Saturday, November 30, 2013

Critical Reaction by Todd M. Johnson

Cover Art

About the book: 

After turning out plutonium for the Cold War, the shuttered Hanford Nuclear Facility's poisoned buildings still pose a risk to the surrounding community. The men who guard the facility are told the dangers are under control, but then the worst happens--a thunderous explosion in the dead of night.

Kieran Mullaney survives the blast, but his attempts to discover what really happened are met with silence and threats. Convinced that Hanford is hiding something, Kieran reconnects with his old friend, lawyer Emily Hart, and enlists her help in finding out the truth. But the deeper the two of them dig, the stranger--and more dangerous--this case gets.


My review: 

This was an interesting story and I liked learning more about plutonium and the nuclear industry, but I had a hard time sticking with it.  I'm not as interested in the legal aspects, so that might be why I had a harder time with this story.  It was told more from the perspective of Emily's father than Kieran or Emily and I couldn't identify with him very much.  I wished for more suspense, more of an emotional connection to the characters, and more development to the romance.  There also wasn't much to the spiritual aspect other than the mention of praying.  It was well-written; I just wished for more in the plot.  I am interested in checking out his first book, which got good reviews.  

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Todd M. Johnson has practiced as an attorney for over 30 years, specializing as a trial lawyer. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Minnesota Law School, he also taught for two years as adjunct professor of International Law and served as a US diplomat in Hong Kong. He lives outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife and daughter. Visit his website at www.authortoddjohnson.com.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Free Kindle Books!

Free short story pre-order for kindle in the Culper Ring series!

Amazon

Free for kindle!
Amazon
Free for kindle!
Amazon


A Simple Christmas Wish by Melody Carlson

Cover Art

About the book: One girl in need of a home. One woman in search of a home for her heart. One Christmas where it all seems possible.

It felt strange to be out here in the middle of the night, still wearing the Amish dress--a dress that had belonged to Miri. Rachel's footsteps crunched in the snow, and halfway between the barn and the house, she paused to look up at the night sky, wondering if more snow was in store, but all she saw was velvety black and stars. Millions of twinkling stars. She had never seen stars like that before, so bright and so close, almost as if she could touch them with her hand.


Rachel Milligan never imagined that she and her seven-year-old niece would spend the week before Christmas on a quaint Amish farm in Ohio. But with so many unexpected occurrences of late, perhaps she shouldn't have been surprised.

With her young niece Holly in tow, Rachel anxiously makes her way from Chicago to Ohio's Amish country. As love begins to blossom, family secrets emerge, and old wounds are healed, Rachel realizes that she will do whatever it takes to ensure that Holly has the loving family she needs.

Join bestselling author Melody Carlson on an emotional journey into the heart of what family truly means at Christmastime.

My review:  I really enjoyed this bittersweet story.  While there is sadness at the beginning, it ends happily, which I like in a Christmas story!  Holly, the little girl, is very cute and really makes you get into the spirit of Christmas.  I liked Rachel a lot, too, especially for how much she loved her niece and was willing to sacrifice for her.  I liked the hint of romance and the English meets Amish lifestyle was fascinating to see as Rachel and Holly knew nothing of that life.  This is a story that will leave you smiling.  Check it out if you like Christmas, Amish, or just a sweet story.

I received this book free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.

Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Christmas at Harmony Hill- A Shaker Story - by Ann H. Gabhart

Cover Art

About the book: She stared up at the Shaker buildings. They took in those in need. That was why she was riding into their village. But she couldn't stay here. Not forever. They divided families. She'd heard her grandmother speak harshly of the way Shakers didn't believe in marriage and had special houses where children were kept from their parents.

Heather put a hand over the swell of her baby inside her. Surely they wouldn't take a newborn from his mother's bosom. Heather's mother couldn't have imagined that happening or she'd have never told her to come . . .



A stirring story of healing, hope, and home at Christmas
It is 1864 and the nation is torn apart by civil war when Heather Worth discovers she is with child. With her husband at the front and nowhere else to turn, she seeks refuge in the Shaker village of Harmony Hill. Amid the tumult of the times, Heather yearns for the peace she sees in this strange community. But can this longing really be fulfilled amid these people with their peculiar beliefs about family?

As Christmas approaches, the joy of new life and the love that is born of forgiveness may hold the answer.

Join bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart for a peek into the world of the Shakers--and the world of the human heart.

My review: This was an interesting, well-written story set during the Civil War that takes place in a community I wasn't very familiar with.  I liked Heather and her courage and strength to do what needs to be done and to protect her baby.  She goes to her great-aunt in the Shaker village and I liked seeing her perspective on having lived there for so many years, but also starting to question her place there.  I learned a lot about Shaker beliefs and I have a hard time understanding how people thought this was the way to God.  I don't like unnecessary rules and restrictions, so I felt frustrated with those and some of the people's attitudes in the community.  The discussions between Heather, a Christian, and her great-aunt were interesting and respectful of each other, and I liked the ending, but was also disappointed in part of it.  I would recommend it if you like Amish, historical, or Christmas stories.

I received this book free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.

Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review of Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay | Favorite Austen Moments KINDLE HDX Giveaway, Pinterest Contest and Facebook Party Dec 3rd!

About the book: Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others-namely her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story-by giving that story to a complete stranger.
Growing up orphaned and alone, Sam found her best friends in the works of Austen, Dickens, and the Brontë sisters. The problem is that she now relates to others more comfortably as Elizabeth Bennet and Jane Eyre than as herself.

Sometimes we lose ourselves in the things we care about most.
But life for this twenty-three-year-old is about to get stranger than fiction, when an anonymous benefactor (calling himself "Mr. Knightley") offers to put Sam through the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

As Sam's program and peers force her to confront her past, she finds safety in her increasingly personal letters to Mr. Knightley. And when Sam meets eligible, best-selling novelist Alex Powell, those letters unfold a story of love and literature that feels as if it's pulled from her favorite books. But when secrets come to light, Sam is --- once again --- made painfully aware of how easily trust can be broken.

Reay's debut novel follows one young woman's journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.

My review: I really enjoyed this wonderful story that puts a fun spin on Jane Austen and other beloved classics.  With plenty of quotes and some similar plot twists, I loved the reminders of books I've enjoyed.  I loved Sam and felt for her awkwardness and fear over being hurt and vulnerable.  Though I in no way had a horrible childhood like her, I could relate to her escaping to books and finding friends there.  I loved watching her grow in so many ways and cheering her on to succeed.  I'm not a huge fan of the diary format because I like to get other characters' perspectives, too, but it was an effective way to really get inside Sam's head.  There's a sweet romance and I liked the twist at the end, though it wasn't a complete surprise.  What makes this book even more amazing is that it's from a debut author!  I can't wait to read what she writes next.  Make sure to grab this book!

I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

More Reviews at Litfuse!


Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/qDEkp

Meet the author: Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked as a marketer for Proctor & Gamble and Sears before returning to school to earn her MTS. Her works have been published in "Focus on the Family" and the "Upper Room." Katherine currently lives with her husband and three children in Seattle. "Dear Mr. Knightley" is her first novel.

Learn more about Katherine at: http://katherinereay.com/


Debut author Katherine Reay is celebrating the release of her delightful novel, Dear Mr. Knightley, with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway, a fun Favorite Austen Moments Pinterest contest, and an Austen-themed Facebook Party.
dearmrknightley-400

  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
  • Handmade Austen-themed items (scarf, mug, bracelet, and necklace) 
Two ways to win! Enter today by clicking one of the icons below or participating in the Pinterest contest (see banner below)—or BOTH! 

But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 3rd. Winner will be announced at the "Dear Mr. Knightley" Austen-themed Facebook Author Chat Party on the 3rd. Join Katherine (and Austen fans) for an evening of book chat, prizes, and an exclusive look at Katherine's next book.

So grab your copy of  Dear Mr. Knightley and join Katherine on the evening of December 3rd 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 at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST. Hope to see you on the 3rd!


Monday, November 25, 2013

Review of Stones for Bread & KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway from Christa Parrish! Pin It & Win It!


About the book: A solitary artisan. A legacy of bread-baking. And one secret that could collapse her entire identity.

Liesl McNamara's life can be described in one word: bread. From her earliest memory, her mother and grandmother passed down the mystery of baking and the importance of this deceptively simple food. And now, as the owner of Wild Rise bake house, Liesl spends every day up to her elbows in dough, nourishing and perfecting her craft.

But the simple life she has cultivated is becoming quite complicated. Her head baker brings his troubled grandson into the bakeshop as an apprentice. Her waitress submits her recipes to a popular cable cooking show. And the man who delivers her flour --- a single father with strange culinary 
habits --- seems determined to win Liesl's affection.

When Wild Rise is featured on television, her quiet existence appears a thing of the past. And then a phone call from a woman claiming to be her half-sister forces Liesl to confront long-hidden secrets in her family's past. With her precious heritage crumbling around her, the baker must make a choice: allow herself to be buried in detachment and remorse, or take a leap of faith into a new life.

My review: This is a unique and fascinating story that I didn't want to put down!  I felt I could relate to Liesl in her penchant for being alone, her struggle to draw closer to God and push Him away at the same time, and her love of bread though there's no way I'd have the patience for the whole process that she does! Mainly, I just love eating it!  I loved how the story moved back and forth in time, from her memories as a child of happy times and very dark times to her life now and how her life has been shaped by earlier events.  The other quirky characters that work for her really added to the story in showing her things she needs to see and pulling her out of her shell.  I couldn't help but smile at the little girl's antics and how great her father was with her.  There are even recipes scattered throughout for people who want to try their hand at them.  There was also interesting background on the history of bread.  The poetic quality to the writing along with the reflections on Jesus being the Bread of Life give the story almost a devotional and literary feel sometimes.  I highly recommend it!

I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.


Purchase your copy: http://ow.ly/qPvoG

Meet the author: Christa Parrish is the award-winning author of three novels, including the 2009 ECPA Fiction Book of the Year Watch Over Me. When she's not writing, she's a homeschool mother of three wonderful children. Married to author and pastor Chris Coppernoll, Christa serves with him as co-leader of their church's youth ministry as well as serving as a facilitator for a divorce recovery ministry. She is now also slightly obsessed with the art of baking bread.

Learn more about Christa at: http://christaparrish.com


Christa Parrish is celebrating her fourth novel, Stones for Breadwith a KitchenAid Mixer giveaway.
#StonesforBread KitchenAid Mixer Contest #ChristaParrish http://bit.ly/1aBTNz9

Easy steps to enter:

1. Follow Christa Parrish and TNZ Fiction on Pinterest.

2. Then Pin the Stones for Bread book cover (below), the contest graphic (above), or both, and link to this post (using this URL: #StonesforBread KitchenAid Mixer Contest #ChristaParrish http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/stones-for-bread-by-christa-parrish).

3. Then fill out THIS SHORT FORM to let us know. (There are also some additional ways to earn extra entries, as well as an option for non-Pinterest users. It's true—people like that do exist!)

Questions? Email info @ litfusegroup dot com.

Winner will be announced on 12/9 on Christa's Facebook Page.


The Christmas Quilt - Quilts of Love - by Vannetta Chapman - KINDLE FIRE HDX Giveaway & “Christmas Bee” Facebook Party 12/10!

About the book: Annie's life is deliciously full as the Christmas season approaches. She helps her husband, Samuel, attend to the community's minor medical needs. She occasionally assists Belinda, the local midwife, and most days, she finds herself delivering the buggy to her brother Adam. Annie's sister-in-law Leah is due to deliver their first child before Christmas morning, and Annie is determined to finish a crib quilt before the boppli arrives. With six weeks to go, she should have no problem . . . but God may have a different plan. Leah is rushed to the English hospital when the infant arrives early, and Annie discovers the Christmas quilt may hold a far greater significance than she ever imagined.

My review: I enjoyed this cozy story about two Amish women who go through a difficult season together, but come through stronger in their faith because of it.  Hard times cause us to really focus on what matters and I liked how Leah and her husband realized how they had drifted apart.   Even though this seems to be a stand-alone, it felt like there might have been a previous story about Annie and when she met her husband.  However, each of the Quilts of Love books are meant to be read on their own.  I thought it was fascinating how Leah and Annie told stories as they finished the quilt and the meaning they held.  I love the sense of community I've seen in most Amish stories and that is very evident in this one.  Be sure to add this story to your Christmas line-up!


I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

More Reviews at Litfuse!

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/qKnYD

Meet the author: Vannetta Chapman has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather's birthplace in Albion, Pennsylvania. Chapman lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.

Find out more at: http://www.quiltsoflovebooks.com



In honor of their new Quilts of Love releases, The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose, authors Vannetta Chapman and Lisa Carter are gearing up to ring in the Christmas season with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th with fellow Quilts of Love author Lynette Sowell!
qol-400

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman
  • Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. Winner will be announced at the "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th. Connect with the authors from the Quilts of Love series, Vannetta Chapman, Lisa Carter, and Lynette Sowell, for an evening of book chat, quilt trivia, Christmas traditions and gifts, PLUS get an exclusive look at January's Quilts of Love book!

So grab your copies of The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose and join Vannetta, Lisa, and Lynette on the evening of December 10th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the books, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on December 10th!



Sunday, November 24, 2013

Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church by James Stuart Bell with Patrick J. Kelly

About the book: 
  In simple, updated language, Awakening Faith by James Stuart Bell provides a year of inspiring readings drawn from the earliest teachers and writers of the church—the Church Fathers. In every reflection you will be refreshed by deep wells of wisdom and spiritual insight.
My review: 
This is an insightful and inspiring devotional with hundreds of years of wisdom from church fathers.  It was interesting to learn about more of our church history and to read their insights into the Bible.  Each devotion is a page with a Scripture verse written out.  There are bios of each of the writers in the back, about sixty total.  Some of the names I recognized, such as Augustine, and others were unknown to me.   The language is quite easy to understand.  This is a beautiful hardcover with a dust-jacket and ribbon bookmark. It would make a wonderful gift for yourself or someone you know!
I received a free copy of this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review.
Read a sample of the book here: PDF

About the Author:
James Stuart Bell, Jr., is a former director of religious publishing at Doubleday, executive director of Bridge Publishing, and executive editor at Moody Publishing. The writer, editor, or compiler of more than 140 books, he owns Whitestone Communications, Inc., a literary development agency, and makes his home in the western suburbs of Chicago. Bell is married with four children.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Frame 232 - A Jason Hammond Novel 1 - by Wil Mara














This is a fascinating book about what might happen if you discovered your mom was the Babushka Lady, a woman who is thought to have filmed Kennedy's assassination and whose identity was never discovered.  Sheila Baker finds a film in a safe-deposit box after her mother's death that reveals not only that her mom was the Babushka Lady, but that she caught another shooter on film.  She kept it hidden all these years to protect her family, but now Sheila has to decide what to do with it.  She turns to billionaire Jason Hammond, a man known for solving mysteries and getting to the truth, no matter the cost.  Someone discovers what they have and they end up on the run for their lives, trying to solve the mystery of who the second shooter was while evading the assassin hot on their trail.

I loved this book!  I have long been fascinated with Kennedy's assassination, ever since I took a college course focused on it, so I was very excited to read this book.  It did not disappoint!  I loved the action.  The talk about the conspiracies was fascinating and I loved the varied viewpoints as we discovered different facets to the conspiracy.  I also liked the emotional aspects to the story, as Sheila ponders what her mom went through carrying this secret and Jason struggles with past grief he just can't seem to get over. I also liked the spiritual discussion Jason and another character have about choosing not to blame God for misfortunes and living with purpose.  I am very excited for the second book in this series as we follow Jason Hammond's future adventures, due summer 2014!

I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.




Q & A with Wil Mara, author of


Frame 232






1.


What inspired you to write a novel around the assassination of President John F.


Kennedy?


I have always been fascinated by the assassination, which, obviously, was one of the most pivotal and


enigmatic events in American history. And when I heard about the ‘Babushka Lady’


---one of the few people in Dealey Plaza that day who remains unidentified---


and the possibility that she may have filmed the shooting, an idea came to mind that


seemed too good to disregard.


2.


How much research did you do for this project?


An unbelievable amount. I spoke with assassination experts, read literally hundreds and books and


articles, pored over countless photos...you name it. My goal was to write a fictional story around


the established facts rather than alter the facts to serve the story. Thus, I had to know pretty much


everything. I ended up loading my brain with more data than I really needed...but I didn’t mind.


3.


How has your research informed your own theory of what happened during the JFK


assassination?






My personal theory, prosaic though it may be, is that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. If you want to be


convinced, get your hands on a fairly rare book called Lee, which was written by his brother, Robert.


Once you understand the mind behind the eyes that looked through that rifle scope, you will be


convinced.






4. What have you learned about the real Babushka Lady?






She was wearing an overcoat, glasses, and a head scarf (i.e., a babushka), and


was standing about thirty feet from the limousine when the president took the fatal shot.


Most assassination experts believe she was also holding a camera---very possibly a film camera.


If so, and if she had a reasonably steady hand, then she probably took the best


moving images of the assassination; even better than the famed Zapruder film. Plus, she was


standing opposite Zapruder, which afforded her a unique angle. And yet, we don’t know her name,


and her film has never surfaced. And here’s the most important part about her in relation to Frame 232


---she was a real person. I didn’t invent her to serve the story. If you do a Google search, you’ll find her






5.What is the significance of the title?






Simple---once the Babushka film is analyzed, the key moment that helps our heroes move


forward with their investigation occurs on frame 232.






6.What role does your Christian faith play in your writing?






It is embedded throughout this story, in a fashion both subtle and direct. I was raised


Christian and have been a firm believer all my life, so my belief system is threaded into


just about everything I do. Anyone who carries even the most fundamental faith will recognize


the important elements in this book. The most obvious example belongs to the main


character, who recurs throughout the series ---he is suffering a deep crisis of faith, and the core


of that crisis should be familiar to even the most devout follower. We are human, plain and simple,


and as such we experience doubts about the Lord in our lifetime. So it won’t be hard for anyone


to connect with him.






7.Describe the role of faith plays in your main characters, Sheila Baker and Jason Hammond.


Does this change as the story progresses?






With Sheila, you’ve got a very goodhearted person who is experiencing a critical change in her


worldview ---she is coming out of the ‘money is the most important thing in the world’ phase and


beginning to understand that there are much higher priorities. This isn’t to say she’s trumpeting the


virtues of poverty (she still understands that it’s important to live within a certain comfortable and


respectable standard). But she’s figuring out that money isn’t what a person should worship


---it’s something altogether different. And there is a traceable and, I think, very satisfying arc to


her story in this regard. As for Jason, he suffered a tremendous loss years earlier, went through


a protracted nightmare period, and is starting to come out of during the events of Frame 232.


An encounter with a very unlikely source helps him to turn the corner and begin a path to renewed


promise---but even so, the journey ahead is going to present serious challenges for him.


The good news, though, is that he has not abandoned the Lord altogether. If he had done that,


there wouldn’t be any conflict within him in the first place.






8.


What lessons do you hope readers will come away with after reading


Frame 232?






I can’t interpret the story for anyone but myself, but there are a few themes at work that strike me as


particularly valuable. One is that God’s path is always the right one in the end, even if it seems


unimaginably rocky at times. Another is that tragedies occur in every life, that these misfortunes usually


happen for a reason, and that the reason may not be apparent for some time. A third is that we


need to treasure our loved ones for as long as we have them around, because they can


disappear in a heartbeat. Also, it’s important to keep getting out of bed and moving forward every day


because life is a gift, and God does not favor those who waste their time and talents. If you are


blessed with ability and resources (and Jason has plenty of both), you should use them.






9.


What do you have planned for your future Jason Hammond books?






Jason will be tackling other high-profile (and, later on, some lesser known) mysteries as the series


progresses. Readers will also get to follow his ongoing struggles as he rebuilds his faith and gradually


assembles his ‘new normal.’ Plus, we’ll further explore the lives of those around him (including a


budding love interest, who will appear in the second book). It’s also worth noting that not every


book in the series will follow a strictly linear chronology. The one I’m writing now, for example (The


Nevada Testament) begins about six weeks after Frame 232. The one I’ll write after that, however


(Gardner Island), occurs before the events of Frame 232 and will feature, among other things,


some of Jason’s darker and more harrowing moments.






10.


What would you like to say to Christian retailers to help them promote Frame 232?






I have tried like mad to strike an ideal balance between solid, suspenseful storytelling and the delivery


of worthwhile Christian messages without being over -the-top preachy. All the books in the series, while


undeniable in their Christian content, are suitable for the mainstream market as well and thus should


find a broad audience. It is also important to note that they were designed not just in regard to what


they offer, but what they don’t offer---readers will not have to deal with inappropriate language,


gratuitous sexual content, brazen violence, or any of the similar nonsense that characterizes so many


other forms of contemporary storytelling. The subject matter might be somewhat advanced in places,


but it can be safely absorbed and enjoyed by people from all walks of life.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Free E-Books, 2 Until Friday at Midnight!

The King's LegacyThe Language of Sparrows Free until Friday at midnight from multiple vendors!

David Cook

Free for kindle!
Amazon
Free for kindle!

Amazon

Payback in Panama - Cuban Trilogy 3 - by Noel Hynd



About the book:

After two attempts on her life, Alex is faced with the ultimate decision . . . kill or be killed.

U.S. Treasury Agent Alexandra LaDuca is at a crossroads. Her job is beating her up, emotionally and psychologically. And the moral battle between her faith and her responsibilities is taking its toll on her effectiveness. For the first time, she wonders how long she can last.

Forcing an end to her long-running and treacherous duel with the heads of the Dosi Cartel, Alex knows this is her last do-or-die operation. It’s time call in all the favors owed to her.

Her fight takes her into the criminal underground of America’s east coast, south into the violent underworld of Central America, across Honduras and El Salvador, and finally to Panama for a shattering confrontation.


Alex’s career, her life, and her future with the man she loves---a future she never expected after the violent death of her fiancĂ© two years earlier---are all at stake. After a final payback in Panama, nothing will be the same . . . if she even survives.

My review:

I had a hard time getting into this book.  I liked Alex and and her boyfriend and admired the work she was doing.  It was interesting to learn about the global drug trade and the gangs' involvement, but it felt like there was too much detail.  I was expecting more action in the story, but there really wasn't much. There was some talk of faith and Alex's struggle with hers, but I wasn't very clear on what she actually believed. There's a point where she remembers her deceased loved ones and says she still prays for their souls, so it seems she's Catholic.  It felt like the story was building to a climax, but then didn't get there. I think it would have been better for me to have read the previous books in the series before this, so I would recommend that.  Overall, I was disappointed in the story but do want to try out another in the series.

I received this book free from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.

Zondervan Page
More Reviews

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

God's Great Plan by Melissa Cutrera, Illustrated by Matthew Sample II

God's Great Plan

About the book:

The story of Creation, Fall and Redemption is the central narrative of the Christian faith. God’s Great Plan uses simple, memorable rhymes to teach this story to young children. This valuable resource helps parents, grandparents, ministers, and teachers to share the gospel with the children in their lives. The color artwork will spark children’s imaginations and give them an entry point into the story, helping them to grasp the significance of God’s plan in their own lives. Anyone who desires to make the gospel more accessible and attractive to children will appreciate this book.

My review:

This is a beautiful hardcover storybook.  I loved the impressionistic artwork!  I think it's a great idea to have  a story that explains the Bible's overall message in a simpler format for children.  The story holds true to Scripture and contains the gospel, which are two things I like to see in a book.  The rhymes are wonderful and I think this would be a great book for toddlers up to about seven years old.  It's appropriate for boys or girls.  If you're looking for a gift for a child, be sure to check it out!

I received this book free from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Free Kindle Books, One Monday Only!

Free for kindle Mon. only!  I started reading this and it's hilarious!

Amazon
Free for kindle!

Amazon

Free for kindle!  This is an awesome series!
Amazon


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Free Kindle Books!

Free for kindle!


Amazon

Free for kindle!
Amazon


Seasons of the Heart compiled by Donna Kelderman

Seasons of the Heart: A Year of Devotions from One Generation of Women to Another by Donna Kelderman

About the book:  A queen, an educator, a missionary, a pastor’s wife. Some of them single, some married, some widowed, some mothers. All of them, like women today, knew the joys and heartaches of life. But the bond that drew this generation of women together—and connects them to women today—was their heart for God and devotion to Christ. In this year’s worth of devotions, you will find spiritual insights from godly women of the past who, like us, struggled with sin, loneliness, and disappointments yet rejoiced in God’s love, mercy, grace, and providential blessings. Join them in the various seasons of their hearts and find timeless encouragement and wisdom from one generation of women to another.

Authors include Ruth Bryan, Anne Dutton, Isabella Graham, Elizabeth Julia Hasell, Frances Ridley Havergal, Sarah Hawkes, Susan Huntington, Harriet Newell, Katherine Parr, Susannah Spurgeon, Anne Steele, and Mary Winslow.
  • 366 days of Scripture verses and brief devotional meditations that provide timeless truths, encouragement, and wisdom for your daily walk with God
  • Updated language makes meditations accessible to modern readers
  • Brief, inspiring biographies of each of the contributing authors
  • Excellent gift for Christmas, graduation, Mother’s Day, and birthdays for women of all ages
My review: I enjoyed these devotions written by women from different centuries than us,but who still have so much wisdom we need to hear.  Each devotion is one page with a Scripture verse.  Some of the language is still a little old-fashioned, but understandable.  I liked that their biographies were included.  I was familiar with some of the women, but others I had never heard of.  This is a beautiful hardcover that would make a great gift for a woman you know and for yourself!

I received this book free from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Confident Heart Devotional by Renee Swope

Cover Art

About the book: 

Confident, strong, and free--it's closer than you think

We all have doubts, fears, and insecurities, even if we've convinced ourselves that other women don't share those struggles. If you're tired of feeling like you're not good enough, smart enough, or gifted enough, Renee Swope has a message for you: you already have something special to offer the world!

Expanding on her popular "When I say--God says" statements, Renee offers you a daily thought-map to help exchange your most common self-doubts for God's transforming truths. Her authentic style and soul-stirring devotions include personal stories, powerful biblical teaching, and real-life application wrapped around one of God's promises each day to help you

· live confidently in your God-given roles, relationships, and responsibilities
· break free from people-pleasing and performance-based living
· trust the certainty of God's truth over your circumstances and emotions

Take a step toward the life of faith God designed for you and let this sixty-day journey to a confident heart be your guide.


My review: 

This is a wonderful devotional filled with personal stories from the author that feels like we're talking together over coffee.  It's geared more for women and is based on her book of the same name.  Each devotion begins and ends with a Scripture, usually the same one to reinforce the message. There's a short prayer and a "when I say" statement with a "God says" response.  Some of the devotions center on a Bible story or character and others on the author's personal experience.  Each devotion is only a few pages long, but there is so much truth packed into each one!  It's very important to realize what you are saying to yourself and the lies you are believing and that you need to replace them with God's truth.  I highly recommend this book for all women!

I received a free copy of this book from Revell in exchange for an honest review.

Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Review of Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter & Quilts of Love KINDLE FIRE HDX Giveaway & “Christmas Bee” Facebook Party 12/10!


About the book: When Laney Carrigan's adoptive parents encourage her as an adult to seek out her birth family, her only clue is the Lokelani quilt in which she was found wrapped as an infant. Centering her search on the Big Island, she battles fears of rejection from a family that abandoned her once before while her faith struggles to embrace God's love.
Along the path to her true heritage, she meets Hawaiian cowboy/helicopter pilot, Kai Barnes. Kai is determined to protect the people he's come to regard as family against a woman he suspects of being nothing more than a gold-digger, but he finds himself drawn to Laney in spite of his reservations. He's spent his entire life seeking forgiveness from past mistakes and longs for a second chance at happiness. 


Laney's painstaking journey to find restoration and a place to belong among the breathtaking allure of the Big Island will lead her closer to her past and maybe even something more.

My review: I really enjoyed this wonderful story about finding where you belong.  I loved plucky Laney and her search for her roots and cowboy Kai, both afraid to trust and be vulnerable.  The romance was great and I loved the immersion in Hawaiian culture.  I so want to visit there even more now!  The sense of humor was wonderful and so was the twist at the end of the story.  This is part of the Quilts of Love series, but they each stand alone.  There wasn't anything I didn't like about this story!  Check it out if you like romance!


I received a copy of this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.


Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/qKmVW

Meet the author: Lisa Carter has been published in MomSense and Christian Parenting Today. Lisa is currently teaching music at a preschool and enjoying the enthusiasm and joy for life for which preschoolers are famous. She and David have two beautiful daughters.

Find out more at: http://www.quiltsoflovebooks.com


In honor of their new Quilts of Love releases, The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose, authors Vannetta Chapman and Lisa Carter are gearing up to ring in the Christmas season with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th with fellow Quilts of Love author Lynette Sowell!
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One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman
  • Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. Winner will be announced at the "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th. Connect with the authors from the Quilts of Love series, Vannetta Chapman, Lisa Carter, and Lynette Sowell, for an evening of book chat, quilt trivia, Christmas traditions and gifts, PLUS get an exclusive look at January's Quilts of Love book!

So grab your copies of The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose and join Vannetta, Lisa, and Lynette on the evening of December 10th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the books, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on December 10th!

Free Kindle Books!

Free pre-order for kindle!


Amazon
Free for kindle!
Amazon

Friday, November 15, 2013

Free Kindle Books!

Free for kindle!  Said Friday only, but still free after midnight so make sure to check before buying.
Amazon

Free for kindle!