Thursday, May 21, 2015

When Grace Sings ~ Kim Vogel Sawyer

Trouble roars into their quiet town, and Alexa and Anna-Grace find themselves the target for discord and exposed secrets in Kim Vogel Sawyer‘s When Grace SingsWhen Alexa agrees to host her cousin Anna-Grace Braun, the presence of extended family brings out Alexa’s insecurities and sets Briley Forrester, the hotshot reporter from Chicago, on the trail to uncovering a web of hidden truths.
When Grace Sings PK

{MORE ABOUT WHEN GRACE SINGS}

When Grace Sings(WaterBrook Press, March 2015)
When trouble roars into quiet Arborville, Alexa and Anna-Grace find themselves the target for discord and exposed secrets. Can they continue to seek the God of all grace amidst the fog of confusion?
Alexa Zimmerman wonders if the Old Order Mennonite community in Arborville, Kansas will ever fully accept her. Her family roots here aren’t what anyone thought when she first arrived, but she is hopeful that her culinary and hospitality skills will win the skeptics over. The bed-and-breakfast she’s operating needs to succeed so Alexa agrees to allow Briley Forrester, the hotshot reporter from Chicago, to stay as a long-term boarder not knowing his real motives for being amongst the Plain folk.
But when Alexa agrees to host her cousin Anna-Grace Braun, the presence of extended family brings out Alexa’s insecurities and sets Briley on the trail to uncovering a web of hidden truths.
Plans for a secure future and the sweetness of young romance hang in the balance when Alexa and Anna-Grace have to face that their secrets are interconnected, binding the two in ways they could not have imagined. They must trust in a loving, heavenly Father and His plan for their futures.
Kim Vogel Sawyer

{MORE ABOUT KIM VOGEL SAWYER}

Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of twenty-nine novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women’s fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and nine grandchildren.
Find out more about Kim at http://www.kimvogelsawyer.com/.

My take on this book:
Family secrets are something that will eventually find their way to light and with this series there are plenty of secrets! With this story Alexa has opened her bed and breakfast in her grandmother's former home, Of course starting a new business is filled with worries so when a young reporter wants to stay at the B and B for a long term stay she readily agrees, but if she knew what his assignment is would she have chosen to do so. With plenty of secrets and more than a few twists this story zooms along making it hard to put down. While the story is told from several points of view Ms. Sawyer transitions smoothly allowing for wonderful clarity . The characters are very well fleshed and easy to connect with. She has a wonderful way of blending faith into the mix of feelings allowing me to totally understand the struggles the characters face. While there are several unanswered questions When Grace Sings is a satisfying read that leaves me longing for the next book in the series!
After reading the first book in The Zimmerman Restoration Series I couldn't wait to start this one. This book continues right where the last one left off, saying that though I felt like the author provided enough background information that this one could be read without reading the first book in the series, although I highly recommend it as well. Anyone who enjoys family controversy where secrets abound, faith and a down to earth story where the characters really jump from the pages will enjoy When Grace Sings!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Treasure at Devil's Hole ~ Jody M. Mabry ~ Pump Up Your Books tour with review

    16165835
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453776737
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453776735





How would you feel if you knew you had a legendary treasure right in your own back yard? Francis “Bug” Mosser knows, and will do nearly anything to find it, even if it means defying the most villainous person he knows—Mom!

Standing in Bug's way is his nemesis Tad Pricket, the red headed, pock-holed bully who’s suddenly been seen walking Bug’s girl, Melanie, home from school—worse, the walk ends with a kiss. Then there is the mysterious bald stranger and Miss Julia Brandon’s boyfriend who seems a little “too-classy” for the town of Possum Trot.

With the help of his brothers, and best friend Billy—along with his not-so-secret desire to impress Melanie Grainger—Bug goes off in search of fortune and glory, thwarting bad guys, stolen clothes, and explosions to find the one surprise about the treasure that he would have never dreamed of...
 



My take on this book:
When an author is able to create engaging characters that will appeal to young and old alike, and provide a vividly written plot that grabs the imagine and sometimes even tickles the funnybone, he creates a book that is well worth reading, one that leaves you hoping for another book just so you can reconnect with the characters to see what adventure they find themselves in next! That's just the kind of book that Jody M. Mabry has written with The Treasure at Devil's Hole. I found myself drawn in by this young cast of characters, transported back to the mid 1940's when times really were simpler! More than a few twists provides for an adventurous read that held my attention from beginning to end.  Truly a good clean read will certainly appeal to young and old alike. I really look forward to reading more of Mr. Mabry's work and hope that we may get another story revolving around Francis "Bug" Moser and his friends.


Jody M Mabry
I'm Jody Mabry. My writing days started as a pre-teen with interests in everything from ghost 
stories to lost treasure. With my metal detector in hand I would scour the fields and 19th century building surrounding our farm. Dozens of horseshoes and nails later I found myself fantasizing about "golden horseshoes" and "long ago forged nails" which held open a decayed treasure chest of outlaw gold. These dreams led me to writing, and to adventure as I quickly left home after high school making my way to Mississippi and St. Croix Virgin Islands for some adventure on my own. 

I currently live in Minnesota and will be moving to California soon. When all is said and done I will have lived in five states and three countries, spent 30% of my life in tropical regions, and 50% in the bitter cold of Minnesota. I've been to nearly every state and multiple countries, searched for treasure, and explored caverns most people will never know existed. I can only hope that I continue with the adventure as long as possible. 

I love my readers and the young fans who continue to contact me about their favorite characters and how they relate to them. What helps a writer the most is feedback on your likes and dislikes. By sharing in an Amazon review of my books, or contacting me on my website, jodymabry.com, you can help to mold the future of my books.


Follow along on the tour to read what other's are saying about this book:

Monday, May 4
Interview at The Writer’s Life
Tuesday, May 5
Guest Blogging at Mythical Books
Wednesday, May 6
Book Featured at What Is That Book About
Thursday, May 7
Book Featured at Reviews That Reveal
Friday, May 8
Book Featured at Jody’s Book Reviews
Monday, May 11
Tuesday, May 12
Book Featured at Bound 2 Escape
Wednesday, May 13
Interview at Shelf Full of Books
Thursday, May 14
Book Review at Books, Reviews, ETC.
Monday, May 18
Guest Blogging at My Life Loves and Passion
Tuesday, May 19
Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
Wednesday, May 20
Book Review at WV Stitcher
Thursday, May 21
Book Review at The Blended Blog
Friday, May 22
Book Review at Deal Sharing Aunt
Monday, May 25
Book Featured at CBY Book Club
Tuesday, May 26
Wednesday, May 27
Book Review at A Simple Life, Really?!
Thursday, May 28
Book Review at My Book Retreat
Friday, May 29

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Trial By Twelve ~ Heather Day Gilbert

25237819
  • Series: A Murder in the Mountains
  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (May 12, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1511740493
  • ISBN-13: 978-1511740494

Tess Spencer loves her low-key job at the Crystal Mountain Spa, which allows her plenty of down-time with her one-year old daughter and lawyer husband, Thomas. But when a pool installation turns up eight skeletons in the spa's back yard, Tess becomes entangled in a sleuthing job destined to go awry.

As the investigation gets underway, someone dumps a fresh body near the excavated burial site, confirming unspeakable fears. A serial killer has returned to Buckneck, West Virginia...a skilled hunter with a unique taste in prey.

When Tess agrees to help the cunning Detective Tucker gather clues from the inside, she discovers the posh spa hides more than dead bodies. Even as she sifts through layers of deceit, Tess realizes too late that the killer's sights have zeroed in on her.

Unpredictable psychological mystery replete with memorable characters, Trial by Twelve is Book Two in A Murder in the Mountains series.
 

My take on this book:
Trial By Twelve by Heather Day Gilbert takes readers back to Buckneck, WV and this time it seems like there just might be a serial killer or killers on the loose!

Taking a job at Crystal Mountain Spa should have been a very low key,stay out of danger kind of job for Tess Spencer, unfortunately when contractors start digging a new pool out back of the spa they unearth more than anyone bargained for. When numerous bodies are uncovered the local detective assigned to the case asks Tess to help, and she finds herself smack dab in the middle of a case where there could be more than one killer.  As Tess gets closer to the truth she also becomes the next target.  Can figure out who the killer is  before she becomes the next victim?

Heather Day Gilbert's Trial By Twelve provides more  twists than the winding country roads that traverse the hills of Buckneck, WV! A mystery that left me guessing and totally wrong about who the killer was!  A  tightly woven story written in a way that allowed me to feel like I was seeing the events unfold through the eyes of the characters! I love the down to earth, homey feel of the characters and setting. It's very  easy to become a part of the community and story.I love the character of Tess, she is a Glock carrying mom who is determined to look out for others even at the expense of her own safety!  She has a penchant for winding up in the middle of trouble, but that doesn't stop her.Even though Tess grapples with family issues from her past, her strong marriage and the bond she has with the Spencer's really lends a sense of family to the story. While there were several clues as to who the killer might be I found myself totally wrong about who it  was right up until the end which doesn't happen often. I loved the suspense filled mystery but the balance of family and community woven into the story was also enjoyable to read. The breathless ending that the author provided wraps everything up neatly, but the final chapter leaves me anxious to read the next installment in A Murder in the Mountain Series!

Reviewed for Readersfavorite.com

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Gift ~ Wanda Brunstetter


  • Series: The Prairie State Friends (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press; Gld edition (August 1, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616260823







Follow the heart-wrenching story of Adam Beachy, whose mother walked out on him and his family—and away from the Amish faith. Now he balks at the idea of ever marrying and having a family of his own. But when tragedy strikes, Adam is suddenly a father figure to his three nieces and finds himself needing a wife. Despite their differences over her practice of reflexology, Leah Mast seems the best option to fill that role. Can they make it work in a modern-day marriage of convenience? 

My take on this book:
The Gift by Wanda Brunstetter took me on an amazing journey to Amish country, introducing me to characters that became friends as I read their story.

At twenty-five Leah Mast is content to practice her gift of reflexology in her community to help others, but that doesn't stop her longings to become a wife and mother. Adam Beachy thinks that he is content living as a bachelor, after all something from his childhood soured him on marriage, but when he winds up as the caretaker of his three nieces he needs help. Even though he doesn't see eye to eye with Leah and her ideas on reflexology he hires her to take care of the girls. It doesn't take Adam long to realize that he should marry Leah, but will she agree to a marriage of convenience when she longs for so much more? 

The Gift is the second book in The Prairie State Friends series and even though I hadn't read the first book in the series I had no problems following the storyline. Well written, Ms. Brunstetter creates a storyline where I felt like I became a part of the characters lives. The ups and downs of everyday living is captured perfectly. Loss and love, hopes and longings the author allows the characters emotions to flow from the pages. Speaking of characters I really enjoyed Leah, she was such a well written character, one that was truly easy to relate to. Her love of hummingbirds and the information the author wove into the story was interesting to read. The topic of reflexology was something else that held my attention. Adam's character was easy to understand, my heart truly went out to him as he struggled with issues from his past. A riveting plot kept me glued to the pages, one minute the story would be going smoothly and then bam the author would throw in a twist that was sometimes gut wrenching and other times not but each twist kept me wondering what might happen next. There were a few story lines going on within the story and Ms. Brunstetter blends them together perfectly, providing an ending that certainly leaves this reader longing for the next book in The Prairie State Friends series. Fans of Amish fiction will devour The Gift, but anyone dealing with love, loss and family issues really should give this one a try. Wanda Brunstetter has always been one of my favorite authors in the Amish genre because her work always provides inspirational messages while also providing real life issues that happen to take place in an Amish setting!

Reviewed for Readersfavorite.com