Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Review of Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano



From the Back Cover ~

Working as a paid companion may be quite commonplace, but Miss Gertrude Cadwalader's eccentric employer makes her job unpredictable, to say the least. She finds herself carrying out an array of highly unusual tasks, including wearing peculiar outfits and returning items the woman pilfered. But when the wealthy Mrs. Sinclair catches Gertrude sneaking around the Sinclair yacht with some of the missing items in her possession, she immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion.

Shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair is caught in the middle of a misunderstanding between his mother and Gertrude, but he can't help coming to his friend's defense. Even as he hopes their friendship might become something more, Harrison is unprepared for the outlandish escapades that seem to follow the lovely, anything-but-ordinary Gertrude at every turn.

My Thoughts ~

I do believe, without a shadow of a doubt on a dreadfully cloudy day, that this particular novel by one Jen Turano is my favorite thus far.

It's hard not to talk with a little extra flair after reading one of Jen Turano's novels. ;-)

My friends, this novel was so much fun! Hilarious misunderstandings that had me laughing out loud, witty dialogue, poignant faith, and tender romance - what's not to love?!

You will adore Mr. Harrison Sinclair's bumbling efforts at wooing Miss. Gertrude Cadwalader. You will relate to Miss. Gertrude Cadwalader's struggle with forgiving not only others, but herself. The mystery surround the "respectable" Mrs. Davenport will be revealed. Unexpected tears may fall as you also realize that God has not called you to muddle through life, but to live an extraordinary life with Him, especially by giving and receiving love. Indubitably, your heart will soar much like a delightful yacht cuts through the ocean blue on a windy day, which it so happens to be as I write this review. Windy, that is. Although, I suppose there is some soaring.

Hehe. See! I told you it was hard. ;-)

Four and a Half Stars ~ So. Much. Fun! Out of the Ordinary is the second book in the Apart from the Crowd Series by Jen Turano. While you could read Out of the Ordinary as a standalone story, I believe you'll find a more fulfilling story experience if you first read book one, Behind the Scenes.

Last time. ;-)

I received a copy of Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano 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.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Review of Vanishing Point by Lisa Harris


About the Book ~

Six girls missing . . . and every clue leads to a dead end

During Garrett Addison's first week on the job as a criminal investigator for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, his team is called out to a murder scene of a young girl. She's just one in a string of disappearances with one thing in common--a Polaroid photo of each victim left behind at the crime scene.

The FBI is pulled into the case to help, and Garrett finds himself working with Special Agent Jordan Lambert, the woman he once loved. When yet another girl dies, Garrett wonders whether he really has what it takes to be an agent. Maybe he should just walk. But while he may be done with the killer, the killer is not done with him--or Jordan.

For more information about Lisa Harris or her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Looking for a chilling suspense, faith, and a dash of romance? Look. No. Further. than Lisa Harris' latest novel because, wow, guys. Wow.

I was greatly distraught minorly annoyed when The Nikki Boyd Files ended without a satisfying conclusion to the Angel Abductor story arc. Then I was seriously pumped when I found out about Vanishing Point! I am pleased to report that at long last we have the answers to this mystery! But there will be no more on that from me. ;-)

Vanishing Point covers almost fifteen years, and you see Garrett and Jordan experience life changes, struggles, and triumphs. Though it makes my heart ache that it took so long for Garrett and Jordan to find their Happily Ever After, sometimes that's the journey - but it's always a rewarding journey. Lisa Harris also tackles difficult questions over the coarse of this novel, including the age-old question, "Where is God when bad things happen?" She lovingly reminds readers that even though we live in a fallen, broken world without all the answers, Jesus has saved us.

Four Stars ~ Vanishing Point is a must read for anyone who's read The Nikki Boyd Files! Due to the conclusion of the mystery started in those books, I strongly insist with all the self-appointed authority of a bookworm that you read The Nikki Boyd Files, Vendetta, Missing, and Pursued respectively, before reading Vanishing Point. However, if you stumbled on Vanishing Point first, you will find a well crafted, conclusive story within those pages.

I received a copy of Vanishing Point by Lisa Harris 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.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Review of Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano



About the Book ~

Lynhurst Manor is a house built on secrets . . . and the arrival of Aurelie Harcourt might reveal them all.When Aurelie Harcourt's father dies suddenly, he leaves her just two things: his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll, and his wealthy family--who want very little to do with her.

As Aurelie struggles to find a home with her father's family and learn the rules of society, she relishes in his parting gift--the beginning of his last story. The story she always wanted to hear, about her mother's mysterious disappearance from the home where she now lives. To complete the novel, she'll have to extract clues from relatives--and one enigmatic houseguest--who often seem reluctant to give them up.

For more information about Joanna Davidson Politano, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Lady Jayne Disappears is absolutely enchanting, utterly romantic, and deliciously original!

Aurelie proves to be a sweet, loving, genuine character with a touch of endearing naïveté as she navigates this new world filled with rules and secrets. I loved the deep, first person narrative. As she embraces her writing and the world of aristocracy, she struggles to find her voice amongst the negative. We get to see some of Silas' (our hero <3) perspective, too. Each glimpse only makes him more dashing and dear.

I think every author and writer would love this story. It's always so fun and encouraging to see a character who so accurately portrays the insanity that is a writer's life. Haha! And it's a story, within a story, within a story. Who doesn't love that?!

Lady Jayne Disappears twisted and turned every which way, keeping me on my toes. Reveals were fast and shocking, yet I didn't feel confused once we reached the conclusion. The author wasn't afraid to give you imperfect characters and messy situations in addition to characters like Aurelie who, while imperfect, are striving to serve God. Every thread was not tied up with a darling lace bow, however, this only adds to the tantalizing mystery.

And the ending! Oh, the ending! I promise you on my honor as a bookworm, I'm not giving away spoilers. Breathe easy, friends. But I need to tell you the ending is so wonderfully romantic, that it will rival some of the greatest fairytales. AND this delicious story ends with a call for action. To disregard all the scorn and doubts from yourself and others. To go and pursue God's unique call on your life. LOVE IT!

Five Stars ~ I will need to reread Lady Jayne Disappears ASAP in order to fully soak up all the lovely descriptions, wordplays, and witticisms! Once is not enough!

I received a copy of Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano 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.

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.