Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Scholar (The Fall Series #2) by May Nicole Abbey (Review)



A leap through time. A choice to make. A destiny to change. Dismissed by her professors, ridiculed by her classmates, Serena Metcalfe is determined to prove the existence of the Samu Aqaru, the powerful stone of the ancient pharaohs - even if it means travelling through time. But her study of Egyptology did not prepare her for the dangers and passions of the real Egypt of 2361 BC. Crocodile attacks, kidnapping, betrayal, murder...and a pharaoh who believes she is a goddess and wants her as his queen. But Serena isn't about to give herself to a king - not when finding the precious Stone could mean saving the man she loves. Irresistible playboy Shepseskaf, fated for an early death, and his loyal yet ruthless cousin Pepisenkaura were once the closest of friends, but the right to the throne of Egypt and their rivalry for Serena threaten to transform them into bitter and eternal enemies. Only Serena knows the tragic destiny that awaits, and only Serena can rewrite history... by following her heart.

I GIVE THIS BOOK:
1 star1 star1 star1 star


MY THOUGHTS:
The Scholar was a very easy book to read and I enjoyed the romantic aspect, though it played a much larger role than I was expecting I couldn't help but love it and it was a clean romance.

The book begins with Serena clinging to ledge of a building (1,200+ ft. up) in New York (which I think is the Empire State building but it's never clearly said so I'm not sure) and she hear the voice of her dead mother telling her to "let go and fly". Which she does. This is the way she ends up time-traveling to Egypt to the year 2361 B.C., which I found so strange and I'm sure how I feel about it. On one hand it makes it more understandable then how more people aren't time-traveling, if you have to be so sure that you will or you'll die. But on the other hand it was never clearly explained, hardly at all really, so when Serena is talking about finding any tall building later on in the book to jump from I was confused. Was it supposed to be just falling from a certain height that triggered the time-travel? Or was it her knowledge that it was possible and therefore made it happen? So confusing!

I very much enjoyed where the story was set, have always loved reading about ancient Egypt, but even though I've always had an interest in Egypt's history I haven't retained many of the names of rulers so I'm not sure how accurate the characters are...or if they're meant to be. If they represent real ones or if the authors made them up was never said, which is a little annoying. Not terribly annoying but it does bug me.

I do wish the story would have mentioned the time of year, such as every time the week or month changed, instead of not at all. It's not that big of a deal, just something that I always prefer books to have when the details in the story don't tell you.

The details of the story made me feel as though I were there, which is always nice. I enjoyed the use of Egyptian words, even though it was hard to follow sometimes as the words weren't always explained right away, it made me relate with how Serena must have felt. At least at first because she didn't recognize them either. However, it was hard to remember them and when Serena knew them in the story the English translation didn't appear as often so I either had to flip back and try to find one of the earlier uses or just ignore the word (which is what I usually did). I don't think this hurt my enjoyment of the story though, the only reason I mention it is so that if you choose to read the story maybe you'll write them down and save yourself the hassle of either searching or trying to remember what they meant. But the richness the use of them brought was worth the struggle, so I'm glad they were used.

Every chapter also starts with lines that I came to realize gave a short little story of their own. I think this is what Serena writes at the end, but it's never put together in one place so you's have to read the beginning of each chapter all at once (instead of reading the story in between) to get the message, at least I did. It was nice, but I felt it kind of took away from the main story itself so wish it wasn't where it was. Not sure where I would have put it in the story, but maybe when Serena's writing whatever she's writing at the end (since as I said this is what I think she's writing).

When Serena first meets the the cousins I didn't care for either of them! However, either one of them soon changed or I was able to see his true nature because I quickly loved him. Yes, he could still be very annoying, but his sweet side more than made up for it.

I would recommend reading The Scholar if you love historical romance and are looking for a book that's a very quick read and brings a smile to your face.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.

If you found this review helpful, will you please click yes HERE. Thanks!

Blogaholic Designs”=

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

CFBA Tour: A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Sky Without Stars
Abingdon Press (February 18, 2014)
by
Linda S. Clare
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Linda S. Clare is an award-winning author and coauthor of several books and has also published many essays, stories, and poems in publications, including The Christian Reader, The Denver Post, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her most recent book is A Sky without Stars, the newest release in Abingdon’s Quilts of Love line. Born in Arizona, Linda and her husband now make their home in Eugene, Oregon, where Linda has taught college-level creative writing classes, and writes, edits, and mentors other writers. She also is a frequent writing conference presenter, a church retreat leader, and mom to four grown children and five wayward cats.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Frankie Chasing Bear is caught between cultures. She wants to raise her son Harold to revere his Lakota heritage, but she also thinks he will need to learn the white man’s ways to succeed. After the untimely death of her husband, Frankie joins the U.S. Government’s Relocation Program and moves to Arizona. There she begins sewing a Lakota Star pattern quilt for Harold with tribal wisdom sung, sewn, and prayed into it. A bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars, but neither the quilt—nor her new life—comes easily to Frankie. Nick Vandergriff, for instance, is the last man Frankie wants to trust. He’s half-Lakota but Christian, and Frankie can see no good coming from that faith after her own parents were forced to convert at an Indian school. Can Nick convince Frankie that white men and Christians aren’t all bad? And will Frankie learn that love is the most important ingredient—for her son’s quilt and life itself?


If you would like to read the first chapter of A Sky Without Stars, go HERE.


Blogaholic Designs”=

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Rachel (Wives of the Patriarchs, #3) by Jill Eileen Smith (Review)



Beautiful Rachel wants nothing more than for her older half sister Leah to wed and move out of their household. Maybe then she would not feel so scrutinized, so managed, so judged. Plain Leah wishes her father Laban would find a good man for her, someone who would love her alone and make her his only bride. Unbeknownst to either of them, Jacob is making his way to their home, trying to escape a past laced with deceit and find the future God has promised him. 

But the past comes back to haunt Jacob when he finds himself on the receiving end of treachery and the victim of a cruel bait and switch. The man who wanted only one woman will end up with sisters who have never gotten along and now must spend the rest of their lives sharing a husband. In the power struggles that follow, only one woman will triumph . . . or will she? 

Combining meticulous research with her own imaginings, Jill Eileen Smith not only tells one of the most famous love stories of all time but will manage to surprise even those who think they know the story inside and out.

I GIVE THIS BOOK:1 star1 star1 star1 star

MY THOUGHTS:
Though the book is titled Rachel it is told from both sisters' perspectives, Leah and Rachel, which I loved. I have always felt for Leah and was glad she wasn't made into a villain. Both sisters had their issues they had to deal with and it was interesting reading this story I know so well in a different light.

Several times with the way things were told I thought "that is not right" and stopped to look it up, only to read it and realize that it could be taken that way - it was just different than the way I had always understood it to be. That's one of the things I love most about Biblical fiction, how it can take a story you know and make you see it in a fresh way.

That being said the way some things were told didn't seem right to me, such as Judah being the favorite of Leah's children when they were young. Though that may have been the case, it doesn't clearly state it one way or the other, I don't think it was. This was the reason I couldn't give the story a five star rating.

Overall I found Rachel to be an entertaining and thought-provoking read, one that I very much enjoyed. I have loved every book in this series and highly recommend them to fans of Biblical fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.

If you found this review helpful, will you please click yes HERE. Thanks!

Blogaholic Designs”=

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Shadows of the Past (Logan Point #1) by Patricia Bradley (Review)


Psychology professor and criminal profiler Taylor Martin prides herself on being able to solve any crime, except the one she wants most desperately to solve--the disappearance of her father twenty years ago. When she finally has a lead on his whereabouts, Taylor returns home to Logan Point, Mississippi, to investigate. But as she is stalking the truth about the past, someone is stalking her.

Nick Sinclair pens mystery novels for a living, but the biggest mystery to him is how he can ever get over the death of his wife--a tragedy he believes he could have prevented. With his estranged brother the only family he has left, Nick sets out to find him. But when he crosses paths with Taylor, all he seems to find is trouble.

I GIVE THIS BOOK:
1 star1 star1 star1-1/2 stars


MY THOUGHTS:
Enjoyed this a lot more than I had thought I would. The mystery, or should I say mysteries as there were several different ones going in this book, was really good. Even though I had a strong idea of who the real culprit was it kept me guessing for the longest time, which is always great. If you are looking for a romantic suspense, I would recommend trying Shadows of the Past

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.

If you found this review helpful, will you please click yes HERE. Thanks!

Blogaholic Designs”=

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

CFBA Tour: Gabriel's Bride by Amy Lillard

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Gabriel's Bride
B&H Books (February 1, 2014)
by
Amy Lillard


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I’m a wife, mother, and bona fide Southern belle. Published author, expert corn bread maker, and Squirrel Princess.

I live in Tulsa, though I was born in Mississippi. I moved to the Sooner State when I was seventeen and met my soul mate and best friend not long after. I’ve retained a little of my Mississippi accent though most people think I’m from Texas. (?) Rob and I have been married for over twenty years and have a son–a mom proclaimed prodigy, of course!

I love homemade tacos, shoes, and romance novels–not necessarily in that order. I’m a big fan of country music, a staunch proponent of saving the Oxford comma, and I’m shamefully obsessed with all things Harry Potter.

I believe that God is love. I guess that’s why I adore romances.

I have always been intrigued with the Amish culture, their gentle ways and slower-paced lifestyle. (And I love, love, love the fact that they stay married for their lifetime.) But until recently I never thought to blend this interest with my penchant for romance. Okay, okay, I’m a bit old-fashioned and even enjoy the gender roles that are present in this culture. I love to cook and take care of my family. Yes, that’s me June Cleaver with a laptop.

I dislike people trying to convince me to read the Twilight series (I’ll get to it or I won’t, either way I’m good with it), gratuitous violence, and strawberry ice cream. (I know I’m alone on this last one, and again, I’m good with it.)

Favorite movies–(besides HP) French Kiss, Maid of Honor, A Lot Like Love, Just Married, and Sweet Home Alabama. Oh, and Miss Congeniality, Sabrina (both versions) and a 1940′s movie called Dear Ruth. If you haven’t seen it, you should! A-dorable. Anything with Doris Day and most all of Marilyn’s and Audrey’s.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Rachel Yoder has two choices: marry Gabriel Fisher or move to Ohio. As an orphan, Rachel doesn’t have much to offer; any match she can make will be a good one. She just didn’t plan on Gabriel with his big hands and permanent frown. As a widower Gabriel needs help caring for the farm and his six children. But he never thought he’d marry a slip of a girl who barely reaches his chin. Yet as time passes, Gabriel finds himself thinking about a real marriage. They have spoken vows to God and each other, but can he risk his heart with Rachel?


If you would like to read the first chapter of Gabriel's Bride, go HERE.

Blogaholic Designs”=