With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden



MY REVIEW:

“With Every Breath” is a fascinating novel that depicts early attempts to find a cure for tuberculosis. Invited to work with her former school nemesis Trevor McDonough, Kate Livingston finds that her new job to be interesting but soon discovers that it could also be much more dangerous than expected.

The riveting plot kept me turning the pages late into the night. With several ancestors who succumbed to tuberculosis, I found the story to be of particular interest. Dialogue between Trevor and Kate was excellent and quite witty at times. I especially liked Kate’s sarcastic responses. The suspense grew at the perfect pace with subtle hints but none obvious enough to detract from the mystery. Abundant twists and surprises kept things moving right along. Of course a romance between Kate and Trevor was expected but startling revelations threatened their future together.

The only thing I found wrong with this book is that it ended much too soon. I thoroughly enjoyed “With Every Breath” and recommend it to anyone who loves a good historical romance.

This book was provided for review by
Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

With Every BreathIn the shadow of the nation’s capital, Kate Livingston’s respectable life as a government worker is disrupted by an encounter with the insufferable Trevor McDonough, the one man she’d hoped never to see again. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and business is the only reason he has sought her out now.

Despite her misgivings, Kate agrees to Trevor’s risky proposal to join him in his work to find a cure for tuberculosis. As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor’s past, his hidden depths fascinate her. However, a shadowy enemy lies in wait and Trevor’s closely guarded secrets are darker than she ever suspected.

As revelations from the past threaten to destroy their careers, their dreams, and even their lives, Trevor and Kate find themselves in a painfully impossible situation. With everything to lose, they must find the strength to trust that hope and love can prevail over all.

Read an excerpt from “With Every Breath” HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth CamdenElizabeth Camden is the award-winning author of four books, including Against the Tide (2012), winner of a RITA Award, Christy Award, and Daphne du Maurier Award. With a master’s in history and a master’s in library science, she is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. Elizabeth lives with her husband in Florida.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethCamden
Website: http://elizabethcamden.com/

In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin – Litfuse Review



MY REVIEW:

In the first two books of the Wings of the Nightingale series, Kay Jobson was not particularly likeable so I fully expected “In Perfect Time” to reveal reasons behind her behavior. I did not expect to like and sympathize with her as much as I did. 

Both Kay and her romantic interest Lt. Roger Cooper had pasts that left them feeling inadequate and undeserving. Roger had found some peace through his fairly new faith but guilt over his past caused him to avoid women as much as possible. On the other hand, Kay’s experiences had left her angry at God and with a need to prove herself by teasing men. Their friendship was unexpected but developed into a relationship that eventually set them both free from their past.

I have so enjoyed this entire series and loved reading about each of the “Nightingales” and their experiences as flight nurses during World War 2. Sundin’s character development is exceptional and lends an extra depth to her plots. I like the way she weaves all aspects of life during that era into her stories – from the hum drum daily routine, to dangerous missions both in the air and on the battlefield, to fun and sometimes humorous scenes, and of course some excellent romantic vignettes. Sarah also manages to include plenty of the gospel message into the plot in a natural way as her characters wrestle with their faith or in some cases embrace the gospel for the first time.

For wartime novels set during the Second World War, Sarah Sundin is an author not to be missed. I always look forward to her next one.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

In Perfect TimeBold, sophisticated, and flirtatious, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.

Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer to where they don’t want to go.

Can they confront the fears and misunderstandings in their pasts?

Learn more and purchase a copy at Sarah’s website.

Read an Excerpt from “In Perfect Time” HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sarah SundinSarah Sundin is the author of “With Every Letter” and the Wings of Glory series. In 2011, A “Memory Between Us” was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist’s mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children.

Find out more about Sarah at http://www.sarahsundin.com/.

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 In Perfect Time by @SarahSundin | Enter to win a Kindle HDX and a set of books!

Don’t miss Sarah Sundin‘s hot-off-the-press novel, In Perfect Time. Publishers Weekly gives it an enthusiastic thumbs up: “Sundin excels at well-researched historical detail . . . with such accurate depictions of culture and setting that we are fully immersed in the times as well as in the story. The strength of relationships forged in war and the apprehension of God in times of trouble infuse this well-crafted novel with substance and light.”perfecttime-400-click

Sarah is celebrating the release of her book with a fun giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle HDX
  • The Wings of the Nightingale Series (With Every Letter, On Distant Shores, and In Perfect Time)

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 24th. Winner will be announced August 25th at Sarah’s blog.

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Sarah’s blog on the 25th to see if you won! (Or better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin



MY REVIEW:

In the first two books of the Wings of the Nightingale series, Kay Jobson was not particularly likeable so I fully expected “In Perfect Time” to reveal reasons behind her behavior. I did not expect to like and sympathize with her as much as I did. 

Both Kay and her romantic interest Lt. Roger Cooper had pasts that left them feeling inadequate and undeserving. Roger had found some peace through his fairly new faith but guilt over his past caused him to avoid women as much as possible. On the other hand, Kay’s experiences had left her angry at God and with a need to prove herself by teasing men. Their friendship was unexpected but developed into a relationship that eventually set them both free from their past.

I have so enjoyed this entire series and loved reading about each of the “Nightingales” and their experiences as flight nurses during World War 2. Sundin’s character development is exceptional and lends an extra depth to her plots. I like the way she weaves all aspects of life during that era into her stories – from the hum drum daily routine, to dangerous missions both in the air and on the battlefield, to fun and sometimes humorous scenes, and of course some excellent romantic vignettes. Sarah also manages to include plenty of the gospel message into the plot in a natural way as her characters wrestle with their faith or in some cases embrace the gospel for the first time.

For wartime novels set during the Second World War, Sarah Sundin is an author not to be missed. I always look forward to her next one.

This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

In Perfect TimeTwo hearts are about to learn the rhythm of love

Bold, sophisticated, and coy, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.

Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer. Can they overcome the fears and misunderstandings of the past in order to take hold of the future?

Sarah Sundin seamlessly weaves together emotion, action, and sweet romance into a tale that transcends time and calls us to believe in the power of love.

Read an Excerpt from “In Perfect Time” HERE.

Praise for Sarah Sundin’s Novels:

“WWII-era fans won’t be able to put it down.”–Publishers Weekly on With Every Letter

“Excellent research and attention to detail with a flair for romance.”–CBA Retailers+Resources on With Every Letter

“Sundin’s novel features characters living large under emotional and physical stress, while the setting provides invaluable details and insights into the wartime mind-set.”–Booklist, starred review on A Memory Between Us

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sarah SundinSarah Sundin is the author of With Every Letter, On Distant Shores, and the Wings of Glory series. In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist’s mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California, with her husband and three children. Visit www.sarahsundin.com for more information.

Sky Zone by Creston Mapes

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Sky Zone
David C. Cook (June 1, 2014)
by
Creston Mapes
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Creston has fond memories of his boyhood in Bath, Ohio, where he became enchanted with his future wife, way back in the fourth grade. His father, Bernie, owned and operated The Weathervane Furniture Shop in town. The whole family lived right upstairs in the century-old house known as “The Shop.”

Creston studied journalism at Bowling Green State University, then began his writing career. During the past 30 years, he has worked as a reporter, corporate copywriter, creative director, freelance writer, and author.

Learn more about Creston Mapes on his Website.
ABOUT THE BOOK:

A rally for a controversial presidential candidate.

A terrorist threat.

A nightmare of cataclysmic proportions.

Jack and Pamela Crittendon have hit the breaking point. After months out of work as a reporter, Jack is playing Mr. Mom and working part-time at Festival Arena with his survivalist friend Brian Shakespeare. Meanwhile, Pamela has gone back to work full-time while eight months pregnant. Having her recently widowed mother on hand isn’t making matters any easier.
With financial pressures boiling, Jack reports for duty at a rally for controversial presidential candidate Martin Sterling where he expects a mindless night on the job. But when Homeland Security picks up intel about a potential terrorist threat, Jack and Shakespeare are thrust into a life-or-death battle to save their own lives–and the lives of thousands of innocent people.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Sky Zone, go HERE.

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MY REVIEW:

Sky Zone was one of those books I didn’t want to put down. I stayed awake reading it way too late on Saturday night, read as much as I could before church on Sunday and finally got to finish it when I got back home. What a read!

With everything going on in the world around us these days, the plot was quite relevant and I loved Shakespeare the prepper. Politics, terrorists and famous music star combined for a riveting story filled with action, danger, and surprises with even a miracle thrown in for good measure! Jack’s faith played a prominent role in the story and a couple of other strong Christian characters were featured also.

This was a great book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I highly recommend it as well as the previous two books in The Crittendon Files series. I sincerely hope the series doesn’t end here.

 

Second Chance Cafe by Brandy Bruce

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

 Brandy Bruce

 and the book:

 Second Chance Cafe

Heartsong Presents/Love Inspired (July 2014)
***Special thanks to the author for sending me a review copy.***

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

BrandyBruceBrandy Bruce was scribbling stories in spiral notebooks by the age of 12. Her love for books never left her. She graduated from Liberty University, married the one person she could never get enough of, then started working as a book editor for a publishing house. Brandy and her husband, Jeff, live in Colorado with their two children. She can be reached through her blog at http://www.brandybruce.blogspot.com.

Visit the author’s website HERE.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

ISABELLA ROMANO HAS GIVEN UP ON LOVE

Second Chance CafeBetween her demanding work as a nurse and her father’s poor health, Isabella has no time for distractions. So when a handsome firefighter practically falls at her feet, she keeps him at arm’s length. But Ethan Carter is determined to win her over. Orphaned at a young age, Ethan longs for a family of his own—and he’s sure Isabella is his match. But when he opens a café near his firehouse, Isabella is less than thrilled. She knows firsthand the strain of being a restaurant owner, and she wants no part of that life. Can Ethan convince the busy nurse they can overcome any obstacle and have their happily ever after together?

Product Details:
List Price: $4.99
Publisher: Heartsong Presents/ Love Inspired
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-48719-6

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Chapter One

“Okay, people. We’ve got a firefighter with possible fractures and trauma to the spine. ETA is five minutes.”Nurse Isabella Romano’s ears perked up and her pulse quickened. The mood in the emergency room shifted to one of controlled urgency. Isabella slipped on gloves and followed the attending physician, Dr. Nichols, to the Denver Health Medical Center’s ER entrance. Sirens rang out in the distance, and within minutes, the familiar sight of flashing lights sped toward them.

The back doors of the ambulance flew open and the paramedics jumped out. “Male, late twenties, fell from second-story landing to first floor and landed on his back. Multiple burns on his arms and a laceration on his right thigh. Hypotensive. Tachycardic. We administered one liter of saline through an 18 gauge IV in his left AC. Patient has maintained a pulse ox of 96 percent on 10L of oxygen via facemask.”

Isabella grabbed the left side of the stretcher, helping push the gurney to trauma room 1. At the sound of a low moan, she looked down at the firefighter strapped to the backboard. A neck collar kept him immobile and an oxygen mask covered his mouth.

“What’s his name?” Isabella called out to the EMT across from her.

“Ethan Carter. Company 51. Those guys will be filling up the waiting room as soon as they clear the scene.”

“Ethan, I’m Isabella. Can you hear me?”

His gaze met hers and Isabella could see his intense pain.

“Ethan, you’re going to be okay. We’re going to take good care of you.”

“Okay, everyone, on three,” Dr. Nichols ordered.

Everyone stopped what they were doing at Dr. Nichols’s instruction and lifted the backboard with Ethan on it, transferring him and the backboard to the hospital bed. He moaned. “We’re going to need 50 mcg of fentanyl,” Dr. Nichols called out. Maggie, one of Isabella’s colleagues, began cutting off Ethan’s burned clothing.

“Let’s get some X-rays, Isa,” Dr. Nichols stated. “I want a CT scan. His thigh obviously needs stitches.”

“I’m on it,” Maggie said as she inspected the burns on Ethan’s arms. Isabella moved to order the X-rays but Ethan reached out for her. She stepped back toward him, preparing to explain to him that she’d be back and he was going to be all right. But the look in his blue eyes stopped her. He tried to reach for his oxygen mask, but Isabella shook her head.

“No, don’t move,” she said; then pulled away his mask for a moment.

“Don’t leave me,” he said, his voice dry and raspy. Isabella was pretty sure that even covered in dust and blood, with a brace around his neck, he was the most attractive man she’d ever seen. Her heart tugged. In that moment, he just seemed so alone.

She replaced his oxygen. “I have to go for a minute, Ethan, but I’ll be coming right back. And we’ll get through this together. I know you’re scared and I know you’re hurting. But it’s going to be okay.”

He just stared at her, his eyes pleading for her to stay. Isabella couldn’t help it; she reached down and brushed his brown hair from his forehead.

“I promise I’ll be back,” she told him.Ethan Carter’s eyes fluttered open and then shut again quickly.

Who in the world turned on that blinding light?

He could hear a voice, someone saying his name. He turned his head to the side.

What happened?

He heard that voice again, saying his name. Then it came back to him, playing through his mind like a movie reel. The house fire. The roaring sound of the blaze. The sensation that he was falling. The impact of the ground floor. The rush into the ER.

“Ethan?”

He opened his eyes and blinked, trying to focus on the woman’s face in front of him.

“Hi there,” she said. “It’s nice to see you again.”

He blinked again. “Nurse . . .”

“Isabella. We met under rather tragic circumstances, I know.”

She was teasing. He could hear it in her voice. Now that he could focus on her clearly, he remembered seeing her in the ER.

“Isabella,” he repeated. Dressed in blue scrubs, she stood next to the bed, her brown hair tied back in a knot. She smiled down at him and Ethan felt better at the sight of her smile. She checked the monitors, her eyes darting toward the door of the hospital room.

“Did they get the family out of the house?” Ethan asked. Isabella nodded.

“Yes. One of the other firefighters—I think his name was Blake—told me to let you know that everyone made it out safely.”

“Except me, I guess,” Ethan said grimly. But Isabella’s smile didn’t fade.

“C’mon, tough guy. You’ve got this.”

Ethan studied her warm smile and playful tone. “You’re right,” he conceded. “God was watching over me in that burning house. He won’t abandon me now.”

She blinked in surprise at his statement. “I suppose He was,” she agreed.

“When can I go home?” Ethan asked.

“I’m not sure,” Isabella answered. “Dr. Nichols will be here any minute to talk to you,” she said.

“Can you stay?” Ethan asked immediately. Her face softened.

“Sure, if you want me to. Is there anyone you want me to call for you? The guys from the firehouse were here all night, off and on, in the waiting room. There are a few guys out there now. They can come in as soon as Dr. Nichols speaks to you.”

Ethan nodded. “Thanks. But there’s no one else for you to call.”

Isabella frowned. “Your family?”

Ethan just shook his head, turning his attention to the gauze covering his forearms. “There’s no one. Just the guys.” He hoped she’d drop the topic. He hated the pitiful looks he got whenever he explained to people that other than a few distant relatives out in California, he had no one. It was part of why he’d joined Company 51. A whole firehouse with the brothers he’d never had. He wondered if the chief was in the waiting room.

The door slid open and a doctor wearing black rimmed glasses and holding a clipboard walked in. He looked to be in his mid-forties.

“Good morning, Ethan. How are we feeling today?”

We? I have a feeling you’re doing a lot better than I am, doc.

“I’m hurting, but I’m guessing that medication is dulling the real pain.”

Dr. Nichols nodded. “You had a bad fall, Ethan. You know that. There were second degree burns on your arms, and a gash on your thigh that took about twenty stitches. You lost some blood, but we’ve given you IV fluids and you’re vitals have stabilized. You’re pretty banged up and bruised all over, but unfortunately, your back took the impact of the fall.”

Ethan’s chest constricted with fear.

“How bad is it?”

Isabella stepped closer to his bedside.

“It could have been worse. You have a lumbar—lower back—spinal fracture. The X-ray showed an L4 compression fracture. The positive aspect of this is that you still have good movement and feeling. Also, there doesn’t seem to be any neurological damage.”

“Do I need surgery?” Ethan asked.

“I don’t think so. The X-rays indicate a clean fracture. I’m going to recommend we move forward with outpatient treatment. But you’ve got a long, arduous healing journey ahead of you.”

“How long until I can be back on active duty?”

Dr. Nichol’s eyebrows furrowed. “The spine is a tricky thing, Ethan. And everyone heals at a different pace. You’re going to need rest, pain medication, lots of therapy, a back brace—”

“How long?” Ethan insisted.

“We’re talking months, Ethan. And that’s assuming that everything heals as it should. While in a few weeks you’ll be able to continue with most day-to-day activities, I don’t see you going back to active duty for probably six months. It could be less; it could be more. Perhaps they can transfer you to a desk job until you’re ready. After a few weeks of therapy we could reevaluate and consider light duty. But as of right now, your life is going to look different. You need to understand and accept that. Your priority needs to be healing properly.”

Months? Desk job? Light duty? Ethan tried to swallow the boulder in his throat.

“But, eventually, I’ll be back to normal. I’ll be able to be on active duty, right?” Ethan pressed. Dr. Nichols folded his arms across his clipboard.

“If all goes as it should, I think you’ll make a full recovery. But as I said, this is going to be a one-day-at-a-time healing process. We’ll start with rest. I want you on complete bed rest for the next few days. No strenuous activity. We’ll fit you for a back brace, which I want you to wear for six to eight weeks. We’ll do an X-ray after six weeks and see if the bone has healed. Then, once the bone has healed, you’ll need to begin physical therapy.”

Ethan took a deep breath. He felt a soft hand squeeze his arm and he looked up at Isabella.

“Hey, it’s going to be okay,” she said, her voice encouraging. “You’re here, you’re alive, you can walk—those are all good things.” He stared at her, trying to hold on to the sense of calm emanating from her.

She’s right, Father, he prayed. But what am I going to do for months if I’m not fighting fires? And what if ‘the healing process’ doesn’t go as it should and I can’t go back? Company 51 is all I have.

That last thought was too much. Ethan felt tears welling up in his eyes. He blinked fast to keep them at bay, mortified that he might cry in front of this nurse who not only was kind and smart and had a great sense of humor, but also looked stunning in blue scrubs.

I will never leave you.

The words were just a whisper in his heart, but they were enough. He clung to them. It had only been six months since one of his brothers at the firehouse, Caleb, had lead Ethan to Christ. Six months of a changed life. He still struggled to accept that God loved him like a father. That he could turn to God at any time. But it got easier. Accepting Christ as his Savior had filled Ethan with something he’d known was missing since childhood. Now he treasured that faith more than anything else.

Ethan closed his eyes.

I have You, Father. Whatever comes, I have you. Help me through this.

Isabella watched as Ethan closed his eyes. His lips moved silently, and she knew without a doubt that he was praying. She looked over at Dr. Nichols who stood waiting without a word. Prayers were common things in the hospital. Sometimes people cried out loudly for help. Sometimes it was a desperate whisper. And sometimes, like now, it was a silent request. She’d seen people blame God. She’d seen them beg for His comfort. She’d even seen them try to barter for what they wanted. Isabella wondered which one Ethan was doing now.

She also considered the fact that without all the dust and blood, Ethan Carter was even more attractive than she’d found him to be in the ER.

He had no family to call. That’s odd. The firefighters have filled up the waiting room, of course. But no one else. No relatives. No girlfriend. No one.

Isabella stared at the handsome firefighter’s brown hair and dark brown eyebrows. His sturdy jaw and those lips. She watched him pray. She wasn’t sure if it was appropriate to think so or not—but the fact that he was praying made him even more attractive.

I was wrong. He’s not completely alone. He has faith.

Ethan drew a breath and opened his eyes. He looked at Isabella before turning his attention to Dr. Nichols.

“Okay, what’s my next step, doc?”

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MY REVIEW:

I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the Romano family again in “Second Chance Cafe”. With Leo’s younger sister Isabella as the featured character, I not only got to know her better but I got to catch up on what was going on with Leo and Mandy from “A Table for Two” as well as the Romano parents. What fun!

The pace of  both the plot and the romance were just perfect. Character development was superb. I enjoyed how both Isa and Ethan each struggled with things in their lives but became stronger spiritually as a result. I so appreciated the way Brandy was able to weave a strong Christian message into conversations throughout the story. Details from both the medical field and restaurant business kept the story interesting. Descriptions of dishes prepared by both Ethan and Isa left me wanting to either visit the Second Chance Cafe or to gain a copy of their recipes. So tempting!

I love these short but sweet books when they are filled with such strong characters and plot with a bonus of great spiritual content. Way to go Brandy! I look forward to your next offering.