Tuesday, September 29, 2009

By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson ~ 5/5 stars + *Favorite*

By Darkness Hid
by Jill Williamson
Blood of Kings series, Book 1

Marcher Lord Press - Publisher
April 2009
About the Book:
In this fantasy novel, young Achan Cham dreams of serving in the Kingsguard Knights, but he is a stray--worse than a slave--and such aspirations are out of his reach. Worse, Achan is beginning to hear strange voices in his head, and wondering why his masters force him to drink a tonic every day, though he is not sick.

Meanwhile, Vrell Sparrow disguises herself as a young man--also a stray--to avoid an arranged marriage. Vrell is just discovering her gift of mental communication, called bloodvoicing. As duplicitous men try to use Vrell’s gift to control others, she is becoming aware of a young man with an extremely powerful bloodvoice she can hear in her head whether she wants to or not.

Half the land of Er’Rets is permanently shrouded in Darkness. Forces on both sides of the Evenwall want Vrell and Achan, and their powerful gifts.

This is a terrific fantasy adventure with romance, betrayal, cruelty, and unexpected hope. Because above all the other voices in Achan’s head, he hears a new one calling him to faith.

My review:
Bravo! I am floating on a cloud. By Darkness Hid is a book any fantasy reader will love. Filled with action, deceit, and bravery, you will not want to put it down. I’m giving 5 stars, and putting it on my favorites list, though, I wish there was a higher recommendation to bestow upon it. I am anxiously awaiting book two.
I can't say enough good things about this book! I really loved it!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Maggie Rose by Sharlene MacLaren ~ 4/5 stars

Maggie Rose
by Sharlene MacLaren
Daughters of Jacob Cane, Book 2

Whitaker House- Publisher
About the book:
A Pursuit of a Calling
The year is 1904, and Maggie Rose, the spunky, friendly, twenty-year-old middle daughter of Michigan resident Jacob Kane, feels compelled to leave her beloved hometown of Sandy Shores to pursue what she feels in her heart are God's plans for her life-in New York City.

A Heart for the Homeless
Maggie Rose adjusts to her new life at Sheltering Arms Refuge, an orphanage that also transports homeless children to towns across the United States to match them with compatible families. Most of the children have painful pasts that make Maggie aghast, but she marvels at their resiliency. As she gets to know each child, her heart blossoms with new depths of love and compassion.

An Unexpected Attraction
When a newspaper reporter comes to stay at the orphanage in order to gather research for an article, Maggie is struck by his handsome face-and concerned by his lack of faith. She can't deny their mutual affections, though. Will she win the struggle to maintain her focus on God and remain attuned to His guidance?

My review:
Maggie Rose (the character) has such a compassionate heart, and will to serve others, that it makes me want to be a better person. Seriously. The love that Maggie portrays in this book is completely like the love of God. Though, it is a learning experience. She isn't one of those "naturally good" people; she learns to be like Him. And as you read this book, you learn right along with her. I can't wait to see what mischief Abbie Ann gets herself into in book three!

Go to last Friday's post for information on the It's Not About Him giveaway!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Michelle Sutton ~ Interview & Giveaway!

Today I'm welcoming author Michelle Sutton to my blog! I'm really excited as this is my first interview and giveaway. Sutton has offered a copy of her new book It's Not About Him (Second Glances series, book 2) to one lucky commenter!

Michelle, tell us a little about yourself.
I am the author of nearly a dozen novels, three of which are currently in print. I'm also the mother of two teens and a wife of nineteen years. I live in Arizona and have since 1991.

How long have you been writing?
I started writing in 2003. A summary of my writing journey is on my website at http://www.michellesutton.net/

Tell us about your book It's Not About Him.
Susie passed out while drinking at Jeff’s party and later discovered she’s pregnant. She has no idea who the father is and considers having an abortion, but instead decides to place her baby for adoption. Following through ends up being more wrenching than she imagined, but she’s determined to do the right thing for her baby.

Jeff feels guilty that Susie was taken advantage of at his party and offers to marry her so she won’t have to give up her baby, like his birth mother did with him. But Susie refuses, insisting he should marry someone he loves. Can he convince her that his love is genuine before it’s too late? Can she make him understand that it’s not about him—it’s about what’s best for her child?

What research did you have to do for this book?
None really. I write about real life experiences and since I've done a lot of open adoptions, it was easy for me to be accurate.

Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?
Mandy Moore would play Susie and Zac Efron would play Jeff.

What are you working on now, or going to write next?
I'm working on the sequel to Danger at the Door.

C- ::Gasp:: I didn't know there was going to be a sequel to that book! Yay!

How can readers get in contact with you?
Through my website or by e-mailing me at michelle@michellesutton.net

What are you currently reading?
Trying to find the time to finish up An Eye for an Eye by Irene Hannon.

Tell us something about yourself that readers may not know.
My mother was a nun. Seriously.

C- That is so funny! I didn't know that. ; )

If you could be any animal, which would you choose? Why?
Oh, probably a hamster because they just hang out and eat and play. They don't have to obey their masters. LOL! Plus, I miss my son's hamster. She was so cute.

TV show? I don't watch television. How do you think I get so much done?
Place to go on vacation? I like beaches.
Book this year? LOL! You can't seriously expect me to choose just one!

Thanks for all the info Michelle!

Alright readers, here is your chance to win a copy of "It's Not About Him"!  To enter: Leave a comment with your email address (so I can contact you if you win), and please specify that you want to be included in the contest. *If you want an extra entry, become one of my followers.* The comment is manditory. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment. If you are already a follower, and then you leave a comment, you will still get two entries in the contest. The contest will run from today (Sep. 25) till midnight on Thursday (Oct. 1). I will contact the winner on Friday the 2nd, and then that person will have a week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply, I will pick a new winner. *U.S.A. residents only, please*

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Danger at the Door by Michelle Sutton ~ 4/5 stars

Danger at the Door
by Michelle Sutton

Desert Breeze Publishing
August 1, 2009

About the book:
Upon her fiancé's death, Laney became a recluse who only left her home for emergencies. She managed to survive - barely - on food delivery service and her work-at-home job. When she tries to move on from her grief, the commemorative meal she orders is ruined. However, it leads to an unlikely friendship with an attractive man, Bojan, who speaks little English.

As he befriends Laney he continually says the wrong things, but he doesn't give up trying to win her trust. Meanwhile, she has this strange feeling of being watched and wonders if she's losing her mind.

Complicating things further, every time she leaves her house something bad happens, confirming that she is safer at home. Can Bojan convince Laney she'll be safe with him, or will his presence put her in further danger? Will he be able to protect the woman he loves before it's too late?

My review:
Danger at the Door was really good. I’m giving it 4 stars not because the story was in any way lacking, but because I wish it could have been a little longer, and the crisis a little more drawn-out. I don’t normally read suspense, but this was not too scary, even for me. It isn’t horror at all. This was very different from her other book “Its Not About Me”, as that one is written more toward teens, and this one more toward adults. Though, any age group older teen and up can relate to Sutton’s books, I believe. The romance in this book was more warm/sweet than her other book, though, in typical Sutton-style, she has one very romantic kiss. It seemed to me like the actual conflict with the stalker was a little rushed, but that might be because I was imagining all kinds of long, horrible battles in my mind. I loved Bojan! He is hilarious, and I loved how she used their communication barrier to create funny, awkward, and other kinds of situations throughout the book. Laney’s fears were dealt with in a very unique way, and she is also an amazing character. One thing I love about Sutton’s books is that she always includes God. He becomes another character in the story, not just a deity casually mentioned whenever she thought she had not done so in a while. In our real lives, it should be they same way. He should be a main character, comfortable and familiar. Sutton did a great job of showing everyone’s need for God, while not shoving “religion” down people’s throats.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

So Not Happening by Jenny B. Jones ~ 5/5 stars + *Favorite*

So Not Happening
by Jenny B. Jones
A Charmed Life Novel #1

About the book:
New York's social darling just woke up in a nightmare: Oklahoma. Problem is, it's right where God wants her.

Bella Kirkwood had it all: A-list friends at her prestigious private school, Broadway in her backyard, and Daddy's MasterCard in her wallet. Then her father, a plastic surgeon to the stars, decided to trade her mother in for a newer model.

When Bella's mom falls in love with a man she met on the Internet--a factory worker with two bratty sons--Bella has to pack up and move in with her new family in Truman, Oklahoma. On a farm no less!

Forced to trade her uber-trendy NYC lifestyle for down-home charm, Bella feels like a pair of Rock & Republic jeans in a sea of Wranglers.

At least some of the people in her new high school are pretty cool. Especially the hunky football player who invites her to lunch. And maybe even the annoying--but kinda hot--editor of the school newspaper.

But before long, Bella smells something rotten in the town of Truman, and it's not just the cow pasture. With her savvy reporter's instincts, she is determined to find the story behind all the secrets.

How can a girl go on when her charmed life is gone and God appears to be giving her the total smackdown?

My review:
I adore this book! It is a perfect mix of: teen drama, mystery, romance, faith, comedy, and hilarity. I laughed the whole time! Jones is an author who can make you live the story right along with the characters, throw twists and turns that you never see coming, and make you learn a lesson even when you don't realize you are learning anything-besides how long it takes to literally laugh your head off. I hope you read this book, because I'm pretty sure you would love it.

Make sure to watch for book 2 I'm So Sure.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Breathe: A Novel of Colorado by Lisa T. Bergren ~ 4/5 stars

Breathe: A Novel of Colorado
by Lisa T. Bergren

Breathe was really good! I'm excited about this series. I think the other books are going to be just as good as this one.

Here is my review:

Breathe is a book that will capture your attention from the very first page. I really enjoyed reading it, and getting to know the characters. Bergren's writing style really brings the characters and the story to life. I very much look forward to the next book in the series.

Friday, September 18, 2009

New Releases!

Dawn's Prelude
Tracie Peterson
Song of Alaska
Book 1

About the book:
Married off at a tender age to a harsh, older widower, Lydia Gray can't help but feel a measure of relief when an accident claims his life. What happens next, however, is a surprise to everyone: Through an unforeseen fluke, Lydia finds herself the sole recipient of her late husband's fortune. But instead of granting her security, strife ensues as her adult stepchildren battle to regain the inheritance for themselves.

Lydia longs to wash her hands of the situation and determines to join her aunt in Alaska, putting financial decisions in the capable hands of her lawyer. The beauty and serenity of life in Sitka appeal to Lydia, as does Kjell Lindquist, the handsome owner of the local sawmill. But a new discovery in Lydia's life forces her to rethink her future.

She is bound to her past as never before . . . but what more must she sacrifice?

The Carousel Painter
Judith Miller

About the book:
Carrie loves painting the beautiful carousel horses . . . but can she stand strong against the many who don't want her to keep the job?

When Carrington Brouwer receives the enviable job of painting carousel horses for a factory in Ohio, she believes her future is secure. But after an expensive necklace disappears from the home where she's been staying, she's caught up in a search for the truth that puts her entire livelihood--and her developing relationship with the factory manager--at risk. Can she lead police to the real culprit before she loses everything?

Fields of Grace
Kim Vogel Sawyer
About the book:
Will their Mennonite faith be shaken or strengthened by the journey to a new land?

With their eldest son nearly to the age when he will be drafted into military service, Reinhardt and Lillian Vogt decide to immigrate to America, the land of liberty, with their three sons and Reinhardt's adopted brother, Eli. But when tragedy strikes during the ocean voyage, Lillian and Eli are forced into an agreement neither desires.

Determined to fulfill his obligation to Reinhardt, Eli plans to see Lillian and her sons safely settled on their Kansas homestead--and he's equally determined that the boys will be reared in the Mennonite faith. What he doesn't expect is his growing affection for Lillian--and the deep desire to be part of a family.

A Surrendered Heart
Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller
The Broadmoor Legacy
Book 3

About the book:
Escape into the history, opulence, and elegance of the Thousand Islands

When cholera strikes Rochester, New York, in the spring of 1899, the members of the Broadmoor family flee to their castle home in the Thousand Islands. But Amanda Broadmoor, who has always held a special compassion for the less fortunate, resolves to remain in Rochester with Dr. Blake Carstead, working to help control the spread of the dreaded disease.

However, much more than Amanda's health hangs in the balance. Mishandling of the family fortune threatens to leave the Broadmoor family penniless--and even willing to sacrifice Amanda's future. Will she be forced to marry a man she disdains in order to save the Broadmoor legacy?

The Enclave
Karen Hancock
About the book:
When science tries to play God, can one man summon the courage to stand in its way?

When Lacey McHenry accepts a prestigious research fellowship at the world-renowned Kendall-Jakes Longevity Institute, she sees it as a new start on life. But when a disturbing late-night encounter with a bizarre intruder leads to a cover-up by Institute authorities, she soon realizes all isn't as it seems.

Caught in an elaborate game of deception and seduction, her only ally seems to be the brilliant but absent-minded geneticist, Cameron Reinhardt. A favorite of the Institute's charismatic director, Cameron, too, came to K-J hoping to escape his past. But the more he learns about Lacey's attacker, the more he fears that the past still pursues him.

Not certain they can trust each other, Cameron and Lacey reluctantly work together to uncover the shocking secrets that lurk behind the Institute's respectable façade--secrets that turn out to be bigger, stranger, and far more dangerous than either of them could have imagined.

More New Releases Tomorrow!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New series by Donita K. Paul

     The Vanishing Sculptor is the first in a brand new three book series by Donita that fantasy readers are sure to love. The series is called the Chiril Chronicles, because it takes place on a brand new continent (though still the same world as the DragonKeeper Chronicles). We see some very familiar faces in this book and it really opens up a new side to some well-loved characters.
     About the book:
In The Vanishing Sculptor, readers will meet Tipper, a young emerlindian who’s responsible for the upkeep of her family’s estate during her sculptor father’s absence. Tipper soon discovers that her actions have unbalanced the whole foundation of her world, and she must act quickly to undo the calamitous threat. But how can she save her father and her world on her own? The task is too huge for one person, so she gathers the help of some unlikely companions–including the nearly five-foot tall parrot Beccaroon–and eventually witnesses the loving care and miraculous resources of Wulder. Through Tipper’s breathtaking story, readers will discover the beauty of knowing and serving God.
     My review:
Once again Donita gives us a new story filled with action, confused wizards, eccentric artists, and the forever-loving Wulder. I loved the characters in this book. Some we know and love, and some are new to us, but equally lovable. I can't wait for the other books in this series! This book, along with Donita's DragonKeeper Chronicles, make excellent fantasy reads.
OK, so, a writer I'm not. But still. I can't say enough good things about this book and Donita's other series. I love them both! If you haven't read this yet, I recommend that you go and get it ASAP!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Second Glances Series by Michelle Sutton!

     This is a great series for mature teens and young adults. It really deals with today's issues, it isn't just fluff. Sutton has a way of writing that will really pull you into the story and make you feel like you are going through the trials with the characters. I was crying all through the first two books, and I'm sure I will be crying through the last book also.
     Here is the info for book one, It's Not About Me:
Annie has it all. She's attractive, graduated with honors, was accepted at the college of her choice, has supportive parents, good friends, and a steady boyfriend who loves her. One night when an unexpected visitor appears, Annie's safe world is destroyed. As she tries to recover the pieces of her broken life, a war ensues between two brothers who both claim to have her best interests at heart. But who will Annie choose? Or will she decide to turn her life in a different direction?

Here is the info for book two, It's Not About Him:
Susie wakes up after a party knowing something isn't right. When she discovers she is pregnant but has no idea who the father is, she decides to place her baby for adoption with an infertile couple from church. Following through ends up being more challenging than she'd imagined. But she wants to do the right thing. If only Jeff would quit trying to marry her so she'll keep her baby! Why doesn't he understand? It's not about him; it's about what's best for her child. Meanwhile, a man shows up in her life that looks irritatingly familiar. Could he be the father?

In a few weeks Michelle Sutton will be joining me here to do a giveaway of book two It's Not About Him!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Some books you should read!

     Jane Austen fans should seriously consider this series by Linore Rose Burkard called A Regency Inspirational Romance. It is a three book series and the first two are already out, so if you haven't read them yet you need to catch up! I have read both of the books that are out and have the highest regard for them. The characters are both lovable and realistic. Here is my review of BOOK 2, The House in Gorsvenor Square:
     If you like Austen, you should read this series. Some regency writers try to copy Austen to the extent that their own story is lost. That is not the case in this book, however. I loved it. Linore is historically accurate, without being stuffy, or too detailed. The mayhem that occurs in this book is astounding. I loved when they are all going to each others houses, and missing each other by seconds. It was truly comical. This whole series had delighted me, and I am eagerly awaiting book three, “The Country House Courtship”.

Left: Book 1  Right: Book 2

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm a new blogger, be patient with me.

Hello! I'm going to be blogging about Christian Fiction books. Mainly romance, as that is my favorite to read, but I will do other genres also. I will be doing giveaways and post about other people's giveaways that I know of. This is a test run for me, and I'm sure there will be lots of mistakes. ;)
If you are an author and would like to send me a book to review, just send me an email, and I'll let you know if I can, asap. (Christian books only please.)

For the next couple of weeks I probably won't be having givaways, but I will start those soon.