Saturday, February 21, 2015

Great conclusion to a fantastic series-- Sabotaged

There is only one bad thing about Dani Pettrey's conclusion to her Alaskan Courage series -- and that is the fact that it's the conclusion!  Sabotaged is a great wrap-up to the series, but I hate for my time with the McKenna family to end.

As with each of the first four books, this story is filled with faith, suspense, and romance, while focusing primarily on one of the McKenna siblings.  This time the main characters are the youngest McKenna brother, Reef, and his search-and-rescue partner Kirra Jacobs.

While working as part of a team involved with the annual Iditarod race, Reef and Kirra are thrown into a complicated, life-and-death mystery.  Along the way, they both deal with issues of faith and healing as they learn more about each other and about their relationships with God.  As you can expect from Dani, the McKennas and their friends and partners face a multitude of dangers in the frozen wilds of Alaska.

I highly recommend Sabotaged and the entire Alaskan Courage series to fans of great Christian romantic suspense.

Thanks to Dani and Bethany House for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book:

Growing up, goody-two-shoes Kirra Jacobs and troublemaker Reef McKenna were always at odds. Now paired together on Yancey’s search-and-rescue canine unit, they begin to put aside old arguments as they come to see each other in a different light.

Then a call comes in from the Iditarod that will push them to their limits. Kirra’s uncle, a musher in the race, has disappeared. Kirra and Reef quickly track the man, but what they discover is harrowing. Frank’s daughter has been kidnapped. In order to save her, the man must use his knowledge as a mechanical engineer to do the kidnapper’s bidding or she will die.

Kirra and Reef, along with the entire McKenna family, are thrown into a race to stop a shadowy villain who is not only threatening a girl’s life, but appears willing to unleash one of the largest disasters Alaska has ever seen.


To help set the stage for Reef's and Kirra's adventure, here is a video which shows some of what is involved in an Iditarod race.

And find even more connection with the entire series by visiting Dani's Pinterest board.

About the Author:

Dani Pettrey is a wife, mom, grandma, and the acclaimed author of the Alaskan Courage romantic suspense series, which includes her bestselling novels Submerged, Shattered, Stranded, Silenced, and Sabotaged. Her books have been honored with the Daphne du Maurier award, two HOLT Medallions, a Christy Award nomination, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing’s Best Award, among others.

She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves—the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland, where they enjoy time with their two daughters, a son-in-law, and a super adorable grandson

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mixed Review -- Remember the Lilies

For the most part, I enjoyed this first book I've read by Liz Tolsma -- Remember the Lilies. I enjoy a variety of World War II fiction, especially when I can learn a little more of the history of that era mixed in with the fiction.  The internment camp in the Philipines is something I have never read about before and provides a new and interesting perspective on the war. Many of the characters are very well developed and interesting to get to know.  Irene's Aunt Anita shines through her pain and difficulty to provide a great deal of inspiration.

In some aspects, though, the story seems to lack a well-defined flow and level of engagement.  In some spots, I felt the details did not play out completely before jumping on to something else.

All in all, though, I would consider this a good read for fans of WWII fiction and would say it is well worth the time involved.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for providing a copy of Remember the Lilies in exchange for my honest review.

See what other readers have to say about the book here.

About the Book:

Can Irene and Rand stave off starvation until the American troops bring freedom?

Interred by the Japanese, missionary Irene Reynolds comes across a mysterious note while working at the censor's office. She memorizes the parts she must black out and delivers it to wealthy nightclub owner Rand Sterling. Before she knows what's happening, she's drawn into a web of secrets and danger.

Rand Sterling wants nothing more than to reopen his nightclubs once the war ends. But slimy Frank Covey wants his hand in the till---and has news that could threaten Rand's reputation if it became public. More importantly, beautiful and intriguing Irene Reynolds cannot discover this information if he expects to persuade her to become his wife.

When Irene is attacked by a sinister Japanese guard and their secrets are exposed, they must learn the true meaning of forgiveness---if they can stave off starvation until the American troops bring freedom.
About the Author:

New York Times best-selling author Liz Tolsma is the author of Daisies are Forever, Snow on the Tulips, and the contributing author of A Log Cabin Christmas. When not busy putting words to paper, Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and children, all adopted internationally.

Find Liz online: website, Facebook, Twitter

This gripping new tale from Liz Tolsma, Remember the Lilies, is a must-read for fans of WWII-era fiction. When Irene is attacked by a sinister Japanese guard and their secrets are exposed, she and Rand must learn the true meaning of forgiveness—if they can stave off starvation until the American troops bring freedom.

Help Liz celebrate the release of Remember the Lilies with a Kindle Fire giveaway!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • One copy of Remember the Lilies
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 2/19. Winner will be announced at Liz's Remember the Lilies Facebook author chat party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Liz and WWII fiction fans, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!   



RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 19th!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Another "Amish Classic" -- The Matchmaker

Sarah Price's The Matchmaker is a delightful read -- filled with the spunk and spark that seems to exude from Sarah!  In this series, she has found a clever way of borrowing from classic literature and retelling the story creatively from a new and different perspective.

This book has something for so many different readers:  Well-established Amish fiction fans can enjoy the setting in their favorite genre.  Those who might be interested in getting their feet wet in the Amish fiction world will have the chance to pick up lots of tidbits about that lifestyle -- from an author who has spent much time with the people she writes about.  Lovers of classic literature should enjoy the familiarity of the storyline.

Emma Weaver, despite her good intentions, manages to create quite a complicated web among her friends and families.  Looking for answers to the questions of how the relationships will be untangled and then put back together keeps the interest level high in this engaging story.

I definitely believe you will find the time spent with The Matchmaker very worthwhile!

Thanks to Sarah for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book: 

When Emma’s interference in her friends’ lives backfires, will the consequences be more than she bargained for?
Emma Weaver is twenty-one years old and has found a passion for playing matchmaker with her friends.  Her neighbor, Gideon King, warns her aboutinterfering in people’s lives, but she disregards his advice and plans to set upPaul, the son of the bishop, with her friend Hannah.
But when Paul misinterprets Emma’s attention, believing she has feelings for him, he begins asking her to ride in his buggy after Sunday singings and shows up at her house for Friday evening visits.  As she tries to repair the damage that’s been done and mend the hearts that have been broken, she finds herself in trouble with the community.  Will she learn her lesson andstop meddling in the affairs of others?  Will she find a love of her own?

A Special Treat:
Sarah graciously took the time to answer a few questions about her writing and about herself.  I hope you enjoy this insight into who she is and how she works.  I know that I did! 

1.     I understand that you actually live in Lancaster County with an Amish friend part-time.  What are the major differences in your time there and life with your family in NYC?  How do you manage those differences?

Not so much anymore. On May 31, 2013, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a lot of issues from my treatment and my first plastic surgeon did a really lousy job that created eighteen months of corrective procedures. During that time, I couldnt drive so it was hard to get out to Lancaster. Im hoping to get back into my regular routine of traveling back and forth over the summer.
I must confess that spending time with my Amish friends in Lancaster is amazing. When I drive back home, I can feel the peaceful calm slowly disappearing. Our society is so wrapped up in conspicuous consumerism. Too many people deal with who has what better than the next person. Its a sickness, truly. And I have a theory that the stress of our self-imposed expectations creates so much pressure that it makes us very irritable. Leaving Lancaster on a Sunday evening and commuting to NYC the following morning was very eye-opening. It definitely made me want to move to Lancaster and we were looking for houses when I was diagnosed with cancer. One day

2.     Because of your personal experiences, are there any insights you have gained into Amish life that you would like to share with your readers, things the average person might not have the opportunity to learn?

Each of my novels contains insights that most people would never experience. For over twenty-five years, I have been directly involved with multiple generations of different Amish families. That was at least six years before the movie, The Witness, was released and introduced the Amish culture to mainstream America.
The biggest insight into Amish life is that they are peopleindividualsand, as such, they are just like you and me. Amish society contains people that are good, not so good, happy, depressed, loud, quiet, adventuresome, shy. They are not cookie-cutter people.
I really get upset when someone contacts me about how all the Amish have puppy millsor all the Amish abuse their children.Well, thats simply not true. Do they have puppy mills? Sure. Do ALL Amish have puppy mills? Not at all. 
One of my dogs, Tobi, is from an Amish puppy mill.He was less than one pound when he stole my heart. He was happy, healthy, and raised in the house as were the parents. I visited another farm that sells puppies and it was like a spa: little swimming pools, large grassy play areas, the mothers with their puppies, nursing in the sun on clean blankets in the fresh air! I would have liked to live there!
But of course, there is always the people that mistreat the puppies or overbreed them. Are they ALL Amish? No. I know for a fact that there are larger and more horrible puppy mills among non-Amish than Amish.
It just goes back to people stereotyping the Amish. One size does NOT fit all.

3.     Would you share with us about your writing process:  Where do you write?  When do you write?  Do you snack while you write?

I can write anywhere. During the nice weather, Ill sit down at my husbands equestrian facility and write at a picnic table so I can watch the goats, horses, and donkeys. In colder weather, I might go to the library or, just this past week, I sat in the back of a dance studio, music blasting and people taking lessons. I wrote over 3000 words in two and a half hours!
Usually, however, I sit in my library which is attached to our bedroom. I love being surrounded by books and looking out the picture window at the trees. Usually I have my little dog, Tobi, next to me. Hes my writing companion and a great brainstormer!  Actually, when I have to brainstorm, I usually pace back and forthTobi either watching me from my writing chair or, if Im downstairs in the kitchen, hell follow me.
There is something unusual about my writing process that most readers do not know. When I start to write a new story, I have an idea in my head. Thats it. As I sit down to write, I can see the story unfold in my head. Its like watching a movie and I write down what I see, hear, smell, and feel. The story tells me where it wants to go. Sometimes my publishers will ask me a question about how the book ends and I must drive them crazy when I tell them, I dont know yet. I havent seen the ending in my head!
And as for foodNo. I have a very happy condition right now called no appetite.  I dont know if its from the chemotherapy or the combination of medications Im taking. I usually eat one meal a day with the family at night. I might grab a piece of fruit in the morning, but thats it.
I do, however, drink tons of water. I have a small refrigerator in my bedroom that is stocked with bottled water.  Between two to three cups of coffee in the morning and at least three large bottles of water, I can write for hours! And I usually do. I write up to fourteen hours a day and usually seven days a week. Its a passion, not a hobby, for me. 

4.     Is there anything special, unique, fun, crazy that you would be willing to share about Sarah Price?

Wow. Thats a loaded question! I wouldnt even know where to start! ha ha ha
Lets seeDont ever double-dog dare me to do somethingchances are that Ill do itif its safe and legal, of course.
There is a lot of craziness that occurs in the life and household of Sarah Price. We were actually in the running for an MTV reality show because we have such unusual pets (a house-pig and, at the time, a zebra). But we lost out to a family with an ostrichwhich is mind-boggling since clearly a pig and zebra are much more interesting. 
For the most part, every day is an adventure. I like to have fun and I love to meet people. Ill basically talk to anyone which drives my children crazy. They refuse to go out to stores with me because I stop and chat to complete strangers.
Although, I must admit, Im not a big winter fan. Im marking off the days until both kids are in college so that my husband and I can head south to Belize for January, February, and March! 

If you would like to learn more about The Matchmaker and visit other tour stops here is the link to take you to the Blog Tour List

About Sarah:

The Preiss family emigrated from Europe in 1705, settling in Pennsylvania as the area's first wave of Mennonite families. Sarah Price has always respected and honored her ancestors through exploration and research about her family history and their religion. At nineteen, she befriended an Amish family and lived on their farm throughout the years.

As a masterful storyteller, Sarah Price prides herself on presenting an authentic Amish experience for her readers. Many of her stories are based on actual people she has met and her own experiences living among the Amish over the years. Sarah now resides in Morris County, New Jersey with her family.

While she started out as an Indie author, she signed on with Realms, an imprint of Charisma House and Waterfall Press, an imprint of Brilliance Publishing. Her first book, First Impressions: An Amish Adaptation of Pride and Prejudice was released in May 2014.

Get the latest news about Sarah Price on Facebook, Twitter, and

 Please use these buy links: Amazon / B&N /

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A wild ride through Willow Ridge! -- Breath of Spring

Breath of Spring may just be Charlotte Hubbard's best yet in her Seasons of the Heart series.  But be prepared for a wild ride through Willow Ridge -- figuratively and literally!

The Seasons books, set in the fictitious town of Willow Ridge, Missouri, are filled with characters who become good friends to the readers.  Watching them develop and grow as different individuals are highlighted in the various books keeps this series alive and fresh.  And then there is Hiram Knepp -- not so much a character to love --who really outdoes himself in this story!

Annie Mae Knepp has her chance to shine in this installment, as she finds herself taking on much more responsibility than should be shouldered by a seventeen year old girl.  She learns a lot about herself and the community around her, especially a young man by the name of Adam Wagler.  Charlotte does a beautiful job of fashioning a story of fear and guilt turning into faith, love, forgiveness, and freedom.

Any fan of good Amish fiction should enjoy Breath of Spring.  If you haven't already done so, I would recommend you start with the first three books in the series so you can enjoy the full impact of this story.  I'm anxious to see what happens next in Willow Ridge in Harvest of Blessings.

About the Book:

As a bright season brings a fresh start to Willow Ridge, Annie Mae Knepp feels she can never make peace with the past. Her disgraced ex-bishop father is furious she has taken her five siblings to live with her. She’s never been truly at home in her faith. . .or believing in herself. And Annie Mae fears no man will want to take on the responsibilities she’s gladly shouldered. True, her quiet neighbor Adam Wagler has been steadfast and unshakeable helping her through her trials, but he surely couldn’t think of someone so lost as more than a friend. Believing she is unworthy because of her doubts, Annie Mae will find in a moment of surprising revelation that God can work impossible miracles—and that love makes all things new.

About the Author:
Drawing upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi, longtime Missourian Charlotte Hubbard (a.k.a. Naomi King) writes of simpler times and a faith-based lifestyle in her new Seasons of the Heart series. Like her heroine, Miriam Lantz, Charlotte considers it her personal mission to feed people—to share hearth and home. Faith and family, farming and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle, and the foundation of her earlier Angels of Mercy series. She’s a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and when she’s not writing, she loves to try new recipes, crochet, and sew. Charlotte now lives in Minnesota with her husband and their border collie.