Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Anomaly by Krista McGee {Litfuse Blog Tour!}

My Review:
Anomaly is captivating, intriguing, and absolutely awesome!

From the very first page I was entangled into Thalli's world. McGee writes in such a way that it's nearly impossible to set the book down. The State is an inventive creation and is distinct from the many dystopian novels out there. I can only imagine the amount of time McGee put into it but I can say that every moment spent shines through beautifully.

Thalli's voice is strong, unique, and her curiosity and her stubbornness endeared her to me. Thalli is simply fun to read about! Her budding confusion surrounding her encounters with Berk were amusing to read. I adored their friendship. In my opinion, friendship is a key element in a successful romance and McGee accomplishes just that.

To say the least, I'm just a tad excited for the next book, Luminary- which is too far off in the future! :-)  I don't read a lot of Young Adult (YA) fiction, primarily because I'm wary of the selection. I'm overjoyed to find authors like McGee and Williamson, who provide us with wholesome YA fiction. If you enjoyed The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or Captives by Jill Williamson you will definitely enjoy this one.

I received this book from the publisher, via Litfuse, in return for an honest review of my opinions, thanks!

Back Cover:  
Thalli has fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds left to live. The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream. But she is not afraid.

Thalli is different than others in The State. She feels things. She asks questions. And in the State, this is not tolerated. The Ten scientists who survived the nuclear war that destroyed the world above believe that emotion was at the core of what went wrong—and they have genetically removed it from the citizens they have since created. Thalli has kept her malformation secret from those who have monitored her for most of her life, but when she receives an ancient piece of music to record as her community’s assigned musician, she can no longer keep her emotions secreted away.

Seen as a threat to the harmony of her Pod, Thalli is taken to the Scientists for immediate annihilation. But before that can happen, Berk—her former Pod mate who is being groomed as a Scientist—steps in and persuades the Scientists to keep Thalli alive as a test subject.

The more time she spends in the Scientist’s Pod, the clearer it becomes that things are not as simple as she was programmed to believe. She hears stories of a Designer—stories that fill her mind with more questions: Who can she trust? What is this emotion called love? And what if she isn’t just an anomaly, but part of a greater design?

Krista McGee is celebrating the release of Anomaly, the first book in her new YA dystopian series, with an iPad Mini Giveaway!

One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A $25 iTunes gift card (download Anomaly to the iPad!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 31st. Winner will be announced at Krista's website on August 2nd.

Spread the word about Krista and her giveaway HERE!

Friday, July 26, 2013

{Book Review} Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Redeeming LoveMy Review:
Compelling, heart wrenching, and absolutely amazing!

Several blogging friends of mine had given this book four to five stars- certainly a high enough rating to pique my interest.  So when I given an opportunity to review it, I took the chance. After all, I thought, Francine Rivers is supposed to be a really great author right? No kidding! She's amazing. Her style, her research, the heart of the story, it's all beautiful.

Redeeming Love is, in a way, an 1850s retelling of Hosea and Gomer's love story with Rivers' own spin to it. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. My heart ached for Michael and at the same time I admired his strength and faith. One thing that began to get on my nerves after a while was all the names he called Angel: Amanda, Tirzah, Mara, Beloved, and when he was frustrated, Angel. Though it wasn't a big deal in the long run.

Rivers wrote Angel's character with perfection. Rivers presented her excellently, holding nothing back. There was never a moment that the word "unrealistic" came to mind. Angel's struggles were raw, real, and tangible. There's more I could say, but I do not want to spoil anything, so I'll close with this: Redeeming Love is a story of unconditional love, of heart break, and of redemption when it seems impossible. I highly recommend this book to mature readers.

I received this book from Waterbrook/Multomah through their review program, Blogging for Books, in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!

Back Cover:
California's gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep.

Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside.

Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man who seeks his Father's heart in everything, Michael obeys God's call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel's every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw.

But with her unexpected softening come overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband's pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does ... the One who will never let her go.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Harvest of Gold by Tessa Afshar (CFBA)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Harvest of Gold
River North; New Edition edition (July 1, 2013)
Tessa Afshar


TESSA AFSHAR was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Award 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. She was born in Iran, and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last thirteen years in full-time Christian work.


The scribe Sarah married Darius, and at times she feels as if she has married the Persian aristocracy, too. There is another point she did not count on in her marriage-Sarah has grown to love her husband. Sarah has wealth, property, honor, and power, but her husband's love still seems unattainable.

Although his mother was an Israelite, Darius remains skeptical that his Jewish wife is the right choice for him, particularly when she conspires with her cousin Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Ordered to assist in the effort, the couple begins a journey to the homeland of his mother's people. Will the road filled with danger, conflict, and surprising memories, help Darius to see the hand of God at work in his life-and even in his marriage?

A hidden message, treachery, opposition, and a God-given success, will lead to an unlikely bounty.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Harvest of Gold, go HERE.

My Review:
This is the best Biblical fiction novel I have read in a while!

From the very beginning I knew I was going to enjoy this book. I don't know if it was Sarah or the story that won me over but nonetheless, this book is going on my keeper shelf. I confess, it wasn't until I was half-way through the story that I realized Harvest of Gold is technically a sequel to Harvest of Rubies; however, Harvest of Gold can be read as a stand alone. I only felt confused twice.

Oh, mercy. I loved Darius. I loved Sarah. They are an awesome couple. Both characters are beautifully written and I thoroughly enjoyed their story. I loved how she portrayed Nehemiah, I thought she did an excellent job bringing to life the man God called to rebuild Jerusalem's walls. He wasn't perfect. He was concerned. But though everything, he trusted in God.

All in all, this is a marvelous tale! Afshar represents the time period well. I hold such a deep admiration of her characters and I can't wait to see what she releases next! In the meantime, I'll be tracking down a copy of Harvest of Rubies to read. I highly recommend this to those who enjoy Biblical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through CFBA, in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

{Book Review} The Rose of Winslow Street by Elizabeth Camden

The Rose of Winslow StreetMy Review:
A charming read!

I started this one a while ago and I am glad I had the time to go back and finish it. I have heard many good things about Camden's novels and I'm happy to report that The Rose of Winslow Street met my expectations. I was so enthralled in the story that time literally flew past as I was reading. The beautiful little town of Colden is idyllic.

There were many times I questioned how Camden would tie up all the strings. I wondered how two people could fall for each other in the midst of such hate. I didn't know how the story could end happily, and then... You'll have to read the book to find out. I'm duly impressed. I will definitely be looking into Camden's other books!

If you enjoy delightful romances with a high amount of conflict and impossibility, then you'll enjoy this one. As for content, I recommend 15 and up.

I purchased this book, no review required. :-)

Back Cover:
The last thing Libby Sawyer and her father expected upon their return from their summer home was to find strangers inhabiting a house that had been in their family for decades. Widower Michael Dobrescu brought his family from Romania to the town of Colden, Massachusetts with a singular purpose: to claim the house willed to him long ago. Since neither party has any intention of giving up their claim, a fierce legal battle ensues between the two families.

When important documents go missing from the house, Libby suspects Michael is the culprit. Determined to discover the truth behind the stolen papers, Libby investigates, only to find more layers of mystery surrounding Michael and his family. Despite their rivalry, Libby finds herself developing feelings for this man with the mysterious past.

As a decision about the house looms in the courts, Libby must weigh the risks of choosing to remain loyal to her family or give her heart to a man whose intentions and affections are less than certain.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Vote for me, maybe?

Hey everyone!

I need a favor. I entered CollegePlus's Summer Scholarship Essay Contest and I would appreciate your vote and your help spreading the word about my essay. If you don't mind, please take a moment to read my essay and vote for it, but only if you like it. Here's the link to my essay, From Faith to Friendship

Thank you, thank you, thank you! :-)


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dolled Up to Die by Lorena McCourtney {Revell Blog Tour!}

Dolled Up to Die (The Cate Kincaid Files, #2)My Review:
Another great mystery from McCourtney!

Cate Kincaid is back! She made a big impression in Dying to Read and I couldn't wait to see what adventures she'd tackle in Dolled Up to Die.  I love her spunk, her humor, and above all else her drive to find the answers. Also returning is Mitch, Cate's occasionally overprotective boyfriend, and Octavia, Cate's newly adopted deaf cat, who sometimes has better intuition than Cate.

I love it when I get the opportunity to review a mystery novel. In this whodunit, I was constantly guessing and never quite sure if I was right. The pacing was dead on, pun intended, and the stakes rose just when you thought they couldn't. Combine McCourtney's great sense of humor with her equally great mystery devices and you get a pleasure-filled afternoon with Cate.

If you enjoy whodunit mysteries, Dolled Up to Die is right up your alley. Aside from some minor, brief, adult humor the story is very clean and appropriate for 15+. I recommend this to anyone in need of a laugh while they try to solve the murder. :-)

Available July 15, 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

I received this book from Revell in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!

Back Cover:
When Cate Kinkaid receives a frantic call about a triple homicide, she drives to the scene against her better judgement-aren’t triple homicides more up the police department’s alley?-only to find that the victims are not quite who she expects. Now she has a new rule to add to those she’s learned in her short stint as an assistant private investigator: always find out if the victims actually have human DNA. Because these three do not.
But who would shoot this nice lady’s dolls? What possible reason could the shooter have? And then there’s the startling discovery of another victim, who definitely does have human DNA . . .

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

I want to thank all the wonderful people out there who have sacrificed for our freedom. Freedom isn't free, and you pay the price. Thank you.

You know, the best part of having studied U.S. history is this: you appreciate days like today because you understand the sacrifice made by our forefathers.

I'm off to celebrate with family. :-) 
What are you doing on this great day?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Small Town Girl by Ann H. Gabhart {Revell Blog Tour!}

Small Town GirlMy Review:
What an adorable story!

If anything is true, it's this: you can't judge an author by one book. In my case, I did not like Gabhart's Words Spoken True but I loved Small Town Girl. The WW2 setting, the sweet characters, and endearing love story all come together for a fantastic read. I loved how some of the character's accents popped off the page; it rounds the characters in a great way for me.

Kate is a great heroine. I haven't read Angel Sister, but it is very apparent what a great big sister she is, not to mention the deep affection she has for her little sister, Lorena. I was really proud of how Kate handled herself in some of the awkward situations she found herself. That being said, she does have flaws, but she has her faith.

One thing is for sure, Gabhart keeps you hanging on until the literal last page. Her writing style is smooth and her characters are so lovable! I wonder if she'll be writing a book for Lorena? Either way, I am very pleased I opted to review Small Town Girl. It's a great historical read with which to spend the afternoon.

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

I received this book from Revell in return for an honest review of my opinions, thanks!

Back Cover:
In the autumn of 1941, rumors of war whisper through Rosey Corner. The town practically vibrates in anticipation, as if it is holding its breath. But for Kate Merritt, it seems life is letting out a prolonged sigh. As Kate watches her sister marry the man Kate has loved since she was fifteen, her heart is silently breaking. And even the attentions of Jay Tanner, the handsome best man, can’t draw her interest.

Then suddenly, Pearl Harbor changes everything. Kate’s friends are rushing to get married before the boys go off to war. The newspapers talk of women making airplanes and bombs. Everyone in town begins rolling bandages, planting victory gardens, collecting scrap metal. Kate finds herself drawn to Jay in surprising ways, and when he enlists she can hardly breathe worrying about him getting killed. Could she truly be in love with him? And if she is, will she ever see him again?