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Beth Borzoi has her heart set on becoming a veterinarian since graduating with honors from the local community college. As it was, she was forever helping out with animals on the Blazing B ranch, and on neighboring ranches.She had saved money for her continuing education, and planned to leave in the fall, a few short months away. When friends on a neighboring ranch ask for her help with the eye of one of their horses, she knows she’s going to need some way to get money to help for surgery the horse probably needs.

As she takes Jacob’s old, unused saddle, she is pretty sure he won’t miss it, and the silver can be melted down to pay the expense for surgery. She’s pretty sure he won’t mind; after all, she’s never seen him use it in the 15 years he’s lived at the ranch.

As “payment” for her help, her neighbor friends let her ride a retired racehorse stud being boarded at their ranch. The bad idea goes from rotten to catastrophic, as while out riding, the stallion is lathered into a frenzy by an unusually large grey wolf. The result is injury to Beth; death for the horse, and a lawsuit from its owner that most likely will result in the loss of the family’s fifth generation ranch.

In addition, her father has a heart attack on the way home from the court judgment and dies two days later. Already furious with her, Beth’s mother, Rose, tells her to leave the family, which is reinforced by her hateful older brother, Levi. Can Beth find a way to right the wrong and save the ranch?

That’s the basic plot. Early on, reading was a bit on the bizarre side. Throw in an estranged grandfather (Rose’s father, who kicked her out when she married Beth’s father), a wacko cracko doctor, a mysterious legend and shrine, and the wolf who can sort of speak to Beth and can go through walls, this book is riddled with strange events.

I loved it! I’m giving it 4.5 stars because it was a wee little disjointed in the introduction of the grandfather early in the book, and then also because it wasn’t finished. The story of how Jacob ended up with the mystical saddle and where it went after Beth took it- wasn’t given.

In addition, while we assume {SPOILER ALERT!} Jacob and Beth’s relationship gets resolved, we don’t see the details. If the intent is to have a sequel, I’m completely on board and will definitely go out of my way to get it.

Click Here to read the first two chapters!

Erin Healy.com

Interview with Erin Healy

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Book Description

Welcome to Hope Beach

Where the sea breeze is fresh, sun sparkles on sand . . . and trouble appears with the force of a hurricane.

Inheriting a beautiful old hotel on the seaward shore of Hope Island could be a dream come true for Libby. The inn cries out for her restorer’s talent and love of history. She’s delighted to learn of family she never knew she had. And the handsome Coast Guard lieutenant she’s met there on the island could definitely be the man of her dreams.

But Libby soon realizes that only way she can afford the upkeep on the inn is to sell it to developers who are stalking the island. The father who willed her the inn has died before she could meet him, and her newfound brothers and sisters are convinced she’s there to steal their birthright. Worst of all, her best friend and business partner has been kidnapped before her eyes, Libby’s under suspicion for the crime, and her handsome lieutenant clearly doubts her innocence. 

Libby’s dream-come-true is becoming a nightmare. Can she find her friend and establish her innocence? Must she sell Tidewater Inn and lose her family again? Or can she find a home for her heart on the beautiful shores of Hope Island?

My Review

If you like mysteries, you’ll like this book. If you enjoy romance, you’ll like this book. If you enjoy family drama and reconciliation, you’ll like this book. Me? I loved this book.

Libby has a lot thrown at her in a short amount of time: an inherited property from an absentee father, complete with new relatives including a sister and a brother who were counting on their inheritance; her best friend and business partner kidnapped before her eyes, which places her under suspicion when in her efforts to save the video of the abduction, it is erased instead; an attraction to the Coast Guard lieutenant who always seem to be in the right place at the right time, just when she needs help; and of course, the inn that she inherited, which, as a professional restoration expert, she knows is going to completely break her piggy bank unless she can unload it.

While there are a lot of things going on all at the same time, it’s not distracting, and none of the sub-plots detract from the overall story. As a rule, multiple story-lines with multiple characters (even with the benefit of a character tree) are not ones I can get into, because it’s too much effort to try to keep up with it all. This author, however, has masterfully woven all the characters and sub plots into a completely cohesive story, within which each part is critically essential to the overall tale.

I’d give this one more than 5 stars if I could. Bravo!

To see all of my BookSneeze reviews, click on the badge on the right hand side of the page!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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Book Description

Sophia has her life all planned out—but her plan didn’t include being jilted or ending up in Dakota Territory. 

Sophia Makinoff is certain that 1876 is the year that she’ll become the wife of a certain US Congressman, and happily plans her debut into the Capitol city. But when he proposes to her roommate instead, Sophia is stunned. Hoping to flee her heartache and humiliation, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions on a whim.

With dreams of a romantic posting to the Far East, Sophia is dismayed to find she’s being sent to the Ponca Indian Agency in the bleak Dakota Territory. She can’t even run away effectively and begins to wonder how on earth she’ll be able to guide others as a missionary. But teaching the Ponca children provides her with a joy she has never known—and never expected—and ignites in her a passion for the people she’s sent to serve.

It’s a passion shared by the Agency carpenter, Willoughby Dunn, a man whose integrity and selflessness are unmatched. The Poncas are barely surviving. When U.S. policy decrees that they be uprooted from their land and marched hundreds of miles away in the middle of winter, Sophia and Will wade into rushing waters to fight for their friends, their love, and their destiny.

My Review

I really liked this book. I confess I finished it at least a week ago, and am still thinking about it.

As you know, I am a huge fan of historical fiction, and this one is based loosely on the Ponca Indian tribe. Near the end of the book, there’s a speech by Standing Bear, which is one of the only sources of documentation of the tribe’s removal by a member of the Ponca tribe.  I also especially appreciate how the ‘substantial paper trail’ left by government employees was woven into the storyline.

The reality of the conditions these folks endured is humbling. It’s also a needed reminder of the treatment of the US government during this particularly dark time in our country’s history.

Character development was sound, and knowing the storyline was based on some factual evidence really makes this one that leaves you thinking long after you’ve put the book down. I am always so intrigued when the author gives background information. I love that this author gives additional sources to check out.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars, and will definitely make a point to seek out other titles by this author.

To see all of my BookSneeze reviews, click on the badge on the right hand side of the page.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com http://BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Book Description

You probably want to hear about Jennifer and the demons and how I played chicken with a freight train and—oh yeah—the weird murder . . . you’re definitely going to want to hear about that.

Sam Hopkins is a good kid who has fallen in with a bad crowd. Hanging around with car thieves and thugs, Sam knows it’s only a matter of time before he makes one bad decision too many and gets into real trouble.

But one day, Sam sees them harassing an eccentric schoolmate of his named Jennifer. When Sam finds the courage to face the bullies down, he loses a bad set of friends and acquires a very strange new one.

Because Jennifer is not just eccentric. To Sam, she seems downright crazy. She has terrifying hallucinations involving demons and the devil and death. And here’s the really crazy part: Sam is beginning to suspect that these visions may actually be prophecies—prophecies of something terrible that’s going to happen very soon. Unless he can stop it.

With no one to believe him, with no one to help him, Sam is now all alone in a race against time. Finding the truth before disaster strikes is going to be both crazy and very, very dangerous.

My Review

“But first, I have to tell you about the stupidest thing I ever did………….”

Sam is your typical high school kid. He is quite popular, and has lots of friends. Ok, not really. He’s not typical and he doesn’t have a lot of friends. He totally blames his dad for that. Sam, is, however, a PK. Preacher’s Kid. Yeah. Isn’t that grand?

Sam just wants to fit in, but because of his PK status, other kids clam up around him and get all prim and weird. Sam just wants to be normal…………

This book had me laughing out loud from page 1, which. Later on, I had to change books because I was reading in bed and didn’t want nightmares. I absolutely LOVED this book.

It starts with, “You see that dead guy by the side of the road? Yeah, the one lying in a pool of his blood with his face all messed up and his clothes all torn and dirty. That’s me.” The end of the first chapter ends with the bit about the stupidest thing he ever did. Seeing as I thought this book was about Jennifer’s demons, I was a little confused, but it didn’t matter because I was laughing.

The next chapter completely switches gears and goes to Jennifer’s perspective. And it’s creepy. And strange. Strange and creepy. Love it!

If you know anything about psychology and/or mental illness, you might be reading the book while another part of your brain is working on puzzle. Near the end, I came up with a hypothesis of what was going on, but it was really only because Sam started down a line of thinking that led me to it.

There was one part of the book where I was actually saying, “Go Dad!” because it was that good. Normally, I don’t like the parents in books, but this one had me cheering Sam’s dad. (What a great example, on this Father’s Day :lol:)

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Honestly, I’d give it more if I could. Get this book. You’ll love it. I’m definitely keeping my eye out for more of this author’s titles.

To see all of my BookSneeze reviews, click on the badge on the right hand side of the page.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com http://BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Book Description

In a small Southern community where everyone is holding tight to something, the biggest challenge may be learning to let go.

Hope Springs, North Carolina, is the epitome of small town life—a place filled with quiet streets where families have been friends for generations, a place where there’s not a lot of change. Until three women suddenly find themselves planted there for a season.

Janelle Evans hasn’t gone back to Hope Springs for family reunions since losing her husband. But when she arrives for Christmas and learns that her grandmother is gravely ill, she decides to extend the stay. It isn’t long before she runs into her first love, and feelings that have been dormant for more than a decade are reawakened. And when Janelle proposes a Bible study a the local diner–and invites both African American and Caucasian women she has met–the group quickly forms a spiritual bond . . . and inadvertently adds to underlying tension in the community.

Becca Anderson is finally on the trajectory she’s longed for. Having been in the ministry trenches for years, she’s been recruited as the newest speaker of a large Christian women’s conference. But her husband feels called to become the pastor of his late father’s church in Hope Springs. Will small town living affect her big ministry dreams?

And Stephanie London has the ideal life—married to a doctor in St. Louis with absolutely nothing she has to do. When her cousin Janelle volunteers to stay in Hope Springs and care for their grandmother, she feels strangely compelled to do the same. It’s a decision that will forever change her.

As these women come together, facing disappointments both public and private, they soon recognize that healing is needed in their hearts, their families, and their churches that have long been divided along racial lines. God’s plan for them in Hope Springs—and for Hope Springs itself—is bigger than they ever imagined.

My Review

I don’t know that this is a book in a series as much as there are other titles that focus on other characters that show up in this book.

Since I got this as an e-book, I’ll address that first. At the very beginning, there is a family tree. It’s not possible to adjust the settings so images get enlarged, and, as with other titles, this was one I couldn’t see well enough to do me any good because I didn’t have a magnifying glass handy. In addition, books with these kinds of helpers are generally best as hard copies because it’s much easier, in my opinion, to flip back and forth in a hard copy.

I found the number of story lines and characters to be too many. I had an awful time keeping up with who was who, and who was black and who was white. Race and relations between the two were a primary theme in this title. The issue of race relations was done tactfully and presented well.

I really do think this would have been better had the number of characters been decreased. There were just too many story lines going on at the same time for my personal taste.

It was a fast read and relatively engaging. Because of the level of character confusion, I’m going to have to give this 3.5 out of 5 stars. At the end of this book, there was the first chapter of a previous story. I will say that I am not interested in reading it because I’ve already read this book. There are other series I’ve read where I really do feel compelled to go back and read earlier titles to help me have a more complete picture, but this isn’t one of them.

To see all of my BookSneeze reviews, click on the badge on the right hand side of the page.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com http://BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Book Description

The year is 1777. America is in turmoil. And Amish life is far different than today.

Pennsylvania in the late 18th century, once called William Penn’s Woods, was an assortment of different faiths living together for the first time in American history. Included in this tapestry was a small and struggling population called Amish.

Surrounding this peaceful people were unavoidable threats: both Patriots and the British were pillaging land and goods for the sake of the war, young Amishmen were leaving the faith to take up arms and defend freedom. A simple walk in the untamed forests could result in death, if not from bullet or arrow, then from an encounter with a wild animal.

Amid this time of tumult, Adam Wyse is fighting a personal battle. To possibly join the war efforts and leave his faith, which would mean walking away from the only woman he’s ever loved: Lena Yoder. But for that love he’s made a promise that may keep them apart permanently.

My Review

Generally speaking, I really love this genre. In this case, there is really too much going on for this to be a really gripping story.

I like the idea of a secret. I’m not Amish, of course, but this secret didn’t seem to be one that warranted the father’s behavior.

Then there was the love story: a promise made to a dying mother which resulted in the separation of the two in love; the insertion of the intended’s brother into the equation, now making it a triangle of sorts. We’ve also got a non-Amish wet-nurse, moved in to {obviously} sustain the newborn infant without a mother and the return of the infant’s father from imprisonment for not forking over all his goods to the military as asked.

While the plot pieces sound good, in reality, they didn’t fit together well. Parts seemed to repeat without adding new information; some incidents (like the rattlesnake bite) didn’t fit at all, and actually made me roll my eyes. The time line for everything that happened if I recall, took place over a course of weeks, which again, made it completely unrealistic.

I don’t think I’ve read any of this author’s others titles, and I probably would, just to see if her other books are better than this one. I love Amish fiction and I love historical fiction. This book, though, didn’t do much for me.  Because it wasn’t terrible, I’ll give it 3 stars.

To see all of my BookSneeze reviews, click on the badge on the right hand side of the page.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com http://BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Book Description

Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. 

Brielle went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and an incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.

Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.

Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen. And a beauty brighter than either Brielle or Jake has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices begin.

A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive.

My Review

This was an ok debut novel.

I don’t mind a first person perspective, nor do I mind a multiple-character first person perspective. What I strongly dislike, though, is first person present tense. In this book, not only were we changing characters, but we were changing tenses, too, and this for me, really didn’t settle well.

I think the story line is good (although I would have written it a different way so it would make more sense), but the tense thing was really quite distracting. I couldn’t lose myself in the storyline because I kept having to make that shift. Ideally, it would have been written first person past tense, and that would have made this title considerably more enjoyable to read.

That being said, because it was the debut title, I will get the sequel if it’s not too spendy, which comes out February, 2013. I’m hoping by that point, the author has chosen a tense that is more consistent and believable. In addition, there was some formatting wonkiness in my e-copy.

I’d like to give this a higher rating, but I’m going to have to settle on 3.5. There was just so much MORE the author could have done to make the backstory and the climax situation more believable, but the groundwork just wasn’t there. I didn’t consider this particularly heavy reading, as I know some other reviewers have. Overall, a decent read.

This title will released to the public May 29, 2012.

To see all of my BookSneeze reviews, click on the badge on the right hand side of the page.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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