Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“What Momma Left Behind” by Cindy K Sproles ~ Book Review

What Momma Left Behind

“What Momma Left Behind” by Cindy K Sproles

Historical Fiction

Review copy from the publishers through Revell Reads Program

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

Worie Dressar is seventeen years old when influenza and dysentery ravage her Appalachian Mountain community in 1898, leaving behind a growing number of orphaned children with no way to care for themselves. Worie’s mother has been secretly feeding a number of these little ones on Sourwood Mountain. But when she dies suddenly, Worie is left to figure out why and how she was caring for them.
Plagued with two good-for-nothing brothers–one greedy and the other a drunkard–Worie fights to save her home and the orphaned children now in her begrudging care. Along the way, she will discover the beauty of unconditional love and the power of forgiveness as she cares for all of Momma’s children.

Storyteller and popular speaker Cindy K. Sproles pens a tender novel full of sacrifice, heartache, and courage in the face of overwhelming obstacles.

 

My Thoughts:

 

This is a unique story! It takes place in the late 1800’s, in the Appalachian Mountains, and it is written in what felt like a very authentic way. I was very impressed. The whole story moved along smoothly, and I really liked the main character, Worie. Right away we are taken with her plight.

There was a lot of sorrow in her story, but the lessons she learned were heartfelt and true. And all the children…how precious. I also really like Justice – Worie’s brother. He had his own trials and struggles, but I love how they pulled together towards the end.

This whole story is very well written, engaging, and sweet. As I said, it has its sorrows and trials, but it is a uniquely beautiful story that reaches the heart.

Looking forward to reading more by this author!

 

 

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

Posted in Book reviews

“On a Coastal Breeze” by Suzanne Woods Fisher ~ Book Review

 

 

“On a Coastal Breeze” by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Book Two in the Three Sisters Island Series

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

For Madison Grayson, life is good. Newly licensed as a marriage and family therapist, she can’t wait to start her practice. Despite the unfortunate shortage of eligible bachelors on the island–they’re all too young, too old, or too weird–Maddie feels like she’s finally found her sweet spot. Not even one panic attack in the last year. Not one.
And then Ricky O’Shea drops in. Literally. Floating down from the pure blue sky, the one man in the world she hoped never to see again–the one who’d been her archnemesis from kindergarten through her senior dance–parachutes into town, landing on Boon Dock, canopy draping behind him like a superhero. Ricky O’Shea. Now Pastor Rick, the new minister on Three Sisters Island.
Time to panic.

 

My Thoughts:

Second book in the Three Sisters Island series, “On a Coastal Breeze” focuses primarily on middle daughter, Maddie Greyson. She’s finally set up her own counseling practice on the Island, and is doing quite well at it, getting a good handle on life…or so she thought, until a person from her pasts shows up.
I really liked the dynamic between Maddie and Rick. It wasn’t a simple relationship, but it was unique and growing. Though really, the romance wasn’t actually as prominant a theme in this book as I expected. The theme was more on forgiveness, and overcoming fear and anxiety. The plot was really well written, and I very much enjoyed getting a glimpse into Maddie’s counseling practice as well.
As with the first book, this story continued to show pieces from each daughter as well as their father, which was a nice touch. Cam could be a little hard for me to relate to at times, but she did grow in this book. And Blaine – she is a likeable character who faces some of her own trials in this book. Looking forward to seeing more of her story!
The ending almost came too soon – I would’ve enjoyed having it go longer! – but it certainly gives us readers something to look forward to in the third book. I’ve grown quite fond of the Greyson family and their little Maine Island. :)
  This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group (Revell), through Interviews & Reviews.
Posted in Book reviews, Reviews

“Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish” by Bethany Turner ~ Review (and MBTI mention!)

 

IMG_20200503_121256
@vikinglady10

 

 

Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish by Bethany Turner

RomCom: Releases Tuesday, May 5th (TODAY!!!)

Review copy from the publisher/author as apart of Launch Team

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

Celebrity chef Maxwell Cavanaugh is known for many things: his multiple Michelin stars, his top-rated Culinary Channel show To the Max, and most of all his horrible temper. Hadley Beckett, host of the Culinary Channel’s other top-rated show, At Home with Hadley, is beloved for her Southern charm and for making her viewers feel like family.
When Max experiences a very public temper tantrum, he’s sent packing to get his life in order. When he returns, career in shambles, his only chance to get back on TV and in the public’s good graces is to work alongside Hadley.

As these polar-opposite celeb chefs begin to peel away the layers of public persona and reputation, they will not only discover the key ingredients for getting along, but also learn the secret recipe for unexpected forgiveness . . . and maybe even love. In the meantime, hide the knives.
Fan-favorite Bethany Turner serves up a heaping helping of humor and romance with this thoroughly modern story centered on cooking, enemies, and second chances.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 
I don’t cook or bake. At least, I don’t particularly enjoy it. So one might ask, why are you reading a very Foodie Novel? And the answer to that, besides the fact that the story itself sounds amazing obviously, is because Bethany Turner wrote it. As soon as I read her debut novel, The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, I was hooked on this author’s writing style. It is so unique, and fun, and witty. So of course I could not miss out on another book by her!
And of course, I utterly enjoyed this one too. Surprise! ;) The story plot was really good, and the characters fabulous. The dynamics were a joy to see played out, and seeing Max transform was especially nice. Hadley was a sweetheart of a character, and I could relate to her on many levels (except the cooking/baking… haha). Max was detestable at first, and I really wondered how we would grow to love him. But we did, we really did.
I will say that I wish there was a bit more emphasis on faith. It was very subtly present, and I still feel that the author was respectful of that, but I think Max’s transformation could have had a lot more ‘oomph’ had the emphasis been more on God’s tranformation in us.
Still, I vastly enjoyed this book, and I’m sad to see it’s over. That just means I have to wait AGAIN for another Bethany Turner book…and that is quite difficult.  I guess I will just have to appease myself with rereads of the authors three published novels so far. ;)
IMG_20200504_101257_737
I don’t actually know if I’ve mentioned here on my blog yet, but I’ve been studying personality types for a while now, and am in the middle of a series on my Instagram where I type characters from books and movies every Monday (God-willing, of course!). It’s been a lot of fun, and yesterday I typed Hadley and Max from this wonderful book! You can check that out on my Instagram – my username is @vikinglady10 . :)

 

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 Book reviews

“Star of Persia” by Jill Eileen Smith ~ Book Review

Star of Persia: Esther's Story

 

“Star of Persia” by Jill Eileen Smith

Biblical/Historical Fiction/The Account of Esther

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

In an effort to complete a war his father had planned to win, King Xerxes calls every governor, satrap, and official in his vast kingdom to his palace in Susa to strategize and feast. When they finally leave, he decides on one more week of frivolity, which ends in the banishment of his favorite wife, something he never intended to do. But when he discovers Esther, Xerxes is sure he has a second chance at happiness.
In her wildest dreams, Esther could never have imagined that she would end up as queen of Persia. Yet she knows better than to become complacent. Another of Xerxes’s wives is vying for position, and his closest advisor has a deep and dangerous grudge against Esther’s adoptive father. Caught in the middle of palace politics, Esther will find herself in an impossible position: risk her life or consign her people to annihilation.
With her impeccable research and her imaginative flair, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the romantic, suspenseful, and beloved story of Esther, queen of Persia.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

The account of Esther is a beautiful story of strength, courage, and obedience. Esther did what was difficult for the love of her God, her cousin Mordicai, and her people. I really enjoyed “Star of Persia” and its telling of this Biblical account. It was written beautifully and captivatingly, inviting the reader into its pages. The characters were all written realistically, and it was easy to relate to Esther and even understand the King too. The entire story came vividly to life in my mind, and I loved to see what happened next – even though I know the Biblical account.Esther was written as a beautiful, gentle soul and I really enjoyed her character. I do wonder if the Biblical Esther would’ve hesitated as much as the portrayal in this book did, but it was understandable. I’ve just always felt that Esther would’ve been of great faith to do what she had to do “for such a time as this”, and to be honest, her relationship with God in this book didn’t feel like it had a lot of depth. It was still present of course, and the overall theme was good, but I didn’t feel that spiritual connection as I usually expect to see in Biblical Fiction. And I know God was never really mentioned in the Biblical account of Esther either, but He does show through it without His name being said.

The author has a great way of weaving historical background into the story, and I would definitely say it is more in the historical fiction genre, with Biblical Fiction being second. Again, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and found its story captivating. I look forward to the authors next novel!

This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing/Revell, through Interviews & Reviews.  

Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“The Way of the Brave” by Susan May Warren ~ Book Review

The Way of the Brave (Global Search and Rescue #1)

 

The Way of the Brave by Susan May Warren

Book One in the Global Search and Rescue Series

Review copy through the publisher

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

About the Book:

Former pararescue jumper Orion Starr is haunted by the memory of a rescue gone wrong. He may be living alone in Alaska now, but the pain of his failure–and his injuries–has followed him there from Afghanistan. He has no desire to join Hamilton Jones’s elite rescue team, but he also can’t shirk his duty when the call comes in to rescue three lost climbers on Denali.
Former CIA profiler and psychiatrist Jenny Calhoun’s yearly extreme challenge with her best friends is her only escape from the guilt that has sunk its claws into her. As a consultant during a top-secret mission to root out the Taliban, she green-lighted an operation that ended in ambush and lives lost. When her cathartic climb on Denali turns deadly, she’ll be forced to trust her life and the lives of her friends to the most dangerous of heroes–the man she nearly killed.
Her skills and his experience are exactly what’s needed to prevent another tragedy–but in order to truly set Orion free from his painful past, Jenny will have to reveal hers. They’ll have to put their wounds behind them to survive, but at what cost?

 

 

My Thoughts:

 
Well, I can say with even more certainty now that I hope to never climb a mountain. XD While I may not get the fascination, that doesn’t stop me from reading books where they take on all sorts of peril and danger, and Susan May Warren is one of the best authors for that type of fiction! The Way of the Brave is the first book in her new Search and Rescue series, and it promises to be an epic series indeed.
This book was nonstop action, with strong characters, gripping plot, and an ending that leaves readers begging for more. I really, really want the next book, stat. ;) I can’t wait to read Jake and Aria’s story, not to mention Ham’s story. While I liked the main characters of this story, I felt more pulled towards the side characters. But still, it was a delight to get to know all of the characters, and I know the following books will be a treat.
Very exciting series!

 

Posted in 1940's, Book reviews, Revell Reads

“The Land Beneath Us” by Sarah Sundin ~ Book Review

The Land Beneath Us (Sunrise at Normandy, #3)

“The Land Beneath Us” by Sarah Sundin

Book Three in the Sunrise at Normandy series

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the U.S. Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers’ betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for—fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.
Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family—the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.
After Clay saves Leah’s life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-Day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay’s recurring dream comes true?

 

My Thoughts:

 

Goodness do I love Sarah Sundin’s novels! Each and every one of them have become favorites and I always eagerly await the next. It was such a treat to be able to read The Land Beneath Us – it is such a beautiful conclusion to this wonderful series. That epilogue pulled everything together so nicely, and just filled me with all the warm feelings.The characters are so beloved – I immediately took to main character Leah (Thalia!) in this book, and Clay was a perfect hero. Their relationship was amazing, and I so dearly loved reading their story. They each went through wonderful journeys, and the faith message was lovely. I don’t have one bad thing to say about this book, it was so good. So, so good. I’m a bit sad to finish this series, but glad it is one I can revisit time and time again!Excellent WWII fiction. <3

 

 

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

 

 

Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“Unscripted” by Davis Bunn ~ Review

Unscripted

 

“Unscripted” by Davis Bunn

Contemporary Fiction

Review copy through Revell Reads

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

Young line producer Danny Byrd is well-known in Hollywood for being someone who gets things done on time and under budget. But when his reputation takes a beating after his partner–and former best friend–makes off with their investors’ money, Danny has but one chance to redeem himself and restore his ruined career.
LA lawyer Megan Pierce has sacrificed years of her life proving herself to her impossible bosses only to find herself disgusted at their snobbery and their specious business practices. When an opportunity to actually make a difference comes her way, she knows she has to grab it–even though she’s not entirely clear what “it” is.
Danny and Megan are each other’s best hope for redemption. What they never could have imagined was that they might also be each other’s best hope for love.
Bestselling and award-winning author Davis Bunn takes you into the beating heart of Hollywood with two characters determined to thrive in a cutthroat business.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

This was the first book I’ve had the plasure of reading by this author and I was quite impressed by the writing talent. The story moved along smoothly, and you could tell the filming aspect was well-researched to add an authenticity that really enriched the story. I found the ploit line intriguing, and enjoyed watching how it unfolded. The characters were interesting, and I thought that Danny Byrd made a good lead character.The romance aspect was tame which I appreciated, though it felt like it was missing the chemestry. I knew the two characters liked each other because the novel told me so, but I didn’t really connect to their story together.The faith strand was extremely light, only mentioned a couple of times with no clear “redemption” or completion arc. I was expecting Danny to find what he was searching for in Christ, but it seemed more that he found it through Megan, which rather disappointed me because there was great potential for things to be turned back to Christ.

The ending was sweet, and it was good to see how the whole project portrayed throughout the novel was brought to completion.

 

 

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own. 

Posted in Book reviews, Books, Revell Reads, Reviews, Spiritual beliefs

“Finding Lady Enderly” by Joanna Davidson Politano – Book Review (I loved it!!)

DSC02198

“Finding Lady Enderly” by Joanna Davidson Politano

Review copy through the publisher/author as apart of the launch team

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

I loved this book, so so much. It meant so much to me, the message and everything, because it is something I am learning too – my identity in Christ. During the reading of it, I even wrote a poem that, if Rania were real, I’d love to share with her. I will include it at the end of this post, but first read on for the description of this beautiful book and my “official” review! :)

 

DSC02205

 

About the Book:

Raina Bretton is a rag woman in London’s east end when a handsome stranger appears in a dank alley and offers her a glittering smile and a chance for adventure. Rothburne Abbey has a unique position for her, one that will take her away from her hardscrabble life and give her a chance to be a lady. Things she could only dream of might be coming true. But some dreams turn out to be nightmares.

Though Raina has traded squalor for silk and satin, something about the abbey is deeply unsettling. As she wrestles with her true identity, the ruin, decay, and secrets she finds at the heart of the old mansion tear at her confidence and threaten to reveal her for who she really is. Only one man stands between her and the danger that lurks within–and only if he decides to keep her biggest secret hidden.

 

 

DSC02202

 

My Thoughts:

 

Oh my word, this book. Wow. It floored me in its gentle beauty and remarkable message. It is no coincident that I read it when I did, and took my time to savor it, for the message lined up with what God has been showing me lately, and that just blessed me so much.
I fell so utterly in love with this story, that it will long remain on my favorites shelf. How it is written is so beautifully smooth and captivating, and the plot was fantastic as well, with characters that will just sweep you off your feet.
Truly, I don’t know how I could write a review that would do this book justice. I loved it so much. Dear sweet Rania went through such a journey. And that ending! Not quite what I was expecting, but so much better and full of redemption. Gorgeous prose, amazing characters, and truth about identity that is sure to bless any reader who stumbles into its pages.
The absolute heart that is woven through the story is touching, and that it all shines back to our Creator, is astounding. I’m so in love with this book and its characters. The author did a beautiful job, and I am in awe of her ability to turn it all back to God. <3
I marked SO many places in this book that it would be nearly impossible to share them all. I so badly wanted to make a graphic for each one, but our computer has been so slow that I’m not sure I can even get one made. But the quotes were fantastic and I will savor them for a long time. Hopefully I can get them typed up soon and perhaps I will devote a special post to them in the near future. :)
DSC02195
My Worth // by Raechel Lenore
I’m building my courage
One strand at a time
I’m lifting my head
by the inch
Healing can come
not all in a wave
but in soft whispers of strength
A Change slowly happening
A change still occuring
My eyes ever upward I raise
Coming to learn
and coming to know
that I reside in a place of grace
Beauty and truth,
they shine from within
they rely not upon another soul
I need not look to another’s face
to know my worth is whole
A crown slowly forming
upon my head
I let it there reside
Not knowing its strength
yet feeling its weight
I’m learning to accept it as mine
My worth to you I do not owe
My worth secure within me
I used to look towards anothers face
to change what grew so simply
Freedom’s glance
feels just wihin reach
and I’m starting to stand taller now
Knowing I am enough on my own
this truth is a new beginning, allowed.
I’ll raise my head another inch
I’ll lift up sparkling eyes
I’ll look into my reflection close and say ‘You are dignified.
My Father has put His crown on you
to His children He has given all
The garments are complete on you
Dignified and without pall
Raise up, you daughter of courage
raise up and continue to mend
Your worth is not held by anothers hands
Your worth is found in Heavens stead
You are worth
all on your own
You are worth and enough
You are a beauty
a pearl all desired
treasured by heavens touch.’
My worth is not measured by others opinions
my worth does not fluctate by anothers whims
My worth cannot be tossed by the wind
when I’ve found it secured within.
DSC02194
I do ask that you respect that this poem I shared belongs to me and is copyrighted as such. I would be pleased as punch if you wanted to share it linking back to me, just please don’t steal. :) Thank you!!
Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“Deadly Intentions” by Lisa Harris ~ Book Review

IMG_6886

 

“Deadly Intentions” by Lisa Harris

Romantic Suspense

Review copy through the publishers

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

Research scientist Caitlyn Lindsey is convinced that someone is taking out her team one by one. First, a friend and research partner was killed in a home invasion. Three months ago, her boss died in a suspicious car accident. Four days ago, another partner supposedly committed suicide. And now Caitlyn herself has miraculously survived a hit-and-run. Afraid for her life with nowhere to turn, she reaches out to one of the victim’s husbands, Detective Josh Solomon.
Though initially skeptical about Caitlyn’s theory, Josh soon realizes that the attack that took his wife’s life was anything but random. Now the two of them must discover the truth about who is after Caitlyn’s team–and what their end game is–before it’s too late.
In this nail-biting thriller, award-winning author Lisa Harris will have you believing that there’s no such thing as random.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

Lisa Harris writes some suspensful suspense! Her Nikki Boyd series is by far my favorite of her books, but “Deadly Intentions” would be a close second. The plot moved swiftly and smoothly, keeping me on the edge of my seat. I had to know what was going to happen! I read the first half in one sitting, and wished I could’ve done the same with the last half. :)
It was pretty much non-stop action – and so much danger! A thick plot of deceit and not knowing who to trust…with well formed characters who carried out the story with ease.
The overall plot was my favorite aspect of the book. I liked the characters and their romance story well enough, but the suspense was definitely my favorite part!
The faith message was present but not very strong – I would have liked it to have been a bit more evident, but it wrapped up nicely.
If you’re a fan of exciting, dangerous, and captivating suspense you’ll want to pick this book up. :)

 

 

.

*I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.