Thursday, January 27, 2011

Maverick Heart by Loree Lough

Great cover, huh?!

Loree Lough is a fun-loving, kind, playful person, and I’m pleased to review her latest book Maverick Heart.

First, the back cover copy:

Nurse Levee O'Reilly and her husband, Dr. Liam O'Reilly, are headed west to the California Territory to practice medicine when their stagecoach is tragically attacked by the infamous Frank Michaels. All alone now and grieving, Levee makes her way to Eagle Pass, Texas. The local doctor can't afford to pay a staff nurse, however, and so she turns to the only other option-teaching. Devoted wholeheartedly to her students, Levee has little time for romance. Deep down,

Rancher Daniel Neville wants to be a preacher, but he's battled doubts and distrust for most of his life. Wracked with guilt over his twin sister's death and then punished; with a limp from an injury sustained during a stampede, Dan dedicates himself instead to serving his family and working with horses on their ranch. Marriage is far from the top of his to-do list, and he aims to keep it that way.

When a coincidental meeting brings Levee and Dan together, they're awakened to a long ignored desire for love and acceptance by the realization that they might have finally found it. Can these two mavericks accept the plans God has for their lives?

And now, my review:

Loree has a way of grabbing her reader’s attention like few authors I’ve read. From page one, you’re hooked and committed to reading the entire, delicious story. Her heroine, Levee O’Reilly is a tough, capable woman. You respect her from the beginning. And as she heroically serves others, and succeeds in life, you root for her. She sacrifices for her friends and remains cheerful through her difficult life. Dan is a great hero—flawed, yet likable. He’s similar to Levee in that he also has a maverick heart.

I enjoyed the prose of Maverick Heart, not to mention the story. Loree throws in some surprises and keeps things moving at a great pace. There were times I laughed aloud. And the book provided a great escape from our time into history.

If you’re looking for a great historical, a great romance, check out this new release. You won’t be disappointed.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Book of Days by James L. Rubart

Here is James L. Rubart's highly anticipated second novel. Let's begin with the back cover copy:

“… in Your book all my days were recorded, even those which were purposed before they had come into being.” —Psalm 139:16

Young Cameron Vaux’s mind is slipping. Memories of his wife, killed two years earlier in a car accident, are vanishing just as his dad predicted they would. Memories he knows he has to remember. His father tells Cameron that to save his mind he must find “the book with all days in it” —the past and future record of every soul on earth. When an obscure clue leads Cameron to a small central Oregon town, he meets enigmatic Taylor Stone, a possible guide to finding the book who seems to carry secrets far deeper than anyone imagines. Local hotshot TV personality, Ann Bannister, thinks the legend of the book is a farce, but she has her reasons to join Cameron’s search anyway. Finally, there is fanatical New Age guru Jason Judah, who will stop at nothing to find the book of days before Cameron does.

And now, my review:

Jim’s second novel carries with it the same thinking-outside-the-box originality which made Rooms so enjoyable. You’ll be swept into a world of secrets and searches against the rich backdrop of the beautiful Northwest.

The hero battles time’s passing as his recall abilities fade. The novel unnerved me as I saw some similarities in my own forgetfulness. What a great jumping-off point for a story. How cool too, that Jim honored the memory of his father in the writing, dedication, and author’s note of Book of Days.

Jim’s imaginative elements intrigue me, as does his use of outdoors hobbies, like rock climbing. As evidenced by both Rooms and Book of Days, Jim enjoys exploring supernatural elements. Makes for a more satisfying read. Along those lines, I once again loved Jim’s exploration of faith and belief. Is this "Book of Days," which is mentioned in the Bible, real? Can you find it on earth? Is God real…?

I appreciated Jim’s inclusion of a romance thread, but as a reader and writer of inspirational romance, I would have liked to see more of this. Especially when he mentioned Wesley of The Princess Bride.

If you enjoyed Rooms and/or if you’re looking for something outside the box, you’ll love this novel.

Highly recommended.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Christian Fiction Releases: January, 2011

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW website.*

1. Alaska Weddings by Susan Page Davis -- A Romance from Barbour. In this three-novel collection, love has come looking for the Holland family of Alaska. But new challenges to their faith lie around every bend.

2. Banda Mission: Kidnapped in Ghana by Ruben Schwieger -- A Thriller from Warner Press. Coup leaders unexpectedly kidnap a missionary who, like the Apostle Paul, is able to share his faith with his jailors and others in unusual and dangerous situations.

3. Book of Days by Jim Rubart -- A Thriller/Suspense from B and H Publishing. God’s Book of Days. A record of the past, present, and future of every soul. Some say it’s fable. Others are sure it’s real, hidden somewhere on Earth...If Cameron Vaux can’t find it, he will lose everything..

4. Caroline's Choice; Haynes Famiiy Series, Book 3 by Martha Rogers -- A Historical from Realms (Strang Book Group). When God sends forgiveness to the hearts of His children, they learn the true meaning of love.

5. Courting Miss Amsel by Kim Vogel Sawyer -- A Historical from Bethany House. Edythe Amsel is ready for her first teaching assignment, but is Walnut Hill ready for her?

6. Digitalis; Discarded Heroes, Book 2 by Ronie Kendig -- A Thriller/Suspense from Barbour. Deep in heart of the Holy Land for a snatch-n-grab to save her father, Colton Neeley and Piper Blum must make the treacherous trek out of hostile territory before they’re caught.

7. Faith's Reward by Tammy Barley -- A Historical from Whitaker House. The year 1865 starts out as a nightmare come true for Jessica Bennett. The cattle she and her husband, Jake, fought to save from drought the summer before now face the threat of freezing to death. Her fears worsen when Jake contracts pneumonia.

8. Found in Translation by Roger Bruner and Kristi Rae Bruner -- A Young Adult from Barbour. God can do the humanly impossible through a thoughtless teen once she learns to be faithful, obedient, and forgiving.

9. Jewel of Persia by Roseanna White -- A Historical from White Fire Publishing. How can she love the king of kings without forsaking her Lord of lords?

10. Lily of the Field by Rose Zediker -- A Romance from Barbour Heartsong Presents. Marriage isn't on Caroline’s or Rodney’s minds...but their minds are not God's and He is busy taking care of the lilies of the field-and His children.

11. Missing by Lynette Eason -- A Suspense from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Her daughter is the most important person in Lacey Gibson's world. So when the girl disappears, Lacey will do anything to find her. Even track down a man she hasn't seen in sixteen years.

12. Night Prey by Sharon Dunn -- A Romance from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Romantic Suspense. Injured birds of prey, late night trespassers, and threatening note lead Jenna and her childhood friend Keith into more danger than could have imagined in the ranch country of Montana.

13. Rocky Mountain Hero by Audra Harders -- A Romance from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. Can a single mother desperate to make ends meet find love with a rancher too busy to fall in love?

14. Sharp Shooters in Petticoats by Mary Connealy -- A Romance from Barbour. You didn't think Sophie McClellen's daughter would grow up to be a quiet little thing, did you?

15. Softly and Tenderly; Songbird Series by Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck -- A Romance from Thomas Nelson. Emily and David each come to terms with a past that follows them, testing their faith and resolve.

16. Tennessee Brides by Diane Ashley & Aaron McCarver -- A Romance from Barbour. Romance, adventures, and dangers--including the war with Britain, discrimination against the Cherokee, and organization of the Underground Railroad--lurk at the fringes of three Tennessee women's lives.

17. The Baby Promise by Carolyn Aarsen -- A Romance from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. A soldier determined to fulfill a promise and a woman determined to forget.

18. The Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy -- General Fiction from Kregel. Inspired by a true story, The Rhythm of Secrets intermingles jazz, classical, and sacred music in a symphony trumpeting God’s grace.

19. Touched by Mercy by Tina Pinson -- A Historical from Desert Breeze. The west seems to hold all the answers to Samantha Northam's dreams, but is it far enough away to protect her from her nightmares?

20. Unexpected Love; Seasons of Redemption, Book 3 by Andrea Boeshaar -- A Historical from Realms (Strang Book Group). Nurse Lorenna Fields is drawn to a blind patient searching for his past. But as his memories return, will there be a place for her in his future?