The Tears of Dark Water by Corban Addison (review by Cathy)

TheTears of Dark Waterr

Daniel and Vanessa Parker are an American success story. He is a Washington, DC,

power broker, and she is a physician with a thriving practice. But behind the gilded facade, their marriage is a shambles, and their teenage son, Quentin, is self-destructing. In desperation, Daniel dusts off a long-delayed dream a sailing trip around the world. Little does he know, the voyage he hopes will save them may destroy them instead.

Half a world away on the lawless coast of Somalia, Ismail Adan Ibrahim is living a life of crime in violation of everything he was raised to believe except for the love and loyalty driving him to hijack ships for ransom and plot the rescue of his sister, Yasmin, from the man who murdered their father. There is nothing he will not do to save her, even if it means taking innocent lives.

Paul Derrick is the FBI s top hostage negotiator. His twin sister, Megan, is a celebrated defense attorney. They have reached the summit of their careers by savvy, grit, and a secret determination to escape the memory of the day their family died. When Paul is dispatched to handle a hostage crisis at sea, he has no idea how far it will take him and Megan into the past or the chance it will give them to redeem the future.
Across continents and oceans, through storms and civil wars, the paths of these individuals converge in a single, explosive moment. It is a moment that will test them and break them, but it will also leave behind an unexpected glimmer of hope that out of the ashes of tragedy and misfortune, the seeds of justice and reconciliation can grow.”

 

My Review:

Wow! This is one of the best books I’ve read in awhile.
It’s fast paced, it’s emotionally charged and simply well written.

The story of Somalian pirates, a marriage in serious trouble, a son that is self destructing and so much more, made this a book that I couldn’t read fast enough.

Corban Addison wrote an amazing book with incredible characters that will keep you engaged from beginning to end. I truly cared about Daniel and Vanessa Parker and their son Quentin. I felt as though I was with them on their journey. That is the talent of Mr. Addison that he can take his readers on the path he’s taken his characters and I was glad that I went with them. There are many characters in this book that are just as interesting and important to the storylne.
Even if this isn’t the type of book you would normally read, do yourself a favor and read it.

I received this book from the publisher and the Fiction Guild for an honest review.
 

 

 

 

 

The Imposter Giveaway Winner!!!!!!

winner smiley face

 

Jessica Baker

 

Congratulations Jessica!  You are the winner of the autographed copy of The Imposter by Suzanne Woods Fisher.  You have one week to comment on this post to claim your book.  If you haven’t commented in one week a new winner will be chosen.

My Brother’s Crown by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould (review by Kristi)

My Brother's Crown

From Goodreads: From Christy award-winning authors Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould comes a brand-new sweeping family saga. Close-knit cousins are individually led on a redemptive journey as they follow the threads of their family’s mysterious past and discover how it impacts the future.

Renee Talbot, a director in her family’s 350-year-old paper company, is facing a huge problem: how to stay afloat in an increasingly paperless world. When her grandmother asks for her help in finding answers to some unsettling family-related questions, Renee’s search for truth takes her to Europe, where she learns the story of Catherine Gillette, an ancestor who lived in seventeenth-century France. Headstrong and independent, young Catherine’s brave actions saved the original paper company–and various members of the family–during a time when the French Huguenots were being persecuted by Louis XIV.

As Renee tries to save the company and her family’s legacy, she draws courage and wisdom from an ancestor who stood strong and faithful when life was at its most perilous and God seemed to expect more from her than she ever thought she could deliver.

My review: When I picked up this book I wasn’t sure what to expect. I like historical fiction, but I wasn’t sure if I would like a book that went all the way back to 1685 France. My concerns were quickly laid to rest as I became immersed in the stories of two women from very different time periods.

I really enjoyed all of the historical details in this book. They were woven into the story in such a way that I feel as if I received a history lesson without every being bored. In fact, there is no time to be bored reading this book. There are several plot twists that keep the reader engaged in the story.

Adding to the wonderful historical detail in this book is the character development. There are many characters in this book and each is well-developed and multi-faceted. Catherine was my favorite character in the book. I instantly liked her and could sympathize with her in her feelings about her relationships with her brother and boyfriend.

The authors did a fantastic job of weaving Catherine’s and Renee’s stories together. I loved how the story was told in both present-day Virginia and 1685 France. I usually shy away from books that are co-written as I think the story isn’t told as well. This is so not the case in this book. This book is so well written that is is easy to tell the authors are from one mind and one heart with this story. The writing is seamless and strong. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

If you like fiction wrapped in historical detail you will love this book. This book would be as equally enjoyable for anyone who enjoys good clean fiction. Happy reading!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Gift of Love: One Woman’s Journey to Save a Life by Amy Clipston(review by Cathy)

The Gift of Love

From Goodreads:

Their odds were 100,000 to one. Her faith was 1 in a million.

In The Gift of Love, bestselling fiction author Amy Clipston shares her story of almost losing the love of her life to kidney disease and the ultimate sacrifice that kept their family together. An ordinary woman who cherishes family above all else, Amy was challenged in every way—from her strength of character to the depths of her faith to the close-knit family that surrounds her.

Enduring the good, the bad, and the really bad, she was determined to help her husband once again be the husband and father their family needed. Amy’s story will give hope and encouragement to anyone who finds themselves waiting on God. Staring down adversity, Amy and her family received the most important gift of all, the gift of love. And regardless of your situation, this gift can be yours too. An inspirational story of strength and determination, The Gift of Love is the triumph of one woman’s faith against all odds, and a soul-filling reminder that no matter how hard life gets, it is worth fighting for.

My review:

I’ve read many Amish Fiction books by Amy Clipston and have always greatly admired her work.

In this account of her husband’s life threatening illness, I now have an even greater admiration for her. Not just as a talented author, but as a loving wife, mother and daughter. She’s a pretty amazing human being!

Amy shares so much of her life with her readers in this book. She’s open, honest and takes you on the journey that she willingly took.

Faced with Joe needing a kidney donor, her fathers declining health, a child, working a full time job and writing she embarks on the path that will help save the love of her life. I’d never heard of the paired kidney exchange program but, of course Amy in her never ending quest to help her husband found out all about it.

The love she has for Joe and her family is so strong. This is truly an inspiring story. Amy and Joe have faced many challenges and hardships in their lives, but they’ve faced them with love and faith. They never give up on each other or their family and that’s something that speaks volumes about both of them.

 

 

 

It’s Giveaway Time!!!!!!

 

 

Like Amish fiction?  Like Suzanne Woods Fisher?  Want to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Suzanne’s latest Amish fiction book, The Imposter?  If you answered YES! to these questions then you will want to enter our contest!  It’s quite easy.  All you have to do to enter is follow our blog by clicking on the follow button and entering your email address.  Leave us a comment on this post that you have “followed” us (or are already following us) and you are entered.  Contest will run through November 29th.  Winner will be announced in a separate blog post.  Winner needs to comment on that post and we will get your book out to you.  If you don’t comment that you are the winner within one week another winner will be picked.  Good luck to all and, as always, happy reading!!!!

The Imposter by Suzanne Woods Fisher (review by Cathy)

The Imposter

From Goodreads:

Katrina Stoltzfus thought she had life and love all figured out: she was going to marry John and live happily ever after. Those plans started to crumble when her father moved the family to Stoney Ridge, then completely collapsed when John decided to marry someone else. Katrina is devastated. How could she have felt so loved, yet been so deceived? As she struggles to face a future without him, a widow asks for her help to start a new business and Katrina quickly agrees. She needs time to heal her broken heart, to untangle her messy life, to find a purpose. What she doesn’t need is attention from Andy Miller, a farm hand who arrives at the widow’s farm just when help is most needed–and who always seems to say the right thing, and be in the right place, at the right time. Is Andy for real, or too good to be true? Deceived once before, Katrina is determined to keep her feelings in check. When a cascade of events is set in motion by some surprising information, the little Amish church is turned upside down. Soon, everyone has a stake in the outcome, and the community struggles to find the best response to an imposter in their midst. Can they forgive even the most deeds?

My review:

It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book by Suzanne Woods Fisher. After reading this one, I began to wonder why!

This author is very gifted and in this book, she’s at her best.

I adored the characters and the storyline. I usually have a favorite character in a book, however in this book I had several.

David is a wonderful character and even though he is a preacher, he isn’t the typical Amish preacher I expected him to be. His love and understanding for his children were so moving. Birdy was such a caring and giving character that she was someone I’d like to have as friend.

Of course there are some characters that I didn’t like. I still found myself interested in reading them, too.

The Imposter is hard to put down once you start reading it. There’s quite a few twists and turns that will keep you engaged throughout. I’m looking forward to reading more in this stories.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion.

All Is Calm-All Is Bright Two Christmas Novellas by Colleen Cobble(review by Cathy)

All Is Calm, All Is Bright

From Goodreads:

All Is Calm

Brendan Waddell needs a place to recuperate. Lauren Everman needs a place to hide. It’s going to be an unexpectedly romantic Christmas at Bluebird Ranch. Brendan Waddell has always considered Bluebird Ranch a little piece of heaven: an idyllic ranch that pairs abused children with abused horses, run by one of his old Marine buddies. Now, recovering from an on-the-job injury, Brendan thinks the ranch is the perfect place to spend Christmas healing up. When Lauren Everman was a seventeen-year-old foster kid, Bluebird Ranch was the safest place she knew. Now it’s the perfect hideout for a woman on the run. As the witness to a murder, Lauren needs somewhere to lie low, and her skill with horses means she’ll be able to lend a hand with the troubled kids at Bluebird—without answering too many questions. Lauren’s rich hair, high cheekbones, and dark eyes immediately get Brendan’s attention—but so does her secretive behavior. This Special Ops Intel man knows a woman on the run when he sees one, and he’s not about to let her put Bluebird Ranch at risk. But as Brendan and Lauren get to know each other, their suspicions evaporate and romance starts to sizzle. But this would-be couple has more to worry about than each other—there’s a killer on the loose who wants Lauren kept quiet.

All Is Bright

A romantic, Christmas wedding at her seaside hotel gives Delilah a chance to shine with her unique gifts. But will her light be snuffed out before the bride and groom say “I do”? As manager of the Tidewater Inn, Delilah Carter has been planning a spectacular Christmas wedding for her friends at the grand hotel overlooking the ocean. While picking up still more twinkly lights and some last-minute groceries for the reception dinner, a huge truck runs her off the freezing, wet roads into the dark night. Her car stops just short of an enormous tree and the truck speeds off into the night. Delilah escapes with her life and has almost convinced herself the whole thing was an accident, but then she begins to receive threatening phone calls. With the wedding just hours away, she’s distracted and anxious. Then Sheriff Tom Bourne stops by the inn and volunteers to help. Tom has always had a soft spot for Delilah, and he’s determined to protect her. But he is pulled away by a bizarre Christmas stunt that has the neighborhood reeling, and Delilah is attacked again. Will Delilah have to cancel the Christmas wedding at Tidewater Inn? And will Tom’s protection be enough to save Delilah from the shadowy figure looming in the background?

My review:

All Is Calm

Bluebird Ranch is the setting for this story and I quickly became engaged from the first page. The emotional storyline and well defined characters made this novella a joy to read. Brandan Waddell is a character with a capacity to love and nurture which made him easy to care for. Lauren Everman had a warmth to her which made her stand out to me. The children were all so sweet, but my favorite was Carly.

All Is Bright

This story takes place at The Tidewater Inn where Delilah Carter is the manager. I enjoyed the setting of this one, too. Delilah is a character that had depth to her. Sheriff Tom Bourne possesed a sweet and charming nature which was delightful. From the wedding planning to the Christmas shopping I felt as though I was exploring Hope Beach, too.

Each of the stories were interesting and held my attention. The characters were all well defined. Overall, I believe this book will appeal to readers looking for a Christmas story and those that enjoy suspense, and romance.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and the Fiction Guild in exchange for an honest opinion.

Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelley Gray (review by Kristi)

Whispers in the Reading Room

From Goodreads: Lydia’s job at the library is her world—until a mysterious patron catches her eye . . . and perhaps her heart.

Just months after the closure of the Chicago World’s Fair, librarian Lydia Bancroft finds herself fascinated by a mysterious dark-haired and dark-eyed patron. He has never given her his name; he actually never speaks to a single person. All she knows about him is that he loves books as much as she does.

Only when he rescues her in the lobby of the Hartman Hotel does she discover that his name is Sebastian Marks. She also discovers that he lives at the top of the prestigious hotel and that most everyone in Chicago is intrigued by him.

Lydia and Sebastian form a fragile friendship, but when she discovers that Mr. Marks isn’t merely a very wealthy gentleman, but also the proprietor of an infamous saloon and gambling club, she is shocked.

Lydia insists on visiting the club one fateful night and suddenly is a suspect to a murder. She must determine who she can trust, who is innocent, and if Sebastian Marks—the man so many people fear—is actually everything her heart believes him to be.

My review: After reading the first two books in this trilogy, I was a bit hesitant to read this one. The reason being I didn’t want to be disappointed if the story was not as good as the others. Shortly after beginning this book I realized I had nothing to worry about. Whispers in the Reading Room is just as good as the first two books in the trilogy.

I immediately liked Lydia. What’s not to like, though? She loves books. I love books. It was so easy to relate to her. Sebastian was likable as well. He was mysterious and had a bit of a “bad boy” element, but it was easy to see through to the vulnerable side he had. It soon became apparent that he was a good guy and tender hearted. I found myself hoping these two could find happiness in a world that wasn’t the kindest to either of them.

Shelley’s writing style in the book stayed true to the other two books in the series. The story is written with an intensity that propels the reader from chapter to chapter and keeps them on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens next.

If you are looking for a good mystery that delves somewhat into the shady underbelly of 1893 Chicago then this is the book for you. Definitely a quick read that has the perfect blend of mystery and romance.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion which I have given.

Joline’s Redemption by Vickie McDonough (review by Kristi)

Joline's Redemption

From Goodreads: Joline had lofty dreams of love and luxury, but after her husband leaves her and she makes a series of fateful decisions, Jo has fallen as far as any woman can. Bereft of all hope and with the threat of losing her son, Jo seeks refuge at her sister’s home. Jo has a long list of secrets to keep and has to look over her shoulder, as the man she’s running from may show up anywhere, anytime. Is it possible that God can redeem Jo, and give her hope for a happy future? Find out in Joline’s Redemption—book 2 in Vickie McDonough’s Land Rush Dreams trilogy.

My review: Joline’s Redemption is the second book in the Land Rush Dreams series. I had not read the first book in the series before reading this one so at the beginning I was a little lost and confused. However, things were soon sorted out and I enjoyed Joline’s story.

I liked the two main characters of the book. Joline was someone I think I would like and could become friends with. Life had not treated her well but instead of playing the poor victim role she was a strong woman who faced whatever challenges came her way. Baron was the ideal hero. He had a history of having to clean up the messes his brother made but instead of being bitter he did what he needed to and was still a gentleman.

The pace of the story was a bit slow at times. It seemed like it took forever for Joline to tell her sister what had happened to her in the years they were apart. I was hoping she would have told her sooner and the story could have moved along at a faster pace. I enjoyed Jack’s storyline and thought he was a nice person when he stood up to the town. I would have liked to have read more about him in the book.

I liked the author’s writing style. Her descriptions made me feel as if I was there. She did a good job of describing the time period and really transporting the reader to the time and places where the story took place. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I enjoyed her writing style as it pertained to the time period.

All in all Joline’s Redemption is a good story about second chances and letting go of the past. I have now purchased the first book in this series so I can read more about these people. I would recommend that you read the first book before reading this one for more understanding of the characters. However, this book can be read as a standalone.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion which I have given.

My Brother’s Crown(Cousins of the Dove #1)by Mandy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould(review by Cathy)

My Brother's Crown

From Goodreads:

From Christy award-winning authors Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould comes a brand-new sweeping family saga. Close-knit cousins are individually led on a redemptive journey as they follow the threads of their family’s mysterious past and discover how it impacts the future.

Renee Talbot, a director in her family’s 350-year-old paper company, is facing a huge problem: how to stay afloat in an increasingly paperless world. When her grandmother asks for her help in finding answers to some unsettling family-related questions, Renee’s search for truth takes her to Europe, where she learns the story of Catherine Gillette, an ancestor who lived in seventeenth-century France. Headstrong and independent, young Catherine’s brave actions saved the original paper company–and various members of the family–during a time when the French Huguenots were being persecuted by Louis XIV.

As Renee tries to save the company and her family’s legacy, she draws courage and wisdom from an ancestor who stood strong and faithful when life was at its most perilous and God seemed to expect more from her than she ever thought she could deliver.

 

My review:

One book, two captivating stories and two very different time periods.
I thought it would be confusing when I discovered this but the authors have done an incredible job in giving a voice to both Catherine Gillet and Renee Talbot the main characters in this book.
Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould also did an outstanding job in both researching and writing such an intriguing story.

In 1685 the French Crown is trying to get everyone converted to the Catholic Faith and this is where the story begins with Catherine. The stories move seamlessly to modern times with Renee.

It’s a story that’s part historical, part faith based and definitely appealing to readers that like a well written and interesting novel.

I enjoyed this story immensely.

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for my honest review.