Tuesday, April 25, 2017
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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).
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
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
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.