Monday, March 31, 2014

The Devil Walks in Mattingly

There is enough suspense and questions in the first few pages to keep you turning pages earnestly trying to figure out what happens next. I wasn't even aware that there was such a thing as Christian suspense, but I was wrong. Billy Coffey does a fantastic job weaving together a tale of intrigue and suspense without all the gore, sex, or language. At the same time it's not overly preachy or Christian, so it won't scare off non-religious readers. There is a nice hidden web of faith that reveals itself in small moments and makes the story come alive.

Sheriff Barnett shies away from trouble. Luckily nothing ever happens in the sleepy town of Mattingly, that is,  until a gruesome murder takes place and the killer escapes. Barnett tries to do right by the town and do what needs to be done but he can barely face the demons of his own past, let alone face the killer. He and his wife soon discover that the crimes of the present are linked with the sins of their past and in order to bring about justice they have to confront their own sins. There is a place in the hills of Mattingly, the Holler, that hides not just the Barnett's sins, but those of a killer.

Can a lifetime of good deeds make up for one horrible sin? Is it possible to face your fears and forgive yourself? Read to find out! For fans of Christian suspense or suspense in general.

Win a Kindle HDX!The Devil Walks in Mattingly Billy Coffey

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Orphan Train

This is a perfect book club pick. It's intriguing, informative, fast, and easy to read. Honestly, I could even see this book passing off as a young adult novel, as one of the main characters is a seventeen year old girl and it's such a fast read.

The story is told by two characters; Molly, a seventeen year old orphan in 2011 and Niamh, an young orphan shipped out to the west on the orphan train in the 1920's. Their stories are more alike then they realize. When Molly starts on a volunteer project to clean out 91 year old Vivian's attic she has no idea the story she will uncover. Each box in the attic has a story that brings the two closer together.

A wonderfully told story with more historical details about the orphan train included in the back. A perfect pick for book clubs or fans of historical fiction.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Let's Pretend This Never Happened

People have been recommending this book to me for years so I'm glad I finally got around to it. Too damn funny. Jenny Lawson's outrageous wit and humor sparkle in every story. I listened to the audiobook version which was narrated by Jenny Lawson herself and damn was it funny. I found myself laughing out loud in my car, looking up weird taxidermy, and checking out her blog. She is truly one of a kind. Not many people can retell ridiculous, horrible, and scarring incidents from their life with such poise, grace and hilarity. She bares it all and manages to transform traumatizing stories into hilarious, stronger than ever triumphs.

Recommended for fans of humor and pretty much.... everyone.

Friday, March 21, 2014


This novel is so intense and gripping because it's totally plausible. This could soo happen. Yellowstone is due to erupt anytime. Mike Mullin enters the young adult dystopian/apocalyptic genre with originality and managed to create one of the most realistic and haunting trilogies of them all.

Fifteen year old Alex is scared, bleeding to death, and lost when he winds up in Darla's barn. He's been journeying through ash and violent weather for days trying to make his way to Illinois where his family is. Ever since the volcano erupted and the world changed, it's each man for himself. Alex has to find food and water, learn to trek through the deep ash without breathing it in, and defend himself from dangerous starving people. Will Darla be able to accompany him on this hellish journey? Can they make it?

For fans of the Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and Divergent. Can't wait to read the other two books in the trilogy and see Mike Mullin this summer!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dark Places

Ahh! Soo suspenseful and thrilling! Little Libby was only seven years old when her mother and two sisters brutally murdered. The media ate up the "Satan sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas" and Libby heroically testified that her fifteen year old brother Ben, had been the one to slaughter her family. Twenty-Five years later Libby is having some regrets. In desperate need of money she starts selling some family items to members of a kill club (weirdo obsessed with mass murderers, bloody memorabilia and unsolved crimes) and in the process discovers that the kill club weirdos think her brother is innocent. The more she is forced to remember the past, the more certain she is that something isn't right. She sets off to do a little detective work on her own and find out what really happened that night.

Riveting and thrilling this is a great page turner. As good, if not better, than Gone Girl.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Sky Without Stars

This is the second book I've read in the "Quilts of Love Series" and I had no idea they were all written by different authors and followed completely different storylines and characters. Pretty cool!

This particular novel followed Frankie Chasing Bear and her son, Harold, as they try to make ends meet in a white man's world. It's 1951 and times are tough for a single mother, especially an Indian one. Her abusive and alcoholic husband has recently bit the dust (no big loss) but now her ten year old son is more unruly than ever. He is suspended from school for supposedly stealing a sewing machine and is always running off. To make matters worse there is a handsome federal agent that keeps hanging around. He is only half Lakota, but Frankie wants a whole man. Will she get that? Will her son settle down? Will her quilts ever get finished?

Cute, heart warming, and a quick read. For fans of Christian historical romance.

I received this book for free from LitFuse Publicity in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Getting the Pretty Back

This is a guide/memoir/anecdotal type book that caters mainly to middle class socialites, but that aside, I still enjoyed the book. Molly gives advice and provides humorous stories about fashion, dating, cooking, friendship, goals, and motherhood. The illustrations add some extra whimsy and lightness to the book. It's not life altering or anything but I did pick up a few new tricks.

Foil the crust of a pie to keep it from burning.
Black cashmere is worth every penny.
Make sure you have enough wine for your party.

Cute book. For fans of Molly Ringwald and "Smart Girl's Guide Books to..."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

This was a touching story about an old man who lost it all (although he never really had it to begin with) and got it all back by opening up and actually living his life. Harold and his wife Maureen have been unhappily married for many years; they hardly speak, sleep in separate bedrooms, and do their best to stay out of each others way. That all changes one morning when Harold receives a letter from Queenie, an old friend. He hasn't spoken to hear in nearly 20 years and is dumbstruck to discover that she has inoperable cancer. Desperate to right his wrongs he writes a letter to Queenie but soon realizes it's not enough. On his way to mail the letter, he decides to keep walking. He will walk over 500 miles to save Queenie and do something with his life. Armed with nothing but his wallet and yachting shoes he sets off across England in this funny and moving novel about life un-lived, forgiveness, and redemption.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Echoes of Mercy

Kim Vogel Sawyer once again writes a Christian historical romance that readers will be clamoring to read. It's a fast read full of history, love, doubt, and human rights. Her characters may be very obviously good or very obviously bad, but she still places religious doubt in them so they have a little dimension and struggle.

The turn of the twentieth century has brought many changes, but young Carrie is still working hard to bring about more. She works undercover in factories trying to shed light and bring changes to children workers and unsafe conditions. When she is sent to Dinsmoore's World Famous Chocolate factory she got more than she bargained for. She finds herself caring for three young orphaned children and trying to avoid the dashing janitor, Ollie Moore. She finds herself falling for him, even though she's holding in a big secret on her true purpose at the factory. But to her surprise she finds that he is there on a secret errand as well. Can they put aside their differences and work together to achieve the greater good? Can Carrie help Ollie find God? Can they find someone to care for the three orphaned children that have wormed their way into their hearts?

For fans of Christian historical romance and worker's rights.

I received this book free from Waterbrook Press in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures: Showdown at the Alamo

I'll be honest this is the first Flat Stanley book I've ever read. I've heard of Flat Stanley but I guess that's not the same.

I thought it was a cute concept and the illustrations are adorable. Even though this is the tenth book in the "Worldwide Adventure's Series" I thought you could easily read it as a stand alone or out of order. Flat Stanley brings up a few friends from his previous adventures but that's about it.

This story tells of Flat Stanley's adventure in Texas with his brother, and two friends. In order to avoid all his fans (yes he's that popular) the boys decide to go horseback riding and camping. While there Flat Stanley learns to confront his fear.

I received this book for free from Librarything in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Walking Dead: Book One

It's been a few years since I read this, so it was good to get a refresher course on the zombies while I'm watching watching the current season of The Walking Dead. Obviously it's a great comic and an amazing show. I don't mind that there are a lot of changes from the original comic, it's coming into it's own. It's gritty, terrifying, and horribly insightful to human nature. The black and white illustrations really show how bleak the situation is (amazing art by the way). A must read for zombie fans and fans of the AMC show.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation - Volume 1: The Pox Party

This book was eloquent and dark, and amazingly well written but I still wasn't a huge fan of it. It starts off like a gothic fairy tale an African prince and his mother are hidden away in an American mansion and given the best classical education, the finest clothes, the best instruments, all the while the white men study them and discontent grows in America. Octavian doesn't really understand how peculiar his circumstances are until he is older and filled in by the slave, Bono.

Interesting from a historical and literary perspective. For fans of American history and young adult literature.