Friday, June 26, 2015

A Heart's Betrayal, it's the most painful kind

The first set of this series was amazing, full of Colleen Coble’s signatures strewn through the book. Where the other one was fast paced and left little time to see what could happen next this one gives time for the dread and fear to creep up on you, as it did poor Emmie.

Affection can be blinding when you don’t know what love really looks like, and that is just what happened to Emmie when she married her husband. She never could have imagined what he kept hidden behind closed doors. I know first hand how secrets can be soul crushing when you’re the last one to find out, and how it can taint your view of the world.

It was surprisingly easy to relate to Emmie. She went through what many women have suffered in recent times, loving the wrong man. But though she has matured from this experience God will use her pain for something good.

“”For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

I did find this book set at a much more steady pace then the first three, giving the characters time to develop, and making the reading experience more enjoyable. Only problem is now I have to wait for book five and six! Which will be torture cause I wanna find out what happens to Emmie and Issac!

And this book was filled with one twist I did not see coming at all, nor even expected. It was like being hit over the head with a curve ball, and I couldn’t believe it! Through it just made the story even better!

I give this book two thumbs way up, and cannot wait to get my hands on A Heart’s Promise.

Until next time folks I hope you have a blessed day!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The danger has passed, but it's not over yet!

Colleen Coble again takes any reader who dares to open the pages of her books on a heart stopping adventure of romance, danger, and God’s ever present love.

I was ready to kick myself when I realized I had not ordered this book from the BookLook bloggers review program, and by the time I did I had to wait because another book was coming out and would for sure be gone the next day. I was so relieved to find BookLook still had copies of A Heart’s Danger.

Ben Crofter, along with a bit of help from Rand’s fiancĂ©, put Sarah’s heart in more danger then ever before. And what about Isaac? Will Sarah accept his love or continue to hold for Rand? No one could stop the pounding of my heart as well-laid schemes began to place, putting the lives of Sarah and Rand within the precarious balance of life and death.

Colleen has always put humor, love, and God’s grace into a historic and modern setting, but never before have six penned words ever been more meaningful and profound.
                                 You can’t frighten me with heaven” – Rand Campbell

These words reminded me of a book my sister read many years ago, called “She said Yes” about a young woman who with a gun pointed at her head said she believed in God. FlyLeaf has also done a song about her, called Cassie. Before I read A Heart’s Danger I have never found anything that stirred the same sort of bravery in my heart that Cassie stirred in the heart’s of so many.

In a world so afraid of death I found this a great encouragement to those who fret over the afterlife, including myself.

I con not express how much I loved this book, and look forward to book four, A Heart’s Betrayal. I hope this review will encourage others to pick up a Colleen Coble book!

Until Next time I hope you have a blessed day!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, which I have given

Friday, June 12, 2015

A pursuit of the best kind!

Karen Witemeyer once again blends the troubles of the old west with the perfect balance of humor and romance in A Worthy Pursuit!

I have only read one of Karen’s books before I got this one. And I highly enjoyed her book Head in the Clouds. But something about this one pulled me in even more.  Maybe it was the way Charlotte risked everything to keep three young children under her care safe.

All three of the children have special gifts, but Lily, Charlotte’s adopted daughter, possesses the talent that has sent them all running. Stone is the bounty hunter, or retriever, as he likes to call himself, which is after Lilly. He’s the best in the business, and he had no idea what he was stumbling into. Certainly not a young former schoolmistress turned into a mother to all three children.

I’ve noticed Karen focuses on something which is the most common of sins yet isn’t focused on as much in the more contemporary books today; Greed. Money is the source of many sins and I think this verse sums up our villain very well.

            “Those who have money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that   wealth brings true happiness!” Ecclesiastes 5:10 NLT

Lilly’s grandfather wanted her for nothing but his own personal gain, and he was willing to do anything to get her. It sent shivers down my spine to see a man so consumed by greed he would put his own granddaughter in harms way to get what he wanted.

After reading this book I picked up Stealing the Preacher from our local library, and now I know I am a full Karen Witemeyer fan, through and through. So I suggest to anyone reading this review to pick up any one of Karen’s books if you’re in the mood for some good ole’ west fun!

Until next time folks, I hope you have a blessed day!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Rise of the Fallen

The war of the spiritual realm is very real, an in Chuck Black’s Wars of the Realms series we can speculate and imagine what happens around us in the world of the unseen.

I have been captivated by this author’s imagination for the army of angels the Lord has at His command. I found it hard to put this book down.  Validus is the main character of this book, the last angel to be created. Starting out in the innocence and protection of God he wonders what his purpose is as the last in line. 

As the youngest in the family it was easy to relate to Valdius. Curious about what I did not know, and wondering why everyone seemed to know more then me. It’s not easy, and you feel like you’re on the outside looking in. And just like Validus three people became lifelong friends and the family to me.

Watching the creation of the earth and man through Validus’ eyes was beyond amazing, giving me a new way of looking at out origins. Using scripture to describe many events. And Chuck Black used plenty of scripture, putting it in bold print so you could know what was used from the bible and what was fiction. It was fascinating and encouraged me to look up the pieces put into each chapter.

Betrayal is never easy to take, especially when it’s someone close to your heart. I’ve experienced first hand what it’s like to have one of your best friends practically rip your heart out; it still pains me to this day. So when Validus faces of with betrayer on more then one occasion I keep thinking back to that person, thanking God that unlike fallen angels humans always have a chance for redemption and that as long as we live on earth it’s never too late to turn back to God.

I think my favorite scene in the book would have to be chapter 17 to 18 where we see the creation of the tower of Babel. Chuck Black took some liberty with this one, since there was little detail about it and created a conflict and how the many languages were created. We may never know for sure if anything like what happened in theses two chapters actually occurred, but it’s still an interesting thought.

Albeit a bit slow, like the first book, Rise of the Fallen is a great book and I look forward to the next book in this series!

Until next time folks, I hope you have a blessed day!

I received this book from the publisher an exchange for an honest review, which I have given

Until the Harvest

Sarah Loudin Thomas stunned all of us with her debut novel Miracle in a Dry Season. Now she returns to the small town of Wise with this stunning sequel.

The death of a family member always manages to catch us by surprise. Even if we’ve braced ourselves for the impact for months the grief still manages to derail us. Henry was no different. Plagued with regrets I remember wishing so many times I could speak this verse to Henry.
            “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NLT

Troubles always have a way of finding us, but with God on our side we are never destroyed by the stones the world throws at us. We are given relief in many forms, from a beautiful picture to the innocence of a child’s logic.

Sarah puts a few unexplainable miracles in her books, which I find very interesting since most writers of contemporary fiction try to find ways to make their miracles believable to the world’s standards, but Sarah Loudin Tomas throws in miracles that go against the laws of nature, miracles only God can pull off. And she doesn’t make it a huge spectacle either. It’s subtle, like a whisper on the breeze. I find it refreshing.

I also found it interesting the Mayfair is a diabetic. You find very few books that have a main character with diabetes, and having type 1 and type 2 diabetes myself I found myself relating more with Mayfair and her older sister Margaret.

Again I am taken away into a story with characters that touch my heart, and that I can easily relate to. But one thing did pop up that bugged me like in the previous book. There was little to do with Sadie. Through Perla, her mother, is in there plenty Sadie is barely mentioned three times throughout the entire book. It was kind of the same in the first book, so I’m hoping the author has something planned for her. It doesn’t seem right for this character to be put on the back burner, other then that the book was wonderful and perfect.

I enjoy the time period it’s set in, and Sarah Loudin’s writing style. And I really look forward to what the author will come out with next.

Well, until next time folks. I hope you have a blessed day!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, which I have given

A Siren's Fury is something you don't want to face

I told you all before how this Siren would catch the world by storm, now it’s time to see her fury in the second book of the Storm Siren Trilogy!

Faelen is at last at peace with the Bron after the battle at the Keep with DraeWolf, but the battle is far from over for our Nym. With her best friends gone and Princess Rasha and Lord Myles both trying to get her come on their side of this battle Nym has more on her plate then she can handle.

This was one of the books I was really looking forward to this year, and after reading it I sort of have mixed feelings about it. The detail and imagery of Faelen and Bron are not lost; I am still taken away by how skillful Mery Webber is writing in first person. Very few can pull that off for more then one book. But I was beginning to question a little bit how this book series is considered Christian Fiction. All that I had seen so far in the first book was The Valley of Origin, and how the Elemental males were killed off.

And to top it off Nym was constantly going back and forth, repeating the same mistake over and over and over, almost till the very end! It was not until I looked in my bible to the book of Job did I begin to see some connection.

The same happens to all who forget God. The hopes of the godless evaporate. Their confidence hangs by a thread. They are leaning on a spider’s web. They cling to their home for security, but it won’t last. They try to hold it tight, but it will not endure” Job 8:13-15 NLT

After reading these two verses I saw there was reasons for Nym’s failed attempts, and why she was clinging to power so much. It was her security, the one thing she always had when everyone else betrayed or used her. But some readers without reading these verses might find it difficult to see any point throughout most of the book

In the end the book was okay, not as good as the first, but plenty enough to keep you hooked until the last book comes out. I look forward to the next book in the storm Siren trilogy.

Until next time I hope you have a blessed day!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Choosing the best book of the Year!!!

Most likely in other reviews you will find Rachel Dekker being compared to her father Ted Dekker, but not here. Rachel Dekker is in a class all her own!

I guessed from the summery given for the book that The Choosing would be somewhat like the popular book series Divergent or Hunger games, and my assumption wasn’t completely wrong, but this book rises far above the others

The choosing is a time for celebration, for joy, at least for those who are chosen. The girls left without a husband are to become part of the lowest ranks of their society, the Lints. It’s hard for Clarington to believe she has failed to be chosen, and how she will face a lifetime in the constant reminder that she was never enough.

As I began reading I wondered what brought on Rachel’s idea to have the position of Lints for women only. Why women? Why not men? What if a man never chose a bride? Is that even allowed? As I read on more questions were answered, the big picture began to fall into place like a well-laid game of Tetris.

Recently I’ve begun to take notice that most female leads in fiction, even Christian fiction, are perfectly beautiful. As an overweight girl myself I know I’m not pretty like most of those women, making it hard to relate, and little frustrating when they go on how they are not pretty. We all have our fears about not being pretty, but with these characters all it takes is a touch of makeup, a pretty dress, and all their insecurities are gone. Never to be seen again. So when I read The Choosing I expected this same sort of Cinderella moment, my expectations were gladly dashed. Rachel let you know how the characters and their surroundings looked in good detail, but it wasn’t her main focus as I have found in many other books. Instead made focus on the war raging on inside Carrington, not demolishing her insecurities with a single blow.

I would like to personally thank Rachel Dekker for writing this book, giving life to it that few authors can. It gave me the boost I needed to keep writing my novel Hark, about an overweight girl in the 1800’s trying to find love. I wasn’t sure that type of book would ever be accepted in the publishing world, and even though Carrington is by normal standards very pretty, Rachel did not make it all about physical attraction. For that I thank her from the bottom of my heart.

Now, back to the review.

The day I received this book in the mail I read over two hundred pages, that’s well over half the book in less then twenty-four hours. I was so engrossed I could never seem to put the book down for a second, even when my eyes begged for sleep. By the middle of the second day I was finished. I wished to read it over and over again. And I was so thankful that it was not left at a complete cliffhanger. Instead we are left with a wonderful view the top of the cliff had to offer and the hope for what is to come. I don’t know how my carpet will last with all my pacing around, waiting for 2016 to come around so I can read the sequel. It’s going to be a long year.

 I meant it when I said Rachel Dekker was in a class all her own. She brought into fiction what so many young men and women struggle with on a daily basis. I would love to tell all of y’all more, but this is a book I cannot spoil. It is too good for that. I urge all of you to pick up a copy as soon as possible. With a message I believe everyone needs to hear Rachel Dekker debuted with a book more then worthy of being called book of the year.

I look forward comes next from this up and rising author.

And here is a little something special from Tyndale publishing group, a Q&A with the author Rachel Dekker!

How did you come up with the story for The Choosing? 
This is a hard question because it has many answers. I wanted to write a theme-based novel about identity. I wanted to write a dystopian novel. I wanted to write in a world that was familiar, but in a setting where I could change the way the world worked. It actually is several ideas I’d been toying with pulled into one story. Once I landed on Carrington’s core revelation and story arc, I simply fell in love with her as a character and drew the rest of the story around her. That’s usually how it works for me. I come up with a character, good or bad, and create the story from there. 

You based your main character, Carrington, off of your younger sister. In what ways is Carrington like her? 

It’s more the beliefs that Carrington struggles with that remind me of my sister. The idea of worth, of not feeling like you’re enough, or questioning whether anyone would choose you. Carrington came about as I spent time with my sister and her college-age friends and saw that a large majority of them were searching for significance, searching for worth—none more than my sister at the time. 

Throughout the book, Carrington struggles with understanding her identity and worth and what is true. Why did you decide to write about the theme of identity? 
Someone once asked me, If you could leave one message for your younger sisters, what would it be? The answer was always the same: I would pray they knew what they were worth. Identity is everything. There isn’t a theme that doesn’t start with identity, or circle back to identity. Knowing who you truly are is the greatest journey we face. Am I enough; am I worth it? I believe everyone faces these questions, and I sought out to explore them through this story. 

One of the story’s most significant lines is, “Life is a journey of remembering and forgetting.” What do you mean by this? 
It means exactly what you probably think. We have these flashes of clarity where we see so clearly who we are—and our connection to the Father—but then, in a single moment, something pulls our attention away and we forget who we are. This is the journey of life, remembering and forgetting. But I believe the more we remember, the more we set our gaze on the Father, the less often we forget. 

What do you hope readers will take away from the story?
 I hope readers are filled with joy and power as they either realize for the first time who their Father is and what they are really worth, or as they simply remember this truth. 

What would you say to the person who is struggling, trying to find their identity in temporary, unsatisfying places? 
I would say we have all been there, and that those places will only serve as a prison in the end. They may seem like happiness now, but eventually they will become suffering. But that’s just part of the journey of identity. Some people need to learn the hard way—I did for sure! I searched for significance in darkness and somehow the Father still led me to the light. So when I see people going through what I did, I empathize, but also know that in a single moment they can discover their true identity. 

 What is it like being Ted Dekker’s daughter? Did your father help you with the writing process? 
Being Ted’s daughter is wonderful! He’s the best, but then I hope many daughters feel that way about their fathers. He is a bit of a mystery, though. Sometimes, even sitting at the dinner table, I can tell he’s lost in thought, and I wonder what it might be like to have his mind. It’s been a blessing to watch him write and struggle with writing, so that now when I struggle I have an understanding ear to talk off. He is always willing to talk me through the emotional and mental side of writing (which is where the biggest battles lie in wait) but as far as story, for the most part he lets me fend for myself. It’s always been important to me to write through my challenges on my own. To figure out scenes alone. In fact, he didn’t even read The Choosing until I was already in conversations with Tyndale about publication. I think that’s because he wanted me to believe I could do it on my own. But when I doubt my ability as a writer, and when I forget who I am, he is the one I call. And he reminds me that life is a journey of remembering and forgetting, and helps me in remembering once again

Until next time, may you have a blessed day!

I received this book from the publisher for free an exchange for an honest review, which I have given