Sunday, June 30, 2013

Follow me with Bloglovin'!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin!

GFC (Google Friend Connect) and Google reader are going away tomorrow. If you want to continue following Writings of Rosie, I recommend using Bloglovin, NetworkedBlogs, or the Follow by Email feature. Thanks!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate by Diana Wallis Taylor {Revell Blog Tour!}

Claudia, Wife of Pontius PilateMy Review: 
Several months ago, I reviewed Taylor's release Martha. I did not enjoy it as much as I expected to but I opted to give Taylor's latest, Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate, a fair shot.

I applaud Taylor for taking on such a difficult subject. As she mentions in her Author's Note, Claudia is only mentioned once possibly twice. Taylor's historical research shines through and she stayed close to the Gospel's account in most places. However, some of the creative licenses she took turned me off to the story. I won't go into it.

Judea, in the disciples' day, I think was represented well. It was neat to visualize what it was like and to form a mental image. I also thought it was neat to see what Jesus's ministry would have looked like to an outsider. That isn't a view I get to read often, and I an impressed at how real Taylor wrote it.

In truth, I felt like the book ran much longer than it should have. The last chapters were a drag with no clear direction as to where we were going. I really wanted to like this book, but it simply wasn't for me.

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

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

Back Cover:
Claudia's life did not start easily.

The illegitimate daughter of Julia, reviled and exiled daughter of Caesar Augustus, Claudia spends her childhood in a guarded villa with her mother and grandmother. When Tiberius, who hates Julia, takes the throne, Claudia is wrenched away from her mother to be brought up in the palace in Rome. The young woman is adrift-until she meets Lucius Pontius Pilate and becomes his wife. When Pilate is appointed Prefect of the troublesome territory of Judea, Claudia does what she has always done: she makes the best of it. But unrest is brewing on the outskirts of the Roman Empire, and Claudia will soon find herself and her beloved husband embroiled in controversy and rebellion. Might she find peace and rest in the teaching of the mysterious Jewish Rabbi everyone seems to be talking about?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Book Review: Trouble in Store by Carol Cox

Trouble in StoreMy Review:
Another amazing story from Carol Cox!

Carol did a great job pulling me right into the story with the first chapter. Melanie is such an easy character to like despite her stubbornness and slight impulsive behavior. Even though I knew misfortune would befall her early on, I still hurt right alongside her. I loved her desire to improve the mercantile; however, I'm not sure her methods were the proper way to get what she wanted. Ha! Ha!

Caleb is a fabulous hero! He's such a great father to his son, Levi, and does the best he can to also run a store single-handedly. I thought the transition from disliking Melanie to falling in love with her was well paced and realistic. I loved how protective he is. He and Melanie make a great couple.

I just studied this time period for my studies and I'm pleased to find little details in the story that I know I would have missed had I not studied this era. I also must admit I'm very impressed with how vivid the Arizona territory appeared in my mind's eye. Very beautiful, very rustic, very western. I truly enjoyed the mystery Carol implemented and I wish the book could have spanned longer. I hated seeing it come to an end!

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

Back Cover:
Fired from her most recent governess position, Melanie Ross must embrace her last resort: the Arizona mercantile she inherited from her cousin. But Caleb Nelson is positive he inherited the mercantile, and he's not about to let some obstinate woman with newfangled ideas mess up all he's worked for. He's determined to get Melanie married off as soon as possible, and luckily there are plenty of single men in town quite interested in taking her off his hands.
The problem is, Caleb soon realizes he doesn't want her to marry up with any of them. He's drawn to Melanie more every day, and he has to admit some of her ideas for the store unexpectedly offer positive results.

But someone doesn't want the store to succeed, and what used to be just threatening words has escalated into deliberate destruction and lurkers in the night. When a body shows up on the mercantile steps--and the man obviously didn't die from natural causes--things really get dangerous. Can Melanie and Caleb's business--and romance--survive the trouble that's about to come their way?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Slow Moon Rising by Eva Marie Everson {Revell Blog Tour!}

Back Cover:
Cedar Key has long been a place of rest, healing, and release in the Claybourne family. 

But it might also be the birthplace of a lie that is poisoning the family from within. Join the strong Claybourne women-Anise, Kimberly, Jayme-Leigh, Heather, and Ami-as they each confront the truth. Their unique paths will lead them through heartbreak, misunderstandings, and pain. But their journeys will also bring reconciliation with each other and renewed love in their own lives.

In her lyrical, evocative fashion, Eva Marie Everson weaves a tapestry of complicated relationships that, when complete, reveals the most beautiful work of art there is-family.

My Review:
Slow Moon RisingNot a favorite, but a sweet story nonetheless!

I wasn't sure what I expected to find in Slow Moon Rising but what I found certainly wasn't the picture in my head. I had to force myself through the first few chapters and I struggled getting into the story, particularly when we kept changing point of view every few chapters. While I'm glad to say it got easier to read as I went, I never fully connected with any of the women aside from Ami. She's my not-so-secret favorite.

I loved Eva's vivid descriptions and attention to detail in the setting. Anise's little hometown in Maine, Ami's world in Atlanta, and my favorite, Cedar Key, Florida came to life in my imagination. Eva also did a superb job making her characters as real as they come. Their struggles, their problems, and their lives are under no circumstances perfect.

Slow Moon Rising is the third and final in the Cedar Key series. I haven't read the earlier books yet, but it didn't seem to take away from the story.  If I had read the previous books, some things in the story might have made more sense.  I don't recommend this book to younger teens. This novel is definitely more on the adult woman's side of the spectrum--something I didn't know when I requested the book.

Available June 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!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I'm Sorry // Mercantile Mystery Sweepstakes!

I'm sorry, guys. I have been battling sickness off and on the past two weeks and, when you throw in my college studies, it didn't leave me much time to stay on top of the ball. Good news is that I am completely healthy again and I'll be trying to catch up when my studies allow. Thanks for sticking with me!

Mercantile Mystery Sweepstakes from Author Carol Cox
Last summer/fall I reviewed Love in Disguise by Carol Cox- I loved it! I have eagerly been waiting to see what Carol would release next and it is finally here! It's titled Trouble in Store here's the back cover copy and the cover- isn't it cute??

Back Cover:
Trouble in Store
Fired from her most recent governess position, Melanie Ross must embrace her last resort: the Arizona mercantile she inherited from her cousin. But Caleb Nelson is positive he inherited the mercantile, and he’s not about to let some obstinate woman with newfangled ideas mess up all he’s worked for. He’s determined to get Melanie married off as soon as possible, and luckily there are plenty of single men in town quite interested in taking her off his hands.

The problem is, Caleb soon realizes he doesn’t want her to marry up with any of them. He’s drawn to Melanie more every day, and he has to admit some of her ideas for the store unexpectedly offer positive results.

But someone doesn’t want the store to succeed, and what used to be just threatening words has escalated into deliberate destruction and lurkers in the night. When a body shows up on the mercantile steps–and the man obviously didn’t die from natural causes–things really get dangerous. Can Melanie and Caleb’s business–and romance–survive the trouble that’s about to come their way?

To celebrate the story, author Carol Cox and Bethany House Publishers are pleased to announce the MERCANTILE MYSTERY SWEEPSTAKES, and your chance to win one of three marvelous prizes! Go here for more information on how to enter- but HURRY the sweepstakes are over tonight!!

I had wanted to include my review along with this post, but I'm not finished reading it. Look for it sometime this weekend! ;-)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Deadly Devotion by Sandra Orchard {Revell Blog Tour!}

Deadly Devotion (Port Aster Secrets, #1)My Review:
A legitimate mystery that kept me guessing!

I always sing the praises of the books who surprise me. This is one of them! Sandra literally kept me on my toes until the last few chapters and for that, she has officially earned her place on my favorites list. Deadly Devotion opens up with a bang as Sandra introduces us to the fiery red-head Kate Adams. I love Sandra's writing style. It's easy to follow and keeps your eyes on the page.

Sandra did such a great job pointing the finger at many plausible characters. There were several times I thought I had figured it out, only to be proven wrong. It has been a long time since I've had the chance to review a mystery novel and I savored every page of this one, including the peek into Book 2!

All the characters are realistic, Port Aster easily formed in my imagination, and the whodunit mystery joined to make a wonderful read! I could tell Sandra did her research on medicinal and poisonous herbs. If you like mysteries, then this is one you'll love. I highly recommend to teens 15+.

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

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

Back Cover:
Research scientist Kate Adams and her colleague Daisy are on the brink of a breakthrough for treating depression with herbal medicine when Daisy suddenly dies. Kate knows that if it hadn’t been for Daisy’s mentorship, she wouldn’t have the job she loves or the faith she clings to. So when police rule Daisy’s death a suicide, Kate is determined to unearth the truth.

Former FBI agent Tom Parker finds it hard to adjust to life back in his hometown of Port Aster. Though an old buddy gives him a job as a detective on the local police force, not everyone approves. Tom’s just trying to keep a low profile, so when Kate Adams demands he reopen the investigation of her friend’s death, he knows his job is at stake. In fact, despite his attraction to her, Tom thinks Kate looks a bit suspicious herself.


As evidence mounts, a web of intrigue is woven around the sleepy town of Port Aster. Can Kate uncover the truth? Or will Tom stand in her way?


Check out some cool bonus features on Sandra's website here!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Back Before Dark by Tim Shoemaker

Back Before Dark (Code of Silence, #2)My Review:
An exciting sequel to Code of Silence!

Once again we return to northern Illinois to the adventurous world of Cooper, Gordy, and Hiro. I hadn't really taken a look at the back cover in a few weeks, so I dove straight into the book unaware of what was going to happen. Within pages, the new mystery and thrill had begun.

In this installment, Lunk has officially been added to Coop's circle of friends. He is a great addition to the group in Back Before Dark primarily because in the long absence of Gordy, Coop needed someone. Lunk really made an effort to change and I adored his loyalty to Coop. While he still has some personal flaws, he is a very interesting character to read about.

Hiro was and is my favorite character so far in the series. She reminds me a lot of myself in many ways. I like how Shoemaker has made Hiro the "Jiminy Cricket" of the group. She's very by the book and probably the most responsible. I constantly wanted to high-five Hiro's efforts to keep Coop in line.

I would hate to say too much and spoil such a great mystery book, so I'll keep this brief. Shoemaker does an excellent job with the pacing of events, character development, and plot depth. I recommend this book to boys, although girls will enjoy it too, anywhere from 12+. There is a dark undertone mentioned concerning Gordy's abduction, so parents might want to take a look at this first. I look forward to the next book in the series.

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

Back Cover:
Taken! A detour through the park leads Cooper, Gordy, Hiro, and Lunk straight into a trap, and Gordy is abducted! For the kidnapper, it's all a game, a way to settle an old score, with no one getting hurt. But evil has a way of escalating, and once his identity is discovered, the rules change. Despite the best of police efforts, the hours tick by without a clue or a ransom call, leaving everyone to their own fears. Gordy is gone. Cooper descends deeper into a living nightmare, imagining the worst for his best friend and cousin. Hours stretch into days, and talks of a memorial service begin to surface. But Cooper still feels his cousin is alive and develops a reckless plan, changing all the rules. Now the one who set out to rescue his friend needs to be rescued himself. Sometimes rescuing a friend from darkness means going in after them.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Some Important News to Note... {And a winner!}

Hey everyone!

How do you like the new look? It's great isn't it? That lovely header was made by Leah, a friend of mine who blogs over here.

I also wanted to forewarn you (if you haven't heard already) that Google Friend Connect is supposedly going to be taken away by Google soon. In the event that it does go, I have set up two alternatives to keep all of you in the loop, if you so choose. First option is, you can sign up to follow by email. The second option is to join Networked blogs and you can follow me there.

All right! That has been your little newsflash from me. Now onto the real reason you're reading this post.
Captives (The Safe Lands #1)

The winner of the Captives giveaway is... Beth C.!
I have sent you an email, Beth. I need to hear back from you by the end of next week! ;-)

BIG thank you to all who entered and helped promote the giveaway! I appreciate you all! ;-D

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer {Litfuse Blog Tour!}

Stealing the PreacherMy Review:
An entertaining, sweet, read!

I eagerly looked forward to Stealing the Preacher and it lived up to my expectations! Miss Witemeyer once again does a great job penning a believable historical setting fashioned with characters we can love and relate to. I am duly impressed with the strong faith of all her main characters. I think its safe to say Stealing the Preacher is my new favorite.

For those who have read Short Straw Bride, you'll be familiar with Crockett. He is my favorite of the Archer brothers, second only to Travis. His patience and compassion makes him well suited to his calling. I loved his knowledge of scripture! Not to mention his passion for his ministry.

Also weaseling her way to be my favorite is Joanna. My, she's a sweet thing. I adored her loyalty and love for her father. I identified with her too, and that made me like her all the more.

To sum up, if you liked any of Miss Witemeyer's previous books, especially Short Straw Bride, you are sure to like this one. I highly recommend it. :-)

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: 
On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can scarcely believe it when he's forced off the train by a retired outlaw and presented to the man's daughter as the minister she requested for her birthday. Worried this unfortunate detour will ruin his chances of finally serving a congregation of his own, Crockett is determined to escape. But when he finally gets away, he's haunted by the memory of the young woman he left behind--a woman whose dreams now hinge on him.

For months, Joanna Robbins prayed for a preacher. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. A man to help her discover answers to the questions that have been on her heart for so long. But just when it seems God has answered her prayers, it turns out the person is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett to stay in her little backwoods community? And does the attraction between them have any chance of blossoming when Joanna's outlaw father is dead set against his daughter courting a preacher?


Karen Witemeyer is "kindling" the excitement for Stealing the Preacher (Bethany House) with a Kindle Fire Giveaway and connecting with readers at her June 18th Facebook Author Chat Party!
StealingPreacher300

  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at 4pm on June 18th. Winner will be announced at the "Stealing the Preacher" Facebook Author Chat Party on June 18th. Connect with Karen for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Karen 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 Stealing the Preacher and join Karen on the evening of June 18th 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 18th!