Books reviewed on this site have been provided to me, at no charge, by the publisher, or by the author, in exchange for an honest review. I have received no further compensation for these reviews. All reviews are my honest opinions.

October 22, 2016

Kosmo's Christmas Delivery {Deb Kalmbach}

kosmo's christmas delivery deb kalmbach
Kosmo, the king of troublesome terriers, takes trouble to a whole new level! He's a one-of-a-kind, corn-on-the-cob nibbling, ice cream licking, always-into-mischief dog. Kosmo's Christmas Delivery is told from the point-of-view of an older, but not necessarily wiser dog, Kramer, who laments the acquisition of Kosmo by his family, especially his girl, Emily Jean.

When the inquisitive Kosmo jumps on board the Yellow Package delivery truck a few days before Christmas, Kramer, secretly wishes the pup will be lost forever. He reluctantly agrees to help Emily Jean search the snowy streets of their small town for Kosmo. Through a series of unusual events, the missing terrier finally comes home, but not a moment before his older sibling realizes how much he cares about his young friend.

Our Thoughts:
I have a special place in my heart for Jack Russell Terriers. My first furbaby was a Jack Russell and she was so much fun. Kosmo brings the perfect example of a Jack Russell’s personality to Emily Jean’s home.

This book tells the story of a new puppy coming into a home with an established dog, Kramer. Kramer is not too thrilled to have the new puppy at the house and is completely annoyed at everything Kosmo does. In fact, Kramer is pretty happy with Kosmo gets himself into trouble and goes missing.

But then Kramer discovers that he actually liked Kosmo and misses him so much. When Kosmo finally makes his arrival back home, everyone is so thankful he has returned. Especially Kramer.

This story is a great book for Christmas, but also for older siblings who might not always be thrilled to have younger siblings around. I know my kids fight sometimes and drive each other crazy, but each of them is completely lost when the other is not around. They are the best of friends and their relationship is much like that of Kramer and Kosmo.

This is a great book to bring siblings and families together, and also get into the Christmas spirit. Definitely put this book on your shopping list for any kids in your life.

Deb Kalmbach considers herself an "expert" in not-so-perfect marriages. She's passionate about helping other women take one step forward, then another to find healing and wholeness in their lives. Real hope for real life is what Deb strives to communicate to her readers. 

Deb and her husband Randy can see the half-century milestone (a miracle!) for their marriage on the horizon. They live in a tiny town in rural Washington state with Kosmo, their Jack Russell Terrier, who has inspired a new children's book series.

October 20, 2016

Tangled Webs {Irene Hannon}

tangled webs irene hannon
After a disastrous Middle East mission ends his six-year Army Ranger career, Finn McGregor needs some downtime. A peaceful month in the woods sounds like the perfect way to decompress. But peace isn't on the agenda once he crosses paths with publishing executive Dana Lewis, a neighbor who is nursing wounds of her own. Someone seems bent on disrupting her stay in the lakeside cabin she inherited from her grandfather. As Finn and Dana work together to discover who is behind the disquieting pranks, the incidents begin to take on a menacing tone. And when it becomes apparent Dana's foe may have deadly intent, Finn finds himself back in the thick of the action--ready or not. 

Bestselling author Irene Hannon draws readers into a web of psychological suspense where danger lurks in dark corners . . . and keeps them captive until the very last page.

My Thoughts:
This book starts so slow for me. I felt the entire first half of the book was spent establishing characters and story lines, and while this is important, it seemed to be redundant. Not a lot was happening, and I almost put the book down.

By the mid-way point, however, things started to happen with the characters and the suspense I had been looking for finally arrived. Dana found herself in fear for her life from events happening around her cabin, while Finn found himself spending all of his time protecting Dana and trying to ensure she and her cabin remained safe.

Of course, Finn and Dana both have a back story that has landed them in their secluded residences, and those back stories play an important role in the how each of them handles the threats being made toward Dana.

I enjoyed the love story that also developed between Dana and Finn. While it seemed to move quickly at times, it also escalated at a nice and realistic pace. The relationship that was growing between them made the suspense of the story even more exciting.

I felt the revelation of the source and reason for the threats was a little predictable, but there were some definite surprises tangled within the conclusion of this book. And, of course, there was the question of whether Dana and Finn would end up together when it was all said and done.

Although there were parts of this book I did not enjoy, I thought it was overall a good read. If you are looking for a romantic suspense, it would be a good book for you to put on your reading list.

Irene Hannon, who writes both romance and romantic suspense, is the author of more than 45 novels. Her books have been honored with two coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America (the “Oscar” of romantic fiction), a National Readers' Choice Award, three HOLT Medallions, a Daphne du Maurier Award, a Retailers Choice Award, a Booksellers' Best Award and two Reviewers' Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. She is also a two-time Christy Award finalist.

A former corporate communications executive with a Fortune 500 company, Irene now writes full time. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, long walks, cooking, gardening, traveling and spending time with family.

To learn more about Irene and her books, visit 

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October 19, 2016

Wee Read Wednesday: One Small Donkey

one small donkey dandi deley mackall
Your family will love this heartwarming Christmas story told from an unlikely perspective: a donkey carrying Mary to Bethlehem. Though the donkey wasn’t the biggest, fastest, or strongest of all the animals, he had an important job all the same. Adults and children alike will love the message about how God has big plans for little ones.

Our Thoughts:
This is such a precious book for little ears. My son has loved every single time we have read this book and loves the importance of the little donkey in the story.

The small donkey was sure he was unable to do anything important in his life. He was down on himself and feeling left out. Then he was picked to carry a pregnant Mary to Bethlehem. As if that job was not important enough, he also was there for the birth of Jesus! That little donkey played an important part in Mary and Joseph’s journey, and he was rewarded greatly for it.

This book is a great way to introduce little ones to the Christmas story and the true meaning behind the holiday we celebrate. However, it is also an important reminder for our little ones that they are important too. Just because they are small does not mean they are not capable of great things.

A great story with two great lessons wrapped into a book that your children will enjoy.

Dandi Daley Mackall loves God, children, words, and animals. Her nearly 500 books for children and grown-ups have sold more than four million copies worldwide, and her awards include an ECPA Christian Book Award for Best Children’s Book. Dandi writes from rural Ohio, where she lives with her family, including horses, dogs, cats, and an occasional squirrel, deer, or raccoon.

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October 17, 2016

A Royal Christmas Wedding {Rachel Hauck}

a royal christmas wedding rachel hauck
It’s been five years since Avery Truitt and Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom fell in love. But he broke her heart with no explanation.

Fast forward to present day, and Colin is Brighton’s most eligible bachelor now that cousin Stephen has married. When Avery’s father dies of a heart attack, she puts her life on hold and returns home to St. Simons Island, Georgia, to help Mama with the family restaurant. But Mama misses Avery’s sister Susanna, who lives four thousand miles away in Brighton Kingdom—and is expecting her first child. So Mama insists she and Avery spend the Christmas season in Brighton.

Colin and Avery are going to see each other a lot while she’s visiting. But she can’t forget the way he hurt her, and he didn’t expect his feelings to still be so strong.

Avery is torn between considering a future in Brighton and taking a coaching job in Georgia, and Colin is finally pushed to pursue what he really wants. Is it too late to convince Avery that she is his true love? And even if he does, will she make it to the chapel on Christmas Day to give him her heart?

My Thoughts:
Loved, loved, loved this book!

I have read and enjoyed the entire royal series from Rachel Hauck, and I think this is the perfect ending to such a great series. All the characters from the first three books returned to bring Avery back to Brighton for the Christmas season.

Avery has never gotten over Colin and she is nervous about seeing him when she arrives at her sisters. But as soon as the two come face to face, the sparks begin to fly again.

Colin ended his and Avery's relationship the first time by standing her up. I really wanted to dislike him, but everything about him is so enticing. I quickly found myself cheering him on as he wrestled with his love for Avery and his loyalty to his family.

As this book wraps up, we get to see the happy ending play out in true royal style. But more importantly we get to jump ahead 70+ years and find out how all our royal women faired in life. It was such a satisfying end to a series I have loved so much. I feel we get true closure for this series.

If you haven't read the first three books in this series, I do suggest you pick them up.  This one can be read as a stand-alone, but you will enjoy it so much more if you have the history of the characters.

New York Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Rachel Hauck writes from sunny central Florida. A RITA finalist and winner of Romantic Times Inspirational Novel of the Year, she writes vivid characters dealing with real life issues. She loves to hear from readers. She also loves to encourage new writers and sits on the Executive Board of American Christian Fiction Writers..

A graduate of Ohio State University with a BA in Journalism, Rachel is an avid OSU football fan. She hopes to one day stand on the sidelines in the Shoe with Urban Meyer. An avid Diet Coke fan, she is caffeine free. Sometimes you just have to compromise. She's never skied or jumped out of an airplane. She leaves such hijinks to Jason Bourne.

Visit her web site to find out more and click on the icons to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

October 10, 2016

Wild Montana Skies {Susan May Warren}

wild montana skies susan may warren
Search and rescue pilot Kacey Fairing is home on leave in Mercy Falls, Montana, twelve years after she joined the military to escape the mistakes of her past. With a job waiting for her as the new lead pilot of Peak Rescue in Glacier National Park, Kacey hopes to reconnect with the now-teenage daughter she sees only between deployments. What she doesn't realize is that someone else is also back in town. 

Ben King has been building his country music career since the day Kacey shut him out of her life. Now all of that's on hold when his injured father calls him home to help run Peak Rescue until he's fully recovered. It doesn't take long, though, to discover his father's ulterior motives as Kacey Fairing walks into the house and back into his heart. 

With Mercy Falls in a state of emergency due to flash floods, Kacey and Ben are forced to work together to save lives. But when floodwaters turn personal, can they put aside the past to save their future?

My Thoughts:
This book was slow getting started for me, but I think it was because I read the prequel. The prequel left me thinking this series was going to go a certain direction, but it went somewhere completely different. Because of that, I found myself a little confused the first few chapters of this book. However, once I figured out the timeline and how everyone intertwined with each other this book was one I could not put down.

In this first full book in the series we meet Kacey. Kacey is trying to live her life between serving the country in the military and being a mom for her tween daughter. She clearly has some baggage and bouts of PTSD to deal with as she arrives home for a summer on leave. We quickly discover she is conflicted between being a mom and being a soldier, but she seems to think she can find a good balance by working with the Peak Rescue unit during her leave.

But Ben King is also home for the summer. Country superstar, and father of Kacey’s baby, Ben just wants out of town. He wants to care for his dad, but on his terms, and also has some baggage hanging around with his music career. Then he finds out he has a daughter, and everything changes. Ben becomes a man on a mission to win the love of his life and be a part of his daughter’s world. We see a broken man who just wants to find his place in the world, and I really liked the person Ben became once he and Kacey began talking again.

This story is full of God’s grace and what He can do for you if you will give your life to Him. God comes through in major ways for each character in this book, and it is apparent He is going to be a big part in the story as it continues through the remainder of the series. I love how the characters turn to God to meet their needs and find answers to their problems in life.

I loved this book and am looking forward to what is to come in this series. It is going to be a good one.

Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning novelist of over thirty novels. A five-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award.

A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!.

She is also the founder of, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice. You can find her online at

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October 6, 2016

Total Family Makeover {Melissa Spoelstra}

total family makeover melissa spoelstra
God calls us as parents to be key disciple-makers in our children's lives, but if we're honest, some days it's a battle just to get them dressed and ready for school on time. How can you mold their hearts when sometimes you can't even find their shoes?

In Total Family Makeover, author Melissa Spoelstra gives parents a way--a sort of spiritual track to run on--when it comes to building family discipleship. She focuses on eight key habits of growth:

- Spending Time in Prayer
- Reading God's Word
- Growing Through a Mentoring Relationship
- Finding Community in the Church
- Serving Others
- Taking Time to Rest
- Giving Back to God
- Sharing Your Faith

Disciples are made, not born. Whether your children are babes in arms or teenagers getting ready to leave the nest, making disciples at home starts with you! Give your family a makeover with this practical approach to helping your children learn what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

My Thoughts:
This book is broken down into eight sections that could easily be used as an eight-week Bible study. Throughout the book, we see practical advice on how to work through the eight areas in our life to help get our family on track to serving God the way He intended.

Each section starts with a real-life story from the author to create an example of the area of focus. Then the author takes you on a journey of advice, Biblical references, and key points to help outline the topic of the chapter. I enjoyed the real-life stories included in each section as a way to break into the discussion. The stories were practical, entertaining, and helpful in knowing we are not alone in this crazy parenting journey.

Throughout the chapter the pull-out sections focused on ways to increase your focus in particular areas, questions to help you begin to think about how to make a change in your home and references for further ways to explore the topic at hand. The little sections were very helpful in making the book something that can be used over and over again.

Overall I thought this was a great book. It is full of advice to help you grow as a Christian, a spouse, and a parent, as you lead your family towards becoming all God has in store for you.

Melissa Spoelstra is a popular women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages to seek Christ and know Him more intimately through serious Bible study. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible Theology and enjoys teaching God's Word to diverse groups and churches within the body of Christ. She is the author of Joseph: The Journey to Forgiveness, Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World, and the forthcoming Total Family Makeover: 8 Steps to Making Disciples at Home. She lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her pastor husband and four kids.

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October 3, 2016

The Candidate {Lis Wiehl}

the candidate lis wiehl
How far would a candidate go to become President of the United States?

In covering the presidential election campaign, star newsmaker Erica Sparks notices that favored candidate Senator Mike Ortiz seems dependent on his wife to an unnatural degree. Celeste Ortiz is a brilliant and glamorous billionaire who—along with her best friend and confidant Lily Lau—has engineered her husband’s meteoric rise. The White House is within their reach. But the more Erica investigates the Ortizes’ strange relationship, the more intrigued she becomes.

Erica begins an investigation. But everyone material to her probe ends up dead. With each death, her foreboding grows. Is she next? And can she find out in time if the country’s beloved candidate is what he seems . . . or a threat to national security?

My Thoughts:
This second book in the Newsmakers series is just as intense as the first, and just as entertaining. As with the first book, I spent much of the book hoping this is not a true-ish reflection on real-life. Such a scary thought.

In this book, Erica Sparks is back and trouble continues to find her. This time it is the midst of the presidential election series and Erica just senses something is not right about one of the candidates. Of course, Erica becomes committed to getting to the bottom of the mystery. And then people start dying.

Erica still has custody of her daughter, Jenny, and struggles to find that perfect balance between work and motherhood. This struggle is so real for so many of us working moms and I appreciated it being brought to light in this book. Erica also struggles with finding a balance for her long distance engagement with Greg, who was much involved in book one.

This book brought so much excitement and suspense. I read it on a camping trip and was glad I had the extra time to read because I could not put it down. It can be read as a stand alone, but I know you will enjoy the entire series.

Lis Wiehl is the author "Face of Betrayal," a New York Times Best Seller.  She has also written "Winning Every Time: How to Use the Skills of a Lawyer in the Trials of Your Life" and "The 51% Minority: How Women Still Are Not Equal and What You Can Do About It." 

In addition to her written work, Wiehl is currently a legal analyst for Fox News. She has been with the network since 2001. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Wiehl is an adjunct professor at New York Law School.