Thursday, November 24, 2016

What I'm Not Thankful for This Year

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you will have/are having/had an awesome Thanksgiving!!!

Check out my blog on Snack Time Devotions! I talk about the things I'm thankful for... Things I'm not thankful for... Job... And what really matters. Read it here!

Hugs! <3

V. Joy Palmer

Friday, November 18, 2016

Review of The Shattered Vigil by Patrick W. Carr

From the Back Cover:

A Single Terrible Choice Faces the Vigil. Hide in Safety and Let Darkness Take Over the Land or Face the Growing Danger and Risk All of Their Lives.

Their victory over the dark forces during the feast of Bas-solas should have guaranteed safety for the continent. Instead, Willet and the rest of the Vigil discover they've been outsmarted by those seeking to unleash the evil that inhabits the Darkwater. One of the Vigil has gone missing, and new attacks have struck at the six kingdoms' ability to defend themselves.

Worse, a deadly new threat has emerged--assassins hunting the Vigil, men and women who cannot be seen until it's too late. To thwart the perilous new risk, the church makes the drastic decision to safeguard the Vigil by taking the surviving members into protective custody. But there are secrets only the Vigil can unearth, and so Pellin makes the heart-wrenching choice to oppose the church in a race to turn back the evil that threatens an entire continent.

My Thoughts:

The Shattered Vigil is a deep, epic tale!

In this second installment of The Darkwater Saga, the Vigil is racing the clock, trying to fight against the evil that revealed itself during Bas-solas. If you enjoy a story with layers upon layer upon twists upon right hooks, then you will adore this book! I really like how Patrick Carr is able to weave keen observations about life and deep, spiritual truths into the story. I loved the increased roll of the urchins. And invisible, zombie-like people? Well done, Patrick Carr. Well done.

The writing style is different, and sometimes I felt like it pulled me out of the story. There are a lot of descriptions and personal musings, and it left me wanting more dialogue and action. While the plot is superb, this is the kind of book that I need to break into smaller chunks.

Three Stars. Despite feeling pulled out of the story, I am invested in this epic tale. I want to know how it ends!

The Shattered Vigil is the second book in The Darkwater Saga. Read my review of the first book, The Shock of Night, here. You would definitely want to read the first book, The Shock of Night, before reading The Shattered Vigil. While each book (thus far) deals with a specific problem, the events of the second book are built on an important foundation laid in the first book.

I received a copy of The Shattered Vigil by Patrick W. Carr from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

God bless you guys! Hugs! See you next time. ;)

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Review of The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson

About the Book:

Evangeline is gifted with a heavenly voice, but she is trapped in a sinister betrothal until she embarks on a daring escape and meets brave Westley le Wyse. Can he help her discover the freedom to sing again?

Desperate to flee a political marriage to her cousin King Richard II’s closest advisor, Lord Shiveley—a man twice her age with shadowy motives—Evangeline runs away and joins a small band of servants journeying back to Glynval, their home village.

Pretending to be mute, she gets to know Westley le Wyse, their handsome young leader, who is intrigued by the beautiful servant girl. But when the truth comes out, it may shatter any hope that love could grow between them.

More than Evangeline’s future is at stake as she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue that threatens England’s monarchy.Should she give herself up to protect the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne?

My Thoughts:

The queen of fairy-tale retellings strikes again with her Little Mermaid inspired story!

I can't even begin to tell you guys how I anxiously awaited the release of The Silent Songbird. I was through the roof excited when I found out this would be The Little Mermaid retelling because that is one of my favorite Disney movies (second only to The Beauty and the Beast, of course. ;) ).

And I was not disappointed!

I so adored the scene reminiscent of Ariel the mermaid rescuing drowning Prince Eric. Swoon! However, I should tell you, if you're expecting a story set by the sea or at a seaport, it's actually set in a medieval village. But I promise you, this was an incredible setting.

I related to Evangeline very quickly, and I really liked the singing aspect of the story. Westley (Ranulf and Annabel's son!!!) was amazing, and he made me think of The Princess Bride, but maybe that's just because of his name... Although there was a particularly fun "storming the castle" scene. ;)

Love! Love! Love! 4 Stars!

I am so excited for Melanie's next release, The Noble Servant, which releases on May 9th, 2017!!!

I received a copy of The Silent Songbird 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

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Review of Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette

From the Back Cover:

In the darkness of the storm's shadow, only truth can light her way.

Having escaped Egypt with the other Hebrews during the Exodus, Shira is now living in freedom at the foot of Mount Sinai. When the people rebel by worshipping a golden idol, the ensuing chaos gives Shira an unexpected opportunity to assist a midwife. When the experience awakens a new desire in her, she defies her mother's wish for her to continue in the family weaving trade and pursues her heart's calling as an apprentice midwife.

But when a delivery goes horribly wrong, Shira finds herself in an impossible situation and bound to a man who betrayed her. As contention between the Hebrew tribes and the foreigners fans the flames of another dangerous rebellion, Shira comes face to face with the long-hidden pain of her past. Can she let go of all that has defined her to embrace who she truly is and believe in a hopeful future?

My Thoughts:

Oh, my friends. This book... This beautiful, haunting book... I so adored it! Shadow of the Storm torn my heart out. I wept. Yet by the end of the story, I felt... Built up. Stronger. Connected. Brave.

Biblical fiction has rapidly become one of my favorite genres. I love seeing these amazing lessons and nuggets of truth that another person has taken into their heart then woven into a beautiful story.

Shira is a wonderful character. She's wounded and foolish at times, but that makes her triumph all the more glorious. She's one of the most relatable characters I've read this year. Her accounts of midwifery were moving, realistic, yet terrifying given my traumatic labor and delivery. (It certainly made me even more thankful for all the knowledge God has given to us and for guiding the doctors hands during my daughter's birth!)

I loved, loved, loved reading about Israel's time at Mount Sinai. I don't know about you, but I've become so accustomed to reading through these accounts in Exodus, that I've become a wee bit desensitized. Being forced to remember and imagine that while reading was so difficult, but it reminded me that these are people just like us. They had their own junk, and that's why they were the way they were. And when they allowed God to heal their wounds, amazing things happened. Reading this story about this group of battered, broken slaves being transformed into the mighty nation of Israel is incredible.

I highly recommend Shadow of the Storm. Five Stars!

Shadow of the Storm is the second book in Connilyn Cossette's Out from Egypt Series. The third book, Wings of the Wind, releases May 2017

I received a copy of Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

V. Joy Palmer

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Review of Wild Montana Skies by Susan May Warren

From the Back Cover:

The last thing Search and Rescue helicopter pilot Kacey Fairing needs upon returning home to Mercy Falls, Montana, is to run into her mistakes. After a devastating crash during her recent military tour in Afghanistan, she is emotionally broken but ready to start putting her life back together. She just wants to reconnect with her teenage daughter and spend the summer working as the new lead pilot of PEAK Rescue in Glacier National Park.

But her mistakes aren't so easily forgotten. Because Ben King is also back in town.

Country music star Ben King abandoned his past when he moved to Nashville thirteen years ago to start his career. He hoped to heal his broken heart, caused by losing the woman he loved. But when his father is injured, Ben is called home to help manage PEAK Rescue during his recovery. He doesn't realize his father has ulterior motives until his old flame, Kacey, walks into his house and back into his heart.

Now, with Mercy Falls in a state of emergency due to flash floods, Kacey and Ben will have to work together to save lives. But when secrets are uncovered and old hurts rise to the surface, will they walk away again? Or can they find a different ending to their country love song?

My Thoughts:

Who doesn't love a story of unrequited love?

Cause I know I do!

The back cover description is pretty much the summary of the first few chapters. After that, the story mainly focuses on Ben and Kacey finding their way back to each other and God. Wild Montana Skies had a similar vibe to the Team Hope Series, but Ben and Kacey and their romance were definitely the focus of the novel. So, the SAR (search and rescue) angle made a nice subplot, although I would love to see more of it in the next book!

There's just something about Susan May Warren's writing style that flows really well, and this story was no exception. I appreciate how Ben and Kacey talked about the elephant in the room (and then the parade of baby elephants to follow), instead of dancing around it for chapters. I love how real, yet Christ-like the characters are. If they screw up, they own up to it. That's real life, my friends. In addition to Ben and Kacey's perspectives, we also get to see two other perspectives, Ian and Sierra. I can't wait to see how that turns out! ;)

Four stars! Wild Montana Skies is the first book in Susan May Warren's Montana Rescue Series. I'm looking forward to the next book, Rescue Me, releasing January 2017!

I received a copy of Wild Montana Skies by Susan May Warren from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

God bless you guys! Hugs! See you next time. :)

V. Joy Palmer