Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Project Wolf by Serena Walken

Book Description:
Apocalyptic Fairytale: a werewolf romance with a strange twist.

Roxie doesn't know why project wolves keep coming after her. Her hero is always there to stop them, but after a private confession, she never wants to see him again. Until she turns into a wolf with tiger colors.

Hero didn't plan it. Scent overrode common sense that night with Roxie Malone. Instead of any shame though, Roxie didn't remember the event. She blamed him for it and never wanted to see him again. Not even when he's saving her.

As she becomes a wolf with strange colors though, Hero realizes she isn't like him after all. Soon the whole world will too.

My Thoughts:
This was an interesting concept.  Hero thinks Roxie is his mate.  Roxie doesn't remember their time together and wants nothing to do with him.  She is being hunted but Hero is determined to be, well her hero.  When she becomes a wolf, she isn't like Hero after all.  He will still take care of her but soon everyone will know how different she is.
Ok, to start out I have to say that I absolutely LOVE this book cover.  From there, the author had some good ideas and I love that she stepped out of the 'norm', but I think maybe she tried a little too much for a novella length book.  Overall, the story was good, if a bit confusing at times.  Hero was devoted, Roxie wasn't wanting to be with him.  I didn't like the buying/selling nor the change of attitude.  
I rate this one a 3/5.  I think there was just too much thrown together for this short of a book, but if the author took the concept and lengthened it out I think it would work better.

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

Monday, April 28, 2014

Her Loving Husband's Curse by Meredith Allard

Her Loving Husband's Curse (Loving Husband, #2)Book Description:
How far will you go to protect the one you love?

Finally, after many long and lonely years, James Wentworth’s life is falling into place. Together with his wife, Sarah, the only woman he has ever loved, he has found the meaning behind her nightmares about the Salem Witch Trials, and now they are rebuilding the life they began together so long ago.

But the past is never far behind for the Wentworths. While Sarah is haunted by new visions, now about the baby she carried over three hundred years before, James is confronted with painful memories from his time with the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears. Through it all, the persistent reporter Kenneth Hempel reappears, still determined to prove that the undead walk the earth. If Hempel succeeds in his quest, James and Sarah will suffer. Will the curse of the vampire prevent James and Sarah from living their happily ever after?

Her Loving Husband’s Curse is Book Two of the Loving Husband Trilogy. Book One, Her Dear & Loving Husband, is now available from Copperfield Press.

My Thoughts:
As the second in this series, this book was highly anticipated!  James and Sarah have been reunited and are living happily.  They've got a life they enjoy and that works well for them, but the reporter from the first book shows up to stir up trouble yet again.  This time he believes he can prove vampires are real and has names.  History is woven in and memories are never far away.
What I enjoyed most about this book is the characters.  The author does a great job with them, not only the main two, but the secondary characters as well.  The way the history is woven through does educate you about the events without making you feel like you are in a history lesson.  Emotions ran high throughout the book and I was dragged right along with them.  I loved the story's flow, smooth and easy.  I cannot wait for the next book.
I rate this a 5/5.  If you've read the first book, this is a must.  If not, start with Her Dear and Loving Husband.
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, April 25, 2014

Caught in the Middle by Regina Jennings

Caught in the Middle (Ladies of Caldwell County, #3)Book Description:
The train to Garber, Texas, is supposed to bring life's next victory to Nicholas Lovelace. Instead, it gets held up by robbers who are thwarted by the last person Nick ever expected--Anne Tillerton from back home in Prairie Lea.

Anne’s been hiding away as a buffalo hunter. She’s only in Garber to find their runaway cook, but the woman flees--leaving Anne with her infant son. With Nick the only person Anne knows in Garber, the two form an unlikely team as they try to figure out what to do with the child.

But being in town means acting and dressing for polite society--and it's not going well for Anne. Meanwhile, Nick's work is bringing new pressures, and being seen with a rough-around-the-edges woman isn't helping his reputation. Caught between their own dreams, a deepening relationship, and others' expectations, can the pair find their way to love?

My Thoughts:
This was a good 'tom girl' book.  Anne has her own reasons for dressing like a man and working as a man.  The men she work with admire her and she is quite capable of taking care of herself.  She proved that point when she saved Nick's life during a train robbery.  She not only saved herself and Nick but a whole trainload of passengers.  Now, she is determined to find a run away cook and get her to return so Anne can once again hunt buffalo.  When the woman skips town and leaves Anne with her baby, she turns to Nick for help.  With her rough past and Nick's current social standing, there could be many different kinds of sparks started!
I enjoyed Anne.  She has her reasons for being the way she is.  I also liked Nick.  He is a strong man with good morals and convictions.  I completely disliked his two 'clients' (more like bosses).  The transformation Anne goes through is quite amazing.  I didn't like toward the end of the book what happened with the baby but I won't give anything away with that.  Overall it was a good story and I look forward to more from this author.
I rate this a 4/5.  It was good and enjoyable.  

Thank you to the 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.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Forever Werewolf by Michele Hauf

Book Description:
Alexis Conner, princess of the Alpine pack and pureblood werewolf, hides a painful secret-she has never shifted. If she can’t shift, she can’t mate, and so Lexi resigned herself to a lifetime of loneliness. But then a stranger arrives, and Lexi senses that her world will never be the same….

A massive avalanche might be to blame for Trystan Hawkes getting stuck at Castle Wulfsiege, but after one look at Lexi, Trystan is not about to leave. Lexi is strong, smart and incredibly sexy. Not that it matters. Tryst is an omega-the fabled lone wolf. Even more damning is his mixed vampire heritage.

Lexi knows that the vampire blood running through Tryst’s veins makes him off-limits, but what if he’s the one man who can rouse her inner wolf?

My Thoughts:
These books were ok.  Alexis is a werewolf that has never shifted, but she is in charge of a LOT of what goes on in the pack.  Her father is the leader and with his sudden illness, she is having to see to more.  Trystan is a wolf/vampire cross that has never belonged to a pack but has always longed for pack life.  An avalanche strands him with Alexis' pack until they can dig out.  Alexis and Trystan are going to butt heads but the pull between them is unavoidable.
I enjoyed the characters in this.  Many secrets, some huge and some not so big but all personal secrets.  I wasn't sure I was going to like Lexi but she grew on me.  I loved how take charge and caring Tryst was.  He wasn't even a part of the pack but he risked his life to save them.  I knew what was going on with the father and the pack before the 'who done it' came out.  It was a predictable story-line but still enjoyable.
I rate this a 3/5.  They were enjoyable quick reads. Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via netgalley).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson

A Sensible Arrangement (Lone Star Brides, #1)Book Description:
Marty Dandridge Olson is a widow looking for a way out of Texas. Widower Jake Wythe has secured a job as a bank manager in Denver, only to discover that the bank board wants him to be a married man. With Texas in his roots, he advertises for a Lone Star bride, and Marty answers the call. They both agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.
Marty works to carve out a new life in high-society Denver as Jake works to guide the bank through a collapsing economy. But when money goes missing at the bank and accounting discrepancies point to Jake, he must find a way to prove his innocence. Yet all he wants to do is go back to Texas and own his own ranch. Marty, on the other hand, owns a ranch–one she’s never told her husband about. She hates Texas because it represents the losses in her life. But as the couple grows closer and love begins to bloom, Marty realizes she needs to tell Jake the truth. Can she come to terms with the past and her anger toward God in order to make room for love?

My Thoughts:
Marty answers an ad for a man in Colorado looking for a Texas bride.  This arrangement is simply for appearances and will not be a real marriage.  It is a 'perfect' set up for two people who have been hurt in love and lost.  Marty's determined to leave Texas and the painful memories of her husband's death behind, even if it means leaving her family as well.  Jake is good with numbers and that is why he has advanced so quickly as bank manager, but his heart is still in ranching.  Though Marty owns a Texas ranch, exactly what Jake wants, she refuses to tell him because she never wants to go back.  The two of them slowly grow closer and Marty realizes she must tell him but doesn't want to lose the affection that has grown between them.
I really really enjoyed most of this book.  Marty was exactly what Jake needed and the other way around.  I loved that Marty wasn't what fit into society but she tried for Jake's benefit.  Jake was a good man and just wanted to take care of Marty.  I did so enjoy how she got to Colorado!  The house staff was great!  I loved the bickering and love shown through them.  Marty didn't fit the mold of lady of the house but they still respected her and helped her along.  I understand that this is the first in a series so I hope that all my lingering questions at the almost abrupt ending to this book will be answered in the following books, as there are several questions!
I rate this a 4/5.  It was good and I hope the series continues on!

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

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Falling Back Together Cover Reveal!

Falling Back Together (Crashing #2)

by Kristen Hope Mazzola

ETA: May 20, 2014

Cover Artist: Cover it! Designs

“I don't know if it’s fate, coincidence, or my curse, but I'm still breathing, and my breaths are for you.”

Mags McManus is far from a normal woman in her mid twenties. Being a war widow, a business professional, and a brokenhearted train wreck only skims the surface of the layers of who Margret McManus truly is. Waking up in a hospital bed, alone and confused, Mags once again has to pick up the pieces of her shattered heart. With her best friends by her side, Mags slowly starts to learn the answers she so desperately longs for. But is everything going to continue to spiral out of control? Or is there a light at the end of this dark, twisting tunnel where all the broken pieces can finally fall back together?

A portion of all royalties from Kristen's Crashing Series are donated by the author to The Marcie Mazzola Foundation.

**18+ for sexual situations, cursing, and adult content.***
{{ Please note: this is the second book in the Crashing Series, and should be read after Crashing Back Down }}

Crashing Back Down (Crashing, #1)
Also by Kristen Hope Mazzola:
Crashing Back Down (Crashing #1)

Publication: November 4th 2013

Crashing Back Down is Kristen Hope Mazzola’s debut into the literary world. It is a New Adult Novel, with hints of contemporary romance and thriller.


Mags McManus has just become a war widow in her mid-twenties. Her late husband, Randy, left for the Army right after their wedding. Instead of celebrating his homecoming and living in marital bliss with her soulmate, Mags finds herself living in constant agony. Dealing with the guilt of still living without Randy, are Randy’s best friends and parents.

Rising from the ashes of this tragedy, Mags starts to learn how to love and trust again, finally being able to find happiness. But sometimes things really are too good to be true and again Mags learns how cruel the world can be as she crashes back down.

Hi! Thanks for dropping in...
You want to know more about me? Well, let's see...
I am just an average twenty-something following my dreams. I have a full time "day job" and by night I am author. I guess you could say that writing is like my super power (I always wanted one of those). I am the lover of wine, sushi, football and the ocean; that is when I am not wrapped up in the literary world. 
Please feel free to contact me to chat about my writing, books you think I'd like or just to shoot the, well you know.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Falling Back Together by Kristen Hope Mazzola

Falling Back Together

by Kristen Hope Mazzola

Giveaway ends July 01, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Wrongly Accused by Laura Scott

Book Description:


Only one thing matters to Caleb O'Malley: his daughter. Framed for his wife's murder, Caleb's only wish is to see his little girl. But Noelle Whitman, his daughter's foster mother, isn't buying his plea of innocence until bullets start flying and they're running for their lives. Staying one step ahead of the real killer proves nearly impossible, but former SWAT cop Caleb will risk everything to keep them safe. Because now there is nothing more important than Noelle and his daughter—not his freedom, not even his life. 

SWAT: Top Cops—Love in the line of duty

My Thoughts:
This was a good suspense/romance book.  Caleb is finally getting out of jail and getting his daughter back.  Picking up his daughter turned out to not be the happy reunion he was hoping for.  Someone was trying to kill him and he runs with his daughter and her foster mother, Noelle, in tow.  The killer chases them and Caleb must figure out who framed him for his wife's murder and keep them from killing him and the two innocents with him.
I really liked Caleb.  He was such a stand up guy that I really hated that everyone turned on him like the did when he was accused of murdering his wife!  I understood Noelle's reaction to him and her 'warming up' time was realistic.  I did like how she defended him and trusted in God to take care of her and those with her.  The story line was good and flowed well.  I was confused on a couple points at the end but other than that, great book!
I rate this a 4/5.  Good book, written really well.
Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book (via netgalley).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Charred Heart by Lizzy Ford

Book Description:

A modern day retelling of “Beauty and the Beast”
***Recommended for ages 18+ due to multiple, creative, detailed, steamy, sexy-time adult situations.***
For a thousand years, Chace has searched for a way to break the curse placed on him by a jilted lover. He’s a dragon shifter, one who can’t control when the magic will force him into a different form. He’s already lost everyone he ever cared about a few times over and doesn’t know how much longer he’s meant to suffer.
At his wit’s end, he makes a deal with a mysterious figure that offers him what he wants most – an end to his misery – in exchange for everything that’s his: His life, his power. His heart.
The next day, he meets Skylar, a modern day dragon slayer whose mission is to cage him – or kill him. Sexy, witty and brave, she is the yin to his yang, the woman destined to break the curse, balance his magic and make his broken heart whole.
Except it’s too late. Not only has he sealed his fate, but an innocent one-night-stand with Skylar has dragged her into the middle of a deal with the devil, one she won’t escape, if he can’t convince her that dragon shifters aren’t her enemies.

My Thoughts:
I liked this book.  Chace is a shifter, a dragon shifter to be exact.  He is old and tired of losing everyone.  Making a deal with Mr. Unknown is the best solution he has, except none of his friends are on board with it.  Add to that, someone is killing his kind and their numbers are quickly dwindling.  Then he meets Skylar.  She is a dragon shifter hunter.  It is her job to capture him and return him to her employers but their meeting isn't what either of them expected and leads to things neither ever expected.
I liked Chace.  He could be moody (as Skylar loves to point out) but he is generally a good guy.  He doesn't always think through his decisions but for the most part just wants everyone to be ok.  Skylar's dreams intrigued me from the start and I loved learning what those really were.  The plot was good, the 'meetings' between Chance and Skylar were hot and steamy.
I rate this a 4/5.  I will absolutely read more of this series.
Thank you to the author for the review copy of this book (via netgalley).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

**This book contains adult content/language!**

Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

Doon (Doon, #1)Book Description:
Veronica doesn't think she's going crazy. But why can't anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes? When her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the opportunity to leave her complicated life behind for a few months. 
But the Scottish countryside holds other plans. 
Not only has the imaginary kilted boy followed her to Alloway, she and Mackenna uncover a strange set of rings and a very unnerving letter from Mackenna's great aunt—and when the girls test the instructions Aunt Gracie left behind, they find themselves transported to a land that defies explanation. Doon seems like a real-life fairy tale, complete with one prince who has eyes for Mackenna and another who looks suspiciously like the boy from Veronica's daydreams. But Doon has a dark underbelly as well. The two girls could have everything they've longed for...or they could end up breaking an enchantment and find themselves trapped in a world that has become a nightmare.
DOON is loosely based on the premise of the musical Brigadoon, with permission from the ALan Jay Lerner Estate and the Frederick Loewe Foundation. Follow the journey at

~Destiny awaits!

My Thoughts:
This was a great concept.  Mackenna and Veronica are going to spend their summer in Scotland.  They both want to get away and Scotland is the perfect escape.  Not surprisingly, after they get there, they are transported to a mystical land that it is up to them to save.  There are princes and both girls feel like they are living in a fairy tale.  It turns out things may not be as they seem and they may be in more than they had anticipated.
The author does a good job making the girls feel like teenagers and making their strong friendship be a main part of the story.  I also liked the building of the magical world.  I thought the story was going to be a little creepy but it was a good story.  It isn't like the girls just accept everything at face value but they react much as I'd guess anyone would.  There is an overtone of God throughout but not oppressive and there are questions left unanswered. I rate this a 4/5.  It was a good book and I can't wait for more from this author.

Many thanks for the publisher for the review copy of this book (via booksneeze).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Claiming Mariah by Pam Hillman

Claiming MariahBook Description:
In light of her father's death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father's farm, the only home she's ever known, was bought with stolen gold. With Slade ready to collect his father's rightful claim and force Mariah and her family out on the streets, Mariah must turn to God for guidance. Though Mr. Frederick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home.With the ranch now under Slade's careful eye, he will unearth more than he ever imagined as a devious plot of thievery, betrayal and murder threatens more than the well-being of the ranch, endangering the lives of those who hold it dear. With days dwindling until the rest of the Donovan clan arrive to the Lazy M ranch, Mariah and Slade must rise above the resentment of their fathers and see their true feelings before greed alters their futures forever.

My Thoughts:
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Mariah is being kicked out of her home.  Slade can prove that her father swindled his out of the place and he is claiming it back.  He isn't heartless and gives them some time, but as Mariah makes preparations, she finds some people aren't who they seem.  Some are better and some are worse.  
I liked the characters in this book.  Mariah was a strong woman but honest and God fearing.  She chose to let some assumptions lie.  You understood she didn't want to lose her childhood home, but would do what was right.  Slade was a great cowboy.  He did have a heart.  I liked the slow progression of feelings through the book.  It wasn't a fast 'I like him/her' but a gradual getting to know you shift.  Oh and add to the romance there is mystery and suspense!  
I rate this a 4/5.  I am definitely going to find another of Pam Hillman's books!
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.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Intercepting Love Cover Reveal

Displaying Intercepting Love.jpgTitle: Intercepting Love 
Author: LP Dover    
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense Reveal Host: Lady Amber's Tours
Both have what she wants … but only one has what she needs.
Working with professional athletes and helping them recover from their injuries has always been Kate Townsend’s dream, but after an accident left her scarred and heartbroken years ago she refuses to let what happened in her past happen again. Staying focused is the key, as well as not letting her feelings interfere with her job … no matter the circumstances. All of that is easier said than done when not only one, but two men crave her healing touch, igniting every single desire she’s denied herself for so long. Cooper Davis, NFL’s star quarterback and most eligible bachelor, packs up and leaves his home to move across the states to the East Coast after an injury results in the embarrassing trade to another team. Bitter from the pain, he deals with his problems through drugs and alcohol—almost ruining his football career—until he meets the one woman who makes him want to feel; the same woman who refuses to give up on him no matter how many times he screws up. He has to have her, and he’s not going to stop until he makes her his. Especially, now that someone else threatens to take her away.
Motocross champion and local bad boy Luke Collins never takes no for an answer. For the past four months he’s used his charms to get what he wants, and now he’s so close to getting the girl of his dreams … if she’ll give in just once. One time is all he needs, and he’s never been known to fail, but he’s also never had to fight for a woman’s affections. Only one man will win their way into Kate’s heart, but which one will intercept the other and take what they want? Which one will she choose?

Displaying LP Dover.jpgUSA Today Bestselling author, L.P. Dover, is a southern belle residing in North Carolina along with her
husband and two beautiful girls. Before she even began her literary journey she worked in Periodontics enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries.
Not only does she love to write, but she loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes, white water rafting, and you can't forget the passion for singing. Her two number one fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime and those songs usually consist of Christmas carols.
Aside from being a wife and mother, L.P. Dover has written over nine novels including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, and her standalone novel, Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read is romantic suspense and she also loves writing it. However, if she had to choose a setting to live in it would have to be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae.
L.P. Dover is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What Follows After by Dan Walsh

What Follows AfterBook Description:
In October 1962, Colt Harrison and his little brother, Timmy, hatched a plan. They would run away from their Florida home, head for their aunt's house in Savannah, Georgia, and refuse to come home until their parents got back together. But things go terribly, terribly wrong. Colt's mother and father must come to grips with years of neglect and mistrust in order to recover their beloved sons, their love for one another, and their broken marriage. 
In this emotional story, Dan Walsh takes readers on a journey to rediscover the things that matter most in life--love, truth, and family.

My Thoughts:
I both loved and hated this book!  When parents separate and pretend to everyone that things are still going well between them, it puts a strain on everyone.  When they force their kids to lie, well that is even worse.  Cold and Timmy decide to run away to show their parents how much they really should be together and things don't go anywhere close to how the boys planned.  
Oh my goodness.  This book was a roller-coaster ride.  I absolutely hate crying in books but this one made me.  There was such a connection the author made with these characters that you couldn't help but feel!  It was a terribly wonderful book that I read in one day.  I wanted so badly (and probably did) to tell the boys not to go.  The story line was superbly written and the characters presented flawlessly.  I rate this a 5/5.  

Thank you to the 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, April 11, 2014

Cold Moon Rising by Sarah Makela

Cold Moon Rising (Cry Wolf, #1.5)Book Description:
Passions flare when the cold moon rises… 

Kelly: a normal college girl, who knows what she wants—to survive her final exams, and find someone to share her life with. Studying with Jacob is becoming too hot to handle; she’s falling for him, but he’s going too fast… 

Jacob: a not-so-typical frat guy, who hides a secret—he’s a werewolf. Whenever the moon is high, he’s driven to shed his human form and satisfy his powerful desires. He craves Kelly, but she’s pushing him away… 

Fallout: Jacob can smell Kelly’s arousal, but she insists she doesn’t want sex. A wolf can only take so much before his natural instincts win out. When the tension between them explodes, Jacob has no choice but to walk… 

Kidnapped! Kelly is abducted by evil scientists who’ve mistaken her for a female werecat and, despite their differences, Jacob has to try and find her. But it’s a race against time and the lunar tides. The scientists have taken Kelly to their lab and turned her into a shapeshifter for real. The full moon is rising, and soon neither Kelly nor Jacob will be able to control their inner beasts. Who knows what the consequences will be when they are consumed by unquenchable animal lust…

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this novella.  Kelly is a typical college student who has a hot study partner in Jacob.  He is a unique guy and she has a palpable attraction to him and him to her.  After a study session gets a little too heated for her, Kelly tells Jacob to leave and then all manner of things break loose!  She is kidnapped and taken to a lab where they are going to experiment on her.  Oh and she finds out the truth about Jacob and things she thought were impossible were in fact quite real.
I liked both the main characters here.  Kelly was a good college student that just got in way over her head.  She wanted Jacob, he wanted her but she wasn't ready.  I was happy to see that Jacob respected her wishes (even if he was a jerk about it).  Not to mention that he was a part of a world that she had no clue existed and that she couldn't be a part of without something drastic happening.  The ending did leave me hanging and I can't wait for what happens next.
I rate this a 4/5.  I cannot wait for the next in this series.

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.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hope in the Mourning Bible (NIV)

Book Description:
WHEN A CASSEROLE OR A GREETING CARD ISN'T ENOUGH. Grief is one of life's toughest challenges. During such times it is difficult to know where to turn. Yet in the midst of your deepest despair, God reveals Himself and His promises for a better tomorrow. The NIV Hope in the Mourning Bible works to bring a peaceful sense---in the midst of the coldest winter---that spring will one day come again. The collection of devotions and prayers warmly offer inspiration and hope based in God's Word and his promises to those who have lost loved ones. This Bible emphasizes the love and hope that your Lord has for you even during your darkest days. Features* Complete text of the NIV, the world's most popular modern-English Bible* Daily devotions written for and by those who have experienced the loss of a loved one or who are helping a loved one through extended terminal illness* A prayer appendix featuring 52 prayers based on the book of Psalms* Short reflections and song lyrics for meditation * Resources page containing information for those seeking additional help

My Thoughts:
The Bible is my absolute favorite book, without question.  That being said there are several different translations and different devotional topics from them.  This is a NIV version devotional Bible for those in mourning.  I thought the devotional topics and the way they were addressed were quite good.  I had some issues with the NIV translations on some verses and the changing of the book names.  Realistically, I believe this Bible can help those working through a loss.  I grew up on the NKJV version and while the translations are close, I would use the devotional portions of this Bible with the NKJV were it me.
I rate this a 3/5.  I believe it will help those in mourning, I just have reservations about some of the differences with the translation.
Thank you to the 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.

Beautifully Wounded Cover & Title Reveal!!!!

Title: Beautifully Wounded
Author: Susan Griscom
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance/Suspense
Reveal Host: Lady Amber's Tours
"This was a wonderfully gripping story about rising above oppression, finding salvation, discovering beauty and joy in the little things, and the transformative properties of true love..." -- Literal Addiction Book Club

After a not-so-wonderful young adulthood—shuffled from one foster home to another—Lena Benton had hoped marriage would be her ticket to happiness. Wedded a year after high school graduation, Lena was certain she’d found her knight. But when Troy Harington’s true colors surface shortly after their glorious day of elopement, things aren’t quite as rosy as Lena had envisioned. When an unforeseen event turns ugly, all she can do is ... run!

But does she run far enough?

Jackson Beaumont prides himself on being a nature-loving, guitar-strumming carefree sort of guy, known for his eagerness to help injured animals find their way back into the wild. When Lena Benton walks into his bar, he’s once again swept off his feet with concern and desire to help the wounded. Will he risk having his heart torn apart again when the memory of the fawn he rescued as a child resurfaces?

18+ due to sexual content and mature subject matter.

This will be a two book series, but both books in The Beaumont Brothers can be read as a standalone.
I daydream often and sometimes my daydreams interrupt my daydreams. So I write to remember them. If I didn't write, I think my mind would explode from an overload of fantasy and weirdness. To the annoyance of my friends and family, my characters sometimes become a part of my world. During my childhood, I would frequently get in trouble in school for daydreaming. Eventually, my vivid imagination paid off and I had the privilege of writing and co-directing my sixth-grade class play—a dreadful disaster, though not from my writing, of course, I must blame it on the acting.

I enjoy writing about characters living in small quaint towns and tend to lean toward the unusual and spooky.

My paranormal playing field delves into a different milieu, abandoning vampires and werewolves, but not discounting them. Someday I might like to write a novel about vamps and those furry creatures. But for now I like the bizarre mixed with romance. A strong hero or heroine confronted with extraordinary forces of nature, powers and capabilities gets my blood running hot.
The late afternoon sun filtered through the window shining right in Lena’s eyes, and making her squint from where she sat on the sofa. I got up and closed the drapes, which made the room dark, so I flipped the switch on the lamp beside me. I sat in the old easy chair that my uncle spent many nights in, blowing on his harmonica. Uncle Joe once played and sang in a band when he was my age, and from what I’d heard by the awesome sounds he’d produced just sitting in that chair, he was pretty good. He’d been my musical inspiration, and I thought of him as I strummed out a new tune on my guitar that had been floating around in my head for several days. The words were coming together, and as I jotted them down, rearranged the flow, their meaning hit me like a crate full of bricks. I was writing a song about Lena. Like the fawn I’d nursed back to health when I was a kid. A song about a broken spirit on its way to healing, I hoped.
Brodie had been right, of course. I had wanted Lena from the moment I first set eyes on her. I knew when I watched her walk in the bar she was beautiful, even with her black eye. She was a beautifully wounded and broken soul that I couldn’t turn my back on. I had been instantly drawn to her as her bruised, damaged body limped from the door to one of the stools at the bar.
Lena spent the days lounging on our sofa, and nights in the spare bedroom with the door locked. Though she never said anything about locking the door, I heard the click each night when she shut the door. I couldn’t blame her, not after what she’d gone through. I let Rufus stay with her at night to give her a sense of protection. Not that Rufus would or could protect her—he was just a lovable lump of pure unconditional love mostly. Well, at least he’d keep her feet warm while she slept, I mused. It’d been hell every night, knowing she was sleeping right in the next room. However wrong it was to want her, I couldn’t shake the feeling. I knew it would have to be her decision though. If there was ever going to be something between us, she would have to initiate it. I could wait. If she even wanted me.
Lena was healing and gaining her strength back. I figured she was still pretty sore, but she smiled a little more often. I’d gone out and purchased some more clothes for her. I bought three pairs of jeans and about seven tops. I also bought her a pair of running shoes and some workout clothes, as well as a baseball cap. I told her, once she was well enough, in addition to self-defense training she had to start going out with me on my daily run.
By the end of the first week, the swelling in her eye had subsided, and the black and blue hues surrounding it turned a greenish yellow tint. Though I didn’t know firsthand, she told me the bruising on her side also showed signs of healing and had turned to the same light color.
I heard Lena sigh from where she stretched out on the sofa, and I glanced up. She looked bored silly. I turned over the paper I’d been scribbling notes and lyrics on, and went to fetch my spare guitar. I handed the wooden six-string to her and sat beside her.
“Do you know this one?” I asked, strumming a tune.
“No, teach it to me.”
“Okay, listen.”
She listened then strummed, mimicking my fingers.
“You’re quick,” I said.
I played some more, and she copied each note immediately after me. I nodded. “That’s it. Let’s start at the beginning.” We strummed the tune as if we’d been playing together for years. When the song finished she laughed, the sound of her laughter filled the room with warmth. “That was fun,” I said.
I played a few notes of the song I’d been toying with, and she quickly picked up the tune and followed along. She was good. “What is that?” she asked. It’s really pretty.”
“Thanks. Just something I’ve been playing around with in my head.”
“Well, it’s beautiful. I hope you finish it.”
“Does it have any lyrics?”
“I’m working on them. Come on, let’s run through that other one again.”
We played a few more tunes that she knew until she stopped and grinned. “Oh, I’ve missed this. Troy smashed my guitar into pieces early on in our marriage. He came home one evening when I’d been working on a new song, trying to work out the kinks you know. Anyway, dinner was on the stove simmering.” She’d hardly touched the wine I poured for her, but picked it up and took a small sip, placing it back down before repositioning her fingers along the strings. “He’d come in complaining about something at work and wanted to know why his dinner wasn’t on the table. At that moment, I realized I should get up and see to it, and when I put my guitar down, he picked it up and smashed it against the wall. He said his dinner should have been my first priority when he came home. He expected me to be attending to him, not sitting around playing with toys, so he smashed my guitar. He said next time it would be my face.”
I cupped her chin in my palm. She must have felt self-conscience at the gesture and flinched.
“Sorry.” I lowered my hand.
She looked down at the guitar and gently splayed her fingers across the frets. Picking up the glass of wine with her other, she took a quick sip then frowned. “I think I need some water.” She leaned the guitar against the side of the sofa and stood.
I stood as well and tenderly took her arm at the elbow, stopping her from leaving. She turned and looked up at me, bewilderment evident in her eyes. She was close to me, our chests nearly touching. “I’m sorry he treated you so badly,” I whispered—my lips just a couple of inches from hers.
Apprehensive, I searched her blue eyes, looking for a clue, a hint as to what she might be feeling. How would she react to my touch? The last thing I wanted was to stir up memories of unwanted dirty sex.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley

The Queen's HandmaidBook Description:
From the servant halls of Cleopatra’s Egyptian palace to the courts of Herod the Great, Lydia will serve two queens to see prophecy fulfilled.

Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC

Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra's palace, working hard to please while keeping everyone at arm's length. She's been rejected and left with a broken heart too many times in her short life.

But then her dying mentor entrusts her with secret writings of the prophet Daniel and charges her to deliver this vital information to those watching for the promised King of Israel. Lydia must leave the nearest thing she’s had to family and flee to Jerusalem. Once in the Holy City, she attaches herself to the newly appointed king, Herod the Great, as handmaid to Queen Mariamme.

Trapped among the scheming women of Herod’s political family—his sister, his wife, and their mothers—and forced to serve in the palace to protect her treasure, Lydia must deliver the scrolls before dark forces warring against the truth destroy all hope of the coming Messiah.

My Thoughts:
This was good!  Lydia is a servant and the story is told from her view.  She leaves her home and goes to Jerusalem and there she enters the world of Herod and the whole scheming mess of that empire.  She is there for a purpose and it must be accomplished.  The scrolls must go to one person alone and she must keep it a secret until she accomplishes that.  The politics of the age are unpredictable at best and downright cruel most of the time.  She must deliver Daniel's scrolls, the problem is staying alive and out of the line of fire to get that far.
The author did a wonderful job with the research on this book.  Add to that, she did a great job with the characters!  I really enjoyed the Bible stories through a new perspective with new possibilities (yes , I know it is fiction, but it could have been real).  There are executions, liaisons, power struggles, marriages for alliances, scheming, it was politics!  Lydia is tasked with such an important job and she has to navigate this world to get it done.  She was really a great character, calm, strong, and just who was needed to take on this task.
I rate this a 4/5.  It was a good one!
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via litfuse).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.