Tag Archives: fiction

Woman of Courage – Wanda E. Brunstetter

Woman of Courage is published by Shiloh Run Press, an imprint of Barbour Publishing.

Woman of Courage is published by Shiloh Run Press, an imprint of Barbour Publishing.

About the Book
About the Author
Author Website

I’m doing a little different format this post. I think the book trailer is a great summary so I’ll let you watch that and then get on to the review!

If you’ve been following me for any length of time you know that romance isn’t usually my genre of choice. Too much yuck and not enough character development, all that sort of stuff. Having never read any Wanda Brunstetter books I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting into, but based on the fact that the main character was a Quaker I was pretty sure it would be a decent read. And it was. There’s great character/story development but it does move a little slow for me. Admittedly, that’s probably just because I’m not used to the style.

What did I like about the book:

  • Clean romance. None of this hot and heavy stuff that people call romance. This was a true blue example of what real, pure romance is.
  • Great story line. Some parts did move a little slow but it was necessary for the character or story development.
  • The slowness didn’t take away from the book or make it hard to read.

All-in-all, I have a pretty good first impression of Wanda Brunstetter and her writing. While it’s not my first genre choice, and it was a little slow for me, I’d definitely pick up another of her books.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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A Carol for Kent – Hallee Bridgeman

 


About the Book
About the Author
Author Website

Summary: Carol Mabry is a busy Richmond attorney. Bobby Kent is a busy country music star. During an unexpected trip home to the farm, Bobby discovers that someone has been keeping a very important secret from him. He and Carol have a daughter! Turns out, that’s not the only secret in Richmond. There’s a serial killer on the loose and it’s up to Carol and her department to solve the case. Will it Bobby and Carol be able to make a family for their daughter, or will “Richmond Red” dash those hopes forever?

Review: Seriously, Hallee Bridgeman has done it again! A Carol for Kent, the newest installment of the “Song of Suspense” series, blows you away. Once you think you have it all figured out, you find out you really don’t. I was wrong TWICE, and I’m usually pretty good at figuring out who-done-it before the end of the book! I love a book that keeps you engaged.

Again, Hallee does a great job blending suspense, romance, and Biblical principles. This is one of the few romance novels that I’d allow my children to read when they got older. I’ve even recommended these books to people who don’t like romance novels (like myself) because they’re not something that makes me uncomfortable while I read. It’s not going to be hidden away on a secret “mom only” bookshelf, that’s for sure. Hallee’s capturing of the Christian romantic experience isn’t sugar coated to be “too perfect” or “too prude”. Nor is her presentation of “God stuff” too preachy. It’s there, and it’s obvious, but it doesn’t take away from the story. Quite frankly, the story wouldn’t be the same without it and I’m very glad that she includes it!

Definitely a GREAT read. If you’re anything like me, it won’t take you long to read it because you’ll get sucked in and won’t want to put it down! Great job Hallee, can’t wait to read the next one!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own, no other compensation was received. Some links may be affiliate links, I’m not sure if they worked but I’m covering all my bases just in case they did.

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Merlin’s Shadow – Robert Treskillard

Merlin's Shadow is published by BLINK, a trademark of Zondervan.

Merlin’s Shadow is published by BLINK, a trademark of Zondervan.

About the Book
About the Author
Author Website

Summary: The Druid Stone has been destroyed. Merlin and his friends, along with baby Arthur, are running for their lives. Just who are they running from, and where will they end up? Follow Merlin and his band in the epic sequel to Merlin’s BladeMerlin’s Shadow.

Review: I had high hopes for this book! I really really really loved Merlin’s Blade and couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. Robert Treskillard definitely didn’t disappoint with Merlin’s Shadow! A lot of the time you find that sequels just don’t live up to their predecessor but that’s not the case with the second book in “The Merlin Spiral” series. The absolute only reason it’s taken me so long to read is because life got crazy and I wasn’t able to sit down and read it all in an afternoon like I was hoping to do. The story just keeps getting better and better! I’m expecting great things with the last book in the series!

What did I like about Merlin’s Shadow? EVERYTHING! I love the maps, I love the time period, I love the character development. Fast-paced action throughout keeps you turning pages to find out what’s going to happen next.  It’s been a while since I’ve read a young adult series and actually really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to get my hands on Merlin’s Nightmare!

Robert Treskillard is a skilled writer! Not every author can deliver the same quality, or better, work when they’re writing a series. He is one of the few!

Disclaimer: I received this book for free through BookLookBloggers in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own, no other compensation was received.

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Strait of Hormuz – Davis Bunn

Strait of Hormuz is published by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Strait of Hormuz is published by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

About the Book
About the Author

 

Summary: Follow Marc Royce on another adventure in Davis Bunn’s newest book Strait of Hormuz. From Geneva to the Strait of Hormuz, follow the trail with Marc to figure out who the key players in the operation are.

Review: I got this book thinking it’d be like a Christian version of Clive Cussler. Fast-paced, action, all that stuff. I was a little disappointed because it didn’t live up to those expectations. However, Strait of Hormuz was still a really good book. There is action, in fact that’s what pretty much how the book starts out! For me though, it was a little slow. I’d have liked it better if the story had moved a little faster, it might have made it easier for me to read. I did, however, appreciate that the author is a professional in the true sense of the word. Yeah he’s written a bunch of books, but he actually lectures on creative writing at the University of Oxford! They don’t let just anyone lecture there so you know he knows his stuff, and that’s evident in his writing. He develops the characters well and has a great story line, it just was really hard to me to get into. I’m not sure if it’s just because I’ve never read any of his other books or if I just wasn’t in the mood to read fiction. It’s worth reading again though when I’m for sure in a fiction mood.

When I get to it again, if my opinion changes I will definitely write a follow-up post. It really is worth the read!

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own. No other compensation was received.

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Martyr’s Fire – Sigmund Brouwer

Martyr's Fire is published by Waterbrook Multnomah.

Martyr’s Fire is published by Waterbrook Multnomah.

About the Book
Read Chapter One
Author’s Website
About the Author

Summary: The Priests of the Holy Grail have amazed the people of Magnus and taken control. Fortunately, Thomas escapes and goes on a journey in search of the answers that have been eluding him since childhood. Can Thomas be trusted to side with the Immortals, or is he merely a pawn of the Druids? Travel with Thomas across England and to the Holy Land. Join the quest for answers in Sigmund Brouwer’s third book in the “Merlin’s Immortals” series, Martyr’s Fire.

Review: Where to start? I’d read both The Orphan King and Fortress of Mist so I jumped at the chance to continue on with Thomas in Martyr’s Fire. To be honest, it took me a few chapters to really get into the story. I was a little disappointed in that simply because the first two books grabbed my attention in just a few pages. Whether the lack of attention grabbing was just me or the writing I’m not sure. Once I really got into it though I couldn’t put it down.

I loved the interaction between Thomas and Beast (his puppy). There were a few surprises too. Robin Hood is usually associated with England, of course, but I was pleasantly surprised to see him make an appearance. It was done well and fit my pre-conceived ideas of Robin Hood. It’s always nice when the author doesn’t really change the image of a classic character. Without giving too much away, I have to say that I was surprised with the events surrounding Hawkwood and I’m anxiously awaiting the next book in the series to see if my guesses are correct.

About the cover: I don’t like it. I’m not sure if the knight on the cover is supposed to be Thomas or someone else. I hope it’s not Thomas because it’s not how I pictured him at all. Especially not after seeing the cover of the first book. The Orphan King cover was amazing and the cover for Fortress of Mist fit well. Sadly, the cover for Martyr’s Fire needs a little help.

Aside from the cover and the amount of chapters it took to get me hooked, the story was a good addition to what we already know about Thomas, Magnus, the Immortals, and the Druids. Would I recommend it? If you’ve read the first two books, yeah. It wasn’t as good as I was anticipating but that’s sometimes how it goes in a book series. I will for sure be reading the next book Blades of Valor which comes out next spring, I believe.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received. All thoughts are my own.

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A Man Called Blessed – Ted Dekker & Bill Bright

Published by Thomas Nelson

Published by Thomas Nelson

About the Book
About the Ted Dekker
About Bill Bright

Summary: 15 years after Blessed Child ends, a woman named Rebecca Soloman is on a quest to find the Ark of the Covenant. Ismael is also on a quest to find the Ark, but with different intentions. One hopes to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, the other hopes to preserve the mosque that sits where the temple should be. They both need to find the child, now man, called Caleb in Ethiopia. But does Caleb know where the Ark of the Covenant is? And is he still the faithful boy we left at the end of Blessed Child? Go on an exciting adventure to find the answers in Ted Dekker and Bill Bright’s book, A Man Called Blessed.

Review: After reading Blessed Child I knew I had to finish the story of Caleb. It took me a bit longer to read A Man Called Blessed, that could be because of a number of reasons. Certainly not because it’s lacking in action though! A Man Called Blessed takes you from Jerusalem to the Ethiopian desert, through the Middle East and back again. Lots of camel chases (as opposed to car chases, this does take place in the desert afterall) and military-style gun slinging. But there’s still the message that Blessed Child had, that God is real and moving in people’s lives.

One of my favorite quotes is from Caleb. He was talking about growing up, both physically and spiritually, and he says that “…to grow up spiritually means to mature in spiritual ways, not to bring human maturity to spirituality.” Seriously, wow. I think that as adults we tend to bring human maturity into spirituality and that’s when we tend to lose the awe and wonder of God that we had when we were children. He’s still the same God, it isn’t Him that’s changed, it’s us. He’s still just as big and powerful and amazing and we need to remember that. There was also a lot of discussion about how a lot of people say they’re Christians but don’t live like it (James 1:19-27 ring a bell?) and I think it’s true. Myself included, more often than not, unfortunately.

I don’t know Dekker’s full intent when he wrote this book with Bill Bright, but I know that it’s changed me. The whole Caleb series has really started to “ruin” me, and that’s a good thing. I hope that both Blessed Child and A Man Called Blessed change the way you see things too. If you choose to read them, enjoy! And be blessed!

Disclaimer: I received an electronic version of this book for free through the BookSneeze program in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. No other compensation was received.

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Blessed Child – Ted Dekker & Bill Bright

Blessed Child, by Ted Dekker and Bill Bright, is published by Thomas Nelson

About Ted Dekker
Author Website

About Bill Bright

Summary: What could a boy named Caleb and a presidential candidate have in common? More than anyone could imagine. Definitely more than Jason Marker and Leiah expected when they saved the boy from an Ethiopian monastery. They also didn’t expect the boy to have the supernatural power to heal people. As the world tries to figure out where Caleb’s power comes from, Jason and Leiah try to figure out why someone is trying to kill him.

Review: I love books by Ted Dekker but I’ve never had a favorite, until now. Blessed Child was amazing! I know it’s an older Dekker novel but I hadn’t had a chance to read it until recently. WOW! I cried, I got goosebumps, I even felt convicted at a couple of points in the story. In church we’re doing a sermon series on the power of the Holy Spirit and Blessed Child is about just that. I have to admit, at first I was a little “I don’t know, this seems a little too charismatic…”, but after reading the exchange between Dr. Thompson and Jason (and company) my thinking changed. Not that I didn’t believe in God healing others through His followers, but that maybe it doesn’t happen as often here in the U.S. because we don’t tend to be as close to God. We’re so wrapped up in all the stuff that we forget about the God who blessed us with the ability to get the stuff, or whatever. And the quote on the back of the book is probably my favorite, “Whoever said a straightened hand was more dramatic than a healed heart anyway?”

Anyway, I really did like this book and I’m looking forward to reading the next one. If you like Ted Dekker, it’s kind of like the “Circle” series and Thr3e all mixed into one. A great Christian message combined with enough suspense to make it a page-turner. Definitely one that I’ll be reading again! I also thought the front cover was well done and rather intriguing. It makes you wonder what the story is about before you read the back. (Though my first thought upon seeing the cover was “Ooooh, Ted Dekker!”)

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received. All thoughts are my own.

 

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Fortress of Mist – Sigmund Brouwer

About the Book and Author

Author’s Website

Read Chapter One

Summary: Thomas is ruler of Magnus and isn’t quite sure who he can trust. There’s the group of mysterious people associated with the strange symbol and there’s the group of people associated with the man who helped him free the knight from the gallows. When the Earl of York visits Magnus with a request, Thomas has to decide if it is in his best interest to accept or decline. Meanwhile, in the background, a battle is raging for the soul of Thomas. Who will he trust?

Review: When I finished The Orphan King last year I was sad to see that I had to wait until early this year to read book two of the “Merlin’s Immortals” series. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to read and review book two! Fortress of Mist continues shortly after where The Orphan King left off. Thomas has gained control of Magnus and lost both Katherine and Isabelle. Or has he? I devoured this book. It took me all of a day to read, between housework and kids, and I was not disappointed. Well, that’s not entirely true. Fortress of Mist is just as good as The Orphan King but I wasn’t a fan of the ending. I actually caught myself saying “No! Thomas, don’t do that!” However, it will make for a good beginning to book three (there will be a book three, right?!).

Again, this is a young adult fiction novel but it’s so good. Every once in a while I enjoy an entertaining young adult book and the “Merlin’s Immortals” series satisfies that craving. Historical “fantasy” with a touch of adventure and mystery. Great read if you’re wanting something different that won’t take you a long time to read.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.

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Deadline – Randy Alcorn

Author’s Website
Buy the Book (and read Chapter 1)
About the Author

Summary: Three lifelong friends hop in the Suburban during half-time but only one makes it home. Can Jake Woods, the survivor, put all the pieces together to figure out what happened? Follow Jake as he works along side Detective Ollie Chandler in the first installment of the Ollie Chandler trilogy by Randy Alcorn. Put the pieces together as Jake reveals them and see if you can figure out big picture. Not only does the big picture include what happened to his friends, it also includes serious life-changing realizations for Jake.

Review: I have to admit, I enjoy just about everything Randy Alcorn writes. Maybe it’s because he’s from my home  state of Oregon, I don’t know. What I do know is that once I get into his books, I can’t put them down. They suck me in like a good book should, but the nice thing about Mr. Alcorn’s books is that they have substance. There’s important messages to be picked up on even in his fiction and I love that.

Prior to reading Deadline I had read Deception, which is book three in the trilogy, and I enjoyed it. I was eager to read Deadline at the time but the library didn’t have it in so I had to skip it. When I saw it was available for review, I was excited. Admittedly, it did take me a little while to start what with the holidays and such but it was well worth it. The first few chapters took me a while to read but once the story picked up speed I couldn’t put it down. (In theory, I do have three kids, LOL!). I enjoyed it and I had fun trying to figure out what was going on while I read. Admittedly, I didn’t have all the pieces quite right!

I do have to mention, there is a strong pro-life thread in the story which doesn’t bother me at all but I know others might not want to go there. That aside, I think this is a great read for those who like mystery/suspense novels.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Waterbrook-Multnomah in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

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