Friday, September 30, 2016

My Review: A Time to Rise, plus Giveaway!

AH!!!  I'm so excited for you all to read this book!  And the others in the series!  They are so, so good!! 
And . . . there's a surprise for anyone who makes it to the bottom of the page before surrendering to boredom. ;)

What more can you sacrifice than your life?

Parvin Blackwater is dead.

At least that’s what the Council—and the world—thinks. But her sacrifice tore down part of the Wall long enough to stir up hope and rebellion in the people. Now she will rise again. Strong, free, and fearless.

Parvin and Solomon must uncover the mysterious clues that Jude left behind in order to destroy the projected Wall once and for all. Meanwhile, the Council schemes to new levels of technology in its attempts to keep the people contained. Can a one-handed Radical and a scarred ex-Enforcer really bring shalom to the world?

About the Author:
Nadine learned to write her alphabet with a fountain pen. In Kindergarten. Cool, huh? Maybe that's what started her love for writing. She started journaling at age nine and thus began her habit of communicating via pen and paper more than spoken words. She never decided to become a writer. Her brain simply classified it as a necessity to life.

Nadine is a stay-at-home author and writes stories about authentic faith, bold living, and worlds soaked in imagination. She lives in Idaho with her husband and works as a freelance editor. When she's not writing, editing, or taste-testing a new chai, she is out pursuing adventures. A Time to Die is her first novel. Visit Nadine at

My Review: 4.5 stars
Gah! I have so many mixed emotions regarding this book! It was so amazing, but it was also the final book in the series. I was so excited to read it, because I’d finally get to learn how it all ended, but then it ended. I didn’t want it to end! But, it did have a fantastic ending and I loved seeing everything come together. I definitely recommend reading the first two books before picking up this one, but totally grab this one! This book completely met and exceeded my expectations! I loved it!

Ms. Brandes’ books were the first dystopian I’d ever tried, but I was so intrigued by the concept behind the first book that I couldn’t resist and happily discovered that I really enjoy the genre. Or maybe just Nadine’s books. I haven’t really tested that theory overly much, yet. And her third book is certainly as wonderful as the other two, with the added advantage that I knew it would be the end of Parvin’s story - the cliffhangers from the previous books were torture! The story flows by quickly, filled with twists and turns, suspense and danger, and excellent writing. It kept me guessing and up all hours, dying to know what would happen next! I spent a couple sleep deprived days at work, wondering how I would possibly get through the day without knowing how Parvin and her friends were doing. There aren’t many books that stay in my imagination throughout the day, so that definitely sets this book apart, for me.

I’ve already said so much about Parvin and Solomon and Willow in my previous reviews (you can find them here and here) that I think I would just be repeating myself to comment much more. Though I will say that I enjoyed seeing how the characters have changed and grown throughout the entire series. Some of them not for the better, but that’s part of reality, too. And I loved how much of a integral part of the story faith in God is - some of my favorite lines are Parvin’s prayers as she learns ever more what it means to trust God with every situation and how to see others with His eyes. I love the relationship she has with Him and how we see that she isn’t perfect, but she’s trying. That may have been my favorite part of this story. I’m not sure. There are a lot of moments to choose from.

                                          Photo credit: Rosealie Valentine

My only mildly negative comment is that I have mixed feelings about the epilogue. I wasn’t expecting one, so I had prepared myself for what I thought was the final page and the impact from the last sentence was so important to me. But then, it wasn’t over! And I wasn’t sure how to feel about that. I enjoyed the epilogue tying the final stray strings together and giving me closure, but at the same time, I kind of lost the impact of those “final” words. I’ll probably have to read it again with different expectations to be able to fully decide my opinion on the matter.

I highly recommend this book (and series) to anyone who is looking for a thought-provoking read full of suspense and characters that grab your heart. But be prepared to have your heart broken by fictional characters . . . . and read the other books first - no cheating!

Thank you to all who took the time to read my review!  To those of you who simply scrolled here after reading the note at the top: that's okay, too.  I do the same thing, so no worries. :)

Now, for the surprise.  To celebrate this awesome book  I'm giving away an eBook copy of the winner's choice of Nadine's books!  This is mostly just a surprise for me, because I wasn't intending to do a giveaway right now, but I was writing this post and just decided it sounded fun!  So, here we are! 

There should be a Rafflecopter form at the bottom of the page for you to enter . . . . if it's not working correctly, please let me know!  I've never used the site before, so we'll see how this goes.  I'll contact the winner on Saturday, October 8th, so don't forget to check your email!

And, if you don't want to wait, there are purchase links below . . . .

Thanks again for stopping by!  Have a delightful day! :) 


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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My Review: When Love Arrives

"How did you know for sure? That you loved her?" . . .  "I couldn't breathe without her."  (page 240)

Dani had planned to spy on Brett--so how did she end up on a date with him?

Dani Prescott can't believe the lie Brett Somers is trying to sell to the media. During an interview about the plane crash that killed his parents, he blamed Dani's mother. But the crash killed her as well. Vowing to restore her mother's reputation, Dani has been following Brett and taking photos, hoping to find something she can use to discredit him. But when she catches his eye instead, she quickly finds herself agreeing to a date. Brett knows this mystery girl is hiding something--but he's got his own secrets to keep. What will happen when he discovers who she really is?

About the Author:
Johnnie Alexander is the award-winning author of Where Treasure Hides and Where She Belongs. Johnnie is an accomplished essayist and poet whose work has appeared in the Guideposts anthology A Cup of Christmas Cheer. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with her grandchildren, and taking road trips. She lives near Memphis, Tennessee.

My Review: 3.5 stars
When Love Arrives is the first book I’ve read by Johnnie Alexander and it’s quite obvious that the story continues from her previous book, Where She Belongs. Though this book stands alone quite well, I could tell that I’d missed a fair amount, despite her efforts to fill in the gaps. I first became interested in this book after reading the synopsis - I was intrigued by the idea of an “accidental” date and curious to learn how everything would work out. What I found surprised me a little bit with how anticlimactic it was, but I found that it truly echoed real life, so I can’t really complain. I can happily say that I enjoyed this book quite a bit and am looking forward to reading the next one!

While I was reading this book someone asked me if Ms. Alexander’s writing style reminded me of any of my favorite authors and I really struggled to come up with a name. In my mind, this was Johnnie’s book, so of course, it sounds like her writing style. That being said, it’s well written and the story flows smoothly, never lagging and rarely rushing ahead. I do have to nitpick and say that I personally would’ve enjoyed a few more descriptions, as I found myself struggling to imagine certain settings. I’m also going to admit that I found Dani’s plan to humiliate Brett childish at first and her reasoning not that well thought out. Though I did appreciate that Dani admitted that herself and slowly began to grow throughout the book.

Brett is definitely the character I saw the biggest change in and I enjoyed following his transformation. He starts out as something of a jerk, though he’s already started seeing the errors of his ways when the book opens, and he wants to change, but doesn’t know how. This book ended up feeling like more his story than Dani’s and her character sometimes took a backseat to his issues, which played out well in the end, but I still found it a little frustrating that I didn’t get to see more of Dani’s side of the story. Her character seemed almost shallow at times, compared to Brett and everything he was dealing with. Their relationship was a bit different, as well. Because of Brett trying to change his ways, he struggles to keep his friendship with Dani where it should be. I appreciated how Ms. Alexander showed his battle and how their relationship plays out. I also had to smile at his teasing and joking with Dani and some of her responses had me laughing.

I started this book with no idea what to expect and ended it with a smile on my face. Despite my nitpicking and hopes for a slightly deeper story, I did very much enjoy my trip to Columbus and Misty Willow and hope to be visiting again, soon.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you so much for stopping by, once again!  Isn't that quote at the top just the sweetest?  I found it and just couldn't resist.  :)
If you'd like to learn more about the book or look into it further, links are below, as always.
Have a delightful day!


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Friday, September 2, 2016

My Review: Without Warning

This book was so good!  I just wanted to go ahead and share that, before you get to my totally gushing review in a moment. :)

Katie Singleton, a partner with the Elite Guardians Protection Agency, stumbles upon her next assignment quite by accident. Spotting blue lights at a familiar restaurant, she stops to investigate, only to discover that owner Daniel Matthews has become the target of someone who will go to any lengths to put him out of business.

Daniel might be concerned, but he's not convinced that a bodyguard--and a female one at that--is necessary. A new attack and his niece's urgings are enough to make him reconsider. He and Katie must figure out who's behind the intimidation and threats--before a would-be killer strikes again.

About the Author:
Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series, the Deadly Reunions series, and the Hidden Identity series, as well as "Always Watching "in the Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of an ACFW Carol Award, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Readers' Choice Award. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College and she lives in South Carolina. Learn more at

My Review: 5 stars! 

Without Warning is the second book in Lynette Eason’s Elite Guardians series, and is a book I’ve been highly anticipating for months! I really enjoyed the first book, Always Watching, but I have to say that Lynette has raised the bar even higher with this book and it will definitely be going on my list of favorite suspense novels for this year!

Lynette has definitely made a name for herself in the suspense genre and I always love her books. They keep me up way too late more often than not, and I can’t resist grabbing every spare moment to read, despite knowing I’ll have to put them down eventually and actually be productive. This book kept me guessing from page one and sifting through suspects, trying to guessing “whodunit.” I loved the rapid-fire pace of the story, but also appreciated the slower moments that balanced it out and allowed the relationship to build naturally. I do have to confess her books feel just a bit improbable at times, with how everything works out, but I think that’s part of why I love them: everything eventually works out for the best . . . Well, maybe not for the villain, but I’m not generally not terribly upset about that.

Katie Singleton is the heroine of this story and I loved her immediately! I vaguely remember meeting her in the previous book and really liking her, but my faulty memory definitely didn’t do her justice. She is strong and bold, but also struggles with her past and the mistakes that led her to this point. She also fits perfectly with the hero, Daniel Matthews, who has also become a favorite character. He is definitely not the average protection agency client, with his military and investigation background, something that I really enjoyed. The premise of the whole series, of a team of female bodyguards can sound a bit farfetched, especially because it’s flip-flopped from the norm, but Lynette does it so well! Her heroes are still just that: heroes. They may allow the ladies to take the lead, but they never come across as weak or lacking. They are still incredibly strong characters, which is especially true of Daniel. He has a very bold personality, which came right off the pages. He struggles with an anger problem, but it’s something he’s learned to control. He also battles PTSD and we get a few glimpses of that, which makes him come to life even more. I loved getting to know him and seeing someone take care of Katie for a change. He is especially sweet with his niece, Riley, another character that I really loved meeting. I’m kind of hoping she has a book of her own in the future - I personally would adore that (hint, hint).

I also really appreciate how the author weaves faith and trust in God throughout the story, without it coming across as preachy or overtaking the main storyline. It’s subtly woven throughout as an overarching theme and I enjoyed the bits of wisdom shared throughout the story, a few of which I’ve saved for future reference.

The ending was also superbly done and I really regret reading the excerpt of the next book that was at the end because I really want to read that one now, but I’m forced to wait! I knew there was a reason some readers wait for the entire series to release . . . I just don’t have that kind of self control. In case it wasn’t obvious from all of my fangirling and overuse of certain words, I HIGHLY recommend this book!

Many thanks to Revell for my copy of this book! I have given my honest review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you so much for popping over to read my review!  I hope I didn't scare you off and that you'll consider visiting again.  :)  Before I sign off, I do have to share the cover for the next book (Maddy and Quinn's!!!) that I am SO excited for!  Definitely shouldn't have read the excerpt, but happily, I don't have to wait too terribly long, since it's currently scheduled to release January 2017!  Yay!
So, here's the cover, then scroll a dab further and you'll find a link to learn more about it, just in case you care to join me in my torturous waiting.  :)

Click "here" to learn more!

And that's all for today!  I hope your day is overflowing with little moments of joy!


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