Monday, March 31, 2014

REVIEW: A Heart's Rebellion by Ruth Axtell

A Heart's Rebellion

{About the Book}

Dutiful Jessamine Barry is tired of waiting patiently for a man to decide her future. So even though Lancelot Marfleet, second son of an aristocrat, is taking an interest in her during the London season, she refuses to consider him as a suitor. Instead, she's ready to take fashionable society by storm--and finds a rakish young man all too willing to help her do it. When things go too far, Jessamine will learn that the man who is faithful through thick and thin is more worthy than the one who speaks pretty words. But will her disgrace keep Lance from reconsidering her as a wife? And when tragedy strikes and Lance becomes his father's heir and a titled gentleman, will he think she only wants him now because of his title?

{My Review}

I give A Heart's Rebellion by Ruth Axtell a solid 3.5 stars. I always enjoy a good regency romance, but their are a few things that factored into this lower rating than most.

1. The character Jessamine kind of rubbed me the wrong way. She comes off as a spoiled brat.

2. It was pretty slow pace, at least for me. I much prefer a faster paced novel.

3. This novel definitely needed a bit more developing. More developing in the plot, the characters, etc. If there had been more development I would probably liked this story more.

So, this is your normal, run of the mill regency romance, but with some development issues. At least in my opinion. If ou enjoy a nice regency romance this book is for you.

Friday, March 28, 2014

REVIEW: Passion: The Bright Light of Glory by Louie Giglio

Passion: The Bright Light of Glory by Louie Giglio

{About the Book}

Key messages by today's leading Christian voices on what it means to possess a passion for Jesus Christ
What exactly is it that instills passion in a person's soul? What brings the fire to make a difference, the desire for significance, the power to live a life that matters? And who will lead us in this quest toward the future of the Church? In this remarkable book, some of today's most gifted communicators highlight the dedicated generation that is rising up to show us how to lean toward the centrality of Jesus Christ and His bright light of glory that brings purpose to our own lives and proper glory to God the Father.

Since it first began in 1995, Passion has had the privilege of encountering millions of believers under the age of 25, a sea of men and women whose lives have been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Their voice is getting louder as they rise, united as a generation, bringing hope and light to the world.

Author and general editor Louie Giglio has brought together these incredible authors to share their thoughts on what it means to burn with a passion for Christ. As delivered to Passion Conferences, the book includes contributions from Giglio himself as well as multiple chapters from: Francis ChanJohn PiperBeth MooreJudah SmithChristine Caine

The wave is growing into a global awakening. Join the movement.

{My Review}

When I heard Louie Giglio had a book coming out titled Passion, I knew I had to read it. I have never been to a Passion event in my life, but I have been following the Passion Movement for some years now and I love what they are doing and I love what they stand for. In Passion, Louie Giglio and other well know preachers and speakers write what they believe it means to burn bright for Jesus Christ.

I loved Passion. It was exactly what I thought it was going to be. I give Passion 5 stars! Oh, if you ever get a chance to attend a Passion event, GO!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

REVIEW: Murder Simply Brewed by Vanetta Chapman

Murder Simply Brewed by Vanetta Chapman

{About the Book}

When the coffee shop manager is murdered in Middlebury's Amish Artisan Village, two women from different walks of life must join together to solve the mystery. Spring has arrived in Middlebury, Indiana, and Amber Wright is optimistic about the growing profit from her collection of Amish shops---until she receives a call that Ethan Gray is dead. Hurrying over to A Simple Blend, she finds a solitary hole in the front window and the store manager lying next to the espresso machine, dead from an apparent heart attack. All the money is still in his register. When Amber hires a young Amish woman, Hannah Troyer, to take over the shop's duties, the two women become fast friends---as well as amateur sleuths. The police believe Gray's death is a by-product of vandalism, but Amber and Hannah aren't convinced. Clues that don't add up, a neighbor who is pulled into the midst of the investigation, a town with secrets to hide, and a blossoming romance---all will combine to push Amber and Hannah into unfamiliar roles in order to reveal answers to the mysteries around them. 'Chapman's latest is a mix of mystery and romance with vivid characters, a realistic setting and themes of loss, trust and love.' --- Romantic Times, four-star review

{My Review}

Vanetta Chapman's newest release, Murder Simply Brewed, is simply a great read!!! Murder Simply Brewed, full of romance, suspense, and of course murder. Which the title promises the readers. The amateur sleuths who come together to solve these crimes lead different lives. Amber Wright is a business owner and Hannah Troyer is a young Amish woman who works for Amber. The two women become friends and set on this adventure to solve this mystery. Murder Simply Brewed is a delightful read and suspenseful enough to keep you on the edge of your seat and continually turning the pages. Murder Simply Brewed gets a 4.5 stars.

Monday, March 17, 2014

A St. Patrick's Day Spotlight with my friend Amber Stokes!!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Today is the official release of Fairy Slippers by Amber Stokes. Fairy Slippers is a short story retelling of Cinderella that has been compiled with Bellflower. It also continues the story of the cook from Amber's debut title, Bleeding Heart.

{About the Short Story}

FAIRY SLIPPERS: Bonus Short Story Companion to Bleeding Heart
Spring 1888

Margaret is fragile. Zachary is tough. Both are lonely. Will a dance in a redwood lumber town bring them together - or drive them apart forever? Discover the continuing story of the cook from Bleeding Heart in this short but sweet retelling of Cinderella.

{About the Author}

Amber Stokes has a Bachelor of Science degree in English and a passion for the written word - from blogging to writing poetry, short stories, and novels. After her brief time at college in Oregon, she is now back home among the redwoods of Northern California, living life one day at a time and pursuing her passion via freelance editing and self-publishing.

Forget Me NotBleeding Heart, and Bellflower: Plus Fairy Slippers, a Bonus Short Story are now available on Amazon

You can get a glimpse of the characters & settings of "The Heart's Spring" series on Pinterest: Bellflower,Forget Me NotBleeding HeartFairy Slippers, and Morning Glory.

You can purchase all of Amber's titles on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

REVIEW: Distortion by Terri Blackstock

Distortion by Terri Blackstock

{About the Book}

A husband's lies can have deadly consequences. When Juliet Cole's husband of fifteen years is murdered before her eyes, she thinks it was a random shooting. Devastated and traumatized, she answers hours of questioning, then returns home to break the tragic news to her boys. But a threatening voicemail takes this from a random shooting to a planned, deliberate attack. Juliet realizes that she and her children are in danger too, unless she meets the killers' demands. But as she and her sisters untangle the clues, her husband's dark secrets come to light. The more she learns, the more of her life is dismantled. Was her husband an innocent victim or a hardened criminal?


Distortion by Terri Blackstock was exactly what the doctor ordered. I am never disappointed with a Blackstock novel. Distortion is a novel filled with suspense, mystery, romance, murder, and the reveal of some dark secrets! If you have never read a Terri Blackstock novel I highly suggest you pick up one.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Review: Swept to Sea by Heather Manning

Swept to Sea by Heather Manning

Swept to Sea
Heather Manning
November 25, 2013
Astrea Press
5/5 Stars!

{About the Book}

Lady Eden Trenton never wanted to leave her privileged existence in London—until her father invites a dangerous suitor into her life. Left with few options, Eden devises the best reprieve she can: escape. Chasing freedom, she stows away aboard a pirate ship, praying she will gain her independence in the colonies before she is discovered by the nefarious crew. 
Captain Caspian Archer has spent the last five years hardening his heart and searching to exact revenge for the event that tore his life to shreds. When he catches word that his enemy is residing in Jamaica, Caspian steers his ship toward the colonies in all haste. His plans soon change, however, when he discovers the young beauty hiding in his ship’s hold. 
Cut from the only lives they have known, Caspian and Eden are pulled together as each pursues a fresh hope upon the sea. 


Eden doesn't want to marry, especially to the man her father has chosen for her. That man is Lord Rutgers, whom is cruel and abusive towards Eden. To escape from the impending marriage, Eden escapes by becoming a stow away on a ship called Dawn Mist. But, this isn't just any ship. This ship is captained by Caspian, a pirate turned privateer. For a pirate Caspian is different. He is handsome and gentle. Can Eden learn to love Caspian.

Swept to Sea is a very impressive debut by my friend and teen author, Heather Manning. Swept to Sea is an action-packed, high seas, romantic adventure. I am big fan of anything with pirates, especially the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series, so I knew I would like this novel. It was a little slow in the beginning, but it picked up a few chapters in. I loved the fight scenes on the ships and the romance...oh the romance. The romance portion of Swept to Sea is absolute perfection and the pacing of it is great. A completely CLEAN read. I hope to see Swept to Sea in paperback one day, because it would have a permanent spot on my bookshelf.

I recommend Swept to Sea for any pirate loving, action fan, romance junkie reader.

Foul Language: None
Sexual Content: Kissing/ Eden and Caspian talk about their wedding night briefly.
Violence: Sword fights.

{About the Author}

 Heather Manning is a young lady who loves to read--and write. She has won multiple competitions for her writing with "Nextgen Writers" and placed first in some writing contests with the "Go Teen Writers" blog and is a proud member of ACFW. She lives in Missouri where she attends high school, acts in community theatre, eats donuts and reads every Inspirational Historical Romance she can get her hands on. She is proud to say that her first novel was professionally published while she was only 16 years old.

What Readers Are Saying:

“The romance is not only sweet, but contains a very Pride and Prejudice feel in the bantering.”—Espanrose, Amazon

“I enjoyed this book, devoured it in three days.”—Abigail Skott, Amazon

“It was suspenseful and entertaining. I had a hard time putting it down. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys a fun romantic novel.”—MK, Amazon

“With such believable characters and a healthy dose of adventure, Swept to Sea is now one of my favorite books.”—CM, Amazon

“The high seas, pirates, storms, privateers, revenge and romance!”—Nate, Amazon

“A thrilling debut novel!”—Leah, Goodreads

“Swept to Sea is a historical action adventure romance on the high seas.”—More Than A Review, Amazon

“I loved Swept to Sea!”—Kedzie Hopkins, Amazon

"Heather did a thorough job with researching background for this book, and I appreciated the period references which made the story credible all the way through. "--L. Barber, Amazon

"It's full of adventure and keeps you going! It has the perfect mix of pirates, love, deception...all the things that make a novel great!"--MegRog, Amazon

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert Review

A Broken Kind of Beautiful
WaterBrook Press
April 15, 2014

{About the Book}

Sometimes everything you ever learned about yourself is wrong

Fashion is a fickle industry, a frightening fact for twenty-four year old model Ivy Clark. Ten years in and she’s learned a sacred truth—appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother’s bridal wear line—an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white. 

If only her tenuous future didn’t rest in the hands of Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer. Not only did he walk away from the kind of success Ivy longs for to work maintenance at a local church, he treats her differently than any man ever has. Somehow, Davis sees through the façade she works so hard to maintain. He, along with a cast of other characters, challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth. Is it possible that God sees her—a woman stained and broken by the world—yet wants her still?

{My Review}

Oh my GOODNESS!! A Broken Kind of Beautiful was my first ever novel I've read by Katie Ganshert, and it will not be my last. A Broken Kind of Beautiful was an absolutely amazing read. It was so beautiful and poetic. I also cried quite a bit through the novel. God definitley ministered to me through Katie Ganshert's, A Broken Kind of Beautiful. I highly recommend it for everyone.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Devil Walks in Mattingly Review

The Devil Walks in Mattingly
Billy Coffey
Thomas Nelson
March 11, 2014

{About the Book}

For the three people tortured by their secret complicity in a young man's untimely death, redemption is what they most long for . . . and the last thing they expect to receive.

It has been twenty years since Philip McBride's body was found along the riverbank in the dark woods known as Happy Hollow. His death was ruled a suicide. But three people have carried the truth ever since--Philip didn't kill himself that day. He was murdered.

Each of the three have wilted in the shadow of their sins. Jake Barnett is Mattingly's sheriff, where he spends his days polishing the fragile shell of the man he pretends to be. His wife, Kate, has convinced herself the good she does for the poor will someday wash the blood from her hands. And high in the mountains, Taylor Hathcock lives in seclusion and fear, fueled by madness and hatred.

Yet what cannot be laid to rest is bound to rise again. Philip McBride has haunted Jake's dreams for weeks, warning that he is coming back for them all. When Taylor finds mysterious footprints leading from the Hollow, he believes his redemption has come. His actions will plunge the quiet town of Mattingly into darkness. These three will be drawn together for a final confrontation between life and death . . . between truth and lies.

{My Review}

I'll be completely honest, I haven't read Billy Coffey's previous title. However, I've heard and read a lot of great things about Billy's books and writing style. And I'll tell you that this book was well worth waiting for. The Devil Walks in Mattingly was jam-packed with suspense, mystery and some action. The Devil Walks in Mattingly is definitely the perfect fit for any suspense and mystery fan.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Top Ten Most Influential Books I've Read

Top 10 Most Influential Books

A few moments ago I finished reading a blog post by a fellow Blogger, Heather Manning, (BTW, check out Heather's debut novel, Swept to Sea. It's really good.) It was a blog post about your top ten most influential book you have read. I thought it was a cool post, so I decided to participate.

Here we go........

1. Angel Eyes Trilogy by Shannon Dittemore. Okay, so I might be a little biased because Shan is a really good friend whom I've know my whole life, but seriously this is one of the best trilogies I have ever read. I really recommend this series.

2. The Little House Series. I grew up reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's books about her childhood and coming in to adulthood. This series is what began my obsession with the American 19th Century. Seriously....I'm obsessed with it.

3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. This absolutely had to be on my top ten list. Again, another series I grew up reading. C.S. Lewis was an incredible author and a man way before his time. Great series.

4. Lord of the Rings Series (including The Hobbit) by J.R.R. Tolkien. Another amazing fantasy series by an incredible author. It's a classic series and a series I have been wanting to re-read.

5. Jessilyn Lassiter Series by Jennifer Erin Valent. This is a trilogy that I absolutely adore. It's a historical series set in the 1930's in the United States. It's one of my favorites of all time. Seriously, go read these books.

6. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. One of my top books of ALL time. I got this book for Christmas probably almost 4-5 years ago. I read Redeeming Love in one night. I opened to the first page and could not put it down.

7. There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones. AHHHHHH.....This is one of the books I completely FANGIRL about!! It is so good! I just can't recommend it enough. Just go read it. You won't be sorry.

8. Bleeding Heart by Amber Stokes. This novel, as I said in my review, reminded me of the Little House Series. This is another I FANGIRL about!

9. Forget Me Not by Amber Stokes. FANGIRL. Nuff' said!

10. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. This is a book that will change your life. Everybody should read this book.

If your a blogger, you have been tagged!! Write up a post about your Top 10 Most Influential Books.