28 April 2016

Book Review Mail Order Surprise by Lucy Thompson


Forget Me Not Romances, a division of Winged Publications (April 19, 2016)

 
Blurb
Colorado, 1881. Lydia Walsh is on the run. The quiet rancher she marries and expected to find safety and protection with turns out to have three siblings, next to nothing to live on, and is a crack shot who may or may not be one of the states best cattle rustlers.
Beau Harding wants to keep his family together and do the right thing by them. His mail order bride comes with her own set of baggage: two more mouths to feed and empty hearts begging him to fill. The job he took for some quick money gets him thrown in jail for rustling, and then to clear his name he takes on another job--and learns that his wife may have been the one plotting his family’s downfall all along.

Review
Firstly thanks to Lucy for my copy for an honest review.

I have to say wow what a great debut novel by Australian writer Lucy Thompson. I was hooked from the beginning. We start with Lydia and her two children running for a train trying to avoid someone following her. She is off to become a mail order bride in the hopes of safety and a new life. What happens when she arrives is interesting. She finds Beau has left a few things out of the letters he wrote her like siblings.

I love the different twist and turns in the book. I really felt for Lydia I could feel her pain and wanted to know what was going to happen as I was reading. There were times I just needed to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next. Lucy had me on the edge of my seat several times. This is an excellent debut noveI and if you like Mary Coneally's books you will enjoy this story. I eagerly await the next book in the series.

7 April 2016

Book Review The Seafaring Women of the Vera B by Susan Page Davis and James S. Davis



Blurb from back of book.

1854–With the captain dead in Melbourne, Australia, Alice Packard thinks the worst has happened, until she learns the crew has deserted her husband’s ship in favor of the goldfields. Only one old man, Gypsy Deak, sticks by her, but Gypsy alone can’t raise a crew from the depleted population.


In desperation, Alice turns to the only source of plentiful workers: the women of Melbourne. In a bold move, she and Gypsy empty a brothel, promising the escaped women a new life. Her all-woman (save one) crew put their backs and hearts into the voyage, but Alice finds training her sailors much harder than she expected.


Her faith is tested to the limit. With a cargo to sell, angry brothel and tavern owners in pursuit, pirates to evade, and a mysterious stowaway, will the seafaring women of the Vera B. survive to tell the tale of this daring adventure?


My Review


Firstly thanks to Susan P Davis for my copy of this book for an honest review.


I was given this book to read due to it starting in Australia and for my opinion of the book. I was in intrigued by the premise and when I started the book I just wanted to keep reading. The book is set during the Australian Gold era and many sailors jumping ship to go gold mining. Which leads the Vera B lacking a crew to return to America. A new strike has taken place at St Arnard which I has memories for me as I remember Mum talking about how my brother took his first steps at a park there. 


Looking for crew Alice is finally desperate and takes on women as her crew. Here we have a a variety of women from women escaping life in a brothel and tavern to passengers returning to England after the death of there husband/father.  There is going to be tension between the women which we see play out. 


I enjoyed the book partly because I knew many of the places and also because the Australia references were accurate. This for an Australian impressed me that the authors went to the effort to make sure they had the right terms. 


I did however get confused at times with all the women and who was who. Some are easy to remember but a few I mixed up at times. 


I do need to give a warning there is some violence in the later part of the book due to the issue of pirates. I didn't find it graphic or over done but some people who don't want to read a book with any violence might find this book may find it more than than can handle.


This book is Historical Fiction with a hint of romance. 


Overall this is a really good book and I am eagerly awaiting book 2. 

4 April 2016

ACRBA tour Twice Stolen by Susanne Timpani



4 - 8 April, 2016
is introducing

(Armour Books, 14 February 2016)

Susanne Timpani


About the Book:

After the death of his grandmother, Dimitri finds he's been lied to most of his life. His journey into the Outback to unravel the mystery of his identity leads to an encounter with Leah, a nurse with a tragic secret.


About the Author
Susanne is married, has four beautiful children and works as a community nurse with children and families. Themes of her work and her faith appear in her writing. 

Susanne is the author of the blog, 10 Minute Daily Retreat. These twice weekly reflections on scripture can be read via:

http://susannetimpani.blogspot.com.au/ 
https://www.facebook.com/10MinuteDailyRetreat

Her first novel, Twice Stolen, was released in February 2016. It fits the genre of Inspirational Fiction, has Australian Aboriginal themes and is flavoured with a sprinkling of Medical Romance.


Twice stolen won the CALEB prize for an unpublished manuscript.  The book is published by Armour Books

23 March 2016

Review of Heart of a Cowboy.

Hearts in Pursuit 
By Susan Page Davis 
Can Abby and Sam fight their way through the danger and violence and live long enough to find love? 
Texas, 1880. Abby and Sam pursue a band of raiders to rescue their younger siblings. Abby’s father is gravely injured, and she knows she can’t return home without her little sister. Sam’s father wants to thwart his powerful Mexican father-in-law and stop him from taking Pablo to live with him south of the border, but once he has Pablo back, will he continue the search for Abby’s sister? Abby and Sam feel it is up to them to keep the recovery mission on track. Though romance seems to have no place on the trail of danger and violence, can this journey draw them closer? 

Hearts Reunited 
By Miralee Ferrell 
Mercedes Taylor is determined to save her ranch after her father’s death, but she won’t let anyone help—especially not her old friend Jesse Townsend who deserted her so many years ago. The pain his family inflicted on hers goes too deep for her pride to forgive. 

After riding the trail for five years, Jesse Townsend returns to his family property to find the girl he’d once loved all grown up—and more prickly than he’s ever seen her. After his mare is seriously injured, he has no choice but to call on Mercedes—the local animal doctor—for help. 

Add the attractive banker’s daughter who Jesse seems smitten with, and trouble starts brewing. Can Mercedes and Jesse set aside the old family feud and find their way back to the love that had only started to blossom when Jesse left? 

Have Dress, Will Marry 
By Yvonne Lehman 

Julie Hayes must escape from Wildcat Mountain. Her mother died, leaving her with a step-father she doesn’t trust. 
James, who she thought would be her means of escape, is gone. Her only hope is to approach the cowboy, saddleback preacher Timothy Sullivan, when he makes his circuit into Wildcat Mountain. She asks, “Will you marry me?” He says, “Yes, of course,” expecting to perform a ceremony for her and James. 
Believing Julie is in danger, Timothy takes her to the Sullivan Ranch. Suspicions abound when she’s accused of stealing a horse and jewels. 
While Julie is trying to become the kind of woman a preacher would want to marry, Tim is trying to realize his ranching dreams, which don’t include being a circuit riding preacher. 

The Hand-Me-Down Husband 
By Vickie McDonough 

Ellen Stewart despises Lance Garrett. If not for him dashing into Isabelle’s life and stealing her heart and filling her head with his dreams, her little sister would still be alive and safe at home. When she receives Lance’s letter requesting help, Ellen rushes to Silver Springs, intent on taking charge of her young niece. A rugged ranch is no place for a motherless baby. But when she realizes the depth of Lance’s despair, she can’t leave him alone. Though everything within her wants to flee back to the big city, something makes her stay. Tessa needs her father, for one—and he needs her. Ellen knows what it’s like to lose all she’d dreamed of. When local church members make a stink about Ellen living at Lance’s ranch, they are forced to marry. Ellen didn’t want a hand-me-down husband, but could their marriage be God’s will for them both? 


My Review:
I was given this book free for an honest review.

This book contains 4 novella's each featuring cowboys. 
The first had me from the very beginning. In fact I could see it as a movie, a true western. Abby's younger sister Ellen and Sam's younger brother Pablo are taken by Mexican Raiders planning to take them to Mexico. I could see the story playing out as a movie and loved Abby's strength and courage. This story was a great start to the novella.

The second book features Mercedes and Jesse childhood friends who due to an incident led to the families becoming estranged. We see Jesse return to his ranch needing Mercedes help. We then see the struggle of being former friends with still having feelings for each other and how they deal with it.

Book Three features Julie and Timothy. Julie is stuck on living on a mountain with her step father and asks Brother Timothy to help her in an unconventional way. Timothy is the circuit pastor who wants to be a rancher. Julie learns what a real family is like when she meets Timothy's family but there are issues with trust and accusations by her step father.

Book four features Ellen and Lance. Ellen has gone to help Lance look after her niece after the death of her sister. She goes to help wanting to take her niece back to St. Louis with her but see the love Lance has for Tessa. I love how Ellen and her sister were so different and how she is able to help Lance and in turn learn more about herself and that she does have a purpose. 

All in all this is a good collection of novellas which I would highly recommend.

19 March 2016

Wrists and reunions.

Hi all, Its been awhile since I last updated. I have finally had my wrist operated on. They did an arthroscopy and shortened the ulnar and put in a plate and pins. It was done about 12 days ago. I had a nerve block which made the arm feel like lead. It was such a strange feeling. I had no control over the arm for about  20 hours. I also went a couple of days with no head pain for the first time in over two and a half years and then little pain around one - two out of ten for the next nine days. the pain has now returned back to around six.

I have now had the first cast removed and a lighter one put on which adds a little more pain but its healing well. It will take about six weeks then intensive physio to get it back to as normal as possible. I was a little naive thinking at six weeks it would be back to normal.


Last weekend we had our school reunion of 40 years since starting high school. It was a great night out catching up with former friends. Some I hadn't seen for close on 40 years. The above photo is of the ones there who started in year eight. We had around 64 former students out of around 100 who started.


I had a group of around eight people I use to be friends with and five were there. Above is the group I was friendly with. Of this group it I hadn't had as much contact with a couple of the ladies so it was so great to catch up. I am the only one left in my town.



On the Sunday we had a tour of the school and saw the improvements. Like A/C in every room! We had over 600 students in my time now there is just over 300. My arm was really sore after the weekend but it was worth it. I will be keeping in closer contact with my friends now. This was my first reunion. It was so quiet after the weekend.

10 March 2016

ACRBA Tour The Pounamu Prophecy by Cindy Williams

7 - 11 March
is introducing
(Rhiza Press, 1 October 2015)
Cindy Williams
About the Book:
Since she watched her village burn to the ground, Mere’s life has been anything but dull. Now as an older woman she has come to stay with Helene and James to finish writing her life story – a tale of injustice, revenge and reconciliation.
But Helene and James have their own problems. After five years together, their marriage has become dull, predictable, boring … and it starts to unravel. 
Weaving fiction with the traumatic history of the Ngati Whatua tribe of Auckland, The Pounamu Prophecy sweeps from the sultry heat of Australia to the verdant shores of New Zealand.
About the Author
Cindy Williams lives in Sydney with her husband and teenage son.
As a child growing up in a culturally rich part of New Zealand she enjoyed writing, not copious screeds, but short intense pieces that brought tears to her eyes and made people think. She marvelled at the power of words to inspire far beyond the intentions of the author.
Then she became a dietitian – all science and seriously researched facts. She completed a Master of Public Health and a Graduate Diploma in Communication and spent many years encouraging and inspiring people to live a healthy life.
She writes a nutrition blog – www.nutritionchic.com – and is working on her second novel, set in first century Israel. She teaches scripture in schools, and swim and cycles. She is also studying for a Diploma of Theology and trying to improve her abysmal French! 

23 February 2016

CFBA Tour Robin by Julane Hiebert

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Robin
Wings of Hope Publishing Group (November 15, 2015)
by
Julane Hiebert


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Julane is first of all a child of God. She is also a wife to Bob, mother to two living sons,Kip and Rob, two daughters in heaven, two wonderful daughters-in-law, Becky and Tami, and grandmother to six perfectly wonderful grands, as well as an additional three ‘other grands’. She lives with her husband in a wee cottage by a small lake nestled in the beautiful Flint Hills of Kansas.

Though encouraged by many to pen the story of raising two daughters with an incurable disease, she has chosen to incorporate the lessons learned into the lives of her not-too-perfect characters. Her passion is to present the promises and hope found in God’s Word in down-to-earth, everyday experiences through her stories.

Julane loves reading, decorating, junking, antiques, and chocolate! No particular order, but one would be safe to insert chocolate between all other interests.



ABOUT THE BOOK

In 1877 the Wenghold sisters inherited an overwhelming debt with their father’s passing. An uncle they’ve never met offers a solution—come help on his Kansas cattle ranch. The oldest sister, Robin, agrees to go.

Ty Morgan has suffered through a year of misery after being jilted by the town beauty a few months before their wedding. But a tornado whirls an unexpected breath of hope into his heart when he rescues Robin, his neighbor’s newly arrived niece, and a small boy who was orphaned by the storm.

Robin’s crippled leg prevents her from being a real help to Uncle John, but she seems to be exactly who Ty needs to heal his broken heart. Until his former fiancĂ©e returns and a mysterious, elusive stranger casts worry over the entire community.

A woman determined to honor her obligations, a man entangled in a long ago-made commitment, an orphaned child in need of security . . . Can God guide these three souls to peace and fulfillment together?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Robin, go HERE.

17 February 2016

CFBA Tour Pharaoh's Daughter by Mesu Andrews

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Pharaoh's Daughter
WaterBrook Press (March 17, 2015)
by
Mesu Andrews


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mesu Andrews’ deep understanding of and love for God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for her readers. She and her husband, Roy, enjoyed fourteen years of pastoral ministry before moving to the Pacific Northwest, where Roy now serves as Academic Dean at Multnomah Biblical Seminary. Mesu writes full-time, snuggled in her recliner beside a cozy fire on rainy Northwest days. The Andrews’ enjoy visiting their two married daughters and a growing tribe of grandkids. Mesu loves movies, football, waterfalls, and travel.

Biblical fiction is her favorite genre to read and write. Her first novel, Love Amid the Ashes (Revell, 2011), tells the story of Job and won the 2012 ECPA Book of the Year for a Debut Author.

ABOUT THE BOOK
“Fear is the most fertile ground for faith.” “You will be called Anippe, daughter of the Nile. Do you like it?” Without waiting for a reply, she pulls me into her squishy, round tummy for a hug.
I’m trying not to cry. Pharaoh’s daughters don’t cry.
When we make our way down the tiled hall, I try to stop at ummi Kiya’s chamber. I know her spirit has flown yet I long for one more moment. Amenia pushes me past so I keep walking and don’t look back.

Like the waters of the Nile, I will flow.

Anippe has grown up in the shadows of Egypt’s good god Pharaoh, aware that Anubis, god of the afterlife, may take her or her siblings at any moment. She watched him snatch her mother and infant brother during childbirth, a moment which awakens in her a terrible dread of ever bearing a child. Now she is to be become the bride of Sebak, a kind but quick-tempered Captain of Pharaoh Tut’s army. In order to provide Sebak the heir he deserves and yet protect herself from the underworld gods, Anippe must launch a series of deceptions, even involving the Hebrew midwives—women ordered by Tut to drown the sons of their own people in the Nile.

When she finds a baby floating in a basket on the great river, Anippe believes Egypt’s gods have answered her pleas, entrenching her more deeply in deception and placing her and her son Mehy, whom handmaiden Miriam calls Moses, in mortal danger.

As bloodshed and savage politics shift the balance of power in Egypt, the gods reveal their fickle natures and Anippe wonders if her son, a boy of Hebrew blood, could one day become king. Or does the god of her Hebrew servants, the one they call El Shaddai, have a different plan—for them all?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Pharaoh's Daughter, go HERE.

10 February 2016

CFBA Tour Soul's Prisoner by Cara Luecht

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Soul's Prisoner
(WhiteFire Publishing (December 15, 2015))
by
Cara Luecht


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A Word from the Author:I never planned to be a writer. In fact, it took me a while to finish college. But I did, and here I am. And I now I can’t imagine not being a writer. By day, I am an English Instructor for a local college, mother to four amazing children, and wife to an eternally patient and supportive husband. In the evening, when I can squirrel away some quiet time, I read and write historical fiction. I have a B.A. in English Lit. from UW Whitewater and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ. If you have a question for me, or if you are local and would like me to stop by your book club or writer’s group, please drop me a line via the “Ask the Author” tab. I always love the opportunity to meet with others who share my love of books.





ABOUT THE BOOK

She'll fight for her future...but can she escape her past?
Chicago, Winter, 1891
Rachel is in danger. She s seen too much.
She creeps along the cement walls through the dank underbelly of the asylum. She d never planned to leave her quiet farm life, never thought she d find a place in the city, never imagined she d be in the kind of danger that would have her cowering in Dunning s cold, labyrinthine basement.
Jenny has finally found her place. After a childhood of abuse, she has friends, a real job, and her only wish is to give her adopted son the kind of life she never had.
A life of stability, without the risk and uncertainty of a father.
But when Jeremy, Rachel s brother, stumbles into their warehouse, asking for help to find his missing sister, Jenny s carefully constructed life begins to crumble.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Soul's Prisoner, go HERE.

8 February 2016

ACRBA Tour Next of Kin by Carol Preston


7 - 11 February
is introducing

Next of Kin
(Rhiza Press, May 2015)

Carol Preston



About the Book:
Fanny Franks was raised to believe in honesty, equality and acceptance, regardless of background or circumstances. When she meets brothers Jack and Jim, she is drawm to them by the alienation and injustice which seems to pervade their lives. She is determined to intervene and help them find happiness, until a trauma in her own life brings discrimination and shame for which she is ill prepared. While she deals with her own struggle she comes to understand what Jim and Jack are going through - and they find where they truly belong.


About the Author

Carol lives in Wollongong with her husband, Neil. She is a psychologist and has a part time private counselling practice, as well as being an author and speaker. Carol enjoys spending time with her children and four grandchildren, as well as bushwalking, gardening and holidaying overseas with her husband. One of her hobbies over many years has been family history research. 

It was this research which started Carol on the journey of writing novels. Her first trilogy is about the Oakes Family; Suzannah’s Gold, Rebecca’s Dream and The Price of Peace, which takes the reader from 1838 when her great great grandmother, Suzannah Casey was transported from Ireland, through to the end of the First World War. Carol’s fourth novel, The Face of Forgiveness, is about two young women who are transported to Australia in 1839. 

Carol has also written the Turning the Tide Series, based on her mother’s family, which begins with the First Fleet of convicts to Australia in 1788. These include Mary’s Guardian, Charlotte’s Angel, Tangled Secrets, and Truly Free. Next of Kin is her ninth novel. For more information about Carol’s books and her other interests she can be contacted on her website: www.carolpreston.com.au, on her Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/writingtoreach 
or her Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/carolpreston




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