Monday, November 30, 2015

Midnight Visitors

I received a copy of THE MIDNIGHT VISITORS by Juliet David from Candle Books via Kregel Publications.  It is illustrated by Jo Perry. 

I am always a sucker for picture books.  I remember fondly the days of sitting upon my mother’s lap or beside my grandmother and hearing them read aloud to me.  Books about animals were my favorite. I also greatly enjoyed the books we only read around the holidays.  This book fits that criteria.

THE MIDNIGHT VISITORS is a beautiful, touching story about Christmas.  It is told from the point of view of the cow – Miriam - in the cowshed where Mary and Joseph stayed.  It is such a unique concept, but one that is so important to this time of year. I could see acting out this story with the nativity set. 

Reading the story, you will delight in everyone who visits Miriam, including the three shepherds.  Having Miriam share her space is an excellent lesson for children while they learn about Jesus’s birth.

This is the perfect addition to any home library or Sunday school classroom.  You will fall in love with the words and the pictures.  It would be perfect for warm bedtime snuggles.  5 stars.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Worship Changes Everything

I received a copy of WORSHIP CHANGES EVERYTHING: EXPERIENCING GOD’S PRESENCE IN EVERY MOMENT OF LIFE by Darlene Zschech via Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.  Bethany House is one of my favorite publishers of Christian literature, so I knew this would be something to enjoy!

I do love music, but I admit to not being a music fanatic.  After reading this book, I was inspired to check out her songs.

The main theme I took away from this book is the importance of worship.  It helps us to connect with the splendor of God.  Darlene Zschech writes about worship in different aspects of our lives, for example “money” and “loving myself.”  The chapters are interspersed with relevant passages from the Bible.  There will definitely be a chapter that speaks out to you the most.

I enjoy discussing Christian literature and religious self-help books with many friends and family members.  This is a book that will rank high in our discussion groups and I can see it having a lasting home on many bookcases.  This earns five stars from me.  Listening to her songs will only help to inspire us.  I also see this being a great Christmas present for a loved one!

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Aleppo Code

I received a copy of THE ALEPPO CODE by Terry Brennan from Kregel Publications.  It is part of the Jerusalem Prophecies series.  I have read one of those books and I loved this one just as much as that one.  It is a great continuation and I will definitely look for the other novel.  Reading the others will help you with understanding the characters, but this book is enjoyable in its own way.  This is the type of series you hope won’t end. 

Back to THE ALEPPO CODE.  I believe this will appeal to fans of Indiana Jones.  It has that great action vibe with a religious background.  Follow the staff of Aaron.  This is a new take on the parting of the Red Sea by Moses.  I loved how the story follows the path to obtaining the staff, a team led by Tom Bohannon.  I loved how the team gets to go around the world searching for clues they might have missed earlier.  I am a huge history fan, so I swallowed up all the archeological and history bits.  There were quite a few too! 

When I came to the end of the book, I really had to pause.  I think it sounds like there will be more in the series – and I hope so! 

Sunday, November 22, 2015


I received a copy of GREENSHIFT by Heidi Ruby Miller in exchange for an honest review.  This involves the Ambasadora world.  By the way, I love saying that word.  It tickles my tongue!

I can’t wait to read more books in this series!  The author paints pictures with her words, and these pictures include romance and action.  The covers are also “out of this world.”  Sort of pun intended there.

I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, but know that this is a ride that will keep you reading.  I ended up finishing this in one sitting! 

Marked by Light

I received a copy of MARKED BY LIGHT by Heidi Ruby Miller in exchange for an honest review.  I went into this with high expectations.  I read the reviews before I started.  I don’t always do this, as sometimes it makes my thoughts prejudice, but this book definitely met my expectations!  It is the first book in the Ambasadora series. 

I loved the futuristic romance aspect.  Okay, I am a sucker for romance and I’m a sucker for futuristic stories.  I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but your heart will be racing and you will definitely swoon at some places! 

My favorite part of this novel was the character development.  They all felt so real.  Oh, and the world-building.  Definite 5 stars there! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Asleep - Cover Reveal

Today is the cover reveal for Asleep by Krystal Wade, a YA horror that will have you on the edge of your seat with every page turn. This is the debut novel from Blaze Publishing, set to be released February 16, 2016. Pre-orders are available now from Amazon. Mark your calendars, and be sure to add the book to your Goodreads list! Share the cover on social media using our Rafflecopter entry below for a chance to win the awesome prizes listed, or come join us at the Cover Reveal Party on Facebook. Or do it all!

"To cure fear, you must use fear."

Rose Briar claims no responsibility for the act that led to her imprisonment in an asylum. She wants to escape, until terrifying nightmares make her question her sanity and reach out to her doctor. He's understanding and caring in ways her parents never have been, but as her walls tumble down and Rose admits fault, a fellow patient warns her to stop the medications. Phillip believes the doctor is evil and they'll never make it out of the facility alive. Trusting him might be just the thing to save her. Or it might prove the asylum is exactly where she needs to be.



I’m happily married to the love of my life (don’t gag) and raising three beautiful children in the gorgeous state of Virginia. We live just outside Washington, D.C., and every day I wake up to find myself stuck in traffic trying to get there.

The horrid commute gives me plenty of time to zone out and think about my characters in full, brilliant details (I’m a safe driver; don’t worry). Stories give me a way to forget about the sometimes smelly strangers sitting next to me on the fifty mile trek into town (I pick up hitchhikers every day. True story. Check out if you don’t believe me).

I’ve been a part of organized hitchhiking for nearly fifteen years, but that’s just one small aspect of my oh-so-large life. When I’m not working, commuting, or chasing after my three children (four if you count the man), you can usually find me outside talking to my chickens like they’re the cutest things in the world (they are), or training my amazing dogs how to herd said chickens (which they love), or curled up on the sofa with a good book (why can’t that be 100% of the time?).

I hope you love my stories (or just like them a little; that would be okay, too). And I hope that one day you find your passion, because there’s nothing in life better than doing what you love while surrounded by people you love.

<3 Krystal

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Books with Heart for Teen and Young Adults
At Blaze, we're committed to bringing you high-quality, hard-hitting books full of heart. Whether the story is a mystery, a thriller, horror, steampunk, or some goofy comedy, there will be a message woven into the pages for readers to find and fall in love with. We want you to walk away inspired, in awe, or just happy to be alive. Or maybe you'll look at other people differently, in a less negative light. Whatever the case, you will find heart in our stories.

Our goal is to bring you four or five amazing works of fiction in 2016, and six in 2017 and each year after. We've already lined up a few and can't wait to see what comes across our desks next!

Do you have a submission you'd like to send us? We'd love to see it! You can find our submissions guidelines on our website.

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Chasing Midnight

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“Be careful what you wish for. . . . A modern Cinderella story that will charm its way into your heart and make you second-guess the grass you think is greener.” — Jennifer Murgia, author of Forest of Whispers


On Sale!

Looking for a romantic read? Grab Courtney King Walker's debut young adult novel, ON THE FRINGE, for just 0.99 cents! It's a YA ghost story, where your first embrace could be your last…

On the Fringe by Courtney King Walker

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Courtney King WalkerAbout the Author

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Courtney King Walker grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area building rocket ships and rafts out of cardboard, hoping to make it the moon or at least Niagara Falls. But a trip across the border to Tijuana was as exciting as it ever got, so she decided writing about adventure was the next best thing. She now lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband and four children, and still dreams of flying to the moon. She is the author of the young adult novel, ON THE FRINGE, and middle grade novel MOLLY PEPPER AND THE NIGHT TRAIN. Her next YA novel, CHASING MIDNIGHT, will be published January 12, 2016 by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media.


Winner will receive a signed physical copy of CHASING MIDNIGHT and $10 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Allan Westerfield Off-World

I received a copy of ALLAN WESTERFIELD OFF-WORLD by Anderson Atlas in exchange for an honest review. 

This book easily received 5 stars from me.  I have read a lot of survival stories and science-fiction, and this is by far one of the best because of originality.  This was the first book I’ve read where the main character – Allan Westerfield – is a paraplegic teen.  I was on the edge of my seat as Allan works his way through figuring out this new adventure he has encountered. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but my favorite part was when Allan met the “balloon-like creature.”  Intrigued?  Check out the book for yourself!

At first I did have trouble with the present tense, but I quickly became immersed in the story.

Did I mention there are incredible illustrations?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Magickal Birthday Treat

I received a copy of THE MAGICKAL BIRTHDAY TREAT by Sheelagh McGrath in exchange for an honest review.  This is geared toward younger teens, and I loved that about it.  I have my degree in elementary education, so I am always looking for young adult/middle grade books even though I don’t have my own classroom.  (I now teach adults)

As someone who recently lost her grandmother, I loved reading about the relationship between Jessica and her grandmother.

Without giving away any spoilers, this is a fun novel that will definitely appeal to teens!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Deadly Dance

I received a copy of DEADLY DANCE by Eliza Tilton in exchange for an honest review.  First off, the cover is beautiful, and secondly, this is part of the Daath Chronicles!  It had me right there.

This is a short story, easily read in one evening.  I recommend you start the series at the beginning and work your way through.  Be warned: this fantasy series is highly addictive!

Without giving any spoilers, this is a must read for fans of Derrick.  By the way, Lucy is my new favorite character!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Cup of Dust

I received a copy of A CUP OF DUST by Susie Finkbeiner from Kregel in exchange for an honest review.  This is a novel that focuses on the Dust Bowl of the Great Depression.  I absolutely love history, so I completely swallowed up this story and couldn’t wait for more.  This comes highly recommended as not only historical fiction, but as a powerful story that will haunt your dreams with his beauty and rawness.

I loved the author’s voice.  I’m not sure how to describe it other than enchanting.  Susie Finkbeiner captures your attention from the first page and refuses to release you until the end.

I do read a lot of historical fiction, but I’ve only read a few children’s books about the Dust Bowl, never anything about it geared for adults.  I found that aspect even more enchanting.

As someone who recently lost her grandmother, I found the relationship between the grandmother, mom, and daughter extremely emotional.  All of these characters are ones that will stick with you.

Before I end this review, I just want to say that I wanted to leap into this book and help these characters with their suffering.

Five huge, flashing stars from me.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Fiona Thorn and the Carapacem Spell

I received a copy of FIONA THORN AND THE CARAPACEM SPELL BY Jen Barton in exchange for an honest review.  I feel awful that it took me this long to read, but maybe it’s a good thing.  My younger cousin fell in love with the cover – and the cover is spectacular – as well as the description on the back of the book.  I have been reading it out loud to her.  I read it quicker myself, but I wanted to wait to review until I had her opinion too.  This is a young adult book, and while I love young adult books, I’m now a full fledged adult.  She I still a young adult.

We both loved it.  She told me she wishes Fiona Tjorn was a real person, but she would like her for a friend.  I found this book to have plenty of role models, as well as well-rounded villains.  Many moments had me laughing and many others had me on the edge of my seat.

This is easily a five star book!