Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Review: The Hearts We Mend by Kathyrn Springer (Litfuse Blog Tour)

Title: The Hearts We Mend
Author: Kathryn Springer
Publisher: Zondervan
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780310339724
Publication Date: March 8th, 2016

Synopsis:
Planning and Post-It notes are the epitome of Evie’s life. But when she meets Jack, her life gets more than a little complicated.

Thirteen years ago, Evie’s firefighter husband was killed in the line of duty, leaving her to raise their young son, Cody, alone. Now, Cody is marrying the love of his life, and as he packs up his belongings, the house feels as empty as Evie’s heart. But for all her planning and mad organizational skills, Evie could never have anticipated the dramatic shift her life is about to make.

Tattooed, rough-around-the-edges Jack raises quite a few eyebrows in the tight-knit community of Banister Falls. Where Evie’s life is stream-lined, Jack’s approach to living is moment-by-moment. But as Evie gets drawn into Jack’s world—a world that isn’t as safe or predictable as the one she’s worked so hard to create—he challenges her to open her eyes to the problems outside the walls of the church.

Jack doesn’t make Evie feel comfortable, but he definitely makes her feel something. Something she hasn’t felt since Max passed away—or, maybe ever. Because even though Jack isn’t anything like her late husband, he just might be everything she needs.
Review:
Can I just start off by saying, how gorgeous the cover is! Oh, my! It looks like a movie cover. It grabs the attention for all the right reasons.

Now, on to the story. I fell in love with The Dandelion Field last year. It was one of my most favorite stories of the year. It was left in a way where I thought it was a standalone book, and I hoped that there would be more. Thankfully there is!

The Hearts We Mend is such a fantastic addition to the series. This book focuses on Evie, Cody's mom from TDF. When we met her in the first book, she had been hit with a lot and came off a bit cold and closed off. It was hard to warm up to her, but by the end of TDF, I liked her and understood where she was coming from. In The Hearts We Mend, we dive all the way into who Evie is and what her life is like and how it gets thrown into disarray when Jack comes into her life.

Jack and Evie are opposite of each other, but also in a way very similar. There story was good and kept you reading and wanting to find out more! Jack I thought was a lot of fun and I thought the interactions between him and Evie were good.

This was a fantastic read!
Too Read!
4.5 out of 5

About the Author:
Kathryn Springer is a USA Today bestselling author. She grew up in northern Wisconsin, where her parents published a weekly newspaper. As a child she spent many hours sitting at her mother's typewriter, plunking out stories, and credits her parents for instilling in her a love of books – which eventually turned into a desire to tell stories of her own. Kathryn has written nineteen books with close to two million copies sold. She lives with her husband and three children in Marinette, Wisconsin.





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


Monday, March 21, 2016

Review: Miriam by Mesu Andrews

Title: Miriam
Author: Mesu Andrews
Publisher: Water Brooke Press
Pages: 384
ISBN: 978-1-60142-601-7
Publication Date: March 15th, 2016

Synopsis:
The Hebrews call me prophetess, the Egyptians a seer.
But I am neither. I am simply a watcher of Israel
and the messenger of El Shaddai.
When He speaks to me in dreams, I interpret. When He whispers a melody, I sing.

At eighty-six, Miriam had devoted her entire life to loving El Shaddai and serving His people as both midwife and messenger. Yet when her brother Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he brings a disruptive message. God has a new name – Yahweh – and has declared a radical deliverance for the Israelites.

 Miriam and her beloved family face an impossible choice: cling to familiar bondage or embrace uncharted freedom at an unimaginable cost. Even if the Hebrews survive the plagues set to turn the Nile to blood and unleash a maelstrom of frogs and locusts, can they weather the resulting fury of the Pharaoh?

Enter an exotic land where a cruel Pharaoh reigns, pagan priests wield black arts, and the Israelites cry out to a God they only think they know.
Review:
I have been looking forward to reading Miriam for a while. I was thrilled when it showed up in the mail. I dove right in. I have to say, the story just flowed and really expanded on the life that the Israelites lived during their time in Egypt. Mesu Andrews research really shines in this story.

Miriam starts off 40 years after Moses had left Egypt and fled to the wilderness. Miriam is caring for  her family as best she can with help of her nephew. Her passion for caring has led her to be a midwife and care for the families in her area. Miriam is a woman with a gentle spirit and loves the Lord. She is now a prophetess sharing the visions that the Lord has spoken to her. I really enjoyed reading about Miriam. She was a a very strong character.

Mesu Andrews has such an amazing talent. She is able to bring back to life these important people of the Bible, keep the story true, and make them so real, you can imagine knowing someone like them. The details to this story just make the story pop off the page. Miriam was an amazing addition to the Daughter of the Nile series.

Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
Mesu Andrews is the award-winning author of Love Amid the Ashes and numerous other novels including The Pharaoh’s Daughter. Her deep understanding of–and love for– God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for readers. Mesu lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Roy and enjoys traveling to visit her growing tribe of grandchildren.


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


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Review: The Calling by Rachelle Dekker (Blog Tour)

Title: The Calling
Author: Rachelle Dekker
Publisher: Tyndale House
Pages: 317
ISBN: 978-1-4964-0227-1
Published: March 8th, 2016

Synopsis:
 Remko Brant had never been so sure of anything as escaping the Authority City with Carrington Hale. But bravado comes easy when you have nothing to lose. Now a husband, father, and the tactical leader of the Seers, Remko has never had so much at risk.

As he and his team execute increasingly dangerous rescue missions inside the city, they face growing peril from a new enemy. Recently appointed Authority President Damien Gold claims to be guiding a city shaken by rebellion into a peaceful, harmonious future. But appearances can be deceiving. In order to achieve his dangerous ambitions, Gold knows he must do more than catch the rebels―he must destroy the hope their message represents . . . from the inside out.

With dissension in his own camp―and the CityWatch soldiers closing in―Remko feels control slipping through his fingers. To protect those he loves, he must conquer his fears and defeat Gold . . . before one of them becomes his undoing.
Review:
I have been anticipating The Calling since the end of The Choose, Rachelle Dekker's first book in this Seer series. The wait was worth it!

We were introduced to Remko in The Choosing. And through Carrington's eyes, I wasn't sure what to make of him. I had an inking by the end of the book and The Calling there were no more questions to who he was.

I enjoyed having his perspective. Most dystopian stories focus on one perspective, here, the view is expanded, and through that, the world that we are diving into is opened up to far more avenues. The world in The Calling opened up far more, it offered an even bigger picture of the this way of living. The way that fear is control and control is power. To live, fear is apart of life in some aspect or another. Carrington showed us what fear was like with her whole world changing in first book. Here, Remko is showing what fear is like from someone who works for the government, to help keep order over the ones he watches out for and for his higher ups to keep him in line.

As you read, you  can relate to this. You can relate to fear. Everyone has experienced fear in some form or fashion, and that is what draws you further into the pages. The suspense. The wanting to know.

Rachelle Dekker has an amazing talent for crafting such an intricate world and making it feel real and a bit terrifying. She is able to draw you in and keep you in her story till the last page. It is a fresh and fast paced story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I can't wait to what will happen in the next book!

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.





 Author Q&A:
-Remko struggles with his anger often throughout the book. Is this expression of anger connected to his fears? If so, how?
Anger is just a natural reaction to the circumstances Remko faces. Sometimes being afraid can stir up anger because it makes us feel weak or out of control. This is definitely true for Remko in The Calling.
-Do you think men and women express and handle fear differently? If so, how?
I believe people handle fear differently, and that gender doesn’t always play a role. I believe more often than not we are all the same, and that we should be encouraged that we never really face anything alone.
-Do you relate to any of the characters in The Calling in terms of how you’ve faced and handled fear in your life? How so?
Of course, every character I write ends up having some reflections of things I’ve faced personally. You can only write what you know, as they say. I, very much like Remko, have the tendency to be in “my head” too much when faced with fear, and I struggle to let go of the need for control and simply surrender. That’s one of the main reasons I decided to write this story.
-What can readers expect in the final book of the series?
Characters they know and some new ones I hope they’ll love! More questions of identity, and fear, but the characters will also be looking at forgiveness and letting go. I’m really happy with the way the final book played out, and I’m hoping readers will be as well.


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