Archive for June 2013

The Discovery: A Review of The Pieces of Summer

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Pieces of Summer (Discovery #4)
The Pieces of Summer
by Wanda E. Brunstetter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Pieces of Summer is book 4 in the Discovery series by Wanda E. Brunstetter.

These books are a part of a six month mini-novella saga.

If you have seen the reviews for the first three books in this saga then you’ll know I have been seriously enjoying them—however, I am concerned about the price of these little novellas.

I’ve let my distaste for that be known in all the other reviews so I will skip right into what I thought about the story!!!


Luke has finally woken from his coma but has no idea who he is or where he comes from. He’s staying with the family of the nurse that cared for him during his time at the hospital. I know I shouldn’t seriously dislike the nurse but I did. I can’t even pinpoint why but I just wanted to scream at Luke to wake up and remember who he was so he could get back to Meredith.

Meredith has been preparing for childbirth with her sister acting as her birth coach. This are going “okay” for Meredith but her Mother in law was seriously grating on my nerves in this book. At the same time however, Jonah was equally as pushy and annoying to me for some reason!

I think that the reason I was so disgruntled about possible love interests is because I was just waiting for Luke and Meredith to finally get back together! Even though some of the characters got on my nerves I really enjoyed and loved this book and finished it within a day so I could pick up the next one!
View all my reviews|Excerpt

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Goodbye to Yesterday The Silence of WinterThe Silence of Winter
The Pieces of Summer

A nationally recognized authority on the Amish community, Wanda E. Brunstetter has seen her book sales over the two million mark. Wanda enjoys an uncommon kinship with the Amish and continues to visit their communities throughout the country. Her books have won numerous awards and topped several bestselling charts. http://www.wandabrunstetter.com/

I received this book free from the publisher through Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own

Pennsylvania Patchwork: A Litfuse Review

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pennsylvania Patchwork (Legacy of Lancaster #2)Pennsylvania Patchwork by Kate Lloyd

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I love the cover of this book and I had high hopes! I really wanted to love this story but I just couldn’t get into it.

The book was written first person which I do struggle with but this book was just hard to get through.

I felt like it hopped views and I kept getting Holly and Beth confused. To be honest I would read something and scratch my head and say “okay, wait! Who is Esther?”

I just didn’t connect with the characters so I even had trouble keeping them straight. I don't think the story is bad it just wasn't the story for me. That's life! You're not going to like every single book you read!

Holly has moved to Lancaster to be with her mother and grandmother however, she plans to leave the Amish to be with her fiancĂ©, Zach. There are rumors going around about Zach though, and Holly isn’t sure what to believe. The rumor is that Zach fathered a child with his ex-girlfriend who has suddenly shown up with the child.

Holly’s mother (who I honestly can’t remember her name because I just couldn’t connect with her—Esther maybe?) is engaged to an Amish man and plans to settle down in the community. She hopes that Holly will do the same and it seems there may be a chance for that as a handsome young Amish man and an old suitor have both shown up seeking out Holly.

Of course things wrap up in the end but I won’t spoil it for those of you that haven’t read it but in terms of an Amish love story it was a pretty good ending. I just wish I’d connected more with the characters so that I could have felt the emotions that go into wrapping up a good love story!
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Kate Lloyd is celebrating the release of book two in her Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy, Pennsylvania Patchwork, by giving away an authentic Amish-made quilt!

PennsylvaniaPatchwork


One "grand" winner receive:


  • An authentic Amish-made Quilt
  • Pennsylvania Patchwork and Leaving Lancaster by Kate Lloyd
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 29th. Winner will be announced on July 1st at Kate's blog.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.


Author Kate Lloyd is a passionate observer of human relationships. A native of Baltimore, Kate spends time with family and friends in Lancaster County, PA, the inspiration for her novels. She is a member of the Lancaster County Mennonite Historical Society. Kate and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest. Kate studied painting and sculpture in college. She's worked a variety of jobs, including car salesman and restaurateur.

Learn more about Kate at http://www.katelloyd.net

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 the blog tour for Stealing the Preacher please visit the Litfuse group by clicking here

Renegade: A Tyndale House Review

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Renegade (Called to Serve, #2)Renegade by Mel Odom

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Renegade was a very engaging book and I could barely put it down! I was not sure how I would receive it personally since I had never read a military fiction book before but I was happily surprised.

Through the book you see the struggle of a man trying to find his place.

As a Christian reading this book I was able to fully appreciate the subtly of what being a true witness for God is by the characters involved in this this young man’s life.

Pike Morgan was a foster kid and an ex-biker gang member, who is in the witness protection program for witnessing the murder of his longtime friend, Petey. He is now working in a garage while also serving in the Marine reserve. He is still a loner and drifter by nature but is beginning to feel some of the emotions that comes with settling down. Pike befriends a young boy named Hector, who has no father , and his mother is working two jobs while his older sister is going to college. Hector looks up to Pike as a father figure of sorts but Pike is not sure that he is ready for anyone to become to close to him.
The witness protection program wants Pike to testify against more of Petey’s killers, the Diablo biker gang, to put an end to them but Pike is not sure he wants to. All the years of his “protection” has not given much fruit and Pike is growing tired of it all. He is wanting to hit he open road again but the Marines have called him and it is back to active duty…Afghanistan here we go.


Pike has said his goodbyes and is now in Afghanistan. He is placed with Corporal Bekah Shaw and two raw recruits, Zeke and Cho. They are almost immediately threw in the fire and bullets are blazing. Pike proves once again that he is courageous and a good marine, as he had been on one tour before. They infiltrated a building that was housing bomb making materials and were able to capture a Russian arms dealer working with the locals. While having the Russian in custody, the captain of the local police kills the prisoner. Pike is furious but has to restrain himself because the relations with the local police are fragile at best. Upon inspected the Russian, Pike notices a pocket is turned inside out and insists the police captain took something from it but the man insists the prisoner had pulled a knife out and was going to kill one of the Marines.


The Russian is brought in for examination and Pike is able to give clues into the dead man’s history because of his tattoos. While eating dinner in a local restaurant, he notices the police captain, Zarif, is sitting nearby and receives a phone call. Pike is able to understand some of the Russian which Zarif is speaking by reading his lips. Pike decides to follow Zarif because he believes Zarif has his hands dirty in a few things. He followed Zarif but was captured. Pike had guessed right but Zarif would not tell him anything and ordered him killed. Relying on his survival and military skills, Pike, kills Zarif and his two men. As Pike tried to escape he is captured by other Marines and took into custody. Major Hollister is not happy about what has transpired and Pike is placed in the brig ready to be the scapegoat of the incident. Lieutenant Heath Bridger visits Pike in the brig and tries to reason with him about not giving up. More information is exchanged and Heath begins to investigate Captain Zarif’s dealings with the black market.


A raid is setup on a building which housed another Russian dealer, the one Zarif had spoke with on the phone the night Pike had followed him. The raid is successful and the Russian is taken into custody. He admitted to providing Zarif with merchandise and that he was the one on the phone. Lieutenant Bridger goes to Major Hollister about this raid and capture of the Russian, and pleads the release of Pike from the brig. After a lengthy exchange the Major agrees to release Pike as long as he stays out of his hair.


Pike’s unit is then flung into a difficult task of traveling and searching a rough and snowy mountain in search of three CIA agents and a reporter, who had been kidnapped by Zalmai Yaqub. Yaqub is hoping to become the leader of this regions jihad movement by starting a series of events that would propel him to glory and assuredly give him the mantle of leader. Yaqub’s father, who was thought dead by the military, is hanging on to life despite losing an arm and leg in an US attack. Yaqub’s men build a fortification and plant explosives at key locations. As the Marines fight their way through the parameter and come upon Yaqub’s father, Pike realizes he has an electronic device and detonates all the hidden explosives. Pike’s unit and a backup unit of Marines take losses and all of Yaqub’s men are dead. Yaqub had left earlier in the morning down the mountain and back to Kandahar for his mission of glory, shooting down the planes with the Joint Chiefs of staff aboard.


As Pike and Lieutenant Bridger figure out Yaqub’s plan their unit is sprung back into action for another mission…find Yaqub before it is too late. They lean on their resourcefulness and find information on Yaqub’s possible location, a building not too far from the airfield. Upon arrival they had to fight their way into the building and Yaqub is confirmed to be there. Will Pike and his unit make it in time to stop Yaqub? I guess you will have to read it to find out!


Conclusion:
I rated this book a 5 star because I thought it was a fantastic read. I can honestly say it was the best book I have read this year. Throughout the book different characters showed bits and pieces of being a Christian to Pike and those things always stuck with him. He was never able to shake all those things and get them out of his head despite his “wild” side always wanting to escape and run. He started the book a confused man with no real direction, a Renegade, but ended the book having a direction and finally finding a home where he knew he belonged.
View all my reviews|Read an Excerpt

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Mel Odom is a bestselling writer for hire for Wizards of the Coast's Forgotten Realms, Gold Eagle's Mack Bolan, and Pocket's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel book lines. His debut SF novel Lethal Interface made the Locus recommended list . The Rover was an Alyx Award winner. He has also written a scientific adventure of the high seas set in the 19th century entitled Hunters of the Dark Sea. He lives in Oklahoma.
http://melodom.com/
I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Stealing the Preacher: A Litfuse Review

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Stealing the PreacherStealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



This is the first book I’ve read by this author but I’d heard really good things.

I have to say—I chose this book because I fell in love with the cover! Who wouldn't see that nearly impish grin and not feel intrigued?!

I somehow just knew this book would have the right amount of humor in it but was pleasantly surprised at the overall theme of salvation. I will definitely read more from this author in the future!

Most young girls ask for jewelry or trinkets for their birthday but Joanna asked for a preacher! When her dad kidnaps Crockett Archer from his train for his daughter—things get a bit interesting!

Crockett is on his way to an interview for another church but it seems that the Lord is calling him in another direction. Plus, he can’t seem to get thoughts of Joanna out of his mind. Joanna’s father also intrigues him and he feels drawn to help win the man to Christ. This leads Crockett from the path he thought he was supposed to be on and down another—one that promises love and redemption for a community.

Though this book had quite a bit of humor in it—there were also some dark themes in it that will leave your heart aching in sympathy for the characters. I haven’t personally experienced the pain that Silas has endured but I do understand his anger against Christianity and preachers in general.

I think this story serves as a reminder that there are evil people in this world who will abuse their leadership in churches and tarnishes the name of Christ. However, we have to guard our hearts against bitterness. I am very impressed with the gospel’s message that was brought to life in this tale.

Concluding Thoughts:
I would love to see a second part to this story about the rest of Crockett’s family—maybe his younger brother? I have no complaints at all about this book except for one small gripe. The name Crockett Archer just didn’t flow off my tongue. I had a hard time forming my thoughts around it for some reason. I wanted to say Crocker Archett—as if the name were a tongue twister. It’s only a small complaint and doesn’t affect the story in any way! Still a 5 star from me!
View all my reviews|Excerpt



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Karen Witemeyer is "kindling" the excitement for Stealing the Preacher (Bethany House) with a Kindle Fire Giveaway and connecting with readers at her June 18th Facebook Author Chat Party!

StealingPreacher300


 
One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at 4pm on June 18th. Winner will be announced at the "Stealing the Preacher" Facebook Author Chat Party on June 18th. Connect with Karen for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Karen will also share an exclusive look at her next book and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.




So grab your copy of Stealing the Preacher and join Karen on the evening of June 18th 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 18th!



Two-time RITA finalist and winner of the coveted HOLT Medallion and ACFW Carol Award, CBA bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance because she believes that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. Karen makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at www.karenwitemeyer.com.

Find out more about Karen at http://www.karenwitemeyer.com.

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 the blog tour for Stealing the Preacher please visit the Litfuse group by clicking here

The Discovery: A Review of The Hope of Spring

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Hope of Spring (Discovery #3)The Hope of Spring by Wanda E. Brunstetter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I pretty much just kept devouring these little novellas. I LOVE the storyline and I had to keep reading. As I have said in my previous reviews of these however, I’m frustrated that they’re broke up in 120ish page stories.

Economically, it just isn’t a good value! The story is fantastic but my continued gripe about these is the price. At 6.29 a piece (on amazon) this set of six would cost a hefty 37.74 (not including shipping) so that is my continual gripe/warning in regards to this series.


Meredith has returned to her home and is awaiting the birth of her and Luke’s baby. She’s excited to meet her child but she still feels so lost and alone. She never thought she would be raising her baby alone.

Meanwhile, "Eddie" is still in a coma and his nurse seems to be getting a serious attachment to him—this concerned me from the get go! I was worried about a romance blossoming between the two of them.

Jonah also is another concern of mine—to be honest, I started almost disliking him at this point in the story. I know he isn’t meant to be pushy and obnoxious but that is how I kept reading his character. I felt he was a tad too pushy with a woman who hasn’t been a widow even a year and is still pregnant with her husband’s child.

Nonetheless—I really enjoyed this little novella and looked forward to picking up the next installment right away!
View all my reviews|Excerpt

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Goodbye to Yesterday The Silence of WinterThe Silence of Winter


A nationally recognized authority on the Amish community, Wanda E. Brunstetter has seen her book sales over the two million mark. Wanda enjoys an uncommon kinship with the Amish and continues to visit their communities throughout the country. Her books have won numerous awards and topped several bestselling charts. http://www.wandabrunstetter.com/

I received this book free from the publisher through Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own

A Heartbeat Away: A Litfuse Review

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Heartbeat AwayA Heartbeat Away by S. Dionne Moore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is the first book I’ve read by this author.

My mother is a quilter and I was intrigued by the idea of quilting and storytelling.

The Civil War has always been an interest in mine—it was a very sad time in our history where brother fought against brother. I can't imagine how heartbreaking this was for the families involved.

The fascinating thing to me is that there are documented stories of “enemies” that fought in the Civil War becoming close friends. How could two people that fought one another ever become friends? This book really focused on the power of forgiveness and shows how our lives can change when we soften our hearts towards our fellow man. I would be interested in reading more by this author!

Beth has gone against her parent’s wishes in learning to become a nurse. When Beth arrives at her grandmother’s she is completely loyal to the Union and finds it hard to serve the injured confederates. Her grandmother however sees each injured man as a person with a soul and feelings and refuses to turn away anyone—regardless of which side they fight for.

Joe is one of the injured confederates that Beth is caring for and she is intrigued by his gentle nature. He doesn’t seem to be the monster she assumed a confederate would be. As it turns out, Joe tried to help a family of slaves and in doing so was shot—his brother killed.

Joe is struggling to recover emotionally and physically while Beth is learning to see past labels and the exterior and see the man that is inside. A promise of love develops between them but there are obstacles to overcome.

A quilt sent to Beth by her mother holds a secret message in the pattern. The design hides a message of faith and hope that Beth begins to discover as she pieces together the blocks.

This story was very touching and I was rooting for Beth and Joe from the start. I enjoyed this book very much and it was very well written. I did find one small editorial mistake in mid book in a misspelled word but was easily overlooked—especially because the storyline was so wonderful!
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Dionne Moore is a historical romance author who resides in South Central PA with her family, surrounded by the beautiful Cumberland Valley and lots of fun, historically rich locations. She is a weekly contributor to "The Borrowed Book", a blog for book-lovers and "Cozy Mystery Magazine", for all things cozy mystery.

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 the blog tour for A Heartbeat Away please visit the Litfuse group by clicking here

About Me

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I'm a stay at home/work at home mama and I love to read. I have six beautiful daughters who inspire me to be a better person and to pursue wisdom.

When I'm not busy reading and reviewing books or spending time with my daughters I am busy crafting for two online businesses. You can find handmade bath and body items at  A Simply Enchanted Life and handcrafted jewelry at Sapphire Haven.