Posted in Book reviews, Books, Tyndale House

“Lethal Target” by Janice Cantor ~ Review

Lethal Target (Line of Duty #2)

“Lethal Target” by Janice Cantor

Book #2 in the Line of Duty Series

Review copy through Tyndale publishers review program

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

Police Chief Tess O’Rourke thought she’d taken care of her small town’s drug problem last year. But now Rogue’s Hollow residents are up in arms over a contentious vote on legalizing the sale of marijuana within city limits. And when an eighteen-year-old is found dead of a possible overdose, Tess wonders if the local pot farms might be involved and begins to fear that a new, deadlier drug supply chain has cropped up. As tempers flare and emotions boil over, Tess faces the possibility of losing the town’s support.

With her relationship to Sergeant Steve Logan on shaky ground, Tess could really use a friend, and she feels drawn to Pastor Oliver Macpherson’s quiet presence. But the anger she holds over her father’s death prevents her from embracing his faith and finding peace.

Battling storms within and without, Tess is shocked when a familiar face from her past shows up in town to stir up more trouble. And his threats against Tess may prove lethal.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

The suspense returns in this second book in the Line of Duty series. Main character, Tess, is faced with more than one troubling case; including one that just might get her in major trouble.
It was nice to be able to continue with this book after finishing the first in the series. This book takes place several months after “Crisis Shot”, and can be read as a stand-alone. As with most books, you will get a better feel for the characters, setting, and story by reading these in order, but it’s not absolutely necessary. There’s a new investigation, and the story threads that are continued in book two are understandable on their own.
It was a good book, one which I enjoyed. The suspense was well drawn out and you were very intrigued to find out how the book would finish.
I was a little surprised by the romance thread – it took a turn away from what the first book alluded from, and while I suspected it from the beginning of “Lethal Target”, I can’t say it was my favorite choice. I didn’t feel like these particular two characters meshed as well. But that is just my opinion.
The faith strand was continued nicely, and in this book we get to see Tess soften to God and begin to move forward in her healing, so that was good.
I liked seeing familiar characters from the first book, like Tilly. I hope we will get to see a little bit more of her in the third book too!
The mystery kept us guessing, and it was a relief to see it all turn out well in the end.
*
*
*
*
Mini Review for the first book in the series, “Crisis Shot”:
Crisis Shot (Line of Duty #1)
Really enjoyed this book – Janice Cantor writes very good police fiction. I felt attached to main character Tess, and her cause from the first page, and enjoyed seeing her journey. The mystery/suspense was well-played out, and had a good climax.
The faith strand was present, woven in gently. I look forward to seeing it continue in the next book.
Romance was very light – sometimes alluded to, but not the main focal point of the book. It worked well for this story, and as with the faith strand, I also look forward to seeing how it all develops.
Well written and engaging. I so appreciate what police do, and this book championed them in a great way.
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Posted in Book reviews

“Jairus’s Girl” by L.R. Hay ~ Book Review

 

“Jairus’s Girl” by L.R. Hay

Biblical Fiction for younger readers

Review copy from the author

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

About the Book:

Tammie’s life in a quiet fishing town would never be the same again. 
Her future wasn’t looking good (understatement!), but things quickly went from bad to WICKED with the arrival of a strange grown-up with nice eyes. 
And as for the business with Daniel’s lunch, or Dibs’s roof. . . 

Jairus’s Girl is an entertaining and moving account of the Galilee side of Jesus’s story – aimed at pre-teens, though some adults have sneakily read and enjoyed it too.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

What a delightful story! My family and I have discussed how lovely it would be to have more Biblical fiction written for younger ages – and this book fits that marvelously.
Through this story, we see many of Jesus’ miracles and healings through the eyes and experiences of Jairus’ daughter – the girl whom Jesus raised from the dead. In this book, the girl’s name is Tamar – with some more names after that; the author affectionately dubs her as Tammie. Easy to say and remember!
Reading “Jairus’ Girl” is very much like you are sitting down with the author and she is telling you this tale.
Sometimes modern words were used that didn’t seem quite right (Tammie would say exclamations such as “wicked” or “cool” etc.)  – I didn’t find them offensive or what-have-you, just not authentic or fully fitting to the story itself. She also seemed quite young for her age, but that wasn’t so much a qualm as an observation.
I found this book to be very enjoyable, and one I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to any reader, but especially younger ones! I can tell you what a relief that is. I am admittedly a rather picky book- recommender when it comes to younger readers, wanting the books I recommend to be wholesome and enjoyable. I think “Jairus’s Girl” is one such read! I would say it might be best enjoyed by readers aged anywhere from 8-15, with 10-12 being the most ideal, but that is certainly not restrictive or exhaustive. I think it would make a great read-aloud for parents or siblings too. I am in my early twenties and I enjoyed myself :)
My favorite parts were those involving Jesus firsthand. They were heartfelt and gentle, and I found them very sweet. Sure, the conversations were a bit more modern, but the heart was there, and it was touching. As any encounter with Jesus should be! <3
Posted in Book reviews

“Gone Too Soon” by Melody Carlson ~ Book Review

Gone Too Soon

 

Gone Too Soon by Melody Carlson

YA//Stand-alone novel

Review copy through WhiteSpark Publishing

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

An icy road. A car crash.
A family changed forever.

Hannah Josephson had always been the “perfect” daughter. Kiera couldn’t live up to her before, and she certainly can’t now that her older sister has died in a car accident. But the image she carried resentfully of Hannah is challenged when she finds her dead sister’s diary and begins to read. Apparently Hannah’s final year wasn’t as perfect as everyone thought.

Caught in a pattern of blaming each other, the Josephson family is falling apart. Their father has left, their mother is mixing opiates and alcohol, little sister Maddie has been shipped off to spend the whole summer with their grandmother, and Kiera feels utterly alone with her grief and anger. A summer job helping at a park in a poor section of town provides a friend and a purpose.

But it’s Hannah’s diary that fills her thoughts. For the first time in years, she feels close to the sister she’s lost. But can the knowledge she gleans about her possibly help her patch back together the family that seems determined to implode?

 

My Thoughts:

 

The Josephson family is falling apart after losing the eldest daughter, Hannah, to a car-crash.
“Gone Too Soon” is told primarily from the first-person perspective of middle daughter, Kiera, with some portions of the story told from mother Moira’s third-person perspective.
I actually really liked Kiera. She was rough around the edges, but certainly not hard to love. She was hurting and scarred with lots of wounds.
As mentioned, the whole family really does have a lot of issues, and reading it was saddening.
The book itself was easy to read – I ended up reading it in two sittings because I didn’t want to stop. However, it is not a light book with easy topics. Moira is trying to ease her pain through vast amounts of alcohol and pills. The father, Alex completely checks out, withdrawing from the family. He seems nice and more gentle at times, but his neglect is another form of abuse, and just as terrible. He abandons his family because he can’t handle it.
The youngest daughter, Maddie, is sent to live with her grandmother for the summer, which was probably the best thing for her.
Kiera finds her deceased sister’s diary and begins reading it, surprised at what she finds but feeling closer to Hannah than she was when she was alive.
I won’t summarize the entire book because you can find that in the book-blurb, but I just want to re-emphasize that this family is struggling. Hard. And Kiera, only 16, is trying to handle everything on her own.
It really did make me sad. She finds solace in her summer job, and the friend she meets there, and at the end there begins healing which is very good. I was very glad to see this one part where a lady prayed for Kiera-the prayer was very beautiful and meaningful.
However, how the novel approached the “God theme” was definitely in the more common, “God is cool” vibe, ‘He just wants to be your friend” etc. which I feel leaves off His holiness, and our reverence for Him. So I didn’t care for that. Also, there was a brief part where evolution/creation was discussed and it was basically discrediting creation which I didn’t care for either. I get that the author probably wanted to come across as unbiased for non-Christian readers, but I expected the more mature, Christian character to have stood up for it or explained Creation with more passion, rather than just passing it off. The scene went like this:
 “So you believe the old fable about God creating the world in seven days? I challenge him, ready to debate over evolution.
But he just laughs. “I don’t know about that.”
He goes on the say how he expects that someone had to have created all this beauty of the world, but it was so…flimsy, I felt, and I was a little disturbed about that.
I can’t say I would comfortably hand this to the teens I know. At this point, I don’t think I necessarily would. I would strongly suggest a parent read it first because of its content. I think for a non-Christian teen or someone who is going through the same thing would find this book very good and helpful, but it is rather dark in its premise and plot, and I would definitely suggest parental involvement. I know I am a more cautious reader, but I stand by the verse in the Bible that tells us to think on whatever is lovely, pure, of good report, etc. And no, that certainly doesn’t mean we evade the hard things – not at all! Life gives us many hard things. But we should also be raising our teens and teaching them how to handle these things as well. Because yes, these things happen, but we also have a great Savior to help us.
In the end, I enjoyed reading this book, but would be careful in recommending it.
Posted in 1940's, blog tour, Book reviews

“When the Heart Sings” by Liz Tolsma ~ Blog Tour/Book Review

 

when the heart sings blog tour

 

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for When the Heart Sings by Liz Tolsma, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

 

 

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“When the Heart Sings” by Liz Tolsma

Review copy from the author through the JustRead Tours

Series: Music of Hope #2
Author: Liz Tolsma
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

Natia has a secret, and she’s hiding him right beneath her captor’s nose…

The Nazis have forced Natia and Teodor from their Polish farm to a labor camp. When the couple is separated, Natia is chosen to be the housekeeper for the camp’s overseer, and Teodor is sent to work in the factory. Despite the strict camp rules—and the consequences for disobeying them—Natia finds a way to communicate with Teodor by sending messages through song as she passes Teodor’s dormitory.

The stakes get higher when Natia finds a Jewish orphan on the overseer’s doorstep. She is determined to protect the boy and raise him as the child she and her husband were unable to bear— but if her German captors discover how much she’s hiding, both she and Teodor may pay the ultimate price.

PURCHASE LINKS:  Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Christian Book | Book Depository

 

 

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Thoughts:

 

Author Liz Tolsma has written another heartfelt WWII novel, and what a story it is! I have read a lot of WWII fiction, but hers seem to be a style all of their own.  There is so much rawness, and reality in this novel that it pulls on your heartstrings for sure. The characters are life-like, and their struggles true to life as well.

The atrocities that happened to the Polish and Jewish people is horrendous, and hard to read about. And on the same hand, the daringness and bravery others showed to help them is so admirable.

This story is primarily Natia’s story. Her husband’s as well. Another character we get to know is the German woman, Elfriede who keeps Natia in her employ. They form a friendship, and both share a deep love for the child Natia found. I really liked Elfriede – her story was sad, though in different ways from Natia’s. She was naive’, and rather innocent almost like a child herself. She came into her own strength though that was impressive, and her decision at the end was painful and heroic. I know she was the side character, but I really enjoyed her, and I think maybe bonded more with her than the main characters. But I did like the main characters, and felt connected to their plight as well. There was on incident at the end though, regarding Natia’s attitude that I didn’t care for. It felt selfish and flippant in light of the situation.

The faith strand was present, though maybe a bit lightly so. I did like what was there though – it felt realistic, and the message was good.

All in all, a very well written book that deals delicately with the tough reality that was the war!

 

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

liz tolsma

Passionate might best describe Liz Tolsma. She loves writing, research, and editing. Her passion shone through in her first novel which was a double award finalist. On any given day, you might find her pulling weeds in her perennial garden, walking her hyperactive dog, or curled up with a good book. Nothing means more to her than her family. She’s married her high-school sweetheart twenty-eight years ago. Get her talking about international adoption, and you might never get her to stop. She and her husband adopted three children, including a son who is a U.S. Marine, and two daughters.

CONNECT WITH LIZ:  website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

 

 

 

when the heart sings blog giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive (US only)

  • a print copy of When the Heart Sings
  • Just One More Chapter’ throw pillow seen HERE

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 26, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 3, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

 

 

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

November 26
Book by Book
Heidi Reads…
Ecc1012
Inkwell Inspirations
Where Faith and Books Meet
Reading Is My SuperPower

November 27
The Power of Words
Dee’s Farm and Family
Genesis 5020
All-of-a-kind Mom
Singing Librarian Books

November 28
Inklings and Notions
Radiant Light
The Becca Files
The Shelf Life
Southern Gal Loves to Read
Proverbial Reads

November 29
By The Book
Cara Putman
Library Lady’s Kid Lit
Happily Managing a Household of Boys
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae

November 30
Pause for Tales
Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic
Running Through The Storms
Remembrancy
Wishful Endings

Posted in Uncategorized

Black Friday Deals

Just a quick post to let ye all know about the black friday book sale happening!

 

indie-black-friday-sale.jpg

 

I was able to get a few books during this sale last year. Not sure I can make that happen again this year, but I am definitely eyeing some! Great deals for sure. And there’s also free books – can’t beat that price! ;)

Be sure to check it out!  perrykirkpatrick.com/sale

Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“A Sparkle of Silver” by Liz Johnson ~ Book Review

IMG_1718.jpg

“A Sparkle of Silver” by Liz Johnson

Book One in the Georgian Coast Romance series

Review copy from the author

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

About the book:

Uncovering the past can lead to an unexpected future . . .

Millie Sullivan plays a 1920s-era guest during tours of a palatial estate on the shore of St. Simons Island, Georgia, where her great-grandmother was a real guest ninety years ago. When Millie learns of a lost diary that may contain the location of a hidden treasure on the estate and reveal the identity of her great-grandfather, she sets out to find the truth of her heritage–and the fortune she desperately needs. But it won’t be easy. When security guard Ben Thornton discovers her snooping in the estate’s private library, he threatens to have her fired. Still, her story seems too ludicrous to be fiction, and her offer to split the treasure is too tempting to pass up. Get ready for a romantic escapade through dark halls and dusty corners that will have you holding your breath and sighing with delight.

My Thoughts:

 

I really enjoyed this book. It was my first Liz Johnson book but it most certainly won’t be my last! I loved her writing style – it was fun and easy to follow, and beautifully accomplished.
The story itself was a true delight as well. The characters were so very realistic and believable. Millie – I loved her! She was relatable and raw and real, struggling with real problems. And of course, I related to her love of happily-ever-after novels! Book-sisters at heart <3
Ben was a dashing hero without being “too hunky” like a lot of heroes XD He was down-to-earth, dealing with his own problems, but so kind and likeable.
It was also such a treat to have clips from a relatives diary at the end of several chapters – seeing that story and mystery unfold was utterly delightful! The whole treasure-hunting theme in this book was riveting and kept you interested for sure.
The setting was fabulous – I wish I could visit The Chateau!! Sounds beautiful.
There was just so much to love about this book. The relationship of Millie and her grandmother was precious, her friendship with Ben, and Ben and Carl’s work-relationship/friendship were each so well done. And I really did love Millie and Ben’s growing relationship. It was very good. However, there was a moment of tension at the end that I felt was a bit overdone – one character overreacted just a little bit and I wanted to sit down and talk with them myself. XD However, almost all of their actions were understandable.
For most of the book, the faith theme was kind of sprinkled throughout; not very heavily. More like a reminder here and there. But towards the end the message of mercy, forgiveness, and who we are in Christ being what really matters came out a bit more strongly. It could’ve been even more strong for my taste, but it was well done for sure.
All in all, I enjoyed this book a great deal and look forward to more from this author!
Posted in blog tour, Book reviews, Books

“Yesterday’s Christmas” by A.M. Heath ~ Blog Tour/Giveaway/Review!

Betty Tour

 

Hello readers! Please join me in participating in – and enjoying – the latest release of A.M. Heath’s with a fun blog tour! There’s a fun giveaway, sales, and other stops on this tour, so be sure to check it all out!

 

 

 

Yesterday's Christmas (A Season Passed, #2)

“Yesterday’s Christmas” by A.M. Heath

Book Two in A Season Passed Series

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

About the book:

During a snowstorm, Betty Tanner finds herself stuck with her estranged husband. Spending Christmas with Glenn wasn’t what she had in mind, and her thoughts reluctantly travel back three decades to their first Christmas together, when another snowstorm caused her to wreck her car outside the Tanner home … 

1954: Stranded with the Tanners over Christmas, Betty is forced into the company of Glenn, who has spurned her for years. But as the snow falls outside, the walls between Betty and Glenn begin to melt, revealing a side of him she never knew existed. A side she longs to know better.

Pride and bitterness can make a beast out of anyone. And the hardships they face in their relationship are of their own making. But can following Christ’s ways lead Betty and Glenn to the reconciliation they long for?

A.M. Heath invites you to spend Christmas with the Tanners in a dual-timeline novel loosely inspired by Beauty and the Beast. You’re sure to fall in love again and again.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

Second in the series, but also my second read from author A.M. Heath and it didn’t disappoint! I really love the writing style. It flows remarkably well, and is just so easy to read to the point where you don’t know how you are already done with the story. <3
In this novel, we are transported back to both the 1980’s and the 1950’s as we get to know main character Betty, and her strained relationship with her husband Glenn.
Once again, I loved the quotes from the original Beauty and the Beast fairytale, as well as the meaningful Bible verses used at the beginning of each chapter. It added such a level of charm and more meaning to each chapter – definitely a creative use of the original fairy tale retold in hints through “Yesterday’s Christmas”.
The characters are realistic and definitely dealing with some struggles. There was immense bitterness portrayed, and it was lovely to see how the story as a whole came to conclusion – to see how Betty and Glenn’s relationship was healed and restored – and still growing. No relationship is easy or predictable.
I will admit that I didn’t connect as deeply with this set of characters as much as I did in the first, but I think that has to do with a couple factors, one being that I am very much single and have not been married for any number of years ;)
But I think this is a beautiful story with a beautiful message, and a great second book in this fantastic series!

 

About the Author:

Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.

You can visit me online on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and my blog. *Note: I’m most active on Facebook and my blog.

Whether you’re on social media or not, you can ensure that you never miss one of my sales, giveaways, or new releases by signing up for my newsletter. I’ll send you a direct link to your email anytime something big happens. http://eepurl.com/dDbVNz

Giveaway!!

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You can click on the graphic above to enter, or Enter Here.

 

 

Don’t miss out on the SALE happening too!

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And check out other stops on the tour!! Full schedule here: https://amheathblog.wordpress.com/blog-tour-landing-page/