Wednesday, May 24, 2017

REVIEW: Be Light by Samuel Rodriguez









About the Book




The Blueprint for Overcoming Darkness and Living in God’s Light.

Our world unravels more each day. It feels as if we’re drowning in a sea churning with greed, violence, and lust. As darkness advances, hope dims.
 
Yet within that reality, God gives us a profound mandate...
 
             Be Light.
 
Light has always defined God and his followers. At creation, God spoke light into existence. Jesus is the light of the world. And we are born to absorb and then reflect God’s light. 
 
In Be Light
 Samuel Rodriguez--described by Fox News and CNN as “America’s most influential Latino Evangelical leader”--provides a blueprint for confronting darkness in every realm of our lives. He issues a clarion call for individual believers and the church to rise up and once again be that bright city on a hill, which doesn’t simply expose the invading darkness, but overcomes it with God’s blazing light.




















My Review

Be Light was a refreshing read, but yet nothing new to me. I recently discovered Pastor Rodriguez on youtube and when I saw Be Light return to blogging for books I had to review it. The book is what he calls the "blueprint for overcoming darkness and being the light". Again, while nothing in this book was new to me it was a good refresher and would be a great book for any new believers. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

REVIEW: A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd









About the Book



Could losing everything be the best thing to happen to Annabelle Thorley? 

In the fallout of her deceased father’s financial ruin, Annabelle’s prospects are looking bleak. Her fiancé has called off their betrothal, and now she remains at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. Annabelle soon faces the fact that her only hope for a better life is to do the unthinkable and run away to Fellsworth, the home of her long-estranged aunt and uncle, where a teaching position awaits her. Working for a wage for the first time in her life forces Annabelle to adapt to often unpleasant situations as friendships and roles she’s taken for granted are called into question. 

Owen Locke is unswerving in his commitments. As a widower and father, he is fiercely protective of his only daughter. As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on keeping poachers at bay even though his ambition has always been to eventually purchase land that he can call his own. When a chance encounter introduces him to the lovely Annabelle Thorley, his steady life is shaken. For the first time since his wife’s tragic death, Owen begins to dream of a second chance at love. 

As Owen and Annabelle grow closer, ominous forces threaten the peace they thought they’d found. Poachers, mysterious strangers, and murderers converge at Fellsworth, forcing Annabelle and Owen to a test of fortitude and bravery to stop the shadow of the past from ruining their hopes for the future.














My Review


Through out reading this series I've had mixed feelings about it. The first book was fantastic, the second book was good but not as great as the first. And this book was a great conclusion to this beautiful regency series. Filled to the brim with mystery, romance, and beautiful descriptions. Although I was not suprised at how good this series was. Sarah's previous regency series is even better than this one so I highly recommend that series as well as this one. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

REVIEW: The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton










About the Book


When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home from New Orleans, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever did in life.

After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags's ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed her The Hideaway and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering Mags’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.

Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid Sheetrock dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected.

Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags’s friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed Mags’s destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways.

When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.
 












My Review



The Hideaway is a sweetly charming debut novel by Lauren K. Denton.

The Hideaway is set in the deep South and begins with Sara going back to her grandmother's estate in Alabama called The Hideaway. Sara planned to return to her shop in New Orleans but that soon changes when she finds her grandmother has left The Hideaway to her in her will and wants Sara to renovate it.

During renovations Sara discovers a box in attic from what seems her grandmother Mag's previous life. Sara is then thrust into putting the puzzle pieces of her grandmother's mysterious life together. 

I ended up really enjoying this novel. Generational stories, romance, mystery, and southern charm. 


Note to Christian readers::: While this novel was published by Thomas Nelson I wouldn't consider it Christian fiction, but rather General fiction. Also adultry is a major theme in this story.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday








Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings and based on Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.











The Girl Who Could See
by Kara Swanson
(June 1, 2017)





Right Where We Belong
by Various
(May 1, 2017)


















All This Time
by Melissa Tagg
(August 2017)




Maud
by Melanie Fishbane
(April 25, 2017)




















Any Dream Will Do
by Debbie Macomber
(August 8, 2017)



The Color Project
by Sierra Abrams
(July 18, 2017)




















Lies Jane Austen Told Me
by Julie Wright
(November 7, 2017)





Lady Jayne Disappears
by Joanna Davidson Politano
(October 3, 2017)
















The One That Got Away
by Melissa Pimentel
(July 18, 2017)



The Cottingley Secret
by Hazel Gaynor
(August 1, 2017)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

REVIEW: Let's Be Real by Natasha Bure










About the Book 


From singer and social media celebrity Natasha Bure, the daughter of Candace Cameron Bure, comes a real, honest conversational book that doesn’t hold back. Everywhere she goes and every video she posts has one basic message: this is real, this is life, and we all go through it. Whether it’s acne, boyfriends, faith, stress, or having fun, Natasha’s view is to simply be honest, simply be real, no matter what you face. Natasha’s real and relatable tone paired with personal notes and stories will help readers see that living a “real” life is the best life.


















My Review 

Natasha Bure's first book Let's Be Real touches upon many real life subjects. I found it to be written in a very conversational way. It felt like she was talking to me instead of talking at me which I find in many books like this one. I recommend this book to teen girls ages 12 and up.

Friday, March 31, 2017

REVIEW: Stone of Asylum by Hilarey Johnson












About the Book





While war divides a young nation, Argonauts flood burgeoning territories in the west. Some seek wealth; others seek a magic garnet hidden deep in Idaho caves. Those who to guard the stone’s abilities of eternal life and shapeshifting are called Watchers. There are only two left, and they’ve been separated.

An epileptic seizure wrenches fourteen-year-old Eldora from her father and dooms her to an underground insane asylum. When she comes into contact with the star garnet something awakens inside, but she does not yet know how it can free her.

With the stone’s power unprotected, counterfeit shifters exploit it to enslave the country. To reunite the Watchers, Eldora must discover her buried power, and learn to trust it in a world of betrayal and obligation.















My Review


Stone of Asylum is part 1 of Hilarey Johnson's, author of Soveriegn Ground, new Fantasy series, Dance of the Crane. It's the story of fourteen year old Endora (This name totally gives me Bewitched vibes) whom after experiencing an epilepctic seizure is pulled from her father and sent to an underground insane asylum. She soon enough discovers the powerful garnet stone. And Endora must discover her own power to help bring together the Watchers to protect the garnet stone from the wrong hands.



Stone of Asylum, part 1 of the Dance of the Crane Fantasy series, is an exciting, adventurous, and fast paced story. It is filled with complex characters, excellent story building, and hidden power. I also loved how Hilarey weaved Idaho history into a Fantasy setting. I'm also happy to know that this will be a trilogy which makes me feel better with how this story ended with no conclusion. This will be a story perfect for all Fantasy lovers.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

REVIEW: The Memory of You by Catherine West











About the Book



Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?


When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.


And Natalie never says no to her father.


Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.


But finding freedom from the past means facing it.
















My Review


I have to say I was quite impressed with this novel. I was on the fence at first, but I thought why not? The Memory of You is the story of Natalie who lost her twin sister thirteen years ago and has to return to her family owned winery in Sonoma, California after her grandfather suffers a heart attack. Except after she returns her father wants her to shut down the struggling winery. And then there's Tanner, who is trying to salvage the business and help Natalie come back to life.


As I said earlier I was impressed. And this cover...it beautiful. This story actually reminded me a lot of a Hallmark movie I saw a few years ago, but I felt this story was a little more complicated. There is also something here that was so well done and usually hard to find in today's literature...secondary characters. They were just as real as the main characters. All in all I recommend this novel to Contemporary readers.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

REVIEW: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God by Eric Metaxas









About the Book




We all have questions about God. But very few of us get the answers we’re looking for–if those answers even exist! Do they? Where (in heaven’s name) do you go to find out?

Eric Metaxas understands. That’s why he’s written this refreshingly down-to-earth take on the big questions everyone asks (but not always out loud).

Finally a book that takes questions about God seriously enough to get silly (where appropriate). Wonderfully conversational and often very funny, this book joins you in wondering:
·How can a good God create a world that has evil and suffering? 
·Is God anti-sex? 
·Doesn’t science make God obsolete? 
·What’s the real story on miracles? 
·If God is everywhere, why go to church? 
·Don’t we already have God within us? 
·Isn’t God too busy running the universe to care about the details of my day? 
·What does the Bible say about things like UFOs, ESP, and the afterlife–and what about Bigfoot?
These questions (and many more like them) get straight answers that don’t hide behind dull and confusing theological language. So get the lowdown on the big questions everyone asks–but please try not to laugh (because it’s a very serious topic).












My Review


I really like Eric Metaxas as a speaker and was excited to see this book was available for review. I really enjoy books regarding Apologetics and I really loved my Apologetics course in Bible college. So I decided to give this book a whirl. I loved Eric's personal writing style, it felt like I was having a conversation with him and not just reading his words. I also enjoyed his humorous and fun writing style. He made the subject fun but while still taking the subject of apologetics seriously. The Q&A parts of the chapters were great too. Overall I enjoyed this book and will be on the lookout for more book by Metaxas, especially his biographies.

Monday, March 13, 2017

MOST ANTICIPATED: Mid-to-Late 2017 Releases















July 2017

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a new captivating novel of secrets, romance, and two women bound together across time by a shared dream.
Tenley Roth’s first book was a runaway bestseller. Now that her second book is due, she’s locked in fear. Can she repeat her earlier success or is she a fraud who has run out of inspiration?
With pressure mounting from her publisher, Tenley is weighted with writer’s block. But when her estranged mother calls asking Tenley to help her through chemotherapy, she packs up for Florida where she meets handsome furniture designer Jonas Sullivan and discovers the story her heart’s been missing.
A century earlier, another woman wrote at the same desk with hopes and fears of her own. Born during the Gilded Age, Birdie Shehorn is the daughter of the old money Knickerbockers. Under the strict control of her mother, her every move is decided ahead of time, even whom she’ll marry. But Birdie has dreams she doesn’t know how to realize. She wants to tell stories, write novels, make an impact on the world. When she discovers her mother has taken extreme measures to manipulate her future, she must choose between submission and security or forging a brand new way all on her own.
Tenley and Birdie are from two very different worlds, but fate has bound them together in a way time cannot erase.












July 2017


What happens when happily ever after starts to unravel?
Eliyana Ember doesn’t believe in true love. Not anymore. After capturing the Void and saving the Second Reflection, El only trusts what’s right in front of her. The tangible. The real. Not some unexplained Kiss of Infinity she once shared with the ghost of a boy she’s trying to forget. She has more important things to worry about—like becoming queen of the Second Reflection, a role she is so not prepared to fill.
With the Verity intertwined with her soul and Joshua finally by her side, El is ready to learn more about her mysterious birth land, the land she now rules. So why does she feel like something—or someone—is missing?
When the thresholds begin to drain and the Callings, those powerful magical gifts, begin to fail, El wonders if her connection with Ky Rhyen may have something to do with it. For light and darkness cannot coexist. She needs answers before the Callings disappear altogether. Can El find a way to sever her connection to Ky and save the Reflections—and keep herself from falling for him in the process?












August 2017



The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home turns the clock back one hundred years to a time when two young girls from Cottingley, Yorkshire, convinced the world that they had done the impossible and photographed fairies in their garden. Now, in her newest novel, international bestseller Hazel Gaynor reimagines their story.
1917… It was inexplicable, impossible, but it had to be true—didn’t it? When two young cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright from Cottingley, England, claim to have photographed fairies at the bottom of the garden, their parents are astonished. But when one of the great novelists of the time, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, becomes convinced of the photographs’ authenticity, the girls become a national sensation, their discovery offering hope to those longing for something to believe in amid a world ravaged by war. Frances and Elsie will hide their secret for many decades. But Frances longs for the truth to be told.
One hundred years later… When Olivia Kavanagh finds an old manuscript in her late grandfather’s bookshop she becomes fascinated by the story it tells of two young girls who mystified the world. But it is the discovery of an old photograph that leads her to realize how the fairy girls’ lives intertwine with hers, connecting past to present, and blurring her understanding of what is real and what is imagined. As she begins to understand why a nation once believed in fairies, can Olivia find a way to believe in herself?







August 2017

Shay Benson adored her younger brother, Caden, and that got her into trouble. When he owed money, Shay realized she would do anything to help him avoid the men who were threatening him, and she crossed lines she never should have crossed. Now, determined to start fresh, she finds herself in search of a place to stay and wanders into a church to escape from the cold.
 
Pastor Drew Douglas adored his wife. But when he lost her, it was all he could do to focus on his two beautiful kids, and his flock came in a distant third. Now, as he too is thinking about a fresh start, he walks through his sanctuary and finds Shay sitting in a pew.
 
The pair strike up a friendship—Drew helps Shay get back on her feet, and she reignites his sense of purpose—that, over time, turns into something deeper, something soulful, spiritual, and possibly romantic. Even Drew’s two children are taken with this woman who has brought light back into their lives. Perhaps most important, Shay learns to trust again as she, in turn, proves herself trustworthy to her adopted community.
 
But Caden’s return to town and a disastrous secret threaten to undo the life Shay has tried so hard to rebuild. It will take the utmost courage and faith if she and Drew hope to find healing and open their hearts to a brighter future.







August 2017

Natchez, MS; 1791
Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the Mississippi River, Connor O’Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he’s sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he’ll repeat past mistakes and vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady.

The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella’s shoulders after her brother was found dead in the swamps along the Natchez Trace and a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor’s help, Isabella fears she’ll lose her family’s plantation. Despite her growing feelings for the handsome Irish carpenter, she seriously considers accepting her wealthy and influential neighbor’s proposal of marriage.

Soon, though, Connor realizes someone is out to eliminate the Bartholomew family. Can he set aside his own feelings to keep Isabella safe?





October 2017


When Aurelie Harcourt's father dies in debtor's prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet houseguest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.

When Aurelie decides to complete her father's unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother's disappearance--and perhaps even her father's death.

Author Joanna Davidson Politano's stunning debut set in Victorian England will delight readers with its highly original plot, lush setting, vibrant characters, and reluctant romance.





October 2017


Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that's obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she's made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she's chosen. She's still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she's not sure she can write anymore. She's beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a "scandalous" book. And the fact that she's falling in love with her pastor doesn't make things any easier.

With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn't afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.





November 2017

Judd Markley is a hardworking coal miner who rarely thinks much past tomorrow until he loses his brother--and nearly his own life--in a mine cave-in. Vowing never to enter the darkness of a mine again, he leaves all he knows in West Virginia to escape to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It's 1954, the seaside community is thriving, and Judd soon hires on with a timber company. 

Larkin Heyward's life in Myrtle Beach is uncomplicated, mostly doing volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more--maybe moving to the hollers of Kentucky to help the poor children of Appalachia. But she's never even met someone who's lived there--until she encounters Judd, the newest employee at her father's timber company. 

Drawn together in the wake of a devastating hurricane, Judd and Larkin each seek answers to what tomorrow will bring. As opposition rises against following their divergent dreams, they realize that it may take a miracle for them to be together.





December 2017


Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather's Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house's dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide. 

A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy's search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives--
including her own--are lost?