Archive for May 2013

Afloat by Erin Healy: A Litfuse Review

Friday, May 31, 2013

AfloatAfloat by Erin Healy

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was really excited to read this book. It sounded sort of sci-fi/dystopian and it grabbed my interest.

However, I found that I quickly lost interest within the first four chapters of the book.

The story line was a great concept and I wanted to love it but it just couldn’t hold my attention.

I felt that some of the catastrophe and chaos was so over the top that it was hard to follow exactly what happened and though I have finished the book I am not entirely sure if it was a bomb that caused the problem or if it was a volcano or earthquake.

As a reader who grasps allegory and comprehends books quite well it isn’t often that I feel such loss and confusion. Perhaps such feelings came from not falling in love with the characters or maybe it was something else but I just didn’t really connect with this book. I couldn’t really fall in love with the characters nor did I feel particular loss when something bad happened to them.

In addition to my other complains; I think for me the multiple character views were a big hindrance in my ability to form a bond with the characters. I think this will be one of those books that you either love or hate depending entirely upon personal tastes in writing styles so I would still probably suggest the books for others who love action and sci-fi.
View all my reviews

Who will you trust when dark waters rise?

Eagle's Talon is an architectural marvel-shining residential units afloat in a protected cove of the gorgeous Rondeau River. The project is nearly complete, partially occupied, and ready to make investors rich when a sinkhole gives way. Then torrential rains and a flood leave a ragged collection of builders, investors, and residents stranded in one floating building, cut off from the rest of the world.

They're bitterly divided over what to do next.

Architect Vance Nolan insists they should sit tight and wait for rescue. Developer Tony Dean wants to strike out into the darkness. And single mom Danielle Clement, desperate to protect her young son, Simeon, struggles to hold their motley band together.

Power failure, a pall of unnatural daytime darkness, explosions in the distance, then a murder ratchet tensions to a boiling point. But Danielle's young son, Simeon, has spotted something strange underwater-beautiful, shifting lights in the dark water below.
In this watery world where everyone's secrets will eventually come to light, salvation may mean more than just getting out alive.


Erin Healy is the best-selling co-author of "Burn" and "Kiss" (with Ted Dekker) and an award-winning editor for numerous best-selling authors. She has received wide acclaim for her novels "Never Let You Go", "The Baker's Wife", "House of Mercy", and "Afloat". She and her family live in Colorado. Erin can be contacted through her website or through Facebook at erinhealybooks.

Find out more about Erin at

I received this book free from the publisher through a fantastic program called Litfuse Publicity. I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts and opinions I have expressed are my own. This giveaway is being sponsored by Litfuse
as part of a blog tour for Afloat. To view other reviews and learn more about this tour please visit the Litfuse group by clicking here

Afloat”! Win an iPad Mini from @ErinHealy!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Erin Healy is celebrating the release of her latest novel Afloat (Thomas Nelson) with an iPad Mini giveaway.

One winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini 
  • iTunes gift card
  • Afloat by Erin Healy 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 15th. Winner will be announced on Erin's blog on June 17th. Save the date and click HERE to see if YOU won the iPad Mini!

Don't miss a moment of the fun; ENTER today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Visit Erin's blog on the 17th!

Ray of Sunlight:A Litfuse Review

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ray of Light (The Days of Redemption #2)Ray of Light by Shelley Shepard Gray

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book even though I had not read the first in the series.

Honestly, I didn’t realize it was part two when I requested and when I realized I was scared I wouldn’t be able to follow along but I had no issues whatsoever.

This was also the first time I had read anything by this author or about new order Amish so it was a real treat to read something different. I will definitely be picking up the rest of this series.

I thought the characters were realistic and very well fleshed out. I liked that they seemed real and had real issues rather than this perfect idyllic life that often prevents the readers from forming a connection with the characters.

It has been two years since Amanda’s husband died and she thought she would never find love again—until she met Roman. Their romance is brief however as Roman is simply on vacation and though they both care about one another it is uncertain whether the romance will blossom once they are long distance.

Roman returns to a home full of chaos. It seems past sins are resurfacing and secrets are bubbling to the surface. In all honesty—this poor family has more chaos and drama than a daytime soap opera. Everything from a wife that no one was aware of to a hidden past that was spent outside the Amish faith to problems with alcoholism.

But, as the book title suggest—eventually a ray of light arrives as the healing warmth of God envelopes those that seek Him. I won’t say how the romance or the turmoil ends up but I think people will be satisfied.

I’m also looking forward to book three—I really cannot wait to see what happens with Elsie, a young Amish woman with a degenerative eye disease that is blinding her. I want to see how things turn out for her and I’m really hoping she finds love as it seems her family thinks of her as incapable of loving or having her own family. I sure hope she proves them all wrong!!! This book is well worth the read.
View all my reviews


Shelley Shepard Gray is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the "Sisters of the Heart", "Seasons of Sugarcreek", "Secrets of Crittenden County", and Families of Honor series. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

Learn more at

I received this book free from the publisher through a fantastic program called Litfuse Publicity. I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts and opinions I have expressed are my own. To view other reviews and learn more about this tour please visit the Litfuse group by clicking here

Enter to win a Kindle Fire from Rachel Hauck and RSVP for 5/28 Facebook Party!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Rachel Hauck is celebrating the release of Once Upon a Prince with a fun "Royal Wedding" Giveaway and connecting with readers at her May 28th Facebook Party.


One "royal" winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 27th. Winner will be announced at the "Once Upon a Prince" Facebook Author Chat Party on May 28th. Connect with Rachel for an evening of book chat, wedding trivia, laughter, and more! Rachel will also be sharing a sneak peek at the next book in the series and giving away books and fun gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Once Upon a Prince and join Rachel on the evening of May 28th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!

Once Upon A Prince: A Litfuse Review

Once Upon a PrinceOnce Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m shamelessly admitting that I read this because of my fascination with Kate and William. I know, I’m an adult but it truly is like a modern fairy tale where the regular girl meets a prince and falls in love.

So, of course this book appealed to the little girl in me that still believes in fairy tales and dashing princes that sweep a fair maiden off her feet.

This book was so cliché—honestly though? Cliché was to be expected and I felt like a little girl again only this time I was reading a fairy tale that was a little more suitable for an adult. I really enjoyed this story and I wouldn’t hesitate to read another book by this author.

Susanna wanted nothing more than to marry her longtime boyfriend and settle down. The problem is? She didn’t realize that she was settling for the idea of love instead of true love. Her heart was broken when she was dumped but part of her was also relieved because deep down she knew that she was looking for true love.

She never expected true love to be a prince that is bound by duty to marry another royal. The truth is, Nathanial never expected to find love at all and now he’s torn between duty and his heart. Ultimately, both Susanna and Nathanial learn that placing their trust in God and submitting to his will for our life will always do us good rather than harm. God has us in the palm of his hand and if we submit to his will then he will give us the desires of our heart.

I truly enjoyed this story. It wasn’t just about finding love but also about pleasing God. While it was a bit cliché as I mentioned earlier—it was to be expected and I wouldn’t have been pleased with any other outcome to the story. I wanted a fairytale and that is exactly what I got!
View all my reviews|Read an Excerpt


Rachel Hauck is the bestselling author of Carol Award winner "Sweet Caroline", and RITA Finalist "Love Starts With Elle", and of the critically acclaimed fiction collaboration with multi-platinum country artist Sara Evans, "The Songbird Novels". She lives in sunny, though sometimes hurricane plagued, central Florida with her husband and their ornery pets. Rachel earned a degree in Journalism from Ohio State University and is a huge Buckeyes football fan. She is the past President of American Christian Fiction Writers and now sits on the board as an Advisor.

Find out more about Rachel at:
I received this book free from the publisher through a fantastic program called Litfuse Publicity. I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts and opinions I have expressed are my own. This giveaway is being sponsored by Litfuse
as part of a blog tour for Once upon a Prince. To view other reviews and learn more about this tour please visit the Litfuse group by clicking here

I'm No Angel: From Victoria's Secret Model to Role Model

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I'm No Angel: From Victoria's Secret Model to Role ModelI'm No Angel: From Victoria's Secret Model to Role Model by Kylie Bisutti

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I usually can’t stand true stories/autobiographies but this one pleasantly surprised me! WOW! What an inspiration and a reminder that we are all precious in God’s eyes. I think this book would be perfect for a young girl or even an older girl who is struggling with her body image.

There is a lesson we can learn about beauty in the modern world and how what we see is not really a reality and how our perception is skewed based by media and modern photoshop tools. Most importantly we are reminded that beauty comes from within because God looks upon our heart and not upon our physical appearance.

"God sees everyone one of us as beautiful. We are, after all, made in His image. We make ourselves ugly by turning away from Him and getting entangled in things He despises, like pride, greed and lust. But the more we cling to virtues like humility, selflessness, modesty, and purity, the more beautiful we become--not only in His eyes, but also in the eyes of others. You can't airbrush that."

Definitely 5 stars! I loved the honesty and the Godly principles. I will be keeping this book for future discussions about body image and modesty with my children.

In December 2011, 21-year-old Victoria's Secret Runway Angel Kylie Bisutti stunned the fashion industry when she chose faith over fame and fortune and made the switch from supermodel to role model. In "I'm No Angel," Kylie shares her story--from her early years struggling to make it big in the cut-throat world of modeling, her "big break" winning the Victoria's Secret Runway Angel competition, and the disillusionment and spiritual warfare that followed, to the moment she realized that she could no longer reconcile her career with her Christian beliefs, surrendered her life to God, and dedicated her life to preaching a message of modesty and inner beauty. Along the way, Kylie talks about her personal struggles with inadequacy, low self-esteem, and her near-constant quest for approval in a world where you can never be thin enough, pretty enough, or sexy enough. She helps readers understand that true beauty lies within and that real fulfillment comes from knowing, loving, and serving Christ
View all my reviews


Kylie Bisutti is an American model who won the 2009 Victoria's Secret Angel. At 19, she beat out 10,000 other girls to win a modeling contract with Victoria's Secret,,"Victoria's Secret Model Search" competition,broadcast online through CBS and concluded during the December 1st airing of that year's Fashion Show. Placing first through fan voting over fellow contestant Jamie Lee Darley in the final round earned Bisutti, nineteen years old and a newlywed at the time of filming, the prize of walking in the annual show alongside Victoria's Secret Angels like Heidi Klum, Miranda Kerr and Doutzen Kroes.

Although Bisutti continues her career in the entertainment business,she did not work with Victoria's Secret after the show. She later said lingerie modeling conflicted with her Christian values: "My body should only be for my husband and it's just a sacred thing." Bisutti states that she will only choose wholesome jobs that will honor her Christian beliefs.
I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Guardian:Filled with Spiritual Wisdom

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Guardian (Home to Hickory Hollow #3)The Guardian by Beverly Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s no secret that I love returning to Hickory Hollow and I will do so any chance that I get! Each new book that comes out—I rush through until I get to the parts with Ella Mae. I just love her and I can’t get enough of her wisdom! I adore the spunk and tenacity that she possesses. Of course, the main plot is always fantastic as well. Beverly Lewis is an author that never disappoints her readers.

Jodi is a young woman struggling to piece together her life after losing her sister. While her parents and fiancé all love her deeply there is something missing in her life. Since the loss of her sister—Jodi has given up on God. She has stopped talking to Him and that causes a void in her life that she can’t seem to fill.
Coming September,2013!

When a young Amish girl, Sarah falls out of the family buggy—it is Jodi that finds her and returns her to her mother. Sarah is drawn to Jodi and though her mother, Maryanna is worried about developing a relationship with Jodi she can’t say no to her youngest daughter.

Jodi begins to spend more time with Sarah and her family and her heart begins the slow process of mending while her faith begins to be renewed. Only time will tell if Jodi’s heart will mend enough to draw her closer to her fiancé and to her parents.

Maryanna is also dealing with her own silent grief—the loss of her husband, Benuel who was truly her best friend. She feels that she can never love another but also worries that her children are suffering without the firm guidance of a father figure in their life.

Local widower, Joshua is very interested in Maryanna. Having have lost his wife and unborn child in recent years, he is finally looking towards the future rather than living in the past. The problem is that Joshua was Benuel’s best friend and their neighbor which gives Maryanna a little inside look into what could be viewed as eccentricities.

I thought the story really wrapped up beautifully. Perhaps a bit predictable but we really wouldn’t have wanted it to end any other way. Mrs. Lewis seems to know what her readers expect of her and she delivers her stories beautifully. Filled with wisdom and encouragement in the faith her stories do not disappoint. I loved everything about this story, all the way down to the beautiful cover. Definitely a 5 star story and I cannot wait until my next trip to Hickory Hollow in “The Secret Keeper” which is due to be released in September 2013!!!
View all my reviews|Excerpt


The FiddlerThe BridesmaidFor Every Season

Beverly Lewis, raised in Pennsylvania Amish country and both a schoolteacher and an accomplished musician, has been an award-winning author for over a dozen years. Her acclaimed novel, The Preacher's Daughter, was a 2006 Quill Book Award finalist in the romance category. Her books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including USA Today and The New York Times. She and her husband, David, live in Colorado. Learn more about Beverly by visiting her website at

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Letters to Katie: An Excellent Lesson in Godly Value

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Letters to KatieLetters to Katie by Kathleen Fuller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh how I love visiting Middlefield! I was so excited to receive this book for review. I do love an ongoing series and the connection I form with the characters. I especially love Sawyer and Laura so I was excited to read more about them within this book—though the main storyline was about Katie. I think so far this one has turned out my favorite though. I loved the theme of Katie finding her value as a godly woman instead of the most important goal being a husband. Fantastic read!

Katie has had her heart set on Johnny since she was a young girl but he has never paid any attention to her. If anything, he’s been somewhat cruel to her. He is ready to acknowledge his feelings for her but first he feels he must have something more to offer her—to deserve her.

Before he gets his chance to show her how he feels another young man starts to take notice and pay attention to Katie. Shortly thereafter, Katie is struck with a mysterious illness that lands her in the hospital. While things prove not to be too serious and she will recover—her memory of time lost may prove to be a difficult stumbling block when it comes to winning her heart.

There was very little I didn’t like about this book—I enjoyed all of it. I will admit that Katie’s mother really frustrated me with her adamant distaste for Johnny. For reasons I couldn’t really discern other than his young and foolish treatment of Katie when they were younger; I thought she did a good job of overreacting to the situation. I suppose it is just one of those things though where mothers are sometimes irrational when it comes to their children.

Overall? Fantastic story that I would recommend to any fan of Amish/Christian fiction. I loved the moral of the story!
View all my reviews|Excerpt|Giveaway


Treasuring EmmaFaithful to LauraLetters to Katie

Kathleen is the author of several books, including the upcoming Amish series Hearts of Middlefield for Thomas Nelson. She is also included in two Amish anthologies for Thomas Nelson, An Amish Christmas and An Amish Gathering. Kathleen loves to hear from readers.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

*Giveaway opportunity is simply a link to a promotional offer being hosted at Goodreads. A Simply Enchanted Life is in no way hosting or responsible for the outcome of the giveaway nor is it my place to distribute. I simply wanted to share the opportunity with my readers.