Rescuing Finley. . . Forever Home #1 by Dan Walsh

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Amy Wallace has made plenty of mistakes in her young life, but she didn’t see this one coming. Chris Seger is a marine serving in Afghanistan. His life is forever altered by a single, fateful step. A mother of another Afghan war vet suffers a devastating loss, which changes the course of Finley’s life for good. Finley is a mostly golden retriever, who suddenly finds himself alone and confused in a dog shelter. Later, he’s brought to a local prison to be trained in a special program for female inmates. Could this prison actually become the place where Finley finally finds his freedom? Rescuing Finley tells the story of how one rescue dog powerfully impacts three tragic lives and puts all of them on a road toward redemption and healing.



Dan Walsh's debut novel, The Unfinished Gift, won 2 Carol Awards and has been published in several editions and different languages. It continues to be an Amazon bestseller during the Christmas season 5 years later and has sold over 50,000 copies.

With the sequel, The Homecoming, book reviewers began to liken Dan's writing to Nicholas Sparks. Dan's 3rd novel, The Deepest Waters, earned his 3rd Carol Award for Best Short Historical. His 4th novel, Remembering Christmas became his first national bestseller and was a finalist for Inspirational Book of the Year.

Since then, Dan has written 13 more novels, including a 4-book fiction series with Gary Smalley. The Discovery and The Reunion, both stand-alones, were also named finalists for RT's Inspirational Book of the Year and both have over 350 5-Star reviews on Amazon. The Reunion has also been optioned for full-length feature film.

Dan released his first indie-published novel, When Night Comes in Nov 2014. It is the first book in the Jack Turner suspense series. He plans to release the sequel early in 2016. He's also just released Rescuing Finley, the first in the Forever Home series, a new trilogy of books that will also feature dogs as a main character.

Dan lives in the Daytona Beach area with his wife, Cindi, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel. They've been married for 38 years and have 2 grown children and 3 grandchildren.


My Take~ I am a dog lover and a huge fan of Dan Walsh, so when he asked me to review this book I was thrilled to say the least. This book is about healing, rescuing not only Finley the dog, but rescuing those involved with Finley. Dan shows beautifully how an animal, specifically a dog just by their presence and love can heal a broken heart, fear of the future, and the pain of the past.
This is a must read, I guarantee you won't be sorry.


 

The Memoir of Johnny Devine by Camille Eide

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Love can’t rewrite the pages of one’s past, but it can cover a multitude of sins---one page at a time.

Premise: A WW2 widow hired to write an exclusive memoir lands on McCarthy’s hit list and must clear her name while trying not to fall in love with the born-again, ex-Hollywood heartthrob whose scandalous past keeps him too busy to notice her. Or does it?

Summary: In 1953, desperation forces young war widow Eliza Saunderson to take a job writing the memoir of ex-Hollywood heartthrob Johnny Devine. Rumor has it Johnny can seduce anything in a skirt quicker than he can hail a cab. But now the notorious womanizer claims he’s been born again. Eliza soon finds herself falling for the humble, grace-filled man John has become—a man who shows no sign of returning her feelings. No sign, that is, until she discovers something John never meant for her to see.

When Eliza’s articles on minority oppression land her on McCarthy’s Communist hit list, John and Eliza become entangled in an investigation that threatens both his book and her future. To clear her name, Eliza must solve a family mystery. Plus, she needs to convince John that real love—not the Hollywood illusion—can forgive a sordid past. Just when the hope of love becomes reality, a troubling discovery confirms Eliza’s worst fears. Like the happy fa├žade many Americans cling to, had it all been empty lies? Is there a love she can truly believe in?



 About Camille:

Camille Eide writes touching tales of love, faith, and family for those who enjoy inspirational romance and women's fiction.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
My Take~
 
Camille swept me off my feet from the first page of this book. For me, I loved this book because it could actually happen. While I was reading I pictured Clark Gable, which worked, I could see him being a little scandalous. This book is one of those gems that you just want to savor, which I did, it's also one that I will re-read. The detail is so rich, it is what I would have pictured Hollywood in the 1950's. The spiritual element was not overwhelming, yet definitely there, as Johnny goes through his past while telling Eliza his story. This is one book you do not want to miss!



 

The Thornkeeper by Pepper Basham

Monday, December 14, 2015







About the book:

With her past in shambles, how can she fashion a future of hope?
Catherine Dougall’s past of manipulation has left her future in threads. With a new faith, she longs to take the remnants of her life and make something beautiful, but shame, societies’ judgments, and the natural consequences of an unplanned pregnancy test her newfound hope. Dr. David Ross doesn’t help either. His kindness, sacrifice, and tenderness tempt her to impossible dreams. A fallen woman doesn’t merit a fairytale.
David Ross has made every effort to keep his life above reproach. His passion for the sick pump fresh purpose through his choices, but without financial support to maintain his war hospital, all is lost. When his notorious aunt offers an easy solution, David is tempted to give in to her demands, but his growing affection for the reformed flirt, Catherine Dougall, unwinds the careful wall around his heart and offers an unexpected choice.
When the worst of war tears them apart, can love renew the memory of what was lost or will tragedy steal away their hope forever.
From the beautiful Derbyshire countryside to the trenches of World War One, Catherine and David must learn to trust in a God who designs a masterpiece out of brokenness and fashions hope in the most unlikely places.


 About Pepper:

Pepper D Basham has been telling tales ever since she was a little girl. When her grandmother called her a “writer” at the age of ten, Pepper took it as gospel and has enjoyed various types of writing styles ever since. A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and lover of chocolate, Pepper enjoys sprinkling her native Appalachian culture into her fiction wherever she can. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC, where she works with kids who have special needs, searches for unique hats, and plots new ways to annoy her wonderful friends at her writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. She is represented by Julie Gwinn, and her debut novel, The Thorn Bearer, arrives on May 7th 2015.



My Take~

Pepper's sophomore book has it all, tension, laughter, and romance . . . oh the romance! Pepper brought the characters to life and I loved the time period of England. This is not only a story of love, it is also a story of faith and healing. My favorite quote "We are broken. All of us. No matter how we try to hide it beneath the latest fashions or the power in our social status, we're each just as broken as the other." That is the truest statement, and it was weaved throughout this book. This book was a joy to read and I highly recommend it!




The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck

Thursday, December 10, 2015

An old, forgotten chapel holds the key to love and forgiveness.

Retired hall-of-fame football coach Jimmy Westbrook never imagined anything would come of his labor of love—building a wedding chapel for Collette Greer, the woman he fell in love with in 1949. But now a realtor wants the land the chapel sits on, and he sees no reason to hang onto the past.

Photographer Taylor Branson is trying to make a life for herself in New York. Leaving her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, she put a lot of things behind her, including her family’s string of failed marriages. When she falls head-over-heels for Jack Gillingham, a top ad man, their whirlwind romance and elopement leave her with doubts. Jack, while genuine in his love for Taylor, can never seem to find the right way to show her he really cares.

When a post-mortem letter from Taylor’s Granny Peg shows up, along with an old photo, she is driven to uncover family secrets and the secret to her own happiness, starting with an assignment to photograph an unknown, obscure wedding chapel back in Heart’s Bend.

Taylor begins a mission to convince Jimmy that the chapel is worth saving—and that forgiveness and healing might happen within the chapel’s walls . . . for both of them.


About Rachel:

RITA finalist and award winning author Rachel Hauck writes from sunny central Florida.

With strong southern stories, she infuses faith and real life into the lives of her fictional characters.

Rachel loves to encourage new writers and is the book therapist for My Book Therapy and writing community founded by
Susan May Warren.

Rachel graduated from Ohio State University with a BA in Journalism. She's and avid OSU football fan.

Visit her web site to find out more and click on the icons to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

www.rachelhauck.com


My Take~

This book has secret after secret, a sister who is so jealous of her other sister she is determined to ruin her life. As I read this book I realized these characters could be members of my family, that is how real they are. In some way each of them have a tie to The Wedding Chapel. While this book has secrets, it also has healing, and forgiveness. This is a beautiful and tender book about family and forgiveness. It will be on my top list for the year! Highly recommended!


 

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

Monday, December 7, 2015



Miranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that's exactly what she's getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix--in the dead of winter, no less--the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Besides, a crazy trip with Joy would be more interesting than another Christmas home alone. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off to Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride--and a hidden problem that could derail the whole venture.


 Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus.

She also writes many teen books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series.

Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon.


 
 
 
My Thoughts~
The cover of this book just says FUN! Melody Carlson's Christmas books have become something I look forward to all year. They are always fun and carry the true meaning of Christmas. This book is no different. I read this book in one day, it was full of fun and adventure. Mostly it was full of what the Christmas Season is all about, giving. Joy is a hoot, and Miranda can't believe she agreed to go on this road trip with Joy. Joy is determined to spread Christmas Joy from one end of Route 66 to the other. 
 I highly recommend it!



 

The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

Friday, December 4, 2015

{More about The Golden Braid}

The Golden Braid (Thomas Nelson, November 2015)
The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower…
Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.
Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again—this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.
The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight—Sir Gerek—Rapunzel, in turn, rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to him than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?
As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery are about to be revealed after seventeen years. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?
Learn more and purchase a copy.


{More About Melanie Dickerson}

Melanie Dickerson is the author of “The Healer’s Apprentice,” a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.
Find out more about Melanie at http://www.melaniedickerson.com.




My Thoughts
 
I loved this story from beginning to end. Rapunzel is creative, kind, and she fights for those she loves. Knowing that her mother has lied to her doesn't stop her from being concerned about her. She can throw a knife better than any man. The mystery surrounding Rapunzel was something I didn't see coming and showed Rapunzel's true character.
With Christmas around the corner this book would make a great Christmas gift for anyone who loves fairy tales. 
I highly recommend this book!



A Reason to Stay by Kellie Coates Gilbert

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


As the host of her own television news show, Faith Marin works to expose the truth for her viewers. But in her personal life, she's anchored her world with firm boundaries in order to hide a family history she'd like to forget. Her pro bass fisherman husband Geary's life is an open book, and unfortunately his busybody family doesn't know the meaning of boundaries. Deception and crippling differences soon derail their tender relationship, leading Faith to believe her only option is to end the marriage. But while divorce papers sit on her desk waiting to be signed, tragedy strikes and her heartrending decision is interrupted. With her life in the balance, Faith finds that the one she has been shutting out may be the very one she cannot bear to lose.


FIFTEEN THINGS ABOUT KELLIE COATES GILBERT . . . 
  1. I fell for my skydive instructor (pun intended) and we’ve been married over thirty years.
  2. I appeared on the popular television game show, Price is Right.
  3. I made Ted Kennedy’s bed (as a maid at the Sun Valley Lodge).
  4. Part of my skull was temporarily stored in a cooler during brain surgery.
  5. I’ve been to a Rocky Mountain Oyster fry. (don’t ask…look it up).
  6. I’ve herded sheep.
  7. I’ve attended a presidential inaugural ball.
  8. I know how to tell the difference between a male and a female crab.
  9. My first office was in the Idaho State Capitol Building.
  10. I was a popcorn ball in my fourth grade Christmas pageant.
  11. My Gram called me her “precious puddin’ gift of God.” I’ve tried to get my husband to use that term of endearment, but he refuses.
  12. The popular doll, Barbie, and I are nearly the same age.
  13. There were sixteen students in my high school graduating class.
  14. I decided to play golf because the clothes are so cute.
  15. My life motto is: Prone to wander chained to grace.


AND A LITTLE MORE . . . 
I barely remember a time when I didn’t have a book in my hand. My tiny hometown of Carey, Idaho had no library, no bookstore. The bi-weekly bookmobile provided the only avenue to books . . . that, and my Gram, who spent a lot of her Social Security checks on books for her granddaughter with an insatiable appetite for stories.
I grew up on a sheep ranch in southern Idaho, a business my family had been in for generations, never dreaming I’d ever see my own name on a novel. I left home to attend Boise State University and spent most of my adult years pursuing a sensible legal career, raising two boys, and learning to be happily married.
But God heard the quiet prayers of a woman who dared to dream big and ask her Lord for the outrageous. In early 2011, I signed my first book contract. Today, I am living my fantasy. I live in Dallas with my husband. I work from home, writing novels. Often by the pool.
Can life get any better?

My Take~

Kellie has a unique knack of taking real life and weaving a story that takes you on a roller coaster  ride of emotions. This book had it all. At first I didn't care for Faith, I thought she was snobbish and rude. Geary's family drove me bonkers because they had no sense of boundaries.
This is a different book in that it goes back and forth in time, at first that threw me off trying to keep up with where I was in the story.
I thought Geary and Faith rushed into their marriage without talking about the things that really mattered, like careers, children, and family dynamics, just to name a few.
I could see some of my family members in the characters. This is a great book, one that will have you laughing and wanting to smack someone for being ridiculous!
I highly recommend it!!




 
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