Monday, June 22, 2015

Review: Exodus by Cliff Graham

Title: Exodus
Author: Cliff Graham
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 303
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1475-2
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015

Synopsis:
Caleb and Joshua Roar to Life in this High-Impact Old Testament Saga

Two men were brave enough to tell the truth about what awaited the Hebrews in Canaan. This is their story. From the slave pits of Egypt to the efforts of an eighty-five-year-old Caleb as he drives out the last of the giants, Shadow of the Mountain is a vivid portrait of two of God's chosen champions, and a meditation on masculine mentorship and the challenges and blessings of growing older.

For the sake of his new God and his loyalty to his friend Joshua, Caleb will not spend his twilight years resting, but taking the battle to the enemies of God's people until his dying breath. From his early days as a mercenary for Pharaoh in Egypt watching the Hebrews suffer under the yoke of slavery, all the way through a desperate fight with giants in the dark forests of the hill country, this is a story filled with epic battles, gritty intensity, and supernatural events that made Graham's Lion of War series a hit. Shadow of the Mountain is sure to ignite a love for the Old Testament in popular culture.
Review:
Cliff Graham has an amazing talent for telling a story. He has a way to bring it across in a lifelike fashion that sucks you into the pages. And in the process get across an important message of faith. In his writing, you can tell how important his faith is, and his hope for others to have that same faith.

Another aspect of Cliff's writing that I like, is the grittiness. I say grittiness, but it's lifelike. Life isn't going to be roses and with the topics he focuses on and the era the story is set, it was a dark and violent time. He states in the beginning it was a brutal time. I'm glad he shows it in his writing, because it makes the impact of the miracles that happen all the more important.

I started reading Exodus and was captured up into the Caleb's story immediately. You're launched into the story in what would be Caleb's present time and we fall back into time to follow him on his journey to Egypt and experience what he went through during his time with the Exodus. Because there isn't a whole lot of his story in the Bible for his early life, the life of Caleb is a lot of fiction, but it is done so well. The research of what all happened during this time is done so well, the fiction with the history of the Bible are woven together well.

If I wasn't already a fan of Cliff Graham's writing, this would had solidified it. The depth and intensity of the story is phenomenal and I can't wait to read more.

Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
Cliff Graham is a former soldier and officer in the United States Army who now spends his time writing, speaking, and operating a growing series of media franchises. A graduate from Black Hills State University with degrees in political science and military science, he wrote his Lion of War series while working as a youth pastor. He currently lives in the mountains of Utah with his wife, Cassandra, and their children, and speaks to churches, men's groups, and conferences all over the United States.
He can be found online at www.cliffgraham.com.




Thank you to Bethany House, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Review: Shadow of Ladenbrooke by Melanie Dobson (Litfuse Blog Tour & Review)

Title: Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor
Author: Melanie Dobson
Publisher: Howard Books
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781476746142
Publication Date: June 16th, 2015

Synopsis: 
When Heather Toulson returns to her parents’ cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.

Libby, a free spirit who can’t be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver’s death.

Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family’s cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She’s mourning her father’s passing but can’t let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family’s belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family’s history.

Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways.
Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.
Review:
I discovered Melanie Dobson's books last year. It was a great discovery for 2014 and once I heard she had a new story coming out, I jumped at the chance the read it.

This story had such a wonderful mix and ended up being such an enjoyable read. It really was a story that had something in it for almost everyone. It had your contemporary story line, mixed with a touch of mystery. It had the historical fiction running parallel, it also had an amazing background set to an old English cottage in the countryside. Then there was also the sweet romance that was incorporated as well.

Melanie has a fantastic story that can weave all of these aspects together in her story flawlessly. Plus, the amount of research that she puts into her story is a delight, it shows on every page and helps bring you further in to the lives of these characters. I had a hard time setting down this book because, I really wanted to know the who, what, where, where, and why of it all. It had me hooked.

Waiting for new releases can be hard, but in so many cases, they are worth the wait. Shadows of Ladenbrook Manor is one that was worth the wait!

Too Read
4.5 out of 5

About the Author:
Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of thirteen historical romance, suspense, and contemporary novels. Two of her novels won Carol Awards in 2011, and "Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana" won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010. Melanie lives with her husband Jon and two daughters near Portland, Oregon.








Thank you to Litfuse and Howard Books, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Waiting On Wednesday: On This Foundation

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. 
Each week offers the opportunity to spotlight an up-and-coming release that you are most excited about. 

Waiting On:
Title: On This Foundation
Author: Lynn Austin
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: October 6th, 2015

Synopsis:
From GoodReads
The Powerful Concluding Novel
to The Restoration Chronicles

When news that the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire, Nehemiah, Jewish cupbearer to King Artaxerxes in Persia, seeks God's guidance. After fasting and prayer, he's given leave to travel to Jerusalem and rebuild the city wall, not anticipating all the dangers that await him on his arrival.

The leaders of the surrounding nations become his fierce enemies, plotting to assassinate him and halt the work. A drought, meanwhile, has left the country impoverished, many families resorting to selling their children as bondservants just to keep from starving.

Capturing the rebuilding of the wall through the eyes of a number of characters, On This Foundation is a powerful exploration of faith in the midst of oppression, and hope that, in spite of appearances, the gracious hand of God is upon those who believe.
Why I'm Waiting:
I am a massive fan of Lynn Austin and her stories. She writes such detailed and gripping stories. It is an amazing experience when reading her stories. The research she puts in her work is evident and she makes stories come to life. I can't wait to finish this series. I've been with it since it first came out and it has been an emotional journey.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticpated for the Rest of 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Each week features a books related topic that offers the opportunity to spotlight your Top Ten.

Topic:
Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015

 I've been a slow this year in reading the books I want to, but the amount of books I want keeps growing. Goodness, 2015 has been a fantastic book year so far! Here are some more books, that will be coming out for the later half of this year.

 
1. On this Foundation by Lynn Austin 
2. Luther &Katharina by Jody Hedlund
3. The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay
4. At Love's Bidding by Regina Jennings
5. The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz

6. In Good Company by Jen Turano

 7. Valley of Decision by Lynne Gentry
8. Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden
9. Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin
10. Falling like Snowflakes by Denise Hunter
11. The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert

I'm telling you, 2015 has just been an amazing for books and I can't wait for the second half of this year!

What are you looking forward to?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Review: How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck

Title: How to Catch a Prince
Author: Rachel Hauck
Publisher: Zondervan
Pages: 368
ISBN: 978-0-310-31554-4
Publication Date: February 24th, 2015

Synopsis:
 Corina Del Rey is happy with her life in Melbourne, Florida. She spends her days engrossed in her career as a journalist and has her sights set on climbing the corporate ladder-if for no other reason, to distract herself from her dissolving family. But when she is confronted with the past she fought so hard to put behind her, she struggles to make sense of her future.
Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom has moved on since the tragic death of his buddies in Afghanistan. A star professional rugby player, he has no intention of looking over his shoulder at what could've been.

But when a notice arrives in the mail requiring his and his wife's appearance before the courts to dissolve their marriage, he must deal with the questions rumbling around in his heart. He thought his marriage had been annulled long ago, but his memories of Corina Del Rey remain close. Does he still love her? Can he even find her? Above all, can he tell her the truth about that fateful night in Afghanistan seven years ago? If he does, he might really lose her forever.
 Review:
I have to admit sadly, that this is the first book I've read by Rachel Hauck, I have all the rest of her books sitting on my TBR shelf as I type, and I could kick myself for waiting so long to read her books!

How to Catch a Prince was just a fantastic story. I didn't know what to expect when diving into the pages, but I was pleasantly surprised as I worked my way through. This wasn't just some fluffy romance. No! There was so much more to it. The depth of the characters and the emotions and issues they have to work through, and the fact that their faith play a big part. They show that when you have one set of plans, God looks at them and says...yeah, no. He has plans for us, and when we let them happen, it will be so much better then what we could have planned for ourselves.

I really enjoyed this book and the contemporary fairy tale feel of it, because really, every girl would love to find her own prince, real royal title or not. This book just captured me up into Stephen and Corina's story. The writing was just amazing and the characters worked so well together. I can't wait to go back and read the other two books in this series. This book was a delight in so many ways!!

Too Read
4 out of 5

About the Author:
Rachel Hauck is an award winning, bestselling author. Her book, The Wedding Dress, was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times, and Once Upon A Prince was a Christy Award finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and two pets and writes from her ivory tower.







Thank you to BookLook, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday: The Mistress of Tall Acre

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.
Each week offers the opportunity to spotlight an up-and-coming release that you are most excited about!

Waiting On:
Title: The Mistress of Tall Acre
Author: Laura Frantz
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: September 8th, 2015

Synopsis:
From GoodReads
The American Revolution is finally over, and Sophie Menzies is starved for good news. When her nearest neighbor, General Seamus Ogilvy, finally comes home to Tall Acre, she hopes it is a sign of better days to come. But the general is now a widower with a small daughter in desperate need of a mother. Nearly destitute, Sophie agrees to marry Seamus and become the mistress of Tall Acre in what seems a safe, sensible arrangement. But when a woman from the general's past returns without warning, the ties that bind this fledgling family together will be strained to the utmost. When all is said and done, who will be the rightful mistress of Tall Acre?

Triumph and tragedy, loyalty and betrayal--readers find it all in the rich pages of this newest historical novel from the talented pen of Laura Frantz. Her careful historical details immerse the reader in the story world, and her emotional writing and finely tuned characters never cease to enchant fans both old and new.
Why I'm Waiting:
I love Laura Frantz books. Each one has offered a such a new and original story with fresh characters that are so easy to love or hate, and then there is the rich historical background in each of her books. How I love that! I look forward to any new release she has coming out and I can't wait for this one!

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Review: The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker

Title: The Choosing
Author: Rachelle Dekker
Publisher: Tyndale
Pages: 464
ISBN: 978-1-4964-0224-0
Publication Date: May 19th, 2015

Synopsis:
“Not to be Chosen would yield a cruel fate of my own making.”
Like all citizens since the Ruining, Carrington Hale knows the importance of this day. But she never expected the moment she’d spent a lifetime preparing for—her Choosing ceremony—would end in disaster. Ripped from her family, she’ll spend her days serving as a Lint, the lowest level of society. She knows it’s her duty to follow the true way of the Authority.

But as Carrington begins this nightmare, rumors of rebellion rattle her beliefs. The whispers contradict everything she’s been told; yet they resonate deep within.

Then Carrington is offered an unprecedented chance at the life she’s always dreamed of, but she can’t shake the feeling that it may be an illusion. With a killer targeting Lints and corruption threatening the highest levels of the Authority, Carrington must uncover the truth before it destroys her.
Review:
 I have to say that The Choosing was such an original idea for a story. The creativity to the setting and the creation of this new futuristic America was so detailed, it caught me up from the first page.

Rachelle has a talent for writing just like her dad. Her world building and the flow of the story is just fantastic. There was a richness and depth to the characters and Rachelle made sure in her writing that you weren't standing on the sidelines watching, but you were apart of the story. There were many times while reading that I felt heartbroken for Carrington as she had to adjust to so much change, and not that of her surroundings, but that of how she was treated by people she grew up with, and by the ones she always thought cared about her.

This new world is one that is terrifying. The extreme views of the leaders made me cringe and the hold that they had on people. As I started to dive deeper into the story, I wondered how events led up to that. I have to say, that the telling of this story answered my questions as they popped up. It was the perfect layout and it kept me pushing forward to find out more. Then...it ended! Oh, how I didn't want it to end.

Remko, Larkin, Aaron, are just some of the other characters in the book who play such imporant rolls in Carrington's life and journey. Each were different, but offered so much to the story.

I can't wait for the next in the series to come out!

Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
The oldest daughter of "New York Times" bestselling author Ted Dekker, Rachelle Dekker was inspired early on to discover truth through storytelling. She graduated with a degree in communications and spent several years in marketing and corporate recruiting before making the transition to write full time. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Daniel, and their diva cat Blair. Visit her online at www.rachelledekker.com.






Thank you to the Tyndale Blog Network, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.