Posted in Book reviews

“A Glitter of Gold” by Liz Johnson ~ Book Review

 

A Glitter of Gold (Georgia Coast Romance Book #2) by [Johnson, Liz]

 

“A Glitter of Gold” by Liz Johnson

Georgia Coast Romance Book #2

Review copy through LibraryThing Giveaway

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

 

Anne Norris moved to Savannah, Georgia, for a fresh start. Now her pirate-tour business is flagging, and paying the rent requires more than wishful thinking. When she discovers evidence of a shipwreck off the coast of Tybee Island, she knows it could be just the boon she needs to stay afloat. She takes her findings to local museum director Carter Hale for confirmation, but she runs after a disastrous first meeting.

Carter has been searching for the location of the wreck detailed in the worn pages of an 18th-century diary, the discovery of which could open the door to his dream job at a prestigious museum. But convincing Anne to help him fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle is no easy task. And working with Carter means that Anne will have to do the one thing she swore she’d never do again: trust a man.

Finding a monetary backer and sticking with a search that’s turning up nothing will take all their dedication–and every secret they’ve tried to hide. If they can find the lost ship, they may discover a treasure worth more than all the pirate gold in the world–love.

My Thoughts:

 

Liz Johnson is quickly becoming an author whose books I don’t want to miss out on! This is my second book by her, but I can’t wait to dive into her previous works.
“A Glitter of Gold” was more than a good book. It told the stories of more than one real-to-life character, showcasing their realities and rawness in such a beautiful way.
Main character, Anne Norris, has a painful past she can’t seem to outrun. Throughout the novel, we see her trying to find freedom. Carter Hale is looking for his own sort of freedom and rescue. How their stories intertwine, and bond together with a story from the past is just lovely.
I *loved* the diary entries ending a majority of the chapters – they belonged to the story of the past and that story was just enthralling, and captivated my heart right from the start. I could picture the characters in my head so vividly, and I was just in love with it all.
The sweet and gentle faith message was well written, and I enjoyed seeing how the story tied up at the end. So good. <3 I look forward to continuing the series!

 

 

Posted in Book reviews

“Underestimating Miss Cecilia” by Carolyn Miller ~ Book Review

Underestimating Miss Cecilia (Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley Book 2) by [Miller, Carolyn]

“Underestimating Miss Cecilia” by Carolyn Miller

Book Two in the Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley series

Review copy from the publishers

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

Shy, sweet Cecilia Hatherleigh has always been in love with Edward Amherst, the boy next door. Yet he’s never seen her as anything but the quiet girl in the background as he flirts with the other vivacious women of the ton. 

When a near tragedy brings Edward’s attention to his family duties, this prodigal son decides he needs to settle down with a proper wife. Cecilia hopes to convince him to choose her—but God may want her to forget the wayward nobleman and put her future in His hands alone.

These two try to find their way toward happiness, but prejudice, political riots, and the changing face of England’s societal structures begin to block them at every turn. Can their struggles turn to triumph—or will their paths permanently diverge?

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

The cover of this book is charming. And the story inside even more so. The writing style, being very Jane Austen-y, was sometimes a little slow and at first it took me a bit to get into, but as soon as I got to know Cecilia, I was drawn right in. I found her exceedingly relatable, and shared her pain and her joys. Her faith was beautiful, and her humble, kind spirit delightful. She was very gentle, yet not without strength – she was passionate about the causes close to her heart, and her strength shone in many ways.
I felt for the journey of the heart she was on. At times, it felt similar to my own. And the lessons she learned, and embraced, were lovely and heartfelt.
There was a twist towards the end that I wasn’t expecting, but oh how it made the story grow and progress! That was rather exciting.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the hero, Ned. At first I was so frustrated with him (how dare he not recognize how special Miss Cecilia was?), but he quickly grew in my esteem of him throughout the novel, and I was rooting for him too.
The whole faith aspect was terrific, and I loved the message. While I haven’t yet read the last book in the series (though I hope to once it is released!) I think it might be safe to say that this one is my favorite. :)
Quotes:
“Oh, how she wished she could speak with him. How she wished to know his heart. Did he think on her, like she did him? Surely he must, if he prayed for her – prayed for her! Did not prayer entwine two hearts and draw them closer?” 
“She paused. How many times had she prayed such a thing? Oh, would this ceaseless yearning for him never heal? How long must she hold on to a dream that would never come true?
“Lord, how do I forget him? What do I do?”
” 
“For this friendship *had* been cultivated by God. She could see the times of growing individually, times when it would have been too easy to rely on each other instead of Him.”
*I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.
Posted in Book reviews

“Magic by Midnight” by Allison S. Bass ~ Book Review

 

“Magic by Midnight” by Allison S. Bass

The Librarian’s Chronicles Book 1

Review copy through the author

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

The adventure she always wanted
revealed a love she could never have.

Felicity, a young librarian, is certain her only adventures will come in the form of the books she reads. When her uncle reveals that the palace librarians have the secret gift of interpreting fairy tales, stories that control the fate of the kingdom, she is thrust into a new world of magic. Between rescuing Cinderella, charming a prince, and battling an evil force trying to sabotage the fairy tale, Felicity realizes orchestrating a happily ever after ending is going to take all of her wits.

However, it’s her heart that is put to the real test. She finds herself having to choose between her own happy ending or protecting the fairy tale she’s been tasked with completing. After the clock strikes midnight, Felicity discovers her world will change forever and some fates are stronger than magic.

Magic by Midnight (The Librarian's Chronicles Book 1) by [Bass, Allison S.]

 

My Thoughts:

 

 

I’d like to start off my review with a personal disclaimer of sorts. You see, in general I don’t read a lot of books that contain magic and especially sorcery. I admit that I am a pretty conservative reader when it comes to that.  I don’t like reading about sorcery, and that was my least favorite part about this book. It thankfully was not so heavily portrayed in MBM, and what was shown was clearly shown as bad.
Now, that being stated, I would like to say how exceptional the writing itself was. The author has remarkable talent, and I was completely swept away in this story. The characters were more than just characters, they were three-dimensional. Magic by Midnight captured my attention, and kept me rooted to the page – I had to know how everything would play out. I had my suspicions, but was surprised several times by various twists. And that ending…I wanted to possibly cry a bit. XD I definitely need to read the next book when it comes out because there just has to be more…is that really how it ends?! Inquiring readers need answers!
I loved Felicity – she was spunky. She could get a little head-strong at points, but I liked her character. And Alexander was amazing too – I loved their friendship so much. I also loved Jack, and dare to hope we find out more about his story in the next book too!
I have more I could say, but that would be spoilers so I will resist. ;)
It was a very fun book: clean, exciting, and adventurous. There were a couple scenes that were a bit creepy, and I don’t know that I’d watch it if it were a movie. XD Also, I’d add that if we actually had the responsibility in our hands to have to make sure our lives went according to plan – well, goodness, that would be stressful! As a Christian,I know that God is in control and what a relief that is – I admit I wanted to share that with Felicity so many times and then remembered she’s just a character in a book – not real…^.^
Again, I am impressed with the author’s writing talent. Captivating indeed.
*Thank you to the author for the copy of this book!! All thoughts expressed are my own.

 

 

Posted in Bethany House, blog tour, Book reviews

“Until The Mountains Fall” by Connilyn Cossette ~ Book Review

 

“Until the Mountains Fall” by Connilyn Cossette

Cities of Refuge series #3//Biblical Fiction

Review copy through the publisher

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Recently widowed, Rivkah refuses to submit to the Torah law compelling her to marry her husband’s brother and instead flees Kedesh, hoping to use her talents as a scribe to support herself. Without the protections of her father, Kedesh’s head priest, and the safety of the city of refuge, Rivkah soon discovers that the cost of recklessness is her own freedom.

Malakhi has secretly loved Rivkah for years, but he never imagined his older brother’s death would mean wedding her himself. After her disappearance, he throws himself into the ongoing fight against the Canaanites instead of dwelling on all he has lost. But with impending war looming over Israel, Rivkah’s father comes to Malakhi with an impossible request.

As the enemies that Rivkah and Malakhi face from without and within Israel grow more threatening each day, is it too late for the restoration their wounded souls seek?

My Thoughts:

 

I have loved every one of this author’s novels, and this one was no exception!
“Until the Mountains Fall” is a beautiful story representing the parable of the Prodigal Son.
I will be honest, I didn’t like main character Rivkah in the beginning. She was selfish and rough, and rude. I was worried her character would alter little, and she’d still be one of those “so strong woman who doesn’t need any man at all ever. end of story.” But her story…her character arc was amazing. Truly, she grew and changed so much, it was beautiful and humbling. And happened so naturally. I’m not saying her character needed to change, but her attitude did, and wow. The result was well done.
Malakhi – he was amazing. A bit gruff for a while there but he did have reason to be. His personal journey was fantastic too, and how this whole story wove together was lovely. The redemption…the sacrifice…the love. Rivkah’s father was one of my favorite characters of this story. His devotion to his daughter was just astounding, and there was a scene at the end that had me crying. It was a truly beautiful representation of Jesus welcoming us back, accepting us, forgiving us, loving us.
The faith wasn’t so much spoken as it was shown in the undertones ~ the allegorical message to it was the heart of it.
This book spanned over several years and covered a lot. It was all done so well. And my heart was so involved. Another captivating read by the author!
“Our family was built atop the ruins of tragedy, Rivkah, each brick fashioned from mercy. You will find no stones in their palms.”
“There is nothing you have done or will do that will ever erase the love I have for you. It is enough that you have returned to me.”
Posted in 1940's, Book reviews

“My Dearest Dietrich” by Amanda Barratt – Review

IMG_6015

 

“My Dearest Dietrich” by Amanda Barratt

Review copy from the author/publisher

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

A staggering love illuminating the dark corners of a Nazi prison
Renowned German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is famous for his resistance to the Nazi regime and for his allegiance to God over government. But what few realize is that the last years of his life also held a love story that rivals any romance novel.
Maria von Wedemeyer knows the realities of war. Her beloved father and brother have both been killed on the battlefield. The last thing this spirited young woman needs is to fall for a man under constant surveillance by the Gestapo. How can she give another piece of her heart to a man so likely to share the same final fate? Yet when Dietrich Bonhoeffer, an old family friend, comes to comfort the von Wedemeyers after their losses, she discovers that love isn’t always logical.
Dietrich himself has determined to keep his distance from romantic attachments. There is too much work to be done for God, and his involvement in the conspiracy is far too important. But when he encounters a woman whose intelligence and conviction match his own, he’s unprepared for how easy it is to give away his heart.
With their deep love comes risk–and neither Dietrich nor Maria is prepared for just how great that risk soon becomes.
Based on detailed historical research and including photos from both Maria’s and Dietrich’s lives, this is a true love story at once beautiful and heartrending. My Dearest Dietrich sheds new light on a world-famous theologian . . . and the woman who changed his life.

My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Lost Love

My Thoughts:

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer left behind a remarkable legacy. I loved the look into his life that this book brought. Getting to know his “lost love” was an enjoyable story with a bittersweet end.
He was a man of stalwart faith, and reading about his life, even through fiction, is an encouragement! I marked several spots of his wise words. :)
While slow-moving at times, it was a good read. Not one to be rushed through.
My heart hurts for all the atrocities so many endured during WWII. And yet, what strength they showed, especially in their faith.
I didn’t particularily “bond” with Maria.  She endured a lot though, and grew much throughout her journey, I just didn’t care for her, personally.
But their shared letters were very fascinating, and their story sweet.
If you enjoy WWII fiction books that are real and down-to-earth, you’ll want to add this to your list. :)
.
.
.
*I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.
Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads, Reviews

“Light from Distant Stars” by Shawn Smucker ~ Revell Reads Review

Light from Distant Stars

 

“Light from Distant Stars” by Shawn Smucker

Review copy from publishers

My rating: 3.5/4 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

 

When Cohen Marah steps over his father’s body in the basement embalming room of the family’s funeral home, he has no idea that he is stepping into a labyrinth of memory. As the last one to see his father, Cohen is the primary suspect.

Over the next week, Cohen’s childhood memories come back in living color. The dramatic events that led to his father being asked to leave his pastoral position. The game of baseball that somehow kept them together. And the two children in the forest who became his friends–and enlisted him in a dark and dangerous undertaking. As the lines blur between what was real and what was imaginary, Cohen is faced with the question he’s been avoiding: Did he kill his father?

In Light from Distant Stars, master story weaver Shawn Smucker relays a tale both eerie and enchanting, one that will have you questioning reality and reaching out for what is true, good, and genuine.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

Well that sure was interesting! This is one of those books where once you’ve finished it you kind of just sit back and think, “What exactly just happened?”!
The writing style is captivating, and everything about it pulls you into its pages. The story was interesting, and the back says it well with “one that will have you questioning reality”. To be honest, I’m still not exactly sure what all happened in this story – I “get” it, but there was a lot left unexplained – left to the imagination, I suppose.
I enjoyed it.  But I guess I was left a little bewildered! So much that was real and not real, and it all morphed together, in twisted threads wound so tightly that you’re not sure which end is which.
A captivating ride to be certain. ^.^ This was my first book to read by this author, but I would definietly like to catch up on his past works. Very interesting!
That cover – gorgeous! I love the starry artwork!
*I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.  

 

 

Posted in blog tour, Book reviews

“Pulse” by Linore Burkard ~ Celebrate Lit blog tour/Book Review

 

Pulse Celebration Tour FB Banner

 

About the Book

Book: Pulse

Author: Linore Burkard

Genre: Christian YA/Apocalyptic Suspense

Release date: August 24, 2015

PulseWhat do you do when the whole world stops?

Andrea, Lexie and Sarah are just ordinary teens until a mysterious event shuts down all technology. In the dead of winter, there’s no heat, no internet, no cell phones–not even a working car.
In this chilling Christian YA tale, most of the population doesn’t survive. Pitting faith and grit against a world without power, the girls and their families must beat the odds. But can they find the strength to survive when society collapses and technology fails?

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

 

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

This was a very interesting read. Not my usual fare, but definitely intriguing and quite captivating! It seems weird to say I ‘enjoyed’ it when it was basically one bad thing after the other, but I certainly wasn’t bored.
The whole aspect of an EMP and the effects of it, was fascinating (if not terrifying!), and I thought the author did a good job describing everything.
There were a lot of moments of fear and sadness, but there was still a message of hope woven throughout, as well as the message of salvation which was good.
It definitely wasn’t a light-hearted book – I’d recommend an age guide of 17+ – but it wasn’t horrific.
Like I said, I found this to be a very interesting read (though sometimes I was just a bit freaked out… XD).
*I was provided with an ecopy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own. 

About the Author

Linore_SmallerLinore Rose Burkard wrote a trilogy of genuine regency romances for the Christian market before there were any regencies for the Christian market. Published with Harvest House, her books opened the genre for the CBA. She also writes YA Suspense/Apocalyptic fiction as L.R. Burkard. Married with five children, Linore home-schools her youngest daughter, teaches workshops for writers, and is the Vice President of the Dayton Christian Scribes.  Her latest  PULSE EFFEX SERIES, takes readers into a “chilling possible future for America, while affirming the power of faith in the darkest of times.”

 

More from Linore

When my sweet historical romance series was published, I never dreamed my next would be YA/dystopian. What a switch in genres! So, how did I go from one end of the writing spectrum to another? Blame it on an idea that refused to die. I read a headline about how close the earth came to suffering a catastrophic electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, in 2012. We missed the worst effects of a solar flare by a hair (in space terms); but the “what if” factor had been set in motion. What if that flare hadn’t missed us? What if I was a teen raised on electronics–or an adult medically dependent on them–and it all went dead in a matter of seconds? What if the next flare doesn’t miss? PULSE, the first book in my PULSE EFFEX Series, was born.

The books shows life in the aftermath of such an event for three teens and their families. With the world plunged into a new dark age, can they keep hope alive?

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, July 13

Through the Fire Blogs, July 14

amandainpa, July 14

Genesis 5020, July 15

Real World Bible Study, July 15

Retrospective Spines, July 16

Blogging With Carol, July 17

Artistic Nobody, July 17 (Spotlight)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 18

All-of-a-kind Mom, July 18

Inspired by fiction, July 19

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, July 19

Mary Hake, July 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 20

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, July 21

Pause for Tales, July 21

Inklings and notions, July 22

janicesbookreviews, July 23

Emily Yager, July 23

Ashley’s Bookshelf, July 24

Texas Book-aholic, July 25

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae, July 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 25

A Reader’s Brain, July 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linore is giving away the grand prize of an eBook copy of her book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

https://promosimple.com/ps/e683/pulse-celebration-tour-giveaway