Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Of Stillness and Storm


I received a copy of OF STILLNESS AND STORM by Michele Phoenix from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review. 

Lauren, Sam, and thirteen-year-old son Ryan go to Nepal to work as missionaries.  I loved watching each one learn to live in this new setting, while struggling with inner turmoil.  At parts, Lauren reunites with a man from her past and questions if it is betrayal to her marriage.  Ryan suffers from depression and not wanting to go to Nepal with his parents.  Meanwhile, Sam deals with his Christian calling.

I found this book to be totally engrossing.  I’ve read other books about missionaries, but they didn’t dive into the emotions as deeply as OF STILLNESS AND STORM does. Rarely do they focus on the child’s story the way that this book talks about Ryan.  Normally the missionary books talk about the setting and the good done by the missionaries.  This book is about the toll missionary work takes on the family.

I read this during my maternity leave.  It made for an excellent read, one I can easily recommend.  I found it cool that my baby son’s name is Aidan and one of the characters was named Aidan.  What a coincidence!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Bleeding Hearts



 

 


Bleeding Hearts by Dana Louise Provo

Finding love is difficult, especially when it tries to kill you.

 

Bleeding Hearts is a new adult, romantic suspense traditionally published by Clean Reads. Orphaned at an early age, now twenty-four-year-old Camryn Lucks is ready to commit to find that special someone, and so accepts a date from a charming, gallant, handsome stranger. The last thing she imagines after accepting that first date with Carson would actually be the beginning of her worst nightmare. 

Red roses, a reminder of her parents' killer, soon become an emblem of horror for Cami as one by one, those closest to her fall victim to a serial killer. Cami becomes an obsession for Carson, the man she had finally allowed herself to love. Not only is he vying for her heart, but also her life.  

Finding herself in a whirlwind of torments shadowed by the blood-colored bloom, Cami finds solace in Isaac, a neighboring police officer. She’s desperate to escape the haunting memories, but she must revisit them in order to catch her would-be killer. Living life in constant fear has driven Cami to second-guess every choice she makes. Will the police catch the illusive murderer, or will Cami be forced to face him once again? 

Purchase the eBook of Bleeding Hearts below!


Barnes & Noble: http://fw.to/mfIx33N






 

Short Excerpt from Chapter One  

My arm trembles as I grip the cool handle of my pistol, keeping a firm grasp to ensure it doesn’t slip out of my sweaty hand. It usually stands sentry in my left nightstand to scare the nightmares away. But this isn’t a dream. The room is dark and hides the face of the man whose intent is to kill me. But I know who he is. A metallic taste fills my mouth; I want to gag. My blood drips off the blade in his hand in slow, steady beats on the carpet. My arms shake as I lift the barrel and point it in his direction. He doesn't move. His heavy breaths alert me to the meager distance between us. 

We’re at a stalemate. 

A soft glow from the lamppost just outside my window casts a sliver of light on his face. His dark, beady eyes that I have grown to know rake over my body like I'm another one of his many victims. He lifts the edges of his mouth into a smile. My heart plunges into my stomach. I know what that sinister expression means, and I think back to all the times he had looked at me like that before. I had been so blind. 

Before I react he lunges at me, grabbing onto my waist and twisting me to the ground. I shriek as my head slams against the bed frame. Black spots flood my vision. I squeeze my hand only to find it empty. My gun is gone. The sound of the knife clattering on the floor gives me slight hope. Not much though. He climbs up my body trying to pin my arms to the floor. I thrash my fists around, desperate to knock him off. 

“Get off!” I scream, pulling on his shirt and kicking him off balance. Wrapping his hands around my arms, my attacker cuts off the circulation of blood. Rug burns flare across my skin as he drags me across the carpet. He closes his hands around my neck, shutting off my air supply. I pull at his hands but it's no use; he has always been stronger than me. My pulse drums a frantic beat in my ears. The air slowly leaks out from my lungs, killing any hope I may have left. I search for the gun around the room; it may be my only savior now. 

"Why are you doing this?" I struggle to get the words out. He squints his dark eyes. I'm wondering if there might be a chance that he will stop this madness. I am wrong. 

"It'll be over soon, sweetheart." His hands again tighten around my neck, blocking the air from entering my lungs.  



Dana Provo has always loved books and reads everything from young adult fantasy to adult historical romances. When she’s not reading or writing her next novel, Dana can be found riding her horses and getting ready for competition. Dana lives with her husband and two house plants in Richmond, Virginia. 

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Candle Day by Day Bible


I received a copy of CANDLE DAY BY DAY BIBLE by Juliet David, illustrated by Jane Hayes, from Candle Books via Kregel in exchange for an honest review.  This is a very unique Bible.  It has a built in stand, which makes it perfect for a desk, beside table, or the top of a bookshelf.  Each day features a simple yet beautiful illustrations, and a short story from the Bible.  Although these stories are short, they pique your interest and are perfect for starting a conversation with a child – or just giving yourself something to ponder.  I like the fact that you can then turn to the “real” Bible to explore more about the story, history, etcetera.  Because there is a different story for each day, this Bible expands the entire year and gives the child something to look forward to.

This Bible is intended for children, but can be enjoyed by adults too.  I’m an adult, and I love the concept of it.  I will be passing this around my family and saving it for my son when he’s older.  This makes an excellent Christmas gift.

This Bible pairs perfectly with CANDLE DAY BY DAY WALK WITH JESUS: THE STORY OF JESUS RETOLD IN 40 DAYS, also by Juliet David and illustrated by Jane Hayes. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Candle Day by Day


I received a copy of CANDLE DAY BY DAY WALK WITH JESUS: THE STORY OF JESUS RETOLD IN 40 DAYS by Juliet David, with illustrations by Jane Hayes, from Candle Books via Kregel in exchange for an honest review. 

This little book is a true delight.  By little, I mean that it is smaller than a normal book, which makes it delightfully portable.  Each story is written simply; this appeals to kids and adults.  As an adult, I enjoyed reading one story a night.  They gave me something to think about and I could read the Bible if I wanted more information.  The illustrations on each page are also simple, while still being poignant.  They better help you to ruminate on the story and its connection to Jesus.  There is also a take away question.  Instead of being complex or distracting, they complement the experience perfectly.

While I was familiar with many of the stories, some of them I wasn’t, and that made the reading experience all the more rewarding.

I only have good things to say about this book.  It will remain a keeper in my family.  I will be passing it on to my mom, and I will be saving it to read with my son when he’s older.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Havelock

HAVELOCK

Today only, you can find HAVELOCK on sale for just 99 cents. As the sale ends soon, I thought it appropriate to share just how this story came about.

I’d had this idea for a spy novel for a while. I was always disappointed in the lack of female spies and the way the existing ones were portrayed. While they might be able to kick-ass occasionally, most ended up captured and needed to be rescued. Without a doubt, there was room for a strong-willed heroine who possessed the attitude and skills and absolutely no trace of the usual ‘damsel in distress’ element that plagues too many strong female characters.

Having read almost all the original James Bond novels by Ian Fleming, I wanted to create a female character who would be more than a match for a man like Bond. And then I started to wonder what Bond’s daughter would be like had he actually succeeded in impregnating any one of the women he’d encountered over the years. In one of Fleming’s short stories, there was a female character who was out to take revenge on the people that killed her parents. She was fiery and passionate. She ended up as a Bond girl in the movie ‘For Your Eyes Only’ and her name was Melina Havelock (Judy in the original story).

I contacted the Ian Fleming Foundation in the UK, who own the rights to all the Bond novels, including the new ones, to ask if I could reference James Bond in any way in what I originally wanted to be a spinoff novel. They were extremely helpful but couldn’t grant the permissions I needed. The story had to be original. Which I took as a challenge to write a James Bond spin off without any reference to Bond himself, M, Q, 007, a license to kill, etc. The result was HAVELOCK.

Is Eliana Havelock the daughter of James Bond? Does she have her own ulterior motives? Is she as lethal as she is beautiful? One thing’s for certain . . . Eliana Havelock doesn’t need a license to kill.


An Excerpt from the Beginning of Havelock:

Ever had one of those days? The kind of days that challenge every skill, threaten every ethical standard, and undo every single concept of what you would ordinarily have considered an impossible situation? Despite near-perfect planning, I’m having one of those days right now.
It all started when I decided to find my father. I’ve never met him. His longtime vocation makes him a hard person to find at the best of times, but I recently discovered he was reported missing three years ago. He hasn’t surfaced since, and maybe it’s the paternal side of me, maybe it’s because my mother passed away and I’m seeking a parental figure, maybe I want to know why he never came back for me, but well… I gotta find out what happened.
And that’s why I, Eliana Havelock, now find myself tied to a chair in a dank basement somewhere near Karachi, Pakistan.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to be tortured.


Andrew Buckley - The Story So Far . . .

Andrew Buckley attended the Vancouver Film School’s Writing for Film and Television program. After pitching and developing several screenplay projects for film and television, he worked in marketing and public relations, before becoming a professional copy and content writer. During this time Andrew began writing his first adult novel, DEATH, THE DEVIL AND THE GOLDFISH, followed closely by his second novel, STILTSKIN both published by Curiosity Quills Press.

Andrew also writes under the pen name 'Jane D. Everly' for his HAVELOCK series of novels. His first upper middle grade novel HAIR IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES is now available from Month9Books with the sequel due out in August 2017.

​Andrew also co-hosts a geek movie podcast, is working on several new novels, and has a stunning amount of other ideas. He now lives happily in the Okanagan Valley, BC with one beautiful wife, three kids, one cat, one needy dog, and a multitude of characters that live comfortably inside of his mind.
Andrew is represented by Mark Gottlieb at the Trident Media Group.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Wickedly They Dream


What is even better than an awesome, edge-of-your-seat fantasy novel for teens?  When it has a rocking sequel of course!

WICKEDLY THEY DREAM is the sequel to WICKEDLY THEY COME by Cathrina Constantine.  One of my favorite things was how smoothly the two books flowed together.  You don’t have to worry about heavy backstory or thick recapping (but you can still enjoy this as a standalone).  You get to visit with the same old people, another aspect I loved.  (Books that are book two or three in a series, but have totally new characters have started to annoy me. A companion novel is good – calling it book two is not) 

In WICKEDLY THEY DREAM, Jordan attends high school and on the side trains to fight demons with her guardian angel.   Jordan is living with her grandparents, and decides to go help out her mother who is in another city fighting demons. 

I you’re looking for a young adult fantasy, WICKEDLY THEY DREAM will not disappoint you.  It will also appeal to adults looking for a great adventure.

Note: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Truthsong


Beautiful cover on a beautiful story!

I received a copy of TRUTHSONG by Elisabeth Hamill in exchange for an honest review.  It is the second book in the “Songmaker” series.  I read book one prior, and was excited to dive back into the adventure.  Definitely read SONG MAGICK first, otherwise you won’t enjoy it to the full extent.

This is fantasy at its best.  TRUTHSONG reminded me of all the fantasy novels I swallowed up as in high school.  I couldn’t get enough of the good versus evil, the love in the background, the magic that fills the air.    

I love Telyn as a character.  She is complex, and her magic speaks for itself.  A great role model for teens.

Highly recommended for fantasy fans like me.