Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Review of Things I Never Told You by Beth K. Vogt


About the Book ~

It’s been ten years since Payton Thatcher’s twin sister died in an accident, leaving the entire family to cope in whatever ways they could. No longer half of a pair, Payton reinvents herself as a partner in a successful party-planning business and is doing just fine―as long as she manages to hold her memories and her family at arm’s length.

But with her middle sister Jillian’s engagement, Payton’s party-planning skills are called into action. Which means working alongside her opinionated oldest sister, Johanna, who always seems ready for a fight. They can only hope that a wedding might be just the occasion to heal the resentment and jealousy that divides them . . . until a frightening diagnosis threatens Jillian’s plans and her future. As old wounds are reopened and the family faces the possibility of another tragedy, the Thatchers must decide if they will pull together or be driven further apart.

For more information about Beth K. Vogt and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Do you have tissues?

Well, you're going to need them...

Things I Never Told You is an intense read in women's fiction with some serious Little Women vibes - only everything goes horribly, horribly wrong... And I'm not exaggerating.

Have. Tissues.

Things I Never Told You is very well written and will be a powerful book for many, many people; however, since the grief and breast cancer storylines may hit too close to home, prepare yourself for the upheaval of emotions this novel will unleash within you.

The grief storyline is told mostly through Payton's first person point of view as she finally starts to deal with the grief she's never acknowledged over the death of her twin sister. With a little help from an unconventional friendship with Zach Gains - another wonderful perspective - and the God she doesn't realize has been there all along, Payton finally starts to live her life again. The breast cancer storyline is told through Jillian's perspective, and while tactfully written, readers will ache with her on this journey.

A tale of estranged sisters who are desperately trying to find their way back to each other as they navigate decades of grief, fear, and secrets, this story really touches on what it means to be a family. Since the living Thatchers are not Christians, the spiritual angle is light, but I enjoyed how organic all the God moments and subtle nudges felt. Living in God's freedom regardless of present circumstances or mistakes from the past reverberates within these pages with a beautiful clarity.

Three Stars ~ Things I Never Told You is a heart achingly, intense, beautiful tale that will speak to the hearts of many readers. Things I Never Told You is the first book in Beth K. Vogt's new Thatcher Sister Series.

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

Any questions? Check out my Disclosures and Policies Page!

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.
 
Connect with Joy on her website, personal blog, devotional blogFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Review of Becoming the Talbot Sisters by Rachel Linden


About the Book ~

Twin sisters Waverly and Charlie Talbot have drifted far apart as they pursue opposite dreams of stardom and service to the poor. On an astonishing journey across Central Europe, they must come together to face their fears, find their courage and fight for what they love.

Celebrity chef Waverly Ross has built a successful career with her home-entertaining show Simply Perfect. Yet she and her husband, Andrew, have never been able to realize the true desire of Waverly’s heart: to become a mother. Meanwhile Waverly’s twin sister, Charlie Talbot, buries her bitter disappointment and shattered idealism beneath a life spent serving others as an international aid worked in Budapest, Hungary.

When the beloved aunt who raised them passes away, Waverly and Charlie come together in their grief after living years on separate continents. Struck by a fierce desire to bridge the distance between them, Charlie offers Waverly and her husband the selfless gift of surrogacy.

But soon the sisters find they are each in danger of losing their jobs, seemingly putting their dreams on hold once again. When Waverly shows up unannounced in Budapest with a plan to rescue Simply Perfect, the sisters embark on an adventure across Central Europe that could save them both from occupational hazards. Though the twins haven’t had to rely on each other since childhood, an unforeseen dangerous turn in their journey across Europe forces them to stand together to save their careers, the baby, and each other.

For more information about Rachel Linden and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Surprising.

That's what I would say if I had to sum up Becoming the Talbot Sisters by Rachel Linden in one word. This story truly surprised me!

As first glance, this seems like a novel of sisterly bonding - and it is - but so much more lies beneath the surface. The author weaves difficult subjects like miscarriages, marriage struggles, surrogacy, rape, sex trafficking, and adoption into the story in such a real and relatable way. The romance is very light, but 'twas enough to satisfy my mushy meter. *insert gooey feelings here* And thanks to some jaw-dropping twists and shocking turns, a suspenseful undertone wafts from the pages, beckoning the reader to hurry up and finish this savory tale.

Yes, there's also a dash of foodie added as flavor to the story. ;-)

In the midst of this delectable journey, courage drives Waverly and Charlie through their traumas and trials, and it will inspire readers to be courageous not only for the people who need them but also for themselves in all circumstances. We often have a plan for life, but a cause for which to be courageous doesn't wait for us to fit it into our lives; it just happens. This is something I think was illustrated very well in Becoming the Talbot Sisters, and the subtle Christian values give this story a broad appeal for reaching and calling many readers to action.

Three Stars ~ Becoming the Talbot Sisters is a little different than what I normally read, but I'm very glad that I read this heartfelt tale! If you're a fan of Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay, or if you cherish a good story of sisterly bonding, then I think you will really enjoy Becoming the Talbot Sisters by Rachel Linden!

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

Any questions? Check out my Disclosures and Policies Page!

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.
 
Connect with Joy on her website, personal blog, devotional blogFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Review of The Theory of Happily Ever After by Kristin Billerbeck


About the Book ~

According to Dr. Maggie Maguire, happiness is serious--serious science, that is. But science can't always account for life's anomalies, like why her fiancé dumped her for a silk-scarf acrobat and how the breakup sent Maggie spiraling into an extended ice cream-fueled chick flick binge.

Concerned that she might never pull herself out of this nosedive, Maggie's friends book her as a speaker on a "New Year, New You" cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. Maggie wonders if she's qualified to teach others about happiness when she can't muster up any for herself. But when a handsome stranger on board insists that smart women can't ever be happy, Maggie sets out to prove him wrong. Along the way she may discover that happiness has far less to do with the head than with the heart.

Filled with unforgettable characters, snappy dialogue, and touching romance, The Theory of Happily Ever After shows that the search for happiness may be futile--because sometimes happiness is already out there searching for you.

For more information about Kristin Billerbeck and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Kristin Billerbeck, guys. Kristin. Billerbeck.

Need I say more? Obviously this novel is pure gold!

When I saw that Kristin Billerbeck had a new novel releasing, I piglet squealed! And oh, it was sooo worth the wait!! Kristin Billerbeck is the queen of Chick Lit (seriously, I grovel in awe at her feet), and The Theory of Happily Ever After just solidifies her reign with her signature style that will have you snorting in an undignified manner. Long live the queen! ;-)

Maggie is nerdy and confused, but oh so relatable! Sam (and I automatically love any hero with the same name as my hubby) is the kind of swoony hero who says all the wrong things until he says all the rights things. There was an unexpected grief thread in the story that surprised me, but I thought the author handled it well. It didn't detract from the lightheartedness of the story, and it added a depth that many readers can related to -- that happiness isn't found in forgetting, but rather remembering. That true resilience is found in God and His love. That the answer is always found in love. <3

Five Stars ~ The Theory of Happily Ever After is the perfect novel for laughing and forgetting your troubles while also helping you see God's love. Simply delightful! As far as I'm aware, The Theory of Happily Ever After is not a series (someone do something about this!), but Kristin Billerbeck has an awesome stash of stories in her backlist, which I also highly recommend!

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

Any questions? Check out my Disclosures and Policies Page!

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.
 
Connect with Joy on her website, personal blog, devotional blogFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Review of Storm Front by Susan May Warren


About the Book ~

Life and love hang in the balance during a deadly summer of storms.

A tornado has destroyed a small Minnesota community, and among the missing are not only a group of students but also PEAK Rescue team leader Chet King. Ty Remington will stop at nothing to rescue his mentor, not even when the girl he loved--and lost--walks back into his life. But Brette needs his help more than he knows, despite her stubborn determination to push him away. And when he gets a second chance, loving her just might cost him more than he can imagine.

A blogger for Vortex Storm Chasers, Brette Arnold didn't expect her adventures to land her in the same place as Ty, the guy who she walked--no, ran--from over a year ago. She had her reasons--good ones. The kind that tell her that falling for him again would only lead to heartache. But Ty isn't the kind of man to give up--not on the missing students or on her.

For more information about Susan May Warren and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Warning: do not read during strong winds! This book is a wild ride and there's no need to add heart palpitations to the evening's activities!

Storm Front might be my second favorite book (so far) in the Montana Rescue Series. (Nothing can ever replace number one, Rescue Me. I heart Sam and Willow's story!) Join the PEAK Rescue team on their latest adventure, and don't forget to breathe!

And can I just say that my inner meteorologist geek LOVED living vicariously through this story? I used to tease my family that I wanted to be a storm chaser one day, and I've always been fascinated with tornadoes. (Okay, I'm TERRIFIED, too! LOL!) So yeah, I had a lot of fun with this book! Storm geek, party of one! ;-)

If you've been waiting for Ty's story, then you won't be disappointed! This swoony, I'll-be-there-for-you, vulnerable hero will leave you feeling like you've melted on a hot July day. If you felt like Ty and Brette's relationship fell into the pitfalls of insta-love, then I'm pleased to tell you I was delighted with the way Susan May Warren added substance, depth, and a love you could root for into their story. I had a hard time with the breast cancer angle in the story (some things just hit too close to home), but I found even that to be well done, a storyline with struggles and fears that will be relatable to many readers. This is a novel that tackles fear, dragging it to the ground and helping the reader see their fears through God's heart of love.

Five Stars ~ Storm Front is an epic adventure that you won't want to miss! However, I strongly urge you to read the previous four books (Wild Montana Skies, Rescue Me, A Matter of Trust, and Trouble Waters respectively) before diving into this new adventure. Just trust me on this. :-)

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

Any questions? Check out my Disclosures and Policies Page!

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.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Updated Privacy Policy and Disclosures


Hi All,

With all the Privacy Policy updates going around in preparation for the GDPR, I decided I had better send word out to my readers. 

You can find my Privacy Policy HERE. And further disclosures and info about giveaways can be found HERE! For future reference, you can find these pages on the main menu bar on the right column on my blog. 

Thank you for reading and thank you for subscribing to my blog.

💗 V. Joy Palmer

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Review of Unbreakable by Sara Ella


About the Book ~

Eliyana Ember is a reluctant queen. As vessel of the Verity—the purest of souls—only she can lead the fight against the wicked magnetism of the Void. If she fails, the paths between Reflections will cease to exist, and those she loves will remain plagued by darkness.

After falling through a draining Threshold and suffering near-death, Eliyana awakens to a Shadowalker-ridden Venice, Italy. From there, she must learn to navigate mysteries of time and space. Traveling across the seven Reflections, Eliyana seeks one thing: the demise of the Void.

But something else is at stake—the fate of her heart. Kyaphus Rhyen and Joshua David, brothers in arms, duel to win her hand. Ky remains ensnared and tortured by the Void. Joshua, though well-meaning, harbors dark secrets. Meanwhile, Eliyana finds herself torn, her mind and memories leading her in one direction, but her heart pulling her toward a man she knows she shouldn’t trust.

How can she discern whom to believe when she cannot even depend on her own fragmented memories?

Traversing the realms of fantasy and reality through a labyrinth of plot twists, Unbreakable delivers a thrilling conclusion to Sara Ella’s Unblemished Trilogy

For more information about Sara Ella and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

So many words could be used to describe Unbreakable. Stunning. Amazing. Devastating. Healing. Big, beautiful words that don't even begin to describe this epic tale.

So go read the book and we can stutter like fools together. ;-)

Unbreakable almost broke me, guys. Like I cried for hours and I couldn't write this review for several days because I just couldn't process all the awesome in this final *wails* book. The places... The discovers... The devastation... You should have a little recording of Janice from Friends to add a little background vocal to the shocking reveals. The characters, the story, the subplots, everything comes so full circle, even the circles have circle. Am I rambling? Well, go read the book and you'll understand why I ramble!

My heart ached for Eliyana, Ky, and Joshua. I kept wanting to tell Eliyana what was true and false, but alas she couldn't hear me. *sigh* I longed for El and Ky to be reunited, and when that sweet moment finally arrived, all. the. feels. I also loved the additional perspective of Ebony! A character I originally hated became one of my favorites.

And I'm still #TeamKy for Eliyana, but I'm also for a #happyendingforjoshua. Always. <3 So I'm #TeamJoshua, too. I love both boys. LOL! My heart ached doubly for Joshua. However, I understand why Sara Ella took the direction she did, and I applaud her for it. I would not have been strong enough to do it.

Five Stars ~ Unbreakable was nothing like I expected and more that I ever could have hoped for this final *moans* book. Unbreakable is a powerful story about the triumphant power of love and the choice within all of us to choose the good or the bad. If you haven't read Unblemished and Unraveling respectively, then you MUST read them before diving into Unbreakable. I can't stress this enough. (Also, why haven't you read them??? Go! Binge read!)

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

Any questions? Check out my Disclaimers Page!

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.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Review of The Golden Vial by Thomas Locke



About the Book ~

When a hidden evil threatens to destroy the realm, a young orphan, untested and untrained, could mean the difference between victory and total defeat.

Vulnerable and weakened by grief after a terrible loss, Hyam has been struck by a mysterious illness that threatens to claim his life. Seeking to help Hyam and restore the realm, Queen Shona travels to Hyam's remote hometown to find answers and offer aid.

Dally has always had abilities far beyond those of a normal human--far-seeing and magic come naturally to her. Before the arrival of Shona and her army, Dally had always kept her abilities secret. But with an ancient evil bearing down on her village and the fate of the realm hanging in the balance, the orphaned servant girl steps forward to do what no one else can. Will the battle claim more than Dally is willing to give?

For more information about Thomas Locke and his books, check out his website here!

My Thoughts ~

The Golden Vial will devastate and enchant you, and this epic story of good versus evil is absolutely a book worth reading! Thomas Locke's lyrical prose will suck you into this world quicker than you can turn the first page. Trust me.

Something happened... We'll call it an event because I don't want to give away any spoilers. An event occurred in The Golden Vial that devastated me, and I will NEVER get over it!!! Why? I have my reasons. ;-) The story ends with one of the cunningly crafty endings that leaves you with more questions than answers, foaming at the mouth for another book. Alas, I think this is the end of the series... *whimpers*

While Dally's point of view came out of another dimension, I actually rather loved it! Despite the devastation of The Event, Dally proved to be such an awesome character. She suffered great loss and painful trials, and I loved seeing Dally discover her purpose in life as well as a new kind of family in some of our favorite characters from the previous books.

Four Stars ~ The Golden Vial proves once again that the world readers are immersed into in the Legends of the Realm Series is one every fantasy reader should discover. The Golden Vial is the third book in the Legends of the Realm Series, and I'd recommend reading the previous books, Emissary and Merchant of Alyss respectively. Fans of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Donita K. Paul, and Patrick W. Carr would enjoy this series.

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

Any questions? Check out my Disclaimers Page!

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.