Thursday, September 21, 2017

#REVIEW: I.Am.Elizabeth. by Kathi Morehead

Title: I.Am.Elizabeth.
Author: Kathi Morehead
Series: none
ISBN: 978-1635355529
Publisher: Neely Worldwide Publishing
Published Date: September 1, 2017
Pages: 343
Buy It Link: Amazon

Synopsis: Elizabeth of York died in 1503. Annie Campbell lives today. Can they reach through time to heal one another's soul, or will their secrets be impossible to overcome?
.... Why can't I sleep? It is not as though tonight is any different from last night, or the night before, or even the night before that. It's hot, and not a breath of air moves through the window. I feel like I will go mad from this anxiety, this fear. But of what? It's so very dark tonight. No moon, no light from the windows. Just dark... Damn you, darkness. You've not been kind the past few nights. What horror do you hold for me tonight?

My Rating: 4 1/2 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I remember the first time I picked up a Philippa Gregory novel. It was The White Queen, and I was in an airport, waiting for my flight to go back home and plan the funeral of the man who raised me after my father died. In spite of all the grief I was in, I couldn't put it down, and it started a love for me of the historical fiction that was the War of the Roses and the Tudor dynasty. So when I saw this book, I had to revisit my old love.
This book is definitely a different take, blending both historic and modern times, but I really enjoyed it. This is the first book I have read by this author, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The author made the two characters come to life and shed some light on Elizabeth of York., a queen with still much mystery that surrounds her. I liked the idea of two very strong women guiding this book, even though one doesn't seem to know it in her own brokenness.
I will be looking for more of this author's works, as her way of writing was so immersive and entertaining. The only thing I don't like about the book is the cover, it's just not calling to me.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

#Tour amd #GIVEAWAY: Helios Chronicles by TM Witko

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The Helios Chronicles is a contemporary romance series that follows the lives of Andrew ‘Helios’ Harrison and Madison Ellis as they fight for their happily ever after in a world that seems determined to tear them apart. It is only through their love for one another, that we are able to see that we are more than the mistakes we’ve made, more than the labels placed upon us and more than even what we believe we are worth. Can their love survive the life he had before her or will the consequences of his past prove too much to bear. Read the Helios Chronicles to find out! The Helios Chronicles is a five book series which includes three full length novels, one prequel novella and one epilogue novella. Please note that this is an adult romance and as such there will be some graphic language and situations that are clearl not suitable for younger audiences.


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In the prequel novella, Helios Beginnings, we will explore Helios’ life before he becomes Helios, beginning with his time in Detroit, through his difficult life on the streets and subsequent incarceration and ending in Bakersfield with the arrival of Madison Ellis, the woman that would forever change the way he saw the world.



Awaken Cover Print Vertical (2)In Book 1, Helios Awakened, Madison moves from New York City to the California desert to care for her ailing grandmother but she never expected that she would meet the man of her dreams while there, a man that would set her heart, body and soul on fire. However, this man comes with a price, a heavy price. Is she willing to pay it?







Helios Awakened: https://www.books2read.com/u/4N1qnW
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Exposed VerticalIn Book 2, Helios Exposed, we will find out whether or not Andrew and Madison can survive a life in New York City, where they find that things aren’t as simple as they hoped they would be. They soon discover that there are just as many enemies back east as there were on the west coast. When everything begins to crumble around them will their love be enough to hold them together?
Helios Exposed: https://www.books2read.com/u/47koa8


Helios Exposed Promo 3

Renewed v2In Book 3, Helios Renewed, we find Andrew and Madison living the life they were meant to live, with family and friends, in California. Unfortunately, things are set in motion that force them back to New York where they find themselves fighting for not only their lives but their freedom as well, against old enemies in a battle that will test them in more ways than one. Can their love stop the forces that are trying to tear them apart or will they be destroyed in the process? Buy HERE


Bio Photo 2012  AUTHOR BIO Author T.M. Witko lives on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation with her children. They are accompanied by their many animals, which includes an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix named Bella, a couple of ornery cats (Edward and Lil Bit) and their horses, Eagle Bear and Wild Spirit. She and her family enjoy attending wacipis, participating in tribal ceremonies, and living a quiet life without the hustle and bustle of the cities. Ms. Witko is a licensed clinical psychologist, a full time writer/editor and one of the co-founders of Winyan Press, LLC, an independent publishing house geared at helping female writers find their voice. She is a multi-genre author who writes Young Adult Fiction, Crime/Suspense Stories, Adult Romances, and Native American Fiction. Her writing style combines her knowledge of psychological principles with an understanding that things are never as simple as black or white, right or wrong, but that life is a beautiful combination of both. This is most evident in her series the Helios Chronicles which looks at the effects of our past on the future we wish to have.

SOCIAL MEDIA CONTACTS
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTMWitko
Helios Chronicles Series Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheHeliosChronicles
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorTawaWitko  
Instagram: https://instagram.com/authortmwitko  
Tumbler: https://www.tumbler.com/blog/tmwitko
Website: https://authortmwitko.com

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Monday, September 4, 2017

#REVIEW: Get Out of that Pit: Straight Talk About God's Deliverance by Beth Moore

Title: Get Out of that Pit: Straight Talk About God's Deliverance
Series: none
Author: Beth Moore
Publisher :Thomas Nelson
Published Date: July 11, 2017
ISBN: 9780718095826
Buy It Link: Amazon | Thomas Nelson Publishers

Synopsis:
From her first breath of fresh air beyond the pit, it has never been enough for Beth Moore to be free. This best-selling author and Bible teacher who has opened the riches of Scripture to millions longs for you to be free as well—to know the Love and Presence that are better than life and the power of God’s Word that defies all darkness.
Beth’s journey out of the pit has been heart-rending. But from this and the poetic expressions of Psalm 40 has come the reward: a new song for her soul, given by her Saviour and offered to you in Get Out of That Pit—friend to friend. This is Beth’s most stirring message yet of the sheer hope, utter deliverance, and complete and glorious freedom of God:
I waited patiently for the Lord
He turned to me and heard my cry
He lifted me out of the slimy pit
He set my feet on a rock
He put a new song in my mouth
It is a story, a song—a salvation—that you can know too.

My rating: 4 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
All of us at one time or another find ourselves in a pit, whether it is self-made, or completely out of our control. You know, those horrible situations or habits that we find ourselves in or doing that we can't get out of no matter how much we struggle. And it really is like quicksand, the more we struggle, the harder we fight, the deeper we seem to get into it. Sometimes, we need to stop fighting, and hold our hands out for God's help. This book shows us that even in the Bible, pits were very real, scary things, but that with God's help, we can rise above every single one of them that we find ourselves in.
The author goes into three different ways we find ourselves in pits: the ones that we are thrown into, the ones that we sort of end up in without much idea of how we got into it, and then the one pit that we wholeheartedly fling ourselves into.
It doesn't matter how deep, how hopeless, how dark and slimy that pit is that you are in right now, you can get out of it with God's help. God will help you get out. That is the lesson of this book.

Friday, August 18, 2017

#BLAST: The Devil's Assistant Series by HD Smith



Dark Hope (The Devil’s Assistant, Book 1) After five years of working for the Devil, Claire Cooper believes she lives an otherwise normal life. Until she finds herself in jeopardy for a murder she did not commit. Desperate to save her life and soul, she enters Purgatory, but runs afoul of the Devil's sister, Pagan Queen Mab. Mab has her own agenda and uses Claire to get even with the Devil. Claire learns each ruler is in a race to discover “the girl” in the prophecy to fix time. As Claire peels away clues to the real killer, she realizes she must outwit the Devil’s children or end up a prisoner in Purgatory forever.
On Sale for only $.99 for a limited time!
eBook: https://www.books2read.com/DarkHope
Audio: http://bit.ly/DarkHopeAudio (Narrator: Lauren Fortgang)






Dark Awakened (The Devil's Assistant Book 2) Last spring Claire’s seemingly normal—if not totally screwed up—life was tossed on its head. For five years she’d been one of the damned—a human that knows the truth about the otherworldly among us. She’d worked for The Boss—the Demon King himself—as his administrative assistant, handling everything from early retirements, to Maintenance’s incessant requests for dental. No one gets dental. Then she walked into Purgatory—totally not her fault—went back in time, and awakened powers she never knew existed. Now Claire has a prophecy hanging over her head, a diamond ring hidden in her sock drawer, and the blood of a long dead royal running through her veins. And it’s only going to get worse. Her vow to live free or die takes a serious hit when she’s forced back under The Boss’s protection. Of course, there’s no protection from fate, or the Bounty Hunter sent to deliver her to Purgatory. And as if being “the girl” in the prophecy wasn’t enough, Claire soon discovers there are three other contenders for her role—two of whom want her dead. Follow more of Claire’s adventures in Dark Awakened, the second installment of the Devil’s Assistant Series, to find out if she’s lucky enough to escape with her life, or if she’s just the first notch on the next contender’s belt.

ebook: https://www.books2read.com/DarkAwakened

Dark Forsaken (The Devil's Assistant Book 3) Last Spring, Claire was framed for the murder of Junior, the Devil’s oldest hellspawn. Last Summer, she reawakened the fourth realm, saved the world (after almost destroying it), and wound up with the worst job ever. Now, Claire’s been locked out of her realm, given an assistant that doesn’t actually assist, and told to handle a small problem in Underworld that might just get her killed. And to top it all off, Mab’s made one of the contenders her untouchable. So, yeah, you could say Claire’s having one of those days. Follow more of Claire’s adventures in Dark Forsaken, book 3 of the Devil’s Assistant Series, to find out if Claire can defeat the latest contender, survive the quads, and replace the curator before Harry figures out she’s stolen his blood.

ebook: https://www.books2read.com/DarkForsaken



Dark Contender (The Devil's Assistant Book 4) One final contender stands between Claire and claiming the Fallen Throne—but Faith isn’t giving up without a fight. Defeating Faith and taking her blood isn’t all Claire has to worry about. She must find the last few drops of her own original blood—before the big three usurp her realm and end any chance of her completing the prophecy. Mace offers a strong shoulder, but as long as Claire aches for the missing Thanos, she can’t let herself lean on it. Meanwhile, the Oracle has emerged from a 500-year hiatus to gleefully fling monkey wrenches into Claire’s timeline. Claire loses several hours to one of the hag’s schemes, resulting in Faith getting away with the Prince of Time. Which definitely isn’t part of the prophecy. Putting the Time King back together again won’t be easy. Even if Claire manages to gather all the parts, nothing fits like it did before. The cracks expose the truth that will change everything…including who’ll be the last man standing by Claire’s side.

ebook: https://www.books2read.com/DarkContender  

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hdsmithAuthor Website: http://bit.ly/HDSmithAuthor
Twitter: http://bit.ly/HDSmithTwitter
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Author Bio: HD Smith is a software developer by day and an author of kick-ass Urban Fantasy at night. She grew up in South Carolina, but has called the Sunshine State home since 1997. She has a Masters degree in Computer Science, but her love of writing has really unleashed the creative siren in her soul.

For more information, visit HD's website at http://www.hdsmithauthor.com/

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

#REVIEW: The Solier Who Killed A King by David Klitz

Title: The Sodier Who Killed A King
Series: None
Author: David Klitz
Publisher: Kregel Publishers
Published Date: July 25, 2017
ISBN: 9780825444852
Pages: 288
Buy It Link: Amazon
Synopsis: A stunning story of Holy Week through the eyes of a Roman centurion
Watch the triumphal entry of the donkey-riding king through the eyes of Marcus Longinus, the centurion charged with keeping the streets from erupting into open rebellion.
Look behind the scenes at the political plotting of King Herod, known as the scheming Fox for his ruthless shrewdness.
Get a front-row seat to the confrontation between the Jewish high priest Caiaphas and the Roman governor Pontius Pilate.
Understand as never before the horror of the decision to save a brutal terrorist in order to condemn the peaceful Jew to death.
If you've heard the story of Passion Week so often it's become stale, now is the time to rediscover the terrible events leading from Jesus's humble ride into the city to his crucifixion. The Soldier Who Killed a King will stun you afresh with how completely Christ's resurrection changed history, one life at a time.
 


My Rating: 4 1/2 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I love reading Christian biblical fiction. It's a great way to read a story that we have read time and time again from a new perspective, to get new insights from it. And I love boots on the ground, inside the characters, Biblical stories, from a character on the other side. Seeing it from Marcus' point of view was a point of view that I haven't yet experienced. Being able to read about the political intrigues and see what perhaps just one of those soldiers felt, to humanize them and understand they weren't just men blindly following orders, perhaps they had opinions and disagreed with their orders, much as we do today in modern time.
Then to see from the ground zero perspective how Jesus changed the common person in an everyday manner, it really brings life to the story for me.
I think my next goal is to read a book similar to this on how early Christianity changed into what it is now. Maybe see a first person perspective on one of the early schisms.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

#EXCERPT: Brazen Gambit by Eric Small

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I raced in to the sight of her sitting placidly on my couch – completely, utterly, stark naked.

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Only a small blip in the lives of lifelong best friends Arnie Fischer and Zellie Morgan, who with no license and even less practical experience form a detective agency. Their fervent desire for a nice little “find stuff” business rapidly devolves into perilous encounters with a mysterious buxom blonde client, a dead body, assorted mobsters, a sleazy detective, a sinister fashion designer, a car dealership owner only vaguely clinging to reality, and yes, a naked ex-girlfriend on the couch. And even more dangerous – navigating a burgeoning romantic relationship. No problem. Of course, saving Zellie from the clutches of very dangerous people might be a little more difficult…

EXCERPT:

Our first client was a real doozy. She walked into the Moo Mart, ignored Eddie’s ‘Can I help you?’ and strode right over to where we were sitting. She stood about five-eight with a buxom figure and platinum blonde hair. She wore a white semi-sheer blouse, a blue skirt with the hem just below her knee, and I am not making this up–cowboy boots.
Without so much as an introduction, she said on a breathy exhale, “I want to hire you.”
Zellie took a moment to silently appraise her, but I didn’t wait. The lady was a little meshugina, to be sure, wearing that outfit in a Moo Mart in New Jersey. But she certainly was easy on the eyes.
***

  We were sitting at our favorite booth in Audacious Bagel or “AB” as we sometimes called it, sipping our coffee. Audacious Bagel is not a typical deli. They actually employed “bagel baristas” (BBs) to bring you your choice from over a hundred types of bagels. Everything from plain to ‘chocolate chip raisin cinnamon deluxe.’ Personally, I think of a bagel as not including much of anything, and always order a plain one, although Zellie has been known to get a raisin, which I guess is moderately okay, and Ted almost always gets ‘hamburger-infused,’ whatever that is.

      Maybe it’s my Jewish upbringing, but I just can’t see a lox and “hamburger-infused” bagel and cream cheese. Last time we were there, my favorite BB, Delilah, personally recommended a pizza bagel. I must admit, it was pretty good. Delilah is great. She went back to school at night to study marketing. She practices her marketing skills on anyone who will listen, and we always do.
When we walked in today, she was wearing yellow pants and an electric-blue shirt with sparkly sequins on it, along with the required Audacious Bagel visor that said in small letters “Audacious Bagel Barista, Changing the Bagel Paradigm,” whatever that means.
    “I think it means I’m supposed to sell you new and different bagels, Arnie,” she said, when I asked her once. “You always get a plain bagel in a place known for pushing the envelope on the definition of bagel. If you want a plain bagel, you can have it, but there’s a whole world you haven’t explored.” She added in a whisper, “If you try something new, you might surprise yourself and like it a lot.”

***
“You know that even if I was considering getting information for you, I won’t now, right?”

“We completely understand,” I said.
“Then why did you stop me?”

“Neither of us wanted you to get in trouble and lose your job.” Zellie said.
“And you decided to be private detectives for what reason?” Gloria asked us. “Private eyes– at least the ones on TV–are generally pretty unsavory. You two couldn’t even carry through a lie to someone like me, who didn’t even suspect a problem. You’re not even licensed, and don’t want to lie.” She shook her pretty head. “What in the world will you do when someone challenges you?”

“I thought we would give a disclaimer like… ‘You should give us information because we are completely unlicensed and totally unauthorized by any legal authority to make any inquiries of any kind in the course of an investigation.’” I said.
Gloria burst out laughing. “Private-eyes with a conscience. That’s a first.”

***
“Of course, the cost. You and Missus Fischer are worried about the cost. It’s almost free. Really, only pennies a day keeps you both safe in your lovely home. I told you how lovely your home is, right?”

“Yes, you did, Jeffrey.” I held up my hand and Jeffrey closed his mouth. “Are you for real? I mean, I expected a hard sell, but I’ve never seen or heard anything like this. You haven’t really told us anything.”

“Well, it’s my first day. I’m a little nervous.” He reached toward his briefcase. “Maybe I can convince you with what I have here.”

When he turned again to face us, we were staring down the barrel of a gun.

***
Baskin explained what they had in mind. It included securing the front and back doors with extra deadbolt locks and wiring an alarm system on the doors and windows, as well as installing strategically placed pressure bumps and “panic” buttons. And the whole thing was monitored twenty-four hours a day with immediate response guaranteed.

“What if I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night? I don’t want to turn off the alarm system every time.”

“You don’t have to. All you need to do is hold up two fingers like this.” He spread them apart in a “V” signifying victory or peace, I wasn’t sure. I supposed going to the bathroom was a little of both.

“That tells the system to turn off the pressure bumps until you do it again. If you don’t do it again within twenty minutes, it will turn on again automatically.”
I started to ask if I was supposed to hold up one finger if I just had to pee, but thought better of saying it when I looked at Baskin’s serious countenance. It was not the time to joke. Instead, I asked when the installation would take place. As if I had a choice, I thought, thinking of Mrs. Minniefield.



About the author Eric Small, a long-time public servant who wrote extensively for work, began writing fiction in retirement. A lover of cozy mysteries himself, the genre perfectly fit into his desire to write something containing humor, romance, mystery and just plain fun. As a longtime reader of cozy mysteries, he found such stories a natural fit for his writing. Brazen Gambit is the first of a planned series of Arnie & Zellie Investigations, set in the environs of Middletown, New Jersey, where Eric was born and raised. He now lives in Florida with his wife of over thirty years.

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

#BLAST: Revenge Fires Back by JR Thompson

Revenge Fires Back Tour

Revengefiresback5He tries to control his anger,but it gets the best of him. He makes poor decisions,and quickly discovers REVENGE FIRES BACK

Brady Clark's family chooses horrible timing for their first camping trip - a night when a fierce storm leaves them stranded in the woods. Circumstances that leave him running around in the forest wearing, well, let's just say less than appropriate attire cause him to unleash his anger by physically assaulting his father. Not yet ready to face the discipline he has coming, Brady makes false allegations against both of his parents. That one foolish move throws the Clarks into a world they know very little about. A world that could possibly prevent them from ever dwelling together again as a family unit. Can God use these trials to wake this family up to His purpose? Christian novelist JR Thompson, and his wife Hannah, are residents of Montana. He writes fiction and maintains a blog on his website. None of thompson's writings contain any foul language.


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#Book BLAST: Salt by Pauline Creeden

Salt-FB-FINAL

Salt-FINAL_HighHer kind treats her as less-than-human, but she’s always been so much more. Mermaid life has never been easy for Verona. Her scars give evidence of her abuse. When her day of reckoning arrives, she is determined to endure exile. According to her father’s experience, exile is better than becoming a land-walker and risking her life among the humans. However, when she saves the life of a drowning human boy, she inadvertently sets off a chain of events which force her to choose a path: stay with the humans she has become attached to or return home to a life of scorn. A savage hunter draws closer, threatening even the humans. Her only hope is to keep everyone safe until the next full moon, but those around her devise their own plans.

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

#REVIEW: The Captivating Lady Charlotte by Carolyn Miller

Title: The Captivating Lady Charlotte
Series: Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace #2
Author: Carolyn Miller
ISBN: 9780825444517
Publisher: Kregel Publishers
Published Date: June 27, 2017
Buy It Link: Amazon
Synopsis: Her heart is her own--but her hand in marriage is another matter

Lady Charlotte Featherington is destined for great things on the marriage market. After all, as the beautiful daughter of a marquess, she should have her pick of the eligible nobility hen she debuts. She, however, has love at the top of her list of marriageable attributes. And her romantic heart falls hard for one particularly dashing, attentive suitor. Sadly for Charlotte, her noble father intends her betrothed to be someone far more dull.
William Hartwell may be a duke, but he knows he was Charlotte's father's pick, not the young lady's own choice. And the captivating Lady Charlotte does not strike him as a woman who will be wooed by his wealth or title. While she has captured his heart, he has no idea how to win hers in return--and the betrayal and scandal his first wife put him through makes it difficult for him to believe that love can ever be trusted. His only hope is that Charlotte's sense of responsibility will win out over her romantic notions.
Can a widowed duke and a romantically inclined lady negotiate a future and discover love beyond duty? Will they be able to find healing and hope from the legacy of grace? Poignant and charming, this is another beautifully written, clean and wholesome Regency romance from Carolyn Miller.
 


My rating: 4 1/2 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
If you like reading Regency books, this is a great series for you to read, starting with the previous book, The Elusive Miss Ellison. This book  was even better than the previous book, and it dealt with the subject of arranged marriage, that I haven't seen many Regency books deal with.
In the beginning of the book, I admit, I didn't like Charlotte, she was flighty, air-headed, and shallow. Her attitude towards relationships and men reflected that. However, as the book progressed, she gradually grew up, and realized what real love looks and acts like. As her views on love progressively changed, so did her outlook on life. and you could truly watch her grow as a character.
I love books where the characters evolve and the action continues at a steady clip, it is the perfect mix for me. I can't wait for the next book in this series.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

#REVIEW: Record of Wrongs by Sharon Kay

Title: Record of Wrongs
Series: Redemption County #1
Author: Sharon Kay
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Published Date: August 1st, 2017
AIN(Amazon Identification Number): B073DZ83ND
Buy It Link: Amazon


Synopsis: Do your past mistakes define you forever?

Cruz Zaffino leaves prison after a serving a decade for a crime he didn’t commit. With his life all over the internet, there’s nowhere he can go to avoid his illicit past. Involved with one of Chicago’s toughest gangs, he made enemies bent on ruining everything he has. Nowhere is beyond their reach.

Every day, Rosie Marlow lives with the scars from the worst mistake of her life. It’s the one secret she has in her tiny, gossip-fueled town. When Cruz walks into her bar, covered in tattoos and dangerous attitude, she’s captivated. His rough sexuality makes her melt, and his harsh experience calls to her own broken soul. But her story is private and buried so deep, she’s never had the strength to share it.

She’s the unexpected light to his darkness, yet he knows she’s hiding something. Sultry summer nights in each other’s arms weaken her resistance and taunt her with the idea of forever. But as his adversaries draw close, can she love him enough to let him go?



My Rating: 4 1/2 stars


My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I first started reading Sharon Kay's books when she came out with the Solsti Prophecy series, and then continued on with her Watcher's Kiss series. She does an amazing job of paranormal romance. But some authors just stick with the genre they are good in. I'm really glad that Sharon Kay stepped out of her comfort zone because it proves that she's really a writer, not just a paranormal romance writer. And she is an awesome writer.
We meet Cruz Zaffino just as he is being released from prison. He's the ultimate bad boy. Not just a bad boy, but a bad boy who spent 10 years in prison for murder. However, as some know, our judicial system isn't fool-proof and innocent men get put away for crimes they didn't commit.
Then we meet the sweet innocent country girl, Rosie Marlow who as it happens, also is hiding a dark secret of her own. Of course, dark secrets are relative when you're dealing with the country life, where everyone knows everyone else's business (and everyone is related...I mean this in the best way and knowing this from experience from my own family).
On the surface, you would think this is a story of redemption of the bad boy by the sweet innocent country girl, and in most of the book, it is. But ultimately, both characters find redemption and love in each other.
Sharon Kay broke out of her comfort zone with this book. She took a chance, and ended up writing an amazing story. She proved that not only is she a great paranormal romance writer, but she is a great writer. Period.



Saturday, July 29, 2017

#REVIEW: Coffee, the World, and Jesus, but Not Necessarily in That Order by Ron DeMiglio

Title: Coffee, the World, and Jesus, but Not Necessarily in That Order
Author: Ron DeMiglio
Series: none
Published Date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Kregel Publications
ISBN: 978-0825444654
Buy It Link: Amazon




Synopsis: Life lessons and almost irreverent musings from twenty-five years in the global coffee industry

When many Christians take a long, hard look at the lives of the spiritual elite in America, they want to shout, "I don't want to be like that!" Ron DeMiglio knows how they feel and he's not afraid to do the shouting—even when those shouts are sometimes directed at himself.
Coffee, the World, and Jesus is a collection of mildly contrarian musings from this international coffee businessman who happens to love Jesus. In these humorous vignettes about the relational, flawed, unwavering faith Ron clings to, readers will find glimmers of their own daily struggles to reflect Christ in a fallen world. For the religiously cautious, the disillusioned, and jaded followers of Christianity, this is a refreshing look at how God reveals Himself to be so much bigger than politics, dogmas, or western influences.
Ron's sidesplitting series of stories about how he found his spiritual groove smack-dab in the middle of his God-breathed, coffee-scented uniqueness will appeal to readers looking for a quick bite of spiritual growth with their next latte.


My Rating: 4 stars


My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book took a few chapters to really start getting into, and that's why I'm giving it 4 stars. In the very beginning, I really felt like I was plodding along, however, then I felt like I got into the rhythm of the writing. Once that happened, then it became a great book to read. This book is a fantastic group of musings of how God uses each of us in our daily lives to teach us more about Him, and how to reach out to those who may not have a relationship with God.
I've always believed from my own experiences, that God truly reaches out to us where we are, instead of us having to reach out to God. This book reinforces that thought process. Each of the chapters are funny and well-written.



Monday, July 17, 2017

#REVIEW: Nothing to Fear by Barry Black

Title: Nothing to Fear: Principles and Prayers to Help You Thrive in a Threatening World
Author: Barry C Black
Series: None
ISBN: 978-1496418685
Pages: 256 pages
Publisher: Tyndale Momentum
Published Date: Feb 7, 2017

Synopsis: “I’m really concerned about the state of the world. It feels like things are falling apart.”
“I’m worried about my family’s future.”
“How can I stand firm in my faith in today’s culture?”

Our times are turbulent ones, and questions and worries like these can haunt us and keep us awake at night. Yet is it possible that, ultimately, there is actually nothing to fear? Barry C. Black is the spiritual “leader of leaders” for the US Senate―shepherding those on the front lines of the decisions that shape our culture. Now, Chaplain Black shows all of us how to thrive in the midst of today’s turbulence and confusion by following eight principles that Jesus gave his disciples prior to sending them into a dangerous world. These teachings are as relevant today as when Jesus first spoke them two thousand years ago.

Containing Scriptural insights and powerful prayers to help you seek God’s guidance and blessing, Nothing to Fear will illuminate the way to live boldly, bravely, and faithfully in the face of today’s perils.

My Rating:  3 1/2 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book was just okay for me. As a person that struggles day to day with what can be overwhelming anxiety, this book taught me that no matter what God's got our back. And lately, this world has been so messed up, so scary, so worrisome, that the cloud of darkness can overshadow my knowledge that God's got this...all of it.
So, on one hand, it was good to read and remind myself of that fact. It was good to see it in print, to reassure myself. I can see myself re-reading parts of the book in the future when things get so messy.
On the other hand, however, the book seemed to jump from subject to subject and felt choppy. Almost as if I was reading a bunch of different sermons on the same general subject. This made for disconcerting reading, and almost made me want to put down the book.
Overall, if you need the reassurance that God is in charge of everything and you can't control anything, most of this book is for you. Just don't expect it to be a continuous process in reading.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

#REVIEW: ICB Blessed Garden Bible

Title: ICB Blessed Garden Bible
Publisher: Tommy Nelson (Thomas Nelson)
Published Date: June 27, 2017
Pages: 1312
Reading Level: 6-10 years old
ISBN: 978-0718092207
Buy It Link: Amazon | Thomas Nelson


Synopsis:
The ICB Blessed Garden Bible is a beautiful way for little girls to carry the full text of Scripture with them. Its beautiful cover design with multiple foils and glitter will delight any young girl as she reads and learns God’s Word from the Bible children can read and understand, the International Children’s Bible® translation.
The International Children’s Bible® translation, the Bible kids can read and understand, has been a favorite of kids, parents, and teachers. With its easy-to-read text, the ICB has a third-grade reading level, making it the ideal translation for children beginning to read and learn Bible.
The ICB Blessed Garden Bible is a full-text ICB Bible with swirling, floral details, foil, glitter, and winsome illustrations. This will appeal to both moms and daughters, as it capitalizes on an organic garden trend. Inside features 24 colorful pages of study help inserts, including a presentation page for personalizing. Young girls will enjoy this softer more sophisticated look as she reads God’s message of love just for her!


My rating: 4 stars


My Review: I received a copy of this Bible in exchange for an honest review.
This Bible is advertised for little girls, but I don't see anything specifically for little girls. This could be for any child from 6-10 years old. The cover is a light teal color, with a whimsical, garden feel using gold and silver foil, glitter and cute little animals (love the little fox in the center). The right hand side of the front cover has a design that is reminiscent of a diary with the keyhole.
Reading through Ruth quickly, the reading level seems appropriate, but I will really test this out with my youngest daughter this coming week.
The paper is just as thin as any other Bible, the font a little larger perhaps to make it easier to read. Overall, this is a beautiful Bible for any child in this reading range, however, I take exception to the fact that it is marketed as girl specific.



Saturday, July 1, 2017

#REVIEW: NIV True Images Bible

Title: NIV True Images Bible
Series: none
Contributors: Livingstone
Publisher: Zondervan
Published Date: June 27, 2017
ISBN: 9780310080039
Buy It Link: Zondervan


Synopsis:
For 15 years, the best-selling NIV True images Bible for Teen Girls has been a trusted resource guiding teen girls ages 13-18 towards a closer relationship with God. Updated for this generation, this new edition is packed with tools and insight to help teens navigate today’s contemporary cultural issues with confidence, love, and grace.
Facing today’s contemporary issues can be difficult, but the NIV True Images Bible gives teen girls a fresh perspective on faith-related issues and provides tools to navigate a complex world. They will ask the big questions, take valuable lessons to heart, and help others do the same.
Beautifully designed from the inside out, this Bible is filled with challenging insights, honest advice, and personal notes helping teen girls build a closer relationship with God as they set out on a personal journey of their world. Following Jesus isn’t unfashionable or illusive. It’s an authentic way of life!
This newly updated edition uses the accurate, readable, and clear NIV translation and includes features strategically designed to empower teen girls in their quest for truth.
Features:
  • Complete text of the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version
  • 12 Magazine-Style Quizzes that help girls learn more about themselves
  • In-depth introductions establish the context of each book in the Old and New Testaments.
  •  “In Focus” notes explain the Bible’s perspective on contemporary cultural topics such as perfectionism, spiritual growth, eating disorders, pornography, prayer, self-harm, relationships, sex, bullying and popularity on social media
  • Over 300 “Genuine” notes focus on the value of authenticity and true inner beauty.
  • Over 100 “Love Notes” give opportunities to reflect on God’s love.
  • 500 “Dare to Believe” challenges help you discover God’s truth about life and faith.
  • 52 “Mirror Images” share the stories of Biblical women.
  • “Christianity 101” introduces you to the basics of Christianity
  • “Beliefs 101” helps you dig deep into the underlying principles that shape your worldview
My Rating: 3 1/2 stars


My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Can you explain to me why everything marketed towards girls has to be pink? Or frilly? Pink with gray lettering, that's what this Bible is. Here is an example:


NIV True Images Bible For Girls
NIV Revolution Bible for Teen Guys


Why do we need to continue with these gender stereotypes, and in a Bible? My 11 year old, whom I was hoping to give it to, because I think she might be open to at least doing some of the quizzes, but yeah, she's into dark colors right now. The pink was an immediate turn off for her, and I can see why, I don't like pink either. I think she probably would have liked the Revolution Bible better.


The text is the complete NIV text, with cute little "Love Notes" from God for the girls, and good introductions for each bible chapter, as well as the "In Focus" sections that deal with a few of the modern day issues our pre-teens and teens deal with, like perfectionism, pornography, sex, bullying, online popularity, etc.


Overall, this Bible is just okay for me. I'm not too impressed with it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

#REVIEW: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber

Title: The Evaopration of Sofi Snow
Author: Mary Weber
Series: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow #1
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published Date: June 6, 2017
ISBN: 9780718080907
Pages: 352
Buy It Link: Amazon

Synopsis: Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth's Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi's the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she's convinced he's been taken to the ice-planet.

Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.

For Miguel, Earth's charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight's bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he's a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.


My Rating: 3 1/2 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book took a really long time for me to get into it, or understand what was going on. And even then, there were parts where it felt very unclear. I liked the basic storyline, I liked Sofi. I could feel the sibling relationship. I even liked Miguel's Spanish words he would interject. But that was it. Details seemed to be very murky for me, I couldn't seem to visualize the scenes. 
I get the whole post-apocalyptic society and the introduction of aliens. That in itself kept me reading, I needed to see where the author went with this, and it was a twisty road. The end though seemed too vague for a cliffhanger.
I may continue this series just to see where it goes.

Monday, June 12, 2017

#REVIEW: Quilts, Barns and Buggies: Amish Quilts and Proverbs Coloring Book

Title: Quilts, Barns and Buggies: Amish Quilts and Proverbs Coloring Book
Illustrator: Julianne St. Clair
Series: Coloring Faith
ISBN: 978-0310087595
Pages: 96
Publisher: Zondervan
Published Date: June 6, 2017
Buy It Link: Amazon

Synopsis:
Take Time Away from Your Busy Day
to Reflect on the Simpler Life
Take a walk through the fields and feel the warm breeze as you color your way through an Amish lifestyle. With intricate patterned quilts, beautiful scenery, and a focus on the simpler things in life, Quilts, Barns & Buggies will encourage you to relax on even the most hectic days. Sprinkled throughout the pages are wise Amish sayings and biblical proverbs that will inspire you.

Special Features
• 90 beautiful coloring designs of Amish quilts and scenery
• More than 40 Amish sayings and biblical proverbs
• Perforated pages on heavy stock

Look for more inspirational coloring books at Coloring Faith, www.coloringfaith.com.

My Rating: 5 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoy coloring books, I find the simplicity and single-mindedness of coloring to be relaxing when I get stressed out and super anxious. Since I started sewing recently as a hobby, I find this book to be a wonderful mash-up of quilt top ideas, Scripture, and inspirational quotes. If you are a fan of the Amish lifestyle, you will enjoy the farm scenes, barns, animals, and Amish quilt tops.
Each page has a quote on one side, and a regular coloring side for the other. The drawings can sometimes be complex and intricate, but I enjoy truly focusing on the minute details. This book promises hours of single-minded, enjoyable coloring time.

Friday, June 2, 2017

#REVIEW: Written in the Ashes by K Hollan Van Zandt


Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt

Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt






Publisher: Harper Collins (Nov. 29, 2016)
Category: Historical Fiction
Tour Dates: May-June, 2017
ISBN: 978-0062673688
ASIN: B01CY3A8X4
Available in: Print & ebook,  554Pages
 Written In the Ashes  

"Written in the Ashes is one of those rare novels that sets 'history' afire, to bathe readers in the glow of a greater, hotter truth. Fans of The Mists of Avalon will find this romantic/alchemical/feminist/spiritual epic equally captivating."—Tom Robbins, bestselling author of Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. and Villa Incognito  

In the bloody clash between Christians and pagans in fifth-century Alexandria, a servant girl becomes the last hope for preserving peace in this evocative and thrilling tale—a blend of history, adventure, religion, romance, and mysticism reminiscent of The Mists of Avalon.   After she is abducted from her home in the mountains of Sinai, Hannah is enslaved and taken to Alexandria, where she becomes the property of Alizar, an alchemist and pagan secretly working to preserve his culture. Revered for her beautiful singing voice, the young slave is invited to perform at the city's Great Library, where she becomes friends with the revered mathematician and philosopher, Hypatia, as well as other pagans who curate its magnificent collections. Determined to help them uphold pagan culture and traditions, Hannah embarks on a dangerous quest to unite the fractured pieces of the Emerald Tablet—the last hope to save the pagans and create peace.   On this odyssey that leads her to the lost oracles of Delfi and Amun-Ra and to rediscovered ancient cities and rituals, Hannah will experience forbidden loves, painful betrayals, and poignant reunions. But her efforts may be in vain. Returning to Alexandria, Hannah finds a city engulfed in violence, even as her own romantic entanglements come to a head. Now, it's not only her future, but the fate of all Alexandria that is at stake.

My Rating: 5 stars
My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Once in a very long while, there comes along a book that you wonder how you ever lived without it before. One that you have read, and your mind wanders back to on occasion. There are a few books like that for me.....The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. The Firebrand inspired my love for all things in Greek mythology, and A Wrinkle In Time is actually the book that inspired by first major in college, physics.
Then this book, Written in the Ashes comes along. I hate comparing any book to the great classics, like A Wrinkle in Time or Firebrand, but it wouldn't be fair if I didn't. It's really just that good. The book is really long, 500+ pages, but it goes into such detail and the action is so well drawn out you don't feel those pages.
There are minor things I didn't like about the book. I feel like the time of Hannah's before slavery time was far too short. I would have loved to see more about the Jewish culture in there. There was the constant writing of the word "so" in the book. Maybe it broke the book down, and it was supposed to make it seem more like a very long oral story, but it didn't work for me.

Praise for Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt

“In her captivating debut novel, Written in the Ashes, K. Hollan Van Zandt brings to life a fascinating and forgotten woman of history: Hypatia of Alexandria, who may have been one of the greatest female minds of all time. If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to walk the streets of long ago Egypt, then look no further. You will be enthralled!”– Michelle Moran, international bestselling author of Nefertiti and Cleopatra’s Daughter
“Van Zandt’s vivid description of the Great Library instantly transported me to a lush fifth century Alexandria. Her lyrical writing style and breakneck storytelling kept me riveted to the very last page.”– Robin Maxwell bestselling author of The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn and Signora da Vinci.  
"Going back so far in time leaves an author with little written record to rely on for fact. The burning of the Great Library at Alexandria was a monumental loss to humanity. The facts of the matter aside, this novel was truly arresting and I had a hard time putting it down to get anything done. Ancient history fascinates me. Religion fascinates me. This book manages to tie both together in a story that resonates through time. The book was fascinating. The characters were well developed and I really didn't want to leave this world of ancient Alexandria. The imaginary, magical priests and the beautiful goddesses created by Ms. Van Zandt lent themselves to a mystical world that was quite believable within its context. As the story unfolded I was rooting for Hannah to fulfill her destiny and find peace with her past. I am looking forward to the next chapters in these characters lives."-Patty Woodland, Broken Teepee

About K. Hollan Van Zandt

Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van ZandtKaia Van Zandt is a celebrated author and teacher whose novel, Written in the Ashes, chronicles the events that led up to the burning of the Great Library of Alexandria, Egypt. Kaia’s spiritual journey began at age 14 when she founded the youth division of the Humane Society of the United States. Then as a junior in high school, she traveled to the Earth Summit in Brazil, where she taught meditation, and was given the opportunity to work with world leaders on the challenges facing humanity and the planet today, an experience that profoundly influenced her work.   She’s a graduate of Antioch University, where she focused on the intersection between the ancient Goddess traditions and modern culture. Her fascination with healing-both personally and collectively – led her to yoga. During her career she’s worked with thought leaders like Marci Shimoff and Deepak Chopra, actors like Ashley Judd, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Garry Shandling, as well as Sony ImageWorks, UCLA Medical, and the San Francisco 49ers. Her beloved writing mentor is bestselling novelist/humorist, Tom Robbins.

Website: www.kaiavanzandt.com

Facebook: https://business.facebook.com/Kaia-H-Van-Zandt-62326196268/?business_id=1527166044253916
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaiaVanZandt
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaiavanzandt/?hl=en
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbpNRBX9k7z1bJndQ2a4Rgg

Buy Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt

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Follow Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus May 19 Interview & Giveaway  
Celticlady's Reviews May 22 Excerpt  
Room without Books is Empty May 30 Review                                 
Passages to the Past May 31 Review & Giveaway  
Books, Dreams,Life June 1 Review & Excerpt  
Second Book to the Right June 2 Review
Rainy Day Reviews June 7 Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway  
History from Woman's Perspective June 8 Review & Guest Post  
Between the Beats June 16 Review  
Secret Pearl Reviews June 23 Review  
Lisa's Writopia June 26 Guest Post  
Linda Amazon Reviewer June 27 Review
Caty Amazon Reviewer June 28 Review  

Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt    

Thursday, June 1, 2017

#REVIEW: Questioning Evangelism by Randy Newman

Title: Questioning Evangelism
Series: none
Author: Randy Newman
Publisher: Kregel Publishers
Published Date: 2nd edition April 25, 2017
ISBN: 978-0825444289
Buy It Link: Amazon

Synopsis:You don't need to memorize evangelical formulas or answers. You just have to be willing to ask.
There was something different about the way Jesus communicated with the lost: He didn't force answers upon people, He asked questions. So why don't we?

Following Christ's lead, Randy Newman has been using a questioning style of evangelism for decades. In this provocative book, he provides practical insights to help Christians engage others in meaningful spiritual conversations. He challenges us to examine how we think about people, their questions, and our crucial message.

This second edition includes a new preface reflecting on the popularity of this perennial best seller and what its success has taught Newman about the effectiveness of this extraordinary method.


My Rating: 4 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
As a previous non-Christian, the word evangelism gives me goosebumps and not in a good way. The evangelism I experienced is more of the "knock 'em over the head with a Bible and drag 'em back to the cave" type thing, which is probably the type of evangelism most people have experienced. That isn't a very welcoming way of evangelizing that people are receptive to.
As I read this book, I realized it wasn't what I thought it would be about: questioning the actual evangelism. Instead it explains a whole new form of evangelism, one that I think people may be more open to. One that I find more personable and meets the people where they are, letting them work through their questions, instead of answering with non-answers, evasions, or memorized scripts.
Personally, I am more open to the "show, not tell" method....show them Jesus with your actions, not preach memorized lines to them. I don't think I would go out evangelizing any time soon, but....you never know.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

#REVIEW: Too Deep For Words by Andrea Boeshaar

Title: Too Deep For Words
Series: #2 in the Shenandoah Valley Saga
Author: Andrea Boeshaar
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Published Date: April 25, 2017
ISBN: 978-0825444197
Buy It Link: Amazon


Synopsis:
North meets South in the second installment of this popular Civil War series
Carrie Ann Collier has been a newlywed for nineteen blissful days--as blissful as life can be in the midst of war, that is. Soon that war will take a toll she never expected. When her new husband, Peyton, goes missing during battle, she refuses to believe he is dead, and must find a way to move forward with everyday life in the face of fear.
As Carrie struggles with how to welcome her estranged sister, Margaret, back into her life, another new arrival appears on her doorstep--her husband's best friend, and rebel officer, Eli. Wounded and bitter, Eli is nonetheless committed to keeping his promise to Peyton: take care of the Collier women, no matter what. But to Carrie, he's a painful reminder of her lost love.
Then unexpected news makes Carrie wonder if miracles do happen. If Carrie infiltrates the enemy once again, she might find out what really happened to the love of her life. Will Eli be able to keep his promise to keep her safe? Can they forgive each other if promises are broken?
As fans of Boeshaar's books have come to expect, Too Deep for Words is a meticulously researched novel. Readers are taken directly into the heart of the realities of the Civil War and reminded how, even in the darkest circumstances, faith in Christ offers hope.


My Rating: 4 stars


My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book took my breath away. It is the story of Carrie Ann and Peyton during the Civil War. If you like historical novels set during this time period, you will love reading this book. Though Carrie Ann and Peyton have only been married a handful of days, her love for him is deep. When the war takes a toll her heart cannot accept....that's when the story really takes off.
The author has such an amazing way with words and being able to paint pictures in your mind, making you see the scenes as if you were right there next to Carrie Ann. The amount of research and effort the author has put forth in writing this novel is evident in every chapter, and is one of the most well-written fictional books I have read this year.
I haven't read the first in the series, however, reading this one has made me go back and buy the first in the series. I can't wait to start reading the series from the very beginning.