Friday, March 24, 2017

The Elusive Miss Ellison


I received a copy of THE ELUSIVE MISS ELLISON by Carolyn Miller from Kregel in exchange for an honest review. It is the first installment in the Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series.

 

This book is delightful!  I have been sick since February (a cold that just will not go!), so I settled down on the couch thinking to read through this over the space of a few days.  Imagine my surprise when it sucked up my entire day and left me wanting more!

 

The Regency world comes alive for Carolyn Miller.  I’ve read Regency romances before, and they have never transported me the way THE ELUSIVE MISS ELLISON did.  It is strongly reminiscent of Jane Austen’s works. When compared to those other Regencies I’ve read, I found these characters had more depth and dimension.  The personalities are vibrant. They weren’t just focused on the romance.  This book is also free of smut.  (It can be considered Christian fiction)  Granted, I knew what I was getting with some of those other Regency Romances.  The covers involved a shirtless man in most cases.  Without the smut, I found this book to offer much more adventure and heart.

 

I have a friend with the last name of Ellison, so I pictured her as Lavinia Ellison while I read.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Stolen Heart


I received a copy of A STOLEN HEART by Amanda Cabot from Revell in exchange for an honest review.  It is book one of the Cimarron Creek trilogy.  This was my first dive into the series, and I found it delightful.  It was also my first Amanda Cabot book.

 

She has a beautiful storytelling flair.  Some historical fiction novels feel too modern, as if they are taking place in some backwoods community where people still have access to modern television (hence the modern talk) but rely on horses for transportation.  A STOLEN HEART immerses the reader directly into the past, in this case Texas in 1880.  I would love to see this as a Hallmark mini-series. 

 

I felt bad for everything Lydia endured with her horrible fiancé and the local hatred for Northerners.  Some parts broke my heart for her.  However, there were many more endearing moments, and I finished the novel with a smile on my face. 

 

I recommend this to fans of Christian fiction, historical fiction, and tender romance.  My only complaint is a petty one.  I didn’t really care for the title.  It is too similar to other books I’ve seen, that involve “Stolen Hearts.”

 

By the way, I loved the inclusion of the map and family tree!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Quick Tips for Busy Families


I received a copy of QUICK TIPS FOR BUSY FAMILIES: SNEAKY STRATEGIES FOR RAISING GREAT KIDS by Jay Payleitner from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.  Now that I actually have a kid, albeit a baby who focuses mainly on eating and sleeping, books like this hit home more.  Maybe it is better that I’m starting off fresh with a baby.  I can better incorporate his tips into our daily lives.

 

The 144 tips in this book are easy to read and sometimes amusing.  I found myself engulfed in Jay’s writing style.  All of the tips made me feel as if I was sitting next to Jay having a cup of tea and a friendly conversation.  I didn’t expect to read as much as I did in one sitting.  Be warned: this is an addictive book!

 

The one I liked best was to laminate stuff, like newspaper articles, so that they will always be treasured.  This made me think of my maternal grandmother.  She kept all newspaper articles about herself, my grandfather, my mom, and my uncle.  After she passed away, we enjoyed reading them, and tucked most of them into a keepsake box (we gave my uncle his).  I hope to do something similar with my son.

 

I HIGHLY recommend this book!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Courageous Love


I received a copy of COURAGOEUS LOVE by Susan K. Marlow from Kregel in exchange for an honest review.  It is part of the Circle C Milestones series.  This is a young adult series depicting the further adventures of Andrea Carter.


I am a huge fan of every Andrea Carter book that I’ve read so far.  The books take place in the 1800s, and I am a sucker for historical fiction, especially when it is geared toward a youthful audience.  Andrea is a bit of a tomboy.  She lives on a ranch and would rather help out her brothers than be a lady like her mother and sisters.  However, Andrea is full of heart.  She loves her family and her animals.  Andrea has her faults, which makes her relatable and an awesome heroine to root for.


In this adventure, horrible things begin to happen on the ranch and leads point to criminals from her brother’s past.  Andrea handles everything realistically, and I loved seeing Riley play a role in this story.  This might actually be my favorite of the Circle C Milestones books, apart from the first in the series.


Like all the books, I recommend this to anyone who enjoys religious historical fiction.  Susan K. Marlow is a strong writer, so you know you won’t be disappointed. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Would you like to know? Collection


I received a copy of the WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW COLLECTION in exchange for an honest review from Lion Hudson via Kregel.  This is a set of six small books for children that teach the reader about different religious topics.  The books in this collection are: WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT GOD, WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW THE BIBLE, WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW JESUS, WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW HOW TO PRAY, WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW THE STORY OF CHRISTMAS, and WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW THE STORY OF EASTER.  The books are beautifully illustrated and the sentences are simple enough for children to understand, and to spark their imaginations so that they turn to parents and guardians for more information.  I read them to my son, who is four months old, and he enjoyed them, even though they are too advanced for him.  It will be fun reading these with him again when he’s older.


Overall, I do like the collection.  I think it is a great teaching tool for children, and would be perfect in a Sunday school classroom or a bedroom library.  However, there was something that bothered me.  It talked about how even if we are bad, God will forgive us.  It didn’t say to be a good person, though.  This is probably just something that perturbed me. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

KING'S BLOOD


I received a copy of KING’S BLOOD by Jill Williamson in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House.  It is the second book in the Kingsman Chronicles.  This is a thick, monstrous book, and that makes it all the better.  You get to fully immerse yourself in this fantasy world of magic and danger.  It isn’t so fast that you start to become involved and then it’s over.  This sucks you in and refuses to let you go. 


I hadn’t read book one, so a few places I felt a little lost; however, it wasn’t enough to diminish my pleasure in KING’S BLOOD.  It has been a while since I’ve read an epic fantasy, and this filled that void.  I used to be obsessed with them in high school and this brought back all those memories of curling up in the old living room chair.


I don’t want to give any spoilers away, so I’ll just say that you’ll find plenty of plot twists.  The characters and world are well developed.  You can tell that the author spent a great deal of time plotting her world, and that she truly loves this series.  I recommend this for fantasy lovers, or anyone who wants to take the time to lose themselves in a magical world.

Monday, February 20, 2017

FLAME


I'm very excited to announce that the long awaited (and much anticipated!) third book of the Amazon Bestselling RAGNAROK PROPHESIES series has finally arrived! Join Arionna Jacobs and Dace Matthews as they race to stop the apocalypse in this intense and emotional series by A.K. Morgen.



Read on below for all the details, including a giveaway!



 

 










SUMMARY










Who do you trust when betrayal threatens to destroy everything you hold dear?

When Arionna Jacobs fled town in a desperate bid to save Dace Matthews, she never expected the chaos she would leave in her wake. Now her closest friend is dead, and another is missing, forcing Ari to return to face the devastating consequences of her actions and the broken boy she left behind.

Her problems are only just beginning.

Even as her bond with Dace grows stronger, Arionna finds herself weakening when Freki's cage shatters. Fighting the wolf for control is tearing her apart piece by piece. And at every turn, she finds that those she's put her faith in aren't who they seem, bringing her face to face with Sköll and Hati. As the depth of their betrayal is revealed, Freki spirals out of control, and Arionna must face her greatest fear: losing herself to the fierce wolf within.

The world balances on the edge of a blade, and one wrong move will destroy it all.

With few allies she can trust and little choice left, Arionna must decide between the lives of her friends and her own future with the alpha she loves. Will she be able to stand firm for the sake of the world, or will she falter in the face of defeat?
 







BOOK LINKS:



















EXCERPT




"Arionna, dammit, wake up."




Unseen hands gripped my upper arms, shaking me. A familiar voice called my name over and over. Furious howls ripped through the air.




None of those sounds made sense to me.




I felt different, like I'd been taken apart and put back together in the wrong order. Everything hurt. My body ached, muscles locked tight in protest. My head throbbed. Each painful pulse rattled against my skull, sending ripples down my neck and into my back.




I groaned and rolled onto my side.




The hands shaking me relaxed.




I fought to open my eyes, then blinked, confused. Worn brown carpet scratched against the side of my face. The bottom edge of a pale blue bed-sham fluttered inches from me. Dust bunnies and small pieces of plastic were strewn beneath the sagging bed. A table and two chairs were grouped on the other side. A crack ran up the leg of one chair, splitting the wood.




None of the room looked familiar.




Where am I?




The voice calling my name stopped mid-shout and sighed.




Oh, thank god, he said.




For what? I wondered, marveling that the words came from inside my mind, but didn't belong to me. How was that possible?




I couldn't place the soft, silky tones either, but they made my stomach flip and my heart flutter. I knew the speaker. At least I thought I did. Before I could ask him who he was or how he spoke in my head, someone blew out a sharp breath. This time, the sound didn't come from inside.




"Finally," that second voice said.




Nope. Definitely not coming from my mind.




I rolled my eyes toward the relieved sound, and then frowned at the guy leaning over me. Long, dark hair hung in his face. His eyes were black, and full of concern. His features were sharp, severe, but handsome.




This time I was certain; I knew this guy.




"Ronan," I said. His name was Ronan LaCrosse, and mine was… Arionna. Yes, Arionna Jacobs. Memory began to slowly trickle back in. We were at a motel in Illinois, looking for someone. And the howls were coming from Fuki, the little wolf we'd brought with us, though I couldn't see him.




Where was he?




I tried to figure out why I was on the floor, but came up with a big blank.




"What happened?" I asked, looking up at Ronan.




He held out a hand for me, then pulled me into a sitting position.




The room tilted before straightening again. I clutched my head in my hands, groaning. When the initial wave of nausea passed, I tilted my head up slowly so I could see Ronan. "Did I hit my head?" I asked, trying to blink away the dark spots floating in my peripheral.




"You don't remember?" He narrowed his eyes, tilting his head to the side like a raven assessing me.




I scooted back against the edge of the bed, frowning.




What was I supposed to remember?





















GIVEAWAY






 





ABOUT THE AUTHOR






A.K. Morgen is the Amazon Bestselling author of the Ragnarök

Prophesies series. She lives in the heart of Arkansas with her childhood

sweetheart/husband of thirteen years, and their six furry minions. When not

writing, she spends her time hiking, reading, volunteering, causing mischief,

and building a Spork army. Ayden graduated summa

cum laude
with her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and
Forensic Psychology in 2009 before going on to complete her graduate degree in

CJ and Law. She currently puts her education to use in the social services and

CJ field. 




Ayden also writes New Adult and contemporary romance under the penname Ayden K.

Morgen.






You can find her on 
Twitter, Facebook, or via her website at http://akmorgen.com.