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Surviving Henry ~ Review

Surviving Henry
By Erin Taylor Young
    Adventures in Loving a
                    Canine Catastrophe....

If you love books about dogs and their antics you need to read Surviving Henry.  And the good news Henry survives the book though he has a few close calls as does the family that he calls his own.

Henry is boxer who just didn't quite fit the breed standard, thus ensuring his life as the family terror make that pet.  What follows are the joys of obedience training gone wrong.  A little incident with a motorized scooter.  And every owner's worst nightmare an encounter with a glass surface.

Henry will make you laugh and bring you to tears.  This is a book that you'll want to share with friends and family (but not necessarily with those contemplating their first puppy).

This book is the author's journey in true love - love that we only truly experience from our Heavenly Father as He sees are flaws and faults and yet chooses to stick with us as we learn to listen to His voice.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher through BookFun/TBCN in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book: 
You don't always know what you're getting into when you bring home a puppy. Enter Henry, a boxer who suffers from Supreme Dictator of the Universe Syndrome. He vandalizes his obedience school, leaps through windows, cheats death at every turn, and generally causes his long-suffering owner Erin Taylor Young to wonder what on earth she did that God would send this dog to derail her life.

Through his laugh-out-loud antics and escapades, Henry will steal readers' hearts. Anyone who has ever owned a dog, especially a canine catastrophe like Henry, will enjoy this lighthearted book about a dog who brings new meaning to the concept of unconditional love.

About the Author: 
Erin Taylor Young is an award-winning humor writer living in a comedy with an all-star cast including one well-meaning husband, two polar opposite sons, and a noncompliant dog. When she isn't writing or rescuing the dog from mortal danger, she works in a library where she gets to wander among books.

She has a bachelor’s degree in art and a master’s degree in music, which is mostly inconsequential but makes her sound more reputable. She loves football (Da Bears), photography, and hiking in cool national parks.

Learn more about Erin at where she blogs about writing, God, and her aversion to spiders.

Why Dogs Are... ~ Review

Why Dogs Are...
By Tana Thompson
Illustrations by Marita Gentry

This is a delightful and touching story about dogs and how they came to be called dog and the job God gave to dogs.

In a nutshell God sent the first dog to earth, specifically Brian a young man who could neither hear or see, as a testament of His LOVE.  Love that Brian could not see or hear in his day-to-day life.  And DOG was GOD's love for Brian both tangible and knowable in his life.

This is a book geared towards younger children and the pictures are perfect for this story.  This book would be perfect for a bedtime story or a classroom story-time setting.  This will also open up young readers to the world of therapy/guide dogs and the important role they play in our world.

I was provided a copy of this book through BookFun/TBCN in exchange for my honest review.

Why Dogs Are tells the story of how a dog teaches some life lessons to a very special child. It seeks to explore the concept of God’s unconditional love and how someone without the ability to see or hear can comprehend its scope and His impact in our lives. Named a Finalist in the non-profit Indie Book Awards (category Spirituality, 2014), 100% percent of net profits from book sales goes to charities that train and support therapy dogs.

The book is first in a series called “Love Unleashed.” The author’s own dog Muttley was a therapy dog that brought his light and love to nursing home residents and to children with disabilities. Born deaf and blind, Brian was the inspiration for the book. His character is a composite of the many children who attended the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind who had to learn to live life with one or more disabilities. “Why Dogs Are is everything a good children’s book needs to be – engaging and delightful,” said Amy S. Royal, professional freelance editor. “But when an author tackles a big concept and manages to convey it in a simple, yet powerful way, good becomes great. Great becomes wonderful. Wonderful becomes very special. This is an engaging, delightful and very special book with a story and message that will live forever.”

Tana Thompson spent 30 years teaching in colleges and universities around the south, watching computers go from huge mainframe technological monsters to carry-in-youpocket smart phone equivalents. Now in retirement, she is following her dream of writing, having interests in children’s literature and non-fiction genres such as memoirwriting and regaling unique travel experiences shared with her late husband, Ken, in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. She is so committed to using her right brain for a change that she also makes jewelry, stained and fused glass, and delights in photography. She lives on her own heaven-on-earth slice of Lake Logan Martin in beautiful Alabama, with 2 “chosen” dogs, 2 rescued dogs and 4 rescued cats.

Tana Thompson wrote her first story in the sixth grade, was encouraged by her teacher to continue writing, and didn’t. But the desire remained in her heart only to be reawakened later in life. In the interim, she earned a Ph.D. from Georgia State University and taught computer and management information systems in several colleges and universities around the south. Her last career position was the most meaningful, assisting teachers and staff at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind to integrate computers into their daily job duties. Her late husband Ken was Vice President at the Institute; together they experienced the exceptional love and devotion of parents, family and teachers working with these exceptional children. The Thompsons also participated in a pet therapy program that saw their two Golden Retrievers, Rambeau and Muttley, form a team that visited nursing homes, classrooms and especially the students of AIDB, where the dogs sensed a “special touch” was required. Muttley earned his “Canine Good Citizen” designation, and proudly wore his official bandana and patch when visiting his special friends.


Full Steam Ahead ~ Review

Full Steam Ahead
By Karen Witemeyer

When Nicole Renard is summoned home because of her father's declining health she little realized the danger she was returning home to.  Danger that would quickly send her on a mission - a mission to secure a husband that would protect her family's legacy.  But when her enemies cause her plans to change Nicole must rely on her intelligence and quick wits to fulfill her promise to her family.

But she never expected to have to seek employment with a reclusive madman.  But Darius Thornton is not a madman but rather a man obsessed. And Darius's obsession is the unpredictable and dangerous nature of steam engine boilers.

Full Steam Ahead is a diverting story - great if you want to pass time in a quiet activity.  Nicole and Darius are both stubborn in their own way.  But this very stubbornness could be what draws them together and it could also increase the danger that they are facing.  But both have regrets that is the drive behind their motivations - regrets that they must overcome to find true happiness and love.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher through BookFun/TBCN in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book:

Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston and finds her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, he's only ever focused on what she's not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.

Vowing to secure a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it's too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family's greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But when her father's rivals come after the dagger, she's forced to change her destination.

Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed since the fatal boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana that nearly took his life. He will do anything to stop such disasters. Even hire a female secretary. Sure he can ignore the distraction of her pretty face, he's not sure how to proceed when drawn to her clever mind.

Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grows between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to an unsuitable candidate? And worse, when her father's rivals discover her hiding place, she will have to choose between that love and her family's legacy.

Shades of Mercy ~ Review

Shades of Mercy
By Anita Lustrea
   and Caryn Rivadeneira

Shades of Mercy is a story that looks at the fears and prejudices that have been (and still are) prevalent in our country.  Set in the Northwoods of Maine in 1954, the Maliseet people are the focus of this distrust.

It is this world that Mercy Millar is looking back on.  A world in which she loves a man whom she shouldn't. But Mercy plans to someday leave this world behind and to acknowledge the love she and Mick have for one another.

But when racial tensions escalate and Mick is accused of a crime Mercy knows he is incapable of committing, prayer seems to be her only hope.  But when the area faces a natural disaster an act of mercy and compassion may bring about the changes Mercy has been hoping for.

Shades of Mercy looks back on a period of unrest and change in our country and the power of love when it extends to all of our neighbors not just those who look like us.

I was provided a copy of this book through BookFun/TBCN in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book:
It's 1954 and the world-even the far Northwoods of Maine-is about to change. But that change can't happen soon enough for fourteen-year-old Mercy Millar.

Long tired of being the "son" her father never had, Mercy's ready for the world to embrace her as the young woman she is-as well as embrace the forbidden love she feels. When childhood playmates grow up and fall in love, the whole community celebrates. But in the case of Mercy and Mick, there would be no celebration. Instead their relationship must stay hidden.

Good girls do not date young men from the Maliseet tribe. At least, not in Watsonville, Maine. When racial tensions escalate and Mick is thrown in jail under suspicion of murder, Mercy nearly loses all hope-in love, in her father, and in God himself.

Sophia ~ Review

By Paula Kremser

Sophia is a delightful story that fans of Jane Austen and Regency Era Romance will love.  This is a book that you won't be embarrassed to be caught reading (it is garbage free).

When Sophia is left an inheritance by her estranged grandmother Lady Atkinson she is delighted at her sudden good fortune,  And when she has an opportunity to experience a London season she is almost beside herself with anticipation.

But when an innocent mistake traps Sophia in a scandal that could destroy her reputation, she is forced into an engagement that she never sought nor desires.  But is there another way?  Sophia is determined to find it even if it means living with a ruined reputation.

But does Sophia truly realize just what a ruined reputation will mean?  And what of the gentleman to whom she is expected be married?  Alex Huntley is determined to change Sophia's mind not for her sake alone but his too.  His honor is on the line as well for Sophia's mistake.  But to change Sophia's mind he needs her to fall in love with him.  But is Alex's heart as unaffected by Sophia's simple charms as he thinks?  Only time will tell and it is about to run out...

I really loved this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who loves a clean historical romance.  This is the perfect book to curl up with in a cozy out of the way spot!

I was provided a digital ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review and tour participation.
About the book:
Small-town Sophia Spencer can’t believe her luck when an unexpected inheritance allows her to experience London’s social scene. But her happiness disappears when she is caught napping in a grumpy gentleman’s room—and forced into an engagement to protect her reputation! Personalities collide and love blooms in this stunning debut novel.
About the author: 
Paula Kremser focused on a career in science for several years after graduating from Brigham Young University. DNA purification and Affinity Chromatography were always interesting, but when she moved to England, Paula seized the opportunity to focus on her love of the Regency Era. The enchantment of the aristocracy and the fascinating stories from every stately home she visits have been both research and inspiration for her first novel. Paula lives with her husband and four children in a charming village nestled in the Chiltern hills in Buckinghamshire.


Christmas in Snow Valley ~ Cover Reveal

Christmas in Snow Valley is available for pre-order.

Snow Valley, Montana, is a small community with the tradition of doing Christmas big. Festivities begin with tree lighting in the town square the day after Thanksgiving and continue until the culminating romantic Christmas Ball. From the Polar Express to a Winter Carnival, there’s something for every wonder-filled  child—and every couple who’s in love—or about to be.

Christmas in Snow Valley is packed with six wonderful Christmas novellas sure to bring romance into your holiday season.

An Unexpected Kiss by Cindy Roland Anderson
Lucy Phillips doesn’t want to spend her Christmas vacation dodging her ex-boyfriend, so when he turns up at the airport to give her a ride home, Lucy panics and asks a complete stranger to kiss her. Although the kiss is incredible, Lucy never expects to see the guy again. Is it bad luck or destiny when Lucy comes down with a sore throat and the new doctor in Snow Valley is none other than the guy she kissed at the airport?

Feels Like Love by Jeanette Lewis
Christmas in Snow Valley is the perfect way for April Winston to introduce her city slicker fiancĂ©, Scott Mecham, to life on a farm. If only Wade Hadley, hometown boy and high school sweetheart, will cooperate! But Wade has no intention of letting April go without a fight. This Christmas, Wade is determined to overcome their painful past and show April that she already has what she’s been seeking all along.

Full Court Devotion by Cami Checketts
Kazlyn is too busy with her schooling and future plans to enjoy life, let alone fall in love with a man who has heartbreak written all over him. Tyrese Hamilton, a college basketball star and major heartthrob, is intrigued when Kazlyn doesn't pursue him or even seem interested. Ty's career is in jeopardy, and he needs a miracle and Kazlyn to save him.

The Christmas Eve Kiss by Taylor Hart
When Molly O’Hare gets a prediction that she will kiss her true love on Christmas Eve, she thinks it’s utterly ridiculous. But when she gets teamed up with Kevin Snow, aka her ex-boyfriend, to decorate a Christmas tree, things start to change. Too bad getting over the past is hard and seeing him kiss another girl is even harder. Now Molly is left with a choice—run away from home and heartbreak or let Christmas work out a miracle all of its own.

Risking it all for Love by Award-Winning author, Kimberley Montpetit
Succumbing to family pressure, Jessica Mason reluctantly comes home for Christmas. Ever since her high school boyfriend's death from a car accident three years earlier, Jessica and religion have not been compatible. So, when she visits Michael’s grave, she's surprised to meet the handsome James Douglas, Pastor John’s nephew, who’s studying for the ministry. James can not only dish back Jessica’s finely-tuned sarcasm but understands grief all too well, turning Jessica’s world upside down. Is she ready to take another risk on love?

Blue Christmas by Lucy McConnell:
As head of Snow Valley hospital's fundraising effort, Paisley Hackett barely has time to organize the craft show, cookie decorating party, and the annual Christmas Ball. What she doesn't have time for is falling in love with Clay Jett, the incredibly handsome bass player who sweeps into town. She's been burned by a tourist romance before and, with everything going on, Paisley will have to work overtime to protect her heart from Clay and his swoon-worthy ballads.


Thief of Glory ~ Review

Thief of Glory: A NOVEL
By Sigmund Brouwer

Jeremiah Prins' world was ordered and predictable until war came.  His life in the Dutch East Indies was one of privilege until Japan invaded.  When his father and older brothers were taken away, ten year old Jeremiah is left with the responsibility of caring for and protecting his mother, two younger sisters, and his little brother.

But the true test comes when the family is taken to one of the Jappenkamps...  As they struggle to survive the harsh conditions of living in a concentration camp they manage to find some small joys and friendships to sustain and support them.  But all too soon choices have to be made, choices that have consequences that must be lived with.

This is Jeremiah's story.  A story of pain and suffering.  A story of courage and fear.  A story of survival.  This story will move you to tears.  And it is time for Jeremiah to share it and the horrifying truths that have shaped him into the man he has become.  Take a look back as Jeremiah shares a childhood lost...

Thief of Glory looks at a period of history during World War II that many are unfamiliar with.  This is history that was barely acknowledged much less taught in history class.  I have to be honest I did a little internet research and was shocked at the number of Jappenkamps that were listed as having been in existence.

Humanity's lust for power and supremacy is not a virtue and is, in fact, often the catalyst for even greater evils against those who share this world.  Some of the incidents in this book are disturbing and not appropriate for younger readers in my opinion. 

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review.

A boy coming of age in a time of war…

the love that inspires him to survive.
For ten year-old Jeremiah Prins, the life of privilege as the son of a school headmaster in the Dutch East Indies comes crashing to a halt in 1942 after the Japanese Imperialist invasion of the Southeast Pacific. Jeremiah takes on the responsibility of caring for his younger siblings when his father and older stepbrothers are separated from the rest of the family, and he is surprised by what life in the camp reveals about a woman he barely knows—his frail, troubled mother. 

Amidst starvation, brutality, sacrifice and generosity, Jeremiah draws on all of his courage and cunning to fill in the gap for his mother. Life in the camps is made more tolerable as Jeremiah’s boyhood infatuation with his close friend Laura deepens into a friendship from which they both draw strength. 

When the darkest sides of humanity threaten to overwhelm Jeremiah and Laura, they reach for God’s light and grace, shining through his people. Time and war will test their fortitude and the only thing that will bring them safely to the other side is the most enduring bond of all.

Learn more about the book and the author at: