Monday, July 25, 2016

Restored ~ Jason K. Macomson




Restored by Jason K. Macomson
  • File Size: 725 KB
  • Publisher: Lulu.com (July 20, 2016)
  • Publication Date: July 20, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01J24TM26

What would you sacrifice in order to save the ones you love?

 Within the pages of Restored by Jason K. Macomson shares the continuing story of Eric, Will, and Carol. Eric a rogue vampire,he and his loyal friend Will have been hunting vampires together for years. Their path crosses with Carol's late one night when they save her from a group of bloodthirsty vampires. Thing is this local coven is out for revenge and Eric decides that the only way to ensure that Will and Carol will be safe is to sacrifice himself, but will it be enough!


Restored by Jason K. Macomson takes the battle of good versus evil to a whole new level!It's a simple yet very complex story. On the surface one might mistake it for just another vampire tale but in reality it's so much more! Sure you have the good versus evil plot,but there is also the very positive message of God's love and how if only we will accept and allow him he can and will protect us from the evils that surround us, but ultimately it is our choice!

 I have been anxious to continue this trilogy and the author doesn't disappoint! I felt like I was reconnecting with old friends as I read this story, as I was pulled right back into the turmoil that these characters face as they try and save their friend from the clutches of evil! As a fan of vampire fiction this entire series is second to none.   The author captures the essence of a fantastic vampire tale by painting scenes that provide enough information without becoming gory. It's easy to sense the tenseness of the story and the many twists that the plot takes as we reach the final destination and learn what the ultimate fate of the characters will be. The faith based messages are very well done, they never come off as preachy, instead the author allows us to see the consequences of choices made, whether good or bad! While this book is the third in a series the author does provide enough information that you could read it as a stand alone, with that said I highly recommend the entire series! Whether you're a fan of vampire fiction or you're just looking for a page turning suspenseful read I highly recommend this series.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Valley~ Helen Bryan

    The Valley
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (July 19, 2016)
  • Publication Date: July 19, 2016
Left suddenly penniless, the Honorable Sophia Grafton, a viscount’s orphaned daughter, sails to the New World to claim the only property left to her name: a tobacco plantation in the remote wilds of colonial Virginia. Enlisting the reluctant assistance of a handsome young French spy—at gunpoint— she gathers an unlikely group of escaped slaves and indentured servants, each seeking their own safe haven in the untamed New World.
What follows will test her courage and that of her companions as they struggle to survive a journey deep into a hostile wilderness and eventually forge a community of homesteads and deep bonds that will unite them for generations.
The first installment in an epic historical trilogy by Helen Bryan, the bestselling author of War Brides and The SisterhoodThe Valley is a sweeping, unforgettable tale of hardship, tenacity, love, and heartache.
Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


My take on this book:
I was drawn to this book for two reasons, first this historical aspects really intrigued me, the book takes place while Virginia was still part of the colonies,  and the storyline around the tobacco plantation. I grew up on a working tobacco farm so this was an interesting connection for me. With that said I was a bit intimidated by the size of this book, one that I would call a chunkster at over 600 pages, and as I started reading the story I really just couldn't get drawn in immediately, I felt like there was a lot of information that was just filler, and didn't enhance the story. The story did start picking up after many chapters when  the descriptions of the journey to the plantation started to pull me in. Overall there were things that I enjoyed about the book, the author did a good job of allowing me to visualize the wilds of Virginia, and the difficulties that settlers faced trying to carve out a home and life in a New Country. Once I was drawn in then I was anxious to find out what would happen. For me it just took too long to be drawn into the story, and to be perfectly honest I probably wouldn't have finished it had I not been given a copy for review. . Overall a middle of the road for me basically because the first half of the book really drug for me. Fans of historical fiction that takes place during the late 1700's just might enjoy this story. 
rating 3/5

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

About Helen Bryan

Helen Bryan is a Virginia native who grew up in Tennessee. After graduating from Barnard College, she moved to England, where she studied law and was a barrister for ten years before devoting herself to writing full-time.
A member of the Inner Temple, Bryan is the author of four previous books: the World War II novel War Brides; the historical novel The Sisterhood; the biography Martha Washington: First Lady of Liberty, which won an Award of Merit from the Colonial Dames of America; and the legal handbook Planning Applications and AppealsThe Valley is the first in a planned trilogy based on her childhood stories of ancestors who settled in Virginia and Maryland before Tennessee became a state.
Bryan resides in London with her family.

Helen Bryan’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Tuesday, July 19th: Just Commonly
Tuesday, July 19th: West Metro Mommy Reads
Wednesday, July 20th: A Book Geek
Thursday, July 21st: Kritter’s Ramblings
Friday, July 22nd: View from the Birdhouse
Friday, July 22nd: Reading is My Superpower
Monday, July 25th: WV Stitcher
Monday, July 25th: FictionZeal
Friday, July 29th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, August 1st: A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, August 2nd: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, August 3rd: Lavish Bookshelf
Thursday, August 4th: Just One More Chapter
Monday, August 8th: A. Holland Reads
Tuesday, August 9th: Laura’s Reviews
Wednesday, August 10th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Monday, August 15th: BookNAround
Wednesday, August 17th: The Maiden’s Court

Mr. Zip and The Capital Z ~ Kimberly Bryant-Palmer

After a terrifically hard and terribly disappointing day before the Fourth of July, Peanut Johnson, wandering aimlessly down Main Street, stumbles upon The Capital Z, a This and That Shop. Stepping inside, he meets Mr. Aloysious Zip, the kind and eccentric shopkeeper, who introduces Peanut to a most extraordinary place. There are toys and trinkets, model cars and miniature wagon trains, even memorabilia from days gone by. Discovering the wonders of The Capital Z, Peanut finds not only anything and everything a young boy could imagine or want, but also history unfolding before his very eyes. Touching a Kentucky rifle hanging on the shop wall, he is transported to the wilderness where he sees his Great-Great-Great-Great Uncle Milkweed Johnson fighting in Andrew Jackson's regiment during the War of 1812. George Washington's sword brings Peanut onto the battlefield where the General, on horseback, dodges bullet after bullet. And while staring at a beautiful stained-glass window depicting the building of the Tower of Babel, Peanut finds himself in a crowd of angry and confused spectators, all speaking a different language! But Peanut's visit to The Capital Z turns out to be much more than a journey through history. As he peers into the past with his Uncle Milkweed and some of America's greatest leaders, he finds courage and hope to face his own mistakes, taking his first steps from boyhood to those of a young man.

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Capital Z Books LLC (June 23, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0996254609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0996254601

My take on this book:
What an interesting book! I always enjoy stepping back in time when I read a story and Mr. Zip and The Capital Z made me feel like I had. It's truly one of those books that allows the reader to learn history as they are pulled into the story. Vivid imagery allowed me to feel like I was actually looking through the eyes of Peanut Johnson a young boy who isn't having such a good day after getting into trouble and missing the festivities of the day. As he wanders through the small town he comes to a shop called the Capital Z run by a man named Mr. Zip. When Peanut steps inside the store  he has no idea how much better his day is about to become! This book sort of felt like a coming of age story with a twist! The illustrations that are peppered through the story really were fantastically paired with the story. Each chapter ends with a Did You Know page that adds a bit of historical information about the chapter, this feature along with the footnotes provide additional historical tidbits that are great! Great for young readers but I think anyone would enjoy reading this fast paced book that provides adventure while being entertaining as well as educational. 

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Stealing Jake ~ Pam Hillman


  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (August 1, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1496401263
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496401267







When Livy O’Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-Fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she’s helping to run an orphanage. Now she’ll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself.

Sheriff’s deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy―literally while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town―as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off―Jake doesn’t have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can’t seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better . . . but Livy isn’t willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman.

My take on this book:
As a fan of historical romance this book fit the bill but really it was so much more! I was drawn right into the story because of Livy O'brien  but it wasn't just her story that kept me reading! Livy was such a strong person and I just knew that she and Jake's story would be good. It was the story of the children though that stuck with me and kept me turning the pages to see how things would ultimately turn out.  I enjoyed the slow build of romance, it allowed me to get the complexities of the characters. There is plenty going on besides romance though within the pages of Stealing Jake. There was the suspense of saving the children, the feeling of Livy always wondering how she would keep the orphanage going, but always somehow making room for more. Anyone who enjoys reading historical romance that also provides a story that will capture your heart because of some of the secondary characters really should check this book out!

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Jesus Training Manual ~ Richard Mull


  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Light Force Publishers (September 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977866688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977866687





Mull teaches the reader some practical uses for the lessons Jesus taught His disciples about the Kingdom, spiritual authority, and operating in the supernatural.

What happens when you look into the box where you think God is contained and you find He isn’t there? What happens next may surprise you! You will learn how to hear God’s voice, that God still does miracles, that demons are real and how to deal with them, and truths about the Kingdom of God, healing, your spiritual authority, spiritual battles, and your armor.
Written by a former traditional Baptist pastor, Mull’s unique story is one of God destroying religious constraints, allowing His people to reel in miracles of healing, salvations, and supernatural experiences in the presence of God. His journey will help you overcome skepticism, toss away theological hang–ups you once thought were from God, and stand solidly on biblical principles. This book is filled with amazing real–life stories and practical applications of the same things Jesus taught His 12 disciples. You will be challenged to believe God is able to do more than you have ever imagined!

My take on this book:
The Jesus Training Manual is truly a motivational book for anyone looking grow their faith, especially anyone who wants a personal relationship with the God that we read about in the Bible! Richard Mull shares this book in two segments with the first part of the book being his own personal story, and that probably was one of my favorite parts of the book because it is told in such a down to earth way. Sometimes humorous but those life lessons that he shares sort of opened my eyes to what is going on in my own life. The second half of the book deals with Biblical foundations and really steers the user to various parts of the Bible depending on the chapter and provides plenty of scripture reference. I love that each chapter has in depth study questions that allowed for personal reflection and growth while also providing scriptural questions that had me digging into my Bible. Mr. Mull hits on so many relevant topics and but some of the most significant for me was spiritual armor and our spiritual authority. There are several blank pages at the end for study notes which enhanced the book for me. A book that could easily be incorporated into a group study but also perfect for individual use. It now has a permanent place on my shelf. 

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Dwelling Places ~ Litfuse Tour & Giveaway

###

Dwelling Places

Dwelling Places: Words to Live in Every Season (Abingdon, June 2016)
Do you long for serenity and refuge, peace and hope? Are you seeking a deeper spiritual life through a closer relationship with God?
If you’re tired of dwelling in busyness and noise, then perhaps one word a day can change your life. Award-winning author Lucinda Secrest McDowell knows that if you spend time each day turning to God’s Word for wisdom and guidance, your faith can flourish and grow.
Through short and inspiring readings, McDowell unpacks a single word—such as mercy, beauty, gratitude, or grace—to reveal a biblical blessing or challenge relevant to where you are. Full of stories and illustrations to empower you to live the word you have just read, each devotional ends with a benediction, written as if God were speaking directly to you.
These “dwelling places” that offer the joy of God’s promise and presence cover four seasons: fall, Advent, Lent, and summer. Whether in the midst of busy holiday schedules, holy days, ordinary moments, or changing seasons, a deeper faith can be as simple as a single word.
Lucinda McDowell

{MORE ABOUT LUCINDA MCDOWELL}

Lucinda Secrest McDowell is the author of 11 books, including “Live These Words,” “Amazed by Grace,” and “Quilts from Heaven.” She has contributed to an additional 25 books and has been published in more than 50 magazines. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, she speaks internationally through her ministry “Encouraging Words.” An award-winning writer who has earned accolades from prominent writers’ conferences and retreats, McDowell has also worked in radio broadcasting, in retreat planning, and on church pastoral staffs. She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in Connecticut.
Find out more about Lucinda at http://EncouragingWords.net.





My take on this book:

If I had to describe this book in one word it would be soothing, reading the devotionals just sooth my heart and soul. Dwelling Places is a devotional quality book that is quite different than any other that I have used. First it is broken down into four sections, dwell~fall, shine~advent, renew~lent, and grow~summer, sort of like the seasons of our lives. Each reading focuses on one word and then touches on how it's used in the Bible and how it can be relevant wherever we might be in our life. The stories are short, but they pack a spiritual punch that provide not only food for thought and reflection but some really seem as they were written about me. I personally focused on the summer~ grow season and some of the words and readings that spoke to me were worry, after all who doesn't have a few of those, and this particular reading shares how God cares and looks out for us and reminds that instead of worrying that perhaps we should sing! If I could have one wish where this book is concerned it would be that there would be a table of contents that would make it easy to find the particular issues that I might be dealing with but honestly I found myself just turning the pages and finding relevant reading for me. I love that there is scripture reference peppered through the text. I think this is the perfect book to grow one's faith, and would make a wonderful gift anytime of the year. I for one continue to use it daily.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.


Drown out the busyness and noise of everyday life and find a deeper faith with something as simple as a single word in Lucinda Secrest McDowell’s new book, Dwelling Places. Through short and inspiring readings, McDowell unpacks a single word—such as mercy, beauty, gratitude, or grace—to reveal a biblical blessing or challenge relevant to where you are. Full of stories and illustrations to empower you to live the word you have just read, each devotional ends with a benediction, written as if God were speaking directly to you.
Join Lucinda in celebrating the release of Dwelling Places by entering to win her Season of Refreshment giveaway.
dwelling places - 400
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Dwelling Places
  • Dwelling Places necklace handmade by Lucinda
  • A kit full of goodies you’ll need to make refreshing lemonade this summer
One second place winner will receive:
  • A copy of Dwelling Places
  • Dwelling Places necklace handmade by Lucinda
dwelling places - collage
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on July 5th. The winner will be announced July 6th on Lucinda’s blog.

dwelling places - enter banner

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Last Woman Standing ~ Thelma Adams ~ TLC Booktour with review

    The Last Woman Standing
  • File Size: 2642 KB
  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (July 1, 2016)
  • Publication Date: July 1, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B017RBIZII




Two decades after the Civil War, Josephine Marcus, the teenage daughter of Jewish immigrants, is lured west with the promise of marriage to Johnny Behan, one of Arizona’s famous lawmen. She leaves her San Francisco home to join Behan in Tombstone, Arizona, a magnet for miners (and outlaws) attracted by the silver boom. Though united by the glint of metal, Tombstone is plagued by divided loyalties: between Confederates and Unionists, Lincoln Republicans and Democrats.
But when the silver-tongued Behan proves unreliable, it is legendary frontiersman Wyatt Earp who emerges as Josephine’s match. As the couple’s romance sparks, Behan’s jealousy ignites a rivalry destined for the history books…
At once an epic account of an improbable romance and a retelling of an iconic American tale, The Last Woman Standing recalls the famed gunfight at the O.K. Corral through the eyes of a spunky heroine who sought her happy ending in a lawless outpost—with a fierce will and an unflagging spirit.


Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million

Thelma AdamsAbout Thelma Adams

Thelma Adams is an established figure in the entertainment industry. For two decades, she has penned celebrity features and criticism for high-profile publications. Her portfolio of actor interviews includes Julianne Moore, George Clooney, Jessica Chastain, and Matthew McConaughey, among many others. While covering film for the New York PostUs Weekly, and Yahoo Movies, Thelma became a regular at film festivals from Berlin to Dubai, Toronto to Tribeca. She sits on the Hamptons International Film Festival Advisory Board and twice chaired the prestigious New York Film Critics Circle. Her debut novel, Playdate, published by Thomas Dunne Books, won high critical acclaim. Adams is often recognized, as she has been invited to share her expertise on many broadcast outlets, including appearances on NBC’s Today, CBS’s Early Show, and CNN. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a history degree from UC Berkeley and earned an MFA from Columbia University. She lives in Hyde Park, New York, with her family.

Connect with Thelma

Website | Facebook | Twitter


My take on this book:
Historical fiction has always been one of my favorite genres to read so reading The Last Woman Standing was an easy choice for me. A fictionalized tale of the woman behind Wyatt Earp so to speak. I must admit a few of the beginning chapters sort of drug along for me, but to be fair the author was just giving the readers the backstory of Josephine Sarah Marcus also known as Sadie and for a while even called Josie. The man she went to Tombstone to marry wasn't the man she ultimately wound up with. It's the story of how she wound up with the legendary lawman Wyatt Earp. 

The Last Woman Standing is told with sass and flair, but there were a few poignant moments as well. The letter that Josephine kept from her father was one such instance that stood out for me.  The author captures the time and place of the story effortlessly pulling me into the days of the wild west.It was easy to see the town of Tombstone through the eyes of Josephine,  I could just imagine the scenes unfolding and how Josephine first met the imposing Wyatt Earp. One could almost imagine history happening just the way the author described. How accurate the story is I honestly couldn't say but for me I really enjoyed the historical setting and being able to recognize several famous names from history was great as well. A book I read in one sitting, it has spurred me to add Josephine Sarah Marcus to the list of people I plan on learning more about. Thanks Thelma Adams for a great read!

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Follow along on the TLC Book tour here.

Monday, June 27th: WV Stitcher
Tuesday, June 28th: A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, June 29th: The Magic All Around Us
Thursday, June 30th: Open Book Society
Friday, July 1st: Lavish Bookshelf
Tuesday, July 5th: A. Holland Reads
Wednesday, July 6th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Thursday, July 7th: Just One More Chapter
Monday, July 11th: Books Without Any Pictures
Monday, July 11th: FictionZeal
Wednesday, July 13th: Laura’s Reviews
Thursday, July 14th: Reading is My Superpower
Friday, July 15th: Write Read Life
Monday, July 18th: A Bookaholic Swede
Tuesday, July 19th: Books and Bindings
Wednesday, July 20th: West Metro Mommy Reads
Friday, July 22nd: Worth Getting in Bed For
Monday, July 25th: Just Commonly
Wednesday, July 27th: Mom in Love with Fiction


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

MY FATHER’S HOUSE BY ROSE CHANDLER JOHNSON

When all illusions of happily-ever-after shatter, Lily must choose to abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage in Rose Chandler Johnson’s debut novel, My Father’s House. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about. This is one woman’s compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to who she’s meant to be . . . in her father’s house.
###

MyFathersHouse_FinalFront {MORE ABOUT MY FATHER’S HOUSE}

My Father’s House (March 2016)
Growing up, life is idyllic for Lily Rose Cates due to one constant – her father’s love.
But in her sixteenth summer, all that changes without warning. There begins Lily’s struggle to find herself and the life she’s lost. . . . Marriage promises fulfillment, but her happily-ever-after barely survives the honeymoon. Her husband’s sophisticated fa├žade hides a brooding man with even darker secrets.
When all illusions shatter, Lily must make hard choices – abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about. This is one woman’s compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to who she’s meant to be . . . in her father’s house.
Rose Chandler Johnson

{MORE ABOUT ROSE CHANDLER JOHNSON}

Rose Chandler Johnson is the author of the award winning devotional “God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments.” “My Father’s House” is her first novel. She happily makes her home near Augusta, Georgia.
Find out more about Rose Chandler athttp://www.writemomentswithgod.blogspot.com.






My thoughts on this book:
I always enjoy stories with a small town setting and when it's a southern town well that's even better and that's what I found with My Father's House but that was just the beginning of what intrigued me about this book. It's a story about a young woman's longing to be loved and how that longing sort of lead the course of her life. We learn about Lilly the main character and realize that her life wasn't always what it seemed, from a childhood that seemed ideal, but was less than to the choices of the heart that had her life careening off course. It's a story that is easily relatable especially for anyone who has ever really longed to be loved and made a few wrong turns looking for that love.   There is romance, splashes of suspense and interesting characters that really propel the plot of this story along.It was a story that kept me reading because I needed to know how the main characters story would conclude, and I must say the author provided just the ending that I longed for. Overall I found My Father's House an intriguing read, the way the author portrays Lily Rose I felt like I was actually reading about a real person. The issues from her marriage and how she ultimately prevailed kept me glued to the story. A story that deals with a few tough issues while also providing a few inspiring messages as well. A story that stayed with me long after I finished the final page.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.