Saturday, February 27, 2016

Light of the Last Wars of the Realm, Book 3

To Fight What Others Can’t You Must See What Others Don’t

After an accident left him temporarily blind, Drew Carter didn’t just regain his sight. He now sees what others can’t imagine–an entire spiritual realm of mighty beings at war.

Forget the gift, Drew just wants his life back. Part of that involves Sydney Carlyle, a woman he is inexplicably drawn to. When he’s offered the chance to become a CIA agent, it seems the way to redeem his past. The only problem–his visions of the supernatural realm are increasing in frequency.

It’s up to the warrior angel Validus and his hand-picked team of heavenly agents to protect the unbelieving Drew. Validus now knows that the young man is at the epicenter of a global spiritual war, and the angels must use a millennia of battle experience keep Drew alive, for the Fallen want him dead.

Surrounded by spiritual warriors and targeted by demons, Drew’s faced with an impossible decision that will forever alter the destiny of America...and his own soul.

My Impressions: 

This is the last book in the War of the Realm series and I have seriously loved every last book. Walking with Drew, Sydney, and Jake through each of their own emotional and spiritual journey's has been amazing. I really love the way the author brings about the light and darkness that resides in us and around us on a daily basis, along with our need to realize the spiritual warfare that is constantly taking place for our hearts and souls. Plus, the technology, weapons and mad fighting skills in each one of these books have been mind blowing. I especially drooled over Drew's jacket and glasses with "Alice" as his interface. Really cool technology that I wish I had myself. 

I am blown away by the progression of this series. The first book in  the series starts out with Drew and Ben's recreated light experiment that at first leaves Drew blind, but as his sight returns Drew gains the ability to see "light and dark invaders". The second book digs deeper into Validus and his band of angels. When we reach this last book in the series we have Drew and Validus working side by side against the "dark invaders".
I really don't want to say too much more about the books and give anything away as to not take away from the readers. I will say that this is a series I highly recommend for teens and adults. It would also make a great book club series and an excellent source for youth group leader to read and maybe hand out to some kids who are struggling with acceptance of Christ. 

About the Author

Chuck Black is the author of more than a dozen novels, including the popular Kingdom Series and The Knights of Arrethtrae series. As a design engineer, he’s invented or co-invented 11 patented construction products and spent eight years in the Air Force traveling the world as a tactical combat communications engineer and an F-16 fighter pilot. Chuck and his wife, Andrea, have six children and live in North Dakota.







If I Run (If I Run #1)

  • Series: If I Run Series
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (February 16, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310332435

Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.

But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up. Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?


Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet


My Impressions: 

Sexual Content: none
Drug Use/Reference: none
Language: none
Violence: mild

I really enjoyed this book, it's  told in first person, present tense and is a Christian novel. With that being said, the author did a great job of intertwining faith without coming across as preaching at the reader. The book has no foul language and no sexual content, which for me is always a plus. I don't feel a book needs these things to be a good book.  The one thing I disliked, ok not really disliked but irked me, about this book was the ending. I know the worst part not to like, but in this case there was no resolution and it left me feeling cheated out of my ending. Yes, I know its a series, but still I feel cheated, illogical as it may seem. 

I adored the main characters Casey and Dylan. They both are trying to overcome a past that keeps haunting them.  Casey's downfall, happens also to be her best attribute and that is her caring and loving nature towards others. Dylan is a bit of a black sheep that walks to his own drummer.  He is desperate to prove his worth and capability, but does so on his own terms in his own way. Its not afraid to question his assignment, or seek the truth, which made me fall in love with him, even if he is the technical bad guy in the book. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has a great element of suspense to it that leaves you wanting more. The story line is wonderful and the characters have depth to them. I cannot wait to read the next in this series so I can stop being irrationally annoyed at the ending of this first book! 

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Crystal the Christmas Angel



Title: Crystal the Christmas Angel
Author: Theresa Oliver
Publisher: Write More Publications
Pages: 66
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
All of the angels in Heaven are preparing for a big event, and Crystal, a little angel, wants to be a part of it. But the more she tries, the more the angels tell her that she is just too little. That is, until God himself gives her the biggest, most important task of all ... going with the Archangel Gabriel to Mary, and bringing God’s greatest gift to the world. But can Crystal do what God asks? Journey with Crystal as she discovers that God sometimes chooses the most unlikely for the greatest tasks. Crystal also discovers that you are never too little to do great things. You just need to believe and never give up.

My Impressions: 

This was such a sweet book that I thoroughly enjoyed, even if the message was not 100% biblical. The moral themes that ran through it were biblical and worth being explored, the biggest being that all people, big and small, are important to God and can be used to bring glory to Him. The book also holds a little humor too, especially when you are reading it to kids and they pick up on the message.  My son got a big kick out of the fact that Crystal thinks she can lie to God and Him not already know, which led to a big conversation about God knowing our hearts before we utter a sound, just like He knew Crystals. Deanna did a great job with the illustrations that will hold the attention of the intended readers and guide the story along for them.

For More Information

  • Crystal the Christmas Angel is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Book Trailer:


  About the Author
Theresa Oliver grew up in southern Indiana, across from Louisville, Kentucky, in Clarksville, Indiana. In her childhood, she fell in love with the power of the written word, a love affair that has continued her whole life. She moved to Florida, where she has lived much of her adult life. She attended the University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, Tenn., and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications degree, News Editorial sequence. She also earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree, Early Childhood Education sequence, from Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, Ga. She is currently a writer, a full-time teacher, and the owner of Write More Publications and TNT Author Services. However, her greatest adventure is as a mother of three beautiful boys. Oliver currently resides in Kissimmee, Florida, with her husband and children.
Her latest book is the children’s picture book, Crystal the Christmas Angel.
For More Information
Disclaimer: Thanks to the author and Pump Up Your Book for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Room for Hope


  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (February 16, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307731375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307731371


In a desperate time, can Neva find forgiveness for a grievous wrong—and make room for hope?

Neva Shilling has a heavy load of responsibility while her husband travels to neighboring communities and sells items from his wagon. In his absence, she faithfully runs the Shilling Mercantile, working to keep their business strong as the Depression takes its toll, and caring for their twins.

When a wagon pulls up after supper, Neva and her children rush out—and into the presence of the deputy driving a wagon carrying three young children. The deputy shocks her with the news that Warren and his wife have died, insisting it was their last request that the three children go live with “Aunt Neva.”

Neva’s heart is shattered as she realizes that Warren’s month-long travels were excuses for visits with his secret family. She wants nothing more than to forget Warren, but can she abandon these innocent children to an orphanage? Yet if she takes them in, will she ever be able to see them as more than evidence of her husband’s betrayal and love them the way God does?

My Impressions: 
What a beautiful story of a woman that looses all hope and struggles to regain that which she lost. Told through different view points the reader is able to get in touch with each character through their own emotions and internal dialogue. This book had me in tears at times over the redemptive power of God when all things seem bleak and hopeless. Wonderfully written story line that will have you enthralled from beginning to end. In times of depression and hard decisions Neva held fast to her faith and although times were difficult God led her to to not look at  her husbands 5 children as a punishment, but a gift, no matter how dire the circumstances were or how much easier her life would be without them. 

About the Author
Kim Vogel Sawyer is the highly acclaimed, best-selling author of gentle stories of hope such as What Once Was Lost and Through the Deep Waters. With more than one million books in print, Kim has garnered numerous awards including the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. She lives in central Kansas with her retired military husband Don. She enjoys travel, quilting, and spending time with her daughters and grandchildren

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

2 Broads Abroad: Moms Fly the Coop by Deborah Serra and Nancy Serra Greene




GENRE: Nonfiction, Motherhood, Travel Memoir

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BLURB:

When sisters, Deborah & Nancy, discovered that motherhood was a temp job they decided to run away from home. After packing up that last kid for college, and facing the sad stillness of their suddenly quiet homes, they decided to leave the country. 2 BROADS ABROAD: MOMS FLY THE COOP is a funny, irreverent, occasionally poignant travel tale of their impulsive road trip around Ireland.

In this witty warm-hearted adventure, they experienced some of Ireland’s quirkier history while sharing universally relatable stories of maniacal school coaches, neurotic neighbors, and tiger moms. Having kicked that empty nest into their rearview mirror, the sisters took off careening down the wrong side of the road, making questionable choices, getting trapped in a medieval tower, sneaking Chinese take-out into a famous cooking school, drinking way too much, and gaining a changed perspective on their lives ahead.

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Deborah Serra and Nancy Serra Greene will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC + Free copy of the book + A Cool "I'm A Mom" Coffee Mug to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn . 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Buy Link:


Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/2-Broads-Abroad-Moms-Fly-The-Coop-214434485258098



 

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EXCERPT:


“Your youngest is leaving for college? Aw, empty nest?”  Then, sappy eyes followed by a plaintive grin and, “What will you do?”

Before my sister and I decided to run away from home we were bothered by that question.  There was something minimizing about it, minimizing and not completely untrue. Motherhood had been so deceptive, the greatest paradox in life: every single bleary-eyed day felt a month long, and the years went by in an instant. They flashed by like lightning and left a desiccated scorch mark wearing my clothes.  It was disagreeable to imagine what life would be like childless:  there would be the family tree, and there would be the mom who’s the center of the family tree, standing leafless, bare (and it has been a while since I looked good bare). There was some solace as I glanced around me to see my younger sister, Nancy, would be standing there bare as well.  We were embarking on this progeny-shedding calamity simultaneously as both of our youngest daughters, Nicole and Olivia, were leaving for college the same week.

I knew that Nancy hadn’t really focused on it yet.  And then, we met at Fashion Island in Newport Beach near her home to get a birthday gift for our mom. We ran into two of Nancy’s neighbors, Vicki and Susan.

“Nancy,” Vicki asked, “doesn’t Nicole graduate from Corona Del Mar High School this June?”

“Yes,” Nancy said.  “She’s going to the University of Washington.”

“Oh,” Susan lifted her eyebrows, “you must be devastated.”

“What?”  Nancy looked confused.  “No, actually I was happy for her.  She worked really hard. It was her first choice school.”

“But so far away!” Susan added in that annoying singsong tone.

Nancy shifted her feet, a move I knew well as her sister.  It was something she always did when she was being told something she did not like to hear.

“It’s not that far.” Nancy said.

“It’s a plane ride. You need an airplane to see your daughter.” Susan said loudly.

“Yeah.”  Nancy turned to me in an effort to change the subject. “You remember my sister, Deborah?”

“Of course.” Vicki smiled.  And we exchanged hellos.  Vicki seemed normal, but I had an inkling that I might have to slap Susan.

Susan continued on with her one thought. “With your son gone already, and soon Nicole, well, Nancy, I guess you’re all alone now.”

Nancy shifted her feet again. “I’m still married, Susan.”

“Sure.  Sure.  Right.  So that’s better than nothing, huh?”

Nancy and I both froze.  Did she just say that?

“You know,” Vicki tried to cut off Susan, “when Terrie’s youngest left she bought a Chihuahua puppy.  Cutest thing you’ve ever seen.  And the Walkers gave a room to an exchange student from Sweden,” she explained happily.

Nancy nodded. “That sounds like a good plan.”

Susan opened her mouth to speak again and I wasn’t sure whether I should just smack her now and be done with it, or let her continue.  I made the wrong choice.

“Remember Pam Winthrop?” Susan leaned in. “When her son left she started eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every day until she put on 60 pounds. Sad, really, tragic. Even her kneecaps were fat.” Then Susan turned to me, “So, Deborah, isn’t your youngest graduating, too?”

“I’m leaving the country,” I said.

Susan cocked her head. “What?”

“I’m leaving the country,” I repeated matter-of-factly.

“So am I,” Nancy said. I looked at her.  I saw the decision in her eyes. “I’m going with Deborah.  We’re taking a long trip together – a sisters trip.”

“You are?” Susan sounded a little thwarted, which Nancy found gratifying.

“Yup, in the planning stages.” Nancy smiled at Susan who was clearly disappointed that we were not miserable as anticipated.  “Nice to see you though, Susan, Vicki.  Got to go. In the middle of booking flights and stuff. So much to do!”

We turned away and strode with purpose toward the door.

I whispered, “Susan’s a real gem.”

“She did me a favor.”

“Yeah?”

“I’ve been so busy I just wasn’t thinking about it.”

“And I haven’t been able to think about anything else,” I said.  “When I’m awake in the middle of the night it runs over and over in my mind.”

Nancy said, “When I heard that crap Susan was dealing, all of a sudden I realized, there’s no way am I plodding into that sunset with fat kneecaps carrying a Chihuahua.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Deborah Serra has been a sought-after screenwriter for twenty-five years having written for NBC, CBS, Sony, Lifetime, Fox, and others. She was a recipient of the 2012 Hawthornden Literary Fellowship. Her first novel was a semi-finalist for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Award given by the Faulkner Society in New Orleans, LA.

Nancy is a graduate of San Diego State University. She worked in medical sales before stepping away to raise her two children, at which point she became: Team Mom, Snack Mom, PTA member, Assistance League Volunteer, and the list is never-ending. Nancy was the editor and publisher of the Buffalo Hills Echo newsletter with a circulation of 1400. She also designed and managed her community website.


 





Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I'D RATHER WEAR PAJAMAS






Everybody has the awesome opportunity to find their own strength and path through life. Some come about their self-discoveries through studying and working hard. Others (Chelsea) spend their time nearly burning down kitchens and driving around the country with a car full of hangers.

Chelsea grew up wanting to be “strong.” She thought arguing her way through childhood and becoming a world-class attorney would get her there. But, through a series of humorous, and only slightly embarrassing events, Chelsea comes to realize that maybe her strength is meant to shine in different ways.
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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

The author will award a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card to one randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Enjoy an Excerpt:

“FTL’s biggest client was a fabric design company that made nothing but Hawaiian prints. I’m actually pretty sure they no longer make anything, but rather spend good chunks of their time suing other companies who copy their designs. For me, it meant perusing catalogues and clothing websites in search of items with designs similar to this company’s retired fabrics. How great a job is that, by the way? I was getting paid to look for shirts with palm trees and hibiscus flowers on them. This whole law thing was too good to be true.

My best assignment came when FTL caught wind that a men’s underwear line was infringing on our client’s design name. She came by and dropped a stack of male lingerie catalogues (yes, they exist) on my desk to go through in search of this name. I spent the better part of a week looking at pictures at mostly-naked men with socks stuffed in their skivvies.

Nobody knew what to do with me. On one hand, studying oiled-up men in scandalous poses just had to be against any number of company policies. On the other hand, I was legitimately doing work in an effort to make the law firm money, so they couldn’t discourage it. In the end, they just left me alone. And that’s how I learned that you can buy men’s briefs with pre-padded butt cheeks.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
 
Chelsea was once obsessed with cats, longed to live in a big city, didn't think she would ever have children, and aspired to be an attorney. She now lives in Boulder, Colorado as a stay-at-home mom and comedic writer with her husband and three daughters. She has no current plans to own a cat.


Chelsea Walker Flagg Social Media Links:

Book links:  The book will be $0.99 during the tour.





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