Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Missing Max

Missing Max by Karen Young is the story of every parents' nightmare come true. While attending Madi Gras, Max Madison is kidnapped right out from under his teen-age sister's nose.

Within the next six months the Madison family is transformed from a loving, close knit family to three separate people living in the same house. Jane, Max's mom, can't seem to focus on anything but finding Max. Kyle, Max's dad, seems cold and distant and Melanie, Kyle's teen-age daughter from a previous marriage, has become rebellious.

Following are twists and turns as Jane seems to be being stalked, Jane and Kyle's marriage falls to pieces and Melanie makes a startling decision with far reaching consequences that shocks Jane and Kyle to their core.

An absolute page-turner. Clear your calendar before starting this book because you won't want to put it down until the very last page has been turned.

Highly recommended.


My copy of Missing Max was provided by Glass Road PR for my honest review.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sarah's Garden

Sarah's Garden by Kelly Long is the enchanting beginning of a new series.

Sarah King has tended a garden for as long as she can remember. She comes alive when she is planting and tending to the delicate rows of plants. But now she must accept a new duty that takes her out of her comfort zone and away from her garden.

Grant Williams is a veterinarian who has moved to the community to return some of the Lord's blessings by ministering to the Amish by caring for their animals.

Sarah and Grant are drawn together even as they know that as an Amish and an "English" they are destined to be apart.

What follows is a tender story of love and family heritage. Can Sarah give up all she knows for the love of the young vet? Would Grant ask her to?

I couldn't put this one down - and eagerly look forward to the next book in the series.


This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Ransomed Dreams

Congratulations to Jan Marie for winning the giveaway copy.

Ransomed Dreams by Sally John is the story of a marriage changed in an instant.

Eliot and Sheridan are living a charmed life. Eliot is an Ambassador and Sheridan is following her dream of educating under privileged women and giving them a chance at a new life. Until an attack on their lives cripples Eliot and he and Sheridan move to a quiet Mexican city far away from everything and everyone they know.

Eliot lives day by day in a world of pain and confusion. Sheridan puts her dreams to the side and helps her husband cope. Until one day Luke Traynor arrives. Luke was there when the shooting occurred. He pushed Sheridan out of the way and saved her life - and he held her hand as she watched and waited for Eliot to be stable.

Luke has come bearing a message for Sheridan. Her estranged father has suffered a stroke and isn't expected to live. Her sister is asking Sheridan to fly to Chicago to see him one last time - and hear the story she has uncovered about their past.

A wonderful story that shows things are not always what we think they are - and neither are people. Sheridan shows an incredible faith as she pushes her limits with God by her side. But will she reach a point where she just can't push any further?

A great read - be sure not to miss it.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of this book, just leave me a comment with a way to contact you by July 5th.


This book was provided by Tyndale Publishers.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Book Giveaway Rules

Just a quick word on my reviews and book giveaways.

I review every book I read. Some are my own personal books, some are borrowed from the library and some are books provided by publishers.

If I have a book available for giveaway it will be specifically stated in the review. If it is not specifically stated that there is a giveaway - there will not be one. Generally book giveaways are an additional copy provided by the publisher for the express purpose of a giveaway and will be brand new. However at times I will have obtained a Kindle copy of the book so the hard copy I was provided will be available as a giveaway. In that case the book you receive will most likely have been read one time.

By entering the giveaway you agree to abide by the following rules:

1. Only residents of the continental United States are eligible for giveaways.

2. You must leave an email address in your comment (please do not say "my email can be found ........" - if the email is not in the comment your entry will be discarded).

3. You can only win one time in a six month period.

4. I will email you asking for your snail mail address. If you do not respond within fourteen days I will pull another name to win the drawing.

5. If the giveaway is sponsored by a publishing company, all their rules for entering must be adhered to.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Influenza Bomb

Congratulations to Karen for winning the giveaway copy.

The Influenza Bomb by Paul McCusker and Walt Larimore, MD is the second book in the TSI (Time Scene Investigators) series. The series follows a group of men and women who are assigned the task of taking modern day threats and learning how to deal with them by tying them to a situation from the past. In this case they are trying to stop an influenza bug by gaining information regarding the Spanish Flu of 1918.

There is plenty of action, lots of twists and turns. There are sections set in the present as well as in 1918, the 1940s and the 1990s. We also travel from the US to England to Russia to Germany to London, etc.

It was a bit hard keeping track of everyone. There are five members of the TSI, a few members of WHO (World Health Organization), various members of police agencies in the different countries of the world not to mention the "bad guys". Another problem I had was that some of the characters are descendants of other characters in the sections of the book from the 1918 and 1940 periods so the names are similar. I have to admit that a few times I had to look back and try to figure out who was who.

All in all it was a fascinating read - mainly because the things written about could happen, which is a completely scary possibility.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of this book, just leave a comment with your email address by June 30.


This book was provided for review by Glass Road PR.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

They Almost Always Come Home

Congratulations to Miss Kallie who won the prize package from the publisher! This is very exciting because after I pulled her name, she was put into an additional drawing from all the other bloggers who participated in this tour.

Cynthia Ruchti's debut novel, They Almost Always Come Home is the story of a woman waiting for her husband to come home from his canoeing trip - so she can leave him. As the hours stretch by and Greg doesn't return, Libby alternates between worry and imagining what her life would be like if he never returns.

From the publisher:

At the foundation of each relationship resides the need to know love can survive even when feelings fade. In Cynthia Ruchti’s debut novel, They Almost Always Come Home, readers feel the desperation of this foundational yearning in a marriage clearly pulling loose from its moorings. Compounded by other issues—an unrewarding career and mismatched dreams—it’s enough to drive a man into the arms of the Canadian wilderness. When Greg Holden doesn’t return home from a wilderness canoe trip, his wife Libby wrestles with survivor guilt, a new layer of grief, and the belief that she was supposed to know how to fix her marriage. She planned to leave him—but how can she leave a man who’s no longer there? He was supposed to go fishing, not missing.

Libby has to find him before she can discover how their marriage ends. She plunges into the wilderness on an adventurous and risky manhunt, unsure what she will do if she finds him…or if she doesn’t. She expects to meet hardship, discomfort, and danger in the wilderness. She doesn’t expect to face the stark reality of her spiritual longing and a faint, but steady pulse that promises hope for reviving her marriage. If Greg’s still alive.

They Almost Always Come Home provides a glimpse into common, however uncomfortable, marital conflicts. Cynthia weaves a page-turning story, suspense building scene by scene. Her characters mirror ordinary people, living real-to-life situations, allowing readers to relate and sort through a myriad of emotions and life decisions. If fiction can contain adventure, riveting self-awareness, and romance all between the same covers, this is the book!

Author interview:

1. How would you describe your book?

The tagline for the book is “She’d leave her husband…if she could find him.”

When Libby’s husband Greg doesn’t return from a two-week canoe trip to the Canadian wilderness, the authorities write off his disappearance as an unhappy husband’s escape from an oatmeal marriage and mind-numbing career. Their marriage might have survived if their daughter Lacey hadn’t died and if Greg hadn’t been responsible. Libby enlists the aid of her wilderness-savvy father-in-law and her faith-walking best friend to help her search for clues to her husband’s disappearance. What the trio discovers in the wilderness search upends Libby’s assumptions about her husband and rearranges her faith.

It’s my prayer that this fictional adventure story and emotional journey will reveal its own hope-laden clues for those struggling to survive or longing to exit what they believe are uninspiring marriages. How can a woman survive a season or a lifetime when she finds it difficult to like the man she loves?

2. How were you different as a writer and as a person when you finished writing They Almost Always Come Home?

This book changed me in a profound way. It forced me to take a more honest look at myself and my reactions to crises so I could write Libby’s character with authenticity. Libby is a composite of many women. I haven’t experienced what she did, but I identify with some of her struggles and longings, as I hope my readers will. I see my friends in her eyes and know that her tears aren’t hers alone. Her shining moments feed my courage. Libby speaks for me and for many others when she discovers that she is stronger than she realized and weaker than she wanted to admit.

Writing her story was a journey for the author as much as for the character.

3. What did you feel the tug on your heart to become a writer?

My journey toward a lifetime of writing began by reading books that stirred me, changed me, convinced me that imagination is a gift from an imaginative Creator. As a child, I read when I should have been sleeping…and still do. I couldn’t wait for the BookMobile (library on wheels) to pull up in front of the post office in our small town and open its arms to me. Somewhere between the pages of a book, my heart warmed to the idea that one day I too might tell stories that made readers stay up past their bedtimes.

4. What books line your bookshelves?

My bookshelves—don’t ask how many!—hold a wide variety of genres. The collection expands faster than a good yeast dough. I’m a mood reader, grabbing a light comedy one day and a literarily rich work the next. Although I appreciate well-written nonfiction, I gravitate toward an emotionally engaging contemporary women’s fiction story.

Here's something a little extra from the author:

Ten years ago, my husband almost didn’t come home. His canoe adventure with our son Matt soured on Day Two when Bill grew violently ill from what we presume was either pancreatitis or a gall bladder attack. He’s an insulin-dependent diabetic, so any grave illness is a threat. One in the middle of the Canadian wilderness is morgue material.

With no satellite phone with which to call for help, Matt took turns caring for his father and watching the shore for other canoeists happening past their hastily constructed campsite. The few other canoes were headed deeper into the remote areas of the park, not on their way out. None had a satellite phone. And none of them were doctors.

As my husband grew sicker, his diabetes went nuclear. He couldn’t eat, yet needed insulin because his liver thought it should help out by dumping vast quantities of sugar into his system. Even in a hospital setting, the situation would have been difficult to control, and the nearest hospital was light years away across vast stretches of water and woodland, through peopleless, roadless wilderness.

Our son stretched a yellow tarp across the rocks on shore and wrote S.O.S. with charcoal from a dead fire. He scratched out countless notes on pieces of notebook paper torn from their trip journal:

Send rescue! My dad is deathly ill.

You can read the finish to the story here

In addition to publishing a thrilling read, the publishing company is offering a wonderful giveaway of items relating to the story. This giveaway includes:

North Pak 20 inch cinch sack (lime)

Day Runner journal

Canoe Brand wild rice

Canada's brand blueberry jam

Coleman 60-piece mini first aid kit

Wood canoe/paddle shelf ornament

Six original photography notecards from video trailer

"Hope" hanging ornament

Mini Coleman "lantern" prayer reminder

To be entered to win simply leave a comment on my blog by June 16th. Make sure to leave your email so I can contact.