Friday, February 28, 2014

PRINCESS EVER AFTER $200 “Princess” Giveaway and Facebook Party with @RachelHauck!

Rachel Hauck is celebrating the release of her latest "swoon"-worthy romance,  Princess Ever After, with a fun $200 "Princess" prize package giveaway and a Facebook "Princess" party on March 6th. Grab your tiaras and RSVP today!

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  One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa cash card (buy your very own "princess ever after" gown or tanks of gas for your "royal" ride)
  • Princess Ever After, Once Upon a Prince, and The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 6th. Winner will be announced at Rachel's "Princess" Facebook Party on March 6th. Connect with Rachel for an evening of "royal" book chat, princess-themed trivia, laughter, prizes, and an exclusive look at the next book in the Royal Wedding series!

So grab your copy of Princess Ever After and join Rachel and friends on the evening of March 6th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 6th!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Another winner! My review of "Storming the Black Ice" by Don Brown




Deep under the icy tundra of Antarctica, black gold awaits discovery and exploitation. Knowing that the nations that control that oil will have access to the world's largest oil reserves, Britain and Chili form a top secret alliance to harvest the oil. However, their plans are thwarted when the Argentinians attack the British outpost on Antarctica. Soon, Britain and Chile find themselves at war with Argentina and enemy allies Venezuela and Russia. Pete Miranda, an America sub-commander on assignment to Chile's navy, soon finds himself in a dangerous game of cat and mouse, with the fate of nations at risk.

Dan Brown's third installment of the "Pacific Rim" Series is a riveting read, full of explosive scenes and nail-biting tension. He presents a "what-if" scenario that seems entirely too plausible of a case for plunging the nations of the world into war. I really enjoyed the characters in this book, from good to bad, and thought that Brown put just enough depth into his characterization without slowing the plot down. Pete is quite the character indeed, having me smiling one moment and gripping the pages the next as he battled for his very survival. I did find that some of the "in-between" action scenes contained a lot of detail that, while interesting, did slow things down a bit. But overall the intense, intriguing plot left me feeling like I was reading a story ripped from the headlines, and I simply couldn't put it down. I also loved the focus in this book on prayer and the power to absolutely change our reality and for God to intervene in a real, tangible way. I liked the following quote from one mysterious character, which states "No matter what storms we are facing, God will lead us through and provide comfort". That is a great truth!

"Storming the Black Ice" is another winner, and I am positive that fans of Don Brown's prior novels are going to enjoy this well-written book. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher via the BookLook Bloggers program, for the purposes of this unbiased review.



about the author...


Don     BrownDon Brown is the author of Malacca Conspiracy, The Navy Justice Series and Black Sea Affair, a submarine thriller that predicted the 2008 shooting war between Russia and Georgia. Don served five years in the U.S. Navy as an officer in the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps, which gave him an exceptional vantage point into both the Navy and the inner workings of 'inside-the-beltway' as an action officer assigned to the pentagon. He left active duty in 1992 to pursue private practice, but remained on inactive status through 1999, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He and his family live in North Carolina, where he pursues his passion for penning novels about the Navy.





Buy the Book


Dating, Dining & Desperation by Melody Carlson



Check out a preview of Melody Carlson's latest book, courtesy of the publisher and CFBA. I haven't had a chance to read it myself, but it looks like a fun read!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dating, Dining, and Desperation
B&H Books (March 1, 2014)
by
Melody Carlson


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Daphne Ballinger has learned to accept her deceased, eccentric aunt’s strange request that she marry in order to inherit her estate, along with taking over her aunt’s hometown paper’s advice column. But knowing and accepting that God’s will be done becomes harder when a new neighbor, a divorced socialite, learns of Daphne’s predicament and takes on the task of finding her the perfect man, even if it includes speed dating. When God does open Daphne’s heart, it is instead to take in a young girl left parentless and in the care of her dying grandmother. It may be a temporary arrangement until the girl’s uncle returns from the Marines, but God uses Daphne to speak His heavenly love and protection into the life of the child -- whom Daphne soon discovers has a very handsome and single uncle.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dating, Dining, and Desperation, go HERE.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kindle Fire Giveaway & Facebook Party: Check out Terri Blackstock's "Distortion"

Don't miss Terri Blackstock's latest release in the Moonlighters series, Distortion.


Stay tuned for my review, coming soon, and be sure to check out other people's reviews at Litfuse here.

The book releases March 11th, and Terri will be kicking off the release with a fun Facebook Distortion party and giving away a Kindle Fire HDX. PLUS readers can pre-order the ebook for just $4.99 between now and 3/11 everywhere ebooks are sold.

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One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • Distortion and Truth Stained Lies by Terri Blackstock
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 11th. Winner will be announced at the Distortion Facebook Party on March 11th. Connect with Terri for a "suspenseful" book launch party with prizes, a book chat, and more.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN on the event page. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 11th!

.....

Stay tuned

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Ether: Vero Rising by Laurice E. Molinari



Check out a preview and my review of "The Ether: Vero Rising", courtesy of the publisher and CFBA:

........

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Ether: Vero Rising
Zonderkidz (February 4, 2014)
by
Laurice E. Molinari


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Laurice Elehwany Molinari, a veteran film and TV writer in Hollywood for over two decades, has penned over thirty scripts for various studios and networks. Her very first feature script, written while a fellow at the American Film Institute, became Columbia Picture’s critically acclaimed children’s classic, My Girl. She went on to pen The Brady Bunch Movie and The Amazing Panda Adventure. Laurice lives with her husband and two children in Los Angeles, the City of Angels, where her lifelong love for our heavenly guardians inspired her to write a book about them in the ETHER series.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Fiercest of Warriors? Vero Leland always suspected he was different from others his own age, ever since his childhood attempts to fly. But he never could have predicted the truth---or how much his life was about to change. Soon after his twelfth birthday, Vero learns he is a guardian angel and is abruptly transported to the Ether, the spiritual realm that surrounds the earth. Yet before he can be counted among these fierce warriors, Vero must learn to master his growing powers, competing with other angels-in- training and battling demonic creatures known as maltures as well as mythical creatures such as the leviathan. Until his instruction is complete, Vero needs to alternate between the Ether and his regular life. If he survives training and accepts his destiny---a destiny he did not choose---he must leave everything behind, including his family and the life he loves. Meanwhile, an evil is growing---the maltures are rising, and Vero appears to be their target.

Enjoy the book trailer:

If you'd like to read the first chapter of The Ether: Vero Rising, go HERE.




.........


my review.....


To be added once I receive the book in the mail... :)


Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, for the purposes of this unbiased review.






Saturday, February 22, 2014

Win a Kindle HDX & read an excellent debut novel! My review of "Friend Me" by John Faubion


Enter to win a Kindle HDX
and check out my review of John Faubion's debut novel below:


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about the book...


“You’re afraid you are becoming unfaithful, aren’t you?” 

Scott and Rachel’s marriage is on the brink of disaster. Scott, a businessman with a high-pressure job, just wants Rachel to understand him and accept his flaws. Rachel is a lonely housewife, desperate for attention and friendship. So she decides to create a virtual friend online, unaware that Scott is doing the exact same thing. But neither realizes that there’s a much larger problem looming....

Behind both of their online creations is Melissa, a woman who is brilliant— and totally insane. Masquerading as both friend and lover, Melissa programmed a search parameter into the Virtual Friend Me software to find her perfect man, but along the way she forgot to specify his marriage status. And Scott is her ideal match. Now Melissa is determined to have it all—Scott, his family, and Rachel’s life.

As Melissa grows bolder and her online manipulations transition into the real world, Scott and Rachel figure out they are being played. Now it’s a race against time as Scott and Rachel fight to save their marriage, and their lives, before it’s too late.

my review...

Expect to find your heart racing as you dive into "Friend Me", a novel that will have you on the edge of your seat as you encounter a frightening, all-too-plausible scenario. What if your virtual friend and lover became your enemy, in the flesh? John Faubion has taken a fascinating concept with the "Virtual Friend Me" software, and spun it into an absorbing tale. The villain is deliciously creepy, and yet you can't help but sympathize with Melissa at the same time, as you learn of her past and her desperate desire for someone to simply love her. I not only thought that the underlying premise of this novel was a unique one, but that it was a brilliant way to explore the challenges that can exist in our marriages, as couples can so easily grow apart. I actually encourage couples to both read this book, not only for some great entertainment, but as a starting place to examine the state of their own marriage, and discuss the risks of the internet, whether the risk of spending so much time online your marriage is ignored, to discussing internet pornography or other dangers that lurk online. Faubion examines similar issues in a manner that makes for absorbing reading, while providing a beautiful portrayal of forgiveness and a clear look at what it means to follow God. My only criticism of the book is that I didn't find it realistic that the police would not play a more active role in the scenes that led up to the climax of the novel. However, I was willing to suspend a bit of my belief in order to follow the story where it would lead me. From start to finish, this is quite a ride!

I am greatly impressed by this debut novel, and award it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster) and the Litfuse Publicity Group, for the purposes of this unbiased review.


about the author...


John Faubion
John Faubion has spent many years in Asia as a missionary with his family. Since returning to the United States, John has worked as a senior software developer for a large appliance chain. He teaches an adult Sunday school class and enjoys writing and driving his 1949 Packard automobile. John lives near Indianapolis with his wife, Beth, and their daughter.









 

Check out what other people are saying as part of the Litfuse tour at: http://litfusegroup.com/author/JFaubion

Buy the book from Amazon

John Faubion is celebrating his debut novel, Friend Me, with a Kindle HDX giveaway!
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One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • Friend Me by John Faubion
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 22nd. Winner will be announced February 24th on John Faubion's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by John's blog on the 24th to see if you won.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chat with Janette Oke and enter to win an iPad Mini!

Janette Oke's newest book, Where Courage Calls (co-written with her daughter, Laurel Oke Logan), is receiving rave reviews. It is the companion story to Hallmark Channel's TV series When Calls the Heart, set in the Canadian west.

Janette and Laurel are celebrating with an iPad Mini giveaway and a Facebook author chat party on March 4th.
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One winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 4th. Winner will be announced at the Where Courage Calls Facebook Party on March 4th. Connect with Janette and Laurel for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more!

So grab your copy of Where Courage Calls and join Janette and Laurel on the evening of March 4th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN on the event page. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sure to become a favourite! My review of "Whatever You Grow Up to Be" by Karen Kingsbury




"Ten little toes right from the start

make footprints on your mommy's heart!"

Author Karen Kingsbury and Illustrator Valeria Docampo team up again with their latest collaboration, "Whatever You Grow Up to Be". The story captures the journey from boyhood to manhood and all of the memorable moments in between. From playing in the mud to pretending to be a fireman, to heading off to college or becoming a father, this story celebrates all the possibilities that a mother can envision for her son as he grows up.

My children were super excited to see another book from Kingsbury and Docampo, immediately recognizing the signature illustrating style of the book from prior reads. They were soon captivated by the beautiful pictures and the catchy rhyme that the story is written in. Kingsbury adds her signature excellent writing style to the book, and she perfectly captures the highlights of a typical boys' childhood experiences. I loved all the scripture that accompanies the pages and different stages that the boy is found in, and felt they fit in well with the theme of that page. The story provides an excellent opportunity for your own son to envision the fun times he will have growing up, but also the responsibility he will grow into as he graduates and moves on to a career and starts a family of his own. In a world where godly, responsible men seem to be becoming a rare commodity, this book and others like it can play a pivotal role in calling out boys towards true masculinity. The book celebrates all that God has in store for boys, all the dreams that they can pursue, and as such is a joyful book that will inspire children to envision a bright future!

I and my children greatly enjoyed this latest treasure from Kingsbury, and award it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher via the BookLook Bloggers Program.



About the author and illustrator...


Image of Karen Kingsbury New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America’s favorite inspirational novelist, with over 20 million books in print. Her Life-Changing Fiction™ has produced multiple bestsellers, including Unlocked, Leaving, Take One, Between Sundays, Even Now, One Tuesday Morning, Beyond Tuesday Morning, and Ever After, which was named the 2007 Christian Book of the Year. An award-winning author and newly published songwriter, Karen has several movies optioned for production, and her novel Like Dandelion Dust was made into a major motion picture and is now available on DVD. Karen is also a nationally known speaker with several women’s groups including Women of Faith. She lives in Tennessee with her husband, Don, and their five sons, three of whom are adopted from Haiti. Their daughter Kelsey is married to Christian artist Kyle Kupecky.



Valeria began to draw driven by the desire to capture the poetry of everyday things: the children and dogs' glance, the shape of the plants, the sound of the autumn dry leaves and the aroma of breakfast.  Since 2006 she has been dedicated to children book's illustration.
She is represented by the agency MB Artist in New York. She illustrates for publishers from 5 continents.






Buy the book

Friday, February 14, 2014

A fine debut indeed! My review of "Shadows of the Past" by Patricia Bradley

Cover Art


about the book....


While she's stalking the truth . . . someone is stalking her.Psychology professor and criminal profiler Taylor Martin prides herself on being able to solve any crime, except the one she wants most desperately to solve--the disappearance of her father twenty years ago. When she finally has a lead on his whereabouts, Taylor returns home to Logan Point, Mississippi, to investigate. But as she works to uncover the truth, someone else will do almost anything to keep her from it.

Nick Sinclair pens mystery novels for a living, but the biggest mystery to him is how he can ever get over the death of his wife--a tragedy he believes he could have prevented. Now that his estranged brother is the only family he has left, Nick sets out to find him. But when he crosses paths with Taylor, all he seems to find is trouble.

Join the chase as Taylor and Nick search the murky shadows of the past for the keys to unlocking the present--and moving into a future they never imagined.




my review....

Debut author Patricia Bradley has penned a suspenseful read with her novel "Shadows of the Past", a book that contains enough twists and turns to satisfy the most voracious reader of romantic suspense novels. Her characters are well-developed and likeable, with plenty of humanness woven in them that makes them believable as they struggle with things we all do. I enjoyed the romantic tension between Nick and Taylor, and also the sub-plots involving their relationships with their various family members, particularly between Nick and his estranged brother. I did find some sections of the book to be slower than others, where there would be really exciting moments followed by some that dragged a bit. However, I thought the end fairly sizzled along and readers will certainly enjoy the ride! I also loved Taylor's role as a criminal profiler, a job that utterly fascinates me, and I thought the author did an excellent job at capturing the realities of what it would be like to do Taylor's work. Bradley also does a fine job at speaking to her character's faith, demonstrating the difference God makes in our lives without coming across as preachy.

I am intrigued to see where Bradley takes her characters next in the series. I strongly recommend this book and this debut author, and award 4 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



 about the author....


Patricia Bradley

Patricia Bradley's manuscript for Shadows of the Past was a finalist for the 2012 Genesis Award, winner of a 2012 Daphne du Maurier award (1st place, Inspirational), and winner of a 2012 Touched by Love award (1st place, Contemporary). She is a published short story writer and is cofounder of Aiming for Healthy Families, Inc. When she's not writing or speaking, she can be found making beautiful clay pots and jewelry. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America and makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at www.ptbradley.com.







Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A truly fascinating book: My review of "Wildwood Creek" by Lisa Wingate

Cover Art


about the book....


With love and loss tangled together, how was she to know where her life would lead?
Allie Kirkland has always heard the call of her father's unfinished destiny. When she's offered a production assistant's job on a docudrama filming in the hills near Moses Lake, Texas, the dream of following in her director-father's footsteps suddenly seems within reach. The reenactment of the legendary frontier settlement of Wildwood is a first step into the film industry. A summer on set in the wilderness is a small price to pay for a dream. 

But in 1861, the real Wildwood held dangerous realities. Town founder Harland Delavan held helpless residents, including young Irish schoolteacher Bonnie Rose, in an iron grip. Mysterious disappearances led to myths and legends still retold in the region's folk songs. Eventually, the entire site was found abandoned.

When filming begins, strange connections surface between Allie and the teacher who disappeared over a century ago, and everyone in Wildwood--including Blake Fulton, Allie's handsome neighbor on the film set--seems to be hiding secrets. Allie doesn't know whom she can trust. If she can't find the answers in time, history may repeat itself...with the most unthinkable results.



my review....

"Wildwood Creek" is a fantastic read, a truly fascinating blend of contemporary and historical characters, joined together by a sense of foreboding that makes for addictive reading. Wingate's characters have been clothed in flesh and brought to life under her skilled pen, and I found them to be believable and unique. Allie is instantly likeable as she seeks to forge her own path through life, even at the risk of alienating her family back home. I found that her involvement in the film industry made for an interesting context. I also loved the character of Bonnie Rose, struggling to survive in 1861 after she and her sister have suffered so horribly and continue to face injustice. Both of the plots of these character's stories, on their own, made for entertaining reading. Yet Wingate does an excellent job at weaving these two stories together, and showing how evil can manifest in different times and places and people, but still look so similar, can be twisted and selfish, proving there is nothing new under the sun. Wingate does a wonderful job at bringing different settings and locations to life, with great descriptions and lively scenes. She infuses just the right tough of romance into the stories, and both male and female readers are likely to enjoy this story. And I dare you to read the ending and not be left with a smile on your face!

I highly recommend this latest book from the talented author, and award it 5 out of 5 stars. I think this is my favourite book so far from Lisa Wingate, and I look forward to what's to come next!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



 about the author....


Lisa Wingate

Lisa Wingate is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books, including Tending Roses, Talk of the Town, Blue Moon Bay, andLarkspur Cove, which won the 2011 Carol Award for Women's Fiction. Lisa and her family live in central Texas. Visit www.lisawingate.com







Sunday, February 9, 2014

Introducing "Once Upon a Heart" by Melody Carlson (CFBA)






Although I haven't read Once Upon a Winter's Heart, I know that Melody Carlson is sure to provide a solid read! Check out more info about the book below:


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Once Upon a Winter's Heart
Center Street (January 7, 2014)
by
Melody Carlson


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Emma Burcelli has suffered over a decade of dating disasters. But she concludes that love is officially dead when her grandfather Poppi suddenly passes, leaving her grandmother Nona devastated. To help out, Emma works in the family bookstore, which Nona insists must be decked out in sweetheart d├ęcor as Poppi would have done for Valentine's Day. Although she feels like a V-Day Scrooge, Emma quickly learns to enjoy the task with the help of a handsome family friend, Lane Forester, who shows her that hanging hearts is much more fun when done to the tune of Dean Martin. As Emma and Lane share time and memories of Poppi, she reconsiders the notion that romance is alive.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Once Upon a Winter's Heart, go HERE.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Shootfire! She made me cry AGAIN! My review of "The Calling" by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Cover Art


about the book....

Bethany's restless heart is searching for answers--in life and in love

Bethany Schrock's love life has derailed, her faith hangs by a thread, and she is spending hot summer days wading through a lifetime of accumulation at the home of five elderly Amish sisters. She's not sure what she wants out of life, but she knows that she's not finding it in Stoney Ridge. 

Then a new guest at the Inn at Eagle Hill ropes her into volunteering in a community project for down-and-outers. Reluctant at first, Bethany starts to feel a bit of joy and satisfaction again. But not so much that Jimmy Fisher, adorable and impossible, can woo her affections with his winks and tricks. Well, maybe a little.

When a figure from her past reenters her life, Bethany must decide: What does the past mean to her future?

Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher delivers her trademark twists, turns, and tender romance in this delightful and exciting visit to the quiet community of Stoney Ridge.




my review....

I realize that, as a male reader, I am likely not the intended target for the genre of "contemporary Amish romance" that Suzanne Woods Fisher's novels fit within. However, I freely admit that I am addicted to Fisher's writing, and so I simply couldn't stay away from "The Calling". I was hooked from the first couple pages, and couldn't put the book down for a moment!  This time round, we get to reunite with the wonderful characters we were introduced to in "The Letters", with a focus on the gutsy Bethany Schrock and her often hilarious relationship with Jimmy Fisher (a favourite character of mine from a prior series). As with previous books from Fisher, the characters are beautifully developed, and you soon feel like you are becoming reacquainted with friends. There were many moments I chuckled to myself or laughed out loud, and as Bethany is so fond of saying, "SHOOTFIRE!" if I didn't even cry at one scene! That's not the first time Fisher's books have moved me to tears, and it probably won't be the last. Although there are many light-hearted moments sprinkled in the pages, there are also poignant scenes of forgiveness and unconditional love. I love what the youth pastor Geena has to say to Bethany midway through the book about forgiveness, where she says "Sometimes...we have to make decided efforts to let go of the past. Not so that we pretend hard things didn't happen, but so that the power of hard things is lessened". That is a message so many people need to hear!

I give this book my highest rating of 5 out of 5 stars, and eagerly anticipate July 2014 when Book 3 in "The Inn at Eagle Hill" series is released, entitled "The Revealing". If it is anything like the first two books in the series, it is going to be a wonderful book indeed.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



 about the author....

Suzanne Woods Fisher
Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Letters, The Calling, the Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of an Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner for The Search, a Carol Award finalist for The Choice, and a Christy Award finalist for The Waiting. She is also a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and connect with Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.








Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Action-packed and full of truth: My review of "Outcasts" by Jill Williamson

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Picking up a few weeks after where "Captives" left off, the second book of the "Safe Lands" series continues the story of the villagers of Glenrock who were captured and taken to the Safe Lands. The three brothers Mason, Levi, and Omar, continue their fight for freedom, with Omar seeking to redeem himself for his past actions, Mason trying to find a cure for the disease that is slowly killing the population, and Levi learning to lead his people. In the midst of their struggles, they must discern who they can trust as they try to free their people, and simply stay alive!

"Outcasts" is a thrilling read, filled with the same non-stop action that characterized the first book, and so providing a truly entertaining read. There are many pulse-pounding scenes from the get-go, and I simply couldn't put the book down. Readers are quickly thrown back into the world of the Safe Lands, a world that seems foreign due to its futuristic overtones, but one that is also eerily similar to our own world today. Williamson continues to explore mature subject mature such as the use of addictive substances, forced pregnancy, and sex outside of marriage, but wonderfully balances these with Christian truths and values. The backdrop of the lack of morality among the people of the Safe Lands makes it all the more apparent why God, as our Father, seeks to protect us from a lack of morals, for such actions truly do lead to death, as portrayed in this book. I found Outcasts to be as good of a read as the first book in the series, and continue to believe that Williamson is one of the strongest voices in teen Christian fiction today. 

I give this book a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, and highly recommend both Outcasts and the whole series for teen audiences but also adults who enjoy such fiction as well. 

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


Image of Jill Williamson
 Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms and the award-winning author of several young adult books including the Blood of Kings trilogy, Replication, the Mission League series, and the Safe Lands trilogy. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two children and a whole lot of deer. Visit her online at www.jillwilliamson.com, where adventure comes to life.



John Faubion’s FRIEND ME Kindle HDX Giveaway!

John Faubion is celebrating his debut novel, Friend Me, with a Kindle HDX giveaway!
friendme-400

One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • Friend Me by John Faubion
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 22nd. Winner will be announced February 24th on John Faubion's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by John's blog on the 24th to see if you won.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Teen girls will love it! "Destination Unknown" by Amy Clipston

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about the book....


It's senior year, and Whitney Richards is tired of the constant pressures to be perfect. When she gets a D in Calculus, her mother immediately hires a tutor, worried Whitney won't get into the 'right' college---her alma mater---with imperfect grades. Her tutor, Taylor, is a quiet, mysterious boy who is unlike anyone Whitney has met before. But Taylor's rougher upbringing has her mother and friends discouraging any type of relationship. 

Tired of having to play a part for everyone else, Whitney quits the cheerleading squad that once defined her social identity, and begins spending more time with Taylor. Her mom and friends worry Whitney is making a huge mistake, and even Taylor begins to show concern for some of her choices. But for the first time, Whitney is in the driver's seat of her life. Will she be able to find her identity---and God's plan for her life---before she throws everything away?

my review....

Teen girls are going to love getting their hands on a copy of "Destination Unknown", the latest release from popular author Amy Clipston. The novel moves at a brisk pace, featuring a character who struggles with everyday things that all girls will be able to relate to. Mother-teen conflict, bullying, prejudice, uncertainty about the future - this book has a little bit of everything, and as such there is plenty of drama to hold a reader's interest from beginning to end. Some of the introspection that Whitney experienced at times seemed a tad mature for a girl her age to actually be thinking, but then never having been a teen girl myself it is entirely possible that female youths truly have such deep thoughts and insight into their own behaviour! I really enjoyed how Whitney spends time praying in the story, working through her confusions and struggles with God at her side. Whitney's stand for what is right is absolutely admirable, and I liked that she isn't perfect, but struggles with lying and the consequences that follow. By the end of the book I couldn't help but feel like cheering for Whitney as she is faithful to what God expects of her, and also owns up to her mistakes. As such, there are important life truths contained in this story, resulting in a book that will not only entertain girls on the cusp of adulthood, but have them thinking about their own actions as well.

I strongly recommend this book for teen girls, and award it a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

A review copy was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.



 about the author....



Amy ClipstonAmy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction writing "career" began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series with Zondervan, which is part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. An advocate for organ and blood donation, Amy donated a kidney in 2011 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Through her donation, her husband received a second kidney transplant. Amy and her husband matched another couple and swapped kidneys with them. Amy's memoir, A Gift of Love, will be available in early 2014. She hopes her story inspires others to become organ and blood donors. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats. You can find her on the web at www.AmyClipston.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks.





Find out more about the book on the publisher website:   http://www.zondervan.com/destination-unknown.html