Archive for July 2013

The Hero's Lot: A Bethany House Review

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Hero's Lot (The Staff and the Sword, #2)The Hero's Lot by Patrick W. Carr

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is book #2 in the Staff and the Sword series by Patrick Carr.

I really enjoyed A Cast of Stones and I had such high hopes for this book but I just wasn’t feeling it.

I hate saying that because the author is such a friendly and cool guy—participating on facebook and interacting with fans. I still admire that and I will still be picking up book three when it comes out!

I have to be honest though and say that I just didn’t connect with this book. I felt it hit a lull in parts and the story didn’t pick up until the last six chapters or so. Once the story picked up I felt that it was a bit rushed. I just felt a little bored and I have to be honest no matter how much I appreciate and enjoy the author. Truth is, you're not going to like every single book by any author. So please don't let my review scare you off from this fantastic writer.

Errol is under a compulsion and is off on his next adventure. At this point in time he’s went from a sorry drunk to the hero in the grand scheme of things—that doesn’t mean that people like him or trust him.

I have to admit, I skimmed a good bit because I felt bored but there’s a love interest for Errol and I thought she was a bit—dull. I’m not sure why I found the love interest to be so boring but I literally had to yawn whenever he fawned and drooled over her so I won’t spend much time hitting on that aspect of the story.

Martin is off having an adventure of his own—I have to admit that jumping between the story lines was another bit of contention for me. I wanted to read about one or the other and just as I started to be interested it would change views. I don’t remember multiple views in the first book but it just annoyed me in this one.

Overall—it’s a solid three star. I would like to have seen a rich development on Errol and a bit of the intensity and drama that was apparent in the last chapters of the book.
View all my reviews|Read an Excerpt


A Cast of Stones The Hero's Lot
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Author Patrick W. Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.

I received this book free from the I Am A Reader, Not A Writer blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Please visit the following links to view the blog tour and giveaway as well as my interview with the author

A Big Year for Lily: A Litfuse Review

A Big Year for Lily (The Adventures of Lily Lapp #3)A Big Year for Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once again I had the pleasure of reviewing a book in the Lily Lapp series.

These are super cute and enjoyable to read with your children!

The lessons that Lily learns and the mischief that she gets into reminds me a lot of my own ten year old daughter so I look forward to sharing this story with her. I am sure that she will enjoy this story just as much as I have!

These are still enjoyable by an adult because it feels as if we’re reading about our own children. It captures the authentic joy, thoughts and emotions that we have all lived through during our own childhood.

Lily Lapp is turning ten and she is growing up fast! We follow her through some bitter trials at school—a rivalry with a peer and the challenge of dealing with a bully. We also see her coping with growing up—the boredom and discomfort of being unhappy with her toys and her confusion at a cousin’s first crush.

There are up and down times but there are a lot of fun times and of course a lot of love from Lily’s family. I think this little book shows the importance of having family to fall back on and the importance of that bond.

Win an iPad Adventure Pack

The third of four charming novels that chronicle the gentle way of the Amish through the eyes of a young girl, "A Big Year for Lily" gives children ages 8-12 a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Amish--and lots of fun and laughter along the way. It combines Mary Ann Kinsinger's real-life stories of growing up Amish and the bestselling writing of Amish fiction and nonfiction author Suzanne Woods Fisher

Little ones love to be like mama and these books give the avid Amish fiction reader a way to pass on an age appropriate story to introduce them to the genre.
View all my reviews


Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Lancaster County Secrets series and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of a new Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She is a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. For more information, please visit and connect with her on Twitter @suzannewfisher. Get Amish proverbs delivered right to your iPhone or iPad! Download the Free App!

Learn more about Lily 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 the blog tour for A Big Year for Lily please visit the Litfuse group by clicking here

Anomaly: A Litfuse Review

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

AnomalyAnomaly by Krista McGee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Anomaly is one of the best YA books I’ve read since The Hunger Games! It is in the same genre (dystopian) but it is also very obviously a Christian book as well.

After I finished reading I gave it to my daughter to read and she pretty much devoured it in a day!

We are both eagerly awaiting book two in the series! There isn’t much that I didn’t like about this book—really, the only thing that bugged me was that one of the character’s soap smell was mentioned a few too many times. Other than that this was a fantastic (and quick) read!

This story is your typical post-apocalyptic dystopian tale but it is unique in that it is also Christian fiction. Honestly, I think it is the first time I have ever seen a Christian-Dystopian book so the author has definitely hit a niche!
Thalli is an Anomaly—she has the ability to feel emotion in a world where scientist have learned to remove this trait. As a matter of fact—all remaining life is genetically engineered to be void of emotions.

“Anomaly” iPad Mini Giveaway from Krista McGee

Generations of humans are taught one skill from birth and their goal is to benefit the surviving community through their chosen skill. Aside from the “scientists” they are not allowed to question why—that is the trait of an anomaly!

The story really begins when Thalli is removed from her “pod” for showing emotion over an ancient piece of music. It is then that she meets John—a father of one of the ten original scientists that preserved and genetically modified the human race.

John is hidden away from the pods and from the public. He is kept in seclusion because of his dangerous belief in the great Designer—the creator of all life and emotion.

Thalli also reconnects with a childhood friend who is now a scientist and the two of them start to develop feelings for one another which is considered primitive and is strictly forbidden.

I really enjoyed this story so much that I don’t want to spoil it anymore or spill too much. This is very much a Christian tale so if you’re offended by saving grace then this is NOT the book for you!

If you enjoyed The Hunger Games and you’re looking for something in that genre and you like sci-fi/Christian tales then this one needs to go on your “to be read” pile!
View all my reviews|Read an Excerpt


When Krista McGee isn't living in fictional worlds of her own creation, she lives in Tampa and spends her days as a wife, mom, teacher, and coffee snob. She is also the author of "Anomaly", "First Date", "Starring Me", and "Right Where I Belong".

Connect with Krista
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 Anomaly please visit the Litfuse group by clicking here

Win an iPad Adventure Pack from @SuzanneWFisher | A Big Year for Lily Giveaway Extravaganza!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Suzanne Woods Fisher is celebrating the release of A Big Year for Lilybook three in the beloved Adventures of Lily Lapp series, with a giveaway extravaganza!


One winner will receive:

Twelve winners will receive:

  • Special prizes specially picked by Lily (something new each day)! Suzanne will announce the winners on July 29 on her blog!
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 27th. All winners will be announced July 29th at Suzanne's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Suzanne's blog on the 29th to see if you won one of the fun prizes! (Or better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

A Hopeful Heart: A Booksneeze Review

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Hopeful HeartA Hopeful Heart by Amy Clipston

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Suggested Age: 12+
Genre: Christian, Historical Fiction

I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by this author so I was just a tiny bit surprised that I wasn’t all that enthralled with this book.

I really tried but I just couldn’t find the love for this book. I honestly felt nothing but frustration with the characters.

I thought the mom was very selfish and it bothered me that she let one of her teen daughters go live with someone else so that she could do what she wanted. It bothered me to be honest.

I have sat a good long while on even writing this review so that I could sort my feelings and possibly see if my feelings changed but they haven’t. The writing was great; I just didn’t connect with the characters. I was just angry with Hannah. I can't explain it. 

Hannah Glick lost her husband a couple years back and though she continues to work alongside her brother-in-law in the family owned business—she also chooses to work at a local hotel. It is there that she meets Trey Peterson, a wealthy businessman who is looking to start a bed and breakfast in the area.

Trey and Hannah have something in common—both have lost a spouse and it is that detail in common that draws them together despite the implications that the relationship will have for Hannah and her children. See, Hannah is Amish and Trey is not!

I really have no problems at all with reading a story where the character leaves the Amish faith but this one just bothered me. There isn’t a man alive on this planet that I would be willing to leave my teenage child over. I do understand that she allowed the girl to go live with her grandparents but it just really irks me—can you tell that I keep coming back to this point?

 I really wanted to smack Hannah over her actions.  I really hope that book two gives me some hope!
View all my reviews|Excerpt

Amy Clipston is the best-selling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple best-seller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. She and her family live in North Carolina.

Find out more about Amy on her website at

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

“Anomaly” iPad Mini Giveaway from Krista McGee

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Krista McGee is celebrating the release of Anomaly, the first book in her new YA dystopian series, with an iPad Mini Giveaway!

One winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini
  • A $25 iTunes gift card (download Anomaly to the iPad!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 31st. Winner will be announced at Krista's website on August 2nd.

Spread the word about Krista and her giveaway HERE!

Influencer Review: Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream Skin Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer SPF15

Tuesday, July 2, 2013 Olay Fresh Effects

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finish your daily beauty regimen with the all-in-one solution with 6 skin perfecting benefits:

Product Information
• Refreshes skin instantly
• Brightens for a radiant glow
• Evens tone with a splash of sheer color
• Hydrates for 24 hours
• Smoothes for softer feeling skin
• Protects against UV damage with SPF 15

I love this product! I was scared that it would feel thick and cakey the way foundations do! This product is perfect for light coverage and it covers smooth and feels fantastic!

This is the best tinted moisturizer that I have ever tried and it will be added to my makeup routine from here on out! It is so fast, literally 30-45 seconds and you're done! I also love the smell however, I think some people make be put off by the floral scent.

Pros for me
-Light coverage
-SPF 15
-Very smooth and moisturizing!

There are no real cons for me for this product however I do feel as it still needs to be set with just a little bit of powder if you want to finish the look! Overall it gets 5 of 5 stars from me for being a tinted moisturizer. If you're looking for very light coverage that feels like a nice facial cream rather than foundation then this is the product for you!


This was a complimentary gift from the Influenster Program in the Sunkissed VoxBox! I was not required to write a positive review. The views and opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Discovery: A Review of A Vow for Always

A Vow for Always (Discovery #6)A Vow for Always by Wanda E. Brunstetter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Vow for Always is the conclusion to Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Discovery series and I have absolutely loved the story line!

Once again I, in good conscious, must say that I’m still not pleased with how much these little 124 pages novellas cost.

However, aside from monetary value and in terms of the story line it is definitely a 5-star read! It’s been a pleasure to be given the opportunity to read these and I thank Barbour Publishing for letting me review them!

Following the birth of her son, Meredith is finally moving on with her life. To the dismay of her Mother-In-Law she is seeing Jonah—an old friend from years gone by. I thought there were times with Luke’s mother was downright despicable in how she treated Meredith and even to Jonah! OI! That woman sure knew how to get under my skin!

Luke is hurling straight forward to complete recovery and his memory is returning very quickly—but will he be in time to get to Meredith before she walks down the aisle with Jonah? Oh, the nail biting tension that was culminating in this book! It had me on the edge of my seat even though I logically knew that things would turn out as they should!

I really can’t brag enough about the story. It kept me engaged throughout all six of the novellas and I read through them all in just two days. I was rooting for Meredith and Luke to get back together and pulling for the perfect resolution to the circumstances that pulled them apart in the first place!

An absolutely fantastic and light summer read that will pull you into the lives of these characters. You may feel anger and at times—sadness but that is just proof of such a well written story! Two thumbs up and 5 stars for the story line!
View all my reviews|Excerpt


Goodbye to Yesterday The Silence of WinterA Revelation in Autumn
The Pieces of SummerThe Silence of WinterA Vow for Always

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.

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