Posted in Book reviews

“Courage and Corruption” by Sarah Holman ~Book Review

(click on cover image to go to its amazon page)

“Courage and Corruption” by Sarah Holman

Book three in the Tales of Taelis Series

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars  

 

 

About the Book:

Catherine is going with her mother and younger siblings to the mountains to hide from the coming war. While she fears what might happen she is looking forward to some time away from her twin brother, with whom she often fights. One foolish act changes all their plans, and one story caused not only confusion, but more fighting.

Christopher does not believe his father’s story that they are descended from royalty. He is sure the story his father tells cannot be true. However, he is forced to go to the mountain castle of Coraway along with his mother and siblings. Will his father ever see him as a man? Will he and his twin ever be able to stop fighting?

Little do Catherine and Christopher realize that they hold the key to Taelis’ future in their hands. While they discover the truth before it is too late?

 

My Thoughts:

I really love the Tales of Taelis series. Each time I read one of these books I am reminded by that fact. They’re excellent! I know that when I read one, I will be getting not only a very captivating story, but one that is full of Godly insight and truth weaved into its very core. I love that.
C&C was a great tale of two siblings – they were rivals for a fair amount, but both opened themselves up to God at different times, and that was beautiful. And Jacob, the younger brother, was quite precious. All the characters were well written and relatable. And realistic; though this story is set in a sort of medieval time period (yet still its own world), it is not hard to relate to the setting or characters at all – I find myself easily drawn into the story.
They’re clean, uplifting, and entertaining. Great things to find in a novel!
Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to all ages.
(I would also like to say that when I reached the end and read the ‘acknowledgements’ section, I was surprised to find my name listed – that was so sweet! So, thank you Sarah! It’s a pleasure being apart of your ‘team’!)
Posted in Book reviews, Guest Post, Tessa Afshar

Guest Book Review: “Bread of Angels” by Tessa Afshar

Review written by my Mum! We both adore Tessa Afshar, and I love that we can read the same book and share that. <3

 

 

“Bread of Angels” by Tessa Afshar

Review copy from Tyndale

Mum’s star rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the book:

Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.

But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant’s daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.

With only her father’s secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances―along with her father’s precious dye―help her become one of the city’s preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert. Still, Lydia can’t outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stand firm and trust in her fledgling faith or succumb to the fear that has ruled her life.

 

 

Mum’s Thoughts:

 

I am a huge fan of Tessa Afshar’s books.  I don’t actually read a lot of fiction, but I always make time for one of her books, because I know they will be well worth it!  This book was no exception.  She creates a story line that you immerse yourself into, as if you are friends with the characters and you feel their sorrows, joys, fears and life lessons.  She makes every Bible account come to life, which I love!  She weaves fact and fiction beautifully, making it believable and realistic without any of the far-fetched information that I’ve read in other Biblical Fiction.  Some authors write stories about Bible accounts that have unrealistic and even unnecessary (and frustrating) story lines.  Not so with any of Tessa’s books.  Her words are God inspired and they give truth and even facilitate healing because of the issues that each character has and deals with.  I would recommend this book (and all of Tessa Afshar’s books) to everyone.  They do not disappoint!

 

Posted in Book reviews

“The Genesis Tree” by Heather FitzGerald ~ Book Review

I’m finally posting my review of this lovely book! I read it quite a while ago, but haven’t been able to post my review until now for various life reasons, but finally here it is!

 

 

(Click on image to go to its amazon page)

The Genesis Tree by Heather L.L. FitzGerald

Book Three in the closely knit Tethered World Chronicles

Review copy from the author

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

She took down the Nephilim queen—but can she and her brother save the kingdom?

Sadie Larcen may have defeated the traitorous Queen Estancia, but she’s quite happy to be home with her family. Unfortunately, their fiendish neighbor, Mr. Marshall, is still up to no good. He’s called a press conference with plans to introduce the world to a living, breathing Bigfoot.

As a Sasquatch expert, Sadie’s mother Amy is coerced into lending her expertise to the spectacle. When Sadie and her brother Brady spy nefarious, uninvited guests at the gathering, they know there’s trouble brewing in the Tethered World. The two are driven into separate, dangerous exploits as they are thrust back into the schemes of the forces of darkness. Schemes that include using their autistic brother Brock as leverage to seize control of the Flaming Sword and the Tree of Life. The Gargoyles and Trolls have an ambition that extends beyond dominating these powerful elements. They’ve set their sights on the Topside realm—with or without the help of Mr. Marshall.

Deception is rampant, the enemy is subtle, and love dares to tug at Sadie’s heart amid the turmoil below. Once again, she and Brady will cling to God’s faithfulness as they fight for the people and creatures they care for, and against the enemies they fear.

Will the cost be more than they can endure?

 

My Thoughts:

*Sniff*. Very good conclusion to the series.

When Mrs.FitzGerald emailed the review copies out and said she knew it would be difficult to write a spoiler-free review, I didn’t know just how accurate that statement would be. But sitting here, contemplating how to gather my thoughts into this review, I’m realizing that it shall be difficult to say much without wanting to give away anything!
The Genesis Tree is a wrap up of this series – it is tying everything together at last. What an adventurous series this has been!
I really enjoy Mrs. FitzGerald’s creativeness and writing in these books – her imagination is spectacular and shows brightly through The Tethered World Chronicles. I am always thoroughly engaged reading her books. And I want a gnome. There was one part involving a gnome gaining access to a house through a doggy-door. That had me giggling!

Definitely read these books in order – that’s a must. Best way to enjoy them – and of course, follow the plot.

Oh, and I wanted to be sure to add that I would personally recommend these books to a little more mature readers (15+ maybe) – this one has a bit more serious plot, with some violence and “gore”. Nothing absolutely hideous, but still there were some gross moments.

The characters though! Getting to know them through each book has only made them more dear to me. And we got to see so much of Sadie and Xander in this one!!! Made me very happy. :)
And the ending. Very good.
I will say that there were aspects of this book that had me straight-out crying. But, no spoilers!
Mrs. FitzGerald can surely write a emotion-evoking book!

To some of my blog readers who know my reading habits, and know that I generally avoid magic-y, fairy-involving stories, I will add what I said in my review of “The Flaming Sword”:
“I touched on this in my review of the first book, but for me, magic is something I generally stay away from. But there are no spells or really even use of magic, it’s more like ‘this is their world’ and it’s fantasy. ”

So while I don’t read a lot of books like this, I feel like The Tethered World Chronicles are in a genre of their own, and I greatly enjoy them.

Posted in Books, reading

And the reading starts NOW!

Remember the recent post about the Summer Reading Contest being hosted by author MacKenzie Morganthal? Well that starts today! She’s got some more to say about it, so read on: 

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(re-using this image, though I won’t probably have a following post up as it says, since this was taken from Kenzie’s FB post. :))

 

Today is the day! 🎉 I am so excited that today starts my Summer Reading Contest! I hope you all are just as excited to start reading. As I said before, the goal will be 10 books over the next 10 weeks, and if you reach that goal you will be entered into the Grand Prize drawing! (Winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Friday, August 25th)

Remember that reading “Not Abandoned” will also give you 2 entries, even if you don’t finish all 10 books! And since today is our kickoff day, I have our first challenge to help you get some extra entries as well!

CHALLENGE 1:
Post a picture reading “Not Abandoned” in a creative setting, just like my picture below. Maybe your favorite reading nook, or favorite spot out in the sun. Post your picture to either Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with the hashtag #summerreadingfun, and make sure to tag me in your posts.

If you complete this challenge you will receive one entry towards the Grand Prize! Ready to read as many books as you can this summer?! Today is your day to get started!

If you want to purchase a copy of “Not Abandoned”, visit morganthalbooks.weebly.com to place your order. (Also available on Amazon)

 

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, tree, plant, grass, outdoor and nature

Facebook: Click THIS for link.

Twitter: @authorkenzie

Website: http://morganthalbooks.weebly.com/news/summer-reading-contest

Posted in Book reviews

“The Sweet Smell of Magnolia’s and Memories” by Celeste Fletcher McHale ~ Book Review

“The Sweet Smell of Magnolia’s and Memories” by Celeste Fletcher McHale

Review copy from BookLook Bloggers

My Rating: 1.5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Jacey and Colin shared the three most intense days of their lives together, waiting for help as Mississippi floodwaters surrounded them. Jacey knew Colin was the love of her life—until her rescue boat went under water, along with Colin’s last name and pieces of Jacey’s memory. The last thing she remembered was being submerged in water. Again.  

As Jacey walks down the aisle as the maid of honor in her friend’s wedding a year later, the last person she expects to see is Colin. The biggest surprise, though, is that the man of her dreams is not wearing jeans and flip-flops as he did when he held her through those long nights of the flood. He’s the preacher.As Jacey’s memories come flooding back, it’s almost more than she can take. The fate of the young family trapped with them haunts her. The unwavering honesty—and support—of her best friend Georgia forces her to take a fresh look at herself. She’s spent her life afraid of love. But this flood is opening Jacey’s heart in the most unexpected ways.

 

My Thoughts:

This book sounded good from the description, and with its added lovely cover, I requested it for review. And at first I thought maybe I’d enjoy it as a light fluffy read, but as I got even just a couple chapters in, I was disturbed by some of its content. There were a lot of innuendos, crudeness, and a great amount of alluding to swear words. To me it felt very “cheap”. There was very, very little that would classify this book as “Christian Fiction”. Colin was a preacher, but there was really no true “God-like-ness” in this book at all. Even the character, Julie, that was the one to spur him on to pray more said something like “Prayer is just what worked for me- if hanging upside down and chanting works for you, then great!”. “Follow your heart” was another very strong theme, which I disagree with (according to the verse in the Bible that says our heart is very decietful, who can know it?).
There were a couple things I found okay (such as Lillian’s three children – I liked them fine, and Mrs.Ernestine but they were hadly ever in the book).  So overall, I was extremely disappointed. There were a lot of inapropriate parts, plenty of ‘make out’ scenes, and nothing pointing towards God.
I couldn’t recommend this as a Christian or even clean read, unfortunately. As Christ Followers, we are to be set apart, and I do not feel like this book was that at all.
Posted in Book reviews

“The Destiny of a Few” by Sarah Holman ~ Book Review

(Click image to go to Amazon)

 

“The Destiny of A Few” by Sarah Holman

Book Two in the Destiny Trilogy

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

On her quest to find the crown prince, Maria Morris faces an abundance of obstacles. Now a marked Christian, it will be difficult and dangerous for her to travel. The USF follows her every move. (as the vibrating chip in her arm irritatingly reminds her.) Yet knowing all of this, Maria puts her trust in God and, with the help of a few new friends, refuses to give up her mission. She must find the crown prince. The Destiny Of A Few depends on it.

 

My Thoughts:

In The Destiny of a Few, we get to continue with Maria on her journey in discovering – and following – her destiny. In this book, that means quite a bit of travel and adventures to discover the Crown Prince.
I liked the emphasis put on how sometimes we will go through perilous things but God will always have a bigger plan and purpose for everything and is always in control.
We didn’t get to hang out with Quint quite as much as the first, but we did get to meet a couple new characters. Winter was a tad bit annoying at first – and her speech very hard to read with all the ‘like”‘s and “you know”s, but as a character I liked her pretty well, especially as you got to know her more. Letty was a marvelous character. :)
I had a bit of a hard time connecting with Maria in this book, and would say the first book is definitely my favourite so far. But I’m still very interested in continuing this series and finding out the ending!
Definitely recommend for fans of Christian Sci-Fi. And also recommend that this series be read in order, as they’re very tightly knit and I don’t think they would be fully understood by reading on their own. :)

 

Posted in Books, Guest Post, reading

A Summer Reading Contest!

Good morning, blog readers! Today I am sharing my blog with my dear, dear friend and amazing author, MacKenzie Morganthal! Below you will find, in her own words, a Summer Reading Contest that she is hosting! It promises to be a lot of fun. Be sure to follow her on social media (I’ll post links below) to be kept up-to-date, especially regarding this fun contest! So, without further adu, here is Miss Morganthal!

 

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ANNOUNCEMENT: I am so excited to announce that I will be hosting a Summer Reading Contest this summer! 🎉

 

Details:
The contest will begin on Monday, June 12th and end on Monday, August 21st, a duration of 10 weeks.
This contest is open to all ages. Everyone who participates must complete a goal of 10 books by the end date in order to be eligible to enter to win the grand prize.
More info on the grand prize will be coming later, but it will include a signed copy of “Not Abandoned” and a signed copy of Isabella Morganthal‘s latest book “Yes, You Can”!

 

Come up short and don’t finish reading 10 books before August 21st? There will be a couple other ways for you to get some entries towards the grand prize! If during the contest duration you read “Not Abandoned”, that will give you an automatic 2 entries! Reading “I Dare You” by Isabella Morganthal will also give you an extra 2 entries!

 

Over the course of the contest duration we will also be having 3 big challenges to give you a chance for some extra entries, and these will be announced at a later date.
Once Monday comes I will have a template available for those of you who would like one to keep track of what books you are reading, and then all you’ll have to do is turn that in to me at the end of the contest.

 

Have any other questions? Email me at: notabandonedbook@gmail.com

 

Super excited about this fun contest and hope you all are just as excited as I am to start reading lots of books! 📚

 

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook: Click THIS for link.

Twitter: @authorkenzie

Instagram: kenziehm97

Website: http://www.kenziebooks.weebly.com

 

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(I, Raechel, love this picture! Isn’t it pretty? I believe photo credit belongs to a friend of MacKenzie’s)

 

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So there you have it! Get ready to start reading, everyone! And if you have any questions, you’re welcome to post them here too, and I will get them to Miss Morganthal. :)

Have fun!!