Thursday, October 19, 2017

All This Time by Melissa Tagg

About the Book
Bear McKinley's past refuses to let go. 
Ten years ago, Bear gave up everything--his freedom and his reputation--for his mess of a family. But after years of distance and too many attempts at starting over, he finally has a new life doing noble work in Brazil . . . until his past catches up to him once again. Suddenly he finds himself back in Maple Valley, charged with the care of his missing brother's children, convinced he's out of second chances to make his life count. And yet, with every day that passes, these kids, this quirky town and the woman he never stopped missing help patch the holes in his heart. Maybe this is the fresh start he's been longing for all along. But as his newfound hope grows, so does the mystery surrounding his brother's activities--and when the threat reaches into the lives of those he loves, it's clear he can't run away this time.
Fear holds Raegan's future captive. 
Raegan Walker is fine. She's happy working a slew of part-time jobs, still living in her childhood bedroom and rarely venturing from her hometown. At least, that's what she tells everyone . . . and herself. But she can't help wondering what might've happened if she hadn't abandoned her art so many years ago--and if Bear McKinley had never left. When Bear returns and she's commissioned for a painting that just might revive her artistic ambition all in one week, it's time to finally reach for more than fine. But doing so means facing the fears that have held her back all this time, including admitting the secret she's kept from Bear and her family. With her dream and her heart on the line, how much will Raegan have to risk to finally chase her happy ending?

My Thoughts
In the (paraphrased) words of Audrey Landry in the TV movie Wedding Daze, "As for Raegan and Bear, that's been coming for years!" Finally we get Raegan and Bear's story that has been teasing us since book one! Both of them have been amazing characters but you always knew there was so much more to their stories that we had yet to uncover. Bear was a complete mystery until this book and I loved getting to know him! Every new detail that emerged made me love him more. He was selfless, hardworking, and willing to do anything for those he cared about! Raegan has always been the fun little sister but there were hints along the way that everything was not as fine as she always claimed. As we found out what she had been dealing with and hiding for years my heart broke for her but I also admired her. The strength it took for her to face everything alone and the greater strength it took to eventually let others help her.
I loved having all of the Walkers together again! They are all fabulous on their own but when you get them all in one place it’s the absolute best!
Honestly the way Melissa writes characters is breathtakingly beautiful! They come alive off the pages and take up residence in your heart until you are feeling every emotion they feel! I just want to move to Maple Valley and become an honorary Walker! And every time I think I’ve read the best Melissa Tagg book the next one releases and I’m swept away again with a new favorite!! And once I dive in it’s almost impossible to get me out! I finished this book about 20 hours after I started (it would have been faster but exhaustion and work got in the way a little bit). I cannot rave about Melissa enough and if you have yet to experience her brilliance drop what you are doing and find one of her books now-you won’t be sorry!

Meet the Author
Award-winning author Melissa Tagg is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant writer and total Iowa girl. She writes romantic comedies in the banter-filled style of her favorite 1930s and 40s classic films. The second book in her popular Walker Family series, Like Never Before, was named to one of Publisher's Weekly's Spring 2016 Top 10 lists. When she's not writing she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. Melissa loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com and on Facebook and Instagram.

I received this book free from the author in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

About the Book
Either she and her children would emerge from that wilderness together, or none of them would…
In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail.
When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can to recover her son...especially when her second child is moments away from being born.

Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, Jacob’s life might not be the only one at stake. When frontiersman Jeremiah Ring comes to her aid, can the stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do—be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them?

My Thoughts
This book is definitely something special! An author friend of mine said it was her favorite book of the year so I knew from the start that I would love it, and love it I did! This author writes in such beautiful and vivid detail that I was completely transported to the 1774 frontier. I several times was a little jarred when I returned to reality because I was so lost in the pages of this book.
My heart broke for Clare and all that she was forced to endure. Set on a path she didn’t want to take, having her husband killed and her son stolen from her, and giving birth in the wilderness with only a stranger to assist. But she never caved to the weight of it, instead choosing to stand up and do all she could to bring her son home. I admired her strength in the face of it all.
Jeremiah was an awesome hero! His life hadn’t been easy to say the least but through all he’d faced he’d found God and His strength and was able to forgive and start anew. And his experiences not only allowed him to help Clare but to truly understand what she was going through.
I loved the message of trusting God that was woven into every part of the story. It came at a timely point in my life when I, like Clare, am needing to let go, trust God, and be still.

This story had me totally enthralled from beginning to end as I journeyed with Clare and Jeremiah through the wilds of the Ohio-Kentucky frontier. Every word was beautifully crafted and I loved it all!

Meet the Author
Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God's transforming grace.

Lori's debut novel, Burning Sky, earned the 2014 Christy Award for First Novel, Historical, and Book of the Year.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

A Woman Overwhelmed by Hayley DiMarco

About the Book
"A Woman Overwhelmed" is a phrase with which many women can relate. But what would happen if we could see the insanity in our pace and embrace our overwhelming God?
There is a reason they say that a woman’s work is never done— because it isn’t! As women, we often are overwhelmed by the demands and circumstances of life, resulting in stress, fear, worry, impatience, fatigue, frustration, and even depression. The truth is that we were created to be overwhelmed . . . not by life but by God! When we learn to be overwhelmed by God, the fruit in our lives goes from rotten to fragrant—filling our days with peace, hope, love, and joy.
In A Woman Overwhelmed, best-selling author Hayley DiMarco shares biblical insights and personal stories to offer a glimpse at the comedy of an overwhelmed life while encouraging us to discover the depths and heights of God’s love and power.
Be empowered to find freedom in becoming overwhelmed with who God is—by learning to focus on what we know about God so that we can hold onto faith even when it seems that all is lost. For it is when an overwhelmed woman gives up the mission of me and exchanges it for the mission of God that being overwhelmed becomes a good thing.

Choose to bask in the abundance of the Father instead of the abundance of life as his unfathomable depths can surely replace our fathomable messes.

My Thoughts
I loved this book and it came at a very timely point in my life. The realness and transparency of Hayley's writing was a breath of fresh air. Time and again as she shared her personal stories I felt like she was describing my own thoughts, thoughts I sometimes haven't been able to put into words myself. Chapter after chapter I was forced to really examine my heart and while I may not have liked all that I found, it was a revealing that was sorely needed. God sent this book to me exactly when I needed it and I'm not done learning from it. If life has been feeling like it's closing in on you I can't recommend this book enough!

Meet the Author
Hayley DiMarco, author of the A Woman Overwhelmed Bible study and trade book, is the best-selling author of more than forty books, including multiple books in the God Girl line, The Fruitful Wife, Obsessed, Die Young, and Own It. As the founder of Hungry Planet, a company intensely focused on feeding the world's appetite for truth, Hayley speaks regularly for women’s groups and events, including groups such as Women of Faith, dotMOM, Precept National Women’s Convention, and MOPS International. She and her pastor husband, Michael, live outside Nashville with their daughter and four dogs. Visit her online at HayleyDiMarco.com

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Crown of Souls by Ronie Kendig

About the Book
Six months after stopping a deadly plague, Cole "Tox" Russell and his team are enjoying a little rest. That peace is short-lived when a sniper shot hits Tox. The enemy is discovered to be one of their own, a rogue Special Forces team operator.
Alec King is perhaps the only person as skilled as Tox, and he's out for justice. Furious with orders that got his men killed, he intends to make those responsible pay. And he insists Tox join him, believing they are the same breed of soldier.

Afraid his old friend is right, Tox battles a growing darkness within himself as he and his team engage in another deadly encounter with antiquity. It appears Alec is cheating--he's using a mysterious artifact, a crown that history has linked to some of the worst slaughters in humanity. Racing to stop Alec before his vengeance is unleashed, Tox must fight the monster without becoming one.

My Thoughts
Oh where to even begin?! Everything Ronie writes is astoundingly amazing and Crown of Souls was no exception! From the opening line you are drawn into the heart-pounding, non-stop action. Even though this book is 480 pages long the pages flew by and made me lose track of time because I was so caught up in the story. I fell in love with Tox, his team, and Haven in the first book of this series and this one just cemented that affection. I admired Tox's determination and focus in everything he did. He had dealt with quite a lot in his life and the fact that he didn't let it defeat him and kept moving was something I don't think I'd be capable of. Haven was exactly what Tox needed. The one who saw through everything to the good man he was and constantly reminded him of that when he couldn't see it for himself. The other members of the team were fantastic too, Ram, Cell, Thor, Maangi, and I loved the new guy (or not so new for us avid Ronie Kendig readers)! Really everything about this book was beyond brilliant, the action that was written so well you felt like you were there, the intricacy of everything surrounding the crown, and the realness of the characters. Honestly can't say enough how much I adored every second of this book!

Meet the Author
Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. She's penned more than a dozen novels, including Conspiracy of Silence, The Quiet Professionals series, and the A Breed Apart series. She and her hunky hero hubby have a fun, crazy life with their children and a retired military working dog in Northern Virginia. Visit her online at www.roniekendig.com.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Top Ten Authors I Discovered My First Year of Blogging

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

My first full year of blogging was 2012 and I read 232 books that year! It was a year of discovery for me. Finding new authors, figuring out exactly what kinds of books I loved, what kinds I liked, and which kinds weren't for me. These ten authors are ones that I first read that year and to this day they are still favorites of mine! I'll also show which book was my first of each author!

Dani Pettrey

Becky Wade

Katie Ganshert

Elizabeth Camden

Jen Turano

Laura Frantz

Jody Hedlund

Denise Hunter

Julie Klassen

Jocelyn Green 

Monday, September 11, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #270

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished in the last two weeks:
ADORED this book! So SO SO good!!

What I am currently reading:
Loving this one of course!

What I hope to read this week:
Excited for this one!

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Monday, August 28, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #269

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
Finally finished this book! It was beyond amazing!

What I am currently reading:
Devouring this book! Started it this morning and already almost 200 pages in!

What I hope to read this week:
SO excited for this book!

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

About the Book
Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family's history, their very name?
Peter Holstein, given his family's German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered.
But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors' scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he's more than his name?

My Thoughts
Rarely has a book I adored this much taken me so long to complete! I was insanely busy the whole time I was reading and despite reading every spare chance I had it was still almost two weeks before I finally finished! And it really was EVERY chance! I hated putting this book down and was thinking about it quite a bit during my other activities.
I loved Peter as a hero! He wasn't what typically comes to mind when you hear that word but he completely embodied it. Speaking words isn't always easy for him due to a lifelong stutter but when it comes to writing them he has a God-given gift and he uses it. I almost melted with the letters he wrote to Rosemary, always seeming to have the right words. And all the letters he wrote, to her and others (and there were scads of them) were quietly pointing to God in a completely natural way. Because that was who Peter was, his faith was such a part of him that it just flowed seamlessly pointing everyone in his life to God.
Rosemary had a profession that to be perfectly frank, was criminal, but it was born out of necessity not greed and was all she'd ever known. And she was such a unique, fun character! She was fiery but also deeply cared about those close to her and would do whatever it took to take care of them. I loved watching her soften as she spent time with Peter and read the words in his letters. The Rosemary who came to Kensey Manor was worlds different from the Rosemary in the end.
Peter being a writer made this book the perfect one to read after coming home from CFRR and spending a whole day talking to authors and seeing bits of their process. So many of the things Peter wrestled with as he penned his books were the very things discussed at the retreat and it was cool to see fiction mirror life. Also one of my new favorite quotes came from a letter Peter wrote, "Fiction is truth...in a pretty wrapping."  Honestly it was a book nerds perfect story with the plot being so centered around books and writing. I wanted to jump into the pages and help Rosemary organize the library or talk to Peter about his novels.
And before this turns into a novel of it's own I'll wrap up with these thoughts. There were so many things I didn't figure out until the end, the author did such an amazing job weaving the tale. And lastly this book is by far one of the best I've read and you absolutely must read it! Okay I'm off to go turn into a puddle again as I think about how much I loved this book and, let's be honest, about it's amazing hero!

Meet the Author
Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna's fiction ranges from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. She lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at www.roseannamwhite.com.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, August 21, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #268

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
I have basically not stopped moving for the past two weeks so reading had to take a bit of a back burner. But I did a ton of fabulous things so I'm not too sorry!

What I am currently reading:
Adoring this book! I've had to read it in bursts due to the aforementioned busyness but it is absolutely amazing!

What I hope to read this week:
My next review book! Melissa Tagg has made me very excited to dive in!

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Monday, August 07, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #267

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
Really enjoyed this one!

What I am currently reading:
Just about to start this! Can't wait!

What I hope to read this week:

Not sure if I'll get to any thing else this week, busyness and the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat this weekend!

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!