Monthly Archives: January 2012

H2O the Novel by Austin Boyd & Brannon Hollingsworth

H2O the Novel

AMG Publishers – Nov. 02, 2011
About the book:

H2O is a contemporary crossover women’s novel that tells the story of Kate Pepper, a successful young business woman in Seattle whose life is suddenly—and strangely—turned upside down. Unexplainable visions torment her every time she gets wet. Sinking into despair, frantic to avoid water at any cost, Kate ultimately finds romance and redemption through the advice of simple people who love her for who she is, not what she was.

Kate Pepper has it all . . . a razor-sharp intellect, perfect health, stunning beauty, a wildly successful career, and all the money she can spend. Or rather, she thinks she has it all.

Despite the perfect shell, there’s something dark inside Kate. Terrible visions send her into a deep depression and her world crumbles. All her business savvy and elite connections don’t make a difference; she has lost control.

Who will save her? Xavier, her predatory boyfriend? Or Candice, the Down syndrome waitress at her favorite coffee shop? At the bottom of her dark well, desperate to get out of the water, there’s nowhere to reach but up.

H2O—a fascinating allegorical look at success,
sanity and spiritual redemption in a young woman’s relationship with water.

My rating:
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My thoughts:

What would you do if you suddenly started having visions when you got wet? Visions so powerful you lost touch with the world for that amount of time. Would you avoid water at all costs – or learn to live with it?

That is exactly what happened to Kate Pepper. She used to love getting wet, but when she suddenly starts having visions whenever she comes in contact with water, she finds herself fearing water and trying to avoid it at all costs. But how can you live without water? Will anything good come out of all this turmoil?

H20 is the first book I’ve read by Austin Boyd or Brannon Hollinsworth. Even though I haven’t read that many fantasy books, I really like the genre and H20 was great!

From the beginning pages of H20 I found myself liking Kate and disliking Xavier (Kate’s boyfriend) – he just seemed like such an uncaring and mean person! I couldn’t understand why Kate stayed with him when he treated her the way he did.

Though some might think Kate’s visions were weird, I actually really liked them (especially the later ones). Most were of Biblical events; like Jesus’ baptism, Peter walking on the water to Jesus, the woman at the well, etc. – I really liked that. They were told really well and even brought to mind some things I never thought about.

While H20 was interesting and enjoyable from the beginning, it was when I got halfway through and Kate started talking to WRKRJC that H20 became really good and the pages went by much faster! I understood the characters more and I started wondering who WRKRJC was and what the letters meant.

Throughout H20, whether through Kate’s visions or actually spoken, there was a story of forgiveness and how Jesus can make you clean!

I think H20 is best suited for ages 16 and older because of some of the things mentioned – although none of it is bad, it might not be appropriate for younger readers.

Overall, I really enjoyed H20 and recommend it if you enjoy fantasy novels with a good message. I look forward to reading O2, the next novel in The Eternal Elements!

*Thanks to Brannon Hollingsworth for my review copies. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*

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Love Blooms in Winter by Lori Copeland


My rating:

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My thoughts:

For six years Mae Wilkey has been almost engaged to marry Jake Mallory, but can one winter change that status? Or will she continue to be almost engaged? And to Jake? Or will someone else come along?

I’ve read a couple of Lori’s other books and I was really looking forward to reading Love Blooms in Winter. The story sounded great and it did not disappoint!

I loved the town of  Dwadlo, North Dakota. Lil’s character was so funny (especially with the way she acted toward Fisk) and I hope in the next Dakota Diary we see more of her.

Mae’s story was wonderful to read; in fact, the whole book was enjoyable and I’m looking forward to the next book! From romance to runaway trains, Love Blooms in Winter was an adventurous and lovely read! I recommend it if you enjoy historical romances!

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via FIRST for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*

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Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey

Revell – January 12, 2012

About the book:

It is August 1944 and Paris is on the cusp of liberation. As the soldiers of the Third Reich flee the Allied advance, they ravage the country, stealing countless pieces of art. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring will stop at nothing to claim the most valuable one of all, the Mona Lisa, as a post-war bargaining chip to get him to South America. Can Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler rescue DaVinci’s masterpiece before it falls into German hands?

With nonstop action, Chasing Mona Lisa is sure to get readers’ adrenaline pumping as they join the chase to save the most famous painting in the world. From war-ravaged Paris to a posh country chateau, the race is on–and the runners are playing for keeps


My Rating:
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My Thoughts:

Chasing Mona Lisa is the sequel to The Swiss Courier and is the first book I’ve read by both Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey.

While it took me a while to get into Chasing Mona Lisa, once I finally did, it was a really enjoyable read! I haven’t read The Swiss Courier, so I don’t know the back story to Gabi & Eric, but I found their romance/relationship really sweet.

For some reason, when I started Chasing Mona Lisa I thought it was a suspense novel, but it’s labeled Historical fiction. And while there is some suspense throughout, there is a lot more history – which was nice as well.

The one thing I didn’t like about Chasing Mona Lisa is the foreign language. There wasn’t always an English translation – so at times I found myself wondering what a word/phrase meant.

Overall Chasing Mona Lisa was an enjoyable read, had several twists, and if there is another book with these characters, I’d like to read it! 🙂

* I received a complimentary copy of “Chasing Mona Lisa” from the publisher to review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

“Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
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Corridor (A Mythworks Novel) by Robin Parrish

Corridor (A MythWorks Novel)

StoneHouse Ink – December, 2011
About the book: 

THE ONLY WAY OUT IS TO RUN.

On the eve of his seventeenth birthday, Troy Goggin finds himself inexplicably transported to an impossibly huge, miles-long structure called the Corridor. But what is the Corridor, and why was he brought to it?

It’s a place of mystery, wonder, and heart-stopping danger. It will test him and push him both mentally and physically. His only companion is the girl whose voice he hears inside his head, explaining the rules he must follow if he hopes to escape.

But there is much more to this extraordinary place than Troy could ever imagine. The Corridor’s true purpose — the biggest mystery of all — is revealed only to those who make it to the end.

My rating:

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My thoughts:

First let me say that Robin Parrish is one of my favorite authors! Not including Corridor, I’ve read four of his books – Vigilante (#1 on my top ten books read in 2011), Relentless, Fearless, and Merciless. His other two books, Offworld and Nightmare, are on my wish-list. 🙂

Corridor, from the beginning pages, grabbed my attention. I wasn’t even planning on reading this book yet, just thought I’d read the first few pages and then stop. But I couldn’t stop. I stayed up WAY too late reading, until I finally realized I had to get some sleep. I finished Corridor the next day! It was sooooo good!

Troy, on the eve of his 17th birthday, wakes up to find himself in a bright, white room – so bright that he can’t even keep his eyes open! How he got there and why, he doesn’t know, but that white room is just the beginning of Corridor!

As the story continued, it got better and better – there were a lot of surprises and I loved every minute of the book. While, I guess, Corridor wouldn’t be considered “Christian fiction”, I still really enjoyed it. It was clean and very suspenseful.

I think fans of The Hunger Games will enjoy Corridor because to me it was even better than The Hunger Games, and way less gruesome!

I loved Corridor! It’s now one of my favorite books and definitely one I’ll be rereading. I completely recommend it – as long as you don’t mind reading books with a little sci-fi/futuristic elements. I’m hoping there will be a sequel! 🙂

* I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Corridor is currently $2.99 on Amazon Kindle! Click here to purchase your copy! 🙂

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The Keeper (Book One of Stoney Ridge Seasons) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Revell – January 12, 2012

About the book:

Julia Lapp has planned on marrying Paul Fisher since she was a girl. Now twenty-one, she looks forward to their wedding with giddy anticipation. When Paul tells her he wants to postpone the wedding—again—she knows who is to blame. Perpetual bachelor and spreader of cold feet,

Roman Troyer, the Bee Man.

Roamin’ Roman travels through the Amish communities of Ohio and Pennsylvania with his hives full of bees, renting them out to farmers in need of pollinators. He relishes his nomadic life, which keeps him from thinking about all he has lost. He especially enjoys bringing his bees to Stoney Ridge each year. But with Julia on a mission to punish him for inspiring Paul’s cold feet, the Lapp farm is looking decidedly less pleasant.

Can Julia secure the future she’s always dreamed of? Or does God have something else in mind?

Full of the plot twists and surprises her fans love, The Keeper is the first in a new series by bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher. Through touching family relationships and trials of the heart, Fisher’s vivid characters grapple with yielding to God’s will when it doesn’t match their own.

My Rating:
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My Thoughts:
Julie Lapp always thought she knew where her life was headed – to marry Paul Fisher. But after he postpones/cancels the wedding – again – will she eventually wed Paul or are there other plans taking place?The Keeper is the first book I’ve read by Suzanne Woods Fisher, so when I started this book I was a little uncertain about if I would enjoy it, but I’m very pleased to say that I LOVED it!!! I don’t know why I haven’t read any of her books before – if they are as good as this one, I’ve been missing out!

The characters were so endearing and each of the main characters had something unique about them, that made them really interesting to read about.

M.K. (Mary Kate) was probably my favorite character – the way she acted was just so cute and I couldn’t stop myself from laughing (out loud) sometimes – she was that funny! Roman – the Bee Man – and Julie are two other characters that are favorites of mine from this book.

While there is some sadness to The Keeper, I enjoyed the whole book and I’m anxiously awaiting the next book in this series!

I 100% recommend The Keeper – it was great!!!

* I received a complimentary copy of “The Keeper” from the publisher to review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All opinions expressed are my own. *

“Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

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Fire and Ash by Anne Patrick

Fire and Ash

Desert Breeze ~ July, 2010
About the book:

Fire Investigator Sadie McGregor has been called to her hometown of Emerald Point, Missouri to investigate a suspicious fire which claimed the life of a local college student. By appearance the fire looks like the girl was just careless. What Sadie and Sheriff Quinn Harrington discover will not only affect those close to them, but will rock the entire community of Emerald Point and put Sadie’s life on the line.Sadie’s life isn’t the only thing at stake. Struggling with the guilt of having been responsible for the fire that killed her family, when she was only seven, Sadie doesn’t feel she’s worthy of God’s love and forgiveness. Will Quinn be able to prove otherwise before it’s too late?
My rating:
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My thoughts:

I love suspense novels, so I don’t know why I haven’t read any of Anne Patrick’s books before now! Fire and Ash was so good! It didn’t start out with much suspense, but as the story progressed, the tension kept building!

Sadie gets called to investigate the cause of a fire, which kills a woman from her hometown of Emerald Point, Missouri. She soon concludes that it is arson, but finding the arsonist/murderer is going to be much tougher.

I had a hunch about who the real culprit would be, but even though I thought I knew who it was, it was still really suspenseful – especially mid-way to the end.

The characters were great and I loved the romance story between Sadie and Quinn. It was really funny the way they met (Quinn at first mistakes Sadie as a man!). The ups and downs of their relationship made the story more enjoyable to read and I would even like to read more about them (if there is ever a sequel).

The struggles Sadie dealt with made her character all the more believable. When she was a kid, her family died in a house fire – but she survived. She dealt with guilt over not being able to save her family and especially her little brother. There is also another reason – but I’m not going to say what it is because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone planning on reading this book!

The ending (involving the arsonist/murder) seemed a little rushed (in my opinion), but it was still overall a great suspense novel that I really enjoyed! 🙂

I really liked this book and recommend it if you enjoy a good suspense with romance… like I do! 🙂

*I received a complimentary PDF copy for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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The Maid at Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen

About the book:

Pampered Margaret Macy flees London in disguise to escape pressure to marry a dishonorable man. With no money and nowhere else to go, she takes a position as a housemaid in the home of Nathaniel Upchurch, a suitor she once rejected in hopes of winning his dashing brother. Praying no one will recognize her, Margaret fumbles through the first real work of her life. If she can last until her next birthday, she will gain an inheritance from a spinster aunt—and sweet independence. But can she remain hidden as a servant even when prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall?

Observing both brothers as an “invisible” servant, Margaret learns she may have misjudged Nathaniel. Is it too late to rekindle his admiration? And when one of the family is nearly killed, Margaret alone discovers who was responsible. Should she come forward, even at the risk of her reputation and perhaps her life? And can she avoid an obvious trap meant to force her from hiding?

On her journey from wellborn lady to servant to uncertain future, Margaret must learn to look past appearances and find the true meaning of “serve one another in love.”

My rating:
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My thoughts:

Before I share what I thought about The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, I have to mention that Julie Klassen is one of my mom’s favorite authors – she’s read all of Julie’s books and when she saw that I had this book for review – she immediately took it from me and had to read it first! And guess what? My mom loved this book from the first sentence on… literally!
While Julie Klassen is not a new author to my mom, she is to me – this is the first book I’ve read of hers and I don’t know why. It was phenomenal! Absolutely stunning and vivid in details! If all of her other books are like this one, I’ve completely been missing out.
“He is reading my letters now too….”
That opening sentence had me wondering who was reading her letters? What else had this person been doing? There is so much just in that first sentence! 🙂
The characters in The Maid of Fairbourne Hall had such interesting stories and what happened between Margaret and Nathaniel years ago made it impossible for me not to care for these characters and what would happen in their lives.
This is shocking to me, since this book is over 400 pages long, but I read The Maid of Fairbourne Hall in less than 24 hours! I couldn’t stop reading for long, and after a few pages/chapters, I was hooked. It was that good and entertaining that I found there wasn’t a good place to stop and before I knew it I was done with the book! Too soon, I might add – I was not ready to say goodbye to the characters. I’m hoping for a sequel (as I normally do with books I love).
My mom and I don’t always agree about books, but in this case we do. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen is a definite winner and as you can see from the award above, this is now a favorite book of mine! I 100%, without a doubt, recommend this book – especially if you enjoy reading historical novels!!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via CFBA. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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