Saturday, May 30, 2015

Restoreth My Soul by Debbie Viguie

Detective Mark Walters is reluctant to involve Rabbi Jeremiah Silverman in another case, but he has no choice when a body is found in a home where the walls are filled with Hebrew writing. Mark needs the Hebrew translated immediately in hopes of discovering who may have killed the man who apparently, as he was dying, wrote one last word on the wall, "restoration".

Jeremiah is reluctant to become involved in the case because when he arrives at the scene he realizes he knows the dead man. A man who approached him months before wishing to speak to him, but never kept his appointment with Jeremiah. Plus this is the beginning of one of the busiest times of year for the Rabbi.

Both Mark and Jeremiah wish to keep Cindy out of the mix of this case as well, but unfortunately the stakes are high for the killer and Cindy is reluctantly drug into the whole mess as well. Cindy thinks that she has recovered from her ordeal in Hawaii, but when the stress of the case and stress at work between the pastor and the music minister become too much Cindy realizes just how fragile she is.

This is book 5 in the Psalm 23 Mysteries and Jeremiah's past is still a mystery. I'm enjoying each installment, but am ready for Jeremiah's secret to be revealed. He almost spilled it to Cindy when he was on some pain meds this time around, but to his great relief he didn't. He is also beginning to have feelings for Cindy that he is trying to deny. Well, actually they are both trying to deny their attraction to each other which really is complicated. Jeremiah's a Rabbi and Cindy is a secretary at a Presbyterian church, how can they work that out? I'm seriously hooked on this series and keep telling myself that each one I read will be my last for a while, but once I finish one I find myself going and buying the next! Once again if you are a fan of mysteries, suspense and a bit of romance check this series out, you won't be disappointed!

Check out my reviews of the first 4 books in the series:

The Lord is my Shepherd
I Shall Not Want
Lie Down in Green Pastures
Beside Still Waters




Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer

Charlotte Atherton is disappointed when the school she works at closes its doors unexpectedly. Having been given guardianship of Lily, one of the young students, Charlotte is afraid that Lily's grandfather is behind the closing of the school. Charlotte is determined that Lily's grandfather not be able to get his hands on Lily. Charlotte sets out to protect Lily and two other students in her charge by disappearing in the middle of the night.

Stone Hammond is a retriever/bounty hunter. Hunting down Charlotte and Lily has taken some time, but he finally has them in his sights. Expecting a ruthless kidnapper in Charlotte, Stone is not prepared for the way Lily and the other two children care for her and how much Charlotte cares for them. Stone has a reputation to keep as the man who always gets his quarry, and this is his last retrieval before he settles down with land and a home of his own. Despite what Charlotte says about Lily's mom giving custody to Charlotte, Stone refuses to be taken in by her and must find out for himself if her claims are true. What Stone doesn't count on is his heart becoming involved with Charlotte and the children.

I really enjoyed this story. I loved the characters from the beginning. Lily is hysterical with her love of dime store novels and excitement at meeting one(or two) of her heroes. Charlotte is likeable even though she has a lot of issues with trust. And I absolutely love Stone. He starts out a little gruff, but it isn't long before his soft side shows itself. I think that is what makes him loveable, he's tough enough to protect Charlotte and the kids, but yet confident enough to show his soft side to them as well. Of course there is also the element of suspense that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. I'm definitely a fan of Karen Witemeyer's writing and always look forward to a new book from her.


Beside Still Waters by Debbie Viguie

Cindy Preston, church secretary at First Shepherd, has gone on vacation to Hawaii by herself. It is a much needed vacation after all of the trouble she's managed to get into at home. But of course trouble seems to follow Cindy. On a suggestion from her cab driver Cindy decides to try a local restaurant. When she stumbles upon a dead body Cindy is once again plunged into murder and mayhem. When Cindy is kidnapped this may turn out to be her last case she is involved in.

Jeremiah Silverman's past life is slowly catching up with him. He has a secret and he is preparing himself to move on in order to keep that secret. Arriving at the airport to pick up Cindy from her vacation Jeremiah becomes extremely worried when she doesn't show up. Knowing that Cindy would have contacted him if something came up he immediately knows something has happened to her. He heads to Hawaii on the next flight to find her. Using his skills from his past Jeremiah is able to track Cindy's movements while on vacation. Hopefully he won't be too late to find and rescue Cindy alive.

This is the 4th book in the series. Yes, I am hooked. I just went and bought book 5. I wish I had read these as they came out and then I would have been able to spread out the cost of purchasing a bit more! It looks like so far there are 11 books in the series. I have some catching up to do, but the pocketbook may need to take a rest after book 5. So, Beside Still Waters...I really enjoyed it. Loved the suspense! I love both Cindy and Jeremiah's characters. I am definitely waiting impatiently to find out what Jeremiah's big secret is. I certainly hope I don't have to wait until the author finishes the last book of the series! Both Jeremiah and Cindy are strong characters. All that Cindy went through in this book would have done a normal person in, but Cindy was determined to get away from her captors. I love it when Jeremiah goes into rescue mode, like I said, I am definitely curious to find out exactly what or who he was in his past. I am also impressed with how the author has been able to keep each book fresh and not just regurgitating the same plot over and over again. That's definitely what keeps me buying the next book each time I finish one. So as I seem to be saying in every review of this series, "If you are a fan of suspense novels then definitely try these, they won't disappoint!"

Check out my reviews of other books in the series:

1. The Lord is my Shepherd
2. I Shall Not Want
3. Lie Down in Green Pastures

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lie Down In Green Pastures by Debbie Viguie

In this installment of the Psalm 23 Mysteries Cindy is still fairly new to the whole murder thing. Murder seems to find her though. She and Jeremiah have been keeping away from each other. Jeremiah has secrets to hide and he can't risk getting close to someone like Cindy who has a way of ferreting out secrets.

When dead bodies start piling up Cindy is sure that they have something to do with a new developer that has moved into town who is determined to purchase camp Green Pastures.

Little do Cindy and Jeremiah know to what lengths the person that actually wants Green Pastures will go to to get it.

Well after reading this installment it is obvious that Jeremiah has some sort of background in the military. A job so violent that Jeremiah would rather do anything than go to that place in his psyche. It serves him well though when he once again is called upon to play the rescuer.

Cindy? That girl has a knack for being at the wrong place and the wrong time! But she has some serious skills with darts! All of her practice on her picture of her brother pays off in this book! I'm definitely a fan of this series and have already gone and purchased the next book in the series for my Kindle. I think I may go broke by the time I collect all of them! Debbie Viguie knows how to keep the reader turning the pages in these suspense novels. I highly recommend them if you like a good suspense story.

Check out my reviews of the first two books in the series:

The Lord Is My Shepherd
I Shall Not Want


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Doodle Lit by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver

Everyone likes to doodle right? How many times have I come out of church or a conference with my notes embellished with doodles? Doodling helps us to think!

Doodle Lit is filled with classic authors such as Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, William Shakespeare, etc. etc. There is a bit of a synopsis of each author and what they are famous for. There are also quotes from their famous works...with a bit of a Doodle Lit twist!

The fun part though are the activities in the book. A couple that I did were:

In this one I got to draw Mr. Darcy's dog and pick a name I thought he would use. Also I got to color his outfit. I'm a very poor "drawer" but doodling isn't an exact science for sure!

In this one the book gave directions on how to draw sheep and then asks you to fill up the next page with sheep. It was entertaining for a bit while I tried to draw sheep. Each one turned out a bit different.

At first I thought Doodle Lit was geared more towards adults, but then I came across a page that said to get your parent to help you cut out something. So then I modified my idea and came to the conclusion that Doodle Lit can be for any age. I think an adult would know more of the authors than a young person though. The target age says for children 8 and up.

The pages are perforated so that you can tear them out, and each page that requires some form of cutting has a back page that is just a design so that you don't have to worry about ruining another doodle.

You can use colored pencils, crayons, markers, glue and glitter or anything else to help you embellish some of the activities.

If you like to doodle, and if you are a fan of classic literature then check this book out and have fun being creative!

**Thanks to the publisher for my copy for review, all opinions are my own**

 


Friday, May 15, 2015

The Berenstain Bears God Bless Our Country by Mike Berenstain

The Berenstain Bears learn about Independence Day. The Cubs ask lots of questions about the birth of our country and why it is so special. Mama Bear answers all of their questions as she gets ready for the big celebration. Papa Bear wears his army uniform in the parade and the cubs decorate their bikes in red, white and blue so they too can participate in the festivities. Spiritual aspects of the story are how we should be thankful to God for allowing us the freedom to live in this country. As always, the Berenstain Bears never get old and always have a great message. This book comes with stickers that depict the different scenes in the book. And the inside back cover once again asks questions of the readers to help them apply the principle learned in the story. Every time I get a new Berenstain Bear book my grandchildren can't wait to sit down with me to read it.

**Thanks to the publisher through BookLook Bloggers for my copy for review. All opinions are my own**


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Find Momo Coast To Coast by Andrew Knapp

I loved the first Find Momo book and couldn't wait to get my hands on the new one! I was not disappointed. I loved all of the pictures and then the added bonus of searching out Momo in each one made the book even more fun. Reading about Momo and Andrew's trip and seeing all of the pictures gave me just a bit of desire to have an adventure of my own. Finding Momo can be fairly simple in some of the photographs, but in others it is almost impossible to find him! It truly looks as if Momo and his companion had a wonderful adventure out exploring the country. I look forward to seeing where Momo plans to hide next time!

About the Authors:

Andrew Knapp is a freelance interface designer and photographer from northern Ontario who desires to make everyday routines into creative adventures. Along with his commercial photography and design work, he's filmed a TEDx Talk, collaborated on an Instamissions project with MTV and Sony, and co founded the We Live Up Here collaboration exploring life in Sudbury, Ontario.

Momo is an adorable brown-eyed border collie, Andrew's BFF, and genius at hiding. He has over 340,000 Instagram fans.

About the Book:

Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Quirk Books
Author: Andrew Knapp

More Information:

Visit WWW.GOFINDMOMO.COM

**I received my copy of Find Momo from Quirk Books publisher for purposes of review. All opinions are my own**

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Lord is my Shepherd by Debbie Viguie

Cindy Preston is the secretary at First Shepherd. She hates Mondays and especially this Monday as it is the beginning of Holy Week for the church. Cindy decides to get to work early this Monday to get a jump start on the week. What she finds is the sanctuary door unlocked and open. Thinking that the youth group left it open accidentally the night before Cindy goes in to make sure all is cleaned up. When she trips over something in the dark she thinks that something was left after the youth event, but what she discovers is a dead body!

Hearing Cindy's screams from his synagogue next door rabbi Jeremiah Silverman rushes over to help. This is only the beginning of Jeremiah rushing to save Cindy.

A serial killer is on the loose and it looks like he is performing for Cindy. Everywhere a dead body turns up Cindy seems to be in the area or has been in the area recently. The killer is reenacting the events leading up to the crucifixion. Arranging his murdered victims into tableaux settings, the police, Cindy and Jeremiah try to figure out where the killer will strike next, but they always seem to be a step behind. How many more people will die before he is found and is Cindy on his list of victims?

This is the first in the Psalm 23 Mysteries and I have to say I am hooked! I'm looking forward to plunging into the next book. I think Cindy and Jeremiah are the perfect couple to solve crimes, but their religious backgrounds may get in the way of them having a relationship. Cindy is Christian and Jeremiah is Jewish which makes for some interesting dialogue between the two. I loved Cindy at the seder, not being used to alcohol her response after getting a couple of glasses of wine down was quite entertaining. While the murders are grisly I really enjoyed the suspense of this story and am looking forward to seeing what trouble Cindy and Jeremiah get into next.


  

Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey



Antanasia and Lucius are set to become the rulers of the vampire realm. First though the elders have to vote. There of course is dissention among the leaders and some are set on undermining Lucius’s authority and discredit Antanasia’s ability to rule. 

Antanasia has been having hallucinations and they are scaring her. She wakes up from “dreams” that are so vivid it is like they really are happening. When Lucius is accused of murdering another vampire it is up to Antanasia to uphold the law and become the ruler she is meant to be. Seeing that he is going to be thrown into the dungeon Lucius requests Raniero to give up his beach bum ways and come back to Romania to help Antanasia in the coming days. 

Mindy, Antanasia’s best friend also arrives being concerned about Jessica (Antanasia). Finding that another friend is hanging around Antanasia Mindy is a bit jealous. Ylenia is Antanasia’s cousin and has become a friend to her. Mindy knows there is something about Ylenia that is not right and she is determined to get to the bottom of it. 

Will Antanasia be able to become the ruler that the vampire world needs in order to save her husband Lucius from being destroyed? 

Ok, first off that name! I have to admit at first I was pronouncing it Anastasia. It finally sunk into my brain that it was spelled Antanasia NOT Anastasia. I even went back and looked to make sure it wasn’t a typo! So Antanasia it is and I had a time the rest of the book getting used to that! I really enjoyed the book; I wish I would have read it soon after reading the first one in the series though as I had forgotten a lot of what happened. It seems that for part of the book Antanasia/Jessica was a weakling and unable to make a decision of her own. I really liked watching her get hold of herself and rise to her position. Raniero had a big part in bringing Antanasia to that position. Oh Raniero…sigh! No wonder Mindy melts when she sees him. But she finds out soon enough that he and Ylenia have a past and it breaks her heart. No matter that she has broken up with him and tried to remake him over and over. Raniero was probably my favorite character and then Lucius. Wow, Lucius is one strong vampire and definitely deserves to rule the vampires. I would suggest reading Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side before reading this one. I enjoyed it and there is a bonus short at the end of Jessica Rules the Dark Side about Jessica/Antanasia’s and Lucius’s wedding.


The Princess by Lori Wick



Prince Nikolai must marry by his 26th birthday. Nikolai was married before but his wife passed away. Now Nick has left it up to his parents to find him a wife. Still mourning his wife Nikolai must trust their judgment on who would fit him the most. 

Shelby Parker will make the perfect Princess. She agrees to marry Nikolai and perform the duties of Princess.

Shelby and Nikolai have a rocky start. Shelby is insecure and timid about what her position is. She is also nervous about mentioning Nikolai’s first wife, afraid to offend him.  Will Nikolai ever be able to accept this new Princess or is their marriage doomed for failure?

This is one of my absolute favorite standalone books of Lori Wick’s. Who doesn’t love a princess story? And the “Happily Ever After” ending that all must expect when we read a princess story is perfect. I did get a little frustrated with Shelby a couple of times in not opening up to Nikolai, but that was understandable considering how Nikolai scared her at the beginning of their relationship by showing some anger at her. It led to some insecurities in Shelby that kind of set the tone for their future. Aside from that I loved the romance of the story and how Nikolai was eventually able to choose to love Shelby and show that to her in some sweet ways. If you have never read The Princess then I would say it is a MUST read in the Lori Wick collection.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Place Called Home series by Lori Wick



 A PLACE CALLED HOME:

Christine arrives in Baxter, Wisconsin on the run from her hometown of Spooner. Her grandfather has just passed away and his partner wishes to get Christine out of the way in order to inherit all of her grandfather’s money. When Christine is robbed and injured she is taken to Mark Cameron the town doctor. When he hears Christine’s story he comes up with a plan to help her. The Cameron men are always dropping in on their grandmother to make sure all of her needs are met, Mark asks Christine to work for his grandmother. It would provide a home for Christine and companionship for his grandmother. Grandma Em is not happy with the situation at first, but soon grows to love Christine as her own granddaughter. The Cameron family is just what Christine needs to help her wounded soul heal. They teach her of the love of Christ and it isn’t long before Christine commits her life to the Lord as well. Luke Cameron is Mark’s twin brother. At first he too is leery of having Christine stay at Grandma Em’s, but it doesn’t take long for Christine’s sweet spirit to captivate his heart. Christine is still in danger though from her grandfather’s former partner. The Cameron’s just don’t know the lengths that he will go to make sure Christine is no longer alive. 

The Place Called Home series is another favorite series by Lori Wick. Luke and Christine are perfect for each other and I enjoyed their romance throughout the book. Lori Wick is absolutely one of my favorite authors. She is retired from writing now, but I grew up reading her stories and have collected everything she ever wrote. One thing I love about each story is that she leaves no doubt in the readers mind about the need for a character to repent of sin and turn their life to serving the Lord. Many life lessons have been learned through reading her books. 
 

A SONG FOR SILAS:



Silas Cameron just gets home from a trip selling his and Luke’s horses just to turn around and head to help out a friend who is laid up with a broken leg. Years ago Silas went to help the same family when their beloved mother and wife passed away. Silas and Amy became fast friends, almost like brother and sister really. Now Silas is looking forward to seeing Amy and continuing their friendship. It seems that the friendship starts off right where they left off years before, but then Silas’ feelings change to more romantic ones for Amy. 

Amy was dumped by her fiancĂ© and has no intention of allowing someone to break her heart again. Amy is quite happy to have her old friend Silas helping her and her father on their farm. Amy and her father are also happy to have Silas there when they hear of some bandits robbing farmhouses around the town. It is even more concerning when they hear rumblings in town that the robberies may be connected to someone that works at the bank where Amy’s uncle is president. 

Silas’ heart is broken when he finds that even though Amy returns his feelings she is unwilling to leave her father and make a life with Silas. Will Amy be able to overcome her fear and trust the Lord to take care of her no matter where she is? And will she ever be able to trust Silas after being betrayed by her former fiancĂ©? 

I really enjoyed this installment of the Place Called Home series. Silas is so sweet, of course what Cameron man isn’t? I felt for Silas in his loneliness, having to face Luke and Christine’s love for each other every day was difficult, but yet Silas was willing to trust in the Lord to provide the perfect mate for him whenever He saw fit. There is also a bit of mystery in this series that adds a touch of suspense to each story that I found enjoyable. I’m looking forward to joining the Cameron family once more in reading Paul’s story.




 THE LONG ROAD HOME:


Paul Cameron is excited to start preaching in his new church home. He’s also excited to find a woman to share in his calling. Corinne is everything he ever wanted in a woman and she will make an exceptional pastor’s wife. Even though Corinne is sickly Paul feels that the Lord will grant healing for her and they can serve Him together for the rest of their lives. When that doesn’t happen Paul is heart-broken and angry and decides to walk away from his God.

Abby’s husband Ian has just been killed. Running from a father-in-law that blames her for his son’s death Abby arrives in Baxter to be with her aunt, a nurse who works for Mark Cameron. Abby arrives just in time for the Cameron family to hear news of Paul. The family is devastated at Paul’s bitterness and desire to separate himself from the family. When Paul is injured in a logging accident they send Abby to care for him.

When Abby comes in to move Paul from his bunkhouse all he can see is her red hair. Lost in pain and bitterness Paul is less than nice to Abby. Abby is attracted to Paul, but her heart is still healing from her husband’s death. Paul is fighting his attraction to Abby so he treats her even worse because he resents her being there and not Corinne. Can these two hurting souls help each other heal and possibly find love and purpose and forgiveness?

I love The Long Road Home! It is such an encouragement to me to read a story about God’s faithfulness in wooing one of His wayward children back to Himself. It makes me thankful to know that I serve a God that is patient and full of loving kindness. The author showed how bitter and low Paul had gone and how God was right there with him when he repented, ready to bring comfort and forgiveness. I think this book is my favorite of this series.

 A GATHERING OF MEMORIES:


Ross Beckett whom we met in The Long Road Home is now a lawyer in Baxter. Setting up his own practice and getting ready to move into a home with one of his friends.

Silas and Amy are still childless. When they hear that 5 children just lost their mother and their father is missing, Amy is determined to take them all in. Ranging in age from 18 down to 5 years old, Silas and Amy take in the children providing for their needs. When Aaron Marks comes along claiming that he is the new owner of the Jackson family farm Amanda, the oldest daughter needs to consult a lawyer to find out if the paperwork is legal. Ross has never met anyone as vulnerable as Amanda and he is smitten instantly. But Ross is afraid of his feelings for Amanda, knowing that she does not know the Lord. 

I loved catching up with the whole Cameron family in this last book of the series. I was so happy for Silas and Amy to finally be able to fill up their home with children. Getting an instant family overnight is pretty draining, but the Cameron family is up to the challenge. I kind of got frustrated with Ross and his see-saw feelings for Amanda. Even after she comes to Christ he is whishy-washy. At first it was understandable because he felt he was in a relationship with another girl, but once that was over he still had unsettled feelings. I think he did kind of play with her affections a bit. But everything ended up Happily Ever After by the end so that was good for me.

A Place Called Home series is another one of my favorites from Lori Wick. I’ve read it many times and will probably read it many more in the coming years.