Thursday, February 18, 2016

If I Run

If I Run by Terri Blackstock is the best suspense novel I have read in a long time, perhaps even the best ever.  I read it in two days and if it was not for the need of a little sleep I would of finished it in one.  I literally did not want to put this book down.  From the very first page it grabbed my attention and by the end of the book I was wide eyed and tense.   The story itself is enough to keep the reader enthralled, but the author adds a side story that is just as intense and brings so much more to the story!

If you have read any of my reviews you would know that I am not a huge fan of first person narrative.  This book is written in that form, but the story was so good that it didn't matter to me.  Each chapter is entitled "Casey" or "Dylan" and that tells you who will be telling that part of the story.

The only negative thing I can say about this book is that I didn't care for the ending.  It just ends.  No closure.  Of course, it is left open for the next book in this series, but oh how I hate waiting!  I can't wait to read the next book and see what happens with Casey and Dylan and I just hope the author does not take to long in writing it!

More about the Book:

There is blood on the bottom of Casey's shoes, there's blood on her car.  Casey's DNA is all over the murder scene.  Casey's best friend Brent has been murdered and there is only one thing for her to do...RUN!  She knows there is no way she will be able to clear her self and she thinks Brent's death has something to do with her father's presumed suicide that happened when Casey was only twelve.

Dylan is suffering from PTSD, but is hired by Brent's parents to find Casey.  The parents want justice for their son and they are certain that Casey is the murderer.  As Dylan begins his search and his own investigation he begins to notice that things are not adding up.  Could someone be setting Casey up?  If so how can he protect someone who has has been hired to find?

No matter what Casey is doing or what false identity she is hiding behind, her true character and her love for others can't help but shine through.  If she can't help herself she wants to be able to at least help someone else.  To be a hero for someone.  She gets to do just that in the most unthinkable way!

If you are someone who likes to read suspense novels I highly recommend this one! Such a good story!  The author did an outstanding job on this one and I can't wait to read more!

***Thanks to for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Feathered Bone

The Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell is not the kind of novel I normally read, but after I read the reviews I decided to give it a try.  I really tried to like this book, but I just could not connect with it.  It seemed to be drawn out and there were so many needless details that seemed to drag it out even more.  I am not really a fan of first person narrative and since that is what is used in this book, I am sure that is one of the things that influenced my opinion.

The story is pretty deep.  It deals with some upsetting issues such as kidnapping, depression and abuse, just to name a few, but it also focuses on overcoming the things that life throws your way.  Just like a feather bone you can bend and not break.  The trials we face in life do not have to define us, but they can make us stronger.

The story is set in New Orleans and Amanda is chaperoning her daughter's class on an outing.  Amanda's daughter Ellie is best friends with Sarah and before the day is over Sarah disappears.  Ellie blames herself and falls into a deep depression.  Amanda's husband is nothing but a jerk and turns destructive when his wife and daughter are needing him most.  As Amanda continues the search for Sarah, she leans on her faith to do what is best for her and her daughter.

The story line really is good, but it's the drawn out details that just drove me crazy.  To each their own, but this is one author that I will steer clear from in the future.

***Thanks to for providing this book in exchange for my honest review.

The Prophetess: Deborah's Story

In the book of Judges you can read about Deborah, the only female judge mentioned in the Bible.  There are only a couple chapters that you can read of her story.

The Prophetess by Jill Eileen Smith is a fictional story based on the real life and biblical account of Deborah.  I am pretty picky when it comes to fictional bible stories, but this one was so well written.  The author went above and beyond!  She took a story out of the Bible that has very little detail and wrote a novel that gives the reader an idea of what it was like in that time period.  The story did not stray away from the biblical truth and even helped me to see Deborah as a real person.  I do think it is important to remember that it is fictional.  The only truth we know about Deborah is what is written in the Bible, but this book is so enjoyable and it will help the reader understand what life was like in Israel during Deborah's life.

I really liked how the book started when Deborah was but a young girl.  We read how she comes to marry Lappidoth.  We see that she has lots of struggles within herself.   She makes mistakes and has struggles, but above all she desires to please God and obey his voice.

I think any reader will be blessed by this beautiful story.  I for one will for sure be checking out more of Jill Eileen Smith's book!


Deborah will never forget the day her father and brothers left to worship at the Lord's tabernacle - or the wails of her mother after finding their bodies at the city gates.  The memories of Canaan's cruelty haunt her and all of Israel.  Now in this dark time, the Lord calls on Deborah to lead His people away from the idols of other nations and back to Him.

Deborah never asked to be a prophetess or a judge over God's people.  Still, she cannot deny His voice or the visions that accompany it.  Can her family ever understand?  Will her people believe God's calling on her life?  And can the Canaanite menace be stopped?

With her trademark impeccable research and imaginative storytelling, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the story of Israel's most powerful woman in this intriguing and inspiring novel.

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

Doodletopia Cartoons

One of my favorite pastimes is to doodle.  I'm not the most artistic person in the world so I am always looking for books that teach new techniques.  I've never tried my hand at drawing cartoon characters so I thought I would give it a try with Doodletopia Cartoons by Christopher Hart.

In Doodletopia Cartoons you are able to draw, design and color your own super-fun cartoon creations right in the book.  My own preference however was to use a sketchbook.  I have this thing about righting in books even if they are designed for that purpose.  This book makes it very simple to learn to draw many cartoon images.  There are 158 pages and a large variety of images.

Although this is a fun interactive book, there were some things that I did not care for.  First of all, a lot of the images are designed to fill in the details of an already drawn cartoon character.  Even though this can be enjoyable, I would of preferred step by step directions on how to draw the complete character myself and not just fill in the details.  Secondly, the book seems to be geared toward young children.  I do think that children of all ages would enjoy the drawings in this book, but, as a parent, what concerned me was the narrative.  For each cartoon drawing there is a short little story along with tips and instructions on how to finish the drawing.  Many of the stories are, in my opinion, not appropriate for young children.  The author tries to be funny, but in reality he is making jokes that I would not want my young child reading.  For instance, there is a page with a groom and a bride and the story is about the man dreading his wedding day and wanting to find a way out of it, and how he forgot to sing the prenup.  There is a page with a gorilla and a man and the story has suggests man and gorilla being relatives.  OMG is also used which is unacceptable in our household.

If it wasn't for the narrative in this book I would of given this book a higher rating.  The cartoons are fun, but I would of rather the directions and stories go a different route.

***Thanks to Blogging for Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Amish Sweethearts - A Book Review

Amish Sweethearts by Leslie Gould is the second book in the Neighbors of Lancaster County series.  You would have no problem reading Amish Sweethearts as a stand alone book, but I would encourage you to read the first book in the series as well.  Amish Promises.  I had previously read Amish Promises and being able to reconnect with some favorite characters while reading Amish Sweethearts helped me to like it all the more!

You would almost think that by the title of this novel that it is going to be fairly predictable.  A sweet little story about two Amish sweethearts, but let me tell you, there is so much more to this story. The story is about Lila and Zane.  Zane is Lila's neighbor and him and his family are not Amish.  Even more so Zane has enlisted in the army and is stationed a world away from Lila.  While he is gone Lila must decide if she should marry the man that her father approves of or hold out and follow her heart and wait for her true love Zane.

Lila is such a lovable character as where so many of the members of her family.  I was rooting the whole time for her and Zane and I really enjoyed the strong sense of family values and trusting in God to lead the way that this book portrayed.  I really hope that there will a third installment to this series.  If it's anything like the first two books I know I will love it!  

***Thanks to Bethany House Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Mermaid Moon - Book Review

Mermaid Moon by Colleen Coble is the second book in the Sunset Cove series.  When it comes to writing suspense novels this Author is a master story teller and never disappoints.  Mermaid Moon will grab you from the very first page and keep you guessing to the end!  Even though it is the second book in the series, you do not necessarily have to read them in order.  She is an excellent author though and the first book in this series was equally as enjoyable.

Mallory Davis left her home on Mermaid Point years ago under bad circumstances.  She is now the struggling single mother of a teenage girl that has plenty of teen attitude.  On top of Mallory's financial struggles she is being harassed by an unknown person.  When Mallory receives a phone call from her dad, she panics when she realizes he is dying.  His last words to Mallory are instructions for her to "find her mother".  Mallory returns to Mermaid Point and soon discovers that her father was murdered.  On top of that it seems like whoever did it still has an agenda.

Mallory turns to her childhood sweetheart Kevin O'connor who is a game warden and is helping on the case of her father's murder.  The deeper they dig to discover the truth the more suspicions arise.  Will they ever figure out what is behind her father's death and will they be able to mend the past hurts between them in the process?

This book has the perfect balance of suspense and romance.  Every time I think I had it figured out there would be another twist or turn.  The characters are well developed and easy to relate to.  I would definitely recommend Mermaid Moon for anyone who enjoys suspense novels.  I can't wait to read the third book in this series and if it is anything like the first two books I can guarantee it will be great!

***Thanks to for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Always Watching

Always Watching by Lynette Eason is a page turning suspense novel with a bit of romance thrown in.  The story is about the Elite Guardians, A group of women bodyguards serving to protect others.  When Wade Savage a popular psychiatrist and radio personality discovers he has a stalker, it is not long before he realizes his very life and the life of those he loves is in danger.  When Wade's bodyguard is nearly killed, Olivia Edwards, the agency's owner steps in to protect Wade and find out who is threatening him.

The stalker soon takes everything to a new level when what started as innocent gifts turns into drugged darts, bombs and other life threatening dangers.  Olivia is soon fighting for her own life as well as the protection of Wade's and his daughter Amy.  On top of the danger that surrounds them Olivia has to deal with the feelings she is having for Wade which she feels is even more dangerous than threats of the stalker.

Always Watching is a very fast paced book.  It is page turning suspense at its best.  There is never a lull and it keeps you guessing till the end.  The one problem I found with Always Watching was that the bodyguards are women.  Wade is portrayed as a strong and handsome man and I found it hard to believe that any man would hire a woman to protect him.  I mean really, what man wants a women fighting his battles for him?  I did enjoy the book in spite of this, but it did make it harder to relate to.  I'm not sure yet if I will read the rest of this series or not.  Since the series features the Elite Guardians I am guessing that they will all be about the female bodyguards, so it will just depend what else I am reading at the time.  

***Thank you to Revell Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.