Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's' Eye by Len Bailey

Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's Eye: The World's Greatest Detective Tackles the Bible's Ultimate Mysteries

Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's' Eye by Len Bailey

Publisher's Description:

"Embark on a journey through the Old and New Testament with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson as they explore exotic and spice-laden places in search of clues. The detective and the doctor travel back in time with the help of a Moriarty-designed time machine to investigate ten Bible destinations, unlocking clues to ten Bible mysteries. The most fascinating crime cases are those that are already solved, those that have been investigated by the police and brought to a swift, satisfying, and almost inevitable conclusion. So it is with Bible stories which the reader may consider familiar and unremarkable. But under close scrutiny these stories give up their hidden clues, their long kept secrets. Like a jewel newly polished, they sparkle and shine with a fresh, introspective light."

Since I like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, I looked forward to reading this book. Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's Eye is great for a Bible Study Group with the discussion questions in the book. The chapters do not need to be read in order and not at one time.
Because my favorite characters for Holmes and Watson, are Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, I pictured them as the characters in the book.
There are ten different mysteries in the book using both the Old and New Testament.
The detectives try to solve the mysteries and I enjoyed the manner in which they deduced (as Watson says).
This is a good book for those interested in the Bible, mysteries, Victorian age, time travel and Sherlock Holmes.
I received a complimentary e-book copy to read and review from Published by Thomas Nelson.The opinions are my own.
I give this a 5 star.
Go to this link on Huffington Post to read an interview with Len Bailey:

Leona Olson

Monday, July 29, 2013

Review of Grayson Manor Haunting by Cheryl Bradshaw

Grayson Manor Haunting


Book Publication Date:March 18, 2013

"When Addison Lockhart inherits Grayson Manor after her mother's untimely death, she unlocks a secret that’s been kept hidden for over fifty years. For Addison, it seems like she’s finally found the house of her dreams…until the spirit of Roxanne “Roxy” Rafferty comes to call. Who is Roxanne, why is she haunting Grayson Manor, and how will Addison’s connection reveal a key to her own past that she thought no longer existed? "
My review:
This was a good and fast read that kept the pages turning. Even if you do not care for books about ghosts or spirits, this should catch your attention because there is also some mystery.

Addison Lockhart has inherited Grayson Manor from her mother which was inherited from her mother. The first sentence of the book is : "Addison Lockhart watched the cab dart back down the dead-end country road, leaving nothing but a billowy dust cloud in its wake."

Then she is all alone.

As she is walking around the house, which is in bad shape, she says to herself, "Where is eveyerything?" because the place is almost bare of furniture.
A voice answers her and she turns around to meet Luke Flynn, the historical restoration architect.
Luke becomes the other main character in this story as he helps restore the house and to solve the mystery of the death of Roxy. He also is trying to make sure Addison is safe.

Much of the mystery is based on a dress Addison finds in the attic that looks like there are blood stains on the dress. She has bad feelings about the dress and does not want to touch it.
"When Addison was a child, she saw things all the other "normal" kids didn't." (page 46).
Addison's father is also part of the story as well as the next door neighbor who knew Addison's grandparents when they lived in the house and had large parties.
I downloaded this book from The words, manor and haunting, caught my eye.
I give it a 5 star. I really liked this book and it kept my attention. The author wrote a good book without having to use sex or bad language. I look forward to reading her other books and have downloaded The Sloane Monroe Series from
Dedicated: To good friends who have stuck with me, navigating the way between calm and turbulent seas. I dare say, I have the greatest friends of all.

You may find Cheryl Bradshaw at:
Twitter: @cherylbradshaw
Leona Olson

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Review of Take a Chance on Me by Susan May Warren

Take a Chance on Me (Christiansen Family, #1)

Take a Chance on Me by Susan May Warren Book Review
"Publication Date: March 22, 2013 | Series: Christiansen Family

Book Description from

"Darek Christiansen is almost a dream bachelor—oldest son in the large Christiansen clan, heir to their historic Evergreen Lake Resort, and doting father. But he’s also wounded and angry since the tragic death of his wife, Felicity. No woman in Deep Haven dares come near. New assistant county attorney Ivy Madison simply doesn’t know any better when she bids on Darek at the charity auction. Nor does she know that when she crafted a plea bargain three years ago to keep Jensen Atwood out of jail and in Deep Haven fulfilling community service, she was releasing the man responsible for Felicity’s death. All Ivy knows is that the Christiansens feel like the family she’s always longed for. And once she gets past Darek’s tough exterior, she finds a man she could spend the rest of her life with. Which scares her almost as much as Darek learning of her involvement in his wife’s case. Caught between new love and old grudges, Darek must decide if he can set aside the past for a future with Ivy—a future more and more at risk as an approaching wildfire threatens to wipe out the Christiansen resort and Deep Haven itself."

My review:
This is the first book I have read by Susan May Warren and it did not disappoint. Based on the North Shore in Minnesota in the fictional town of Deep Haven. (There is a Deephaven, Minnesota close to the Twin Cities.)
Ivy Madison has moved to the small town of Deep Haven from Minneapolis to become the new assistant county attorney. She is excited to be living in a small, secluded town. Ivy gets involved right away in the local auction when she bids on a local bachelor as the town has a charity auction. She thinks it is Owen, who is a brother of Darek Christensen.
Ivy finds right away that Darek has a problem with grief, guilt and not being able to forgive his old friend, Jensen. Darek had been a hot shot firefighter and was gone a lot of the time during his marriage; now he regrets he was not at home more.
There is a fire in the Boundary Waters and the firefighters have come to Deep Haven to fight the fires. These are old friends of Darek when he was a forest firefighter. Concerns are for the lodge and cabins of the Christensen family resort.
There are four main characters in the book and the chapters go from one character to another. At one time Claire, Felicity, Darek and Jensen were close friends.
Ivy has been in foster homes since the age of 9 and finds a welcome reception with the Christensen family.
Claire loves and adores her grandfather and wants him to be able to live in his own home.
Jensen carries the guilt of the car accident that killed Felicity. He tries his best to be liked by the locals but this is a small town.

List of some characters:
Ivy Madison- the new assistant county attorney
Darek Christensen- a bitter man who has lost his wife in an accident he believes could have been prevented.
Tiger- 5 year old son of Darek and Felicity
John- father of Darek
Ingrid- mother of Darek
Grace-sister of Darek
Owen- brother of Darek
Casper- brother of Darek
Amelia- youngest sister of Darek
Claire- works at Pierre's Pizza; her parents are gone as missionary doctors.
Gibs- grandfather of Claire; she calls him Grandpop
Jensen Atwood- the man who hit and killed Felicity in a car accident.

The parents of Felicity want custody of their grandchild, Tiger, who they called him Theo. Tiger loves all his grandparents and family members. He is so much part of the story.
The book goes into a custody battle over Tiger as well as community service for Jensen; he pled guilty even thought he said he was not. Failing to finish his three thousand hours could put Jensen in jail for four years. Ivy was the attorney who made the plea bargain for Jensen but Darek is unaware of it.
This is a good read. Susan May Warren has done her research and I did learn about forest firefighters. There is a map in the front of the book and I think adds to the book. I like maps in books because of the visual effect and helps make a connection to the story.
The back of the book has discussion questions that could be used for a book club. I checked this book from my library.
I will give it a 5 star because I learned from the book and enjoyed the characters, especially Tiger. Published by Tyndale Fiction 2013.
Susan May Warren may be reached at:
Leona Olson

Friday, July 26, 2013

Review of Summer at Mustang Ridge by Jesse Hayworth

Summer at Mustang Ridge

"A single visit to Mustang Ridge can change a person’s life in the most unexpected ways....

Recovering from a difficult divorce and having problems with her daughter, Shelby accepts a summer job cooking at a family-run dude ranch. She hopes the animals will be just what her daughter, Lizzie, needs. Little does she know that ranch life will work some healing magic on her too.

When Shelby meets the head wrangler, Foster, she is put off by his brusque nature, but Lizzie takes an instant liking to the cowboy and his horses. While both Foster and Shelby have been scarred by love, it’s not long before Shelby is drawn to the rugged cowboy and his thoughtful ways.

But with summer nights in short supply and Foster wary of falling for a city girl, a simple summer romance soon grows complicated. As the days dwindle, Shelby will have to decide not only what is best for her daughter, but also where her future—and her happiness—will be found."
My review:

Summer at Mustang Ridge
By Jesse Hayworth
I won a signed copy of Summer at Mustang Ridge in a contest. I really liked this book because of the characters, the area and the child.

Shelby has taken a job as an assistant cook at Mustang Ridge dude ranch for the summer in Wyoming in hopes it will help her 9 year-old daughter, who has selective autism (SM), a condition where she does not speak. Lizzie is capable of speaking but does not.
A good love story that involves family, caring, horse therapy, sunsets and food. At the end of the book there is Gran's recipe for chili and sounds really good because there are no beans in the chili.

Jesse Hayworth lives on the East Coast but her descriptions in the book sounds like she is in Wyoming and on the ranch. The characters sound real and are like a next door neighbor in a small town.
There is one love making scene. No bad language. Some emotional moments.
Jesse Hayworth may be reached at:
Main characters:
Shelby- from Boston
Lizzie- daughter of Shelby
Krista Skye- granddaughter
Gran Skye- grandmother (chief cook)
Foster- head wrangler at the ranch
Ty - cowboy at the ranch
Stacie- cowboy at the ranch
Herman- need to read to see who Herman is

I will give Summer at Mustang Ridge a 4 star because it held my attention and it was a good book..
Leona Olson

Monday, July 15, 2013

Posted from Giveaway

The book is from Linda Weaver Clarke and I have read her Melinda and the Wild West.

Posted from Giveaway

$50 Amazon/Visa gift card drawing for Braden Bell's Penumbras blog tour


Posted from Giveaway

Book Blast $50 Giveaway!!  Heaven's Just a Prayer Away by Diony George @luvstowrite - Amazon or Paypal

heaven is just

Posted from Giveaway

Book Blast $50 Giveaway - Blood & Bone by @donhoesel Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash!!

I have enjoyed his books on archeaology and the Bible.

Posted from Giveaway

Blackwyrm Publishing is giving away your choice of "Kindle Fire" or "Kindle Paper White" and a lot of other prizes!

Andrew Toy