Posted in Book reviews, Tessa Afshar, Tyndale House

“Thief of Corinth” by Tessa Afshar ~ Book Review

 

Thief of Corinth

 

“Thief of Corinth” by Tessa Afshar

Biblical Fiction

Review copy through Tyndale Review Program

My Rating: 5+ out of 5 Stars

About the book:

 

First-century Corinth is a city teeming with commerce and charm. It’s also filled with danger and corruption—the perfect setting for Ariadne’s greatest adventure.

After years spent living with her mother and oppressive grandfather in Athens, Ariadne runs away to her father’s home in Corinth, only to discover the perilous secret that destroyed his marriage: though a Greek of high birth, Galenos is the infamous thief who has been robbing the city’s corrupt of their ill-gotten gains.

Desperate to keep him safe, Ariadne risks her good name, her freedom, and the love of the man she adores to become her father’s apprentice. As her unusual athletic ability leads her into dangerous exploits, Ariadne discovers that she secretly revels in playing with fire. But when the wrong person discovers their secret, Ariadne and her father find their future—and very lives—hanging in the balance.

When they befriend a Jewish rabbi named Paul, they realize that his radical message challenges everything they’ve fought to build, yet offers something neither dared hope for.

My thoughts:

Oh, what to say about another Tessa Afshar novel? If you’ve followed my reviews, or reading habits in general, you probably know Tessa Afshar is one of my most favorite authors, and I am always soooo very excited for a new novel of hers. And of course, this was no exception! I will always read a story by Tessa Afshar. Always. Her Biblical Fiction is the best, and always uplifts me, encouraging me in my walk with Christ.
I so enjoyed reading “Thief of Corinth” – the first person style once again fits perfectly, and I loved Ariadne – she was real, and that showed in every aspect.
I was drawn into the story immediately, and it was nearly impossible to set down. Not only captivating, but full of meaning. The over-arcing message of love was beautifully portrayed. The story worked up to that message, setting the foundation for Ariadne’s vast need of His love.
Eeeek, just all so beautiful!! I was very touched by Paul’s words (Ms. Afshar really does a superb job in bringing this apostle to life!), and how Ariadne grew. None of it was forced; everything felt natural and realistic, and absolutely encouraging. I love the importance put on love. <3
Everything about the book is well-done. The setting, the characters, the plot – it all blends together to create this breathtaking piece of a story that you are so drawn in to that you won’t want it to be over.  I definitely wanted more. ^.^ Annnnnd, I did indeed catch the hint that we’ll possibly be seeing more of Theo, so that is most exciting, because I love these characters!
I just really, really loved “Thief of Corinth”, and can’t wait to reread it! Waiting for another TA book will be hard though. ;)
Definitely recommend this one!!!
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Posted in Book reviews, reading, Reviews, Tessa Afshar, update

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

It’s always weird to move on into the next year, to get used to writing the new number set, rather than the old. And the realization that time is going fast, and the number creeps up each more every year. 2018 seems so… far away, yet here it is. Crazy :)

And while we are in 2018 now, I am here to also wrap up, book-wise, the year of 2017. To give a last look-back and give a list of my favourite books of the year. Which is going to be hard, because I read a great many good ones!

 

 

Img bookstack 96

 

According to Goodreads, I read 20,650 pages spread out over 82 books.

That’s a lot of pages. If you’d like to see the books I read in 2017, you can check out the wrap-up Goodreads gave HERE. I love how Goodreads does that. I keep a Book Notebook throughout the year, but it’s nice not having to type it all up! :)

 

Trying to narrow down my favourite books of the year has been nearly impossible. I read a LOT of good ones, you guys. And I love them all! But by shear force, I made a list of my top TWELVE favourite books. Why twelve instead of 10 or 5? Well first off, 5 is not nearly enough I’ve decided. And Ten is kinda hard to choose too. So I went with twelve because that makes a book a month, and that sounded reasonable to me. :D Sooooo, without further ado, in no particular order, here are my…

 

TOP TWELVE FICTION READS OF 2017:

Clicking on the title/author of the book will bring you to my review of the book :)

 

 

Destiny Defended by J.A. Marx

Destiny Defended by J.A. Marx

 

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Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

 

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Out of the Dark by MacKenzie Morganthal

Out of the Dark by MacKenzie Morganthal

 

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Everything's Coming Up Josey by Susan May Warren

Everything’s Coming Up Josey! By Susan May Warren

 

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Guilt by Association by Heather Day Gilbert

Guilt by Association by Heather Day Gilbert

 

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Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette

Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette

 

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Rescue Me by Susan May Warren

Rescue Me by Susan May Warren

 

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Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano

Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano

 

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A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

 

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An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter

An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter

 

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The Case of the Clobbered Cad by Debra E. Marvin

The Case of the Clobbered Cad by Debra Marvin

 

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The Genesis Tree by Heather L.L. FitzGerald

The Genesis Tree by Heather FitzGerald

 

 

 

NON FICTON:

 

Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors

Daring to Hope by Katie Davis

 

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Infinite Tuesday by Michael Nesmith

Infinite Tuesday by Michael Nesmith

 

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And because I don’t want to leave the list at just these, I put together some…..

 

Honourable Mentions:

 

 

High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin

October by J. Grace Pennington

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

Dreams and Devotion by Sarah Holman

Priceless by brothers, Joel and Luke Smallbone

 

 

Life:

So besides reading, 2017 was a full year as most are.  And I have no idea how to sum that up in a post, or even a paragraph…I live life, so it happens, but to sum it up… I don’t really have skill in that one. ^.^  Stuff happened, good and bad, I learned things, I probably met new people, wrote stuff….and I read. That’s good enough for a life segment wrap up, eh?

 

 

So, there’s that! How was your year? Do you have any particular, big or small, hopes/dreams/plans for this new year?

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 (My review can be found here)

 

 

“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 Books, Tessa Afshar

A couple of New Releases

Hello!

Today, June 6th, is the release date for two special books; one I’ve read, and one I’m about to read. I thought I’d share with you all, too!

 

 

(Click on the image to go to Amazon)

 

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar, June 6th.

 

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.

 

This is an amazing book! My review is here, and I’ll actually be posting a guest post review of it from my Mum soon, too!

 

 

(Click on the image to go to Amazon)

 

High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin, June 6th

 

In 1917, Evelyn Marche is just one of many women who has been widowed by the war. A British nurse trapped in German-occupied Brussels, she spends her days working at a hospital and her nights as a waitress in her aunt and uncle’s café. Eve also has a carefully guarded secret keeping her in constant danger: She’s a spy working for a Belgian resistance group in league with the British Secret Service.

When a British plane crashes in Brussels Park, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to discover she recognizes the badly injured pilot. British RFC Captain Simon Forrester is now a prisoner of war, and Eve knows he could be shot as a spy at any time. She risks her own life to hide him from the Germans, but as the danger mounts and the secrets between them grow, their chance of survival looks grim. And even if they do make it out alive, the truth of what lies between them may be more than any love can overcome.

 

Ah, isn’t this book just gorgeous? I’m so excited to read it! If I didn’t already have a couple review books ahead of this one, I’d be diving head first into it. “High as the Heavens” sounds so good.

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And then on June 1st, this book released:

(Click on image to go to Amazon)

 

“The Genesis Tree” by Heather L. L. FitzGerald  Book Three in the tightly knit Tethered World Chronicles. June 1st

 

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?

 

I read this book about a month or so ago, and now that’s released I shall be posting my review of it very soon! It was a great book, a great conclusion to the series! <3 The Tethered World books are spectacular and full of adventure.

 

 

And while I am quite sure there are other Book releases that I missed, I shall end here as I can’t think of the other’s off the top of my head at the moment. But that doesn’t mean I don’t share in their excitement too! I would celebrate ALL the books if I could!!

Posted in Book reviews, Tessa Afshar

Book Review: “Bread of Angels” by Tessa Afshar

I just loved this book so much! Can’t wait till it’s released and can be enjoyed by all! Below is my review. :)

 

 

“Bread of Angels” by Tessa Afshar

Biblical Fiction, Releases June 6th, 2017

Review copy from the author/Tyndale Publishers (Launch Team!)

My rating: 5 out of of 5 Stars

 

Book Description:

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.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

What a beautiful book, inside and out! But what else would one expect from a Tessa Afshar book? Truly, her books astound me and I love spending time in each one.
“Bread of Angels” provides a very touching and impacting story of Lydia the seller of purple. I so enjoyed following her life-journey, through trials and joys. And “meeting” Paul! That was really good.
I was just incredibly impressed and touched my this book. The lesson of trust – the symbolism of the Bread of Angels, manna, and relying on God for everything. That really hit me. Needless to say, I have many, many marks in this book to revisit and cherish. :)
Lydia was such a real character. I identified with her struggle against fear and the anxiety that brings. And to see the Truth of Jesus and what He’s done for us heal her was beautiful, knowing that He can perform that healing in all of us. What I love about a Tessa Afshar book is the deep truths of Jesus woven so care-fully throughout the story, the absolute love for Him and glories to Him shines from the books.
I find these books healing – God uses them in my life and I am very thankful. To Him be the glory!
“There is never so much sorrow in a life that it should become devoid of hope. Hope may grow fragile as a thread of silk; it may get stuck inside a box of misfortunes. But it is there. Don’t misplace your hope, my sweet child, not even when all of Pandora’s monsters chase you.” Chapter 21
“He does not always keep us from danger, but He preserves us in danger.  I have known hardship, but my heart has felt secure in His steadfast love.” Chapter 24
“I see where this story is headed/ God wanted the people to trust Him for their daily needs. Trust Him to provide for them not just once but continuously.” Chapter 28
“There is nothing in the world so damaged that it cannot be repaired by the hand of almighty God.” Chapter 45
Posted in Books, Chuck Black, Heather Day Gilbert, Tessa Afshar

The Big Ol’ Wrap Up

It’s that time of year….where we wrap up this previous year and prepare for the new. On my blog, that mainly means: Books. ^.^
And because I am doing this post, I won’t be doing the Monthly-Wrap up of books like I often do. I did aquire some good books in December, but I didn’t actually read many at all. In fact, all I read was a short story (“Last Wish: a Short story” by Valerie Howard) –  I started “Wives and Daughters” by Elizabeth Gaskell at the beginning of the month, and am just finishing it now, so I’ll count it for 2016 but I’m afraid I may finish it on the first. XD. It’s a 600 page book, heavy English. But very good! :)
Anyway…
I read quite a few books during 2016; not quite as many as I was hoping for, but still a good amount, rounding out at a total of 63 books, and a total of 15,048 pages, according to Goodreads.
I won’t list them all, because that’d take time I don’t really have, and some people (most?!) probably won’t care. XD If you *want* to see what all books I’ve read, you can check out my Goodreads page here: https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2016
In this post what I *will* be doing, is listing some of my favourites. I read quite a few good ones, so narowing it down is always hard. I’ll try to just list 5.  So, shall we?
blog-2016
Family Lies, Deadly Ties by J.A. Marx. This was a 5 star book for sure. I loved it.
Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar – Mrs.Afshar does it again, writing a brilliant, heart-touching, encouraging read!
Forest Child by Heather Day Gilbert – This is an easy one for “Best of 2016” for sure. Absolutely magnificent!
The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall – My first Dawn Crandall book and it was amazing. So sweet!
Light of the Last by Chuck Black. – A fantastic ending to a great series!
But I can’t forget these other amazing books that I thoroughly enjoyed:
Like Never Before, Keep Holding On, and One Enchanted Christmas, all by Melissa Tagg – all of these were SO good! So cute.
Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin  – one simply cannot go wrong with a Sarah Sundin book! Her WWII fiction is fantastic.
…and so many more books. ^.^
NonFiction: I only read a few, but two of my favourites were these:
“I, Isaac, take thee, Rebekah” by Ravi Zacharias and “I Dare You” by Isabella D. Morganthal.
Honourable Fiction Mentions:
“If He Lives” by Sarah Holman
“Counted with the Stars” by Connilyn Cosette
“Long Way Gone” by Charles Martin
“Miriam” by Mesu Andrews
“The Flaming Sword” by Heather FitzGerald
Augh, do you know how hard it is to narrow down great books?! I realize a lot of you do. ^.^
So, what do I plan to read in 2017? Um…well…I’d like to get through my TBR bookshelves! XD That’s a lofty goal. But realisitcally, I really would like to check off a couple on my shelf that have long been waiting to be read. I also want to reread the first book and novella in the Ilyon Chronicles, and continue on with that series, and also reread The Time of Grace Series by Alicia Ruggieri, finally getting to read the third one! I have many other “To Read”s though. We’ll see what get’s done! What is on your 2017 Read List? Did you have a favourite book of 2016?
Here’s to a year of pleasurable reading!
Posted in Book reviews, Books, lists, Pinterest, reading, Tessa Afshar, update

April Book Recap

Happy May First!

And first, I’d like to wish my dearest friend, Kenzie, a very Happy Birthday!!! Love you, Ken!! <3

 

FREE printable book wall art - or use it for filling in the titles of books you read(pic via Pinterest)

 

I’ve been keeping track of what books I receive in the mail and what books I read through the month, so I thought it might be fun to share! If I have already written and posted the review for each book, I will link to it in the title. :)

 

During the month of April, this was my Book News:

Finished “Like Never Before” by Melissa Tagg (LOVED it) Contemporary Romance

Read:

“A Daring Sacrifice” by Jody Hedlund – but I didn’t finish, only skimmed because I was disappointed in it. Medieval/fantasy fiction

 

“The Prophetess” by Jill Eileen Smith – I skimmed this one too towards the end because of the content. Biblical Fiction

 

“Family Lies, Deadly Ties” by J.A.Marx – I adored this book, and am so very excited about it! It releases on May 13th. Can’t wait to share more about it!! Contemporary/Human-trafficking fiction

 

“Counted with the Stars” by Connilyn Cossette – Very good! I will be posting my review soon. :) Biblical Fiction

 

“The Beautiful Pretender” by Melanie Dickerson – Really enjoyed this one! Will also post my review of it soon. :) Medieval/Historical Fiction

 

And I started “Anchor in the Storm” by Sarah Sundin, which I am enjoying! WII Fiction

 

Favourite Book of April: Hard to choose between the few excellent ones…but I’d have to say “Family Lies, Deadly Ties” by J.A. Marx. So good. :)

 

This month, I plan to read “Land of Silence” by Tessa Afshar (which releases TODAY!!! <3), “Dawn at Emberwilde” by Sarah E. Ladd, and we’ll see what else! :)

I’ve also got a couple blog posts coming soon…a Tag and some book reviews. :)

Do you keep track of the books you read each month?