Friday, December 12, 2014

The Bachelor: Book 2 Plain City Peace By Stephanie Reed

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

Book Description: 

In this sequel to The Bargain, Betsie Troyer is back home in her Amish community where she knows she belongs, free from the confusing Englisher way of life. She and Charley Yoder have made promises to each other, and her life is back on track--until Gerald Sullivan shows up with his young daughter, asking for Betsie's help. He’s on his way to find his estranged wife, and begs Betsie to take young Sheila in. When she agrees, Betsie's carefully planned life is shaken up again. Sheila's new found faith is troubling to Charley--and his attraction to another girl is beginning to be a problem. But how can Betsie confront him when she is still trying to confront her own feelings about Sheila's brother, Michael? Keeping the peace between the Amish man she's always loved, a twelve-year-old Englisher girl, and a draft-dodging hippie is more than she ever thought she’d have to deal with in her simple, orderly life. Still, Betsie is convinced she can keep things from falling apart completely. Then during her best friend's wedding, tragedy strikes and her world is upended. She has to make a decision: does she love Charley or Michael . . . or is she craving a deeper love that only God can give? The compelling second novel of the Plain City Peace series, The Bachelor deftly weaves together the strands of a solid, simpler time with the turmoil of an era of change, revealing the strengths of both in its powerful narrative.

My Thoughts: 

The Bachelor is the second book in Stephanie Reed's Plain City Peace Series. I had the pleasure of reading her first book, The Bargain, so I was very excited when The Bachelor came out, it had been a long wait. Amish Fiction and Historical Fiction are my favorite genres and this series is both so I LOVE IT!   In this next book, Betsie is back home in her Amish community, happy to get back to her plain way of life.  Betsie isn't back long before Mr. Sullivan, her English employer, shows up asking Betsie to take in his daughter, Shelia, while he goes to find his wife and try to bring her back to the family. Shelia has nowhere else to go because her brother, Michael, is gone too.  Betsie couldn't refuse especially because of her love for the Sullivans especially Shelia. Betsie finds her simple life very complicated again. Betsie is raising her sister and now their brother comes back home after staying with their older brother. Their parents and Aunt Lovina are living in the city as Christians, shunned from their Amish community and happy to be able to believe in Christ. Betsie and her family are being watched by everyone in the community especially Betsie's beau's mom. She is just waiting for Betsie to slip up and has made no secret of it. Charley, Betsie's beau has taken "control" of Betsie's family farm and trying to take control of the Troyer family. Shelia's presence and her faith threaten Charley and he does what he can to convince Betsie Shelia shouldn't be there. As Betsie works hard to keep peace and help Shelia she is also dealing with her torn feelings between Charley and Michael Sullivan. Michael finds himself draft dodging in Tennessee and has written to Betsie and Shelia many times. As Betsie is dealing with all of this she finds out her best friend is moving up her wedding and moving away. While at the wedding, tragedy strikes the Troyer Family and her whole world has fallen apart. 

The Bachelor is a great story that combines my two favorite genres, Amish and Historical Fiction. This book takes place in 197, after the Kent State massacre, the draft, the anti war roits and of course the Vietnam war, a time in history that I haven't read many books about, especially about the Amish during this time. This is a very unique story and series. Stephanie Reed writes with authority on The Amish,  our country in 1970's, Ohio, and Christian Faith. I loved the way Stephanie Reed starts every chapter with a verse or a saying that Betsie had recorded in her journal or from the Bible.  I enjoyed most of the characters in this book, especially Betsie and Shelia. As different as their worlds are they are so much alike and do whatever they can to help each other. They are truly like sisters. Their interactions are deep and their connection is amazing considering the differences in their upbringing. I also enjoyed the letters between Betsie and Michael. Again two people from two different worlds who connect in such a loving way. I found myself unable to put this book down once I picked it up. Stephanie Reed kept me guessing until the end and now I cannot wait for the next book in this series to come will be a long wait! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish and Historical Christian Fiction, you will not be disappointed! I impatiently await the next book in this series! 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Destiny Defied: Book One in The Destiny Series By J.A. Marx

 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: 

Trapped on a mysterious island, eighteen-year-old Riki finds refuge with four strangers. Isaac, the rugged EMT, insists no one else is around, but Riki cannot ignore her fear that someone is stalking her. Unless she finds a power truly great enough to overthrow Darkness, Riki will choose death over returning to captivity.

Lord VĂ©tis, high priest of a cultic underground, will stop at nothing to reclaim the chosen one, but he must do so before her introduction to the real world ruins her royal destiny. Using black magic, he manipulates Riki and her self-assigned bodyguards, triggering a battle that consumes the entire island. The underground will never allow Riki to live out her dreams of a normal life...something she has never known.

My Thoughts:  

Destiny Defied is J.A. Marx's first book in her new Destiny Series. I have not read anything by J.A.Marx before but when I read the description I was intrigued. Rikki is 18 years old and is stranded on an island with four strangers who are caring for her after they found her almost dead on the beach. These four friends are caring for Rikki and under the impression they are the only ones on the island but Rikki feels someone watching her every move. Rikki has never lived in the "real" world, only the world she was born into. Lord Vetis, a high priest of The Underground cult, is on the island watching Rikki and her companions. He is waiting for the right moment to to reclaim the chosen one, Rikki. While Rikki is learning about the real world, Lord Vetis is trying to counter this learning, afraid it will ruin her destiny and the cults agenda. 

Destiny Defied is a Christian Supernatural thriller that definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat. I have not read anything from J.A. Marx so this book was my first experience and I am very glad I did.  Destiny Defied is described as Frank Peretti meets a modern day Treasure Island, and that is a very accurate description.  As a fan of Frank Peretti and other supernatural books this book really caught my attention.  I found myself unable to put this book down for very long and J.A. Marx definitely kept me guessing until the end. As I read this book I really feel like it is appropriate for Teens and adults. I enjoyed the interactions of the four friends and their struggle to help Rikki, especially as they shared their faith with her and explained about God to her. All of the characters in this book fit together perfectly to make this a very interesting story. J.A. Marx has released the other two books in this series at the same time so I look forward to reading the other two books and glad I don't have to wait for them to be released! I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys supernatural fiction, especially books by Frank Peretti, you will enjoy this one. I give this book 4 STARS.

Welcome to the series launch of J.A. Marx's Destiny series. Book one, Destiny Defied, is a chilling tale of freedom from oppression and the Light that overcomes the dark.

J.A. is celebrating the launch of her series with a Kindle giveaway and a Facebook author chat party on December 2. 

  One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Destiny Defied by J.A. Marx.
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 12/2. Winner will be announced at the Destiny Defied Facebook author chat party on December 2nd. RSVP for a chance to connect with J.A. Marx, to chat about the book, as well as to win some great prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 2nd!

The Egyptian Princess: A Story of Hagar By KD Homberg

I received this audiobook for no charge from the author and Celebrate Lit Blogger Program in exchange for my honest review of this audiobook...