Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Unbreakable


Book Review


Unbreakable by Nancy Mehl is Book Two in the Road to Kingdom series. Kingdom is a traditional Mennonite community in Kansas. Being able to get a close look at an old order Mennonite town was one of my favorite parts of the book. My mother was raised Mennonite and I am fascinated with Mennonite culture and stories. I remember attending church with my grandparents with the entire service being in German. There are many descriptions of wonderful food being served at the town restaurant that brought back memories of dishes my grandmother and mother cooked. The town of Kingdom has been isolated and has maintained its commitment to “the old ways” and it truly is a fascinating look into the past.

When someone begins to set fire to churches in the area the people of Kingdom are shocked. Then there are road rage attacks on the horses and buggies of the Mennonites that tragically ends with a death. Mennonites are pacifists and as the community struggles with their non-violence beliefs juxtaposed with the idea of self-protection I found myself striving to determine my beliefs. Is violence always wrong? Is it wrong to fight for self-preservation? And what is it about human behavior that makes it right to attack those who are different?

Hope Kauffman is a young woman who is one of the victims on the highway as she travels by horse and buggy. The experience leaves her terrified and she struggles to come to terms with the Mennonite belief in non-violence. Is it wrong to take measures to protect themselves? Some of the residents believe they should have armed community members to guard the town at night. Others believe it is not biblical to fight violence with violence. Two young men become leaders for each point of view and as Hope struggles with her own feelings I examined my beliefs. Fighting violence with more violence seems wrong but how much would my desire for self-preservation interfere with my core beliefs?

The story portrays Hope’s journey as well as that of the community. Then their church is torched and burns to the ground.  The intense stress seems like it will tear both the community and families apart as they struggle to trust the God that they serve. It is also the story of Hope’s attraction to two different men on opposite sides of the debate. The romance is really just another aspect of the divisive issues facing the community.

This book is an exciting story. It depicts the difficulties and dangers for Christians who wish to be “in the world but not of it.” It is a story of a community that grows stronger because of persecution. I received this book from the publisher in return for a review. All opinions are my own.

Buy the book for $10.94

About the Book


Gentle and unassuming, Hope Kauffman has never been one to question the traditions of her Mennonite upbringing. She quietly helps her father run Kingdom Quilts and has agreed to the betrothal he arranged for her with the devout but shy Ebbie Miller.

Despite the attempts of Hope and other Kingdom residents to maintain the status quo, changes have already begun to stir in the small Mennonite town. The handsome and charismatic Jonathon Wiese is the leader of the move to reform, while Ebbie insists Kingdom must remain true to its foundation. When Hope's safety is threatened by a mysterious outsider, she can't help but question what she's always been taught about the Mennonite tradition of nonviolence.

As it swiftly becomes apparent the threat Hope faced is only the beginning, the town that's always stood so strong finds itself divided. With tensions high and their lives endangered by an unknown enemy, will Hope and the people of Kingdom allow fear and division to break them or will they draw on the strength of the God they serve?

About the Author



Nancy Mehl lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband Norman and her very active puggle, Watson. She's authored fourteen books and is currently at work on a new series for Bethany House Publishing. All of Nancy's novels have an added touch - something for your spirit as well as your soul. "I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing," Nancy says. "God is number one in my life. I wouldn't be writing at all if I didn't believe that this is what He's called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan for your life, and there is nothing you can't overcome with His help." Readers can learn more about Nancy through her Web site: http://www.nancymehl.com. She is also active on Facebook.

Giveaway


Celebrate the release of Unbreakable with Nancy Mehl by entering her Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVPing to the March 5th Author Chat Party on Facebook!


Unbreakable Kindle Fire Giveaway

One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Books one & two in Nancy's Road to Kingdom series (Inescapable and Unbreakable)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 4th. Winner will be announced at the "Unbreakable" Author Chat Party on March 5th. Connect with Nancy, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be gift certificates, books, and fun Mennonite-themed giveaways.

Grab your copy of Unbreakable and join Nancy on the evening of the March 5th for a chance to connect with Nancy and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 5th!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Firefly Island


Book Review


Firefly Island is a novel by Lisa Wingate. The story begins with a whirlwind romance between Mallory Hale and Daniel Webster Everson. My initial reaction at the beginning of this book was “This is really lame.” Daniel is a biochemist working for the USDA with an adorable pre-school age son. Mallory is the very pampered daughter of a powerful Washington lobbyist whose father helped her snag a job as a legislative assistant on Capital Hill. They literally collide in the capital, she drops her stack of papers, he helps her retrieve them and they simultaneously fall in love. I thought it was ridiculous.

Shortly after meeting, Daniel is offered his dream job in Moses Lake, Texas and he and Mallory decide to get married. So they strike off with a U-Haul trailer for their new life as a married couple. This is the point where I questioned, “So how’s this going to work out for them?” Mallory, with the maturity of a pre-teen moving to the country and becoming a stay-at-home Mom for little Nick without any of the perks to which she has become accustomed, is going to go with this man she has only known for a few weeks. Sounds like a disaster in the making.

And indeed life is pretty rough in Moses Lake. The house that came with the job is a wreck complete with mice and Daniel is expected to work long hours. I actually began to feel sorry for Mallory. But against all odds, this couple begins to pull things together. I silently cheered when Daniel realized that he did have an obligation to his family and stood up to his boss and took private family time. Mallory tackled the disaster of their house, getting rid of rodents and hitting the boss up for new carpet. I am not so sure that I would have stayed in the house after the first night. Mallory did and she became a wonderful mother to little Nick. She began to make friends in the community. She developed a concern for the children who lived in exceptional poverty up in the hills and used her skills learned in Washington to help. Mallory and Daniel grew as a couple and their love for each other took root.

About half way through the book I was hooked. I was drawn into the mystery of Moses Lake and simultaneously became quite fond of Daniel and Mallory. Soon after arriving in Texas it became apparent that there was something sinister about Daniel’s boss. Daniel’s boss was in a serious accident and there is suspicion that it might not have been an accident. I was surprised how well Mallory and Daniel rose to the occasion and together fought against adversity and survived. Then Mallory literally takes her life in her hands to find the answer she had wondered about since she arrived at Lake Moses.

Firefly Island has all the ingredients for an excellent read. As I read, I realized that the romance and love story were genuine. The story is exciting – especially the last part. It is a book I would recommend. I received this book from the publisher in return for a review. All opinions are my own.

Sometimes love takes you on an adventure completely off the map.

Buy the book for $10.19

About the Book


Mallory Hale's life quickly veers off course when she falls hopelessly in love. After a whirlwind romance, Mallory finds herself leaving the bustle and action of Capitol Hill for the remote town of Moses Lake, Texas-with husband, stepson, and a U-Haul in tow.

A sweet, mishap-filled journey into marriage, motherhood, and ranch living ensues, and Mallory is filled with both the wonderment of love and the insecurities of change. But what she can't shake is the unease she feels around her husband's new boss, Jack West. Jack's presence-and his mysterious past-set her on edge, and when hints of a scandal emerge, Mallory finds herself seeking answers . . . and comes to realize that the middle-of-nowhere home she wasn't sure she wanted is the very place she'll risk everything to save.


About the Author


Lisa Wingate is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books, including Tending Roses, Talk of the Town, Blue Moon Bay, and Larkspur Cove, which won the 2011 Carol Award for Women's Fiction. Lisa and her family live in central Texas.

Lisa Wingate is celebrating the release of Firefly Island with an iPad Mini giveaway and a fun Facebook Author Chat Party (March 19th).  

Firefly-Isalnd-giveaway300

  One fortunate winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • The Moses Lake series (Firefly Island, Blue Moon Bay and Larkspur Cove)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 18th. Winner will be announced at the "Firefly Island Author Chat Party on March 19th. Connect with Lisa, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be many fun giveaways -- gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of Firefly Island and join Lisa on the evening of the March 19th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 19th!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Shattered


Book Review


Book 2 in author Dani Pettrey’s Alaskan Courage series is titled Shattered and is a romance adventure story. But admittedly, it was the excitement/adventure that kept me reading late into the night. The story begins with a bang as sisters Piper and Kayden McKenna are awakened in the night by the sound of someone downstairs. And the story from there intensifies and does not let up. The McKenna family is shocked to learn that their youngest brother Reef is accused of murder and denied bail. The book is about the families’ search for the real killer.

The search takes the McKennas down into the Canadian Rockies and then to Southern California. Through all this the tension constantly builds. I could observe that they were getting closer and closer to the answers they were looking for and many times I thought, “This cannot end well.” The soliloquies spoken anonymously by the killer throughout the book contributed to the sense of foreboding.

While the sense of constant danger was my favorite part, I also enjoyed watching the sweet love story between Piper McKenna and deputy Landon Grainger develop. I liked how it became continually more obvious that they would be perfect for each other and how it took both of them time before they shyly admitted to each other their love. There was also the hint of a possible romance between one of the reporters and the middle McKenna brother Gage. I am looking forward to book three of the series to see what happens.

Lastly, I loved watching the spiritual journey of Deputy Landon as he struggled with a huge disappointment put on him by his earthly father. Watching him come to terms with his heavenly Father was inspiring. Gage McKenna also struggled with the idea of a God who cared about him and even his hard shell began to show a softening toward God by the end of the book. Both of the struggles of these men mirror struggles I have seen outside of a fictional world that friends and acquaintances go through. I enjoyed having a first hand look at God working in their lives.

I strongly recommend book 2 in this series. It was a good read on many levels. I received this book from the publisher in return for a review. All opinions are my own.

Buy the book for $10.19

About the Book


With All the Evidence Against Him, Only a Sister's Trust Can Save Him Now

When her prodigal brother Reef's return to Yancey, Alaska, is shattered by his arrest for murder, Piper McKenna is determined to protect him.

Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he's also sworn to find the truth. And he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth puts Landon's career in jeopardy.

When Piper launches her own investigation, Landon realizes he must protect her from herself-and whatever complications await as the two follow clues deep into Canada's rugged backcountry. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.

About the Author


Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom, and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves--the thrill of adventure, nail biting suspense, the deepening of her characters' faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters.

Visit her website at www.danipettrey.com.

Giveaway


Dani Pettrey is celebrating the release of Shattered with a Nook HD giveaway and a Facebook Author Chat Party {3/14}. 


Shattered Pettrey

One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Nook HD
  • Submerged and Shattered by Dani Pettrey {Be caught up in this riveting series.}
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 13th. Winner will be announced at the "Shattered" Author Chat Party on 3/14. Connect with Dani for an evening of book chat, trivia, and a chance to win gift certificates, books, and other fun prizes!

So grab your copy of Shattered and join Dani on the evening of the March 14th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 14th!


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