Review: These Healing Hills

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Francine Howard has her life all mapped out until the soldier she planned to marry at WWII’s end writes to tell her he’s in love with a woman in England. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service.

Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he’s at a loss when it comes to envisioning what’s next for his life.

When Francine’s and Ben’s paths intersect, it’s immediately clear that they are from different worlds and value different things. But love has a way of healing old wounds . . . and revealing tantalizing new possibilities.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart is a wonderful historical romance. This, book was a lot of fun to read. I enjoyed watching the main characters grow. Life hands them lemons, and they still move forward with hope. A woman loved a man but her affection wasn’t returned. From there her journey led her into the wilderness where she meets a troubled soldier. Their meeting wasn’t just coincidental. It was fate.  Fate brought them together. It still lies within the characters to decide their ultimate fate. Their future. Love plain and simple. Ann H. Gabhart hooked me into her new story. I had to know the outcome after meeting both Francine and Ben. Healing with sweet rewards. Overall, I enjoyed reading this this beautiful yet realistic tale. I recommend it to all.

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Review: The Amish Christmas Candle







Synopsis:

At the heart of winter’s darkness is the joyous glow of the Christmas season. In this love-filled holiday collection, warm yourself with the peaceful light of Plain gifts. 



SNOW SHINE ON ICE MOUNTAIN

Kelly Long

When staid Naomi Gish’s mischievous father hires strapping Gray Fisher at their candle shop for the season, she’s positive the old man has an ulterior motive. She doesn’t need help–but as Gray learns the craft of candle making, Naomi learns that love is not only possible, but God’s most precious gift.



A HONEYBEE CHRISTMAS

Jennifer Beckstrand

Of all the sacrifices Bitsy Kiem made to raise her three nieces Amish, giving up her Englisch life was the only thing she missed. With the girls married now, she has a chance to kick up her heels this Christmas–unless widowed Yost Weaver can convince her that Plain love is a flame that will never go out.



THE CHRISTMAS CANDLE

Lisa Jones Baker

Blessing those in need at Christmastime is one of Lydia’s favorite traditions. But without her newly married sister’s help this year, the task seems daunting–until handsome Mennonite John King shows her that hands joined to do good may unite hearts, as well. 


Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Amish Christmas Candle is a great collection. Not my overall favorite. The stories are more modern living than the Amish way of living. I did enjoy how each character found happiness, hope, love, and healing. 

Snow Shine on Ice Mountain by Kelly Long is a sweet yet inspiring Amish romance. Two young people who learn what love really is. Gray realizes love is peace and he’s never felt peace with any other girl except for Naomi. Naomi is a bit older than gray and very plain looking. But her heart, mind, and soul, are worthy of any man’s heart. Gray comes to realize that Naomi is the one. Naomi starts to feel like a wanted woman with Gray. But can she trust her heart to him? Kelly Long’s short story felt believable. It wasnt like other Amish tales I’ve read. Most wouldn’t allow the things that each character did without a chaperone or without some kind of consequence. However, it was sweet, engaging, and heartfelt. Gray not only finds peace but love and healing, too. 

A Honeybee Christmas by Jennifer Beckstrand is another entertaining short story. I liked how one English woman left her way of life to raise her three nieces as Amish women. That took a lot of strength, determination, and power. Imagine leaving the life you have now, to live a plain simple one…I don’t think I could do it. I may enjoy it, but I would miss a lot of things. The writer brought an untraditional tale and still gave it a heart tugging feeling. I warmed up to the main characters. Overall, it was realistic and a great adventure. 

The Christmas Candle by Lisa Jones Baker is the last Amish tale inside this collection. I felt the Christmas holiday sweeping over me. The pages went by quickly. Excitement rushed through me as I read every page. Filling me with a sweetness that I couldn’t let go. The main characters were enjoyable to follow. Both having faith in God. This story was more traditional in the Amish setting than the previous tales before it. I really loved this one. Giving back to the community, learning to trust, and not giving up hope are great themes found, here. Lisa Jones Baker created a piece that I fell in love with…overall, I highly recommend reading The Christmas Candle to all. 

Review: Bringing Maggie Home

Synopsis:

Decades of Loss, an Unsolved Mystery, and a Rift Spanning Three Generations…
Hazel DeFord is a woman haunted by her past. While berry picking in a blackberry thicket in 1943, ten-year old Hazel momentarily turns her back on her three-year old sister Maggie and the young girl disappears.
Almost seventy years later, the mystery remains unsolved and the secret guilt Hazel carries has alienated her from her daughter Diane, who can’t understand her mother’s overprotectiveness and near paranoia. While Diane resents her mother’s inexplicable eccentricities, her daughter Meghan—a cold case agent—cherishes her grandmother’s lavish attention and affection.

 

When a traffic accident forces Meghan to take a six-week leave-of-absence to recover, all three generations of DeFord women find themselves unexpectedly under the same roof. Meghan knows she will have to act as a mediator between the two headstrong and contentious women. But when they uncover Hazel’s painful secret, will Meghan also be able to use her investigative prowess to solve the family mystery and help both women recover all that’s been lost?

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Bringing Maggie Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer is beautiful contemporary tale. It also demonstrates a good Christian lifestyle that still is entertaining to read. Inspiring, realistic, and heartfelt. I’m still a huge fan of Kim Vogel Sawyer’s work. Her writing is three-dimensional. Sucks me into her new worlds each time I open up her new novel. A past that haunts one particular family is about to unravel. Bringing back the loss, the mystery, reopening the cold case, and bringing forth an unforgettable emotional journey. Healing, home, and family are major themes incorporated throughout this stunning story. I was hooked. Definitely a page-turner. A disappearance from the past has strong impacts on a family of women. Intense, suspenseful, and addictive. The plot is well-written. Their messy lives are bout to unfold…overall, I recommend this read. I couldn’t stop reading it once I started. Once more, Kim Vogel Sawyer has sown a perfect book. 

Review: The Art of Hiding






Synopsis:

Nina McCarrick has it all: a loving husband, two beautiful boys, a well-appointed home and more time than she knows what to do with. Life is perfect. Until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.

Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.

But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.

Bestselling author Amanda Prowse once again plumbs the depths of human experience in this stirring and empowering tale of one woman’s loss and love.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse is one of the most believable tale I’ve read. A story of loss, love, and hope. The loss of a father and husband, losing their home, and moving to a new place.  Plus, a single widowed mother dealing with a teenager who seems like he’s connecting with her anymore. A you’re son who loves her still but is also wanting to be like his big brother. Sweet, heartfelt, and realistic. 

The title, The Art of Hiding, fits well. I was amazed at how well the mother holds onto the little she has. Her sons. Going after a career, a new home, and a new area can place a lot of stress and emotions on a family that has already lost so much. But with time, there’s hope and maybe even some healing. I was throughly entertained with this book. Every page was exciting. Something always caught my attention and held it there until the ending. Amanda Prowse is a talented writer. This, was the second novel of hers that I’ve read. Enjoyable, easy to follow along, and great characters to love. Overall, I recommend this novel to all. 

Review: The Summer House  

Synopsis:

When Flossy Merrill summons her children to the beloved family beach house to celebrate their father’s eightieth birthday, both cherished memories and long-kept secrets come to light in this charming and lyrical novel from the author of The Lake Season and Mystic Summer.
Flossy Merrill has managed to—somewhat begrudgingly—gather her three ungrateful grown children from their dysfunctional lives for a summer reunion at the family’s Rhode Island beach house. Clementine, her youngest child and a young mother of two small children, has caused Flossy the most worry after enduring a tragically life-altering year. But Samuel and his partner Evan are not far behind in their ability to alarm: their prospective adoption search has just taken a heart-wrenching turn. Only Paige, the eldest of the headstrong Merrill clan, is her usual self: arriving precisely on time with her well-adapted teens. Little does her family know that she, too, is facing personal struggles of her own.
No matter. With her family finally congregated under one seaside roof, Flossy is determined to steer her family back on course even as she prepares to reveal the fate of the summer house that everyone has thus far taken for granted: she’s selling it. The Merrill children are both shocked and outraged and each returns to memories of their childhoods at their once beloved summer house—the house where they have not only grown up, but from which they have grown away. With each lost in their respective heartaches, Clementine, Samuel, and Paige will be forced to reconsider what really matters before they all say goodbye to a house that not only defined their summers, but, ultimately, the ways in which they define themselves. 
Featuring McKinnon’s “sharp and evocative” (Kirkus Reviews) voice, this warm-hearted novel is perfect for fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Mary Alice Monroe.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Summer House by Hannah McKinnon is a superb summer read. A story about a family dealing with a lot of issues. The mother forces her kids back to the summer house. There she hopes to help them deal with their issues and maybe, find some peace. A worried mother over grown children. The mother herself has something to share with her children. She plans to sell their summer house. A place full of childhood memories for the children who are now, grown adults. The journey is rocky at first but smooths over as the pages are turned. Emotional, stunning, and heartfelt. 

Hannah McKinnon writes well. Her characters are believable. Each one adds to the plot. A different issue like the lost of a husband. Readers will easily relate to the them. I was able to understand and love the characters. The mother was the centerfold of this family. Strong, dependent, and clever. She loves her family. Caring, loving, and sweet. I couldn’t put this book down…The Summer House lured me from my seat and deep onto its pages. A deep entertaining read. One that pulled at my heart strings all the way. Overall, I recommend this novel to readers worldwide. Loss, love, and healing. 

Review: The Memory of You

Synopsis:

Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?
When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.
And Natalie never says no to her father.
Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.
But finding freedom from the past means facing it.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Memory of You by Catherine West is a haunting read. One that breaks my heart. Losing a sister is like losing half of oneself. Readers can easily relate to the main character’s pain. Now, that same character has to return home. It is there that I followed Natalie Mitchell to where she grew up…her grandfather needs her. Despite all the dark and nightmarish memories of what home brings to Natalie she still makes her way back there. I loved that about the main character. She was brave and loyal. My heart tore at her pain as the story continued. Mesmerizing and engaging to read.

The Memory of You takes readers to California. There I got to visit a family owned winery. That’s the full focus of Natalie’s pain. Loss, grief, and heartbroken. Complex, intriguing, and entertaining. This was the first novel I have read by Catherine West. I definitely recommend it to readers worldwide. Adventure, family, and an emotional journey waiting to be read by all. 

Review: The Idea of You

Synopsis

With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter dares to hope that she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.
But the reality of becoming parents proves much harder than Lucy and Jonah imagined. Jonah’s love and support is unquestioning, but as Lucy struggles with work and her own failing dreams, the strain on their marriage increases. Suddenly it feels like Lucy is close to losing everything…
Heart-wrenching and poignant, this latest work by bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: what does it mean to be a mother in today’s hectic world? And what if it’s asking too much to want it all?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse is a powerfully written novel. A novel that all women can relate to easily. Love, relationships, and family are just a few of the themes presented inside this tale. From the beginning, I felt saddened by the main charcater’s life. She gave up her one and only child. A child that kept her wondering for forty-years, if she had a good life or not. The  Idea of You was indeed a perfect title. It perfectly worked for this read.  This same woman felt like a loner. Always single at events that couples would be attending. My heart reached out to Lucy. But then, the unexpected happens and she meets Jonah. He’s a great man. Their love is true and it made me smile to watch them as they worked out their issues and are just as happy as when they wedded.  However, a secret comes out and before readers know it, Lucy’s and Jonah’s world has been flopped upside down and inside out…then, Jonah’s daughter has a secret to tell. I felt that this tale was very believable. I can see this situation happening to anyone. Jonah’s struggles as a father and husband were tested. I loved the end results that Amanda Prowse created. So much sorrow and then some healing and laughter. Lucy went through a lot more than giving up her only child, she also miscarried. I can only imagine her hurt…overall, I highly recommend The Idea of You to readers everywhere. Emotionally deep and satisfying to read. 

Review: If Not for You




Synopsis:

An emotionally stirring novel that shows how obstacles can be overcome, differences can be strengths, and sometimes a choice can seem wrong even though it s absolutely right
If not for her loving but controlling parents, Beth Prudhomme might never have taken charge of her life and moved from her native Chicago to Portland, Oregon, where she s reconnected with her spirited Aunt Sunshine and found a job as a high school music teacher. If not for her friend Nichole, Beth would never have met Sam Carney, although first impressions have left Beth with serious doubts. Sam is everything Beth is not and her parents worst nightmare: a tattooed auto mechanic who s rough around the edges. Reserved and smart as a whip, Beth isn t exactly Sam s usual beer-drinking, pool-playing type of woman, either. 

But if not for an awkward setup one evening, Beth might never have left early and been involved in a car crash. And if not for Sam who witnessed the terrifying ordeal, rushed to her aid, and stayed with her until help arrived Beth might have been all alone, or worse. Yet as events play out, Sam feels compelled to check on Beth almost daily at the hospital even bringing his guitar to play songs to lift her spirits. Soon their unlikely friendship evolves into an intense attraction that surprises them both. 
Before long, Beth’s strong-willed mother, Ellie, blows into town spouting harsh opinions, especially about Sam, and reopening old wounds with Sunshine. When shocking secrets from Sam s past are revealed, Beth struggles to reconcile her feelings. But when Beth goes a step too far, she risks losing the man and the life she s come to love. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

If Not for You by Debbie Macomber is the sweetest romance tale I have read. Inside readers will find a relationship and a family that resembles most others. I got lost with each charcaters’ dilemmas. Their struggles felt so real…it was hard not to grow attached to each of them. Debbie Macomber is a bestselling writer for a reason, after reading her latest tale, I was hooked. Two unlikely beings brought together by fate. Each one has their own fears and troubles ahead. It will take both of them to help each other. A story of love, healing, and new beginnings. 

Inside If Not for You, neither main character would have found healing and closure. A man tortured by giving up his full rights to his daughter has led a solitary lifestyle. Because of his his daughter’s mother who broke his heart and kept the daughter out of his reach…Sam won’t do relationships. Then, two friends set him up on a blind date. The date was a disaster. Two people completely different that both knew at first sight it wouldn’t work. But then, all it took was one look and a life threatening situation to happen, and now, neither one is alone. Sam stayed at Beth’s side while help came. He was there during her recovery and through her therapy sessions. As time let on, they become closer.  

Beth was always living her lif the way her mother wanted. But Beth wasn’t happy. She was brought up to be smart and refined. Deciding enough was enough…she left home to be on her own. She had her Aunt Sunshine. Until one blind date, and a disaster out of nowhere. Car crash, injured, and stuck at the rehab. Beth will go through a rollercoaster ride that will bring many unexpected outcomes. Like her annoying mom, her aunt’s happiness, and finding her own happiness. But before all that, life will be crazy and bumpy as hell…

Debbie Macomber sucked me in whole. Every page made me want to be there. The charcaters were raw, rough edged, and sweet. Funny too, at time. Their inner and outer turnmoils made it impossible not to love them. It showed the realities of life, love, and forgiveness. Healing isn’t easy, but it can happen, if we let it. Overall, I highly recommend this contemporary romance to readers worldwide. If Not for You is a must read. 

 

Review: How to Mend a Broken Heart


Synopsis:

A compelling, heartbreaking tale that will make you laugh, cry and believe in the kindness of strangers. Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, Lucy Dillon and Miranda Dickinson.

Life is good for nurse Kat. That is until the man she intended to marry legs it, she’s unexpectedly promoted to a position with too much responsibility, and a patient arrives on her ward under strange circumstances.

Susan is a mystery. She refuses to speak or interact with anyone, she’s obsessed with a book of fairy tales, and the only name in her diary is that of Rhys – a plumber she barely knows.

Down-to-earth Rhys is trying to get his life back on track after the death of his beloved brother. His mum is his priority, and she needs him as much as he needs her. Or at least she did, until she starts disappearing, leaving him to find comfort in the form of his brother’s girlfriend.

Complicated is an understatement.

As the lives of these three lost strangers intertwine, will they find a way to lay ghosts past, present and future to rest? And when the chance comes to mend their broken hearts, will they be brave enough to take it?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

How to Mend a Broken Heart by Anna Mansell is a tale for all. It’s about three people who dig through their lives finding a way to mend what’s broken. Happiness can only be found if determined to find it. Life is complicated and messy. Women everywhere can easily relate to the characters and their issues. Real world issues masterfully told in an entertaining way. Deeply emotional and thought-provoking. Mysterious, intriguing, and highly engaging to read. It was easy to follow along as the plot unfolded. Everything felt real. The pacing of the story is slightly slow but good. I haven’t read anything by Anna Mansell before, until now. I recommend her nove to all. Healing is an important themes that needs to be read and explored by everyone. 

Review: A Path Less Traveled



Synopsis:

From this bestselling small town series comes a heart-tugging love story about a single mom, her traumatized little boy, and the new attorney in town who longs to rescue and protect them.

A recently-widowed single mom is tired of being rescued. Though surrounded by friends and family, Trish is determined to blaze a path for herself and her daddy-starved little boy without outside help. Unfortunately, her attempts to run a small town bride business just doesn’t pay the piles of bills. Though the new attorney in town seems interested in both her and little Bo, the timing is all wrong. Will her current life circumstances mean leaving the hometown she loves?

When a world-weary attorney starts a new law practice in Miller’s Creek, he’s prepared for business challenges, but not for falling in love–especially with a woman and her son whose tragic life circumstances are heartbreaking. Can the new attorney romance Trish and get through the wall of stubborn hurt encasing her heart? Will Trish be forced to leave Miller’s Creek? And will they both learn to trust the Lord to take a path less traveled?
Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Path Less Traveled by Cathy Bryant is amazing. It shows the human heart at its rawest moments. Trust, faith and love. Three of the toughest things to learn and earn from someone. For some, it’s easy to give. Others it’s much harder. Here, I got to watch a woman struggle with her trust issues. But with time, patience, and friends she was able to move forward to a happily ever after.

Cathy Bryant’s novel is a bestseller. I instantly understood why. After reading her women’s fiction title…I fell in love. Trisha is a a single mother. Her ability to trust is little to nothing. Her life was a huge mess. Until the day, a man walked into it. From that moment onward things got more interesting. However, Torah held the power to move forward or to stay backwards. Choices…life is full of them. Sometimes we need to jump in and risk our hearts. If we don’t try, we will never know what would have been. A Path Less Traveled was entertaining, believable, and well-written.  Anyone can easily relate to Trish and her issues. I found the book inspiring, sweet, and powerful. The messages were clear. Overall, I highly recommend this read to readers everywhere.

Review: The A to Z of You and Me

 

Synopsis:

A striking literary debut of love and mortality, The A to Z of You and Me is the story of a man who doesn’t have much time, his love for a girl who isn’t there, and the game he plays while waiting that illuminates the devastating and beautiful turns of life. The A-Z game. For Ivo, it’s a way to pass the time, a way to avoid the pain and a way to think about what really got him here. His hospice nurse suggested it – think of a body part for each letter, and think of memories connected to each one. And so begins the revealing of his misspent life: the terrible teenage choices, friendships made and cracked, the love he’ll never get back. He remembers the girl who tried to help him, the friend who wouldn’t let her, and the sickness that chases him even now.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review:

The A to Z of You and Me by James Hannah is a journey that sucks me in whole and keeps me turning the pages. Ivo is just a regular everyday kind of man. He fell into the wrong crowd, did stuff that he wasn’t proud of, and lost a chance at love. Now, as an elderly man, in a hospice, he knows his life is short. A nurse has him go through an exercise using every letter of the alphabet to come up with a story or a life memory attached to each letter. As Ivo goes through the alphabet, I got to travel through snippets of his younger self. Ivo lost his father to cancer, he experienced both bad and good days during his younger life. I enjoyed following the person he was back then and the man he has become. He knows what he did wrong and wants to make things better. He’s a little afraid, but soon…he finds some peace and love in the end. I truly enjoyed this talented writer’s style and the well-written plot. The characters were well-developed and were able to drag me into the scenes as though I were experiencing it all for real. The A to Z of You and Me by James Hannah is definitely a literary novel that I would recommend to all.

 

Review: Troublemaker

 

Synopsis:

A thrilling, fast-paced novel of romantic suspense from sensational New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Linda Howard.

For Morgan Yancy, an operative and team leader in a paramilitary group, nothing comes before his job. But when he’s ambushed and almost killed, his supervisor is determined to find out who’s after the members of his elite squad—and why. Due to worries that this unknown enemy will strike again, Morgan is sent to a remote location and told to lay low and stay vigilant. But between a tempting housemate he’s determined to protect and a deadly threat waiting in the shadows, keeping under the radar is proving to be his most dangerous mission yet.

The part-time police chief of a small West Virginian mountain town, Isabeau “Bo” Maran finally has her life figured out. She’s got friends, a dog, and a little money in the bank. Then Morgan Yancy shows up on her doorstep. Bo doesn’t need a mysterious man in her life—especially a troublemaker as enticing and secretive as Morgan.

The harder they fight the intense heat between them, the closer Morgan and Bo become, even though she knows he’s hiding from something. But discovering the truth could cost Bo more than she’s willing to give. And when Morgan’s cover is blown, it might just cost her life.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Troublemaker by Linda Howard is amazing. It’s hot, addictive, and suspenseful. A powerfully written story that swept me off my feet and kept me turning the pages. The emotional journey blew me away. The characters are in a tight situation and with danger right around the corner, it’s one heck of an intense battle. One character knows the other is keeping secrets…but what they were definitely not expecting was the explosive chemistry they feel towards each other.

Troublemaker is indeed just as the title presents. Sexy tough agent, Morgan walks into Bo’s life bringing just that. It’s hard enough that his looks have her memorized by his every movement…but something he’s not telling has her on the edge. Bo, a part-time police chief senses, something dark about the stranger that’s just popped up, within her radar. Morgan is tempted by the strong beautiful woman whom he will be staying with as he bids his time staying under the radar. Someone is after his team and until the culprit is found he has to stay out of trouble. Every page brings both raw desire and fear. This romantic suspense thriller is about Bo and Morgan’s relationship, as well as dealing with the trouble, that is left to Bo to handle. The female officer isn’t sure of which to be more afraid of…losing her heart to Morgan or the mountain town’s chaos. Linda Howard’s writing is superb. I have never found any of her novels to be less than brilliant. Her characters are believable and the scenes are realistically done. Overall, I highly recommend Troublemaker to readers everywhere.

 

 

Review: The Life She Wants

 

Synopsis:

In the aftermath of her financier husband’s suicide, Emma Shay Compton’s dream life is shattered. Richard Compton stole his clients’ life savings to fund a lavish life in New York City and, although she was never involved in the business, Emma bears the burden of her husband’s crimes. She is left with nothing.

Only one friend stands by her, a friend she’s known since high school, who encourages her to come home to Sonoma County. But starting over isn’t easy, and Sonoma is full of unhappy memories, too. And people she’d rather not face, especially Riley Kerrigan.

Riley and Emma were like sisters—until Riley betrayed Emma, ending their friendship. Emma left town, planning to never look back. Now, trying to stand on her own two feet, Emma can’t escape her husband’s reputation and is forced to turn to the last person she thought she’d ever ask for help—her former best friend. It’s an uneasy reunion as both women face the mistakes they’ve made over the years. Only if they find a way to forgive each other—and themselves—can each of them find the life she wants.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Life She Wants by Robyn Carr is another amazing read by this talented writer. A novel that shows how one’s easy life can easily be taken from them. One can work hard and be decent and still have trouble…like Emma Shay Compton. Marriage and her lifestyle were  taken away in one great swoop. Fate lands her back home. A place with bad memories. But looking at her options she has nowhere else to go. Maybe she can start new and gain her life back. Easier said than done. Robyn Carr brilliantly creates novels that hook and captivate readers from the beginning to end. Her words are inspiring and heartwarming. Friendship, as well as new relationships, are great themes within this riveting new title. Back home Emma will have to be patient in getting the life she wants.

The Life She Wants is packed with emotions and a raw intensity that pulls me in deeply. I love Robyn Carr’s writing. She never disappoints. The rollercoaster ride that readers will be going on within this new tale is one that shows us no matter what life brings we can overcome anything. Friends with a falling out so long ago are now brought back into each other’s lives. Only time will tell if they can repair their friendship and make it solid once again. The drama of Emma’s husband’s investigation still comes chasing after her…making her life miserable. She can’t wait until it’s over if it ever ends. The police have been tapping into her phone and still bother her with endless questions. Her frustration and despair felt so real. I felt like I was inside Emma’s shoes rather than sitting in a chair reading about what she felt. Not only does Emma have nothing, battling an ongoing investigation due to her dead husband but also has feelings for a man that she tries not to get to attached to...The Life She Wants has everything plus more then what every reader wants or expected to find. I loved following the characters especially Riley and Emma. Their friendship tugged at my heart. Overall, I highly recommend this story to readers everywhere.

 

Review: The Thing Is

 

 

Synopsis:

Meredith Mancuso is depressed. Ever since the death of her fiancé, she has shrunk from the world. Even with her successful writing career, she’s not motivated to work. When her sister, Monica, begs for a favor, Meredith wants nothing more than to say no. But she’s ultimately roped into pet-sitting an orphaned Yorkshire terrier named Prozac. Blessed with spiritual wisdom and a high IQ, Prozac is an active pet therapy dog. To heal broken-hearted Meredith, he rallies his fan club at Evergreen Gardens, an independent living facility, where he visits each week. Prozac and the community of resilient older folks challenged by losses of their own, propel Meredith, often against her will, back into the land of the living. Meredith learns that most people carry some sort of burden, but it’s still possible to find meaning, purpose, and joy—and sometimes, even love—along the way.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review:

The Thing Is by Kathleen Gerard is a romantic comedy that will make readers cry, laugh, and fall deeply in love just like I did. There’s a young woman who suffered a great loss on her nineteenth birthday…the loss of her fiance. A jerk giving them a hard time threw a rock that hit her fiance’s head causing him to fall to his death. A sad tragedy. Meredith is an author working on her latest novel…but has lost the heart to write and to live anymore. Until fate brings an adorable super cute Terrier named Prozac into her life. The puppy immediately transforms her life by forcing Meredith to get off her mourning butt and to fed, wash, and take care of Prozac. Prozac is an unwelcomed gift to Meredith at first and doesn’t like her at all..until he takes a second look at the woman and her life. It’s then that the puppy realizes that she’s suffering from the pain, of losing a loved one. Readers like myself are taken on a journey of healing, friendship, and love. Kathleen Gerard brings humor and romance into a beautiful story. I was able to easily connect with all of the characters and loved following their journey as the tale unfolded. The story is told from Prozac’s point of view which is kind of refreshing and interesting. Prozac is a dog that has been reincarnated many times before. Overall, I highly recommend The Thing Is to readers worldwide.

 

Review: Voices in the Wind

 

Synopsis: 

The story is set in western Nebraska in the American Midwest. A young attorney accepts a job at her imperious father’s law firm, which forces her to confront tragedies old and new, and leads her into a harrowing fight for survival and the transformation that brings forgiveness and a new perspective.

Along the way, the heroine, Megan, must deal with a crooked attorney, a tornado, lots of root beer, a blond stud, voices in the wind, heartbreak, a lunatic with a shotgun, delicious pastries, isolation, and lies.

This rugged High Plains land of Megan’s hometown is the desolate, windblown, harsh land of the pioneer, American Indian, and cowboy. Even in adulthood, it stirs a strange yearning in Megan, as she deals with the pressures of a law firm and a new love, as well as her attempts to unravel the haunting mystery surrounding her mother. Meanwhile, a disturbed neighbor seeks vengeance against Megan and her friend, driving them into the darkness of the rough land in a test of her wits, fortitude, and resourcefulness. Ultimately, her greatest challenge is to forgive.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Judy Bruce brings readers a novel that shows how a character who feels completely flawed overcomes that difficult times life dishes her. Tragedies from the past come alive once more and new ones follow after it. A young woman from a rural town moves back home to work at her father’s law firm. Megan is a character that many will be wowed by…her weaknesses becomes her strengths and with a little determination she might she pull off everything that’s settled onto her shoulders. Family issues, a new job, and a new love, as well as secrets that may drive Megan down or pull her back up like a free bird, will definitely lure readers to this stunning masterpiece. Voices in the Wind will intrigue readers everywhere. I loved Judy Bruce’s way of showing us what happened and how it happened. The story drags readers in from the beginning and won’t let go until the read it all. This is the first novel in the Wind Series by Judy Bruce and I loved it. I can’t wait to read what happens next inside of her second novel, Alone in the Wind.

Review: Life is Beautiful

 

Synopsis: 

“Life is Beautiful: How a Lost Girl Became a True, Confident Child of God” takes you on a full journey of trauma, loss, and finally resilience. While on a mission’s trip in Guatemala, a small Cessna Caravan’s engine blows while carrying fourteen passengers. Unfortunately, the Cessna crashes in a remote village, leaving eleven of the fourteen passengers dead. One passenger, Sarah, shares her story in “Life is Beautiful”, about the deaths of her father and brother; her mother’s extreme physical and emotional injuries, and Sarah’s self-discovery to accept this new life.

“Life is Beautiful”, however, is more than a story about an airplane crash. “Life is Beautiful” shares the personal struggles of Sarah’s father’s drug use, his recovery, and redemption to be a better person. He gives back by doing missions work in Africa, takes in Sarah’s aunt dying of uterine cancer, and eventually leads their family to the mountains of Guatemala. Sarah also discusses her struggles with alcohol use and depression; where she eventually hits rock bottom. It is not until she starts seeking God through prayer, books, and therapy, where she starts to turn her life around.

“Life is Beautiful” is not only a unique story, but it shows the strength of God’s Will. When all hope is lost, she never gives up on God. This story is a true testimony of God’s love for His people, and when one seeks a spiritual journey and connection with God; He gives back in love, forgiveness, and happiness.

My Rating: 5 stars

My Review:

Life is Beautiful is a must read for all. I can’t stress just how great this beautiful read is. Life isn’t easy, it’s difficult. Bad things always happen and sometimes we lose a bit of ourselves along the way. Sarah M. Johnson has brilliantly written a book, that all should keep a copy handy. This book shows readers her journey through life’s trials. We are tested every day. Things can go well for us for a time and then unexpectedly fall apart and never be the same again. Here, inside of Life is Beautiful, readers get a first hand glimspe into a young woman’s life journey. First, her dad struggles with an issue. Then it’s her struggling to love and forgive her father. Her mom is angered and feels betrayed by her husband’s fall into the dark side.

The youngest child, the son, feels the pain just like the rest of his family but somehow it’s like he holds them together. He tells his father that no matter what, they will always be here for him. That is a showing of true love. Love for a father even when that father betrayed his family and fell off path. His son isn’t giving up on him. Later on, there’s more family issues that will rock their family way of life once more. A father must learn to be the father and husband that he should be. A daughter ,who needs to learn to forgive and move on, as well as recognize her own bad behavior. A mother and wife stressed out from everything. A son, who watches everything unfold and tries to remain strong. Life is Beautiful, shows us, at the end, that life can indeed be beautiful to us once again. I loved reading this book by Sarah M. Johnson. It will tug at your heart, leave you feeling sad, angered, and scared. It will also, give readers hope. Overall, I highly recommend reading this story. You will love this stunning book and all that it brings.

 

Mountain Encounter ( coming soon)

Bell leaned agaisnt a large boulder. Having hiked all the way up the step mountain, she finally cuaght a glance at what she was searching for. A bright orange flower. The villagers believe that the bright flower contains healing powers. They only harvest the flower when someone falls ill. They say the people always get better. Bell wanted to test out the flower for a way to make a medicine that would heal would heal others. Bell’s mom was suffering from a skin disease. So far there were no cures for it. Bell believed the bright orange healing flower would be her mom’s answer. Now all she had to do was take the flower back home. But before Bell got to pluck it. A man plucked the flower from the ground and raced away. Oh no!, Bell thought.
“Hey, you cant do that. That was my flower!”, Bell shouted.
Running to catch up with the man who stole her only hope.
“Too late!”, the man said..just as Bell tackled him. Causing him to fall backward and taking both of them down tye mountain. Both forgot about the flower and held onto each other as they braced for impact.
With a final thump,both landed onto soft green grass that stretched on for miles.  Bell, sensing they stopped rolling, grabbed the man’s shirt tighter. “Please give me my flower, I need it”, she begged him. For a moment completely forgotten about the flower the man looked at Bell. Her eyes shown with fierce determination and sadness…no it was a trick. Shoving her off of him he stoid up. Checking for the flower, he placed in a container. Damn it! He lost the flower. The flower he was going to use to heal his little girl back home. She was slowly dying. She was all he had left. A doctor told him about the rumor of a bright orange healing flower that would help heal hear. And damn it. He had nothing to lose. He needed to save his little girl. Now it was lost. His only hope of saving her…
Bell stood watching the man fall down and weep. Did he lose the flower or was this some type if trick? Not sure, Bell headed next to him and rubbed his back. Sensing someone close to him. He looked up and there on his left with the big warm chocolate eyes, was the woman who only moments before was wanting the flower from him. He didn’t know what to make of her. And he lost everything. He was going to lose his daughter. The woman was trying to assure him, only that she was crying too. Why?

Breaking the Rules( coming soon)

Bad girl Alexis, never thought that falling for a man who took her breath away, would end up being her happily ever after. She was tough, smart, and badass. She wanted a man that was the same.

Matt was a hopeless romantic. He was tough, smart, but a complete softie. Woman drooled after him. But he wasn’t interested in a woman who was into only his mkney and looks. He wanted a real woman. Who feelings were real.
He didn’t expect to fall for Alexis. She was everything he wasn’t expecting and more. She was smart, sexy, tough. But inside.. was a soft woman who melted at his care and simple touch. A woman who needed a man like him to bring out her inner woman. But Alexis isn’t allowing Matt and his sweet words to woo her and her heart. It’s going to take a lot more for Matt to prove he really wants her. Matt feels frustrated and hopeless chasing Alexis..until something bad happens. Alexis is now dependent on others. And while she’s recovering, she discovers what she really wants and who she really is. She decides to break her rules and go after what she wants. But is it too late to make Matt fall in love with her?

Novel Writing Challenge 2

This writing challenge, you will be writing about a man who went to Afghanistan to fight for the U.S, and how he watched  so..many of his fellow marines died fighting against the other side. During the fighting, he risked his life trying to save one of his marine buddies, but as he was halfway there a bomb blew up. Sending debris flying everywhere. His buddy now completely gone and his leg damaged from a blow from the blast, he struggles staying conscious.

After spending 6 months in a hospital back in the States, he decides to head back home to his parents. Only to find out that his parents are now in a nursing home and there home, they gave to a young woman who was kind enough to help them while their son was away.

Feeling exhausted and for the worse, he heads to the nursing home. There he visits his parents. They tell him that he is to share the house and property with the  young woman for three months. After the three months, half the farmland will be split between the two, unless their son and the woman get married then the whole property was to be theirs.

Write how the marine heads back to his parents place, the place where he was born, to spend three months in the small house with the younger woman. Describe what this younger woman is like. Her personality? What scars does she have? And how do they both help each other heal from their wounds. Is marriage in their future? Can they live together for three months? Write all this and what happens next using only 1200 words!!

Best of luck!!!