Archive for the ‘Blogging for Books’ Category

In modern day England, Professor Felix Guichard is called in to identify occult symbols found on the corpse of a young girl. His investigation brings him in contact with a mysterious woman, Jackdaw Hammond, who guards a monumental secret–She’s Dead. Or she would be, were it not for magic which has artificially extended her life. But someone else knows her secret. Someone very old and very powerful, who won’t rest until they’ve taken the magic that keeps her alive….

In Krakow in 1585, Dr John Dee, the Elizabethan Alchemist and Occultist, and his assistant Edward Kelley have been summoned by the King of Poland to save the life of his niece, the infamous Countess Elisabeth Bathory. But they soon realize that the only thing worse than the Countess’ malady, is the magic that might be able to save her…
As Jackdaw and Felix race to uncover the truth about the person hunting her, it becomes clear that the answers they seek can only be found in the ancient diary of John Dee’s assistant, Edward Kelley. Together they must solve a mystery centuries in the making, or die trying.


Two stories; one problem.  As Jackdraw and Felix race to solve their problem and save a second teen, so did Dr. Dee and Edward Kelley race as well, to save their lives whilst not falling prey to the evil magic surrounding the Countess.  thesecretsoflifeanddeath

It doesn’t take long to understand that a “borrowed timer” is essentially a vampire. And, if you’ve had your ear to the historical ground, you might have actually heard of the **Countess Elizabeth Bathory.

Jack and Felix race against not only time to protect Sadie from two sets of threats, but also struggle to help Sadie understand what she is and what she must do to stay alive-ish. Jack struggles to trust Felix; Felix seeks understanding.

Dr. Dee and Edward Kelley struggle to save the Countess, despite the releasing of the evil needed to do so, as well as protect their own lives. If the Countess dies; so too, will they lose their lives. If the Countess lives……..

I think this is the first I’ve read by this author. Initially off to a slow start, the connection between the two stories wasn’t readily apparent for a bit. For the first bit, I found myself thinking, “Get to it already!” Once it got going though, whew!

5 out of 5 stars for this one. I especially love the historical element to this book. The author shares a bit of the actual history at the conclusion, which I appreciate.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

**The Countess is known as the most prolific female serial killer. The official record stands at 80 victims, as the witness’ recorded total of 650 victims could not be authenticated. Yes, this is the lady who killed and then allegedly bathed in the girls’ virginal blood. She was eventually tried, and walled up in her castle with small slots for ventilation and food. It took her 4 years to die in this solitary confinement. Her 4 other cohorts were summarily punished: 2 burned at the stake after having their fingers ripped off by hot pincers; 1 beheaded and body burned; the last one was imprisoned for life. She was later known as the ‘Lady Dracula’.

Read Full Post »


Go watch the video. I’ll wait. 🙂

Ok. Everybody here?

If you’ve been reading my book reviews, you’ll probably remember that I generally like Sigmund Brouwer’s books, and don’t shy away from reviewing them.

This one, though…… I’m starting off with my rating. I’d give this book 10 stars if I could.

Go. Read. It.

This is a story, which, while fiction, was inspired by the author’s own parents’ experiences. {That hooks me every time.} It starts with a picture of a young boy’s freedom, family life, and conflict with another boy of similar age. By the end of the book, we’ve gone full circle; right to old age and deeply buried secrets.  thiefofglory

The tale of those secrets- of love lost; assault; tragic decisions made by parents; protection- all revealed- is told through the eyes of an aged man, seeing through his childhood eyes.

Compelling. Riveting, Gut wrenching. Heartbreaking.

“Thus, in solitude one night all these decades later, while still cognizant of the words I spoke, I found the strength and courage to fold my hands together and bow my head and finally ask His mercy.

I etch these last words not from a need after my death to share and dissipate the shame of what I did on the night my mother died at the internment camp, but from a desire to comfort Laura and Rachel, who led me, for the first time since that horrible night, to find the courage in that solitude and pour out my soul in prayer and weep with all the anguish I had denied myself for far too long.”

It’s been a while since a book has affected me like this. I imagine it will be a good long while until I read another one like it.

Go. Read. It.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Sign Up!

Sign Up!

Read Full Post »

“As dawn approaches in New York, literary agent Isabel Reed is turning the final pages of a mysterious, anonymous manuscript, racing through explosive revelations about powerful people. In Copenhagen, veteran CIA operative Hayden Gray, determined that this sweeping story be buried, is suddenly staring down the barrel of an unexpected gun. And in Zurich, the author himself is hiding in a shadowy expat life, trying to atone for a lifetime’s worth of lies and betrayals while always looking over his shoulder.  theaccident

Over the course of one long, desperate day, these lives will collide as the book begins its dangerous march toward publication, toward saving or ruining careers and companies, placing everything at risk—and everyone in mortal peril . . .”


This book had a slow and confusing start. I was beginning to wonder if it was a dud. But, I felt obligated to read it, so I did.

There’s a lot of back and forth in this book; meaning, a lot of jumping around from character to character and year to year/time to time. It took a while and a lot of thinking to figure out what was going on. This was a Kindle edition, so I don’t know if the hard copy had those flashbacks italicized or not. That would have helped considerably. I love a good mystery, but this one was challenging to even understand. Once I got to that point, it was exactly as I thought it would be.

One thing that kind of bothered me was the body count. I mean, it was unreasonably high. It just seemed to me that given how the dead folks were related to each other (not family, but professionally), the cops would have been all over this in real life, which means much of the plot would have been much more complicated in order to work around a police investigation. There were parts that were too convoluted to do anything but get a chuckle out of the absurdity.

I’m giving this one 3 out of 5 stars. I would consider reading more by this author, but I don’t think I would go out of my way to do it.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Please click and rank my review!

Rank this Review!

Read Full Post »

Joan’s life took an unexpected, tragic turn when at the tender age of 4. Since her father’s beheading, everything has been a struggle for her family.  atripleknot

Joan’s close friendship with her cousin, the future King Edward III, leaves her in a difficult position, seeing as Edward has sworn to marry her. Joan, however, is disinclined, and Edward’s family agrees. They have plans to make a strategic marriage for her, as is customary.

Joan, however, is a Plantagenet. Or, in other words; headstrong. Temperamental. Blessed with striking good looks. Trouble. Being such, she has no plans to marry either the child molester or the homosexual the royals have in mind for her.

No, Joan wants to marry for love- even if her love is below her station. To thwart the plans of the dowager queen, Joan marries in secret……..

When Joan is forced to marry the royal family’s pick, it’s a race to the king to have him determine which husband she is really married to.



I have read other books that detail the life of Joan of Kent, and I find her story heart-wrenchingly sad. I can say that, without a doubt, I have absolutely *zero* desire to have been born a royal in that, or really, any other time, less modern day {and even that is questionable}. As you probably know, women were chattel; to be used as the men in their lives saw fit. Horrible.

This tale in particular, is filled with the kind of drama that modern-day soap operas can’t come close to touching.

From the beginning, this book was hard to put down. The family guide in the beginning was helpful, but the huge amount of characters was a tad confusing, even when I knew the basics of the story. Because this was based on fact, there’s not much the author could have done about that, though.

The only thing that really bothered me was the shift in perspectives. I don’t think it added much to the story, because the shift took place quite a ways in. It felt unnatural and unnecessary. I think that unless there was the perspective change from the beginning, those chapters should have been left out entirely or modified to reflect Joan’s perspective to keep a more streamlined writing.

My edition was an un-proofed e-copy, but I didn’t see any real issues.

Because of the change of perspectives being annoying, I’m going to give this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Please click and rank my review!

Rank this Review!



Read Full Post »

The only thing that Cassie Robichaud has ever really wanted is Will Foret, the love of her life. But when Will discovers that Cassie is part of S.E.C.R.E.T., an underground group devoted to helping women experience their deepest sexual fantasies, Will breaks it off. Heartbroken, Cassie dries her tears and focuses on her work with helping the latest S.E.C.R.E.T. recruit, Solange Faraday. Cassie also reignites her relationship with sexy bad-boy Jesse, even though she knows he can never love her as deeply as Will did. secretrevealed

Meanwhile, beautiful, brilliant Solange, a local news anchor and divorced mom, has a great career but a wilting love life. She rekindles long-lost passions, going deeper and hotter than any other S.E.C.R.E.T. candidates before her. Can Solange find what her heart most desires? And when Will realizes he’s made a tragic mistake, will Cassie be able to forgive him?

S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed is the explosive, sexually-charged finale to the phenomenal S.E.C.R.E.T. trilogy.




You’ll have noticed that I’m using the publisher summary instead of my own. Why, you might ask? In a nutshell, this is an x-rated book. 😯

This is the final book in the trilogy. Despite that, you don’t need to read the previous titles to get the gist of what’s going on. If you enjoy this genre, you will likely find this title fits right in. I’ve been reviewing for the Blogging for Books program for almost three years, and this time is the first time I’ve been stumped on what to write. There was a lot of “OMG!”s and “I can’t believe this book came from this publisher!”s going on throughout. I’ve been done with this book for over a month, and obviously, had a tough time sitting down to write the review.

Without a whole lot of detail, I can say it’s imaginative, although I’m absolutely sure the actual premise is something that I would never get into. ……

Anyhow. Because it’s the last in a series and I wasn’t lost; the writing was definitely descriptive; overall well-written, and because the only thing that gives me pause is the subject material, I’m giving this one 4 out of 5 stars. If sexually explicit writing is not your cup of tea, pass this one by. Really. Trust me on this. Don’t even crack the cover open.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Please click and rank my review!

Rank this Review!

Read Full Post »

Ivy had no intention of attending her estranged father’s funeral. None at all. Until her agent- also known as her uncle, and her father’s brother- dragged her off to it.  abrokenkindofbeautiful

Talk about uncomfortable. Summers at her father’s with Marilyn- married to her father when Ivy was conceived- were never comfortable, either. Ivy always knew her father didn’t love her; didn’t want anything to do with her.

And now here she was, back for his funeral, on the explicit request of her agent uncle, who holds her modeling future in her hands. Not only is Ivy aging- almost 25- but now it appears she can’t keep her opinions to herself, which are affecting her contracts.

Learning she’s been dropped from her cosmetics contract, Ivy escapes home, leaving the town to gossip without her. Nobody cares about her broken past- or her broken future.

As Uncle Bruce relays the latest to Marilyn, Marilyn senses an opening. She’s been contemplating what to do with her latest bridal wear line. She needs a model. Ivy needs a job. Ivy can’t help but to note the irony, since she’s nowhere close to the pure bride wearing white.

Davis Knight has secrets of his own. Now working as a church maintenance man, he was resolved to never pick up a camera again, especially not to do any fashion photography. And then Ivy comes back…..

Ivy, who he can still see as the sad and tortured young girl during their childhoods all those years ago. Ivy, who  he sees as way more than just an empty head and a pretty face.

Davis is intrigued by Ivy. Intrigued enough to pick up his camera and be the photographer for Marilyn’s bridal line photo shoot?

Can they work together and keep their secrets intact?


For me, this story revolved around redemption: redemption for past sins; redeeming relationships. Initially, I thought I was reading an author new to me, but with a little digging, I realized I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed another of Katie Ganshert’s titles, Wildflowers from Winter.

When I got this book, I thought the premise might be too far-fetched to enjoy. Characters were so well-written, though, that the occupation is really just a job, and secondary really, to the plot. I particularly liked the Marilyn/Ivy relationship development.

Now that I know I consistently enjoy this author, I’ll make a point to be on the lookout for addition titles. I give this one 5 out of 5 stars. Don’t miss it.

I received this copy for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for this review.

Please click and rank my review!

Rank this Review!

Read Full Post »

They’d done it. They’d journeyed across the ocean and made it to Jerusalem in one piece. Problem is, Thomas still doesn’t know who to trust. He’d leapt into dark caves and followed cryptic instructions. He’d felt Isabelle die, only to find her alive again. How? Why? Who’s side was she on?  bladesofvalor

And Katherine. A part of Thomas wants to trust her, but her repeated deceptions have left him wary and confused.

Katherine and Sir William are in the same boat. Has Thomas been corrupted by the Druids? Or has he accepted his place as an Immortal?  Can he pass their tests and can they all come out alive at the end?


If you’ve been reading along, you’ll remember that I picked up this series with book 2, Fortress of Mist; which I enjoyed tremendously. Actually, I liked this one so much, I went online right away to try to find the sequel, which wasn’t out yet. I waited, and did get a chance to read and review Martyr’s Fire. While still good, this one didn’t leave me waiting impatiently for the next book in the series. Honestly, I really didn’t see the point in traveling all the way to the Holy Land.

After reading the last book in the series, I’m still not sure what the point was. I am pretty sure they could have accomplished the same objectives in the story line while forgoing a sea voyage that didn’t really result in anything substantial, less the slave trade and subsequent traitor. Could that have been accomplished somewhere else? Perhaps. Either way, there wasn’t enough of voyage happenings that could have been added to spice that section up a bit. Have there been a bit of something more during that part of the voyage, I don’t know, maybe it would have helped my interest level.

This book was ok. The ending was resolved and that was nice. This wasn’t a stand- alone title for me- I really think you need to read the others before reading this one, because you will be completely lost, and the book would likely be nonsensical to you. Because I like the series overall, I’m still giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Please click and rank my review!

Rank this Review!

Read Full Post »

Are some mysteries better left alone and unsolved?

When Laura returns home to the South to settle the estate of her recently deceased mother, she can’t help but to feel the tug of her heartstrings; wondering what really happened to her daddy. They say he drowned in the lake all those years ago, but now folks are whispering that they’ve seen him around.  astillnessofchimes

Sean didn’t want to tell her about the rumors, but he knew it was better coming from him than anyone else. Laura didn’t need the heartache. And Sean knew heartache. He was still pining for Laura, 18 years later. Some things can never be resolved until they actually are.

Do Sean and Laura have a future together, given their past? Is there any truth to the rumors about her father not being dead? Does she even want to go down that rabbit trail of reasoning?

When Meg Moseley is on, she’s *on.* This was another fantastic title by this author. I love a good mystery, even if it seems a bit implausible at first. I wouldn’t say this book is action packed, but if you are anything like me, you might find your mind racing; thinking of possibilities and variables. And then, you might wonder what you would do in this situation.

5 out of 5 stars for this title. Read it if you can! Other Meg Moseley titles you might enjoy: Gone South and When Sparrows Fall.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Please click and rank my review!

Rank this Review!

Read Full Post »

This is the Change and Cherish Trilogy which includes A Clearing in the Wild,  A Tendering in the Storm, and A Mending at the Edge. emmaofaurora

A Clearing in the Wild (Book 1)– Emma has set her sights on Christian Giesy, even though he’s close to her father’s age; twenty years her senior. Despite opposition from their colony’s leader, Father Keil, Emma and Christian marry. Perhaps annoyed they marry without his blessing, Father Keil does what he can to keep Emma and Christian apart even after they married, sending Christian off for missions.

Just when Emma thinks she’s finally going to get to keep her husband after over a year apart, Christian is again sent out- this time as a scout to find a new colony have a country away, in Oregon. The scouts are being sent out not only to find a new site for the colony, but also to prepare the way for the colony, so upon arrival, they have housing.

Emma is heartbroken facing another two years away from her husband. Finally convincing Father Kiel she should be allowed to accompany Christian and the few other men, Emma’s journey begins.

A Tendering in the Storm, (Book 2)– When colony leader, Father Keil, arrived and deemed the site the scouts had found and started preparing unacceptable, Christian is broken. Emma is bound and determined to find a way to stay, despite the departure of colony members following Father Keil to an alternate location.

With a fundamental shift in occupation, Christian, Emma, and their two children, carry on, although there is again some separation for Christian and Emma. When tragedy strikes, Emma has decisions to make, that inevitably alter the course of her life.

A Mending at the Edge (Book 3)- Leaving her and Christian’s home behind to escape her violent husband, Emma and her four children now find themselves living in Aurora, with the Keil family in their gross Haus. Emma struggles to get her home built, and when it finally is, her boys are taken from her to be raised by extended family. Emma struggles to find her new purpose, and as always, remains at odds with Father Keil.


Each of these titles is substantial; together, they are pretty long. I felt like the pace was a bit slow at times, and wondered what it would have been like to have a single title with the events condensed.

Book 2 went back and forth between character perspectives, which I’m not sure I liked. After reading the whole series, I think the Louisa chapters didn’t add really anything of consequence to Emma’s story and could have been easily removed without affecting the storyline.

Book 3 brought us a chicken. :mrgreen: While I appreciate the concept of a fancy, tailless chicken that was appropriately named, Araucana chickens, don’t, in fact, lay green or pink eggs.  A comment was made at some point that this single chicken laid a whole variety of colored eggs.

I’m not going to harp, 😆 but I will make a few points.

1) Araucana chickens ONLY lay blue eggs. (They are also rumpless, have ear tufts, and *cannot* have muffs or beards.)

2) Chickens cannot- I repeat- cannot change the color of egg they lay. If they lay a brown egg, they will always lay a brown egg. The shade, or intensity, may on occasion change, and generally, they lay their darkest eggs when they are the youngest, and as they age, their egg color can become somewhat lighter. {Now, I know there are folks who are going to swear this is wrong, and in the first batch of chickens, I had one that I really thought had gone from blue to brown, but upon further observation, I only ever saw her lay a brown egg.}

It’s generally understood that ear color will mimic egg color, but with chickens like silkies, who have teal ear lobes and tinted/off-white eggs, this obviously doesn’t hold true. To get a factual understanding of egg shell color, go here: http://www.maranschickenclubusa.com/files/eggreview.pdf


But I digress. Outside of the pace of the first book and the non-accurate chicken facts, I really enjoyed this title. If you’ve been reading along, you’ll remember that I found Jane Kirkpatrick to be one author I really do enjoy, despite subjects that seem less than interesting.

I’m giving this one 4.5 out of 5 stars. For more information and pictures of Emma, start here, and then explore the Old Aurora Colony website.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Please click and rank my review!

Rank this Review!

Read Full Post »

12 years old is a terrible time to lose one’s father. Drew ought to know. Having his father killed in action started the momentum that sends Drew’s life spiraling. Things settled for a while, then life changed again, uprooting him and his mother. As a high schooler, Drew watches his football career go down the tubes after a car accident leaves a teammate dead. The investigation didn’t turn up anything to charge Drew with, but his soul was imprinted nonetheless.  cloakoflight

College finds Drew and his best friend, Ben, at the same college. Ben, as nerdy as ever, has some serious work going on with his physics professor, who has gone missing. And, to top it off, Ben has some concerns about what was found during the last experiment with laser light acceleration technology. He’s determined to replicate the experiment to see if he can discover what happed to Dr. Waseem, who shut down the equipment and forcefully told him to leave.

Drew isn’t sure they can duplicate anything, but he figures he’d better go along and back up his buddy. What a difference a single decision can make…….

After the accident in the lab, Drew is rendered blind. He’s trying to cope with being told he’ll never see again. Ben visits him; running scared. Dr. Waseem’s body was found, and Ben figures he’s next. Drew was not surprised to learn later that Ben has also vanished.

And then- Drew’s vision starts coming back. And, it’s not the same. He can still see the other dimension the lab experiment revealed, but he doesn’t need the laser or the equipment. Is he losing his mind?

Throughout the years since his father’s death, in addition to his mom, one constant has been his dad’s team member, Jake. Drew confides in Jake, only to find a psychiatric doctor waiting for him at home. While Jake does believe Drew is sane,  Drew knows he needs to leave to protect his family. Knowing his mother is in good hands, and with years of Jake’s training under his belt, Drew knows it’s time.

He needs to find Ben. Before he heads out, he pays a visit to a long-time friend who’s kept his interest since high school- pastor’s daughter Sydney. Before he leaves her at college, they find themselves in the middle of a shooting- and Drew cannot believe his eyes. He sees the Invaders from the other dimension pushing the shooter to shoot. Even more astonishing, is yet another Invader that interferes, which allows Drew and Sydney to escape.

As time goes by, Drew’s wondering about the forces of evil grow stronger, and he finds himself time and again in a position to affect the outcomes of those acts.

Can Drew sort it out and get to the truth of the Invaders? Are they after him?  Can he find Ben before it’s too late?


The concept of this book was intriguing. It was a bit dry, though. The writing covered a lot of territory; many years, which I understand as laying the ground work for the characters. It did not take me long to figure out what was going on. I will say, though, that the ending was terribly abrupt. It looks like this is going to be a series, but gosh, I really wish things would be left a bit more tidy and not completely ‘unfinished’ feeling.

The author clearly knows his Bible, though. There’s a good portion of the book that goes chapter by chapter and correlates events with scripture. Because this title was interesting enough, I’m giving it 4 stars. I’ll also keep my eye out for the next title in the series and give it a go if I get a chance.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Please click and rank my review!

Rank this Review!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: