Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck {Litfuse Blog Tour!}

My Review:
Once Upon a PrinceA refreshing, delightful, read from Miss Hauck!

Ever since my lovely blogging friends began posting their reviews, I grew more and more eager to dive into the pages of Once Upon a Prince. Let me tell you, when I finally did I couldn't put it down. This novel went beyond all my expectations. She even surprised me at the end! Anyone who can accomplish that needs to pat themselves on the back.

Susanna is a planner. She feels safe knowing how her life is going to turn out. Until her world flips upside down. Miss Hauck accomplished this change in Susanna very well, in my opinion. It didn't come too fast or too slow but instead it was portrayed very realistically. Susanna felt so real just in general with her quirks. That's something I really liked.

As for the prince... well, he is something special. :-) I was pleasantly surprised by his strong faith. I also liked how willing he was to sacrifice his happiness if it came to that. And, oh my goodness, his accent! It literally pops off the page!

In sum, Miss Hauck has penned an amazing story. Her writing flows right off the page and into my imagination. Her characters appear lifelike and are relatable, something very important to me. This will be one I will reread in the future, just for the fun of it. Plus, she kept all the romance very clean, which impressed me beyond belief. I can't wait until Book Two!

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


Back Cover:
Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess---just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn’t going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.

The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon’s Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family’s tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna’s aid under the fabled Lover’s Oak, he is blindsided by love.

Their lives are worlds apart. He’s a royal prince. She’s a ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Captives by Jill Williamson {TNT Blog Tour + Giveaway!}

My Review:
Captives The Safe LandsThis Christian Dystopian novel is one you won't want to miss!

Captives introduces us to a whole new world in 2088. The Safe Lands practically pop out of the page and take you in. Jill did such a wonderful job making it believable and realistic with amazing detail. Speaking of The Safe Lands, as "safe" as it sounds, it really isn't. The place is actually rather quite terrifying the more you learn about it. I don't blame the Elders who said no to The Safe Lands.

The primary characters we focus on in the novel are Mason, Omar, Levi, and Shaylinn. Truthfully, I hadn't anticipated the many points of view, but it worked really well! It opened the door for me to look at what was going on through different pairs of eyes, who all had unique ways of looking at their circumstances.

Confession time. I am very partial to Levi's and Shaylinn's points of view. I found Levi likable primarily for his loyalty to his family and friends. His determination to put his own life on the line to get them back. His quoting Westley from The Princess Bride... *cough* Anyway, overall he earned his spot as one of my favorite characters. ;-)

As a result of The Safe Lands ungodly lifestyle there is many instances revolving around a character, whose name I shall not disclose. No instances are explicit, in fact, Jill handles all of it really well in a way with few details. Nonetheless, be advised.

My personal conclusion? This book is fantastic! And the ending has left me eager for the sequel!

I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thank you!

Back Cover:
One choice could destroy them all.

When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he’d find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many—including his fiancée, Jem–taken captive. Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe.

Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Land has protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago … and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams.

Meanwhile, their brother Mason has been granted a position inside the Safe Lands, and may be able to use his captivity to save not only his people, but also find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone inside the Safe Lands.

Can Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Land’s façade before it’s too late?

You can purchase your copy here!

You can connect with Jill Williamson at any of the following sites:
Her personal website (also linked above): http://www.jillwilliamson.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jwilliamsonwrites?fref=ts
Also- the Safe Lands has their own Website! Check it out: http://thesafelands.com/

Jill and Zondervan are graciously giving away a paperback copy of Captives! US entries only, sorry! Please use the Rafflecopter below. ;-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other stops on the tour:
ADD Librarian • Blooming with Books • Bookworm Reading • Chris Kolmorgen • Christian Book Review Blog • Christian Bookshelf ReviewsCTF Devourer • Emily Rachelle WritesHeavenward Reviews • Jessica Laurie • Labor Not in Vain • The Life of a Teenage Writer • The Maniacal BookwormMrs. Southern BrideOh, Restless Bird • Pages from My Journal • The Pen and ParchmentRachelle Rea • The Ramblings of a Young Author • Realm of HeartsShadow Writer World • A Simple Life, Really?!Surrendering All of Me • Terri Harr • Verbosity Book Reviews • Who YA Reading? • Worthy2Read • The Writings of Rosie

 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Book Review: The Bare Naked Truth by Bekah Hamrick Martin

I'll be frank, this book covers some uncomfortable topics. However, I found it well worth the read. 

Back Cover:
The Truth About Sex and Waiting ... Uncovered Purity. Sex. Boys. Waiting. 

The Bare Naked Truth: Dating, Waiting, and God's Purity PlanThere's something about those words that makes everything complex in a heartbeat, and raises more questions than answers. Is there something wrong with me if I don't kiss a boy after a date? Or am I doomed if I DID? What if waiting is just a one-way trip to life as a crazy cat woman? And what if I tend to, um, think about a certain boy in a certain way? It seems that the lady at church and your friends have two very different opinions on the subject. And 'Your Budding Womanhood: Staying a Beautiful Flower for Jesus' just isn't cutting it. 

Bekah Hamrick Martin knows the waiting game isn't easy or straight-forward. In The Bare Naked Truth, she lays everything on the table---including some embarrassing moments---as she explores the honest, naked truth behind what God means by purity. With additional entries from popular authors, you'll see the bare naked approach to waiting isn't always easy, but it's worth the risk.

My Review:
Debut author Bekah Martin brings to us a very serious yet pleasant read. She covers topics that many might classify as taboo. Nonetheless, if you are a Christian teenage girl (or even if you aren't) I think you could gain a lot by reading The Bare Naked Truth.

Throughout the book, Bekah shares appropriate scripture and has several of her friends share their personal stories/experiences/testimonies in the hope that we, as the reader, can learn from other people's mistakes and make our own educated decisions. I never once felt being preached at or talked down to. Bekah writes very openly and from the heart. She also makes some excellent points while making me laugh at the same time.

I read The Bare Naked Truth in about four to five hours, just because I couldn't put it down. Bekah really makes you step back and reexamine your plans in a positive way. I'm really glad that I had the chance to review this. Personally, reading the book made me rethink my decisions and plans. I highly recommend it!

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

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade {Litfuse Blog Tour!}

My Review:
Undeniably Yours (A Porter Family #1)Becky Wade's sophomore novel is sophisticated and sweet!

I fell instantly for Meg Cole as our leading lady! She finds herself placed into a mold, and to put it simply, she doesn't meld like she's expected to. My heart ached for all Meg was put through in her childhood and early adult life. Her bright faith through it all remains a highlight to me even after I finished the final pages.

Bo Porter is a man living his dream job. He grew up in a Christian home surrounded by the one thing Meg finds important: love. Bo is definitely a hero to root for. As a former marine and an oldest brother, he assumes the protective role in his family and loved ones.

Becky's debut, My Stubborn Heart, remains my favorite by a small margin. I cannot compare the two, so I shall just say this. Undeniably Yours brings to the table a wonderful cast of characters. They felt real to me in the best sense. Accompanying the beautiful characters is great writing. Places like the Whispering Creek Ranch spring off the page and it's like you're there. It adds to the atmosphere of the story in a positive way.

I can say honestly that I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I cannot wait to discover more about the Porter family!! 

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

Back Cover:
When Meg Cole’s father dies unexpectedly, she becomes the majority shareholder of his oil company and the single inheritor of his fortune. Though Meg is soft-spoken and tenderhearted–more interested in art than in oil–she’s forced to return home to Texas and to Whispering Creek Ranch to take up the reins of her father’s empire.

The last thing she has the patience or the sanity to deal with? Her father’s thoroughbred racehorse farm. She gives its manager, Bo Porter, six months to close the place down.


Bo’s determined to resent the woman who’s decided to rob him of his dream. But instead of anger, Meg evokes within him a profound desire to protect. The more time he spends with her, the more he longs to overcome every obstacle that separates them–her wealth, his unworthiness, her family’s outrage–and earn the right to love her.


But just when Meg begins to realize that Bo might be the one thing on the ranch worth keeping, their fragile bond is viciously broken by a force from Meg’s past. Can their love–and their belief that God can work through every circumstance–survive?


Becky Wade is celebrating her latest swoon-worthy novel, Undeniably Yours (Bethany House), with a Kindle Fire giveaway and hosting an Author Chat party on Facebook {5/29}!

UndeniablyYours

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Undeniably Yours and My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 28th. Winner will be announced at the "Undeniably Yours" Facebook Author Chat Party on May 29th. Connect with Becky for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Becky will also share an exclusive look at her next book and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Undeniably Yours and join Becky on the evening of May 29th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Jennifer: An O'Malley Love Story by Dee Henderson (CFBA)


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Jennifer: An O’Malley Love Story
Bethany House Publishers (May 1, 2013)
by
Dee Henderson


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dee Henderson is the bestselling, award-winning author of 15 previous novels, including the acclaimed O'MALLEY series and UNCOMMON HEROES series. These days, most authors are out there energetically promoting their books in print and broadcast and via social media—wherever they can get attention. But Dee Henderson keeps a low profile. She avoids telephone interviews because of hearing problems, declined to provide a current photo, and will say only that she lives in Illinois.

ABOUT THE BOOK




It's a summer of change for Jennifer O'Malley. The busy physician has a pediatrics practice in Dallas, and meeting Tom Peterson, and falling in love, is adding a rich layer to her life. She's sorting out how to introduce him to her family--she's the youngest of seven--and thinking about marriage.

She's falling in love with Jesus too, and knows God is good. But that faith is about to be tested in a way she didn't expect, and the results will soon transform her entire family.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Jennifer: An O’Malley Love Story, go to HERE.

My Review:
A sweet, sweet prequel to the O'Malley series!

Now, I have not yet read the O'Malley series, it is on my TBR list and I'll eventually get to it. But as a girl who knows nothing of this interesting family, Jennifer's story was the perfect place to start. While this book remains under one-hundred and fifty pages, it possesses a nice tug to keep me reading and interested.

This book was very different for me to read. As I mentioned, it is much shorter than other books out there and left for some conflict to be desired. It felt like things were too perfect on a few occasions.  All that said, Henderson blows a big bomb, and I don't mean literally, right before the end of the book. Readers of her series ought to have a clue, but I didn't.

Jennifer and Tom are both doctors. Jennifer works among kids in the office while Tom preforms  surgeries to make these children better. Jennifer is a giver, who keeps on giving when she's already given her all. Her heart is for her patients whom she calls her kids. Her compassion makes her a hero in a white coat for many of the children. Tom was a very likable hero who brought his cards to the table. He was very gentle with Jennifer when it came to his faith and her lack thereof. I thought he handled the situation stupendously.

To briefly sum up, it was a quick, cute read. Past and present readers will like this one. :)

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

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet (TNT)

My Review:
Oh my goodness. Fans of Stephanie's Skylar Hoyt series, go buy The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet right now!!
The-Revised-Life-of-Ellie-S
I was super excited to be able to review Ellie's story, especially after I enjoyed Skylar's so well. I must confess, Ellie is now my favorite. A introverted teen, who secretly loves to write, finds herself wanting in seemingly everyone's eyes. Including her parents. The way Miss Morrill styled Ellie's character and personality really shines and is attractive, making it easy to like Miss Sweet despite her flaws.

I love how this book is written in first person. The words flow so smoothly! I seriously could not stop reading once I begun. The need for sleep and a dying laptop battery are the only reasons I ever quit. It's that good, everyone. It's that good.

I also really loved how Stephanie incorporated all of the writing things Ellie experienced and learned. Like how to draft a query letter, proposal, etc. I also liked all the bits about the conference Ellie went too, that was really cool for me, as a teen writer. ;-)

I received this book from the author via Team Novel Teen, thanks!! :)

Book Blurb:
Ellie Sweet is a lot of things—good girl, novelist, silent adorer of the new boy at school, Palmer. But when “outcast” gets added to the list, she decides it’s time to take reality into her own hands … and tweak it as needed.

In the pages of her book, she’s Lady Gabrielle, favorite of the medieval Italian court. Her once-friends are reduced to catty ladies-in-waiting, and the too-charming Palmer—who in real life never spares her a second word—gets to be nothing more than a rake wracked by unrequited love for her. She even has a perfect real-life villain in the brooding Chase, who hails from the wrong side of town.

But just when she’s getting along great in her fictional world, the real one throws her a few curves. With Chase pursuing her, Palmer wanting to date her—but in secret—and the details of her manuscript going public, Ellie suddenly receives more attention than she ever really wanted. And when her former-friends discover what she’s been writing, they’re determined to teach Ellie a lesson about the severe consequences of using her pen as her sword.

You can visit Stephanie at her website: http://www.stephaniemorrill.com/
Or you can connect with her on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/stephaniemorrill

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour!
Blooming with BooksColorimetry • Gillian Adams • Jill Williamson • The Life of a Teenage WriterOnce Upon an InklingPages from My Journal • Rachelle Rea • The Ramblings of a Young AuthorShadow Writer World • Who YA Reading?The Writings of RosieWorthy2Read
 
Think this is where the awesome post ends? Think again! Stephanie has graciously offered up an ebook to give away! Enter below using the Rafflecopter widget. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Book Review: Grave Consequences by Lisa T. Bergren

My Review: 
Grave Consequences (Grand Tour Series, #2)An excellent sequel to Glamorous Illusions!


Grave Consequences picks up shortly after the ending of Glamorous Illusions. It took me a few chapters to remember the characters and all that occurred in the first book, but it was easy to catch up. I was quickly reminded of how much I liked Cora. Her bright spirit, her determination, and her new found love of her siblings made me like her all the more.

As for the love triangle, I have always been endeared to Will more so than Pierre. Will is sweet, handsome, and honorable. He's willing to give up everything for Cora, for her safety, for her happiness. He's the perfect hero for us to root for.

This brings me to one of the few things I did not like about this book. I did not like how every man seemed to fall at Cora's feet, enamored. It got old fast and I tired of it midway through. This would have to be the worse fault I found with the book, and I immensely enjoyed the rest.

I am eager for the conclusion, Glittering Promises, to come out this fall!

Many thanks to Rissi, for letting me borrow her copy! No review required. :-)

Back Cover:
For Cora Kensington, the journey of a lifetime takes unexpected twists. And her future—her very life—depends on the decisions she’ll make at each crossroad. As her European tour with her newfound family takes her through Austria, France, and Italy, an unseen enemy trails close behind. Meanwhile, a forbidden love continues to claim her heart, putting everyone’s plans in danger.

And as Cora stays one step ahead of it all, what might need the most protection is her own heart, torn between the dramatic pursuit of a dashing Frenchman and a man who has been quietly staking claim to her affections all along. Love has dangers all its own. She must escape the bonds of the past and discover the faith to make the right choices, as each one has grave consequences.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Little Letters: First Edition

So, I have been wanting to do my own edition of Rissi's Little Letters meme for a long time now, yet never seemed to find the right time. That changes today. So here goes! :-)

Dear Tony Stark, I loved your final Iron Man movie. You've really come a long way since your debut in 2008. I like your humor (sometimes) and believe you and Pepper are the cutest superhero couple.

Dear May, you've started off the month with a bang. Not only did you bring spring with you, but you also brought the heat shortly behind. Not cool. Literally.

Dear Followers, I appreciate each and every one of you! Throwing giveaways for you all is such fun and I can say with authority there shall be another soon. ;-) Thanks for sticking with me.

Dear Star Trek, boy, am I pumped for your next movie! You tease me constantly with your trailers and your wonderful cast interviews! I hope Into Darkness will be just as awesome as the first. See you in theaters real soon!

Dear Writing, I miss you so much. Hopefully I'll be able to squeeze some time in for you tomorrow, because we are long overdue for a rendezvous.

Dear High School, I'm so glad you're over. I'm thankful I can close this chapter of my life and dive into the next. I have several fond memories of my few years spent with you. I will treasure them forever.

Dear College, wow. It's nice to finally meet you. And it's really nice to shock other people with the fact I'm a sophomore now. lol However, my break in August is a really long time away. Please be nice to me until then, thank you. :-)

Dear Color Run, My, I'm excited for you! Training is hard for the moment, but I will relish being able to run across the finish line!

Dear Rissi, I really enjoy your blog and talking with you about the latest book we've both read. You have been a great friend when I needed one. ;-)

Dear Charity, I still have not watched Les Mis 10th Anniversary but I'll get there. In the meantime, I love fangirling with you over LOTRs and Les Mis. :D

Dear Books, there are so many of you! I will really have to prioritize to get you all read, not that I mind. Your wonderful stories keep a smile on my face when studying gets hard. Thank you for that. I'll see you very soon. :)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Few Thoughts on Creation...

Beautiful...Wonderstruck...Amazing

These are the things that run through my head as I gaze up at the sunrise, the sunset, and the stars. I love the sky when it looks like it's been painted, all the different hues and swirling clouds. I love looking up at the stars on a quiet night, they twinkle back at me and shine bright.

Image Courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Creation is such a magnificent thing. It is so vast... Bigger than our wildest dreams. And it is so beautiful. I am in complete awe that my Father in Heaven did this in seven days. Everything from the wide universe in the sky to the land we stand on and everything in between. How incredible! 

Absolutely indescribable.

"...The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." -Psa. 19:1

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund {Litfuse Blog Tour!}

My Review:
A spellbinding read from Hedlund!
A Noble Groom
It feels like just yesterday I was posting my review of Unending Devotion and now here we are with Hedlund's latest release, The Noble Groom! Right off the bat, I was sucked into Annalisa's dilemma and found myself quickly attached to her and her daughter, Gretchen.

I was also particularly intrigued about how Hedlund would go about spilling Carl's secrets. It certainly went better than I expected, which is a good thing. Secrets and whatnot can easily become clichéd, but in this case it worked well. Carl turned into a great hero after farming smoothed out his rough edges.

Annalisa, despite her age of nineteen, is such an amazing woman and mother. I wanted to applaud her hard work and effort to keep her family afloat. She made such sacrifices; all I wanted was to see her get something for her work, something to make it all worthwhile. All in all, she was a great heroine and perfect for the story.

Hedlund fashions an amazing cast, a realistic setting, and a plot that will make you hold on tight to the book. If you've enjoyed any of her previous novels, then you are sure to enjoy this one.

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

Back Cover:
Recently widowed Annalisa Werner has the feeling her husband was murdered but can't prove it. Alone with her young daughter in 1881 Michigan, she has six months left to finish raising the money needed to pay back the land contract her husband purchased, and the land is difficult to toil by herself. She needs a husband. With unmarried men scarce, her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom.

For nobleman Carl von Reichert, the blade of the guillotine is his fate. He's been accused and convicted of a serious crime he didn't commit, and his only escape is to flee to a small German community in Michigan where he'll be safe. He secures a job on Annalisa's farm but bumbles through learning about farming and manual labor.

Annalisa senses that Carl is harboring a secret about his past, yet she finds herself drawn to him anyway. He's gentle, kind, and romantic--unlike any of the men she's ever known. He begins to restore her faith in the ability to love--but her true groom is still on his way. And time is running out on them all.
 


Jody Hedlund is celebrating the release of A Noble Groom by giving away a Kindle Fire and hosting a Facebook Author Chat Party {5/8}! 


A-Noble-Groom300
One "noble" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 7th. Winner will be announced at the "A Noble Groom" Author Chat Party on May 8th. Connect with Jody, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be many fun giveaways -- gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of A Noble Groom and join Jody on the evening of May 8th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 8th!