Ибо так возлюбил Бог мир, что отдал Сына Своего Единородного, дабы всякий верующий в Него, не погиб, но имел хизнь вечную.
While I receive many books in exchange for review, I am never required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Review: A Talent for Trouble by Jen Turano

{Back of the Book} "For years, Miss Felicia Murdock's every thought and action have been in pursuit of becoming a minister's wife. When the minister she'd set her sights on has other ideas, she decides something in her life needs to change--and soon--before she wastes any more time pretending to be someone she's not. If that means spreading her wings and embracing a more lively way of life, who's to say nay?

Grayson Sumner, Lord Sefton, has had more than enough of spreading his wings and only hopes to settle into the life of a respectable New York gentleman. Prompted by some friends to lift the spirits of the disappointed-in-love Miss Murdock, he is surprised to encounter an adventurous young lady with an unfortunate knack for stumbling into troublesome situations.

Just as Grayson decides he's had quite enough of her antics, his past comes back to haunt him and his presence in Felicia's life endangers her. As they work together to extricate themselves from this latest complication, will Grayson and Felicia decide they want to spend the rest of their lives keeping one another out of trouble?"

I'm giving this book 4 stars. It was a wonderful story, with real depth and sweetness. The children's many cameos gave it a nice balance, and the dangers of the opium world caused lots of very real chill bumps. The element of danger kept the story moving well. I still don't know how I feel about how the ending went with Ming, but I suppose it really was best that way. I loved getting to know more about the characters I grew to love in A Match of Wits, and yes, I do know that I'm reading them out of order. It was a splendid read, with many moments of hilarity, but it was not my favorite book by Jen Turano. I'm used to not being able to breath from the laughter. Instead, while there were a few parts that had me laughing out loud, it was mostly quiet chuckles. Completely foreign to me while reading her books. It was a little disconcerting. Truly, I do believe that you'll like this book a lot if you enjoy reading Jen's books. I do recommend it, just not as highly as others she has written. I've read many of hers, and this just didn't feel like hers. If that makes sense. Which I'm well aware it probably does not. Maybe I'm out of the reviewing groove, or maybe I wasn't in the right mood when I was reading it, or maybe I had one of my headaches. Oh well. All I can do is tell what I think. It was a good story though.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Christmas Eve Eve 2018

Hey guys,
I know I've been way behind in my blogging, and my plans for another grand Blogmas didn't quite go off as expected. So instead, I'm going to throw out some titles that I think your family will love to read this Christmas season, because mine sure has! Half today, and the others tomorrow.

First... In honor of it being Christmas Eve Eve is Eloise at Christmastime, one of the mostest magicallest stories of all time, in my humble opinion. A long time favorite of mine, this story is sure to have gales of laughter flowing from your house.

Second, we have Corduroy's Christmas. Not very long, and definitely suited for younger kids, the flaps in this story make it interactive and fun. Plus, it's super cute.

Third, The Velveteen Rabbit, which isn't actually a super Christmas-y story. Still, it's quite the tale, and while sad, it has a heartfelt message that anyone can enjoy. Plus, the illustrations are awesome.

More tomorrow! I can't wait to share.
I hope you can forgive me for my delinquency this semester. I'll try to do better next. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a million and a half reviews to write!


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Waiting-On-Wednesday: The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin

The queen of WWII is bringing another wonderful story in her series that focuses on Normandy {incidentally the only battle I am remotely informed on as it was the focus of my 6th grade research paper ;)} And once again, the cover designer really delivered! Coming Feb 2019

Numbed by grief and harboring shameful secrets, Lt. Adler Paxton ships to England with the US 357th Fighter Group in 1943. Determined to become an ace pilot, Adler battles the German Luftwaffe in treacherous dogfights in the skies over France as the Allies struggle for control of the air before the D-day invasion.

Violet Lindstrom wanted to be a missionary, but for now she serves in the American Red Cross, where she arranges entertainment for the men of the 357th in the Aeroclub on base and sets up programs for local children. Drawn to the mysterious Adler, she enlists his help with her work and urges him to reconnect with his family after a long estrangement.

Despite himself, Adler finds his defenses crumbling when it comes to Violet. But D-day draws near. And secrets can't stay buried forever.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Waiting-On-Wednesday: Code of Valor by Lynette Eason

Coming Jan 2019! I can't wait! This is one of my favorite series so far by Lynette Eason! She blows me away with the St. John family! #excited ;)

What Detective Brady St. John really needs is a relaxing vacation. Unfortunately, just as the sun is setting on his second day at a friend's cabin on Lake Henley, he hears a scream and races to rescue a woman from her would-be killer. When the killer escapes only to return to finish the job, Brady vows to utilize all of his many resources to keep her safe--and catch those who would see her dead.

Financial crimes investigator Emily Chastain doesn't trust many people. And even though she let the detective who saved her life in on a few pertinent facts about why she was being attacked, there are some things you just don't share with a stranger. Little does she suspect that the secret she is keeping just might get them both killed.

Plus switching the cover up a little. It's green instead of blue.... Cool!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Review: A Secret to Die For by Lisa Harris

Sorry that this review is so belated... the book went to my house and not to my PO Box at college... 
Back of the book....
"When one of her clients is murdered, Grace quickly realizes that computer security specialist Stephen Shaw wasn't suffering from paranoia. What she doesn't know is that someone believes Shaw gave her a viral piece of information before he died--- and they are ready to silence her at any cost. Her only hope may be an old friend, Detective Nate Quinn, who has just been cleared for active duty after a bombing killed his partner and left him dealing with PTSD." 

But... the book was surely worth the wait. The action was intense, and the first time I picked it up, I was on page 54 before I realized what was happening to me... (You know, the swirling vortex of a good book) This book has no slow moments. It's crazy from the first moment on. The characters just suck you in and make you feel like you know them. I loved the characters. And I was really annoyed with the bad guy, who had me fooled. I really like figuring out the bad guy beforehand, but this time I didn't. If I were Grace, I'd a been cooked goose. I also liked the fact that Danielle had juvenile diabetes, cause so does my roommate, and it was just another something that made the story real to me. (Bonus points that my roommate and Danielle are both banned from eating cookies currently ;) ) I really liked how the emotional side of life was a focus in this story, and how it was portrayed was really well done. Also, WHY DO THEY ALWAYS STAB PEOPLE WITH DRUGS IN NEEDLES!!??????!! [sorry.... not a needle person...] Can we also just take a moment and freak out over this weird grid thing... like oh my goodness? The world has better technology than innocent little me ever imagined! WOW! That was freaky. But I'm okay. I survived. And I'm ready to read another... which might just make me an adrenaline junkie. 

I received this book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and comments are my own.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Review: Sophie's Dilemma by Lauraine Snelling

She couldn't wait to leave the Red River Valley....

Certain she can't live without Hamre Bjorklund, the impetuous Sophie Knutson rejects her father's request to postpone her marriage until after graduation and convinces Hamre to elope. But far from her family, Sophie finds that life as a fisherman's bride in Ballard, Washington, is not all she had envisioned. Pregnant and lonely while Hamre is away at sea, she hires on at a fish cannery, only to be fired after fainting on the job.

When tragedy strikes, heartbroken Sophie can think only of returning home to Blessing. But will her family welcome her after the way she's hurt them by her defiant behavior?

Will she ever open her heart to love again?

I'm giving this book 4 stars. And I'm putting this in a paragraph just because.

Lauraine Snelling has become one of my favorite authors, and Blessing has become one of my favorite literary places to visit. I'm waiting for some that are on hold at the library because I read the ones I had and immediately started to miss the characters. The characters are so lovable. I started reading Blessing books in a really bad place, book 4 out of a fourth set of books, and I was so confused, but after reading this book From This Day Forward makes a ton more sense. But back to this book.... I loved Ingeborg and Kaaren. I loved seeing the ones who were grown up in FTDF back when they were teens. I saw so much growth in Sophie from the beginning of this book to the end of the book, although, some things never change. This was a really sad book, but not sad too. I enjoyed especially seeing how everyone was related. I did use the Bjorkland Family Tree in the beginning all the time, but it wasn't as confusing as before. Ugh.... I feel like I'm rambling and not saying what I want to say. Okay.... Sophie was a little wild and uncomfortable sometimes, but she mostly got over that and I could read the book. Forgiveness is a main theme, as well as letting God heal your grief. All-in-all, let's just say I will be rereading sometime in the future.

I don't know what's up with that picture.... Whatever. Sorry about that. Can't wait to hear from you. Have you read any of Lauraine's books? What's your favorite?

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Review: Beneath a Harvest Sky by Tracie Peterson

"Having fled a tainted past, Harvey House guide Rainy Gordon is alarmed to become a suspect in a theft. When all evidence points to her-despite her innocence-who will step forward to swear by her honor"

What a great book! This book was centered around Rainy's spiritual struggle and the truths in these pages were pointed and relevant. I was intrigued by this aspect of the Harvey company. The tours were truly remarkable. And I learned a plethora of new information. I'm impressed. I'm always pleased when someone writes a book about the American Indians and does it well. That's in part I suppose to my cousin's extreme obsession when I was younger. She taught me a lot. I love reading about twins, and Tracie seems to put them in lots of her stories! I loved watching Sonny and Rainy interacting. I also felt a tug of something that I can't find the word for while reading of Sonny's dreams to go to Alaska. Definitely my number one on the bucket list. And yes, it is Tracie's fault. And Kim Woodhouse too. I'm telling you what! Of course, there was a sweet romance throughout with some interesting wrenches. The bad guy, well, I almost didn't see him coming. I did though. Not early on, but I did. You know, I can't remember the last time I was so annoyed with a main character. Rainy was driving me crazy with all her jumping to conclusions. Give poor Duncan a chance, girl! All in all, a good read about the depression era southwest that shouldn't have taken me so long to read. {LOL} 4.5 stars for this standalone book in the Desert Roses series.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Review: Sweet Sanctuary by Kim Vogel Sawyer

I've had this one in my drafts for a while, so I guess it's about time to hit publish, huh???

Set against the backdrop of WWII, Lydia and Micah both have secrets that they keep to protect lives. Lydia keeps secret the fact that her son is not hers by birth, as Nicky's birth father is a morphine addict. Micah helps his brother smuggle Jewish children into America to keep them safe from Hitler and his death camps. His life is in New York. Hers is in Boston. But these two keep looking to each other for comfort and help, even with such a distance between them.

I'm giving this book 5 stars.

1: I saw this on the library shelf and had to grab it. Kim Vogel Sawyer is one of my go to authors. I have yet to read one of her books that hasn't caused teary eyes or little giggles or strange halting motion as I jump off the couch in surprised delight or looking around for something to throw, because inevitably something will happen to want me to throw stuff. And this book was no exception!

2: I was very intrigued by Micah's ministry, not only the clinic but also with the children. It was really great, and while this wasn't the typical WWII novel with airplanes and soldiers, it hit on the small things in the war and the way it impacted those not sitting in the trenches.

3: Nic was possibly the most surprising plot twist ever. I'm not even sure what happened! And now I'm very conflicted about what I want to feel about him. What?

4: Lydia learning to wait patiently on the Lord was awesome. Between her and Micah and what they do to witness to all those around them.... goodness sake!

5: If I could talk about Nicky and Justina without a ton of spoilers I would because those two were beyond wonderful! (Sweet-heart!)

All-in-all, one of the most satisfying read in a while, and also one of my favorites by this author.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Nikolas Dietrich

Guys, meet my baby brother! I'm so excited! I love him so much, and I can't wait to hold him!

Induced at 38 Weeks 4 Days~ 20.5 inches long, 8 pounds and 12 ounces!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Cover Reveal: (A Little Late...) An Unexpected Adventure by Kandi J Wyatt

Protect their community or protect their discovery?

For eighth graders Chace, Harley, Will, and Cherise, that’s a life-changing question after they find a dragon’s egg while hunting for thundereggs on the beach. Toss in summer jobs, family struggles, and a National Security Agent, and their summer vacation just became complicated.

Can they find a solution that won’t leave their hearts broken or their community in flames?

When four eighth graders discover a dragon’s egg, they must choose between protecting their treasure from the NSA or protecting their town from a growing dragon!

Preorder here:

Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that's her own five or the hundreds of students she's been lucky to teach. When Kandi's not spinning words to create stories, she's using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.

And there's even a super cool excerpt!!!!! Enjoy guys!!

After a few more minutes of digging, the stone came free. Will wriggled it until we could get a grip underneath and lift it out. I really had my doubts we could pick it up; I was sure it’d weigh close to a hundred pounds or more. However, to my surprise, it came free and up without a hitch, absurdly light for its size.

“Should it be this light?” I squinted at the rock in our hands.
“I don’t know.” Will shrugged his shoulder.
Chace shifted his grip. “I’ve never seen a single rock this big before. But it should weigh more than this. I still say it’s an egg.”
I was beginning to believe him, but there were some good reasons to doubt it, too. “What bird’s this big, and how did it get here? We’re a long way from the game park.”
The game park was the closest thing to a zoo we had. They had wild animals and some pet deer, sheep, donkeys, geese, goats, and peacocks to feed. They even had an emu and an ostrich, but I still couldn’t imagine either one having an egg quite this size.
Chace shook his head. “I don’t know, but listen.” He took a free hand and tapped ever so gently on the surface.
It echoed hollowly. Before anyone could say anything, a second fainter tap came as if in reply.
“What in the world?” I exclaimed, jumping and almost dropping the thing.
“It’s an egg,” Chace said with firm conviction. “I don’t know what kind yet, but it’s an egg.”
“Wh-what do we do with it?” Will looked like he wanted to toss it in the ocean.
“We keep it.”
Both Will and Chace looked at me as if I had just turned down a shot at a five-point deer during hunting season. I don’t know what I was thinking, but suddenly a fierce desire to protect the creature inside came over me

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

CelebrateLit Tour: Review: Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson

The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan—even their very lives—in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambi that connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.

Well, I'm not gonna lie. The part that really sealed the deal for me in whether or not to sign up for this book was the beautiful cover. But the cover isn't nearly as beautiful as the contents. This book had me shaking near the end. I was holding my breath, rocking back and forth. {This happens to be the response I get when I can see what the characters can't and I'm just wanting to tell them what they don't know.} Anyway, this book... well it captures time and place so well. Two different times, several different places. While sometimes the present would spoil the historical bits, it was fine. I didn't mind too badly. One thing that was difficult to get used to at the beginning was the present times were written in present tense, but eventually it became part of what kept the two worlds separated while also being entwined beyond all hope of untangling. Hidden Among the Stars was a book that pulled my heartstings as I saw pain, past and present. The fear and awfulness that the Nazis generated made my blood boil and brought tears to my eyes. The writing style was elegant. I could see, smell, hear, even taste everything going on around the characters. The characters were relatable, and you just wanted to be able to help them somehow. They grew and changed over the time of the book. They were deep characters, not just cookie-cutter WW2 people. I'm enamored with this book, and can't wait to read more books by Melanie Dobson. I really can't believe that I've never read anything she's written before! This five star book is one that will truly transport you, while also doing significant emotional damage ;)

I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of nearly twenty historical romance, suspense, and time-slip novels including Catching the Wind and Chateau of Secrets . Three of her novels have won Carol Awards; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010; and The Black Cloister won the Foreword Magazine Religious Fiction Book of the Year.

Melanie is the former corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family and owner of the publicity firm Dobson Media Group. When she isn’t writing, Melanie enjoys teaching both writing and public relations classes at George Fox University.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, have two daughters. After moving numerous times with work, the Dobson family has settled near Portland, Oregon, and they love to hike and camp in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and along the Pacific Coast. Melanie also enjoys exploring ghost towns and abandoned homes, helping care for kids in her community, and reading stories with her girls.

Visit Melanie online at www.melaniedobson.com.

Guest Post from Melanie

Hallstatt’s Hiding Places
Backpacking across Europe—that’s how my husband Jon and I decided to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. We savored the old world culture and charm as we hiked along Italy’s coast, toured medieval castles in Germany, and cruised the canals in Belgium; we both left a bit of our hearts in an ancient lakeside town called Hallstatt.
The moment we stepped off the ferryboat and into this storybook village, we crossed through a portal of sorts, traveling back several centuries in time. The rugged, snow-capped mountains around us and alpine lake, the quaint village with its church steeples and cobblestone lanes and waterfall that spilled into town—all of it captivated us.
Along the shore, hidden partially by trees, we could see spires of an abandoned castle, and I wanted to know its story. No one in Hallstatt could tell us who’d lived in the castle—at least, not in English—so my husband agreed to a new adventure. With a swan as our escort, we glided across the lake in an electric boat so I could study the rusty turrets, boarded windows, and wooden boathouse resting in the water like a felled log.
Instead of quelling my curiosity, the match of inspiration ignited my mind. Who had lived in this castle, and what happened there? I began writing in my journal that night, trying to capture my rogue thoughts on paper, hoping that one day a novel would emerge from the ashes of this castle’s story.
When we returned home, I began researching more of Hallstatt’s history and discovered that this region, in all of its beauty and mystique, had been infiltrated by an enemy in 1938. This town and the surrounding Salzkammergut became a mountain retreat for Nazi officials who built mansions on the shores of its many lakes and used salt mines to hide “ownerless treasure”—the gold bullion and artwork they’d stolen from the Jewish people.
The Nazis intended to build a Fourth Reich in this alpine fortress, but the Allies had other plans. Near the end of the war, these lakes became a dustbin of sorts, collecting whatever the enemy dumped into its waters—weapons, counterfeit banknotes, concentration camp lists—as they fled south from the Allied troops. The Devil’s Dustbin, locals call it.
Lake Hallstatt plunges more than four hundred feet between the fortress of mountains. Because of its depth and the many hiding places in the underwater forests, caves, and shifting sands, divers continue finding World War II artifacts today. Some still believe there’s a treasure trove buried on the bottom, but no one has reported finding any gold.
After our trip, a story about this castle and what happened to the heirlooms of the Austrian Jewish people continued to burn inside me until I finally put it on paper. So I built Schloss Schwansee—Castle of Swan Lake—in my mind, inspired by the castle along Lake Hallstatt, and created a cast of historical and contemporary characters who are searching for lost treasure.
Hidden Among the Stars is a time-slip novel about a castle and treasure and fairytales, but most of all, it’s a story about God using ordinary people across Austria to resist evil in their own extraordinary way.


To celebrate her tour, Melanie is giving away a grand prize package that includes a $25 Amazon gift card, Catching the Wind paperback, and Hidden Among the Stars paperback!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d2ad/hidden-among-the-stars-celebration-tour-giveaway

See what others are saying here:

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, September 6
Back Porch Reads, September 6
Among the Reads, September 6
The Power of Words, September 7
Multifarious, September 7
The Becca Files, September 7
Painting with Words, September 8
Lis Loves Reading, September 8
cherylbbookblog, September 9
Madeline Clark, September 9
Mary Hake, September 9
Genesis 5020, September 10
Faithfully Bookish, September 10
Simple Harvest Reads, September 10 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Margaret Kazmierczak, September 11
All-of-a-kind Mom, September 11
Daysong Reflections, September 11
Remembrancy, September 12
Inklings and notions, September 12
amandainpa, September 12
Maureen’s Musing, September 13
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 13
Just Commonly, September 13
Book by Book, September 13
Connect in Fiction, September 14
Pause for Tales, September 14
Have A Wonderful Day, September 14
Splashes of Joy, September 14
Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 15
To Everything A Season, September 15
Bibliophile Reviews, September 16
Bigreadersite, September 16
Aryn The Libraryan, September 16
By The Book, September 17
Janices book reviews, September 17
Texas Book-aholic, September 18
Carpe Diem, September 18
Godly Book Reviews, September 19
For The Love of Books, September 19
{You are here!} Live. Love. Read., September 19
Reader’s Cozy Corner, September 19