Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Daughters of Lancaster County series ~ Wanda E Brunstetter

A while ago I was privileged to have an opportunity to write book reviews for a publisher to promote digital reading. Not only did I come across a view books that I thought sounded rather interesting and wanted to read for myself, but I also became an avid digital reader.

One book in particular caught my attention and it stuck. Now, eighteen months later, I got to satisfy my curiosity. I was not disappointed!

For a moment I had lost sight of the fact that the one book was part of a 3 book series, but I soon realized that the curiosity that had now been stirred up couldn't be satisfied without reading all three. It is a fine skill to keep one turning the pages of one book, but to buy the whole series... that is a true art. I commend you, Wanda :)

The first one in the series is The Storekeeper's Daughter. (Judging from the covers, these daughters are quite pretty, don't you think? For me it is so that a woman with a beautiful character seems even more beautiful on the outside, and these Amish woman of Lancaster County have some beautiful characters.)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Hustler's Promise & A Hustler's Promise 2 ~ Jackie Chanel

I can't really review A Hustler's Promise apart from the sequel A Hustler's Promise 2. They're kind of like Jack and Jill; one without the other simply rolls downhill, but together... all and all an amazing read! Well done, Jackie.

Jaicyn is only about fourteen, but with a crackhead mom leaving them high and dry Jaicyn has to fend for herself and her two sisters when it comes to paying the bills. She's headstrong and proud; traits that work both in her favor as well as against her.  

Rayshawn has one goal in mind: making enough money to get him and his brother out of the 'hood'. He tells himself that selling drugs will only be temporary, but things don't quite go according to plan.

Jaicyn and Rayshawn have their eye on each other and soon each other is all they have to rely on. Through the good, the bad and the ugly their relationship remains the key factor and with each event you wonder whether their love will be strong enough to survive. How powerful can a promise be?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Not in the Heart ~ Chris Fabry

Wow! It's amazing the messages that can be conveyed nowadays by simply adding some music to a visual image. I just had a look at the video clip that was created by Tyndale House Publishers as part of the marketing campaign for this book, and I think that it captures the heart of this story perfectly. Check it out here:

Truman Wiley used to report news stories from around the world, but now the most troubling headlines are his own. He's out of work, out of touch with his family, out of his home. But nothing dogs him more than his son's failing heart. 

With mounting hospital bills and Truman's penchant for gambling his savings, the situation seems hopeless... until his estranged wife throws him a lifeline - the chance to write the story of a death row inmate, a man convicted of murder who wants to donate his heart to Truman's son.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Intimate Strangers ~ Laura Taylor

School teacher and advocate of abused children Hannah Cassidy invades a private retreat in the N. Nevada wilderness. Ignoring posted 'No Trespassing' signs and the property's angry owner, she dismisses his threats and demands that he reveal her missing brother's location.

Nicolas Benteen, ex-mercenary and former CIA covert operative, assumes she is yet another adversary intent on exacting lethal revenge for his past deeds.

He will fight to the death to protect the sanctuary he has created for himself and those from his past he has vowed to safeguard. Even as Hannah penetrates Nicolas' isolation and melts the ice that encases his weary heart, she is seduced by the sensual, battle scarred veteran and the dark secrets of his past. ~ Amazon

Where shall I begin...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hostile Witness ~ Rebecca Forster

There is a reason for books being rated 5 stars; As opinionated as I am, I could find no reason to disagree.

"Some secrets aren't uncovered. They are unleashed..."

The national bestselling author is back with a gripping legal thriller of a brilliant lawyer caught between her client, a powerful family's hidden legacy, and the truth...

Josie Baylor-Bates returns to the practice of criminal defense when her friend's sixteen-year-old daughter, Hannah, is arrested for the brutal slaying of her step-grandfather - a California Supreme Court justice. Although all evidence points to Hannah's guilt, her family's disturbing relations may play a more significant role than anyone could guess. As Josie unravels a circle of secrets, she discovers a shocking truth that could save her client - or destroy them all... Amazon

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Noble Vision: A Novel ~ Gen LaGreca

Let me kick off with a bang: B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T!!! (And yes, this one has been reworked into a movie script - YES!)

David Lang is a young doctor with a medical breakthrough - he has discovered a way to help the brain regenerate severed or damaged nerves, restoring the bodily function for which the damaged nerves are responsible. This means that the blind could regain sight, the lame could walk, etc. There's just one problem:  his drug is still in the experimental stage and the medical system is controlled by bureaucracy, greed and politically motivated priorities.

Nicole Hudson is a beautiful ballerina who rose from a heartbreaking childhood to Broadway stardom. She is intrigued by the Flower Phantom, a secret admirer who send her flowers after each performance with an anonymous letter - inspired by her dancing. Nicole understands desperation and 'The Phantom' is the most desperate man in the world. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Into the Free ~ Julie Cantrell

Just a girl. The only one strong enough to break the cycle.
In Depression-era Mississippi, Millie Reynolds longs to escape the madness that marks her world. With an abusive father and a "nothing mama", she struggles to find a place where she really belongs.
For answers, Millie turns to the Gypsies who caravan through town each spring. The travelers lead Millie to a key that unlocks generations of shocking family secrets. When tragedy strikes, the mysterious contents of the box give Millie the tools she needs to break her family's longstanding cycle of madness and abuse.
Through it all, Millie experiences the thrill of first love while fighting to trust the God she believes has abandoned her. With the power of forgiveness, can Millie finally make her way into the free?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Border Crossings ~ Michael Weems

Two worlds collide when the corruption and crime from one of Mexico's most violent cartels spreads over the border. Taylor Woodall, a sophomore at the University of Texas, has been kidnapped in Cancun while on spring break. Private investigator Catherine James is on the case, but when the evidence begins pointing to violent drug gang and the cartel puts out a hit on our heroine, she turns to the only man she knows she can trust... her former flame Matt, a war veteran with whom Catherine shares a complicated past. Meanwhile, Yesenia Flores is a young, adventurous woman from Mexico who seeks a better life across the border. But no sooner does she set out on her trek than she becomes entangled in a web of violence and crime. Escaping the cartel's clutches but a witness to a murder, Yesenia is running for her life. North and South their stories run parallel until their dramatic collision and conclusion ~
This book actually comes with a warning: Caution: Book contains adult content (violence and language). 

I think this book should be made into a movie! 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Full circle ~ Mona Ingram

Bella has just found out she is pregnant but on the day that she plans to tell Jeffrey, he tells her that he is marrying someone else. Willow Bend is a small town; the kind of place where everyone knows everyone else's business. Falling pregnant out of wedlock is certainly frowned upon - and gossiped about - but adoption is not an option for Bella and so she sets out on her own to start a new life somewhere else.

In Santa Monica a beautiful friendship is forged for life. Sophia - at five months pregnant - has lost her police officer husband in a shootout and have converted his hobby room above the garage into a small, cozy apartment - perfect for Bella and her expected baby. Two single mothers with limited funds and a background in sewing starts making little outfits for their daughters. Over the next few years their survival skills / hobby turns into something neither of them could have dreamed.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Lonely Mile ~ Allan Leverone

I find that I write best - and enjoy it most - if I write while I'm feeling the excitement of what I want to say, and I am very excited!

After having read a few soppy romance novels, The Lonely Mile by Author Allan Leverone was a very refreshing nail biter.

"The I-90 killer" - Martin Krall - is a ghost amongst sheep. He has been kidnapping young teenage girls from rest stops along the I-90 highway, raping, torturing and (initially) killing them, until he realized that it could be profitable instead. Now he uses his skills for a human trafficking operation. He counts on people brainlessly going about their own business - not looking left or right - in predictable patterns of behavior (like sheep) and takes full advantage of this, having abducted one girl after the next for near four years.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

At Risk (Steve Cline Mysteries) ~ Kit Ehrman

If you love horses you might enjoy this book - perhaps more for the horses than the mystery, though.

At Foxdale Farm jumping is the name of the game. They host jumping competitions, coach the art of show jumping and provide boarding facilities for the horses. The beautiful - even though not that profitable - farm is on prime land and someone is greedy; someone who will stop at nothing to satisfy their greed.

Steve Cline - an ambitious 21-year old - is Foxdale's barn manager. He dropped out of college two years ago for refusing to live his father's dream. His independence did not come cheap but his desire for freedom was worth the sacrifice. The horses is his life now - about 200 of them - at least till he figures out what he wants to do with his life.

A routine check on a colic horse in the early hours of the morning gets Steve into deep trouble. His narrow escape sets a whole series of events into motion and time is running out quickly as he tries to piece the mystery together.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A very special delivery ~ Linda Goodnight

Thankfully Molly McCreight had prepared well for the ice storm raging outside - food and water supply stocked and firewood chopped and stacked. No one should be out in that storm but Ethan Hunter didn't have a choice; if he couldn't get the old man's medication to his secluded cabin on time, he could die. Not having anyone to look after his infant daughter, he had to risk taking her with for the ride. In the end, though, he has no choice but to make a different plan. If he knew anything about Molly he might have reconsidered but his "mistake" is about to change several lives for good. By the time  the storm is over and the Hunters are ready to return home, Molly discovers that they'd be leaving with a piece of her heart; it is too late to go back to the way things used to be no matter how she tries to convince herself that it is what she wants. It is time to face the demons from her past so that she may finally be free to embrace the future that she's been secretly craving for way too long.

This was a wonderful feel-good read. I loved how the characters evolved - the characters in the end is very different from those that you meet in the beginning. It is a tale about overcoming the failures of your past and facing your fears so that

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Secrets They Kept ~ Joanne Tombrakos

I've just finished reading The Secrets They Kept - a debut novel by author Joanne Tombrakos.

The very first time I heard about Joanne's existence is when my eye caught her comment on a friend's blog mentioning that she has just self-published her first novel. I've never met Joanne in person. Being in the process of getting my first book published I decided to support Joanne in buying her book just as I would like for others to buy mine when it is available. The story sounded interesting but I didn't really have a clue what to expect.

Joanne, I am so very pleased to say: I was blown away! I read all 287 pages of it in one day! I just couldn't put it down. You had me hooked from around... oh, page ONE.

In short, the book is about Elena, a Greek-American lawyer living in New York City, who thought she knew all there was to know about her family but then all of that changes the day the police arrive at her front door to inform her of the death of a person whom she never even knew existed but who had her name down as his next of kin. Suddenly

Monday, February 6, 2012

Amazon Kindle: Meet my newest BFF

I can only think of one way to start this new section of Postcards and Pictures off right: an introduction to my new Kindle of course!

Ain't she pretty?
A while ago I was doing some writing for a publisher with a view to promote digital reading. I had been doing this for a few months already at the time, but it wasn't until that first flight to the US that digital readers really showed up on my radar. I remember the lights being dimmed for bedtime but right throughout the cabin there were passengers continuing to do something from their handheld screens of some sort. I was curious but I had no clue. I only realized later that they were reading. How cool! I thought.

Once I had a clue I really wanted to have one. Finally, a year later, my sweetie got me one for Christmas - Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! One of the best gifts ever - in white, of course!

I have always enjoyed reading but now I simply love it! I've read in excess of ten books on my Kindle so far - like a hot knife through butter.

What do I love about it? Everything! Let me count the ways... ha-ha