Sunday, June 25, 2017

None So Blind

Book Description:
Dani and Ella Weeks–two women who share one thing in common. The same life, the same family, and the same body.
When Dani wakes with no knowledge of who or where she is–no memories of her life at all–David and Dani Weeks discover that “til death do us part” takes on an entirely unexpected meaning. Practically speaking, Dani died. But she didn’t.
What’s a gal to do?
In a desperate attempt to separate the old life from the new, Dani insists on a new name, a twist of her old one–Ella.
Ella’s doctors can’t explain what happened. Her children can’t understand why she doesn’t know them. David, her husband, finds himself torn between admiration for the “new” version of his wife and missing the woman he’s known for over fifteen years.
Will Ella ever regain her memory? Why does their pastor suspect it’s one great hoax?

My Thoughts
This book is a seriously thought provoking read. Dani wakes up one morning but remembers nothing about her life. She doesn't remember her husband or kids, nothing about her life in the least. David is Dani's husband and he struggles with basically losing his wife of  15 years and no one knows why. There is nothing that should have caused her to lose all her memories.  She is no longer Dani so she calls herself Ella to give herself an identity.
Wow, I think this book is a well written and eye opening book. It is Christian fiction and references faith and God frequently, which I love, and had to be a tough book to write. I felt so bad for Dani at the beginning. The panic attacks and loss of memory had to be terrifying. David may have become my favorite character just because he was so faithful. The family having to learn the new mom/wife and Dani/Ella having to relearn life and put her own twist on things was just not what I expected (in a good way).
It was a 4:5 for me. I think this book should be shared with the women in your family!
Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book (via Celebrate Lit).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Acts of Honor by Vicki Hinze

Acts of Honor
Book Description


My Thoughts:
This an intriguing book.  Sara West's specialty is working with PTSD patients.  When she is recruited by a man who runs the unit her late brother in law worked for, she doesn't want to do it.  She doesn't trust him but he gives her no choice.  She is to bring back one of his men to sanity or he will be terminated.  Sara is under no illusions that she is safe and just hopes she learns exactly what happened to her brother-in-law.  Joe is the patient she immediately realizes is her priority but the more she learns, the more twisted it becomes.
I liked Sara fine.  She was manipulated into taking an assignment that is very likely going to cost her her freedom or her life.  There is so much wrong with the facility and the people running it that it is mind-boggling.  Joe, I felt so bad for, but loved how his character grew and changed.  The head nurse was a great.  I just had trouble getting into the book and connecting with the characters.  The story line flowed well and it wasn't bad, it just wasn't for me.
It was a 3/5 for me.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Book Description:
The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2)
Percy Jackson, hero of the The Lightning Thief, returns to Camp Half-Blood and undertakes a perilous voyage to save the camp in this modern-day adverture with a Greek mythology twist.

Percy Jackson's seventh-grade year has been surprisingly quiet. Not a single monster has set foot on his New York prep school campus. But when an innocent game of dodgeball among Percy and his classmates turns into a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants, things get …well, ugly. And the unexpected arrival of Percy's friend Annabeth brings more bad news: the magical borders that protect Camp Half-Blood have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and unless a cure is found, the only safe haven for demigods will be destroyed. Percy and his friends must journey into the Sea of Monsters to save their beloved camp. But first, Percy will discover a stunning new secret about his family—one that makes him wonder whether being claimed as Poseidon's son is an honor, or simply a cruel joke.

My Thoughts:
I completely enjoyed this second installment of the Percy Jackson Series.  There haven't been any real issues with Percy and monsters at his school this year.  He does have a good friend at school.  Then everything changes the day Annabeth comes to see him.  He and some monsters have already gotten into a fight, Annabeth brings horrible news about camp and there is more to his friend than he ever imagined.
I really do love these books.  Listening to them in the car with my kiddos is just a wonderful time for us all.  It also gives us something to talk about later as well.  Percy is such a good kid.  Always good intentions anyway.  Lots of things go wrong for him but he works through them to get the best outcome he can.  I love his never give up attitude.  Annabeth is great too.  She is a steadfast friend and just so amazingly smart.  Tyson is a new favorite of mine as well.  
5/5 for us and we are listening to the next already :) 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Devil and the Deep by Julie Ann Walker

Devil and the Deep (Deep Six, #2)Book Description:
Cocktail parties, political fundraisers, and charity events are Maddy Powers' way of life. But the daring man who appropriated her father's yacht a couple of months ago is still out there, somewhere, and she wants to pay him back for the scorching kiss they shared.

Behind his suave smile and ladykiller eyes, Bran Palladino carries a dark secret that keeps him from pursuing Maddy… even though he can't get her out of his head. But when Maddy is kidnapped as part of a grand scheme, it's time to put up or shut up… because Bran can't live without Maddy now.

My Thoughts:
This was an ok book.  Maddy comes from a powerful and rich family.  Bran is her hero.  Literally.  He has saved her life before and she hopes there is more than just friendship between them.  When she gets the chance, Maddy sets up a way to be close to him, she invites him to come talk to her group.  She doesn't realize she is setting it up to need rescued once again.
I liked Maddy and how down to earth she was.  Especially since she comes from a wealthy family, she isn't snotty about it.  Bran has issues stemming from his past and that makes him think he isn't good for relationships.  He and Maddy have serious chemistry and he is going to keep her safe, even if it means his life.  I liked Bran's 'brothers' and how they always have each others backs.
It was a 3/5 for me.  I enjoyed it.
Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Angelbound by Christina Bauer--Audiobook Review

Angelbound (Angelbound Origins #1)Book Description:
***Angelbound is now an audio book read by the author, Christina Bauer***

Eighteen year old Myla Lewis is a girl who loves two things: kicking ass and kicking ass. She’s not your every day quasi-demon, half-demon and half-human, girl. For the past five years, Myla has lived for the days she gets to fight in Purgatory’s arena. When souls want a trial by combat for their right to enter heaven or hell, they go up against her, and she hasn’t lost a battle yet.

But as she starts her senior year at Purgatory High, the arena fights aren’t enough to keep her spirits up anymore. When the demons start to act weird, even for demons, and the King of the Demons, Armageddon, shows up at Myla’s school, she knows that things are changing and it’s not looking good for the quasi-demons. Myla starts to question everything, and doesn’t like the answers she finds. What happened seventeen years ago that turned the quasi-demons into slave labor? Why was her mom always so sad? And why won’t anyone tell her who her father is? Things heat up when Myla meets Lincoln, the High Prince of the Thrax, a super sexy half-human and half-angel demon hunter. But what’s a quasi-demon girl to do when she falls for a demon hunter? It’s a good thing that Myla’s not afraid of breaking a few rules. With a love worth fighting for, Myla’s going to shake up Purgatory.

My Thoughts:
I absolutely LOVE that the author did this herself!  Hearing it how it sounds in the author's head gives it a whole new feel.  Myla is an arena fighter whose mom won't tell her anything about her father.  She lives to fight in the arena and hasn't lost a fight yet.  Her life changes when she meets Lincoln and all the demons start acting weird.
I love Myla and the voice Christina gives her in this audiobook makes her even sassier and better.  She is such a tough girl, but the soft spot for her mom and best friend is perfect.  I adore both her mom and her best friend, they are the perfect buffer for Myla.  The imagery was great, I would so love to go watch a fight!  Lincoln was actually a good guy.  He could be a twirp but I really loved this character too.  
Absolutely a 5/5!  Cannot wait to hear the next one!
Thank you to the author for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Guardian by Terri Reed

Book Description

Monday, June 12, 2017

Kids' Visual Study Bible

NIV Kids' Visual Study Bible: Explore the Story of the Bible---People, Places, and HistoryThe NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible, for ages 8–12, brings the Bible to life in four-color illustrated splendor. This study Bible includes a spectacular full-color interior featuring over 700 illustrations, photos, infographics, and maps on every page that visually represent key Bible information. Each page also features important facts located near the relevant verse. Intriguing facts; colorful, engaging maps; photographs; and illustrations make this a Bible they’ll want to explore.

Features:

Over 700 four-color photographs, illustrations, infographics, and maps throughout
Full-color design
Book introductions, including important facts and an image to orient the reader
One-column format with side bar study notes for ease of reading
Presentation page
The complete text of the New International Version (NIV) translation of the Bible
Beautiful cover featuring gloss

My Thoughts:
Absolutely LOVE this Bible.  I got it for my 9 year old to hopefully make him read his Bible more.  He loved it from the minute he got it.  There are little notes in the margins that explain more about certain verses.  There are timelines on different people's lives and explains better what happened when.  The pictures/maps are colorful and keep his attention.  He likes looking things up now because he wants to just look through the Bible.  The verses are in words that he can understand and read.
I rate this a 5/5.  I have both a 9 and 7 year old, both of them love it and I would recommend it for their age and up.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Interview of author Makayla Love

Inline image 2Tell us about yourself
I’m a twenty-five-year-old self-published novelist. Born in October, I’m a Libra and proud! I live in Kansas with my husband, an aspiring video game designer, and together we thrive in a household built on love and creativity. I have two series going at the moment: The Lost Angelsseries, and the Titanomachy series.


What genre do you write and why?
I tend to hippity-hop between them. One minute I’ll be working on a horror story and then a Young Adult plot will get into my head. Often, though, I tend to write a lot of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. I have a bad habit of combining them, so I tend to get an unholy mixture of this and that a lot of the time.

Tell us about your book
The Gilded Cage is a steampunk/post-apocalyptic novel that centers around Shiloh and Rilei Beaumont (from the perspective of Shiloh herself), two sisters who spent their entire lives locked away from the outside world—until they’re taken out of their little sanctuary.

Their quest to return home will take them through the darkest parts of a ruined world teeming with human corpses mutated into nightmarish monsters, slavers hungry to make a profit off the helpless, androids forgotten by the passage of time, and surgeons perverting the line between right and wrong. But no matter what the world throws at them, Shiloh will do anything to make sure her sister gets home safe.
But what if home isn’t safe?


What was your inspiration for this book?
Before this story was even born I kept thinking about wanting to write something that focuses on two girls in a tower. I knew from the get-go that it would be post-apocalyptic, I just couldn’t figure out why they would be stuck in the tower and what would get them out—and what getting out would mean for them. I had a base idea but no way to idea of how to execute it.

Inline image 1I brought it up to my husband (my fiancé at the time) and he talked me through it. How it was that we came to the details that we did is beyond me, because we did this almost two years ago and I have the memory of a goldfish cracker. All I know is that we went around and around together until at last I had a solid concept: Two girls in a tower, the world torn apart by a war between the believers of Eugenics (the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics) and robotics, and the two girls getting caught up in a war that happened almost two hundred years before their time.

From there it was a matter of brainstorming the details, which I find comes to me best in the throes of writing. Over the time it took for me to write, the world within the novel came together just the way I wanted it to and The Gilded Cage was born.  

Do you have a favorite character and why that one?
Honestly, it’s a tie between Shiloh and Garth as my favorite characters.
Shiloh because I adore her and the journey she goes on. That’s what the Titanomachy series is mostly about, after all. The internal journey a person goes through when in the midst of difficult times. Shiloh has to step up and take care of her sister at all costs. It doesn’t matter that she doesn’t have a clue what’s going on either, or that she’s scared too. She’s there for Rilei 110% even at the expense of her own sense of well-being.

Garth for much the same reason, though a lot of his journey isn’t shown in The Gilded Cage. Garth is unhappy with who he is. It’s probably fair to say he hates himself and the situation he’s in but he doesn’t really know what to do about it. The kind of world he grew up in doesn’t allow for alternative options. You do what you have to do to survive even if you’re not proud of what you did. He’s a man without a real purpose. He’s alive, but he’s not living. When he meets Shiloh and Rilei he finds a purpose in protecting them. In doing this Garth takes his first steps away from the hard life he’s always known and towards something better.

But, if I had to choose just one, I would probably pick Garth. His character is much more heart wrenching to me than any of the others and it’s him that I’m most excited to see develop as the series goes on.


Did you find anything particularly difficult in writing this book?
A lot of it was pretty difficult, actually. I would easily call it one of the hardest books I tried to write at the time, and it was all because I was going through a time when I didn’t believe in myself or my own work. I kept thinking everything was wrong, that I kept somehow missing the mark, and I had to have started over five or six times before my husband and best friend both told me I wasn’t allowed to start over anymore and what I had was what I had. As it turns out that’s exactly what I needed.

What project(s) are you currently working on?
Quite a few, actually. I’m writing a science fiction/romance novel, I just finished the second book in both the Titanomachy series and the Lost Angels series, and I’ve been playing around with some Young Adult stuff that will probably end up staying on my hard drive for a while.

Do you have any interesting writing quirks you want to tell us about?
For some reason I have to have the TV on, but muted, while I’m working. Even if its directly behind me and could for all intents and purposes be turned off, I have to have it on.  For a while after my husband and I moved we didn’t have a TV in the office and I thought it would help me be more productive—but as it turns out that was a period during which I got the least amount of work done.

Do you have any advice for writers out there?
Stick with it. Even when you think you suck (you probably don’t), even when you don’t think it’ll ever amount to anything (you can’t know that for sure), even when the rest of the world has got you down—write anyway. Write like your life depends on it because, if you’re at all like me, it does.

I was reading #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso earlier and she said to treat everything in life like an experiment, that way you won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work out. Even though it probably doesn’t sound like it, I personally find that to be an encouraging thought. I’m one of those people who frets over everything, who overthinks myself to death, who agonizes over every little detail to the point where I often find myself at a standstill. It’s only when I have projects that I’m just playing with that I feel like I’m at my most free and when I do my best work. So if any other writers out there reading this are like me, all I have to say is this: Relax. Have fun. You’re not doing yourself any favors freaking out.


Where can we find you?
Facebook: @makaylaloveauthor
Twitter: @AGirl_Unwritten
Instagram: @littlephantomgirl


And of course we have to know, where can we find your book?

Friday, June 9, 2017

Book Spotlight--Under this Same Sky by Cynthia Roemer

Displaying Book cover - final.jpgBook Blurb:
             ~ She thought she’d lost everything ~ Instead she found what she needed most. ~
Illinois ~ 1854
Becky Hollister wants nothing more than to live out her days on the prairie, building a life for herself alongside her future husband. But when a tornado rips through her parents’ farm, killing her mother and sister, she must leave the only home she’s ever known and the man she’s begun to love to accompany her injured father to St. Louis.
Catapulted into a world of unknowns, Becky finds solace in corresponding with Matthew Brody, the handsome pastor back home. But when word comes that he is all but engaged to someone else, she must call upon her faith to decipher her future.

AUTHOR BIO:
Displaying bio1.jpg
Cynthia Roemer is an award winning inspirational author with a heart for scattering seeds of hope into the lives of readers. Raised in the cornfields of rural Illinois, Cynthia enjoys spinning tales set in the backdrop of the 1800s prairie.A free-lance writer since 1988, she has over 100 short-stories and articles printed in various Christian publications. Cynthia writes from her family farm where she resides with her husband, Marvin, and their two college-aged sons.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan (audiobook)

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)Book Description:
Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. 

My Thoughts:
I bought this book mainly so my kids and I would have something to listen to in the car that is 'their level'.  Percy is a kid who hasn't been able to return to the same school, ever.  Something always happens to him and each year it is a different place.  This year is no different, his teacher turns into a monster and tries to kill him.  No one remembers her and his best friend may remember her but there is something strange going on with Grover.  His mom sends him to Camp Half Blood where he finds out so much about himself that it is shocking.  He is the son of Posiden, one of the big 3, and he has to stop a war of the gods.
I liked Percy.  He is just a nice kid who doesn't understand what in the world is going on with his life.  At camp he makes friends and enemies.  The way his father claimed him was awesome.  I must admit that I watched the movie first but it is no where as good as the book.  There is action, adventure and while my son loved it, so did my daughter.  AnnaBeth was a favorite character for both as was Grover.
It was a 5/5 for us!  The kids loved it and it actually kept me entertained as well.