Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Rescue Me by Susan May Warren


  • Series: Montana Rescue (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (January 31, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800727444
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800727444

About the Book:

When Deputy Sam Brooks commits to something, nothing can sway him--not just on the job as liaison between the Mercy Falls sheriff's department and PEAK Rescue, but in his private life. He's the one who stuck around to take care of his mother after his father's accidental death. And he's the one--perhaps the only one--who believes Sierra Rose is the perfect girl for him. Safe, practical, and organized, she's nothing like her hippie, impulsive, bleeding heart sister, Willow.

Willow, however, has been in love with Sam Brooks for as long as she can remember. But she wants her sister to have a happy ending. Besides, Willow has other things to focus on--namely, nabbing the job as youth pastor for her small-town church. Best thing for her to do is to purge Sam from her heart.

Neither can predict the events that will bring them together in a fight for their lives in the forbidding wilderness of Glacier National Park. Stranded, injured, and with the winter weather closing in, Sam and Willow will have to work together to save a crew of terrified teenagers. As they fight to survive, they might just discover a new hope for love.

My Thoughts:

Bust out a brand new box of tissues and have something nearby to sip, because you won't move an inch once you crack the cover of Susan May Warren's newest release!  "Rescue Me" is packed with emotion and faith, and oh, the FEELS!

I cried my way through the final two thirds of the book.  But Willow and Sam nestled deep inside my heart from the first few pages.  My daughters have asked me to explain how you know when it's love...now I just need to hand them "Rescue Me", and that will answer pretty much every question on the topic anyone can come up with!

But Susan May Warren isn't just a literary expert on love and romance.  She is a master at crafting some of the most real life-like characters I've ever encountered in my 50 plus years of reading.  Susan May Warren is my Top Ten Go To author (don't tell anyone, but she is really #1!).

When it comes to one of her books, I have only one complaint: they always end before I'm ready to say goodbye.  But the beauty of her novels is this: I can always go and visit my fictional friends again and again, because her novels are 'You can't read just once' good.

I received an advance copy of "Rescue Me" from the publisher via NetGalley with no obligation whatsoever.  All opinions are my own, and it's my pleasure to give "Rescue Me" my "Oh, The Feels" and "For Such A Time" combined.  As we wait for the next novel...

Mark Your Place,

Deena

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Can't Help Falling by Kara Isaac


  • File Size: 3638 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books (October 11, 2016)
  • Publication Date: October 11, 2016
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English

About the Book:

A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England.

Emelia Mason has spent her career finding the dirt on the rich and famous. But deep down past this fearless tabloid-reporter fa├žade, there’s a nerdy Narnia-obsessed girl who still can’t resist climbing into wardrobes to check for the magical land on the other side. When a story she writes produces tragic results, she flees to Oxford, England—home to C.S. Lewis—to try and make amends for the damage she has caused.

Peter Carlisle was on his way to become one of Great Britain’s best rowers—until he injured his shoulder and lost his chance at glory. He’s determined to fight his way back to the top even if it means risking permanent disability to do so. It’s the only way he can find his way past failing the one person who never stopped believing in his Olympic dream.

When Peter and Emelia cross paths on her first night in Oxford, the attraction is instant and they find common ground in their shared love of Narnia. But can the lessons from a fantasyland be enough to hold them together when secrets of the real world threaten to tear them apart? Cobblestone streets, an aristocratic estate, and an antique shop with curious a wardrobe bring the world of Narnia to life in Kara Isaac’s inspiring and romantic story about second chances.

My Thoughts:

Oh, my word...I love Kara Isaac and I'd love to live in her imagination!  Her first novel was a refreshing treat as she took readers back to the land of the Hobbit (you'll just have to pick up a copy of "Close To You" and see for yourself--highly recommended!), and I was eager to see what she'd create next.

"Can't Help Falling" will have you knocking on the back of wardrobes again, looking for your own personal Narnia!  So much to love in this story, it's hard to know what to share...the adorable Emelia and Peter, the discovery of a mystery tea cup...the journey to self-discovery and new beginnings...and the love, the sweet story of love.

Throw in the magical Narnia, the excitement of competitive rowing, and dealing with life when the truth comes out.  I cannot think of a single thing about this book I did not absolutely love.  My only complaint? I want more.  Kara Isaac cannot write fast enough for me, but since she takes such great care with her craft and instills some whimsy from beloved childhood classics...I'll wait.

Both "Close To You" and "Can't Help Falling" get my "Oh, The Feels!" award, and Kara is on my Must Read shelf for life!

Until the next page,

Deena

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Season To Love by Nicole Deese


  • File Size: 2874 KB
  • Print Length: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Waterfall Press (February 2, 2016)
  • Publication Date: February 2, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B015XWK89C

About the Book:

At this point in her life, bravery is not a trait Willa Hart would readily claim. She believes her seven-year-old daughter, Savannah, who never knew her father and successfully tackled chemotherapy, is truly the courageous one. Yet after Willa has a fateful encounter with handsome young doctor Patrick McCade, her outlook—and her view of herself—begins to change.
Patrick, a thrill-seeking world traveler and temporary resident of Lenox, Oregon, sets out to show Willa the value of adventure, even within her tiny town. But just when their friendship shows signs of turning into something more, Patrick’s life as a traveling doctor calls him back. Will his last days in town signal the end of their journey, or will Patrick and Willa find the courage to transform a single season into a lifetime?

My Thoughts:

This is my third novel by Nicole Deese and I have discovered something I feel I must disclose to you, my reading friends:

She is a dangerous woman.

No, not like Ariana Grande!!  More like Karen Kingsbury in disguise.  Yes, that's it!  Nicole writes the kind of fiction that could make Kingsbury sob and snot and go through an entire box of tissues!

I know, that part was gross, but you get my point, right?  I mean, when I read "The Promise of Rayne", I spent many pages tearing up, and I loved it.  Then I read "A Cliche Christmas" and my reading mind exploded from the feels.

I knew I'd cry.  But I thought it was safe to pick up "A Season To Love".  I wept through two thirds of the book!  I felt a kinship with Willa from the first page, a widow at 25 and raising a little girl who turns out to have cancer???  Oh, my heart!

And then there's little Savannah.  What a doll, what a little spitfire, what an inspiration...I want to meet her!  And she isn't real!  Good luck not crying over her when...oops!  Almost dropped a spoiler!

And finally, Dr. McCade, the physician who's been caring for Savannah since she was born, and the man who detected the deadly disease in its earliest stage.  When Willa takes a reluctant Vannie in for a cold and cough...

It's not Dr. Potato Nose...it's son of Potato Nose (hey, that's Savannah's name for him, not mine!  Blame the six year old!!), and he is one hot potato with a stethoscope!  He's smart, he's cute, he's funny, he has a wonderful rapport with Savannah...and he scares the willies out of Willa.

Old friends from "A Cliche Christmas" come along for this literary ride: Weston, Georgia, Nan, and more. And talk about sibling rivalry...more sparks fly between brother and sister than doctor and mom of patient, and these will singe your eyebrows off!  At times I wanted to reach into the book and shake Weston until his teeth rattled.

But then I'd want to wring some sense and some hope into Willa...and then I realized she was me.  My word for 2017 is CONTROL (as in lack of), and I think it's her word as well.  I just love her, and want to move to Lenox and spend time there, if only it were real.

So, I'm giving "A Season To Love" my "Oh! The Feels!" award, and naming Nicole Deese a new favorite author on my "Must Read" shelf--which is getting mighty full.  Get your copy of "A Season To Love"--better yet, start with "A Cliche Christmas", and don't forget "The Promise of Rayne"!

Until the next page,

Deena

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Shameful Self Promotion



I NEED READERS/FOLLOWERS/PEOPLE!!!

Since moving my blog and giving it a facelift (the most painless kind you can get!), my readership has **POOF** vanished.  I totally get it--new look, new place, new name...and then there's hit-and-miss me.

SO, in a move of total shameless self-promotion, I'm offering this as a bribe little incentive:

1) Leave me a comment, and tell me the last good book you've read.
2) Leave me a link to your blog if you'd like and we can share some linky love.
3) Leave me a way to contact you (i.e., email--rather than telegraph--didn't learn Morse Code).

And on SATURDAY, JANUARY 7th, 2017, at NOON here in California (I'm bad with math, geography, and sewing--but I can cook and I'm GREAT with words!), I will reward one faithful reader (by doing this you are promising not to forget me once you have your prize)....................

A $25.00 AMAZON GIFT CARD!!!!

Yup, you read that correctly!  A whole 25 virtual smackers to spend on new books (or a gift for me, but really, you shouldn't have!).  Just for agreeing to be my bloggy friend.  And, no, my mom didn't have to pay the neighbor kids to play with me.  But she did make me shower regularly and wear clean clothes!

So get to it, my new bloggy friends!  And know this: I love Jesus, I love books, I love authors.........
and I love YOU!

Until the next page,

Deena

Conspiracy of Silence, Tox Files #1, by Ronie Kendig



  • Series: The Tox Files (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (December 6, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764217658
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764217654

About the Book:

Kendig Ratchets Up the Action in Her New Suspense Series! 
Four years after a tragic mission decimated his career and his team, Cole "Tox" Russell is persona non grata to the United States. And that's fine--he just wants to be left alone. But when a dormant, centuries-old disease is unleashed, Tox is lured back into action.

Partnered with FBI agent Kasey Cortes, Tox has to pull together a team to begin a globe-spanning search for answers--and a cure. As their quest leads them from continent to continent, it slowly becomes clear they're not just fighting a plague--but battling against an ancient secret society whose true goals remain hidden.

With time running out and opposition growing on every side, the key to everything may rest in an antique codex, the Crown of Jerusalem--but will Tox and his team be able to trust each other enough to break this century-spanning conspiracy of silence?

My Thoughts:

I struggled with "Conspiracy of Silence" at first.  It took me about three attempts to read the book (see my previous post on depression): this is Kendig's most ambitious military suspense book in her career.  You can see the rich detail, feel the intense research, and track the multiple threads as you read each page.

The question is did all of this extra intensity pay off for the reader?

OOOOOH, boy, howdy, did it EVER pay off!  By the sixth chapter I was flipping pages so fast I got a chill...or maybe that was from the powerful writing I discovered.  I can truthfully admit I've read every single book Kendig has ever written and, while "Conspiracy" isn't my favorite (I'm sorry, but NOTHING tops Embers and Accelerant!), this book tops her Rapid-Fire Fiction book list!

The amount of historical research is astounding.  Kendig truly loves her readers, and she diligently does her homework before giving us one page of her fictional tale.  In "Conspiracy", she goes back into the Old Testament to the days of Moses and the rascal Korah and his minions.  Then she traces the fallout of those events (some real, some imagined) to modern days.

Cole Russell (aka "Tox") has more than just a chip on his shoulder--this guy has an entire tree weighing him down!  I can't really blame him, since our government---whoops!  Almost gave you a spoiler there! Let's just say the good old USA doesn't always play fair with our heroes.

The cast is fantastic, and the interactions between Tox and his military co-horts is worth reading the book just for that alone.  Kendig thrives on the intimate brotherhood in our military men and women and the bond that never breaks--and it makes for some funny stuff, too!

Just when you think you've figured out "Conspiracy of Silence", remember this: yeah, right!  Kendig throws a curve ball better than the current best pitcher in the league (I know books, not sports!).  She's set the bar high for herself and anyone else writing gripping military suspense, and I'm eager to see what's next!

A piece of advice: it would help if you read the prequel novella (also known as "Let's tease Deena with just a little bit of the book in advance!"), "The Warrior's Seal", available now.  Both released last year, but since this is my blog, I'm calling "Conspiracy of Silence" Best of 2017, and giving it my "Such a Time" award.

In the political climate we're living in, yeah...for such a time as this fits.

Until the next page,

Deena

HAPPY NEW YEAR--2 days late!



Hello My Fellow Readers!

Happy New Year 2017 to you all!  And, yes, I realize I'm a few days late.  In fact, I was kind of shocked and slightly embarrassed when I saw the date of my last post--December 8th.  For someone committed to reviewing, that's pretty dog gone sad.

True confession time:  I've been struggling for the past couple of years, but especially the last few months.  I've always been prone to depression--research has stated that the more creative the mind, the darker the times of depression.  Don't know it that's true, but I can definitely understand it.

When I re-branded my review blog and gave it a fresh, new look, I truly was excited about reviewing again.  I've loved books since I read my first one.  Having penned a few novels and gotten to know so many lovely authors, I have a heart for the creators of the craft as well.

I know I'm not doing well when I don't want to read.  It usually begins with difficulty finding a book that will hold my attention.  Then it becomes the game of 'read a chapter, then do something else'. Finally, just the sight of all of my to be read piles leaves me feeling overwhelmed, undone, and panicked.

Why am I telling you all of this, on a public forum?  Because, as a daughter the King, a child of God, and one of Christ's beloved, I'm tired of hiding in the shadows.  Newsflash world: just because we follow Christ, we are still not perfect!  But I have bought the lie that, in order to be a good witness I have to hide my dark spots.

I can't live like that any longer.  If you have never battled depression, you might see me as weak and whiny.  That's okay, you are free to do that.  I hope you never, ever encounter depression--it is a very dark, lonely, isolating place.

I'm comfortable with saying I'm struggling with it.  I'm in pretty good company, when you think about it: Elijah, Jeremiah, Peter, King David...if my heroes of the faith can do it, so can I.

The good news is I'm getting help.  I'm slowly doing better.  It's a choice, and I'm choosing victory for today.  I will deal with tomorrow...well...tomorrow.  And take one day at a time, celebrating the rock solid fact that Jesus loves me, He's proud of me, and, quite honestly---He thinks I'm to die for.

He feels the same about you as well, just so you know.  Doesn't do you much good if you don't get to know Him though, and I'm always here to introduce you to the greatest Friend, Brother, and only Savior I'd ever need.

In the meantime, if you wouldn't mind, pray for me?  Pray for me to fight toward the light and to escape the darkness?  And when I'm stuck in the dark, bring your candle of faith and sit with me awhile?  I'm funny, even when I'm depressed!

And, if you are more like me than you'd like to be (sorry about that!), leave me a comment and I'll pray for you as well.

Now, on to the business of great books!

Mark Your Place,.....ummmm.....nope, don't like that anymore.  How about

Until the next page,

Deena

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas Conspiracy by Susan Sleeman


  • Series: First Responders (Book 6)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense Large Print (December 6, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373447841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373447848

About the Book:

WITNESS IN JEOPARDY 
It's a typical day at Rachael Long's day-care center—until a masked gunman tries to abduct one of the children in her charge. First response commander Jake Marsh manages to defuse the situation before anyone is harmed…but not before Rachael unmasks the would-be kidnapper. Now Jake must lead a manhunt and protect Rachael from the criminal who's turned his focus on her. But the case is reawakening painful memories for Jake, and Rachael's treating emotional wounds of her own. And with danger mounting as Christmas nears, they must learn to let go of the past in order to outwit a killer…and find the peace that's always eluded them both.


My Thoughts:

As a mom, nothing terrifies me more than the thought of someone taking my child.  Susan Sleeman taps into that fear in her newest novel, "Christmas Conspiracy", and she does it very, very well (you have been warned!).

Rachael takes her responsibility as a day-care provider very seriously, treating the children under her care as she would one of her own.  When someone attempts an abduction, she fights back and ends up ripping off the kidnapper's mask, thus jeopardizing both the child and herself.

Jake Marsh is a true hero, with secrets of his own.  As he works to keep Rachael safe, sparks of romance begin to fly.  Honestly, it's the mystery that drew me in.  Susan writes with rich detail and authentic dialogue, and she gets me hooked every time.

The lovey-dovey part is just a bonus!

I enjoyed "Christmas Conspiracy", and I think you will as well.  I'm giving it my 'One To Watch' award, and here's the list of Susan's 'First Responders' series in order (I'm one of the weird ones that MUST read books in order!):

FIRST RESPONDERS SERIES
Brave men and women alert and ready for danger and love.

A six member, elite First Response Squad- including two negotiators, a bomb tech, a sniper, an EMT, and a team leader.
Book 1 - Silent Night Standoff - Nov/2014
Book 2 - Explosive Alliance - May/2015
Book 3 - High-Caliber Holiday - Nov/2015
Book 4 - Emergency Response - May/2016
Book 5 - Silent Sabotage - August/2016
Book 6 - Christmas Conspiracy - Dec/2016

Until I have one more book to share...

Mark Your Place,

Deena