Thriving in Babylon Guest Review by Jim Barela

Thriving in Babylon by Larry Osborne is a 199 page book in the Non-fiction Religious genre. It is published by David C. Cook and was released on June 1.  To order your copy of Thriving in Babylon, click here.

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Overview

Meet a man forced to live in a fast changing and godless society. He faced fears about the future, concern for his safety, and the discouragement of world that seemed to be falling apart at warp speed.

Sound familiar? His name was Daniel, and with the power of hope, humility, and wisdom, he not only thrived, he changed an empire while he was at it. Though he lived thousands of years ago, he has a much to teach us today.

Even in Babylon, God is in control.

In Thriving in Babylon, Larry Osborne explores the “adult” story of Daniel to help us not only survive – but actually thrive in an increasingly godless culture. Here Pastor Osborne looks at:

-Why panic and despair are never from God

-What true optimism looks like

-How humility disarms even our greatest of enemies

-Why respect causes even those who will have nothing to do with God to listen

-How wisdom can snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat

For those who know Jesus and understand the full implications of the cross, the resurrection, and the promises of Jesus, everything changes—not only in us, but also in our world.

My Two Cents

Osborne’s book, Thriving in Babylon, is a book that is easy to follow and a fairly quick read. The language and illustrations used allow the reader to follow the author’s train of thought without much distraction from the message he delivers. As a reader I did find it helpful that the author chose to provide scripture references where he thought it would be helpful.

There were a few distractions I encountered as I read through the book. I will make every effort to be brief as I share just a few concerns.

– The book of Daniel is one book of the major prophets detailing what was to come and detailing the sovereignty of God in the affairs of man not to offer “us a model for not only surviving but actually thriving in the midst of a godless culture.”

– Though the author acknowledges the sovereignty of God, he then uses the phrase “then God showed up” in several places, as if God’s plan was not working out so well and He had to show up to fix things – the book of Daniel clearly shows that God ordained all that would take place according to His will.

– The book is supposed to be about how to thrive in Babylon but the author draws principles from biblical characters not related to the Babylonian captivity making it seem as though he had these principles in mind before deciding to use Daniel as the basis for his book.

– Living in light of the gospel is how the believer survives and thrives today. But, the gospel is mentioned and discussed only sparingly.

Readers should know that there are some important challenges to our modern thinking that are important for us to read contained in Osborne’s book. One challenge as well as reminder is the timeless truth that faithfulness does not guarantee an easy life. Many faithful Christians will endure suffering and hardships in their life as they encounter difficulties common to believers around the world. I recommend reading the book of Daniel at least twice before reading this book so that you have a firm foundation to build upon.

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Many thanks to the Litfuse Chicks for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.

About the Author

Dr. Larry Osborne has served as a senior pastor and teaching pastor at North Coast Church—one of the ten most influential churches in the country—since 1980. Dr. Osborne is the author of numerous books, including Accidental Pharisees. He and his wife live in Oceanside, California. They have three grown children.

Find Larry online: website, Facebook, Twitter

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Thriving in Babylon by clicking on the words “Entry-Form” below. This contest ends on Monday, July 27 at 11:59 pm PDT.

A Bride at Last

A Bride at Last by Melissa Jagears is a 368 page novel in the Christian historical romance genre.  It is the third book in the Unexpected Brides series but can be read as a stand alone.  A Bride at Last is published by Bethany House and was released on July 7, 2015. To purchase your own copy, click here.

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Overview

Abandoned by his mail-order bride, Silas Jonesey has fought an uphill battle to recover from a pattern of poor choices. Now his prayers for reconciliation have finally come true and his estranged wife has contacted him with her whereabouts.

Kate Dawson was supposed to be a mail-order bride, but upon realizing she’d been deceived about her intended groom, she’s now settled into life as a schoolteacher. When the mother of a student passes away, Kate assumes she’ll take on care of nine-year-old Anthony-until two men suddenly show up in town, claiming to be the boy’s father.

Silas can see Anthony loves Kate, so he enlists her help in reaching out to the boy and attempting to prove his paternity to the court. When a common interest in Anthony leads to an interest in each other and Silas and Kate begin to think they can overcome their rocky start, neither is prepared for the secrets and past hurts that have yet to come to light. Can Silas, Kate, and Anthony’s wounded souls bind them together or will all that stands between them leave them lonely forever?

To learn more about A Bride at Last, click here.

My Two Cents

A Bride at Last is a faced-paced love story that makes you sad to see the story end because you want to read more.  It is well-written with developed characters and storyline. I loved how the book does not end where you expect it to and shows how God can heal the lives of people.

A Bride at Last deals with addiction; how those vices effect the ones around us and have consequences for years to come.  However, it also displays how love, hope, faith, and forgiveness can help us to overcome our addictions. I was encouraged by the blessings the characters received by following God and having faith in Him even when it is hard and sacrifices are made to do so.

The hard choices that women had to make in the late 1800’s were well written into A Bride at Last. Abandonment and its lasting consequences on both children and adults were woven into this story as well.  One of my favorite aspects of this story is how it shows that family is not always made up of flesh and blood. Love makes a family a family.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  It is a book a really enjoyed and will be reading again!

Thank you to the LitFuse Chicks for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade and the author of ABride for Keeps and A Bride in Store, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She’s a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing, and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly.

Find Melissa online: website, Facebook

Two Giveaways

Simple Harvest Reads Giveaway

To enter my giveaway, click on the words “Entry-Form” below.  This giveaway ends on July 19, 2015 at 11:59pm PDT.

Melissa Jagears A Bride at Last and a $100 memory making giveaway:

Can Silas and Kate overcome their rocky start and experience healing—and possibly love? Discover the answer in Melissa Jagears’ new book, A Bride at LastNeither Kate nor Silas is prepared for the secrets and past hurts that have yet to come to light as they attempt to prove nine-year-old Anthony’s paternity to the court. Can their wounded souls bind them together or will all that stands between them leave them lonely forever?

Celebrate the release of A Bride at Last by entering to win a $100 Memory-Making giveaway and RSVPing to Melissa’s August 4th author chat party!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A $100 gift card to Netflix (for a family movie night), Shutterfly (to create a family memory book), or TablePlayGames (for a family game night)
  • One copy of A Bride at Last

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/4. The winner will be announced at Melissa’s 8/4 A Bride at Last Facebook author chat party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Melissa and fiction fans, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!

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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 4th!

Gone Without a Trace

Gone Without a Trace by Patricia Bradley is a 328 page novel in the Christian suspense genre. It is published by Revell Publishers and was released on July 7, 2015. Gone Without  a Trace is the third book in the Logan Point series but can be read as a stand alone. To purchase your copy, click here.

Overview
It’s been more than two years since homicide detective Livy Reynolds’s cousin disappeared from Logan Point. Unlike most people in her hometown, Livy has never believed that Robyn left voluntarily. When Dallas private investigator Alex Jennings contacts Livy concerning a missing senator’s daughter who was last seen in Logan Point, she notices eerie similarities between the two disappearances. But with self-doubt plaguing her and an almost instant dislike of Jennings, Livy is finding this investigation an uphill battle. With her future in law enforcement on the line, can she find a way to work with a man who is her polar opposite?

Award-winning author Patricia Bradley keeps readers on the edge of their seats as they anticipate the outcome of the case–and the relationship between Livy and Alex–which is anything but certain.

My Two Cents
Gone Without A Trace is an edge of your seat thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end. There are many characters all within a small town which adds to the suspense of the story. The book goes back and forth between the thoughts of the killer and the main characters of the story but, unlike other novels I read, this does not give away who the killer is and gives you a first hand look into the mind of the killer.

There are several themes throughout the story. Gone Without a Trace shows the consequences of abandonment and the bad choices parents make. Familial love is another theme that is well written in this story. The sacrifices that Livy makes for her family and her family makes for her made me wish I was closer to my extended family. Gone Without a Trace also shows how family can use love to manipulate you and try to conform you to be what you are not through the character of Alex.

Gone Without a Trace incorporates the sacrifices police officers make in the line of duty. Also the tension that can come between law enforcement and private investigators. It is very apparent that Patricia has done her research on law enforcement, private investigators, and how each work within their field.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. It is the first book I have read by Patricia Bradley and I was not disappointed. I can not wait to read more of her books.

About the Author
Patricia Bradley’s manuscript for Shadows of the Past was a finalist for the 2012 Genesis Award, winner of a 2012 Daphne du Maurier award (1st place, Inspirational), and winner of a 2012 Touched by Love award (1st place, Contemporary). Also the author of A Promise to Protect, Bradley is a published short story writer and is cofounder of Aiming for Healthy Families, Inc. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America and makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at www.ptbradley.com.

Giveaway
To enter the giveaway for a copy of Gone Without a Trace, click on the words “Entry-Form” below. This giveaway ends July 18 at 11:59pm PDT.

Picture Perfect Love

Picture Perfect Love by Melissa McClone is a novel in the Christian contemporary romance genre.  It is published by Zondervan Publisher and was released in May, 2015.  It is the seventh book in the A Year of Weddings series but can be read as a stand alone. To purchase your copy, click here.

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Overview

When image becomes everything, it’s up to love to refocus the heart.

Photographer Jenna Harrison wants every bride and groom to look picture perfect on their special day, putting her heart into every wedding to give the couple memorable images of their love. But her own heart is still broken, the unworn wedding dress hanging in her closet a reminder that relationships aren’t always as perfect as they look through her camera lens. But Jenna has faith that she will find true love. Until then, she must be patient and trust in God’s plan and His perfect timing.

Attorney Ashton Vance is the one that got away. When an embarrassing Photoshopped picture of put an end to his political aspirations, he blamed Jenna. So what if the photo led to his being offered a dream job and changing his life for the better? Jenna betrayed his trust, and two years later, Ashton’s heart still hasn’t recovered.

It was me. His younger sister’s three words turn Ashton’s world upside down. He must ask Jenna’s forgiveness, but can he risk his heart a second time? Even if Jenna can forgive him, dare he hope for a second chance at her love?

For more information on Picture Perfect Love, click here.

My Two Cents

Picture Perfect Love is an easy read about healing, love, and forgiveness.  The story flows well and is the perfect read for a summer day of reading.  The cute ideas for the main characters photography business displays the research the author has done for this novel and some of the antics her customers displayed are both humorous and well-fitting in this story.

The characters in this story have their share of difficulties, mostly brought about by themselves. Ashton must deal with his father’s manipulation and his sister’s antics. For Jenna, she must contemplate if she has truly forgiven Ashton. Even though we have healed, sometimes when our past comes back to us, it is difficult to trust again.

Picture Perfect Love makes the reader reflect on forgiveness and restoration.  Jenna’s faith in God and her changed life is evident through her relationship with Ashton, his family, and her friends. The help she has received from her church wonderfully displays the body Christ.

I enjoyed reading this Picture Perfect Love, however, I wish more time would have been taken with the end of the story. The end felt very rushed. Also, I thought certain parts of the book were predictable.

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.  It is a fun read and there is definitely a lesson to be learned from this story.

Thank you to the Litfuse Chicks for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  All views expressed are my own and no monetary compensation has been received.

About the Author

Melissa McClone has published more than thirty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group. She has also been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house.

Find Melissa online: website, Twitter, Facebook

Giveaway

To enter to win an e-book copy of Picture Perfect Love, click on the words “Entry-Form” below.  This giveaway ends July 18, 2015 at 11:59pm PDT.

The Innocent

The Innocent by Ann Gabhart is a 384 page novel in the Christian mystery romance genre.  It is published by Revell and was released on July 7, 2015.  To purchase your copy, click here.

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Overview

Carlyn Kearney has spent two lonely years not knowing whether to mourn or to hope after she receives word from the Union Army that her husband is missing. The war ends without further word. Now penniless, in debt, and forced from her home, Carlyn seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill, only to discover that they will not allow her to keep her beloved dog, an animal that has been her faithful companion since her husband went off to war. Sheriff Mitchell Brodie has pity on the lovely young woman and agrees to take the dog. Carlyn is just settling into life as a sister in the Shaker village when she receives a devastating letter confirming her worst fears. As she wrestles with whether to commit herself fully to the Shaker life, mysterious deaths begin to occur, and Carlyn comes under suspicion. Can Sheriff Mitchell help her expose the true culprit?

My Two Cents

The Innocent is a well-written novel that keeps the reader interested from the beginning.  The story line displays well the dangers that can come when people abuse religion and power. I enjoyed the mystery that was added to the story line making this novel not your typical love story.

It is apparent that Gabhart has done her research both about the culture of the post-Civil War era and about the Shakers. The Innocent shows a side to the Civil War that is not often shown; the soldiers who were missing and the effect it had on their loved ones.  Wives found themselves destitute with no way to collect on the pensions offered from the government. They had limited resources and limited options.  This created an environment where women were not safe and could easily be taken advantage of.

There were many characters in this story and it added to the depth of the novel.  A couple of the characters added tension to the novel which made the book hard to put down.  I really enjoyed the relationship Carlyn had with her dog who was a wonderful companion to her.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.  It is a sweet story although a bit predictable.

Thank you to Revell Publishers for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels–The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted–as well as Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, Love Comes Home, Words Spoken True, and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.

Giveaway

To enter to win The Innocent by Ann Gabhart, click on the words “Entry-Form” below.  This giveaway ends Friday, July 17 at 11:59pm PDT.

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor Review

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson is a 352 page novel in the Christian mystery genre.  It was published by Howard Books and was released on June 16, 2015. To purchase your own copy, click here.

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Overview

When Heather Toulson returns to her parents’ cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.

Libby, a free spirit who can’t be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver’s death.

Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family’s cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She’s mourning her father’s passing but can’t let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family’s belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family’s history.

Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways.

Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.

My Two Cents

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor is a fast-paced book about love, forgiveness, and the harm that secrets can bring to a family.  The storyline goes seamlessly between past and present which allows the story to unfold in a way that makes you want to keep reading. I was drawn in from the beginning and could not put the book down.  I wanted to find out the secrets and what happened to each of the characters.

This book has everything you want in a story: Love, mystery, secrets, surprises, struggle, tension, and hope. As a teacher, I could tell that Melanie had done research on Autism and what it looked like for families who had a special needs child before they had diagnosis. She also shows the real-life struggle of parents in which society does not understand their child and thinks you are not a good parent.

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor is an extremely well-written book with well-developed characters. There is much we can learn through the relationships of the characters of the book.  Melanie’s display of the hurt that is caused by molding people into what we want them to be, not how God made them to be is evident throughout the book. The hurt caused by forgiveness and the regret we have at the end of our lives reminds the reader to think about our actions each and every day.

I give Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor 5 out of 5 stars. This book will keep you captivated from the very beginning.

Thank you to the Litfuse Chicks for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of thirteen historical romance, suspense, and contemporary novels. Two of her novels won Carol Awards in 2011, and Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010. Melanie lives with her husband Jon and two daughters near Portland, Oregon.

Find Melanie online: website, Twitter, Facebook

Giveaway

To enter the giveaway, click on the words “Entry-Form” below.  This giveaway ends June 10, 2015 at 11:59 pm PDT.

Mindwar Guest Review by Denise Barela

MindWar by Andrew Klavan is a 336 page novel in the Young Adult Science Fiction genre. It is published by Thomas Nelson Publishers and was released on March 17, 2015.  To purchase your copy, click here.

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Overview

New High Score! New Record Time!

Rick nodded with grim satisfaction. He laid the game controller aside on the sofa and reached for his crutches.

Rick Dial was the best quarterback Putnam Hills High School had ever seen. Unflappable. Unstoppable. Number 12. But when a car accident left him crippled, Rick’s life as he knew it ended. He disavowed his triumphant past. He ignored his girlfriend. He disappeared into his bedroom—and into the glowing video screen.

But Rick’s uncanny gaming skills have attracted attention. Dangerous attention. Government agents have uncovered a potentially devastating cyber-threat: a Russian genius has created a digital reality called the Realm, from which he can enter, control, and disrupt American computer systems . . . from transportation to defense. The agents want Rick, quick-thinking quarterback and gaming master, to enter the Realm and stop the madman—before he sends America into chaos.

Entering the Realm will give Rick what he thought he’d never have again: a body as strong and fast as it was before the accident. But this is no game, there are no extra lives, and what happens to Rick in the Realm happens to Rick’s body in reality.

Even after Rick agrees to help, he can’t shake the sense that he’s being kept in the dark. Why would a government agency act so aggressively? Can anyone inside the Realm be trusted? How many others have entered before him . . . and failed to return?

In the tradition of Ender’s Game and The Matrix, MindWar is a complex thriller about a seemingly ordinary teenager who discovers a hidden gift—a gift that could make him a hero . . . or cost him everything.

My Two Cents

MindWar focused on themes of family, faith, and hope. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the characters in this novel evolve as the plot unfolded. The main character, Rick, shows reader how important it is to never give up, though he had to learn this lesson the hard way. Despite the danger it brought to his own life, he did tried with all his might to save those he calls friends.

The focus shift between the good guys and the bad guys made the storyline easier to follow. Although this book started off slowly, it picked up towards the end of the novel.  Overall, this book had an interesting concept and was a good read.

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.  I give it this rating only because it took some time for the story to pick up. This book had great characters that can teach us important lessons.

About the Author

Andrew Klavan is a bestselling, award-winning thriller novelist whose books have been made into major motion pictures. He broke into the YA scene with the best-selling Homelanders series, starting with The Last Thing I Remember. He is also a screenwriter and scripted the innovative movie-in-an-app Haunting Melissa.

Love Arrives in Pieces Review

Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St. Amant is a 336 page novel in the Christian Contemporary Romance genre. It is published by Zondervan and was released on June 9.  To order your copy of Love Arrives in Pieces, click here.

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Overview

For so long, Stella was known for her beauty. Now, with her heart stripped bare, she must discover who she really is.

Former pageant queen Stella Varland doesn’t trust beauty anymore after her divorce. Her appearance betrayed her and led to brokenness, so instead of being beautiful, now she tries to make beautiful things, but she always falls short. So she keeps her passion for art to herself and focuses on her interior design work. But if she doesn’t get another job soon, she’ll be stuck living with her parents.

Contractor Chase Taylor is determined to live a life of no regrets after losing his fiancée. Now he lives life at full speed, striving to see how much he can accomplish. He knows if he slows down, he’ll fall apart. So he returns home to Bayou Bend to renovate the town’s old theater and is shocked to discover that the designer for the project is his old flame, Stella.

Forced to work together, Chase and Stella battle their chemistry and past as they struggle to compromise and work together on a vision for the theater. Their wills clash as they attempt to hide their brokenness—and their unresolved feelings for each other-until Chase discovers the hidden parts of Stella, while losing her trust in the process.

A near catastrophe, a fire, and a small-town gossip mill finally force Stella and Chase to realize that they have a choice—to hold on to the shards of their pasts, or surrender their fragmented pieces to the One who makes a beautiful masterpiece from their brokenness.

My Two Cents

I love the name of this book Love Arrives in Pieces. It’s story is a reminder that wounds can be healed and brokenness can be mended.  With a style of writing that is unique to Betsy, she weaves a story of encouragement and hope for those who have been shattered by life.  This imagery is amazing; the beauty of what God can do shines through.

The characters in this book have much depth.  The wisdom shared through the character of Dixie is something that the reader can apply to their own life. Dixie is homeless yet adds so much to people’s lives. Many times people walk by a homeless person and think they have nothing to give. I loved the reminder that we are all loved by God and we should take no one for granted.

Love Arrives in Pieces is raw and deals with issues so many of us deal with in our everyday lives. The reader can take so much away from this book to apply to their own lives.  Encouragement, hope and love will work their way into your heart with this excellently written novel.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  A definite must to add to your TBR pile.

Many thanks to the Litfuse Chicks for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.

About the Author

Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana with her young daughter and has a heart for sharing the amazing news of God’s grace through her novels. A freelance journalist, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she’s not reading, writing, or singing along to a Disney soundtrack with her daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing.

Find Betsy online: website, Facebook

Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Betsy’s newest book, Love Arrives In Pieces. To enter, click the words “Entry-Form” below. This contest ends Friday, July 3 at 11:59pm PDT.

Change of Heart Review

Change of Heart by Molly Jebber is a 288 page novel in the Amish historical fiction genre.  It is published by Zebra Publishers and will be released on June 30, 2015. To pre-order a copy, click here.

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Overview

Ohio, 1899. Soft-spoken midwife Becca Yost lived by her Amish faith’s strict rules—until her fiancé jilted her before their entire community. She’s never been away from home, but the bustling Englischer town of Massillon, Ohio, is a welcome unexpected refuge. Especially when she goes to work for Dr. Matt Carrington, who shares her passion for healing those in need. His outgoing spirit and gentle strength show Becca a surprising new world of choices—and irresistible love. But there is one formidable obstacle: Matt’s wealthy mother is determined her son will marry a society woman.

With her newfound resolve challenged, Becca decides that she and Matt must not be destined for each other after all. She accepts that she will have to forge a life alone—until a wrenching crisis and life-changing revelations teach her that true faith lies in all things, especially impossible second chances. . .

About the Author

Molly Jebber is the author of CHANGE OF HEART, an Amish historical romance. Fascinated by the Amish history, culture, Molly perused her passion to write.  Her love or writing led to a book deal with Kensington Publishing as well as three more titles debuting in 2015/2016. Publisher’s Weekly magazine announced and listed this book number three in their best ten review list for 2015. Romantic Times gave Change of Heart 4.5 stars.Molly enjoys time with her family, friends, traveling, swimming and golf. She loves God and serving Him.

http://www.mollyjebber.com – Sign up for Molly’s newsletter, for giveaways, appearances, and latest news on book releases.

My Two Cents

It is always fun to find a new author. Especially an author who writes not only Amish fiction but in the historical contexts. Molly Jebber does a wonderful keeping to the Amish culture. It is obvious to the reader she has done her research on the culture of the Amish during this time period.

Change of Heart is a refreshing take on Amish fiction because the storyline and setting are so different from the typical Amish genre.  The characters are very different but written well.  The idea of pocket quilts was fascinating to me and their use in the story makes it quite endearing.  The relationships between the character are encouraging. The bonds between Becca and her sister are strong and even shunning has not been able to separate them. Their support for each other help to remind us what family is all about.

I give Change of Heart 4.5 stars out of 5 stars. This is a sweet story that will captivate you from beginning to end.

Many thanks to Molly Jebber for a free copy of her book in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Molly’s new book, Change of Heart this weekend we are giving away a copy of the book to one lucky winner.  To Enter, click on the words “Entry-Form” below.

This giveaway ends Monday, June 29 at 11:59pm.

Desperate Measures Review Guest Review by Denise Barela

Desperate Measures by Sandra Orchard is a 368 page novel in the Suspense genre. It is published by Revell Publishers and was released on June 2, 2015.  To purchase your copy, click here.

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Overview

Researcher Kate Adams has finally pinpointed the medicinal plant responsible for tearing her family apart. She’s certain that discovering its secrets is her only hope of solving the mystery surrounding the disappearance of her father. Kate will risk anything to find the truth–even her budding relationship with Detective Tom Parker. But more people than she can fathom are after the plants and going it alone just might prove to be a fatal mistake.

My Two Cents

Desperate Measures is a thrilling novel with several twists and turns along the way. This novel is the third in the Port Aster series, yet I was easily able to follow the story line without reading the two prior novels. The characters were interesting and relatable; it was easy to find myself in their shoes as I continued reading the novel. I enjoyed watching the relationship between Kate and Tom unfold as the novel went on. Kate’s love for her father was inspiring. Even though her father had put her through a lot, she still loved him and fought to be able to see him again. Desperate Measures deals with themes of love, trust, and faith in God.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  It was a joy to read and kept me interested throughout the entire length of the novel.

Thank you to Revell Publishers for a free copy of Desperate Measures in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.

About the Author

Sandra Orchard is the award-winning author of several inspirational romantic suspense/mysteries, including Deadly Devotion, winner of the 2014 The Word Award for suspense, and Blind Trust. Her Love Inspired Suspense titles have garnered two Canadian Christian Writing Awards and a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Sandra has also received a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. In addition to her busy writing schedule, Sandra enjoys speaking at events and teaching writing workshops. She lives in Ontario, Canada. Learn more about Sandra’s books and check out the special bonus features, such as deleted scenes and location pics at her website.