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.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Orphan's Wish- Melanie Dickerson

My Rating: 3 Stars

Description: Orphaned and alone, Aladdin travels from the streets of his Arab homeland to a strange, faraway place. Growing up in an orphanage, he meets young Lady Kirstyn, whose father who is the powerful Duke of Hagenheim. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion, and their childhood friendship grows into a bond that time and opposition cannot break.

Even as a child, Aladdin works hard, learning all he can from his teachers. Through his integrity, intelligence, and sheer tenacity, he earns a position serving as the duke’s steward. But that isn't enough to erase the shame of being forced to steal as a small child—or the fact that he's an orphan with no status. If he ever wants to feel equal to his beautiful and generous friend Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim and seek his fortune.

Yet once Aladdin departs, Lady Kirstyn becomes a pawn in a terrible plot. Now, Aladdin and Kirstyn must rely on their bond to save her from unexpected danger. But will saving Kirstyn cost Aladdin his newfound status and everything he’s worked so hard to obtain?

An enchanting new version of the well-known tale, The Orphan's Wish tells a story of courage and loyalty, friendship and love, and reminds us what "family" really means.

My Thoughts: I was honestly skeptical when I saw that this was to be a retelling of Aladdin, set in Germany. I just couldn't see how all of the plot and story elements would translate to this new setting. And I have to say that I was unable to really find any hint of Aladdin in this story, other than a couple names and the events of the first two chapters. Maybe there were some similar plot elements, but those connections were stretching the spirit of the original story.

Outside of this being a retelling, there was not much that happened plot wise until about page 104. Aladdin leaves the Holy Land, comes to Germany, and he and Kirstyn become friends. But none of the interactions that happen during that time play any part in the plot later. And once the main events of the story begin, the story is still slow to play out.

Oddly, what I did like was Kirstyn's experience with the villains of the story. It played out very similarly to what I have read of real life occurrences of this situation, and I believe that the author was trying to portray the emotions of someone experiencing it as accurately as possible. I could also relate to Kirstyn's childhood fear of being unneeded by the people in her life, and that fear rearing its head in her moments of terror.

I do not recommend this as an Aladdin retelling, as there are far better ones out there. However, as a slow, clean, read, I might recommend it. It was not my favorite, but it was also uncomplicated and I know there are times when that is exactly the kind of read I want. It just wasn't at this time.

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

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Lady of a Thousand Treasures- Tour Blitz and Giveaway

Welcome to the blog blitz & giveaway for Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Title: Lady of a Thousand Treasures
Author: Sandra Byrd
Publisher: Tyndale House
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Genre: Historical/Gothic Romance

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.

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My dearest friend, Marguerite. Although we were nearly of an age, as a widow, she made a suitable chaperone for me whenever one was required, which was not often for a person of my social status. She knew my habit since childhood had been to sort into collectives, especially as a means of regaining control in any situation which forced my anxieties to the surface. It was a custom particularly suited to the daughter of and assistant to a conservator for collectors. I was now a conservator and valuer in my own right. Almost, anyway. 

“A singular of boars.” I feigned a yawn. 

She looked in Harry’s direction. “A rake of mules?” she teased. 

I smiled at the jest but knew she could not truly believe that; she had always been fond of Harry, at least until he’d disappeared.



After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published fifty books.

Sandra's delighted to kick off her new historical romance series with Tyndale House Publishers, Victorian Ladies, with Lady of a Thousand Treasures. The three-book Victorian Ladies series follows her historically sound Gothic romances, Daughters of Hampshire, launched with the bestselling Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor's Choice award from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isl e, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, was published in 2017. Check out her contemporary adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, which was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel,  To Die For: A Novel of Anne BoleynTo Die For was also named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2011, and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012.

Sandra has published dozens of books for kids, tweens, and teens, including the bestselling The One Year Be-Tween You and God Devotions for Girls. She continued her work as a devotionalist, with The One Year Home and Garden Devotions, and The One Year Experiencing God's Love Devotional.

Please visit www.sandrabyrd.com to learn more or to invite Sandra to your book club via Skype.

CONTACT: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Lady  of  a  Thousand  Treasures  blitz  giveaway


(1) winner will receive:

  • a copy of Lady of a Thousand Treasures (print to US addresses OR ebook to intl), and
  • $25 Starbucks London Gift Card – works anywhere in the world at standalone Starbucks stores

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 1, 2018 and lasts through 11:59pm October 8, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. 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!