Reading PAL

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Judgment Day by Wanda L. Dyson May 22, 2011

Filed under: Book Review — pattyleblanc @ 4:37 am
Tags: , ,

Summary: The weekly cable news show Judgment Day with Suzanne Kidwell promises to expose businessmen, religious leaders, and politicians for the lies they tell. Suzanne positions herself as a champion of ethics and morality with a backbone of steel–until a revelation of her shoddy investigation tactics and creative fact embelishing puts her in hot water with her employers, calling her credibility into question and threatening her professional ambitions.

Bitter and angry, Suzanne returns home one day to find an entrepreneur she is investigating, John Edward Sterling, unconscious on her living room floor. Before the night is over, Sterling is dead, she has his blood on her hands, and the police are arresting her for murder. She needs help to prove her innocence, but her only hope, private investigator marcus Crisp, is also her ex-fiance–the man she betrayed in college.

Marcus and his partner Alexandria Fisher-Hawthorne reluctantly agree to take the case, but they won’t cut Suzanne any slack. Exposing her lack of ethics and the lives she’s destroyed in her fight for ratings does little to make them think Suzanne is innocent. But as Marcus digs into the mire oef secrets surrounding her enemies, he unveils an alliance well worth killing for. Now all he has to do is keep Suzanne and Alex alive long enough to prove it.

Author Bio:Wanda L. Dyson lives on a working horse farm in Maryland, boarding and keeping a menagerie of critters. She is the author of four acclaimed suspense novels, including Sheperd’s Fall, and she is the co-author of Why I Jumped, the true story of Tina Zahn.

My Review: Suzanne Kidwell is a journalist who thrives on sensationalism. She will do anything to get her story, even to the point of altering a story to make it more newsworthy or just plain making it up to drive up the ratings of her show. Suzanne ends up in trouble, accused of a murder she did not commit. Unfortunately, her only option is to hire a private investigator to find out who the real murderer is. The problem with this is that she hires an ex-boyfriend she once betrayed but feels he is her only hope. He has a partner who is not too keen on taking the case of his ex-girlfriend, knowing the history behind their relationship. Once they do take the case, they begin to uncover things they never expected to find. <br/><br/>This was a highly suspenseful novel that addressed a very different issue. It definitely was a turn of events that I never saw coming. I enjoyed this book and the characters in it. My only problem was with the quick changing of scenes to introduce new characters. There was a lot going on at the beginning, but in the end it was worth completing the book. I would recommend this book to friends who enjoy a good suspenseful novel with a little romance and intrigue.

I received a copy of this book to read and review from the publisher. My review is not biased by the fact that I was given this book. I HONESTLY read and review any book whether bought or given to me. If I did not like the book I would definitely not give a rave review or recommend it.

Advertisements
 

Blog Tour for Bound by Guilt by C.J. Darlington March 25, 2011

Summary: Roxi Gold is a throwaway, shuttled from one foster home to another for most of her life. She longs for a family and will do anything to fit in–even if it’s against the law. Soon she’s traveling the country stealing rare books from unspecting bookstores, until a first edition of The Great Gatsby catches up with her.

Police officer Abby Dawson has seen the worst of society, and not just at work. The job she once loved has become a chore, the world isn’t any safer, and there’s no joy in her life. One fateful night a man’s innocent blood changes both Roxi’s and Abby’s lives forever. One searches for justice; the other finds herself on the run. Will the power of forgiveness set them free, or will they both remain bound by guilt?

Author Bio:  C.J. began writing the story that would become her first novel, Thicker Than Blood, when she was a 15-year-old homeschool student. Later it won the 2008 Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest. She has been in the antiquarian bookselling business for over 12 years, scouting for stores similar to the ones described in her novels before cofounding her own online bookstore. In 2006 C.J. started the Christian entertainment web site www.TitleTrakk.com with her sister, Tracy, and has been actively promoting Christian fiction through book reviews and author interviews. She makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs and cats. Visit her website at www.cjdarlington.com.

My Review: Have you ever made a choice in your life just to please someone and then find out that it didn’t matter what you did anyway you would never please that person? That is what happens to Roxi, a 16-year-old girl who struggles to find the love she never felt from anyone. In trying to do so, she makes choices that she regrets that unfortunately have adverse effects to everything she was trying to achieve in the first place. Roxi is a very likeable character that I can relate to, as I believe many others will also. I understand her lack of trust in people due to her past and her desire to just be loved. She’s trying to make right choices, but the more desperate she gets her choices do not seem to be going very far until a stranger named Jan sees her struggle and following her own instincts decides to follow what she feels God is calling her to do.

Roxi’s story made me cry at some points and rejoice in others. I felt the depth of her character with the raw emotions displayed in every choice she made and the thought process she went through. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and even to teens. I also read C.J.’s first book, Thicker than Blood, and neither one of her books disappoint. Both are definitely worth anyone’s time to read. If you need a good book to travel with, relax with, or just enjoy a good story then Bound by Guilt will fit the bill.

I received a copy of this book to read and review from the author. My review is not biased by the fact that I was given this book. I HONESTLY read and review any book whether bought or given to me. If I did not like the book I would definitely not give a rave review or recommend it.

 

 

An Unusual Topic February 22, 2011

Filed under: Book Review — pattyleblanc @ 1:03 am
Tags: , , , ,

Summary: Battling his own personal demons, Police Chief Jonah Westfall has experienced the dark side of life and is committed to eradicating it. When a pair of raccoons are found mutilated in Redford, Colorado, Jonah investigates the gruesome act, seeking to unmask the perpetrator before the crime escalates and destroys the tranquility of his small mountain town. Jonah fights for answers–and his fragile sobriety–amid a rising drug threat and never-ending conflict with Tia Manning, a formidable childhood friend with whom he has more than a passing history.

But he can’t penetrate every wound or secret–especially one fueled by a love and guilt teetering on madness.

From best-selling author Kristen heitzmann comes a spellbinding tale of severed connections and the consequences of life lived alone.

Author Bio: While homeschooling her four kids, Kristen Heitzmann wrote her first novel, and it grew into a five-book historical series. Since then, she has written more historical novels and several contemporary romantic and psychological suspense novels, including The Still of Night, nominated for the Colorado Book Award; The Tender Vine, a Christy Award finalist; and the Christy Award-winning Secrets. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Jim, and sundry family members and pets. To find out more about this author and other books she has written visit her website at www.kristenheitzmannbooks.com.

My Review: I had a very difficult time getting into this book. I found there to be so many characters introduced in the beginning that I was getting confused. The storyline itself also took me a while to get into. Once it got going I was curious to see what was happening, but it still was just something I couldn’t quite hang onto. That being said, I have read many novels by this author and loved them all so I would recommend her books. Overall, this was still a good book to read, just not one of my all time favorites.

At the very beginning I wondered where the storyline was going when a pair of racoons were found sewn together. This personally for me was very difficult to fathom because I love animals. Jonah is the local police chief in a small Colorado town and it becomes his job to solve this crime. As it continues to happen, the local mayor wants Jonah to let it slide so as not to give their town bad publicity. In the midst of all this is Tia who has a history with Jonah and lives in this small town as well. She also has her own past to deal with. Between the two of them, they have issues that they can’t quite get past and neither one of them is happy.

This was truly a departure from what I usually read, and it was a little hard for me to follow, although I did want to know the outcome so I kept reading. The ending was definitely something unexpected.

I received a copy of this book to read and review from the publisher. My review is not biased by the fact that I was given this book. I HONESTLY read and review any book whether bought or given to me. If I did not like the book I would definitely not give a rave review or recommend it.

To see other books by this publisher and read other reviews visit  www.waterbrookmultnomah.com.

 

Hatteras Girl by Alice J. Wisler November 21, 2010

Summary:Jackie Donovan prays for two things: an honest, wonderful man to marry and to own a bed-and-breakfast on the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina. In the meantime, she works for Lighthouse Views, writing articles about local business owners, and interepidly goes on the blind dates set up by her well-meaning but oh-so-clueless relatives.

There’s one specific property Jackie dreams of purchasing: The Bailey House, a fabulous old home located right next to the ocean, a place where Jackie spent many happy childhood afternoons. But the Bailey House has strange stories and secrets surrounding it-not to mention its outrageous price tag.

When Jackie meets handsome Davis Erickson, who holds the key to the Bailey property, she believes God has answered both her prayers. But as Jackie learns some disturbing details about Davis’ past, she begins to wonder if her heart has lead her astray. Will she risk her long-held dreams to find out the truth?

Author Bio: Alice J. Wisler was born and raised in Japan as a missionary kid. After graduating high school, she got her BS in Social Work from Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia. She’s enjoyed staying at a number of bed and breakfasts in the South, in Japan, and in England, and would secretly like to run one if it just wasn’t so much work. The Outer Banks is one of her favorite vacation destinations. Currently, she lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her husband, Carl, and three children, Rachel, Benjamin, and Elizabeth. In memory of her son Daniel, she gives online grief-writing courses, designs remembrance cards, and speaks across the country on Writing the Heartache. To find out more visit her Web site at www.alicewisler.com.

My Review: I decided to review this book because my family has been talking about going to Hatteras Island for a vacation. My husband used to go there when he was younger and wanted us to take a vacation there. It was fun to read about the area. As for the book itself, I really enjoyed the characters. Jackie was completely torn on her decisions regarding a relationship, but knew without a doubt that she wanted to own the Bailey House with no clear vision of how to make that a reality. When she sees the perfect opportunity that also includes an oh-so-good-looking guy she wants to jump on it. However, things begin to happen that make her second guess her decision. The way things come together in the end wraps things up in a way that leaves me feeling completely satisfied with the resolution. I would recommend this book for those who enjoy a nice relaxing read with elements of mystery and romance that keep you wanting for more. In short, this was a great book that I really did enjoy.

I received a copy of this book to read and review from the publisher. My review is not biased by the fact that I was given this book. I HONESTLY read and review any book whether bought or given to me. If I did not like the book I would definitely not give a rave review or recommend it.

 

Three Reviews October 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — pattyleblanc @ 4:57 am

 TOUCHING THE CLOUDS BY BONNIE LEON

Summary: Kate Evans is an adventurous and independent young woman with a pioneering spirit. When she leaves her home in Washington State to follow her dream of being an Alaskan bush pilot, she knows it will be an uphill battle. But she never expected it to be quite like this. As athe lone woman in a man’s world, she finds that contending with people’s expectations is almost as treacherous as navigating the wild arctic storms.

When she crosses paths with a mysterious man living alone in the forbidding wilderness, she faces a new challenge. Can Kate break through the walls he has put up around his heart? And will fear keep her from realizing her dreams?

Author Bio: Bonnie is the bestselling author of several books of historical fiction. In addition to her work as a writer, Bonnie Leon has a passion for teaching of all kinds, especially on the art and intricacies of storytelling. She teaches at conferences and workshops and says, “There’s nothing more thrilling than to see a student’s eyes light up with understanding as she grasps the concepts of the writing craft and begins to believe she can tell stories someone else will want to read.” Bonnie is also a regular speaker at women’s church groups, writing groups, and business organizations. For more information on Bonnie’s speaking topics and schedule, visit her website at www.bonnieleon.com.  Bonnie lives in Oregon.

My Review: I guess I really am taken with books about women with strong determination and character. That is the case with Kate Evans, the main character in this book. I didn’t realize how close to home this book would be until I started reading it. Kate’s hometown is the same as mine. This for me made the book take on an entirely different turn. I felt a connection with Kate in finding this detail out. Kate has chosen to be a bush pilot in Alaska, which in 1935 was very unheard of for a woman to pilot a plane let alone be a bush pilot. Kate shows her sheer determination, but also sets out on a journey she could never have expected. This was book one in the Alaskan Skies series, and I look forward to hearing more from Bonnie Leon in book two.

For more books by this publisher visit www.RevellBooks.com. For more information on this author visit her website at www.bonnieleon.com.

I received a copy of this book to read and review from the publisher. My review is not biased by the fact that I was given this book. I HONESTLY read and review any book whether bought or given to me. If I did not like the book I would definitely not give a rave review or recommend it.

THE HEALER’S APPRENTICE BY MELANIE DICKERSON 

Summary: Rose has been appointed as a healer’s apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter’s daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her–a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.

When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she’s never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose’s life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

Author Bio: Melanie Dickerson is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). Her novel has been a finalist seven times in RWA-sponsored contests, including winning the 2007 Fiction from the Heartland Contest over all categories. Melanie earned a bachelor’s degree in special education of the hearing impaired from the University of Alabama and has worked as a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.

My Review: I was captivated by this book from page one. I found the entire concept to be quite interesting. The book is set in 1386. I really liked the whole tone of the book and was taken by Rose’s character right away. She just had one of those personalities that a person is drawn to. I loved Rose for her sense of determination, yet she still had an air about her of being unsure of herself at being a young woman trying to figure out who she is. Rose is taken with a man that she knows she should not be, and yet things keep happening that draw them even closer to one another. It is not very often that I read of castles, lords, and dukes, and I really actually enjoyed this setting. Throw in a little romance and you have the setting for a very enchanting story that I would definitely read again and can’t wait to hear more from Melanie Dickerson. Who would’ve thought I would love reading about medievel times so much. You will want to rush out and get a copy of this book for sure and read it over and over again.

For more books by this publisher visit www.zondervan.com. For more information about this author visit www.melaniedickerson.com.

I received a copy of this book to read and review from the publisher. My review is not biased by the fact that I was given this book. I HONESTLY read and review any book whether bought or given to me. If I did not like the book I would definitely not give a rave review or recommend it.

SEEDS OF SUMMER BY DEBORAH VOGTS

Summary: Former rodeo queen Natalie Adams has big troubles. When her father dies unexpectedly, she’s saddled with the family ranch and two half-siblings, whose mother abandoned them years ago and is long-believed dead. A handsome young pastor, Jared Logan, repeatedly comes to her rescue. But Natalie’s strong, independent nature wants nothing to do with his help.

Jared, a city boy do-gooder, has dreams of his own. He’s ready to solve Natalie’s problems, as well as any problems in his church. But his congregation resists change, and the more deeply involved he becomes with natalie’s family, the more he questions his life as a clergyman. Jared’s enthusiasm turns to fear as he contemplates failure.

When Natalie’s stepmother unexpectedly shows up with plans of her own, Natalie must choose between the responsibilities of caring for a family or following her own desires. Love, forgiveness, and faith mingle together in the breathtaking world of the Kansas Flint Hills prairie.

Author Bio: Deborah Vogts and her husband have three daughters and make their home in southeast Kansas, where they raise and train American Quarter Horses. As a student at Emporia State University studying English and journalism, Deborah developed a love for the Flilnt Hills that has never faded. In writing this series, she hopes to share her passion for oen of the last tallgrass prairie regions in the world, showing that God’s great beauty rests on the prairie and in the hearts of those who live there.

My Review: I can’t even imagine the difficult choices Natalie Adams faced when her father died unexpectedly. Natalie had plans for herself, but when her father dies she feels responsible to take on the farm and her two half-siblings. I felt the conflicting emotions running through Natalie and understood her uncertainty of the future. But God had plans for her that she had not foreseen, and they played out so beautifully as she kept finding herself wherever Jared happened to be. Jared was unsure of what the future held for him, but thought he knew what he wanted it to be. Between the two of them, they had some things to figure out with the help of the Lord, and a journey that brought them to a place they could not have imagined. This was a good read with yet again another determined woman with strength of character. I loved it and look forward to more in the Seasons of the Tallgrass series.

For other books by this publisher visit www.zondervan.com. For more information about this author visit www.deborahvogts.com.

I received a copy of this book to read and review from the publisher. My review is not biased by the fact that I was given this book. I HONESTLY read and review any book whether bought or given to me. If I did not like the book I would definitely not give a rave review or recommend it.

 

The Heart’s Journey Home July 13, 2010

Filed under: Book Review — pattyleblanc @ 11:12 pm
Tags: , , ,

Summary: Three years after Kate Sterling’s heart was shattered by the unexpected death of her husband, she packs up what is left of her life and moves back to Harvest Bay, Ohio, with her young daughter. She soon discovers that her sleepy hometown has changed–and that she has been given a second chance at love. But is God leading her to a love linked to the past … or to one who will walk with her into thee future?

Author Bio: Jen Stephens grew up in a small Ohio town, where she developed a passion for writing at an early age. She currently lives in the Nashville, Tennessee area with her husband and two young daughters, and teaches third grade at a Christian school.

My Review: What a dreamy book. How can you get any better than romance with a twist of complications? Of course, romance is always filled with complications, but this one has more than its share. Every one of the characters made me feel like I was right in their living room with their family experiencing their family bond. I loved the sprinkling of faith and scripture throughout that wrapped up the thoughts being portrayed. I felt genuine emotions throughout right along with the characters, and even cried at some points. This was such a moving story, and I would definitely recommend it to all my friends.

I received a copy of this book to read and review from the author. My review is not biased by the fact that I was given this book. I HONESTLY read and review any book whether bought or given to me. If I did not like the book I would definitely not give a rave review or recommend it.

 

Finding Jeena by Miralee Ferrell July 8, 2010

Filed under: Book Review — pattyleblanc @ 3:55 am
Tags: , , ,

Summary: Jeena Gregory thought she’d made it. She has everything a woman could ask for and a budding career promises more. But when rumors around town cast her boss in a shady light, Jeena starts to question her employer’s integrity. Was she wrong to trust this man and this job?

When the boss disappears, salaries go upaid, and Jeena overhears several hush-hush phone calls, she realizes her carefully crafted world is crumbling. Shaken to the core at the threat of losign everything, Jeena is suddenly confronted with her prejudices–and with a God she had long forgotten.

Author Bio: Miralee Ferrell is the acclaimed author of The Other Daughteer; Love Finds You in Last Chance, California; and Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon. She lives in Washington with Allen, her husband of more than 37 years, and has two grown children. She serves on staff at her local church and is actively involved in ministry to women. Read more at www.MiraleeFerrell.com.

My Review: I absolutely loved this novel, though I am begrudgingly writing this review, not for lack of good storyline but for fear of what I may reveal of my own not so pretty character. This novel came too close to home on so many levels and reached into my heart to make me take a look at myself that I didn’t really want to see or even believe was there. Jeena is a lot like me and we have a similar story. Jeena grew up not having much and therefore strived to achieve the best for herself. In doing so, she tried to forget what and who she was before and put herself higher than she was. What was most important to her was herself. When Jeena found herself in a situation she could never have imagined, she found out about her own true character and did not like what she saw. As I said before, this is what “Finding Jeena” has done for me. I see a lot of the attitudes that Jeena had reflected in myself. I think when you see certain things in another person you may not always see them in yourself until they are pointed out to you. This novel has become one of my favorites because I do believe that it has impacted my life. I hope to make some changes in my life with the help of God guiding me to be a better person and look at people the way he sees them. I would highly recommend this book to anyone because I believe it can speak to just about any person who reads it. The storyline was heartfelt and engaging. It drew me into the story and gave me a dose of reality that was much needed. Funny how God works sometimes isn’t it?

I received a copy of this book to read and review from the author. My review is not biased by the fact that I was given this book. I HONESTLY read and review any book whether bought or given to me. If I did not like the book I would definitely not give a rave review or recommend it.