Review: The Great Christmas Bowl

The Great Christmas Bowl by Susan May Warren My rating: 5 of 5 starsI do not know whether to consider this a novel or a short story at less than 200 pages, but no matter what category it fits in, it fits under the title of Fabulous! In starting the book, knowing that it was about a woman with five children practically grown, I was unsure that it would be for me as I am a new mom of an 8 week old. I highly doubted that I could relate to someone with so much experience and was uncertain if I would enjoy the read. Yet I love Susie’s writing and could not turn it down. Oh my am I glad that I read this! It is an eye opener and even in such a short page amount one can really find some introspective. The book is full of humor. . .

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Review: Look to the East

Look to the East by Maureen Lang A village under siege. A love under fire. France, 1914 At the dawn of the First World War, the small village of Briecourt is isolated from the early battles while a century-old feud between the Toussaints and the de Colvilles still rages in the streets. But when the German army sweeps in to occupy the town, families on both sides of the feud are forced to work together to hide stragglers caught behind enemy lines. Juliette Toussaint may have been adopted from a faraway island, but she feels the scorn of the de Colvilles as much as anyone born a Toussaint. So when she falls in love with one of the men in hiding—a wealthy and handsome Belgian entrepreneur—she knows she’s flirting with danger. Charles Lassone has been waiting in the church cellar, safe from the Germans for the moment. But if he’s. . .

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Review: TSI: The Gabon Virus

TSI: The Gabon Virus by Paul McCusker & Walt Larimore, M. D. TIME SCENE INVESTIGATORS An ancient disease, a modern pandemic, and the one person who offers hope for a cure has been dead for 350 years In 1666, a horrible disease took the lives of almost every person in Eyam (pronounced Eem), England. Helping the sick and the dying was the mysterious and ghostlike Blue Monk, whose strange appearance terrified even those who were comforted by him. More than three centuries later the disease has returned, more virulent than before. Every day more people are infected; every hour more die. The lives of millions rest in the hands of a bio-team — the Time Scene Investigators — that studies history to find cures for modern diseases. But the newest member of the team, Dr. Mark Carlson, has suffered a heartbreaking loss. With every tick of the clock the world. . .

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What to Expect When You’re Expecting (a review)

What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff This revised third edition of the popular pregnancy guide offers the authoritative yet reassuring advice that parents have come to rely on from all the titles in the What to Expect series. The book is arranged by month, from pregnancy test through labor and delivery. Each section offers answers to frequently asked questions, along with features such as “What You May Be Feeling” and “What You May Be Concerned About.” Every imaginable issue is addressed, including the small but nagging subjects that women may not want to discuss with their doctors, such as how their bodies will look at seven months, or why some pregnant women “glow” while others have acne. While readers who already own this book won’t have to rush to buy the new edition, the revised volume does offer a number of excellent expanded sections and illustrations, including. . .

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The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (Guest Review)

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place-he’s the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians’ time as well as their timely ghostly teachings-like the ability to Fade. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are things like ghouls that aren’t really one thing or the other. This chilling tale is Neil Gaiman’s first full-length novel for middle-grade readers since the internationally bestselling and universally acclaimed Coraline. Like Coraline, this book is sure to enchant and surprise young readers as well as Neil Gaiman’s legion of adult fans. My review rating: 5 of 5 starsAlthough this might be marketed somewhat as a children’s book, The Graveyard. . .

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Jillian Dare (or is it Jane Eyre?) by Melanie Jeschke

Jillian Dare: A Novel by Melanie M. Jeschke Jillian Dare leaves her Shenandoah Valley foster home behind and strikes out on her own as a nanny at a large country estate in northern Virginia. She is delighted with the beauty of her new home, the affection of her young charge Cadence Remington, and the opportunity for frequent travel to the Remington castle in England. She is less certain about her feelings for her handsome but moody employer, Ethan. In spite of herself, Jillian realizes she is falling for her boss. But how can a humble girl ever hope to win a wealthy man of the world? And what dark secrets from the past is he hiding? This contemporary story, inspired by the well-loved classic “Jane Eyre”, will capture readers’ hearts. My review rating: 4 of 5 starsJillian Dare is a fabulous contemporary adaptation of the classic story of Jane Eyre. . .

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B&H: Scrapping Plans by Rebeca Seitz – a review

Scrapping Plans by Rebeca Seitz Scrapping Plans is book three in the SISTERS, INK series of novels for women. At the heart of each story are four unlikely sisters, each separately adopted into the loving home of Marilyn and Jack Sinclair where they still meet as adults in their late mother’s attic to work on scrapbook projects and work through life together. The focus moves now to youngest sister Joy who was adopted from China as an infant. Always the quiet one, she and her husband’s struggle with infertility is being drowned out by sister Kendra’s wedding day, her daddy’s new romance, and another Sinclair sister who may see that double pink line on a pregnancy test before Joy does. Will a trip back to China help Joy understand that God’s timing is perfect, and His plans are the ones to follow? My review rating: 5 of 5 starsI love. . .

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King Raven Series by Stephen Lawhead

Back in November 2007, I talked a bit about the King Raven Series by Stephen Lawhead. Let me give you a refresher. First off, let me tell you about Hood by Stephen Lawhead, then I’ll tell you about the sequel Scarlet. We will then work our way toward the final part of the trilogy Tuck. This book, Hood, was really enjoyable. It was my first Lawhead book and I think I will always look for the sequels and possible other series of his as well. Every once in a while there was a monologue of a character’s thoughts on their past and I hated it and love it at the same time. Part of me would just want to get past it so I could get back to the action and events in the story, while at the same time it was interesting and fairly important to understanding the character,. . .

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B&H: Coming Unglued by Rebeca Seitz – a review

Coming Unglued by Rebeca Seitz Coming Unglued is the second book in the SISTERS, INK series of novels. At the center of the creativity and humor are four unlikely young adult sisters, each separately adopted during early childhood into the loving home of Marilyn and Jack Sinclair. Ten years after their mother Marilyn has died, the multi-racial Sinclair sisters (Meg, Kendra, Tandy, and Joy) still return to her converted attic scrapbooking studio in the small town of Stars Hill, Tennessee, to encourage each other through life’s highs and lows. They’ve even turned their artistic passion into a new local scrapbooking business known as Sisters, Ink. Coming Unglued focuses on painter and musician Kendra who struggles with her sense of self-worth—a struggle that only intensifies when she realizes a “friendship” developed with a guy at a jazz club is actually an emotional affair. With her sisters’ help, Kendra strives to do. . .

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B&H: Sisters, Ink by Rebeca Seitz – a review

Sisters, Ink by Rebeca Seitz Sisters Ink marks the first in a series of novels written by, for, and about scrapbookers. At the center of the creativity and humor are four unlikely young adult sisters, each separately adopted during early childhood into the loving home of Marilyn and Jack Sinclair. Ten years after their mother Marilyn has died, the multi-racial Sinclair sisters (Meg, Kendra, Tandy, and Joy) still return to her converted attic scrapping studio in the small town of Stars Hill, Tennessee, to encourage each other through life’s highs and lows. Book one spotlights headstrong Tandy, a successful yet haunted attorney now living back in Orlando where she spent the first eight years of her life on the streets as a junkie’s kid. When a suddenly enforced leave of absence at work leads her to an extended visit with her sisters in Stars Hill, a business oppor­tunity, rekindled romance,. . .

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A Passion Denied by Julie Lessman: a review

A Passion Denied by Julie Lessman Young Elizabeth O’Connor is the little sister John Brady always longed for. But she wants much more than that from her spiritual mentor. As she blossoms into a beautiful young woman intent on loving John, he must push back the very real attraction he feels for her. His past just won’t let him go there. Unfortunately, Lizzie won’t let him go anywhere else–until she discovers he is not all that he seems. Can true love survive such revelations? Full of the romance and relationships Lessman readers have come to love, A Passion Denied is the final book in the popular Daughters of Boston series. My review rating: 5 of 5 starsI cannot tell you how much I love Julie as a friend and an author. Her writing is incredible and touching and it gets under your skin and into your heart. I cannot highly. . .

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Bittersweet by Cathy Marie Hake: a review

Bittersweet by Cathy Marie Hake Laney McCain has unabashedly had her sights set on Galen O’Sullivan for years. And though Galen has treated her as nothing more than his best friend’s pesky tag-along sister, Laney dares hope that now is the time he will open his eyes and truly recognize the woman she’s become. But the arrival of Ishmael and Ivy Grubb, squatters on the O’Sullivans’ land, diverts Galen’s attention. Though the Grubbs are crass and uneducated, Galen shows mercy and allows them to stay in exchange for help around the farm. But it becomes a decision he lives to regret…. Sometimes the Journey to Love Is Truly Bittersweet My review rating: 4 of 5 starsThis review is of an ARC version of the book “Bittersweet” of the California Historical Series, book #2 by Cathy Marie Hake. After finishing book #1, “Letter Perfect”, I could not help but be intrigued. . .

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Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer: a review of the partial draft

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/midnightsun.html My review rating: 5 of 5 starsMy thoughts on the official partial draft available for download from the website of Stephenie Meyer for Midnight Sun, Edward’s version of Twilight. I absolutely love it. I would buy it easily if it were finished and published and placed for sale. I have never outside of my own imagination gone back to a story and relived it through a different character’s thoughts. It was a fabulous experience, even if only in partiality. I definitely would not recommend to read it first before Twilight or the rest of the series. And I still think that it would be best read as a fifth book, but I think it could be appreciated as a second, but as a reader after reading through Breaking Dawn, I think one would appreciate Edward’s point of view so much more so than immediately. . .

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A Lady of Hidden Intent by Tracie Peterson: a review

A Lady of Hidden Intent by Tracie Peterson He believes them to be strangers… The door opened suddenly, and there she was. Carter forgot what he was saying and simply stared at the vision before him. Hang his imagination; this woman was far more intriguing in the flesh… Yet she knows the truth… Catherine found she couldn’t look away, he was so very handsome. His face had a rather rugged look, perhaps more so than she’d noticed five years ago. How strange that he’d never married… Now that their paths have crossed again, can Catherine break free from the past to embrace the chance for love? A life of privilege becomes only a distant memory when Catherine Newbury’s father is falsely imprisoned and she is whisked away from her home in England to America. Forced to disguise her past and create a completely new life, Catherine takes on a servant’s. . .

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Silent on the Moor by Deanna Raybourn: a review

Silent On The Moor by Deanna Raybourn Despite his admonitions to stay away, Lady Julia arrives in Yorkshire to find Brisbane as remote and maddeningly attractive as ever. Cloistered together, they share the moldering house with the proud but impoverished remnants of an ancient family—the sort that keeps their bloodline pure and their secrets close. Lady Allenby and her daughters, dependent upon Brisbane and devastated by their fall in society, seem adrift on the moor winds, powerless to change their fortunes. But poison does not discriminate between classes…. A mystery unfolds from the rotten heart of Grimsgrave, one Lady Julia may have to solve alone, as Brisbane appears inextricably tangled in its heinous twists and turns. But blood will out, and before spring touches the craggy northern landscape, Lady Julia will have uncovered a Gypsy witch, a dark rider and a long-buried legacy of malevolence and evil. My review rating:. . .

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