6.30.2020

Clan by Sigmund Brouwer ~ Review


My Review:

A courageous coming of age tale of friendship, family, forgiveness and finding one's place.

I grew up reading the Accidental Detectives by this author, and am also a huge fan of his teen and adult books as well, so when I saw that he was releasing a new middle grade book it was a no brainer for me. And it did not disappoint, Sigmund Brouwer is an excellent author, and I love how his storytelling appeals to all ages, and even though this is written for a younger audience I thoroughly enjoyed it. Though I will note that this book is different from his more well known previous releases as it would not be categorized as Christian fiction--and I knew that going into this book.

Atlatl is a boy on the verge of becoming a man, he feels rejected by his father because of his crippled foot, but he is also a gifted storyteller. He saves a sabertooth cub, which begins a series of events that drive a wedge between himself and the clan. Atlatl is a clever young man, I admired his determination, and ingenuity, as well as his heart for others.

This is a coming of age tale of survival, with a powerful message of forgiveness and friendship. Great for middle-grade readers, as well as a book to read together as a family. Fast paced and satisfying, this book explores what life might have been like in the early days for indigenous peoples, as well as the dynamics of a clan.  Atlatl is a courageous hero, he is logical and clever, and grows in maturity over the course of the story. This book did a great job of exploring the relationships between members of the clan and how they must work together to survive. I found this to be an enjoyable and entertaining read, full of adventure, great for families and middle grade readers.



I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

6.29.2020

An Appalachian Summer by Ann H. Gabhart ~ Review

Lucie's Review: 

Piper Danson wants to do more with her life than be a debutante or a wife to the wealthy man her parents have picked out, so she joins the Frontier Nursing couriers. She spends her days riding the trails up and down the Appalachian mountains on horseback to serve the determined people that make the mountains their home.

Piper gets to see a whole other kind of living, working with the mountain people, enduring long days, and finding her path. Piper is willing to work and willing to learn.

I loved the premise of this book and the Frontier Nursing couriers. Through the experience Piper got to befriend many people that she never would have normally encountered in her old life, and I love how supportive her aunt was, as well as her mother.

Jamie is a very outgoing man, willing to pitch in wherever needed, naturally befriending people in every situation. He is a honorable man, with a good work ethic and respect for others. He was probably one of my favorite characters, along with Aunt Truda.

Overall, this was a highly enjoyable read, and probably my favorite from this author so far! This is a wonderful, engaging tale, I loved the setting of the breath-taking Appalachian mountains. Piper is an admirable young woman who comes into her own, growing in her sense of self and her faith, I loved that she took a chance and didn't pick the easier predictable path. There were also so many wonderful characters, and great side threads, that brought this beautiful book to life. Highly recommend!


I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

6.27.2020

A Bride of Convenience by Jody Hedlund ~ Review

My Review: 

A marriage of convenience. Answer to a prayer.

Can two hearts bound by duty, be bound by love?

I was thrilled to pick up this book when I heard that it would feature one of my favorite characters in the previous book, Pastor Abe. I loved getting to know more of his backstory and motivations in this story, as I got to see more of what a genuinely kind and caring man he is, willing to meet people on level ground, rather than above them.

Zoe is a woman who has suffered much but has such an open heart for others, especially children. I admired her commitment to the children in her care, as well as her modest sensibilities, and thoughtfulness towards her neighbors.

This book pushes further inland, building upon the previous books, and going deeper into the wilds of British Columbia. I loved how this book visits familiar places as well as featuring favorite characters from the previous books like Mrs. Moresby, Pete, Arabella, and others, as well as introducing new ones, like Will, a clever young man who calls things as he sees them.

Probably my favorite of the series so far! Zoe and Abe have amazing chemistry, I loved how they work well together caring for the people of the community. This book was well paced and difficult to put down, tensions mounted into a climactic ending that was wholly satisfying, yet left me longing for the next book in the series! Romantic, and exciting, I would definitely recommend this book for fans of Jody Hedlund, mail-order bride romance, and fans of historical Christian romance.


I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

6.23.2020

Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Childhood friends Lucy and Dashel grow up forming treasured memories together. Separated during a time of grief, they go their own ways. Years later, Lucy is now a marine archaeologist and Dashel is a forensic astronomer, they are brought together for the search for the long lost Jubilee, driven by stories from their childhood to find the missing ship.

Two hundred years earlier we also follow the story of childhood sweethearts, as they face war and betrayal.

Timelines entwine in this powerful story of love and redemption.

This book started out slow for me as we are introduced to multiple characters in various situations, but as the dots started to connect I didn't want to put it down. This is my first read from this author, who came to me highly recommended, and this book certainly didn't disappoint! I loved how the story was told through dual timelines, and I was equally invested in both of the stories.

Well developed characters, that are complex. This book is very character driven, as well as plot driven. And I loved Lucy's father and his stories that he told. I also loved the strong faith portrayed in this beautiful and well layered book. A captivating story, poignant and powerful. You won't regret picking this one up, I know I sure don't!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

6.22.2020

Secondhand Cowboy by Lacy Williams ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Callum left town years ago on bad terms, now he is returning to Sutter's Hollow with his twin sons in order to start over. When a hit and run accident leaves him with a broken leg, he finds help in the form of a former flame still hurting over how he left.

Iris is passionate about helping others, she is a problem solver, does her best to keep everything afloat. I admired how she is strong for her family, and she works hard to find solutions for the challenges facing her family and her heart.

An entertaining and enjoyable read, with a rich backstory that unfolds throughout the course of the story. There was a lot going on and great character interaction. The boys were adorable and rambunctious in the best way.

Also it is probably good to note that this book might seem familiar as a previous form of this book was published in 2015, and it has been updated and revamped in this new edition.

Overall, a heartwarming romance about second chances, and family in this clean read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

6.20.2020

Where the Road Bends by David Rawlings ~ Blog Blitz and Giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you'll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Author Interview

What do you hope readers will take with them after they’ve read it?

I write all of my novels so that once the back cover is closed and the final page is turned, that is the start of something: a conversation, a thought process, a prayer. It’s my hope that a reader will finish Where the Road Bends and think about where they are on the road of life, and where they’re going from here.

I would also love them to fall in love with outback Australia like we all have down here. It truly is a wonder of creation. 


"This is a great story that really takes the reader on more than a journey in self-discovery. Told in third (3rd) person; the POV switches from Lincoln, Eliza, Bree, to Andy.

I honestly couldn’t put it down; I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen to them."


"I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, for the vivid Australia life descriptions, the great array of characters, and for teaching some honest life lessons that we all need to hear. . . . I think that David Rawlins’s style of writing leans toward realism, and in real life, we do not know always get to know the outcome of something. We are just along for the journey."

Splashes of Joy - Review

"This is a very interesting book, with interesting characters. . . . This is my third book by David Rawlings, and each one gets better. He has a unique way of telling a story, and you just want to come back for more with each book. This is such an enjoyable read that anyone will have fun reading it. I highly recommend Where the Road Bends!!"


The four mortarboard tassels flicked away the past and ushered in the future as they arced in the afternoon sun. The circle of friendship that withstood four hard years started its inevitable loosening; the glue that bonded their foursome eased away as the cheers across the quad died away. The clock started a lifetime of mesmeric ticking, a time for potential to become performance.

The first hand thrust the caught cap onto a head of bouncing red curls. Bree Carter choked back tears as she flicked the tassel from her eyes. “I can’t believe it’s all over.”

Andy Summers grabbed his mortarboard and spun it between his fingers, his lithe forearm muscles rippling as the billowing gown’s sleeves fell away. “This moment has been so far away for years and now that it’s here, it doesn’t seem real.”



"Where the Road Bends is an intriguing tale of four close college friends who, upon graduation, promised to reunite in Australia in 15 years, whether or not they keep in close contact. . . . The characters were portrayed well and the situations fairly well described. The concept was a very sound one."

Hearts & Scribbles - Excerpt

With the gloss of their fifteen-year reunion fading, the buzz of excitement settled into the sharp ache of anxiety. One set of American thumbs twiddled on the cold gray table in the interview room of a police station parked in the red dust of the tiny town nestled in the heart of Australia. Fingernails of a second tourist beat an impatient tattoo, while another set of American nails was already halfway chewed away.

The ordeal started long before the police car ride back into civilization, the unexpected bookend to a reunion that had started days earlier. Their story—which they each thought to be unbelievable—turned out to be a variation of someone else’s. Except one, which went unspoken. That someone else should have been sitting in the empty chair, but the police had found no trace at all, save for a neat stack of rocks at their campsite.

Uplifting Reads - Review

"I loved the descriptions and lessons about Australia and the culture, sort of crushing some of the stereotypes that we have here in America. I learned some new things! . . . it got me thinking and reflecting on my own life since college, the path that I am on currently, and how that matches up with what my expectations had been back then. I guess it was kind of happening anyway, as it periodically does. But this book brought it back to the forefront again. . . . This was an interesting way to get you to reflect on your life and how something bigger is guiding you along the way."


"I thought it was an intriguing storyline . . . It makes a reader reflect on their own circumstances, and how they could grow as an individual. . . . Overall it was a fun story to read. The characters all had things they needed to learn from and grow from. . . I think Rawlings fans will enjoy the story."


"I enjoyed the journey that this book has taken me on. I think it's because of the life's lessons that this book has to offer and it certainly does make us think about some of the passages that were in this book. . . . The setting of Australia was so well described that I was able to picture myself in the story. . . . I certainly recommend this book. I did finish the book in one day. I didn't want to put it down."


"I thoroughly enjoyed the writing of this story. They way David Rawlings writes his contemporary fiction and how it's easy to relate to the characters . . . I enjoyed the journey in their personal lives and the spiritual journey as well. Definitely a good read and would recommend it!"

Remembrancy - Review

"Rawlings paints a vivid picture of the Australian outback that transports you to the ruggedness the land both beautiful and deadly.

He also poses the question of how we respond to the unexpected and unforeseen bends in the road in our lives. Do we adapt? Do we stall? Do we run and hope our problems don’t catch us? How we respond to life when it goes off rails is the mark of where our foundation of beliefs lies, and without a compass, we are often lost."

JoJo's Corner - Review

"What a fantastic book!! The author did a fabulous job of drawing me right into the story and getting me really invested in the lives of the characters. If you are looking for a great escape read, I highly recommend this one!!"


Andy’s heart pounded in his chest and his ears. A tremor rippled through him, his limbs buzzing. He’d failed the first challenge, but he still hadn’t called for help. I will deal with this myself and not give you the satisfaction. He could do this—all he had to do was chase away the goanna. He surveyed the area. A fallen limb rested against the trunk. That would do.

With an annoyed headshake, his attacker lumbered away with its strange, swaying gait. Halfway to the bushes it turned and headed straight for Andy’s backpack, nosed it open, and rummaged inside.



"Where the Road Bends is an intriguing and enjoyable novel that shows us we all have the ability to change. If you look at your life and find you’re not where you want to be or you’re not happy, take the bend in the road that leads to where you want to be."

Heidi Reads... - Excerpt

Eddie brushed past him. “Are you hungry, mate? Let’s grab some tucker, hey?”

Andy furrowed his brow. “Tucker?”

Eddie’s voice echoed from deep within the trailer. “Tucker. Food. We might have some spiders or bugs you can eat.”

Andy froze. He was starving, but there was no way he would be forced into that. He reached for the softened shape of the remaining Mars bar in his pocket. He hoped he wouldn’t have to make it last.

Eddie emerged from the trailer, his pearly white grin beamed through the fading afternoon light. “I thought so. I’m only winding you up because your mate said you’d be up for anything.”


Paper Ink & Lizard - Spotlight

Reviews by Leslie - Excerpt

In the middle of the path a long, black snake coiled back on itself. It appeared to be gathering energy to strike. At her.

Bree flushed cold in the heat as she froze. “Eddie?” Three more long syllables.

The snake eyed her from the path, the sun rippling from its dark-brown scales. Its head eased back into its body.

The foliage parted. “Don’t. Move.” Eddie stepped off the path and inched around the snake, his eyes not deviating from the threat. The snake sensed his movement and jerked back.

Eddie stepped in front of Bree and placed an arm across her, his voice flat. “I want you to take a step back. Slowly. He doesn’t like sudden movements.”


Wishful Endings - Spotlight

Pause for Tales - Spotlight

Hallie Reads - Review

"Like he does in his previous books, Rawlings uses this story of friends to deliver valuable insight and thought-provoking sentiments. While I do wish the characters had been a little more fleshed out, Where the Road Bends does prove to be an interesting story—especially given its atmospheric setting!"

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post...

Where the Road Bends
By David Rawlings
Christian Fiction
Hardcover, Audiobook & ebook, 304 Pages
June 2, 2020 by Thomas Nelson

Fifteen years after college graduation, four friends reconnect to keep a long-ago promise and go on a trip of a lifetime in the Australian Outback.

Eliza needs to disconnect from her high-powered fashion job to consider the CEO position she’s just been offered. Lincoln hopes to rekindle a past relationship and escape from another one. Bree looks forward to a fun getaway from home and her deeply buried disappointments. Andy wants to disappear from the mess he’s made of his life—possibly forever.

Dropped at a campsite in the middle of nowhere, the friends quickly discover they aren’t the same people they once were, and they begin to confront hard truths about one another—and themselves. Then a bizarre storm sweeps across their camp, scattering them across the desert. Wondering if they are part of some strange escape game, each of the friends meets a guide to help them find exactly what they need: purpose, healing, courage, and redemption.

But they’ve already traveled far down the road of life and course-correcting to become the people they were meant to be won’t be easy.

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author


David Rawlings is an Australian author, and a sports-mad father of three who loves humor and a clever turn of phrase. Over a 25-year career he has put words on the page to put food on the table, developing from sports journalism and copywriting to corporate communication. Now in fiction, he entices readers to look deeper into life with stories that combine the everyday with a sense of the speculative, addressing the fundamental questions we all face.


Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive a print copy of The Camera Never Lies by David Rawlings (US only)

Ends June 24, 2020

ENTER HERE
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6.18.2020

The Story Hunter by Lindsay A. Franklin ~ Review


My Review:

Tannie and the gang are back in this final installment, finally facing the one who has orchestrated the the subversion of the strands and the murders of whoever got in the way.

This third of the trilogy has some twists and turns along the way, surprises and familiar faces. I loved how the author made each of the first person point of views so distinct, and how we finally get a look inside Brac's head--he was so much fun! I really liked his jaunty, forthright way of speaking. Diggy is such a wonderful ball of surprising chaotic, with a very focused and statement based train of consciousness, she is unpredictable and very direct.

This was an enjoyable return to the world, and I liked the country dialect that in my mind reads like a Scottish bur of Tannie and Brac.

Fantasy world building and a coming of age tale, I loved how Tannie and Braith grow as leaders, putting others first. Even though his choice can be questionable, Brac is nevertheless remains a favorite for me.

A wildly entertaining read sure to satisfy fans of the previous books in the series, there were a few spots where I felt the conversations were dragged out further than they needed to be, but I did enjoy the banter and the humor that added some lightness. This book does relate to difficult topics, like sexual assault, and I think it is handled well. A colorful world of stories, with unique characters in a quest for the greater good. A wholly original story about trilogy about the power of friendship and truth.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.



6.16.2020

Stories That Bind Us by Susie Finkbeiner ~ Review

My Review:

A compelling character driven novel, whose quietest moments speak loudest.

Betty Sweet is only forty years old, and still reeling from the death of her beloved husband, recounting memories, when her estranged sister pops back into her life, along with her five year old son, Hugo.

Told through the eyes of Betty, she recalls moments from years past, both painful and beautiful, from life with her sister, father and mother, to meeting her husband, as well as stories all her own.

The Sweets are a close knit family, and I loved every single one of them, and how they band together, doing whatever they can to help each other. If you asked me to pick a favorite I don't think that I could, from Norm, Pops, Marvel, Albert, Mom Sweet, Nick and Dick they were all brought so vividly to life that I could just see them in my mind's eye. I suppose my least favorite was Stan, purely from a lack of page time standpoint and the fact that he technically isn't a Sweet, but even he is pretty fantastic. I love how Nick and Dick include Hugo in all of their games and mischief, not minding that he is half their age.

This was a heart-tugging read, and like I mentioned earlier more character driven than plot driven,so there were some slower moments, but since they fit the flow of this story I didn't really mind them that much even though I noticed them.

This is an enjoyable and compelling read set in the 1950's, capturing snapshots of a life, and the little moments that turn into memories. This story works well in the first person POV, and I couldn't help falling in love with little Hugo and his curiosity about the world around him and innocent intelligence. Spellbinding, would lose track of time as I became immersed in Betty's world as she shared it with Hugo. Full of faith, this beautiful book shows the bonds of family and the Stories That Bind Us. 


I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

6.15.2020

The Black Sheep's Salvation by Deb Kastner ~ Review

The Black Sheep's SalvationLucie's Review:


The woman whose heart he broke, might just be his son's best chance.

Heartwarming romance about love and second chances. I loved Molly and Logan's families, and how they interfere in their own ways, some encouraging and others discouraging. This is an enjoyable smalltown read, with a great sense of community and friendship.

Logan Maddox is returning to hometown, with his young son, Judah, but he never expected to have his son's teacher be his high school sweetheart, Molly Winslow. Logan is a wonderful father, he wants to do everything he can to help his autistic son succeed.

Molly is a gifted teacher and is working on a training her dog Rufus to be a service dog for people with autism. She is passionate about helping others, but the past is hard to forget, she's determined to do her bet for Logan's son, and I loved her patience and her willingness to help.

Overall, a enjoyable and entertaining read, sweet, with great characters and a heartwarming plot. I especially loved Judah and Rufus. Definitely recommend if you like heartwarming romance and second chances.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

6.12.2020

What Momma Left Behind by Cindy K. Sproles ~ Review

My Review: 

A powerful story set in the rugged, yet beautiful mountains of Appalachia.

 Seventeen year old Worie Dressar is left to contend with the realities of her mother's death and the secrets that her passing uncovers. Worie is a spunky, headstrong, and mule-stubborn heroine, with a fierce love for her family. I really liked how we see that she is a young woman who has grown up quickly, yet she doesn't have it all figured out and there are moments when her youth shows and she is more vulnerable.

The story is told in first person through Worie's eyes, and it did take me awhile to acclimate to her distinct dialect, slowing me down at first as sometimes I would have to re-read a section to make sure I hadn't missed anything. I loved the setting, wild, lawless, rugged and strong like the people who made it their home. I thought that it was really striking just how young the main characters are, and just how much harshness they have seen in their lives. One of my favorite characters was Pastor Jess, he is patient and humble, slow to speak, very mature for his age, yet also very much a twenty year old man.

This is a story about family, faith, and love, with a sassy heroine willing to go the distance. I loved the unexpected twists that this story takes, with colorful characters, and precious children. The characters are intriguing and well built, and they do a great job of evoking the realities of life in the mountains. I enjoyed the unexpected twists to the story, as well as the heartwarming aspects. A perfect read for fans of Christy, and Appalachian fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

6.11.2020

An Amish Mother's Secret Past by Jo Ann Brown ~ Review


Lucie's Review:

A heartwarming tale of starting over, a strong veteran heroine, and giving love a chance.

Army Veteran Rachel Yoder grew up Amish in a strict community, now she is returning to her Amish roots with her young daughters. I really liked how Rachel is a more mature heroine, she has done a lot of things, and seen the world, working through a lot of pain from her past. She wants to give her children a safe and stable home, and also to reconnect with her roots. I really admired her work ethic, and willingness to help out wherever needed, and she is an excellent mother.

Isaac is a bachelor, who has finally decided that it might be nice to settle down, and is on the lookout for "The Perfect Amish Wife." He admires Rachel's varied practical skill set and how she isn't afraid to jump in and do her part. Her daughters take to him instantly, and I especially enjoyed the  sweet interaction between him her daughters--they are so cute!

This was a very enjoyable and entertaining read, I liked the fresh twist on Amish romance and what a strong and capable woman that Rachel was. Isaac is a very kind man, he's very understanding of children, and doesn't give up. There were some great humorous moments, and great interaction throughout. I loved this heartwarming read, it has strong faith, and characters that you can cheer for all the way through. Highly recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

6.10.2020

Closer Than She Knows by Kelly Irvin ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

A spine-tingling psychological thriller, that keep me on my toes.

Teagan O'Rourke was raised around law enforcement and she works as a  court reporter, in charge of labelling and presenting incriminating evidence in the courtroom. She's heard the grisly details of countless crimes, but never thought that she would become the victim of a killer bent on revenge.

Fast-paced, with heart pounding suspense that kept me guessing up to the very end. I loved the Teagan's close knit supportive family, and how they work hard to help her along the way. She and Max are opposites in many ways, but I liked that they were able to find compromises and work together to find the killer.

This is a very intense read and even kinda creepy to be reading at night time. I didn't know what would happen next, or even have a clue as to who could be behind it all. There were also great conversations and moments that built the relationship, throughout.

In the end this was a very well written read, with great characters, and stellar plot. I definitely wanted to find out what would happen next, and that kept me reading. While it was gripping and well written, I personally found it to be too intense for my personal taste in the brutality of the crimes, but I believe that a lot of people will really enjoy it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

6.09.2020

Plain Refuge by Dana R. Lynn ~ Just Read Tour, Review, and Giveaway

Plain Refuge Blog + Review Tour 
Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Plain Refuge by Dana R. Lynn, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Plain Refuge by Dana R. Lynn Title: Plain Refuge
Series: Amish Country Justice #8
Author: Dana R. Lynn
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
Release Date: June 1, 2020
Genre: Romantic Suspense

On the run from hired gunmen, 
can she find safety in Amish country?

After overhearing an illegal weapons deal, Sophie Larson knows two things: her uncle’s a dangerous criminal…and he wants her dead. Now undercover cop Aiden Forster has no choice but to blow his cover and protect Sophie by hiding her and her deaf sister in Amish country. But with a mole in the police force, danger isn’t far behind.

Review:
A thrilling fast-paced read, that kept me at the edge of my seat as they try to evade the bad guys who seem to anticipate their every move.

A highly entertaining read, it was a fast read, because I didn't want to put it down. There was a lot going on, as well as very strong character arcs. I loved how Sophie and her sister, Celine, have their relationship challenged and strengthened. There are also strong themes of faith and friendship throughout as their friends take a risk by hiding them.

Aiden is a very duty driven man, who can also be very hard on himself for personal failures. He is great at thinking on his feet, exhausting every option to keep Sophie and Celine safe.

Overall this was a satisfying read, with great characters, high stakes suspense, and well developed relationship growth. Definitely worth the read!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository | Christianbook  


 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dana R. Lynn 

Dana R. Lynn grew up in Illinois. She met her husband at a wedding and told her parents she had met her future husband. Nineteen months later, they were married. Today, they live in rural Pennsylvania with their three teenaged children and enough pets to open a petting zoo. She is a teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing by day and writes stories of romance and danger at night. She believes in the power of God to touch people through stories. Her books have been on the Publishers Weekly Best Sellers lists. She has been a Holt Medallion finalist, a Selah finalist, and a New England Readers Choice finalist and Award winner. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. She is an avid reader, loves cats and thinks chocolate should be a food group. She enjoys engaging with readers and can be found on social media or contacted via her website www.danarlynn.com.

CONNECT WITH DANA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram  


 

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a copy of Plain Refuge and winner's choice of a $10 Barnes and Noble OR Amazon gift card!

Plain Refuge JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight June 9, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on June 16, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


 
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

6.08.2020

If I Were You by Lynn Austin ~ Review

My Review:


A poignant tale of friendship, following two vastly different young women in WWII.

An engrossing read that pulled me in from the very beginning. Eve and Audrey couldn't be more different in social advantage as well as personality. Eve comes from a working class family, while Audrey has the weight of wealth and privilege.

I love how this book contrasts the girl's upbringings and personalities, showing how they are so different, yet compliment each other so well as friends. I loved the realistic rhythm of Eve and Audrey's friendship, as they lose touch and come back together again, which felt honest and relatable. There are many characters that aren't all good or bad, they struggle with the questions of God and morality in the face of war and the consequences of their actions.

The plot slides forwards and back with ease from the 1950's and back to the events leading up to the current conflict. Throughout the book I kept changing my mind on whom I liked better of if I even liked either of them, in the end I just gave up and decided that I admired both women equally for their strength and faith, gained and expressed in their own ways.

Overall, a heartfelt story of friendship, redemption, forgiveness and sacrifice set against the backdrop of a changing world in the years of the second world war. Lynn Austin is a master of weaving a strong faith focus into the very fabric of the storyline. I empathized with both Eve and Audrey, in ways that I never thought that I would upon beginning the book. I loved the complexity of the characters, and even though he wasn't around much, Tom was a scene stealing favorite. This was a gripping read, and while it wasn't quite the tearjerker that past Austin reads have been for me, I still found it to be a enjoyable, entertaining read, that I would happily recommend.


I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

6.05.2020

Seeing Jesus from the East by Ravi Zacharias and Abdu Murray ~ Review

My Review:

I started reading this before the passing of the beloved author and evangelist, Ravi Zacharias, and how fitting that it is one of his most personal and my favorite.

Originally planned to be co-written with the late Nabeel Qureshi, in this book Mr. Zacharias enlists the perspective of fellow author Abdu Murray as they share personal testimonies, and illustrate the difference that understanding the Gospel from within the original Eastern context giving greater understanding and context to the Gospel. I loved how Zacharias and Murray show the transcendent power of the Gospel that speaks to both Eastern and Western hearts, in our search for significance and meaning.

This book builds a fantastic case for reading the Scriptures in the context of an Eastern honor/shame culture, as this was the audience to which Jesus preached. This book uncovers many passages with an added depth when viewed through an Eastern lense that I will never view in the same way again.

I can't recommend this book enough, it does a great way of compellingly revealing the significance of an Eastern interpretation, as well as how Jesus's teachings that were radical to the Eastern ear were foundations of our Western culture. Well balanced and accessible, this book is an excellent read, bringing out the nuances of the culture our faith is rooted in. One of the stand out reads from this year, highly recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

6.04.2020

Deadly Connection by Lenora Worth ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

A cold case murder converges with a more recent murder, Belle Montera and her K-9 partner, Justice, join forces with US Marshal Emmett Gage to track down the killer.

A fast-paced, engaging read, and I loved that the story operates in the same world as previous books in the series, so familiar faces do pop up.

Belle is a strong, disciplined woman, with a wonderful, close knit family. I loved how supportive they are, as well as welcoming. I admired her faith and quick thinking. I also loved learning about the training of the K-9's, which showed great researching.

Emmett is a very honorable man, he takes his responsibilities seriously. He fits right in with Belle's teammates, and I liked his respect for them and they work that they do.

Overall, a entertaining read, with fantastic human and canine characters that you can root for all the way through. Strong character and faith come together, in this high stakes suspense. Highly enjoyable!


I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

6.02.2020

The Key to Everything by Valerie Fraser Luesse ~Review

Review:

A coming of age story about fifteen year old Peyton Cabot, a young man following in the footsteps of his father, in a life changing bike trek to Key West.

This was a quick and pleasant read, though I felt it slow to start, at times episodic. Peyton is a likable young man, he is upright has a sense of direction, but is also willing to go with the flow and take things as they come. Over the course of the book he learns about his family's past and meets a plethora of colorful and welcoming characters.

It was an entertaining read, with many fascinating snapshots of Peyton's varied experiences along the way. I loved Aunt Gert and her humorous and honest approach to life, as well as the sly but loyal Fin.

In the end, though he did come upon many interesting situations, I felt like things came a together a little too easily, and Peyton was almost too agreeable in my mind. Though we didn't spend more time with the extended Cabot family, there were characters that did intrigue me, and I wish that we had gotten to know them better. There was much to appreciate, like the very bold Southern characters, as well as the different pace of life that was brought to life well. A quick Southern coming of age tale about the choices that can change your life.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

6.01.2020

The Heart of a Hero by Susan May Warren ~ Just Read Tour, Review, and Giveaway!


The Heart of a Hero Blog + Review Tour 
Welcome to the Blog Tour and Giveaway for The Heart of a Hero by Susan May Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Heart of a Hero by Susan May Warren Title: The Heart of a Hero
Series: Global Search and Rescue #2
Author: Susan May Warren
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: June 2, 2020
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Jake Silver may not be able to put the memories of his time as a sniper and Navy SEAL behind him, but at least he can put his skills to use as a part of the Jones Inc. rescue team. Saving the life of pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Aria Sinclair on Denali helped too. But now he can't get her out of his head. Aria has dedicated her life to helping children born with defective hearts. After all, she was one of those children. Driven to succeed, she lives a lonely, stressful life. One she would have lost on Denali if it hadn't been for Jake. Jake is exciting and handsome, but he's also dangerous, and she's already lost one person she loves. She can't bear it again.

It's not until she finds herself trapped in the middle of a Category 4 hurricane that she can admit she needs Jake desperately. With their very survival in the balance, can they hope for a second chance at life . . . and love? 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository | Christianbook  

Review: Picking up just one week after the events of the previous book in the series, The Way of the Brave, The Heart of a Hero follows Jake and Aria as they are pushed to their limits and their skills challenged by the devastation of a Category 4 hurricane on a populated island.

I loved how this book digs deeper into who Jake and Aria are beneath all the layers, beyond who others perceive them as well as the pressures and standards that they hold for themselves. Jake has a reputation as something of a player, but under it all he is a courageous and honorable man, I admired how he was ready to jump into the fray and do what needed to be done. Aria is cautious, yet has been walking more on the wild side in recent years, I loved her passion for serving others.

I also liked how we get to see a different side of Ham, as he is faced with life changing revelations, we see a softer side of him. I am figuratively dying to read his story! We also meet Mimi and Yola who are fantastic friends to Aria and Jake, I loved Mimi's steady faith and words of encouragement.

This author never disappoints, I haven't ever read a book by her that I don't like, and this one is no exception. Jake and Aria are thrust into the heart of a natural disaster, and I liked how they come to trust one another and how they both grow over the course of the book. There is a lot going on, with one thing after another, making this book pretty much impossible to put down. A fast paced, tension fraught read, with fantastic protagonists that I couldn't help but cheer for all the way through. Would definitely recommend reading The Way of the Brave first as Jake and Aria's story starts there, and reading it before this one adds a lot more context. Highly recommend this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Susan May Warren 

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy and RITA award-winning novelist of over sixty-five novels. An eight-time Christy award finalist, a three-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award.

A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: The Story Equation. She is also the founder of MyBookTherapy.com, and Novel.Academy, a school for aspiring novelists.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram  


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card and a heart-shaped hematite necklace!

The Heart of a Hero JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight June 1, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on June 8, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

 

 
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.