Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Review of Conspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig



From the Back Cover:

This Is the Way the World Ends.

Four years after a tragic mission decimated his team, Cole "Tox" Russell has been disavowed by the United States. And that's fine--he just wants to be left alone. But when a dormant, centuries-old disease is unleashed, Tox is lured back into action.

Tox and his former Special Forces team regroup to work with FBI deception expert, Kasey Cortes, and fiery archaeologist, Tzivia Khalon, to search the globe for answers--and a cure. As the mission leads from one continent to another, it becomes clear they're not just fighting a plague but battling an ancient secret society whose true goals remain hidden.

With time running out and the threat for a global pandemic rising, Tox and his team realize their sole chance might be to reach back through centuries of silence to find the only answer that can save them all.

My Thoughts:

Hold on guys! I have to duck and cover.

*glances over shoulder*

Okay, I'm good. ;)

This is one of the. best. suspense novels that I have read in a very long time! Oh, my gosh. I loved, loved, loved Conspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig! The action. The plot. The secrets. The romance. The faith. And I know I mentioned this already, but seriously, the action!

I've gotten kind of picky about suspense/thriller novels with threads of romance. Maybe that's what happens when you binge read Dee Henderson and Ted Dekker books. Usually the romance feels forced and underdeveloped, and there's usually not enough action for me. I am happy to report that Tox more than lived up to my expectations!

If you were to look up "soldier" in the dictionary, you would see a picture of Tox. No joke. He is the embodiment of patriotism, honor, regret, and loyalty starting at you with blue eyes. I loved Kasey, and the romance between Tox and Kasey is a long time coming so sweet. Tzivia was a spitfire; I can't wait to see what happens with her!

I loved how the author mixed in more secret societies than National Treasure and an ancient, Biblical plague. The action grabs you by the throat from the first page and doesn't die until the last page. Scratch that. We know there's more action to come since this is the first book in The Tox Files. AHH! I can't wait.

I received a copy of Conspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

God bless you guys! See you next time!

 Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

My Imperfect New Year's Eve (And Why That's Okay)

Hi guys! I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! <3


So did you guys have any big New Year's Eve plans? I did. They were so huge. Like Reese's peanut butter cups huge.

This was my New Year's Eve -


I found myself putting together the doll house that parent's whisper about with dread and despair. Seriously, this thing had like a hundred parts. And somehow I was fool enough to buy it. (Ahem. Okay, so I didn't realize it wasn't put together... I know! I know! Please don't mock me!)

It's so cute and cool, though!

So I put together this insane princess castle, my husband got home from work, Gilmore Girls played in the background, and my husband stayed up just long enough to give me a New Year's Kiss.

That's it.

Okay, so maybe boring. It wasn't the perfect definition of New Year's Eve.

And you know what?

That's okay. Really okay. I'm actually pretty content with it.

Because here's the thing. Think about 2016. All the ups and downs. All the laughter. All the joy. All the heartache. All the trails. All the births. All the loss. Everything that made up 2016 for you. It's the past tucked into bed with a nice warm quilt.

Now think about all the things you're excited for, dreading, and expecting in 2017. The unknown wrapped in a pretty silver ribbon.

How does one take all the life from the previous year and all the anticipation for the coming year and combine them into a few perfect hours, minutes, or seconds?

It's kind of a let down because I usually fail.

Except for the years when I don't try. And I just live in the glorious moments. Some have been exciting. Some have been calm.

All have been lovely.

And it's in those moments, when I'm not chasing the elusive New Year's Eve, that I hear my Father whisper these words:

"Happy New Year."

And there's nothing boring about what He's made new.

Hugs!

V. Joy Palmer

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Review of NKJV Journal the Word Bible





Product Description:

The NKJV Journal the Word™ Bible allows you to express yourself creatively every day with plenty of room for notes or verse art journaling next to your treasured verses. With a selection of unique and sophisticated covers, this single-column edition features thick, cream-colored paper with lightly ruled lines in the extra-wide margins, perfect to reflect on God’s Word and enhance your study.
Excellent for a gift or for personal use, it can also be a cherished heirloom to pass on to future generations with your personal writings inside!
Features of this treasured Bible include:
  • Lined, wide margins for notes and reflections
  • Thicker cream paper for enduring note-taking
  • Words of Christ in red
  • Lies flat in your hand or on your desk
  • Ribbon marker
My Thoughts:

This is a great Bible!

First, the cover is so pretty! The flowery reeds and the turquoise blue is so beautiful. However, the cover is cloth over board, so it's not as strong as a hard cover book.

Next, the print really is LARGE. It's awesome. ;) Nice and clear. It's very frustrating when you need a magnifying glass to read your Bible, and I don't feel like that's the case with this Bible. The large print makes this Bible super thick. If you're like me and you like large purses, then it's not an issue. But this is not a pocket size Bible.

Other features include Jesus' words in red, which is nice. There are footnotes at the bottom of the page. Also, the journaling margins are good size. Large enough for notes, doodles, and beautiful art - that is, if you can draw. I can't. ;)

All in all. I think this is a very nice Bible.

I received a copy of the NKJV Journal the Word Bible published by Thomas Nelson from BookLook Blogger. All opinions expressed are my own.

Blessing and hugs! See you guys next time! <3

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, November 24, 2016

What I'm Not Thankful for This Year



Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you will have/are having/had an awesome Thanksgiving!!!

Check out my blog on Snack Time Devotions! I talk about the things I'm thankful for... Things I'm not thankful for... Job... And what really matters. Read it here!

Hugs! <3

V. Joy Palmer

Friday, November 18, 2016

Review of The Shattered Vigil by Patrick W. Carr




From the Back Cover:

A Single Terrible Choice Faces the Vigil. Hide in Safety and Let Darkness Take Over the Land or Face the Growing Danger and Risk All of Their Lives.

Their victory over the dark forces during the feast of Bas-solas should have guaranteed safety for the continent. Instead, Willet and the rest of the Vigil discover they've been outsmarted by those seeking to unleash the evil that inhabits the Darkwater. One of the Vigil has gone missing, and new attacks have struck at the six kingdoms' ability to defend themselves.

Worse, a deadly new threat has emerged--assassins hunting the Vigil, men and women who cannot be seen until it's too late. To thwart the perilous new risk, the church makes the drastic decision to safeguard the Vigil by taking the surviving members into protective custody. But there are secrets only the Vigil can unearth, and so Pellin makes the heart-wrenching choice to oppose the church in a race to turn back the evil that threatens an entire continent.

My Thoughts:

The Shattered Vigil is a deep, epic tale!

In this second installment of The Darkwater Saga, the Vigil is racing the clock, trying to fight against the evil that revealed itself during Bas-solas. If you enjoy a story with layers upon layer upon twists upon right hooks, then you will adore this book! I really like how Patrick Carr is able to weave keen observations about life and deep, spiritual truths into the story. I loved the increased roll of the urchins. And invisible, zombie-like people? Well done, Patrick Carr. Well done.

The writing style is different, and sometimes I felt like it pulled me out of the story. There are a lot of descriptions and personal musings, and it left me wanting more dialogue and action. While the plot is superb, this is the kind of book that I need to break into smaller chunks.

Three Stars. Despite feeling pulled out of the story, I am invested in this epic tale. I want to know how it ends!

The Shattered Vigil is the second book in The Darkwater Saga. Read my review of the first book, The Shock of Night, here. You would definitely want to read the first book, The Shock of Night, before reading The Shattered Vigil. While each book (thus far) deals with a specific problem, the events of the second book are built on an important foundation laid in the first book.

I received a copy of The Shattered Vigil by Patrick W. Carr from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

God bless you guys! Hugs! See you next time. ;)

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Review of The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson




About the Book:

Evangeline is gifted with a heavenly voice, but she is trapped in a sinister betrothal until she embarks on a daring escape and meets brave Westley le Wyse. Can he help her discover the freedom to sing again?

Desperate to flee a political marriage to her cousin King Richard II’s closest advisor, Lord Shiveley—a man twice her age with shadowy motives—Evangeline runs away and joins a small band of servants journeying back to Glynval, their home village.

Pretending to be mute, she gets to know Westley le Wyse, their handsome young leader, who is intrigued by the beautiful servant girl. But when the truth comes out, it may shatter any hope that love could grow between them.

More than Evangeline’s future is at stake as she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue that threatens England’s monarchy.Should she give herself up to protect the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne?

My Thoughts:

The queen of fairy-tale retellings strikes again with her Little Mermaid inspired story!

I can't even begin to tell you guys how I anxiously awaited the release of The Silent Songbird. I was through the roof excited when I found out this would be The Little Mermaid retelling because that is one of my favorite Disney movies (second only to The Beauty and the Beast, of course. ;) ).

And I was not disappointed!

I so adored the scene reminiscent of Ariel the mermaid rescuing drowning Prince Eric. Swoon! However, I should tell you, if you're expecting a story set by the sea or at a seaport, it's actually set in a medieval village. But I promise you, this was an incredible setting.

I related to Evangeline very quickly, and I really liked the singing aspect of the story. Westley (Ranulf and Annabel's son!!!) was amazing, and he made me think of The Princess Bride, but maybe that's just because of his name... Although there was a particularly fun "storming the castle" scene. ;)

Love! Love! Love! 4 Stars!

I am so excited for Melanie's next release, The Noble Servant, which releases on May 9th, 2017!!!

I received a copy of The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson published by Thomas Nelson from BookLook Bloggers. All opinions expressed are my own.

God bless you guys, and I'll see you next time! Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Review of Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette




From the Back Cover:

In the darkness of the storm's shadow, only truth can light her way.

Having escaped Egypt with the other Hebrews during the Exodus, Shira is now living in freedom at the foot of Mount Sinai. When the people rebel by worshipping a golden idol, the ensuing chaos gives Shira an unexpected opportunity to assist a midwife. When the experience awakens a new desire in her, she defies her mother's wish for her to continue in the family weaving trade and pursues her heart's calling as an apprentice midwife.

But when a delivery goes horribly wrong, Shira finds herself in an impossible situation and bound to a man who betrayed her. As contention between the Hebrew tribes and the foreigners fans the flames of another dangerous rebellion, Shira comes face to face with the long-hidden pain of her past. Can she let go of all that has defined her to embrace who she truly is and believe in a hopeful future?

My Thoughts:

Oh, my friends. This book... This beautiful, haunting book... I so adored it! Shadow of the Storm torn my heart out. I wept. Yet by the end of the story, I felt... Built up. Stronger. Connected. Brave.

Biblical fiction has rapidly become one of my favorite genres. I love seeing these amazing lessons and nuggets of truth that another person has taken into their heart then woven into a beautiful story.

Shira is a wonderful character. She's wounded and foolish at times, but that makes her triumph all the more glorious. She's one of the most relatable characters I've read this year. Her accounts of midwifery were moving, realistic, yet terrifying given my traumatic labor and delivery. (It certainly made me even more thankful for all the knowledge God has given to us and for guiding the doctors hands during my daughter's birth!)

I loved, loved, loved reading about Israel's time at Mount Sinai. I don't know about you, but I've become so accustomed to reading through these accounts in Exodus, that I've become a wee bit desensitized. Being forced to remember and imagine that while reading was so difficult, but it reminded me that these are people just like us. They had their own junk, and that's why they were the way they were. And when they allowed God to heal their wounds, amazing things happened. Reading this story about this group of battered, broken slaves being transformed into the mighty nation of Israel is incredible.

I highly recommend Shadow of the Storm. Five Stars!

Shadow of the Storm is the second book in Connilyn Cossette's Out from Egypt Series. The third book, Wings of the Wind, releases May 2017

I received a copy of Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

V. Joy Palmer