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Saturday, September 19, 2015


I received a copy of this book from Goodreads for an honest review The story is centered around Cole and Megan who are married and have two children. He is a firefighter and she is a stay at home mom. Cole love his job, but it is dangerous and keeps him away from his family a lot. The author does a great job of describing the inner workings of a fire station and the tight brotherhood at the station. It is a dangerous job, but very rewarding . I loved when the author said, "It's a story that will inspire you to look at life differently and challenge you to believe that with God even the worst fire you face is nothing in comparison with His power, grace and mercy." We all will face trails in our life and this book does an amazing job of showing how Cole and Megan deal with a troubled marriage. Sometimes we don't realize anything is wrong until it is almost to late. The book is encouraging as it reinforces how important God is in the marriage. Megan decides one day, that she can't take anymore and leaves Cole. He is devastated and seems to be surprised at her departure. One of the keys to restoration is forgiveness and trust. The book eloquently takes the characters through their pain and shows through scripture and prayer that nothing is impossible with God. This may be a fictional book, but as I read it I felt like I was reading my own story. Many parts of the story hit home and I am glad I could receive without condemnation , the full forgiveness that He gave me when I walked this familiar path that Cole and Megan did. "Loving a flawed person is never easy, but if we marry someone, we are called to love them like Christ loved the church."

Friday, September 18, 2015


How can you not like a book that has witty , sarcastic banter between two people? Jodie , who was dumped at the altar over a year ago  decides to be reckless one day. She dresses herself up, bling and all and off she goes to do something crazy . What a great idea she has by crashing a wedding , or so she thinks . To her rescue is the dashing yummy Jake Coronado, who helps her get into the wedding. Oh my Jodie, what have you gotten yourself into?

The story moves at a great pace with characters who are  attracted to each other with a chemistry that sends sparks flying. I always love reading Lori's books because they are so funny and utterly charming . There are lots of surprises in the book and both characters have let's say "baggage"  they need to work on. It's a love story at its best with strong characters, laughter and even a mysterious magical  hope chest .  Will Jodie and Jake have a lasting relationship? Can they overcome their past hurts and find love? It's another great story from one of the best romance authors around .

Hidden Identity by Carol Post

I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review

There was a time when it appeared that Meagan was in a loving, committed relationship with her fiancĂ© Edmond. Behind closed doors, Edmond was a person to reckon with. He was fiercely controlling and abusive to Meagan, which made her desperate to leave him. 
In a tragic turn of events Meagan finds a way to leave Edmond and hopefully keep her sister and mom safe from his threats. A murder has occurred and in order to escape the domineering Edmond, Meagan fakes her death and flees. Will Meagan be accused of a murder she did not commit? Will her family finally be safe when everyone believes she is dead?

Meagan reinvents herself in another town and is living a quiet life with little contact from anyone in the quaint town she now calls home. Afer being so cautious about hiding her identity from the town , she gets involved in saving a person' s life and thus begins the curiosity of who Meagan is. 

Hunter Kingston is a police officer in the town where Meagan now resides. After several attempts on Meagan's life, Hubter realizes she has been hiding deep secrets from him. Will Meagan learn to trust him? Can she continue to survive the threat on her life? 

The author has written a very brave but untrusting character that seems to desperately need a protector . Meagan has sacrificed everything to keep her family safe, but at some point will her sacrifice cost her a new relationship or her her own life?

Hunter is a likeable character with an almost no nonsense kind of attitude. He wants to help Meagan but as she hold him at arms length , he will need to decide whether he can do his job without his feelings hampering the investigation.

The story reminds me of a cat and mouse chase where one is just a step ahead of the other. I love the suspense in the book which keeps you on your toes and holds your attention throughout the book. It is a very well written story with each character dealing with trust issues and hurt. Will Meagan and Hunter find happiness with each other. Will Meagan ever feel safe? The answers await you in "Hidden Identity."

Linger by Edward Fallon and Robert Gregory Browne

As Kate Messenger is investigating a muder of a family , she is disturbed by what she sees. It is a violent , bloody vicious and unnerving scene that sends chills up your spine as the brutal display of vengeance is evident by the state of the bodies of the family. Kate notices that there is something out of place as she is searching through the house. A young boy, named Christopher and his guardian are trespassing on the murder scene. Why would these unlikely people be doing here at a muder scene ? Have they come back to gawk at the scene or do they know something that could help the investigation?

Kate will soon realize that Christopher has a unique gift that she will discover to be  useful in her need to find the killer of the Brandford family. Kate asks Christopher. "Who are you. Where did you come from? His words were eerie as he answered , "The only thing that matters is where we're going ."

This is a psychological story that will have you on the edge of your seat looking over your shoulder. It is so brilliantly written with a dark, menacing unknown power that you are thrust into the deep reaches of the supernatural. Kate's character is so well written as a strong  woman with a fierce determination for the truth . Chris has an ability to see things others can't.  What does  Chris see and hear that others can't? Is it dangerous to try to go after this beast he sees?

When Kate, Chris and Noah return to the Brandford house , something so sinister and evil will be revealed that it will have you shaking with anticipation. What was  " the sound that was both horrifying and heartbreaking and sent a chill straight through Kate's central nervous system?" Were did that evil sound come from? What will happen when Kate touches  Chris's fingers?

This book is filled with twists and turns that will make readers gasp as they continue to delve into the unknown world that Kate has entered.  The scenes come alive as the words are so vivid and real. I have not read a book this intense and filled with intrigue in a long time. I could not put this book down . When I finished I knew I had read one of the scariest ,  most intense , well written books ever published.

Friction by Sandra Brown

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review
This a good story about Crawford Hunt, a Texas Ranger who is desperately trying to get his daughter Georgia  back. After his wife dies in a tragic accident, Crawford starts to drink and his life begins to unravel .

The custody of his daughter is given to the grandparents who feel Crawford can't take care of himself and certainly not his daughter. The custody disputes come to a head one morning in court. Crawford is determined to show the court he has changed and wants full custody .

Just as Judge Holly Spencer is about to render a decision, chaos breaks out in the courtroom. A lone gunman starts shooting. Who is the gunman's target? The story zips along at a face pace with action and a mystery of who the gunman is. Will Crawford discover the true identity of the gunman?

I liked the character development , but it did seem that the relationship between the Judge and Crawford was a little rushed. Overall the book was well written and had just the right amount of action to keep fans of Sandra Brown satisfied with another great book that holds  your attention.

Sins of Omission by Ian Graham

This may be a short story, but it packs a powerful punch that leaves you breathless in anticipation of what is to come next. We are introduced to Declan McIver in a fast paced explosive read. Declan is asked or shall we say pushed strongly into a mission that will have him reunited with his ex -girlfriend. The mission is to travel to a small Caribbean island and stop a bombing on the Queen's birthday. Declan has been expertly trained to handle dangerous and under the radar missions. But what will happen when he meets up with his ex-girlfriend?

The author's writing style flows with a precise direction. He gives readers a little history of the IRA and the Struggles time period in Northern Ireland in a brilliantly fluent knowledge that intrigues you. Declan is a man to be reckoned with as he heads full force into the dangers that he encounters.

This is a story of high caliber writing with intense scenes that will play out with a volatile and energy filled excitement of intrigue at its best. The author has given us a character that we will want to follow with eagerness .

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Healing Handbook by Kynan Bridges

I received a copy of this book from book for an honest review

I found this book to be a refreshing read on healing not only physically but spiritually . Satan  loves  to burden us with sickness in order to distract us . But as this book explains, we have the power to overcome sickness.  As the author says so powerfully, "The church holds the answers to the problem of sickness in the world-Jesus Christ."

As I was reading this book, I received a text from a friend that has been having health issues. I started sharing with her about this book and gave her scriptures to pray over herself. I don't believe in coincidence , but I do believe in divine appointments. This book inspired me to reach out to my friend and agree with her for healing. It was not by accident that I requested to read this book. God knew long before I even knew about this book, that a divine appointment was coming and He would supply scriptures and an undeniable desire to speak into my friend's life.

The author tells us , "that healing is the will of God." He explains that our words can be powerful by saying I am healed instead of saying I have cancer or whatever the illness may be. We need to proclaim that we are headed not that we are suffering from an illness. I love that the author is straightforward and doesn't sugarcoat anything. Our healing is there, and we need to proclaim it. I have been dealing with an illness for awhile and this book has given me much needed tools to overcome my fear and speak life into me. "God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power , and love , and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7

Releasing the Divine Healer by Dennis and Dr. Jen Clark

I received a copy of this book from book for an honest review

This book packs a powerful overflowing insight into the healing of our body, mind and soul. The author starts with our salvation, and says,"God's ultimate purpose is for us to be fully transformed and to fully gain the heavenly life." He wants us to experience healing from inside and to not walk around with pain and suffering. In order to receive spiritual blessings from God we have a choice to make. We must believe and receive these blessings from God. If we don't operate in faith , it becomes hard to believe we can actually be healed.

I love all the scripture references in the book which directs you to what the Word says about healing. When we think of healing, most of us think of healing from sickness. But there is more than just physical healing. We need our thoughts to be healed so we can speak life over ourselves. The author reminds us of the fruits of the spirit and the unconditional love that God has for us. As I read the book, I began to understand more of how healing really operates.

I'm glad I had a chance to read this book, because it has shown me a clearer way to receive healing by letting go of  unforgiveness , be joyful , and trust God. i was encouraged by the testimonies that were shared in the book by people who used the tools to experience healing. "When believing God for healing, we shouldn't give up. We can only receive what we are open to."

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Blessing by Lyn Cote

I received a copy of this book from book for an honest review

This story centers around several characters , one which is  Blessing Brightman a widow. When her husband died, she became wealthy and very independent . Gerard Ramsey runs into the fiercely independent Blessing at of all places, a women' s suffrage meeting. This was not a pleasant encounter at all.  Gerald happens to be the son of a wealthy gentleman from Boston.  For some reason, Gerard takes it upon himself to get involved in his cousin's personal life. They both move to Cincinnati where Stoddard, the cousin has come to court Blessing's friend, Tippy.

When Gerard moves, his father cuts him off and leaves him having to fend for himself. What type of business venture will Gerard get involved in? As he begins to run more frequently into Blessing, will  there be an attraction to each other? Grace who is a Quaker has become involved in some movements that could be very dangerous. Will he help her or turn his back on the determined woman?

The author does an amazing job of two history making incidents, which were the anti-slavery movement and women's suffrage. The historical facts are precise and very detailed.  As I read the book, the author drew me back to a time that was hard for people and the struggles they went through. The story flows with  excitement and an appreciation for an era that was an important historical value to many. I learned while reading the book that Cincinnati was a valuable place for runaway slaves. The author did such an intense research of this historical era, that I was amazed at the facts that made the story so powerful. She goes a step further in adding Historical notes at the end of the book.

I enjoyed the effort that was given in making sure that historical facts were correct , while writing an intense well thought provoking book. I look forward to reading more of her books.

Not By Sight by Kate Breslin

I received a copy of this book from book for an honest review.

I love historical fiction. They sweep you away to another era as you learn about how the culture was during that time. This book is set in 1917 when WWl was being fought. We are introduced to Jack Bennington , who happens to be heir to Earl of Stonebrooke. It seems he has quite a reputation as being a bit wild but since he is an heir,  his status in society is upstanding. Now the plot thickens. If you want to be a spy, what better cover then a high society man with a flare for being wild?   Who would suspect someone like Jack as a spy? Jack is secretly working for the Crown tracking German spies who are operating on British soil.

Grace is a wealthy suffragette who is willing to do anything to help her country.  She gets all dressed up in a fancy gown and enters a well to do London Masquerade  ball. What is her mission there? Will her presence set off a wave of danger for Jack? Why does she assume he is a coward?

I love a book with great character development and this books does not disappoint. The story has intrigue, deception, overcoming obstacles and did I mention a patriotic theme? There is evil in the world, and this book touches on that with characters that have a strong belief in faith.

Jack will experience a life changing event that will have him angry at times, and despondent at other times. Will Grace become the person to reach him? I love reading about strong  women and Grace is definitely a strong fiercely driven young woman. I was captivated by the story as it weaved through history and drew readers to a powerful ending.

Author: Cindy Muir
Genre: Mystery (cozy)
# of Pages: 200
Pub Date: July 11, 2014
Publisher:  Black Rose Writing

Laurel Franks is a dedicated mom, volunteer extraordinaire and active on the PTA Board. She is also, however, a enthusiastic Jimmy Buffet fan and wanna-be Trop Rock singer. Laurel finds out through the local grapevine that the despicable local School Superintendent has been murdered and the sheriff’s office seems to be unusually mum about the investigation.

With her best friend and sidekick Sherry Sharp, Laurel decides to hone her investigative skills and search out suspect possibilities she comes up with in her volunteer and community world. Her husband, obsolete in the thought processes of a modern woman, wants her to devote her time and energy to her volunteer work and family only, but Laurel is spurred on with her investigation.

Laurel and Sherry traverse the Hill Country north of San Antonio, Texas and meet some wacky characters, many of whom seem to have a motive for rubbing out the School Superintendent. Fueled by Trop Rock music and inspired by Jimmy Buffett lyrics, Laurel finally solves the crime, but at the near cost of her own life.

I’m one of those who has always loved music. My earliest performance memory was at age four at church and by age 8, I was studying piano. The choral and solo road continued and I wound up with two music degrees from Baylor University. I’m a former elementary music teacher and directed church children’s choirs for 32 years.
Somewhere along the way, I expanded my musical horizons and was listening to

Jimmy Buffett by the early 90s. When I attended my first concert back in 1991, I was hooked. After several years of Buffett concerts, reading his books and learning about him, I finally joined the San Antonio Parrot Head Club. It was through the club that I began to learn about Trop Rock and the singers/ songwriters who make the music.
A couple of years ago, I started writing a column about Parrot Heads and Trop Rock for a now-defunct magazine. And I truly became hooked on meeting and interviewing the musicians. One of my favorite parts of going to MOTM, Pardi Gras, or other Trop Rock music events is to forge new musical relationships. I also began to weave a story about an amateur sleuth who also dreams of being a Trop Rock singer. After years of writing and re-writing, "Schooled For Murder" is my first cozy mystery novel. Black Rose Writing was extremely gracious to take the chance of being the book's publisher.
I have a beautiful daughter, Lauren Bates, who lives in Dallas and is an artist. And I’m newly married to wonderful Don Muir, whom I’ve known for years through the San Antonio Parrot Head Club. Jerry Diaz was gracious to let us be married on the stage erected for the Pardi Gras Street Party and after the ceremony, a second line jazz band paraded us up to the top of the Tropical Isle, where we had cake for whomever joined us.
I’m also caretaker for the “Jimmy Buffett Museum of Port Aransas, TX,” which is my second home. Come see me if you’re ever on that part of the Gulf Coast. We’ll share a cold libation and listen to… what else? Trop Rock!


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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

I received a copy of this book from book for an honest review

I was so excited when I received this book. The cover was breathtaking and having never read a book from Sisan Anne  Mason before, my expectations were high.  I definitely was not disappointed in this story at all. The author takes us back to  1911 in Long Island , New York. The history written in the story was a highlight for me. I love books that transform a reader back to an era with a subtle use of words.

Brianna is a young woman who has a love for horses and is quite a lovely person to look at. She has a deep desire to go to college but her father has other ideas for her. Colleen the other sister is anxious to marry and seems to be a bit more strong willed than her sister. Their father is a strong almost controlling man who causes anxious moments for his two daughters. They both must find strength and endurance  to overcome obstacles that could deter them from their destiny. Will they find the right man to marry? Does  Brianne get to follow her dream of going to college?

Their father becomes desperate when he feels like he is going to lose the horse farm . He thinks that his two daughters should marry men with money in order to help save "Irish Meadows." As I read the story I began to think about how our Heavenly Father wants the best for us, but we sometimes ignore Him. There were many conflicts the family needed to address and I liked how the author wrote with grace as the characters worked through them.

At the end of the story one of the characters were explaining to Brianna the mistakes he had made. This is  the man that Brianna has always been in love with. He says," The other mistake I made was forgetting what is truly important . I didn't keep God in the middle of our relationship."  That statement  really made me think . Do we remember who needs to be in our relationships we have ?

I must thank the author for a story that is rich in history, characters that had  flaws and how they overcome them with guidance from God. There are other characters in the story that I didn't mention, but I encourage you to pick up this book and fall in love with  the O'Leary family and journey with each of them through a breathtaking story .