Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Runaway By Claire Wong

I received this book from Kregel Publications and the author for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description: 

Shortly before her eighteenth birthday, Rhiannon Morgan runs away from the remote Welsh village of Llandymna. Camping out in Dyrys Woods, she starts to make a new life for herself. In the woods she finds space for her active imagination--weaving together the stories she loves and memories of her past, including the mother she lost thirteen years ago.

Back in the village, Rhiannon's disappearance triggers a series of events that uncover the cracks in Llandymna's quiet surface. Relationships become frayed as a young police officer is forced to investigate his neighbors, and the village's elderly storyteller hints at a secret that the older generation has kept for decades. But as painful as the village's past may be, it may hold the key for hope in the present...

Claire Wong's strong debut explores how human relationships develop, how we change as we interact with one another, and the role of folktales and mythology in small communities.
 


My Thoughts: 

 The Runaway is Claire Wong's debut novel and I enjoyed it. As my readers know I absolutely love reading new authors so that first drew me to this book, also the cover art and the back cover description really caught my attention. I enjoyed this book and this authors writing. The whole story is definitely different in a good way. Claire Wong writes with authority about Wales, small town hierarchy, teenagers, and surviving in the woods. The village where this story takes place, Llandymna, is a fictional village in the hills of mid-Wales. Small and remote, it has stood there for hundreds of years on the edge of a vast forest. Today, it consists of a church, a primary school, a pub and a local shop, all surrounded by houses and fields. I loved the village and could totally picture it in my mind. I really like Claire Wong's style of writing, she definitely puts her readers right there and her seamless transitions from past to present make for a cohesive story line.  The characters in this story are unique and well written. I can't say that there is one character that I liked more or less. These characters are set in their ways but a 17 year old running away makes them realize the changes that need to be made in their ways and how they leaned on their faith.  I found myself intrigued by this story with its fairy tale like premise. I highly recommend this book to adults and teens alike. I am excited to read more from Claire Wong, she is on my list of authors to read! I give this book 4 STARS.

Local Poet By Paul Trembling

I received this book from Kregel Publications for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own. 

Book Description:

Rob doesn't know Laney Grey. But when she steps out in front of his van and dies on impact, his life will never be the same. He has to know who she was, why she chose to die, and why he had to be part of her death.

To understand her, he must learn to read her poetry. To know her, he must unravel the mysteries of her past. As Laney's dark secret starts to come to light, and authorities get involved, Rob must learn the full truth and quickly.

But truth comes at a cost and someone must pay...will Rob be the one?


"Paul Trembling has spun a tense, haunting, beautiful tale in this literary thriller. The story of Laney Grey and the man who killed her will stay with you for a long time." -Fiona Veitch Smith, CWA shortlisted author of The Jazz Files.

"A note-worthy start to a smashing new series populated by characters you will not soon forget. Action mounts. Dark mysteries deepen...how long can you hold your breath?" -Edna Buchanan, author of the Britt Montero series.


My Thoughts: 

Local Poet is Paul Trembling's latest book and it is very good. This book is the first in a series.  Paul Trembling is a new to me author and I am so glad I had the pleasure of reading it. This book is a Christian Suspense/Mystery Fiction, which I am a huge fan of.  Paul Trembling writes with authority on: London and the areas around it, police procedures, the  RTC (Road Traffic Collision), poetry, and investigating. This book is not a long book but in the 176 pages Paul Trembling writes an intense story that really grabbed me and kept me guessing until the end. I found myself unable to put this book down. The characters in this book are well written and not always what they seem. I found myself drawn to Rob, as this story is told from his perspective. His character goes through a lot and has a tough time when things are not in his control. He definitely goes through a transformation because of this accident and what he finds out about the victim, Laney, and her poetry.  I enjoyed Paul Trembling's writing style, his ability to write so much in a shorter book and transitions between past and present seamlessly. I cannot wait to read the books in this series. At the end of this book there is a snippet from the next book in this series and WOW it definitely has piqued my interest. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys Suspense/Mystery stories, you will not be disappointed. I give this book 4.5 STARS.

I would also like to apologize for the lateness of this review to Paul Trembling and Kregel Publications, there is no excuse for the lateness. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race By Mike H. Mizrahi

 I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:  


Chattanooga society is turned upside down as a young woman has the audacity to ride a bicycle–in bloomers!
It’s 1895. Anna Gaines, 19, struggles to conquer her insecurities after a horrible fall years ago from her beloved horse, Longstreet. On a visit with her aunt in Brooklyn, she’s drawn to the new pastime of bicycling. But back at home, cycling is a scandalous sport for a proper lady. Southern women did not engage in activities meant for men.
Anna has her eye on Peter Sawyer, president of the Cycling Club. As community outrage grows, an unexpected turn of events pits Anna against Peter in a race between the sexes.
Will Anna prove that women deserve the same right as men to ride “the wheel?” Will she choose to live a quiet, traditional life of a housewife and mother? Or will she pursue college and become one of the “new women” emerging into the twentieth century on the seat of a bicycle? What will become of the spark between Anna and Peter?
Faith, patience, and courage help Anna to become the person she was meant to be.


My Thoughts:   

The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race is the latest book by Mike H. Mizrahi and I think it is great! Mike H. Mizrahi is a new to me author and I am so glad I read it. As a HUGE fan of Christian Historical Fiction, this book really drew my interest. The cover of this book is beautiful and really drew my interest. Mike H. Mazrahi writes with authority about: the United States during 1895 especially the South and New York, life in Chattanooga, the social hierarchy in the South, cycling, women's movement in 1895, racing, and fashion during 1895. I found myself unable to put this book down, from start to finish it grabbed a hold of me and held me until the end. I like Mike H. Mizrahi's writing style, it really put me right there watching the events unfold and his transitions from Chattanooga and New York were seamless.  Even though this is a work of fiction, it had many facts in it and learned a lot about bicycling and the movement for women to be able to ride bicycles with men. I love it when I learn new things while I read. The characters in this book are well written and are real people dealing with real things. I found myself drawn to Anna. She is a kind soul who has had to overcome some big obstacles to get to where she is. As she sees more of the world, she finds something that makes her happy, but finds herself up against society hierarchy to do this. She fights for her beliefs and does her best to try and balance her love of cycling and her love of her family. I found myself laughing in parts, crying in parts, and holding my breath.I have found another must read author after reading this book.  This is a wonderful book and I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed.  I cannot wait to read more from Mike H. Mazrahi. I give this book 5 STARS.
 



 Take a ride through 1895 Chattanooga as it's turned upside down when a young woman has the audacity to ride a bicycle-in bloomers-in Mike H. Mizrahi's new book, The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race! Anna Gaines, 19, struggles to conquer her insecurities after a horrible fall years ago from her beloved horse, Longstreet. On a visit to Brooklyn, she's drawn to the new pastime of bicycling. But back at home, cycling is a scandalous sport for a proper lady. Anna has her eye on Peter Sawyer, president of the Cycling Club. As community outrage grows, an unexpected turn of events pits Anna against Peter in a race between the sexes.

Celebrate the release of Mike's new book by entering to win his $75 Amazon gift card giveaway!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race
  • A $75 Amazon gift card
Enter today by clicking the banner below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on June 14. The winner will be announced June 15 on Mike's blog.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Driver Confessional: Volume 1 of The Driver Series By David Winters

I received this this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are mine.


Book Description: 

Ride share driver Antonio cruises the streets of Washington, D.C. looking for his next fare.
He has an unusual gift for relaxing his customers and stimulating their desire to reveal more than they planned. By the completion of their ride, many feel so comfortable that they confess their sins great and small. Antonio’s faith guides his discussions and points him in new directions. Suddenly, his peaceful world is turned upside down by a mysterious business woman. As she heads to a midnight rendezvous, she confesses more than Antonio can handle. Her story sends him into a world of espionage, international terrorism and danger.


My Thoughts: 

Driver Confessional is the first book in  David Winters new series, The Driver Series, and it is great! This is the first book of David Winters that I have had the pleasure of reading. This book really caught my attention from the images on the cover to the description on the back. As a fan of Christian Mystery/Suspense books I was eager to read this great book. David Winters writes with authority about the streets of Washington D.C., sharing faith with others, international issues, and giving advice to help others. I found myself unable to put this book down. This book is a fast paced, keeping you guessing until the end. The characters in this book are definitely interesting and not always who they seem. I really enjoyed Antonio. He does what he can for others, sharing his faith. I find that so admirable and something to be admired He put himself in harms way to help. I loved this character. I truly enjoyed David Winters writing. His writing made me feel like I was there. Heart pounding suspense, I found myself also laughing in some parts and holding my breath in others. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series! I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Suspense books, you will NOT be disappointed. I give this book 4 STARS.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

True to You: A Bradford Sisters Romance Book 1 By Becky Wade

 I received this book from Litfuse and the author for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed are my own.

Book Description: 


Exciting Start of a Brand-New Series by a Contemporary Romance Fan Favorite

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.

The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John's already dating someone and Nora's not sure she's ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another. 


My Thoughts: 

True to You is the first book in Becky Wade's newest series, The Bradford Sisters Romance and it is a fantastic start to this series.  I am a big fan of Becky Wade's. I enjoy her Christian Contemporary Romance books.  Becky Wade writes with authority about Genealogy, running businesses, libraries, baking and cooking, running a bed and breakfast, rare diseases, and having faith even in the face of disappointment and mortality. I love Becky Wade's style of writing, her books are well researched and really makes me feel like I am right there experiencing everything. I could not put this book down, from start to finish I hated having to stop reading for the day. The characters are well written and are real people with messy lives. My favorite characters had to be Nora and her sisters. They have a connection that makes them sisters and friends. They love doing for each other and others and are brave to put themselves out there to try different things and support one another, cheerleaders.  They give each other hope and encourages each others faith in God.  I found myself definitely wanting this kind of sibling relationship. This book brings out many emotions like laughing, crying, despair, and hope. I truly enjoyed this book! I cannot wait to read the other 2 books in this series!! I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Contemporary Fiction, this book and this author. I give this 5+STARS.  Please check out below. Wonderful contest.


Do opposites really attract? John and Nora might just be the perfect match. Find out in True to You, book one in Becky Wade's new series! Genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now. Former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

Celebrate the launch of Becky Wade's new series by entering to win a fabulous prize pack and $100 cash card!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of True to You
  • A $100 Visa cash card
  • A prize pack hand-picked by Becky

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on May 30. The winner will be announced May 31 on the Litfuse blog.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A Lady in Disguise: The Daughters of Hampshire Book 3 By Sandra Byrd

I received this book from Sandra Byrd for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description: 

In this intriguing novel of romance, mystery, and clever disguise set in Victorian England, a young woman investigates the murder of her own father.

After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.

Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?

Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.


My Thoughts: 

A Lady in Disguise is the latest book in Sandra Byrd's series, The Daughters of Hampshire and it is just awesome. I am a huge fan of Sandra Byrd's and have read all three books in this series.  As a huge fan of Christian Victorian Era books these books drew my interest. I LOVE the cover of this book, really fits what is inside. Sandra Byrd writes with authority about Victorian Era, the world at this time, police procedure, the theatre, costume designing, and hierarchy.  This book had a little bit of everything in it: mystery, romance, action, suspense, and history. Each book in this series has gotten better and this third one I believe is the best yet! From cover to cover this is a good read. I couldn't put it down from page 1 until the end and this book kept me at the edge of my seat. The characters in this book are very complex and some are not what they seem. I really enjoyed Gillian and her girls. Four in total they took care of each other and support each other. Gillian thought she was saving them and she did but they also saved her. Gillian lost both her parents and as she tries to make sense of her fathers death and her mothers death years before. Gillian is a good Christian woman who does everything she can to honor her parents wishes and do right by them. I loved that she was a costume designer. I learned so much about costume designing and about the pantomime children of the theatre, what happens as they get older. I love history, even in fiction books there are a lot of of historical facts to learn about. I found myself laughing in parts of this book and in other parts crying not only because of sadness but also tears of joy. This book can be read as a stand alone but really recommend reading them all, you will NOT be disappointed.  I give this book 5+ STARS.
I also need to apologize to Sandra Byrd for the lateness of this review. I finished it a while ago but didn't post it right away. I am sorry.

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Joy of Letting Go: Releasing Your Teen into Real Life in the Big World By Vicki Caruana

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity and David C. Cook for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description: 

Parents let go of their children every day, even in ways they don’t realize. The 52 devotional readings within shine a light on all the times readers have loosened their grip on their children and encourages them to continue to let go in life-giving ways. Written by a parenting and education expert, The Joy of Letting Go will comfort and inspire parents in all seasons of parenting.

My Thoughts: 

The Joy of Letting Go:Releasing Your Teen into Real Life in the Big World is Vicki Caruana's latest devotional and it is a good one. This is the first book by Vicki Caruana I have had the pleasure of reading. I was drawn to the beautiful cover and the title. I am a mom of 3 children and we are beginning to empty our nest, which is something that has been a rough to wrap my head around. Our oldest is almost 21 years old and has gotten her first apartment, something that is part of the process of growing up but just never thought about it being real. We have a 19 yr old getting ready to graduate high school and 15 year old who in a few short years will be making his way in the world. Vicki Caruana opened my eyes that from the first steps, our children are becoming independent, bit by bit less dependent. I found this book to be almost a balm for me as I process my babies are not babies anymore and that little by little we have given them the independence for this day to come and how to feel happiness for them as they continue to grow.  I enjoyed each week of devotionals and plan to reread this book especially when I am down. I definitely learned much from this book and author. I highly recommend this book to any parent, this speaks to any stage of development and really gives encouragement. I cannot wait to read more from Vicki Caruana. I give this book 4 STARS.