Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Return to Exile: The Carthage Chronicles by Lynne Gentry - Book Review

About The Book:

How far would you go to save the ones you love?

Six years ago, impossible circumstances forced Dr. Lisbeth Hastings to leave behind the love of her life, not just in another country, but in another time. Her work as a top-notch epidemiologist and parenting her little girl helps alleviate the pain, but at night when her exhausted head hits the pillow, images of her beloved Cyprian haunt her sleep.
Cyprian Thascius returns from political exile a broken man. He’s lost his faith, the love of his life, and his purpose. He attempts to move on, to face the danger that is looming over Carthage, but when Cyprian’s true love suddenly reappears, his heart becomes as imperiled as the fledgling church he seeks to save.
Have the years that kept Lisbeth and Cyprian apart created too wide a chasm to bridge? In the midst of a new epidemic and rising oppression, will their love be the most costly fatality? Filled with gripping action and raw emotion, this spellbinding adventure of star-crossed lovers captivates with every turn of the page in this electric continuation of The Carthage Chronicles.

My Thoughts:

When I was asked to review "Return To Exile," I hadn't read Lynne Gentry's first book in this series, "Healer of Carthage." So I spent the past weekend immersed in the ancient world of 3rd Century Carthage as I read both these two books as well as two prequel e-books, "A Perfect Fit" and "Shades of Surrender," and it was a delightful experience!

Gentry takes her readers tumbling from the present day right back to the dusty streets of Carthage with a cast of characters that are memorable and a storyline that is captivating.

I really enjoyed how Gentry managed to take Lisbeth Hastings, a modern day, independent woman - a doctor, no less - and have her fit comfortably in the ancient world she finds herself in as she searches for her long-lost mother and finds the love of her life along the way.

Fans of inspirational fiction will enjoy learning more about the early Christian church and the members who sacrificed so much for their belief.  Fans of historical fiction will be fascinated with the ancient setting, and fans of romantic fiction will adore the love stories featured in these novels.

I highly recommend this installment of Gentry's "Chronicles of Carthage" series, and I look forward to the next book due out this summer.

About The Author:

Hi-Res Headshot

Lynne Gentry has written for numerous publications. She is a professional acting coach, theater director, and playwright. Lynne is an inspirational speaker and dramatic performer who loves spending time with her family and medical therapy dog.

Check out her website at www.lynnegentry.com

My thanks to Howard Books for supplying the review copies of these books. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Well, I about let Monday slip away from me - but I'm sliding in with a look at what I've got up my reading sleeve for this week! 

Hope you're having a great week with books too!

What I'm Reading Now:

What I Plan To Read:

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme sponsored by Sheila at BookJourney (www.bookjourney.wordpress.com)

Check out what other bloggers are reading this week!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday - Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory

One of my goals for 2015 is to do more art!  I have a great little studio set-up and all the supplies anyone could want, but I never seem to be able to just get in there to do anything!

So when I saw the title of this book, I knew I had to be on the lookout for it when it publishes on February 17th!


About The Book:

Packed with the signature can-do attitude that makes beloved artist Danny Gregory a creativity guru to thousands across the globe, this unique guide serves up a hearty helping of inspiration.

For aspiring artists who want to draw and paint but just can't seem to find time in the day, Gregory offers 5– to 10–minute exercises for every skill level that fit into any schedule—whether on a plane, in a meeting, or at the breakfast table—along with practical instruction on techniques and materials, plus strategies for making work that's exciting, unintimidating, and fulfilling.

 Filled with Gregory's encouraging words and motivating illustrations, Art Before Breakfast teaches readers how to develop a creative habit and lead a richer life through making art.

Release Date - February 17th

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme sponsored by Jill at BreakingTheSpine (www.breakingthespine.blogspot.com)  Come see what other bloggers are waiting anxiously for!

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Snow Way Out: A Snow Globe Shop Mystery by Christine Husom

About The Book:

Curio shop manager Camryn Brooks thought she’d seen every kind of snow globe—until she saw one depicting a crime scene….

Ever since she was a child, Cami has loved the sparkling beauty of snow globes, and now, she sells them.  In fact, they’re so popular, Cami and her friend—coffee shop owner Alice “Pinky” Nelson—are hosting a snow globe making class.

After the flurry of activity has ended and everyone has gone off with their own handmade snow globes, Cami spots a new globe left behind on a shelf, featuring an odd tableau—a man sleeping on a park bench.
On her way home, she drifts through the town park and is shaken to come upon the scene from the globe—a man sitting on a bench. But he isn’t sleeping—he has a knife in his back. When the police arrive, it’s clear they consider Cami a little flaky and possibly a suspect. After her friends also come under suspicion, Cami starts plowing through clues to find the cold-blooded backstabber—before someone else gets iced…
Snow globe making projects and tips included!

My Thoughts:

What better subject for the cold, snowy month of January than a cozy mystery about snow globes?

Author Christine Huson supplies the ticket for that request with her latest book, and the start of a new series - "Snow Way Out: A Snow Globe Shop Mystery."

I loved this story!  The characters are quirky and interesting, the premise for the mystery is fresh and fun, and Husom's storytelling is just a delight. The fast pace of the tale moved the book along at a nice clip, never allowing for any real "down time" for the reader to get distracted or bored.

I look forward to more great stories from this series.  If you like to get into a series from the very beginning - this is the book for you!

About The Author:

Christine Husom is also the author of the Winnebago County Mysteries, also set in central Minnesota. She served with the Wright County Sheriff’s Department and trained with the St. Paul Police Department, where she gained firsthand knowledge of law enforcement procedures.

She was nominated for the Minnesota Book Award in 2010 and 2012, and the Independent Publisher Book Award in 2009 and 2012, and is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the National Sisters in Crime, and active with the Twin Cities Sisters in Crime.

Check out her website at www.christinehusom.com for more information on her writing and upcoming projects.

My thanks to Penguin Books for supplying the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Scorched Eggs: A Cackleberry Club Mystery by Laura Childs - Book Review

About The Book:

In Laura Childs’s New York Times bestselling mystery series, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni—co-owners of the Cackleberry Club Café—are equally good at serving up breakfast and serving up justice. This time they turn up the heat on a deadly firebug.

As Suzanne is getting her hair colored at Root 66, she’s stunned to witness the County Services office next door suddenly go up in flames. Concerned neighbors throng the streets, and the fire department does their best. Unfortunately, their best isn’t enough to save longtime civil service worker—and friend to the Cackleberry Club—Hannah Venable.
Soon enough, it’s discovered that an accelerant was used to fan the flames. Someone set the fire on purpose—was Hannah the intended victim? Suzanne, Petra, and Toni vow to smoke out the culprit.
Unfortunately, the list of suspects is as varied as the Cackleberry Club’s menu. When Suzanne finds a possible connection between the fire and the nearby Prairie Star Casino, she comes to realize that the arsonist wanted something very big and bad kept secret. And if the ladies aren’t careful, they may be the ones gambling with their lives…

My Thoughts:

Laura Childs has a wonderful way of involving her readers in her mystery series, and her latest book in the Cackleberry Club Mystery series, "Scorched Eggs," is a real delight for her fans! Returning to her warm cast of characters who live in the small town of Kindred, readers will feel like they are attending a family reunion of sorts - well, a family reunion that just happens to revolve around a mysterious murder of a beloved citizen!

I love to recommend Laura Childs' books - including the ones in her Scrapbooking Mystery series and the Tea Shop Mystery series - and I can guarantee that fans of cozy mysteries will love the Cackleberry Club series as well.  Pick up "Scorched Eggs" for a fun winter read - you'll be glad you did!

About The Author:

Laura Childs
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, the Scrapbooking Mysteries, and the Cackleberry Club Mysteries. The most recent of these, Gilt Trip, won the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Amateur Sleuth. She is a consummate tea drinker, scrapbooker, and dog lover, and travels frequently to China and Japan with Dr. Bob, her professor husband. In her past life she was a Clio Award–winning advertising writer and CEO of her own marketing firm.

Check out her website at www.laurachilds.com for more info on her books!

My thanks to the author and Penguin Books for supplying the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday!!!!  I know, it's not usually a day to be all excited - but the sun is shining, and I'm feeling good, and oh my goodness at all the new books coming out - who couldn't help but be happy!

My To-Be-Read stack seems to be growing and growing with wonderful new books to read and I'm so thrilled to be able to share them with you fellow readers!  Here we go - this is what I've got lined up for the week:

What I'm Reading Now:

It's always a great day when Sarah Addison Allen has a new book out and her latest book, "First Frost," is set for release tomorrow - but I got a sneak peek through NetGalley and it is one of Sarah's finest!  Watch for my review coming soon!

What I Plan To Read:

Looks like I've got a lot of magic and time-traveling on my reading plate this week!  What fun!

These two books below are e-book prequels to the books above!  I'm looking forward to immersing myself in Lynne Gentry's writing this week!

Hope you have a great week of reading too!

It's Monday!  What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme sponsored by Sheila at BookJourney (www.bookjourney.wordpress.com)  Come by and see what other bloggers are reading this week!

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1 John 3:1 - How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!