Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Evergreen by Susan May Warren


Tis the season, guys!!!! Tis the season!!!

I unashamedly adore Christmas books but ever since I've had a book blog, I find it hard to review them. Publishers want reviews of anything new in October-ish when the books come out--which well at that time I want to be reading spooky stuff, plus there's always a slew of Big Fall Books. I'm usually more in the mood around, lol, December 20th, but then there's no time to write about stuff! But this year I've just given in. I'm already indulging in Hallmark's Christmas movies and happily reading Christmas books, I've had numerous Peppermint Mochas, etc.

Susan May Warren remains a go to author for me for comfort reads and Evergreen is no different. This is a novella...not a full length book and it does fit in another series she's already writing but it's not necessary to have read those books--I haven't! At most, it gives you a few teasers for them.

Ingrid Christensen is dreading the upcoming holidays since her children won't be home, and her husband has ideas about how to take her mind off that and give her a wonderful holiday, but despite his efforts, every idea he has only drives a wedge between them. Meanwhile, her nephew has come to live them and she must plan the live nativity against incredible odds. Will there be any merry Christmas for Ingrid and John?

This is very much a marriage story and I appreciated it as such. Ingrid and John have their own individual hurts they are holding onto and they must let go and come together. I have to admit, there was a part of me that was like "you've been hanging on to THAT?" when Ingrid's hurt was revealed, but really there are so many reasons we have pain in our lives and I think one thing I appreciated about this book is that it was a sort of ignored resentment that bubbled to the surface at once and was closely connected to a pain I felt much more...understandable. (it's not that Ingrid being upset didn't make sense, it's just that she's so abundantly blessed beyond what many have in this certain area that it seemed like a self indulgent pain--it's hard to explain without spoilers) I also like that these characters are flawed and far from perfect...but a warmth permeates the book anyway.

This is a fall leads up to Christmas kind of story and also a lovely one! WARNING THOUGH, I feel while maybe considered spoilery, necessary--sad dog stuff :( I cried.

I received a copy of this to review. I recommend it as a warm, Christian fiction, Christmas novella.

Amy

Monday, November 24, 2014

Giveaway! Catch up on the Waterfire Saga and Nail polish!

Rogue Wave, the second book in The Waterfire Saga comes out on January 6th. Why not catch up ahead of time and celebrate at your holiday parties with principessa colors?


About the Book: Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe.

When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin’s arrow poisons Sera's mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the Mer nations.

Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world’s very existence.



About the Book: In this exciting sequel to DEEP BLUE, the mermaids are on an exceedingly important and dangerous quest. Their journey is testing their skills and their friendships, forcing them to grow and take on new challenges, and will alter their lives forever.

Serafina, Neela, Ling, Ava, Becca, and Astrid, six mermaids from realms scattered throughout the seas and freshwaters, were summoned by the leader of the river witches to learn an incredible truth: the mermaids are direct descendants of the Six Who Ruled–powerful mages who once governed the lost empire of Atlantis. The ancient evil that destroyed Atlantis is stirring again, and only the mermaids can defeat it. To do so, they need to find magical talismans that belonged to the Six.

Serafina believes her talisman was buried with an old shipwreck. While researching its location, she is almost discovered by a death rider patrol led by someone familiar. . . . The pain of seeing him turned traitor is devastating.

Neela travels to Matali to warn her parents of the grave threat facing their world. But they find her story outlandish; a sign that she needs to be confined to her chamber for rest and recovery. She escapes and travels to Kandina, where her talisman is in the possession of fearsome razormouth dragons.

As they hunt for their talismans, both Serafina and Neela find reserves of courage and cunning they didn't know they possessed. They face down danger and death, only to endure a game-changing betrayal, as shocking as a rogue wave.

THE PRIZE PACK


One winner in the United States will receive, courtesy of Disney Hyperion:
Acopy of Deep Blue
custom Deep Blue and Rogue Wave nail polishes

Just fill out the form below to be entered:



You can also purchase the book at Barnes & Noble, take the Which Mermaid Are You? quiz, and visit the official website

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero


This is a really fun book, y'all.

Found footage horror movies are one of my favorite genres even if 85% of them terrible. I was sold on them from the first time I saw Blair Witch Project, and in more recent times I loved the Paranormal Activity movies (until the fourth one broke the trend of them getting progressively more awesome and was just mediocre). If there is an equivalent to FF movies in books, they would be the style The Supernatural Enhancements is written in...a collection of diary entries, handwritten notes, written transcripts of video footage, etc. Another book that successfully pulled this off this year was Sarah Lotz's The Three.

So imagine a haunted house story told in this way! Awesome, right? And it is. What makes this even cooler is that it's presented as an investigation into the secrets of the house. Two young people go to check out this newly inherited house and learn about ~haunting. But they quickly learn there are many many more secrets the house is hiding and they work hard to solve the puzzle. But of course they themselves begin to be affected by the power of the house.

And everything turns out to be much different than you originally suspect...looking at the cover might give you a clue? But really I don't want to say too much because the way it all unfolds is the fun of it! This is a super fun, page turner. Give it a look!

I did read an egalley provided to me by the publisher.

Amy

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

TWD Catch-up!

Since a few people actually asked my thoughts on recent TWD episodes, I thought I'd post! Hopefully I can get back in the swing of sharing thoughts on a weekly basis..even though there are only two episodes left before another hiatus :(

I've really enjoyed the season for the most part! I do have to say I'm surprised they split up the group again so quickly employing the same methods of character development they used last season when I was fairly certain they said they wouldn't do that again. Even so, it's been successful for the most part--I absolutely loved the episode with Beth in the hospital (this episode proves the spinoff has a chance imo) and I enjoyed Daryl and Carol's episode a lot as well. The one with Abraham and Eugene and company..I don't know I am just not warming up to those two characters and the writers still haven't given Rosita much POV at all. It's really frustrating to me because I think they have succeeded with Tara, she's realized..you get who she is, but Rosita is like a blank slate still and it's just kind of sad to me. So yeah that episode bored me, ugh.

Bob's death was painful and sad, poor Sasha. I did really love the reason he gave for not telling her the second he was bit, that's been one of my favorite death moments on the show. Sometimes this show gets emotional truth so well. I feel like at the time I had ~thoughts about the brutal slaughter taking place in the church--a place of sanctuary and I had a lot of thoughts on Michonne and her katana, but it's been too long now.

Anyway, I was kind of bummed that Carol was actually captured by evil hospital people and it wasn't a set up, but I'm curious to see how everything plays out!

So yeah, I'm really enjoying the season, but I'm thinking are more tightly integrated next week--how about you guys? What do you think?

Amy

CFBA Book Spotlight: A Promise to Cherish by Elizabeth Yount

About the Book: As World War II draws to a close, nurse Christine falls in love with roguish Amish boy Eli and must choose between a new, uncertain life in the Amish faith or face the judgment of a conservative postwar American society for her past mistakes.

It’s 1945, and Christine Freeman is a nurse at Hudson River State Hospital, where she works alongside members of a Civilian Public Service unit. Eli is one of the conscies—conscientious objectors to the war—and he is doing his best to become a man of character instead of the immature heartbreaker he used to be back home in his Amish community.

Christine and Eli are friendly, but when an old acquaintance, Jack, returns home from the war, Christine’s world is violently turned upside down. Eli, heartbroken to see his friend so hurt, offers her an escape within his Amish community. Despite her misgivings, Christine is fully embraced by Eli’s community. She slowly begins to feel valued and loved as she learns the Amish way of life.

Christine finds herself falling for Eli. But soon, the abusive Jack discovers Christine in her Amish hideaway and starts causing trouble for the quiet community. Christine can’t see herself becoming Amish, and she knows that if Eli leaves the church to be with her, he will be shunned. Will she escape Jack and possibly have to give up the one thing she holds most dear, or will she follow her heart and promise to cherish the Amish man who loves her?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin


Yes it's definitely time for Christmas reads!

I really love thematic novellas like this that are packaged together and I love the gentle and comforting tone of this book. All three of these stories are set during World War II and connected by the characters. They are all involved in very different parts of the war, but it's also Christmas for them all! And despite the fact that World War II is soemtimes my least favorite time period to read about, this book evokes the Christmas spirit by establishing a strong atmosphere and delivering messages of hope and togetherness. My favorite thing about Christmas is the reminder that we're not alone and these stories all deliver that message.

The writing is very Christian fiction-y...I don't really know how else to describe it, but if you are familiar with the genre, you understand. Even so, these are delightful stories that are perfect for the season and enjoyable as historical fiction as well.

I received a copy of this book for review.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Giveaway: While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth Blackwell


About the Book: Historical fiction at its best — The Brothers Grimm meets The Thirteenth Tale

I am not the sort of person about whom stories are told.

And so begins Elise Dalriss’s story. When she hears her great-granddaughter recount a minstrel’s tale about a beautiful princess asleep in a tower, it pushes open a door to the past, a door Elise has long kept locked. For Elise was the companion to the real princess who slumbered—and she is the only one left who knows what actually happened so many years ago. Her story unveils a labyrinth where secrets connect to an inconceivable evil. As only Elise understands all too well, the truth is no fairy tale.

Giveaway

One copy to a resident of the US. Winner will be notified via email.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Book Spotlight: Dreaming on Daisies by Miralee Ferrell

About the Book: When her father's debts, brought on by heavy drinking, threaten Leah Carlson's family ranch, she fights to save it. When handsome banker Steven Harding must decline her loan request, he determines to do what he can to help. Just as he arrives to serve as a much-needed ranch hand, Leah's family secrets—and the pain of her past—come to a head. They could destroy everything she's fought for. And they could keep her from ever opening her heart again.

This is western historical romance that offers hope and healing to the deepest wounds in a woman's past.