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Posts tagged ‘Novel’

Blame it on the Mistletoe by Joyce Magnin

Joyce MagninBlame it on the Mistletoe by Joyce Magnin

Welcome back to Bright’s Pond where the residents make even your strangest relatives seem normal.

What’s going on at the Greenbriar Nursing home?  Resident’s riding trikes down the halls? Seniors making out in the gazebo?  This is strange even by Bright’s Pond standards.  Who or what could be responsible?  Is it the fault of the new gazeebo, or the strange elusive man who built it for the residents?  Maybe it’s drugs or something in the water.  Police chief Mildred Blessing has her hands full trying to solve this one.

Meanwhile elsewhere in Bright’s Pond folks must contend with a luau thanksgiving, a Christmas pageant with live camels and the on again off again romance between Griselda and Zeb.  Do I hear wedding bells?

Though lighthearted, this book is no ball of fluff.  It is well written and entertaining.  It will leave you laughing, and feeling just a little bit better about your own life. The delightfuly quirky characters, like none you’ve ever imagined, are so real you’ll feel like you’ve always known them.

As with the first three books in this series, this is a 5 star read.  If you haven’t read the others (The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow, Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, and Griselda Takes Flight), you must do so.  You’r life will be fuller from having read them.

I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  All opinions rendered are my own.

Why Is Someone Trying To Kill Me?

Shirley McCoyLone Defender by Shirley McCoy

Six days in the Sonoran desert…six days without food…with barely any water…six days since Skylar Grady’s been left for dead with no idea who even wanted her that way.

This was supposed to be such a simple assignment.  Just locate the deadbeat dad so the authorities could have him arrested and brought to justice.  She hadn’t even found him, yet here she is, pretty sure she’s only hours away from certain death.

If anyone else had asked Jonas Sampson to track someone lost in the desert (and believe me, they had) he never would have done it.  But his old college friend Kane Dougherty was someone he’d do almost anything for–especially since Cane assured him that this woman was too stubborn to die.  Now that he’s found her, getting her home safely is going to be a whole other battle–both because of the dozen or more men tracking her with an intent to kill, and because she fight’s him almost every step of the way.

This is the best Love inspired Suspense book I’ve read in a long time.  Shirley McCoy doesn’t waste any time getting to the meat of the story.  The action begins with the first sentence, and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat til the very end.  The characters are real.  They draw you in till you feel yourself longing to see their hopes and dreams fulfilled, and cheering them on every step of the way.  There is really a lot of punch in this little book.  It is a great value, and worth every one of the 5 stars I’m giving it.

This book was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley.  All opinions rendered are my own.

Summer Fun at the Beach Book Giveaway

Prize PackageWelcome to the first giveaway on readgreatfiction.

Today through next Thursday (June 30, 2011) we are having a contest to give away a prize pack worth $40.00

It includes everything you need for a day reading on the beach, or just pretending you’re on the beach.

  • Beach towel
  • Beach bag with cross tag–just the right size for all your book toting needs
  • 26oz stainless steel hydration bottle (yeah, that’s fancy talk for water bottle)
  • Sun Visor
  • Beach themed bookmark with Jeremiah 29:11 on itJeremiah 29:11
  • Great read:  The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by the queen of quirk, Joyce MagninJoyce Magnin

To win this prize pack, here’s what you need to do:

  • Follow this blog by RSS, Email, or through Networked blogs
  • Get an extra entry if you “like” my Facebook page KristenLoweryFiction
  • Come back here and leave a comment stating how you are following, and tell me one book you want to read this summer

The Contest runs from today 6/23/11 through next Thursday  6/30/11  at 5:00PM EST

Please post & share this giveaway.  The more interest I see, the more giveaways I’ll be likely to do.

Contest is open to everyone in the United States continental 48. 

Simple Choices is a Great Choice

Simple Choices                                       by Nancy Mehl

Gracie is quickly regretting her choice to bring Mennonite teenager Hannah to Wichita for six weeks of art classes.   Hannah, dressed in tight jeans and a tank top, is throwing a temper tantrum that rivals any thrown by the typical American teenager.  And is that mascara and jewelery Gracie spies?  There is no way Hannah’s parents are going to let her stay with Mr. Monahan and attend a specialized Art High School for her senior year.  Getting her back to Harmony looking like her old self is going to be hard enough.

Soon after returning the newly reinvented teenager to her parents, Gracie is devastated to learn the teenager has gone missing.  The police assume that Hannah has run away, but even though the teen has undergone some radical changes, Gracie knows she would never do that to her parents.  And to make matters worse, three other teenagers that fit Hannah’s description have recently gone missing as well.  And on top of all this Gracie is trying to plan her wedding, and visit with her parents and ailing grandfather who have come to town for the wedding.

Plot twists and layers  keep the reader’s attention throughout this well written story.  The true to life flaws and struggles faced by the Mennonite community in this book, make it more realistic than many works about sheltered societies.  Although this is book three in a series the author does a good job of bringing the new reader up to date on what is going on without seeming to retell the previous story.  I found this book to be a very enjoyable read.  It is neither a light or heavy read and I believe most readers will thoroughly enjoy it.  I confidently give it 4 stars.

This book was provided to me by Barbour Publishing, through NetGalley.  All opinions rendered are my own.

Come Visit a Rose-Red City Half as Old as Time*

Petra:  City in Stone                     by T.L. Higley

In Petra: City in Stone, I  felt like I was being whisked back in time to this ancient lost city.  Historically accurate without sounding like a history book, Higley takes the reader on a journey of what might have been, mixed right alongside  the story of what was.  Higley does a spectacular job of creating a feel of the life and structure of the city.

Cassia’s waiting for the circumstances to be right to get herself and her young son away from her abusive thief of a man Aretas, but how can a woman with a young son survive without money or a place to go?  Especially when Aretas will certainly come after her and punish her for leaving.  When the opportunity finally presents itself, Cassia takes young Alexander and leaves for Petra, the city of her husband’s birth.  She is hoping to find his estranged family and ask them to take her in.

The Treasury at Petra

Watching his betrothed and his friends as they are fed to the lions, Julian is afraid his brash and outspoken behavior as a leader of the followers of The Way will soon mean death to his prominent family.  Julian steals away to Petra, the city of stone, hoping to start anew and make a new name for himself as a talented sculptor of stone.

Petra, the ancient city carved into the desert rock is a place where worship of demon gods abounds.  A small group of followers of Christ know it’s only a matter of time before open persecution begins.  When both Cassia and Julian are pulled into the care of this group, things will never be the same.  Can Cassia learn that love must be shared out of abundance and that abundance can only come through Jesus?  How long will Julian run from his God given call to leadership?  The life of Cassia’s son Alexander hangs within the answer to these questions.

Siq, a narrow passage that is the only road into Petra

I really enjoyed reading this book, and will look for new titles in this series to read in the future.   I give it 4.5  stars.

This book was provided to me for review by NetGalley.  All opinions rendered are my own.

* “a rose-red city half as old as time” is a line about Petra in a sonnet by John William Burgeon

Hairdresser Accused in Missing Body Case

Missing Mabel                by Nancy Mehl

When Hilde Higgins, hairdresser to the recently departed is called in to tidy the tresses of 87 year old Mabel Winnemaker, she is shocked to her roots to discover the body has been switched.  Before long, fingers are being pointed at Hilde accusing her  of  inventing this conspiracy to cover her own pilfering of  Mabel’s diamond ring.  Hilde knows she is innocent, but the evidence is found in her handbag.  Who would set her up, and why?  Although Hilde comes up with several suspects, none of them seem likely.  Hilde’s life seems to be in tangles.  Can she straighten things out before her life is trimmed short.

I really enjoyed reading this book.  The characters are amusing and the story is captivating.  It moves along at a brisk pace and all the questions are tied up by the end.  It is the perfect book for when you want a good relaxing read that doesn’t require too much thinking on your part.  I give this book a solid 4 stars.  Although it’s not a blockbuster, it does the job it was called to do quite well.

Nancy Mehl lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband Norman and her son, Danny. She’s authored nine books and is currently at work on her newest series for Barbour Publishing.

Nancy says,  “I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”

Warning: Environmental Disaster in Progress!

Disaster Status                                                 by Candace Calvert

When an environmental disaster in progress becomes a media circus and danger to the community Pacific Mercy  Charge Nurse Erin Quinn calls for reinforcements.  What she gets is Fire Captain Scott McKenna, a handsome  incident commander who insists on doing everything by the book -even when that means refusing Erin entry into her own E.R.  Tempers flare and sparks fly as these two battle it out, each trying to do their version of the right thing.

I thoroughly enjoyed book 1 in this series and was expecting book 2 to rate at the same level.  In many ways it does.  Author Candace Calvert builds deep, believable characters with all the quirky nuances that make them, well…characters.  The plot took off right from the start, built in intensity as the story went on, and did not disappoint.  This being said, I did not enjoy this book as much as book 1.  It seemed that throughout this book Calvert was setting the stage for book 3.  She took too much time building characters and situations that did not matter to this book.

This book would be great for a book club wanting a light read.  There are many aspects that would make for great discussion,  especially the differences between being a strong woman and a woman of strength.

I am only giving this book 4 stars, but would definitely still choose to read it if I were going back to make that choice.   Even though this book can be read as a stand alone, I suggest reading book 1 first as it will help you understand the relationships between the characters better.  All 3 books in this series are currently available, and as of today (5/2/11), Critical Care is available as a free download for Kindle at Amazon.

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