Monthly Archives: March 2014

A Heart’s Rebellion by Ruth Axtell

A Heart's Rebellion byRuth Axtell

I thought this book sounded so fun and exciting! Jessamine Barry is in London for her season and a noble suitor, Lancelot Marfleet, takes an interest in her, but Jessamine refuses to consider him a suitor and instead finds herself a young charming man to spice up her season and dances! She is recovering…. well, not really recovering, as much as licking her wounds from a broken heart and in a quest to find both herself an true love!

I was so excited to read A Heart’s Rebellion! In the first few pages I thought I would really love Jessamine and how she didn’t conform to what society expected of her and other young women her age, but then quickly realized that I did not like Jessamine’s character much at all with her being rude, short with people and even mean at times. So while it was hard to me to like her…. does this not mean Ruth Axtell wrote well enough for me to feel that way rather than not caring about Jessamine?

I loved Lancelot and his personality and patient ways! But I truly do not understand why he was so drawn to Jessamine. I found his past to be really neat and exciting, especially in the early 1800’s!

I did find A Heart’s Rebellion to move a bit slow for my tastes, but the writing was done well with very good descriptions. One part made me laugh out loud, and I love doing that while I read books!

There was a part about half-way through that really made me feel for Jessamine with a comment said by another. I don’t do any spoilers, but this made me really want to like Jessamine, but still didn’t quite get there for me. She really bothered me at one point too when she refused to do something so simple as to try a waltz. But the ending showed the Lord’s faithfulness and as much as I struggled personally with the main character (Jessamine) I am sure there are others who will be swept away and love this book! It’s all part of different personalities and likes and dislikes and why this world is such an interesting place! So while this book is not one I thoroughly enjoyed, it is well-written and I am sure there are others who will enjoy it.

I rate this book a 2.5… While it’s my opinion that I did not really like it, it was well written to get the “okay” rating of a 3 🙂

I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the author:

Ruth knew she wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote her first story–a spy thriller–at the age of twelve. She studied comparative literature at Smith College, spending her junior year at the Sorbonne in Paris. After college, she taught English in the Canary Islands then worked in international development in Miami, Florida, before moving to the Netherlands, where for the next several years, she juggled both writing and raising her three children.
In 1994, her second manuscript was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart competition. In 2002, her sixth manuscript took second place in the Laurie Contest of RWA’s Smoky Mountain chapter. The final judge requested her full manuscript and this became her first published book, Winter Is Past, which was spotlighted in Christian Retailing magazine. Since then, Ruth has gone on to publish thirteen historical romances and one novella. Her books have been translated into Dutch, Italian, Polish and Afrikaans . Her second historical, Wild Rose, was chosen by Booklist as a “Top Ten Christian Fiction” selection in 2005.
Ruth lives on the coast of Maine where she enjoys gardening, walking, reading romances and gazing at the ocean plotting her next romance.

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Tide and Tempest by Elizabeth Ludwig

Tide and Tempest by Elizabeth Ludwig

Tide and Tempest, the third and final installment in Elizabeth Ludwig’s Edge of Freedom series, started off strong and hooked me enough to want to follow the whole way through. Tide and Tempest is about Tillie McGrath, who comes to America from Ireland with her fiancé, only to find herself alone after her fiancé falls ill and dies (trust me, this is not a spoiler 🙂 ) Tillie moves on…. at least in part, with making a new dream for herself and saving up for her dream.

It’s now two years after Tillie arrived in America, and Captain Keondric Morgan, still can’t get Tillie out of his mind. But then another death on his ship leads to a deathbed confession that leads Captain Morgan to check on Tillie and guard her until this deathbed confession mystery is solved.

The beginning was really good and hooked me and made me so excited to read Tide and Tempest! But then as I read further, I had a hard time every really connecting with the characters. This often makes or breaks a book for me. Tillie has a secret that is revealed fairly soon in the book where I thought I would really bond with her and I was touched during that scene, but then after I felt detached from her and the others throughout. I think this is well-written with good descriptions, but the first two-thirds is much slower than the last third of the book. I rate the first two-thirds at a 3… which is “okay” and then the last third as a 4, which means I liked it. We all have different opinions, and I can definitely see others connecting with the characters of this book and thoroughly enjoying this whole book. I did get frustrated with the secrets of the main characters romantic feelings and felt this drug out too long and then had a really abrupt ending, but the suspense at the end of the book was great and really well-written!

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.

I rate this book 3.5… 3 for the first two-thirds and 4 for the last third.

Meet the author:
Elizabeth Ludwig is an award-winning author whose work has been featured on Novel

Rocket, the Christian Authors Network, and The Christian Pulse. Her first novel, Where the Truth Lies (co-authored with Janelle Mowery), earned her the 2008 IWA Writer of the Year Award. This book was followed in 2009 by “I’ll be Home for Christmas”, part of the Christmas anthology collection, Christmas Homecoming.

In 2011, her second mystery, Died in the Wool (co-authored with Janelle Mowery) was nominated for a Carol Award. In 2012, the popular EDGE OF FREEDOM series released from Bethany House Publishers. Books one and two, No Safe Harbor and Dark Road Home, respectively, earned 4 Stars from the RT Book Reviews. Book three, Tide and Tempest, received top honors with 4 1/2 Stars.

Elizabeth is an accomplished speaker and teacher, often attending conferences and seminars where she lectures on editing for fiction writers, crafting effective novel proposals, and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Along with her husband and children, she makes her home in the great state of Texas.

You can buy this book at multiple retailers like, Baker, Amazon, CBD.

Tessa (From Fear to Faith by Melissa Wiltrout

Tessa (From Fear to Faith by Melissa Wiltrout

What Tessa is about: Tessa is a high school student who is forced to work in her father’s illegal drug business. She is abused by her father and her mother is negligent, but her attempts at running away only make things worse for Tessa. She starts to scare even herself with her own criminal tendencies after being raised in such a way. She pushes away her true friends and feels trapped in her horrible life. Tessa’s neighbors show her and her parents what life is like as a Christian and Tessa finally finds something worth living for… but is it enough? Or too little too late?

What I loved and liked and really enjoyed: I loved Tessa’s vulnerability! I loved Heather and her quiet, yet strong personality and how she strove so hard to follow Jesus, but still fell at times, but then was quick to realize and apologize. I loved the “realness” of this book and how it dealt with some really hard and plain old “bad” issues. There are so many Christian books where everything is just perfect in their little Christian world and that gets frustrating, so it was so refreshing to read a book that dealt with some real issues.

What I didn’t like as much: I felt at times that this book was more a manual for a brand-new Christian on how to become one and the first steps from there. I did see others thought the beginning was slow but the end was fast-paced, but for me it was the opposite. I really liked the beginning and how the author drew me in and I wanted to know what Tessa was going to do and where she was going to go with things, but after about half-way through, I thought it changed course a bit where it turned more into the steps for a new Christian. Which is not a bad thing…. I think this book has so much to offer some people, especially those who are going through similar situations and searching for and finding God for that first time. I do think this book should be labeled “Young Adult” rather than “general” with the content and age of Tessa.

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free from the publisher through Bookcrash in exchange for my honest review.

About the author, Melissa Wiltrout:

Image of Melissa Wiltrout

Melissa Wiltrout lives in Wisconsin with her two dogs, a 15-year-old Sheltie named Chester and an energetic young terrier named Daisy. She began writing her first novel (it was a dud) at the age of eight. Now in her thirties, she keeps busy at the family nursery and landscaping business during the summer and spends her winters writing. Having experienced much struggle in her own life, it is her prayer that others will find hope and encouragement through her writing.

Click on the link below to purchase Tessa!

http://www.amazon.com/Tessa-From-Faith-Melissa-Wiltrout-ebook/dp/B00EYKLX7Q/ref=sr_1_cc_2?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1394942529&sr=8-2-catcorr&keywords=tessa+from+faith+to+fear

In the Shadow of Jezebel by Mesu Andrews

In the Shadow of Jezebel by Mesu Andrews

What it’s about: Princess Jehosheba is trained as a priestess in the temple of Baal. She does everything she can to please Queen Athaliah, daughter of Jezebel. A mysterious letter from Elijah, now dead, predicts terrible things for the royal family. Sheba (Jehosheba) is forced to marry Yahweh’s high priest and enter Yahweh’s Temple… will her new husband show her unconditional and true love or will she stay true to her upbringing?

My feelings about In the Shadow of Jezebel: I can see the appeal of Mesu Andrew’s writing… descriptive, engaging and yet so informative! You can definitely tell she studies hard and then weaves all of those details into and through the story. I did think the set-up took a while for me to get into. While it was written wonderfully with a lot of supporting details I needed to know later in the book, it felt a little slow for the ‘meat’ of the story. I also got confused with the names, which is not surprising for me. I struggled with the pronunciation of some, and then therefore got a few of them mixed up at time to time throughout. But the actual content of this book just amazing me how someone can take a story from its original content, and take it and write it into such an engaging, fun story to follow!

Meet the author, Mesu Andrews:

Mesu grew up with a variegated Christian heritage. With grandparents from the Pilgrim Holiness, Nazarene, and Wesleyan Churches, her dad was a Quaker and mom charismatic. As you might imagine, God was a central figure in most family discussions, but theology was a battlefield and Scripture the weapon. As a rebellious teenager, Mesu rejected God and His Word, but discovered Jesus as a life-transforming Savior through the changed life of an old friend.

The desire for God’s Word exploded with her new commitment, but devotional time was scarce due to the demands of a young wife and mother. So Mesu scoured the only two theology books available–children’s Bible stories and her Bible. The stories she read to her daughters at night pointed her to the Bible passages she studied all day. She became an avid student of God’s Word, searching historical and cultural settings as well as ancient texts and original languages.

Mesu and her husband Roy have raised those two daughters and are now enjoying grandkids, but Mesu’s love for God’s Word has never waned. She now writes biblical novels, rich with spiritual insight learned through fascinating discoveries in historical research.

Her first novel, Love Amid the Ashes (Revell), won the 2012 ECPA Book of the Year in the Debut Author Category. Love’s Sacred Song (Revell), the Song of Solomon story, is available now and received a 4 ½ star rating from RT Reviews. And Love in a Broken Vessel (Revell), the story of Hosea and Gomer, releases in March 2013. A fourth book is scheduled for release in March 2014.

Roy and Mesu live in the Pacific Northwest with their Rottweiler-pitbull named Bouzer, who keeps Mesu company while she writes. Bouzer also enjoys watching movies, long walks by waterfalls, and sitting by the fireplace on rainy Northwest days.

 

I rate this book 4.5 stars.

I received this book free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group for my honest review.

A Draw of Kings by Patrick W. Carr

A Draw of Kings by Patrick W. Carr

A Draw of Kings is the third and final installment to Patrick W. Carr’s The Staff & The Sword series. Errol and his friends are now in Merakh and are known as and treated as enemies of the kingdom. The king is now dead and Duke Weir is in charge and he plans to force Adora to marry him so he can get an heir from her. The whereabouts and even the identity of the rightful heir to the throne is still top-secret while Errol and his friends are imprisoned and Illustra is so close to civil war! A plan to free Errol is dangerous, but attempted while other dangers keep coming from all angles and sides. Can the true heir save them and Illustra?

I couldn’t help but think as I read this book that it should be a movie… the way it played out in my mind was like a well-done movie! I think this detail is hard to do with books that have a lot of action without getting too jumbled and confusing at times where you just have a general idea about what is happening rather than be able to clearly picture it all. I will admit that I usually lean more towards a light historical romance. But I could picture it all AND I wanted to keep reading when I couldn’t AND I got emotionally involved. Three out of three! Sometimes I have struggled to really “feel” how the characters do in action and/or fantasy books, and as much as I hate to admit it, when the writer is a male. Patrick W. Carr has skill and talent that will make him a big fan of males and females and alike. I think this can be a tough challenge, especially in the Christian book market, and Carr has met and surpassed this challenge. I can’t wait to see what else this fairly new author comes up with in the future!

And even though this has nothing to do with the actual book content… this is a book you can judge by it’s cover; it is gorgeous! It set the mood for me on where to place myself as I read this fun and exciting journey!

I received this book free from Bethany House, a Division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

About the author: Patrick W Carr

Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.