Monday, May 22, 2017

Review of What Hope Remembers by Johnnie Alexander



From the Back Cover ~

When you need a new beginning, sometimes the best place to start is homeWhen Amy Somers leaves her job as a lobbyist, she moves to Misty Willow, well aware that she's crossing bridges she'd burned years before. With all the mistakes she's made and the things she's done, she can hardly believe that happiness will find her--especially when Gabe Kendall, her first crush and her first kiss, rides back into her life atop a buckskin mare.

A former Marine, Gabe is at loose ends after serving a prison sentence for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He sees beyond Amy's hard exterior to the girl he once knew and loved, and he longs to see her open her heart. Yet with his vision clouded by shame for his past and fears about the future, it's difficult to see the path ahead.

But the memory of that long-ago kiss just may have the power to reignite a romance that brings out the best in both of them.

For more information about Johnnie Alexander and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

What Hope Remembers is a sweet, lyrical story with surprising depth! Simply beautiful! This story is so full of spring and summer vibes, I can almost taste the cool breeze blowing through the luscious green grass and dainty willow trees. And I love the author's nods to Cary Grant and J. R. R. Tolkien! Also, if you're a fan of cowboys and horses, then this is another reason you will love What Hope Remembers.

Both Gabe and Amy need a fresh start. Amy has taken a lot of wrong turns on her journey, and after hitting her ultimate low, she gets a wake up call. She's desperate to change, but worried she can't - or won't - be able to change, and she thinks that maybe she doesn't deserve a happy ending. Gabe struggles with guilt, wishing he was able to do the past differently. He's no stranger to loss, rejection, or the stigma that accompanies his past. What Hope Remembers is a story of second chances and new beginnings as Gabe and Amy experience God's redemptive grace.

On a romantic note - because I love the romantic notes - I love, love, love stories of first love and/or unrequited love! It was so sweet seeing Gabe and Amy find their way back to each other in this sweet romance. *happy sigh*

Four Stars - A wonderful story! What Hope Remembers is the last book in Johnnie Alexander's Misty Willow Series. Even though this is a separate story, it builds off of the first two books, Where She Belongs and When Love Arrives, and has an intricate backstory, so I highly recommend reading the series in order.

I received a copy of What Hope Remembers by Johnnie Alexander 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

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review of The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber



Description ~

For fans of Ender's Game, The Hunger Games, and Blade Runner comes a story of video gaming, blood, and power.

Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth's Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi's the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she's convinced he's been taken to the ice-planet.

Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.

For Miguel--Earth's charming young playboy--the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight's bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he's a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.

From the award-winning author of the Storm Siren Trilogy, step into a diverse cast of characters spanning from the electric metropolises of earth to the chilling alien planet above, in a story of re-finding yourself in the midst of losing the one thing you love. Before it all evaporates.

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

My Thoughts ~

Mind. Blown.

Everyone should stop what they are doing and preorder this book.

Right. Now.

If you've followed my excellent advice, or you're awesome and have already preordered this, then make sure that your schedule is free and clear. You will not want to set this book down. To be honest, I'm not sure it's physically possible to set it down.

This review is going to reveal a facet of my nerdy geekdom to you guys. I apologize in advance. ;)

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow is like The Hunger Games meets Ender's Game meets Firefly meets Falling Skies meets Stargate! But let me be clear, it has awesome aspects that remind me of these books and TV shows, but it is in no way a copy of them. This novel is unique and original and awesome sauce! My husband is tech savvy and a gamer, so I've picked up a lot of lingo. And I will admit that I have a thing for Nintendo and Metroid. I told you. Geekdom, my friends. Anyways. As soon as I read the premise, I was hooked.

Awesome premise aside, The Evaporation of Sofi Snow overflows with gripping writing and an intense message. Mary Weber attacks the issue of human trafficking in this novel, and I applaud her! This is also a novel about finding yourself. Sofi and Miguel are experiencing the evaporation of their beliefs - beliefs about everything they know. This proves to be terrifying, exhilarating, dangerous, and revitalizing for them. I can't wait to read the next installment!

Five Billion Stars!!! - The Evaporation of Sofi Snow is the first book in Mary Weber's new series, and yeah, read the series in order. The book ends with an extreme cliffhanger that makes me want to scream and rage into the wind. But that's just because I want to read more. NOW! ;) I also want to note for you guys that this is technically ABA (American Book Association), not CBA (Christian Book Association). This book is written for the general market, but it has soul and heart and a deep spiritual message that draws readers closer to Him. Amazing!!!

I received a copy of The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber 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

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Review of Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

 
 
Description ~
 
After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, Miss Permilia Griswold has finally figured out a way to pass the time at all the New York high-society events she attends. Under the pseudonym "Miss Quill," she is the author of society gossip columns filled with tidbits only an insider in society--albeit one on the fringes--would know.

When she overhears a threat against Mr. Asher Rutherford, the owner of one of the most up-and-coming department stores in the city, she's determined to warn him. But the irritatingly handsome man doesn't believe her, leaving her no choice but to take matters into her own hands. What she doesn't anticipate is that she'll end up putting herself at risk in the process--or that she and Mr. Rutherford, a man with secrets of his own, just might end up joining forces after all.
 
For more information about Jen Turano and her books, check out her website here!
 
My Thoughts ~
 
You had me at wallflower. ; ) Who doesn't love a good wallflower story? I think many readers will be able to relate to Miss Permilia Griswold, Mr. Asher Rutherford, and company!
 
I loved that the first third of the story took place at the Vanderbilt ball! It was enchanting, thrilling, and beautifully detailed. Amusing and quirky characters make this a light read despite the murder attempts. ; ) The final scenes brought happy tears to my eyes. What a wonderful resolution!
 
This struck me as a novel of acceptance. Asher learned to accept help from Permilla as well as accepting himself for who he really was. Permilla had to come to terms that her plan was not necessarily God's plan for her life. The poignant truths of this novel are sure to touch many hearts!
 
 Four Stars - A funny and charming story! Behind the Scenes is the first book in Jen Turano's new Apart from the Crowd Series. The next book, Out of the Ordinary, will release on November 7th, 2017. I'm looking forward to Miss Gertrude Cadwalader and Mr. Harrison Sinclair's story!
 

I received a copy of Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano 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, May 2, 2017

Review of The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson

 
 
Description ~
 
She lost everything to the scheme of an evil servant. But she might just gain what she’s always wanted . . .if she makes it in time.
 
The impossible was happening. She, Magdalen of Mallin, was to marry the Duke of Wolfberg. Magdalen had dreamed about receiving a proposal ever since she met the duke two years ago. Such a marriage was the only way she could save her people from starvation. But why would a handsome, wealthy duke want to marry her, a poor baron’s daughter? It seemed too good to be true.

On the journey to Wolfberg Castle, Magdalen’s servant forces her to trade places and become her servant, threatening not only Magdalen’s life, but the lives of those she holds dear. Stripped of her identity and title in Wolfberg, where no one knows her, Magdalen is sentenced to tend geese while she watches her former handmaiden gain all Magdalen had ever dreamed of.

When a handsome shepherd befriends her, Magdalen begins to suspect he carries secrets of his own. Together, Magdalen and the shepherd uncover a sinister plot against Wolfberg and the duke. But with no resources, will they be able to find the answers, the hiding places, and the forces they need in time to save both Mallin and Wolfberg?

New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson beautifully re-imagines The Goose Girl by the Brothers Grimm into a medieval tale of adventure, loss, and love.

For more information about Melanie Dickerson and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

I read this book in less than twenty-four hours! So did I like The Noble Servant? Yes. Yes, I did. ; )

From the opening scene, you are tossed into the middle of the action when Magadalen gets a mysterious letter. Who? What? Why? Then Steffan is ambushed when you turn the page. The writing flowed, and the story sucked you into its lovely pages. And it was just so charming watching their love bloom while they tended the animals!

I enjoyed the character development and spiritual plot. Steffan entered our world a bit selfish and entitled. He's been afraid to fall in love ever since he witnessed his father's broken heart - and eventual death - after his mother's tragic death. His struggle made his eventual triumph even sweeter. Magadalen struggled to give all the situations beyond her control to God. She would turn it over to Him, and then she would struggle with her anger towards those who had wronged her. I found her attitude refreshingly realistic! We all struggle with this.

Five Stars - I think this is one (Just one you guys, but really, how do you pick between them?) of Melanie Dickerson's best fairy tale retellings! The Noble Servant ties into The Beautiful Pretender, and we get to see Lord Reinhart and Lady Avelina Thornbeck again.

I received a copy of The Noble Servant 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

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Sound of Emeralds Birthday Blog Tour - and GIVEAWAY!!!

Hey guys!!! Welcome to The Sound of Emeralds Birthday Blog Tour! I’m  so excited to be posting today about Rachelle Rea Cobb’s third installment in the Steadfast Love Series, an inspirational historical romance set during the 16th century!

 
Rachelle is also the author of The Sound of Diamonds and The Sound of Silver, the first two book in the series. She has also written Write Well, a guide for writers! Last summer, she married a man with the same first name as the hero of the Steadfast Love Series! (Cue the happy sighs here.)Rachelle's Steadfast Love Series is published with WhiteFire Publishing. (Rachelle and I are the WhiteFire Babies.) I’m super excited to be joining in this blog tour, so I'm just going to gab and gab about The Sound of Emeralds and spread the news about the rocking giveaway Rachelle is hosting — make sure you enter using the Rafflecopter form to win signed copies of all three books!

About The Sound of Emeralds...

 

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...

Find The Sound of Emeralds on Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Goodreads!

And if you want to learn about the other books in the Steadfast Love Series...

About the Steadfast Love Series ~

In 16th-century Europe, the Reformation rages between Protestants and Catholics. Gwyneth, half-Dutch, flees from England to Holland to escape the man who murdered her parents. When he follows her there and insists he came to rescue her, will she trust this man called Dirk? When tragedy strikes, will their steadfast love erode?

The Sound of Diamonds ~



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 Sound of Silver ~



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?


I know you are all chomping at the bit, frantically logging onto Amazon, and clicking ORDER NOW after reading all that. And you should be. ; ) Now, lets get to know Rachelle a little better.
 
About the Author ~ 
 
 
Times gone by snatch Rachelle Rea Cobb close, so she reads and writes about years long ago -- her passions include the Reformation, Revolutions, and romance. Rachelle wrote the Steadfast Love Series during college. Five months after she graduated, she signed a three-book deal with her dream publisher, WhiteFire. She's a homeschool grad, Oreo addict, and plots her novels while driving around her dream car, a pick-up truck. In June 2016, she married a man with the same name as her fictional hero, and they live happily ever after in Small Town, South. She is also the author of Write Well, a guide for writers, which released on March 4th!
 
INTERVIEW ~

1. When and where did you first get the idea for the Steadfast Love Series?

A song I was listening to on the radio inspired the title of the first book. So I wrote Diamonds, but when I finished it, I realized to my great frustration that the characters weren't done with their story, even though I had been quite adamant that I would write a stand-alone novel. But the story wasn't finished, so I kept writing.

That's amazing!!! I love how a song inspired this beautiful saga!  

2. Readers often pick out favorite quotes from a novel. Do you have a favorite of your own from The Sound of Silver?
 
Yes! In fact, my friend Mindy, a calligrapher, even created a beautiful piece of art from one of my favorite quotes: "Within the pages of books one's heart can be revealed."
 
That right there is going to be my new life motto. LOVE IT!

3. Can you tell us what first drew you to writing Inspiration Historical Romance?

My first exposure to the genre came when I read Heartsong Presents novels when I was twelve. Those small books introduced me to how much I believe in the power of story, especially love stories set in times gone by.

 I love hearing about the stories that shape the writers - and people - we become! It's amazing!

4. I saw on your website that you also write reviews, articles, and offer editing services. What's one of your favorite things beyond writing novels that you enjoy?

Editing is such fun! I daresay I enjoy editing a page full of my own (or others'!) words just as much as I enjoy splashing words onto a blank page. I recently released my first nonfiction book, Write Well, which is a short eBook designed as a guide for writers!

Everyone, Write Well is one of the best writing guides I have ever read! Instead of wanting to put my head through a wall, I chuckled while reading it. I definitely recommend Rachelle as a freelance editor. Not that I'm being pushy or anything. ; )

Thank you for talking with us, Rachelle! Now it's time for the GIVEAWAY!


GIVEAWAY INFO, RULES, AND SUCH ~


Enter using the Rafflecopter form below to win signed copies of ALL THREE of Rachelle's novels. The whole series, signed!!! Be still my nerd girl heart!
 
International friends, this giveaway is open to continental U.S. addresses only (sorry!). But do still enter, because one international winner will also be chosen to receive all three eBooks. YAY!
 
Enter using the handy Rafflecopter here ~



I hope you had as much fun as I did today! See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Review of With Love, Wherever You Are by Dandi Daley Mackall



From the Back Cover:

Everyone knows that war romances never last...

Nurse Helen Eberhart approaches everything in life with pure determination. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Helen decides to enlist as an Army nurse. There, her grit is put to the test when she's assigned to care for the broken bodies of some of the most severely wounded soldiers, many no older than her own beloved brothers.

Frank Daley wasn't trying to be a hero. He'd only enlisted to finish medical school, confident that the war would be over before his deferment ran out. Instead Lt. Frank R. Daley, MD, is sent straight from his graduation to boot camp, the last stop before a battlefield hospital in Europe. And none of his training prepares him for the chance encounter with a spirited nurse who steals his heart.

After a whirlwind romance and wedding, Helen and Frank are sent to the front lines of Europe with only letters to connect them for months at a time. Surrounded by danger and desperately wounded patients, they soon find that only the war seems real - and their marriage more and more like a distant dream.

For more information about Dandi Daley Mackall and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts:

If you only read one more book this year, make it With Love, Wherever You Are!!! And I don't say that lightly. Read this book!!! As soon as I read the first paragraph, I was hooked. I simply adore this story!

With Love, Wherever You Are is like reading a Cary Grant movie! Swoon! Some of my favorite movies are I Was a Male War Bride, Operation Petticoat, and Father Goose. This story has such a similar vibe. With Love, Wherever You Are, while fiction, is based on Dandi Daley Mackall's parents and their letters exchanged during World War II. I am honored and blessed to be able to read this story based on their story. I think the author has some mighty proud parents in Heaven.

I really loved the backstory that lead to Frank and Helen's decisions to enlist in the Army. We get to see them meet, fall in love, and get married. And a number of their letters were included in the story! This was a very well done "married" story. It portrays marriage so beautifully. Character development was also amazing. Frank went from just skating by with the least amount of work possible, to a dedicated soldier, while Helen learned that she didn't have to go through life helping herself, but that God was there for her.

Five Stars!!! If I could, I would give it a much higher rating!!! With Love, Wherever You Are is uplifting, crushing, and beautiful. I say it again, read this book!!! You do not want to miss it.

I received a copy of With Love, Wherever You Are by Dandi Daley Mackall 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

Friday, April 21, 2017

Review of Pursued by Lisa Harris



From the Back Cover:

Nikki Boyd's flight into Nashville was routine -- until the crash landing at the airport.

When the dust settles, Nikki discovers that the woman who had been seated next to her on the plane is missing--and no one will admit she was ever there. When she learns that Erika Hamilton had been
flying to Nashville with an air marshal as a key witness in an upcoming grand jury trial, Nikki wonders if her disappearance from the crash site means she's running from trouble--or straight into it.
Before Nikki can even see her family, she and her team are pulled into a missing persons case where the motives are as unclear as the suspects.

Bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Harris has planted danger around every turn in this can't-put-it-down thrill ride that will leave you stunned.

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

My Thoughts:

Lisa Harris gives us a story with more twists than O. Henry! Don't bother trying to guess. Just allow yourself to be swept up in this thrilling ride!

I do just want to note that there are some hard deaths in this story. Nothing extremely graphic, but that doesn't make it any less difficult.

The story starts with an airplane crash that makes me seriously reconsider ever flying again! Once Nikki is pulled into the missing person case for her fellow passenger, her life is put on the line again and again. This case is personal is so many ways. Even though Nikki is a seasoned agent, she's a human being, so seeing her struggle with her near death and the hard-hitting angles of the case proved to be realistic. In the midst of Nikki's desperate search, she learns to let go of the plans she has for the future with Tyler...and trust God. In case I've worried anyone, Nikki and Tyler sitting in a tree... ; )

Four Stars! Action packed!! This might be my favorite book in the series. If you like a suspenseful story with a little romance, then you must read this story. Each story is its own separate mystery, however, since there are elements in the backstory and romance that build in each book, I recommend reading Vendetta and Missing first. To my knowledge, this is the last novel in The Nikki Boyd Files. HOWEVER, Vanishing Point: A Nikki Boyd Novel, releases November 7th, 2017. The story is told from a different perspective. Also, rumor has it that we will finally learn what happened to Nikki's sister, Sarah.

I. Can't. Wait.

I received a copy of Pursued 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