Friday, May 19, 2017

The Most Misused Stories in the Bible: Review


I received a copy of THE MOST MISUSED STORIES IN THE BIBLE: SUPRISING WAYS POPULAR BIBLE STORIES ARE MISUNDERSTOOD by Eric J. Bargerhuff from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

I was excited to get this in the mail.  Many of my friends quote Bible stories, especially on Facebook.  Now I could see if they were right!  I sat right down to read this, expecting to get through a chapter or two, but I flew through it in a night.  The writing flows and the content is captivating. 

This is unlike other “Bible” books I’ve read.  Usually they are analyzing the stories, trying to fit them into your life and your life into them.  This one explains the stories in a non-controversial way.  Eric Bagerhuff analyzes the stories for what they are.  He doesn’t read into them.  In my personal opinion, this book is appropriate for any denomination.  It will help clear up many misunderstandings you might encounter. 

I’d like to point out that the way he writes is enjoyable.  This book isn’t dry at all.

 
This is a great addition to libraries both at home and in Christian classes.  This is an excellent gift for those in your life who love learning more about the Bible.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Cover reveal - Marked Beauty

MARKED BEAUTY by S.A. Larsen, Digital Cover Reveal Information

Title: Marked Beauty

Author: S.A. Larsen

Publisher: Ellysian Press

Release Date: October 2017

Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . . . or worse, steal your soul.

Anastasia Tate has a secret. She can feel the emotions of others through their life energy auras. Not a welcome gift for a teenager. Especially when a sinister presence begins stalking her.

Viktor Castle also has a secret. He’s tasked with protecting humanity yet cursed by an ancient evil to destroy it.

After Viktor saves Ana’s life, her abilities grow stronger. Drawn together, she senses Viktor has answers to lifelong questions. Only he shuns her at every turn, knowing he has saved her only to put her in more danger.

As Ana struggles with her attraction to Viktor, he tries everything to bury his unexpected feelings for her. But they must find a middle ground. For only together can they combat the dark forces threatening both their lives . . . and their souls.

ADD to GOODREADS

About the Author

S.A. LARSEN is the author of the award-winning novel Motley Education, the first book in a fantasy-adventure series for middle grade readers. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Marked Beauty is her debut young adult novel. Find her in the land of snowy winters and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty-five years, four children, a playful pooch, and three kittens. Visit her cyber home anytime at www.salarsenbooks.com.

Connect with her on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Blog | Goodreads

Giveaway

This is a #hashtag giveaway, where two lucky winners will receive a FREE eBook of Marked Beauty upon its release.

To participate:

  • Share one of the premade images via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Or write up a blog post using one of the images.
  • Include #MarkedBeauty in your description.
  • Optional for extra entry: include Add to Goodreads (with link) in your description.

***Posts MUST contain the hashtag #MarkedBeauty for entry into the giveaway or we won’t be able to find you.

Pre-made tweets (you add the image)

"A lust 4 life energy. An ancient curse. One soul's journey thru death 2 find the cure." #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0

"Uncovering some secrets can kill you, or worse ... steal your soul." #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0 #YAlit

An ancient race. A timid girl. And a journey to the in-between. #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0 #YAlit

The giveaway begins May 17th and will be open until May 23rd. Winners will be announced May 24th via social media.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Wings of the Wind


I received a copy of WINGS OF THE WIND by Connilyn Cossette in exchange for an honest review.  The book was given to me by Bethany House, so I knew to expect topnotch fiction.  Once again I was not disappointed.

 

This is the third installment in the “Out from Egypt” series.  I had previously read book two and looked forward to diving back into Christian historical fiction.  In this book, the Israelites are about to enter “The Promised Land.”

 

Connilyn Cossette brings her characters to life, and with them, the Bible.  Most of the historical fiction I read deals with the 1800’s, so it was refreshing to read something set much farther back in time.  This book looks at a time not often written about. 

 

My favorite part is how well the author explored Alanah.  You understood what she went through, where she was coming from.  You really got to know Alanah as a person and not just ink on a page.

 

I not only recommend this book, but the series as a whole.  You will be entertained and enlightened, transported back in time.  This is a great book for reading circles.  There is much fodder for literary discussion.  5 stars.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Too Deep for Words


I received a copy of TOO DEEP FOR WORDS by Andrea Boeshaar from Kregel in exchange for an honest review.  I absolutely loved Book 1, so I was thrilled to read this one.  It had all the history of the Civil War that I adored.  I am a huge history buff.  Reading books like this is such a trip back in time.  It made me want to go to Gettysburg all over again.

However, I’m rating this at four stars instead of five.  I loved all of the characters.  I loved the end.  I loved the middle.  I just wasn’t a fan of the beginning.  It seemed to slow until we actually got to the action.  I get that we need build up, but I actually put the book down several times before picking it back up just because I was becoming bored. 

Once the dreaded occurs (read it to find out what I mean!) the book picked up speed and I just flew through it!  I can’t wait to read book 3.

My favorite part of book 2 is the makeshift orphanage.  Now that I have a baby, I can appreciate kids more. 

Highly recommended to fans of historical fiction that display the strong values of Christianity and “being a good person,” while still showing the gritty reality of war.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Hello Stars


I received a copy of HELLO STARS by Alena Pitts with Wynter Pitts from ZonderKids in exchange for an honest review.  This is book 1 in the series “Lena in the Spotlights.”
 
This is an adorable book, and the best part – it is “clean.”  It is wholesome. 
 
HELLO STARS is geared toward twelve-year-old girls.  I remember when I was that age, a lot of the books I read weren’t all that wholesome.  There was one in particular about a pioneer family that was so bad, my mom took it away to read “in a few years.” 

This book helps to teach girls good morals while entertaining them.  There are many ways they will be able to relate to Lena, while still enjoying the adventure and escapism.

My favorite part of the book is how close-knit Lena’s family is.  It is refreshing to read such a book after having endured many young adult novels that show clueless, distant, childish parents. 

This book will be enjoyed by parents and middle grade readers.  I highly recommend it!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Trusting Grace


I received a copy of TRUSTING GRACE by Maggie Brendan from Revell in exchange for an honest review.  It is the third installment in the “Virtues and Vices of the Old West” series.  This is my first endeavor into this saga.  You don’t need to have read books 1 and 2 to enjoy this one (at least I didn’t).

 

I have read other books by Ms. Brendan, however.  Like those, I found the setting beautiful and the romance sweet.  The characters make you love them.

 

I love the Old West, so I was excited to read that aspect.  Unfortunately, this book didn’t feel all that original.  While the descriptions of the setting are great, it didn’t give me the “Old West” feel.

If you enjoy historic fiction with clean romance and Christian themes, you will like this book.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Under a Desert Sky

I received a copy of UNDER THE DESERT SKY: REDEFINING HOPE, BEAUTY, AND FAITH IN THE HARDEST PLACES by Lynne Hartke from Revell in exchange for an honest review.  Oftentimes we think that things in life are too hard.  We want to give up.  I remember a time back in college when my class decided to donate winter coats to an inner-city school.  I was broke.  I couldn’t donate 5 winter coats like everyone else.  My mom took me aside and asked me if I had two arms.  I said yes.  She asked if I had two legs.  I said yes.  She told me that there are people out there who wished they could be me, but I was complaining about not affording winter coats? 
 
This book reminded me of that conversation.  The author, Lynne Hartke, puts life in perspective using thoughtful insight.  Her struggle with cancer is real.  She writes in such a way that you understand exactly what she’s going through.  Her reflections will keep you up late pondering life.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Never Give Up


I received a copy of NEVER GIVE UP: YOU’RE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK by John Mason from Revell in exchange for an honest review.
 
I didn’t expect to read it as fast as I did.  The book flies by and feels as if the author is having a personal conversation with you.
 
Parts of this really resonated with me.  Ever since having my baby, at times I feel overwhelmed by everything I want to do, need to do, and just being exhausted in general.  Many parts spoke to me, such as about procrastination.  I’ve found myself procrastinating more now than ever before.  I blame the exhaustion – but I can’t let exhaustion stop me.  Sometimes things are obvious, like that saying, but we need someone else to say them to us to really make them click.
 
Other sections in this book are perfect for me to use for other people.  There are many people in my life who struggle to get things done.  This book provided tools for my tool belt so I can assist them and know just what to say.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Agrokinetic


Another excellent read from Grace M. DeLeesie.  The writing flows and you can tell she cares about her characters.  She cares about her setting and her creations.  She loves all of it.  If you’re looking for an easy read about magic and romance, check this book out.

My only complaint is the title. It certainly is unique, but hard to say, even in my mind.  I started just thinking of the book as “Ag.” 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Caught in Between


CAUGHT IN BETWEEN by Alison L. Perry is an interesting take on vampires.  For one thing, Sadie faints at the sight of blood.  I do that too!  My best moment was passing out at work when they did biometric screening.


If you’re worried this is just another Twilight knockoff, don’t worry, it isn’t.  The writing is fresh and Sadie is interesting.  This is a fast read that takes you back to what it feels like to be a “different” teenager.  The emotion is raw.  Alison Perry does an excellent job in making her characters real and her situations engaging. 


I’m glad this is book 1.  I look forward to seeing what happens in book 2!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Alabaster


I received a copy of ALABASTER by Chris Aslan from Lion Fiction via Kregel in exchange for an honest review.  I really wasn’t sure what to expect, as the back of the book was a little vague.  I went into it, then, with an open mind, and it blew me away.  It isn’t just the research that makes this novel shine.  The characters themselves makes this story so heart wrenching and beautiful.  They are all so real.  The setting itself feels like a character.


It took me a while to realize this was historical fiction.  That may sound odd, but if you read the book, you’ll see what I mean.


This is Christian fiction, but it doesn’t quite feel that well.  Sometimes Christian fiction can eel preachy, whereas this is smooth.  The lesson come to you as your eyes open wide and you don’t realize you are learning about life.


I would love to see this made into a movie, but I fear that would lose some of the wonder of the words.


I recommend this book if you are looking for something beautiful and captivating to read.  It is a short book at only 202 pages, so it is a fast read.  If you’re like me, you will be able to read it in one sitting.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Witchwood Hollow


 


Looking for something fun and creepy to do this summer? If nature walks where the paranormal breathes down your neck is right up your alley, then check out Witchwood Hollow. Legend has it that the woods are haunted by the spirit of a witch. If you step inside this dark, shadowed crop of trees, you may never exit.


Travelers have been coming to Witchwood Hollow for years to test this legend. Beware – this is private property, so do tread lightly. Plus, you don’t want the witch to catch you!


I caught up with a local teen, who wishes to remain anonymous, about her trip into Witchwood Hollow.


“It was scary, you know?” She kept glancing behind her during our interview. “You have to go at night for the witch to catch you. I swear I heard someone call my name and my cousin thought someone grabbed her ankle.”


Many locals dare each other to see how long they can last in the woods. If you’re up for the dare, then visit Witchwood Hollow in Arnn, New York. Anyone you ask there can point you in the right direction.


If you’re looking for a fictionalized account of what happens within Witchwood Hollow, check out ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW by Jordan Elizabeth, published by Curiosity Quills Press.

Esteemed Vampire Cat


This book is perfect for cat lovers.  Opps, I mean purrrrfect.  Colt has an awesome personality and his adventures will make you laugh, cringe, and pull the book closer, your breath coming quicker.  I’m definitely getting this next Christmas for some of my cat-obsessed friends.

Overall, I recommend this for its overall good fun and the bit of creepiness thrown in.  This is perfect for escapism reading.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

EBB TIDE

I received a copy of THE EBB TIDE by Beverly Lewis from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.  I must say, this is by far my new favorite book by Beverly Lewis and my new favorite work of Amish fiction.

I loved so many things about it.  I loved the characters.  Each one felt real.  I had a baby six months ago, so I could relate to Monique’s struggles with dealing with a newborn.  I also found myself comparing my son to Connor. 

I loved the descriptions of Cape May, although at times it seemed as if the book was written just to provide tourist information for that spot.  Cape May reminded me of York Beach in Maine, where my family and I used to vacation every summer.  After reading THE EBB TIDE, I can’t wait to go to Cape May.  I looked up the destination online and saw ads for many of the sites mentioned in the book.  I’m passing this on to my mother so she can be as excited about a trip to Cape May as I am!

I also loved Sallie’s struggles with coming to terms with her faith.  Her understanding and questions are very real, and I like the way her inner turmoil is solved at the end of the novel.


On a last point, I found the book odd when compared to other works by Beverly Lewis.  It didn’t feel like her writing.  Normally her books aren’t so descriptive.  Things about it felt as if I was reading a novel by a new-to-me author.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Damned and The Pure - Series


At first, I was a little daunted by it being a collection of 4 books.  I only get to read at night on my computer, so I worried how long it would take me to get through them.  Wellll – I flew through the collection!  Oh my goodness.  These are books where you can see everything.  They feel more like a movie than a book.  You’re in there with the characters.


With some books I’ve read lately, the sequels just falter while book one shines, or book one falters and the sequels are amazing.  Rest assured that the writing in these books stays steady. 


Be warned: This isn’t your typical angels and demons story.  Be prepared to be sucked in.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Psychokinetic & The Psychomic


I had read other books by Grace and loved them.  She has a way with words.  It paints a picture and makes you care about the characters.  You can see how well Grace has developed her writing talent.

I hadn’t read a witch book in a while, so I found it refreshing.  This isn’t your standard “witch” book.  I love Erika!

Beautiful cover, by the way. 

Heroine's Journey

At first, I was confused.  I wasn’t sure if it was the same girl (Guin and Gwen) or two girls in different universes, or two girls in different time periods.  Once I figured it out, I enjoyed the book a lot more.  I love the historical detail and how each girl became a strong individual.  Such an adventure (meeting someone in the past like that) would have been a dream come true for my younger self.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Question Woman & Howling Sky

Going into this book, I knew it would have a post-apocalyptic theme. I like those books. I find them to be scarier than any ghost story because this might happen in the future. So I went into this knowing it would be entertaining, and scary, but I didn’t expect the uniqueness of the Navajo theme. You can tell the author did extensive research during the writing process. Not only the Navajo culture, but the entire setting shines off the pages. The setting itself feels like a character. I loved the concept of the Winds. Very mysterious. I also loved Little Coyote. What a quirky and endearing character!

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Trail of Crumbs


I received a copy of A TRAIL OF CRUMBS by Susie Finkbeiner from Kregel in exchange for an honest review.  This is the sequel to A CUP OF DUST.

I love to read, and I say I loved a book, but they don’t always stick with me.  A CUP OF DUST, however, has stuck with me.  Often I find myself thinking about the characters and the situations they went through.  A CUP OF DUST is truly a beautiful, heart-wrenching book.  I was worried that A TRAIL OF TEARS wouldn’t live up to its predecessor.  At the same time, I couldn’t wait to read it!

It lived up to my expectations (although book 1 remains my favorite).  A TRAIL OF TEARS returns the reader to the Spence family as they make an important move in their lives.  The historical detail is brilliant and in-depth.  You can tell the author put a lot of time into doing her research. 

My grandmother lived through the depression, and often times I thought about her while reading.  “Did she hear that news?”  “Did she use that product?”  “What did she think about…?” 

I highly recommend this to lovers of historical fiction or anyone who wants to escape into an amazing read.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Sandpiper Cove


I received a copy of SANDPIPER COVE by Irene Hannon in exchange for an honest review from 0Revell.  This is part of the “Hope Harbor” series.


 This is a romance with Christian undertones.  The story involves a police chief falling in love with an ex-convict, and vice versa.  That intrigued me when I read the synopsis.  I read quite a bit of romance, and I haven’t seen that dynamic before.  I couldn’t wait to see how the author carried it out (and hoped it wouldn’t be weak).


 The characters stood out to me the most.  Everyone felt real, as if I would meet them if I traveled to Oregon.  Many of the characters reminded me of someone I know in real life.  (I’m not mentioning names so no one takes offense!)   Even the secondary characters stand out.  Some authors don’t spend time developing them, but you can tell Irene Hannon loves each and every one of them.



Did I mention how in love I am with the setting and want to go there on vacation?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Andi Under the Big Top


I received a copy of ANDI UNDER THE BIG TOP by Susan K. Marlow from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review.  This is the second installment in the series “Circle C Milestones.”  The series is about a little girl, Andrea (known as Andi), growing up on a ranch in California in the 1800s.  It is simply, but elegantly written, and contains Christian undertones. 

 

I liked this book even better than book one.  In ANDI UNDER THE BIG TOP, a circus comes to town.  Andi is enthralled by it, but then she meets a runaway who is abused by the circus, and danger comes to someone she loves.  I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but the danger does have a happy ending perfect for children. 

 

I liked how the story shows the darkness behind circuses.  People usually just see the glamour, and don’t realize the horrors of it in its youth.  Much of this book reminded me of Dumbo, although it isn’t the story of an elephant taken from its mother.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Andi Saddles Up


I received a copy of ANDI SADDLES UP by Susan K. Marlow from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review.  It is the first book in the “Circle C Stepping Stones” series.

 

I had previously read the young adult series about Andi Carter, so Susan K. Marlow already had a fan in me!  Her writing is pure pleasure.  This historical fiction series is geared toward children ages seven to ten.  I can see this appealing more to girls, but because of the horses and ranch life, boys might also be interested.  From my time as an elementary teacher, I can see student snatching up copies of this book.  There are many teachable moments throughout the chapters.  Parents and teachers can take the time to explain about the Wild West and ranch life in the 1800s. 

 

In ANDI SADDLES UP, Andi meets a new friend.  Unfortunately, Andi’s older brother and her new friend’s father are at war over land each family wants to claim.  Andi learns important lessons about friendship and not allowing her own anger to make her act impulsively.  The religious undertones aren’t heavy at all, perfect for subtlety teaching children. 

 

Highly recommended!  I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

 

I’m passing this book on to a friend’s daughter.  I can see myself buying more copies of this to give as gifts in the future.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Hope for the Same-Sex Attracted


I received a copy of HOPE FOR THE SAME-SEX ATTRACTED: BIBLICAL DIRECTION FOR FRIENDS, FAMILY MEMBERS, AND THOSE STRUGGLING WITH HOMOSEXUALITY by Ron Citlau from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. 

Many of my friends are homosexual.  I have seen them struggle personally.  I have seen their families struggle to accept them.  I have seen the cruelty shown to them on a daily basis.  It is disheartening.

I am religious.  I find solace in religion, and while many of my homosexual friends were religious growing up, some of them have turned away because they don’t feel accepted, or worse – have been told to turn away.  I found this book refreshing in that it isn’t just preaching.  It reflects on the author’s personal experiences.  It is written in a conversational way that keeps the chapters fast-paced.

Don’t expect an answer.  Don’t expect hate.  Instead, this book teaches thought, reflection, and love.
I recommend this book to those who wish to think more about the topic of homosexuality.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Long Time Gone


I received a copy of LONG TIME GONE by Mary Connealy from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.  It is the second installment in the Cimarron Legacy series.  Once again, Bethany House delivers quality historical fiction with Christian undertones.  I’m never disappointed when I pick up a book from Bethany House.

LONG TIME GONE transports the reader to the Wild West.  It reminded me of all the old westerns my mom and I would watch on television.  Mary Connealy is an excellent author to take you on this journey.  There were some moments I laughed out loud.  Other time I went “aw.”  She makes each character well rounded and the setting blossoms around you.  There is just the right amount of romance without making to too heavy. 
My favorite part was how well I could picture everything.  I love history, and this felt like I was being transported back in time.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Strings

When I think back on STRINGS by G. Miki Hayden, the first word that comes to mind is “bizarre.”  It is all about different dimensions.  I know there are other books like that out there, but this was my first reading one and I found it delightful.  It was all over the place in a great way!  Some parts were confusing, but they all led up to clarity, and the best part was that Robert, the main character, was confused too.  I find him very real.  Instead of being “perfect,” he was flawed like any teenage boy.  Instead of grasping the new concepts quickly, he struggled with them, and eventually understood.  I could relate to that. 

Something that really stood out to me was when his mother taught him to hold photographs by the edges.  My grandmother always stressed that to me!

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.