Category Archives: Heather Ring

The Sausage Maker’s Daughters by Ags Johnson

Leaving the sunny shores of California behind, Kip Czermanski steps off the plane into bitter cold and is accosted with all the reasons she vowed she would never come back to small-town Wisconsin, her hometown. But somehow in her sister’s pleadings, she had agreed to come home for a family emergency. As her sister trudges towards her holding her old, ratty coat from college, she begins to question whether this was a good idea.

The Sausage Maker’s Daughters
by Ags Johnson
Bibliofile Press
February 2012

Not even a week later, she is confused and angry as she finds herself contained in the local jail house. Spending her recent years as a front row voice for numerous counter-culture movements, she had thought she left her years as a scapegoat behind. Never could she have imagined when she gave her ex-lover up for dead that she would become the prime suspect in his untimely death years later. In her attempt to solidify her innocence, she makes very startling discoveries about her family- discoveries that could make or break her case.

Trapped by a family steeped in dysfunction, surrounded by a town that won’t let memories die, Kip finds herself having to put her trust in those who have never given her a chance. Will this time be different for her? Will the revelations she makes about herself be enough to clear her name? Kip is in the fight of her life, and there’s only one thing that can free her. The truth.

I decided to read this book in an attempt to broaden my reading horizons, as I wouldn’t generally pick one like this off the shelf. I still believe it isn’t my favorite genre, but I can say that it was very well written. The author does a great job with character development, and has a writing style that will easily suck you in. When you are not absorbed in the intricacies of the well-thought-out story line, you will be racking your brain trying to solve the case. She paints a very vivid picture of some very real life events which will draw you in with emotion. I know this will be a much read book!


Heather Ring says that books are her plane ticket into another world, “I’d feel lost with out them. Reading is a part of me. However I am also an avid lover of the outdoors and pouring into my creative outlets. But I think my biggest passion, is spending time with my family and friends.”

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Last Plea Bargain by Randy Singer

Jamie Brock, assistant DA for Milton County, ex-work out junkie, and victim of a crime that ripped her family apart is seeking justice and means to avenge her mother’s killer. She follows her father’s footsteps into the court room, shows no mercy, and never plea bargains!

The Last Plea Bargain
by Randy Singer
Tyndale House
March 2012

Already hard at work trying to keep Antoine Marshall (her mother’s killer) behind bars and on death row, Jamie is shocked when Caleb Tate, the lawyer responsible for much of her families grief during the proceedings, is now himself being accused of murder in the first degree. When Jamie finds out that her boss, DA William Masterson, will be taking the case, she begs to be his second hand. How sweet would her revenge be if she could see two of her most hated nemeses undergo the needle.

But things aren’t going as planned. Shortly after Tate serves a few days in jail, the courtroom proceedings begin to take a mysterious turn. Prisoners begin rejecting deals- deals they would have jumped on, not even a week ago. The prisons are becoming crowded, the judges are having to rule with a relaxed gavel, and the only inmates brave enough to try for a plea bargain end up in danger.

Overwhelmed, Brock and her comrades are against the clock as they try to uncover the problem that is clogging up the court systems. But in her search, she finds out some very unsettling information about her family. Meanwhile, she begins to have cryptic messages delivered to her that cause her to question everyone she trusts.

It’s now up to Jamie to decide what and how much information she has learned in order to set free those who are innocent. Will she have to go against everything she ever thought she stood for? And who can she rely on to help her?

As the tables turn from friend to foe, everyone must choose whose side they are on and how far they will go to seek justice.

I liked this book. I can’t say I loved it. The story was well written, as his books usually are, but for me it didn’t seem quite as exciting as I was expecting. I was surprised at the ending, which to me says a lot about the writer’s skills, as he didn’t make the conclusion too obvious. He does a good job with character development and made it easy for someone who doesn’t generally read courtroom thrillers to understand what was happening in the court proceedings. All in all, it’s worth a read.


Heather Ring says that books are her plane ticket into another world, “I’d feel lost with out them. Reading is a part of me. However I am also an avid lover of the outdoors and pouring into my creative outlets. But I think my biggest passion, is spending time with my family and friends.”

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Big Book of American Trivia by J. Stephen Lang

What make of car was named for a chief of the Ottawa tribe? What popular toy, launched in 1960, was a plastic box filled with aluminum powder? What historic masked parade takes place in Philadelphia on New Year’s Day? And, what Northern “rust belt” state, leads the nation in the growing of Christmas trees?

The Big Book of American Trivia
J.Stephen Lang
Tyndale House Publishers
December 2012

The answer to these questions and three thousand more can all be found, dancing across the pages of this entertaining and factual book. World records, Hollywood cinema, Presidents, facts about your home state and a plethora of other interesting subjects will arrest your attention as you learn share and enjoy these fascinating facts in America’s history!

Have fun teaching your children, stumping your friends and expanding your own knowledge. Fun for road trips, fireside,educational settings and more, this book will keep you entertained for hours. Who knew learning could be so fun?! And just in case you still don’t believe this informational book can be amusing, ask yourself this, What men-only contest started by Carnival cruise line is now a feature of every cruise ship? A. The Mr. Hairy Chest contest, of course!

This book is put together really well. All of the trivia questions are sorted by category, and the answers are easily found on the next page. This book is fun and educational. I even found the size and feel of the pages to be optimal. A much recommended book to anyone who enjoys learning… You never know when random tid-bits of knowledge will come in handy!

Nearing Home by Billy Graham

Written with Billy Graham’s beloved simplicity, here is a book full of hope, advice, experience and insight into a life long lived. Having lived into his 92nd year, much longer than he anticipated, Graham Offers wisdom to the young, and reaches out to the elderly in a sense of kinship. He graces these pages with much wisdom to be gleaned by all generations.

Nearing Home
Life, Faith and Finishing Well
by Billy Graham
Thomas Nelson Publishers
December 2011

What must it be like to have seen the world 90 years ago, and see what it has come to be today. How has technology changed things? Cars? Are relationships different? Has society rejected or embraced God’s teachings? Graham has extracted much insight and shares the blessings and aches of this time, and more specifically, his current time here on earth.

What are we living for? Do we have our hearts set on eternity, or are we living for the moment, never caring what our future holds? These are questions he addresses in his attempt to secure your place in front of the pearly gates. True to form, Graham speaks with gentleness, simplicity and peace, but not without urgency.

In this semi-autobiographical work, he shares about the loss of his much loved wife, his rigorous Evangelistic work schedule and cherished friends he met along the way. He encourages the old to love the young,and the young to treasure the old. He shares what it’s like to grow in age. But most of all, he shares his passion and love for Jesus Christ. And his zeal doesn’t stop in his own relationship, he extends and invitation to share what he has spent his life teaching about.

I thought this book was simple and peaceful. An easy read to provoke thought. And while I, as a young person, I don’t particularly like the idea of growing old, much less reading about it, he did well in presenting the idea of growing old gracefully. I will say, this book did not wow me, but I can’t say that’s what I was looking for in it either. Billy Graham is like and old favorite sweater, always cozy and warm. I can think of many people who would really enjoy this book.


Heather Ring says that books are her plane ticket into another world, “I’d feel lost with out them. Reading is a part of me. However I am also an avid lover of the outdoors and pouring into my creative outlets. But I think my biggest passion, is spending time with my family and friends.”

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Dragons of Chiril by Donita K. Paul

Tipper watched as yet another one of her father’s sculptures headed down the road on the back of a wagon, pulled by her seedy art dealing liaison. She hated selling on her father’s masterpieces, especially since he had no say in the matter as he had been gone more years than he had been present in her life. She missed him, but she also needed the money from his artwork to pay the expenses of the large estate she and her mother still inhabited.

The Dragons of Chiril
by Donita K. Paul
Waterbrook Press
June 2011

Beccaroon, her vibrant grand parrot, had been charged by her father to keep watch over her. Sometimes he could understand what her dad must have felt towards her. He was fiercely protective of her, and even though her show of affections ruffled his feathers, he loved her, just as she loved him and cherished their friendship.

Lady Peg was outside when they arrived home. Tipper loved her mother, but was often exasperated at her ever present state of confusion and befuddle talk. Lady Peg still talked as though she conversed with her father every night. Would Tipper ever be able to help her mother see the truth of his absence?
Upon going to bed that evening, Tipper is shortly thereafter awakened to see a vision of her father. After a very brief exchange with him, she falls back asleep with a feeling that what she witnessed was actually a real encounter. Trying to convince Beccaroon the next morning was altogether another story. Hopeful that what she saw wasn’t a dream, they decide to wait up for his re-appearance the next night.

Their world is about to drastically change. Everything they thought to be normal will be challenged. Discovering that their minor dragons can understand them, seeing animals crawl out of a wizards cape, watching a tumanhofer appear out of thin air…. All things that will now define their idea of everyday occurrences. As the two set out on a quest to save her father’s life, they are met with strange, dangerous, and new landscapes filled with distrusting people.

Being forced to adapt to the very present, Tipper finds herself on the adventure of her life. But will this escapade lead them down the road to her fathers healing before it’s too late? In a struggle of good verses evil, surrounded by a wonder filled and mysterious world, they embark on a most unexpected journey.

I was drawn to reading this book, having previously read and loved the author’s DragonKeeper Chronicles. I was a little bit disappointed with this book. While there is no question she is a talented writer, it didn’t capture the entrancing magical feel I had come to expect from her writing. That having been said, I wouldn’t hesitate to finish the series, as this is the first. I would recommend it, but I would suggest the reader try the DragonKeeper Chronicles first, to help understand all the different characters and settings that are developed in her first series.


Heather Ring says that books are her plane ticket into another world, “I’d feel lost with out them. Reading is a part of me. However I am also an avid lover of the outdoors and pouring into my creative outlets. But I think my biggest passion, is spending time with my family and friends.”

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Grace Effect by Larry Alex Taunton

Sitting in the restaurant well past closing, apologist Larry Taunton carries on a conversation with well known atheist Christopher Hitchens. If present, you would be sitting in on a conversation much like the public debates they both regularly appear in: God or no God, and the way His presence or lack there of effects the world we live in today. But in all of Taunton’s debating, teaching, studying and learning, he never imagined his biggest lesson learned would come from a little Ukrainian girl, Sasha.

The Grace Effect
How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Larry Alex Taunton
Thomas Nelson Publishers
November 2011

Having been left behind while his wife and three sons traveled to the Ukraine on a mission to help in the orphanages, he could not have prepared himself for the email he received from his son shortly after their stay. His family had fallen in love with one of the orphans, and wished to discuss adopting her.

A year later, family in tow, he traverses across the world in hopes of bringing their little girl home with them. Meeting with much opposition from a corrupt Ukrainian system, they learn much about a desolate country and it’s attempts to better itself through Socialistic/Communistic customs and teachings. Having learned nothing from their painful past, the Ukraine has become the trash heap of history.

Through many trials, much extortion, and utter shock of just how nefarious this country has been and become, Taunton learns a lesson in Grace. He sees a world through the eyes of a child that has been lost to faithlessness. With new insights, he returns home with a new strength in his belief that a world cannot and has never been able to function, when people and society try to govern themselves without a God.

I really learned a lot while reading this book. The author is a very good teacher, while retaining the non-scholars interest. It is always enjoyable for me to learn history in the midst of a good story. The story of Sasha is heartwarming, and quite honestly made me wish I could bring all the attention starved orphans into my home. He paints a very undisguised picture of modern day Ukraine, and while it isn’t pretty, I desire to step foot on their soil and see for myself a country that has rejected God as far back as their history has been accurately recorded. I did wish for a little more development into his own thoughts on grace verses Atheism, but overall, a very good book. I think a wide range of persons will enjoy this.


Heather Ring says that books are her plane ticket into another world, “I’d feel lost with out them. Reading is a part of me. However I am also an avid lover of the outdoors and pouring into my creative outlets. But I think my biggest passion, is spending time with my family and friends.”

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Reclaiming Lily by Patti Lacey

Getting out of the van, Gloria and Andrew Powell are finally standing in front of the Chinese orphanage that houses their baby. Excited to start their life as parents, they are dismayed to find out that there are no babies to be adopted. Full of grief from years of waiting, they try to console themselves that their baby is somewhere else in China. But then she sees her. The minute Gloria meet seyes with that dark haired, dark eyed, beautiful child, ‘Joy’, they would call her, she knows she was destined to be their child.

Reclaiming Lily
Patti Lacey
Bethany House Publishers
October 2011

Dr. Kai Chang, growing up a child of assumed Chinese counter revolutionaries, could never have dreamed this would be her life. Living in Boston, graduate of Harvard, and working for one of the best medical institutions in the country, this was beyond the good fortune she thought her ‘healing hand’ would bring her. However she knows she won’t be satisfied until she fulfills her mother’s last dying wish “reclaim Lily”.

After years of searching for her sister, Dr. Kai finds Lily, living in Texas with the family who adopted her. Hesitant to leave her work and loving boyfriend behind, she feels it’s pertinent she meets Lily, to have her tested for the genetic disease that killed their mother.

Dealing with troubles of their own, the Powell’s are very inconvenienced when Joy’s sister contacts them out of the blue telling them they must meet and discuss a matter than could effect Joy’s life permanently. Full of mistrust, they decide to still meet her. During their hostile conversation, they receive news about Joy that forces them to put their anger on hold and go help her.

In the wake of a natural disaster, the four are thrown together in ways they would not have ever wanted or imagined. But as they re-examine their lives and their hearts, friendship begins to bloom. What will it take to reclaim Lily, and will they be willing to come to terms with the plans the Lord has for their lives, even if it means letting go of one they love.

While I liked parts of this book, and it held my attention long enough to finish it, it did not draw me in. I enjoyed learning what I did about China, and gleaning bits of information about other topics I might not have otherwise learned about, but I can’t say I would enthusiastically recommend this book. I struggled with the writing style throughout the book, but I do believe it is worth a read, especially for those who identify with the characters and their situations. It just will not sit on the top of my favorites list.


Heather Ring says that books are her plane ticket into another world, “I’d feel lost with out them. Reading is a part of me. However I am also an avid lover of the outdoors and pouring into my creative outlets. But I think my biggest passion, is spending time with my family and friends.”

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall

Berlin Ohio was home now for Mattie. Moving from Pennsylvania had meant leaving her Mamm and Daed behind, she missed them dearly, but standing in her very own cake shop, looking around at all she had accomplished, she knew moving here had been the right choice in mending her broken and confused heart.
Meeting Sol was an added bonus. He was as steady as the tide. Her relationship with him was safe, comfortable. Life would go well with Sol by her side. No surprises, no lies.

The Christmas Singing
A Romance from the Heart of Amish Country
by Cindy Woodsmall
Waterbrook Press
October 2011

But Mattie’s world is turned upside-down when a tragedy befalls her. Distraught and hopeless, she is ushered back home to stay with her parents, taking some time to heal. Little could she have known or wished that her heart would not find this homecoming, a time for it to rest.

Finding herself in close quarters with Gideon, the man who broke her heart, Mattie is determined to get to the bottom of the truth, or his lies, as she believes. But as she seeks the truth behind his betrayal, she finds herself having to answer questions in her own heart.

Knowing she has to get home to Sol, and her life in Berlin, she has been forced to think of what that will mean for her. By going home, she will be leaving Gideon behind. So who has a stronger claim on her heart? And will she listen even if it tells her?

Surrounded by the magic of Christmas, and her loving Amish friends and family, Mattie is given the chance to make a new path in fresh fallen snow.

This is a great book! But I cannot say I am surprised. I have been a fan of this author since her very first book, and have yet to be dissapointed. I love everything Christmas, so this was delightful and descriptive holiday read. The book is a quick read,(partly due to the page number, and partly because it was so fun to read) but the author does a great job giving just enough story. I felt nothing was over talked about or forgotten. i will most defintly be sharing this book, as all my reading friends will enjoy it!


Heather Ring says that books are her plane ticket into another world, “I’d feel lost with out them. Reading is a part of me. However I am also an avid lover of the outdoors and pouring into my creative outlets. But I think my biggest passion, is spending time with my family and friends.”

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander

It’s the year 1866, September 7th to be exact, and Claire Laurent has just finished what she knows to be her very best painting. But as she stares at the image of her mother, so delicately included on this, her latest ‘Jardins de Versailles’, she knows it cannot be called her best, because it, like all of her other paintings, have been forged.

A Lasting Impression
Tamera Alexander
Bethany House Publishers
November 2011

Wishing to paint her own masterpieces, worthy of acclaim, she would do anything to get out from underneath her fathers critical gaze. She could never have known her opportunity for just that would come as swiftly and painfully as it did.

Not even a day later, Claire finds her self aboard a train heading to Nashville. Leaving behind her beloved New Orleans with memories of her mother and her only living family. Scared and confused she arrives in Nashville, a town she finds beaten down, and war torn. Desperate for something comforting she goes in search of her reserved accommodations, only to find them most unpleasant. Tired and lost she stumbles into a church with an unlocked door and falls asleep on a bench until morning, never suspecting what opportunities would rise with the sun.

With an overheard prayer, the stumbling into of an intriguing gentleman and the help of a minister, Claire is delivered into a world of wealth and opulence, far beyond her wildest dreams. She begins to hope. But she knows she has to keep her past hidden. If only that ‘intriguing gentleman’, Sutton Monroe weren’t so determined to find out whom she really was.

As she fights to keep her past hidden, Sutton fights to keep his past from haunting him. While mourning their losses and dreaming of their futures, they have another thing in common, Adelcia Acklen-Belmont’s widowed mistress, who causes their paths to collide in a most unexpected way.
In a nation on the mend from war, Belmont in all its beauty seems to stand unscathed. But in the midst of Nashville’s ever changing landscape, secrets are unveiled, past wounds are exposed and disappointment threatens. But love is stubborn and wants to take root. Will pasts be forgotten so futures can be made new?

I did not want to put this book down! At first glance, I knew I was going to be deeply absorbed. The author did a great job transporting me back into 1866. I would have loved to be in this story. As a creative person, I loved the message she was trying to convey. I even found myself reading parts out-loud to my husband. She did a great job getting me involved in the page turning story, while speaking to my heart. This is a must read for any historical fiction fans! I especially loved gleaning a little piece of Nashville’s history, as I currently reside here. Great book, I’ll be purchasing more of her work.


Heather Ring say that books are her plane ticket into another world, “I’d feel lost with out them. Reading is a part of me. However I am also an avid lover of the outdoors and pouring into my creative outlets. But I think my biggest passion, is spending time with my family and friends.”

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Out of a Far Country by Christopher and Angela Yuan

Leaving a life of unshared secrets and wounds from her parents, Angela Yuan sets off to America hoping to find a new start and happiness in marriage. But with her in-laws opposing the union from the very start, the marriage seems destined for disaster.

Out of a Far Country
by Christopher Yuan, Angela Yuan
WaterBrook Press
May 2011

Years, children and a thriving business later, she finds herself in a loveless marriage. Worse than fighting, her husband Leon won’t even participate in conversation. Clinging to her children for her source of happiness, her world is shattered when her youngest son, Chris announces he is gay. Meeting opposition and judgment from his mother he storms out of the house, to his ‘real family’, the gay community.

Feeling she can no longer carry on under this load of oppression, she decides end her life. As a self-proclaimed atheist, she feels the need to reach outside the bounds of godlessness in hopes of finding some sort of closure before leaving this world. She has Leon drive her to meet with Father Foley, little could she have known about changes the Lord had in store for her life.

Even though on academic probation from dental school, Chris Yuan’s life is at it’s climax. Fully immersed in Lexingtion’s gay community, he finds himself rising to the height of popularity, something he has never experienced. Having thrown away a life of awkwardness and shame, he now embraces what he believes to be his true identity.

But as he revels in his ever rising star status, he finds himself flirting with danger. Like a drug high, he is intoxicated with the destructive life he is leading. Surrounded by glitz and glam, he fails to see the pitfalls associated with drug dealing and sexually transmitted diseases. He has no idea how quickly his world is about to change. Suddenly he is forced to see who his true family is and own up to his actions.

As restoration begins to take root in both mother and son’s lives, their paths cross again on a much different road. embracing grace, Angela is determined to love her son despite his decisions, in hope of winning him over to Christ. With her marriage on the mend, and an ever pursuing God, hope, grace, and mercy have wrapped their arms around the Yuan family in this story of redemption.

This is a great read. As a hairstylist, I am not unfamiliar with the gay community. Having made friends with and gained insight and understanding into their lives, it has been very rare that I will get to hear a story of redemption. This book was very hopeful. Families experiencing this type of story in their own lives will find the very personal and heartfelt confessions in this book to be a salve for their wounds. For the person who have a hard time accepting people because they say they are gay, (or any other destructive lifestyle for that matter) this will be a great book to help you look at that person and try to see them for who they really are and love them right where they are at. This book will open your eyes, and hopefully your hearts. I highly recommend it.


Heather Ring say that books are her plane ticket into another world, “I’d feel lost with out them. Reading is a part of me. However I am also an avid lover of the outdoors and pouring into my creative outlets. But I think my biggest passion, is spending time with my family and friends.”

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.