Service Tails by Ace Collins

Monday, August 29, 2016

Service Tails (Abingdon Press, August 2016)
Heart-tugging true stories of the courage, faith, and loyalty of remarkable service dogs.
Not all heroic dogs wildly toss themselves into lifesaving situations. Some save lives simply by their incredible commitment to duty and service. Some lead the way to independence for people whose disabilities were supposed to limit their lives.
In Service Tails: More Stories of Man’s Best Hero, prolific author Ace Collins introduces us to leaders whose entire lives are wrapped in the banner of service. Their stories are remarkable snapshots of the value of vision and teamwork, as well as devotion to duty and unconditional love and acceptance–stretching the way we see both canine and human potential. Their training was intense, their loyalty unquestioned and each step of the way they constantly adapt to better serve those they lead. These unforgettable dogs are more than heroes; they are models from which we can learn how to love and serve unconditionally.
Learn more and purchase a copy.

Ace Collins defines himself as a storyteller. He has authored more than sixty books that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His catalog includes novels, biographies, children's works as well as books on history, culture and faith. He has also been the featured speaker at the National Archives Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted a network television special and does college basketball play-by-play. Ace lives in Arkansas.

Fall in love with these remarkable service dogs and their stories of courage, faith, and loyalty in Ace Collins' new book, Service Tails. Their training was intense, their loyalty unquestioned and each step of the way they constantly adapt to better serve those they lead. These unforgettable dogs are more than heroes; they are models from which we can learn how to love and serve unconditionally.

Celebrate the release of Service Tails with Ace by entering to win the Take-Your-Dog-to-the-Park Pack!

service tails - 400 (2) 

One grand prize winner will receive:

service tails - prize collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 30. The winner will be announced August 31 on the Litfuse blog.

service tails - enterbanner

My Take~

I am a huge dog person so this was a perfect book for me. Each story shows the unconditional love between pet and owner. When I think of heroic animals I think of my friend Ronie who has a retired military dog, and while Vvolt is a hero, some dog hero's are the ones who guide a blind person, or alerts their owner of a seizure. 
When I was diagnosed with epilepsy in 94 we had a puppy and while there were no seizure dogs in 94, Beethoven became a seizure dog in that when I had a seizure he'd sit right beside me and alert someone by barking. The only time he barked.
This was a heartwarming book. I highly recommend it!

My sweet Beethoven!

God Made You Just Right by Jill Roman Lord and Happy Birthday To You by Michelle Madlock Adams

Friday, August 26, 2016

Here is a message that every parent will want to share with his or her child: “You’re brilliantly created and there’s no one else like you!” With easy-to-understand descriptions and simple, rhyming text, Jill Roman Lord shares the message that God created each of us in just the right way in a manner that even the youngest child will understand. Bright and engaging illustrations from Amy Wummer pair perfectly with the text and enhance the appeal of the book.

God Made You Just Right
Retailer Links: Amazon   Barnes & Noble    Christian Book
Author’s Website:

A fun-filled musical book that celebrates the joy of a child’s birthday.

Retailer Links: Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Christian Book
Author’s Website:

My Take ~

I love when I get asked to read and review kids books, instead of thinking about my girls, I am thinking about my grandkids.

God Made You Just Right, is a perfect book to show a child just how special they are and that God made them just the way they are. It's a board book, easy for little hands, and perfect for bedtime reading. Jeremiah 29:11 is inserted as the Bible verse, For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Happy Birthday to You, is a perfect birthday gift for that little girl or boy in your life. It plays that special song that is sung as the candles are lit on the cake, there is a pocket to put a picture in from that special day. It too is a board book and perfect for little hands. I can see kids asking to have this book read to them over and over in remembrance of their special day.

I highly recommend both books!

Dana Mentink’s ‘Fetching Sweetness’ Prize Pack Giveaway

Monday, August 22, 2016

About the book:

Fetching Sweetness (Harvest House, July 2016)

Standing between Stephanie and her dream is one hundred pounds of lovable trouble.
It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Meet up with Agnes Wharton in a small town in California, retrieve the reclusive author's valuable new manuscript, and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent.

But Agnes's canine companion, Sweetness, decides to make a break for it before Stephanie can claim her prize. Until Agnes has Sweetness safely back at home in Eagle Cliff, Washington, Stephanie will never set eyes on the manuscript she needs to make her dreams come true.

When Stephanie tracks the runaway mutt to a campground, she meets Rhett Hastings---a man also on the run from a different life and a costly mistake. Rhett agrees to help Stephanie search for the missing dog . . . thus launching a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.

Once Sweetness gets added to the mix, it's a recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest.

Purchase a copy:
Dana Mentink lives in California, where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. Dana is an American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense and an award winner in the Pacific Northwest Writers Literary Contest. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third and fourth grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with her husband, two daughters, a dog with social anxiety problems, a chubby box turtle, and a feisty parakeet.

A recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest can only be found in Fetching Sweetness by Dana Mentink. It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Retrieve a reclusive author's valuable new manuscript and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent. But when the author's canine companion, Sweetness, makes a break for it and Stephanie has to track Sweetness down, she meets Rhett Hastings. They’re in for a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.

Celebrate the release of Fetching Sweetness with Dana by entering to win the Sweetness Unleashed Prize Pack!

fetching sweetness - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:

fetching sweetness - collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 24. The winner will be announced August 25 on Dana's blog.

fetching sweetness - enterbanner

My Take~

This book is full of FUN from the first page to the last page. This book has everything I love. A snarky, sassy bookworm heroine, a dog, and a road trip. I love books with animals and children in them because you can't control their behavior, and Sweetness is a dog that makes a break for it the first chance he gets, which sets the tone for the rest of the book. It has a theme of faith that runs through it. It's a very cute and fun read, perfect for a day when you need some laughter.
Highly recommended!


Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A woman is caught in a gripping moral dilemma that resonates far beyond her place in time and history in #1 New York Times bestseller Jodi Picoult's latest novel.

A young woman and her husband, admitted to hospital to have a baby, request that their nurse be reassigned--they are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is black, to touch their baby. The hospital complies, but the baby later goes into cardiac distress when Ruth is on duty. She hesitates before rushing in to perform CPR. When her indecision ends in tragedy, Ruth finds herself on trial, represented by a white public defender who warns against bringing race into the courtroom. As the two come to develop a truer understanding of each other's lives, they begin to doubt the beliefs they each hold most dear.

Jodi Picoult studied creative writing with Mary Morris at Princeton, and had two short stories published in Seventeen magazine while still a student. Realism - and a profound desire to be able to pay the rent - led Picoult to a series of different jobs following her graduation: as a technical writer for a Wall Street brokerage firm, as a copywriter at an ad agency, as an editor at a textbook publisher, and as an 8th grade English teacher - before entering Harvard to pursue a master’s in education. She married Tim Van Leer, whom she had known at Princeton, and it was while she was pregnant with her first child that she wrote her first novel,Songs of the Humpback Whale.

In 2003 she was awarded the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction. She has also been the recipient an Alex Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association, sponsored by the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust and Booklist, one of ten books written for adults that have special appeal for young adults; the Book Browse Diamond Award for novel of the year; a lifetime achievement award for mainstream fiction from the Romance Writers of America; Cosmopolitan magazine’s ‘Fearless Fiction’ Award 2007; Waterstone’s Author of the Year in the UK, a Vermont Green Mountain Book Award, a Virginia Reader’s Choice Award, the Abraham Lincoln Illinois High School Book Award, and a Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award. She wrote five issues of the Wonder Woman comic book series for DC Comics. Her books are translated into thirty four languages in thirty five countries. Three – The Pact, Plain Truth, and The Tenth Circle, have been made into television movies. My Sister’s Keeper was a big-screen released from New Line Cinema, with Nick Cassavetes directing and Cameron Diaz starring, which is now available in DVD. She received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Dartmouth College in 2010.

She and Tim and their three children live in Hanover, New Hampshire with two Springer spaniels, two donkeys, two geese, one duck, eight chickens, and the occasional Holstein. 

My Thoughts~

My mother always told me that you can't have your cake and eat it too, which is exactly what Turk Bauer wants, he doesn't want Ruth who is a black nurse to care for his baby because she is black, and yet when tragedy happens he wants her punished for what she did or didn't do. Turk needed to decide which he wanted because he couldn't have both.
I don't agree with Jodi's thought, that as a white person I'm benefiting from minor races, I lived in Virginia for seven years and I saw racism up close and personal, and it wasn't pretty. People didn't just have confederate flags because of the Civil War, they had them to make a statement, that African Americans were not welcome. One of our neighbor's said he'd shoot a black man as good as look at him. 
I grew up as a Navy brat traveling and living in different states, my children also grew up as Navy brats and they don't see color, they see a person. Two of my grandchildren are part Samoan, and when I look at someone I see a person. I don't care what their race is or sexual orientation. They are a person and that is all that matters!
This book's timing is perfect. Some in America don't believe we are divided as a nation when it comes to race relations and I have to disagree. I highly recommend this book. It will make you think about it's subject matter long after you turn the last page.

This book releases on October 11, 2016. I received an electronic copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Two worlds collide when the circus comes to Victorian-era Virginia.

Raised amid the fame and mystique of the Big Top, Charlie Lionheart holds the audience in the palm of his hand. But while his act captivates thousands, it’s away from the spotlight where his true heart lies. Here he humbly cares for his pride of lions as if they were his brothers, a skill of bravery and strength that has prepared him for his most challenging feat yet—freeing an orphaned infant from the dark bondage of a sideshow. A trade so costly, it requires his life in exchange for hers, leaving him tarnished by the price of that choice.

As the circus tents are raised on the outskirts of Roanoke, nurse Ella Beckley arrives to tend to this Gypsy girl. All under the watchful eye of a guardian who not only bears a striking resemblance to the child, but who protects the baby with a love that wraps around Ella’s own tragic past, awakening a hope that goodness may yet reign. When their forbidden friendship deepens, Charlie dares to ask for her heart, bringing her behind the curtain of his secret world to reveal the sacrifice that gave hope to one little girl—boldly showing Ella that while her tattered faith is deeply scarred, the only marks that need be permanent are his own.

Just then a child in the row behind Ella cried out, “Look, Mama!”

Charlie, dressed in his center ring finery, strode into the arena, as strong and strapping as ever. Face powdered and painted with two jagged teardrops under his eyes, he walked with stoic authority, tall boots forging a fresh trail straight toward his audience. Ella didn’t know a single man could hush a packed house with no words, but…then there was Charlie Lionheart.

A Carol Award and three-time Christy Award-finalist, Joanne Bischof writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. She was honored to receive the SDCWG Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon Writer’s conference. Her 2014 novella, THIS QUIET SKY, broke precedent as the first self-released title to final for the Christy Awards. Her 2015 novel, TO GET TO YOU, was the second.

She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her husband and their three children. Watch for her 2016 Victorian novel, THE LADY AND THE LIONHEART coming this summer!

My Take~
Joanne weaves a story that touched my heart on every level. Charlie the Lionheart and Ella are two characters that I won't soon forget. The story is full of hope, faith and sacrifice. Charlie is not only handsome, he is charismatic with jagged edges that makes him the best kind of  hero, Ella is gentle, and full of compassion which pairs her matchlessly with Charlie.  
Little Holland is a sweet addition to this story, I love when kids are apart of the story, I think they add a lot of fun, and Holland does just that.
While the story has heartache, it is also full hope and faith. 
I highly recommend this book!


Magnolia Moonlight by Mary Ellis

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

After being jilted by his fiancee, Michael Preston, a former accountant, pursues a new job as a private investigator. And, what better place to work than the new office of Price Investigations in Natchez, Mississippi? Unfortunately, Michael's partner, Elizabeth Kirby--a crack shot ex-cop with a past she wants to escape--resents having to work with someone whose only surveillance experience comes from television and video games. Their boss and his wife, Nate and Isabelle, are two insanely busy newlyweds who are "forced" by their friends to finally take their honeymoon. However, their romantic trip to Alabama turns into an investigation when they bump into Izzy's ex-husband, Craig, who seems to have taken up his gambling addiction once again. In an attempt to save Craig, Izzy discovers her ex doesn't hold all the cards. Back in Mississippi, Michael and Beth are left to take on their first case when a preacher allegedly commits suicide. His widow suspects foul play, but things look grim when Michael discovers the Reverend may have been stealing from his congregation. Will Nate, his wife, and his employees be able to uncover the true face of deceit behind the masks that surround them?

Mary Ellis has written twelve award-winning novels set in the Amish community and several historical romances set during the Civil War. Her latest, Midnight on the Mississippi, first of a new mystery series, Secrets of the South, is set in New Orleans. Before "retiring" to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate, a job with amazingly sweet fringe benefits. Mary enjoys traveling, gardening, bicycling and swimming, and lives in Ohio with her husband, dog and cat. She can be found on the web at:

My Take~

This is the first book I have read by Mary Ellis and I really enjoyed it, the cover caught my attention right off the bat!
Even though this is the third book in the series I wasn't lost at all. This book is full of twists and turns one that will keep you reading long into the night.
Highly recommended!

What Matters Most by Kellie Coates Gilbert

Friday, August 5, 2016

Deeply Emotional Writing Highlights the Complexities of Human Relationships
Leta Breckenridge is forced to drop out of college to care for her dementia-ridden mother. After learning a severely delinquent account may force her mother into a less desirable facility, Leta steps out of her comfort zone and lands a high-paying job at an Austin public relations firm. But her dream job turns into a nightmare when she learns the firm is a front for a political opposition machine--and that the research she's been collecting will be used against her new love interest, Nathan Emerson.
Nathan is a rising political star being pressured to run a bid to unseat the current governor of Texas. He's already in a relationship with a woman much better suited to be a politician's wife, but he's never met anyone like Leta. Could this feisty, challenging woman hold the key to his heart?

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~

In Kellie's final installment of the Texas Gold series we are introduced to the political world. In this book Kellie peels back the layers of the electoral process, and what we see isn't very pretty. Not only do we get a front row seat to the political scene, we also see the heartbreak a child goes through in caring for her mother who has dementia. My heart broke for Leta who is doing everything she can to care for her mother, and Nathan is determined to run a campaign with integrity. Integrity is the main theme of this book and how we as believers live our lives with integrity even when things get tough.
I am sad to see this series come to a close, I have really enjoyed getting to travel to Texas with Kellie's characters.
Great book! Highly recommended!

  Kellie is from Idaho and she came to Boise to launch What Matter's Most and I got to see her and have her sign my copy. She is a great lady, full of fun, and loves meeting her readers.

The Long Journey to Jake Palmer by James L. Rubart

Monday, August 1, 2016

Corporate trainer Jake Palmer coaches people to see deeper into themselves—yet he barely knows himself anymore. Recently divorced and weary of the business life, Jake reluctantly agrees to a lake-house vacation with friends, hoping to escape for ten days.

When he arrives, Jake hears the legend of Willow Lake—about a lost corridor that leads to a place where one’s deepest longings will be fulfilled.

Jake scoffs at the idea, but can’t shake a sliver of hope that the corridor is real. And when he meets a man who mutters cryptic speculations about the corridor, Jake is determined to find the path, find himself, and fix his crumbling life.

But the journey will become more treacherous with each step Jake takes.  

James L. Rubart is a 28 year old trapped in an older man's body, who loves to water ski and dirt bike with his two grown sons. He's the bestselling, award winning author of seven novels, including his latest, The Five Times I Met Myself. He lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington.
My Thoughts~
Jim Rubart is one of my favorite authors. I love how he spins a story. In his latest release The Long Journey to Jake Palmer he peels away layer by layer of what makes a person a person, he does this with humor and honesty.
Jim has a class he teaches called "Branding" when I heard about it I thought it was a little interesting that a guy from the Northwest who water ski's was teaching a course on branding cattle. I found out that "Branding" is about how you see yourself and how others see you. Do they match up?
Jake needs to be true to himself, accept what did or didn't happen to him and believe in himself.
I really enjoyed this book, and saw how God has peeled away my layers to reveal who I really am and has used different things in my life to help others.
Don't miss this book! It is a great read that will have you thinking about it long after you finish the book.

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