Monthly Archives: November 2014

Torn Asunder by Alana Terry and enter to WIN a copy! OR support a great cause and get your own e-version for only 99 cents!

 

Free Ebook Giveaway From Alana Terry



Torn Asunder is the upcoming release from award-winning Christian suspense novelist Alana Terry. You can pre-order Torn Asunder on amazon now for only 99 cents and have it delivered right to you when it’s released in December. As an added bonus, Alana, along with recording artist Cherie Norquay, is offering free downloads of one of the songs featured in Torn Asunder.

Synopsis: After graduating from the Secret Seminary, Hannah and Simon are ready to return to their homeland. Their training has equipped them to carry the gospel to a country ravaged by darkness and despair. If necessary, they’re even prepared to face the North Korean labor camps, but the hardest part of their mission isn’t the hunger, cold, and incessant danger. The hardest part is cutting off contact with one another.

In this world of spies, secret police, and informants, staying together might not just compromise their ministry. It could cost them both their lives.

A Christian romantic suspense from the author of The Beloved Daughter, which won awards from Women of Faith, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, The Book Club Network, and more.
Pre-order Torn Asunder for only 99 cents or enter the giveaway below! You can also sign up to get a free mp3 song download from Cherie Norquay, whose work is put out by Grammy-award-winning producer, Phil Naish, and whose lyrics helped inspire certain scenes in Torn Asunder. Click below or get her free song downloads here. (Several of her song lyrics also appear in the novel itself.)

You can also sign up below to help spread the word about Alana’s fundraiser to help rescue North Korean refugees on a modern-day underground railroad.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

My thoughts:
Torn Asunder is an enthralling, heart-aching novel that calls your heart to action on a very real issue. It is not often that I stop reading and sit and think about what I can do to get my community involved, but that is exactly what I did whenever I reluctantly set Torn Asunder aside.

I give Torn Asunder 5 out of 5 stars.

I received an advanced digital format in exchange for my honest review.

The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson

 

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What it’s about:

Cats.

Just kidding! 😉 But it is definitely mostly about a guy’s life and how cats are ruling his life for a while.

From the publisher: “After years abroad, Garrison Brown returns home to Vancouver to build a new life. When his beloved grandmother passes away a few weeks before Christmas, Garrison goes to her house to sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While Garrison hopes to dispense with the task quickly, his grandmother’s instructions don’t allow for speed. She has left Garrison with some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends–plus a sizeable monetary gift for the new owners. Garrison’s job is to match the cats with the right owners without disclosing the surprise gift. Along the way, he may just meet someone who can make him stay.”

My thoughts:

I used to read Melody Carlson as a teen with her teen books and really enjoyed them, so I thought it was perfect to try her again when I saw she had a book about cats. I requested The Christmas Cat and am so glad I did! I loved it! I am a huge cat lover and have two of my own. I could easily relate to how the cats behaved and really enjoyed the comical aspect of this man who is allergic to cats that now has to find homes for his grandma’s cats. This is a shorter book, but longer than a regular novella. It was an easy, fun read that I really enjoyed and definitely recommend it to other cat lovers. It had a slight romance theme and a good overall message that were gently woven through, but it was mostly about placing cats in good homes and what his grandmother did to ensure they would find their perfect home/family.

I give The Christmas Cat 5 out of 5 stars! I am a cat lover and highly recommend it to other cat lovers who are in the mood for great Christmas story! Those who don’t like cats will probably not like it as much, that is something to keep in mind.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Surprised by Love by Julie Lessman

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What it’s about:

From the publisher: “When Megan McClare left San Francisco to study in Paris, no one would accuse her of being poised and pretty. But on the other side of the Atlantic, this wallflower blossomed into a beauty with big dreams. When she returns to California and accepts an internship at the district attorney’s office, she’s thrilled that her life is taking shape. But the exciting opportunity quickly loses its glow when she discovers she’ll be working alongside Devin Caldwell, who mercilessly mocked her at school–and with whom she was hopelessly enamored.

Bram Hughes is the best friend to whom Megan has always turned for support and advice. But when she seeks his counsel about working with Devin Caldwell, Bram’s vision is clouded by his sudden unwelcome attraction to a girl he had always thought of as a little sister. He advises forgiveness, but can he forgive himself for pushing the woman he loves into the arms of another man? ”

My thoughts:

I adored Meg in Julie Lessman’s last book, so I was really excited that this next book in the series, the third book, was mainly focused on Meg. This family and friends of characters have been well developed and are a fun bunch to “hang out” with while reading their stories! I think Surprised by Love was easy to get into and read. Some info was a little bit redundant if you have read the other books in this series, but it’s not overly so and also makes it where I think they could be read out of order if needed, but then you would know who ended up with who from the previous books.

It also focused a lot on Meg’s mom, Caitlyn and Meg’s Uncle Logan, which was nice to continue their story since we were left hanging for their story in the last book!

The godly/biblical messages were strong throughout this book. They resolved themselves well at the end, but I was frustrated in the middle of the book with how some of the characters were twisting “God’s will” for their lives…. but that is all part of the story and lesson that works out well and satisfying in the end.

I really do appreciate the family dynamics that Julie Lessman brings into her books in the sense of what makes a family vs biological families. I think this is often an issue that is either glossed over or not brought up in many Christian fiction books, and I really do appreciate how Ms. Lessman incorporates that and brings a message of God’s love and forgiveness with it also.

I give Surprised by Love 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to Christian romance fans!

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

About the author:
You can find out more about Julie Lessman at http://www.julielessman.com

Snowflake Tiara by Angela Breidenbach and Valerie Comer

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What it’s about:

Snowflake Tiara is a unique book with two stories written by two different authors.

From the publisher:
“The Debutante Queen by Angela Breidenbach ~ 1889 (Helena, MT): Calista Blythe enters the first Miss Snowflake Pageant celebrating Montana statehood to expose the plight of street urchins. But if her hidden indentured orphan is discovered, Calista’s reputation and her budding romance with pageant organizer, Albert Shanahan, could both unravel. Will love or law prevail?

More Than a Tiara by Valerie Comer ~ 2014 (Helena, MT): Marisa Hiller’s interest in competing in Miss Snowflake Pageant for the city of Helena’s 150th anniversary is at zip zero zilch when she discovers the official photographer is Jase Mackie. Can Jase make amends for past mistakes and offer her, not only a tiara, but a partner in her crusade to help needy children and families?”

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed both of the stories in this book. Both stories had laugh-out-loud funny moments that made it a fun and enjoyable read. Both stories tugged at my heart-strings with the passion both main characters had for their platform for the pageants. The authors did a wonderful job of collaborating and it read like the two stories were written by the same author. I personally loved the agendas of the two main characters, especially the local organic food from More Than a Tiara. I do think you would have to agree with that issue or you might not enjoy the book quite as much. I think this is a huge issue facing our society that most are not even aware of and won’t be until it’s too late, so I really appreciate reading about it and seeing it brought out for more people to think about and do something about.

I give Snowflake Tiara 4.5 stars out of 5. I definitely recommend this two-story book for those interested in these topics.

About the authors:

Angela Breidenbach:
Angela Breidenbach is a captivating speaker, coach, and author of A Healing Heart, from the Abingdon Press Quilts of Love series, Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life (women’s Bible study and small group book), and countless articles, devotions, and compilations. New books, Snowflake Tiara, coming September 2014; Eleven Pipers Piping, Oct 2014; Charm Chats for Teens; Charm Chats for Women, and Charm Chats for Girls, early 2015. She is certified in mentor/peer counseling as a CTA life coach, as a Stephen Minister, and a weight loss/nutrition/fitness coach. Angela volunteers as the (CAN) Christian Author Network’s president. Angela is owned by #Muse, the feline investigative reporter, whose antics and articles can be found on his new blog, A-Muse-ings on AngelaBreidenbach.com. #Muse also knows social media and visits facebook, twitter, and Pinterest sharing his favorite books and wisdom as the most well read cat in the world with his own hashtag! Angela’s Twitter/Pinterest accounts are (@angbreidenbach) but, sometimes without telling, Muse takes over her social media accounts sharing his conversations between Writer and #Muse!
http://www.AngelaBreidenbach.com

Valerie Comer:
Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary Christian romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie grows much of her own food and is active in the local foods movement as well as her church. She only hopes her imaginary friends enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters. Her debut novel, Raspberries and Vinegar: A Farm Fresh Romance, won the 2014 Word Guild Award for best contemporary romance by a Canadian author. She injects experience laced with humor into her tales of farm living in this farm lit series that includes Wild Mint Tea and Sweetened with Honey. Valerie also writes fantasy as Valerie R Comer. Find out where food meets faith and fiction at http://valeriecomer.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter, or like her on Facebook.

At Bluebonnet Lake by Amanda Cabot

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What it’s about:

from the publisher:
“Marketing maven Kate Sherwood’s world is fast-paced, challenging, and always changing. The last thing she wants to do is slow down to a crawl at Rainbow’s End, a dilapidated resort in the Texas Hill Country. But she cannot deny her ailing grandmother’s request to visit the place where she and her deceased husband spent one glorious week (albeit fifty years ago). There Kate meets Greg Vange, the resort’s handyman. But there’s more to Greg than meets the eye–billions more, in fact, as he recently sold his successful software company and is at the resort in search of what’s next for his life.

Kate isn’t looking for romance, but she can’t deny the sparks of attraction that fly every time she and Greg are together. She even starts to see potential in the rundown resort. Could there be a future there? Or will Kate’s long-sought promotion take her back to the big city?

Amanda Cabot invites readers to step away from the pressures of the daily grind. They might be surprised by what they find at Rainbow’s End.”

My thoughts:

I was excited when I saw that Amanda Cabot was coming out with a contemporary book because I have enjoyed her historical novels, so I requested At Bluebonnet Lake and am glad I did! Amanda Cabot has an easy read style of writing that I really like. I had no problem switching gears from historical to contemporary with her, as I might guess some readers will be concerned about. I found the characters to be like-able and believable. I giggled a few times with the funny things they would say or do throughout At Bluebonnet Lake. This is not a fast-paced thriller type book. That was not what I wanted or expected, so I really enjoyed this book. It is about slowing down and realizing the truly important things in life and brings the reader on more of a thought-process how these characters did that, than edge-of-your-seat settings and situations. The rural setting is something I can easily relate to and love reading books about small towns and how different they really are than big cities. At Bluebonnet Lake is a sweet, relaxing, romantic read that I enjoyed very much!

I give At Bluebonnet Lake 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this book to readers looking for an easy, vacation type book.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author: ‘

Amanda Cabot:
From her website: “When people ask why I write, the answer is simple: it’s part of who I am and who I was meant to be. I truly believe this is God’s plan for me, and that’s why it is my fervent prayer that my books will touch my readers’ hearts and strengthen their faith in Him.”
You can visit her website at: https://www.sff.net/people/amanda.cabot/index.htm

The Bound Heart by Dawn Crandall and a GIVEAWAY opportunity!

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What it’s about: from the publisher:
“One accidental kiss—that was all it took to throw Meredyth Summercourt’s world upside down. Determined to marry the ever-elusive Vance Everstone, she simply doesn’t have the time or desire to fall for her best friend Lawry Hampton. But with Vance out of the country, and with Lawry at her side nearly every day, teaching her what the world is like through the eyes of a little orphan girl named Wynn—Meredyth can’t deny that what’s holding her to Vance is nothing more than a desire to redeem herself from her past. Will she marry Vance once he returns from Europe? Or will she be strong enough to break free from the tangled web of deceit she’s convinced she deserves, and accept that God’s plan for her life includes redemption…and, quite possibly, Lawry Hampton?”

My thoughts:
I was bit worried if I would love this second book in The Everstone Chronicles as much as I liked the first. How silly of me! I liked it even more! The Bound Heart grabbed my heart from the first page and kept me emotionally involved for the entire book. Ms. Crandall weaves a tale to grip your emotions and make you FEEL.

I absolutely loved Meredyth! She is someone who I was imagining I was her best friend, living out the pages of this book with her as she told me everything in first person POV. There were enough twists and turns to keep me guessing and wondering, yet it mostly focused on Meredyth’s emotions. I love living through a character and Ms. Crandall was able to transport my mind where I felt like I was feeling and experiencing Meredyth’s emotions, so I had so much fun while reading The Bound Heart!

It’s been a really long time since I have really fallen in love with a male lead in a book. While I liked Lawry from the very beginning, I completely, totally, head-over-heals, heart-knocking and sighing out loud; fell in love with Lawry at the end of chapter 8! I am sure it will happen in different spots for other readers, but that was mine. I’ve had this experience two other times this year while reading this year, while both of the other books are quite different and that was more the overall experience than falling in love with the main male character. I believe Dawn Crandall is in good company with Becky Wade and Katherine Reay. The other two books that made me FEEL were Meant to be Mine by Becky Wade and Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay.

Of course there are other characters, especially one little gem in this book that play important roles and show off the author’s character development, but I think you should read the book to find out rather than have me keep going on. 😉

I can’t wait for paperbacks to be released so I can re-reread them and hold them in my hands!

I give The Bound Heart 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to emotional historical lovers!

I received this book in digital format for my honest review.

About the author:

You can find out more about Dawn Crandall at any of these places:

http://www.dawncrandall.blogspot.com
http://www.apassionforpages.blogspot.com
Twitter (@dawnwritesfirst)
Pinterest

GIVEAWAY!

Enter to win one of three eBook (kindle or book) copies of either The Hesitant Heiress or The Bound Heart! (The giveaway is at the bottom of the blog post) http://dawncrandall.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-bound-heart-blog-tour-begins-on-nov.html?m=1