Friday, November 17, 2017

Review of The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay



About the Book ~

Falling into the past will change their futures forever.

Mary Davies finds safety in her ordered and productive life. Working as an engineer, she genuinely enjoys her job and her colleagues—particularly a certain adorable and intelligent consultant. But something is missing. When Mary’s estranged childhood friend, Isabel Dwyer offers her a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in England, she reluctantly agrees in hopes that the holiday will shake up her quiet life in just the right ways.

But Mary gets more than she bargained for when Isabel loses her memory and fully believes she lives in Jane Austen’s Bath. While Isabel rests and delights in the leisure of a Regency lady, attended by other costume-clad guests, Mary uncovers startling truths about their shared past, who Isabel was, who she seems to be, and the man who now stands between them.

Outings are undertaken, misunderstandings arise, and dancing ensues as this company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation, work out their lives and hearts.

For more information about Katherine Reay and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

The Austen Escape is one of Katherine Reay's best stories!

Mary, a brilliant engineer, has hilarious quirks, including making little figurines out of electrical wire while she's thinking and using scraps of it to hold her ponytail in place. But Mary has lived a lot of life hiding in plain sight. As the precarious predicament she finds herself in comes to a climax, she walks the road of trust and vulnerability to a freeing type of clarity best seen with the heart.

I love everything about this book - from the adorable cover to the delectable writing style to the whimsical story between the pages. The Austen Escape is an adorable mash-up of science nerd and Jane Austen. AND this novel will be a dream come true for many an Austenette! A gorgeous, regency styled house, clothes, games, and life! Um...YES, PLEASE!!! I loved the idea of roleplaying Austen's works and living a regency lifestyle. It all felt so real, making me downright giddy!

While you will find similarities to some of Jane Austen's work, such as Mansfield Park, The Austen Escape is not a strict retelling or modern interpretation of the legendary author's novels. Rather, it's a probing look at some choice characters and Jane herself. These insights help magnify character development and revelations. Also, the spiritual content is light, making this an excellent crossover novel.

Five Stars ~ If you are an Austen lover, then this is a story to add to your keeper shelf. Even if you are not an Austen lover *gasp*, this is still an enjoyable novel! The Austen Escape is a standalone novel, but be sure to check out Katherine Reay's other titles!

I received a copy of The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay published by Thomas Nelson from BookLook Bloggers. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer


V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Review of Too Far Down by Mary Connealy



About the Book ~

With Danger Drawing Ever Closer, The Boden Clan Risk Losing Their Ranch Forever

Having returned home to the ranch, Cole Boden finds himself caught between missing his time back east and appreciating all that New Mexico Territory offers. Sure, he fights with his siblings now and then, but he does care for them. He enjoys his new job running the mine and, when he's honest, he admits that Melanie Blake captures his interest in a way no other woman ever has.

Melanie has been a friend to the Bodens forever. A cowgirl who is more comfortable with horses and lassoes than people, she never expected to find herself falling for someone, particularly for refined Cole Boden, a Harvard graduate who can't seem to make up his mind about staying in New Mexico.

When a deadly explosion damages the CR Mining Company, the Bodens realize their troubles are not behind them as they thought. Shadowy forces are still working against them. Melanie is determined to help Cole and the family finally put an end to the danger that's threatened all of them. But will putting herself in harm's way be more dangerous than anyone expected?

For more information about Mary Connealy and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

The story of the couple we've known should be together all along has arrived!

Join the Boden clan as they put the mystery at who is behind the attacks on their family and property to rest for once and for all! And boy, did Mary Connealy put us through the wringer with such a layered mystery! Also, I really enjoyed the look into what it was like to mine for gold in the Old West. How fun!

Cole is charming and far more stubborn than a pickle jar. Melanie is a strong, spunky girl-next-door, someone who's always been there for Cole. Waiting for them to finally profess their undying love for each other resembles a five-year-old waiting for Christmas morning. However, that "Christmas morning" moment is just as sweet. <3 Through their journey that if rife with misunderstandings, they come to learn what it really means to sacrifice and belong somewhere, to someone. <3

Mary Connealy writes hilarious western romances with all the strength of a legendary hero! Too Far Down is no exception. But at the basis of this fun story filled with blessings in disguise, is a heartfelt message of what a family's legacy really is - love.

Four Stars ~ This was a wonderful conclusion to a fun series! Too Far Down is the last book in The Cimarron Legacy Series. Due to the mystery, I recommend reading the previous books, No Way Up and Long Time Gone respectively, before reading Too Far Down.

I received a copy of Too Far Down by Mary Connealy from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer


V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Review of The Delusion by Laura Gallier


About the Book ~

By March of Owen Edmonds’s senior year, eleven students at Masonville High School have committed suicide. Amid the media frenzy and chaos, Owen tries to remain levelheaded―until he endures his own near-death experience and wakes to a distressing new reality.

The people around him suddenly appear to be shackled and enslaved.

Owen frantically seeks a cure for what he thinks are crazed hallucinations, but his delusions become even more sinister. An army of hideous, towering beings, unseen by anyone but Owen, are preying on his girlfriend and classmates, provoking them to self-destruction.

Owen eventually arrives at a mind-bending conclusion: he’s not imagining the evil―everyone else is blind to its reality. He must warn and rescue those he loves . . . but this proves to be no simple mission. Will he be able to convince anyone to believe him before it’s too late?

Owen’s heart-pounding journey through truth and delusion will force him to reconsider everything he believes. He both longs for and fears the answers to questions that are quickly becoming too dangerous to ignore.

For more information about Laura Gallier and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

If you let it, this story will change your life. Read. This. Book. I really can't emphasis this enough to you. To spare you an insanely long review, just imagine that I wrote those three words three hundred times.

The Delusion is a fast-paced, supernatural, paranormal, Christian thriller. And no, that is not an oxymoron.

The story starts with Owen, a high school senior, and eleven of the students in his school have committed suicide. WHY? Turns out there's a battle - a battle of good versus evil, light versus dark, Creepers versus Watchman, a battle for souls.

A battle that's all too real.

Though reading The Delusion may result in the rustle of chains scarring you half to death for the rest of your life, this eye-opening story is worth the sacrifice. While the author has used her imagination to paint a more complete picture of the world we cannot see, she definitely relies on the Bible and what is revealed to us there. Even though this is a fiction story, you know because you know because you know that this is real and happening right now. Imagine spiritual warfare presented in a fiction format. While entertaining and enthralling, this story will change how you view life, death, God, evil, suicide, prayer - the list goes on! I'll say it again: if you let it, this story will change your life.

Five Stars ~ I have a lot of favorite books, but The Delusion is one of the best books I've ever read. No joke. Fans of Toward a Secret Sky by Heather Maclean, The Gifting Series by K. E. Ganshert, or Ted Dekker will love this novel! The Delusion is the first book in The Delusion Series. Book Two can't release fast enough!!!

I received a copy of The Delusion by Laura Gallier published by Tyndale from the Tyndale Blog Network. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer


V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Review of Crown of Souls by Ronie Kendig



About the Book ~

When You Stare Into the Abyss It Also Stares Into You

The bullet that rips into Cole "Tox" Russell was never meant to kill. It was meant to send a message. Only one man is skilled enough to have taken the shot, a rogue Special Forces operator who vanished months ago.

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 could be right, Tox battles a growing darkness within himself as he and his team are forced into another deadly encounter with antiquity. It appears Alec is harnessing the power of 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.

For more information about Ronie Kendig and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Wow! Ronie Kendig has done it again, forever claiming a spot as one of my go-to military, thriller, suspense authors!

Imagine if a military suspense, The Lord of the Rings, and National Treasure where all thrown into a literary blender, and then this concoction is sprinkled with a sweet romance. Clearly, I am no chef, but I think you get the point that this book is amazing!

Re-dive into the world of Cole "Tox" Russell, Haven (Kasey), Ram, and Tzivia. A world where history and the supernatural collide with our modern-day issues and unbelief. The story mostly flows from Tox and Haven's perspectives, but Ram (I love Ram!), Tzivia, and a mysterious, important man from the past make appearances that left me wanting more. This journey is rife with action, soul-searching, and...victory?

Sorry. I can't say more. Spoilers. And I relish in your frustration a little. Hehe. ;-)

The story is peppered with the spiritual premise that if you stare into the darkness, then it stares into you. Through Tox's struggles and secrets and Haven's steadfastness, reader's are reminded that no matter what they've done, God's love and forgiveness covers all.

Five Stars ~ A.Maz.Ing. Crown of Souls is the second book in The Tox Files. I would definitely recommend reading book one, Conspiracy of Silence, before diving into Crown of Souls. They make great binge reads! I'm looking forward to the next book, Thirst of Steel, to a mildly alarming, obsessive, great degree! Thirst of Steel releases on July 31st, 2018.

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

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer


V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Review of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner!



About the Book ~

Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that's obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she's made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she's chosen. She's still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she's not sure she can write anymore. She's beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a "scandalous" book. And the fact that she's falling in love with her pastor doesn't make things any easier.

With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn't afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.

For more information about Bethany Turner and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

I want you all to meet my new friend, Sarah Hollenbeck.

Cause she's awesome.

Seriously, guys. Please read The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, so we can gush about it together! There are some books you know you're going to love as soon as you see the cover. That knowledge is only strengthened when you read the description and, finally, the first paragraph. This is one of those books.

The first few chapters show us the events leading to Sarah's scandalous enterprise and her journey to God, but the majority of the book takes place after Sarah has given her life to God. Sarah's (i.e. Bethany's) narrative had me laughing to myself, yet there were surprising twists and revelations that kept me on my toes while devouring this romantic comedy.

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck is deliciously fun with a dreamy hero to boot! However, don't let the lightheartedness fool you. This story packs a spiritual punch! Bethany Turner is not afraid to be real, and she gently takes a spiritual salt stick to the open wounds found in the church and body of Christ today. Insightful and overflowing with grace, this novel will touch your heart.

Five Stars ~ An adorable, witty, romantic read! The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck is Bethany Turner's debut novel. Honestly, EVERYBODY should be a fan of this delightfully fun story that gently probes the heart! #allthefeels

I received a copy of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer


V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

FALL into Reading Giveaway!!!!



Hey, my friends!

Some author friends and I have teamed up to bring you an awesome giveaway just in time for your fall reading! The FALL into Reading Mega Giveaway is now live! *squeals of, well, joy* So grab your cozy blankets and your favorite warm drink and enter!!!

The Books ~


Isabel “Izze” Vez, bridal consultant extraordinaire, has been helping brides find The Dress for years. She loves nothing more than helping make wedding dreams come true…but sometimes the happy endings grate on her. How many times can a girl discover someone else’s gown without dreaming of the day it’ll be her turn to wear one?

When James Miles Clayton walks into her life, he represents everything Izze can’t handle: change. He’s determined to bring the Ever After Bridal Boutique into the black…and to prove to Izze that she should give him a chance.

But if there’s anything Izze handles worse than change, it’s trust. She may have a few issues—fine, she knows she does. But will they keep getting in the way of any chance of her own Happily Ever After? She wants to trust God to give her those dreams of love and lace, but that’s going to require some…minor alterations.
 
For more information about...me, check out my website and blog!
 
 
All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but, what if she is the only one who can truly see?
 
Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that's what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.
 
Tristan was Fern's childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.
 
For more information about Kara and her books, check out her website here!
 
 
Three couples overcome obstacles and find out that love often begins in the kitchen. A trio of novels flavored with grace, with delicious elements of food and restaurant life, mixed with lovable characters. Table for Two, Second Chance Café, and Recipe for Love were previously published by Heartsong Presents. This new compilation includes a bonus short story and recipe!
 
For more information about Brandy and her books, check out her website here!
 
 
 
“Why did my life have to be full of secrets?”
 
 After three years in England, William Landor returns to Boston in 1774, little knowing the events that are about to unfold. England has issued an ultimatum: pay for the tea that was destroyed in the Boston Tea Party, or the Port of Boston will be closed. William knows that this will have a devastating effect on his hometown, which is so dependent on the sea. However, he finds himself in the middle of the political struggle he wanted to avoid. William’s father is a merchant and loyal to the king and is furious at what the rebels of Boston have cost him. He would like nothing more than to rid the city of their poisonous influence. Meanwhile, William’s best friend, Dr. Joseph Warren, is one of the leaders of rebels, or Whigs as they call themselves. As if his life was not complicated enough, he meets a fiery indentured servant who tugs at his heart as well as his loyalty. When he is confronted by the consequences of his many secrets, he has to make a choice whether or not to tell the truth. Does he have the kind of courage it will take?
 
For more information about Sarah and her books, check out her website here!
 
 
Her only chance of getting home is trusting the man she hates.
 
With the protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle's castle. She doesn't dare to trust him...and yet doesn't dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent.

Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her but what is he to do when those goals clash?

The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope...or be overcome.
 
 
The stalwart saint, fighting for faith...the redeemed rebel, fighting for honor.
 
After Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the Iconoclastic Fury, she discovers that faith is sometimes fragile and hope is not as easy as it may seem. Now truly orphaned yet not alone, Gwyneth continues her quest to learn more about the love of God preached by Protestants she once distrusted.   Dirk's quest is to prevent his sullied name from staining hers. Will his choice to protect her prove the undoing of her first faltering steps toward a Father God? Once separated, will Dirk and Gwyneth's searching hearts ever sing the same song?


 
What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?
 
With the help of an old friend with uncertain loyalties, Dirk inches ever closer to clearing his name. Gwyneth throws her faith into good tidings and the promise of a future as a family. But an old evil comes to call, just as tragedy rips apart a fledgling truce. Enemies from the past and grief for the future threaten to tear asunder what God had brought together...

As the date of Dirk's trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth's parents' murders or separated from her forever? How much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast?
 
 
I believe writing isn’t all heart and art. It’s structure and syntax, too.

Write Well will help you understand the structure of writing so you can get back to the art.

Hi there, I'm Rachelle Rea Cobb. and I have history with words. I'm a grammar geek with a knack for storytelling. I hep authors (traditionally and self-published), bloggers, students, and ESL writers polish their pages until their words shine--so that they then can sign their own publishing contracts. Did I mention I signed my own book deal at age 22?

And now I'd like to share my expertise with you.

My latest release, Write Well: A Grammar Guide, is a short ebook designed to walk you through what you need to know so you can get back to the real work: actual writing!
 
Special shout-out to Rachelle Rea Cobb, who organized all. of. this. She's pretty awesome, guys!
 
For more information about Rachelle and her books, check out her website here!

Rules, Info, and Such ~

The giveaway will run from today, October 1st, 2017, through all of Sunday, October 8th, 2017. Rachelle Rea Cobb will announce and notify the winners!

Enter using the handy Rafflecopter here and may the odds be ever in your favor ~

I don't have a lot to say other than that...

Oh, puppies! :-) That usually does the trick.

Hugs!!! <3

~V. Joy Palmer


V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.

 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Review of Justice Buried by Patricia Bradley



About the Book ~

In an effort to get her security consulting business off the ground, Kelsey Allen has been spending a lot of time up in the air, rappelling down buildings and climbing through windows to show business owners their vulnerabilities to thieves. When she is hired to pose as a conservator at the Pink Palace Museum in order to test their security weaknesses after some artifacts go missing, she's ecstatic. But when her investigative focus turns from theft to murder, Kelsey knows she's out of her league--and possibly in the cross hairs. When blast-from-the-past Detective Brad Hollister is called in to investigate, Kelsey may find that he's the biggest security threat yet . . . to her heart.

Crackling with romantic tension and laced with intrigue, this suspenseful story from award-winning author Patricia Bradley will keep readers guessing--and looking over their shoulders.

For more information about Patricia Bradley and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

This was my first Patricia Bradley book, but I quite enjoyed it!

In a lot of ways, this book felt like an episode of Bones - only less gross! I really enjoyed the glimpse into the workings of a museum and a conservator's work. The white hat hacker angle was a lot of fun, even if it was slightly terrifying. ; ) *runs security check on computer* And the twists and turns and action, oh my! The action grabbed me from the first chapter, and I stayed up WAY too late to finish this fast-paced novel. Worth it. ; )

Also, the romance was well paced! The romantic thread is light, building on a pre-existing friend/enemy relationship between Kelsey and Brad. The spiritual angle was also light, making this a good story for someone new to God and Christian Fiction. I enjoyed seeing Kelsey and Brad overcome their hurts regarding their experiences with the truth, or rather, the lack of it. Kelsey, especially, was an accurate picture of someone who's learning that relying on yourself is not the same as fully relying on God.

Four Stars ~ A twisting, fast-paced romantic suspense! Justice Buried is the second book in Patricia Bradley's Memphis Cold Case Novels. Fans of Dani Pettrey, Dee Henderson, or Lisa Harris will enjoy this series.

I received a copy of Justice Buried by Patricia Bradley from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer


V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.