Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Glittering Promises by Lisa T. Bergren {Litfuse Blog Tour!}

My Review:
13207223A lovely conclusion to an amazing series!

I was so excited to find Glittering Promises in my mailbox! I have followed the series from the beginning and I've loved every single installment. That being said, I'm incredibly sad to have read the final pages. Nonetheless, I'm glad to have watched the Kensingtons grow and mature on this Grand Tour. I will share my thoughts without spoilers, but it should go without saying that you need to find your own copy and dive in!

After I finished Grave Consequences, I was at a loss as to how Miss Bergren would tie up the series. There was so much to resolve! And while she didn't have me on the edge of my seat, she did have me curious. I truly didn't go into Glittering Promises with any expectations, which is just as well because I would have been wrong! Yet again, twists and turns weave through the novel but (thankfully) they all finally begin to tie together and make sense.

Though I'd like to say this is my favorite of the series, it falls short. Glamorous Illusions remains my favorite, I think. If there's one thing I'd caution any reader, it would be to beware the romance in the story. Bergren doesn't set a good example, as there's too much focus on feelings and there is consistently a lack of trust between two individuals- something I find is detrimental in any relationship. However, this is the only big problem I had.

We are definitely given a satisfactory ending and thrill of a ride, no doubt! Although my slight issues with the love triangle, I really am happy with how Miss Bergren ended it all, and I will continue to secretly hope we'll see the Kensingtons again. I recommend this novel and this series to older teens (16+).

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

Back Cover:
Wealth cannot buy peace … or direction.
For Cora Kensington, the Grand Tour was to be the trip of a lifetime. She discovered the family she never knew she had, and may have even found the love she longs for in Will. And yet her life has just become infinitely more challenging …
Hounded by journalists chasing the beguiling story of the newest American heiress, Cora fights to remain true to her past, reconcile her present, and still embrace her future. But as Will struggles with her newfound wealth, she begins to wonder if their love is strong enough to withstand all that threatens to pull them apart.
Complicating matters is the stubborn pursuit of Pierre de Richelieu and the increased demands on her time and attention. Cora must stand up for what she believes—regardless of how that might challenge current family and cultural norms—in order to remain true to who she really is.
And as she glimpses the end of the tour, Cora knows it’s time to decide Who and what defines her … and who and what does not.

Lisa T. Bergren is celebrating the release of her new book, Glittering Promisesby giving away a $200 Italian feast from Williams-Sonoma and hosting a fun Facebook party on October 29th.
  One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Italian feast from Williams-Sonoma delivered to your door
  • The three-book Grand Tour set
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 29th. Winner will be announced at the "Glittering Promises" Facebook Author Chat Party on October 29th. Connect with Lisa for an evening of book chat, European trivia, and prizes, and get an exclusive look Lisa's next book.

So grab your copies of the Grand Tour series and join Lisa on the evening of October 29th 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 the 29th!

Cover Reveal!! {Living Separate Lives by Paulette Harper}

Hello, all! Today, Writings of Rosie, is hosting its first Cover Reveal! Exciting, right? Before I show off the lovely cover, here's a little bit about Paulette:

Paulette Harper is an award-winning and best-selling author. She is the owner of Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tours and is passionate about helping authors succeed in publishing and marketing their books. Paulette has been writing and publishing books since 2008. Paulette is the author of That Was Then, This is Now, Completely Whole and The Sanctuary. Her articles have appeared on-line and in print.

And now, for the main event!

 Isn't it gorgeous? I love the red text and the lighting in the picture. I also like the model's smile- so beautiful!
Here's the synopsis: 
Candace Walker, Kaylan Smith, Jordan Tate, and Tiffany Thomas have their share of sorrows, but neither of them realizes how deep the sorrow goes. What happens when they agree to meet for a weekend of relaxation in beautiful Napa County? Which one will leave the same or worse? For Candace Walker, life has left her battered and bruised. Kaylan Smith has struggled with prejudice from her in-laws. After fifteen years of marriage, bitterness is trying to raise its ugly head for Jordan Tate, whose husband wants to call it quits. And for Tiffany Thomas, dealing with rejection has never been one of her greatest feats. Although they have been friends for years, they thought they knew each other well. But will a secret destroy their relationship and bring the sisterhood to a complete halt? Will they be able to forgive and allow God to mend that which might be torn? 

Looks like it'll be a great read! Here are some places you can connect with Paulette: 

Thanks for coming by!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

{Book Review:} Return to Me by Lynn Austin

17384512My Review:
A wonderful Biblical fiction novel!

This is the first book by Austin I've read, and I loved it! I felt pulled into the Bible as real events played out before my mind's eye: King Cyrus releasing the Jews to return to Jerusalem, the struggle to rebuild the temple, and the prophets Haggai and Zachariah encouraging the Israelites to follow His instruction. Austin did an amazing job.

Return to Me follows Iddo and his family through their transition from Babylon to Jerusalem, and we also watch Zachariah grow into a man of God. With every seemingly impossible situation, I couldn't figure out how Austin would wrap up the book. I felt many of the obstacles, namely the pagan-star reading that her characters Yael and Dinah faced, were accurate to the times, though that didn't make it any easier to read.

Somewhere after the halfway point, time jumped a little too frequently for me, leaving me dizzy trying to figure out how much time had passed and what had occurred in that time. But really, that's my only complaint.

If you're seeking an accurate Biblical fiction novel, you ought to give Return to Me a try. This book should be read by older teens because of content (paganism, sacrificing of animals, etc.) I thoroughly enjoyed this one, I can't wait for the next!

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

Back Cover:
After years of watching his children and grandchildren wander from their faith, Iddo's prayers are answered: King Cyrus is allowing God's chosen people to return to Jerusalem. Jubilant, he joyfully prepares for their departure, only to learn that his family, grown comfortable in the pagan culture of Babylon, wants to remain. 

Zechariah, Iddo's oldest grandson, feels torn between his grandfather's ancient beliefs and the comfort and success his father enjoys in Babylon. But he soon begins to hear the voice of God, encouraging him to return to the land given to his forefathers.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

{Book Review:} Last Light by Terri Blackstock

593152My Review:
A thrilling concept and suspenseful plot!

Last Light disappointed me. I loved Blackstock's Intervention series, but this one just didn't do it for me. There are many reasons I felt so, but I'll get to them later. Throughout Last Light we read from the perspectives of Jeff, Kay, Doug, and Deni Branning and perhaps the villain once. Honestly, this family is relatively broken and if it wasn't for the power outage, I don't see how they could have been a happy family. Speaking of the power outage, a lot of people say it's reminiscent of the TV show Revolution. I have not watched the show so I cannot vouch for it; however, Last Light was originally published in '05, so it came first.

The power was hardly out for a day and people turned into savage maniacs. The cause of the said outage was supposedly a product of something in the atmosphere. Not a realistic viable option, in my opinion, nonetheless this outage knocked out everything, and I do mean everything. Cars, generators- even brand new ones, watches, etcetera. It's an event so extreme people call it an act of God. I strongly disagree with that, but that's a topic for another blog post.

It is very evident the time and effort Blackstock put into crafting this city and what it would be like with no electricity. For that, at least, I commend her. Her characters on the other hand need some work. Deni is such a brat. She whines, she complains, and I didn't like her at all. Alhough she has a "come to Jesus" moment later on in the book, it didn't read real, if that makes any sense. As for the rest of the Brannings, I found it hard to relate to any of them.

I won't be making an effort to read the rest of the series. If, after this review, your interest is piqued; I recommend Last Light to ages sixteen and older due to some crude content involving the villain but as an overall good read I don't recommend it.

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

Back Cover:
In the face of a crisis that sweeps an entire high-tech planet back to the age before electricity, Deni Branning's career ambitions have vanished. She's not about to let her dream of marriage go as well.

But keeping it alive will require extraordinary measures. Yesterday's world is gone. All Deni and her family have left is each other and their neighbors. Their little community will either stand or fall together. But they're only beginning to realize it - and trust doesn't come easily.

Particularly when one of them is a killer.

Best-selling suspense author Terri Blackstock weaves a masterful what-if novel in which global catastrophe reveals the darkness in human hearts - and lights the way to restoration for a self-centered world.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What Lie Do You Believe?

I was working away on my characters, preparing for my NaNoWriMo novel, when a thought hit me. Every character has some lie they believe, but what lie do I believe? This, of course, brought about a lot of thinking and prayer. The crazy thing is, I believe more lies than I thought. Once I began listing all the lies and putting a "face" to them, I was shocked. I could go and list every lie, but I'm not going to. Why? Well, that isn't the purpose of this post. I'm not perfect. I'm flawed. I'm human. The purpose of this post is to get you to think. That's right, I'm asking you to use the brain God gave you. So, what lie do you believe? No, no, you don't have to comment. Just sit back and take a moment and do a little heart searching.

Found one? Great.

Here's the good news, you don't have to believe it anymore. Write it down on a scrap of paper and then I want you to open up your Bible and search for a Truth. Find a verse that refutes your lie and then write it under your lie. 

Ready for the bad news?

Now that you have pinpointed the lie (or lies) you believe and you have found scriptural truth, you no longer have any excuses. When the devil comes and whispers in your ear that you aren't good enough or you're a failure or you're worthless, take Jesus's example and throw those scriptures back at the devil. Remind him that you are a child of the One True God. Remind him that God never called the qualified. Remind him that nothing is impossible with Jesus on your side. Remind him that Jesus died for you.

"For if any man is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he is like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing."
James 1:23-25 ESV

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Heart of the Country by Rene Gutteridge and John Ward {Tyndale Blog Tour!}

My Review:
http://files.tyndale.com/thpdata/images--covers/HiResJpg/978-1-4143-4829-2.jpgA heartfelt story of overcoming one's past.

Faith and Luke have a fairytale life... until Luke is arrested for being a part of a Ponzi scheme. He claims he wasn't involved, but admits to his knowledge of the scheme. Frustrated and angry, Faith packs a suitcase and walks out the door going to the place she once called home. 

This story hooked me on the first page and made it hard to put down. Conflict loomed on every page, I truly didn't know what direction the story was headed. I went from page to page curious to the outcome. There were many instances I was concerned emotions would be downplayed or overdone; however, the authors handled each character with delicacy and stayed true to life.

That being said, some situations in the book were confusing and didn't make sense, such as Luke's role with the Michov Brothers. It was probably due to all the head jumping. Thankfully, when I watched the movie, it clarified what was going on. Other than that, I enjoyed the writing and depth to the plot and story, something that can't be shown on screen.

To sum up, I enjoyed the book a lot, but the movie let me down. You wouldn't think there would be so many differences or nuances, especially when the screenplay writer helps write the novelization. Yes, I like my movies to stay true to my books and in this case the saying is true, the book is always better than the movie.

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

Back Cover:
Faith and Luke Carraway have it all. Faith is a beautiful singer turned socialite while Luke is an up-and-coming successful businessman. After taking his inheritance from his father's stable, lucrative business to invest in a successful hedge fund with the Michov Brothers, he's on the fast track as a rising young executive, and Faith is settling comfortably into her role as his wife. When rumors of the Michovs' involvement in a Ponzi scheme reach Faith, she turns to Luke for confirmation, and he assures her that all is well. But when Luke is arrested, Faith can't understand why he would lie to her, and she runs home to the farm and the family she turned her back on years ago. Meanwhile, Luke is forced to turn to his own family for help as he desperately tries to untangle himself from his mistakes. Can two prodigals return to families they abandoned, and will those families find the grace to forgive and forget? Will a marriage survive betrayal when there is nowhere else to run but home?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

{Book Review:} My Hope is Found by Joanne Bischof

My Review:
Oh, what a lovely finish to a wonderful series!!

I have been aching to get my hands on My Hope is Found ever since I finished the last page of Though My Heart is Torn. Once you've read the first two in the series, you feel a certain familiarity returning to Jeb and Elsie's home and this time was no different. Ah, I could smell what Lonnie was baking, hear Jacob and Addie playing, and I could feel winter turning to spring. It's a lovely experience! Mrs. Bischof selected the perfect setting for these novels.

If you've read Though My Heart is Torn, then I can almost guarantee you're on the edge of your seat waiting for My Hope is Found to be released. I have been sworn to secrecy, but I will say the ending is satisfying and came about in a way I did not expect. OK, so maybe I had an inkling to how it was going to end, but I wasn't sure.

Mrs. Bischof's tagline is "Heartfelt Fiction" and that is truly the best (and shortest) description I can give. I have loved and cherished each part of Lonnie's story and though I loath seeing it end, I am very glad for the time I spent with Lonnie. This is a series you have to read for yourself in order to understand why I love it so. Mrs. Bischof has totally outdone herself with the Cadence of Grace series and I cannot wait to read what she releases next!

I highly recommend this series to ages sixteen and up for both readability and content.

I received an ARC copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks, Joanne!!

Back Cover:
Gideon O’Riley has been given another chance at a life with Lonnie. But will the fight for her heart risk it all over again?

After finally finding love with his sweet bride Lonnie, Gideon’s heart was torn when a woman from his past claimed to be his true and rightful wife, forcing him away from his family. God’s merciful hand saw Gideon through the heartache, and with Cassie’s blessing, he is able to return home. Though his journey back through the Blue Ridge Mountains will hold a trial he never anticipated. Meanwhile, Lonnie determines to seal off her heart from Gideon, convinced he is lost to her forever. Strengthening her resolve to move on is the fondness she has for the handsome Scotsman, Toby McKee—the young reverend she has come to care deeply for. His proposal of marriage offers a bright future for her and her young son.

Yearning to allow joy back into her life, Lonnie must put aside the broken pieces of her heart that still love Gideon. When he returns to find her betrothed to another, he has to place his hope in God, trusting that the One who redeemed their love once can do it again.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

First Date by Melody Carlson {Revell Blog Tour!}

17384593My Review:
While I cannot speak for Melody's other books, I am sad to say I was not impressed with First Date.

Maybe it's because I'm homeschooled (it probably is), but I found most of the book aggravating. Please realize that this is just my experience with the book and truthfully those who go to public school or a Christian school might enjoy this one better than I. There were only two characters I liked, Emma and Cassidy. I saw part of myself in both of them, though I don't really want to go into much detail.

The problem I have with the girls is simple. The girls were thinking with their hearts instead of thinking with their brains. All, if not most, of the girls were only looking at the present, not to the future. They had this mindset of, "Oh well it's not like we're going to get married someday."<- And that right there is another problem. If you aren't planning on a long, lasting, relationship with a guy, then why mess with dating? Anyway, I don't want to turn this into a long ramble, so I'll move on.

All things aside, Carlson's writing is great. I just had a problem with her characters and plot. I probably won't be picking up another Carlson YA book anytime soon and I don't recommend this book to other homeschoolers, as it isn't worth it.

This book will be available October 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:
Five high school friends have one thing in common as they start their sophomore year: none of them have ever been on a "real" date. With homecoming looming, they make a pact and start a secret club they call the DG (Dating Game). They're sworn to secrecy--and to purity--but the club is their way to set each other up on their first dates so they can report back to the DG. Of course, they all make different choices about how to deal with their parents and how to act on their dates, and they discover that they all have totally different experiences. Still, the things they learn about boys and dating will stick with them throughout high school. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

{Book Review:} Made to Last by Melissa Tagg

17350825My Review:
A comical, cute, debut from Tagg!

I knew after I looked at the cover and read the blurb that Made to Last would be a read I'd enjoy. I was right! I easily entangled myself within Miranda's story. I loved how both she and Matthew's voices were down to earth and distinct. They read as real people. Imperfect people. People with troubles and struggles.

I loved the home-improvement TV show angle. It's unique, fresh, and it was really cool to read about. More than once I found time slipping past with ease while I read earnestly, and before I knew it, I was halfway through. Sadly this book didn't surprise me, but, the genre is "contemporary romance" and not "mystery" so I'll let it slide. ;-)

Tagg is one to watch in the future. I like her writing style and her spunky characters, especially Celine. I don't know why I adore side child characters, maybe it's their innocence, but Celine is absolutely wonderful. For those who are looking to read something different, then you need to try out Made to Last, it'll be worth it. I recommend to ages sixteen and older for readability and content.

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

Back Cover:
Miranda Woodruff, star of the homebuilding show "From the Ground Up," will do anything to keep the job she loves. Due to a painful broken engagement and a faith she's mostly forgotten, she's let her entire identity become wrapped up in the Miranda everyone sees onscreen. So when she receives news that the network might cancel her program, she must do the very thing she fears most: let the spotlight shine on her closely guarded personal life. The only problem? She's been living a lie--letting viewers believe she's married--and now she's called upon to play wife to a sweet, if a bit goofy, pretend husband to boost ratings.

Desperate to help his family and prove he's not a total failure, reporter Matthew Knox is looking for a breakout story. When he's offered the opportunity to do an online serial feature on Miranda Woodruff, he jumps at the chance, even if celebrity reporting isn't really his thing. But as soon as he meets Miranda, he knows she's keeping secrets.

When Miranda's former fiance suddenly appears on the scene again, she doubts her life could get more complicated. Juggling three guys, an on-the-rocks television show, and the potential exposure of her deception is way more than she bargained for. Can the woman who makes things look so good onscreen admit it's time to tell the truth about who she is? And if she does, will the life Miranda's built come crashing down just as she's finally found a love to last?