Tuesday, April 15, 2014

WIN a Kindle HDX & check out riveting historical fiction: "The Queen's Handmaid" by T.L. Higley


Enter to win a Kindle HDX,
and check out my review of T.L. Higley's latest book below:


The Queen's Handmaid


about the book...


From the servant halls of Cleopatra’s Egyptian palace to the courts of Herod the Great, Lydia will serve two queens to see prophecy fulfilled.
Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC
Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra’s palace, working hard to please while keeping everyone at arm’s length. She’s been rejected and left with a broken heart too many times in her short life.
But then her dying mentor entrusts her with secret writings of the prophet Daniel and charges her to deliver this vital information to those watching for the promised King of Israel. Lydia must leave the nearest thing she’s had to a family and flee to Jerusalem. Once in the Holy City, she attaches herself to the newly appointed king, Herod the Great, as handmaid to Queen Mariamme.
Trapped among the scheming women of Herod’s political family—his sister, his wife, and their mothers—and forced to serve in the palace to protect her treasure, Lydia must deliver the scrolls before dark forces warring against the truth destroy all hope of the coming Messiah.


my review...


T. L. Higley has done it again! She's taken a group of historical characters and woven a fictional tale that kept me riveted from start to finish. "The Queen's Handmaid" has it all - richly drawn characters, suspense, sweeping drama, a moving plot, all set in a fascinating period of history that gave me a new appreciation for period of time leading up to Christ's birth. As usual, her research is impeccable, and the story is full of interesting details and vivid descriptions that give the story a realistic feel. As I read through the story I found myself having quite the emotional reactions to them, where I either loved them or felt a deep dislike for them, definitely a sign of good writing. And yet even there the author brought a context to the story that gave me a level of sympathy for them, especially for Herod with all of his wicked ways and yet someone who was clearly a damaged soul in his own right. I really enjoyed the overarching story that Higley created for Lydia, including the twists that develop over the course of the plot, providing an ending I did not expect. All in all, this is one of my favourite stories from the author so far, and both my wife and I greatly enjoyed this book.

I award this book a high rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, and eagerly anticipate what Higley has in store for her fans next!

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher and the Litfuse Publicity Group, for the purposes of this unbiased review.



about the author...


Tracy L. Higley
Tracy L. Higley started her first novel at age eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. She has authored many novels, including “Garden of Madness” and “So Shines the Night.” Tracy is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ancient History and has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Italy, researching her novels and falling into adventures. See her travel journals and more at tracyhigley.com.
Find out more about Tracy L. athttp://tracyhigley.com.







 

Check out what other people are saying as part of the Litfuse tour at: http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/the-queens-handmaid-by-tracy-l-higley

Buy the book from Amazon

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Tracy L. Higley is celebrating the release of The Queen's Handmaid with a fun giveaway.

Retailers + Resources gave it this glowing review: "Rich in historic detail, Higley’s vivid writing brings to life the plots and intrigues that swirled through the ancient world as alliances were built and broken on the calculated schemes of power-mad monarchs." 
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  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 19th. Winner will be announced April 21st on Tracy's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Tracy's blog on April 21st to see if you won.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Almost here.... "Heaven is for Real", the movie, releasing April 16, 2014!

Heaven Is For Real

I don't know if you have read the book Heaven is For Real... I certainly have, and I loved it! So I'm super pumped to see the movie based on the book. Make sure you go out and see the movie, releasing this week. Here's a link to the trailer at the official movie site:

http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/heavenisforreal/

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Deeply moving: My review of "The Winner's Game" by Kevin Alan Milne

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about the book....

Ever since seventeen-year-old Ann Bennett was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition two years ago, her family has been pulling apart. Ann and her two younger siblings fight constantly, as do their parents. When the doctors announce that Ann's only hope of survival is a heart transplant by the end of the summer, the Bennetts decide to wait for news of a donor at a family vacation home on the Oregon coast, near Haystack Rock. 

But rather than healing their differences, the time away only widens the rifts between them. That is, until they learn about The Winner's Game, a game their great grandparents invented to save their marriage decades ago. It doesn't work immediately, it takes some time to figure out the right way to play, but little by little things start to change. It seems everything might be okay, until the day tragedy strikes, and they are confronted with what it really means to love--and to be a family.


my review....

Kevin Milne has penned a deeply moving story, one that explores the true meaning of love and family and left me with a strong sense of hope. The characters are beautifully developed, and I enjoyed moving between the different points of views of the different family members. The actions of Cade and Bree left me laughing many a time, while Ann's humanness and struggles and ultimately bravery left me inspired. Just when I thought I'd figured out where the story was headed, the author threw in a twist and things ended up even better than I expected! The idea of "The Winner's Game" is a brilliant one and I'd honestly like to give this concept a try in my own family with my wife and children. Milne does a great job at depicting the struggles any of our marriages can face, and how it can be all too easy for couples to grow emotionally distant and start cracking under the strain of life's challenges. The author doesn't paint an unrealistic picture of a marriage magically being repaired. Rather, he shows how commitment and hard work (albeit rewarding) can pay off to turn things around. In an age where divorce has become the first reaction couples have to stress in their marriage, this book serves as a beautiful reminder that there is another, and better, way.

"The Winner's Game" will not only provide you with a few hours of enjoyable reading, but will remind you of all the blessings family has to offer as well. I strongly recommend this well-written novel, and award it 4 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher for the purposes of this unbiased review.



 about the author....


Kevin Alan Milne

Kevin Milne was born in 1973 in Portland, Oregon. Although Oregon was always considered home, he also spent portions of his childhood in Virginia, Hawaii, and California. In 1991 he graduated from Sherwood High school, followed by undergraduate studies at Brigham Young University, then an MBA from Pennsylvania State University. As an adult he has lived in such varied places as Vermont, New Jersey, Nevada, Austria, and Croatia.

Since beginning his writing career in 2007, Milne's novels have been reproduced in 16 languages worldwide. His first published work, "The Paper Bag Christmas", was converted to a stage play in 2011.

Today, Kevin resides once more in his home town of Sherwood, Oregon. He and his wife, Rebecca, were married in Washington DC in 1995, and are the proud parents of five children.







Thursday, April 10, 2014

A heart-warming tale: My review of "One Lost Sheep" by Rhonda Greene



One of my favourite parables of all time is retold in Greene's latest children's book, the parable of The Lost Sheep from Luke 15. Written in a catchy rhyme, the story faithfully follows Jesus' account of a shepherd who has 100 sheep and loses one of them. The shepherd immediately sets out to find the sheep and upon doing so brings the sheep back to the flock and rejoices with those who are with him, that the sheep that was lost has now been found!

My children absolutely loved "One Lost Sheep", oohing and aahing over the beautiful illustrations that perfectly captured the feel of the story. The rhyme flowed well from the lips of my daughter who is in grade two, who was able to read the book with little assistance. Children of all ages will enjoy the book, and those in grades one and two will enjoy sounding out the words on their own. My kids also loved searching out the details in the pictures (such as spotting the wolf about to prey on the sheep). The story provided an excellent starting point for talking about what Jesus did for us, and about the fact there is greater rejoicing in Heaven over one repentant inner than 99 righteous persons who don't repent. 

If you are looking for a book that will not only entertain your children but provoke some deeper teachable moments as well, then definitely get a copy of "One Lost Sheep". I give this book a solid rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher and the Booklook Blogging program, for the purposes of this unbiased review.



Image of Rhonda Gowler Greene
 RHONDA GOWLER GREENE is the author of over 20 children's books. Her books have received various honors, such as School Library Journal Best Book, American Booksellers "Pick of the List," Children's Book Council Showcase Book, Bank Street College Best Book, International Reading Association Children's Choice Book, Junior Library Guild selection, Michigan Reads One State One Children's Book Award, and also starred reviews.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Win a NEW Spring Wardrobe from @TheQuiltsofLove | “Maybelle in Stitches” Giveaway!

Don’t miss the newest Quilts of Love book, Maybelle in Stitches, by Joyce Magnin. Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it.
Joyce is celebrating the release with a $200 Modcloth giveaway. Enter today for a chance to spruce up your spring wardrobe!
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  One winner will receive:
  • A $200 ModCloth.com gift card
  • Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron
  • A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare
  • Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 19th. Winner will be announced on April 21st on the Quilts of Love blog!

Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER