Friday, September 22, 2017

Love You Always - Review & Giveaway

Published - September 2017, Worthy Publishers
Author - Eileen Spinelli
Title - Love You Always
Format - hardcover
Find on Amazon

About the book:
With sweet rhymes and simple pictures, children learn they are loved.

My thoughts:
This book was adorable! I think it's probably my favorite one I've read recently.

The illustrations are simple, yet beautiful. The rhymes are so sweet. I love the fact that it lets kids know they more than just mom and dad love them.

My best friend's daughters, ages 6 and 4, both sat down and read the book. Actually reading it. Yes, they needed help sounding out some of the words, but it was simple enough for the girls to read.

I highly recommend this book.

I received a copy for free from the publisher to review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of picture books, parents of young children, teachers, anyone with a child in their life

Rating - 5 stars

Giveaway Time

It's been a long time since I hosted a giveaway here. The publisher will send one lucky winner a copy of the book.

To enter, just follow the instructions in the Giveaway box. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Assault - A Review

Published - Bethany House, August 2017
Series - Harbingers Book 2
Authors - Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, Alton Gansky
Title - The Assault
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

About the book (Goodreads):
Cycle 2 of the Harbingers series continues the story of four gifted strangers brought together to fight a growing darkness. 

In Bill Myers's "The Revealing," the team finds themselves in Rome trying to retrieve the mystical spear Hitler once owned--the very spear that pierced Christ's side. This task will take them from hidden chambers inside the Vatican to a mysterious seaside cave with powers they could never expect.

Frank Peretti's "Infestation" unleashes a microscopic evil on the world that deceives, blinds, kills, then spreads. The Harbingers team must confront a monster bent on seducing and destroying mankind.

In "Infiltration" by Angela Hunt, the team is wounded and barely holding together. Forced to split up, they realize their investigations have led them into dangerous waters.

Alton Gansky's "The Fog" unleashes a supernatural mist unlike any other. There are vicious things in the fog that kill whatever they find. One team member realizes that the ultimate sacrifice may have to be made.

My Thoughts:
This is book 2 in the series. It needs to be read in order!

Picking up immediately after the events in the first book, I was glad to see that the fast-paced style that was the first book returned with this one. I'll admit though, that it took me longer to read it than the first one, mainly because I wasn't in a reading mood. That said, once I got into the book, I found it hard to put down.

I love the way that each novella builds on the previous one. They are not separate stories that could stand on their own like so many novellas I've read do. The characters and the stories are so intertwined, that when switching from one story to the next, I sometimes didn't even notice that I'd switched.

I am really enjoying getting to know Brenda, the professor, Andi, and Tank. I love how they continue to grow and change.

Overall, I enjoyed this book.

I received a copy for free from the publisher to review. I was not required to like the book, only give my honest opinion. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Frank Peretti, Bill Myers, suspense

Rating - 4 stars

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Maverick and Me - A Review

Published - September 2017, Worthy Publishing
Author - Katherine Schwarzengger
Title - Maverick and Me
Format - hardcover
Find on Amazon

About the book:
When Maverick is found wet and shivering beside the road, all he wants is a forever home. This is his journey to find a forever home.

My thoughts:
I loved this book. I loved the way that the author encouraged fostering/adopting animals, specifically dogs.

Maverick was just adorable. I loved how he "helped" set up for the party that Scarlett was throwing for him.

The illustrations are beautiful, and really drive the story home. I read this book to my friend's daughters, the middle of whom loves dogs. It's a great story for all animal lovers or for anyone who just loves children's books.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of children's books, librarians, animal lovers

Rating - 5 stars

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Saturday Scribbles Vol. 3.2

Hello my reader friends. It's been a long time since I wrote a Scribbles post.

Hurricane Harvey. That's a storm I don't think I'll forget anytime soon. You see, I've never liked storms. But this one, I was thinking it's just rain, I'll ride it out at home.

That was my plan. Then Friday August 25, 2017, my brother called me. He pretty much convinced me that I needed to go to Mom's. Because my parking lot floods. So I packed up Kiki and we went.

So the storm hit Rockport, near Corpus Christi. And the rain. Oh the rain. It started raining on Friday morning before it made landfall. It stopped some on Saturday, but then Saturday night came. And with it the rain. It wasn't just part of Houston being hit, it was all of it. The weather forecasters were say 30 or more inches before it was supposed to stop. So days of rain. Soon places that didn't flood were flooding.

I watched with mom as the water crept up to about halfway up the driveway and came within inches of coming in through the backdoor. This was early Sunday morning.  A miracle in itself is that my place had zero damaged, and this is with a parking lot that floods. We were blessed. But others weren't.

Just across the freeway from my apartment, the neighborhood was under water. My brother and sister-in-law had water in their home and evacuated first to the high school he teaches at and then to a hotel they'd booked. Friends from church had several feet of water in their homes. It was like that all over the area.

Then I watched something beautiful happen. While the rain still came down on Sunday, people were helping each other. I saw people with boats who didn't care if the person was male or female, what political party. It didn't matter about race or religion or sexual orientation. They helped. No questions asked, really. I have a friend who worked the shelter at Dobie High School feeding those who showed up while her husband was driving around picking up people who needed it. This continued into Monday and Tuesday. Shelters opened up across the city, and volunteers showed up. Then there was a problem of having too many volunteers, too much supplies. What a problem to have.
People in line to volunteer at the George R. Brown Convention Center shelter.

Then the rain stopped. At least in Houston. Total rainfall was over 50 inches, and the weather people had to invent a new color for rainfall.

Harvey moved on towards Louisiana, and continued to dump rain. And once again, people helped each other.
I 10 east near Winnie. This is the road.

I see on social media things saying #HoustonStrong  And #TexasStrong and that's what is happening. For a few days, my city didn't care about politics or the hate that surrounds so many. My city showed the world what it means to see past all barriers and to the heart. That everyone is important. My city will rebuild and will be stronger for it.

Now that the rains have stopped and some roads are becoming passable again, I still see people helping others. I know of several churches who have crews of volunteers assisting people with the ripping up of carpets and floors. Cutting sheetrock. Washing clothes. Feeding the crews. Offering cars. I've seen it all across the area, and not just the churches. But neighbors.

One of my brother's dearest friends set up a go fund me page to help my brother and sister-in-law with expenses.  If you want to help, consider them. Here's the link.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Chasing Secrets - A Review

Published - August 2017, Revell Books
Series - Elite Guardians Book 4
Author - Lynette Eason
Title - Chasing Secrets
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

About the book (Goodreads):
Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she's made a career out of taking care of others. But after an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her--and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he's not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.

In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories--and the depths of the heart--Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley's past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won't quit.

My Thoughts:
I've enjoyed each book in this series, and this one was no exception. This book was fast-paced, and I found myself not wanting to put it down. In fact, I only did when I fell asleep.

I loved how Haley's past came into play. For the last three books, she's been in the background, so seeing her front and center was great. And once again, I loved how I was kept guessing the entire book. 

I'm rather sad to see this series come to an end. It was different than anything else I'd read and I really enjoyed it.

I received a copy of the book for free from the publisher to review. I was not required to like the book, only share my honest opinion. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Irene Hannon, Lynette Easton, Dani Pettrey, Dee Henderson

Rating - 4 stars

Friday, August 11, 2017

Wow! The Good News in Four Words

Published - July 2017, Tyndale House
Author - Dandi Daley Mackall
Title - Wow! The Good News in Four Words
Format - hardcover
Find on Amazon

About the book (Goodreads):
For anyone looking for a fresh way to present the gospel to young children, Wow! The Good News in Four Words is a perfect resource. This whimsical and fun book outlines the gospel in a simple and memorable way (for both adults and kids!), using fun words to highlight the story. The book will present Creation/Genesis (Wow!), The Fall (Uh-oh . . .), Redemption/Jesus' Life and Sacrifice (Yes!), Restoration/The New Heaven (Aaahhhh), ending with one last Wow because we get to go out and tell the Good News!

My Thoughts:
I LOVE this book! It is beautifully illustrated. The text is a simple rhyme. I love how it is so simple to explain the Gospel to kids. The first time I read it to my best friend's daughters, her oldest (6 yrs old) kept asking why during the Uh-oh pages. It was a great opportunity for me and her parents to be able point out that sin causes everyone to be bad. 

Anyway, I highly recommend this book.

I received a copy for free from the publisher in order to review. I was not required to like the book, only share my honest opinion of it.

Recommended to parents, teachers, librarians

Rating - 5 stars

Name Unknown - A Review

Published - July 2017, Bethany House
Series - Shadows Over England Book 1
Author - Roseanna M. White
Title - A Name Unknown
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

About the book:
Rosemary Greshman is a thief. She's one of the best in the business actually. When she's approached to go undercover in order to find proof that Peter Holstein is either loyal to England or to Germany, Rosemary agrees. After all, those she calls family could really use the money. Peter Holstein is a bit of a recluse. He's got a few close friends, but his name and his ties to Germany cause people to doubt his loyalty. That and the fact that he's hiding something - he uses a pen name to write his popular adventure series. When Rosemary shows up as a librarian, Peter sees her as an answer to prayer. Yet as he slowly starts to draw close to her, Rosemary begins realize that he really is more than his name.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this book. There was an element of suspense that I found refreshing. I was immediately drawn into the book. There were nights that I simply couldn't put it down.

I loved Rosemary's search. Not just for information about Peter, but also her deeper search into who she was and why bad things happen. I loved how loyal she was to her family, yet wasn't afraid to make a decision for herself.

I actually thought that Peter was rather endearing. In some ways he reminded me of Beast from Beauty and the Beast, but in others he didn't. I loved how he could express himself better in paper than verbally. I also loved his friends.

Overall, this was an excellent read.

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in order to give my honest opinion. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of WWI, Roseanna M. White, Kate Breslin, Jody Hedlund

Rating - 4 stars

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Captain's Daughter - A Review

Published - June 2017, Bethany House
Series - London Beginnings Book 1
Author - Jennifer Delamere
Title - The Captain's Daughter
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

About the book (Goodreads):
When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater which is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.

An injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he’s glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind

My Thoughts:
First let me say that the cover is beautiful. It was because of the cover that I requested this title to review. And the back cover caught my attention as well. It made me want to read this book. 

That said, I struggled. I struggled more than I usually do when reading. After a prologue that drew me in and begged me to keep going, the book fell flat. I would read it for about 5 pages before deciding something else was more interesting (my cat, another book, the current crochet project, sleep, or something). This happened more than once for me. So I struggled to read more than 5 pages at a time. I don't know if it was the author's style or if I felt no connection to the characters. I think it was probably a bit of both.

I didn't connect to the main characters at all. When all is said and done, I'm like who? I also saw that there were several plot lines that had the potential to be wonderful, but sadly they fell flat or were dropped entirely. As a reader, that frustrated me. I'm ok with not everything being tied up in a pretty little bow, but I mean, come on! Don't start something and don't finish it. Or at least give me a satisfying end to the plot line.

I truly hate leaving a more negative than positive review. I looked at the reviews on Amazon and on Goodreads. There are quite a few highly positive ones. Then there are a few others who felt similar to me. Don't take my word for it. If the book sounds interesting to you, try it. You make truly enjoy it. I just know that this author and this book in general weren't for me.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing. I wasn't asked to like the book, only to give my honest opinion on it, which I have done. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating - 2 stars

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Writing Desk - A Review

Published - July 2017, Thomas Nelson
Author - Rachel Hauck
Title - The Writing Desk
Format - ebook, paper, audio
Find on Amazon

Tenely Roth is basking in the success of her first book. She's been awarded the prestigious Gordon Roth award. Yet now she's struggling. She's under pressure from her publisher to produce her second novel, and Tenley is struggling to even put the words on paper. When her estranged mother contacts her asking for Tenley's help as she goes through cancer treatments, Tenley reluctantly agrees to head to Florida. After all, a change of scene just may inspire her, right?Once there, Tenley discovers a writing desk that seems to have a story of its own. Birdie Shehorn is living in the Gilded Age. She's the daughter of of old money and is expected to make a good match. Yet Birdie's heart longs for other things. She longs to be recognized for her own merit and not the match she can make. She longs to have her words published for all to read. Two women. Connected by one writing desk. Both with a longing to write, but are trapped by who society expects them to be. Can one lost manuscript bring both women the healing and closure they need?

My Thoughts:
This book was amazing. I can't say enough about it. I absolutely adored it.

There is something about the way that Rachel Hauck writes that just pulls me into her books. I get lost for hours. As much as I've loved her Royal Wedding series, her stand alone novels are probably the ones that stay with me. I love the depth of the past meeting the present. I love how the main character, Tenley in this case, has to make a decision that is similar to the one Birdie is forced to make. I love how each woman makes her choice for certain reasons, but was it necessarily the right one?

I love the depth that is Tenley and Birdie's characters. Both are not shallow characters. I love how they each either learn or not from the circumstances that they are presented with.

Some authors can draw a reader in. Others can make the story linger long after the book has ended. Ms. Hauck is one who has managed to do both with this book.

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in order to share my honest opinion. My thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not required to like the book, only honestly give me honest opinion.

Recommended to fans of women's fiction, Karen Kingsbury, Lisa Wingate, Rachel Hauck

Rating - 5 stars

Friday, July 14, 2017

Heart on the Line - A Review

Published - June 2017, Bethany House
Series - Ladies of Harper Station Book 2
Author - Karen Witemeyer
Title - Heart on the Line
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

About the book:
Grace Mallory left Colorado on the run. She's running from the men who murdered her father. In Harper's Station, she has finally found a place she can call home. She's working as the telegraph operator. Yet even in Harper's Station, she's not completely safe. When her location is discovered by those who killed her father, Grace logs off of the telegraph rather suddenly. Amos Bledsoe, the operator on the other end of the telegraph, has been chatting to Grace for months over the wire. When she abruptly disappears in the middle of their conversation, he becomes concerned. He is determined to meet her in person to see if she's ok. Soon both of them find themselves trying to keep themselves and the town safe.

My thoughts:
I always enjoy reading Karen Witemeyer's books. They are fun and sweet. This one had just a tough of romantic suspense in it.

I really enjoyed getting to know both Grace and Amos. I also enjoyed visiting with the other characters in Harper's Station. Sometimes, it seems that secondary characters can stand out. And in this case, all of the ladies of Harper's Station certainly stand out.

This book, overall, was a delight. I recommend it to fans of Karen Witemeyer.

I received a copy from the publisher for free to review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, historical romance

Rating - 4 stars

Friday, June 23, 2017

With You Always - A Review

Published - June 2017, Bethany House
Series - Orphan Train Book 1
Author - Jody Hedlund
Title - With You Always
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

When a financial crisis hits New York City in the 1850's, thousands of immigrants are left without work. These immigrants came to the US in hopes of a better life. Instead, they find themselves crammed into tenements, working for pennies, and forced to find ways to support themselves. Elise Neumann finds herself attempting to care for her sisters when her job as a seamstress is suddenly gone. With no where else to go, Elise accepts a position with the Children's Aid Society to go work in new towns in the west. Thornton Quincy is the son of one of New York's wealthiest families. His father is dying, and he has issued a challenge to both Thornton and his brother - whichever son can build a successful town and  marry for love in six months will become the new head of the family business. Thornton is tired of being in his twin's shadow and is determined to win the contest. Yet when he meets Elise, he soon finds himself questioning all he's been brought to believe. Will the west be a place of new beginnings for both Elise and Thornton?

My thoughts:
I was so excited to see a new series by Jody Hedlund. I remember growing up adoring the Joan Lowry Nixon Orphan Train books. And now to read more about that period of history by one of my favorite authors as an adult, well, let's just say that I was pretty much over the moon.

I knew that the Children's Aid Society placed children, orphans or not, in homes in the west. Yet I didn't know that they also found jobs for women. I also found the idea of building a town around the railroad fascinating.

I loved both Thornton and Elise. I loved how her suggestions were things that he actually took into consideration. I loved how he wanted to protect her and to provide for her. Watching them fight their feelings for each other was fun.

I am looking forward to the rest of this series. I am hoping for both Marianne's and Sophie's stories.

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Jody Hedlund, Karen Witemeyer, historical fiction, orphan trains

Rating - 4 stars

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Freedom's Price - A Review

Published - June 2017, Revell Books
Series - Keys of Promise Book 3
Author - Christine Johnson
Title - Freedom's Price
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

About the book:
After the death of both her parents, the loss of her home, and hoping to escape an arranged marriage, Catherine Haynes travels from England to Louisiana hoping to be with her mother's family. Only her journey doesn't go as planned. The ship she's on becomes dangerous to travel just outside of Key West. Stranded in Key West for a time, Catherine meets the dashing Tom Worthington. Tom makes his living salvaging wrecked ships, but his real goal is to seek justice for his father's murder. When Catherine enlists his help in escorting her to Louisiana, he agrees. Neither knew what was in store for them on the plantation. Could the man who murdered Tom's father be the same man who is running Catherine's family's plantation? If so, then they are both in danger. Will long held secrets keep them apart?

My Thoughts:
I really liked this book. There was more mystery in it than the others in the series. I enjoyed both Tom and Catherine's characters. I thought that they worked well together.

While this is the third book in the series, it stands alone. The majority of the book takes place in Louisiana. It's been a while since I read something that is set pre-Civil War era in Louisiana. I'd forgotten how much slave labor was used in the South. This book forces both of the main characters to look at their own views of slavery.

Still it was an entertaining read.

I received a copy for free from the publisher as part of the Revell Reads program. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of historical fiction, Karen Witemeyer, Jody Hedlund

Rating - 4 stars

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Fifth Petal - A Review

Published - January 2017, Random House
Author - Brunonia Barry
Title - The Fifth Petal
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

About the book (Goodreads):
When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, Salem's chief of police, John Rafferty wonders if there is a connection between his death and Salem’s most notorious cold case, a triple homicide dubbed "The Goddess Murders," in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed on Halloween night in 1989. He finds unexpected help in Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims newly returned to town. Neither believes that the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian, is guilty of murder or witchcraft.  But exonerating Rose might mean crossing paths with a dangerous force. Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night? And if they cannot discover what truly happened, will evil rise again?

My Thoughts:
I'd never heard of this author before. But when I saw it was available to review, both the cover and the back cover copy drew me in, so I thought "why not." 

I had no idea what to expect from this book. I was drawn in quickly. I was curious to see how all of the puzzle pieces were going to line up. 

Reading about a modern day witch hunt in Salem was interesting on several levels. First I vaguely remember learning about them in my history classes in school. Second, it made me think about how we live in a society today that could easily have such a thing happen. 

Would this have been a book I'd have tried if it wasn't a review copy? Probably not. Am I glad I gave it a chance? Absolutely. Would I read books by this author again? Maybe. I'd have to see. If I were in a mystery kind of mood, then yes. 

Overall, this book was an unexpected surprise that I found myself enjoying.

I received a copy of this book for free from the Blogging for Books program. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating - 4 stars

For Love and Honor - A Review

Published - March 2017, Zondervan
Series - An Uncertain Choice Book 3
Author - Jody Hedlund
Title - For Love and Honor
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

About the book (Goodreads):
Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed? Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have? As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?

My Thoughts:
I think I've read everything that Jody Hedlund has written. This is the third book in the author's young adult series. 

I really enjoyed this book. It is helpful to have read the others first because that's where the reader is really introduced to Sir Bennet. I loved how he was determined to care for his family. I also loved Lady Sabine. I thought she was witty and a good match for Sir Bennet. 

This was a fast read. I love to read about knights and their ladies. Since I knew that this book was written for younger audiences, that I shouldn't expect quite the depth that I get in the author's adult novels. Still, the characters were deep, and they struggled to overcome their challenges.

I received a copy of this book for free from the BookLook Blogging program. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of young adult, knights, Jody Hedlund, Melanie Dickerson

Rating - 4 stars

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wings of the Wind - A Review

Published - May 2017, Bethany House
Series - Out From Egypt book 3
Author - Connilyn Cossette
Title - Wings of the Wind
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

About the book (from Goodreads) -
Alanah, a Canaanite, is no stranger to fighting and survival. When her family is killed in battle with the Hebrews, she disguises herself and sneaks onto the battlefield to avenge her family. The one thing she never counted on was surviving.
Tobiah, a Hebrew warrior, is shocked to find an unconscious, wounded woman among the Canaanite casualties. Compelled to bring her to a Hebrew healer back at their camp, he is soon confronted with a truth he can’t ignore: the only way to protect this enemy is to marry her.
Unused to being weak and vulnerable, Alanah submits to the marriage—for now. As she comes to know and respect Tobiah and his people, however, she begins to second-guess her plans of escape. But when her past has painfully unanticipated consequences, the tentative peace she’s found with Tobiah, the Hebrews, and Yahweh is shaken to the core. Can Alanah’s fierce heart and strength withstand the ensuing threats to her life and all she’s come to love?

My thoughts -
I didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book. Biblical fiction is a genre that I usually don't read. Yet the cover captivated me. So I picked it up.

I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with this. It's told from the perspectives of both Alanah and Tobiah. I loved to see how Alanah came to understand the God of the Hebrew people. I loved to see how she finally came to a point that she was willing to be used by God. 

Over the years, I've read countless stories of how the Israelites left Egypt to return to the Promised Land. Yet this is the first one that I've read that actually talks about how they felt. 

I'm really glad to know that this book stood alone and I didn't have to have read books 1 and 2. 

I received a copy for free from the publisher to review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Recommended to fans of Biblical fiction

Rating - 4 stars

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Love Letters from God - A Review

Published - April 2017, Zondervan Books
Author - Glenys Nellist
Title - Love Letters from God
Format - ebook, hardcover
Find on Amazon

About the book -
In this heart-warming picture book designed for girls, author Glenys Nellist tells the inspiring stories of incredible women in the Bible. With beautiful illustrations by Rachel Clowes and sweet lift-the-flap envelopes, each story delivers a special message for children to open as they read their own personal love letters from God. Full of warmth and love, this picture book will fill girls’ hearts with the wonder of the Lord. The stories of Eve, Miriam, Esther, Mary, and many more will delight children and remind them of the bond they can share with God, just like the women of the Bible.

My Thoughts -
This was cute. Each story has a special letter to open. I found that it was longer than most Bible story books I'd read. I enjoyed it though.

I received a copy for free from the publisher to review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating - 4 stars

Monday, May 29, 2017

What Hope Remembers - A Review

Published May 2017, Revell Books
Series - Misty Willow Book 3
Author - Johnnie Alexander
Title - What Hope Remembers
Format - e-book, paper
Find on Amazon

Amy Somers never dreamed that she'd be living in the country. Yet after walking away from her career, she discovered she needed her family. And her family happens to live in the country. Amy's hoping to figure out who she is when she runs into childhood crush, Gabe Kendall. Gabe is a former Marine with a prison record. He happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. As he tries to make sense of his life now, he finds himself drawn to the girl he never forgot. Can these two hearts find healing together?

I didn't like Amy in the first book. I thought she was a brat. I didn't care much for her in the see book either. But this book showed how more there was to her. By the, I actually liked her. I loved Gabe though. I loved how he wanted to take care of his family.

This series is great. I have enjoyed each one.

I received this book for free from the publisher for the purpose of sharing my honest opinion. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of women's fiction.

Rating - 4 stars

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Long Time Gone - A Review

Published - March 2017, Bethany House
Series - Cimarron Legacy Book 2
Author - Mary Connealy
Title - Long Time Gone
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

The Bodens are still in danger. Someone wants their ranch. With Chance recovering in Denver, the running of the ranch falls to his children - Cole, Justin, and Sadie. Only now Cole's been shot and is fighting for his life. Justin and Heath, Sadie's husband, put plans in place to find the traitor. To complicate matters, the beautiful Angie DuPree is staying at the ranch to help ensure that Cole is on the mend. Justin finds the woman to be a big distraction. Will having her at the ranch put her life in danger?

It was a delight to return to the Cimarron Ranch. I saw the sparks between Justin and Angie in the first book, and eagerly devoured their story. While the problems at the ranch didn't get completely resolved in this book, there have been some that were resolved. I can't wait for the third book to really wrap up the ends.

I received this book for free from the publisher for the purpose of providing my honest opinion. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Mary Connealy, westerns, historical fiction

Rating - 4 stars

Monday, May 22, 2017

True To You - A Review

Published - May 2017, Bethany House
Series - Bradford Sisters Book 1
Author - Becky Wade
Title - True to You
Format - ebook, paper
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Nora Bradford loves her job. She is a genealogist and the owner of a cute historical village. She loves to be around people and to help them. When former Navy SEAL, John Lawson enters her life, she wants to help him find his birth mother. Yet she doesn't count on falling for him.

This book is just as cute as the others that this author has written. First of all, I love the cover! It's gorgeous!

I loved getting to know Nora and John. I loved being a part of their search for answers for John. I also enjoyed getting to know Nora's sisters. 

I read this book rather quickly. It was light-hearted and fun. 

I received a copy of the book for free from the publisher in order to share my own opinion about the book. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Becky Wade, contemporary romance

Rating - 4 stars

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Illusionist's Apprentice - A Review

Published - March 2017, Thomas Nelson
Author - Kristy Cambron
Title - The Illusionist's Apprentice
Format - ebook, paper, audio
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About the book (from Goodreads):
Harry Houdini’s one-time apprentice holds fantastic secrets about the greatest illusionist in the world. But someone wants to claim them . . . or silence her before she can reveal them on her own.

Boston, 1926. Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric—even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.

In the months following Houdini’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.

Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her.

Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage.

My Thoughts:
This one was different than the others I've read by this author. It was more of a mystery. I was still captivated by it though! I love how rich in detail the book is. I love how Wren must decide what secrets she can share while at the same time trying to keep herself, and her identity, out of the spotlight. 

I've not really thought about the way that magicians/illusionists work. This book was a fascinating glimpse into that world.

I received this book for free from the Booklook Blogger Program. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Kristy Cambron

Rating - 4 stars

Invitation - A Review

Published - April 2017, Bethany House
Series - Harbingers Cycle Book 1
Authors - Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, Alton Gansky
Title - Invitation
Format - ebook, paper, audio
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About the book (Goodreads):
Four Bestselling Authors Team Up for Thrilling Supernatural Suspense - Gathering four stories from four bestselling author friends, Invitation is the first collection in the ongoing Harbingers series. 

In "The Call" by Bill Myers, four strangers are drawn together to help a student at the mysterious Institute for Advanced Psychic Studies. His gifts are supposedly being honed to assist world leaders . . . but there are some very disturbing strings attached. 

Frank Peretti's "The Haunted" confronts a supernatural mystery, a case of murder, and an exploration into the darkness of the human heart, all centering around a mysterious house. 

In Angela Hunt's "The Sentinels," animals around the world are mysteriously dying. What could it mean? When the tragedy begins to touch Andi's dreams, she discovers a terrifying theory. 

"The Girl" by Alton Gansky is a gripping tale of a young barefoot girl found holding a scroll in the snowy Oregon mountains. She is sweet, innocent--apparently not of this world--and something wants to kill her.

My Thoughts:
This was unlike any other collection of novellas I've ever read. In this case, each novella builds on the previous one. Each one was told in first person. 

I was captivated immediately with this book. I've read books by these authors before, so I knew their writing styles. What I didn't expect to happen was that I was pulled completely into the book. The characters moved seamlessly from one novella to another. I cannot wait for the next installment of this series to come out. 

I received this book for free from the publisher for the purpose of providing my opinion. I was not compensated in any way for this book. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Bill Myers, Angela Hunt, Frank Peretti, Alton Gansky, suspense

Rating - 5 stars

With Love Wherever You Are - A Review

Published - March 2017, Tyndale House
Author - Dandi Daley MacKall
Title - With Love, Wherever You Are
Format - ebook, paper, audio
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About the book from Goodreads:
Everyone knows that war romances never last . . .
After a whirlwind romance and wedding, Helen Eberhart Daley, an army nurse, and Lieutenant Frank Daley, M.D. are sent to the front lines of Europe with only letters to connect them for months at a time.

Surrounded by danger and desperately wounded patients, they soon find that only the war seems real--and their marriage more and more like a distant dream. If they make it through the war, will their marriage survive?

My Thoughts:
I admit it. I'm a sucker for wartime romances. This one caught me immediately. Because it's based on the author's parent's love story. I loved everything about this book. Both Frank and Helen were well written. My heart rejoiced and broke for them as they navigated a war separated marriage. I also really enjoyed the secondary characters. Their letters made me feel like I really knew these characters.

At the end of the book, the author, in her note, explains how she came to write her parents' story. I think that was probably my favorite part. 

I loved this book. 

I received a copy of the book from the publisher for free in order to share my honest opinions about this book. I was not compensated in any way. My thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Recommended to fans of WWII, historical fiction, Sarah Sundin

Rating - 5 stars

Friday, April 28, 2017

Pursued - A Review

Published - April 2107, Revell Books
Series - Nikki Boyd Files Book 3
Author - Lisa Harris
Title - Pursued
Format - ebook, paper
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Nikki Boyd is returning to Nashville on what should be a routine flight. Then the plane crashes. Suddenly Nikki finds herself in the midst of chaos. When the woman who was seated next to her disappears, the FBI ask Nikki to help. But it's a race against time, and the FBI won't share all of the details. Can Nikki and her team find answers before it's too late?

I've enjoyed each book in this series and this one was no exception. I loved how fast paced this book was. The twists and turns that the case followed had me eagerly turning the pages.

What I found different than the others in the series was that Nikki was a victim this time as opposed to the investigator. Seeing her attempt to separate herself from her job was interesting. Especially when she was trying to figure out her relationship with Tyler.

I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys romantic suspense.

I received the Kindle copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of giving my honest opinion. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of romantic suspense, Irene Hannon

Rating - 4 stars