The Silent Songbird

Dickerson, Melanie. The Silent Songbird: Young Adult Series. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing. 2016.

thesilentsongbird

SUMMARY:
Promised in marriage by her cousin, King Richard, to the nasty Earl of Shively, Evangeline knows she must escape. A bit naïve due to being locked away in the castle for her own protection, Evangeline soon finds herself outside the Berkhamsted castle and part of the traveling group under the leadership of the handsome Westley le Wyse. Now working as a servant, Evangeline also leads those around her to believe she is mute. Living this lie while hiding from her intended, who surely is searching for his beautiful songbird, turns out to be dangerous to both her life and heart.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As a loose retelling of the fairytale Little Mermaid, even the cover of the book reflects Ariel, the red-haired singing beauty. With brief suggestions to the Disney story, The Silent Songbird is a delightful, suspenseful, medieval and interesting retelling. As part of the young adult series written by author Melanie Dickerson, this newest addition nods to a few previous characters; however, is also easily read as a stand-alone. Though classified as young adult, readers of all ages are sure to enjoy!

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Silent Songbird from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Fatal Frost

Mehl, Nancy. Fatal Frost: Defenders of Justice- book 1. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers. 2016.

fatalfrost

SUMMARY:
As a member of the law enforcement, US Marshal Mercy Brennan understands danger. Though absent from her life for many years, Mercy’s father makes a reappearance. Now in danger herself, Mercy must trust her ex boyfriend, Deputy US Marshal Mark St. Laurent, to keep her safe while battling an ice storm, hiding from a deadly enemy, and guarding her own heart in the process…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As another romantic suspense novel from author Nancy Mehl, Fatal Frost was a great start to the new series, Defenders of Justice. Full of suspense, a bit of mystery, subtle faith and of course, some romance, this was a quick fulfilling read. Though perhaps a little predictable in parts, it was still a story I wanted to finish to the end. Extra thoughtful was the dedication page to law enforcement men and women, as well as a beautiful poem from her mom to her son. Definitely a series I will continue, I look forward to the next installment.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Fatal Frost from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*

Wild Montana Skies

Warren, Susan May. Wild Montana Skies: Montana Rescue Series- Book 1. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.

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SUMMARY:
Ben King, an international country music star, returns home to Mercy Falls, Montana, to help care for his injured, ageing father. Kacey Fairing, currently on leave from her position with the military as a helicopter pilot, spends time with her daughter and parents in her hometown of Mercy Falls. With a past history between them, Ben and Kacey find themselves working together to save the town from flood waters but may need help rescuing their own hearts as well…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Cowboys, danger, survival, romance, drama, secrets and faith all combine for a fast-paced, amazing read. With likeable characters, several storylines, and a message of second chances, Wild Montana Skies sets the stage for an enjoyable new series, Montana Rescue. Though I did not read the prequel to this first book, If Ever I Would Leave You, I had no problem connecting with the story, and look forward to the continuing saga in book 2, Rescue Me, due out in spring of 2017. Definitely a good book by a well written author.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Wild Montana Skies from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

The Captain Takes A Wife

Durbin, Doris. The Captain Takes A Wife- The Captain Chronicles. USA: Crossbooks. 2013.

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SUMMARY:
On his way to Georgia via train, Captain Harry Richardson is most surprised when a young lady, Sarah Franklin, literally throws herself into his arms begging for his help. Harry soon realizes Sarah may need protection from more than the arranged marriage her Uncle prepared for her. With a new plan in mind, Harry and Sarah soon realize their plan may involve more than expected…outlaws, suspense, mystery, surprises and perhaps even a change of heart.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As a new author, Doris Durbin certainly is familiar with writing since she retired from her career as a librarian recently and uses her husband as her consult, a history teacher for many years. Intrigued by the cover, title, and book summary, I took the chance to give an emerging author a try. Though it took me just a bit to become comfortable with her style, her writing did eventually flow for me, providing an interesting storyline, strong characters, and well researched items. As her debut novel, The Captain Takes A Wife, I look forward to more of her writing since a continuing series is certainly plausible and encouraged. An added bonus was definitely the discussion questions, recipes and pattern.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Captain Takes A Wife from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

The Promise of Jesse Woods

Fabry, Chris. The Promise of Jesse Woods. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers. 2016.

thepromiseofjessewoods

SUMMARY:
Spanning from 1972 to 1984 while moving alternatively between the years, The Promise of Jesse Woods tells the tale of three preteens growing into adults. With secrets, traumas and actions shared between them, the now adults must come to terms with promises, stories and consequences, some of them known, others unknown at the time. Matt, Dickie and Jesse live separate lives yet are bonded by events shaping their lives many years ago…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
In this deeply emotional and moving “coming-of-age” story, author and Christy Award Winner, Chris Fabry, shares characters so real, you may just personally recognize them. Always an author of truly passionate and stirring novels, The Promise of Jesse Woods is no exception. Bouncing between the time periods, from past to present, I found myself drawn into story, always reading just “one more page” which ultimately turned into chapter after chapter. With childhood, choices, consequences, forgiveness, faith and life combined into structuring preteens into adults, this is a storyline that may remind you of your own growing up. Well done.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Promise of Jesse Woods from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review*

Hello, Bicycle

Brones, Anna. Hello, Bicycle: An Inspired Guide To The Two-Wheeled Life. New York, USA: Ten Speed Press. 2016.

hellobicycle

SUMMARY:
As the bicycle craze catches on, bicyclist, author and foodie, Anna Brones, shares her knowledge, love and enthusiasm of bike riding with readers. Whether biking seriously, cycling for recreation, commuting to places or leisurely pedaling, Hello, Bicycle offers lots of information on the subject of bicycling. With the history of bicycles, recipes for the road, accessories for the bike, maintenance of the vehicle, safety for the street and resources/ hacks for cyclists, this sturdy little book packed with useful ideas and cute illustrations will get you on two-wheels fast…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As an avid recreational biker for most of my life, I loved this book. Full of required information but lots of creative ideas too, Hello, Bicycle is perfect for the experienced or new biker. The included recipes gave me some new options for our protein-packed jar meals on those longer rides, and the nostalgia of inserting playing cards in the spokes for that added clicking noise was so fun! (I am sure my kids will love it when I put some in my wheels for the next ride, LOL). Great as a gift or wonderful for your own use, this book is certainly a necessity in the world of biking.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Hello, Bicycle from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Anchor In The Storm

Sundin, Sarah. Anchor In The Storm: Waves of Freedom Series- Book 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.

*anchorinthestorm

SUMMARY:
Set in the darkest days of World War II, Lilian Avery is determined to withstand the pressures, both physical and mental, to gain her independence and succeed as a pharmacist in Boston. With a developing friendship with her brother’s best friend, Ensign Archer Vendenberg, Lilian soon realizes there is more to her role as a pharmacist than previously believed and the same may be true of her friendship with Arch. Can Lilian and Arch work together to solve the mystery surrounding the crew’s strange behavior or will their entangling hearts prevent a successful conclusion?

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Having read the first book in the Waves of Freedom series, I was ready to catch-up with the characters and watch the relationship grow. Full of history and romance, the two blended perfectly for an engaging read. I am already looking forward to Book 3 in the series, due out in spring 2017. Even more than the actual story, I really liked the correlation between the author’s book dedication and real life. Priceless.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Anchor In The Storm from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

The Movement of Kings

Keels, Nadine C. The Movement of Kings: Movement of Crowns Series- Book 3. Smashwords. 2013.

*movementofkings

SUMMARY:
Losing both of his parents to an early death, King Alexander must assume the kingdom at a young adult age. With the joining of Munda and Diachona under his father, King Alexander must wade the turbulent waters of possible rebellion while battling an epidemic attacking the country. Though young, King Alexander effectively tackles these difficult issues while mourning the loss of his mother and pursuing an interest in a young woman. Through strength, growth, faith and ultimately confidence, King Alexander becomes the ruler he was meant to be…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
With openings that grab, author Nadine Keels packs so much story into a novella, I can only marvel how she does it. Having read the previous two books in the Movement of Crowns series, this was a wonderful conclusion despite being a bit disappointing (that the series is ending). With full characters, an impressive storyline and well chosen words, The Movement of Kings was my favorite yet (and I really liked book 2)!  Might I suggest a continuation in a possible book 4?

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Movement of Kings from the author for my honest review*

Forgotten Tales of New Mexico

Dornan, Ellen. Forgotten Tales of New Mexico. Charleston, SC: The History Press. 2012.

SUMMARY:
forgottentalesofnewmexicoFolklore? Truth? Legend? In the book, Forgotten Tales of New Mexico, many tales are shared whether forgotten, stretched, ignored or embellished over the years. Who knew the famous Route 66 had been rerouted? Or, that Governor Perez had been beheaded over wine and tobacco taxes? Or, even that freed slave Cathay Williams passed her physical exam as William Cathay to join the U.S.Army? Relating such antics concerning poisonous politics, traitors, scoundrels, smugglers, witches, strange alliances, wartime and puzzling places, author Ellen Dornan uses her love of New Mexico combined with her creative interactive maps to detail the tales found within this book. Fun and interesting knowledge abounds!

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Having already visited New Mexico with another trip scheduled, this eclectic little book of New Mexico tales was perfectly planned. Categorized into similar topics and further divided into a few page-length sections of each anecdote, it is reader-friendly as a straight-through read or skip-around topic browse. Definitely fun for history buffs, New Mexico fans, avid travelers, and me! A necessity in my suitcase on my next trip to the South.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Forgotten Tales of New Mexico from The History Press for my honest review*

Love’s Sure Dawn

Rawlings, Naomi. Love’s Sure Dawn: An Eagle Harbor Novel. Cedar Lake Press.  2015.

SUMMARY:
lovessuredawnWith the price of fish dropping, Rebekah Cummings knows she must find work to help support her family. Leaving her home in Eagle Harbor, Michigan, she accepts a position upon a ship owned by Gilbert Sinclair, son of a wealthy shipping family. Knowing Gilbert since she was young, Rebekah is surprised at the feelings within her heart for Gilbert, especially as he searches for an heiress to wed due to his crane sinking to the bottom of the lake. Growing romance, strong faith, unexpected surprises, and the lure of the rugged Lake Superior coast all combine in the newest installment of the Eagle Harbor series…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Yet again, Naomi Rawlings amazes me, stirs my emotions and convinces why she is such an accomplished author. Left pondering how I can enjoy this novel even more than the previous one which I thoroughly loved, I am also deciding how I will wait for the fourth book in the series. Very familiar with Eagle Harbor, Michigan, I am astounded at the exactness with which Love’s Sure Dawn exemplifies the landscape, characters and town. Piquing my interest with her novels, I visited and researched the lifesaving station across from the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse and really learned quite a bit. As one of my favorite authors, this particular novel may be my most treasured one this year.

RATING:
5+ (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Love’s Sure Dawn from the author for my honest review*