Saturday, August 18, 2012

Song of the Brokenhearted... a book review

Song of the Brokenhearted, Sheila Walsh

Available: August 21, 2012
ISBN: 9781595546876
Christian Fiction
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Ava has risen above the poverty of her youth and her dysfunctional family.  Now, in her late 40's, she has a wonderful family, a picture-perfect home, and a few secrets in her closet.  In Song of the Brokenhearted by Sheila Walsh and Cindy Martinusen Coloma, Ava enjoys a life filled with high school football games, her daughter's upcoming wedding, and a ministry to people in crisis - those with broken hearts.  Her life is neat and tidy and planned.... even to 5 and 10 years down the road.

"Whenever something is too neat and tidy, GOD has a way of shaking it up."
(p. 48)

She is terrific stepping in and helping people in need, but what happens when Ava is the person in crisis?  When her husband begins working long hours and disappearing in the night, she assumes an affair.  What she learns is that her husband's company is being investigated and all of their assets are frozen.  Her life now includes no more maids... no more yard men, and no more shopping sprees. 

Can their marriage survive this change in financial status?  As Ava's life crumbles around her, an unexpected gift is left on her front porch.  With this gift, she realizes she still needs to face her past and share it with her family.  Will she allow God to write a new song on her heart?

Song of the Brokenhearted is a wonderful book.  I was pulled into Ava's life story from page 1!  If you know of Sheila Walsh's financial story, you will find some of her own struggles on the pages of this book.  How does it feel to learn that your husband has withheld financial woes from you? 

My rating:  A

I received a complimentary copy of this e-book from Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program for my honest review.



Sunday, August 12, 2012

Montana Dreams... a book review

Montana Dreams

Available: September 2012
ISBN: 9780373877638
Inspirational Romance

Publisher's Description

Bumping into her ex-fiancé shatters Millie Wilson all over again. Now that she's back in Montana to care for her dying father, her real burden is the secret she's never divulged to Hunter McKaslin.

Millie can't blame Hunter for his anger upon learning he's a father. He's never gotten over opening his heart, only to have it broken. Yet Millie senses a new goodness in Hunter. Finding their lost dreams now seems possible—if forgiveness and trust can find a place in this fresh start.

Read an excerpt from Montana Dreams.

Montana Dreams could be a story written by many young women who fall in love, show their love, and become pregnant out-of-wedlock.  Millie handles her situation by leaving the man she loves and choosing to raise the baby on her own.  She doesn't come to this conclusion easily, but after opening her heart to Hunter, he remains adamant that he will never get married or have a family.

This story of love and forgiveness is written in many relationships in the book.  How can Millie forgive her father when he himself hasn't changed or asked for forgiveness?  Can Millie keep her heart safe from Hunter while she is in town caring for her father?  Does she want to?

I enjoyed reading the continuing story of the McKaslin family.  They live real lives with real problems... ones many of the readers can relate to!

I received a complimentary e-book from Love Inspired Harlequin and for my honest review.



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Beautiful Disaster... a book review

Beautiful Disaster

Atria Books
Available: August 14, 2012
ISBN-13: 9781476712048
Fiction: Adult / Coming of Age

Publisher's Description:

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

This isn't just another "girl meets boy" story.  The challenges that Abby and Travis deal with are real and heartbreaking.  Can two hurting people from two dysfunctional families get past themselves and make a relationship work?  Both Travis and Abby feel they are not worthy of the other one's love; that because of their past history, they are not good enough.  How many of us can relate to this?  Their best friends and confidantes, Shep and America, are both their loudest cheerleaders and fierce protectors.

I did not want to put Beautiful Disaster down!  Unfortunately, I had to go to work and sleep at some point.  I'm so glad I was able to finish before bed tonight!

My rating: A
(5 out of 5 stars)

In the sequel, Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2), Jamie McGuire writes from Travis' perspective.  The expected release will be in 2013.

I received a complimentary e-book from Atria Books and for my honest review.



Saturday, August 4, 2012

Wildflowers from Winter... a book review

Wildflowers from Winter    -     
        By: Katie Ganshert

ISBN: 978-0-307-73038-1
$ 9.99
Fiction - Christian - Romance
Available now

Going home... this simple phrase can evoke so many different emotions.

Bethany, an up-and-coming architect in Chicago, has escaped a hard past and is moving forward in her life.  When an unexpected phone call from her mom shatters her day, she returns home just long enough to pay her respects to her childhood friend and visit with her grandfather.

She quickly returns to Chicago to find her life there has also turned upside down.  Now, with no job and no boyfriend, she moves back home to start a new life.  Can she make peace with her past?  Can God be a loving God... one who is desiring her to "come home?"

Click HERE to read Chapter 1!

Many Christian novels are written around the theme of returning home - not just in the physical sense, but the spiritual one, too.  In Katie's book, Wildflowers from Winter, she explores why someone would leave home and God and how God calls her home.

I enjoyed Wildflowers from Winter.  It did take me a few chapters to get into the story, but after that, I was hooked.  I like to put myself into the shoes of the characters.  How would I react if in Bethany's shoes?  How do I see God in my own life? 

I received a complimentary copy of Wildflowers from Winter from WaterBrook Press and their Blogging for Books program for my honest review.


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