Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Gooseberry Island ~ Review


They met at the worst possible moment...or maybe it was just in time. David McClain was about to go to war and Lindsey Wood was there at his going-away party, capturing his heart when falling for a woman was the last thing on his mind. While David was serving his country, he stayed in close contact with Lindsey. But war changes a person, and when he came home very little had the same meaning that it had before – including the romance that had sustained him. Was love truly unconquerable, or would it prove to be just another battlefield casualty?

Gooseberry Island is the most nuanced, dramatic, and romantic novel yet from a writer whose ability to plumb the depths of human emotion knows few peers.


There is so much going on in the media right now, about the movie, "American Sniper" starring Bradley Cooper. Cooper portrays Chris Kyle, and tells the story of Chris' service as a Navy Seal, and the struggles he has when returning home and suffering from PTSD. 

Gooseberry Island isn't just a beautiful love story. It is a story about David McClain, his service in the Iraqi war, and the difficulty he has when returning home suffering from PTSD.  

I love many things about this book, but what I loved the most, is how David and Lindsey wrote the most beautiful letters to one another through every aspect of their relationship! Having met one another the night before he left for Afghanistan, really left them no option but to begin to know one another through writing. As time goes on, their friendship grows and blossoms into a beautiful love story. But the longer David serves, the more he sees, and the more his heart begins to break.  He honestly doesn't know how to deal with the pain and heartache of all he experienced while in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it only becomes worse when he returns home for good. 

Lindsey understands all to well the signs and struggles a veteran has when he suffers from PTSD. Her Father has long since returned from war, yet he still battles his demons. She also knows that while she believes David can do things to help himself, and work through the battles he has, she can't do it for him. He is going to have to do this for himself, just as her father does.

Lindsey and David's relationship goes through many stages! At times I would have LOVED to just shake David, and maybe even smack him upside the head while telling him to "go get some HELP!!" But as with life God has things under HIS control and HIS timing is perfect and right on! Do they make it? You will have to read it to find out! You really don't want to miss this one! Put this one on your MUST READ pile!!

I just have to say with regards to the "American Sniper" movie and all its controversy, I am amazed that this book came out at the very same time as the story of Chris Kyle! Author Stephen Manchester says in his Epilogue:

"Although it took me nine months to pen Gooseberry Island,  it's been a novel in the making for better than twenty years." 

Isn't it just amazing that it took him all those years, and all those months, to get his story down in pen, and that it came out at this precise time??? I think, this too, was Gods perfect timing!

Thank you Stephen Manchester for allowing me the opportunity to review your book. Thank you for your service, and for fighting for our Freedom! 

I feel it important to share that I would not recommend children under 17 read this, as there are adult situations.

 If you would like to help out the Wounded Warriors Project by purchasing Gooseberry Island, that would be AWESOME!! Here is more info. on that! 

Steven Manchester's next book will be out on January 6, 2015. Voted one of the Must Read Books of 2015 by Cyrus Webb PresentsGooseberry Island is sure to be the next hit from one of our #1 bestselling authors. The book looks at the budding relationship between Lindsay and David, who have to deal with David's deployment overseas and his recovery from the trauma he witnessed in the service of his country. 

PTSD is one of the biggest problems facing soldiers as they return from war. As an experienced veteran himself, Steven Manchester understands that. That's why, during the promotion of this book, Steven and The Story Plant are going to be working toward helping returning veterans. And we need your help to do that.

From now until January 31, 2015, we will donate $1 to the Wounded Warrior Project for every copy of Gooseberry Island that is pre-ordered and sold. All you have to do is email us a copy of your receipt and we will make the donation. In addition to that, we will also donate a copy of the e-book to returning soldiers, one donation for each copy sold.

Here's the really important part - we need your help to spread the word about this campaign! Tell your neighbors, tell your family members, tell the person working the checkout line in the grocery story. Just tell as many people as you can and ask them to help spread the word too. We want this campaign to go viral! Let's do something good this holiday season and celebrate those who protect and serve our country!

You can read more about Gooseberry Island at our website. It is available for sale atAmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKobo, and IndieBound.

Curious about Wounded Warrior or want to make your own donation? Visit their websitehere.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Hidden Agenda~ Review


His cover is blown. Now his enemies are on his heels and closing in.
Michael Hunt is alive--and on the run. Presumed dead by friends and family, the undercover assignment he's been working for the past eight months has just been blown. With a hit out on his life and corruption inside the Atlanta police department, Michael finds himself hunted by both the cartel and the law. His only hope is Olivia Hamilton--the daughter of the man who wants him dead.

This nonstop chase from Christy Award-winning Lisa Harris will leave you breathless.

Holy Smokes!! The pages were turning so quickly I'm surprised the book didn't go up in flames!! Hidden Agenda by Lisa Harris is full of suspense, mystery, and will grab a hold of you from the very first page and will NOT let go until you turn that final page! 

I love the chemistry between Michael and Olivia and it just makes it that much more interesting that they are the very "couple" that shouldn't be together at all! I mean really, this is one serious cartel that Olivia's Dad heads up!  Michael has been working so hard and sacrificing everything he has to bring it down, yet he seems to be falling for her and there is nothing he can do about it!

With every turn of the page it seems there is yet another twist and turn for Michael in this ever continuing case. Just when he thinks he is closer to ending this, something else happens that leads him down a whole other path. Will he ever get all he needs to shut this cartel down??  Will he be able to be with Olivia? Most importantly, will he be able to be reunited with his family? 

All of these and any other questions you might have, can be answered when you read Hidden Agenda!! If you like suspense filled, action packed mysteries, then this book is HANDS DOWN a MUST READ!!!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The Promise


Mallory Hammond is determined that no one will stand in the way of her goal—to save a life. She had that chance years ago, and she failed to take it, leaving her adrift and in search of the real meaning of her life. Finally, she meets a man online from a volatile corner of the world who offers her the chance to find that purpose. But she will have to leave everyone she loves behind in order to take it.
Tate Webber has loved Mallory for many years. He understands that Mallory will never be happy with him until her deepest heart’s desire is satisfied. When Mallory decides to travel across the world to fulfi ll her dreams, Tate begs her not to go but tries to give her the space she needs. Mallory embarks on her dangerous journey only to discover how swiftly and easily promises can be broken. And Mallory can only pray that she will make it out alive.
Inspired by actual events, The Promise is a riveting love story that asks the question: how far will we go for love?

My Thoughts:

First things first... I LOVE stories based on real life events, don't you!? And I love books that just grab a hold of you and don't let go until that very last page has been turned, don't you!? If you answered yes, then I would highly suggest reading "The Promise" by Beth Wiseman!

When we make promises, we all do our best to hold true to that promise but sometimes, it just doesn't work the way we had hoped. And sometimes we may give up when a promise hasn't been fulfilled in a timely manner, but what if 12 years passed and still that promise is looming about?  What if fulfilling that promise takes us to a world we know nothing about and each day becomes more and more dangerous. 

Mallory is brave, yet so naive, and at times I just wanted to shake her and ask her what in the world was she thinking! 

The Promise takes us into the Muslim world and it is here that Mallory finds God.

Back at home, her long time love, Tate is not only worried about her but has his own issues going on. He looks to God and his faith is stretched in ways he wouldn't have imagined.

I highly recommend The Promise to those who love to read captivating novels! I suggest you have a somewhat clear schedule, otherwise, you may end up ignoring that schedule all together! ;)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥'s Indeed!!

Thank you LitFuse for allowing me this complimentary book in exchange for my honest review!!  

Friday, 24 October 2014

Lights Out: Living in a Sightless World


When the lights go out – play harder. 
Travis Freeman plunged into a world of darkness at 12 years old. A rare occurrence of a routine illness stole his sight, leaving the small–town Kentucky boy's dreams of football and fun languish–ing on the sidelines. 
Having given his heart to Jesus merely a year before the illness, Travis knew one thing: God was still the light for his life. 
That life story is now the inspiration for a major motion picture, "23 BLAST" that hits theatres in October 2014. Starring Dylan Baker (SPIDERMAN, THE GOOD WIFE) and Mark Hapka (DAYS OF OUR LIVES, CRIMINAL MINDS), the film focuses on Travis's football career playing Center for the Corbin Red–hounds – a team that went on to win the state championship. 
Yet there is even more wisdom and hope for us to find in a full telling of Travis Freeman's story. So much more to hear that couldn't be included in The Today Show and Dateline coverage of his football exploits. 
This graduate of the University of Kentucky and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary now joins with seasoned writer Rebeca Seitz to share his story in his own words. His is a story that is destined to turn the lights on for millions of readers.


You know those stories that while you're reading it, you just can't believe it, and then when you've turned that final page you STILL can't believe it!!?? Lights Out: Living in a Sightless World is one of those books! Travis Freeman has got to be one of THE MOST amazing men and his story is one that will touch/inspire/encourage each and every person who is able to hear it.

Travis lives in a small town, a very close knit community.  Travis explains it this way...

 “Life in the small town of Corbin revolves around family, church, neighborhood, and football – usually in that order. Every little boy – at least every little boy I knew – grew up with one dream: to become a Corbin Redhound, a member of the high-school football team.”  As a 4th grader he was able to be the water boy, which in his mind, was one step closer to being on the team!

When Travis turns 12 he begins having painful headaches! The doctors didn't take him seriously but when his Dad takes him to the hospital in pain, and running a very high temp, tests reveal Travis had Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis. Surgery was the only option and with it came the news that Travis would lose his sight.  

As I read his story I kept thinking about the Scripture, "What the enemy meant for harm, God will use it for good" Gen 50:20. You see, upon Travis learning that while the surgery had saved his life, the infection had taken his sight, and his reply was this... "I believe I will see again. But if I don't, I can't wait to see what God's going to do with my life!" And from that day to today, God is STILL doing amazing things through Travis' life!!

Travis went on to play football, yes PLAY football! He played all through high school, and then he was the equipment manager at the University of Kentucky during his college years. He has continued to do so many amazing things and with each accomplishment he hopes that people will see that disability does not equal inability! 

Lights Out: Living in a Sightless World is a book that everyone should read! What a great thing for Families to read aloud together each evening, and then discuss between them and see how each person is touched or encouraged. Honestly anyone and everyone would be blessed to read Travis' story!

There is also a movie out titled "23 Blast" that tells his story. I'm not sure if it will come to my area but I sooooo hope it does! It is one to see for sure!!!

Hands down, I give this book as many ♥ as I possibly can!!! This is a MUST READ book!!
5 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥'s INDEED!!

Thank you so much LeAnn Hamby and Glassroad Media a division of BelieversPress for allowing me this complimentary book in exchange for my honest review!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Mason Jar


What if your old college roommate called, raving about a book someone sent her, calling it the most beautiful book she's ever read? "But," she said, "it's about you." The author is your college ex. 
In The Mason Jar, Clayton Fincannon is a Tennessee farm boy raised at the feet of his grandfather. He and his grandfather leave letters for each other in a Mason jar on his grandfather's desk; letters of counsel and affirmation. When Clayton attends college in Southern California, he meets and falls in love with a dark, debutante from Colorado, named Savannah. However, when an unmentioned past resurrects in her life and she leaves, Clayton is left with unanswered questions.
Clayton goes on to serve as a missionary in Africa, while he and his grandfather continue their tradition of writing letters. When Clayton returns home five years later to bury his grandfather, he searches for answers pertaining to the loss of the young woman he once loved. Little does Clayton know, the answers await him in the broken Mason jar.
A story about a girl who vanished, a former love who wrote a book about her and a reunion they never imagined.
Written for the bruised and broken, The Mason Jar is an inspirational romance that brings hope to people who have experienced disappointment in life due to separation from loved ones. With a redemptive ending that encourages us to love again, and written in the fresh, romantic tones of Nicholas Sparks, The Mason Jar interweaves the imagery of Thoreau with the adventures and climatic family struggles common to Dances with Wolves, A River Runs Through It and Legends of the Fall.


When I read the blurb about "The Mason Jar" I knew right away that I wanted to review this book! Why? Well, it is a inspirational romance and one that states is similar to a Nicholas Sparks book. 

I loved the idea of the book! Everyone remembers their first love, but how many people do you know that had someone write a book about the relationship the two of you had? Well, that is just what happens in The Mason Jar. Finn and Eden fall in love while attending Pepperdine University and quickly become inseparable! Finn falls hard for Eden but when she suddenly disappears from campus, he is left with countless questions! The note Eden leaves only states she does not want him to pursue her. Attempting to overcome his broken heart Finn decides to go to Africa on a missions trip, and begins a Micro-lending program.

He also begins writing his grandfather in hopes of resolving his feelings for Eden. This is the best part of the book for me! I LOVED Finn's grandfather and how their relationship, while already a good one, only becomes much closer! Finn learns so much from this time of sharing notes back and forth! But, it isn't until his grandfather passes and he is going through his stuff, that he finds the final letter. Finn hopes this last letter will bring some much needed finality!

While I enjoyed The Mason Jar, I have to say I definitely don't feel it was up to the "Nicholas Sparks" level. The depth of this love story wasn't even close to those in Sparks' books. The ending was different than most romance novels, so, if you are looking for a storybook happy ending this is probably not for you!

I give The Mason Jar a 4 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥'s rating! Thank you LitFuse for allowing me this complimentary book in exchange for my honest review!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Hidden in the Stars

Abingdon Press (September 16, 2014)


Robin Caroll


Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin’s mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage—two aspects Robin weaves into each of her books.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of twenty-plus years, her 3 beautiful daughters, 2 precious grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home—in the South, where else?


Following an attack that killed her mother and stole her ability to speak, 21-year-old Sophia Montgomery has no choice but to accept her estranged grandmother’s offer to return to their family home. Although detective Julian Frazier is working hard on the case, Sophia unknowingly frustrates him because her inability to speak thwarts her eyewitness evidence. The fact that Julian is undeniably attracted to Sophia doesn’t help either, so Julian hides his feelings as concern for a trauma victim and focuses instead on finding the killer.

Little do they know, the clues to solving the case may be right in front of them, displayed in Sophia’s mother’s “special” quilt design. Who will realize the secret Sophia’s unwittingly been hiding in plain sight? When the truth comes to light, will Sophia find her voice again? Or will the murderer—still at large—silence her forever?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Hidden in the Stars, go HERE.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Tried & True


Kylie Wilde fought in the Civil War dressed as a boy and now she's homesteading as a man. But she makes one lousy man! When land agent Aaron Masterson comes to inspect her claim, he immediately realizes she's a woman. She begs him not to tell, but can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government, even if she really did serve in the war?
Aaron is interested in the little spitfire from the moment her long hair falls from her cap, but when he tells her of his plan to stake his own claim, farther west and up in the mountains, she draws away. Kylie's focus is to "prove up" her homestead, sell it for a profit, move back east, and live the rest of her life in civilization.
But all Kylie's future plans are put in jeopardy when someone tries to burn her out. Who would attack her way out here? Aaron and Kylie suspect it's the local land baron--but Gage Coulter denies any involvement. He does suggest a way for Kylie to stay safe, though--marry him! More attacks scare Kylie near to death, and she can't face living on her own any longer. Should she tie her fortune to Gage or Aaron? Either choice will put an end to her dreams of a civilized life. And what if marrying doesn't stop the attacks after all?
Tried & True is the 1st book in the "Wild @ Heart" Series! Mary Connealy writes fabulous cowboy comedy and this book showcases that so well! 
Kylie & her sisters are some tough cookies and so very brave! I can't even imagine living in the 1860's, but these sisters serve in the Civil War (appearing as men), and then try their hand @Homesteading  too, making it quite humorous at times!! Romance is in the air and adventures await the sisters! Tried and True is fabulous!!  A great book to just sit down and escape for awhile! Thanks Litfuse for allowing me this complimentary book in exchange for my honest review!
Tried & True is most definitely 5 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥'s