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.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Review of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner!



About the Book ~

Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that's obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she's made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she's chosen. She's still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she's not sure she can write anymore. She's beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a "scandalous" book. And the fact that she's falling in love with her pastor doesn't make things any easier.

With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn't afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.

For more information about Bethany Turner and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

I want you all to meet my new friend, Sarah Hollenbeck.

Cause she's awesome.

Seriously, guys. Please read The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, so we can gush about it together! There are some books you know you're going to love as soon as you see the cover. That knowledge is only strengthened when you read the description and, finally, the first paragraph. This is one of those books.

The first few chapters show us the events leading to Sarah's scandalous enterprise and her journey to God, but the majority of the book takes place after Sarah has given her life to God. Sarah's (i.e. Bethany's) narrative had me laughing to myself, yet there were surprising twists and revelations that kept me on my toes while devouring this romantic comedy.

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck is deliciously fun with a dreamy hero to boot! However, don't let the lightheartedness fool you. This story packs a spiritual punch! Bethany Turner is not afraid to be real, and she gently takes a spiritual salt stick to the open wounds found in the church and body of Christ today. Insightful and overflowing with grace, this novel will touch your heart.

Five Stars ~ An adorable, witty, romantic read! The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck is Bethany Turner's debut novel. Honestly, EVERYBODY should be a fan of this delightfully fun story that gently probes the heart! #allthefeels

I received a copy of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner 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.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

FALL into Reading Giveaway!!!!



Hey, my friends!

Some author friends and I have teamed up to bring you an awesome giveaway just in time for your fall reading! The FALL into Reading Mega Giveaway is now live! *squeals of, well, joy* So grab your cozy blankets and your favorite warm drink and enter!!!

The Books ~


Isabel “Izze” Vez, bridal consultant extraordinaire, has been helping brides find The Dress for years. She loves nothing more than helping make wedding dreams come true…but sometimes the happy endings grate on her. How many times can a girl discover someone else’s gown without dreaming of the day it’ll be her turn to wear one?

When James Miles Clayton walks into her life, he represents everything Izze can’t handle: change. He’s determined to bring the Ever After Bridal Boutique into the black…and to prove to Izze that she should give him a chance.

But if there’s anything Izze handles worse than change, it’s trust. She may have a few issues—fine, she knows she does. But will they keep getting in the way of any chance of her own Happily Ever After? She wants to trust God to give her those dreams of love and lace, but that’s going to require some…minor alterations.
 
For more information about...me, check out my website and blog!
 
 
All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but, what if she is the only one who can truly see?
 
Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that's what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.
 
Tristan was Fern's childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.
 
For more information about Kara and her books, check out her website here!
 
 
Three couples overcome obstacles and find out that love often begins in the kitchen. A trio of novels flavored with grace, with delicious elements of food and restaurant life, mixed with lovable characters. Table for Two, Second Chance Café, and Recipe for Love were previously published by Heartsong Presents. This new compilation includes a bonus short story and recipe!
 
For more information about Brandy and her books, check out her website here!
 
 
 
“Why did my life have to be full of secrets?”
 
 After three years in England, William Landor returns to Boston in 1774, little knowing the events that are about to unfold. England has issued an ultimatum: pay for the tea that was destroyed in the Boston Tea Party, or the Port of Boston will be closed. William knows that this will have a devastating effect on his hometown, which is so dependent on the sea. However, he finds himself in the middle of the political struggle he wanted to avoid. William’s father is a merchant and loyal to the king and is furious at what the rebels of Boston have cost him. He would like nothing more than to rid the city of their poisonous influence. Meanwhile, William’s best friend, Dr. Joseph Warren, is one of the leaders of rebels, or Whigs as they call themselves. As if his life was not complicated enough, he meets a fiery indentured servant who tugs at his heart as well as his loyalty. When he is confronted by the consequences of his many secrets, he has to make a choice whether or not to tell the truth. Does he have the kind of courage it will take?
 
For more information about Sarah and her books, check out her website here!
 
 
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 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?


 
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...

As the date of Dirk's trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth's parents' murders or separated from her forever? How much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast?
 
 
I believe writing isn’t all heart and art. It’s structure and syntax, too.

Write Well will help you understand the structure of writing so you can get back to the art.

Hi there, I'm Rachelle Rea Cobb. and I have history with words. I'm a grammar geek with a knack for storytelling. I hep authors (traditionally and self-published), bloggers, students, and ESL writers polish their pages until their words shine--so that they then can sign their own publishing contracts. Did I mention I signed my own book deal at age 22?

And now I'd like to share my expertise with you.

My latest release, Write Well: A Grammar Guide, is a short ebook designed to walk you through what you need to know so you can get back to the real work: actual writing!
 
Special shout-out to Rachelle Rea Cobb, who organized all. of. this. She's pretty awesome, guys!
 
For more information about Rachelle and her books, check out her website here!

Rules, Info, and Such ~

The giveaway will run from today, October 1st, 2017, through all of Sunday, October 8th, 2017. Rachelle Rea Cobb will announce and notify the winners!

Enter using the handy Rafflecopter here and may the odds be ever in your favor ~

I don't have a lot to say other than that...

Oh, puppies! :-) That usually does the trick.

Hugs!!! <3

~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.

 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Review of Justice Buried by Patricia Bradley



About the Book ~

In an effort to get her security consulting business off the ground, Kelsey Allen has been spending a lot of time up in the air, rappelling down buildings and climbing through windows to show business owners their vulnerabilities to thieves. When she is hired to pose as a conservator at the Pink Palace Museum in order to test their security weaknesses after some artifacts go missing, she's ecstatic. But when her investigative focus turns from theft to murder, Kelsey knows she's out of her league--and possibly in the cross hairs. When blast-from-the-past Detective Brad Hollister is called in to investigate, Kelsey may find that he's the biggest security threat yet . . . to her heart.

Crackling with romantic tension and laced with intrigue, this suspenseful story from award-winning author Patricia Bradley will keep readers guessing--and looking over their shoulders.

For more information about Patricia Bradley and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

This was my first Patricia Bradley book, but I quite enjoyed it!

In a lot of ways, this book felt like an episode of Bones - only less gross! I really enjoyed the glimpse into the workings of a museum and a conservator's work. The white hat hacker angle was a lot of fun, even if it was slightly terrifying. ; ) *runs security check on computer* And the twists and turns and action, oh my! The action grabbed me from the first chapter, and I stayed up WAY too late to finish this fast-paced novel. Worth it. ; )

Also, the romance was well paced! The romantic thread is light, building on a pre-existing friend/enemy relationship between Kelsey and Brad. The spiritual angle was also light, making this a good story for someone new to God and Christian Fiction. I enjoyed seeing Kelsey and Brad overcome their hurts regarding their experiences with the truth, or rather, the lack of it. Kelsey, especially, was an accurate picture of someone who's learning that relying on yourself is not the same as fully relying on God.

Four Stars ~ A twisting, fast-paced romantic suspense! Justice Buried is the second book in Patricia Bradley's Memphis Cold Case Novels. Fans of Dani Pettrey, Dee Henderson, or Lisa Harris will enjoy this series.

I received a copy of Justice Buried by Patricia Bradley 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, September 22, 2017

Review of The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix



About the Book ~

"There were seconds, when I woke, when the world felt unshrouded. Then memory returned."

When Jessica regains consciousness in a French hospital on the day after the Paris attacks, all she can think of is fleeing the site of the horror she survived. But Patrick, the steadfast friend who hasn’t left her side, urges her to reconsider her decision. Worn down by his insistence, she reluctantly agrees to follow through with the trip they’d planned before the tragedy.

“The pages found you,” Patrick whispered. “Now you need to figure out what they’re trying to say.”

During a stop at a country flea market, Jessica finds a faded document concealed in an antique. As new friends help her to translate the archaic French, they uncover the story of Adeline Baillard, a young woman who lived centuries before—her faith condemned, her life endangered, her community decimated by the Huguenot persecution.

“I write for our descendants, for those who will not understand the cost of our survival.”

Determined to learn the Baillard family’s fate, Jessica retraces their flight from France to England, spurred on by a need she doesn’t understand.

Could this stranger who lived three hundred years before hold the key to Jessica’s survival?

For more information about Michele Phoenix and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Read this enticing, eye-opening tale. Seriously. You won't regret it.

It took awhile for me to process The Space Between Words. Even now I'm not sure I will be able to do this book, this review due justice. Bear with me, my friends.

Jessica is a survivor of the Paris attacks. The author masterfully layers the character's remembrance of the attacks and the following trauma throughout the novel. And about a fourth of the way through the story there is a dramatic twist. A twist so dramatic that - to be honest - I'm not sure how I didn't spend the next week raging and mourning! The author pulled such an intense response out of me for these wounded, dear characters.

Most of the story is told through Jessica's perspective. However, we get to read the journal entries of Adeline Baillard and follow the harrowing journey of her family's faith during the Huguenot persecution. What about romance, you say? Yes, there is a faint, slow burning romance, but it is not the focus of the novel. However, it was enough to please this romantic girl's heart! This is a tale of survival and healing after experiencing the worst in mankind, and we see the struggle - and reward - to walking in faith, persevering, and believing in God's goodness.

Four Stars ~ This story is an intense kind of beautiful! The Space Between Words is a standalone novel. I think fans of Rachel Hauck's dual timeline stories, Katie Ganshert's Life After, Becky Wade's True to You, and Heidi Chiavaroli's Freedom's Ring will enjoy The Space Between Words.

I received a copy of The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix 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 an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. Joy is a youth mentor because she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens. 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.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Author Interview and GIVEAWAY with Chenise A. Miller!!!

Hi, guys!

One of my favorite things to do is talk with my friends, family, the teens I mentor, and everyone else at coffee shops/bookstores. Books and yummy drinks are the perfect combination, after all. So, consider this our virtual coffee shop. I'll wait a second for you to get your warm drink and a fuzzy blanket before we chat with today's guest.

Today, I am very excited for you to meet Chenise A. Miller! I *met* Chenise on Instagram, and she's just such a nice person!


Chenise A. Miller grew up in Metro Detroit playing basketball throughout her adolescent years. After reading Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper, she began weaving her own stories together, while playing the sport she loved. It wasn't until years later—after wrapping up her professional career in Spain—that Chenise sat her basketball down and published her first novel. She plans to continue creating stories that are real, filled with friendship, and sprinkled with God's saving grace. When she's not writing and drinking coffee out of her favorite mug, she enjoys reading, traveling, and tasting new cuisine. She's a fan of classic romance comedies like Overboard, Pretty Woman, Baby Boom, and Sleepless in Seattle.

Connect with Chenise on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

INTERVIEW ~

First things first, would you order coffee, tea, or hot chocolate in our virtual coffee shop? Something else altogether? This is possibly the most important question…
 
Definitely coffee.

*nods approvingly* On to our second most important question, if you could order anything in the world to eat, what would it be?
 
This is so tough because I'm a foodie. If I could order anything, I guess it would be a quintessential Italian meal—in Italy, of course. I know that's kind of vague, but my mom lived in Como for almost a decade, and I've always loved hearing her amazing stories over the years. I guess, in my mind, food is always associated with a cool place.

I get that! An Itailan meal – with lots of cheese – sounds delicious! Where is your favorite place to write? And why is that your favorite place?

I'm pretty traditional when it comes to writing. All I need is a desk with lots of legroom because I'm tall. Most times I work in silence, but sometimes I can write with music playing softly. Usually, I play songs my current main character would like.

There’s something poetic about a writer at their desk. <3 Do you have an odd habit that is only explained by your bookish, writer tendencies?

Hmmm...I can't really think of an odd habit, outside of the crazy amount of coffee I consume when I'm writing. I think most writers eat or drink an unhealthy amount of something during the writing process. For me, it's coffee. So it's not extremely odd as an author, but outsiders would probably cringed at the amount of coffee I drink and reheat.

This completely supports what you said, but I tend to binge coffee and chocolate while I’m writing. Haha! What inspired you to write Where I Belong?

I can't really pinpoint a particular thing that led me to write Where I Belong—because that's how it usually happens for me—but I remember thinking how fun it would be to write a novel set in a small southern town with loveable characters and all things sweet! Along the way, I definitely found inspiration from a few books: Becky Wade's A Love Like Ours, and Secrets of the Heart by Lee Tobin McClain. Both novels were set in small towns. I also found myself binge watching Heartland on Netflix around the time I finished Where I Belong, so that show was inspiration also.

Small southern towns are so much fun, and those are great books! However, I have yet to watch Heartland. *hangs head* What led you to write in this genre?

Well, I have four novels that I classify as Christian Romance. I've always been into romance, because I'm a hopeless romantic. When I decided to take writing seriously, it was around the time that I truly decided to believe and live for God. Though things weren't always perfect, I found I knew first hand the highs and lows of someone striving to follow Christ. So I made a decision to write Christian Fiction. Now I have to be honest, it wasn't a decision I made right away. I toyed with writing contemporary romance because I didn't really think anyone would read a Christian Fiction novel, but that's when I discovered the talented authors that paved the way for newbies like me. I wanted to be the young author who wrote stories that other young adults could instantly relate to. And I always felt like not writing Christian Fiction, would be like running from something God told me to do. So here I am!

Wow, Chenise! I love your writing testimony. It’s so powerful! <3 What message do you hope to convey to your readers?

I hope to convey messages of forgiveness, hope, friendship, and, of course, love. Not just romance, but the love of God. I believe readers can relate with the authenticity of each character—because none of them are perfect. Just like you and I, they go through real problems, real pain, and real redemption.

Romance and the love of God equals the perfect combo. <3 Can you tell us a little about your next project?

I'm working on the second book in the Southern Belles series. This novel is making me a better storyteller and it's fun catching up with some of the characters from Where I Belong. Readers will be able to see the progress of some characters from book one.

Book two is about Parker and someone I think readers will least expect. It pushes the envelope for me, as readers learn that the main character has a wayward past that she's trying her best to outrun. Since it's set in Belle City, it's no surprise that everyone knows everything. I think readers will like this one.

As an avid reader, I love it when I get to catch up with old friends, err, characters. ; ) What is your favorite Bible verse or story that inspires you on a soul level?

My favorite scripture is Romans 8:28, "We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to his purpose." 

When I think about my life, I think about the faithfulness of God and the perfect way He worked things out—the good and the bad.

 

Great verse!! He is so faithful, isn’t He? <3 What are you currently reading?

I usually read a few books at once, though I don't recommend it to anyone lol. Currently, I've been reading Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations, by V. Joy Palmer :), False Start by Christine Kersey, and Finding Love by Toni Shiloh. All are good so far! I'm sure I'll have a hard time choosing which to finish first.

Aww, shucks! *grins* I’ve read more than one book at a time before. It can be a lot of fun…and very confusing. ; )

Thank you so much for answering all my prying questions, Chenise! I had a lot of fun talking to you today! : )

GIVEAWAY ~
Chenise has generously offered to giveaway 1 copy of her newest novel, Where I belong, and a $25.00 gift card!



Nothing could be worse than moving home, the place Miranda Phillips rand from 10 years ago. She had good reason to leave, too—including her rocky relationship with her mother. But when her mother's bakery is in jeopardy of closing, Miranda reluctantly leaves New York to help her family. She puts her dreams on hold, because that's what her father would've wanted. However, since he's been gone things haven't been the same. Sure she grew up in Belle City, but she doesn't know what to expect after so many years away. It sure isn't rainbows and butterflies...and definitely not falling for Owen Bailey, a handsome contractor and new face in the small Georgia town.
 
As Miranda lets her guard down, she experiences an overwhelming comfort that she didn't expect to find in Belle City. Still, not void of hurt, apprehension, and loose ends, Miranda must figure out if happiness is worth risking something safe for the thrill of the unknown. She must decide if faith is enough to show her where she belongs.

Rules, Info, and Such ~

Chenise has generously offered to giveaway 1 signed copy of her newest novel, Where I Belong, and a $25.00 Amazon gift card! This giveaway is only open to US mailing address - so sorry for any chocolate binge eating this may cause! The giveaway will be open until 12 A.M. on September 20th, 2017. If the winner does not respond to our e-mails in one week (by September 27th), I will have to draw a new winner.

May the odds be ever in your favor!

Enter using the handy Rafflecopter here ~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for stopping by my writerly, bookish friends! See you next time, and God bless you guys!

Hugs!

P.S. You may know that I contribute to several blogs, one of which is The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction - a lovely group blog where myself and several other awesome authors take turns every week interviewing other awesome authors. Hope to see you there, too!

~V. Joy Palmer


V. Joy Palmer is an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. Joy is a youth leader because she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens. 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, September 5, 2017

Review of Freedom's Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli



About the Book ~

Boston, 2015

Two years after nearly losing her life in the Boston Marathon bombing, Annie David is still far from “Boston strong.” Instead she remains isolated and defeated―plagued by guilt over her niece, crippled in the blast, and by an antique ring alongside a hazy hero’s face. But when she learns the identity of her rescuer, will he be the hero she’s imagined? And can the long-past history of the woman behind the ring set her free from the guilt and fears of the present?

Boston, 1770

As a woman alone in a rebellious town, Liberty Caldwell finds herself in a dangerous predicament. When a British lieutenant, Alexander Smythe, comes to her rescue and offers her employment, Liberty accepts. As months go by, Alexander not only begins to share his love of poetry with her, but protects Liberty from the advances of a lecherous captain living in the officers’ house where she works.

Mounting tensions explode in the Boston Massacre, and Liberty’s world is shattered as her brother, with whom she has just reunited, is killed in the fray. Desperate and alone, she returns home, only to be assaulted by the captain. Afraid and furious toward redcoats, Liberty leaves the officers’ home, taking with her a ring that belonged to Alexander.

Two women, separated by centuries, must learn to face their fears. And when they feel they must be strong, they learn that sometimes true strength is found in surrender.

For more information about Heidi Chiavaroli and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

If Freedom's Ring is not on your radar, buy a new radar, invest in binoculars, or just get thee to a bookstore! This is not a story to be missed!

In Freedom's Ring, half of the story is set after the Boston Bombing, while the other half is set spanning the American Revolutionary War. I really enjoyed all the history and research, and I felt like it wasn't overdone or drawn out. Heidi Chiavaroli intertwines these two unique stories so beautifully.

Liberty and Annie have both been traumatized by horrendous actions. Having seen the worse in mankind, they must choose to forgive and ask for forgiveness when their fear dictates their actions. The author gracefully shows readers how we must sometimes rely on a strength that is greater, more supernatural than we can comprehend - God's strength. The romantic threads were so sweet, and while the How I Met Your Mother twist made my heart ache, you can't help but feel overwhelmed by the way the author wove God's love and grace into the story of such dearly loved characters.

Four Stars ~ This story will capture your heart! Freedom's Ring is Heidi Chiavaroli's debut novel, and it is an extraordinary standalone story that you won't want to miss! Fans of Rachel Hauck's dual timeline stories, Katie Ganshert's Life After, and Becky Wade's True to You will especially enjoy Freedom's Ring, as will anyone who enjoys reading about the American Revolutionary War.

I received a copy of Freedom's Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli 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 an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. Joy is a youth leader because she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens. 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.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Review of The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin



About the Book ~

After two broken engagements, nurse practitioner Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she only trusts herself and God, and she's focused on her eighteen-year-old sister, Lucy, and caring for patients. Just as she applies to work for an international aid organization, a phone call from Lucy, who's pregnant and running off to marry her twenty-one-year-old boyfriend, throws a wrench into all of Mia's plans.

Jake Tanner may have recovered from the physical injuries he sustained on the job as a police officer, but his heart has yet to heal from losing his former partner in the tragedy. He's poured himself into starting a camp for the sons of fallen officers and mentoring Sam, the adult son of his deceased partner, who's asked him to be his best man at his wedding.

Mia is expecting a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn't expecting Jake. And Jake, who can't help envying Sam and Lucy, doubts he'll ever experience their happiness for himself. But maybe Jake's courage and Mia's caring spirit are just what they need to bring them a lifetime of healing and a forever kind of love. . . .

For more information about Victoria Bylin and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

If you're looking for a sweet, faith filled romance, then check out The Two of Us!

The Two of Us provides the point of view for three characters. Jake is a disable, retired cop desperate to honor the memory of his fallen partner and reach troubled teens. Mia went through two broken engagements before deciding to dedicate her life to serving on the medical mission field. Then you have Lucy, Mia's younger sister, who is new to God, marriage, and is unexpectedly pregnant. On top of that, you follow present-day Frank and Claire, Jake's parents, and their journey through Alzheimer's Disease. Even though there is such a wide cast with such varied backgrounds and difficulties, the story did not feel cluttered. Rather, each subplot ebbed and flowed perfectly with the main story like they were one body of water.

While both Jake and Mia have big, noble, good dreams, sometimes God has different plans for our lives. I also loved how the author was able to show readers through several characters that trying to be perfect and do everything right wouldn't necessarily stop the bad times and how that attitude ultimately shows a lack of trust in God. I could wholeheartedly relate to that message! It touched my must-be-perfect heart.

Four Stars ~ A beautiful, classic romance! The Two of Us is a standalone story, but by the time you finish, the characters will feel like family. <3

I received a copy of The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin 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 an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. Joy is a youth leader because she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens. 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.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Review of Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason





About the Book ~

Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she's made a career out of taking care of others. But after an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her--and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he's not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.

In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories--and the depths of the heart--Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley's past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won't quit.

For more information about Lynette Eason and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

A chilling cold case, a long lost family, the start of a swoony romance, and bad guys behind every page - this story is one wild ride!

Haley's story is finally told, and I have to you, it's staggering! I really want to say more, but I don't want to give anything away, so you'll just have to read the book. *winks and grins*  I have always loved the long lost family trope, and this story is no different. While Haley's story really thrilled me, Steven's spiritual story touched my heart. Through Steven's heartbreaking tragedy and some wonderfully veiled references, Lynette Eason shows readers how forgiveness can lead to a new heart.

I liked that Haley and Steven's romance was slow because otherwise it would have felt too fast for me. By the end of the overall story, they were just starting to date, and an epilogue gave me the Happily Ever After that I love so much.

Four Stars - An excellent conclusion to an exciting series! Chasing Secrets is the fourth and final book in Lynette Eason's Elite Guardians Series, and I think readers will be very pleased! Chasing Secrets is its own independent story, and very few references are made to the previous books, so readers will not be confused if they consume the stories out of order.

I received a copy of Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason 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 an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. Joy is a youth leader because she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens. 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.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Review of the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible, Large Print



About this Bible ~

Easy to color and easy to read! Reflect on the precious truths of Scripture with the NIV Beautiful Word™ Coloring Bible, Large Print, featuring beautiful line art for coloring and a large type size. Perfect for all ages, this Bible’s thick white paper with lightly ruled lines in the extra-wide margins provides ample space for your own artistic expressions and journaling.

My Thoughts ~

I have been seriously jonesing for a coloring Bible, so I was pretty excited when this Bible popped up for review!

I love the cloth-over-board style, and the floral with leaves pattern is beautiful! I just want to stare at it. And the pictures! I love them! Some are small and simple, while others are intricate designs that take up two pages! Most of them are popular verses with simple designs that are in the extra wide margins. However, everything from the lovely pictures to color to the font choice suit my personality quite nicely!

The text is large print, so no squinting! Unless you're like me, and you get really intense about your coloring! Haha! Pages without pictures are set up for journaling and notes in the margins. This Bible is a New International Translation (NIV).

I will note that this Bible is extra large. It surprised me when it arrived, but it shouldn't have. It's a coloring, journaling, large print Bible. Everything about that says, "I'm a big book!"

I received a copy of the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible, Large Print, published by Zondervan 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 an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. She is a youth leader at her church, and loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens. 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.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Review of Egypt's Sister by Angela Hunt



About the Book ~

You Don't Know Her Name. The World Remembers Only Her Greatest Friend: Cleopatra.

Raised together in the Alexandrian palace, Chava, the Hebrew daughter of the royal tutor, and Urbi, an Egyptian princess, become as close as sisters--and rivals with their dreams of greatness. When Urbi unexpectedly ascends the throne as Queen Cleopatra, Chava believes their bond is strong enough to survive. But absolute power has a way of changing everything.

The ultimate betrayal rips Chava from everything she's ever known and sends her to the lowest rung of Roman society where she must choose between love and honor, between her own desires and God's will for her life, if she hopes to rise again.

For more information about Angela Hunt and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Angela Hunt has done it again! Wow! Wow! WOW!

Chava is a young woman who's grown up with a lot of privilege. Her family is not hurting for money, and they are in very good standing in the community. I mean, she's best friends with an Egyptian princess for crying out loud! Until standing up for what she believes results in her enslavement...

If you've been hanging around my accounts for awhile, you know that Biblical Fiction has become one of my favorite genres. Why? Because it makes you think about things in or surrounding Bible times to which we have become desensitized in our daily lives. While Egypt's Sister is set during The Silent Years (the time period between The Old Testament and The New Testament), it is still a very powerful story! And the rich history! I have never felt so woefully uninformed in all my life - with the exception of my freshman Algebra class. However, the history was not dry and boring, but naturally woven into the fast-moving plot.

I found it very moving to read about how God used Chava's sudden fall in society to not only humble her heart, but also to teach her about who she really was in Him. This is a girl power book at it's finest! Egypt's Sister also showcases the power behind God's words and how He can work even the worst situation for good.

Five Stars - An extraordinary look into life during The Silent Years. Egypt's Sister is a must read for fans of Biblical Fiction!

I received a copy of Egypt's Sister by Angela Hunt 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 an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. She is a youth leader at her church, and loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens. 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.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Review of Solo by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess



About the Book ~

From award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander, with Mary Rand Hess, comes Solo, a YA novel written in poetic verse. Solo tells the story of seventeen-year-old Blade Morrison, who knows the life of a rock star isn’t really about the glitz and glamour. All the new cars and money in the world can’t make up for the scathing tabloid covers or the fact that his father is struggling with just about every addiction under the sun—including a desperate desire to make a comeback and regain his former fame. Haunted by memories of his mother—who died when Blade was nine—and the ruin his father’s washed-up legacy and life have brought to the family, Blade is left to figure out life on his own. But, he’s not all alone: He’s got the friendship of a jazz-musician mentor, Robert; the secret love of a girlfriend, Chapel; and his music. All may not be well in the Morrison home, but things are looking up for Blade, until he discovers a deeply protected family secret—one that further threatens his relationship with his family and has him questioning his own identity. Thrown into a tailspin, Blade decides the only way he will understand his past and begin his future is to find out the truth behind the music and himself. He soon sets out on a journey that will change everything he thought to be true. His quest lands him in Ghana, stuck in a village just shy of where answers to the secret can be found. There, Blade discovers a friendship he couldn’t have imagined, a people founded in family and community, and a reconciliation he never expected.

With his signature intricacy, intimacy, and poetic style, Kwame Alexander explores what it means to finally come home.

For more information about Kwame Alexander and his books, check out his website here!

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

My Thoughts ~

WOW!

When I first heard about Solo, I thought it looked really interesting. But when I found out that the entire story was written in poetic verse, I knew I NEEDED to read this book! Pretty much amazing. The poetry wasn't "uptight" like high school English students might fear. ;) It was moving and fluid. There were times where I focused on the beauty of the poetry, but there were just as many, if not more, times where I was just so caught up in the story being told! The poetry did not detract from that story. In fact, because the story is so rock-and-roll centered, I think the lyric quality added to the story.

This is definitely a story music lovers will cherish! Each hidden and brazen mention of the rock-and-roll greats will just make you smile. Read Solo. You won't be disappointed. And if you're not into music at all *gasp*, then I think you will still enjoy the story and the message.

Readers should be aware that Solo is not an overtly Christian book. There are Christian overtones, but the story is written for the general market. However, it packs a powerful punch!!! The authors explore what home and family really mean, as well as forgiveness, redemption, life, love, fear (face the spider!), and death. I can't recommend Solo enough, and it would be a powerful book for adults and teens alike who are new to God and/or don't really know God yet.

Five Stars - this is a great book! Now excuse me while I get my hands on more Kwame Alexander books!

I received a copy of Solo by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess published by Blink from the Solo Launch Team. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer


V. Joy Palmer is an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. She is a youth leader at her church, and loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens. 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.