Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tainted by Morgan L. Busse

(Enclave 2016)

When I had the chance to obtain Tainted and read it, I jumped at the chance. Morgan Busse delighted me with her Follower of the Word series, and I looked forward to her new steampunk book.

I love steampunk. From Jules Verne to movies like Wild, Wild West and Sherlock Holmes (which is slightly more steampunky than most SH shows), I enjoy that mesh of steam powered technology and Western/Victorian setting.

Morgan Busse created a new world and immersed the reader right into the story. Without using prologue or backstory, she was able to span the course of two years without any hitches. I really got to know the characters well before the real conflicts started.

It's not only steampunk, but also a taste of the supernatural. This makes Tainted even extra unique. And I love unique books!

Her characters leave you with a whirlwind of emotions: excitement, anxiousness, joy, and curiosity. One brought out an emotion, and the other brought out a different emotion, spurring me to flip that page to see what would happen.

The twists in the book were enough to keep me engrossed and at times with a Malcolm Reynold's reaction of "huh", I did not see that coming.

I look forward to reading the next book. I have a feeling about some of those characters and who they actually might be. And I need to know more about the other land. 

*** click on the book title for the option to purchase a copy of the book***

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Seafaring Women of the Vera B. by Susan Page Davis/James Davis

(Tea Tin Press 2016)

I've been excited about typing this review and at the same time hesitant. How can I do it justice? This was an exceptional book and quickly became one of my most favorites. 

For quite a while I've been on the look-out for a good pirate/seafaring book. And this one is beyond exceptional (how many times can I say that before it comes repetitious?). It may seem as though it opens slowly, but each page pushes the story along, slowly building upon the next, until the final culmination.

Faced with a daunting dilemma, Alice is forced to make an unpopular and unheard of decision, completely against societal norms. Throughout the book, the ship full of women sailors encounter dangers and trials as they sail the oceans in an attempt to fulfill her late husband's promise and for the women to gain their freedom.

Not every woman is prim. Not every woman is proper. Neither are they strong nor weak. Each have to overcome their own demons, short comings, and fear to truly be Hearts of Oak.

The way Susan Davis and James Davis were able to bring forth the characters' personalities without succumbing to stereotypes make this book truly remarkable. The vivid detail of the winds, the snapping sails, the terror and fear, the storms, and the beauty of the lonesome ocean create a new world within the reader's mind. Even to the point that the reader may dream about it.

Emotions are fully painted to allow the reader to be that character at that particular time, even when a character is debating with her own misgivings and pride.

What seafaring book wouldn't be complete with pirates? The Malay pirates were a menace during that time, and Alice's crew meets them. The battle and rescue were well written and believable. The battle, heartache, and victory showed not only Alice's reliance upon God, but also the new faith blossoming in the hearts of the others.

The Seafaring Women of the Vera B. is one book that will rivet you. Keep you turning the pages. And leave you wanting to read more about their journey knowing that it just begun. This book is truly remarkable and I can't praise it enough. I want to revisit it and chart the path they sailed. I want to learn more about that time and more about what they faced.

If you ever read this book, you will agree: this is a remarkable book. 

***click on the title for the option to purchase a copy of the book***

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Stolen Heart by Amanda Cabot

(Revell 2017) 

Of all the Amanda Cabot books, I really found myself liking this one too. I can always count on her to bring forth a compelling story that has layers and layers of depth to it.

The historical tidbits are researched and quite accurate. The characters are well developed and the reader will watch them grow in personality and beliefs as the story progresses.

This book introduces a well known setting with new people. And I do look forward to the next book as it will finish a story line that was hinted at in this book.

There's always a little bit of mystery in Amanda Cabot's books. It adds to the conflict along with the characters' conflict with each other. There's also a bit of heartache in this book, but it is handled well and strengthens the story even more.

As usual Amanda Cabot delivered a great book! Full of love, redemption, forgiveness, and hope, A Stolen Heart is sure to please any reader of historical romance. 

***click on the title for the option to purchase the book***

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mission of a Lifetime by Priscilla J. Krahn

(Ambassador International 2017) 

Mission of a Lifetime is not the typical action adventure story you would think. What makes this book so unique is its author.

Priscilla J. Krahn is able to take her perspective on life as a 20 year old author and incorporate it into the main character's life. Not many people can portray the true thoughts, feelings, and behaviour of a young adult, much less a young man. I feel his sorrow and doubt.

But this author not only delivers a great character and an extremely well written character arc, but also a fast paced adventure. I'm in the middle of the steamy jungle. I hear the sounds and the silence. My heart races along with the characters.

Set in the jungles of Columbia, Willie is determined to find his parents, but at what cost? From the many hazards of the jungle to the dangers of an organized cartel, Willie has to make spur of the moments decisions and still be able to stay true to his faith.

The pacing of the book will have the reader slowly settling in for a good read to suddenly turning pages to see if Willie and Alano can escape the pitfall they fell into.

On a deeper note, this book brought to light many questions about faith. How far is too far? Can we truly rely upon God? Will He see us through hardships and danger? Can we overcome our past? Is forgiveness really the answer?

The ending is more than I had expected. It was more than I thought anyone could ever write. It truly showed the awesome power of God at work.

Is this a recommended read? Absolutely!
I would classify this as an Young Adult book that every reader would enjoy. Mission of a Lifetime was a joy to read.

***click on the title for the option to purchase the book*** 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Reliant by Dr. Patrick Johnston

(Ambassador International 2017) 

Normally I try to think of words that will not only flow but do justice to the book. Not this time. This will be one of my rawest reviews on a book.

I couldn't find a single thing that I didn't like about this book. The writing and flow was seamless, taking me down a journey that wouldn't let up. I had to keep turning the page to see what happened. The author's use of flashbacks were masterfully executed. I have never read a book that could handle flashbacks so smoothly.

The emotional impact was strong. I would get mad at a character. Sometimes I just wanted to fuss and yell at Sophie or Jimmy. I would want to wring their necks; then I find myself cheering them on, hoping against all odds that things go their way. 

That's a sign of a good story. One that hooks the reader, reels the reader in, and then captures the reader until the very last word is read.

Sophie and Jimmy's character arcs were superb. Even the younger children's growth could be seen. And what happens with Jack was surprising. (Don't know Jack? Read the book! Well worth the surprise Jack has in store for the reader.)

There were twists to the story line. Just when I thought it would end, something happens that spurs the story down another path. Just when I thought the kids were going to let evil and sin get the better of them, love shines through....and always in an unexpected way.

The faith element was heavy, but not unnatural. This is a family defined by their faith so it makes sense that it is their faith they cling to in times of trouble. Hard questions are confronted. There were no easy, sugar coated answers. It was an in your face, honest, and raw reality that the characters had to endure.

Scary thing about this book is that any day could be like what they had to experience. Our country is always on the precipice where one wrong move will send our world into a freefall.

As I read The Reliant, the theme of forgiveness and relying upon God is ever present, expertly woven throughout the chapters.

I look forward to seeing the movie. Yes, that is right: The Reliant will soon be a major motion picture. Here is the link to Facebook where you can follow the news and production:

I am extremely happy that I had the chance to read this book and I will definitely shelve this novel as a keeper. 

To connect with Dr. Patrick Johnston follow these links:

***click on the title for the option to purchase the book***

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Shadowed Eden by Katie Clark

(Watershed Books 2015)

I read Vanquished by Katie Clark, so I was extremely excited to read Shadowed Eden. Extremely excited pales in comparison on how this book pulled me in and kept me lashed to the pages as I read.

Like the "Eden" Avery and Luca came across, the hours seemed like minutes as I read. There were parts that had me scratching my head, but that only spurred me to read more to find the answer.

I wasn't sure about the representation of a cherubim in the book, especially since they are known to have four faces....but then if you look at the words in the Bible about four faces, it could be four angels. There isn't much that we know about Eden, other than we CANNOT enter.

Katie Clark takes that "what-if we could" and spins an entrancing story about The Garden of Eden. I wasn't sure about the portrayal of the angels, but then it was a book that touched on ideas that are not as concrete as others so it allowed for artistic bent. And this book is an artistic bent to show the depth of humanity and our salvation.

Each character was well developed. Their emotions oscillated exactly as a real person would do, especially those in young adulthood. 

Shadowed Eden provided a great story, a compelling read, and one that I would recommend to many young adults. 

***click on the title for the option to purchase the book*** 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Paul the Apostle by Ben Avery/Mark Harmon


When I came across the chance to read and review a graphic novel, I jumped at it. The kid inside me still loves to read graphic novels/comic books, and I wanted to see how this one played out. There are a lot of comic books out there for children and some of them are Christian based. Although they touched upon and gave highlights to the story, I never really found one that would pull a reader in.

Until now.

The story of Paul starts at the very beginning. With the science fiction flair, Star Wars inspired vehicles en lieu of camels, donkeys, and horses, and the variety of animals and aliens used for the characters, this book will be a sure winner for that child who loves science fiction and fantasy.

The way it is written reminds me a little of Brian Jacques' Redwall series and The Adventures of the Book of Virtues

Most of us know the story of Saul who later became Paul. The man who persecuted Christians, but became the man who was the biggest believer and who preached love and virtue. 

Reading through the book, and actually viewing the artwork, it seemed as though those books of the Bible became more real and more relevant than ever. Some things were given a deeper meaning because it was no longer something imagined, but something seen.

The Biblical components are sound in this book. There is no scraping over, lightly touching, or sugar coating. It's as real as a graphic novel can get (barring the sci-fi'ness of it).

To me, if you have a hesitant reader, but one who loves the artwork and storyline of graphic novels, then this is the perfect book for that reader. It is an inspiration and a motivator.

This is a book that I have enjoyed and plan to keep on my shelf. Highly recommended!

***click on the title for the option to buy the book***
***I received the book through BookCrash****

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The High Calling of Motherhood by Chimene Shipley Dupler

Chimene is the the Founder and President/CEO of Passion4Moms, a non-profit ministry that is dedicated to bless, encourage, and inspire mothers.  Chimene’s passion for the family and seeing mother’s succeed in their role as a wife and mother, led Chimene to begin this ministry in 2011. Passion4Moms offers yearly conferences bringing in a variety of professional speakers covering the mom as a whole person providing continuing education for marriage, parenting, spiritual growth, health/nutrition, fashion/decor, offering practical tools for success. Chimene also frequently teaches a six-week marriage course at their church. In addition to teaching marriage classes and speaking engagements, Chimene works 1 on 1 with women in a coaching role providing tools for success in their marriages, parenting, and other relationships as well as life skills for women.

 She is the author of the nonfiction book titled The High Calling of Motherhood which is published by Ambassador International.

~Does motherhood matter?

Have we lost our sense of identity, especially through social media, which can pour both accolades and acid into our hearts and minds? Does our role as a mother have any lasting purpose? What about the hard stuff? Do we self-medicate more than we self-motivate to fight for our families? If we don’t have a sense of purpose, how will our children?
In The High Calling of Motherhood, Chimene will challenge and inspire you. Motherhood can change the trajectory of a generation as we discover the authority that God has given mothers. Chimene desires to see mothers experience the joy that comes in the value and worth that God places on motherhood.
~ [from the back of the book]

Below is my review of the book and where you can connect with Chimene Shipley Dupler. 

As I'm writing this review, I am still reading the book. This isn't a "sit down and read at once" style of book, but an insightful piece that is meant to be savored piece by piece. It's chocolate in word-form.

Chimene Shipley Dupler wrote a compelling book about the importance and honor of being a mother. Throughout the book she stresses the battle we wage against culture and a society that sees motherhood as demeaning or less important. We are encouraged, enlightened, and strengthen by her words to see that we are important. We are the "bricklayers" in our children's lives.

The High Calling of Motherhood is such an in-depth, honest, and profound book that will speak to a host of women.

Many passages spoke to me, such as these:
  • "Motherhood is an honor. It is a responsibility. It is a gift. Motherhood is a high calling from God."

How many times do we feel as though we are "just a mom"?

  • "Fear breeds insecurity. Insecurity breeds comparison. Comparison takes our eyes off Jesus."

Too many times we find ourselves comparing our lives as mothers to what others post on social media, failing to realize that social media only shows "the good, the fun, the highlights" and not reality.

This passage really spoke to me:
  • "When we understand who we are in Christ, this revolutionizes our identity and role as mothers. We begin to parent with an eternal perspective. We begin to stay focused on our goal for parenting. We develop a game plan for success. We understand who we are, which frees us from the bondage of fear and comparison to our fellow mothers."

How powerful is that statement? How freeing is that statement? How wonderful is that statement?

In The High Calling of Motherhood, so many truths are made evident. We are raising royalty. We belong to the One True King and as such, our children are royalty. It is our blessing and duty to raise them to serve their King.

I encourage everyone to take a chance and read Chimene Shipley Dupler's The High Calling of Motherhood. It's a true gift to every mom.

 Below is a list of place where readers can connect with the author. And click on the book's title anywhere in this post to pre-order the book.

Chimene Shipley Dupler:

The High Calling of Motherhood releases early May 2017 in paperback at all major retailers including Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also purchase The High Calling of Motherhood through Ambassador International’s online store

We are hosting a "Winner's Choice" giveaway for blog followers.
The winner will get to choose between a custom made “World Changer” necklace by The Giving Keys or two tickets to attend the Passion4Moms conference being held in DC, May 5-6, 2017.

The High of Calling of Motherhood Blog Tour Giveaway