Monday, May 1, 2017

Book Review "Firstborn" by Tosca Lee

Photo credit: Goodreads
I feel like I waited FOREVER to read Firstborn (Howard Books), by Tosca Lee.  The first book in this series, The Progeny, was by far my favorite book of 2016-I still recommend it to literally EVERYONE!  So when I saw Firstborn pop up on Netgalley I was beyond thrilled to be approved to read the galley!  The first (half) of the book left me wanting more, which was a little tough after such an outstanding cliffhanger at the end of The Progeny.  It was so incredibly fast paced, but lacked a little in drawing me in.  Honestly, I don't think that's the writer's fault.  I think it's like when someone hypes something up so much telling you how much you're gonna love it and then you think it's just okay.  I kinda think I did that to myself.

Then the second half showed up.  And the twist, turns, and full speed of head were perfect.  I couldn't get enough!  Lee really is a masterful storyteller.  I missed the history of the first book, but we really didn't need it.  We needed to story of the characters of the now.  In fact those characters became more personal; a stronger connection was form.  Instead of focusing on the history and the mystery of that you are able to focus on the dynamics between the characters and how it relates to your own life.

Overall I finished the book truly loving it and would definitely recommend it.   But you HAVE to read The Progeny  first, that isn't even an option!

Firstborn will be released TOMORROW May 1, 2017.  So just go and buy both!

A copy of this book was provided to me for review by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Professional Reader

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Book review: "The Whiskey Sea" by Ann Howard Creel

Photo credit: Netgalley

     There was something about The Whiskey Sea (Lake Union Publishing), by Ann Howard Creel, that drew me in the second I read about it.  Originality at it's best; I had never come across a book that was about a young girl repairing boat engines and taking part of the prohibition in a sea side small town.
     Frieda and her younger sister Bea are left orphaned at a young age and reluctantly taken in by the one man they believe has done them no wrong.  He teaches them the ways of the sea and Frieda falls in love with the sea wanting to follow after her "father" who would like her to have a more traditional life.  She learns to work on engines and uses her new found skills to make some quick cash during the prohibition.  She aims to make a better life for herself and her family, to the scrutiny of those she loves.  Will her past haunt her and will her tenaciousness ruin her future?  The different ways that grief and heartbreak effect those in the same family is always so intriguing. 

     I appreciate that Creel (almost) didn't sugar coat things. 99.9% of the book is real life, hard times, how am I ever going to get through this type of stuff.  The last page, maybe not so much, but even that wasn't perfectly perfect.

Overall I truly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it.

The Whiskey Sea was published August 23, 2016.

A copy of this book was provided to me for review by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Professional Reader

Sunday, December 11, 2016

4 Books to get you in the Christmas Spirit

Christmas movies are an obvious way to get in the holiday spirt; I know my newest favorite is !  It's super cheesy and romantic and just perfect for this time of year. 
I am the first one to overlook Christmas books.  What better time of year to indulge in story!  The weather tends to keep us indoors, and the light of the Christmas tree is perfect to create that cozy reading environment.  Here are some that I have read and recommend.

1. .  While it slightly lacks in plot development, it feels magical.  It's a novella so it's pretty short and sweet.  If your family has a lot of differences, and you want to feel understood and maybe have a little hope of how things can work out--this book is for you!
Original review: http://godsdanceralwayz.blogspot.com/2015/10/book-review-endless-christmas-by.html


2.   This is one of my favorite books EVER!  And while it does not have a Christmas setting, I do believe it talks a lot about what the season is supposed to be about.  Little handwritten notes tucked in secret places!  Who doesn't want to find a gift like that.  Encouraging words are a beautiful gift to bestow upon one another.
Oringinal review: http://godsdanceralwayz.blogspot.com/2015/08/book-review-if-you-find-this-letter-by.html

3.  This one will make a perfect gift; as it's designed for just that purpose!  A small gift with powerful stories that comes with a section to write your own story of appreciation to the one you're giving the gift to.  A easy way to thank the people we often forget but deserve it the most.  Plus, Max Lucado's writing style reads like poetry, understatedly beautiful.
Original Review: http://godsdanceralwayz.blogspot.com/2010/09/you-changed-my-life-stories-of-real.html

4.   This novel so easily speaks to reality.  An interwoven story of three families across 25 years, and a jar full of change is bound the inspire you.  This story in fact has inspired a movement!  Go to Christmasjars.com to read real stories about how people are using jars of change and Christmas time to make a difference in others lives!
Original review: http://godsdanceralwayz.blogspot.com/2009/04/christmas-jars-jason-f-wright.html

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Book Review: "Broken Angels" by Gemma Liviero

Photo credit: Netgalley

    Broken Angels (Lake Union Publishing), by Gemma Liviero, follows the lives of three individuals during WWII.  Both Jewish and Aryan the three characters all face the harsh realities of such an ugly period in history.  The alternating points of view gave fresh air to the story when often times, as stories told about this period of time, became hard to read.  These three viewpoints also brought to light parts of the war I'd never read of before, and I am an avid reader of WWII stories.  It shows how war changes people; even those who seem to have a higher status too become broken.
     All three characters (even the German one) are easy to get attached too.  The story is both heartbreaking and redemptive.  I absolutely recommend it; especially if you are drawn to stories of the war.

Broken Angels  was published April 2016.

I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts are my own

Challenge Participant
Professional Reader

I received a review copy


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Book review: "Jilted" by Varina Denman


Although I have still to read Jaded (It's next on the list), I didn't hesitate to jump on the book tour for Jilted: A Novel (Mended Hearts Series) (David C Cook), by Varina Denman.  I had become so attached to the characters upon reading the second part of the trilogy and was excited for more.

This last instalment follows Lynda, a middle aged mother who suffers depression due to not only her childhood traumas but those caused by her small town life as well.  Lynda's boyfriend convinces their small town that she cheated on her husband and that her baby was his; resulting in the proverbial scarlet letter, her husband leaving herself and their child, and a swift kick to the curb from her church congregation and closest friends.  With no one to lean on Lynda runs from her faith and into herself.  Depression is a topic that is very taboo within the church, and it is so refreshing when someone speaks out about it.  The beauty of story is that it becomes real.  There is always some part of a story that you can see yourself in; personifying the topic. 

We all are human.  We all have flaws, and struggles, and pain.  Our circumstances shape us and shape how we react to these struggles.  Fact of the matter is we are all human yet not the same.  We are detrimental to one another when we push our own circumstances on one another and judge.  That's what happens with depression.  Church, I beg of you to stop telling the depressed they aren't enough.  They don't pray enough, they don't read their bible enough, ect.  Let's practice grace with one another.  Lynda would have been so much better off had she been shown grace much earlier.  Wouldn't we all?

Read this, let it breath some life into you.  If deep topics don't interest you, know that this is a good, light, summer read and there is a pretty killer tornado scene that as I was reading I had to keep checking the windows to make sure the sunshine was still out.

I have received this review from RadiantLit in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Book Review: "The Tears of Dark Water" by Corban Addison





 
I've been putting off writing up a review on The Tears of Dark Water (Thomas Nelson), by Corban Addison, and I couldn't really tell you why because it was a very good book. I expected it to be; I have yet to read a book published by Thomas Nelson that I do not like.

This was the first novel I've ever read about a pirate hijacking. A man whose family is falling apart decides to follow a sailing dream as a last stitch effort to save his son and hopefully his marriage. Off the coast of Somalia their boat is hijacked by pirates. The brilliance in this novel is not taking a common headline and molding a story from a few words. The brilliance is in including every side of the story. Addison let's you into each family members' story, the FBI, the attorney, but most interestingly the pirate. The pirate's story is what pulls everything together and makes it interesting; makes sense out of the madness.

It isn't as suspenseful as one might think. It's a story about hope, forgiveness, and reconciliation. It's a story about the nitty gritty dirty little details of life. Addison is a great story teller and I can't wait to read more. I'm so honored to have been asked to review this novel.




The Tears of Dark Water was published on October 13, 2015.




I received this ARC from Thomas Nelson/Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts are my own.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Book Review: "The Progeny" by Tosca Lee



I DEVOURED Tosca Lee's newest novel The Progeny: A Novel (Descendants of the House of Bathory)  (Howard Books) in just about 2 days!  This novel is fast paced and completely riveting. 

Emily pays to have her mind erased to forget her past and ends up in the run of her life to save herself.  With her memory gone she does not know who to trust.  She however does find out that she is a descendent of the worlds most notorious female serial killer, and because of her blood she is now being hunted.  The action does not stop as she traverses the world to unravel the secret she has hidden from even herself.  The information she held had to be of major importance if she was willing to erase everything she knew from her memory for it.

I have not read a book that has sparked my imagination like this one has in quite some time.  Tosca Lee is a brilliant storyteller.  I found myself googling Elizabeth Bathory just to try to find out how much of the story was truly imagined.  Lee does a phenomenal job at blurring those lines.  I CANNOT recommend this book enough!  RUN to your local bookstore in May and pick it up; better yet just preorder it now!


A copy of this book was provided to me for review by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Professional Reader
Challenge Participant