Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) by Brent Weeks

Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace.  But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live: Five years to achieve five impossible goals.
But when Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom.  After the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he's willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart. (from Goodreads)

I absolutely love the world Weeks has created in Black Prism.  This book is pure fantasy and the saga (part of a trilogy) looks to be exquisite.  The magic used in this realm is based on light and color. It is quite unique and different.  I was a little confused at first, but quickly figured out how this power was used.  I like the way Weeks was a little vague leaving plenty of room for surprises and tweaks.  The plot is brilliant and the battles are epic.  The book is over 600 pages long, but don’t let that scare you.  It is seamlessly written and captivating; a gripping story that will leave you begging for more.
Weeks characters were complex and I felt engaged and connected with them.  Our young protagonist Kip is fifteen and the bastard child of Gavin Guile, the Prism.  He is a chubby, quick to temper, loyal, winey, courageous and loveable hero.  I was entranced by so many of the characters in this book especially, Gavin, Dazen, Liv, Kallis, Corvan, Ironfist and the White.
 The political games and the way Weeks describes this world and its history brought the pages to life.  Just when I thought I knew the direction the story was going and who was who, Weeks turned everything inside out.  It made me crazy, it made me mad and I want more.  There were a few sub-plots which made the story more fascinating.  While this is the first in a trilogy, I wasn’t able to find even the hint of a release date.  Mr. Weeks…I do not like waiting!

I give this book 5 coffee cups out of 5.

Author website:Brent Weeks

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I was interviewed by author Patti Roberts

Author Patti Roberts interviewed me on her blog. Stop by and see my interview and check out her books.

buy here: B&N

Sunday, September 25, 2011

100 Follower Giveaway

I am hosting my first ever giveaway! Once I reach 100 followers one lucky winner will receive a new copy of Amanda Quick's novel  Second Sight. This is the first novel in the Arcane Society novels!

Rules & Instructions:
1. You must be a follower of Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer to enter.
(follower on blog or facebook, include user name in comment)
2. Contest is open until blog has reached 100 followers
3. radom. org will determine lucky winner.
4. To enter you need to share my blog, on one media site. (facebook, twitter, tumbler , your blog, etc)
include link or twitter account in comment box for verification 
5. Earn one entry for each media site your share my blog with.
6. Add my button to your blog for an extra point

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy

What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, so why is Audrey weakening day by day?
It's been a tough year for Audrey's family. Her husband Geoff, a pastor, lost his job after a scandal rocked their congregation.
Audrey hasn't lost faith. She's held her family together. Their attempt to resurrect a failing bakery is an effort to heal the family wounds and restore their place in the community.
Late to the bakery one dim, foggy morning, Audrey turns into the intersection in front of the shop and strikes a vehicle that she can't see even after the collision settles. Emerging from her car into the fog, she discovers she's hit a motor scooter. There's no rider in sight. There's blood, though, so much that she slips in it, injuring her wrists.
The absence of the scooter driver is a mystery, especially to Sergeant Jack Mansfield, the detective and church member who drove Geoff from his pulpit. The scooter belongs to Jack's wife, Julie, a teacher at the local high school. She has vanished like morning fog.
Though there is no evidence to support Jack's growing suspicion that Audrey and Geoff were involved in Julie's disappearance, the detective is convinced of their guilt. Jack's ability to reason slips as the leads on his wife dry up.
When Jack takes the tiny bakery and its patrons hostage, Audrey must find Julie and unravel the secret of her own mysterious suffering before Jack comes undone. (synopsis from  Goodreads)

The Baker’s Wife is a suspenseful thriller steeped in religious overtones.  What started off slowly quickly turned into a gripping mystery.  I really enjoyed this novel of good verse evil.
Protagonist, Audrey Bofinger, works to heal the wounds of her family and community.  With her husband, ex-pastor Geoff, they open a bakery.  She is blessed with a gift, or curse, to recognize when others need her help.  One foggy morning, on the way into the bakery, she hits a scooter. The scooter is destroyed and the scene is covered in blood - too much blood, for anyone to have survived.  The scooter belongs to  Julia, the wife of police sergeant Jack Mansfield. When a body can’t be found and Julia is missing, suspicion soon turns to foul play.  To make matters worse, Jack Mansfield is the man responsible for having Pastor Bofinger fired from the church and banned from preaching.  When evidence isn’t sufficient, Jack decides to take matters into his own hands.
Healy beautifully and skillfully weaves a tale of intrigue, while carefully telling the story of each character.  She has you second guessing as she feeds you pieces of the puzzle.  Aside from being a suspenseful mystery, The Baker’s Wife deals with faith, compassion, judgment and man’s own flaws.
I will be looking for other work by Erin Healy and highly recommend this book.
I want to thank Book Sneeze and Thomas Nelson for this ARC, in exchange for my unbiased review.
I give this book 4 coffee cups out of 5. 

Purchase : B&N
                                                                        Author's website: Erin Healy

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Canyons of the Night (Looking Glass Trilogy #3, Arcane Society #12) by Jayne Castle

Charlotte Enright, owner of a small antiques shop called Looking Glass Antiques on Rainshadow Island, and Slade Attridge, the community's new chief of police, both have something in common: they possess strong paranormal talents.

They met several years ago when they were in their teens spending the summer on the island. Slade saved Charlotte from a gang of drunken toughs, but then at the end of the summer Slade and Charlotte went their separate ways and started their adult lives.

Now, fifteen years later, they have both been drawn back to Rainshadow Island. They will discover the adult passion they have for each other and start to explore some of the mysteries of the forbidden section of the island known only as the Preserve.( synopsis from Goodreads )

I had preordered this book and was delighted when it arrived. Having read all of the Arcane Society novels, I knew that once I started reading, I’d be unable to stop.  I highly recommend this series, if you are looking for a mystery, romance thriller with a paranormal twist.  Second Sight by Amanda Quick was the first paranormal book I’d ever read.  I read the back cover and said, “Paranormal?” “What?” “Yuck!”  My husband brought this book home to me and since I didn’t want to hurt his feelings; I dutifully began reading and thus my love for paranormal books began. This opened the door to all the genres for me.  Don’t be afraid to try a new genre, you may be amazed at what you find.

For those of you who have not yet read this series, I want to give you a little background on the author.  Jayne Anne Krentz writes all of the Arcane Society novels using three different names. When writing about the past, she uses the pseudonym Amanda Quick.  When she writes a contemporary story she uses her own name.  When she writes about the future on a colonized planet called Harmony, she writes as Jayne Castle. While all of them can be read as a standalone or as part of a trilogy, I recommend reading them in order.  I have added the author’s link at the bottom of this review, so that you can see the chronological order of the series.

Canyon of the Night, the third book in the Looking Glass Trilogy, takes place on the colonized planet of Harmony.  The setting is Rainshadow Island.  Protagonist, Charlotte Enright is back on the island after inheriting an antique shop called The Looking Glass.   Slade Attridge, a former FBPI agent, returns to accept the chief of police position.  They both feel an instant connection, but personal demons leave them leery.   Things quickly heat up after a break-in and murder at the Looking Glass.  Someone on the island wants them dead and something is definitely wrong with  the  Preserve.  I liked the main characters and was intrigued by some of the town’s people.  Foreshadowing leads me to believe we will meet them again.   The novel is filled with suspense as they work to unravel the mystery.  The romance is steamy and discreet, a talent that only Castle (Krentz) can deliver.  While wrapping up the murder investigation, the book left many unanswered questions about the Preserve.  The story kept me completely engrossed and had me saying things like, “one more chapter and I’ll go to bed.”  I am looking forward to the next book in this series and hoping for some answers.

I gave this book 4 coffee cups out of 5.

purchase : B&N

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Today Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer blog reached 50 Followers!
Thanks to all of you!  Your wonderful comments and unwavering support keep me motivated to share and review books.
I am looking forward to the next 50. I am in the process of planning a 100 follower celebration and giveaway. 
Thanks again,

Monday, September 19, 2011

Breaking the Code: A Daughter's Journey into Her Father's Secret War by Karen Fisher-Alaniz

On his 81st birthday, without explanation, Karen Alaniz's father placed two weathered notebooks on her lap. Inside were more than 400 pages of letters he'd written to his parents during WWII. She began reading them, and the more she read, the more she discovered about the man she never knew and the secret role he played in WWII.
They began to meet for lunch every week, for her to ask him questions, and him to provide the answers. And with painful memories now at the forefront of his thoughts, her father began to suffer, making their meetings as much about healing as discovery. Thus began an unintended journey—one taken by a father and daughter who thought they knew each other—as they became newly bound in ways that transcended age and time.

Breaking the Code is a wonderful true story of a daughter’s quest to transcribe WWII letters written by her father.   What started out as a gift to her children, became a journey of learning, healing, self-discovery, bonding and understanding.
 I enjoyed this book immensely. It was told in first person by Karen, the daughter of Murray Fisher. She speaks in a no-nonsense way that keeps you turning the pages. The book contains Murray’s letters, postcards, photos, and some official documents. For war and history buffs, this is a rare look into the daily life of a Navy solider during the war.
 I found the places, activities and Fisher’s job(s) during the war to be very interesting.  Karen Fisher-Alaniz offers us a rare glimpse into a very special, humble man and his struggle to deal with the memories.  Breaking the Code was an emotional journey, and I found myself laughing and crying.  I recommend this to all.
This would make the perfect holiday gift for anyone on your list.

I want to thank netGalley and Sourcebooks for this ARC, in exchange for my unbiased review.

I gave this book 3 coffee cups out of 5.

 to purchase: B&N
 author's website: Karen Fisher-Alaniz

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin

"Life is a battle, but you can't fight it with your fists. You got to fight it with your heart."An internationally famous photographer, Tucker has traveled the world and seen both the serious and the strange. But when his brother escapes from a mental hospital and an old girlfriend appears with her son and a black eye, he is forced to return home and face the agony of his own tragic past. Back in rural Alabama, Tucker comes to terms with the ghosts he left behind. Miss Ella Rain once loved Tuck and his brother like they were her very own. Hiring her to take care of Waverly Hall and to keep them out of sight was the only good thing their father ever did. And though Miss Ella has been gone for many years, Tuck can still hear her voice. And she keeps telling him, encouraging him, that by reaching out to this young boy he can redeem his father's tarnished legacy and pass on the good she brought into his life.

Some books leave their mark on the reader and this one touched me.  When I first started reading, Martin’s imagery captivated me. The story, places and people came to life with each word I read. Wrapped in Rain focuses on the turbulent childhoods of Tucker and Mutt Mason.  It is a poignant look at a childhood, steeped in violence, and the woman who helped them through it.  Tucker’s story is told in first person and Mutt’s in third. Martin does a great job of breaking these into chapters, so that the reader is never lost.  The novel reflects on the boys now and on key moments in their past.  Martin takes the reader on an emotional, thought provoking ride while delivering a message of love, hope and man’s ability to overcome.
Tucker and Mutt are the sons of Rex Mason, a man who can turn a dime into gold. He drinks excessively, and often turns to violence.  Rex takes it out on his sons and their housekeeper/caretaker, a black woman named Miss Ella.  While he spends most of his time in Atlanta, when he comes home (Waverly Hall) it is a time of great fear for the boys and Miss Ella. 

I fell in love with each of the characters. Events in their childhood forever change them. I felt their pain, shared in their joy and just wanted to hug them.
Miss Ella is a wise woman, blessed by her love for the lord. She loves the boys as if they were her own. She tries to protect them, and empower them to become better men than their father. She deeply touches all those around her.
Tucker has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He is such a good man, but lives in fear of becoming his father. Despite all of his success, the little boy inside him wants his Daddy’s approval.
Mutt is a troubled soul. He has spent the last seven years in a mental institute dealing with the voices in his head. I truly loved him and found myself rooting for him every step of the way.
Katie, Mutt and Tucker’s childhood friend returns to Waverly Hall, escaping a bad marriage.  She arrives with Jase, her five year old son. Each has a profound effect on the boys.  Katie, despite her own trials in life, is able to help the boys move forward.  Through Jase, Tucker is able to see himself and what could have been.
Wrapped in Rain isn’t the kind of book you read in a day.  It’s meant to be read slowly, digested, and savored. The wisdom of Miss Ella will stay with me forever. I love it when a book touches me and Wrapped in Rain did just that. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
A special thank you to Book Sneeze for providing me with this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.

I gave this book 5 coffee cups out of 5.

 click here to purchase a copy: B&N     
 Author's website: Charles Martin

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sacred Evil (Krewe of Hunters #3) by Heather Graham

The details of the crime scene are no coincidence. The body – a promising starlet – has been battered, bloodied and then discarded between two of Manhattan’s oldest graveyards.
One look and Detective Jude Crosby recognizes the tableau: a re-creation of Jack the Ripper’s gruesome work. But he also sees something beyond the actions of a mere copycat. Something more dangerous…and unexplainable.
As the city seethes with suspicion, Jude calls on Whitney Tremont, a member of the country’s preeminent paranormal investigating team, to put the speculation to rest. Yet when Whitney and Jude delve deeper, what they discover is more shocking than either could have predicted, and twice as sinister…

  As a fan of author Heather Graham, I am happy to report this book delivers.
Scared Evil is the third book in the Krewe of Hunters series.  The FBI team is sent to help N.Y. Detective Jude Crosby. NYPD is investigating murders that are eerily identical to Jack the Rippers. The public is alarmed and news media around the globe are reporting, “Jack is back”.
 FBI Agent, Whitney Tremont is sent ahead to assist. Jude isn’t exactly thrilled about the FBI’s involvement.   He accepts the help but makes it clear he is the lead.  Jude is a dedicated detective and a likable guy.  He builds a team he can trust and surrounds himself with competent team members.  It is quickly evident that the members of his department like and respect him.  While he utilizes his team, he keeps late hours and personally checks out all leads himself. 
Whitney tries to make a good impression for her team and Jude quickly learns that she is more than capable.  Her people skills put witnesses and suspects at ease allowing Jude to obtain more information.  Whitney’s special abilities give the team some unexpected clues. 
The mystery itself was intense, with a long list of possible suspects.   I was intrigued by the suspects, storyline and theories.  The paranormal elements in the story were excellent. I found myself wanting to research places, cults and historical events mentioned during the investigation.  
The romance between Jude and Whitney was exciting and didn’t interfere or overwhelm the overall suspense.
 Evil Inside, the fourth installment in the Krewe of Hunters series is now available. 
I gave this book 4 coffee cups out of 5.

  Buy the book:  Here.
 Visit the authors website : Here

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lone Defender by Shirlee McCoy

“When private investigator Skylar Grady finds herself abandoned in the Arizona desert, she knows two things. First, her “simple” case tracking a deadbeat dad has someone spooked. Second—that someone will kill
to keep her off the trail. So even when her rescuer, former patrol agent Jonas Sampson, wants her to leave, Skylar knows she’s staying. No one gets rid of her that easily. If Jonas wants her safe, then he’ll have to stick by her side. But her new partner is a mystery, too—one Skylar will risk her heart to solve.”

Lone Defender is, a contemporary romance sprinkled with a faith based message.  I love PI mysteries with a touch of romance and this book fit the bill.

A former New York police officer, protagonist Skylar Grady has been burned both on the job and in love.  Skylar is getting her life back on track, when she takes on a case to track down a deadbeat Dad.  Her questions in a small Arizona town end up putting her in danger.  Her rescuer, former patrol agent Jonas Sampson has his own set of demons.  Together the two of them set out to solve the case.
I really like Skylar.  She has a spunky attitude and survives on sheer will power. Unwilling to see tragedy repeated Jonas feels an overwhelming sense of responsibility to protect her.  I found myself rooting for them. This was a fast paced easy read and the perfect romance novel for a fall afternoon. This book will be published September 20, 2011.

Thank you to netGalley and Harlequin publishing for this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.

I gave this book 3 coffee cups out of 5. 

  Buy the book:B&N

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lord of the Vampires (Royal House of Shadows #1) by Gena Showalter

“Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with a need for vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out. “
Lord of the Vampires, is the first novel in a four book series. Each book is written by a different author. I enjoyed this book and think Showalter had as much fun writing it as I did reading it. This is the story of the king and queen’s oldest son, vampire Prince Nicolai. When the spell is cast, Nicolai ends up sold as a sex slave. His memory wiped by a witch and his timepiece taken.  He is left with an overwhelming need for revenge and freedom. Using what little remaining magic he has, he calls across the universe for help. This tale is told from the point of view of heroine, Jane Parker. Jane is a tough cookie who has recently lost her family from a tragic accident. It has left her injured and reevaluating her life.  Jane has dreams of a sexy enslaved vampire who needs her. She discovers a package left on her door step. When she opens the package it reveals an old book. Upon opening it, she hears him calling, telling her to come and the need to obey is overwhelming. What follows is a steamy affair, set with danger.   Nicolai tries to regain his memory and Jane struggles to save the one man she has ever loved. I loved Nicolai and his barbaric, wanton ways. He is blood thirsty and violent, but with Jane, he is tender. His constant referral to her as “Mine” and “No touch, mine” and “Want You” gave me tingles. Elements of fantasy, magic and sex made this an exciting fast paced read. I am looking forward to the next installment Lord of Rage which will be written by Jill Monroe.
A special thank you to netGalley and Harlequin for the ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
I gave this book 3 coffee cups out of 5.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cross by T.S. Worley

David Cross lies dying along side a lonely forest road, his young, strong body broken and bleeding, death clawing at his tattered clothing. But soon, under fluorescent lighting and sterile surroundings, death is forever more held at bay. Under the watchful eye and skilled hand of the ancient vampire, Dr. Sonja Bashkar, David will gain eternal life and find himself thrust into a hidden world of vampires and werewolves, steeped in religious fervor and shrouded with doubt and mystery.  While the few remaining vampires, all female, herald the arrival of the first male vampire to live in more than 2000 years, troves of voracious werewolves, well entrenched in modern life, seek him out for extermination, fearing his very existence may bring about the end of mankind.(synopsis from Goodreads)

Cross is T.S. Worley’s debut novel in the paranormal and urban fantasy realm, delivers.  It is a fresh, outrageous look at vampires and werewolves.  Cross is the starting point of what is sure to be an exciting new series.  This was a quick read for me.  It flowed easily and I found myself completely immersed in the story-line.  It is steeped in religion & lore and provides a complete history into the origins of vampires and werewolves.

  The story is a first person narrative provided by protagonist David Cross.  David, on the cusp of turning thirty, is a loner with a guarded heart. He is out hiking when a tragic accident changes the course of his life. David awakens and is thrust into a reality he didn't know existed. I liked David.  He is confident, even tempered, yet vulnerable, and willing to listen.  He seeks the advice of others and is not easily led.  Other characters such as Mouge, made the story compelling and believable.  

 After two thousand years, the vampire population has dwindled to a small group of women. During this time, the werewolves have prospered and increased their numbers while systematically taking out the female vampires.  To the vampires, David is their salvation.  To the werewolves, David means the end of mankind and he must be destroyed.  
I experienced a wide range of emotions while reading Cross and look forward to discussing it. This is the first novel in a series and I look forward to reading them.  I recommend this to fans of the paranormal, urban fantasy and vampire world. 
A special thank you to the author for this advanced reading copy,  in exchange for my unbiased review.
I give this book 4 coffee cups out of 5. 

Purchase: B&N  or here:Amazon
Authors website: T. S. Worley

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature's Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart edited by Laurel Ann Nattress

I have long been a fan of Jane Austen and was excited to read this collection. Jane Austen Made Me Do It, is a collection of short stories written by modern authors who love Jane Austen. As with any collection of short stories I have read, not all of them were my cup of tea. Overall, I truly enjoyed this wonderful collection. The book boasts a wide range of authors and a few of my personal favorites.  I was also delighted with the mixed genres including paranormal, suspense, gothic romance and contemporary fantasy. There is a mix of journal entries, short stories and letters. One of my favorites was Elizabeth Aston’s short story entitled “The Ghostwriter”.  A young writer named Sara comes home to find a Dear John letter from her boyfriend. It contains a departing gift, a locket containing a piece of Jane’s hair. After crying herself to sleep, she wakes to find the ghost of Jane at the foot of the bed.  The story that unfolds is simply delightful and the ending had me laughing out loud. Jo Beverly’s work, “Jane Austen and the Mistletoe Kiss”, finds a widowed woman with four young girls. The widow takes Jane’s advice and finds love.  In Beth Pattillo’s story, “Only a Darcy Will Do”, a young woman studying abroad gives guided tours. Dressed in vintage garb, she leads them on a walk of places Austen has visited in London. This is the third Sunday she hasn’t had a single customer when a young man dressed as Mr. Darcy asks to take the tour. This is only a glimpse of the adventures inside this charming book.  This would make a great holiday gift for anyone who loves Jane Austen and a must have for Austen enthusiast. This book will be available October 11, 2011.
 A special thank you to netGalley and Random House Publishing Group for sending me this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
I give this book 3 coffee cups out of 5.

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Waking Hours (The East Salem Trilogy) by Lis Wiehl

This is the first book I have read by author Lis Wiehl.  She has written such books as “Face of Betrayal”, a New York Times Bestseller, and part of her Triple Threat mysteries. After reading Waking Hours, I will be picking up copies of her earlier work.  I really enjoyed this suspenseful, paranormal mystery thriller.  This is the first book in the East Salem Trilogy.
The story takes place in quaint East Salem; a lake side, close knit community where everyone knows everybody.  I loved the way the author portrayed this town, its buildings, people and places.  It’s the type of New England town you dream of living in or visting.  A brutal ritualistic murder of a young woman occurs and sets this sleepy little town on edge.  All of the suspects in this crime are teenagers who attended a party the night of the murder. Crime scene evidence suggests they were all involved, but all of the kids are suffering from memory loss.
 Forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris, a member of the local DA’s office, finds herself taking the lead in this case when her boss in unavoidably detained.  Dani has always been a hard working overachiever in her professional life but in her personal life, not so much. She seems confident, like a woman with a plan, but she is often filled with self doubt and questions her every move.
PI in training, Tommy Gunderson is a formal pro-football linebacker and local celebrity. He left football after a tragic accident and opened his own gym. As a teen he had a crush on Dani but felt he was way out of her league, and still does. If only he knew that cool confident Dani felt the same way.
The two end up teaming together to solve the murder. I enjoyed the chemistry between the them. I found myself laughing at the hilarious things they would say, like two awkward teens on a first date.  I sometimes thought they pulled pieces of the puzzle together a little too quickly, but overall the storyline was genuinely believable and kept me engrossed.
Strange dreams, biblical references, supernatural occurrences and this overwhelming sense of evil made the story spooky and an ideal fall read. The ending set the stage perfectly for book two of this trilogy and I found myself searching for clues to its release.  
A special thank you to netGalley and publisher Thomas Nelson for this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review. This book will be published Oct 4, 2011.
I give the book 4 coffee cups out of 5.

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