Wednesday, June 21, 2017

REVIEW: An Outlaw and a Lady by Jessi Coulter









About the Book



Renowned songwriter, singer, and wife of Waylon Jennings writes an intimate, enormously entertaining memoir of American music, of life with Waylon and the Outlaws, and of faith lost and found.


The daughter of a Pentecostal evangelist and a race-car driver, Jessi Colter played piano and sang in church before leaving Arizona to tour with rock-n-roll pioneer Duane Eddy, whom she married. Colter became a successful recording artist, appearing on American Bandstand and befriending stars such as the Everly Brothers and Chet Atkins, while her songs were recorded by Nancy Sinatra, Dottie West, and others. Her marriage to Eddy didn’t last, however, and in 1969 she married the electrifying Waylon Jennings. Together, they made their home in Nashville which in the 1970s, was ground zero for roots music, drawing Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Shel Silverstein, and others to the Nashville Sound. And Jessi was at the center of it all, the only woman on the landmark Wanted: The Outlaws album, the record that launched the Outlaw Country genre and was the first country album to go platinum. She also tasted personal commercial success with the #1-single “I’m Not Lisa.”


But offstage, life was a challenge, as Waylon pursued his addictions and battled his demons. Having drifted from the church as a young woman, Jessi returned to her faith and found in it a source of strength in the turmoil of living with Waylon. In the 1980s, Waylon helped launch the super group The Highwaymen with Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson, and the hits kept rolling, as did Waylon’s reckless living. Amid it all, Jessi faithfully prayed for her husband until finally, at Thanksgiving 2001, Waylon found Jesus, just months before he died. 


An Outlaw and a Lady is a powerful story of American music, of love in the midst of heartache, and of faith that sustains.















My Review


An Outlaw and a Lady is the memoir of a country girl who fell in love with one of the most famous stars of Country music, Waylon Jennings. An Outlaw and a Lady tells the story of Jessi's early life at home and her early years in church. Jessi describes her own mother as an amazing servant of God. Yet some how when Jessi got older she found herself walking away from the faith. The book goes on to tell how she met Waylon and them falling in love and marrying. Their life together and family they built is also talked about. 


Jessi also goes on to talk about her husband's struggles. To be specific, his drug and alcohol struggles. But in all the craziness she stayed with Waylon, through thick and thin. And many years into their marriage Jessi found herself running back to God. And thankfully, describing how Waylon returned to faith in God not long before he passed away.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

REVIEW: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber

















About the Book


Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth's Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi's the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she's convinced he's been taken to the ice-planet.

Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.

For Miguel, Earth's charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight's bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he's a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.












My Review


*Sigh* What to say. I definitely like the Storm Siren trilogy better so far. While I love that Sofi Snow is Science Fiction, human trafficking is dealt with within the story, and Sofi is a Native American character there are things I did not like about this novel. Firstly, the language caught me off guard. While it was mostly mild it is sprinkled throughout the story and there was a use of a pretty vulgar and crass word. Sex is implied and we learn that Sofi, a 17 year old has slept around. It's becoming quite clear that Thomas Nelson has different standards than they did with the previous owners. I'm stuck in the middle here. There was a lot I loved and yet things I did not love. This is not a book I definitively recommend to young YA readers. I think this would have worked better being an Adult novel.

Monday, June 12, 2017

REVIEW: Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge



















About the Book


Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.

But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.

While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas. 

In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility, the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home isn't so far away.














My Review


Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge is a riveting and sensational retelling of Sense and Sensibility. Now to be perfectly honest, Sense and Sensibility is one of my least favorite Austen tales. With Emma being my absolute least favorite. However, with that being said that didn't deter me from enjoying this novel. I loved the Southern inspiration Jane of Austin had. I enjoyed the characters very much and they didn't get on my nerves. (YAY!) I am not usually into Womens Fiction, but I have to say Hillary did a great job and I hope she writes another Austen-inspired novel. I'll be on the look out.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

REVIEW: Tranquility: A Prayer and Reflection Coloring Journal









About the Book



Tranquility: A Prayer and Reflection Coloring Journal invites you to mix creative journaling and coloring into your personal time with God. Prayers that focus on topics such as being thankful, dealing with stress and heartache, caring for yourself and others, listening for God’s leading, and waiting patiently on Him will guide your thoughts and calm your spirit. Filled with more than 100 designs to color, plenty of space for journaling, and 40 needs-based prayers, Tranquility will help you express your devotion to God with your whole heart.













My Review


While I haven't gone through the entire book yet ( I color really slow lol) I have found that I very much am enjoying this adult coloring book. Filled with prayers, scripture, space for journaling and full coloring pages this book will be perfect for that friend or relative who loves inspirational coloring books. 

REVIEW: The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson










About the Book



Living in rural Georgia in 1941, sixteen-year-old Alice-Ann has her heart set on her brother's friend Mack; despite their five-year age gap, Alice-Ann knows she can make Mack see her for the woman she'll become. But when they receive news of the attack on Pearl Harbor and Mack decides to enlist, Alice-Ann realizes she must declare her love before he leaves. Though promising to write, Mack leaves without confirmation that her love is returned. But Alice-Ann is determined to wear the wedding dress her maiden aunt never had a chance to wear--having lost her fiance in the Great War. As their correspondence continues over the next three years, Mack and Alice-Ann are drawn closer together. But then Mack's letters cease altogether, leaving Alice-Ann to fear history repeating itself. Dreading the war will leave her with a beautiful dress and no happily ever after, Alice-Ann fills her days with work and caring for her best friend's war-torn brother, Carlton. As time passes and their friendship develops into something more, Alice-Ann wonders if she'll ever be prepared to say good-bye to her one true love and embrace the future God has in store with a newfound love. Or will a sudden call from overseas change everything?




















My Review


Eva Marie Everson's One True Love of Alice-Ann is a story about 16 year old Alice Ann and the love of her life Mack. Set during the second World War, Mack decides to enlist after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Alice decides it's time to declare her love for Mack despite their 5 year age difference. He promises to write her and leaves without telling her whether he loves her too. Alice and Mack write to each other for three years and they grow closer, but then Mack's letters stop coming. Fearing what happened to her aunt is happening to her Alice throws herself into work and caring for her best friend's war torn brother. But soon enough their friendship begins to blossom into something more. Can Alice-Ann let go of her first love and begin anew with a new love?


Eva Marie Everson's new novel is absolutely beautiful, heart wrenching, romantic, and thrilling. The One True Love of Alice-Ann very much felt like in the vein of Francine Rivers. Francine could have wrote this book, but Eva did making her a new favourite author. 

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.