Thursday, March 29, 2012

Finding Our Way Home by Charlene Ann Baumbich

A Snowglobe Connections Novel

When the road home becomes daunting—sometimes a very capable girl on a bicycle can help find the way.

When principal ballerina Sasha Davis suffers a career-ending injury at age thirty-eight, she leaves her Boston-based dance company and retreats to the home of her youth in Minnesota. But Sasha’s injuries limit her as much as her mother’s recent death haunts her. Concluding she can’t recover alone, Sasha reluctantly hires a temporary live-in aide.

Enter the Ć¼bercapable Evelyn Burt. As large-boned as Sasha is delicate, Evelyn is her employer’s opposite in every way. Small town to Sasha’s urban chic, outgoing to Sasha’s iciness, and undaunted where Sasha is hopeless, nineteen-year-old Evelyn is newly engaged and sees the world as one big, shiny opportunity.

Evelyn soon discovers Sasha needs to heal more than bones. Slowly, as the wounds begin to mend and the tables tilt, the two women form an unlikely alliance and discover the astounding power of even the smallest act done in the name of love.

My Review:
Life can be disappointing, but with drive and determination, Sasha and Evelyn, the two main characters in this interesting novel find reasonable resolutions. Sasha a famous ballet dancer suffers a career-ending fall; the story opens with her in a wheelchair. She needs help and hires Evelyn, a large, clumsy nineteen-year-old who is madly in love with Jordan, a player. Evelyn decides to forego college to remain with him.

A snowglobe containing a ballet dancer becomes a tailsman, adding a magical touch.

I recommend this one!

Thank you to Kelly Blewett at KBK Public Relations and Waterbrook Press for my copy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Chase by DiAnn Mills

Crime Scene: Houston

To the FBI it's a cold case. To Kariss Walker it's a hot idea that could either reshape or ruin her writing career. And it's a burning mission to revisit an event she can never forget. Five years ago, an unidentified little girl was found starved to death in the woods behind a Houston apartment complex. A TV news anchor at the time, Kariss reported on the terrifying case.

Today, as a New York Times bestselling author, Kariss intends to turn the unsolved mystery into a suspense novel. Enlisting the help of FBI Special Agent Tigo Harris, Kariss succeeds in getting the case reopened. But the search for the dead girl's missing mother yields a discovery that plunges the partners into a witch's brew of danger. The old crime lives on in more ways than either of them could ever imagine.

Will Kariss's pursuit of her dream as a writer carry a deadly price tag? Drawing from a real-life cold case, bestselling novelist DiAnn Mills presents a taut collage of suspense, faith, and romance in The Chase.

My Review:
The protagonist, Kariss Walker, is a best selling author who wants to change genres; she now wants to write a suspense novel. The reader learns a bit about the publishing business when Kariss's agent refuses to allow Kariss to veer from her successful path of writing fiction for women, and they part ways.

Kariss shadows a FBI agent, Santiago (Tigo) Harris, for research and ends up attracted to him. Tigo, working on tracking down criminals involved in a gun smuggling operation, does not like the extra task of babysitting this nosy lady. A bit of romance ensues leaving the reader looking forward to the next installment of Kariss and Tigo.

One negative: I stumbled each time I came across an error that editing should have corrected. Perhaps some sharper editing eyes could be employed for future works.

This is a good read; it even solves a real FBI cold case. I appreciate the delicate touch used to weave in the Christian faith. Discussion questions are included making this a good choice for a book club read.

Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Zondervan for my copy.

If you would like to read the first chapter, click here.

If you would like to buy a copy, click here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Lady's Maid by Susan Page Davis

The Prairie Dreams Series, Book One

Lady Ann Stone has come to the States to track down her elusive uncle so that he can claim his new title as the Earl of Stoneford. She's accompanied by her faithful chaperone, Elise, on hand to keep her mistress out of harm's way — and perhaps — to reconnect with the man she loved from afar. But the dusty prairie is no place for finery and the women have to prove themselves sturdy enough for the journey. They relinquish their gowns and set about securing supplies, but will their efforts be met with anything but skepticism by their fellow travelers?

Especially, Elise wonders, the rough yet fascinating scout, Eb Bentley.

Confronted with the difficulties of outdoor living and plagued by a mysterious and sinister man, Anne and Elise nonetheless make their way, turning the opinions of others in their favor. But will Elise be so intent on finding her former love that she misses the signs of blossoming admiration happening right in front of her?

My Review:
What a page-turner this novel proved to be! A proper lady from England, along with her maid become part of a wagon train traveling across America as they search for a missing uncle. The vivid details pulled me into the story. Although delicate, the ladies decide that they will transform themselves into strong, capable pioneer women. They learn to drive a wagon with a team of mules, make edible biscuits over an outdoor fire, and sleep on the lumpy ground.

I enjoyed watching the relationship between Lady Anne and Elise develop into friendship. I look forward to the next book in this series.

Thank you to Barbour Books for my copy.