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 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 Bethany House, Book reviews

Book Review: “Wings of the Wind” by Connilyn Cosette

february (1)

 

Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette (Purchase HERE)

Book Three in the Out of Egypt Series

Review copy from Bethany House Program

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

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:

 

This was such a beautiful book! Truly. I wasn’t sure if I’d completely bond with the main character, Alanah, because from the backcover blurb, she didn’t sound like a typical character I’d love, but I was wrong, and this book was marvelous and I enjoyed it ever so much!
It stunned me in its plotline. And the characters. This series has been so good, and I’m sad to see it end, but excited for the next series by this author!
Alanah was a fiery character to be sure, but relatable. And Tobiah! Oh. Wow. His sacrificial and continuing love for her was just heart-melting. A great mirror to Christ’s love for us. It really impacted me, and helped remind me of our Heavenly Father’s persistence in pursuing us in the most loving way. He doesn’t push, but He pursues.
A midwife was introduced in the beginning of the book, as a healer (read it to find out why!), and the whole time I was doing this: “Is that…? That has to be…? Is it? It’s got to be Shira! Please let it be Shira!” – because I don’t know about you, but I love having characters from past books in the series show up in the next one even if it’s not directly about them.  And I loved Shira. :)
The midwife’s character was so perfect for this story. Her gentleness but firmness with Alanah was great.
The characters really were marvelous. I loved Nita from the beginning. <3 And the sand cats. That was an amazing touch that I loved ever so much. I love cats. ^.^
The storyline was captivating.
And the sometimes-painful-journeys we go on with Alanah, and what she had to endure! So sad. But I absolutely loved to see how it was all wrapped up and how God had a purpose in ALL of it. That is so true in our own lives – there are times where we go through horrible things that we can’t see any point of – all we see is the pain. That’s probably all Alanah saw too. But God had a plan, just as He does for us! He’ll bring us out of our own Jericho’s, He’ll bring us Healing, in His time. Nothing goes unnoticed by Him – He’s got us in the palm of His hand, even in seemingly hopeless situations.
The lessons learned by each character were fantastic, and Tobiah’s reminder that “you are not God” – that was brilliant and hits home. We can’t protect everyone all the time, despite our good intentions – we are not God. But HE is, and He is more than capable. Beautiful.
So yes, as you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. God used it to touch my heart, and that always guarantees a book to be a winner in my eyes! :)
Have you read the series? Which if of the books was your favourite, if so? Counted with the Stars, Shadow of the Storm, or Wings of the Wind? They’re all so good, not sure I could pick a favourite. Shadow of the Storm has a special place for me, but now so does WOTW, and Counted with the Stars was utterly lovely too. So, I don’t know. ^.^
Posted in Book reviews, Books, Reviews, update, Writing

MAY I do my Recap

Okay, so the title of this post is a little cheesy. (I would very much like some cheese pizza, please). But I get tired of doing the same “(Month) Recap/Wrapup” and since I just got done writing in my snarky story, I can’t help it.

 (via Pinterest)

 

So yeah, May. ‘Twas full of busy-ness, doings, happenings, and whatnots. When it comes to life-recaps, my mind suddenly goes pretty blank. All I know is that we were busy. I finished my journal (started a new one). Had some kittens. Found a couple of cats a new indoor home. Read what felt like a lot. These are the books I read:

 

The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson Shadow of Suspicion by Christy Barritt Admirable by Sarah Holman Befriended by Sarah Holman The Destiny of One by Sarah Holman Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette

The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson (Review here), Shadow of Suspicion by Christy Barritt, Admirable by Sarah Holman (review here), Befriended by Sarah Holman (review here), The Destiny of One by Sarah Holman (review here), and Wings of the Wind by Conniln Cossette (review to come).

I received/bought several books this month as well, and some of those are:

 

 

Okay, before I dive into the first picture of books, you see the second one? I won that prize pack! I was so surprised when I got the email, because I’ve never expected to win one of those big prize packs that I so often enter – I mean, there’s always SO many entries. What are the chances?(Totally random, I get it.). But yeah, so that was utterly thrilling!

As for the books on the left. See what they’re sitting on? A record player! Yay! Been wanting one, and my sister and I found this one at a garage sale for extremely cheap and it all works! <3

Anywho, enough random rambling (what am I saying?! This whole post is basically that). In the book picture, the left hand stack are books I purchased. The bottom four were from a CBD sale! And then the next top four I bought through my darling friend in another state, and the top was one I got from the book group I’m apart of for selling/swapping. That book in the middle of the stacks – yeah, that was a surprise from said darling friend!! She got that book for me just because! So sweet! <3

The righthand stack: Bottom three were swapped books from the group, the next four are review books, and the top two (including the audio book) were give-away wins. So, lots and lots of fun. I love books. *Huggles them*. The book by Joanie Bruce I actually won from a short story contest. Dat was fun.

 

And now, a “Pretty Bookish Picture”:

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As for writing, I haven’t been doing a TON of that, but I’m now back to working at it some. Little by little.

 

Music. Listening to some records, and the soundtrack to Tarzan (because it’s pretty much perfection), and of course, The Monkees. They’re amazing, but everyone who knows me knows I think that. ;)

 

Sooooape. I guees that’s it. (“And that’s all!” – quote from a person from a video from the 60’s…*cough*)

June will be full of more book reading/reviews, God-willing. I’ve got a lot of books to review. But I love reading, so it shouldn’t be a problem. We’ve got some of the garden in, so that’s good.

What’s up with yous peoples? Read anything good lately? Have any books you hope to read this month? Do you having any records you enjoy?