Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Book review: The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller



Publisher's Blurb: In the clay-rich hills of the newly founded state of West Virginia, two families tentatively come together to rebuild a war-torn brickmaking business.

Ewan McKay has immigrated to West Virginia with his aunt and uncle, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial help. Uncle Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, and it's Ewan's job to get the company up and running again.

Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he quickly feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man--a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Resolving that he'll make the brickworks enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Ireland, Ewan pours all his energy into the new job.

But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work is put in jeopardy. As his hopes for the future crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. Can she help him save the brickworks, and will Ewan finally get a shot at winning her heart?

My review: I liked this book. It was interesting and all the woman were not pushovers as in many books of this era are. The story flowed nicely and it had no boring spots. My only gripe is that the end seemed to wrap up too fast and leave unanswered questions that lead me to believe there is a sequel coming.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Book Review: Stolen by Katariina Rosenblatt PhD, Cecil Murphey



Publisher's Blurb: There is hope, even on the darkest of days

Katariina Rosenblatt was a lonely and abused young girl, yearning to be loved, wanting attention. That made her the perfect target. On an ordinary day, she met a confident young woman--someone Kat wished she could be like--who pretended to be a friend while slowly luring her into a child trafficking ring. A cycle of false friendships, threats, drugs, and violence kept her trapped.

As Kat shares her harrowing experiences, her ultimate escape, and her passionate efforts to now free other victims, you'll see that not only is sex trafficking happening frighteningly close to home--it's also something that can be stopped. Stolen is a warning, a celebration of survival, and a beacon of hope that will inspire you.

My Review: I think the main character's parents should have been arrested for neglect and child abuse. These things would not have happened to this child if, her father had not abused her, if her mother had a backbone, if she was taught to value herself, if anyone paid any attention to her at all. Honestly, I am not sure why I requested books like this because they bother me. I dislike seeing how the situation could have been rectified but wasn't. I really can't say whether I would recommend this book or not, it isn't badly written or anything, it is just a bad story.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Book Review: The Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn



Publisher's blurb: An Ancient Island Holds an Ancient Secret . . .

Nick Hennessy, a young Texas journalist yearning for his big break, finds himself in Europe--his assignment, to investigate the alarming disappearance of invaluable Grecian antiquities. Nick has the credentials--and cover ID--to unearth the truth. And he knows just the researcher to help him...

Carey Mathers, fresh from her studies in forensic archeology, has accepted a job with the prestigious Athens Institute for Antiquities--a dream come true, really, particularly when the Greek isle of Patmos, where the Apostle John received his vision of the Apocalypse, was a particular focus of her research.

Dimitri Rubinos, for whom the Greek islands represent his life, holds on by his fingernails to the family charter boat business. But his country's economic chaos isn't the only thing that has turned his world on its head...

My review: The premise of this book sounded good. It is not hold up well though. Dan Brown, this author is not, but that is exactly who I have the feeling he was trying to emulate. I found this story disjointed and unbelievable. This could have been a good story with many edits from a decent editor. There were just too many oddities and unexplained issues for me to enjoy this book - I would not recommend it.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Book Review - Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer



Publisher's blurb: Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But then a shocking phone call from her sister, Jewel, changes everything.

With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister, but the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Lula doesn't even consider those real subjects!

Determined to prove herself, Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys' coach, Chet, to learn the newfangled game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She's returning to college and her scholarship as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

However, the more time she spends around Jewel's family, the girls' basketball team, music classes, and Chet, the more Lula comes to realize what she's given up in her single-minded pursuit of degree after degree. God is working on her heart, and her future is starting to look a lot different than she'd expected.

My review: I didn't like the "old-fashionedness" (yes that is TOO a word :P) of this book. Not of the era but of the way the main character is treated just because she is a woman. I know it may be true of the time, but it annoys me none-the-less. I also didn't like how weak the male lead appeared to be either. Both characters could have been much stronger if they weren't being constantly run over by everyone else. The story-line was different. It was an easy read, but forgettable. 

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc." 

Book Review - At Blue Bonnet Lake by Amanda Cabot



Publisher's blurb: Her life is set to warp speed. His is slowing to a crawl. But love has its own timing.

Marketing maven Kate Sherwood's world is fast-paced, challenging, and always changing. The last thing she wants to do is grind to a halt at Rainbow's End, a dilapidated resort in the Texas Hill Country. Still, she cannot deny her ailing grandmother's request to visit the place where she and her deceased husband spent one glorious week fifty years ago. There, Kate meets Greg, who appears to be the resort's unassuming handyman. But there's more to Greg than meets the eye--billions more, in fact.

Kate isn't looking for romance, but she can't deny the sparks of attraction that fly every time she and Greg are together. Could there be a future there? Or will Kate's long-sought promotion take her back to the big city?

Amanda Cabot invites you to step into a place away from the pressures of the day. You might be surprised by what you find at Rainbow's End.

My Review: This book wasn't bad - it wasn't great either. I found parts of it very interesting and others very unbelievable and/or annoying. There were some details that seemed to be added just to make the book longer as they did not add anything to the story. If you are looking for a quick feel-geed read, this will do.


"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc." 

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

A Light in the Wilderness by Jane Kirkpatrick



Publisher's Blurb: Three very different women. One dangerous journey. And a future that seems just out of reach.

Letitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave. They may not cause most white folks to treat her like a human being, but at least they show she is free. She trusts in those words she cannot read--as she is beginning to trust in Davey Carson, an Irish immigrant cattleman who wants her to come west with him.

Nancy Hawkins is loathe to leave her settled life for the treacherous journey by wagon train, but she is so deeply in love with her husband and she knows she will follow him anywhere--even when the trek exacts a terrible cost.

Betsy is a Kalapuya Indian, the last remnant of a once proud tribe in the Willamette Valley in Oregon territory. She spends her time trying to impart the wisdom and ways of her people to her grandson. But she will soon have another person to care for.

As season turns to season, suspicion turns to friendship, and fear turns to courage, three spirited women will discover what it means to be truly free in a land that makes promises it cannot fulfill. This multilayered story from bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick will grip your heart and mind as you travel on the dusty and dangerous Oregon Trail into the boundless American West. Based on a true story.

My review: I enjoyed this book. The characters were realistic and believable. The story spanning many years and much tragedy and triumph was never dull. I would recommend this book to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group". 

Book Review - The River By Beverly Lewis



Publisher's Blurb: She looked once more at the dreaded river. Since Anna's death, it had been such a barrier . . . a place and a moment she could not seem to move past.
           
A line I can't move beyond...
The River

Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents' landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn't entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau.

Past meets present as Tilly and Ruth yearn for acceptance and redemption. Can they face the future in the light of a past they can't undo?

My review:   Oh what to say about this book...it was...BORING! I have enjoyed other Beverly Lewis books but this one has no redeeming features. All of it was boring! There is no better word to describe it.  I would tell others to not bother wasting their time on this one as you won't get anything out of it.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group"



Book review - Tried and True by Mary Connealy



Publisher's blurb: Saddle up for a wildly fun ride with the Wilde sisters!   

Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister--and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It's a risk--they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as "boys"--but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.

Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?

My review: While I did find it highly unlikely that these woman could pose as men, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to the next 2. I found the characters both likable and realistic. The story was fast-paced and engaging.

I would recommend this book to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group"



Sunday, 31 August 2014

Book Review - Surviving Henry by Erin Taylor Young



Publisher's blurb: Sometimes you seek out love. And sometimes it broadsides you.

You don't always know what you're getting into when you bring home a puppy. You hope for laughs and cuddles, long walks and a wagging tail. And sometimes you get . . . Henry.

Henry is a boxer who suffers from Supreme Dictator of the Universe Syndrome. He vandalizes his obedience school, leaps through windows, cheats death at every turn, and generally causes his long-suffering owner Erin Taylor Young to wonder what on earth she did wrong that God would send this dog to derail her life.

But this rogue torpedo of a dog wasn't sent to torment his owner--well, not just to torment her. Through all the hair-pulling and questioning of her own sanity, Erin learns something very powerful from Henry, a dog who brings new meaning to the concept of unconditional love.

Through his laugh-out-loud antics and jaw-dropping escapades, Henry will careen into your life and steal your heart.

My review: Let me preface this by saying we got our new puppy Bentley just before I read this book. So I understand new puppies. 

I have got to say Henry is a wee bit neurotic but more than that, I think his owners need training. Some of the things that his owner tried are downright ridiculous. I mean who ties a dog to a scooter?! Who buys a dog a life jacket (and complains about the price) but NEVER puts the dang thing on the dog?! You cannot blame the dog for that. It made for laughable reading to begin with then I just started thinking that the owner needed to go to school instead of the dog. I am sure many parts were embellished for the book but honestly, it got to the point where I didn't want to read anymore about the crazy dog or his crazier owner. I did finish the book but would probably not recommend it to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Book Review - Blind trust by Sandra Orchard


Publisher's blurb: Kate's not sure how deep this deception goes--but she'll do whatever it takes to find out.

Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money and can't believe that it came from her sweet elderly neighbor. Or that it has landed her in the middle of another of Detective Tom Parker's investigations. Determined to prove her neighbor's innocence, Kate stumbles into a pit of intrigue far deeper than a two-bit counterfeit operation--and one that strikes too close to home for comfort.

As family secrets come to light, her world--and her budding romance with Tom--begin to crumble. To Kate, it's clear that she won't be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster's secrets. But then will it be too late for her and Tom?

My review: Well at first I did not even remember the first book of this series - this is the 2nd - I had to find my review - apparently I liked the first book although I cannot remember too much about it. This book, not so much - I found it disjointed. The main characters did not seem to connect with each. There seemed to be too many holes in the story line. There were too many unanswered questions left at the end - I know there is another book - but I felt abandoned - there was no closure. I can;t say I liked this book much at all.


"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".


Book Review - Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas



Publisher'sblurb:
In a Drought, It's the Darkest Cloud
That Brings Hope

It's 1954 and Perla Long's arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle.

Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor...until he meets Perla. She's everything he's sought in a woman, but he can't get past the sense that she's hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla's unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.

My review: I get the premise of this book, but reading it, I couldn't get past how far-fetched it was. I don't like how judgmental Casewell is to begin with - his views seem much more old fashioned then 1945. I also did not connect to meek little Perla. This is a "nice" little story - it is not something I will remember next year or maybe even next month. I read a LOT of books, the ones I remember have made an impression on me - this one didn't. If you are looking for a nice light read - then this fits the bill.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

Book review - Truth Be Told by Carol Cox



Pulblisher's blurb: When Amelia Wagner takes over her father's newspaper in 1893 Granite Springs, Arizona, she vows to carry on the paper's commitment to reporting only the truth. But Amelia soon learns that even the truth can have serious consequences. Her father's revealing articles about the Great Western Investment Company have caught the attention of the wrong people, and pressure mounts for Amelia to retract her father's statements.

Determined to find out the real story, Amelia begins her own investigation. She's joined by Benjamin Stone, a Great Western employee who's been assigned to keep tabs on her for the good of the company, a man Amelia finds both perplexing and intriguing.

What they uncover stuns them both--and has far-reaching implications for not only Ben and Amelia but all of Granite Springs. Can they reveal the truth before the enemy finds a way to silence them for good?

My Review: I liked this book - it had a nice little mystery going. The characters were realistic and enjoyable and the storyline event filled enough to hold my interest. I would recommend this book to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

Book Review - With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden



Publisher's blurb: In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston's respectable life as a government worker is disrupted by an encounter with the insufferable Trevor McDonough, the one man she'd hoped never to see again. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and business is the only reason he has sought her out now.

Despite her misgivings, Kate agrees to Trevor's risky proposal to join him in his work to find a cure for tuberculosis. As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor's past, his hidden depths fascinate her. However, a shadowy enemy lies in wait and Trevor's closely guarded secrets are darker than she ever suspected.

As revelations from the past threaten to destroy their careers, their dreams, and even their lives, Trevor and Kate find themselves in a painfully impossible situation. With everything to lose, they must find the strength to trust that hope and love can prevail over all.

My Review: I enjoyed this book - it was engaging and very informative. The characters were realistic and believable. It was interesting to read how medical research was handled back then. I would definitely recommend this book to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group"


Saturday, 16 August 2014

Book Review - Woman of Fortune by Kellie Coates Gilbert



Publisher's blurb: You never know what you're really made of until you lose everything.

Texas socialite Claire Massey is living the dream--designer clothes, luxury cars, stunning homes. But everything comes crashing down when her charming cattle broker husband is arrested for fraud. Suddenly she finds herself facing attorneys, a media frenzy, and a trail of broken hearts. Betrayed and humiliated, Claire must face incredible odds to save her family--and discover a life worth living.

My Review: I have mixed reviews on this book. I am stunned that someone could be so completely clueless to the character and business dealings of their life partner. Claire seemed completely baffled about everything that was happening. And more then a bit spoiled, but I guess there are people like that in the world. Also how the older son and daughter in-law handled the situation was extremely selfish. They all seemed to be living in their own little bubble of entitlement. I'm really not sure if I would recommend this book to others - it was well written but the subject matter and plot left me cold.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group". 

Book review - Love Comes Home By Ann H. Gabhart



Publisher's blurb: When the flush of victory fades, there remains a winding road to an uncertain future.

World War II is finally over and the people of Rosey Corner are joyfully welcoming the boys home. The Merritt sisters in particular are looking toward the future. Kate is eager to start a family and live out her dream of happily ever after with Jay. Evangeline craves a beautiful house and encourages Mike to pastor a big-town church. Victoria wants what can never be. And Lorena is growing up and wondering more and more about her birth family.

Each sister must learn to hold her plans with a loose hand, trusting that God will guide and strengthen them as they share the joys and sorrows of life in their little corner of the world.

Award-winning and bestselling author Ann Gabhart invites you back to Rosey Corner for a heartfelt story that closes the distance between the things that were and things that can yet be.

My review: I really enjoyed this book, the 3rd in the series. It was written with real life emotions and realistic expectations. The characters where relatable and likable. I found myself crying more than once. I am hoping there is a 4th book about Birdie's future. I would recommend this book.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group". 

Book review - Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund



Publisher's blurb: Michigan Territory, 1814
A voyageur and a young woman swept up in a time of upheaval and danger discover firsthand the high price of freedom.

The British Army has taken control of Michilimackinac Island and its fort, forcing the Americans to swear an oath of loyalty to the crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a fur trader who returns after being away from the island for years, only to find the family farm a shambles and those he cares about starving and at the mercy of British invaders.

Torn between the adventurous life of fur trading and guilt over neglecting his defenseless mother, Pierre is drawn deeper into the fight against the British--and into a relationship with Angelique MacKenzie, a childhood friend who's grown into a beautiful woman. She now finds herself trapped by the circumstances of war and poverty, and the cruelty of her guardian, Ebenezer Whiley.

As tensions mount and the violence rages on, Pierre and Angelique must decide where their loyalties rest and how much they'll risk for love.

My review: I have mixed feeling on this book. I found some parts silly and unexplained, other parts interesting and exciting. The relationships between Pierre and his father and brother were not well explained, nor was the reason for Angelique's living circumstance. It was an ok read - not something memorable.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group"






Tuesday, 5 August 2014

More Bentley Pics

Here are some more pics of Bentley interacting with Kodi & Peanut.



































Sunday, 3 August 2014

Meet Bentley

Last Sunday we picked up Bentley - he was 2 days shy of being 8 weeks old.

Peanut was wary of him at first but now likes him, as long as he isn't biting her - he is biting everything!

Kodi wants to play with him, but forgets how big he is himself and wants to hop like Bentley does.


Bentley checking out Kodi

Playing with Peanut - he gives as good as he gets!










Playing TUG

Peanut TUGGING Bentley across the floor






Trying to bite Kodi's ear

Being checked out by Peanut & Kodi


Trying to bite Kodi's wagging tail



All tuckered out from all that play