Archive | June, 2015

Review: Desperate Measures

20 Jun

Desperate Measures

Desperate Measures by Sandra Orchard

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Researcher Kate Adams has finally pinpointed the medicinal plant responsible for tearing her family apart. She’s certain that discovering its secrets is her only hope of solving the mystery surrounding the disappearance of her father. Kate will risk anything to find the truth–even her budding relationship with Detective Tom Parker. But more people than she can fathom are after the plants and going it alone just might prove to be a fatal mistake.



Desperate Measures is an exciting conclusion to an exciting series!  This is the third and final book in the Port Aster Secrets series, and I definitely recommend reading the first two books, Deadly Devotion and Blind Trust, prior to reading this one.  The drama, intrigue, and romance are ongoing through this series and continue to build with each novel. 

While lingering questions were answered, Desperate Measures continued to surprise me with its twists and turns.  I have really enjoyed the characters in this series, as well as the unique plots.  The research and use of plants and herbal medicine was very interesting!  Sandra Orchard writes with depth and detail, and I appreciate her complex story lines that keep me turning the pages.  I enjoyed this great series and look forward to more stories from this talented author! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  I appreciate the opportunity to read this story and share my honest opinion.


Sandra Orchard

Sandra Orchard is the award-winning author of several books including Deadly Devotion, winner of the 2014 The Word Award for suspense, and Blind Trust. Her Love Inspired Suspense titles have garnered two Canadian Christian Writing Awards and a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Sandra has also received a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She lives in Ontario, Canada.

Learn more at

Friday Freebies

19 Jun

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To My SonsTo My Sons by Bear Grylls

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This humorously illustrated book is a collection of wisdom that renowned adventurer Bear Grylls wants to share with his sons about the risks, tumbles, and victories of a well-lived life. Mountain climber, world-record holder, and internationally known television personality Grylls knows a thing or two about adventure. The greatest adventure he’s experienced, though, is raising his three boys. In To My Sons, Grylls shares the quotes, Scripture verses, and spiritual wisdom he has learned through the literal ups and downs of an exciting life. Featuring cartoons from well-known sketch artist Charlie Mackesy, this book is a poignant primer for boys and men of all ages.


Not By Sight

Not By Sight by Kay Lyons Stockham

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Emma Wyatt agrees to tutor a recently blinded, embittered soldier because of the $50,000 paycheck his brother offers. The job is an answer to many prayers. Blind herself, Emma dreams of independence and freedom away from her overprotective family. Tutoring Ian in all things “blind” isn’t easy, especially when the biggest challenge is helping him walk by faith.

Good soldiers show no weakness. Ian MacGregor holds his battle with claustrophobia close to his chest, unsuccessfully trying to cope on his own, too angry with God to seek comfort. Ian knows duty, honor, serving his country. So why is he being punished with this very personalized hell?

As Ian struggles to strong-arm his phobia and let go of his anger, his growing feelings for Emma are overshadowed by the danger lurking around them. Emma would be better off with someone else. Someone sighted.

Someone able to protect her from the person determined to keep them apart…


Daughter of Joy

Daughter of Joy by Kathleen Morgan

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Abigail Stanton’s whole life was rooted in her faith, a faith she now clings to for survival. After losing her husband and young son, Abby sets out alone, bereft, and heartsick. And when she is led to Conor MacKay’s doorstep, the very foundation of her belief starts to shift.

As the volatile rancher’s new housekeeper, Abby is supposed to keep his affairs–and his capricious little girl–in order. Abby feels anything but order, though, when she and Conor are together. Can love heal the wounds of the past? Or will Abby and Conor risk even greater losses than they have already suffered?

The first in the Brides of Culdee Creek series, Daughter of Joy takes you on a journey of grief, intrigue, and redeeming love in the nineteenth-century Colorado highlands.

Review: Fatal Trauma | Perfect Prescription Prize Pack Giveaway

17 Jun

Fatal Trauma

Fatal Trauma by Richard Mabry

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A gunman who has nothing to lose faces a doctor who could lose it all to prove his innocence.

When Dr. Mark Baker and Nurse Kelly Atkinson are held at the mercy of a dangerous gunman, the lives of every emergency room patient are at stake. At the end of the evening three men are dead. One of them is a police officer who couldn’t be saved despite Mark’s best efforts. The other two are members of the feared Zeta drug cartel.

Though the standoff is over, the killing is not, because when the drug cartel loses its members, revenge is not far behind. Facing an adversary whose desires are dark and efforts are ruthless, Mark finds himself under suspicion as a killer, yet still a potential victim. When he turns to his high school sweetheart, attorney Gwen Woodruff, for help, Kelly helplessly looks on, as she hides her own feelings for the good doctor.

At the height of the conflict, three questions remain: Who is the shooter? Who will the next victim be? And can Mark prove his innocence before the gun turns on him?


My thoughts:

I love watching and reading medical dramas, so I was eager to read Fatal Trauma, my first book by Richard Mabry.  Dr. Mabry’s medical expertise is evident, and I really enjoyed the context of the story and its medical aspects.  I also appreciated the elements of suspense, but must admit that I was hoping for more depth to the story and its characters.  I felt a sense of detachment throughout the novel and struggled to become invested in the drama.  The spiritual threads also felt forced and were delivered in a manner that was more telling, rather than showing.  While Fatal Trauma did not deliver the edge-of your-seat suspense I was hoping for, it did deliver a satisfying story.  I have no doubt there are many who will love this book! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity.  I appreciate the opportunity to read this story and share my honest opinion. 

Landing page:


Dr. Mabry

A retired physician, Dr. Richard Mabry is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels of medical suspense. His previous works have been finalists for the Carol Award and Romantic Times Reader’s Choice Award, and have won the Selah Award. He is a past Vice-President of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of the International Thriller Writers. He and his wife live in North Texas.

Find Richard online: website, Twitter, Facebook


Richard is celebrating the release of Fatal Trauma by giving away The Perfect Prescription Prize Pack!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 20th. The winner will be announced June 22nd on Richard’s blog.

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Review: Security Breach

15 Jun

Security Breach

Security Breach by Margaret Daley

Purchase Links:
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Security Breach is an exciting story full of twists, turns, and surprises! The action begins with an intruder at the White House and escalates to more sinister attacks. Officer Nicholas Cole and his canine partner, Max, must work to solve the case and protect White House tour director Selena Barrow. Who is behind the attacks and why are they being committed? Those questions and more kept me turning the pages of this action-packed story. I loved the imagery and details of the White House and Capitol Hill events, as well as the political and romantic elements of this story.

I really enjoyed Security Breach and look forward to reading the other books in this series. Security Breach is the fourth installment in the Capitol K-9 Unit continuity series, which begins with Protection Detail by Shirlee McCoy and will conclude with Proof of Innocence by Lenora Worth.

I received a complimentary copy of Security Breach from the author. I appreciate the opportunity to read this book and share my honest opinion.


About the book:

When White House tour director Selena Barrow is attacked in her office, the Capitol K-9 Unit goes on high alert. Selena’s cousin is a person of interest in a congressman’s shooting, and Selena has been collecting evidence to exonerate her. Could this be the break they’re looking for? Officer Nicholas Cole and his dog, Max, step in to safeguard Selena—and to keep an eye on the evidence. As the attacks escalate, Selena finds it increasingly difficult to keep her distance from her handsome protector. But with an unknown enemy watching Selena’s every move, Nicholas will become her confidant…and her lifeline.

Margaret Daley
Margaret Daley is an award-winning, multi-published author in the romance genre. One of her romantic suspense books, Hearts on the Line, won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Contest. She has also won the Golden Quill Contest, FHL’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, Winter Rose Contest, Holt Medallion and the Barclay Gold Contest. Margaret wrote for various secular publishers before the Lord led her to the Christian romance market. She currently writes inspirational romance and romantic suspense books for the Steeple Hill Love Inspired lines, romantic suspense for Abingdon Press and historical romance for Summerside Press. 

To learn more about Margaret and her books, please visit her website,

Review: The Mapmaker’s Children

14 Jun

The Mapmaker's Children

The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy

Sarah Brown, the vibrant, talented daughter of abolitionist John Brown, is dynamically changed when she stumbles onto her father’s work on the Underground Railroad shortly after being told the shocking news that she won’t ever bear children. Realizing that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the movement’s leading mapmakers, hiding maps within her paintings while bigotry and hatred steer the country toward a bloody civil war.

Interwoven with Sarah’s adventure is the present-day story of Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, who moves to an old house in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance. Sarah and Eden’s connection bridges the past and present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way.


My thoughts:

The Mapmaker’s Children is dramatic, intriguing, and full of emotion!  Sarah McCoy skillfully weaves fact and fiction together in this dual time-period narrative.  I love historical fiction, so I really enjoyed the history of Sarah Brown and her family and their work with the Underground Railroad.  While the historical story line was my favorite, I also enjoyed the contemporary story line and the threads that tied the past and present together.  I really enjoyed this compelling story and look forward to reading more from this talented author!

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Blogging for Books and appreciate the opportunity to offer my honest opinion.


sarah mccoy

SARAH McCOY is the author of the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestseller The Baker’s Daughter, a 2012 Goodreads Choice Award Best Historical Fiction nominee. Her first novel is The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico.

Sarah’s work has been featured in Real Simple, The Millions, Your Health Monthly, Huffington Post and other publications. She has taught English writing at Old Dominion University and at the University of Texas at El Paso.

The daughter of an Army officer, her family was stationed in Germany during her childhood. She calls Virginia home but presently lives with her husband, an Army physician, and dog, Gilbert, in El Paso, Texas.

Her novella “The Branch of Hazel,” featured in the anthology Grand Central (Penguin), releases July 1, 2014. Her third novel The Mapmaker’s Children releases from Crown May 5, 2015.

To learn more about Sarah and her books, please visit her website

Review: Hearts Made Whole | Prize Pack Giveaway and Facebook Party

13 Jun

Hearts Made Whole

Hearts Made Whole by Jody Hedlund

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Hearts Made Whole is a captivating story!  The superb imagery and characterization pulled me into the pages and swept me away to 1865 Michigan.  I felt such compassion for the characters in this story!  Ryan Chambers, who we met in Book 1, Love Unexpected, is a haunted hero.  This war veteran has come to the Windmill Point Lighthouse to hide from his past and, instead, finds himself and his future.  Caroline Taylor, the heroine, assumes the care of her family and the lighthouse after her father’s death and does so with strength and tenacity.  In addition to the main characters, there are also several secondary characters who evoked strong emotions as I read.    

I loved the historical details, spiritual themes, gripping suspense, and tender romance found in Hearts Made Whole.  Jody Hedlund masterfully weaves these threads together, creating a most compelling story!    I highly recommend Hearts Made Whole, as well as the other stories in the Beacons of Hope series.  While each story stands alone, there is a special thread that runs through the series and is such a beautiful part of each story.  As thoughts of this story linger, I anxiously await the release of Book 3, Undaunted Hope.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me through Litfuse Publicity.  I appreciate the opportunity to read this book and share my honest opinion.

Landing page:


Celebrate the release of Hearts Made Whole by entering to win an Afternoon at the Beach prize pack and RSVPing to Jody’s June 23rd author chat party!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

One second-place winner will receive:

One third-place winner will receive:

hearts made whole - prize colalge
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 23rd.Winner will be announced June 23rd at Jody’s Facebook partyRSVP here!
hearts made whole - enter banner


About the book:

Can she forgive the hurting man who costs her the role she loves?

After her father’s death, Caroline Taylor has grown confident running the Windmill Point Lighthouse. But in 1865 Michigan, women aren’t supposed to have such roles, so it’s only a matter of time before the lighthouse inspector appoints a new keeper—even though Caroline has nowhere else to go and no other job available to her.

Ryan Chambers is a Civil War veteran still haunted by the horrors of battle. He’s secured the position of lighthouse keeper mostly for the isolation—the chance to hide from his past is appealing. He’s not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who’s angry with him for taking her job and for his inability to properly run the light. When his failings endanger others, he and Caroline realize he’s in no shape to run the lighthouse, but he’s unwilling to let anyone close enough to help. Caroline feels drawn to this wounded soul, but with both of them relying on that single position, can they look past their loss to a future filled with hope…and possibly love?


Jody Hedlund picJody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling historical fiction author. She won the 2011 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. Currently she makes her home in central Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog.

Find Jody online: website, Twitter, Facebook

Friday Freebies

12 Jun

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Chasing the Sun by Tracie Peterson

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Chasing the SunWhen her father disappears in war-torn Mississippi, Hannah Dandridge finds herself responsible not only for her younger siblings but also for the Texas ranch her father recently acquired. A marriage of convenience could ease her predicament… but is it the true desire of her heart?

Wounded soldier William Barnett returns home only to find out that his family’s ranch has been seized. Though angered at this turn of events, he’s surprised to discover that it is a beautiful young woman with amazing fortitude who is struggling to keep the place running.

Despite these circumstances, Hannah and William form an uneasy truce… and an undeniable attraction builds between them. In a land where loyalties are divided in a country ravaged by war, is there any hope that the first blush of love can survive?


Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering

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Rules of MurderFrom the tip of his black Homburg to the crease in his stylish cheviot trousers, he’s the epitome of a stylish 1930s English gentleman. His only problem? The body he just discovered.

Drew Farthering loves a good mystery, although he generally expects to find it in the pages of a novel, not on the grounds of his country estate.

With the help of beautiful and whip-smart Madeline Parker, a guest from America, Drew proposes to use the lessons he’s learned reading his mysteries to solve the crime. Before long, he realizes this is no lark, and no one at Farthering Place is who he or she appears to be–not the butler nor blackmailer, the chauffeur nor embezzler. Trying hard to remain one step ahead of the killer–and trying harder to impress Madeline–Drew must decide how far to take this dangerous game.


Swept Away by Mary Connealy

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Swept away when her wagon train attempts a difficult river crossing, Ruthy MacNeil isn’t terribly upset at being separated from the family who raised her. All they’ve ever done is work her to the bone. Alive but disoriented, she’s rescued by Luke Stone…so unfortunately, there are more chances to die in her immediate future.

Luke is on a mission to reclaim the ranch stolen from his family. But the men currently on the property won’t let it go without a fight. Luke plans to meet up with friends who will help him take back the land, and since he can’t just leave Ruthy in the middle of nowhere, she’s going to have to go with him.

But the more time Luke spends around the hardworking young woman, the more he finds himself thinking of things besides revenge. Will Ruthy convince him to give up his destructive path and be swept away by love?