Thursday, September 29, 2016

Book Tour & Review: "A Time to Rise"

Book Review: "Where Hope Prevails" by Oke and Logan


Where Hope Prevails (Return to the Canadian West #3)
by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When Beth Thatcher returns to Coal Valley, she has much to be excited about. She anticipates Jarrick's proposal of marriage and perhaps a spring wedding. The mine is expanding, and there are more schoolchildren than ever. 

But the town's rapid growth brings many challenges. A second teacher is assigned, and Beth finds herself going head-to-head with a very different philosophy of education--one that dismisses religion and rejects God. Fearful for the children who sit under the influence of Robert Harris Hughes, Beth struggles to know how to respond. 

At the same time, Beth wonders if Jarrick is considering a position at her father's company simply for her sake. Should she admit her feelings on the matter? Or keep silent and allow Jarrick to make up his own mind?

Add to Goodreads

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Book Review: "Land of Silence" by Tessa Afshar


Land of Silence
by Tessa Afshar

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Before Christ called her daughter . . .

Before she stole healing by touching the hem of his garment . . .

Elianna is a young girl crushed by guilt. After her only brother is killed while in her care, Elianna tries to earn forgiveness by working for her father’s textile trade and caring for her family. When another tragedy places Elianna in sole charge of the business, her talent for design brings enormous success, but never the absolution she longs for. As her world unravels, she breaks off her betrothal to the only man she will ever love. Then illness strikes, isolating Elianna from everyone, stripping everything she has left.

No physician can cure her. No end is in sight. Until she hears whispers of a man whose mere touch can heal. After so many years of suffering and disappointment, is it possible that one man could redeem the wounds of body . . . and soul?

Book Review: "The Beautiful Pretender" by Melanie Dickerson


The Beautiful Pretender (A Medieval Fairy Tale #2)
by Melanie Dickerson

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

What happens when a margrave realizes he’s fallen in love with a servant?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble-born ladies from around the country to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina is only responsible for two things: making sure her deception goes undetected and avoiding being selected as the margrave’s bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?

Book Review: "Courageous" by Dina Sleiman


Courageous (Valiant Hearts #3)
by Dina L. Sleiman

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Valiant Hearts: Where Adventure and Romance Meet

Inspired by the vision of the Young Lady Sapphira, Rosalind of Ipsworth joins a group of men, women, and children as a defender of the cross, seeking to free captives from prisons near Tripoli. She gladly gives herself to the cause, as she's haunted by a tragic mistake and no longer deserves such joys as marriage and family might bring.

Sir Randel Penigree was reared to serve in the church, but dreams of protecting the innocent as a knight. Joining a crusade to escape humiliation at home, he finds himself drawn to Rosalind as they partner to train and protect a group of young adolescents. When they face political machinations, danger, and an unknown enemy bent on their destruction, they are forced to reconsider their priorities and the very nature of the God they serve.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Blog Tour & Excerpt: "Faith is the Victory"

Have  you ever felt like too much was going on and you just couldn't handle anything more? Or maybe someone has bothered you so much that you avoid them as much as you can, but they still keep coming back. David felt that way in Faith Blum's short story, Faith is the Victory, and she's here today to tell us more about her book.

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-Thon: Conclusion

Friday, September 23, 2016

Book Review: "Daughter of Winter" by Amber Argyle


Daughter of Winter (Fairy Queens #6)
by Amber Aargyle

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Bargains. Only the truly desperate make them. Only the truly desperate need them. And always, the desperate pay.

The silence and never-ending dark of winter are all Elice has ever known, for she is the daughter of the Winter Queen. Isolated in a northern queendom with only the seals for company, she dreams of color and music and life. So when a whaling ship crashes just offshore, she doesn't hesitate to rescue the lone survivor, Adar, who quickly becomes her friend. She must keep him hidden from her mother at all costs, for if the Winter Queen discovers him trespassing, she'll kill him. 

When her mother reveals just how dark her soul has become, Elice realizes she is as much a prisoner as Adar. To ever know true freedom—to ever become the woman she was meant to be—she must flee with him. But in their flight, she begins to see hints of something more nefarious. The darkness that has taken hold of her mother is spreading, staining the world with its influence. 

Unbeknownst to Elice, a bargain was made long ago. A bargain she was born to fulfill.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-Thon: Update

And here is my belated update. Maybe I'll start giving you a weekly update independent of contests? I've promised things before that never came to fruition, so we shall see.

Also, don't forget to check out the contests going on for the Read-a-Thon!

Statistics for September 12-18

Books Completed: 4
Pages Read: 1220


by Rick Riordan
The Trials of Apollo #1

Read: September 13-14
Pages: 376
Format: Audiobook
Times read: 1

Rating: 5 Stars 

by Julie Klassen

Read: September 15-17
Pages: 398
Format: Audiobook
Times Read: 1

Rating: 5 Stars

by C. S. Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia #1

Read: September 15-18
Pages: 206
Format: Audiobook, Unabridged
Times Read: 3 unabridged, 7+ abridged audio drama

Rating: 5 Stars

by C. S. Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia #2

Read: September 18
Pages: 240
Format: Audiobook, Unabridged
Times Read: 1 unabridged, 7+ abridged audio drama

Rating: 4 Stars

Currently Reading

by Rachel Rossano
Novels of Rhynan #2.5

Started: September 8
Progress: 8%
Format: eBook ARC

Comments: I really need to finish this book. It's been how long since I signed up to review it? Three months? Four? But I may end up restarting it to participate in one of those contests I'm involved in. 

by Nadine Brandes
Out of Time Series #3

Started: September 15
Progress: 41%
Format: eBook ARC

Comments: Eeek! So excited to read this book!!! Book three in my favorite series, following an epic cliffhanger! Thank you so much, Nadine, for letting have an ARC for review!

by Sarah E. Ladd
Whispers on the Moors #3

Started: September 17
Progress: 15%
Format: Audiobook

Comments: It's book 3, not book 2? Whoops. At least it's a standalone... I loved book one and was craving a historical romance after finishing Lady Maybe, and I chose this series.

by Julie Klassen

Started: September 17
Progress: 5%
Format: Audiobook

Comments: This was the only other audiobook by Julie Klassen I could find in my online library. What a shame there's only two! Anyway, I started it with a friend, so it could be months before we finish. But it will be worth it!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Book Review: "Miriam" by Mesu Andrews


Miriam (Treasures of the Nile #2)
by Mesu Andrews


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

At eighty-six, Miriam had devoted her entire life to loving El Shaddai and serving His people as both midwife and messenger. Yet when her brother Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he brings a disruptive message. God has a new name – Yahweh – and has declared a radical deliverance for the Israelites.
 Miriam and her beloved family face an impossible choice: cling to familiar bondage or embrace uncharted freedom at an unimaginable cost. Even if the Hebrews survive the plagues set to turn the Nile to blood and unleash a maelstrom of frogs and locusts, can they weather the resulting fury of the Pharaoh?
Enter an exotic land where a cruel Pharaoh reigns, pagan priests wield black arts, and the Israelites cry out to a God they only think they know.


Miriam has been a midwife and prophetess to the Hebrew slaves in Egypt for nearly all of her eighty-six years. Then one day, everything changes. Pharaoh had a dream, Miriam cannot feel the Spirit of El Shaddai, and her brother Aaron experiences a calling to fetch his brother Moses out of Midian. Then Moses arrives, bearing news of their upcoming deliverance and a new name for their God, Yahweh.

Miriam by Mesu Andrews takes up the story of the Exodus begun in Pharoah’s Daughter, and I must say I enjoyed it very much. It takes a new look at the story of Israel’s deliverance, the ten plagues, and the Red Sea crossing through the view of some of the normal people in Israel. After all, not everyone would have seen Moses talking to Pharaoh and would not understand at first why a few dozen frogs suddenly invaded their house. Miriam was a rather fascinating look at some of the physical and spiritual effects of the events in Exodus.

A second main character, other than Miriam, was Eleazar, her brother Aaron’s son. Eleazar, as the bodyguard for one of Pharaoh’s sons, gave insight into what occurred in the palace, since neither Moses nor Aaron were ever POV characters. Also, Miriam told of Eleazar’s growing relationship with a young woman under his care. It amused and frustrated me as I realized how little Eleazar understood women.

The spiritual journey of the various characters was a major focus of the novel. As mentioned in the synopsis, Miriam had held a close relationship with God, having a distinct and unusual sense of God. But she lost that particular sense around the same time Moses received his calling to rescue the Israelites, and she struggled from that point on, feeling deserted. It wasn’t that God deserted her but that the relationship between them had changed. Miriam was no longer alone in her calling to minister to the Israelites, and Moses took her place as spiritual leader. It made the character who I had worried about being able to relate to, due to my age being a fraction of her own, and made her relatable and dynamic.

The historical facts seemed as accurate as they could be, considering how little is known about ancient Egypt. Watching the plagues ensue and the scientists of the time trying to explain away the extreme forces of nature was fascinating. Also, I had never thought about the fact that Pharaoh would have several first-born sons because of his many wives. How horrible it would have been to have lost all of them at once.

In all, Miriam was a fascinating look into the Exodus of the Bible. It touched on the characters and the spiritual and physical effects the plagues would have on them and the way Pharaoh could have reacted as he did. I enjoyed it very much and recommend it to anyone who enjoys an interesting, accurate retelling of Biblical history.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-Thon

I just wanted to let you know that the blog Wishful Endings is beginning its annual "Tackle Your TBR Read-a-Thon" Challenge. As you can see from the image, it is from today through September 26. The idea is to take these weeks to read as many books from your To-Be-Read pile as possible in corroboration with the many other people doing this challenge and the minor challenges on other blogs. I will be participating, so you will be seeing a few updates in the coming weeks. 

And I am pretty sure the sign-ups are still open if you want to participate, so if you do, follow this link to get to the official sign-up page and this link to the Goodreads group. There will be a launch post and giveaways beginning today, so be sure to check the sign-up page. And check the bottom of this post for the schedule!

For my part, I have hundreds of books on my TBR list, but the first ones on my list for these coming weeks will begin with:
  • A Time to Rise by Nadine Brandes
  • Shades of Doon (#3) by Lori Langdon and Carey Corp
  • Forever Doon (#4) by Lori Langdon and Carey Corp
  • Three Wishes by Lisa T Bergren
  • Tainted by Morgan L. Busse
  • Waking Beauty by Sarah E Morin
  • The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischoff
  • A Branch of Silver, A Branch of Gold by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
  • Kingdom at Sea by Jill Williamson

We will see how many I get done.

Challenge Schedule

9/12: Kick-Off with giveaways. Giveaways will include:
  • $15 Amazon gift card (INT)
  • Book of winner's choice from their TBR (INT)
9/13: Wishful Endings First Line Challenge
9/14: Jemima Pett & Janette Rallison
9/15: Wishful Endings Duo Color Challenge
9/16: Katherine Reay on Wishful Endings
9/17: Hidden Worlds Books
9/18: Operation Awesome
9/19: Mid-Point Check-In & Twitter Chat
9/20: Wishful Endings Name Challenge
9/21: J. Lenni Dorner
9/22: Wishful Endings Fall Colors Challenge
9/23: The Book Monsters
9/24: Wishful Endings Random Book Challenge
9/25: Katie Teller's Stories
9/25: Challenge giveaway ends (for the challenges I'm hosting)
9/26: Read-a-thon Ends (no challenge)
9/27: Wrap-Up (giveaway won't close until the end of day to allow everyone to link up)