Waiting On Wednesday: Thief of Corinth

March 28, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine
Each week offers the opportunity to spotlight an up-and-coming release you are most excited about!

Waiting On:
Title: Thief of Corinth
Author: Tessa Afshar
Publisher: Tyndale
Publication Date: July 3rd, 2018

First-century Corinth is a city teeming with commerce and charm. It’s also filled with danger and corruption—the perfect setting for Ariadne’s greatest adventure. After years spent living with her mother and oppressive grandfather in Athens, Ariadne runs away to her father’s home in Corinth, only to discover the perilous secret that destroyed his marriage: though a Greek of high birth, Galenos is the infamous thief who has been robbing the city’s corrupt of their ill-gotten gains.
Desperate to keep him safe, Ariadne risks her good name, her freedom, and the love of the man she adores to become her father’s apprentice. As her unusual athletic ability leads her into dangerous exploits, Ariadne discovers that she secretly revels in playing with fire. But when the wrong person discovers their secret, Ariadne and her father find their future—and very lives—hanging in the balance.
When they befriend a Jewish rabbi named Paul, they realize that his radical message challenges everything they’ve fought to build, yet offers something neither dared hope for.
About the Author:
Tessa Afshar is an award-winning author of historical and biblical fiction. Her novel, Land of Silence, won an Inspy award, and was voted by Library Journal as one of five top Christian Fiction titles of 2016. It was also nominated for the 2016 RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for best Inspirational Romance. Harvest of Gold won the prestigious 2014 Christy Award in the Historical Romance category. Her book, Harvest of Rubies was a finalist for the 2013 ECPA Book Award in the fiction category. Her first novel, Pearl in the sand, won her “New Author of the Year” by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader’s Choice Awards 2011. Tessa was born in Iran and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as cochair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She serves on the staff of one of the oldest churches in America. But that has not cured her from being addicted to chocolate. 

Why I'm Waiting:
I have really, really enjoyed Tessa'a previous books. She is able to carry you in her story to the locations. She has such a poetic way to write that enhances her stories.
I can't wait for this book as she focuses on a more unique story and it looks like it will be an amazing adventure!

What are you waiting on today?

Top Ten Tuesday: Foreign Countries

March 27, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
Each week features a book related topic to highlight your Top Ten.

Books That Take Place In Another Country

This is going to be a fun topic! 
There have been so many books I have read that focus on different areas of the world. I know I focus a lot on England, it's a very historical place! I know that is an easy one, but there have been some very unique settings. 

1. The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson (Germany)
2. The Legend of Sheba by Tosca Lee (Isreal)
3. Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren (Italy)
4. Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren (Paris)
5. Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki (Austria)
6. Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta (England)
7. The Last Witness by Glenn Meade (Bosnia)
8. The Promise by Beth Wiseman (Pakistan)
9. Counted with the Stars by Connilyn Cossette (Egypt)
10. Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren (India)

Each of these stories are so unique and can weave their backdrops through the story flawlessly. The descriptions for each transported me. That is why these 10 stuck out to me for this feature. 

What is your Top Ten for the week?

Review: Where We Belong by Lynn Austin

March 22, 2018

Title: Where We Belong
Author: Lynn Austin
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 480
ISBN: 972-0-7642-1762-3
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017

Join Two Incomparable Sisters on Adventures That Span the Decades And Cross the Globe
In the city of Chicago in 1892, the rules and expectations for Victorian women are strict, their roles in life limited. But sisters Rebecca and Flora Hawes are not typical Victorian ladies. Their love of adventure and their desire to use their God-given talents have taken them out of society ballrooms and delivered them to the Sinai Desert--and into the teeth of a sandstorm.

Accompanied by Soren Petersen, their somber young butler, and Kate Rafferty, a plucky street urchin learning to be their ladies' maid, the two women are on a quest across the desert chasing rumors of an important biblical manuscript.

As the expedition becomes ever more dangerous and uncertain, all four travelers sift through memories and adventures of their past, recalling the events that shaped them and the journeys and providence that brought them to this very time and place.
Oh, goodness...Lynn Austin is an amazing storyteller! Historical fiction, Biblical fiction, contemporary, it doesn't matter what the setting of the story is, you know that when you read a book by her, it will transport you to somewhere new.

Where We Belong is an interesting story that takes place in several eras in time through Rebecca and Flora's lives. We are introduced to them when they are older and they are looking back on their lives and decisions on life. In the process of looking back, we are waiting also to see what decision Rebecca will make that will affect her future.

Along with Flora and Rebecca, we are introduced and surrounded to an amazing cast of secondary characters. They are able to add so many different layers and enhance the story.

Lynn Austin was able to weave this story flawless though the time jumps and was able to show the maturity of the characters as they learned from life and the experiences they lived. Rebecca and Flora were women ahead of their time with their desire to travel and see the world. The descriptions in the writing were fantastic and transported me as I read. 

I started to read this story, but with work, it was hard to sit continuously to read, so I bought an audiobook. The narrator was fantastic at reading this story. She was able to add another depth to it and bring it to life.

This was a great historical fiction book.

Too Read 
4 out of 5

About the Author:
Lynn Austin has sold more than one and a half million copies of her books worldwide. A former teacher who now writes and speaks full-time, she has won eight Christy Awards for her historical fiction. One of those novels, Hidden Places, has also been made into an Original Hallmark Channel movie. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and make their home in western Michigan.

Learn more at www.lynnaustin.org.

Thank you to the publisher, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR

March 20, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
Each week features a book related topic to spotlight your Top Ten. 

Books On My Spring TBR

1. Together Forever by Jody Hedlund
2. The Weaver's Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd
3. A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears
4. The Orphan's Wish by Melanie Dickerson
5. Unbreakable by Sara Ella 
 6. The Hidden Side by Heidi Chiavaroli
7. Reclaiming Shilo Snow by Mary Weber
8. Falling for You by Becky Wade
9. More than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer
10. A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden

 There are just so many books I am looking forward to this coming season. 
What are you looking forward to Spring?

Review: The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson

March 19, 2018

Title: The One True Love of Alice-Ann
Author: Eva Marie Everson
Publisher: Tyndale
ISBN: 978-1-4964-2234-7
Publication Date: April 4th, 2017

Living in rural Georgia in 1941, sixteen-year-old Alice-Ann has her heart set on her brother’s friend Mack; despite their five-year age gap, Alice-Ann knows she can make Mack see her for the woman she’ll become. But when they receive news of the attack on Pearl Harbor and Mack decides to enlist, Alice-Ann realizes she must declare her love before he leaves.

Though promising to write, Mack leaves without confirmation that her love is returned. But Alice-Ann is determined to wear the wedding dress her maiden aunt never had a chance to wear—having lost her fiancĂ© in the Great War. As their correspondence continues over the next three years, Mack and Alice-Ann are drawn closer together. But then Mack’s letters cease altogether, leaving Alice-Ann to fear history repeating itself.

Dreading the war will leave her with a beautiful dress and no happily ever after, Alice-Ann fills her days with work and caring for her best friend’s war-torn brother, Carlton. As time passes and their friendship develops into something more, Alice-Ann wonders if she’ll ever be prepared to say good-bye to her one true love and embrace the future God has in store with a newfound love. Or will a sudden call from overseas change everything?

This was my first book by Eva Marie Everson. I have to say, it won't be my last one by her either. This is a story that has stuck with me, even after reading it. The writing was elegant and it flowed and offered a wonder visual for me.

We follow Alice-Ann over many years, from being a teenager to early 20's. In this time, we see how life was like in this small town during WW2. This story had such a realistic feel to it. As I read through this story, through Alice-Ann's eyes, it felt like I was able to watch it all play out in front of me like a movie. The writing was phenomenal.

Alice-Ann was a girl I enjoyed following. She is a young girl who thinks she loves someone, who is older, but has always had a crush on. Just like life though, things change and shift as she got older. Her mind matures and with what is going on with the war also shapes her.

I really enjoyed how this story weaved and shifted. Alice-Ann was a fantastic center to this story and I was happy how the story ended the way it did. It is a story that made me feel good.

Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
Eva Marie Everson is a best-selling, multiple award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction. She is the president of Word Weavers International and the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference. She enjoys teaching and speaking at writers conferences across the US as well as coaching new writers via her company, Pen In Hand, Inc.

Thank you to the publisher, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Review: A Light on the Hill by Connilyn Cossette

March 18, 2018

Title: A Light on the Hill
Author: Connilyn Cossette
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1986-3
Publication Date: February 6th, 2018

 Though Israel has found relative peace, Moriyah has yet to find her own. Attempting to avoid the scorn of her community, she's spent the last seven years hiding behind the veil she wears. Underneath her covering, her face is branded with the mark of the Canaanite gods, a shameful reminder of her past captivity in Jericho and an assurance that no man will ever want to marry her.
 When her father finds a widower who needs a mother for his two sons, her hopes rise. But when their introduction goes horribly wrong, Moriyah is forced to flee for her life. Seeking safety at one of the newly established Levitical cities of refuge, she is wildly unprepared for the dangers she will face and the enemies--and unexpected allies--she will encounter on her way.
Oh, my goodness! Where do I begin with this story?

Connilyn Cossette is an author I watch new releases for. Each story grows on the next and the world just blossom.

A Light on a Hill is the first of this new series, Cities of Refuge. It is a bit of spin off from her previous series, but still stands alone. If you haven't read any of the previous books, it's ok, but, you will want to read her other books.

This story follows Moriyah. She is a young woman who has a very nerve racking experience as a teenager. The experienced changed her and made her want to be reclusive, however, her father wants her to be looked after. She wants to be an obidiant daughter, but with her life, she is hesitant. You can feel what she feels as you read this story. There is so much newness she has to go through. In all of it, her faith grows and her passion for those she cares about remains strong. Following Moriyah through it all was a great journey.

With the incidences that occur in this story, it kept me on the edge of my seat. Following Moriyah through these new lands of Israel was very interesting. We know about the walls of Jericho that fell down, but what happened after that? Connilyn Cossette took the information that the Bible provided and the research she did shines through. Her characters jump off the page. You want to route for certain ones, and then hope for others to do something else.

The character introduced into this story were great! It offered new eyes to known Biblical stories.

I honestly can't wait for the next book in this series to come out! If you are a fan of Biblical fiction, this is a book you can't miss.

On a side note, I bought, in addition to the review copy I was given, the audio book. The narrator was phenomenal and kept the story moving with a wonderful reading.

Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
When she is not homeschooling her two sweet kids (with a full pot of coffee at hand), bestselling author Connilyn Cossette is scribbling notes on spare paper, mumbling about her imaginary friends, and reading obscure, out-of-print history books. There is nothing she likes better than digging into the rich, ancient world of the Bible and uncovering buried gems of grace that point toward Jesus. Her novel Counted With the Starswon the 2013 Frasier Contest and was a semifinalist in the 2013 ACFW Genesis Contest. Although a Pacific Northwest native, she now lives near Dallas, Texas. 

Connect with her at www.connilyncossette.com.

Thank you to the Author, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren Litfuse Blog Tour and Giveaway

March 12, 2018

Title: Keturah
Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 352
ISBN: 972-0-7642-3024-0
Publication Date: February 6th, 2018

In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father's estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.

Although it flies against all the conventions for women of the time, they're determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, proper gender roles are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined--and that's just the start of
what their eyes are opened to in this unfamiliar world.

Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.

Set on keeping her family together and saving her father's once-great plantation, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?
I have been a fan of Lisa T. Bergren's books for quite a while. She is able to mix a fun and dramatic story seamlessly. Keturah is no different. Lisa was able to take a series topic, and delicately weave it in and make it a story of hope and promise.

Keturah is a good  start to the series. It opens it up for the story to build and grow with her two sisters. The start of the story started out well, it slowed a little in the center, but it picked up and closed out well.

Keturah is a woman who is in her early 20's and is a widow. Upon meeting her, she is very closed off of the idea of marriage and love and wants to protect her sisters. As the story moves along, you find out what her marriage was like. It wasn't loving, it was brutal. She closes herself off for protection, and I could understand and relate to her. They way that Lisa wrote her was very realistic.

Gray was a fantastic character. He is a guy who has come along way and has learned who he is and is willing to work hard for what he wants and is willing to learn what he needs to know for all aspects of his life.

Keturah was a good story and I can't wait to see what the rest of the series will bring.

Too Read
4 out 5
About the Author:
Lisa T. Bergren has published more than 40 books with more than 3 million books sold combined. She's the author of the Christy Award-winning "Waterfall," RITA®-finalist "Firestorm," bestselling "God Gave Us You," and popular historical series like Homeward, Grand Tour, and more. She's also a recipient of the RT Lifetime Achievement Award. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and three teen-and-older children.

Enter to win a copy of Keturah. Five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced March 13 on the Litfuse blog!

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.  

Review: A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

March 1, 2018

Title: A Refuge Assured
Author: Jocelyn Green
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9780764219078
Publication Date: February 3rd, 2018

Fleeing One Revolution to the Aftermath of Another, She Seeks and Dreams of Peace
Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia, but danger lurks in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers begin to suspect a young boy left in her care might be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement Asylum offer permanent refuge?

Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate his hard-won farm near Asylum, but he soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they are drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.
I discovered Jocelyn Green a few years ago with her beautifully told Civil War series. Last year I dove in her her breath taking Mark of the King. When I saw this new release to kick off 2018 with, I was excited!

A Refuge Assured was so interesting in that in spotlighted many different historical elements I hadn't known about or offered another point of view of a very well known historic event.We hear a lot about America's Revelation and the French Revelation that followed after, but we hear of it from one of two angles, the royals or the peasants, never the working class, who earned their living from the rich. The Revelation in France was very hard on them. They had to flee, but flee where?

Following Vienne throughout her struggles and decisions in her changes of life was interesting. She handled them with as much grace and calm as one would expect, and sometimes more then expected. Her character was strong and one you wanted to root for. She was strong and smart.

There were several mysteries in this story and they way that Jocelyn portrayed them kept me guessing. At one time I was thinking one thing, but the story still had me questioning till all was revealed. I love that! This story just captured me up and I was honestly sad to see it end.

The details, especially that of the work Vienne did through this story, whether it was lace work or baking, it was as authentic as it could be.

With this being a time I hadn't researched much before, I found that Jocelyn was very true to history and wove it into this story effortlessly and made these character blend so well with the historic.

This was a fantastic read!

Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning and bestselling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including The Mark of the King, Wedded to War, and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. Her books have garnered starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, and have been honored with the Christy Award, the gold medal from the Military Writers Society of America, and the Golden Scroll Award from the Advanced Writers & Speakers Association. She graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. Jocelyn lives with her husband, Rob, and two children in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com.

Thank you to the publisher, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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