have a very good marriage, couldn't be happier, and now they are living in her grandparents old farm house and have plans to repair and remodel it as they can afford it. Before they left Houston Chad was experiencing some problems but he seems to be doing better now. Ansley has some learning problems and is doing well enough in school that she has earned the chickens her Dad promised if she brought good grades home. Grace has always been their perfect child, never gave them a problem.

Darlene meets Layla, her neighbor, when she goes running out of the house because there is a snake under her bed. Layla appears and kills the snake for her but doesn't seem to be a very friendly person. Over time she gets to know Layla who has turned her back on God because of the death of her daughter which led to her divorce from Tom.

Darlene really enjoys her teaching job, she is a one-on-one teacher for Cara. Cara's Mother has passed away and lives with her loving Dad, David. David isn't sure about Darlene at first, but soon Cara loves Darlene and David develops a crush. Darlene has only been teaching for a short time when she discovers her daughter Grace is having some problems, she quits her job to stay home with her children, problems develop in her marriage, and Grace starts counseling.

Layla returns to God, thanks to Darlene, as Darlene is beginning to have problems and gradually starting to turn her back on Him.Darlene confides things to Layla and asks what to do but will she listen to her and will Layla be able to pull Darlene back to God to repay her own debt to Darlene? Will Grace get the help she really needs or will she continue to hide her thoughts and what bothers her? Will Brad and Darlene's marriage ever be the same, can it be saved?

If you like Beth Wiseman's books, you'll love this one too. It isn't what I 'm used to reading from Beth but it's a touching story that shows what faith can get you through. Whether it's what you want or what the Lord wants for you, He will pull you through.

I won this ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in a contest and was not required to read or review it. This is my review and my opinion.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Love Lies Bleeding by Susan Wittig Albert - Review of the sixth book in A China Bayles Mystery series

Love Lies Bleeding
Sixth book in A China Bayles Mystery series
by Susan Wittig Albert

China Bayles and her friend Ruby get involved in solving the murder of ex Texas Ranger, Roy Adcock. They know his wife Dolores although she was not a close friend. The Whiz, China's friend Justine from her college days, asked the two to do some investigating, China said no but Ruby was excited to do it. So, with China letting Ruby doing the investigating at first, going along reluctantly, she soon gets involved herself, but not all because of Ruby.

China's live-in boyfriend, McQuaid, is also an ex Texas Ranger who quit to teach college. China discovers he may be having an affair with Peggy on Valentine's Day, when she was expecting him to propose to her, yet again, but this time she was going to surprise him and say yes. Her surprise was that he didn't propose and when they returned home after dinner that night, she overheard a  conversation when she picked up the phone to call her mother, but didn't get a chance to confront him for a day or so. The day they were having 'the' discussion, she got a phone call and as McQuaid was listening and recognizing names, he told her to go with Ruby to see what she could find out about the murder.

This is my third cozy mystery and the first by this author, I really liked this one! Even though they are not married and he's having an affair, there is not sexual talk, so that is one thing I liked. I was so pulled in that I stayed up till 3:00 A.M. finishing it one night.

This is the sixth book in the China Bayles Mystery Series. I read this one first because I needed a cozy mystery with the word Love in it to read during the month of February, and there aren't too many like that. There are 21 books in the series so far, 19 of them are published, number 20 will come out in March 2012 and number 21 in April 2013. I will definetely be going back and reading the first five, and go on from there. Great writing Susan.

Here's the link to the 

2012 Cozy Mystery Challenge: Feb. Mini Challenge

Monday, February 13, 2012

Amish Snow by Roger Rheinheimer - Review

Amish Snow
by Roger Rheinheimer

This book is different from the normal Amish books I read, I would classify it as more about the 'dark' side, for lack of a better description. It starts out be telling how the Amish came to be in Germany, then jumps ahead 438 years to Lancaster, PA and the story of Ezra Neuenschwander and the abuse he and his mother and siblings suffered from his Father. His Father, Nathan, was abused as a child and wanted to break the cycle when he married Rebecca and he did for several years then it gradually started along with the drinking.

One day Ezra had finally had it and when Nathan pulled his fist back to hit him, Ezra swung back to protect himself. Nathan fell and hit his head. Ezra noticed the bleeding and the jerky motions, but went on with his chores. He put the horses up, went into the house and told his Mother what happened. Rebecca knew this would eventually happen so she got the bag she had ready for him with money, clothes, a cousins phone number that lived in Philadelphia, and a Bible. Ezra left not knowing if his father lived or died, never to talk to his family again.

In October of 1964 Ezra arrived in Philly in the middle of the night, got a room in a motel where they had hourly rates posted, the room was filthy and smelled with a stench he didn't recognize.

I will leave the rest of the story for you to read, there are lots of twists and turns, good and bad. I just about quit reading it around chapter eight or nine because I thought I knew the direction it was going, but I didn't give up on it and soon wanted to know the rest of the story. Needless to say, it didn't quite go in the direction I thought it would.

This is the first time I've read a book by Roger and I will say that I did enjoy it. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Roger Rheinheimer. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Blue Moon Promise by Colleen Coble - Review os the first book in Under Texas Stars series

Blue Moon Promise
First book in Under Texas Stars series
by Colleen Coble

Lucy Marsh is taking care of her brother and sister, children from her father's second marriage after her mother had died, but things go from bad to worse when she discovers she's being followed on her way home from the job she just got laid-off from, her landlord meets her when she gets home to let her know he's sold her 'ramshackle' house and they have seven days to move out. When she enters the house she notices a strange man sitting on a chair, it seems Jed took a dare and tried to pick his pocket but got caught. Jed returned the wallet, but that isn't the reason Henry Stanton is waiting to talk to her. It seems he's looking for a wife for his son, Nate, who has given his father a signed statement allowing him to act as his agent in all business matters for this trip, so Henry wants Lucy to marry Nate by proxy without even knowing anything about Nate, or Henry for that matter, and without Nate knowing his father would be bringing him a wife home, signed, sealed and delivered you might say.

As she is trying to figure out what to do and fixing supper for the Jed and Eileen, a man comes to the door, Albert, and says that Catherine, Lucy's step-mother, has sent him and wants Eileen. When Lucy refuses to turn three year old Eileen over he threatens her. Lucy puts the children to bed, prays and tries to sleep, but any sleep she may get is soon interrupted by a man, not Albert, trying to break into their house. With no money, no job, soon no home and all of these men that seem to be haunting her, she decides to accept Henry's offer and marry Nate to keep Jed and Eileen safe.

Let's say that Nate is none to pleased when his father returns with Lucy, Jed and Eileen. Since Lucy is so much younger than his father, he thinks Lucy probably got Henry to marry her so she could get his money and his land. When he finds out that Lucy is HIS wife, he's even more angry. He insults her by saying she's too little, won't be able to carry her own weight, etc. Lucy sets out to prove him wrong.

I loved this book and had a hard time putting it down. It has faith, love, some mild suspense and even a surprise ending. Colleen did a wonderful job!

This book comes out this month and I don't see where she's started a second one yet, but since it has Under Texas Stars at the top of the cover and on the spine, I'm guessing, and hoping, there are more.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Leaving Lancaster by Kate Lloyd - Review

Leaving Lancaster
by Kate Lloyd
Thirty-seven year old Holly Fisher grew up in Seattle, WA an only child of Esther and Samuel Fisher. Holly never knew her father as he died during the Viet Nam War and so she thought the only family she had in the world was her mother.
Esther Gingrich and Samuel Fisher left their homes in Lancaster, PA during their rumspringa, got married, Esther got pregnant,  and because they were no longer considered Amish, Samuel was drafted. Esther moved to Seattle with some friends and had Holly, but because she thought she was disowned by her parents and Samuels, she never returned and never told Holly about her family. Esther's father died in a buggy accident shortly after they left Lancaster but Esther didn't find out about it until it was too late to return for his funeral, so once she left, she never saw her father again.
Esther and her mother have kept in touch sporadically throughout the years, but Holly didn't know because the letters were always sent to Doris's address, the friend that helped Esther move to Seattle. Esther never shared the letters until Anna, her mother, wrote telling her that she was ill and the whole family, Anna, Esther's five brothers and their families, were thinking about moving to Montana.
After finding that out she decided it was time she told Holly about the large family she had yet to meet. It did not go over well, Holly didn't believe her at first but since she had just been laid off from her job, she 'called her mother's bluff' by making plans for both of them to fly to PA and see just what was what. Holly and Esther both had second thoughts several times within the few days before they took off, but they did go.
It gets very interesting once they arrive and I will not spoil any of that for you. I will say that I really enjoyed this book, I had a hard time putting it down. I think anyone that invests their money in purchasing the book and their time in reading it will be thankful they did.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this e-book free from the publisher through NetGalley  <> book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Gunpowder Green by Laura Childs - Review of the second book in A Tea Shop Mystery series

Gunpowder Green
Second book in A Tea Shop Mystery series
by Laura Childs

Theodosia Browning's life has calmed down since almost being killed a few months ago. Bethany has moved on but Drayton and Haley are still working for her at the Indigo Tea Shop and she has hired Miss Dimple to do her books a couple of days a week. They are planning several different types of tea parties including a Mystery Tea Party to increase business.

This murder takes place at White Point Gardens at the tip of Charleston's historic peninsula during the Isle of Palms Yacht Race. Oliver Dixon, along with his much younger wife of about two months, Doe Belvedere-Dixon were there and as Oliver shot the antique pistol when the winner crossed the line, he went down. He fell right on one of Theodosia's white table cloths. And so the sleuthing begins. I will say there are many persons of interest and that there is definetely only one guilty person, but three people are arrested, you figure it out.

I got more interested in this book than the first one and think I will probably get hooked on cozy mystery's. I think I'm comparing them to Nancy Drew and Bobbsey Twin books that I read when I was younger, and that was a LONG time ago, and I would actually get scared as I was reading them sometimes. Now that I'm older I guess I don't 'scare' quite as easily. I think that I will still give this one an average review, the story was a little more captivating for me but I'm not quite all the way hooked yet. I will keep reading cozy's though.