Monday, April 29, 2013

Travis Thrasher's Home Run ~ Reviewed

By Travis Thrasher
March 2013
David C. Cook
ISBN: 0781408385

Baseball star Cory Brand knows how to win. But off the field, he’s spiraling out of control. Haunted by old wounds and regrets, his future seems as hopeless as his past.

Until one moment—one mistake—changes everything. To save his career, Cory must go back to the town where it all began. His plan is simple: coach the local baseball team, complete a recovery program, and get out as fast as possible. Instead, he runs headfirst into memories he can’t escape ... and the love he left behind.

Faced with a second chance he never expected, Cory embarks on a journey of faith, transformation and redemption. And along the way, he discovers a powerful truth: no one is beyond the healing of God. 

I'm not into sports. I wouldn't know a touchdown from a hole in one. Okay, so maybe that's exaggerating, but reading a book about a baseball star and his messed up life is seriously NOT my first choice in fiction. But here I am, recommending a novel about a baseball supernova who's an alcoholic deadbeat dad. Why? Because Home Run has a powerful message of redemption (and the writing is drool worthy).

The plot centers around main character Cory Brand. I won't call him a hero, because for most of the book he's not. He's a jerk...but a lovable fella who you'll root for because of his past. Yeah, he runs away from his problems in more ways than one, but eventually he's saved by an amazing grace that only God can provide.

Whether you're a sports fanatic or not, the gritty issues dealt with in this book will connect with pretty much everyone. Author Travis Thrasher hits these issues head on, exposing the ugly sides, then bringing them all to the throne of Grace without whapping you upside the head with a Bible. 

Two thumbs up.
Reviewed by: Michelle Griep

Bonus Review:

Home Run is about an all-star baseball star named Cory Brand. From the world’s stand point, he has it all – fame, fortune, anything he wants. But inside he’s spiraling downward, fighting an addiction to alcohol as well as severe anger issues, all stemming from the physical and verbal abuse sustained by his father while still a child. He left that life, along with his pregnant high school sweetheart, Emma, to prove he was somebody. When his erratic behavior lands him back in his home town in Oklahoma, he finds himself not only attending recovery program for alcoholism, but also coaching a Little League his son is playing on.

I LOVED this story! I love baseball, anyway, so that drew me in right away! It was so sad seeing Cory’s character beat himself up, and really, nearly kill himself with the burdens he was carrying. I really enjoyed watching how the walls he built began to crumble around him in order for him to humble himself before the Lord. I highly recommend this book, and am now anxious to see the movie!

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

Friday, April 26, 2013

Diana Lesire Brandmeyer's Mind of Her Own ~ Reviewed

Mind of Her Own
By Diana Lesire Brandmeyer
Published by Tyndale
Only in Ebook Format

Back Cover: Who knew making dinner could change your life? Louisa Copeland certainly didn’t. But when the George Foreman grill fell out of the pantry onto her head, resulting in a bump and a mighty case of amnesia, Louisa’s life takes a turn for the unexpected. Who was this Collin fellow, claiming she was his wife? And whose kids are those?
Her name couldn’t be Louisa. Why, she was the renowned romance writer Jazz Sweet, not a Midwestern mom of three. Struggling to put the pieces together of the life she’s told she had, Louisa/Jazz may realize that some memories are better left alone.

Review: I know this will sound funny by hang in there with me a minute as I tell you what popped into my head when I started to read this novel.  I was reminded of how Buzzlight year in Toy Story,  reacted to his new environment on Andy’s bed. He knew deep in his heart he was a space ranger from another planet and thought he would choke to death if his helmet was opened.

Main character Louisa Copeland wakes up in a hospital bed. She learns she’s received a hard blow to her head that knocked her out. They tell her she’s married to Collin and has three children. She doesn’t remember much but she knows in her heart of hearts that she is a Christian and her name is Jazz Stewart. She’s an author, who’s never been married and doesn’t have kids.

Her husband and doctor try to tell her differently; just like the
other toys try to tell Buzz he was a toy, a child’s’ play thing, an
action figure not a space ranger.

It’s difficult for Louisa’s husband, Collin Copeland who doesn’t quite know how to deal with this. She looked like Louisa but she sure didn’t act like her. The Dr. said it could be hours or days before she remembered anything.  What will he tell the kids?

This is the first book I’ve read by this author it definitely wont’ be
the last. She’s funny and deals with some surprising tough topics with compassion and grace. This is a fun, heart-warming story that will make you laugh out loud and make you think too!

Collin is committed, kind and starts to worry Jazz will never remember who she is. Both Collin and Jazz face each situation as it arises with prayer and patience with themselves and each other.

Jazz hits it off with her teenager daughter Madison. They go shopping together and get earrings her real mother would never approve of her wearing. Jazz says to her with a smile, “Wear them and enjoy.”

“But what if you remember being mom and you don’t remember you told me I could wear these? You might ground me.”

“I hadn’t thought about that. What do you think we should do just in case?”

“Maybe you could write me a permission slip….Madison Copeland has my permission to wear her dolphin earrings whenever she desires. Signed Jazz Sweet, aka Louisa Copeland.” They both agree to this. Love the fun situations the author put in this book. Here’s another peek in this families journey to wholeness.

Sunday morning came along and Jazz says, “Wake up everyone. Were going to be late.”

“Late for what? Collin said.”

“Church. Come on, Collin, we have to get the kids ready. They’re still sleeping.”

“Jazz, we don’t go to church unless it’s Christmas or Easter, and it’s neither one today. Go back to bed.”

“We’re going to church as a family, so get up…as long as I’m here
we’re going to go to church every Sunday.”

They went to church and started a new family adventure. Jazz would show them all she was an author as soon as she found one of her published books! Collin kind of liked the new Louisa! She was fun and growing on him. He was committed to his marriage whoever Louisa turned out to be.

This author gets to the heart of the matter with her engaging fun
characters and situations. So, sit back and enjoy this book. It’s a
fun read that will help take the cares of the day away and make you
laugh too! It’s a win win!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Evangeline Kelley's Seaside Harmony ~ Reviewed

By: Evangeline Kelley
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: Guideposts Books

Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 0824932463

Product Description

When Caroline Morris joins her sisters, Gracie Gold and Sam Carter for a Nantucket Island getaway, she has no idea how it will change her life. The sisters stumble upon Misty harbor Inn, the place their late mother loved so much, and Caroline talks her sisters into buying the beautiful but dilapidated inn. But can free-spirited Caroline stay focused enough to make opening the inn a reality? Hand drawn old postcards draw the sisters into the mystery of Hannah Montague, the young widow of the original owner. Can the sisters discover the fate of this woman who disappeared in 1880?
Seaside Harmony revolves around three sisters in their late 50’s and early 60’s.  Caroline Marris is a free spirit who has traveled the world and has trouble committing to anything.  Gracie Gold is a widow who lives to take care of her children and grandchildren.  Sam Carter is a single mother and retired school teacher.  They vacation to Nantucket Island to Misty Harbor Inn, a place their recently deceased mother took them to as young girls and always wanted to purchase.  They are amazed to see that it’s not only run down and abandoned, but also for sale.  Caroline is immediately on the band wagon to buy it, and eventually convinces her sisters to go in on it as well.  The next step is getting the inn ready to open.  Not only do they encounter many obstacles along the way, just in fixing it up, but they begin to find hints as to the mystery of Hannah Montague, the young widow of the original owner who disappeared mysteriously. 
This book took a little while to get into, but it was worth sticking with.  The more I read, the more I could picture the inn come to life, and the different personalities of each of the sisters.  It made me want to go to Nantucket to stay with them!  I thought it ended a bit abruptly, but to my surprise, I have since found there is a sequel which I’m currently reading.  I can’t wait to see what awaits the sisters in this next book!
Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

Monday, April 22, 2013

Patrick Carr's A Cast of Stones ~ Reviewed

By Patrick W. Carr

Published by Bethany House


400 Pages

Book Cover: An Epic Medieval Saga Fantasy Readers  Will Love 
In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom.
Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom's dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.

Review: Patrick W. Carr’s debut novel will quickly draw you into a unique adventure. A Cast of Stones is a fun fantasy story that will remind readers of King author adventures in Camelot. This is a delightful character driven story in the POV of a young broken young man named Errol.

Patrick’s kingdom names are Illustra and Erinon! The main character Errol instantly grabbed my heart and attention as this orphan boy (who’s seen more than a nineteen year old man should!), turns to Ale to deaden life’s pain and sorrow! He’s a regular at Cilla’s Tavern in the village of Callowford. The only home he’s known.

While in the tavern a church messenger desperately seeks help in delivering an extremely important message to a hermit priest in the wilderness. Everyone in the tavern points to Errol. They know he’s the only one that knows the hills like the back of his hand! They also know he’ll do most anything to earn coins to purchase more ale.

The messenger barked out a laugh, “A drunkard? You want me to give the most important message in half a century to a drunkard? Look at him: He’s barely a man. Only Deas knows what keeps him on his feet…How would I know he delivers the message?

Cruk pipes up, “You’re willing to pay, aren’t ya? Half pay now and a receipt in Pater Martin’s own hand will earn him another half crown. He’ll get it done.”

Errol is thrilled the church messenger gives him a coin up front and there’s hope for an additional coin when he delivers the signed note from the priest. Errol has to hurry. This message was urgent. It was a message on behalf of the church. His mission to deliver this urgent quickly has his life on the line when he notices a man dressed in black, holding an arrow aiming at him from across the field. He rushes through the woods trying to escape his attacker. When he arrives at the priests’ house – in record time - He explains everything! The Hermit Priest says they need to evacuate the house immediately. This wasn’t good news! They were in danger. The Assassin would stop at nothing to get to them!

So off they go on adventure of a life time, with the most unlikely traveling companions, running for their lives. Errol is forced to embark on a wild and mysterious journey outside his home of Callowford heading to Erinon! He’s filled with questions.

I liked how this author had the reader learn about things and places as Errol did. It was fun to learn together and try to piece the puzzle pieces together to solve the mystery along with Errol. Who was after them? Why the chase? Why did the Priest have to rush to Erinon? What was in that message? Do you like King Arthur stories? Lord of the rings? Like a good mystery with surprises. If you do then you’ll love this book as much as I did.

Even if you aren’t a fantasy fan you’ll quickly be drawn into Errol’s unforgettable journey to Erinon and captivated by this author’s creative imagination. I can’t wait to read the next installment of this expedition. You’ll catch yourself marking your calendar to purchase the next book in this series too!! Patrick W. Carr is a writer to definitely watch!!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent

Friday, April 19, 2013

Heather James's Unholy Hunger ~ Reviewed

Unholy Hunger, Lure of the Serpent Series #1
By: Heather James

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 272
Vendor: Kregel Publications

 ISBN: 0825442915          


Evelyn Barrett wants to die---as long as her daughter's murderer goes with her! Once a successful attorney on a winning streak, Evelyn will now stop at nothing to seek her own version of justice. Defying police warnings, will this mother-turned-vigilante find the killer before another family is destroyed?


I like gritty fiction and the inner workings of minds fascinates me. When I was offered a chance to read Heather James's Unholy Hunger I hesitated, the subject matter is tough and not something I'd ever seek out to fill my brain. I avoid immersing myself in the darker portions of our culture because seeing and reading about the ways people harm themselves and others depresses me. But the intrigue of the book cover copy caused me, knowing up front that the subject matter would be closer to hellish than the heavenlies, to ask for a review copy.
Let me tell you why I strongly liked this short novel. I have to say liked because I don't know that the subject matter could ever put this into the love category for me.

Heather James is an excellent writer. Her prose is tense, tight, snappy and full of sense triggers. Her characters are multidimensional and even though the entire story plays out through the eyes and angst, soul and senses of Evelyn, the reader gets a clear understanding of the motivations and drives of the other characters in the book. Tension pulled at me so the pages turned faster and faster as I both dreaded and couldn't wait to find out what happened next. James handles the subject matter with sensitivity and with grace, giving just enough detail to get the point across without assaulting my heart.

The basic plot-line or skeleton of the story is this... a small child is abducted and murdered and the mother, Evelyn, completely unravels. As Evelyn comes undone she finds the depth of darkness in her own soul and her marriage unhinges, too. But there is more to the story....the flesh and heart of the story, beyond the all too real darkness, is the light that is altogether more powerful. The horror in the storyline is secondary to the redemption that comes when God bleeds, literally and figuratively, into the lives of humanity.

The subject matter includes child abuse, abduction, molestation, murder and there are moments of horror as things are revealed. I would not recommend it to anyone who is raw with emotion. And those who look for inspirational fiction full of light and innocence aren't going to want to go there. However, if you've read The Shack and loved it or if you love gritty, well-written fiction, read it. Kudos to the editors/publishers/marketing folks who brought this book to print as well as Ms. James's hard work in pouring her heart and soul into the computer and tightening the prose until it zings.  

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Kim Vogel Sawyer's Sweet Sanctuary ~ Reviewed

Sweet Sanctuary
By Kim Vogel Sawyer
Published By Bethany House
352 Pages

Back Cover: Lydia Eldredge longs to provide a sanctuary for her son, Nicky. But a constant threat comes from Nicky's drug-addicted father, who wants the boy and seems willing to do whatever it takes to get

Dr. Micah Hatcher serves the immigrant population in Queens, but under cover of darkness he provides another service that must not be discovered lest his and his brother's lives be in danger.

When Lydia and Micah's paths cross, they are suddenly wrapped up in each other's callings. Through unforeseen twists and turns, they seek a refuge of safety--for Nicky, for themselves, and for the needy people God unexpectedly puts in their lives.

Review: I’m thankful for the review copy that introduced me to author Kim Sawyer and her tender and encouraging story. I instantly cared for her characters especially 4 year old Nicky. Micah heads to Boston to straighten out matters in an upsetting letter sent by N. Allan Eldredge, accusing him of things he hadn’t done. It’s there he meets Nicky who captures his attention and heart too.

Nicky says to Micah; “think the bug would be happy in a shoebox?
That’s all I got to put him in.”

“Some how it pleased Micah that the child trusted him enough to ask his opinion. He scratched his head thoughtfully, considering the boy’s question…We-e-ell, seems to me that bugs are happier in the grass rather a gloomy place to live.”

The child’s face fell, “You mean he’d be sad in a box? I don’t want to make him sad. It’s not fun to be sad.”

Micah catches a glimpse of Lydia Eldredge a woman he went to school with, oh my she had changed. Lydia is surprised to see Micah too, it’s been years. Micah fills Lydia in on the letter written by her father.

She’s horrified. How could her father accursed Micah of such a thing.

Micah talks to Lydia’s dad and thinks to himself. “What an incredible mess! A morphine-addicted father seeking to sell his child… He might not be able to keep all the world’s children from pain and anguish, but he desperately wanted to help this small, tousle-haired boy who worried about bugs being happy…he also wanted to help Lydia.”

Micah heads back to a clinic he runs in New York for the poor. Micah can’t stop thinking and praying for Lydia, Nicky, and their situation. Lydia surprises Micah and stops by his clinic asking for help. Lydia quickly discovers Micah has a few secrets of his own. She could tell Micah was involved in some pretty serious stuff. Will he trust her enough to explain what’s up?

I enjoyed Kim Sawyers’ characters and the time period she describes. She said, “During the second world war, a number of people worked tirelessly to rescue Jews from Hitler’s systematic annihilation. Among them were ministers, farmers, housewives and business owners…being caught assisting Jews meant a death sentence, so these people literally risked their lives for the sake of another. Although Micah Hatcher and the others are fictional characters, they are inspired by many selfless individuals who sacrificed all in reaching out to a persecuted people with compassion.”

I found the subject matter interesting as I learned what others did in
secret to save lives of strangers. The characters are endearing and
this story leaves you with warm feelings in your heart.

Reviewed by:  Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lisa Bergren's Grave Consequences ~ Reviewed

Lisa T Bergren
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 340
Vendor: David C. Cook
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 143476432X


                Grave Consequences is book two in The Grand Tour Series.  The story continues with Cora Kensington and the rest of her family, traveling through Europe.  They managed to escape near death while in Paris, but soon find that the enemy is still pursuing them.  In the meantime, Cora is being heavily pursued by Pierre, a man she met in Paris, yet finding herself more in love with Will, the group’s guide for the tour. 

                I was SO excited to get this book!  I loved the first book and was excited to see what happened next!  I saw the romance budding between Cora and Will in book one and was glad to see it further develop in this story.   My respect for Cora grew in this book.  She has finally won the friendship of her siblings and their friends, but she is still struggling with who she is, wanting to go back to her old life, yet realizing she is not the same person.  It looks to me like there will be another book in this series and I can’t WAIT to see what happens next!

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

Friday, April 12, 2013

Nick Vujicic's Life Without Limits ~ Reviewed

Life Without Limits
By Nick Vujicic
Published by Waterbrook
272 Pages

Back Cover: Vujicic’s story is about how, despite extreme
disabilities, he wants to be seen as a normal person. Readers might
find extraordinary a better word, as they learn how Vujicic, born
limbless (but with a tiny foot), lives what he calls “a ridiculously
good life.” By learning to be a help and resource to others, and
choosing to dwell on the positives in his life, including a supportive
family and friends, he has overcome the despondency natural to a young person in his predicament and become a source of inspiration for those he meets as a speaker and those who see his videos on YouTube.
Although much of his account is straightforward biography, he also
devotes considerable space to sharing his faith in God and offering
practical suggestions for making one’s life happier and more

Nick Vujicic is a motivational speaker and the director of the
nonprofit organization Life Without Limbs. A long-time resident of
Australia, Nick now lives with his wife in southern California.

Wow! This is one fascinating man. I’m thankful for the review
copy that introduced me to a very encouraging man who lives life
without limits.

Nick has no arms and legs; this fact hasn’t stopped him from doing the things he’s desired to do. Nick says, “My goal in writing this book is to encourage you to overcome your own challenges and hardships so you can find your own purpose and pathway to a ridiculously good life.”

This 27 year old man has been around the world speaking and meeting other over comers such as Bethany Hamilton who taught him how to surf, and others he met that inspired him such as, Joni Erickson Tada, Kathi, Daniel, author Christy Brown, Reggie Dabbs and a few others.

Life Without Limits is about real people, facing tough stuff all the
while helping others find their own purpose in life. Nicks parents
encouraged him, his mom told him when he was young, “Nicholas, you need to play with normal children because you are normal. You just have a few bits and pieces missing, that’s all. “She set the tone for years to come for him. She didn’t want me to feel less than normal or restricted in anyway, “Nick says. His parents are courageous that’s for sure.

Nick includes pictures in his book of himself as a toddler, as a grown man in a wheelchair, graduation pictures, family pictures and some fun shots of him scuba diving and surfing!

This book is about walking in what God has called you to be and lean on him for your strength and courage. God sets us free to be what he’s made us to be. We limit ourselves.

Nick says, “Often it’s the challenges in life that show us who we
truly are meant to be…We come packed with presents waiting to be

Life isn’t about having,  its about being You could surround  yourself with all that money can buy, and you’d still be as miserable as a human can be…you’ll find contentment when your talents and passion are completely engaged, in full force…when you look for happiness in mere objects, they are never enough.”

He has multiple youtube videos to watch that will just amaze you. He’s also an encouraging speaker, that’s what he does for a living. In the back of the book is a personal action plan. He states, “I have a choice. You have a choice. We can dwell on disappointments and short comings…to be bitter, angry or sad. Or we can choose to learn from the experience and move forward, taking responsibility for our own happiness….Fear (stands for) – False Evidence Appearing Real – We become so focused on our fears that they become real to us – and as a result, we let them control us!” I love his outlook on life.

I couldn’t help but smile along with Nick. He had me re-evaluate how I view myself, life and my circumstances. This young man challenged me, encourage me and helped me inspire others around me as I talked about this book.

I highly recommend it for book club or just for inspiration. Oh, and
be sure to watch the youtube video’s they are a must see. This is an
amazing, life changing book. Nick has chosen to life a life without
limits, what do you choose?

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Jill Eileen Smith's Rebekah ~ Reviewed

By Jill Eileen Smith
Publisher: Revell
ISBN-13: 978-0800734305
320 pages

Back Cover: When her father dies and she is left in the care of her conniving brother Laban, Rebekah knows her life has changed forever. Her hope for the future is restored when she falls in love with her cousin Isaac, and their relationship starts strong. But marital bliss cannot last forever, and the birth of their twin sons marks the beginning of years of misunderstanding, disagreement, and betrayal. The rift between them grows wider and wider until it is surely too deep to be mended. And yet, with God all things are possible.
Join bestselling author Jill Eileen Smith as she fills in the blanks around the biblical women behind the men we know well. Her in-depth research and creative storytelling bring Rebekah's unique story alive with romance, heartache, and the power of forgiveness.


Jill Eileen Smith has a gift of bringing characters from the bible to life. I’m thankful for the review copy of a book that helped me catch a glimpse of Abraham, Isaac, and Rebekah lives up-close and personal.

Jill’s author notes to readers in the back of the book explains how there isn’t enough documentation on many aspects of Isaac and Rebekah’s life so she had to take some liberties. This author explains the things she added to make the novel work. I like when authors do that. I think Jill does a great job of piquing interest in Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah and their children to cause readers to go back to the bible and read the story for themselves, to draw their own conclusions.

I’ve read a few of Jill Eileen Smith’s books now and I like that I always learn something new; for instance did you know that Abraham had another concubine other than Hagar and they had six children together? I was clueless. This information had me running to get my bible to find out more about this relationship and their kids.

I appreciated the fact that this author includes scripture references along with the passages; which made it easy to reference. Thanks to this author I’ll never look at Rebekah, Isaac and Abraham the same way. She helped to give me fresh eyes when I read the scripture passages once again. Thanks Jill for bringing this story to life and letting me get to know the women in the bible in a fun and unique way. I’m looking forward to this author’s next book and so will you!

Reviewed by:: Nora St.Laurent

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Irene Hannon's Vanished ~ Reviewed

By Irene Hannon
Published by Revell
ISBN# 978-0800721237
336 Pages

Book Cover:  Reporter Moira Harrisons is lost. In the dark. In a thunderstorm. When a confusing detour places her on a rural, wooded road, she's startled by the sudden appearance of a lone figure caught in the beam of her headlights. Though Moira jams on her brakes, the car careens across the wet pavement--and the solid thump against the side of the vehicle tells her she hit the person before she crashes into a tree on the far side of the road. 
A dazed Moira is relieved when a man opens her door, tells her he saw everything, and promises to call 911. Then everything fades to black. When she comes to an hour later, she is alone. No man. No 911. No injured person lying on the side of the road. But she can't forget the look of terror she saw on the person's face in the instant before her headlights swung away. The person she hit had been in trouble. She's sure of it. But she can't get anyone to believe her story--except a handsome former police detective, now a private eye, who agrees to take on the case.

Vanished is the exciting first book in the Private Justice series: Three justice seekers who got burned playing by the rules now have a second chance to make things right.

Review:  Irene Hannon’s new novel engages the reader from the start. Action crashes on the scene literary from page one. Reporter Moria Harrison is caught in a bad storm at night. Someone runs out on the road. Moria sees her at the last minute. Tries to avoid the women but it’s too late! A Good Samaritan shows up on the scene to help. He says he’ll call 911 and see to the woman in the street. Relieved, Moria feels kind of out of it – the next she knows she’s been out of it for a few hours. When she awakes she doesn’t see police, no ambulance and no women! Did she dream all this?  She dials 911 herself and they soon arrive on the scene, hear her story and find nothing to back it up.

Did she imagine all this? Was the night playing tricks with her mind? It was dark and storming. She’s not sure what the woman or the Good Samaritan looked like. The Police think she’s bumped her too hard! She wants answers but needs help. A Phoenix PI service is recommended. All they could do was say no we can’t take the case! You’re Crazy. She already heard this from the police, so off she goes. She had nothing to lose and everything to gain if they said they’d look into it.

I enjoyed the three young men who made up the Phoenix team. They were college room mates and had history together. They reminded me of the three musketeers’. All of them had an Irish heritage and served in different parts of law enforcement before they decided to work together. The Phoenix team specializes in cases that fell through the cracks of traditional law enforcement.

This author pens a suspenseful drama that could be ripped from today’s headlines.  It’s the first novel in a new series about the Phoenix P.I. Service called Private Justice. Vanished focuses on Cal one member of the team who takes on Moria’s case. I liked reading about the mystery, suspense and the budding romance between Moria and Cal. It was playful and fun as they sandwiched it in between the drama and the surprising turns the case takes. It’s a tale that keeps you guessing right up till the end. I recommend this as a book club pick. It will create lively discussion. It’s a layered story everyone one will want to discuss, and give their opinion how they viewed the story. I’m looking forward to the next book in this suspenseful and fun series.

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent

TBCN Where Book Fun Begins


Monday, April 01, 2013

Susan May Warren's Duchess ~ Reviewed

Susan May Warren
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Summerside Press

ISBN: 1609367715

ISBN: 1609367715

During the golden age of Hollywood, film star Rosy Price's future shines bright--until the fated Black Friday when it all comes crashing down. Her only hope is to join forces with Belgian duke Rolfe Van Horne, a film investor. But Rolfe is not who he seems, and his plans to support a growing unrest in Europe could break Rosy's heart and endanger her life. When her country needs her, will she have the courage to surrender her glittering world and her one true love?


                Duchess is book three in the Daughters of Fortune series.  In this book, Rosie Worth, now starlet Roxy Price, has become the movie star she dreamed of being, along with all of the glamour and fame that comes with it.  She’s married to the head of the studio and everything seems to be going great.  However, when Black Friday hits, she loses nearly everything, and decides to join forces with a Belgian duke, Rolfe Van Horne.  They had met previously, and he comes to her with the role of a life time written just for her.  She agrees to do the film, but  doesn’t realize until later that the film is being used to support a growing unrest in Europe.   

                I had a hard time getting into this book.  I think it would have been better had I read the previous books leading up to this one.  By the time I really got interested in it, I was almost finished with the book.  I did enjoy the time period, though.   It was fun to see behind the scenes of Hollywood’s Golden Era.  But by far, the best part of the book was towards the end when Europe in World War II comes to life.

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers