Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Sound Among the Trees - Susan Meissner

Product Details

Product Description

A house shrouded in time.
A line of women with a heritage of loss.

As a young bride, Susannah Page was rumored to be a Civil War spy for the North, a traitor to her Virginian roots. Her great-granddaughter Adelaide, the current matriarch of Holly Oak, doesn’t believe that Susannah’s ghost haunts the antebellum mansion looking for a pardon, but rather the house itself bears a grudge toward its tragic past.
When Marielle Bishop marries into the family and is transplanted from the arid west to her husband’s home, it isn’t long before she is led to believe that the house she just settled into brings misfortune to the women who live there.
With Adelaide’s richly peppered superstitions and deep family roots at stake, Marielle must sort out the truth about Susannah Page and Holly Oak— and make peace with the sacrifices she has made for love.  

My Review

Susan Meissner is a writer with divergent topics, but I would say that most of her novels deal with women relationships. A Sound Among the Trees deals with numerous women spanning the time from the Civil War to the present time, though really it is mostly about Susannah (Civil War time) and Adelaide. I had heard many positive reviews about this novel before I requested it as an ebook from Multnomah Publishers through their Blogging For Books program, and I must say it lived up to it's reputation. She tells the story in Five parts, and the epilogue.

The novel starts off with the wedding reception of the grandson-in-law and his bride. It doesn't take long until we find out...the mystery. The story is told mostly through the life of Adelaide (third person point of view) until we enter the cellar, where we find letters that Susannah wrote during the War. These letters are, well, letters with dates, etc. as Susannah would have written them.

The novel is very compelling, very absorbing. So much in fact, that when I came up from reading the letters I blinked, surprised that not more time had passed. Susan also had a very satisfying closure.

I received this ebook free from Multnomah Publishers for the purpose of writing an honest review. A postive one was not manditory, and the opinions expressed are my own. Actually, to be further honest, although I did not pay money for this ebook, I paid with the time and effort I put in to bring you this review.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Heart of Gold - Robin L. Hatcher

Product Details

Book Description

February 14, 2012
The truest treasure is found deep in the heart.
Back in her beloved Virginia, Shannon Adair loved nursing injured soldiers back to health. But in Grand Coeur, Idaho-the rough-and-tumble place where her father has been called to lead the church-she's not sure where she fits in. Then a critically ill woman arrives, and Shannon knows her place at last: to care for this dear woman and ease her pain.
Matthew Dubois is the fastest and most reliable stagecoach driver on Wells Fargo's payroll. But his widowed sister is dying and he's about to inherit his young nephew. So he takes a job at the Wells Fargo express office in Grand Coeur until he can find the one thing he needs to get back to driving: a wife to care for the boy.
What neither of them knows is that God is at work behind the scenes-and is lovingly bringing them together to discover the true desires of their hearts.


Robin Lee Hatcher has woven a novel of romance, and intrigue set in the gold fields of Idaho. Come with me, fellow reader, as we follow the Reverend Adair and his lovely daughter Shannon around the gold mining town of Grand Coeur, Idaho. They have just arrived from war torn Virginia to share Christ with the diverse town. We never do meet the miners as such, nor do we come in contact with the work itself. Instead the story revolves around the town people – in particularly Matthew Dubois and his deathly ill sister and her son.
As we follow the story we are drawn into their lives, laughing at a young boy and his dog, aching with the ill mother, struggling with the young man as he faces the fact that he is the only father figure in his nephews life.
Right from the beginning we are drawn into the mystery of how the characters will align themselves with the civil war being fought in the eastern states, because though this is Idaho, far from the war zone, allegiance is still a strong indicator of who your friends are.
I thoroughly enjoyed Robin's novel, and look forward to her next one. Her novels portray the needs of the heart and how they can be fulfilled.

I received this ebook free from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze program in exhange for an honest review. A postive one was not required, and these opinions are my own.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hidden Wives- Claire Avery

Product Details

Sara dreams that she and her sister, Rachel, might escape their abusive father and his four wives, who constantly vie for power in their overcrowded household.  Sara wishes to choose her own path in life.  To go to school, to get a job, to marry of her own free will.  She wants the same for her beloved sister.

But that is not Sara’s destiny, nor Rachel’s.  Trapped in a secret, polygamous cult, the fifteen-year-olds are overdue to be married to husbands selected by their Prophet.  Sara—too smart and willful for her own good—is terrified when she learns she will be sealed to her already-married uncle.

For Rachel—a stunning and loyal beauty—the Prophet has a different plan.  Sixteen men, including some of the most powerful elders of their Church—seek Rachel’s hand.  But a forbidden love is blossoming for Rachel, one that will change her forever and threaten the entire community.


Hidden Wives was a fascinating, though at the same time, depressing novel. Mari and Michelle very aptly crept into Sara's and Rachel's minds to bring the reader their emotions and thoughts about the type of life they were born to, raised in, and expected to embrace. The first sentence had me glued closely to the pages to find out the why and how. The pain and angst are so vivid I felt them as if they had been done to me, the teach so clearly protrayed, I almost understood them.
The story is told in the third person point of view from both Sara and Rachel's viewpoint. Most of the time both girls are there, so it is not difficult to keep track of who feels and says what. There are a lot of secondary characters in the story, vital to the plot, but sometimes confusing me somewhat at times. The primary characters could perhaps have been fleshed out more, as well as a few of the secondary ones.
In one way, there were a lot of questions about the sect that were not fully addressed, but this was two sisters stories, not a story about the sect.
All in all, I really enjoyed this novel, not wanting to put it down. I also look forward to more novels written by the sisters known as Claire Avery.

I received this book free from the authors in a contest. The review is honest, and the opinions are my own. I would recommend this book to the discerning reader, but not as a fact on how the fundamentalist mormons live.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Little Girl Gone - Druscilla Campbell

Little Girl Gone

From the back cover -

Medora was seventeen and heading for a load of trouble when Willis rescued her. Fearful of the world and alienated from friends and family, she ran away with him and for five years they lived alone in near isolation. When Willis kidnaps a pregnant teenage girl and imprisons her in a truck trailer behind the house, Madora is torn between her love for him, her fear of the world, and her sense of right and wrong. A pit bull named Foo brings Djano Jones a brilliant but troubled twelve-year-old boy, into Madora's life. As Django struggles to understand his place in the world, he helps Madora discover the personal and moral courage to free herself and the girl from Willis's control, and learn to stand on her own.

My Review

Drusilla Campbell, author also of the Good Sister brings to the reader a heart-wrenching story of troubled teens and tweens and a man who exploits them.

Told in the third person point of view, the story follows Medora as she is devastated by the suicide of her father, abandoned emotional by her mother, and accepted by her peers into a group of drugs and alcohol, and then by Willis. Druscilla explores the possibility of how a seventeen year old girl could be enthralled with an older man and fall prey to his control. The story is well told, describing so well the area where the old trailer was that when I went to Yuma after reading this book I wondered if I was looking at the canyon where Medora used to live. I not only felt the dust of the red soil as it covered everything, I also felt the anxiety of Medora as she faced her conscience, and Willis' anger. I saw the squalor of the place they called home, the loneliness as Medora sat on the rock, isolated from everyone else.

This is a very well written story I will not forget.

I received this Advanced Reader's Copy book free from the author, Drusilla Campbell for the purpose of review. She did not ask for a postive critique, just an honest one, which I have tried to do. The opinions stated in here, are my own. Thanks, Drusilla.

Beyond Molasses Creek - Nicole Seitz

Product Details

Three lives are bound by a single book . . . and the cleansing waters of Molasses Creek.
Having traveled to the ends of the earth as a flight attendant, Ally Green has finally returned to the Lowcountry to bury her father as well as the past. But Vesey Washington is still living across the creek, and theirs is a complicated relationship--he was once her best friend . . . and also part of the reason she's stayed away so long. When Ally discovers a message her father left behind asking her to quit running, it seems her past isn't through with her yet.
As Ally's wandering spirit wrestles with a deep longing to flee again, a young woman on the other side of the world escapes her life of slavery in the rock quarries of Nepal. A mysterious sketchbook leads Sunila Kunari to believe there's more to her story than she's ever been told, and she's determined to follow the truth wherever it leads her.
 A deep current intertwines the lives of these three souls, and a destiny of freedom, faith, and friendship awaits them all on the banks of Molasses Creek.  


Beyond Molasses Creek is a fascinating novel told in the first person point of view by each of the three main characters: Ally, Vesey and Sunila. The reader is kept abreast of the switches in story line from one character to the other by a simple headliner giving the name (and if appropriate, the place). Date changes are handled at the beginning of the chapter as part of the narrative.

I thought Nicole did a very good job of handling the difficult first person point of view, and drawing in the reader. Although the story had a very slow start for me (I tend to read faster paced novels as a rule) my perseveriance definetly paid off, and I am very glad I followed it through. The story starts off in Mt. Pleasant by the banks of the Molasses Creek, as the title suggests with Alley and Vesey. But through the author's words we are transported to the quarries of Nepal, as well. From the soothing sound of the river to the squalor and dust of a debt-slave pounding rocks to make gravel, or if they are lucky, to be carving stones into statutes.

Whatever background in needed, is artfully included in the memories, mostly of Ally.

I loved this story by Nicole, and will be looking for more of her novels. I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze program in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive critique. The opinions stated are my own.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Seasons of Opportunities: Nobody's Child - BOOK GIVEAWAY

Seasons of Opportunities: Nobody's Child - BOOK GIVEAWAY: check out this amazing blog for a review on the above book. i only recommend this book to you if you are not afraid of going beyond your own boundaries, or to get new insight on hard questions.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Twin Sisters in the City

i found a great blog, and guess what? They are celebrating a grand opening with a rafflecopter contest.  Just go to

Welcome to Twin Sisters in the City!  We are a new lifestyle blog featuring our life and loves in New York City.  We are primarily focusing on beauty, pet care and our lives in NYC.  We hope to bring you honest and thoughtful posts of product reviews, deals and events in New York City.  In honor of our Grand Opening we are offering a $50 Amazon Gift Card or $50 PayPal Cash (winner's choice) to one lucky new reader!  This giveaway ends February 4, 2012.

Please stay tuned for our future giveaways and in the meantime please take a look at ourRafflecopter Linky

Please enter in the Rafflecopter form below!  Good luck!

Cortney and Lindsay

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Crossing - Serita Jakes

Product DetailsImprisoned by memories, Claudia Campbell lives each day in the shadow of a ten-year-old murder. Who can set her free?

On the way home from a football game, a decade earlier, a masked gunman opened fi re on a Texas school bus.  Cheerleading coach B.J. Remington was killed, but her murderer was never found. Claudia, who had a close friendship with the young, spirited teacher, constantly relives the anguish of that day, caught in one moment in time. When her husband, the assistant district attorney, becomes determined to uncover the mystery of that tragedy, the secrets buried over the years threaten to tear their family apart.

Officer Casio Hightower will never forget the day his dreams were destroyed. A star quarterback with a promising future, Casio was on top of the world—until one bullet changed everything. He is eager to help Victor Campbell find B.J.’s killer, the man who shot him. Maybe solving the case will help silence the demons driving Casio to hurt the woman he loves.

As the Campbells and Casio teeter on the brink of losing everything, will they be able to discover that what begins at the crossing ends at the cross?


This is the first book by Serita Jakes that I have read, and it certainly won't be the last. Written slightly different than any other I have read, it didn't take her long to have my undivided attention. The novel is divided into three parts with the verses of the Rock of Ages hymn preceeding them. It is written in the third person point of view, with headings to keep the reader in the loop as to whose thoughts and actions we are privy to at this moment. Claudia and her husband Victor, as well as a classmate of Claudia's are the main characters. BJ Remington, the cheerleading teacher who was murdered on the bus surrounded by her students and the football team makes her appearance in her thoughts immediately after the shooting, and until she dies. Although I was not sure I would appreciate this approach, Serita handled it very well without making it an element of paranormal.

Although not an extremely emotional story, the reader is drawn into the characters' lives with words drawing rich pictures of the relationships between parents and children, husband and wife, peers who have been touched by the same incident. Through it all PTSD is explored and faced.

This novel opened my eyes to the effects of PTSD and how it can affect those around them.

i received this book free from WaterbrookMultnomah Publishers through their Blogging For Books program, in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive one. The opinions expressed are my own.