Monday, March 18, 2013

Firefly Island

By: Lisa Wingate

Mallory Hale, a thirty-four year old congressional staffer, is carrying marked-up papers from the Clean Energy Bill when all of a sudden a gust of air causes them to fall from her grasp.  Mallory panics as it is her job to make sure that no one sees this bill during the edit stage.  As she is sprawled out on the floor trying to protect the papers she is approached by a striking man named Daniel.  Daniel helps Mallory pick up the papers and she is quickly lost in his eyes. 

Daniel also feels a connection with Mallory and does not hesitate to ask her out when the two run into each other a second time.  They quickly fall in love and Mallory finds herself in an interesting position.  Daniel is offered a job in the small town of Moses Lake, Texas.  He wants Mallory to join him and his young son Nick in this new adventure.  Is she ready to leave everything that is familiar behind for the sake of love?  Mallory says “yes” to Daniel’s marriage proposal and suddenly finds herself in a vehicle traveling across the country with her new husband and son.  When they arrive Mallory quickly learns that this new life is not exactly what she dreamed it would be.  Join Mallory on her journey in this new town and be there as she experiences the unraveling of God’s plan for her life.

I enjoyed this book and was captivated from the beginning.  My only disappointment was the ending of the book. Throughout the book there was a lot of suspense surrounding Daniel’s new boss.  I found myself disappointed with parts of his story as I did not feel that the suspense that was built was in line with what ended up happening.  I guess I was expecting something a little more dramatic.  Overall, I still thought the book was well written and I would definitely recommend this book.  I also look forward to reading more from this author.   

*This book was provided by Bethany House for my honest review.

Wishing on Willows

By: Katie Ganshert

Do you ever find yourself so wrapped up in a book that you do not want it to end?  That is how I felt with Katie Ganshert’s sequel to Wildflowers from Winter.  Wishing on Willows drew me in from the beginning.  Robin Price lives in the small town of Peaks, Iowa.  She is a widow and a mother to her three- year-old son named Caleb.  After the passing of her husband, Robin decides to open a café with some convincing from her friend Bethany.  The opening of a café was a dream that Robin and her late husband, Micah, shared.  Life was moving along just fine until Ian McKay shows up.  Ian is a developer and his goal is to build condos in the very building where Robin operates her café.  Robin loves her small town and is determined to fight with everything she has in order to keep her café and the ministry next store open.

Conflict arises when Robin finds herself attracted to Ian and experiencing feelings that have been buried for so long.  How can she have feelings for another man and especially a man who is trying to close her café?  Ian is in Iowa to do his job and close this deal.  Trying to earn his father’s approval means the world to him and he knows this deal is important for the family business.  Ian is also holding onto hurts from his past.  Will past hurts bring Ian and Robin to a place of common ground?  Will they be able to let go of the past and embrace the future that God has for their lives?   

I was so caught up in this story that I was disappointed when it ended.  I found myself wanting to know more about what the future holds for these characters.  Unfortunately, this is only a two part series.  I thought Katie did a wonderful job with developing the characters.  Although I have not experienced the same type of hurt that these characters have I found myself relating to the many of the lessons they learned along the way.  I would definitely recommend this book and look forward to reading more books from this author.   

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my honest review.

Humble Heart: A Book of Virtues (Humble Bumbles)

By: Amy Meyer Allen

This was an adorable children’s book containing nine lessons about the following virtues: humility, love, thoughtfulness, faithfulness, mercy, encouragement, comfort, courage and joy.  The characters of each lesson bring this 192 page book to life.  Characters include: Humble Honeybee, Babo Bear, Caroline Cat and many others.  I like how the author introduced the nine characters at the beginning of the book by including their pictures along with the lesson that each of them learn.  Each chapter contains about 20 pages and about half of those pages are pictures of the characters. 

I thought this was a really cute book and enjoyed the scriptures at the end of each chapter.  I think this would be a good teaching tool for children.  The stories are very short which would be good for younger children.  I also think they would enjoy the colorful pictures.  This is definitely a book I would recommend to others.  

*I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House.       

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Secretly Smitten

By: Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt & Denise Hunter

I had the pleasure of reading the first book in this series called “Smitten” and enjoyed my visit back to Smitten just as much.  The focus of these four novellas was on the Thomas sisters, their mother Anna and their Grandma Rose.  The story begins with the dog tags of Grandma Rose’s long lost love, David Hutchins, being found in her attic.  How did David’s dog tags end up in the attic if he was killed in action and never returned to Smitten?  Rose’s granddaughters were determined to find out how this happened.  While trying to solve this mystery the girls find themselves on their own journey to love. 

I really enjoyed the stories and felt they flowed very well for being written by four authors.  I found the book to be a very light-hearted read but it did have some depth as the family dynamics came to light.  I believe the stories gave a realistic view of what happens when families love but also experience hurt.  I personally would love to see these stories turned into a movie.  I recommend this book and look forward to the new release in January 2014.  Also, be sure to check out to listen to the Smitten song, recipes and more.      

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <>: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”