Everyday Tidbits...

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Dandelion Field...Review

About the book:
This handsome firefighter makes a living coming to the rescue, but Gin doesn't need a man to fight her battles.

After Raine's dad walked out, Ginevieve Lightly never lived in one place too long, a rambling lifestyle that defined her daughter's youth. When their car dies in Banister Falls, Wisconsin, Gin promises Raine they can stay until she finishes her senior year of high school. Gin will do anything to make sure her daughter has a bright future . . . a future that's compromised when Raine reveals she's pregnant.

Dan Moretti has only ever called Banister Falls home. After losing his best friend in a tragic accident, Dan devoted himself to responding to fires, rescuing the helpless, and guiding Cody Bennett, his best friend's son, through life. With Cody being the epitome of the good kid, it was an easy job. Until he says four little words: "The baby is mine."

Knowing gossip of Raine's pregnancy will erupt sooner or later in the small town, Gin's reflex is to grab the suitcase and escape to a new city, a new life. But with each passing day, Gin's feet stay rooted in Banister Falls, and she falls a little more for this local firefighter who shows her not all men abandon women at the first sign of smoke.

As Gin and Dan do the best they can to guide the two teenagers through their early entry into adulthood, they discover together that romance can bloom in the rockiest of situations. And God can turn the pieces of a broken past into a beautiful new beginning.

Single mom Ginevieve is not one to stay in any place too long. But, her teenage daughter wants to finish her senior year of high school. Wanting her daughter to have a future that includes college, Gin has done everything she could to ensure that. When Raine admits she pregnant, Gin sees that future swirling away. Raine's boyfriend Cody is the all-American good, Christian kid. He loves Raine and wants to marry her and raise their baby. His mom isn't all that supportive. His dad's best friend is more encouraging. Together, they all must navigate this new reality and, in the process, Dan and Gin must confront their feelings for each other.

I was not familiar with Kathryn Springer and I read The Dandelion Field more on a whim than anything else. I am so glad I did. I loved these characters. I ended up with a vested interest in them.

The perspectives alternate between Raine, Dan and Gin and it works. Their voices are authentic, their fears and frustrations genuine. The writing is descriptive and the story compelling. I couldn't put it down and I didn't want it to end.

The story is clean and Christian and I appreciated that these teenagers understood the consequences of their actions and took responsibility but, more importantly, I loved that their parents worked through everything with them. If I have any complaints, it's that the story ended too soon and without an epilogue! I wanted more.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity and Netgalley for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Kathryn Springer here. You can see other reviews and tour stops here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 1/15

* * * * *
5/5 Stars

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mailbox Monday 1/26

It's time for another Mailbox Monday which was created by Marcia at To Be Continued.

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week... Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish list

 I've missed posting the last couple of weeks, so this is a compilation.

A Heart Revealed (Proper Romance) by Josi Kilpack, for review from Shadow Mountain
Get Your Joy Back by Laurie Wallin, for review from Litfuse Publicity

Celebrating a Christ-Centered Easter: Seven Traditions to Lead Us Closer to the Savior by Emily Belle Freeman, for review from Shadow Mountain
Alan Turing: the Enigma by Andrew Hodges, purchased

The Lovers Set Down Their Spoons by Heather A. Slomski (giveaway win from BookSnob)

Med Free Bipolar: Thrive Naturally with the Med Free Method  by Aspen Morrow, for review from the author

What about you?


What new books did you receive?  Check out more Mailbox Monday posts here.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Cottage Park Puzzle...Review

About the book:
When two teenagers are found beaten in the quiet town of Cottage Park and another boy is standing over them holding a baseball bat, it seems like a simple task to convict the perpetrator. There’s just one problem: he’s severely autistic. This poignant tale of one town’s journey to forgiveness and love will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.

Having a child on the autistic spectrum, I am drawn to stories about individuals with autism. I thoroughly enjoyed The Cottage Park Puzzle. Corky is severely autistic and my son is high functioning, so there are few similarities, but I thought that Richard Siddoway's portrayal of Corky was incredibly accurate. As he has an autistic grandson, his personal experiences helped shape Corky's character, I'm sure.

I liked seeing different perspectives as it brought depth to the story. Some characters I liked more than others. I can understand how a parent would be angry and scared when their child is severely injured, but Edna's character was simply horrible. She was unlikeable on a good day and her behavior toward Corky was akin to an 18th century witch hunt. The contrast with the behavior of the other parents was like light and dark. I also didn't like Karen, the principal and her absolute conviction to find someone to blame for Corky's behavior and because I loved Mr. Calderwood, Corky's teacher, I really hated that she focused that unfounded blame on him!

I did appreciate that there were people in the community who rallied behind Corky and his family and questioned whether the boy could actually have committed this behavior.  His teacher, Mr. Calderwood was fantastic. Having an advocate for your child like Mr. Calderwood is every special needs parent's dream. Our son is mainstreamed, but has an extended resource room and teacher who is amazing. These teachers don't get enough recognition or acknowledgement for what they do, day in and day out.

The story moves quickly and the resolution isn't quite as surprising, but satisfactory and teaches us a great lesson about judgment and forgiveness.

Thanks to the author and Cedar Fort for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Richard Siddoway here.  You can see other reviews and tour stops here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 1/15

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ryder: American Treasure...Review and Giveaway

About the book:
During of the War of 1812, British troops ransacked the White House and made off with valuables that were never returned. Two centuries later, a British curator finds a vital clue to the long-vanished loot. Within hours, the curator is assassinated—and Ayesha Ryder, a Palestinian-born antiquities expert, is expertly framed for his murder.

Who could be behind such a conspiracy? And why do they want Ryder out of the way? To find out, she picks up a trail leading from a mysterious nineteenth-century letter to the upcoming presidential election. As Ryder dodges killers in the shadow of hidden alliances, sexual blackmail, and international power plays, she finds that all roads lead to the Middle East, where a fragile peace agreement threatens to unravel . . . and another mystery begs to be discovered.

Ryder’s rarefied academic career and her violent past are about to collide. And her only hope of survival is to confront a powerful secret agent who has been waiting for one thing: the chance to kill Ayesha Ryder with his own two hands.

Ayesha Ryder wants nothing more than to recover from the events of Ryder and search for the Ark of the Covenant. She soon finds herself drawn into another mystery involving the British attack on the White House during the War of 1812. Rumors abound that the British stole valuable artifacts and when proof of the theft surfaces, America understandably wants them back as one of those treasures could be proof that there was a British spy, high up in the fledgling American government. Against her will, Ayesha finds herself pulled into the conflict and search for treasure. She discovers those who opposed the creation of the joint Holy Land are also not only involved in the hunt for the American treasure, but on a mission to kill her.

I have no idea how much of this is fact or how much is fiction. I do know that it's fast-paced and edgy. The profanity is more prolific and I could have done without the moderately explicit non-marital sex which also included a same sex relationship. If not for that, this would have been a 4 star book.

That said, however. I like Ayesha Ryder and I like this series. A lot. Ayesha is a tough, no-nonsense woman who can hold her own against pretty much anyone or anything, even while suffering the effects of PTSD. Nick writes strong female characters and I loved that he included a female British prime minister and a female American Secretary of State. It was great seeing Dame Imogen and Lady Madrigal have strong roles here.

Second in the Ryder series, the book could stand alone, but I would suggest reading them in order, simply for background and depth. Political thrillers are not my normal genre, but I am definitely looking forward to the next book in this series.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Nick Pengelley here. You can see other reviews and tour stops here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 1/15

* * *
3/5 Stars

Because I enjoyed the book and I know many of you will too, please enter the giveaway for a gift card and copy of Ryder, the first book in the series!

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