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Book Review: Buried Secrets

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Buried Secrets

Author: Irene Hannon

Paperback: 384 pages

Series: Men of Valor (Book 1)

Publisher: Revell (April 7, 2015)

Blurb:

They both wanted quieter, safer lives.
But crime never sleeps . . .
and killers keep killing.

After years as a Chicago homicide detective, Lisa Grant is ready for the kinder, gentler life of a small-town police chief. But the discovery of a human skeleton by a construction crew at the edge of town taxes department resources. Enter ex-Navy SEAL Mac McGregor, the detective sent by the county to assist on the case. As they work to solve the mystery behind the unmarked grave, danger begins to shadow them. Someone doesn’t want this dead person telling any tales–and will stop at nothing to make certain a life-shattering secret stays buried.

Meet the Author:

Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than forty-five novels, including the Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series. Her books have been honored with two coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, two HOLT Medallions, a Daphne du Maurier Award, two Reviewers’ Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine, a Retailers’ Choice Award, and a National Readers’ Choice Award. In addition, she is a Christy Award finalist, and Booklist included one of her novels in its “Top 10 Inspirational Fiction” list for 2011. She lives in Missouri.

Connect with her here!

My Review:

Deceived was the first book I read by Irene Hannon, so when I got the chance to read and review Buried Secrets I was so excited! This book is an amazing and suspenseful murder story with characters that flesh out a complex plot. She created strong female characters that inspires and encourages. Irene Hannon’s plot for this book was a nice change of pace to typical murder mystery stories. I enjoyed the build up to figuring out the initial crime along with the crimes that happened later in the book. This book does deal with crime scenes and murder but nothing graphic is mentioned. One thing I wished would have been covered more was the spiritual content. Spirituality wasn’t mentioned much more than passing mentions of prayer. This is a fantastic read and you should get your own copy to discover just how great this book is!

Disclosure:

I received this book free from the publisher through the Revell book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Happy Reading!

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Book Review: The Pharaoh’s Daughter

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The Pharaoh’s Daughter

Author: Mesu Andrews

Paperback: 384 pages

Series: Treasures of the Nile

Publisher: WaterBrook Press (March 17, 2015)

Blurb:

“Fear is the most fertile ground for faith.”

“You will be called Anippe, daughter of the Nile. Do you like it?” Without waiting for a reply, she pulls me into her squishy, round tummy for a hug.
I’m trying not to cry. Pharaoh’s daughters don’t cry.
When we make our way down the tiled hall, I try to stop at ummi Kiya’s chamber. I know her spirit has flown yet I long for one more moment. Amenia pushes me past so I keep walking and don’t look back.
Like the waters of the Nile, I will flow.

Anippe has grown up in the shadows of Egypt’s good god Pharaoh, aware that Anubis, god of the afterlife, may take her or her siblings at any moment. She watched him snatch her mother and infant brother during childbirth, a moment which awakens in her a terrible dread of ever bearing a child. Now she is to be become the bride of Sebak, a kind but quick-tempered Captain of Pharaoh Tut’s army. In order to provide Sebak the heir he deserves and yet protect herself from the underworld gods, Anippe must launch a series of deceptions, even involving the Hebrew midwives—women ordered by Tut to drown the sons of their own people in the Nile.
When she finds a baby floating in a basket on the great river, Anippe believes Egypt’s gods have answered her pleas, entrenching her more deeply in deception and placing her and her son Mehy, whom handmaiden Miriam calls Moses, in mortal danger.
As bloodshed and savage politics shift the balance of power in Egypt, the gods reveal their fickle natures and Anippe wonders if her son, a boy of Hebrew blood, could one day become king. Or does the god of her Hebrew servants, the one they call El Shaddai, have a different plan—for them all?

Meet the Author:

Mesu Andrews’ deep understanding of and love for God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for her readers. Her first novel, Love Amid the Ashes won the 2012 ECPA Book of the Year for a Debut Author. Her three subsequent novels, Love’s Sacred Song, Love in a Broken Vessel, and In the Shadow of Jezebel all released to great reader enthusiasm. Mesu lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Roy.

Connect with her here!

My Review:

This novel follows the Biblical account of Moses, from before his birth through his young adulthood. Mesu Andrews tells the story of Moses through the eyes of Pharaoh’s daughter and by doing so she brings a brand new perspective to the biblical narrative. Expertly researched and woven together with fantastic detail, this novel takes you on a journey of with Anippee, the pharaoh’s daughter, as she finds the baby Moses and spends the rest of her life loving, caring and protecting him. Mesu Andrews’ novel does not change or take away from the truth revealed in Scripture, but makes readers think about how to apply God’s truth to their current life and circumstances. I can wholeheartedly recommend this book for anyone who loves Biblical fiction!

Disclosure:

I received this book free from the publisher through the blogging for books bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Happy Reading!

Book Review: How to Catch a Prince

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How to Catch a Prince

Author: Rachel Hauck

Paperback: 368 pages

Series: Royal Wedding Series

Publisher: Zondervan (February 24, 2015)

Blurb:

Behind him, beside him, before him, the synchronized cathedral bells began to ring out.

One, two, three . . .

Then she said it first. The words his heart burst to share. “I love you, Stephen. You are my true prince.”

An American heiress and a crown prince seem destined to be together. Will the devastation of war keep them apart forever?

American heiress Corina Del Rey caught her prince once. But the tragedy of war kept her too long in a fog of grief. Now she’s shifting her life forward, reigniting her career as a journalist. Still, nothing can relieve her of the secret and the love she carries in her soul.

Prince Stephen of Brighton is one of the world’s most eligible bachelors and a star rugby player, trying to make sense of his life. His days in Afghanistan with the Royal Air Command will mark him forever. And he can’t shake their dark shadow.

But when his brother, King Nathaniel, confronts him with a document the prince thought long buried and forgotten, Stephen is forced to face the pain of his past and the love he left behind.

With a little heavenly help, Prince Stephen and Corina embark on a journey of truth. But when the secrets are revealed, can they overcome, move forward, and find love again?

What Others Are Saying:

‘Perfect for Valentine’s Day, Hauck’s latest inspirational romance offers an uplifting and emotionally rewarding tale that will delight her growing fan base.’ (Library Journal, STARRED Review)

‘Hauck writes a feel-good novel that explores the trauma and love of the human heart . . . an example of patience and sacrifice that readers will adore.’ (Romantic Times, 4 stars)

Meet the Author:

Rachel Hauck writes the books she loves to read. All from her two story tower.

She’s hit a few best seller lists and won an award or two. She is a RITA Finalist, Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Winner. Hauck also penned the critically acclaimed Songbird Novels with multi-platinum country artist Sara Evans.

Her book, The Wedding Dress, (no, not the Hallmark movie) was named 2013 Romantic Times Inspirational Novel of the Year.

Rachel lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and their mini schnauzer, Miss Indpendent, and Hepzibah, a stray cat who wandered into their backyard. She lives in a house built by the Hubster.

Earning a degree in Journalism from Ohio State University, Rachel is a huge Buckeyes football fan.

She is the past President of American Christian Fiction Writers and now serves on the Executive Board. She was named ACFW Mentor of the Year in 2013.

And so we conclude all accolades and braggadocio. But what’s a girl to do? If she’s asking you to invest in her books, you best think they are pretty good. Right?

Connect with her here!

My Review:

How exactly do you catch a prince? Well, you should definitely read this book to find out. I absolutely loved this novel. Rachel Hauck is such a talented writer and I’m always impressed with her characters. You’ll fall in love with these characters and your emotions will jump all over with them. This novel is much more than just sweet and sappy. It was sweet, romantic, emotional, and spiritually powerful. This novel will have you craving to “Love Well.”  I recommend that you read this novel.

Disclosure:

I received this book free from the publisher through the Book look  bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Happy Reading!

Movie Review: Cinderella

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The story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Ella welcomes her new stepmother Lady Tremaine and her daughters Anastasia and Drizella into the family home. But when Ella’s father suddenly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Finally relegated to nothing more than a servant girl covered in ashes, and spitefully renamed Cinderella, Ella could easily begin to lose hope. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.” She will not give in to despair nor despise those who abuse her. And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince, not merely an employee at the palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears as if her fortunes may be about to change when the palace sends out an open invitation for all maidens to attend a ball, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming “Kit.” Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend. But as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand as a kindly beggar woman steps forward and, armed with a pumpkin and a few mice, changes Cinderella’s life forever.

Release Date: 13 March 2015

Genre: Family, Drama

Rating: PG

Runtime: 112 min

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Cast:

Lily James – Cinderella

Richard Madden – Prince “Kit” Charming

Ben Chaplin as Cinderella’s Father

Hayley Atwell- Cinderella’s Mother

Cate Blanchett- Lady Tremaine

Holliday Grainger- Anastasia

Sophie McShera – Drizella

Stellan Skarsgård -Grand Duke

Helena Bonham-Carter -Fairy Godmother

Nonso Anozie -Captain

Derek Jacobi -The King

My review:

Cinderella is no longer the damsel in distress I used to think she was. I was intrigued by the trailer for this movie, so I decided to take a chance. Cinderella has never been my favorite Disney Princess, but after seeing this film she has definitely earned a spot on my list. This movie was amazing and better than I hope it would be. The props were so detailed. The film gave more back story on her family and I loved that. The transformation scene was incredible the animals were particularly incredible. Don’t just take my word on how magical this film is; go see it for yourselves! Also, when you go see this movie, keep an eye out for several Disney princesses that appear during the ball scenes. It’s a real treat! You don’t want to miss this movie.

Book Review: A Plague of Unicorns

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A Plague of Unicorns

Author: Jane Yolen

Age Range: 8 – 12 years

Hardcover: 192 pages

Publisher: Zonderkidz (December 23, 2014)

Blurb:

Young James, an earl’s son, is a bit bothersome and always asking the oddest questions. In despair—the last of James’ tutors having quit—his mother sends him off to be educated at Cranford Abbey. She feels the strict regimen will do him a world of good. But Cranford Abbey has its own problems. It has been falling into disrepair. The newly appointed Abbot Aelian takes it upon himself to save the abbey with the use of his secret weapon: a recipe for golden apple cider passed down in his family for many generations. He believes that by making and selling the cider, the monks will raise necessary funds to restore the abbey to its former glory. Abbot Aelian has everything he needs—almost. One obstacle stands in his way, unicorns that happen to feast specifically on the golden apples. Abbot Aelian and his men must fight off the unicorns to make the cider. He and the monks try to form a battalion to fight off the beasts; next they import heroes to fight for them. But the heroes run off, monks are injured, and a herd of ravenous unicorns continue munching. After no success, the abbot finally calls upon the most unlikely of heroes, one suggested by no other than young James. That hero is small and unprepossessing but possesses the skill to tame the beasts. Though wildly skeptical, Abbot Aelian must risk everything and believe in this recommended stranger or risk the fall of Cranford Abbey.

Meet the Author:

Jane Yolen has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century. She sets the highest standard for the industry, not only in the meaningful body of work she has created, but also in her support of fellow authors and artists. Her books range from the bestselling How Do Dinosaurs series to the Caldecott winning Owl Moon to popular novels such as The Devil’s Arithmetic, Snow in Summer, and The Young Merlin Trilogy, to award-winning books of poetry such as Grumbles from the Forest, and A Mirror to Nature. In all, she has written over 335 books (she’s lost count), won numerous awards (one even set her good coat on fire), and has been given six honorary doctorates in literature.

Connect with her here!

My Review:

Thought I’d expand my book reviews and give juvenile fiction a go. Jane Yolen’s medieval tale is told in a style very much like those of fables and fairy tales. This novel is brief, but Yolen quickly gains her reader’s interest and sympathy. She packs in plenty of humor and adventure. Illustrations are included throughout the text that adds extra appeal. Parents should love the main character, doesn’t show even a hint of sarcasm. Parents this is a great book for your children.

Disclosure:

I received this book free from the publisher through the Book look  bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Happy Reading!

Book Review: hand in Hand

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hand in Hand

Author: Randy Alcorn

Paperback: 240 pages

Publisher: Multnomah Books (October 14, 2014)

Blurb:

If God is sovereign, how can I be free to choose?

Is it possible to reconcile God’s sovereignty with human choice? This is one of the most perplexing theological questions. It’s also one of the most personal.

In hand in Hand, Randy Alcorn says that the traditional approach to this debate has often diminished our trust in God and his purposes. Instead of making a one-sided argument from select verses, Alcorn examines the question in light of all Scripture. By exploring what the whole Bible says about divine sovereignty and human choice, hand in Hand helps us…

· Carefully and honestly examine the different views on this issue
· Gain a deeper understanding of God
· Appreciate God’s design in providing us the freedom of meaningful choice
· See the value in better understanding what we cannot fully understand
· Learn how to communicate about the issue in clear and compassionate ways
· More fully experience the unity Christ intends for his Church

A careful guide through Scripture, hand in Hand shows us why God’s sovereignty and meaningful human choice work together in a beautiful way.

Includes small-group discussion questions.

Meet the Author:

RARandy Alcorn is an author and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM), a nonprofit ministry dedicated to teaching principles of God’s Word and assisting the church in ministering to the unreached, unfed, unborn, uneducated, unreconciled, and unsupported people around the world. His ministry focus is communicating the strategic importance of using our earthly time, money, possessions and opportunities to invest in need-meeting ministries that count for eternity. He accomplishes this by analyzing, teaching, and applying the biblical truth.

Before starting EPM in 1990, Randy served as a pastor for fourteen years. He has an MA degree in Biblical Studies from Multnomah University and an Honorary Doctorate from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon and has taught on the adjunct faculties of both.

A New York Times bestselling author, Randy has written more than forty books, including Courageous, Heaven, The Treasure Principle, and the Gold Medallion winner Safely Home. His books in print exceed seven million and have been translated into over fifty languages. Randy has written for many magazines including EPM’s issues-oriented magazine Eternal Perspectives. He is active daily on Facebook and Twitter, has been a guest on more than 700 radio, television and online programs including Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, Revive Our Hearts, The Bible Answer Man, and The Resurgence.

Randy resides in Gresham, Oregon, with his wife, Nanci. They have two married daughters and are the proud grandparents of five grandsons. Randy enjoys hanging out with his family, biking, tennis, research, and reading.

Connect with Randy!

My Review:

The beauty of God’s sovereignty and meaningful human choice; the argument between man’s free will and God’s sovereignty has been going on for a long time. Randy Alcorn does a great job explaining the terminology he and others use. If you want to be a little more educated on the subject, pick this book up and read it. hand in Hand clearly demonstrates that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and God’s ways are not our ways. Randy Alcorn encourages readers to study the Scriptures, open our minds, and let God teach us His truths. This book would be a great resource for anyone interested in the Calvinism and Arminianism debate or for someone who is interested in how much God influences our lives.

Disclosure:

I received this book free from the publisher through the blogging for books book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Anna’s Crossing

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Anna’s Crossing

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Paperback: 336 pages

Series: Amish Beginnings

Publisher: Revell (March 3, 2015)

Blurb:

Some endings are really beginnings . . .

On a hot day in 1737 in Rotterdam, Anna König reluctantly sets foot on the Charming Nancy, a merchant ship that will carry her and her fellow Amish believers across the Atlantic to start a new life. As the only one in her community who can speak English, she feels compelled to go. But Anna is determined to complete this journey and return home–assuming she survives. She’s heard horrific tales of ocean crossings and worse ones of what lay ahead in the New World. But fearfulness is something Anna has never known.

Ship’s carpenter Bairn resents the somber people–dubbed Peculiars by the deckhands–who fill the lower deck of the Charming Nancy. All Bairn wants to do is to put his lonely past behind him, but that irksome and lovely lass Anna and her people keep intruding on him.

Delays, storms, illness, and diminishing provisions test the mettle and patience of everyone on board. When Anna is caught in a life-threatening situation, Bairn makes a discovery that shakes his entire foundation. But has the revelation come too late?

Meet the Author:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Lancaster County Secrets series, the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of an Amish children’s series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner for The Search, a Carol Award finalist for The Choice, and a Christy Award finalist for The Waiting. She is also a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California.

Connect With her!

My Review:

I don’t usually read Amish novels, not because I have anything against Amish, but because I find Amish fiction to be the same story retold by different authors. Anna’s Crossing, however, enticed me! I had to give this novel a chance! The characters were  well thought out and the scenes detailed that I felt like I was aboard the Charming Nancy. The ship was explained throughout the story so you could visualize its form! I loved the way Suzanne used historical details, conditions on ships, how they were built, the atmosphere, living conditions for emigrants, how the arrangements were made, what happened if they couldn’t pay, the seasickness, and the storms. All these things painted a setting for the action of the story. If you like historical fiction or Amish Fiction you will love this novel! Or maybe you’re like me and you wouldn’t think to look twice at an Amish novel, this just might be your chance to give one a chance.

Disclosure:

I received this book free from the publisher through the Revell book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Happy Reading!

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