Thursday, November 15, 2018

Review ~ An Hour Unspent (Shadows Over England #3) by Roseanna White

Paperback, 413 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Bethany House Publishers
 Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.

Purchase:


My Review 
5 STARS!!! 

Roseanna White has delivered another impressive and historically fascinating story. Set in 1915 London, it made my heart pound when I read about the airships dropping their bombs. I was captured by the detailed war atmosphere and I could feel the tension and fear fueling much of the cast of characters emotions and mindsets.

Barclay Pearce has undertaken great responsibilities with his ragtag family of orphans. I love how determined he is to instill a sense of security in each one and make sure that they are gently and lovingly cared for. He has a big heart, along with a compassionate and giving spirit. He has become one of my favorite fictional characters. 



There is so much more to this story, that I find it challenging to put the words on paper. Suffice it to say that if you are a fan of historical fiction filled with plenty of action, intrigue, forgiveness and renewal, you will enjoy An Hour Unspent, the thrilling conclusion to Shadows Over England series.

I was provided a copy of the book from the author and publisher. No review was required. No compensation received. 



*I am not affiliated with Amazon or CBD and make no money if you use the links to purchase. They are provided as a courtesy only. 


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Review ~ Stratagem by Robin Caroll

Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 1st 2018 by Shiloh Run Press
Deep in the gritty underbelly of New Orleans, psychologist Grayson Thibodeaux loses everything when his wife leaves him to climb her company’s corporate ladder. He buries himself in his job of creating mind-bending adventure games for businesses as team-building explorations. When his ex-wife’s company hires Grayson’s to create an elaborate game, he doesn’t see how things can get worse. Until she dies during the course of the game he created…making him the prime suspect for murder.

Purchase:
 *CBD

My Review
5 STARS!!!

This was my first Robin Caroll book but it won’t be my last. I can see why all the hoopla surrounding her stories. The psychological twists and turns in Stratagem are mind-blowing. The way businesses use these freaky games to encourage team work and/or choose which employee is worthy of promotion is kind of sick and twisted yet absolutely fascinating at the same time. 

For reasons I cannot explain, by the third chapter I knew who the killer was. The frustrating part about that was there was not a single clue to point me in the right direction. It was just a gut instinct. By chapter 10, I did what I never do…I looked at the last chapter, just enough to confirm my suspicion. At first, I was disappointed (in myself) but then the game became to see how the author was going to bring out all the players fears and secrets, and show me why the bad guy was the bad guy. I was not disappointed! I was completely drawn into this story to the point of having a little chat with one of the detectives. I didn’t like all the characters but that’s just a mark of a well-written book.


If you like a thriller mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat and turning pages as fast as you can, you will want to read Stratagem. Not only does it have an interesting plot but the faith theme is deeply moving. There is an incredibly sad element in this story that isn’t glossed over but it is tempered by showing God’s love and forgiveness that leads to freedom.

I was provided a copy of the book from the publisher. No review was required. No compensation received.
 


*I am not affiliated with CBD and make no money if you use the link to purchase. 
It is provided as a courtesy only.

The Christmas Heirloom: Four Holiday Novellas of Love Through the Generations by Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Sarah Loudin Thomas, Becky Wade


In Kristi Ann Hunter's "Legacy of Love," Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman's grandson, a man far above her station.

In Karen Witemeyer's "Gift of the Heart," widow Ruth Albright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local banker. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love.

In Sarah Loudin Thomas's "A Shot at Love," Fleeta Brady's rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her family's brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance.

In Becky Wade's "Because of You," Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?

Purchase a copy:
*CBD



My Review 
4 STARS!!!  

The Christmas Heirloom, a collection of four Christmas stories following an heirloom brooch through generations of a family, is a unique and enjoyable read. I liked all of the stories but Witemeyer’s is my favorite. It think it's similar to Ruth and Boaz, with a slight twist. ;)

Beauregard aka ‘Bo’ appears to be gruff but as the story progresses we see he has a deep tenderness underneath. Even though this is a novella, it was well fleshed out and I never felt like it was rushed. It is definitely a sweet and romantic story. 

Take a few minutes out of your busy holiday schedule and enjoy a relaxing evening with the fine characters gracing the pages of The Christmas Heirloom. You’ll appreciate the beautiful themes of faith and hope, all wrapped up in love. 

 I was provided a print copy of the book from the publisher. No review was required. No compensation received.


*I am not affiliated with CBD and make no money if you use the link to purchase. 
It is provided as a courtesy only.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Fun Christmas Craft Ideas

I realize Thanksgiving isn't even here yet but I signed up to participate in an ornament exchange. The ornament has to be mailed out by Dec 1 so I am on the hunt for something quick and easy yet still pretty. If you have any ideas, please leave a comment and let me know.

As I was perusing YouTube, I came across a couple of super fun looking crafts and messy is always better, right? :-)

This one uses paper and glue (lots of glue!), food coloring and sea salt. 




I'm pretty sure you could do the same thing with clear plastic ornaments and it would be safe for the kiddos to make some too!




I am a fan of rustic and shabby so this next ornament might be my favorite!
I think I will definitely be trying this one out.



What do you think? Any of these ideas you might want to try?

I'll be sure and share my finished Christmas ornaments!

~Happy Crafting~

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Buy the eBook Collection


eBook:






I am not affiliated with any of these retailers and make no money if you use the links to purchase. They are only provided as a courtesy! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Rebecca Reviews ~ Mark of the Raven (The Ravenwood Saga #1) by Morgan L. Busse

38485496
Paperback, 352 pages
November 6th 2018 by Bethany House Publishers
 Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person's dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.

As she discovers her family's dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family's legacy--a legacy that supports her people--or seeking the true reason behind her family's gift.

Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.

One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?




Rebecca's Review
4 STARS!!!

"There were no choices . . . . . . . her future was dark and bleak."

As heir apparent to the House of Ravenwood, Selene has just been gifted; she's now a dreamwalker, and according to her mother, a surprisingly powerful one. Curious about an ability that the other six regions of her kingdom thought was destroyed, she listens as Grand Lady Ragna describes the seriousness of honing her skills, for she is to be the savior of her people by . . . . . . . . . . controlling the dreams of others to the point of death? It cannot, it must not, be true.

Grand Lord Damien from the House of Waters is convinced that the Seven Houses must unite their gifts in order to avoid an aggressive attack from the nearby Dominia Empire. When called to the House of Ravenwood for a strategy summit, he hopes to build an alliance that will bring peace, the kind of unity that his deceased father longed to establish. Fascinated by the dark beauty that resides in Rook Castle, he cannot help but wonder what kind of strength lies beneath Selene's cold veneer. . . . if he only knew, he is about to find out.

"A leader can serve her people by sacrifice and love."

"Mark of the Raven" captures the essence of light and darkness within an ingenious package of daunting expectations and ingenious characterizations. . . . . .taking its readers on a journey that leads straight to their souls.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 

 
Senior Reviewer, Rebecca Maney

Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education, and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With nearly 28 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".
 
 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Short Review ~ Cold Pursuit (Cold Harbor #6) by Susan Sleeman

 Now Available!!!


She’s on the run…
When Whitney Rochester’s brother-in-law kills her sister, Whitney fears for the life of her niece and nephew. She can’t leave them in her murderous brother-in-law’s care so she goes on the run with the children to be sure they’re out of his reach. Or so she thinks until a killer shows up—weapon in hand—at the ski resort where she works and targets her.

But he’s in pursuit.
Former Recon Marine Alex Hamilton is working an undercover investigation at the resort when a crazed man wielding a gun takes out a guy in close proximity to Whitney. Despite not having the support of the Blackwell Tactical team, other than their forensic expert, Samantha Willis, Alex isn’t about to let the shooter harm Whitney or anyone else. When a blinding snowstorm triggers avalanches in the area, it’s too dangerous for the police to reach the secluded resort to stop the killer. Alex and Sam must protect everyone at the resort while they feverishly work to figure out if Whitney or the victim were the intended target. As Alex and Whitney grow close and the killer strikes again, Alex has to find and take down this madman, even if it means risking his own life.

 Available (eBook)




My Review
4 STARS!!!

Cold Pursuit is an arresting story with a line of intrigue that makes it hard to put down. Whitney and Alex are intelligent and savvy, with a pretty good chemistry on the page. Fans of contemporary suspense will enjoy this rendering from Sleeman. This is the sixth book in the Cold Harbor series but the first I've read, and yet I had no trouble figuring out characters etc. I'm looking forward to going back and reading the series from the beginning because I hear there is another book coming. I was gifted an electronic copy of the book from the author. No review was required. No compensation received.



*I am not affiliated with Amazon and make no money if you use the link to order. 
It is only provided as a courtesy.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Saying Goodbye...

Yesterday, Nov 1st, I was privileged to be with my sweet book-loving friend and sister-in-Christ, Regina, as she was ushered into our Lord's presence. 

 L-R: Anne, Carrie, Regina

Regina and I met through our mutual friend and author, Carrie Fancett Pagels, years ago. Until April of 2017, we had only known each other online but our love of Jesus and books cemented us as lifelong friends. We just didn't know that it would be such a short time here on Earth. Regina and her husband moved to our area of VA in April 2017, and we became even closer friends after that.

Many memories were brought to the surface as I offered reassuring words of comfort before her husband arrived. I sat and held her hand, read to her from the Psalms and The Valley of Vision, and even quietly sang Amazing Grace and Sanctuary to her.

I know Regina is free from her earthly bonds of MD and the pain she suffered. Her lovely smile and infectious laughter will be sorely missed but rejoicing that she was a child of the KING and is now in the full and glorious presence of our God! 

Please pray for her husband and family as they walk this long road of grief. 

May God bless you with His eternal love!


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Rebecca Reviews ~ The Way to the Manger: A Family Advent Devotional by Jeff Land, Abbey Land

It's almost that time of year when we begin thinking about, and planning, Advent. Here is a delightful  family devotional that Rebecca recently reviewed and wanted to share with our readers. 



Christmas is a chaotic time of year. With so much focus on material gifts and the anticipation of a certain jolly visitor, parents may easily feel their children are missing the true meaning of Christmas as they count down the days until December 25.
The Way to the Manger engages families with the biblical truth of Christmas through twenty-five Advent devotions that redirect children and families to their need for a Savior and the amazing gift of Jesus Christ. Sure to become a keepsake that is revisited year after year, this book also provides talking points and activities for families to enjoy together, bringing the focus of Christmas back to Jesus and family time.




 Rebecca's Review
5 STARS!!!

"How would you feel if an angel visited you?"

"Do you know who your great-great-grandfather was? "

" How many names can a person be called?"

"How do you think God blesses people? What are some ways you can bless someone?"

Not only is this a beautiful book from a visual perspective, it's an intentionally beautiful book from a spiritual perspective. Filled with simple, direct, and memorable devotional selections, each section delivers daily pages of thoughts, questions, activities and memory makers in a journal like fashion; making it easy for families to use this lovely tome for many Christmases to come. 

Senior Reviewer, Rebecca Maney

Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education, and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With nearly 28 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".

*****

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