Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Review of Unblemished by Sara Ella

Back Cover Description:

Eliyana can’t bear to look at her own reflection. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world exists where her blemish could become her strength?

Eliyana is used to the shadows. With a birthmark covering half her face, she just hopes to graduate high school unscathed. That is, until Joshua hops a fence and changes her perspective. No one, aside from her mother, has ever treated her like he does: normal. Maybe even beautiful. Because of Joshua, Eliyana finally begins to believe she could be loved.

But one night her mother doesn’t come home, and that’s when everything gets weird. Now Joshua is her new, and rather reluctant, legal Guardian. Add a hooded stalker and a Central Park battle to the mix and you’ve gone from weird to otherworldly.

Eliyana soon finds herself in a world much larger and more complicated than she’s ever known. A world enslaved by a powerful and vile man. And Eliyana holds the answer to defeating him. How can an ordinary girl, a blemished girl, become a savior when she can’t even save herself?

My Thoughts:

I just... I can't... This book... I...


Oh my goodness, guys. I had such a book hangover after finished Unblemished. My husband had to repeat questions because all I could do was stare dumbly, still digesting every delicious morsel of this delectable story.

You're dropped into the middle of sweep-you-off-your-feet action. Eliyana is thrust into a whole new world, a world completely different than what I envisioned. Twists, turns, and amazing world building keep your eyes glued to the page. El's character development is wonderful. Her growth from the beginning to the end of the story is truly transformative. And I adore how the message of Who determines your worth is wonderfully woven into the story.

And, for those of you dying to know, I've thought about my team a lot. I always look for elements of my husband and our love story in the hero. I see him in both. My heart was just as torn as El's...until...The Incident. I normally choose the road of unrequited love. And if Sara Ella wrote an alternate reality with him, I'd be all over that. However, I think the writing is on the wall. Team Ky, peps. (If you thought the love triangle in Twilight was intense, you haven't seen anything yet.)

Fans of Wayne Thomas Batson, Bryan Davis, Rachelle Dekker, Ted Dekker, Mary Weber, and the popular Doon series by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon will adore Unblemished. But honestly, even if you haven't read those authors (I don't understand why... ;) LOL! ), you will enjoy this epic journey.

Unblemished is the first book in Sara Ella's new trilogy! Unraveling, book two, releases July 2017! I. Can't. Wait.

I received a copy of Unblemished by Sara Ella published by Thomas Nelson from BookLook Bloggers. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you guys next time! Hugs and blessings!

V. Joy Palmer

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Sound of Silver Birthday Blog Tour!!! Plus a Giveaway!!!

Hey guys!!! Welcome to The Sound of Silver birthday blog tour! I’m  so excited to be posting today about Rachelle Rea Cobb’s second 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, the first book in the series, and a newlywed! This summer, she married a man with the same first name as the hero of the 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 to tell you a little more about Silver and spread the news about the rocking giveaway Rachelle is hosting — make sure you enter using the Rafflecopter form to win the lovely necklace pictured and your choice of any of the Steadfast Love titles!


About The Sound of Silver...


The stalwart saint and the redeemed rebel. One fights for faith, the other 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. Gwyneth continues her quest to learn more about the love of God preached by Protestants she once distrusted.

Meanwhile, 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?
Find The Sound of Silver on...
Amazon Paperback: http://is.gd/1HwJoi
Barnes & Noble: http://is.gd/qhoCTc
Books a Million: http://is.gd/M2y5P2

And if you want to learn more ABOUT BOOK ONE, 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 recues 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.

Find The Sound of Diamonds on...
Kindle: http://is.gd/EZ7DJ1
Barnes & Noble: http://is.gd/qhoCTc
Books a Million: http://is.gd/M2y5P2
Goodreads: http://is.gd/F7HILk

Ahhh! Giddy! This is so much fun. Speaking of fun, check out this interview with Rachelle!!!
(Question) When and where did you first get the idea for the Steadfast Love Series?

(Rachelle) 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.

(Question)  Readers often pick out favorite quotes from a novel. Do you have a favorite of your own from The Sound of Silver?

(Rachelle) 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."

(Question)  Can you tell us what first drew you to writing Inspirational Historical Romance?
(Rachelle) 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.

(Question)  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?

(Rachelle) 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.

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?
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.
Author Links
Instagram: @RachelleReaCobb

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below to win a beautiful necklace created by Baubles, Beads, and Stuff and your choice of any one of Rachelle’s three books (the series begins in Book One, of course, but in case you have one or two of her books already, Rachelle will gladly send you the next one to read!).
International friends, the paperback & necklace giveaway is open to continental U.S. addresses only (sorry!). But do still enter, because one international winner will also be chosen to receive an e-book.
 ~ Enter the Giveaway Here ~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for joining the fun, guys! I hope you had an awesome time getting to know Rachelle. Check out her books!!!!!!! See you next time. :)

Hugs and blessings!

V. Joy Palmer

Friday, October 7, 2016

Review of Gilt Hollow by Lorie Langdon

Product Description:

Willow Lamott’s best friend is a convicted killer, and no one in the small town of Gilt Hollow will let her forget it. Over four long years, she’s tried to fade into the background—but none of that matters when Ashton Keller comes striding into school, fresh out of juvie and fueled by revenge. The moment their eyes meet, Willow no longer feels invisible. Drawn to the vulnerability behind Ashton’s mask of rage, she sinks deeper into his sinister world and begins to question whether he’s a villain, a savior, or both.

Ashton thought he wanted vengeance, until Willow Lamott stepped back into his life. Now he longs to clear his name and become the person she sees in him. But the closer they get to uncovering the truth, the darker the secrets become, and Ashton wonders if his return to Gilt Hollow will destroy everyone he loves.

My Thoughts:

Thrilling. Addictive. Loved.

That's the answer to the question, "How would you describe this book in three words?" Five Stars! Using more words could result in a never ending torrent of book love from yours truly... But lets give it a whirl!

Willow is your average girl, yet she's got some serious issues. Ashton is at the root of those issues, or is he? When he comes walking back into her life, it's like dynamite. And I don't just mean that because their romance is so. stinking. swoony. Gilt Hollow is a thrilling mystery! Each time I picked up this book, I was sucked into the story. All of a sudden, a hundred pages had been turned. And I desperately craved more!

Like I said, the romance was total swoonsville. The thrill resembled the first drop of a roller coaster. The mystery was intoxicating. While there's always someone who can spot the Big Twist, I doubt anyone could anticipate every twist in this mysterious beauty. Highly recommend!

*Reminder* Books published under the Blink imprint are intended for a general readership without being overtly Christian. My more conservative readers should note that there is a little bit of language, and eccentric is an understatement for this town and her inhabitants. However, what I found between these pages were two people struggling to find the truth in the midst of their darkness, and find it and God in the process.

Lorie Langdon is co-author of the popular (read fantastic) Doon series. Gilt Hollow is her first solo novel. Read. Them. All.

I received a copy of Gilt Hollow by Lorie Langdon published by Blink from BookLook Bloggers. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you guys next time! God bless and hugs!

V. Joy Palmer

Friday, September 23, 2016

Review of When Love Arrives by Johnnie Alexander

From the Back Cover:

Dani had planned to spy on Brett--so how did she end up on a date with him?

Dani Prescott can't believe the lie Brett Somers is trying to sell to the media. During an interview about the plane crash that killed his parents, he blamed Dani's mother. But the crash killed her as well. Vowing to restore her mother's reputation, Dani has been following Brett and taking photos, hoping to find something she can use to discredit him. But when she catches his eye instead, she quickly finds herself agreeing to a date. Brett knows this mystery girl is hiding something--but he's got his own secrets to keep. What will happen when he discovers who she really is?

My Thoughts:

How does the naïve girl with the sordid past catch the eye of the area's most eligible bachelor? Find out in this delightful contemporary romance, When Love Arrives, by Johnnie Alexander!

I adored all the witty banter! Loved seeing Dani and Brett go back and forth for pages. And all the references to classic movies - LOVE! Cause Cary Grant. *Swoon* A dreamy guy who knows and quotes Cary Grant? *Fainting Swoon*

Dani is really sweet. I can understand her hurt and her desire to clear her mother's name. Oh, and Dani, I probably would have done the same thing with the ring. ;) Brett was very well developed. You could see him fighting his playboy past, trying to be the man he should be for his family. You could feel his charm oozing off the pages, and then you'd want to slap that arrogant smirk off his face. And I think when a character makes you want to go from hugs to slapping, they are making you feel. Which is kinda the point. ;)

The spiritual plot is subtle. Dani and Brett both found their way back to God over the course of the story. It is a good read for someone who doesn't like to feel like they are being preached at throughout the story.

When Love Arrives is the second book in Johnnie Alexander's Misty Willow Series. You can read this as a stand alone novel, but some of the drama and character interaction will make more sense if you read Shelby and AJ's story, Where She Belongs, the first book in the Misty Willow Series. I'm looking forward to Amy's story!

I received a copy of When Love Arrives by Johnnie Alexander from Revell in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

See you guys next time! God bless and hugs!

V. Joy Palmer

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Review of To Have and to Hold by Betsy St. Amant, Becky Wade, and Katie Ganshert

From the Back Cover:

They’ve helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

Love Takes the Cake: A September Wedding Story by Betsy St. Amant

Charlotte Cantrell is always the baker; never the bride. When Will, a regular at Charlotte’s bakery, catches her attention, she can only hope that he is the reliable man this single mother has always hoped to find. The problem is that he’s regularly stopping in to buy cookies for another girl. But when Charlotte is hired to bake a host of wedding goodies for a difficult bride and finds out Will is the best man, she has the perfect opportunity to get to know him better—and find out how serious Will is about this other girl in his life.

The Perfect Arrangement: An October Wedding Story by Katie Ganshert

Amelia Woods is a small-town wallflower and the proud owner of Forget-Me-Nots, a quaint flower shop. Her love life has always been a bit lackluster—until she ends up in an embarrassing fender-bender with handsome Nate Gallagher. Meanwhile, Amelia’s younger brother, William, has proposed to his girlfriend. Amelia would be excited except she has evidence that the fiancée is not who she says she is. It seems Nate is the only one available for any advice-giving, and he’s good at it—and pretty fun to talk to too. As Amelia works to craft the perfect flower arrangements for other people, she begins to wonder if real love is better than the dream. And if it is, will Nate still be interested when he learns who she is?

Love in the Details: A November Wedding Story by Becky Wade

When Josh returns to his hometown of Martinsburg, Texas, to help his best friend get married, he didn’t intend to run into church wedding coordinator—and ex-girlfriend—Holly. He can’t help but pine after the girl he never got over. Holly broke up with Josh years ago in an attempt to ensure his future success. But she loved him then and still loves him now. As she helps him plan his best friend’s wedding, she longs to be with Josh but doesn’t feel worthy of his big-time lifestyle when she is more comfortable in her smalltown world. Will Josh and Holly be able to keep things as they are when their true feelings threaten to surface at every turn?

My Thoughts:

I love this novella collection! Sweet! Sassy! Romantic!


Love Takes the Cake ~

Such a sweet story. I love Betsy St. Amant's wit! Some people might feel like Charlotte and Will fall into the cliché of just needing to talk. Yeah, there are some misunderstandings, but I felt like they were pretty believable. Charlotte acted out of a place of deep hurt and because she had her daughter to protect.  And Will. What a guy! He was well developed for such a short story.

The Perfect Arrangement ~


Ok, first, this story is written in first person from Amelia's perspective - my favorite thing in the world! She's so much fun! And Nate. Sigh. He quotes Mr. Darcy and knows old Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart movies. Need I say more?

Love in the Details ~

Such a sweet story! Josh is a handsome nerd and Holly is a YA writer - I loved that! Becky Wade paints such lovely word pictures. And I love stories of unrequited love and second chances. <3 *Sigh.*

I received a copy of To Have and to Hold: Three Autumn Love Stories (A Year of Weddings Novella) by Betsy St. Amant, Becky Wade, and Katie Ganshert published by Zondervan from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

God bless you guys! See you next time!

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Ramblings from ACFW

So I was out of town this last week. I would have written this sooner, but I was recovering from major jet lag (I was on central time instead of eastern for four days! Yeah!), and a baby in the middle of a sleep regression (Ah, the days when I didn't know the horror of those words. The days when I slept...). Anyways. I was at ACFW. The American Christian Fiction Writer's Conference.

A. Maz. Ing.

Image result for images of acfw

I love this conference so much. I wouldn't be published without this conference. I wouldn't have met such wonderful friends without this conference. I wouldn't be pushed a little bit more out of my shell each year without this conference.

As an introvert, I could maybe do without that last part.

I had goals for this conference. I WASN'T going to chase appointments this year. I wanted to focus on making new friendships, connections, and actually sitting through a class from start to finish.

But I had another goal, as well.

I wanted God to show up. I wanted to be refreshed. Transformed. Revived.

And if you ask for God to show up, you had better mean it. Because He did. And I ended up ugly crying all over two dear friends. Seriously. I resembled a sniveling two-year-old.

And I forgot to put stinking tissues in my purse.

But God showed up. He came for me. And that was just the start.

Maybe you're feeling sort of how I was feeling. In a ditch and everything is a fight. Difficult. Like all of the joy has been sucked out of you like you're one of those vacuum sealed storage bags.

God's waiting for you.

Get out. Get away. Go somewhere different (I'm a fan of the lake or the river.). Bring your Bible. Cry and don't give a flying fig about what the random strangers passing by you are thinking.

Or don't do any of that.

Just ask God to show up. And He will.

Hugs, friends.
V. Joy Palmer

Monday, August 22, 2016

Review of Without Warning by Lynette Eason

From the Back Cover:

Intensity. Skill. Tenacity.

The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have it all.

Katie Singleton, a partner with the Elite Guardians Protection Agency, stumbles upon her next assignment quite by accident. Spotting blue lights at a familiar restaurant, she stops to investigate, only to discover that owner Daniel Matthews has become the target of someone who will go to any lengths to put him out of business.

Daniel might be concerned, but he's not convinced that a bodyguard--and a female one at that--is necessary. A new attack and his niece's urgings are enough to make him reconsider. He and Katie must figure out who's behind the intimidation and threats--before a would-be killer strikes again.
My Thoughts:

Katie and Daniel both struggle with difficult pasts, one of their many similarities. But it takes a dead body in Daniel's restaurant to really bring the pair together. Prepare for ups and downs, raw honesty, explosions, and an angle you don't see coming. Without Warning is the second book in the Elite Guardians Series.

I enjoyed Without Warning. The suspense was well paced, with some hold-your-breath scenes. The last hundred and twenty pages flew because I HAD to keep reading.

The only drawback for me was that I didn't connect to the main characters as much as I normally do. Must be something wrong with me. LOL. I also would have liked to have seen the romance developed a little more between Katie and Daniel.

Three and half stars! Good story!
I received a copy of Without Warning by Lynette Eason from Revell Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.
God bless you guys! See you next time!! :)
V. Joy Palmer