Wednesday, November 29, 2017

ATLANTIS by Carol Roberts

When Alanthea, high-priestess of Atlantis, connects to a woman in her dreams, she becomes haunted by a mystery. Compelled to trace the other woman's life she finds coded poems that hold clues to the predicament of her people. Now she has to venture ever farther into forbidden territory to link past and present, and understand the real danger threatening Atlantis.

Arakon always thought of himself as an orphan, a loner without any real belonging. But after a strange encounter his life changes, and he is drawn into events beyond his control. 

They move parallel in their search for answers until their destinies converge, and the weave unravels. Yet what they finally uncover lies deep at the heart of collective evolution, and what has been set in motion cannot be undone.

“And that is all I can tell you.”
The big, leather-bound book closed with an air of finality, as if to never again disturb the dust particles that resettled on the ancient, worn cover. Derwan’s voice, harsh and abrupt, carried all the weight of his rank and age, and, bending slightly forward, his whole position radiated an intense dislike of the situation.
The silence between the two dimly illuminated figures lengthened, permeating the ancient Hall of Priests and weaving intricate patterns of potential words and meanings through the thick stone columns and heavy torch holders. Not all the candles were still burning; some had melted into wax pools whilst others were about to extinguish, flickering wildly and releasing puffs of smoke into the blackness above. Then the stillness became heavy, and Derwan started to feel strained.
Nobody but the woman opposite him held the right or rank to ask for such a lengthy audience, nobody had ever dared to give him, the high priest, the position to wait patiently for a dismissal, and it was unheard of that anybody had ever dared to go back in time and request insight into the Book of Justice.

Bio: Carol Roberts is a free lance writer with particular interest in cultural myth. Originally from Vienna, she has spent all of her adult life in the Far North of New Zealand. Her work took her to several different countries, where she indulged her fascination with stories, particularly those dealing with the creation of man.  'Atlantis' is her first full length novel; speculating on concepts of the human condition, the meaning of individual and collective destiny, and the choices within that. 

Check this out:

May the Faith Be With You

I received a copy of MAY THE FAITH BE WITH YOU HOLY BIBLE from ZonderKids in exchange for an honest review. 

There are many Bibles out there.  There are many spins on the Bible.  By spin, I mean that it is slightly different from the others offered out there.  This one is unique by appealing to middle graders.  (At first I thought this would have a Star Wars spin, but it does not.  Be warned if you want to get this for a Star Wars fan just because of the cover.)

The book is written with easy-to-understand vocabulary.  Colorful pages are added throughout to maintain a child’s interest.  I did like this version, and I think it is great for kids to take with them to church.  They will feel empowered and eager to read.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


This book…when I think of one word, I think of funny.  It was just what I needed to read after a long day of work (think 10 hours straight).  More often than not, I was laughing out loud. 

This is a romantic comedy that is clean.  I was more than happy, and comfortable, to give my mom a recommendation to read it.  If you are looking for a comical, sweet story, check this out.  It would make an awesome holiday gift.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Caller 107

I have very mixed feelings on this book, so I will be rating it with 3 stars.  I’m torn about that rating, but 3 is right in the middle, so that’s where I’m landing.  I’m going to break the story down and rate each one separately.

5 stars for emotion.  The emotion is raw.  It is so palpable; it really makes this story stand out from the rest.

5 stars for the divorce theme.  Matt Cox wrote about the divorce with such power.  I think this would resonate well with any child going through divorce.  From my teaching days, I saw students going through divorce and you could tell they were suffering.  I think this book would really help them to see they aren’t alone and might make them think twice about falling in with the wrong group of people.

1 star for the language.  I am looking at this book from a junior high/high school standpoint.  I get that teens do use the f-word a lot.  I’ve seen it many times in young adult books.  However, the frequent use of the f-word prevents this novel from being used in classrooms.  It prevents teachers from giving the books to students who might benefit from reading the divorce standpoint.  (Looking at this as an adult book, then 5 stars for realistic language.)

3 stars for age range.  Natalie is 13, so that places the book more towards a younger YA audience.  The book, however, deals with rape, drugs, and swearing.  All of these topics are true for teens, but parents might balk at them.  Basically I thought Natalie should be older, maybe 16 or 17, to make the book more geared toward upper YA. 

2 stars for the mom.  I didn’t find any redeeming qualities in her.  I get that she was supposed to be a horrible person, but I would have liked to see a little bit of her shine.  At the end, I wished Natalie’s dad got full custody so she would never have to see her mom again.

1 star for setting.  I really couldn’t picture much of the setting.  The story was fast-paced and I didn’t get a sense of descriptions other than Natalie’s emotions.  The best description in the book was when she got shot.

3 stars for originality.  Matt Cox writes strong characters and the divorce theme is powerful.  However, I have read many similar books where someone dies and gets the chance to “go back” to the world of the living to “complete” something.  It is a classic theme that works.  It makes us think about our lives.  What sets this one apart from the others is the divorce aspect. 

5 stars for the artwork.  Wow.  Just wow.

So, overall, check out this book if you were a child of divorce, if you know a child going through divorce, or if you are going through one.  It will really make you rethink how children are treated when parents aren’t civil.

Friday, November 24, 2017

In the Middle of the Mess

I received a copy of IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MESS: STRENGTH FOR THIS BEAUTIFUL, BROKEN LIFE by Sheila Walsh from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.  This was my first book by Sheila Walsh, and her found her writing style easy to read and trustworthy.  Each page feels as though she is speaking from the heart.  I liked that she didn’t seem afraid to hold anything back.  Everything felt pure.  Honest.

The chapters are short, which make this book perfect for reading in between chores or on your lunch break.  It gives you plenty of fodder to think about throughout your day.  If you know of anyone struggling, this book would make a perfect holiday gift.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Out of the Ordinary

I received a copy of OUT OF THE ORDINARY by Jen Turano from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.  This is part of the “Apart from the Crowd” series.  I hadn’t read the first book and didn’t feel that I needed to in order to enjoy this one.

This is another top-notch historical romance from Bethany House.  I always know that I can expect a Christian message, a sweet romance, and strong characters.  I wasn’t disappointed.  My favorite part about this book is the humor.  There were many times I actually laughed out loud and people around me asked what was so funny.

My only complaint is really that this book didn’t feel unique.  It was just another historical romance with a Christian theme.  It was good, and if you like this type of book, than I can easily recommend it.  It just didn’t have anything that made it stand out from the rest, if that makes sense.  I guess I thought about that because of the title.  It did feel a bit ordinary.  

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Vanishing Point

I received a copy of VANISHING POINT by Lisa Harper from Revell in exchange for an honest review.  This is part of the Nikki Boyd series.

I found this book to be incredibly interesting.  Usually books about cases are quick.  The mystery is solved within a few hours and a couple falls in love.  Instead, this book takes place over years.  You get to realize the ins and outs of law enforcement cases.  This would be an excellent book for someone thinking about going into law enforcement to read.

Other than that, this is a fast-paced and heart-pumping adventure.  It is truly gripping and you will want to read it in one sitting.  

Saturday, November 18, 2017

ANGELINE 43 by Kathy Bosman

A lot of times I call a book fun.  This book, well, it isn’t so much fun and emotional.  It pulls you in and leaves you breathless.

I don’t read many angel books, but of those I have read, ANGELINE 43 is definitely different.  This is fresh.  Unique.  I loved Essa, from her attitude to her passion.  She is a strong character to root for. 

I also loved the descriptions.  Kathy Bosman takes something insignificant, like a hoodie, and makes it beautiful by calling it “duty-blue.”

The ending will leave you smiling.  You will sigh as you put the story down.

I 100% enjoyed it and recommend it for fans of young adult fantasy.

Friday, November 17, 2017


I am a huge history buff and I used to be obsessed with the Salem Witch Trials when I was in high school.  This book brought back my love of that time in history…and when I say love, it is more of a morbid fascination.  DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND takes a fresh new look at the witch trials.  I liked that it didn’t lesson the trauma of the historical time period, while still delivering something new and emotional.  I loved Elizabeth.  She was so relatable and strong. 

This is a fun, historical novel with a supernatural twist.  It is perfect for teens who love paranormal books, but aren’t too familiar with history.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Lady Jayne Disappears

I received a copy of LADY JAYNE DISAPPEARS by Joanna Davidson Politano from Revell in exchange for an honest review. 

This book was, well, it was incredible.  I am so in love with it.  The description sounded awesome and I couldn’t wait to read it.  I wasn’t disappointed.  I zipped through this story in no time!  I have always been passionate about Gothic romances, so I might be a bit biased, haha. 

You will quickly be sucked into the writing.  Don’t expect to read a chapter and then set the book aside.  Give yourself a good few hours because you will need it.  I love books about family secrets and creepy houses, and historical fiction just adds sugar on top.  As you can see, I really loved this book.  I can’t stop gushing about it!  Check it out and prepare not to be disappointed.

Monday, November 13, 2017

CARRIED HOME by Heather Manning

Oh. My. Gosh.  This brought me back to Pirates of the Caribbean, one of my favorite movies.  I’m also a fan of sea stories and romance in general, so I just ate this book up. 

The best part of this book to me (other than the characters, who are all engaging) was the imagery.  I could picture everything like a movie.  It sweeps you up into the scene.

Other than the romance, there is plenty of danger and action to keep the story moving.

This is the second book in the series, but I was able to read it and thoroughly enjoy it without having read book 1 first.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

LUCID by L. E. Fred

This is a young adult fantasy book that is fresh.  I read a lot of fantasy, and after a while, certain fantasy books blend together.  They feel as if they were all the same story, but with different character names.  LUCID feels totally new. 

Other than the world and adventure, you’ll be rooting for Devon.  He definitely comes of age.  You’ll watch him grow mentally and physically.  I found it cool that the story is told from a boy’s point of view.  Most of the fantasy books I’ve read that are geared toward young adults involve a girl.

Be warned: the book doesn’t really end.  It will leave you wanting the sequel.

Friday, November 10, 2017

DAY MOON by Brett Armstrong

This is the first installment of the series “Tomorrow’s Edge.” 

I don’t normally read sci-fi, although I do enjoy the genre.  This sci-fi dystopian young adult novel blew me away.  It kept me entranced.  (Sometimes sci-fi goes over my head)  This book will appeal to anyone who is looking for an intelligent read about a strong character who is family oriented.  I loved that the book was left to him by his grandfather.  It reminded me of the treasures my grandmother passed down…although nothing like that book.

Something else that stood out to me was how this isn’t your typical dystopian novel.  It hasn’t been done before, so it was refreshing and unique.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Great Siege by J. N. Tomczak

This book is just as good as the first!  Sometimes the sequel fizzles out, but it isn’t the case here.   My favorite part is the world building.  It feels like a movie.  You can see everything…and feel….and taste even.  It all comes to life.  After reading this, I really sat back thinking about the series.  The world building is definitely what makes it stand out.  (Of course, I also enjoyed more adventures of Aurora!) 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

JUNCTION 2020: Book 2: Nightmare Realization by Carol Riggs

This is the type of series that doesn’t just follow one character.  This book is about a different one.  You’ll get to know Tony.  You’ll feel what he feels.  You’ll see what he sees.  I found much of it, like with the gangs, chilling.  It really sucked me in more than book 1.  I really felt that I could connect with Tony more, and that made this book more enjoyable than the first.

Check out this series if you love books where you get to experience a whole new world.

Friday, November 3, 2017

A Crazy, Holy Grace

I received a copy of A CRAZY, HOLY GRACE: THE HEALING POWER OF PAIN AND MEMORY by Frederick Buechner from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review. 

Like with another book of his I read, the prose sucks you in.  It makes his writing easy to read and enjoyable.  The book is small and reminded me of the texts I had to read back in high school and college, boring texts that I had to force myself to endure.  Maybe that’s why I went into this with a bit of trepidation.  I was excited to find it so enjoyable!  Yes, the topic is serious and sad, but by enjoyable I mean that I enjoyed reading the words.  I am still struggling with the loss of my maternal grandmother and this book helped me in a way other things haven’t.  There’s a lot of negativity going on in my life right now and the book gave me hope. 

The Remarkable Ordinary

I received a copy of THE REMARKABLE ORDINARY: HOW TO STOP, LOOK, AND LISTEN TO LIFE by Frederick Buechner from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review. 

The best thing about this book would have to be its prose.  This book isn’t dry at all.  Frederick Buechner writes with mirth and honesty.  I looked forward to sitting down each night for another chapter.  It felt like visiting a new friend.

This book is basically a series of lectures.  They are perfect for reading one a night.  They don’t really correlate, but after finishing the book, I can see the overall reach.