Tuesday, March 20, 2018

High Cotton By Debby Mayne

Some families are filled with so much love they can't help but drive each other crazy.

Shay Henke has mixed feelings about going to her family's next reunion. On the one hand, she'll get to see everyone in her mama's family--folks she loves unconditionally. On the other hand, she knows there'll be more drama than you can shake a stick at.

The days leading up to the event bring one surprise after another. First Shay must deal with her sister-in-law's deep, dark secret. Then she has to contend with the childish ways of her business-mogul twin cousins. And when her high school crush wants to be her date to the reunions . . . well, it may have been a dream come true for Shay's teen self, but the woman she's become doesn't know what to make of this.

Shay's contentment is challenged, and she's determined to shake things up a bit. But will she find the excitement she's looking for, or will Shay realize she prefers her quiet predictable life? One thing is certain: Life in the Bucklin family is never boring.

Pick up your copy here...

Debby Mayne is the author of more than 40 novels and novellas that have received the "Top Pick" award from Romantic Times Magazine and been among the "Top 10 Favorites" in the Heartsong Presents book club. She writes family and faith-based romances, cozy mysteries, and women's fiction. She has also written more than 1,000 short stories and articles as well as dozens of devotions for busy women. She has worked as managing editor of a national health publication, product information writer for a TV retailer, creative writing instructor, and copy editor and proofreader for several book publishers. She is currently an etiquette writer for The Spruce, one of the DotDash (formerly About.com) companies.

Debby grew up in a military family, which meant moving every few years throughout her childhood. Debby was born in Alaska, and she has lived in Mississippi, Tennessee, Oregon, Florida, Hawaii, and Japan. Her parents were both from the Deep South, so she enjoys featuring characters with southern drawls, plenty of down-home cooking, and folks with quirky mannerisms.

She and her husband currently live in the Charleston, South Carolina, area. To learn more about Debby:
Website - debbymayne.com
Facebook - www.facebook.com/DebbyMayneAuthor
Twitter - www.twitter.com/@debbymayne     

My Thoughts...

Sweet tea and a southern family reunion. This book was not what I expected, I loved the whole story. All five of the main characters brought something different and they all felt like family, even the ones that I want to knock up side the head.
You are going to want to grab a copy of this fun, light hearted read.
I am so excited that this is a series and we are going back to the family reunion again this fall.  I can't wait.
I gave this book 4 stars. I recommend getting your copy right away and getting to know the Bucklin family.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

If I live By Terri Blackstock

Casey Cox is still on the run after being indicted for murder. The hunt that began with her bloody footprints escalates, and she’s running out of places to hide. Her face is all over the news, and her disguises are no longer enough. It’s only a matter of time before someone recognizes her.
Dylan Roberts, the investigator who once hunted her, is now her only hope. Terrifying attempts on Dylan’s life could force Casey out of hiding. The clock is ticking on both their lives, but exposing the real killers is more complicated than they knew. Amassing the evidence to convict their enemies draws Dylan and Casey together, but their relationship has consequences. Will one life have to be sacrificed to protect the other?
With If I Live, Terri Blackstock takes us on one more heart-stopping chase in the sensational conclusion to the If I Run series.

Pick up your copy here...

Terri Blackstock is a New York Times best-seller, with over six million copies sold worldwide. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist. Terri spent the first twelve years of her life traveling in an Air Force family. She lived in nine states and attended the first four years of school in The Netherlands. Because she was a perpetual "new kid," her imagination became her closest friend. That, she believes, was the biggest factor in her becoming a novelist. She sold her first novel at the age of twenty-five, and has had a successful career ever since.

In 1994 Terri was writing for publishers such as HarperCollins, Harlequin, Dell and Silhouette, when a spiritual awakening drew her into the Christian market. As she was praying about her transition, she went on a cruise and noticed that almost everyone on the boat (including her) had a John Grisham novel. It occurred to her that some of Grisham's readers were Christians, and that if she wrote a fast-paced thriller with an added faith element, she might just find her niche. As God would have it, Christian publishers were showing interest in the suspense genre, so she quickly sold a four-book series to Zondervan. Since that time, she's written over thirty Christian titles, most of them suspense novels.

Besides entertaining her readers, Terri tackles issues that she hopes will change lives. Her recent book, Predator, was inspired by her experiences on Facebook and Twitter, and her concern that people posted too much personal information about themselves. The book deals with an online predator who uses social networks as his playground. She hopes the book will change readers' online habits. Her New York Times best-seller, Intervention, was inspired by her own personal struggles with a daughter on drugs. In the book, a mother hires an interventionist for her drug-addicted daughter. But on the way to treatment, the interventionist is murdered, and the daughter disappears. Barbara, the mother, sets out to search for her daughter. Terri modeled Barbara after herself, and poured many of her own emotions and experiences into that character. As a result, many families experiencing drug addiction have written to thank her for telling their story and giving them hope.

Other recent books include her stand-alone novel Shadow in Serenity, and Vicious Cycle (Book 2 in her Intervention Series). She's also known for popular series such as the Restoration Series, the Cape Refuge Series, the Newpointe 911 Series, and the SunCoast Chronicles series.

Terri has appeared on national television programs such as "The 700 Club" and "Home Life," and has been a guest on numerous radio programs across the country. The story of her personal journey appears in books such as Touched By the Savior by Mike Yorkey, True Stories of Answered Prayer by Mike Nappa, Faces of Faith by John Hanna, and I Saw Him In Your Eyes by Ace Collins.

My Thoughts...

Warning: You will not put this book down once you start reading it.
You are taken on a journey and it's not one you will soon forget.
It was the best of the three If I Run series.
Blackstock always knows how to pull you in and make you hold on until the very end.
I'm not going to give anything away, I will just let you know that it's a must read.
This is a 4.5 star book and I HIGHLY recommend the whole series.
 The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

AS Bright As Heaven By Susan Meissner

From the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life and A Bridge Across the Ocean comes a new novel set in Philadelphia during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, which tells the story of a family reborn through loss and love.In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters--Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa--a chance at a better life.

But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope. Amidst the tragedy and challenges, they learn what they cannot live without--and what they are willing to do about it.

As Bright as Heaven is the compelling story of a mother and her daughters who find themselves in a harsh world not of their making, which will either crush their resolve to survive or purify it.

Pick up your copy here...

I cannot remember a time when I wasn't driven to write. I attribute this passion to a creative God and to parents who love books and more particularly to a dad who majored in English and passed on a passion for writing.

I was born in 1961 in San Diego, California, and am the second of three daughters. I spent my very average childhood in just two houses. I attended Point Loma College in San Diego, majoring in education, but I would have been smarter to major in English with a concentration in writing. The advice I give now to anyone wondering what to major in is follow your heart and choose a vocation you are already in love with.

I'm happy and humbled to say that I've had 17 books published in the last dozen years, including The Shape of Mercy, which was named one of the 100 Best Books in 2008 by Publishers Weekly, and the ECPA’s Fiction Book of the Year, a Carol Award winner, and a RITA finalist. I teach at writers' conferences from time to time and I've a background in community journalism.

I'm also a pastor’s wife and a mother of four young adults. When I'm not at work on a new novel, I write small group curriculum for my San Diego church. Visit me at my website: http//:susanmeissner.com on Twitter at @SusanMeissner or at www.facebook.com/susan.meissner

My Thoughts...

I was not sure how I would feel about this book. But oh all of the emotions that I felt.
I was sucked in and never let go until the very end of the story.
I lived in the pages with the family, I was so captivated by the whole Spanish flu and the voices of the families. 
I highly recommend this book. I gave it 4 stars and I can't wait to share it with my friends.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Heart Between Us By Lindsay Harrel

Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide and living with her parents in her small Minnesota hometown, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.
When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.
As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.

Pick Up your copy here...

Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd with a B.A. in journalism and M.A. in English. She lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. Lindsay has held a variety of jobs, including curriculum editor for two universities, medical and business writer, and copywriter for a digital marketing agency. Now she juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with working freelance jobs, teaching college English courses online, and—of course—writing novels.

When she actually has time to do other things, she loves to sing, read, and sip passion iced teas from Starbucks. She loves to watch God work in ordinary lives to create something extraordinary, and she writes to bring hope to those who may have lost it along the way. Connect with her at www.LindsayHarrel.com and any other place she hangs out online, including Facebook and Twitter.

My Thoughts...

This a book with some heart.  I loved how Harrel writes with so much heart and she has relationships down to a science. I love how she made this book about family and relationships and oh so important communication.  You are going to love it from beginning to end.
In this book you are going to get to travel, that's always a plus in my opinion. You will go to From Rome to Australia to Greece to Peru. Now you know you want to dive in to this book after hearing that!
I gave this book 4 stars and I recommend it.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Beneath The Surface By Lynn H. Blackburn

After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she'd left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. She reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.

Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff's Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer--one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.

Dive into the depths of fear with an exciting new voice in romantic suspense. Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn grabs readers by the throat and doesn't let go until the final heart-pounding page.

Pick up your copy here...

Lynn H. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in South Carolina with her true love, Brian, and their three children. Her first book, COVERT JUSTICE, won the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery/Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Her second book, HIDDEN LEGACY, released June 2017. She begins a new series, Dive Team Investigations with BENEATH THE SURFACE in March of 2018.

My Thoughts...

Talk about high tension, wow, Blackburn has you on the edge of your seat in this one. This was the first book that I read by Lynn Blackburn but it won't be my last in fact. She has a second book in this series coming out next year called In To Deep.
I hope that it is half as good as this one was.
The suspense and the romance in this book was spot on and I really can say it was a really good read.
I can't wait for you to dive into (pun intended) Ryan and Leigh's story.
I gave this book 4 stars. I highly recommend it.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

His Risk By Shelly Shepard Gray

New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray brings us another compelling suspense in her Amish of Hart County series, this time featuring an undercover English DEA agent who will do anything to protect the Amish girl he loves.
Calvin Fisher left the Amish community at fourteen and never looked back. Only his brother’s illness can bring him back to Hart County.  Now, as Calvin works to make amends, he meets Alice, a local nursery school teacher, and falls hard for her. But he has a secret that could threaten the happiness he’s finally found.

Alice shouldn’t like—or want—Calvin. He’s English, has a questionable past, and an even more questionable job. Still, she can’t help being intrigued. Though Calvin assures Alice that he’s worthy of her, she’s torn between surrendering to her growing feelings and steering clear of him.

When a sudden surge of criminal activity alarms the community and even targets Alice, Calvin fears that his double life has put everyone he loves at risk. As for Alice, she can’t help but wonder if the brave and honorable man she’s lost her heart to is far more dangerous than she could ever imagine.

Pick up your copy here...

Shelley Shepard Gray lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. A busy wife and mother of two, she spends her days writing and keeping track of her two teenagers. Her two dogs keep her company when she writes in her basement.

Shelley enjoys writing about the Amish and visits Amish communities in Adams and Holmes counties several times a year. When not spending time with her family or writing, she serves on several committees in her church.

She also bakes a lot, loves coconut cream pie, and will hardly ever pull weeds, mow the yard, or drive in the snow.

Shelley also spends a lot of time on line! Please visit her website, www.shelleyshepardgray.com to find out her latest news...or become her friend on FaceBook.

My Thoughts...

His Risk is book 4 of a 5 book series. I have loved this whole series.
Gray writes so you think you are there in the middle of the story and are friends with the characters.
Alice and Calvin you have to wonder if they should even be friends with Calvin being a rebel and no longer Amish.
You have to read this book. You are going to get lost on the pages.
I gave this book 4 stars. I recommend the whole series.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Grace Revealed by Fred Sievert

Trust in the Unmerited Gift of God’s Grace You can’t escape the inevitable crises that will face you throughout your lifetime. Whether it’s health problems, emotional issues, career challenges, gut-wrenching losses, or other failures, these experiences can destroy your morale and lead you into despair. Some crises may be a result of your own choices, while others may be completely out of your control. Whatever the source, there is a lasting solution that comes to you free of charge from above: God’s amazing grace.

In Grace Revealed, you will:
  • Experience real-life stories of others who discover they are not alone and that relief is within their grasp.
  • See how devastating afflictions can be overcome through faith in Jesus and His love, mercy, and grace.
  • Learn how God’s grace transforms lives and leads you into enduring and rewarding Christian service.
  • Be inspired to encourage others who are suffering but cannot seek help on their own.

Read these undeniable, modern-day examples of God’s loving grace and its transformative power, and discover that God is always present in your time of need

Pick up your copy here...

Fred Sievert started his career as a teacher, later entered the insurance business, and retired in 2007 as president of New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 corporation. Following his retirement at age fifty-nine, Fred attended Yale Divinity School and was awarded a master’s degree in 2011.

In his career, Fred enjoyed many successes but also had to deal with much stress, many challenges, and even some serious setbacks. Through it all, he credits his success to a reliance on daily prayer, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and his relationship with Jesus Christ.

Fred has had many nonfiction essays and articles published in the past, most often about his own providential and life-changing encounters with God. In 2014, he published his first book, God Revealed: Revisit Your Past to Enrich Your Future.

He views his thirty-five-year business career as mere prologue to what God is calling him to do today write and speak about his faith.

Throughout his adult life, Fred has been active in his church and has served in numerous lay leadership positions. He and his wife, Susan, have five grown children and three granddaughters and reside in East Falmouth, Massachusetts.


Every life is a unique journey, and each of us travels through life accumulating experiences and memories that ultimately impact how we behave in every moment.

Like you, how I will interact tomorrow with my spouse, children, siblings, coworkers, friends, and even adversaries is impacted and altered by my unique accumulation of life experiences.

It’s both an incredible gift and an enormous responsibility to realize that among my unique personal experiences, at least some contained revelations and messages from God.

I’ve shared my experiences to persuade you that God does in fact speak to us through our life experiences.

As you read about my journey, I hope it will inspire you to be on the alert for future messages from God and to ponder your own past for messages you may have initially missed.

The stories I tell are the stories of my journey through tangible life experiences that started when I was very young and will continue as long as I live.

My earnest hope and prayer is that you’ll reflect thoughtfully and constructively on the experiences of your own life as you read about mine—and that you’ll consider the reality that God has been speaking to you in a way unique to your needs.

Every life, including yours, is a unique journey, one that is important to God and one in which He will provide guidance, blessings, and unconditional love.

My Thoughts...

Mercy and redemption just a little of what you will read about in this book.
Believe have hope and keep the faith. We all go through tough times.
You will need grace to keeping you going.
Sievert is very good at breaking it down for you in his book.
Give this book a try and share it with someone going through something hard right now.
I gave this book 4 stars. I hope  that you will check it out.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.