A Vote of Confidence by Robin Lee Hatcher ~ Review

A Vote of Confidence by Robin Lee Hatcher: Book Cover

My Review: When the town drunk is the only canidate for the office of mayor, Gwen Arlington decides to run against him. Little does she know that she won't be the only one running against him! Morgan McKinley, a wealthy newcomer to Bethlehem Springs, the owner of the new health spa, also decides to take up the challenge. As the sparks fly, will these adversaries become allies? Or more?

This is one of those books that I classify as an opposites-who-aren't-as opposite-as-they-think-attract book ;)
I've read some other books by Ms. Hatcher and I would have to say that this one lacks the emotional depth that I have come to associate with her writing. It's different. I had a hard time relating to the main characters as much as I had hoped. I found myself intrigued more by Gwen's tomboy sister, Cleo, and am now very excited to find out what happens to her in the next book!
Not to say that I didn't enjoy this book, but it wasn't quite what I had expected from Ms. Hatcher. Though, with that said, I found it an entertaining book, skillfully written, and amusing. I also hope to read the next book in the series, especially since it's starring Cleo :)

Overall, I enjoyed this book, although it was much lighter than the other books I have read by Ms. Hatcher, and would recommend it :) Thanks!

Final Rating: 4 out of 5

ISBN: 978-0-310-25805-6

Buy it Here

I received this book from Zondervan Publishing for free in return for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own. Thank you :)


Deeply Devoted by Maggie Brendan ~ Revell Blog Tour and review

Deeply Devoted: A Novel by Maggie Brendan: Book Cover
My Review: In my opinion, Deeply Devoted is Maggie Brendan's best book so far! None of her other books have gripped me like this one. And let me tell you, this one had a strangle hold. I stayed up waaayyy to late reading it, because I just had to find out what happened next.

Catharine, is a mail-order bride, she and her sisters come across the ocean from Holland to live on the Wyoming Prairie. Little do they know what they're in for...Peter, Catharine's betrothed, certainly didn't!
Slowly they come to love each other, but will their love be stronger than the secrets of their pasts?

The characters really came to life for me and not only could I faintly see their outlines, I saw them in my head full and fleshed out. Catharine and Peter were wonderful, as were the side characters such as her sisters, and Angelina and Mario, who popped to life for me. They were all so unique and stood out, each in their own way, making the story that much richer.  I honestly had a hard time understanding Peter's mother, Clara, and the logic behind her actions.

I believe the plot moved along nicely and smoothly, and Ms. Brendan is a very gifted author. And I look forward to reading the next books in the Blue Willow Brides Series.

This book hooked me from the first page and didn't let go till I had read the last one. (And that doesn't happen very often). Deeply Devoted is a beautiful love story, set in a young Cheyenne, Wyoming. I'm sure that lovers of Christian Historical Romance will be delighted to read this lovely story. Overall, a very engaging romance that I would highly recommend :)

Final Rating: 4.75 out of 5

ISBN: 978-0-8007-3462-6

“Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Thanks to Donna Hausler and Revell Publishers for my complimentary copy of Deeply Devoted, which I recieved in return for an honest review. This is my honest opinion. Thanks :)


A Lancaster County Christmas by Suzanne Woods Fisher ~ Litfuse Blog Tour and review

A Lancaster County Christmas by Suzanne Woods Fisher: Book Cover
Enter Amish Country at Christmastime with acclaimed author, Suzanne Woods Fisher...

About the Book : Jaime and C. J. Fitzpatrick began their married life as most couples do--in love and looking forward to a bright future together. But four years later they've drifted apart and are almost ready to call it quits.

Mattie Riehl was hoping to give her husband Sol the Christmas gift they have both longed for--news that a baby was on the way. But as usual, she is disappointed. The holidays bring an acute awareness to Mattie that her dream of a big family isn't likely to become a reality.

Then a winter storm raging outside blows the Fitzpatricks into the Riehl home--and into a much slower pace of life. Can these two couples from different worlds help each other understand the true meaning of love this Christmas?

With her trademark plot twists and attention to detail, Suzanne Woods Fisher offers readers a beautiful Christmas story of love, forgiveness, and what truly matters in life.

About the Author: Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, W.D.Benedict, who was raised Plain. She has many, many Plain relatives living in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and travels back to Pennsylvania,as well as to Ohio,a couple of times each year for research.
Suzanne has a great admiration for the Plain people and believes they provide wonderful examples to the world.  In both her fiction and non-fiction books, she has an underlying theme: You don't have to "go Amish" to incorporate many of their principles--simplicity, living with less,appreciating nature, forgiving others more readily-- into your life.
When Suzanne isn't writing or bragging to her friends about her first new grand baby (!), she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you just can't take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.

Suzanne can be found on-line at: www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

My review: A Lancaster County Christmas is a heart-warming read that will put you right into the spirit to celebrate the birth of our Saviour.

I found the depth of the characters' emotions and the struggles they were going through well portrayed. The main characters were well-rounded, and it wasn't long before my heart went out to them. In other words it was a book that made a very lovely Christmas movie in my head. I could see all of it.

My favorite character was Danny, mostly because he was just so cute! Not to mention his curiosity, that sometimes got him in trouble. You've just gotta love cute kids :)

I will note though, that I found the plot a bit predictable. But that did not take away from the charm. I still enjoyed it. I would say this book is written for when you want to relax, and read a book that creates a warm spot in your heart. The message is inspiring and heart-lifting, and the growth of the characters throughout the book was perfect for Christmas time. I think this book would make a great gift for an Amish fiction loving friend, or even a special read for yourself.

Final Rating: 4.5 out of 5

ISBN: 978-0-8007-1995-1
Buy it HERE

It’s Christmas in September!
To celebrate the release of her first Christmas book, Suzanne Woods Fisher
has teamed up with her publisher, Revell, to bring you the "Christmas in September"
iPad Giveaway!
The winner will be announced on 9/27 at the A
Lancaster County Christmas
Facebook Party! Details below. Tell your friends and
join in the fun (9/7-9/27).
Oh and be sure to follow the blog tour here - many of the bloggers have copies of the book to

Suzanne and Revell will be presenting one merry winner with a Christmas Prize Pack
(valued at over $600):

  • A Brand New iPad 2 with Wi-Fi
  • $25 gift certificate to iTunes
  • A copy of A Lancaster County Christmas
To enter, click one of the icons below. But, hurry the giveaway ends on 9/26.

But, wait! There's more! The winner will be announced at the A Lancaster County
Christmas Facebook Party
on 9/27 at Suzanne's author page. During the party
she'll be revealing something *BIG* - you won't want to miss it. She'll also be
hosting a book chat, trivia contest and giving away a few early Christmas presents! Hope
to see you there.
Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Thanks to Amy Lathrop, Litfuse Publicity and Baker Publishing group for providing this review copy to me free of charge, in return for an honest review.


Unveiling the Kings of Israel by David Downs ~ review

Unveiling The Kings Of Israel by David Down: Book Cover

My Review:  Unveiling the Kings of Israel is a book that matches events in the Bible with archaeological finding all over the world. Have you ever wondered where Beth Shimesh was? Or if it even existed? If so this is the book for you, over 175  pages filled with beautiful pictures and information all meticulously compiled.

I was a bit surprised when I picked it up because I thought that it would focus more on a Biblical timeline compared the Egyptian one, and why we should trust the Biblical one. And don't get me wrong it covered that, but not in the detail I expected. It talked more about archaeological findings and buried cities, but I'm not comlaining. This book went through the findings chronologically as they were mentioned in scripture, and it explained some customs and the significance of certain elements of the history that will enrich your Bible reading experience.

I enjoyed the photography and the good research, but at times I felt a bit lost and confused as to what Mr. Downs point was. Other times I thought that it cut off rather suddenly while explaining something and go on to something else. But that's all my personal opinion.

Overall I found it well researched yet a bit confusing to follow at times, but definitely a good read of you are interested in archaeological cities and how they match with the Bible. Not to mention a very lovely and attractive book :)

Final Rating : 4.25 out of 5

ISBN: 978-0-89051-609-6

Thanks to New Leaf Publishers for giving me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Books I'm Looking Forward to Reading ~ Fridays

Deeply Devoted: A Novel by Maggie Brendan: Book Cover

Today, I have two selections that I'm excited about reading. But before I do that, I should tell you that these posts will only be on the Fridays that I don't have a book review scheduled, just in case I don't do this one day and ya'll think that I forgot or something.

First off, I just started reading this one today, and I think I'm going to like it. What caught my eye was how it is set in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and for those of you who have been listening to me for any amount of time, well, ya'll know that I am totally in love with the state of Wyoming! Also, I've read Jewel of His Heart by the same author which I enjoyed, and if what I've read so far is any indication, I think I'll really like it :)

A Most Unsuitable Match by Stephanie Grace Whitson: Book Cover
Secondly, I've been a fan of Stephanie Grace Whitson for sometime now, and she is one of my favorite western romance authors. So I'm definitely excited for her newest release :) And what's more romantic than an 'Unsuitable Match,' right?

On the Loose by Jenny B Jones: Book Cover Thirdly, since reading the first in the series and nearly suffocating to death from laughter, I've finally got my hands on the 2nd book :) I can't wait to go back to In Between, TX and all of its memorable characters. Especially Katie's feisty foster-grandma, Maxine.
You never know what can happen next in this clever series by Jenny B. Jones.

Sorry this is late. I had a busy day, but hopefully next week's posts will be posted in a more timely manner :) So as you can see I have a lovely weekend planned. How about you? What are you reading? Please comment below and tell me, I'd love to hear from you! Have an amazing weekend!


Veiled Rose by Anne Elisabeth Stengl ~ review

Veiled Rose by Anne Elisabeth Stengl: Book Cover

My review: Veiled Rose is an intricately woven book, full of fresh fantasy with a classic feel. The story follows two complex main characters, Rose Red, a mysterious girl who covers her secret with veils, and Leo, a young prince who is always ready for adventure.

Veiled Rose reads like a timeless classic, a bit slow going at times but well worth reading. Ms. Stengl weaves an ethereal spell throughout the book, with complicated plotlines laid down ever so subtly. It is a rich, engaging and all together enjoyable book.

At first, I worried that I might not "get it" because I haven't yet read the first novel in the series, but I soon found that Veiled Rose stood on its own splendidly.

Another thing that I wanted to bring up was that this book was far away from being predictable, and I think that's what made it enjoyable. I could never fully guess what was coming next, it pretty much always took me by surprise! And I loved that. Not to mention the fact that I stayed up waayyy to late reading it!

Overall Veiled Rose is a beautiful book that is entirely too easy to get lost in. I believe that it will thrill fans of the Classic Fairy Tale, as well as fans of Christian Fantasy, and some who aren't fans of either!

 Final Rating: 4.75 out of 5

Buy it HERE

Thanks to Noelle Buss & Bethany House Publishers for furnishing this book free of charge to me for review! Thanks!


You might have missed this...

Hi, if you are wondering why I haven't posted recently, it has been brought to my attention that my latest post might not have appeared in your blog update feed. So if you'd like to read and (please) rate my review of Cindy Woodsmall's The Harvest of Grace, just click on the link :) I posted it yesterday. Thanks!


The Havest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall ~ Please rank my review

The Harvest of Grace: Book 3 in the Ada's House Amish Romance Series by Cindy Woodsmall: Book Cover
My review: Sylvia Fisher is gifted with a special touch with dairy cattle, so when she makes a horrible mistake with her past love, she flees to another Amish community to work for Michael and Dora Blank.
 Their son, Aaron Blank returns home after spending time in rehab, to sell his parents farm and move them to an easier lifestyle in their ole age. But his father doesn't believe he's really changed. And then there is the pretty young woman who tends his parents livestock and for whom his parents have developed an adoptive affection. Will Sylvia and Aaron be able to escape their pasts and move into the future?

I wasn't sure how well I was going to be able to get into this story once I found out that it was the third in a series. So I was really surprised when I picked it up how much I actually got into it! It helped a ton that there was a short synopsis of the last two books in the front of the book so I knew what was going on. I then commenced to read and finish this book in less than one day! The plot quickly drew me into the characters' plights, and my heart instantly went out Sylvia, who was my personal favorite. I found all the characters well written and well rounded though sometimes I was a bit confused over who was who and what their back story was, but that was pretty much due to the fact that I hadn't read the earlier books which had obviously featured these other characters. Even though I was riveted throughout the whole book I found myself looking forward to the scenes with Aaron and Sylvia in them, mostly because I knew their stories better, and thus could relate to them better. (They were the two main characters at center stage).

That being said, I found this to be an overall great book which I would certainly recommend to others. I found the message of forgiveness well presented. I also found this book engaging and not too predictable, plus the plot tied together nicely.

I genuinely enjoyed this book, the characters, and learning more about the Amish. I am planning now planning on reading the first two in the series so I won't be confused! Definitely worth your time especially if you've read the first two, which I'm sure are great! Thanks so much for reading!

P.S. I read this book in less than 24 hrs!

Final Rating: 4.25 out of 5
ISBN: 978-1-4000-7398-6

Buy it HERE

Please rank my review below

Thanks so much to Ashley Boyer, Chris Sigfrids and Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishing for giving me this review copy free of charge in exchange for an honest review.


The Sword by Gilbert Morris ~ Review

The Sword by Gilbert Morris: Book Cover
My Review : Ok, so most people know, or have some inkling that I am a huge Gilbert Morris fan. Which I totally am! I was so excited to dig into another of his historical adventures, again and I wasn't disappointed.

In my experience with Gilbert Morris books I always find myself coming away with some new tidbit of historical knowledge and a feel for what that time must have felt like.

I will admit that it was a bit of a slow start, compared to what I'm used to from Mr. Morris. But I knew I'd be hooked pretty soon, and I was :) I guess this book was a bit predictable for me, but that might be because I've read about 59 of his books! But I think I was able to figure things out only because I've read so many of Mr. Morris's books :)

Mr. Morris has created some memorable characters in this book, the most memorable I think would be Jacob Steiner, a born-again Jew. Jacob was a very wise man, and very endearing. And to me he stood out.

Overall, another wonderful book from Mr. Gilbert Morris, one that I would recommend to his fans, though I don't think that it was his best. I would also recommend it to people who want to learn more history, yet have fun at the same time.

Final Rating: 4.25 out of 5

TBQ (Teen Bible Quiz) interview with Aimee Lojeski

Howdy! Instead of telling you which books I'm excited to read, this week I have a special interview, with my friend Aimee Lojeski. I have mentioned before on my blog that I am active in TBQ, so I thought it would be cool to have some other TBQ-ers tell you what it's about too! So give a warm welcome to...Aimee!

Hello Aimee, so glad that I could have you here today! First off, tell my readers a little about yourself.
Hi! My name is Aimee Lojeski (but you already know that) and I am 17 years old. I am in the 12th grade and I work at Chic-fil-A.
I have been a Christian since I was really little but I realized at the age of 14 that it was my choice if and what I believed, after a really rough year and a lot of searching, I decided to ask Jesus into my heart again and this time I was sure it was what I wanted and I have been on fire for God ever since.
I have 4 brothers and 5 sisters and wonderful parents. Oh and then there's my brother-in-law and my niece. So in other words I have a large family and I would never trade them even when it gets rough having so many people in my life.
I love to write, and sing, and dance in the rain and read, my sister says if I'm not singing something isn't right with the world.
I have a passion to help those who can't help themselves. I love being able to help abused children because though I have never once been abused, I know people who were and I've seen the damage it causes.
Then there's bible quiz; I have been a bible quizzer since the 3rd grade and I love it! I love memorizing God's word, and I love the people you meet while quizzing because they are all so amazing! I think God put bible quiz in my path because he knew I would need to fit in somewhere. God is so great and he gets all the glory for the person I am today!

What's your favorite verse that you've memorized for BQ, so far, and why?
My favorite verse that I've memorized so far... That's tough to answer because I tend to have a favorite verse for every book that I memorize, but last year for John I would say, John 16:33 "I have told you these thing so that in me you may have peace, in this world you will have trouble but take heart! I have overcome the world."
I love this verse for many reason! It reminds me that no matter what I am going through and matter how bad it may seem... God's there and he already has the victory! It also reminds me that if God warned me so long ago that I would have trouble, it can't possible take him by surprise, and If he already knows about it then I don't have to worry because he must know the outcome then. :)
What important lesson have you learned while immersing yourself in scripture?
Well (I'm not sure this is what you want but I'll go with it) as I memorized last year I never seemed to do enough... I was always behind and review didn't happen because I was behind in memorizing, I became so angry at myself that one night (sometime after a bible quiz meet) I cried out to God because I felt like he had taken the one thing I was good at and turned it into something I could never get right! As I cried I remember something a really great friend of mine told me "God doesn't love you because of your talents!"
I gave that quiz year to God that night, and I promised to go as far as God would take me... God in his great wisdom made me go to nationals! :P
On a different note while memorizing this last year ( John chapter 3 verse 30) I realized God had to be number one in my life! I couldn't even put my needs and my wants before him... I struggled with that but I realized that when I am putting God first... I still have time for me, just not always when I want . (Like sleeping in Sunday mornings that would be so nice...)

No, that's perfect! I think sometimes we can let things, even Bible Quiz, become things that we feel we must be perfect at. I'm so glad you realized the true message behind what BQ is about :)
How is TBQ different then just reading and memorizing on your own?

Well it's not just what I do because I have a team so I have to remember that it's not all about me and we all have to be on the same page...
Like this year we couldn't find a day to practice. We were all very busy as it was last year, and now some of us have jobs and we all have other activities that we keep up with throughout the week, so we all had to stretch a little bit to make it work.
A lot goes on behind the scenes to make the quiz season work and without a great coach we'd be lost, I'm sure!
So I guess I'm saying without a good team and a great coach and great friends and family BQ is just a distant dream because it wouldn't happen without them. :)
Finding time is one of the hardest things for people our age. Not that we're old or something. But quizzing is a time investment. I've met your coach, she's great :):). How has TBQ helped you build friendships with other Christian teens, such as yourself?

Well when you see some of these people once a month it's hard not to build friendships... And by the time Nationals is over you're left wondering what you're are going to do until you start up again, because you start to miss everyone. TBQ has really helped me build friendships because I'm not the most outgoing person (right when you meet me) so it helps to have something to talk about. :)

So true. I'm not the most outgoing either, so it's helped me in that area too! So would you recommend quizzing to other teens? Why?

I would and i wouldn't all at the same time... I would because I love it and it's a great way to learn God's word and make some great friends... But i wouldn't because it takes up A LOT of time and like there are days
I would love to just hang out with my friends but most of the time even if I do go to like a friends house or something I bring my quiz book with me and I have to work on that before I can really do anything else, then there is the big price tag that comes along with it. The thing is even when i want to hang out with friends or I can't pay for another new quiz book or go on a certain trip for quiz... And yes even though i don't have a lot of free time... I do because He called me to all those years ago (in the 3rd grade.) So I would say if you have tons of free time and want to learn God's word while meeting some interesting people along the way... for sure BQ is for you!
I can see where it's not for everyone, but there are some awesome life long benefits as well :) One last question, what tidbit of advice do you have for new/beginning quizzers?

My advice would be don't give up even though it's hard and to have a good family in your corner to encourage you when you want to throw your quiz book in anger... Also pray before you start and give your practice time to God. Stay in God's word (not just what you're memorizing.) last but not least have your team members and coach(s) on speed dial. :)
 It really is worth it and you will find that it helps you in other areas of your life...
 So to sum it up... Don't give up,  keep God involved, have your team on speed dial (in case you have a freak out moment right before nationals, like I did.)
 And it's all for God's glory!

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Aimee. It was so much fun to interview you and have you here today :)

If anyone would like more information about TBQ visit the official website by clicking HERE :) Or feel free to comment below ;)


Fairer than Morning by Rosslyn Elliot ~ Litfuse Blog Tour and Review

Fairer than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott: Book CoverFairer than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott: Book Cover
About the Book: Ann dreams of a marriage proposal from her poetic suitor, Eli-until Will Hanby shows her that nobility is more than fine words.

On a small farm in 19th-century Ohio,young Ann Miller is pursued by the gallant Eli Bowen, son of a prominent family. Eli is the suitor of Ann's dreams. Like her, he enjoys poetry and beautiful things and soon, he will move to the city to become a doctor.

Ann travels to Pittsburgh,accompanying her father on business. There she meets Will Hanby, a saddle-maker's apprentice. Will has spent years eking out an existence under a cruel master and his spirit is nearly broken. But Ann's compassion lights along-dark part of his soul.
 Through his encounters with Ann's father, a master saddler, Will discovers new hope and courage in the midst of tremendous adversity.
When the Millers must return to Ohio and their ministry there, Will resolves to find them, at any cost. If Will canmake it back to Ann, will she be waiting?

Read an excerpt here: http://www.rosslynelliott.com/books.php

About the Author
Rosslyn Elliott grew up in a military family and relocatedso often that she attended nine schools before her high school graduation. Withthe help of excellent teachers, she qualified to attend Yale University,where she earned a BA in English and Theater. She worked in business and as a schoolteacher before returning to study at Emory University,where she earned a Ph.D. in English in 2006. Her study of American literature and history inspired her to pursue her lifelong dream of writing fiction. She lives in the Southwest, where she homeschools her daughter and teaches in children's ministry.

For more about Rosslyn, visit her website: http://rosslynelliott.com

My review: Fairer than Morning is a rare book, eloquently written, that effortlessly takes you back to another time and place. Reading this book was an absolute pleasure! It was written in such a way that all I wanted to do was sit back and soak in every word, not rushing through to find out what happens on the next page, but simply enjoying the one I was on. And that my friends, is rare.

What I really enjoyed about this book was that it was based on a true story and true events, though some parts were added for a book better suited to fiction. It is not often that I find a book that I can just sit back and enjoy the gentle rhythm of without losing interest, but this book was  magnetic!

The characters were well rounded and engaging. My favorite character was Will, because he wasn't the perfect Prince Charming hero. He had weaknesses, and they made him a better character. His faith and determination to do what was right, even though no one would have blamed him if he had not, was inspiring.

I will admit that it was a bit slow starting for this book, but by chapter five I was totally enchanted.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I recommend this book highly! I cannot say how much I enjoyed it. This is not a book that you will want to miss. And I really hope you don't, because this is a book well worth reading! I will most definitely be reading the next book in the series, Sweeter than Birdsong. Thanks :)

Final Rating : 5 out of 5.

ISBN: 978-1-59554-785-9
Buy it HERE

To celebrate the release of her debut novel, Fairer Than MorningRosslyn Elliott is giving
away two fabulous prize packages. The first is brand new KINDLE in her
Fairer Than Morning Kindle Giveaway. Then on September 20th she's giving
away a $200 gift certificate toward a Custom-Made Historical Reproduction Dress
(from Recollections) during the Fairer Than Morning Book
Club Chat Party on Facebook
! Sigh...romantic.

Fairer Than Morning is receiving wonderful reviews - Library Journal said, "A well-
written historical series debut…". Read more reviews here.

Be sure to join the fun and enter the Kindle contest - 

One winner will receive:

* Kindle with Wi-Fi

* Fairer Than Morning (for Kindle)

To enter just click one of the icons below. But, hurry, giveaway ends
on 9/19. Winner will be announced on 9/20 at Rosslyn's Book Club Facebook
Party. Details and official rules can be found when entering the contest.

Then be sure to RSVP for Rosslyn's Facebook Party! During the party Rosslyn
will be chatting with guests, hosting a book chat about Fairer Than Morning (don't worry if you haven't read the book yet - you could win a copy!) &
historical Fiction, testing your trivia skills. She'll also be giving away that $200 gift
certificate toward a FABULOUS custom-made period dress from Recollections!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Thanks so much to Amy Lathrop, Litfuse Publicity and Rosslyn Elliot for providing me with a review copy free of charge.


The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead ~ review

The Realms Thereunder by Thomas Nelson: Book Cover

My Review: I have a feeling that Ross Lawhead will be the next big thing in the Christian Fantasy market. In The Realms Thereunder, Mr. Lawhead writes a heart-stopping tale of epic proportions, intricately woven, and overall masterfully done.

I wasn't sure how much I would like it, because it is so different from what I would usually read. But being a huge fan of a Mr. Stephen R. Lawhead, and the fact that this is his son convinced me to give it a shot. And I certainly wasn't disappointed - far from it! I was blown away by the how well written  and how well plotted it was. Yes sir, Mr. Ross Lawhead is one to watch out for.

The book follows two characters, both very robustly written, Freya and Daniel. Now here's the twist, it follows them at two different times. The past and the present. Eight years before, Daniel and Freya got swept into an underground battle between good and evil, to save the underground kingdom of Nithergeard.  Now in the present time they are being hunted down by the same evil forces that they tried to defeat eight years ago. Occasionally this book reminded me of Narnia or Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the classic fairy tale, but all remixed and recharged in a whole new way. Oh, and this book has some pretty awesome knights! Just thought I'd add that :)

My favorite character was Daniel, maybe because his (present day) adventure was easier to follow along with, whereas Freya's (present day) tale was really creepy.

This book was pretty hard to put down and definitely had me returning to it throughout the day. I was a bit disappointed that the theme was more of a battle between good and evil, and not as distinctly Christian as I would prefer. But God was mentioned a few times, mostly indirectly, but it's obvious that Freya and Daniel are in a spiritual battle against evil. I was a little put out with the book because it was over so soon, and because it ended with a cliffhanger of sorts. I feel like it was just the beginning, and the real adventure is coming in the next two books. And if the next two book were released already, I would be at the bookstore right now purchasing them.

So overall, I would highly recommend this book for all you adventure lovers out there, and I have a feeling that this will be a hit with teen boys. My brother was eyeing this book, while I was reading it with devious intent (LOL). I think that fans of Stephen Lawhead, and action-adventure, fantasy fans, will really enjoy it. Just to warn you that some of the scenes were pretty violent, not to bad if you don't pause to think about it too long. I made that mistake. But this is a book that will captivate your attention and take you to epic dimensions in other worlds. Thanks!

Final Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Thanks so much to Thomas Nelson Publishers (Booksneeze) for giving me this review copy free of charge in return for my honest review.


Lovely Blog Award

I am amazingly honored, to have receive a Lovely Blog Award from a certain lovely young lady herself, Katie McCurdy. This is my first ever award, so you can imagine my happiness.

But it has taken me awhile to accept it. But here I am!

There are 2 rules you must follow to accept this award:

Rule #1 - Tell 7 facts about yourself
Rule #2 - Pass the award on to 15 "lovely blogs"

Random Things About Me:

1. I'm an active Teen Bible Quizzer
2. I'm a bit reserved, shy, and awkward, in person.
3. I have my own pony, a pinto, named Alyssa Tissa Princessa.
4. I'm in love with the state of Wyoming.
5. I'm an assistant church librarian, where I go to church.
6. I'm a Sparks leader in the AWANA program.
7. I sing in an all-girls, homeschool choir.

Now for the awards... I'm new to blogging as I started in Febuary of this year so I'm finding new blogs that I like all the time.

The honorees, (in no particular order)...

1. Katie at Legacy of a Writer back at ya!

2. Whisper at Jabberwocky

3. Casey at Writing for Christ

4. Joy at Joyfully Journaling

5. Tessa at Christ is Write

6. Jane at Reviews by Jane

7. Carole at Sunnybank Meanderings

8. Cathy at Thoughts on Books

9.  Jenna at Literally-YA

10. Brianna at Pursuing the Truth

11. Kav at Best Reads 2010-2011

12. Lisa at Golden Grasses

13. Tori at Learning for Life

14. Jake at Teen Writer

15. Nora at Psalm516

So to claim you award all you have to do is follow these 2 rules and post a link to your blog post about the Lovely Blog Award in the the comment form below :)


Books that I'm Looking Forward to Reading~ Fridays

The Sword by Gilbert Morris: Book Cover

OK, I know that is a really big title, and the grammar is horrible, (something about it just isn't right), but it serves it's purpose and tells you what this is about. So let's get down to business. I've decided that every Friday, unless I have something else scheduled, I will post about books that I'm excited about reading. So let's begin!

First off, I am a huge Gilbert Morris fan, I wait with eager anticipation for his every book. So I'm excited to read his latest, The Sword. (cover to your left)

It is the 2nd in a series called The Last Cavaliers, about a family with Amish roots during the civil war. I would definitely recommend a Gilbert Morris book, even without reading it first! He's that good.

A Heart Revealed (Winds of Change Series #2) by Julie Lessman: Book CoverSecond, I just received a book I have been waiting for, for nearly FOREVER, today. I was jumping up and down, gripping the book in my hands, and chortling with absolute glee.

Julie Lessman is one of my favorite authors, and it all started for me when I received A Passion Most Pure as a Christmas gift in good ole 2008. The book was picked for me because my name is Faith, (though here I go as Faye), and that's the name of A Passion Most Pure's main character.

Well the book to your right, A Heart Revealed, is the 5th book in the series about the O'Connors, a family living in the early 20th century. I have been following right along with the O'Connors, pouncing on every book as it came out, (since I got A Passion Most Pure anyway).

And it is FINALLY here! Sean O'Connor's story. And if you couldn't tell already, I'm over-the-top excited to read it.

Mended Hearts by Ruth Logan Herne: Book Cover

Third, is is the third book in Ruth Logan Herne's heart-touching, Men of Allegany County series.

After reading the other books in the series I kept thinking in the back of my head, "When will it be Hannah's turn?" And here it is! Hannah (The MC in Mended Hearts) has been a side player for a LONG time in this series. She has a past that is hinted about continually in other books and now I'll finally find out! Yay!

Ruthy never fails to deliver, and I think this one will prove to be a winner as well. My mother who is an avid historical fiction reader, and usually wouldn't pick up a comtempory novel if you paid her, is a huge fan of Ms. Herne. She even wants to read it before I do!

So there you have it folks, the books that I'm hyped about. Comment below and tell me what books you're excited for :)

Have a great weekend!


Leah's Choice by Marta Perry ~ review

Leah's Choice (Pleasant Valley Series #1) by Marta Perry: Book Cover
About the Book: Leah Beiler is the school teacher in a small Amish district, called Pleasant Valley. Once, she was engaged to Johnny Kile, but he jumped the fence into the English world, leaving her to pick up the pieces.

 A new family comes to the district, Daniel Glick and his three children. And the entire district goes about matchmaking between Daniel and Leah. But his family has secrets, and they want a chance to get away from their past.

Leah has a choice to make what will she choose?

My Review: Marta Perry tells a delightful Amish tale of love and forgiveness. The plot was pretty good, at times predictable and at others completely unexpected (at least in my opinion). It was the kind of book that you can relax to, for me anyway. This book was a bit different from other Amish books that I have read because it wasn't exactly light and it wasn't extremely heavy reading either, (laced with deep emotions, and heart rending situations). So I guess this one was a happy medium :)

The main characters were well drawn out, but I found my self wanting the side characters to be a bit deeper. But in the way it was written, I suspect that Ms. Perry is setting the scene for more books about those exact people I was wondering about. So I'll be patient ;)

One thing I noticed which is basically an FYI, is that there was a bit more telling-not-showing than I would normally prefer, but by the time I finished it didn't bother me at all. I guess I got used to it.

Overall a very good book, that I would recommend to lovers of Amish fiction. Perhaps fans of Kathleen Fuller and Barbara Cameron might enjoy it? Well, I enjoyed it and hope to read the sequels :)

I received this book from a dear friend and chose to review it :)


What I've been up to lately

Hello there! As I just got back into the swing of things this week, I haven't had much time for reading and posting reviews. But I hope to have a review up tomorrow :)
 I just got back from AWANA tonight. I'm a SPARKS leader. I'm very passionate about AWANA, and I experienced it as a kid so helping out was what I really wanted to do.
I can tell you though, that I have gotten back to writing after being way to busy to pick it up for the last month or so. So I was so excited to have time to write. Finally!
My character has just found a love interest, so I'm really excited about exploring that :) Also I'm in the middle of adding a ton of new characters and I'm trying to make them all distinct and original. I can't really tell you what I wrote, and I'll probably change it like, 300 times! But let's just say that there is progress and my critique partner consultant (Megan that's you!) has high hopes, so I will try not to let her down! So until I post tomorrow...Bye :)


Love Finds You in Groom Texas by Janice Hanna ~ review

Love Finds You in Groom, Texas by Janice Hanna: Book Cover
Happy Labor Day! I will be back to normal blogging as of today. Just thought I'd let you know that :)

My Review: Love Finds You in Groom, Texas is the tale of Jake O'Farrell, the youngest of five brothers and the only single man in a small town called, Groom. When a railroad derailment drops the girl of his dreams and her two lively sisters on his doorstep, he and his family know that life will never be the same.

This book was so much fun to read, not mention had me totally captivated on the car ride home from vacation. I'm not usually a car-reader so that says alot. (Usually I just can't focus).

This book contained so many memorable characters that I could go on forever about them! My favorites were Maggie, Jake's mother, and Jake. I don't usually fall for the heroes, but Jake...Yes, I fell for him. Maybe it's because he was a dead ringer for someone I used to know, or something, but Jake had me charmed.
Maggie his mother was a really sweet lady, very motherly, with a bucket of sass and straight talk on the side. Totally the kind of lady you would want to meet :)

I was happily surprised that this book contained messages that firm believers can actually relate to, like judging before you know the entire situation, and dealing with people who can be difficult. So often Christian books have messages that are hard for everyday believers to relate to, but this is a book for everybody :)

Overall I was utterly charmed by this sweet, and humorous read. And as I said before I could gush forever about the characters...don't even get me started. I will definitely be reading this book again :) The characters just did it for me, I highly recommend this book :)


Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers ~ review

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers: Book Cover
Okay, I've been gone on vacation for awhile and will be back to my normal self ( at home) very soon. Too soon in fact. But I've been reading some awesome books while away and thought that I should post a review. But first my brother has begged me to tell ya'll about the excitement we had this morning. You see, Leo, my brother went out to the barn to get the bridles for the horses (we're visiting my cousins who live on a ranch), and to his shock he found a rattlesnake hissing and rattling at him. To make a long story short he ran back to the camper and called my brave uncle, who came and shot it. Now my brother is begging for a gun...Enough said.

As for what I've been up to the last few days, I've been helping to move out straggler steers out of multiple pastures and put them in the right one. The next few days I'll be working with my mentioned-above-uncle gathering up steers and heifers so the buyers can pick them up. Fun!

I promise I'll be back on Labor Day :) And here's my review.

My Review: Francine Rivers re-tells the Biblical story of Hosea, relocating it to California, 1850, in the middle of a gold rush.

Angel lives her life in a diamond prison, selling her body and soul, buying into a lie. But that all changes when Michael Hosea walks through the door. Angel expects him to treat her like the dozens of men before him, but he proves her wrong at every turn. Slowly her walls start coming down, leaving her with an inescapable sense of shame and feelings of unworthiness. Even Michael, with his tender love cannot save her, it isn't enough. Will Angel turn to the One who has been seeking her all along?

Redeeming Love is a story of love and forgiveness, an allegory of God's love for us and our sorry, sinful state. Amazingly this is the first book I've read by Francine Rivers, and boy, have I been missing out!

The Storytelling was rich and the emotions raw (in a good way). I finished this book in two days, and was utterly captivated. I even stayed up really late on a night I had to get up at 5 a.m.! I just had to keep reading! This book is a masterpiece, there is no other way to put it. Simply, a masterpiece.

I do have to warn you though, that Angel had a very hard life, and some of the elements of her life are mentioned, in a way that gets to the point, but not too graphically. Ms. Rivers only went into as much detail as was necessary to tell the story.

I would highly recommend this book, but to nobody younger than me (I'm a junior in high school). I say that this book is well on it's way to becoming a classic. Gripping, heart-rending, yet filled with hope, Redeeming Love is not a book to be missed.

I own this book and reviewed it because I liked it :)