Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sweet Sanctuary by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Review)

A Story of Hope and Love Set Against the Backdrop of World War II

Lydia Eldredge longs to provide sanctuary for her young son, Nicky. But a constant threat comes from Nicky's drug-addicted father, who wants the boy and seems willing to do whatever it takes to get him.

Dr. Micah Hatcher faithfully serves the immigrant population of Queens, New York. But under cover of darkness, he has a secret mission that challenges everything he thought he wanted out of life.

When Lydia and Micah's paths cross, they are suddenly wrapped up in each other's callings. Together, they seek a refuge of safety--for Nicky, for themselves, and for the needy people God puts into their lives. Amid turmoil and discord, can hope and love prevail?

I GIVE THIS BOOK:1 star1 star1-1/2 stars

MY THOUGHTS:
Sweet Sanctuary started out great and was really interesting until about a third of the way into it, then it just became very tedious and predictable. Everything that either Lydia or Micah could misinterpret, they did - which got to be quite annoying.

I love books set during WWII and thought that it made the perfect setting for this tale. It was amazing to me how people were kept in the dark about a lot of the horrors inflicted upon people of Jewish descent by Hitler, since nowadays I think almost everyone knows how he wanted to completely obliterate them. 

Something that really didn't make sense to me was how on page 126 Micah decides he's going to ask Lydia something, even though it doesn't seem rational to him for him to do it, then he doesn't ask her and it isn't explained why he doesn't, which was both strange and aggravating.

The ending, while nice, was very abrupt to me. So I would love to see a sequel to it, maybe something that would also expand the story about Micah's brothers.

Overall, this was a nice one-time read, but one I would recommend people borrow before buying. If you are looking for a book set during WWII this one would fit the bill, but it's not the best one set during this time that I have read. 

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***

If you found this review helpful, will you please click yes HERE. Thanks!

BOOK DETAILS
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (April 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076420789X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764207891
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Available to purchase at Amazon | B&N | CBD




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Monday, April 29, 2013

Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd (Review & Giveaway)


From the acclaimed author of To Die For comes a stirring novel told that sheds new light on Elizabeth I and her court.

Like Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, Sandra Byrd has attracted countless fans for evoking the complexity, grandeur, and brutality of the Tudor period. In her latest tour de force, she poses the question: What happens when serving a queen may cost you your marriage—or your life?

In 1565, seventeen-year-old Elin von Snakenborg leaves Sweden on a treacherous journey to England. Her fiancĂ© has fallen in love with her sister and her dowry money has been gambled away, but ahead of her lies an adventure that will take her to the dizzying heights of Tudor power. Transformed through marriage into Helena, the Marchioness of Northampton, she becomes the highest-ranking woman in Elizabeth’s circle. But in a court that is surrounded by Catholic enemies who plot the queen’s downfall, Helena is forced to choose between her unyielding monarch and the husband she’s not sure she can trust—a choice that will provoke catastrophic consequences.

Vividly conjuring the years leading up to the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots, Roses Have Thorns is a brilliant exploration of treason, both to the realm and to the heart.

I GIVE THIS BOOK:1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star

MY THOUGHTS:
Roses Have Thorns, the third installment of the Ladies in Waiting series, is actually the first book I have read by Sandra Byrd, but it won't be my last! This author's passion for the Tudor era is evident throughout the book and the research she must have done is phenomenal! I loved learning more about this time in history and about lesser-known people who were a part of Elizabeth I's court.

Though Roses Have Thorns spans many decades, the story is never dull or bogged down, but moves along at a very enjoyable pace. In fact, once I started it I hated having to put this book down, and so I finished it rather quickly - in a little over a day.

I highly recommend Roses Have Thorns to fans of historical fiction. I hope to be able to read the first two books in this series, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, very soon; but, I don't think these books have to be read in order - especially if you already know about this period in British history - as each one is about a different queen.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***

If you found this review helpful, will you please click yes HERE. Thanks!

BOOK DETAILS:
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Howard Books; Original edition (April 9, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439183163
ISBN-13: 978-1439183168
Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
Available to purchase at Amazon | B&N | CBD

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than forty books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick for 2011 and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012. Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I, will publish in April, 2013.

Sandra has also published dozens of books for tweens and teens.

A former textbook acquisitions editor, Sandra has also published many nonfiction articles and books. She is also passionate about helping new writers develop their talent and their work toward traditional or self publication. As such, she has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to coach dozens to success each year.

Please visit www.sandrabyrd.com to learn more, or to invite Sandra to your bookclub via Skype.
Connect with Sandra on Twitter (@sandrabyrd) and Facebook

GIVEAWAY!
To be entered to win Roses Have Thorns, complete the mandatory entries in the Rafflecopter form below. After you complete the mandatory entries, more will be unlocked and you may complete which ever of those you would like. Giveaway open to U.S. only and ends on May 15th at 11:59 p.m. (EST). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Chrysalis by Michelle Cornwell-Jordan (Cover Reveal)


Picture


Chrysalis by Michelle Cornwell-Jordan



YA Paranormal Novel 

Set to release Summer 2013 


Add to Goodreads



About The Book:
After the war between Man and the Supernatural. The world settled back into a harmonious rhythm. Man and Preternatural existing side by side, building a society that was technologically advanced and beneficial to both kinds. Ruled by ThunderKins(Children of the Sun). But there was dissatisfaction in several of the Divisions one of Fire and the other Rain. (Fire) Division did not accept the rule of ThunderKin. The Thunderkin heir was targeted for destruction, believing this would cause the Thunderkin rule to be overthrown. So Chaos was birth and Chaos had a name….Ayda.

Ayda Blackhawk was the beautiful, mysterious new girl at Eagle Ridge High School, in the Mountain Division of the New World, She was not there to make friends but to bring destruction. Her assignment? To kill the Thunderkin heir. But Ayda meets Adrian the ThunderKin leader, and through a twist of fate, the rules change which places Ayda, Adrian and their world at the cross roads to either destruction or redemption.

The cover was created by the amazing (Amy Rooney-CVWriterDesigns) 
Website: http://www.courtneyvail.com/

Photography by the fantabulous (Tiffany McDonald- Anecdote Photography) 
Website: http://www.anecdotephotography.com/home.html

Big Hug and Much Gratitude to the very awesome duo Models
Jessica Becerra - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/jessica.becerra12?fref=ts


PictureMichelle Cornwell-Jordan is a Young Adult/ New Adult author.

Her titles include a co-written work with Danny Jones called Reahket, her solo young adult novella series Night School Vampire Hunter Trilogy and a contribution to the Her Story Anthology released March 08, 2013 (Pagans Writers Press)

She is also the producer/host of the online radio segment, IndieReview Behind the Scenes, where she and her co-host Jamie B Musings interview Indie authors and musicians.

Michelle has been married for seventeen years and has a fourteen-year-old daughter. A book lover, her favorite genre has always been paranormal adventures.

Friday, April 26, 2013

CFBA Tour: When The Morning Glory Blooms by Cynthia Ruchti

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
When The Morning Glory Blooms
Abingdon Press (April 1, 2013)
by
Cynthia Ruchti


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cynthia writes stories of hope that glows in the dark, merging her love for storytelling with inextinguishable hope for inexpressible hurts.

Cynthia spends her days diving into words, worship, and wonder and celebrating 40 years of marriage, three grown children, and five outrageously adorable grandchildren. One of her greatest joys is helping other writers grow in their craft. To that end, she served as the assistant director and a faculty member of the Quad Cities Christian Writers Conference, has served as worship and devotions staff for the Write-to-Publish conference, and teaches at other conferences as opportunities arise. She speaks to women’s groups, at mother-daughter banquets, and for women’s refresher days and retreats. It is her delight to serve on her church’s worship team. Rather than “busy,” she likes the term “active.”

For 33 years, Cynthia wrote and produced the radio broadcast The Heartbeat of the Home. The scripted radio drama/devotional broadcast aired on as many as 50 radio stations and two cable/digital television stations over the years. Cynthia was the editor of the ministry’s Backyard Friends magazine, a twenty-page, twice annual publication that reached 5,000 homes, churches, and parachurch outreaches.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Becky rocks a baby that rocked her world. Sixty years earlier, with her fiancé Drew in the middle of the Korean Conflict, Ivy throws herself into her work at a nursing home to keep her sanity and provide for the child Drew doesn't know is coming. Ivy cares for Anna, an elderly patient who taxes Ivy's listening ear until the day she suspects Anna's tall tales are not the ramblings of dementia. They're fragments of Anna's disjointed memories of a remarkable life. Finding a faint thread of hope she can't resist tugging, Ivy records Anna's memoir, scribbling furiously after hours to keep up with the woman's emotion-packed, grace-hemmed stories. Is Ivy's answer buried in Anna's past? Becky, Ivy, Anna--three women fight a tangled vine of deception in search of the blossoming simplicity of truth.

If you would like to read the first chapter of When The Morning Glory Blooms, go HERE.


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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

CFBA Tour: A Healing Heart by Angela Breidenbach (Review)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Healing Heart
Abingdon Press (April 1, 2013)
by
Angela Breidenbach


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Angela Breidenbach is a speaker/coach in mental and physical health, author of A Healing Heart April 2013 from Abingdon Press in the Quilts of Love series, Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life, Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance, and Creative Cooking for Colitis. Other works by Angela include compilation books and devotionals from Guidepost, Group, and articles in magazines, ezines, and newspapers. She is certified in mentor/peer counseling as a CTA life coach, as a Stephen Minister, and a weight loss/nutrition coach. Angela serves as an assisting minister (worship/prayer leader) for her congregation in Missoula, MT. Not only did she walk the hard line of deciding to donate her mom’s brain for the study of schizophrenia, but she’s also on the brain donation list at the Brain Bank-Harvard McLean Hospital.

ABOUT THE BOOK


Mara Keegan is an uber-successful mother and a widow of three years. She's been chasing success and all the "good things in life" for her family to make up for the cruel whim God played on them by taking her husband. In an effort to be the perfect mom, she decides to make a photo memory quilt, a graduation present for her daughter, Cadence.

She’s not yet finished when she experiences a heart attack. While Mara recuperates, she revisits the choices she's made that led to this physically and spiritually broken heart. The memory quilt must be finished in time for Cadence's big day, but Mara struggles with her burgeoning feelings for the man who must keep Mara's business going during her recovery, Joel Ryan. Can Joel find his way into Mara's heart and onto Cadence's quilt?

I GIVE THIS BOOK: 1 star1 star1 star1 star

MY THOUGHTS:
This is the second book I've read from the Quilts of Love series and I am really enjoying them! I especially like how each book is a stand alone novel and the only thing that connects the books is that the character(s) are making a quilt. I have always thought quilts are beautiful and have wanted to learn how to make them for a long time, but have never taken the time to do it...this series of books sure is making want to learn soon!

I loved the whole idea of a memory quilt and thought it was so sweet.

I loved how Joel just jumped right in and helped out, even when Mara tried to not let him :)

This was the first book I read by Angela Breidenbach, but I'm looking forward to reading more of her books.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***
If you would like to read the first chapter of A Healing Heart, go HERE


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Waiting on Wednesday (April 24, 2013)


Hosted by Breaking the Spine

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Howard Books (April 30, 2013)



A transporting historical novel about a promising young inventor, his struggle with loss, and the attractive teacher who changes his life, all set against the razzle-dazzle of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Gambling everything, including the family farm, Cullen McNamara travels to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with his most recent invention. But the noise in the Fair’s Machinery Palace makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading.

The young teacher is reluctant to participate, and Cullen has trouble keeping his mind on his lessons while intently watching her lips. Like the newly invented Ferris Wheel, he is caught in a whirl between his girl back home, his dreams as an inventor, and his unexpected attraction to his new tutor. Can he keep his feet on the ground, or will he be carried away?


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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cupcake Giveway

To celebrate the release of  Sweet Sanctuary Kim Vogel Sawyer is giving away a Cupcake Club membership (monthly cupcake delivery!) from the amazing Magnolia Bakery in New York and hosting a Facebook Author Chat party {4/30}!


Sweet-Sanctuary-giveaway300

One "sweet" winner will receive:
    • Cupcakes from NYC’s Magnolia Bakery delivered to your door every month. (Eat them all yourself or share!)
    • Sweet Sanctuary by Kim Vogel Sawyer for you and four of your friends. (Start a book group — cupcakes and a "sweet" read!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 29th. Winner will be announced at the "Sweet Sanctuary" Author Chat Party on 4/30. Connect with Kim, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be fun giveaways - gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of Sweet Sanctuary and join Kim on the evening of April 30th 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 today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 30th!

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CFBA Tour: Josiah's Treasure by Nancy Herriman

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Josiah's Treasure
Worthy Publishing (April 16, 2013)
by
Nancy Herriman


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Nancy Herriman abandoned a career in Engineering to chase around two small children and take up the pen. She has been writing for longer than she would like to admit. Her work has been a finalist in several Romance Writers of America contests and she won the 2006 RWA Daphne du Maurier award for Best Unpublished Mystery/Romantic Suspense. In 2009, she was an ACFW Genesis finalist. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

When she is not writing, or gabbing over lattes about writing, she is either watching history shows on cable TV or singing. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and sons, and wishes there were more hours in the day.



ABOUT THE BOOK

In 1882, Sarah Whittier dreams of opening an art studio run by immigrant women. She plans to use the house left to her by family friend Josiah Cady as collateral for her studio. But will all be lost when the inheritance is challenged by an angry man claiming to be Josiah's son and legal heir? Rumor of gold nuggets hidden in the house, place Sarah's life in danger. Her future uncertain and her safety threatened, Sarah has nowhere to turn. That is, unless she can soften a vengeful man's heart-and they both learn that love is finer than any gold.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Josiah's Treasure, go HERE.


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Waiting on Wednesday (April 17, 2013)


Hosted by Breaking the Spine

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Zondervan (May 7, 2013)

Once Upon a Prince, the first novel in the Royal Wedding series by bestselling author Rachel Hauck, treats you to a modern-day fairy tale.

Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess---just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn’t going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.

The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon’s Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family’s tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna’s aid under the fabled Lover’s Oak, he is blindsided by love.

Their lives are worlds apart. He’s a royal prince. She’s a ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation.



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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Love the Wounded by Lynn Dove (Book Blast & $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway)

“Love the Wounded” by Lynn Dove is the final and dramatic conclusion to her brilliant Wounded Trilogy series that has followed the lives of teenagers Jake, Leigh, Mike, Dylan and Tim as they come to terms with a series of tragedies and events that have made each of them question why God allows “bad things to happen to good people”. Leigh does not know who to choose…her heart tells her she will always love Jake, but he has changed so much since the death of their friend, Ronnie, and with his mother going through breast cancer, he has totally closed himself off from her emotionally. Now she is dating Dylan and try as she might to accept him for who he is, she can’t stop thinking about Jake! Dylan has never gotten over the loss of his father and little sister, killed by a drunk driver when he was just a young boy. After a horrific accident that has put both Tim and his little brother, Evan in the hospital, everyone knows that not only is he being bullied at school; he cuts himself to cope with it all. But meeting Cassidy has given him the courage to stand up to the bullies and at the same time give her what she so desperately needs…a life-giving bone marrow transplant. Jake’s mother keeps telling him that “God works all things out for good” but with all the things going on in his life and with his friends, he’s just not sure anymore. It is only after Mike is paralyzed in a car accident that Jake was partially responsible for that all the families and friends will be brought back together, not by coincidence, but by God’s design and then Jake will finally believe that God truly does “Love the Wounded”. “A life of working with youth has inspired Lynn Dove, a Cochrane mother to turn her experiences into a book trilogy…(the Wounded Trilogy) series that parallels the struggles of students…(and) covers the angst of some of the real serious issues that teenagers face today, particularly with bullying and gossip. ” -Rocky View Weekly-

About Lynn Dove:
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Lynn Dove calls herself a Christ-follower, a wife, a mom, a grandmother, a teacher and a writer (in that order). She is the author of award winning books: The Wounded Trilogy. Her blog, Journey Thoughts won a Canadian Christian Writing Award - 2011. She has also had essays published in "Mother of Pearl: Luminous Lessons and Iridescent Faith" and "Chicken Soup for the Soul - Parenthood" (March 2013). Readers may connect with Lynn on Facebook, Twitter and on her blogs: Journey Thoughts and Word Salt or on her website: www.shootthewounded.org

Follow Lynn Dove Website | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Lynn Dove! 

This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!


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