Friday, May 31, 2013

Ray of Light Book Review





Ray of Light (The Days of Redemption #2)
Picture Credit


Ray of Light by Shelley Shepard Gray is the second book in the Days of Redemption Series.
 
About the Book
When two hearts connect on a beach in Florida, is it a brief romance . . . or the start of a lasting love?

After family secrets come to light, causing an uproar, Roman Keim is taking a much-needed vacation to Pinecraft, the Amish snowbird community in Florida. The warm weather is a welcome break from the bleak Ohio winter, as is a week off from all his family's drama. But Roman's own drama begins when he meets his next-door neighbors: Amanda Yoder, a beautiful young widow, and her adorable daughter, Regina.

In the two years since her husband died, Amanda has never looked at another man. She certainly doesn't intend to get married again. But she can't deny that there's something special between her and Roman. As his week in Pinecraft comes to a close, Amanda knows that, in spite of her attempt to remain distant, she's given Roman a piece of her heart. And her daughter seems to have fallen in love, too.

Is there hope for a second chance at love for Amanda? Or will duty call Roman home first, far from the two women who have captured his heart?(Goodreads)


My Review
I have not read the first book to this series and perhaps I should have before I read this book. I was really disappointed with the story line. I could not get into readng the story, it just seems like the other Amish books I have read. I am always hoping for something different, this book is set in Florida, which is a nice change from the typical Amish setting. The rest of the story was just nothing new to me. I know a lot of people will love it because of the author and setting, but this was just not the book for me.
"I received this book from Litfuse for free in exchange for an honest review."







Bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray brings inspirational romance to life in this sweet tale of love in the Amish community, Ray of Light, the second installment of her Days of Redemption series.
Roman Keim just wants a break from the family drama at his snowy Ohio home when he heads to an Amish snowbird community in Florida. There he meets Amanda Yoder and her daughter Regina who soon are warming his heart. But will Roman return to Ohio or will he stay and help the young widow embrace a second chance at love?
The author of the series Sisters of the Heart and Seasons of Sugarcreek, Shelley Shepard Gray delivers an honest, tender love story in Ray of Light, featuring the challenges of faith, family, and romance.
Purchase a copy here.
Learn more at Shelley’s website.



Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Tempted Soul Book Review



The Tempted Soul (Amish Quilt, #3)
Picture Credit
 
The Tempted Soul by Adina Senft is the third book in the Amish Quilt Series.

About the Book



Carrie Miller longs for children, but after ten years of marriage, that blessing eludes her. So she fills her days with caring for her home, making artistic gifts and fancy cakes, and caring for her flock of chickens, every one of whom has a name and who under no circumstances will go in the soup pot. Carrie also finds support in the friendship she shares with her two best friends Amelia and Emma, and relishes the weekly afternoons they share working on their quilts.

Carrie and her husband Melvin love each other, and together have survived many lean years. If not for the kindness of their church community, they would have had to miss more than one meal a day. But now, Melvin has found work that finally provides a good living. Carrie hopes that having more to eat will finally allow them to start a family. Yet month after month, they remain childless. So when Carrie overhears two English women talking in the fabric store one day about medical options available to non-Amish women in her situation, she takes it as a sign from God. Melvin and the bishop see it differently, however. Is it really God's will that she pursue this, or is her longing to be a mother tempting her to stray from her Amish beliefs?(Goodreads)
 
 My Review
 
This book was a refreshing Amish read as it looked at life from a completely new perspective. Carrie is a married Amish woman but unlike many of the families around her she does not have any children. The doctor has told her that she is perfectly fine but her husband refuses to have himself checked out. The idea of doing what the English do in order to have children is considered a sin and not natural. While Carrie is considering the idea, her husband refuses and she must rely on her faith in God in a very trying situation. As the story continues God prevails and adds a twist in the story that surprised me.  
God is so good even when it doesn't seem like it at times. He has a much greater plan for a bigger picture that we know nothing about.
 
I reccomend if you are interested in a different Amish story line and to those who struggle having children.
 
 
 
 "I received this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review."
 
 
 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Offering Book Review





The Offering: A Novel
Picture Credit




The Offering by Angela Hunt is the story about the details of surrogacy and how it effects everyone involved.
 
 
 
One innocent mistake . . . a lifetime of consequences.

After growing up an only child, Amanda Lisandra wants a big family. But since she and her soldier husband can’t afford to have more children right away, Mandy decides to earn money as a gestational carrier for a childless couple. She loves being pregnant, and while carrying the child, she dreams of having her own son and maybe another daughter. . . .



Just when the nearly perfect pregnancy is about to conclude, unexpected tragedy enters Mandy’s world and leaves her reeling. Devastated by grief, she surrenders the child she was carrying and struggles to regain her emotional equilibrium.



Two years later she studies a photograph of the baby she bore and wonders if the unthinkable has happened—could she have inadvertently given away her own biological child? Over the next few months Mandy struggles to decide between the desires of her grief-stricken heart and what’s best for the little boy she has never known. (Goodreads)
 
 My Review
 
This is the first book by Angela Hunt that I have read. I had no idea what to expect. The start of the book sucked me in and I couldn't put it down. By the end I wanted to throw the book across the room. The back cover gives away the entire plot line, so you won't be surprised except for the final decision.
I can see this book becoming a best seller because it is what people want to read about and many can relate with this story line. I did not enjoy it as much but I do know others who would really enjoy the story.
 
  
 
 
"I received this book from Litfuse for free in exchange for an honest review." 
 
 
 
Angela Hunt is celebrating the release of The Offering with a Nook HD Giveaway and an Author Chat Party on Facebook {6/5}.
The-offering300

  One winner will receive:
  • A Nook HD
  • The Offering by Angela Hunt 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 4th. Winner will be announced at the "The Offering" Facebook Author Chat Party on June 5th. Connect with Angela for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Angela will also share an exclusive look at her next book and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of The Offering and join Angela on the evening of June 5th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 5th!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cara Box Reveal Link Up

I can't believe another month has gone by already! May's theme was "Let's Get Regional" and I scrambled for things to send from Kansas. This was a fun month, only the second time I have done the exchange. It is fun to get know other people and get a box of goodies! Wifessionals is the host and she does a great job setting everything for each month's box exchange. 
I met two lovely ladies this month, Stevie and Laura. 
 Stevie is from Virginia and Laura lives in North Dakota. I sent my Kansas regional items to Laura, her husband is also a farmer, and Stevie sent a box to me. 


Look at those goodies! The Graham Crackers and Reese's made my day. The luggage tag is perfect timing too we are going to Alaska in July! Both of these girls were great to get to know, I can't wait until next month.


Catch a Falling Star Book Review Litfuse Tour


Catch a Falling Star
Picture Credit









Catch a Falling Star by Beth K. Vogt. is a delight and the perfect summer read!


About the Book


 What does a girl do when life doesn’t go according to her plan? At thirty-six, Kendall Haynes has seen some of her dreams come true. She’s a family physician helping kids with severe allergies and asthma achieve more fulfilling lives—a childhood struggle she knows all too well. But are Kendall’s dreams of having it all—a career, a husband, children—nothing more than a childhood fantasy? God says He knows the plans He has for her—why can’t Kendall figure them out and be content with her life?

Griffin Walker prefers flying solo—both as an Air Force pilot and in his personal life. But a wrong choice and health problems pulled him out of the cockpit. His attempts to get out of “flying a desk” are complicated by his parents’ death—making Griffin the reluctant guardian of his sixteen-year-old brother, Ian. How did his life get so off course? Can he get his life back on track…or has there been a divine plan all along?

Catch a Falling Star reminds readers that romance isn’t just for twenty-somethings and that sometimes letting go of your “wish I may, wish I might” dreams is the only way to embrace everything God has waiting for you. (Goodreads)



My Review

 I loved reading this book for a few main reasons. The characters are completely believable and easy to relate with. The setting is my favorite because I grew up in the area and the author paints the picture vividly. Also, Kendall's dog is named Sully after Sully in Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, one of my all time favorite shows. Beth Vogt is someone I think I should meet. Anyway, love the plot and reading how the characters grow throughout the story. Great romance, made me laugh a lot, and simply a good book. I have not read Beth's first book Wish You Were Here, but after reading this I think it is a must read!


"I received this book from Litfuse for free in exchange for an honest review."







Celebrate the release of Catch a Falling Star (Howard Books) with Beth K. Vogt by entering to win a Romantic Weekend Getaway and RSVPing for her June 4th Author Chat Party.


FallingStar300

  One "lucky" winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa Cash Card (Perfect for a weekend stay at a hotel or B&B!)
  • Catch a Falling Star and Wish You Were Here by Beth Vogt (Swoon-worthy!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 3rd. Winner will be announced at the "Catch a Falling Star" Facebook Author Chat Party on June 4th. Connect with Beth for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Beth will also share an exclusive look at her next book and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Catch a Falling Star and join Beth on the evening of June 4th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Heartbeat Away Book Review CFBA Blog Tour


A Heartbeat Away
Picture Credit




This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Heartbeat Away
Abingdon Press (May 1, 2013)
by
S. Dionne Moore





A Heartbeat Away by S. Dionne Moore is a part of the Quilts of Love Stories

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

When a band of runaway slaves brings Union-loyal Beth Bumgartner a wounded Confederate soldier named Joe, it is the catalyst that pushes her to defy her pacifist parents and become a nurse during the Battle of Antietam.

Her mother's mysterious goodbye gift is filled with quilt blocks that bring comfort to Beth during the hard days and lonely nights, but as she sews each block, she realizes there is a hidden message of faith within the pattern that encourages and sustains her. Reunited with Joe, Beth learns his secret and puts the quilt's message to its greatest test—but can betrayal be forgiven?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Heartbeat Away, go HERE.

Watch the video:
AHeartbeatAway - Medium from S. Dionne Moore on Vimeo.




This is the first Quilts of Love book I have read. I love any book that has to do with the Civil War and this book takes you right into the heart of the battle. Beth is a woman who just wants to help others and nurse but she doesn't realize the horrors of war until she is in the middle of the battle. The house Ruth lives in now with her grandmama and they have been brought a wounded Confederate soldier named Jo. As the battles continue right outside the door and shake the house, it fills with the wounded. Beth nurses Jo and so the story continues with battles, until they move quickly back to Beth's parents house away from the battles. There is a sweet love story that grows while Beth sews together quilting blocks while the battle rages outside.

Overall this is a fairly short story and I enjoyed the love story, yet I wish the book had more depth in some way.

"I received this book from CFBA for free in exchange for an honest review."


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

S. Dionne Moore started writing in 2006. Her first book, Murder on the Ol’ Bunions, was contracted for publication by Barbour Publishing in 2008. In 2009 she moved on to writing historical romances as an outlet for her passion for history. In 2010 her second cozy mystery, Polly Dent Loses Grip, was a 2010 Carol Award finalist and she was also named a Barbour Publishing 2010 Favorite New Author. In 2011 her first historical romance, Promise of Tomorrow, was nominated a 2011 Carol Award finalist.

Born and raised in Manassas, Virginia, Moore moved to Greencastle, PA in 1993, then to Mercersburg in 2009. Moore enjoys life in the historically rich Cumberland Valley where traffic jams are a thing of the past and there are only two stoplights in the whole town.

For more information, visit her Website at www.sdionnemoore.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @sdionnemoore
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sdionnemoore
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/sdionnemoore

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Promise Box Book Review


The Promise Box (Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors #2)
Picture Credit






The Promise Box by Tricia Goyer is the second book in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Series.



Every year, young Amish men descend on the cozy little town of West Kootenai, Montana, arriving in the spring to live there for six months and receive "resident" status for the hunting season in the fall. They arrive as bachelors, but go home with brides!
In The Promise Box, the second book of bestselling author Tricia Goyer's Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series, Lydia Wyse, a book editor from Seattle who grew up Amish, returns to the small community of West Kootenai, Montana to give comfort to her father after her mother's death. She is drawn back to the familiar Amish ways after finding her mother's most precious possession, a Promise Box of prayers and scripture. What her publisher sees, though, is an opportunity for a sensational "tell-all" book about the Amish.
Lydia soon finds herself falling in love with Amish bachelor Gideon Hooley. She wants nothing more than to forget her past and look forward to a future as an Amish bride. Will the pain of her childhood---and her potential betrayal of her community---keep her from committing her whole heart?(Goodreads)


Tricia Goyer is a talented author, she weaves stories in creative ways and I really do enjoy her writing. This book is not my favorite. I have not read the first book in this series but I loved the setting in Montana, not many Amish stories are set in Montana. The story line just seemed like something I have read before, while Tricia is a great author, this was just like any other Amish book that I have read. If you are an Amish fiction fan, you will love this book. I like Amish fiction, but I also like unique stories. I will say that I did like Lydia grows and the character development is fun to read.


"I received this book from Litfuse for free in exchange for an honest review."


   

Tricia Goyer is celebrating the release of her lastest novel, The Promise Box (Zondervan), by hosting an Amish Baking Box giveaway and connecting with readers during her June 12th Book Chat Party!
ThePromiseBox300

One "promising" winner will receive:
  • Apron, hot mitts, and kitchen towels
  • Amish baking items (rolling pin, pie plate, etc...)
  • Sherry Gore's Simply Delicious Amish Cooking
  • The Memory Jar and The Promise Box by Tricia Goyer 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 11th. Winner will be announced at the "The Promise Box" Facebook Author Chat Party on June 12th. Connect with Tricia for an evening of Amish fun - book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Tricia will also share an exclusive look at the next book book in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of The Promise Box and join Tricia on the evening of June 12th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 12th!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Long Trail Home Book Review




Long Trail Home (Texas Trails #3)
Picture Credit



 Long Trail Home by Vickie McDonough is the third book in Texas Trails Series.

About the Book

The Long Trail Home is third in a six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amidst a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896. Although a series, each book can be read on its own.When Riley Morgan returns home after fighting in the War Between the States, he is excited to see his parents and fiancee again. But he soon learns that his parents are dead and the woman he loved is married. He takes a job at the Wilcox School for the blind just to get by. He keeps his heart closed off but a pretty blind woman, Annie, threatens to steal it. When a greedy man tries to close the school, Riley and Annie band together to fight him and fall in love.But when Riley learns the truth about Annie, he packs and prepares to leave the school that has become his home and the woman who has thawed his heart. Will he change his mind and find the love he craves' Or will stubbornness deprive him from the woman he needs' Through painful circumstances, Riley and Annie learn that the loving and sovereign hand of God cannot be thwarted.(Goodreads)

My Review

 I have almost read this entire series (out of order) but I enjoy reading about the Morgan family. This book is no exception and I think it is another winner! While Annie is pretending to be blind, Riley is healing from recent news since coming back from the war. Of course the author adds a twist and includes an enemy that threatens to destroy everything they hold dear. I really liked the background story to Annie's character and how she changes throughout the book. God becomes an important person in her life even while she is in the middle of a lie that changes her life forever. The ending is not surprising but it is a fun western type of read.

I highly recommend this book and the rest of the series to anyone who likes Old West family stories. 

Also, not all of the books are by the same author which makes this a unique set of books!

"I received this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review."













Undeniably Yours Book Review Litfuse Blog Tour


Undeniably Yours (A Porter Family #1)


Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade  is the first book to the Porter Family Series.

About the Book

When Meg Cole's father dies unexpectedly, she becomes the majority shareholder of his oil company and the single inheritor of his fortune. Though Meg is soft-spoken and tenderhearted--more interested in art than in oil--she's forced to return home to Texas and to Whispering Creek Ranch to take up the reins of her father's empire.

The last thing she has the patience or the sanity to deal with? Her father's thoroughbred racehorse farm. She gives its manager, Bo Porter, six months to close the place down.

Bo's determined to resent the woman who's decided to rob him of his dream. But instead of anger, Meg evokes within him a profound desire to protect. The more time he spends with her, the more he longs to overcome every obstacle that separates them--her wealth, his unworthiness, her family's outrage--and earn the right to love her.

But just when Meg begins to realize that Bo might be the one thing on the ranch worth keeping, their fragile bond is viciously broken by a force from Meg's past. Can their love--and their belief that God can work through every circumstance--survive?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Undeniably Yours, go HERE.


I loved this book! Honestly, I thought it was going to be something I had read before and I just wasn't excited about reading this book. I had not read Becky Wade's first book My Stubborn Heart so I dived into Undeniably Yours with doubt. I was very wrong! Though contemporary fiction is not my favorite this surpassed many of the books I have read this year and is definitely at the top. I loved reading about the characters, Meg and Bo, and the author did a great job creating this setting in Texas. I laughed out loud a couple of times because some scenes are written so well I could visualize them in all their hilarity. While the overall story line does not push Christianity there is an definite relationship that the characters have with the Lord.  Becky Wade even had to include a bit of suspense to go along with this great love story, very well written!
The romance is fun to read and it is overall a great book. I recommend to anyone who enjoys reading some romance. 

"I received this book from Litfuse for free in exchange for an honest review."





Becky Wade is celebrating her latest swoon-worthy novel, Undeniably Yours (Bethany House), with a Kindle Fire giveaway and hosting an Author Chat party on Facebook {5/29}!

UndeniablyYours

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Undeniably Yours and My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 28th. Winner will be announced at the "Undeniably Yours" Facebook Author Chat Party on May 29th. Connect with Becky for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Becky will also share an exclusive look at her next book and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Undeniably Yours and join Becky on the evening of May 29th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Most Peculiar Circumstance

 
 
 
 
A Most Peculiar Circumstance (Ladies of Distinction, #2)
Picture Credit
 

A Most Peculiar Circumstance by Jen Turano is book two in the Ladies of Distinction Series.

About the Book
 
Miss Arabella Beckett has one driving passion: to help the downtrodden women of America. Naturally, she supports the women's suffrage movement and eagerly attends rallies and lectures across the country. On her travels, she makes a simple offer of assistance to a young woman in need that goes sadly awry and lands both ladies in more trouble than they can manage. An independent sort, Arabella is loath to admit she needs help and certainly doesn't need help from an arrogant, narrow-minded knight in shining armor.

Mr. Theodore Wilder, private investigator extraordinaire, is on a mission. A mission that began as a favor to his good friend Hamilton Beckett, but swiftly evolved into a merry chase across the country. By the time he finally tracks down Hamilton's sister, Arabella, he is in a less than pleasant mood. When the lady turns out to have radical ideas and a fiercely independent streak, he soon finds himself at his wit's end.

When they return home to New York, circumstances force their paths to continue to cross, but the most peculiar feelings growing between them certainly can't be love. When the trouble Arabella had accidentally stirred up seems to have followed her to New York and threatens her very life, the unlikely couple must face the possibility that they might have landed in the most peculiar circumstance of all: love. (Goodreads)


My Review

I loved Jen's first book A Change of Fortune so I was very excited to read this new book! I was not disappointed. Arabella is a delightful character that made me laugh many times as she interacted with others. I honestly can't imagine growing up in such a prominent family during a time when women were only meant to have children and cook and clean. Arabella clearly pushes the envelope and lands herself in jail a couple of times, which the author laces with humor. Jen Turano is such a funny author, she is so good at including small hilarious details. I'm sure if I go back and re-read her books I will notice new details I didn't the first time.
You don't have to read the first book to enjoy this one, but there are the same characters in both so I was glad that I had read the first book.

I highly recommend this book for some history on women's rights and if you need a laugh.


"I received this book from Bethany House and the author for free in exchange for an honest review."


 Also stop by Goodreads to learn more and the author's website.
 
 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Undeniably Yours Book Review CFBA Blog Tour


Undeniably Yours (A Porter Family #1)


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Undeniably Yours
Bethany House Publishers (May 1, 2013)
by
Becky Wade




Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade  is the first book to the Porter Family Series.

ABOUT THE BOOK

When Meg Cole's father dies unexpectedly, she becomes the majority shareholder of his oil company and the single inheritor of his fortune. Though Meg is soft-spoken and tenderhearted--more interested in art than in oil--she's forced to return home to Texas and to Whispering Creek Ranch to take up the reins of her father's empire.

The last thing she has the patience or the sanity to deal with? Her father's thoroughbred racehorse farm. She gives its manager, Bo Porter, six months to close the place down.

Bo's determined to resent the woman who's decided to rob him of his dream. But instead of anger, Meg evokes within him a profound desire to protect. The more time he spends with her, the more he longs to overcome every obstacle that separates them--her wealth, his unworthiness, her family's outrage--and earn the right to love her.

But just when Meg begins to realize that Bo might be the one thing on the ranch worth keeping, their fragile bond is viciously broken by a force from Meg's past. Can their love--and their belief that God can work through every circumstance--survive?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Undeniably Yours, go HERE.


I loved this book! Honestly, I thought it was going to be something I had read before and I just wasn't excited about reading this book. I had not read Becky Wade's first book My Stubborn Heart so I dived into Undeniably Yours with doubt. I was very wrong! Though contemporary fiction is not my favorite this surpassed many of the books I have read this year and is definitely at the top. I loved reading about the characters, Meg and Bo, and the author did a great job creating this setting in Texas. I laughed out loud a couple of times because some scenes are written so well I could visualize them in all their hilarity. While the overall story line does not push Christianity there is an definite relationship that the characters have with the Lord.  Becky Wade even had to include a bit of suspense to go along with this great love story, very well written!
The romance is fun to read and it is overall a great book. I recommend to anyone who enjoys reading some romance. 

"I received this book from CFBA for free in exchange for an honest review."






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She's been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky's passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances for the general market, put her career on hold for many years to care for her kids, and eventually returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. Her first contemporary Christian romance, My Stubborn Heart, has been named a finalist for Romance Writers of America's RITA Award. Her newest release, Undeniably Yours, is available now.

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Limitless Book Review

 
 
 
 
Limitless: Devotions for a Ridiculously Good Life
Picture Credit
 
 
From limbless to limitless – anything is possible with God!

Nick Vujicic knows there is no greater hope than trusting in God’s plan for your life. Born without arms or legs, Nick has experienced both the peak of hope and the depth of despair. But he has overcome his circumstances and physical limitations by clinging to his faith and understanding the limitless love and power God has for every person.

Now he wants you to experience that same reassurance of hope and the power of God, everyday. In these fifty inspirational devotions, Nick shares his most compelling, hard-earned wisdom to help you face obstacles with confidence and courage and point you toward God. Whether you struggle with faith, relationships, career challenges, anger, health concerns, self-esteem, finding balance, or doubt in your dreams, Nick’s biblical encouragement and positive attitude will transform your life and show you that you can be limitless because God is limitless.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21). (Goodreads)
 
 
 
 
 
 
First of all I am a huge fan of Nick Vujicic. I have read his previous books and seen him on the news and watched him speak to an audience. Nick has such a great story to tell and I was so excited to hear he got married this past year! I was not sure how this book was going to be set up but I was delighted to start reading it as daily devotions. I actually read a couple at a time because they are that good. Nick has a great perspective on life and he is very good at writing about a "ridiculously good life" and is so encouraging. How can you compare your own life with everything he has gone through? After each devotion he includes a blurb on how you can act on what you have read in that devotion. If you are looking for a new devotional book I highly recommend.
 
 
Read the first chapter.
 
 
 
"I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review."
 
 
 

Shattered Rose Book Review

 
 
 
 
Shattered Rose (Winsor #1)
Picture Credit
 
 
 
 
Shattered Rose by T. L. Gray is her first book and also the first book in the Winsor series.
 
 
When obsession and love blend, and darkness consumes the mind and spirit, is it even possible to recognize the light?

Set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, nineteen-year-old Avery Nichols embarks on a journey of love, loss and recognition that perfection is often an illusion. She gives all she has to the one man who cannot love her back, but still refuses let her go. Now another fights to give her everything she doesn’t believe she deserves.

It is the beginning of her sophomore year at Winsor University, and Avery is determined that nothing will stop her momentum, not even the internal battle she has fought for four years. Forced to live on campus because of her alumni scholarship, Avery is thrilled when she is placed in the coveted University Apartments and is swept away by her roommate’s cousin, Jake, whose charm and charisma touches every part of her soul and shatters every piece of her heart. Broken and lost, Avery meets Parker, a man who not only offers her hope, but also teaches her to love in ways she never thought possible.

Jake is complicated and damaged, fighting to find his way after the loss of his mother, and despite his every attempt to stop it, Avery gets behind his defenses and forces him to feel once again. He doesn’t want to love her, but can’t let her go. Parker is genuine, honest, and falls for Avery the moment he sees her. He wants nothing more than to love her, if she would only let him.(Goodreads)
 
 
 
I was excited when the author asked me to review her new book, Shattered Rose. It is self published so she is marketing by herself. I love the cover and I think she is a great new author. Before receiving this book I read up on all of the reviews to see what everyone else was saying. The author also informed me that there were a lot of real issues discussed in the book such as underage drinking, sex before marriage, and eating disorders. I enjoy reading books that are true to real life but also show that it's not always a good way to live. This story hit close to home life is not easy, looking at one's body and not liking what you see, longing for the attention of someone, especially a boy, and drinking like everyone else. I love how one person in this book proves to Avery that she has value and that Christ is a true Savior.
 As a word of caution these issues are discussed, some in detail, while not obscene, it did not hinder my reading the entire book. I read the book fairly quickly, it's 402 pages so it's not short. I could relate with Avery during a lot of her struggles and I think that is why I enjoyed the book. If you can relate to a character the book is so much more interesting.
The setting is also great, aside from the college campus they are near Asheville, NC.  For a new author, I think T. L. Gray did a great job. I am really looking forward to the next book. I would reccomend this to young adults, it seems to fit more in that category, but it is a good read for anyone.
 
"I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review."
 
Learn more about T. L. Gray at her website.
 
 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Follow the Heart Book Review CFBA Blog Tour


Follow the Heart
Picture Credit



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Follow the Heart
B&H Books (May 1, 2013)
by
Kaye Dacus



Follow the Heart by Kaye Dacus is the first in the Great Exhibition series.

 
ABOUT THE BOOK

Set during the Industrial Revolution and the Great Exhibition of 1851, Follow the Heart is a “sitting-room romance” with the feel of a Regency-era novel but the fashions and technological advances of the mid-Victorian age.

Kate and Christopher Dearing’s lives turn upside down when their father loses everything in a railroad land speculation. The siblings are shipped off to their mother’s brother in England with one edict: marry money.

At twenty-seven years old, Kate has the stigma of being passed over by eligible men many times—and that was before she had no dowry. Christopher would like nothing better than to make his own way in the world; and with a law degree and expertise in the burgeoning railroad industry, he was primed to do just that—in America.

Though their uncle tries to ensure Kate and Christopher find matrimonial prospects only among the highest echelon of British society, their attentions stray to a gardener and a governess.

While Christopher has options that would enable him to lay his affections where he chooses, he cannot let the burden of their family’s finances crush his sister. Trying to push her feelings for the handsome—but not wealthy— gardener aside, Kate’s prospects brighten when a wealthy viscount shows interest in her. But is marrying for the financial security of her family the right thing to do, when her heart is telling her she’s making a mistake?

Mandates . . . money . . . matrimony. Who will follow the heart?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Follow the Heart, go HERE.
 

My Review
I was excited about his book because of the setting and historical background. I have not read Kaye Dacus'  books so this is a new author to me. The start of the book had me hooked, from wealth to bankrupt, Kate now must find a rich man to marry in order to save her family. Her father ships her and her brother to England to stay with their wealthy relatives while finding someone to marry. Kate is twenty-seven and very hard headed and full of opinions. I love that about this character and her love for the gardens. In steps the garden designer, not well-to-do but oh so handsome. Of course things aren't that easy and in steps a man of means who could take care of her family and future generations. Kate must choose between the two, either way facing criticism. After the middle part of the book, I started to be disinterested. I've read this type of book so many times before, obviously I knew what was going to happen, but the way it happened didn't peak my interest. Overall the love story is fine but from the back of the book I was anticipating something to do with the Great Exhibition. There is very little information about this time period except for a few conversations between characters. I'm sure since this is the first book the next one will offer more details on this time in history. If the historical aspect is one of your main interests in reading this book, I can't recommend it.


"I received this book from CFBA for free in exchange for an honest review."







ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Humor, Hope, and Happily Ever Afters! Kaye Dacus is the author of humorous, hope-filled contemporary and historical romances with Barbour Publishing, Harvest House Publishers, and B&H Publishing. She holds a Master of Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, is a former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, and currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers. Kaye lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is a full-time academic advisor and part-time college composition instructor for Bethel University.

Kaye Dacus (KAY DAY-cuss) is an author and educator who has been writing fiction for more than twenty years. A former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, Kaye enjoys being an active ACFW member and the fellowship and community of hundreds of other writers from across the country and around the world that she finds there. She currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, which she co-founded in 2003 with three other writers. Each month, she teaches a two-hour workshop on an aspect of the craft of writing at the MTCW monthly meeting. Kaye lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is an academic advisor and English Composition instructor for Bethel University.

Magnificent Malevolence Book Review


Magnificent Malevolence
Picture Credit

Magnificent Malevolence by Derek Wilson is very much like the Screwtape letters, just written in a different time. 





C. S. Lewis, who introduced Screwtape, a senior devil, to the world in 1942, knew that evil is powerful and personal. He understood that its main thrust was against God and the people of God.

There can be no doubt that Lewis would agree that Screwtape and his diabolical colleagues have not ceased their operations in the last seventy years. As the human decades have passed, the same war has been fought, with new weapons and different battle tactics.

How fortunate, then, that the following account, rescued from the archives of the Low Command's Ministry of Misinformation, has fallen into our hands. This remarkable manuscript outlines the career of the prominent devil, Crumblewit SOD (Order of the Sons of Darkness, 1st Class). It was in a much mutilated state and has only, with difficulty, been cut and pasted together to make a reasonably coherent narrative of the activities of a post-Screwtape generation of devils. It is not, of course, "true" in the sense of being an objective appraisal of the struggles between good and evil which dominated human affairs in the period from 1950 to 2000. The account is distorted by Crumblewit's truly diabolical conceit and also his ability for self-delusion. However, it does shed fresh light on the ups and down experienced by the church throughout this period.

Crumblewit's energies were entirely deployed in the religious arena. He was employed exclusively in undermining the attempts of Christians to bring to bear upon world events the prerogatives of love, peace, and justice and to carry out the mission entrusted to them by Jesus .(Goodreads)


 I just read the Screwtape Letters last year for the first time and surprisingly enjoyed the book. C. S. Lewis is a delight to read, though some of his work a bit challenging for me. This book is very comparable. It has the same tone and the monologue is a lot the same. Crumblewit and SOD clan use somewhat cheesy names and plans but it takes a talented author to write like that. For someone to even write about the devil and evils so clearly and twist the readers minds I would think would be challenging. I did like the Screwtape Letters more so than this book, but if you like C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters you should read Magnificent Malevolence.




 "I received this book from Kregel for free in exchange for an honest review."



Thursday, May 16, 2013

I'm No Angel Book Review










I'm No Angel: From Victoria's Secret Model to Role Model
Picture Credit


 I'm Not Angel by Kylie Bisutti gives a glance into the life of models and that it's not always what it seems.

In December 2011, 21-year-old Victoria's Secret model Kylie Bisutti stunned the fashion industry when she chose faith over fame and fortune and made the switch from supermodel to role model. In "I'm No Angel," Kylie shares her story--from her early years struggling to make it big in the cut-throat world of modeling, her "big break" winning the Victoria's Secret Angel competition, and the disillusionment and spiritual warfare that followed, to the moment she realized that she could no longer reconcile her career with her Christian beliefs, surrendered her life to God, turned in her Angel wings, and dedicated her life to preaching a message of modesty and inner beauty. Along the way, Kylie talks about her personal struggles with inadequacy, low self-esteem, and her near-constant quest for approval in a world where you can never be thin enough, pretty enough, or sexy enough. She helps readers understand that true beauty lies within and that real fulfillment comes from knowing, loving, and serving Christ. (Goodreads)



http://www.tyndale.com/authorphotos/amazon/1556/pic_full_Bisutti_Kylie.jpgI was really excited to read this book because I love reading about other people's lives. Biographies are one of my favorite genres when it comes to books and this was no exception. I am really passionate about how the world looks at women and the strength that women need to overcome the worldly mindset. Kylie tells her story about being a young model all the way through her Victoria Secret days. She saw many things that we just don't think about as going on behind the scenes. She was famous but she wanted to honor God and her husband. In her words, "I quit being a VS model to become a Proverbs 31 wife".  At the start of each chapter there is a verse that correlates with the following pages. I really like this part of the book, and the more I read the more I found Kylie to be genuine with what she wrote about. 

Not only does this give you behind the scenes info, it is a huge encouragement to women that their value is not about what they look like, but their value as God's child. 

In the back of the book is also a 30-Day "True Beauty" Makeover. Lots of verses and great advice!


Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:30

Highly recommend this book, excellent read! 


"I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for an honest review".


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Jennifer: An O'Malley Love Story Book Review CFBA Blog Tour

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Jennifer: An O’Malley Love Story
Bethany House Publishers (May 1, 2013)
by
Dee Henderson


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dee Henderson is the bestselling, award-winning author of 15 previous novels, including the acclaimed O'MALLEY series and UNCOMMON HEROES series. These days, most authors are out there energetically promoting their books in print and broadcast and via social media—wherever they can get attention. But Dee Henderson keeps a low profile. She avoids telephone interviews because of hearing problems, declined to provide a current photo, and will say only that she lives in Illinois.

ABOUT THE BOOK




It's a summer of change for Jennifer O'Malley. The busy physician has a pediatrics practice in Dallas, and meeting Tom Peterson, and falling in love, is adding a rich layer to her life. She's sorting out how to introduce him to her family--she's the youngest of seven--and thinking about marriage.

She's falling in love with Jesus too, and knows God is good. But that faith is about to be tested in a way she didn't expect, and the results will soon transform her entire family.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Jennifer: An O’Malley Love Story, go to HERE.




My Review
 
I really enjoyed this story about Jennifer. Sadly I have not read any other books by Dee Henderson but this one made me interested in all the others. This book is a prequel to the O'Malley series and Dee adds and note at the back of this book so the reader knows where we are at compared to the rest of the series. This book is tiny and a fast read, but it does have a sweet love story and also talks about Jennifer meeting Christ. For being such a short book it has a lot in it and if you are a Dee Henderson fan you will want to read it!
 
 
"I received this book from CFBA in exchange for an honest review."









Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sanctuary Book Review






The Sanctuary
Picture Credit

 The Sanctuary by Ted Dekker is a page turner that fans will definitely want to read.

THE SANCTUARY is the gripping story of vigilante priest, Danny Hansen, who is now serving a fifty year prison term in California for the murder of two abusive men. Filled with remorse, Danny is determined to live out his days by a code of non-violence and maneuvers deftly within a ruthless prison system.

But when Renee Gilmore, the woman he loves, receives a box containing a bloody finger and draconian demands from a mysterious enemy on the outside, Danny must find a way to escape.

They are both drawn into a terrifying game of life and death. If Renee fails, the priest will die; if Danny fails, Renee will die. And the body count will not stop at two.

THE SANCTUARY is Ted Dekker at his best, a powerful thriller that relentlessly plumbs the depths of punishment and rehabilitation, both in a flawed corrections system and in the human heart. (Goodreads)




I am a huge fan of Ted Dekker, he is one of my favorite authors because he writes unique plots and is truly a talented writer. I was excited to request this book to review and it did not disappoint. While I like a couple of his other books more so than this one, The Sanctuary took me inside a world I had not seen. This book is about the prison system and Dekker creates a creepy thriller that I could not put down. I like the characters, Renee made me laugh but is a realistic character. The plot twisted my mind, yet was not as confusing as some of Dekker's other books. In any case this is a great book and I highly recommend it!

"I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review."

Read what else Ted Dekker has written.


Pastors' Wives Book Review Litfuse Blog Tour

Pastors' Wives: A Novel
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 Pastors' Wives by Lisa Cullen is a fun read that looks at the lives of women who ended up married to a pastor-ready or not!



What’s it like when the man you married is already married to God? asks Pastors’ Wives, an often surprising yet always emotionally true first novel set in a world most of us know only from the outside.

Lisa Takeuchi Cullen’s debut novel Pastors’ Wives follows three women whose lives converge and intertwine at a Southern evangelical megachurch. Ruthie follows her Wall Street husband from New York to Magnolia, a fictional suburb of Atlanta, when he hears a calling to serve at a megachurch called Greenleaf. Reeling from the death of her mother, Ruthie suffers a crisis of faith—in God, in her marriage, and in herself. Candace is Greenleaf’s First Lady,” a force of nature who’ll stop at nothing to protect her church and her superstar husband. Ginger, married to Candace’s son, struggles to play dutiful wife and mother while burying her calamitous past. All their roads collide in one chaotic event that exposes their true selves. Inspired by Cullen’s reporting as a staff writer for Time magazine, Pastors’ Wives is a dramatic portrayal of the private lives of pastors’ wives, caught between the demands of faith, marriage, duty, and love.(Goodreads)


This book follows three women and their everyday life journey from their perspective, not the camera's or the people sitting in the church audience. Ruthie is Catholic-the megachurch stuff she doesn't really get, yet suddenly she is a wife to the new pastor. Candace rules the roost and runs Greenleaf church alongside her husband, she is the leading lady solving all the issues. Ginger's past is not a pleasant one, her husband is never home, and her in-laws (Candace Green) are driving her crazy. All three of these stories are written together so that they blend into each others lives and you are wanting to read more. 

I really enjoyed this book. This is Lisa's debut book and I think she did a fantastic job. While this book isn't necessarily an inspirational Christian novel, I think it has a great story line. There is not anything that I found to be offensive and many of the trials these women go through are exactly how it is in real life. Pastor's and their wives are normal people just like everyone else, and while everything might look good on the outside, this book takes you behind closed doors.

 If you are looking for a light fun read, I highly recommend Pastors' Wives!



"I received this book for free from Litfuse in exchange for an honest review".





Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/klK8c

Meet Lisa:

Lisa Takeuchi Cullen was a longtime staff writer for TIME magazine. She now develops TV pilots for production companies and recently sold her first pilot for "The Ordained" to CBS. Born in Japan, Cullen lives in New Jersey with family.
Find out more about Lisa at http://lisacullen.com.


Lisa Takeuchi Cullen is celebrating the release of her debut novel, Pastors' Wives, with an iPad Mini Giveaway and connecting with readers on Facebook on May 23rd!

Pastors-wives300

One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A $25 iTunes gift card
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 22nd. Winner will be announced at the "Pastors' Wives" Author Chat Party on May 23rd. Connect with Lisa for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Lisa will also be giving away books and fun gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Pastors' Wives and join Lisa on the evening of May 23rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 23rd!

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