Under a Summer Sky by Melody Carlson



MY REVIEW:

“Under a Summer Sky” is one of those books that one should pick up when in need of a relaxing read. It would be perfect for summer vacation whether at the beach, in the mountains, or in your own backyard. I would probably classify it as a “feel good romance”.

Many of us have been there – stuck in a rut with our lives – maybe because we’ve been hurt, or maybe afraid, or possibly even apathetic or depressed. Whatever the reason, Nicole Anderson found herself is a similar place when her mother arbitrarily arranges for her to spend the summer helping out an old friend in her art gallery in Savannah. It also happens that the trip across the country puts her in contact again with the friend’s two sons who Nicole remembers from vacations the families spent together during her childhood.

With its memorable characters and engaging plot, “Under a Summer Sky” was just what I needed as a break from historical romance and intense suspense novels. It was fun seeing Savannah through Nicole’s eyes and the interaction between Nicole and the other characters was entertaining. It didn’t take me very long to decide which brother Nicole should choose and it became more evident at the story progressed.

Not an overtly Christian novel, “Under a Summer Sky” is squeaky clean and would be appropriate for teens. There are several examples of how to treat others and doing the right thing. I can always count on Melody Carlson for an entertaining read with a few life lessons subtly inserted into the plot.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

She’s anticipating a quiet summer surrounded by beauty. She never expected a fresh chance at love.

High school art teacher Nicole Anderson is looking forward to a relaxing summer in Savannah, house-sitting and managing an art gallery for a family friend. The house is luxurious in a way that only old money could make it, and the gallery promises interesting days in a gorgeous setting. Yet it isn’t long before her ideal summer turns into more than she bargained for: a snooty gallery employee who’s determined to force her out, a displaced adolescent roosting in the attic, and two of her childhood friends–who also happen to be brothers–vying for her attention.

With the backdrop of a gorgeous historical city, incredible architecture, and even an alleged ghost or two, combined with the opportunity for romance . . . anything can happen!

Bestselling and award-winning author Melody Carlson invites you to spend the summer surrounded by splendor . . . and tantalizing possibilities.

Read an excerpt from “Under a Summer Sky” HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington’s, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, Double Take, the Life at Kingston High series, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. She is the winner of a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon.

For more information about Melody visit her website at www.melodycarlson.com.

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Freedom’s Price by Christine Johnson



MY REVIEW:

“Freedom’s Price” is the third book in Christine Johnson’s Keys of Promise series. Although there are some crossover characters, this book easily stands on its own. I would also recommend both of the other books in this series, “Love’s Rescue” and “Honor Redeemed”, not because they are necessary but because each is an enjoyable read.

I personally have enjoyed this series that has seemed to get better with each book. In my opinion “Freedom’s Price” was amazing with it’s steady plot that seemed to move from one dangerous situation to another as the mystery and suspense escalated. Strong characters whose faith saw them through trials and seemingly impossible circumstances were well crafted and natural. An equally convincing villain brought a compelling sense of evil to the story.

I liked how the relationship between Catherine and Tom developed slowly despite their opposing ambitions. I particularly admired Tom’s determination to protect Catherine even when her stubborn choices put her at risk. It goes without saying that romance was inevitable but was not the primary focus of the story.

I would be quite happy if “Freedom’s Price” is not the last book of this series as is the usual practice. I would enjoy reading more novels set in historic Louisiana and Florida.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Sometimes the hardest step to take is the first step forward

When Englishwoman Catherine Haynes loses both her father and her home in 1856, she decides to cross the Atlantic to find her American mother’s family in Louisiana. She enlists the help of Tom Worthington, a dashing Key West man who makes his living salvaging wrecked ships.

When Catherine arrives at the plantation, she finds that her family has left it in the care of a manager–who’s let it fall into disrepair. Torn between returning to Key West with Tom and beginning the hard work of restoring the plantation, Catherine soon finds herself snared in a plot to steal her inheritance. When an incredible secret comes to light, both she and Tom will face a choice: grip their dreams ever tighter or step forward in faith–even if it costs them everything.

Read an excerpt from “Freedom’s Price” HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

© E.A. Creative Photography 2013

Christine Johnson is the author of several books for Steeple Hill and Love Inspired and has been twice named a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® award. When not writing, she loves to hike and explore God’s majestic creation. These days, she and her husband, a Great Lakes ship pilot, split their time between northern Michigan and the Florida Keys.

 

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When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner; illustrated by David Catrow



MY REVIEW:

“When God Made You” is a delightfully colorful, imaginative, rhythmic, and even a bit quirky book for children that strives to show them exactly how special they are in God’s plan.

I loved the vivid illustrations that are so filled with color and humorous people and animals. There is so much to see on each page that it must be read slowly to allow the child to take it all in. After reading it myself, I watched as a young mother friend read it to her three-year-old. There was no rushing this child whose attention was grabbed by several things on each page. I imagine that it could take many readings of this book to see everything there is to see.

I regret that I do not have grandchildren with whom to share this book but I do have little friends who will definitely enjoy it. I would recommend it!

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Blogging for Books. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

YOU, you… God thinks about you.
God was thinking of you long before your debut.

From early on, children are looking to discover their place in the world and longing to understand how their personalities, traits, and talents fit in. The assurance that they are deeply loved and a unique creation in our big universe is certain to help them spread their wings and fly.

Through playful, charming rhyme and vivid, fantastical illustrations, When God Made You inspires young readers to learn about their own special gifts and how they fit into God’s divine plan as they grow, explore, and begin to create for themselves.

‘Cause when God made YOU, somehow God knew
That the world needed someone exactly like you!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Matthew Paul Turner is a blogger, speaker, and author of Hear No Evil, The Coffeehouse Gospel, the What You Didn’t Learn from Your Parents About… series, and several other popular books. Matthew, his wife, Jessica, and his son, Elias, live in Nashville, Tennessee. He can be found online at www.matthewpaulturner.com. 

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Distorted by Christy Barritt



MY REVIEW:

Christy Barritt is a prolific author who excels in writing various types of mysteries that range from humorous cozy mysteries to serious suspense-filled novels that keep readers on the edge of their seats. “Distorted”is one from the latter category and could easily be a story from current newscasts.

Mallory Baldwin, once kidnapped and held as a slave by a twisted man, thinks she has moved on with her life and spends her time attempting to help other women who have been victims of similar crimes. The man who rescued her, Tennyson Walker has been assigned to be her bodyguard after signs that Mallory is being stalked. The man who held her captive is dead but why does she think she sees him around every corner?

“Distorted” gets off to a quick start and moves from one scary scene to another as the suspense escalates. The plot twists are crafty with several surprises in store. Then as most readers might suspect, the author has managed to introduce a strong romantic thread right into the center of the treacherous situation. With their lives in peril, Mallory and Tennyson must place their trust in God to see them through to the end.

Once again Christy Barritt has captured my attention and imagination and held it from the first to last page. Not only is “Distorted” entertaining but it opened my eyes to the very real dangers of human trafficking that seems to be growing rapidly in our world while offering a real hope at the same time. I highly recommend this novel and suggest you pick up your own copy as soon as possible!

I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by the author. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Mallory Baldwin is a survivor. A former victim of human trafficking, she’s been given a second chance, yet not a night goes by that she doesn’t remember being a slave to weapons dealer Dante Torres. Despite being afraid of the dark and wary of strangers, Mallory is trying to rebuild her life by turning her tragedy into redemption.

To former Navy SEAL Tennyson Walker, Mallory seems nothing like the shattered woman he rescued two years ago, and he can’t help but be inspired by her strength and resilience. So when a stalker suddenly makes Mallory vulnerable once again, Tennyson steps up as her bodyguard to keep her safe.

Mallory and Tennyson’s mutual attraction can’t be ignored, but neither can Mallory’s suspicion that Tennyson is keeping a terrible secret about her past. As the nightmare closes in, it’s not only Mallory and Tennyson’s love that comes under fire but their very lives as well. Will their faith sustain them? Or will the darkness win once and for all?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

USA Today has called Christy Barritt’s books “scary, funny, passionate, and quirky.”

A Publishers Weekly best-seller, Christy writes both mystery and romantic suspense novels that are clean with underlying messages of faith. Her books have won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery, have been twice nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and have finaled for both a Carol Award and Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year.

She’s married to her prince charming, a man who thinks she’s hilarious–but only when she’s not trying to be. Christy’s a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who’s known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado.

Christy currently splits her time between the Virginia suburbs and Hatteras Island, North Carolina. She has more than fifty books published with over one million copies sold.

For more information, visit her website: www.christybarritt.com.

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