Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Allison Pittman's Lilies in the Moonlight ~ Reviewed

Allison Pittman
Multnomah Books / 2011
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN-13: 9781601421388


The Roaring Twenties are anything but carefree for disfigured veteran Cullen and his senile mother, Betty Ruth---until fun-loving flapper Lilly scales a wall and falls face-first onto their property! When Betty Ruth prophesies that Cullen will be healed if he returns to his first love---baseball---the three embark on a winning journey of faith.


Lilies in Moonlight takes place in the mid 1920’s. It revolves around a woman named Lilly Margolis who has broken away from the strict confines of her mother’s home to become a flapper and live life as she pleases. He wild partying lands her in the back yard of a wealthy family, who takes her in to take care of her. The mother, Betty Ruth, takes a great liking to Lilly, and Lilly to her. Betty Ruth, though, is losing her memory, and sometimes can't remember who her own son, Cullen Burnside, is. Cullen, is still trying to recuperate from his tragic wounds from the War which left him terribly disfigured. In the course of the story, Lilly learns what real love is, as the family is drawn closer together.

This was an okay read for me. I liked the time era, but it took a little while for me to get into it. Once I did, though, I found it easy to keep reading to see what happens next. It’s a cute book, and if you like stories of the roaring 20’s, you'll enjoy this book.

Reviewed by: Sarah Porter

Monday, May 30, 2011

C.S.Lakin's Map Across Time ~ Reviewed

Map Across Time:Gates of Heaven Series (The Gates of Heaven Series) [Paperback]
C. S. Lakin (Author)
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: AMG Publishers (March 4, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780899578897


An ancient curse plagues the kingdom of Sherbourne, and unless it is stopped, all will fall to ruin. The King, obsessed with greed, cannot see the danger. But his teenage twin children, Aletha and Adin, know they must act. A hermit leads Adin to a magical map that will send him back in time to discover the origin of the curse. Once back, Adin must find the Keeper, who protects the Gate of Heaven, but all he has is a symbol as a clue to guide him. Unbeknown to Adin, Aletha follows her brother, but they both arrive in Sherbourne’s past at the precipice of a great war, and there is little time to discover how to counteract the curse.

One unexpected disaster after another forces the twins to make difficult choices. Adin’s only hope to correct the past is to return to the future to manipulate events so his quest can succeed. Through his trials and failures, Adin learns that nothing can stop heaven from accomplishing its goal, and that all events work for the good of those who trust heaven. An epic fairy tale with surprising twists, embracing the enduring power of love and faith.


The Map Across Time is the second of three novels in the Gates of Heaven series. Though without many connections to the previous book, The Wolf of Tebron, I found it engaging and full of excitement, and ultimately, better than its predecessor. The tale of twin royals, Aletha and Adin, in search of the mysterious firebird and the answers to lifting the curse on the kingdom of Sherbourne, is enthralling and a very worthwhile read. The two must make difficult choices in their actions, determine who to trust, as well as facing trials that may separate them forever. The many twists that are cleverly woven throughout, bring a whole new meaning to the word 'fairytale'. The closure of the novel left some confusion for me, but in a world where time-travel is possible, there is no real surprise that it is the case. I would suggest adding this book to your personal collection. How does it end? Only time will tell.

Reviewed by: EJ

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lindi Peterson's Her Best Catch ~ Reviewed

Her Best Catch
By Lindi Peterson
Published by Bell Bridge Books
ISBN 978-1-61194-015-2


Allison Doll's mother is rebelliously turning fifty, her two best friends had started dating and a gorgeous injured relief pitcher named Ashton Boyd has joined her Sunday school class, rocking her world into confusion, heartache and temptation, places she hasn't visited in a long time, much less all at once.

But with the help of family, old friends she really hasn't lost, a new friend she really can count on, and God, she begins to find out whether she'll always be a girl waiting for life to happen or a woman who's ready to commit to her best catch.


The cover is captivating and reminiscent of Breakfast at Tiffany's (in my opinion). And the story is dynamite! I read it in two sittings, and only put it down the first night because the hubs made me. Allison Doll is fun to be with, and I'm sure I saw a couple of her friends at my church. There is much more to this story than just romance, but with a hot hunky hero and a funny heroine that makes you laugh out loud, you might want to read it more than once. I do. Novel Journey and I give Her Best Catch our highest recommendation. It's a 5-star read.

Reviewed by: Ane Mulligan, editor
Novel Journey

Bonus Review:

I’m excited to learn about new authors and was thrilled to get a copy of Lindi Peterson’s new book that takes place in the Atlanta area. I loved the light hearted fun style this author wrote Her Best Catch; which is about Allison Doll and her thirty something friends.

Lindi grabbed me from the first line, “They say fifty is the new thirty. Which means in a couple of months when my mother turns fifty we’ll be almost the same age…..” I don’t know about you but I’ve got a smile on my face already.

I haven’t read a book that gave a sneak peek into what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a thirty something group of Christian kids. She also gives a peek into what they talk about in Sunday School classes and what they do on mission trips.

Ashton Boyd, a famous pitcher, starts going to Allison’s church and thier singles ministry events. He takes a liking to Allison but she wonders if it’s for the right reasons. This group accepted Ashton with his fun personality and seeking heart at face value and includes him in all they do even with the media on his tale. There are some funny moments because of this and I liked how Lindi handled them. I liked how Lindi talked about healthy boundaries in relationships. Not many books address this.

Lindi Peterson writes a fun slice of life story that deals with relationships on many levels and forms. What happens to relationships within a group that’s been together forever and they start coupling off. What does that look like and how does that change the dynamic of the group. What happens to a girl friends relationship when one of the friends gets into a serious relationship with a male? After the death of a spouse, how does the relationship change between the mother and daughter? I appreciated this author’s honesty and well timed humor when talking about these matters. Finally how does anyone find the “one” person that’s just right for them to marry? It may sounds complicated but this book was up beat and fun!

Want a great summer read that will make you smile, and laugh out-loud? I highly recommend this light-hearted yet insightful book about relationships from a Christian world view. I adored it!

LinkReviewed by: Nora St.Laurent

The Book Club Network

Finding Hope Through Fiction

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mindy Starns Clark's Under the Cajun Moon ~ Reviewed

Under the Cajun Moon
Mindy Starns Clark
Christian Romantic Suspense
Paperback, 332 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7369-2624-9

Back Cover Description:

What secrets can be found by the light of the Cajun Moon?
New Orleans may be the "Big Easy", but nothing about it was ever easy for international business etiquette expert Chloe Ledet. She moved away years ago, leaving her parents and their famous French Quarter restaurant behind. But when she hears that her father has been shot, she races home to be by his side to handle his affairs-only to learn a long-hidden secret that changes everything she knew to be true about herself and her family.
Framed for murder, Chloes and a handsome Cajun stranger must search for a priceless treasure, one whose roots weave through the very history of Louisiana itself. But can Chloe depend on this mysterious man leading her on this cat-and-mouse chase into the heart of Cajun country? Or by trusting him, has she gone from the frying pan and into the fire?


This book is a complex web of faith , romance, and intrigue that will keep you wide awake and breathless until you reach it's shocking conclusion. I, personally, could not stop reading once I started. This book combines multiple murders, cooking, drugs, buried treasure, clues in potholders, and much more almost reminding me of a more adult version of the Nancy Drew stories. Also, about every other chapter, we're taken back in time from France to New Orleans, giving the book a historical feel. Artfully interwoven is are two unlikely "impossible" romances and the salvation message; what a personal relationship with God really looks like. I look forward to reading more books by this talented author.

Reviewed by: Rachael Schnitker

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mona Hodgson's Too Rich for a Bride ~ Reviewed

Mona Hodgson
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (May 3, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 030745892X


With a head more suited to bookkeeping than a bridal veil, Ida’s dreams include big business- not beaus.

Ida Sinclair has joined her sisters, Kat and Nell, in the untamed mining town of Cripple Creek, Colorado for one reason: to work for the infamous but undeniably successful businesswoman, Mollie O’Bryan. Ida’s sisters may be interested in making a match for their determined older sister, but Ida only wants to build her career.

Under Mollie's tutelage, Ida learns how to play the stock market and revels in her promising accomplishments. Fighting for respect in a man's world, her ambition leaves little room for distractions. She ignores her family's reservations about Mollie O'Bryan's business practices, but no matter how she tries, she can't ignore the two men pursuing her affections—Colin Wagner, the dashing lawyer, and Tucker Raines, the traveling preacher.

Ida wants a career more than anything else, so she shrugs off the suitors and pointed “suggestions” that young ladies don’t belong in business. Will it take unexpected love—or unexpected danger—for Ida to realize where her priorities truly lie?


Too Rich for a Bride centers around a young woman named Ida Sinclair, who moves to Cripple Creek, Colorado to be near her sisters. Her main goal in coming to Cripple Creek is to work with a successful business woman named Mollie O’Bryan, in the hopes that she, too, can become a successful business woman. During her journey, she is introduced to Colin Wagner, a lawyer in Cripple Creek, and Tucker Raines, a traveling preacher who has moved to Cripple Creek to temporarily take over his father’s ice business while his father is recovering from an illness. The story unfolds as Ida tries to establish her business career, while trying to come to terms with the fact that maybe she wouldn't mind finding a nice husband after all.

I really enjoyed this book. This time period, late 1800’s, has always interested me. I loved watching how Ida’s faith grew throughout the story. This book is a sequel to Two Brides Too Many and while this story continued from there, I found myself wanting to get a copy of it so I could see how Ida’s sisters came to be where they are at this point. It was a great book and I highly recommend it.

Reviewed by: Sarah Porter

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Travis Thrasher's Gravestone ~ Reviewed

By Travis Thrasher
June 2011
David C. Cook Publisher
ISBN 978-1-4347-6419-5

Review by Michelle Griep

At first, Chris Buckley was simply warned. And watched. But as Chris unravels the haunting riddles of quiet Solitary, he finds that much more than the life of a town is at stake. Whether facing a pastor with a house full of skeletons or a cousin he never knew existed, Chris is forced to choose between light and darkness, life and nightmarish death. In this shocking sequel to Solitary, Travis Thrasher weaves a tale of one high school student thrown into a battle over a town, a secret—and ultimately his own soul.

Creep-a-dilly-icious! GRAVESTONE is a freaky ride that leaves you hanging on the edge of a cliff….with one foot hanging over. And someone nudging you from behind. Yes, it’s that good. Author Travis Thrasher is a master of scare-your-pants-off story telling. Personally, I like him better than Dekker. Oops, did I say that out loud?

This is the second book in the Solitary Tales, and if you haven’t read the first yet (SOLITARY), you really should. In this installment, former characters are more fully developed and new characters are introduced. I’m still cranky about Jocelyn’s death in the first book, but she’s certainly not forgotten in this one.

Hero Chris continues to be the consummate teenager. He remains loveable and as clueless as ever. He uncovers a few new secrets but there are many left to wonder about. From one hair-raising encounter to the next, he manages—just barely—to keep a step ahead of the evil bad guys…whoever, or more like whatever that is.

This is one story you’ll want to read with all the lights on, and if you’re squeamish about mannequins, well, let’s just say you might want to hold someone’s hand as well. GRAVESTONE is definitely worth the effort. Conquer your fears and go for it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Marybeth Whalen's She Makes It Look Easy ~ Reviewed

She Makes It Look Easy
By Marybeth Whalen
Published by David C. Cook, June 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7814-0370-2


Is perfection ever what it seems to be? Ariel Baxter has just moved into the neighborhood of her dreams. The chaos of domestic life and the loneliness of motherhood, however, moved with her. Then she meets her neighbor, Justine Miller. Justine ushers Ariel into a world of clutter-free houses, fresh-baked bread, homemade crafts, neighborhood playdates, and organization techniques designed to make marriage better and parenting manageable.

Soon Ariel realizes there is hope for peace, friendship, and clean kitchen counters. But when rumors start to circulate about Justine's real home life, Ariel must choose whether to believe the best about the friend she admires or consider the possibility that "perfection" isn't always what it seems to be.

My thoughts:

Deceptively light, this story delivers surprising truths about friendship and temptation. I fell in love with Ariel and her delightful brood of little boys, who did what little boys do. They made me laugh out loud. I've known women like Justine and Whalen captured her perfectly. She Makes It Look Easy is a perfect summer read. Novel Journey and I give it a high recommendation.

Reviewed by: Ane Mulligan, editor
Novel Journey

Bonus Review:

The first thing I'd like to point out is regarding the title of this book, She Makes It Look Easy, the first letter of each word put together spells....smile. But this book presents the question, just because someone is smiling, does it mean that they are really ok? Is everything as wonderful...or awful as it appears? Appearances can be deceiving and friendships...relationships, for that matter, based on them often turn out to be shallow. But from all appearances Justine has it all together, making her more normal down to earth next door neighbor feel that she is...well...NOT. But time will tell what is true. This book really intigued me from the front cover to the last page. The story is told from alternating voices of Ariel (ie the normal wife/mom) and Justine (the Barbie); this keeps things interesting, especially as we find out how each perceives and either emulates...or uses the other. A real wake up call and consolation to any woman who feels like someone else has it all together. This book also highlights that true "perfection" and contentment can only be found by fully relying on the Creator...Heart Knower....Savior....the one true God, Enjoy!

Reviewed by: Rachael Schnitker

Friday, May 20, 2011

Aaron Patterson's and Chris White's Airel ~ Reviewed

Aaron Patterson, Chris White
Paperback: 425 pages
Publisher: StoneHouse Ink; 1 edition (August 31, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0982607865


All Airel ever wanted was to be normal, to disappear into the crowd. But bloodlines can produce surprises, like an incredible ability to heal. Then there s Michael Alexander, the new guy in school, who is impossibly gorgeous...and captivated by her. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she can hear the sound of pages turning, and another, older story being written. It is the story of an ancient family, of great warriors, of the Sword of Light, and the struggle against an evil so terrible, so far-reaching, that it threatens everything. Airel knew change would be an inevitable part of life. But can she hold on when murder and darkness begin to close in and take away everything she loves? Will she have what it takes when the truth is finally revealed?


Ok I have read a lot of fallen angel stories, but....none like this. So where to start?

Well first I just have to say the cover is breathtaking, absolutely amazing! I know that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, and all that blah blah blah....but I mean come on!! You have to admit it calls to you. lolz

But whats waiting behind that cover? Well lets continue on shall we?

Airel is just an average high school girl. Living an average life. Trying to stay out of the limelight of popularity at school. At times feeling awkward, and confused as most teenage girls do. Although I do have to say she is less naive than most girls her age. She knows that falling for a boy, and becoming hopelessly in love will only hurt her in the end. She's smart in that way, and I heart her for it. In the end though, no matter how hard you try, no matter how old you are, love knows no boundaries. Love conquers all. It makes you fall first, and ask questions later. She was supposed to just be a job for Micheal....is it possible Airel isn't the only one who is gonna feel the fall-out from loves wrath? When the battle wages, and loves sinks it's teeth into you, the question is are you willing to die for it?

We must all die, before we can live.....if only we really understood how true that is.

This book takes you through a journey. I love how you not only get the present day story of Airel, but you also get the story behind the story. The flashbacks, and different points of view make this all the more interesting. At first everything seems kinda detached. Like story A, doesn't quite line up with story B, but them BAM all the pieces fall into place, your heart starts to pull from your chest, and the ending....OMG the ending. There is the YA stories of young love, we've all read them. We've all even fallen for them. We've sat on the edge of of seat, white knuckle gripping the book, while the lovers fight side by side. We have cried for them. This book left me to stunned to cry. It went beyond that. What if I told you not only does love have no boundaries, but it was so strong it could cross the enemy line of a war that as been raging since the great fall? Can a love really be the tie that binds the side of GOD with the side of Evil?

Or will mortal enemies remain mortally damaged.....

Nope, nope I've already said to much. Now go run along a grab yourself a copy!

Reviewed by: Kaycee at Paranormal Wastelands Blog spot

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Davis Bunn's The Black Madonna ~ Reviewed

The Black Madonna
Davis Bunn
Suspense Fiction
Paperback, 315 pages
Publisher: Howard Paperback, September 7, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4165-5633-6

Back Cover Description:

Art historian Storm Syrrell and rugged treasure hunter Harry Bennett travel to the West Bank, Palm Beach, Poland, England, Spain, and other exotic locales to investigate and search for another historic art treasure with significant contemporary implications: The Black Madonna.

And as before, their efforts to shed light on the mystery surrounding the murder of Storm's grandfather, Sean Syrrell, and the contents of his frayed leather journal, puts their own lives in grave danger.

Drawing comparisons to master mystery writers like Dan Brown, David Baldacci, and Steve Berry, Davis Bunn crafts an adventure full of authenticity and action-with a spiritual edge. 'The Black Madonna' will send readers on an exciting journey that explores how historical discoveries can transform life, love, and the course of world events.


I'm pretty sure that this book is part of a series, and perhaps that is why I had trouble following the story well. The storyline jumped so many times and introduced new characters at such a rapid pace with little background information and I had trouble taking in the book as a whole. The "spiritual edge" seemed that it should have been more definite...more concrete-I didn't feel sure I knew where the author and therefore the characters stood spiritually, from this book's standpoint, anyway. Also, the end was abrupt and I'm really not sure what happened. This book was exciting and fast-paced, but it left me feeling a bit disoriented. Again, I believe it's part of a series, and I would be willing to give those previous books a read.

Reviewed by: Rachael Schnitker

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Angela Hunt's The Fine Art of Insincerity ~ Reviewed

The Fine Art of Insincerity
By Angela Hunt
Published by Howard Books
ISBN 978-1-4391-8203-1


Three Southern sisters wit nine marriages among them—and more looming on the horizon—travel to St. Simons Island to empty their late grandmother's house. Ginger, the eldest, wonders if she's the only one who hasn't inherited what their family calls "the Grandma Gene"—the tendency to enjoy the casualness of courtship more than the intimacy of marriage. Could it be that her sisters are fated to serially marry, just like their seven-times-wed grandmother, Lillian Irene Harper Winslow Goldstein Carey James Bobrinski Gordon George?

Marital frustrations collide with poignant memories when the sisters gather to close up Grandma's treasured beach house for the last time. One sister faces her husband's infidelity, one plots the end of her life in pursuit of love, and one toys with the idea of leaving her loving but dull husband as the task at hand reminds them of their grandmother's love and life lessons. This "girl' only" weekend forces them to finally unpack their family baggage, examine their relationship DNA, and discover the true legacy their much-marrying grandmother left behind.


Who knew unpacking family baggage and all that goes with it could be so fun! I waited in anticipation for this book to come out, and I wasn't disappointed. Angela Hunt excels at characterization and story weaving. While the issues are deep and emotional, these Southern sisters have mastered trivializing each other's problems. In showing how they know each other well and yet never know one another at all, Hunt displays her expertise as a novelist. I won't give away then ending, but Novel Journey and I give it our highest recommendation. It's a 5 star "must read."

Reviewed by: Ane Mulligan, editor
Novel Journey

Bonus Review:

Women's fiction is rarely my first choice in reading material but if I'm going to pick one up it there is a good chance it will have Angela Hunt's name on the cover. The Fine Art of Insincerity is a serious and introspective look at the lives of sisters Ginger, Pennyroyal and Rosemary as they come to terms with their past and ponder the future before them. Angela skillfully creates unique characters with strengths and glaring weaknesses that impact their relationships with each other in positive and damaging ways. Realism infuses each of the characters and the circumstances they experience, reflecting issues many face every day, including fidelity, divorce, tragedy and grief. That said, I wished I had connected more with Ginger, Penny and Rosemary and their personal struggles which would have made me more satisfied with the story. Angela's prose is always top notch and fans of women's fiction will find much to enjoy and grapple with in this tale.

Reviewed by: Rel Mollet

Bonus Review:

Angela Hunt can tell a good story. I have yet to pick up one of her books and not devour it.

In the Fine Art of Insincerity, three disconnected sisters reconnect to clean out Grandma’s beach house. They each have dreams and plans for the small inheritance that they’ll net and that inheritance is about the only thing that makes three days together tolerable. As they struggle through details and piles of stuff and emotions, they reveal the bits and pieces of their view of life and how that was shaped by their grandmother. And the events of their childhood that made Grandma the one adult they could really count on to be there for them.

This is a suspenseful, tense read full of heavy, heavy topics. Infidelity, multiple marriages and divorces, depression and suicide to name a few. Add sibling tunnel vision and miscommunication and female hormones and there is plenty of drama. The storyline in less capable hands could have been cliché and the characters two dimensional. But Angela Hunt has written it masterfully.

If you love southern style fiction, women’s fiction or relationship novels, you’ll want to look into this one.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

Bonus Review:

I always learn something from Angela Hunt’s books and The Fine Art of Insincerity is no exception. I’m thankful to have received a review copy of such a powerful and moving novel! Once again Angela delivers an unexpected story with rich flawed characters that evokes a depth of thought and emotion that surprise the reader.

Being in the house they had called home, reminded them of the fun and precious times they shared. Ginger, Penny and Rose remember how they started out visiting their grandmother for the summer and then it was for good. This house also held so many memories that were bitter sweet. These three sisters have come together for a weekend to clean out their grandmother’s house because it’s finally sold. They are here to split up their grandmothers’ belongings hoping to get a few things to help them remember the special memories they shared with her..

One of the treasures they find is their grandmother’s journal. As the sisters read the journal they see the woman they loved as their mother in a whole new way. The journal unveiled the unimaginable love she had for them and so many others. Little did the sisters realize this journal would have their past collide with their present?

Angela Hunt quotes this scripture 1 Cor 13:3 …”So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” (The Message)

Love was the topic of the weekend. They saw the depths of their grandmothers’ love. Love! Ginger didn’t think her sisters knew what that was with them being married so many times. Ginger and Michael were married for 25 years. She felt her sisters just needed to work a little harder at their relationships before they called it quits. But in the middle of it all these sisters see, “People aren’t really free to love someone until they know us, warts and all – and then the warts don’t matter because it’s so freeing to be loved completely! The truth will set you free – free from bondage and vows we made as children. When we are free it allows us to begin to love like Jesus.”

Angela captures the camaraderie, love and the joy sisters share as they play the role each learned to play in their family of origin. I could relate to this because of what I’ve experienced this with my three sisters. I appreciate these sisters’ relationships and how they challenged and loved each other through the tough times.

Can these sisters get the house clean, reminisce about the past, remember the special times, the sadness and still love each other at the end of the weekend? Could they trust each other with their heart ache, and their mistakes?

Angela Hunt is a brilliant, thought provoking writer who talks about unusual and interesting subjects in her books that grip the readers’ heart, mind and emotions. Angela has the gift of writing a novel you think you have figured out – then she comes up with a few surprises that are a shock to her characters and to the reader. I love that.

Looking for a great summer read that will stir your heart, make you laugh and cry? You’ll definitely want to read this one. Angela will get you looking at relationships, love and marriage in a whole new light….especially the intricate relationship between sisters. Thanks Angela for another entertaining surprising ride through time, relationships and life. It’s definitely made me think about loving others in an honest, practical way. This is a rich story with loving colorful characters that won’t disappoint.

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent

The Book Club Network

Finding Hope Through Fiction

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kaye Dacus's Ransome's Quest ~ Reviewed

Ransome's Quest
Kaye Dacus
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Harvest House Publishers
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 0736927557


In the final book of this fast-paced series, both Charlotte Ransome and her sister-in-law, Julia, have been captured by pirates. When Captain William Ransome finds his sister, she offers unexpected aid in his search for his wife---her own captor, Salvadore. Why would the Robin Hood of the West Indies be willing to help rescue Julia?

Ransome’s Quest is Book 3 in the Ransome Trilogy. Charlotte Ransome is mistaken for her sister-in-law Julia Ransome, and kidnapped by a pirate, Captain El Salvador. Upon finding out that El Salvador was going to take Julia to protect her from another pirate, Shaw, bent on vengeance towards Julia’s father and husband, William Worthington, Charlotte joins in the fight to save Julia. As the story unfolds, more mysteries from everyone’s past begin to unfold, making for an exciting tale!

I found myself wishing I would have read the first two books in the series first. I had a hard time following all of the characters at times, but again, I think it was because I didn’t have the previous background knowledge. It did not, however, keep me from enjoying the book. It was full of adventure and mystery, but was wholesome and enjoyable. A great read!

Reviewed by: Sarah Porter

Monday, May 16, 2011

Linda Windsor's Thief ~ Reviewed

The Brides of Alba book 2
By Linda Windsor
June 2011
David C. Cook
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6477-5

Review by Michelle Griep

Exiled in shame and wounded in battle, Caden O’Byrne accepts a mission to go into enemy territory to find his healer’s long-lost daughter. At worst, he’ll get his death wish. At best, this could be God’s second chance. But the lovely, larcenous Sorcha will have no part of him, his God, or the rescue…until a murder forces them both to run for their lives. While Caden’s rekindled faith is tested, Sorcha wonders if his God is real. Add to the mix a stargazing princess, a capable dwarf, a scheming witch, an improbably beautiful eel fisherman and you have the ingredients for a surprising, page-turning tale. King Arthur’s Scotland comes alive in this addictive saga of intrigue, treachery, second chances, and the liberating power of love.

Thief is book 2 in the Brides of Alba series, and a smashing sequel it is. Plenty of sword fights, intrigue and romance is woven into this historical tale. Right from the beginning, lovers of everything medieval will be hooked into the daring battle where hero Caden saves King Arthur.

Caden is a man’s man. Burly, strong of character, not one to back down, he’s quite the hero to contend with. However, heroine Sorcha is just the one to take him on. Feisty and determined, she’s a rival fully equal to him.

From heart-wrenching to heart-warming, Thief is a non-stop adventure that captures the reader until the last page. And long after you’ve closed the book, you’ll find that Windsor’s characters are unforgettable. Personally, I can’t wait until book 3 releases!

Bonus Review:

Linda Windsor is imbued with a talent for immersing her readers in the time period she writes in. In her Brides of Alba series, readers are whisked away to sixth century Scotland amidst lairds, bards, druids, Saxons and Celts where adventure, intrigue and spiritual conflict were rife. Thief is Caden's story, a man disgraced and discarded for the betrayal of his brother Ronan and their clan. Linda captures Caden's fatalistic demeanour and Sorcha's compassionate heart with minor characters uncommonly substantial. While she weaves a tender love story it is the historical element that takes precedence along with fascinating characters and a meaningful spiritual exploration. Thief is a wonderful story and makes me long for Alyn's adventure in Rebel, releasing in 2012.

Reviewed by: Rel Mollet

Friday, May 13, 2011

Susan May Warren's Point of No Return ~ Reviewed

Point of No Return
By Susan May Warren
ISBN# 978-0-373-44424-3
216 Pages

Back Cover:

An American boy and a warlord's engaged daughter have disappeared—together—in an Eastern European border country. Only one man can find them in time to prevent an international meltdown—Chet Stryker. But Chet is taken aback when he realizes the boy is the nephew of Mae Lund, Chet's former flame. When Mae insists on rescuing her relative herself, Chet knows he has to protect her from the enemy on their trail. Yet can he protect himself from falling for Mae again?


I really enjoy several books I’ve read by Susan May Warren so I anxiously awaited the arrival of a review copy of this book. I read the first page from Point of No Return and was hooked. Susan’s family was in Russia living as missionaries for several years. Because of her experience there she’s able to bring the readers an insight and realism that brings the story to life.

Chet Stryker the main character wants to start a security business. Mae Lund wants to fly for Chet's new company, but he refuses to let her fly - He cared too much for Mae to send her on any dangerous mission. He wouldn’t let another person he loved die on his watch!

Because of his decision not to hire Mae they separate never know if their relationship would lead to the marriage. Chet struggles to find anyone that could take on the tough jobs he wants to be involved in; so he accepts security jobs from rich people. They want security at their children’s birthday parties. It’s not what he had envisioned his company to be doing, but he had to pay his bills some how.

Mae gets news her nephew needs help. Mae finds out her nephew Josh’s team went to Europe on a mission trip and he hasn’t returned. He’s reported missing. Chet Stryker is the last person on the planet she wants’ to ask for help but she’d do anything to find her nephew Josh! His life is in danger and her sister was coming unglued. Chet says he’ll see what he can do. Mae can’t believe he’s so aloof. She’d get this thing done by herself. She definitely didn’t need him or his attitude.

Chet rethinks his position and his feelings for Mae. Maybe he can help Mae find Josh! He knew Mae would do this job with or without him. She wasn’t afraid to do what needed to be done to get accomplish the goal of a mission. He knew she was born to fly and regretted not having her on his team, but how could he help?

I liked Susan’s note to the reader, “I love Chet because he struggled with his mistakes. Just like Jacob, who wrestled with God on his return to the place of his sins (Gen 32) Chet wants to be forgiven, but doesn’t know how to hold onto grace. When God returns him to the land of failure, he sets Chet free, just as He did Jacob. God longs to help us hold onto grace and set us free, too!!”

This story captivated my mind and heart from the start. I was amazed at how much Susan packed into such a small book! Wow! What a great, powerful read! I highly recommend it!

eview b: Nora St.Laurent
The Book club Network
Finding Hope Through Fiction

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

B J Hoff's Heart of the Lonely Exile ~ Reviewed

Heart of the Lonely Exile (The Emerald Ballad) [Paperback]
BJ Hoff
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736927891


In Heart of the Lonely Exile, Book Two of BJ Hoff’s acclaimed and bestselling Emerald Ballad series, readers will find heroine Nora Kavanagh struggling to build a new life for herself and her son Daniel in America. With help from a wealthy American family and friendship and support from a British gentleman, Nora nevertheless finds herself caught in a conflict of the heart.

Michael Burke, a strong, dedicated Irish policeman, desperately wants to keep his promise to his best friend Morgan Fitzgerald to marry Nora and protect her. But Nora’s instincts urge her to resist Michael’s proposal and follow her heart in a different direction….More troubling still, in the midst of her personal struggle, the heartaches from her homeland continue to plague her.

Heart of the Lonely Exile continues the saga of the Kavanagh pilgrimage—a journey of the soul in a strange new land, where all those who are exiles and aliens seek to finally find their true home.


Heart of the Lonely Exile continues following Nora Kavanagh and her son Daniel from Song of the Silent Harp, as they adapt to their new life in America. They are befriended by a wealthy American, Christian family that helps them through hard times. Nora finds struggles of the heart in this book, between longtime friend Michael Burke, and a new friend, Evan Whittaker.

This book really looks into the issues in regards to not only the Irish, but also the African Americans. They were treated quite unfairly. It was good to see the wealthy Christian couple helping and reaching out to the immigrants. This was a great book and I look forward to reading the next book in the series!

Reviewed by: Laura Porter

Maureen Lang's Springtime of the Spirit ~ Reviewed

Springtime of the Spirit
Maureen Lang
Christian Historical Romance Novel
Paperback, 323 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House, March 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4143-2437-1

Back Cover Description:

By the fall of 1918, the Great War has ended and the world is at peace, but there is little time to celebrate in Germany. After four years of fighting for his homeland, Christophe Brecht returns to find there is little left of what he once called home. So when family friends ask him to travel to Munich to bring back their runaway daughter, Christophe agrees.
When he finally locates Annaliese Duray, he discovers she is far different from the girl he once knew. Headstrong, idealistic, and beautiful, she is on the front lines of the city's political scene, fighting to give women and working-class citizens a voice in Germany's new government.

As the political upheaval ignites in Munich, so does the attraction between Annaliese and Christophe. With an army from Berlin threatening to squash everything Annaliese has worked for, both she and Christophe are forced to choose between love, loyalty, and their lives.


A loosely based historical novel, "Springtime of the Spirit" gives us a glimpse of post Great War Germany on a very personal level. We see it through the eyes of soldier, Christophe Brecht, struggling with the fact that he killed men for a cause that he never truly believed in and socialite daughter turned political activist, Annaliese Duray, who believes capitalism and everything her family stood, including their faith in God, caused the war. Christophe pulls closer to his heavenly father as Annaliese runs further away becoming an atheist and a 'free' thinker. When they are forced to meet again, will Christophe be able to show Annaliese that Jesus is the only one who can heal her heart and show her that he is in love with her or will she continue to pull further away? Find out by reading "Springtime of the Spirit".

Reviewed by: Rachael Schnitker

Bonus Review:

Springtime of the Spirit takes place in Post WWII Germany. After fighting for his homeland, Christopher Brecht returns home to find that his parents have passed away and his sister has left for America. With no where else to go, he visits some old family friends, only to be asked to travel to Munich to find their runaway daughter, Annaliese Duray. Annaliese, however, does not wish to return home, as she is busy fighting to give working class citizens and women a voice in Germany’s new government. As tensions start to build, Christophe stays in Munich to “help” Annaliese’s cause, and to keep an eye on her. When they start to develop feelings for each other, tensions rise even more, because they are on such opposite ends of the spectrum belief wise.

This book took me a little while to get into. It was interesting, reading about the different political uprisings that took place in Germany after WWII. It’s not something I’ve read much about. It was quite interesting, though, and someone who loves reading about the history of that time would really enjoy this book.

Reviewed by: Sarah Porter

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

B J Hoff's Song of the Silent Harp ~ Reviewed

SONG OF THE SILENT HARP – (The Emerald Ballad)
BJ Hoff
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736927883


Song of the Silent Harp, Book One of BJ Hoff’s acclaimed and bestselling Emerald Ballad series begins the five-book saga of three friends raised in a tiny Irish village devastated by the Potato Famine of the mid-1800s, as they struggle to survive and hold onto their faith during Ireland’s darkest days…

Nora Kavanagh has lost her husband and young daughter, and now lives in fear of losing her home. She and her young son, Daniel, have only one hope for survival, the poet/patriot—and love of Nora’s youth--Morgan Fitzgerald. But his dangerous involvement with a band of Irish rebels keeps him in constant danger and puts the possibility of a future for him and those he loves in jeopardy.

Michael Burke, a close childhood friend of both Nora and Morgan, left his homeland for America and is now a New York City policeman. A widower with a difficult, rebellious son, he still remembers Nora with love and fondness and wants nothing more than to help her escape the cataclysmic famine and build a new life…with him.

This panoramic epic of love and faith and adventure spans an ocean to follow three of BJ Hoff’s most memorable characters in their quest for survival and courage and hope.


Song of the Silent Harp is about Nora Kavanagh, and her son, Daniel. They are living in Ireland in the midst of the potato famines, and plan to flee to America with a long time friend, Morgan Fitzgerald. In the meantime, another close childhood friend of Nora and Morgan, Michael Burke, has already left Ireland for America and is working as a policeman in New York City. Michael pays the fare to get Nora, Daniel and Morgan to America. What follows is the story of their escape out of Ireland and into America.

It took a little while to get into the book, but once I did, I found it very interesting. It was interesting to learn about the lives of the Irish immigrants in the late 1800’s, and the struggles they went through.

Reviewed by: Laura Porter

Monday, May 09, 2011

Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson's Bake Until Golden ~ Reviewed

Bake Until Golden
By Linda Evans Shephard & Eva Marie Everson
Published by Revell
ISBN# 978-0-8007-3210-3
348 Pages

Back Cover:

The ladies of the Potluck Catering Club may have thought that winning The Great Party Showdown reality show in New York City would be the biggest adventure of their lives. But they weren't counting on the strange goings-on they would confront when they returned to Summit View, Colorado. When a shocking event rocks their small town the ladies are stunned--especially when one of them is accused. And a 100-year-old legend about buried gold unearths some unsavory characters. Will old friends stick together through their trials? Or will they be torn apart by tragedy?


I anxiously awaited the review copy of this third and final book in the Potluck Catering Club series. I had read and enjoyed the other two books in the series and couldn’t wait to read this one.

Things start to get crazy once a body is found in Summit View, Colorado and one of the Potluck Catering ladies is a prime suspect in the murder investigation! No one can believe it. Instead of exciting things happening in New York on their TV audition they have a wild time in their own back yard. All the characters you've known and loved from the series are in this novel as well. The Potluck Club members’ faith and friendship is tested like never before. I enjoyed the way these authors tackled tough topics in this book with honestly and compassion.

Both of these authors bring the reader up-to-date on the relationships, friendships and lives of all the ladies in the Potluck Club as the story unfolds. Will these ladies stick together no mater what? Will they stay the course and believe their fellow member was innocent-even though the evidence pointed toward her looks pretty bad? Could they and would they help to prove their friend didn’t do this crime?

Bake until Golden is a book filled with fun, intrigue and heart-felt drama as the search for the murderer heats up. Besides all the surprising elements in the story and the faith lessons to be learned along the way-I enjoyed the recipes at the end of the book. I’ve enjoyed the recipes in the other books too!.

There are thirty-six yummy recipes ranging from Easy Crock-Pot Pumpkin Soup, Doreen’s Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole to fun desserts like Sunshine Cake and everything in-between.

Finding Hope Book Club cooked up ten of Linda and Eva’s recipes from their other books for a special book club cooking event last year. We really enjoyed how easy the recipes were to make and how great they tasted. We spoke to Linda and Eva via speaker phone at book club and learned that most of the recipes were passed down through Linda’s family line. This book is not only a fun read; but it has a variety of easy to make and delicious recipes. Bonus book – food and fun, makes for great summer fun!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
Finding hope Through Fiction

Friday, May 06, 2011

Bryan Litfin's The Gift ~ Reviewed

The Gift,
by Bryan M. Litfin
Book Two in the Chiveis Trilogy
416 pages
Publisher: Crossway
(March 31, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 143352516X

A fantasy of adventure and faith.

For those of us who haven’t read the first book in the trilogy, The Sword, the author provides a Prologue to bring us up to speed: Hundreds of years in Earth’s future, war and disease have destroyed civilization as we know it. Modern technology has vanished and history is largely forgotten as the survivors struggle to rebuild their world.

In the alpine kingdom of Chiveis, Captain Teofil of the Royal Guards Fifth Regiment and Anastasia of Edgeton have found the Sacred Writings of the One True God. This opened up new spiritual horizons for not only Teo and Ana, but for a community of seekers who long to know the God of the Ancients. But their knowledge is incomplete, because the last portion of the book, the New Testament, is missing.

Opposed by enemies who don’t want the truth exposed, Teo and Ana travel across the mountains to the unknown world on the other side in search of the missing writings. The Gift begins with the pair three weeks into their journey.

There’s no shortage of action here, as the two face conflicts from within and without. There’s a wolf attack and subsequent infection (which can only be defeated through use of a rare elixir of bread mold), underhanded plots, doubts and temptations, and a nasty villain complete with henchmen. Add a stiff dose of romantic tension, and you’ve got a gripping tale.

But it’s more than just a fast-paced read. The story pictures the Christian themes of sacrificial love, repentance and forgiveness. It explores the issue of worldly materialism and superficiality of lifestyle. It provokes us to examine our attitudes toward people who are different or considered inferior -- to consider whether God is able to preserve His word – and to ponder questions concerning Rome and the papacy.

Though some might find the messages a little too overt and heavy-handed, the author spins a good yarn and gives us plenty to ponder after the book is over. Moreover, if his points are somewhat unsubtle, he has good excuse: he’s a professor of theology at Moody Bible Institute. Plainly, he knows his stuff. Too bad textbooks can’t be as fun to read as this.

Reviewed by: Yvonne Anderson

Thursday, May 05, 2011

P.L. Gaus's Blood of the Prodigal ~ Reviewed

Blood of the Prodigal
By P.L. Gaus
Published by Plume
ISBN# 978-0-452-29646-6
256 Pages

Back cover:

A compulsively readable new series that explores a fascinating culture set purposely apart. In the wooded Amish hill country, a professor at a small college, a local pastor, and the county sheriff are the only ones among the mainstream, or "English," who possess the instincts and skills to work the cases that impact all county residents, no matter their code of conduct or religious creed.

When an Amish boy is kidnapped, a bishop, fearful for the safety of his followers, plunges three outsiders into the traditionally closed society of the "Plain Ones."


The book world is inundated with Amish stories galore, but this book stood out to me for a couple of reasons. One the cover and title caught my attention and the credentials of the author. I was thankful to receive a review copy of a book that captured my attention and made me want to read what was inside. This is not your typical Amish story and I liked that!

“Say little..Listen A lot!” These simple watch words that Pastor Caleb and Professor Michael Branden stand by in dealing with the Amish community.

Bishop Eli Miller reluctantly seeks the help of an outsider when tragedy strikes. The Bishop must trust an outsider to discover the whereabouts of his teenage grandson. Pastor Caleb Troyer and Professor Michael Brayden, are boyhood friends who’ve helped the Amish community before. They both understand their ways, how private a people they are, and they both know the Bishop. Both Caleb and Micahel realize the situation must be serious for the Bishop to seek their help.

I liked how the books point of view is from an outsider looking into the Amish community. The reader gets a peek into the Amish Community world, that’s all. The author never takes you fully inside. I liked that.

This author lets the reader get to know Pastor Caleb and Professor Michael very well. They are a great team who respect the Amish community and earnestly want to help the Bishop find Josh. This is a different spin on a who-done-it kind of story. I didn’t figure out who did it until the author revealed it to the reader. This was an intriguing, fun, heart-felt story I really enjoyed. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and it definitely won’t be the last.

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
Finding Hope Through Fiction

Bonus Review:

This blog tour really excited me, because my librarian had introduced me to Gaus and his books years ago. Originally published by Ohio University Press, these wonderful books have been picked up by a subsidiary of Penguin and re-released to a broader audience. I couldn't be more pleased!! Gaus has created a character who is a college professor by trade, and a brilliant detective by choice. He is sought out by an Amish family who has had their grandson kidnapped from them.

This mystery is layers deep, and includes some unexpected twists and turns. While the story includes a lot about the Amish and their culture, the focus is more on the mystery and the efforts to solve the problem before anyone else is harmed. (there is a murder too) The balance between the "English" and the Amish is brilliant, the story line grabs the reader and continuously grows in intensity. In short, if you like a good mystery, Gaus is brilliant!! Like I said, I am VERY pleased that this series is going to reach a larger audience! I am even more thrilled that there will soon be a new book in the series!!

Reviewed by: Kim Ford

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Pamela Callow's Indefensible ~ Reviewed

Pamela Callow
Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Mira; Original edition (December 28, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780778329220

When Elise Vanderzell plummets from her bedroom balcony one gorgeous summer night, her children awaken to a nightmare.

Their mother is dead.

Their father is charged with her murder.

Lawyer Kate Lange knows all about nightmares. She's survived the darkest period of her troubled life and the wounds are still raw. Now she's been handed a case that seems utterly unwinnable: defending her boss, high-profile lawyer Randall Barrett. A prosecutor's dream suspect, Randall is a man who was cuckolded by his ex-wife. A man who could not control his temper. A man who had argued bitterly with the victim the previous day in full view of the children.

With limited criminal law experience, Kate finds herself enmeshed in a family fractured by doubt. Randall's teenage son is intent on killing him. His daughter wants only to feel safe again. And the entire legal community would like nothing better than to see Randall receive a public comeuppance. As Kate races to stay a step ahead of the prosecution, a silent predator is waiting for the perfect time to deal the final blow.


Attorney Kate Lange returns, this time with different demons breathing down her back and invading her sleep. She barely survives a brutal attack in Damaged and though all seems well careerwise, she is a celebrated hero at her law firm, clouds loom over her and someone she cares about.

One dark terrible night brings horrific "fact" upon horrific "fact" and Kate is forced to sort these out to save Randall Barrett from a fate worse than death. With everything against her, including Randall's partners, Kate races the clock to prove that he could not do what they say he did. Unknown to them all, a predator lurks, planning even more horror, and holding the key to the terrible truths in the case.

Callow writes a page turning story. Brutal at times, horrific at others but with characters who are fleshed out and sympathetic. The violence, language and sex may overwhelm some more sensitive readers. But nitty-gritty legal/police procedural/psychological thriller lovers may find much to like in this well-written novel. The villain tends a little toward stereotype in his behavior and motivation but that may be because he doesn't get as much play time because of the amount of story covered in just a few short days.

Bottom line: Indefensible would be a great vacation read.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Mike Delloso's Darkness Follows ~ Reviewed

Darkness Follows
By Mike Delloso
Published by Realms
304 Pages

Back Cover: Sam Travis lives in a Civil War era farmhouse in Gettysburg, PA, where he awakens one morning to find an old journal with an entry by a Union soldier, Lt. Whiting…written in Sam’s own handwriting. When this happens several more times, both at night and during waking “trances,” Sam begins to question his own sanity while becoming obsessed with Lt. Whiting and his bone-chilling journal entries. As the entries begin to mimic Sam’s own life, he is drawn into an evil plot that could cost many lives, including his own. Can the unconditional love of Sam’s daughter, Eva, break through his hardened heart before a killer on the loose catches up with them and Sam’s past spurs him to do the unthinkable?

REVIEW: I don’t normally read books like this one but after I read Darlington Woods for book club I discovered that his books weren’t as scary as I thought they were. I’m a chicken at heart and don’t read books that make me sleep with the light on all night. Mike Delloso showed me through his last book that he can bring a depth and understanding to his characters and their situations. It made reading the book more enlightening to read.. So, I was anxious to receive a review copy of Mike’s new book.

Sam Travis lives in Gettysburg, PA and was recuperating from a serious injury he had received on the job. He’s been going a little stir crazy at home and got up often at night because he couldn’t sleep. One night he hears his brother calling him downstairs. He goes down there and sees nothing. Suddenly the glass window to his house shatters and wakes up the whole house. This is the beginning of a complex, compelling story that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and gripped my emotions as I read each page.

The police investigate, and find no clues. No bullets and no notes. Sam and his wife are stumped as to who would do such a thing. The reader is too! Later Sam discovers a story inside his little girl’s notebook written in his handwriting. He reads it. A soldier named Samuel has written about a battle in the Civil War and how he has to do something about Abraham Lincoln to stop the violence.

Sam had no recollection of writing the story. He’s not a history buff and can’t quite figure out what Samuel is talking about in the note. How could he have written it? This was the beginning of some really bizarre events. Mike Delloso has you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out what’s real, what’s not and afraid of what will happen next.

Sam Travis starts to have flashbacks from his hunting, tragic childhood. Then there’s Samuel the soldier who wants to end the war and keeps appearing to Sam, Jacob, his little girl Eva’s imaginary friend, who looks like he glows with glitter and finally a man who’s on a killing spree-why? How do all these pieces and characters fit together? Sam and his wife didn’t know what to make of it and either does the reader until the end. Mike weaves a fascinating, intricate, intriguing story line I found captivating.

I liked how Mike wove real historical events into this story with Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War and a story about the first Minnesota battle. I also like how Sam learned along with the reader about history, Sam says, “Why did these men do such a thing in Minnesota? They had to have known they were embarking on their last charge, their last stand. What was in for them? They would never kiss their wives again, never hold their children. What made a man willingly do such a think? Bravery? Fear? Insanity? Dumb Obedience?” He wondered.

Mike tackled several pretty serious and sensitive issues like mental illness in his book. I had just watched a show about a family who was afraid to live with their middle school aged child and what they did about it. Some parents have done nothing, and couldn’t wait to release their child into society to fend for themselves. It’s a scary thing! Because I saw this show the matter was more real for me and made the events in this book even scarier! Yikes!

I like the author’s notes at the end that helped tie up a few things for me. But I have to say the story bordered on being almost too creepy for my liking. I adored Sam’s little daughter Eva and her faith in God and love for her Daddy. I also enjoyed getting to know more about the Civil War and what men went through at that time. Once again I was memorized and gripped by this authors enthralling tale. You will be too!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent

The Book Club Network
Finding Hope Through Fiction

Monday, May 02, 2011

Meg Moseley's When Sparrows Fall ~ Reviewed

When Sparrows Fall
By Meg Moseley
Published by Multnomah Books, May, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-60142-355-9


A widow and mother of six, Miranda Hanford leads a quiet, private life. When the pastor of her close-knit church announces his plans to move the entire congregation to another state, Miranda jumps at the opportunity to dissolve ties with Mason Chandler and his controlling method of ruling his flock. But then Mason threatens to unearth secrets from her past, and Miranda feels trapped, terrified she'll be unable to protect her children.

College professor Jack Hanford is more than surprised when he gets a call from his estranged sister-in-law's oldest son, Timothy, informing him that Miranda has taken a serious fall and he has been named legal guardian of her children while she recovers. Quickly charmed by Miranda's children, Jack brings some much-needed life into the sheltered household. But his constant challenging of the family's conservative lifestyle makes the recovering mother uneasy and defensive—despite Jack's unnerving appeal.

As Jack tries to make sense of the mysterious Miranda and the secrets she holds so tightly, Mason's pressure on her increases. With her emotions stirring and freedom calling, can Miranda find a way to unshackle her family without losing everything?


With more layers than a wedding cake, When Sparrows Fall is a complex story of a mother's devotion that will not leave you untouched. Meg Moseley's characters will climb out of the pages and into your heart. Besides the rebellious Miranda, her children include Timothy, two adorable girls, and Jack dubs her youngest boys "the archangels." As unlikely as the pairing seems, I found myself hoping for romance to bloom between Jack and Miranda, but it seems Timothy had a different idea. Thoroughly enjoyable, Novel Journey and I give it a high recommendation.

Reviewed by: Ane Mulligan, editor Novel Journey

Bonus Review:

I was delighted to receive the review copy of Meg Moseley’s powerful, thought provoking debut novel. She gives the reader a peek into how an impressionable young girl falls for an older man and in the process loses more than her freedom, she loses her identity. Meg gives a chilling, believable scenario of what happens to Miranda when she marries a religious man who aims to control every aspect of her life, I couldn’t stop reading it!

Miranda’s a widow and mother of six children. Her world hasn’t changed much since her husband Carl died two years ago. Pastor Mason kept them on the straight and narrow. He visited Miranda’s family unexpectedly and constantly reminded Miranda that women should be focused on matters of the home. Mason also told her to never forget Carl was the absolute ruler in her home.

Pastor Mason announced to the whole church he’d heard from the Lord and the whole church was soon to move to another state. Miranda sensed her inner alarm bells ringing. She started to pray that the Lord would give her the courage to stand up to this man who enjoyed playing God and using his congregation like they were puppets. He was a wolf in sheep clothing – she had to expose him for what he was. God help her.

Then college professor, Jack Hanford enters Miranda’s life. Miranda is unnerved and relieved that Jack came to help. He just might be the help she needed to expose Mason for what he was. She wasn’t sure she could trust him though. Jack sees the strict rules this family lives by. He wanted to help them be free. Free to have fun and enjoy life and each other.

I enjoyed Meg Moseley’s writing style and Miranda’s six children and how the interacted with their Uncle Jack. Jack was the light in the darkness. Meg reveals many layers of Miranda’s complex life. Could she get out of this complicated web? I adored Jack, his love for his nieces and nephews and his passion for teaching young minds. Jack had a strong desire to expose these children to the world around them. First on the agenda was convincing Miranda reading fiction books was a good thing!

Meg’s story hooked me from the first page! I like how she handled this tough topic showing a scary scenario of control and one girl’s courage to do the right thing no matter what the cost. I was totally absorbed into this story as Meg reminded me of the precious gift we all take for granted – religious freedom – freedom to worship Him and not follow a bunch of rules that kill people’s spirit! This was potent. I can’t wait to see where Meg takes us next!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
Finding Hope Through Fiction