Monday, December 31, 2018

Living a Life You Love- Joyce Meyer

My Rating: 3 Stars

Description: You may say that you love your family, your spouse, your church, or the Lord. You may also express love for more temporal things like a good cup of coffee, your home, or a nice dinner at your favorite restaurant. But it is rarer to truly say "I love my life!"

It's common to be more frustrated with life than at peace with it, because the daily grind wears you down. Responsibilities and burdens become heavy and rob you of the happiness you're meant to have as a child of God. But you can be hopeful, learn to rise above your challenges, and be filled with wonder at what God might do every day.

Written by #1 New York Times bestselling author Joyce Meyer, who has gone from heartache to happiness through Christ, this book is the key to shifting your perspective so that you may also relish every moment and every part of life.

You will learn how to love life fully, in spite of your obstacles, and experience the happiness that is promised to you.

Joyce will explain:
Why you can't love life unless love is the central theme of it,
Why your attitude affects your life more than any outside circumstances,
How the love, help, and kindness you give away will come back to you immeasurably,
How to look to the future and keep your joy,
And so much more!

God has already blessed you with a life to love--and it's time to start LIVING A LIFE YOU LOVE.

My Thoughts: I've never actually read anything by Joyce Meyer, nor heard her speak. However, like most Christians, I had heard of her and so I was curious. I honestly do not believe that this is the best example of her work, so I may try other books of hers in the future.

The first section of this book was great. Joyce wrote about remembering who God is and how he is working in our lives. Each of those chapters had a noteworthy phrase that really struck me and lead me into prayer over some of my own issues. I am glad that I read those chapters and will likely reread them again here soon.

However, I was not as impressed by the other sections of the book. I don't really struggle with being spontaneous or loving the people in my life. I'm already careful about the environment I create for myself and I think that the Bible does a better job of telling us about the different seasons we will go through. Yet I also know that there are people who need encouragement in these areas but not in the same ones that I do.

This book does touch on something for most everyone, I believe. Yet, not every chapter will be for everyone, and that is where I find the book to be less than what I could have hoped for. Having read the entire book, I would have liked to have gotten more out of it than what I read in the first chapters. However, I would consider it for group study in the future and perhaps we could appreciate all the chapters together.

I have provided an honest review after having received a copy of  the book from the publisher.

Monday, December 24, 2018

On Magnolia Lane- Denise Hunter

My Rating: 2 Stars

Description: After two years of counseling sessions with Daisy Pendleton, Pastor Jack McReady has earned a permanent spot in her life as a spiritual leader—and nothing more. Jack would never risk losing her trust by exposing the depths of his heart, but he’s hopelessly in love with her.

Daisy loves her southern small-town life and her job at her family-run flower shop, but she doesn’t have the thing she longs for most: someone to share it with. Her recent foray into online dating has been a disaster—until she meets TJ.

Jack could kill his friend Noah for using his initials and some indistinct photos to set up a profile on the dating app Daisy is using. But when he’s finally afforded the opportunity to show her a different side of himself, he’s sucked into the plan before he has time for second thoughts.

Online, Daisy shares some of her greatest fears with TJ, but in person, Jack and Daisy are spending more time together. When a devastating family secret surfaces, Daisy knows that only her trusted friend and counselor can bring her comfort. Jack wants nothing more than to be both men for Daisy, but revealing his secret will prove to be the ultimate test of Daisy’s grace.

My Thoughts: If you had read the other books in this series, then you know that Jack has been in love with Daisy for a long time. Which is obvious to most everyone other than her. And after reading this book, I can't blame her. Despite the amount of time they spend together, both for her counseling sessions and their outings with friends, Jack never speaks to her as though she is anything other than someone he is counseling.

It was not until the midway point, long after he has started talking to her as TJ, that he begins to interact with her as a friend might. He finally starts asking her questions about things that she likes (instead of relying on knowledge he has of her from their sessions) and begins joking around, showing her that there is more to him than the pastor who leads a flock.

At this point however, I was still struggling to want the two of them together because of his lying to her about who he was online. There were a few different points where I thought he was going to finally make it right, but he instead doubled down on the delusion that he was doing nothing wrong by talking to Daisy as TJ. And if he had owned up to his actions at any of those points, allowing the end conflict to be about something else entirely, then I could have been happy with the way this story ended.

There were cute moments. I particularly liked when they started rock climbing together, as it showed that they actually could work as a couple. But even then, I could not understand how she so easily decided that she loved him in the end. Because while he had loved her for a while, she was only just getting to know him as someone other than her pastor, and that while he was lying to her the whole time. Even allowing for the story's theme of forgiveness, he should not have been able to so easily get with her in the end.

I have provided an honest review after having received a copy of the book from the publisher.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Ilyon & Acktar Tour and Giveaway

Ilyon and Acktar Blog Tour Header
Jaye L. Knight’s newest novel, Bitter Winter, and companion novella Lacy have been released! Bitter Winter is the fifth book in the Christian fantasy series, Ilyon Chronicles. Tricia Mingerink's newest novel Decree is also releasing! Decree is the fifth book in the Christian fantasy/kingdom adventure series The Blades of Acktar. Read about these books below and be sure to check out the other blog stops on the tour by visiting the official tour page. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

The Ilyon Chronicles


Bitter Winter

About Bitter Winter Already struggling with a harsh winter and the threat of food shortage, a catastrophic event leaves those in the Landale camps reeling. Just when things couldn’t get much worse, camp members fall ill with the same devastating sickness that’s sweeping across the country. Determined to gain the cure, Jace sets off to Valcré. However, there are only two sources—the queen, or a powerful gang of smugglers who have made the dangerous city their home. When Jace gains audience with the gang leader, he finds the price of the cure is steeper than any of them imagined, forcing him to make an impossible choice—betray his conscience or let those he loves die.

Review of Bitter Winter This book is a little different that the rest in the series. While there is still a lot of peril, most of it comes from a source other than battles or harrowing escapes from those who wish them dead. But for fans of the series, the stakes seemed so much higher than before as well. I love these characters to much and stayed up well into the night to find out what became of them.

For those who have not read the series, I would not recommend picking up at this point. There are a lot of relationships and conflicts that build on everything that has happened before, and I would have felt lost if I had not already known what happened in the other books. The central conflict is also one that I am not sure I would have cared for it not for my affection for these characters. While the beginning and end of the story were filled with action, the majority of the story circles around the characters' inner struggles griefs.

With each book, I grow more and more attached to Jace as a character, and I am not sure how I will handle it when there are at last no more books in this series. But until then, I will enjoy whatever Jaye writes and look forward to the next time we see him.

I have provided an honest review after having received an ecopy of the book from the author.

Available now on Amazon!



About Lacy The last thing Aaron ever envisioned was falling for a prostitute. Everything about it spells trouble. However, he can’t help noticing the way her smile lights up when she sees him and how much brokenness she hides behind it. Neither can he ignore how desperately she needs rescue and protection. When Lacy shares a life or death secret with him, Aaron is willing to risk everything to help her and to show her Elôm’s love. Yet, such a choice could destroy his reputation and maybe even cost him his freedom. An Ilyon Chronicles Novella.

Review of Lacy I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that this time around, there were going to be two books released in this series at the same time. Lacy was a character I had not heard of at the time (she is introduced in Bitter Winter), but I had enjoyed Jaye's other novellas, which had to do with Jace. And if you love the story world Jaye has created, then this is a wonderful new addition.

However, I did not feel that the story was all that necessary to the overall narrative. Lacy is not a character who had I fallen in love with as I had Jace, nor did the plot seem to add any information that might be important later on in the next book.

The story itself is also quiet a bit darker and geared to a more mature audience than the rest of the series. Because it does not seem essential to the rest of the narrative, that does mean that readers can easily take or leave it at their choosing. And for those who want more stories set in this world, this is a delightful addition.

Perhaps I should clarify that I personally do not take issue with narrative. I have read many books which dealt with prostitutes as the heroine and had other mature elements. However, I know that many of the fans of this series appreciate it in large part because of how chaste it has been up to this point. And I think that for those readers, this novella may be one that they wish to skip over.

I have provided an honest review after having received an ecopy of the novella from the author.

Available now on Amazon!


Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? Find out more at the official Ilyon Chronicles website!  

JayeLKnight Author PhotoAbout the Author Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy.



The Blades of Acktar

 About Decree The Adventure Continues. Discover more of The Blades of Acktar in this collection of novellas and short stories. The Blades as They Should’ve Been A test and the Gathering of Nobles will decide Leith and Martyn’s futures. Can they fight to become more than the Blades they were? Will Keevan accept the man who attempted to kill him as family? The First Mission When Martyn visits Surgis, his past seems determined to haunt him. Can he figure out how to forgive, especially when confronted with an enemy in need of his help? To the Far Great Mountains A death sends Leith and Martyn far beyond the borders of Acktar. Will they be able to arrest their quarry before they are caught themselves? From the story of how Leith and Martyn met to Ranson’s search for a life outside of the Blades, these stories will answer plaguing questions and expand the world of Acktar.

Available now on Amazon!


Haven’t discovered the The Blades of Acktar yet? Find out more at on the official Blades of Acktar page.  

DSC09450-2About the Author Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn't writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country. You can connect with Tricia on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.











Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a full signed set of the Ilyon Chronicles and The Blades of Acktar! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.) Click on this link to enter. Be sure to stop by each of the character chats (links in the blog tour schedule) for additional giveaways throughout the tour!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Lady of a Thousand Treasures- Sandra Byrd

My Rating: 5 Stars

Description: Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured.

My Thoughts: It has been so long since I have read a Sandra Byrd novel! I had loved her Ladies in Waiting series, but had not paid enough attention to realize that she had written anything after... at least until I saw this. And I am so ready for the rest of The Victorian Ladies.

As an anthropologist, I always love it when it an author clearly puts a lot of research into their novels and I am able to learn something that I had not know before. And since I also like to shop antiques, this story hit a lot of points that were close to home for me. I am still floored by the information Eleanor gives about faux pearls of the time period (and really want a necklace made with them).

I also appreciate that the romance in the story is what I would call a low simmer. The characters are interested in each other, we know they are. But even though this is a consistent part of the narrative, it doesn't overtake all the other plot points or character relationships. Eleanor has a life outside of her romantic entanglement, one that she cultivates with just as much care.

I had a lot of fun reading this book and only wish that I already had some information about the next. It will be a for sure read.

I have provided an honest review after receiving a copy of the book from the publisher.

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Friday, December 7, 2018

MissTaken Identity- Spotlight and Giveaway


Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for MissTaken Identity by Kimberley Woodhouse, a novella included in The MissAdventure Brides Collection, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


the missadventure brides collection Title: MissTaken Identity  
Collection: The MissAdventure Brides Collection  
Author: Kimberley Woodhouse  
Publisher: Barbour  
Release Date: December 1, 2018 (print)
Genre: Historical Romance  

Love Is One of Life’s Greatest Adventures

Seven daring damsels don’t let the norms of their eras hold them back. Along the way these women attract the attention of men who admire their bravery and determination, but will they let love grow out of the adventures?  

MissTaken Identity by Kimberley Woodhouse
1883 Texas 
Headstrong, bubbly, accident-prone Abigail Monroe is on a quest for adventure away from society’s expectations. But her pursuits are unexpectedly thwarted when she is arrested by a handsome Texas Ranger.  

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository


Jim walked out the door and paced in front of the jail. While he’d only had Chuck Miller as a prisoner for a day, he thought he’d watched and examined the man enough to have it all figured out.

And then he’d gotten close to the prisoner just now. Real close. And after staring into those green eyes. . .Jim knew he was in trouble.

Chuck wasn’t a man.

On top of Chuck being a woman—he. . .she—was a pretty woman. Very pretty.

And she smelled good too. Even camouflaged in all those baggy clothes.

No wonder she’d demanded he close the outhouse door.



Kimberley Woodhouse is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifteen fiction and nonfiction books. A popular speaker and teacher, she’s shared her theme of “Joy Through Trials” with more than half a million people across the country at more than 2,000 events. Kim and her incredible husband of twenty-five-plus years have two adult children. She’s passionate about music and Bible study and loves the gift of story.  

CONNECT WITH KIM: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

misstaken identity giveaway


Kimberley Woodhouse is giving away:
  • (1) grand prize of a Kindle Fire (US only)
  • (3) 1st prizes - a print copy of The MissAdventures Brides Collection (US only)
That's a total of FOUR winners! Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight December 4, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 11, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Mark of the Raven- Morgan L. Busse

My Rating: 4 Stars

Description: Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person's dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.

As she discovers her family's dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family's legacy--a legacy that supports her people--or seeking the true reason behind her family's gift.

Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.

One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?

My Thoughts: This book admittedly started out a bit rocky for me. There was very little I found to like about the main character in those first pages, and a lot the information about motivations and the family's legacy were repeated more than twice. However, I knew that a lot of people whose opinions I respect had rated this book highly, so I kept on with an open mind. And I am glad that I did.

After Selene comes fully into her gift and the reader is introduced to the other point of view characters, the story picks up. At this point, if there was a lot of repetition, I was far too engaged to notice. Damien's character is mostly responsible for this, as I found his perspective a noble one and anticipated knowing whether or not he would learn of the Ravenwood gift.

I still was not a huge fan of Selene. But her curiosity about the way the gifts and the houses used to be lent me more compassion toward her, especially once she begins to fight against what she knows is wrong. I hope that opinion of her will only grow as the series goes on.

Overall, I am happy with this new story world and excited to see what Morgan does with it in the future.

I have provided an honest review after having received a copy of the book from the publisher.

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Monday, November 26, 2018

Shelter of the Most High- Connilyn Cossette

My Rating: 4 Stars

Description: The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.

Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a City of Refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood and chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.

As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Will they break free from the shackles of the past in time to uncover the betrayal and save their lives and the lives of those they love?

My Thoughts: I am always surprised by the unique stories that Connilyn comes up with. Unlike most Biblical Fiction, her books step away from the characters we are all familiar with and instead focus on the people living in the background of history. Here, she writes of the people living in the cities of refuge, an aspect of the Bible that is rarely touched on even outside of fiction.

Sofea and Eitan were both lovable characters with dark childhoods. And though neither want to be in Kedesh, it is a place that Yahweh has intended to be their refugee, whether they see it that way or not. However, jumbled with my love for these characters was also my question as to why Sofea (who came from a completely different culture) did not seem to suffer culture shock except for where it aided the message that Yahweh is the only God? Especially when this new culture she is experiencing will require her to change her diet and her mode of dress, which are admittedly areas where I would have struggled.

Something pleasant that I did notice in this story was the wealth of representation for disabilities (whether they are accurate depictions, I do not have the experience to guess). I was thankful that Connilyn took the time to write these characters and look forward to seeing who she writes about in the next story, as well as going back to read the first book in this trilogy which I somehow skipped.

I have provided an honest review after having received a copy of the book from the publisher.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Murder at the Flamingo- Rachel McMillan

My Rating: 2 Stars

Description: Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times -- including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionable nightclub in Scollay Square. When he meets his cousin's “right hand man” Reggie, Hamish wonders if his dreams for a more normal life might be at hand. 

Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, heir to a New Haven fortune, has fled fine china, small talk, and the man her parents expect her to marry. Determined to make a life as the self-sufficient city girl she’s seen in her favorite Jean Arthur and Katharine Hepburn pictures, Reggie runs away to Boston, where she finds an easy secretarial job with the suave Luca Valari. But as she and Hamish work together in Luca’s glittering world, they discover a darker side to the smashing Flamingo night club.

When a corpse is discovered at the Flamingo, Reggie and Hamish quickly learn there is a vast chasm between the haves and the have-nots in 1937 Boston—and that there’s an underworld that feeds on them both. As Hamish is forced to choose between his conscience and loyalty to his beloved cousin, the unlikely sleuthing duo work to expose a murder before the darkness destroys everything they’ve worked to build.

My Thoughts: For a murder mystery, a very large portion of this book has little to do with either murder or mystery. The first few hundred pages only introduce the reader to the the main characters' backgrounds and outlooks on life. And if the story had been a romance, I would have been fine with that. I enjoyed reading about Hamish, a man who is a strong, likeable hero without having to be an alpha male.

However, as a mystery, I found it lacking. The murder itself does not happen until well after the first hundred pages. And although the characters have already begun there attempt to unravel the story's mystery long before that, the original mystery they started out with was one that I was already fairly sure of the answer to.

Unlike Rachel's previous series (about Hamish's parents), this did not include the fun of Sherlock Holmes references. Instead, that was replaced with the glitz and glam of the 1930s, a time period which is remembered for its fast-pace, a feature that translated into this novel's setting but not as much in its plot.

Personally, I felt that there were a number of characters and scenes that could have been done without or at least condensed. As it was, the story lacked a sense of urgency to the mystery despite the personal stakes for the main characters. Hopefully the next in the series will be more like the author's previous work.

I have provided an honest review after having received a copy of the book through the Fiction Guild.

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Monday, November 12, 2018

For Us Humans- Steve Rzasa

My Rating: 4 Stars

Description: Caz Fortel is a great liar. In fact, he's a professional.

It's his job to lie to people who steal works of art, and to get the goods back. But when Caz gets the big call from the FBI—a million bucks to recover a stolen statue of significant cultural value—it comes with a downside. His assigned partner has more of an interest in Jesus than Caz is comfortable with. Oh, and he’s an alien with four arms and a tremendous sense of smell.

When aliens showed up fifteen years ago, Earth cut a deal to join the Panstellar Consociation as a protectorate, allowing their new neighbors to set up a warp tunnel in orbit, in exchange for advanced tech secrets. Now Caz is caught up in the retrieval of their missing statue, and they want the mission kept quiet.

Or Earth could be in very, very big trouble.

My Thoughts: For Us Humans if a witty sci-fi that deals with questions of faith in the face of (peaceful) alien take over. Caz is an art cop who despises these alien invaders, not because they destroyed earth, but because they destroyed Christianity (or so he believes). This was a very well written discussion of what makes God and faith real to us, and whether or not we can be shaken from those beliefs by events which we thought impossible. Throughout most of the book, the questions of faith were handled in an organic way, coming up at times when discussions seemed most natural.

Later in the story, however, these discussions seemed more forced. There was one scene in particular, where I felt that the message was being driven home a little too bluntly. I do not wish to describe the scene though, lest I give too much away.

Beyond the faith elements of the novel, I really enjoyed the world building and description of normal, everyday life... just now with aliens living among us. Not all of it made as much sense as I would have liked, such as the Ghiqasu speaking English for most of the book even when only conversing with each other. Yet the humorous tone made these issues easier to overlook.

If you are looking for a humorous, slower-paced, sci-fi (with a number of movie references that you may or may not get), then I would definitely recommend this read. Though I could see areas where a few changes would have allowed me to like it better, it definitely has me interested in reading more of Steve's passed works.

I have provided an honest review after receiving an ecopy of the book from the publisher through Netgalley.

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Monday, November 5, 2018

Enchanting Nicolette-Dawn Crandall


Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Enchanting Nicholette by Dawn Crandall, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours.



EnchantingNicholette Title: Enchanting Nicholette  
Series: The Everstone Chronicles #5  
Author: Dawn Crandall  
Publisher: Whitaker House  
Release Date: October 9, 2018  
Genre: Historical Romance

In this captivating novella by Dawn Crandall, Nicholette Everstone is already a widow at the age of twenty-two: her husband was murdered on their wedding day. She has just returned to Boston after two years of mourning in Europe. Although her husband was loving, the marriage was an arranged one, and Nicholette would like to wed again–this time for love…and to someone safe.

As she acclimates to life in Back Bay again, Nicholette meets someone she can’t help but fall for. But when she learns of the danger and sacrifices Cal Hawthorne takes on for the safety of others, will her heart be strong enough to keep her fears of “what if” at bay?

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | BAM! | Christian Book


The only other book by Dawn which I have read was The Cautious Maiden. That book had a lot more intrigue and conflict within its pages, though this novella does reference events from the previous one. This creates some tension for the heroine of this story as, unlike readers of Dawn's books, Nicholette is unaware of the events which occurred previously.


However, the story itself does not focus on those events, instead showing the moments in between, when Cal and Nicholette see each other. Theirs is a quick romance, one that blossoms first from attraction and then from a mutual desire to help those in precarious positions in life. Having both come from short lived, arranged marriages, they connect over shared experiences and the hope of finding the love they had previously missed out on.


The story was a little short for my taste. I would have preferred to have Cal's perspective, along with those scenes which Nicolette was not present for. However, the story was sweet, creating a nice end to the series. In the last pages, you get to see all the past characters together, celebrating the joys that have come into their lives. Which only made me more interested in going back and reading those books I missed.


I have written an honest review after having received a copy of the book through JustRead Tours.


Dawn Crandall

Dawn Crandall‘s debut Gilded Age Victorian romance, “The Hesitant Heiress,” was a 2015 ACFW Carol award finalist in the debut category and received the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2015 Write Touch Reader’s Choice Award and the 2015 Romancing the Novel Reader’s Choice Award. Her follow-up novel, “The Bound Heart,” received the 2016 Laurel Award from Clash of the Titles. Dawn earned a BA in Christian Education from Taylor University. She’s been balancing books and babies lately as her two sons were both born as the four books of her Everstone Chronicles series were being released from Whitaker House from 2014 to 2016. Dawn lives with her husband and two young sons on a hobby farm in her hometown in northeast Indiana.

 CONNECT WITH DAWN CRANDALL: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

enchanting nicholette blog giveaway

(1) Winner will win:
  • A print copy of Enchanting Nicholette
  • A library card zipper bag
  • Two pairs of Jane Austen socks
  • Two hand poured candles
  • A historically accurate soap from Austen’s time
  • A Jane Austen set of playing cards
  • A set of Jane Austen notecards
  • 6 magnets with Jane Austen quotes
(US Mailing Addresses Only)  

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 29, 2018 and lasts through 11:59pm November 12, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. US addresses only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Follow along at JustRead for a full list of stops!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Awakened- Richard Spillman

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Description: Everyone dies once. But what if a chosen few were raised from the dead?

Two thousand years ago Jesus resurrected his friend, Lazarus, who founded a secret organization: SOAR. Since then Jesus has added to the resurrected—The Awakened—to aid Lazarus in SOAR's battle against Satan's slaves, the UnVeilers. The threat is escalating. The UnVeilers have stepped up their attacks on mankind through a charming leader and a devastating series of bombings in Dubai and Tel Aviv.

But the invasion doesn't stop with international terrorism. The UnVeilers are searching for a secret that Jesus embedded in Lazarus’ journal that not even Lazarus knows—and it will determine the fate of mankind. After a failed cyber-attack against SOAR's computers, Lazarus and his team of experts must find the secret before the UnVeilers do. What clue is he overlooking that could turn the tide of this ageless conflict?

The souls fighting with Lazarus are weary, but the war against evil is far from won. Can Lazarus and his team set aside their longing for heaven and put a stop to these satanic attacks before it's too late?

My Thoughts: The first thing I thought of when reading the description of this novel was Robert Liparulo's Immortal Files. The concept of certain people from the Bible living forever is an engaging one for me, especially in learning why those people were chosen to live forever. However, Spillman does reveal this early on in the story, taking away some of that mystery.

The tale is told some what in two parts. There is the main story of SOAR in the modern day, combating UD's and stopping terrorism, and then there are the journal entries which start just before Lazarus' death and follow his life after. These journal entries were my favorite part. Seeing the world through the eyes of someone who had experienced heaven but couldn't remember was almost like reading a Biblical fiction novel, which is one of my favorite genre's to read.

However, I did have problems with parts of the rest of the story. There were a lot of point of view characters, some of which I think could have been done without. Some of the smaller POV characters I would forget about until their scenes came around again, and it made it difficult to keep track of some of what was going on. There were also places where certain things about the organizations were described rather vaguely.

The Awakened is definitely an interesting read, and for those who enjoy international thrillers with large casts, this is great. Though the first few chapters were slow as I eased into the story, I'm glad I was able to enjoy the concept of Lazarus and many others living until Christ returns.

I have provided an honest review after having received an ecopy of the book through the author.

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Patriot Bride- Kimberely Woodhouse

My Rating: 2 Stars

Description: Faith Jackson and Matthew Weber are both working covertly to aid the Patriot cause. But will they be willing to sacrifice all for their fledgling country?
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Spies Work Together for the Patriot Cause
Faith Jackson is a wealthy widow, friend of George Washington, and staunch supporter of the Patriot cause. Matthew Weber is friends with both Ben Franklin and his son William, who increasingly differ in their political views; and Matthew finds himself privy to information on both sides of the conflict. When a message needs to get to a spy among the Loyalists, Faith bravely steps up and in turn meets Matthew Weber. Suddenly she believes she could love again. But someone else has his eye on the Faith she portrays in elite social circles. What will Matthew and Faith have to sacrifice for the sake of their fledgling country?

My Thoughts: Kimberley Woodhouse is an author whose books I have seen around for a while, but never read. Something about them didn't seem to interest me until I saw this book and the setting. Normally, I love stories set during the Revolutionary War. However for a book about spies, there is not much... spying.

At first, when I started reading this, I thought that it was based on real people and events. And in that case, it made sense that there might not be a lot of exciting plot points or actual information passed between the two spies, because some of what was done and said would have been lost to history. But when I saw in the back that both Matthew and Faith are complete works of fiction, I had to reevaluate my opinion of the story.

As I mentioned, there is little spying in this book. Faith and Matthew meet often to swap letters, however we never see how Matthew goes about collecting the information he is passing to the Patriots or how he is able to convince the Loyalists that he is on their side of the war. There is also no mention of just what kind of information he is collecting and how it is any help to the cause. While the danger of his mission should have been the driving conflict of the story, that seemed to fall to the wayside in favor of a villain whose reasoning makes little sense. Even the other characters are unable to understand his thought process.

The story was also repetitive, with certain plot elements repeated over more than once, with only the wording changed. And certain characters seemed to know information one chapter, only to relearn it a few chapters later.

I can't say that this has put me off from the whole series. There are a few authors I noticed have written for The Daughters of the Mayflower, authors whom I have enjoyed reading in the past and I will likely pick up those. Yet I will probably not be reading any more in the series by this author.

I have provided an honest review after receiving a copy of the book through Just Commonly, however I was not required to post a positive review.