Posted in Book reviews

“The Traitor’s Pawn” by Lisa Harris ~ Book Review

 

The Traitor's Pawn

About the Book:

When FBI agent Jack Shannon arrives in Corpus Christi, Texas, he is focused on one thing: find the man who has been selling encrypted government secrets to the Chinese through online birding chat rooms. But when a senator is shot during a hunting trip and the woman he was with is abducted, Jack agrees to join the search–especially when he discovers that the kidnapping victim is Aubrey Grayson, a woman he was once in love with.
As the search continues, it becomes clear the senator may not have been the intended victim–and Aubrey may be connected to the other case Jack is supposed to be working on. Can Jack untangle the knots before it’s too late? And when he learns the truth, will it be too painful to get past?
Join the hunt for the truth–and a traitor–in this tension-laden story of secrets, betrayal, and second chances.
 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

Once again, author Lisa Harris captures her audience with a riveting and meaningful suspense novel! It starts out with a bang and keeps on moving till the very end, without being too overwhelming which I appreciated. It was exciting, and the plot draws you in just waiting to see how it will all turn out. And the faith message was very well done. I loved the importance put upon forgiveness at the end, and how it impacted the characters.The characters were all very well developed, and I had no problem relating to them. The plot all wrapped up nicely at the end, though I am curious as to what happened to Rachel…that wasn’t entirely laid out but I’m guessing I can make my own conclusions based on what did happen. All in all, an enjoyable novel!

 
This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group (Revell), through Interviews & Reviews.  

Posted in 1940's, Bethany House, Book reviews

“Whose Waves These Are” by Amanda Dykes ~ Review

Raes books (6)

“Whose Waves These Are” by Amanda Dykes

Review copy from publishers/author

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

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About the Book:

In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper asking readers to send rocks in honor of loved ones to create something life-giving but the building halts when tragedy strikes. Decades later, Annie returns to the coastal Maine town where stone ruins spark her curiosity and her search for answers faces a battle against time.

 

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My Thoughts:

This book is one that should be savored. It is not a book to rush through. Just as I felt when reading the prequel novella (“Up From the Sea”), while traversing the pages of “Whose Waves These Are”, it was almost like I was holding my breath in anticipation. To see how it would all play out, to watch the characters live their lives – but it was also so much more.
I loved the little Harbor town, Ansel-by-the-Sea – it sounds so charming, and I wish it were a place that I could visit!
The writing style is very unique – and I’ll admit that at first, it took me a while to really get into it because I’m not used to reading a book written in this manner. However, once I got acclimated to the waters, so-to-speak, it was so pleasurable, and I felt so drawn in.
The characters each lept off the page. As did the story itself. It is a winding tale through several decades, but every piece is so well woven together that the completed work is rather stunning indeed.
This story evokes emotion – I wept at more than one part, and the messages impressed throughout the novel were beautiful and touching.
“Whose Waves These Are” took me a while to read, but I wish I had time to linger in it longer, for as I said – it is a story not to be devoured, but to be slowly inhaled.
I loved Bob, and Annie, and Fletch, and Bess, and Ed, and so many other characters, and I am quite certain you will too.
“He said he loves you, that it’ll be all right, that life is big…and God is bigger.”
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Quotes:
More Pictures:

 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publishers. I was not required to write a positive review.  

Posted in Book reviews, Books, Reviews

“Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations” by V.Joy Palmer ~ Book Review

Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations

“Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations” by V. Joy Palmer

Review copy from the author as apart of the launch team

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

 

Seventeen years after being orphaned, Apryl Burns and her twin sister Courtney have their own expectations for life. While Courtney continues to shine at everything, Apryl holds fast to the mantra that as long as her potato chip stash remains intact, then she’ll be fine.
But when their beloved grandmother ends up injured and unable to manage her struggling antique store, Courtney makes it their mission to revamp the business and save what’s left of their family’s legacy. Despite rampant doubts in her abilities, Apryl finds herself trapped under the weight of family loyalty as they transition to a wedding venue decorating service. Soon she’s forced to ask (translation: blackmail) their grandmother’s renter/handyman, Chance McFarland, for help, an arrangement that is made even worse by the fact that Chance is her former (ahem, and current) crush.
Chance knows a few dozen things about family loyalty, which is why he begrudgingly agrees to Apryl’s insane plan. While Apryl claims they’re archenemies, the girl Chance only glimpsed in their teens starts to emerge, stealing what remains of his heart. 
But expectations are a powerful thing. Amidst the glamorous weddings and swaying willows, can those old expectations be revised into something new?

 

Rae's books (48)

 

My Thoughts:

 

This was a truly fun and enjoyable book. I really liked Apryl, and Chance was amazing.
I also liked how we got to see Courtney’s story play out as well – this wasn’t just a one-character’s-story book. Yes, Apryl was the primary ‘star’ but we got to know Courtney as well, and that aspect was really nice! Having Chance’s POV in there was a great piece of the book too!
Twins, Apryl and Courtney take over their grandmother’s antique business while she recovers in the hospital. To keep the business from failing, they revamp it into a wedding decorating venue, and I loved this clever aspect of the story. It was unique, and fun, and I loved seeing each wedding that they decorated come together and how each one painted a vivid picture for me to see in my mind’s eye.
Returning to the topic of Apryl and Chance though…  I loved these two so much! They could be oh-so frustrating (though I can see why XD) but they were so fantastic, and quickly became beloved characters to me! And I loved the faith message in this book. I could relate to Apryl’s feeling like a failure and not worth it, etc. but the truth she received at the end was beautiful. And same goes for Chance’s journey! I loved how each grew separately AND together.
I was curious to see if this book would have some sections that felt a little too over-the-top witty like I found the first book to sometimes contain, but the included sarcasm matched Apryl’s character perfectly, and I loved it! (Which is not to say that I didn’t like the first book – I very much did! You can find my review on goodreads.)
Apryl really had a vivid character and I so enjoyed getting to know her, and Chance too. (I may have developed a little crush on him myself. And also, this book made me really want potato chips….).
All in all, a delightful story! Looking forward to more from this author!
Quotes:

 

“Yeah, he’d always liked Batman.”

*

“I’m not perfect either, much to my dismay. I’ve tried to be. I’ve tried to have the perfect grades, the perfect job, the perfect life. I can’t do it. Our love will not be perfect. It will be filled with mistakes. But perfection isn’t love, it’s a cage. And with everything that’s happened with Gram and the shop, my identity can’t hang on my career, my accomplishments, and that elusive perfection. It’s defined by God and the way I love.”

 

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*

*

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publishers. I was not required to write a positive review.  

 

 

 

 

Posted in Books

Bookish Book Lover Tag

Hello!

‘Tis time for another tag! And this one is so very bookish – making it so very delightful! Shantelle at A Writer’s Heart tagged me for this, and since I love books as much as I do, I gladly agreed! :) So, let’s get on with the bookish!

 

Rules

Use the Banner
Answer the Questions
Use Lots of Book Covers :)
Tag Your Bookish Friends!
1) What Book Are You Currently Reading?  “Dawn at Emberwilde” by Sarah E. Ladd. I’m finding it alright. Not super-loving it, but I don’t hate it either. It’s one of my last review-books so I’ll have that ready at some point. :)

Dawn at Emberwilde (Treasures of Surrey, #2)

2) What’s The Last Book You Finished? I think it was “Kate’s Capitol” by Sarah Holman. That’s a review to come too.

Kate's Capitol (Kate's Case Files #2)

3) Favorite Book You Read This Year?  Oh dear… I’ve had several! This is the link to the books I’ve read so far: GoodReads2016  And then SOME favourites would be: “Family Lies, Deadly Ties” by J.A. Marx, “Land of Silence” by Tessa Afshar,  “Like Never Before” by Melissa Tagg, and “Light of the Last” by Chuck Black, to name a few. :)

Family Lies Deadly Ties  Land of Silence  Like Never Before (Walker Family, #2)  Light of the Last (Wars of the Realm, #3)

4) What Genre Have You Read Most This Year? Hmm…Probably a tie between Contemporary (rare for me!) and Historical Fiction.

5) What Genre Have You Read Least This Year? Nonfiction coming in at a whopping 1. ^.^

6) What Genre Do You Want To Read More Of? Medieval/Magicless Fantasy!

7) How Many Books Have You Read This Year, And What’s Your Goal? 28 and my goal is 60. We’ll see. :)

8) What’s The Last Book You Bought? Off-line: “Destiny Defended” and “Family Lies, Deadly Ties” both by J.A.Marx, and from a booksale: “Written on the Wind” by  Judith Pella

 Destiny Defended  Family Lies Deadly Ties  Written on the Wind (Daughters of Fortune, #1)

9) What Book Are You Saving Up To Buy Next? “Samara’s Peril” by Jaye L. Knight, the next book of Alicia Ruggieri’s, and more. Always more. :D

10) How Many Books Did You Check Out Last Library Visit? Maybe a bit unbelievable but I haven’t checked any books out from the library recently. BUT I just ordered “A Time to Die” by Nadine Brandes, so yay!

A Time to Die (Out of Time,...

11) What’s A Book You Can’t Wait To Read? “The King’s Scrolls” and “Samara’s Peril” by Jaye L. Knight (hence the reason I’m also saving up for it!).  Also “A Spy’s Devotion” by Melanie Dickerson and “The Silent Songbird” also by Dickerson.

The King's Scrolls (Ilyon Chronicles, #2)A Spy's Devotion

12) What’s A Series You’d Recommend to Everyone? The  Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. KKnight. So maybe I haven’t finished them yet myself, but I still adore them and would recommend them! Also would recommend highly The Knight’s of Arrethtrae series by Chuck Black. They are AMAZING.

The Knights of Arrethtrae Series by Chuck Black --- one of the best series ever!
13) Who’s An Author You’re Hoping Writes More? Tessa Afshar most definitely. She’s got five books out so far, but I always want more!! And Alicia Ruggieri, Chuck Black, and J.A.Marx. I can never get enough of their books. <3

14) A Few Books Your Heart Adores? “Pearl in the Sand” by Tessa Afshar, “A Distant Melody” by Sarah Sundin, “Resistance” by Jaye L. Knight, and The A Time of Grace Series by Alicia Ruggieri, and “Not Abandoned” by MacKenzie Morganthal to name just a few.

Pearl in the Sand  A Distant Melody  (Wings of Glory, #1)  Resistance (Ilyon Chronicles, #1) The Fragrance of Geraniums (A Time of Grace, #1)  All Our Empty Places (A Time of Grace, #2) Not Abandoned

15) What Series’s Coming Conclusion Makes You Sad? Hmm…the “A Time of Grace” series by Alicia Ruggieri because it has been so fantastic and heart-touching. I’ve grown so attached to these characters! <3

16) What Books Are On Your Wish-List? Deardedear…I have so many but I doubt I’ll remember even half of them! But SOME are: “The Legend of the FireFish” by George Bryan Polivka (I have the other 2 books in the series, but not the first! And that’s the only one I’ve read. XD), “Samara’s Peril” and “Exiles” by Jaye L. Knight, “Courageous” by Dina L. Sleiman, The Blades of Acktar series by Tricia Mingerink, “A Spy’s Devotion” and “The Silent Songbird” by Melanie Dickerson, “Missing” by Lisa Harris, “Austen in Austin” by various authors, “The Butterfly and the Violin” and “A Sparrow in Terezin” both by Kristy Cambron, The Out of Time Series by Nadine Brandes.

The Legend of the Firefish (Trophy Chase Series)  Samara's Peril (Ilyon Chronicles #3) Exiles (Ilyon Chronicles, #4)  Courageous (Valiant Hearts, #3)  Dare (The Blades of Acktar #1)  Deny (The Blades of Acktar #2)  Defy (The Blades of Acktar #3) A Spy's Devotion (The Regency Spies of London #1)  The Silent Songbird (Hagenheim #7)   Missing (The Nikki Boyd Files #2)  Austen in Austin, Volume 1: Four Texas-Set Novellas Based on Jane Austen's Novels  The Butterfly and the Violin (Hidden Masterpiece, #1)  A Sparrow in Terezin (Hidden Masterpiece #2)     A Time to Die (Out of Time, #1)  A Time to Speak (Out of Time, #2)  A Time to Rise (Out of Time, #3)
Yeah, I’ve got a lot of books I want! :D
This post was fun, yes? I thought so! And I know I repeated several books/series, but it’s because I love them :D And again, I know I’ve forgotten many, many books, but I love so many! :)
As for who I tag:
Whomever doth desire it! But please, please do let me know so I can see your bookish loves!!
Posted in blog tour, Books, For-Sale, lists, reading

Great Black Friday Book Deals!

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Like most other bookworms, great books make their way onto my “things I’m thankful for” list every year. It’s hard to choose favorites, but I went ahead and picked five books I read in 2015 and am thankful for. I’ll have a complete list of books I’ve read and favourites from the year towards the end of December, but for now, here’s just a few that I’m thankful for:

  1. “The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest”, by Melanie Dickerson: This provided a delightful and fun fairy-tale feeling without being magicful.
  2. “The Tomb”, by Stephanie Landsem: Her Biblical Fiction always give me food for thought and touch me deeply!
  3. “The Fragrance of Geraniums” and “All Our Empty Places”, by Alicia Ruggieri: These books really ministered to me, especially in my own brokenness!
  4. “Not Abandoned”, by MacKenzie Morganthal: This book is a great credit to making Human-Trafficking awareness known. It is written so beautifully, and so gracefully. Definitely one of my favourites!
  5. “Better than Peanut Butter Icecream”, by Kristen Krueger: This was such a delightful book, and made me feel very happy right when I needed it!

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to another great year of reading! Speaking of more reading, here’s one more thing to be grateful for. Books on sale! In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a group of independent Christian authors banded together to offer over seventy discounted books on Nov 27-30. There’s literally something for everyone.

Every single book listed on Indie Christian Books is on sale in one or more ways. Find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals and more. Even if you have a budget of $0, new reading material awaits you.

Don’t know what to pick? The fearless Indie Christian Books team created a quiz that will generate a book list perfect for you! Check it out! You surely won’t want to miss this sale – especially if you  love books even half as much as I do!! I’m so excited to be able to participate in promoting this fun sale! Enjoy :)

Book Quiz

What awesome reads of 2015 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2016?

A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as “Sold Out.” This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good for her work organizing this sale, Gloria Repp for completing the time consuming job of uploading book info to the sale website, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.
Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews, Books, Reviews, Spiritual beliefs

“Not by Sight” by Kate Breslin

(click image above to go directly to Amazon to see this book)

“Not by Sight” by Kate Breslin

WWI Fiction

Review copy source: Author and publishers

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

With Britain caught up in WWI, Jack Benningham, heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, has declared himself a conscientious objector. Instead, he secretly works for the Crown by tracking down German spies on British soil, his wild reputation and society status serving as a foolproof cover.

Blinded by patriotism and concern for her brother on the front lines, wealthy suffragette Grace Mabry will do whatever it takes to assist her country’s cause. When she sneaks into a posh London masquerade ball to hand out white feathers of cowardice, she never imagines the chain of events she’ll set off when she hands a feather to Jack.

And neither of them could anticipate the extent of the danger and betrayal that follows them–or the faith they’ll need to maintain hope.

My Thoughts:

I really, really loved Kate Breslin’s first book, “For Such a Time” – it was so excellent – so I was excited by this new release of hers and absolutely delighted when I was chosen to be part of her influencer team – it’s been immensely enjoyable!!

The book cover is gorgeous – it really is an eye-grabber (hehe, that sounds slightly on the creepy side; how about ‘attention-grabber’?) and I love all the colours blending together. It represents the novel beautifully.

While “For Such a Time” will remain my favourite between Mrs. Breslin’s two books, I must say I did enjoy “Not By Sight”. The tale was gripping, and the characters delightfully flawed, each with their own secrets, as one character, Lucy, said in the book. It’s true – we all have some kind of pain in our lives. But God can take our brokenness and create a master piece!

It took me a little while to really relate with main character Grace Mabry. Especially since it started out by her handing out the white feathers of cowardness…but as the book got going, and we got to really know her more, I did begin to really enjoy her character. And Jack’s I liked nearly right away. :) I think the romance between the two was really sweet, and I loved the banter between them. I think the romance was nicely done in this book, though one concern I had about it was the fact that between the two of them, especially for Grace, there wasn’t a problem or even wariness that Jack himself was not a strong believer in Christ. And I think that should be very important to believers – we are not to be unequally yoked together, so it is very important that we don’t simply give into the lust of the flesh and cast aside the care of faith. This is not to say the characters were completely casting aside their faith – Grace showed some faith and did genuinely desire for Jack to be saved too, but it wasn’t in the deciding factor of their relationship, which saddened me. I don’t want girls out there to think that matter isn’t important. :)

On the topic of a faith strand, there was one present, which was nice. For me, personally, I would have liked it to be stronger and imperatively evident. I didn’t necessarily see that. Sometimes it seems like it was added as a side thought, but there were deeper aspects to it, and the characters grew through out the book which is always excellent!

My favourite part was definitely the relationship between Grace and Jack! I loved it and enjoyed it. Kind of like a ‘beauty and the beast’ story, which is always lovely!!

Mrs. Breslin writes exceptionally well, and the history she entwines throughout the story is marvelous! Very real, and helpfully depicted.

My sincere thanks, Mrs. Breslin, and Bethany House for providing me with a complimentary copy of this splendid book.

Posted in blog tour, Book reviews, reading, Reviews

Blog Tour Book Review: “Half-Blood” by Jaye L. Knight & Giveaway

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“Half-Blood” by Jaye L. Knight

prequel to the Ilyon Chronicles

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

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About the Book:

The gasps and murmuring grew. Though some were hardly more than whispers, clear words reached Jace’s ears—dangerous, monster, animal, soulless. He tried to back away from their accusing eyes, but the collar pulled hard against his throat and held him in place.

For all his years as a slave, Jace has known nothing but the hatred people hold for his mixed blood—one half human, the other half the blood of a race considered monsters. Always, he is the outsider and quickly learns it is better to keep to himself. But, when his volatile ryrik blood leads him to do the unthinkable, he is thrown into a world of violence and bloodshed.

Forced to become a gladiator, Jace finds more and more of his heart dying as his master works to break down his will not to become the monster everyone believes he is. When a stranger interferes with his master’s harsh punishment, Jace’s world is upended yet again. But with it comes the possibility of hope that has long since died. Could the man possibly hold the key to escaping the hopeless darkness that is Jace’s life? Is there such a thing as life beyond the cruelty of slavery?

See where Jace’s story all began . . .

Available on Amazon!

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Add to Goodreads

Discover Ilyon in Resistance and The King’s Scrolls.

IlyonChronicles

My Review:

Yes, I have recently jumped on the band-wagon of The Ilyon Chronicles and they’re fantasticness. Truly. It took me long enough, didn’t it? :) But yes, I am supposed to be reviewing “Half-Blood” here, not rambling about my love of this series, which I haven’t even finished reading yet…

This novella was…oh, how to I even begin? This is a hard one to review, because it’s SAD! It is the background story of the beloved main character of the series, Jace. Now, for those of you who have not read “Resistance” or any of the other books in the Ilyon Chronicles, let me inform you that Jace had a sad, sad, sad life and is broken. But he is SO love-able. Truly. When I read “Resistance”, I absolutely fell in love with him. And am so glad I was able to read “Half-Blood” to learn more of his life story and how his pain came to be.

“Half-Blood” gets five stars because it is magnificently written, and full of heart. It is a marvelous story, just heart-wrenchingly sad, mainly because of the subject. But it helps us understand Jace so much more, which is so lovely.

The pain and the heart-break is so evident in this book – you just hurt along with Jace. I don’t want to give the story away, so I can’t say much, but trust me that, even though it is sad, it is good. You will want to read this book. Jace is such a grand character – so soft-hearted even though the world has told him lie after lie and made him believe otherwise. The story ends in Hope too, which I really appreciated! I was worried it was going to end on a downer, but it was good. Of course. :) Jaye has a fantastic writing talent, and I am so glad she uses it for God’s glory!!

Thank you, Jaye, for writing this series and sharing your heart through writing with us! It is a treasure!

I received a complimentary ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.

More Fun and Info:

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Giveaway

Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Half-Blood, a blue feather bookmark hand crafted by Jaye, a bronze sword pendant, and a $5 Amazon gift card! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

Since I, Raechel, cannot get the rafflecoptor to show up, please click on THIS to go directly to the rafflecoptor giveaway!

About the Author:

Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Etsy, and on her new fiction forum where you can interact with other readers of the series.

JayeAuthor2015

Blog Tour Schedule:  

Tuesday, July 14

Wednesday, July 15

Thursday, July 16

Friday, July 17

Saturday, July 18

Sunday, July 19

Monday, July 20

Tuesday, July 21

Wednesday, July 22

Posted in Book reviews, Booklook Review

BookLook Review: “The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest” by Melanie Dickerson

 

 

“The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest” A Medieval Fairy Tale by Melanie Dickerson

Releases May 12th, 2015

Review copy source: BookLook

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the book:

A beautiful maiden who poaches to feed the poor. A handsome forester on a mission to catch her. Danger and love are about to unite in Thornbeck Forest.

The margrave owns the finest hunting grounds for miles around—and Odette Menkels spends her nights poaching his deer to feed the hungry orphans of Thornbeck. By day, Odette is a simple maiden who teaches children to read, but by night this young beauty has become the secret lifeline to the poorest of the poor.

For Jorgen Hartman, the margrave’s forester, tracking down a poacher is a duty he is all too willing to perform. Jorgen inherited his post from the man who raised him . . . a man who was murdered at the hands of a poacher.

When Jorgen and Odette meet at the Midsummer festival and share a connection during a dance, neither has any idea that they are already adversaries.

The one man she wants is bound by duty to capture her; the one woman he loves is his cunning target . . . What becomes of a forester who protects a notorious poacher? What becomes of a poacher when she is finally discovered?

My Thoughts:

Spectacular. That’s what I think of this book. It knocked the socks off me ;) But truly, I was very impressed with this book and fell in love with it immediately. It was … ahhh!! So good, so sweet. The characters were just marvelous and the setting superb and the plot was magnificent, all working together to create a lovely fairy-tale read! I was a bit worried that it would have the typical tension where all things go wrong and you’re frustrated with the characters, but thankfully that wasn’t the case at all! Bad things happened, and there were some tense type moments, but they weren’t overdone, or annoying. It was perfect. And I can’t tell you how much that relieved me!

Main character, Odette Menkels, was such an amazing female role. She was lady-like, and elegant, and yet can shoot her bow like nobody’s business. She was a very strong, gentle (yes those two words definitely go together and describe Odette!) character, and so loveable. I ‘bonded’ with her right away. She was so realistic and I appreciated that so much. She was just…so real! And Jorgen – aaaah swooooonnnn!!! Perfect leading male character in my opinion. Yep, he was amazing. I also fell in love with him (*cough* I really did. I love him) right away. He was upstanding, loyal, strong, humble, and gentle as well. So kind too. And his mother was an amazing woman too.

The plot was so engaging, and once you got to the end it was non-stop and I couldn’t put it down (okay, so I couldn’t put it down through the whole thing…); I had to find out what happened. And what a lovely ending it had, too! I just LOVE happy endings, truly I do. And this one was beautiful, and God-centered.

That being said, the faith thread was really good. I really really appreciated and enjoyed that. It was very real to it, and the characters, and it was great how Odette cherished the Bible – what she could get of it. 

I just love reading books that I adore. :)  I definitely recommend this book. It is a delightful tale of The Swan Princess/Robin Hood (and the part that connects her to being a swan was so fun!), a very fairy-tale like read without the magic, and an inspiring story. It’s going on my favourites list. =)

I received a complimentary copy from the publishers through BookLook in exchange for my honest review which I have given.

Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews

Bethany House Book Review: “Finding Me” by Kathryn Cushman

http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Me-Kathryn-Cushman/dp/0764212613/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1428368388&sr=1-2

“Finding Me” by Kathryn Cushman

Review copy source: Bethany House

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

About the book:

What would you do if you learned your life was a lie?

All her life, Kelli Huddleston has been told the story of a fire–a fire that killed her mother and two siblings when she was an infant. After her father’s death though, she uncovers evidence of a different story, including clippings about a boat accident that killed a young father and his infant daughter. And Kelli quietly realizes the story of her life has been a fiction.

How far would you go to discover the truth?

Armed with only a few pictures of what she thinks might be her family, Kelli crosses the country to Tennessee, determined to uncover the truth about what happened over twenty years ago in a small southern town. When the trip threatens to open doors to the past better left shut, and her plans for the future are jeopardized, Kelli is faced with an agonizing choice that will change her life forever.

My Thoughts:

The story-line intrigued me, and I was looking forward to diving into this book – and I’m glad I did! I really enjoyed reading it. The plot was fascinating, and well executed. I really loved the characters, especially main character Kelli, and semi-main character, Kenmore. And Allison, and Beth…and Rand, and Mrs. Birdyshaw. =) Okay, so all of the characters were well-done.

I loved the easy-to-readness of it; I had just finished a more heavy-book, that I enjoyed, but I needed a bit of a ‘wind-down’ book, and this one was a good one! 

The only thing that I was bummed about was the underdeveloped faith aspect. It was brought up, and had such potential, but it was never finished really, in the ending. And that rather disappointed me. 

Also, the romance was a bit fast…not necessarily bad, just quickly which made it seem almost as if the characters were only attracted to what they saw – the outside. Not a well-developed relationship that is made upon the strengths and beauty of inner character.

However, I still liked it fine. And the whole story was an enjoyable one. :)

I received a complimentary copy from the publishers in exchange for my honest review which I have given.

Posted in Book reviews, Books

Book Review: “A Mighty Fortress” by Faith Blum

http://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Fortress-Hymns-West-Book-ebook/dp/B00GPDQVC2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427075187&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Mighty+Fortress+by+Faith+Blum

 

 

“A Mighty Fortress” by Faith Blum

#1 in The Hymns of the West Series

About the book:

“Stay back!” Joshua ordered. He kept his eyes on the scene below while waving his arm in Ruth’s direction. “Get deeper into the woods and stay down low to the ground.”
Joshua hazarded a glance behind him. He could no longer see Ruth and breathed a sigh of relief. In one swift move, he grabbed his rifle and lay flat to the ground. Extending the rifle, he aimed at the shorter man whose gun was pointed at Bradshaw.

Joshua and Ruth Brookings are traveling by stagecoach to finally join their parents in Montana. Attacked by murderous outlaws, the teens barely escape with their lives and must survive in the barren Wyoming and Montana territories and escape the man who’s hunting them.
Seven years ago, Jed Stuart ran away from home and joined Tom’s gang. Jed is tired of the lawlessness and wants out. The only problem? He is the boss’s right-hand man and will never be able to leave. And what’s one more stagecoach robbery, anyway?
Can Joshua lean on God’s strength to keep himself and his sister alive until they find a town? Will Jed be able to face his anger or will it consume him completely? All three are running–the hunter and hunted. What will happen when they meet?

My thoughts:

I was so delighted when Faith offered to allow me to review her first book. I’ve been wanting to get started on her books since becoming friends with her back in November, and this was a perfect opportunity! I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Faith, so finally being able to read her books is great!

First I will say that I loved all the scripture added throughout the book. That was a total plus for me, and I am glad for it!
I thought that the writing style was perfect for its specified age group (YA), though there were a couple themes that I thought were a bit more ‘mature’. This was the author’s first published work, and while that showed in a couple instances, I think many will enjoy this book, and series.

The plot was very engaging, and kept me reading most definitely. I think the characters could’ve used a little bit more ‘depth’, but they were still likeable. And the Christian theme throughout the book was really good; I really appreciate good Christian themes in books that are evident – not hidden. The ending was a bit sad, yet redemptive and well done.
I read in one other review that a lot of the story was more ‘tell’ than ‘show’, and I found I could agree with that. And while it doesn’t hinder the story much, I think a bit more ‘showing’ would have been nice.

I am not usually a fan of Western-setting books, but I was glad to find that I enjoyed this book! :)

Thank you very much, Faith, for sending me a complimentary e-book in exchange for this review! I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your books. :)

 

About Faith:

An avid reader, Faith Blum started writing at an early age. Whether it was a story about the camping trip that summer or a more creative story about fictional characters, she has always enjoyed writing. When not writing, Miss Blum enjoys reading, crafting, playing piano, moderating on the Holy Worlds Historical Fiction Forum and playing games with her family (canasta, anyone?). As a history enthusiast who has been fascinated for years with the Old West, Faith has endeavored to create a clean, fun, and challenging Western story. Faith lives with her family on a hobby farm in the Northern Midwest, where she enjoys the many cats they have.