Love Gently Falling

January 25th, 2015

Love Gently Falling

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By Melody Carlson

Rita Jansen is living her dream as a hairstylist in Hollywood when her father calls with news that her mother has suffered a stroke. When she gets home to Chicago, Rita finds her mother is healing but facing a long recovery. Worse, without being able to run their family-owned salon, her mother could lose the business. Rita decides to help, but she only has until Valentine’s Day to come up with a plan.

ISLAND BREEZES

Rita has to take a leave from her job working with stars and celebrities to return to Chicago until her mother’s health improves. While waiting for her mother to finish rehab, Rita is helping out at her mother’s hair salon.

Rita discovers that her mother’s business is in worse shape that her mother. While looking at some pictures of the salon’s early days and then while cleaning out the storage room there, Rita has a brainstorm. She comes up with a plan to revive the salon’s business before heading back to L.A. Her goal is to have a grand reopening to coincide with the opening of the skating rink in the center of the mall where the salon is located.

During all this makeover, Rita finds herself falling for one of the janitors who cares for the salon. Will a janitor keep her in Chicago? Get real. She has her dream job waiting for her.

I’ve always enjoyed Melody Carlson’s books. This one was no exception. Thank you, Ms Carlson. I’m looking forward to your next book.

***A special thank you to Katie Connors for providing a review copy.***

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Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she is a writer who loves to write! She is a bestselling and award-winning author of more than 200 books for children, teens, and adults–with sales totaling more than six million. Carlson’s passion for ‘true to life’ fiction has had great success for both the young adult and women’s markets. Informed and aware of the challenges and struggles facing teens today, she writes young adult novels that she hopes will change lives and women’s fiction to which women of all ages can relate. Her popular series, Diary of a Teenage Girl (Multnomah), has sold more than 775,000 copies and her popular Christmas novellas have sold over 590,000 copies combined. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.

The Financially Confident Woman

January 12th, 2015

The Financially Confident Woman

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By Mary Hunt

You have what it takes to take control of your money

Have you ever felt that you lack the know-how to take control of your financial life? You’re not alone. But it’s not a lack of savvy that’s the problem, says personal financial expert Mary Hunt; it’s a lack of confidence. And Hunt is here to help you develop a can-do attitude toward money so that you can take control of your finances.

Using the lessons she’s learned from her own hard-fought battle with debt, Hunt empowers you to cultivate nine essential money habits, including

· giving

· saving

· investing

· rejecting unsecured debt

· preparing for emergencies

· getting what you pay for

· and more

She also includes a six-week action plan to help you get started right away.

You’re smart, you’re capable, and you’re just a few steps away from a positive, confident financial future.

ISLAND BREEZES

Mary Hunt always has good financial advice. In the not so good old days the men took control of the money. That left the woman high and dry if she became widowed or her husband decided to trade her in for a newer model.

Many women today are single, working women. Many are in marriages where the man still controls the money. Ladies, it’s time to let Mary help you to become a financially confident woman. She has a six-week action plan to get you there. We all need this, especfially when there are so many of us who weren’t taught how to deal properly with finances when we were young. I certainly know how easy it is to mess up without that knowledge.

We are intelligent. That often means admitting we don’t know everything. Ms Hunt has taught me a lot. I’m working through her plan. You should, also.

Thank you, Ms Hunt, for sharing your experiences with us.

***A special thank you to Lanette Haskins for providing a review copy.***

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Mary Hunt is an award-winning and bestselling author, a syndicated columnist, and a sought-after motivational speaker who helps men and women battle the epidemic of consumer debt. She is founder and publisher of the interactive website Debt-Proof Living, which features financial tools, resources, and information for her online members. Her books have sold more than a million copies, and her daily newspaper column, Everyday Cheapskate, is nationally syndicated through Creators Syndicate. Hunt speaks widely on personal finance and has appeared on shows such as NBC’s TODAY and Dr. Phil. She and her husband live in Colorado. Find out more at www.debtproofliving.com.

Gooseberry Island

January 6th, 2015

Gooseberry Island

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By Steven Manchester

They met at the worst possible moment…or maybe it was just in time. David McClain was about to go to war and Lindsey Wood was there at his going-away party, capturing his heart when falling for a woman was the last thing on his mind. While David was serving his country, he stayed in close contact with Lindsey. But war changes a person, and when he came home very little had the same meaning that it had before – including the romance that had sustained him. Was love truly unconquerable, or would it prove to be just another battlefield casualty?

Gooseberry Island is the most nuanced, dramatic, and romantic novel yet from a writer whose ability to plumb the depths of human emotion knows few peers.

ISLAND BREEZES

A guy, a gal and a war. Is it possible to fall in love at first sight? Why does it have to be the night before shipping out?

Lindsey lives with her father and his PTSD from his war experiences. Now the man of her dreams is in Afghanistan. I’m wondering if David is going to return to Gooseberry Island with the same problems.

We both know he is going to come home a changed man, and his relationship with Lindsey is bound be different. The question is, how different. Will David run from her or to her?

David is killing their love and just might kill himself in the process. Sometimes it’s just easier to die than to live.

Can Lindsey deal with having two men with PTSD in her life?

People, you know I’ve never met a Steven Manchester book I didn’t like. All I have to say is you’d better have that box of tissues handy unless you want to drown your Kindle in salt water and snot.

***A special thank you to the author for providing a review copy.***

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Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers, Twelve Months and The Rockin’ Chair. He is also the author of the award-winning novel, Goodnight, Brian, as well as the critically-acclaimed novels, Pressed Pennies and Gooseberry Island. He has also written A Christmas Wish (Kindle exclusive), Wilbur Avenue (novelette), Just in Time (novelette) and The Thursday Night Club (novella), while his work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Three of Steven’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing. Visit: www.StevenManchester.com

Jesus Daily

December 10th, 2014

Jesus Daily

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By Aaron Tabor, MD

Based on the major themes found on the most active Facebook page in history, JESUS DAILY is a 365-day interactive devotional that goes beyond even the fan page to create a deeper experience and cultural movement that celebrates your redemption in Christ. JESUS DAILY presents a devotional thought but also challenges you to respond to each daily reflection using a variety of social media tools.

JESUS DAILY is a worldwide revolution in how you can connect, share, and worship the Father personally and with other believers.

ISLAND BREEZES

Dr. Tabor has written a unique book of devotions. These devotions are more than a Bible verse and reflection. You are encouraged to follow through with an action – often one which takes you to JesusDaily.com.

An example is today’s interaction to today’s verse.

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives. NRSV The interaction is: Shine the light of God’s love on someone who may be struggling in darkness right now. Send them a favorite verse, e-Christmas card, or online gift card.

Check out this book at hachettebookgroup.com. The book is a compact size which can be easily tucked into a purse, large pocket or backpack. Take it with you and refer to it daily. Then make the suggested connection. It’ll do your heart good.

***A special thank you to Katie Connors for a review copy.***

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Aaron Tabor, MD, started the Jesus Daily Facebook page in 2009. He is the President of Gene Facelift, a gene therapy biotechnology company developing anti-aging and wound healing drugs. Dr. Tabor is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Swept Away

December 8th, 2014

Swept Away

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By Laura V. Hilton & Cindy Loven

About Quilts of Love: Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women’s fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

Sara doesn’t think she wants love. But her grandmother has other plans.

Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned.

Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but his heart is as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between Drew and his new employer’s granddaughter.

Still, it doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts researching him online. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.

ISLAND BREEZES

School teacher Sara Jane is no match for her scheming grandmother. Mrs. Morgan has decided to hire handy man Drew to fix up her house (and marry her granddaughter). Of course, she conveniently times his chores with the times Sara Jane is at the house. She manages that by getting Sara Jane to help her finish her ballad quilt.

Sara Jane dismisses Drew as a John-the-Baptist- wannabe with his unkept hair at beard. Eventually she begins to see beyond all that hair to the man underneath who makes artisan brooms and hiked the Appalachian Trail. But can she get past everything to see the pain he’s suffered?

That’s questionable since she’s busy concentrating on her grandmother’s memory loss and wondering how to keep her safe. She also has to figure out where she stands with God. Does He really love her?

Ms Hilton and Ms Loven have written a book with characters you’d like to have a friends. They also taught me about ballad quilts. I’d like to read more stories with these characters.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

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Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning author and a professional book reviewer. A stay-at-home mom and home school teacher, Laura lives with her family in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. Cindy Loven is active in the church and writes from her home in Conway, Arkansas, where she lives with her husband and their son.

Masterpiece Marriage

December 6th, 2014

Masterpiece Marriage

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By Gina Welborn

About Quilts of Love: Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women’s fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

He wants to save his business. She wants to be a professor. But are they asking for more than they can really have?

After a flood damages the looms at Zenus Dane’s Philadelphia textile mill and the bank demands loan payment, Zenus turns to his aunt for help repurposing his textiles. Trouble is . . . his aunt has already been hired by the lovely yet secretive Englishwoman Mary Varrs.

Eager to acquire his aunt’s quilt patterns, Zenus attends the summer Quilting Bee, a social event his aunt has uniquely designed with the secret purpose of finding Zenus a wife. However Zenus only has eyes for Mary, but Mary has no such desire for him.

Though his aunt is determined to design a masterpiece marriage, both Zenus and Mary will have to overcome their stubborn ways. Can he realize that love requires stepping out of his routine? And will she recognize that following her heart doesn’t mean sacrificing her ambition?

ISLAND BREEZES

Mary is house sitting in Belle Haven while waiting on an appointment that would lead to an academic position at a nearby college. She spent two years in research with photographs included with her application. Now she’s learned that only drawn illustrations are acceptable. Does that spell the end of her dreams since she can’t draw?

Meanwhile Zenus has to deal with the losses and water damage left behind in the textile mill he owns. Thinking he could salvage some of the fabric by selling to quilters, he decides to go grovel before his Aunt Priscilla in order to get a quilt pattern to include with his fabric scraps.

Both Zenus and Mary end up with Priscilla’s help. In addition to drawing, Priscilla seems to be doing some matchmaking, too, but not between those two who really cannot stand each other.

Life isn’t being too kind to this pair. Mary needs her plant illustrations asap while Zenus has to continue to bow and scrape before his aunt in order to receive one of her quilt patterns.

Life does get interesting in Belle Haven. Thank you, Ms Welborn. I really enjoyed this book.

Tissue alert. You’d better have that box handy by the time you get to chapter 18.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

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Gina Welborn is the author of several novels and novellas, including The Heiress’s Courtship. Gina now lives in Cache, Oklahoma, with her pastor husband and their five children.

Flashing the Pipes and Drums

December 4th, 2014

Pacific Coast Highlanders and Gold Coast Pipe Band Flash Mob in Thousand Oaks, CA

Flashed by the British Army

December 1st, 2014

Flashmob of British Army musicians surprises Christmas shoppers in Gateshead’s Metrocentre.

Pound Foolish

November 30th, 2014

Pound Foolish

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By Neta and Dave Jackson

Book Four in the Windy City Neighbors series (Castle Rock Creative, October 2014)

Greg Singer coordinates consumer sports shows for powerboats, four wheelers, snowmobiles, and jet skis—macho toys for outdoor men like himself. But the job puts tremendous stress on his marriage with Nicole, who for the first time notices the handsome lawyer at the end of the block. “Greener pastures?” When the recession hits Greg’s industry, he thinks the crisis is merely an opportunity for God to bless him with unmatched prosperity, a promise he hears preached each Sunday, and he steps out in bold faith . . . But is he being “pound foolish”?

The fourth in the Windy City Neighbors series, Pound Foolish explores the economic upheaval and uncertainties challenging every family. Intersecting with Penny Wise (book three), the Jacksons employ the innovating storytelling technique of “parallel novels.” Though each book follows its own drama and story arc, the characters’ lives become intertwined and affect one another. Pound Foolish returns us to Beecham Street—a typical American neighborhood . . . where a growing friendship brings new meaning to prosperity.

About the authors: Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where their parallel novels from the Yada Yada House of Hope and Harry Bentley series are set. As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books.

ISLAND BREEZES

Greg Singer is losing his job due to the economic downturn. That just piles added stress onto his wife Nicole and his marriage.

Now he’s hanging around the house in his newly established home office while he waits for God to bless him with new prosperity. That’s what he hears preached at church each Sunday. Nicole is just not comfortable with any of those sermons. It seems the preacher is taking Scripture out of context.

On the home front, Nicole is being kept in the dark about their finances. She home schools the kids and was already stretched too thin before Greg decided to start his own business. Now she has the added responsibility of him being home all day and creating more work for her. It certainly wouldn’t hurt him to at least help out a little.

Since Greg is choosing not to be open with her, she arranges a mother’s helper and starts working with that hunk of a lawyer who just happens to live in the mc mansion down the street. Maybe she’s considering leaving her husband.

I really like the way Neta and Dave are using the cross over effect in their Windy City Neighbors books. I’m enjoying seeing some of the same events as seen through the eyes of various neighbors. I’m looking forward to Book Five of this series. You’ll get a teaser from that upcoming book at the end of this one.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

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Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where their parallel novels from the Yada Yada House of Hope and Harry Bentley series are set. As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books.

Love Without End

November 25th, 2014

Love Without End

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By Robin Lee Hatcher

A King’s Meadow Romance (Thomas Nelson, November 2014)

Chet and Kimberly have both failed when it comes to love. Will they risk their hearts to love again?

Chet Leonard’s life was forever changed when his 17-year-old son died and then, soon after, his wife walked out on their family. Over two years later, all he wants to do is hold onto his horse ranch and raise his remaining sons to be honorable men.

Kimberly Welch, widowed mother of Tara, a rebellious 15-year-old, has reached the end of her finances and nearly the end of her rope. She and Tara come to King’s Meadow to try to piece their lives back together again. Kimberly has no intention of becoming involved with the residents of this remote mountain community and certainly not with any man.

When octogenarian Anna McKenna returns to King’s Meadow and to the Leonard ranch, she becomes an agent of change and healing for the two hurting families. With her help, Kimberly and Chet may discover that true love has no end.

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Down on her luck without a job, very little money and no home, Kimberly and her sullen teenage daughter have gone from riches to living at a friends house.

Chet is struggling to keep his ranch in the red. It’s just him and his two sons. His wife dumped him, the boys and the ranch after a third son was killed in an accident’

Chet wasn’t really crazy about the idea, but did agree to tame Kimberly’s daughter’s horse and teach her how to care for it.

Everything seems to be a bit more than he bargained for as Chet fights his growing feelings for Kimberly. He knows all she’s looking forward to is a job back in Seattle so she can get back to city life.

Now Nana Anna has moved back to the ranch. Will she be able to stay out of the mix or will she decide to do a little matchmaking?

Thank you, Ms Hatcher. I really didn’t want to leave Kings Meadow.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

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Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heart-warming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over sixty novels.