Category Archives: 4 Stars

Replication by Jill Williamson!

~Review Copy~

Replication [The Jason Experiment]
by Jill Williamson
Zondervan – December 2011
Amazon/Christianbook/Goodreads
Replication: Official Site

About the book:
When Your Life Is Not Your Own 

Martyr—otherwise known as Jason 3:3—is one of hundreds of clones kept in a remote facility called Jason Farms. Told that he has been created to save humanity, Martyr has just one wish before he is scheduled to ‘expire’ in less than a month. To see the sky.

Abby Goyer may have just moved to Alaska, but she has a feeling something strange is going on at the farm where her father works. But even this smart, confident girl could never have imagined what lies beneath a simple barn. Or what would happen when a mysterious boy shows up at her door, asking about the stars.

As the reality of the Jason Experiment comes to light, Martyr is caught between two futures—the one for which he was produced and the one Abby believes God created him to have. Time is running out, and Martyr must decide if a life with Abby is worth leaving everything he’s ever known.

My rating:
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My thoughts:

Martyr, also known as Jason 3:3, is just one of many Jasons living on Jason’s Farm. He will expire on his 18th birthday and his blood will be used as an antidote for the people who live above ground breathing toxic air. At least that is what he has been told all his life. He has never been outside and dreams of seeing the sky before he expires. But what if what he’s been told is a lie and the air isn’t toxic? What is his real purpose in life?

I started Replication not knowing how much I’d enjoy it. While I enjoy reading some science fiction novels, I haven’t read that many books that deal with cloning. I’m so glad that I ended up really enjoying Replication and it was enjoyable from the beginning! 🙂

Some of my favorite characters were Martyr – the way he protected Baby and Hummer was so sweet and brave, his character just seemed so nice – and Abby – I liked the way she categorized things, in her mind, in a pro-column or con-column.

The doctors (except Dr. Goyer) were very creepy and how they treated the clones was so mean.

Replication made me think more about cloning and whether or not it should be done. I personally don’t like the idea of it – for many reasons.

While Replication ended well, I would have liked an epilogue – that showed what happens later. But even without that, Replication was really good and I recommend it if you enjoy a good Teen or Sci-fi novel.

*I received this book for free 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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Love Blooms in Winter by Lori Copeland

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:
and the book:

  • Harvest House Publishers (January 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to
Karri | Marketing Assistant |Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lori Copeland is the author of more than 90 titles, both historical and contemporary fiction. With more than 3 million copies of her books in print, she has developed a loyal following among her rapidly growing fans in the inspirational market. She has been honored with the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, The Holt Medallion, and Walden Books’ Best Seller award. In 2000, Lori was inducted into the Missouri Writers Hall of Fame. She lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband, Lance, and their three children and five grandchildren.

Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

This new romance from bestselling author Lori Copeland portrays God’s miraculous provision when none seems possible. An engagement, a runaway train, and a town of quirky, loveable people make for more adventure than Tom Curtis is expecting. But it is amazing what can bloom in winter with God in charge.

1892—Mae Wilkey’s sweet next-door neighbor, Pauline, is suffering from old age and dementia and desperately needs family to come help her. But Pauline can’t recall having kin remaining. Mae searches through her desk and finds a name—Tom Curtis, who may just be the answer to their prayers.

Tom can’t remember an old aunt named Pauline, but if she thinks he’s a long-lost nephew, he very well may be. After two desperate letters from Mae, he decides to pay a visit. An engagement, a runaway train, and a town of quirky, loveable people make for more of an adventure than Tom is expecting. But it is amazing what can bloom in winter when God is in charge of things.

Product Details:

    • List Price: $13.99
    • Paperback: 304 pages
    • Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (January 1, 2012)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0736930191
    • ISBN-13: 978-0736930192

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Dwadlo, North Dakota, 1892
  The winter of ’92 is gonna go down as one of the worst Dwadlo’s ever seen,” Hal Murphy grumbled as he dumped the sack of flour he got for his wife on the store counter. “Mark my words.” He turned toward Mae Wilkey, the petite postmistress, who was stuffing mail in wooden slots.
  “Spring can’t come soon enough for me.” She stepped back, straightening the row of letters and flyers. She didn’t have to record Hal’s prediction; it was the same every year. “I’d rather plant flowers than shovel snow any day of the week.”
  “Yes, ma’am.” Hal nodded to the store owner, Dale Smith, who stood five foot seven inches with a rounded belly and salt-and-pepper hair swept to a wide front bang. “Add a couple of those dill pickles, will you?” Hal watched as Dale went over to the barrel and fished around inside, coming up with two fat pickles.
  “That’ll fix me up.” Hal turned his attention back to the mail cage, his eyes fixed on the lovely sight. “Can’t understand why you’re still single, Mae. You’re as pretty as a raindrop on a lily pad.” He sniffed the air. “And you smell as good.”
  Smiling, Mae moved from the letter boxes to the cash box. Icy weather may have delayed the train this morning, but she still had to count money and record the day’s inventory. “Now, Hal, you know I’d marry you in a wink if you weren’t already taken.” Hal and Clara had been married forty-two years, but Mae’s usual comeback never failed to put a sparkle in the farmer’s eye. Truth be, she put a smile on every man’s face, but she wasn’t often aware of the flattering looks she received. Her heart belonged to Jake Mallory, Dwadlo’s up-and-coming attorney.
  Hal nodded. “I know. All the good ones are taken, aren’t they?”
  She nodded. “Every single one. Especially in Dwadlo.”
  The little prairie town was formed when the Chicago & North Western Railroad came through five years ago. Where abundant grass, wild flowers, and waterfalls had once flourished, hundreds of miles of steel rail crisscrossed the land, making way for big, black steam engines that hauled folks and supplies. Before the railroad came through, only three homesteads had dotted the rugged Dakota Territory: Mae’s family’s, Hal and Clara’s, and Pauline Wilson’s.
  But in ’87 life changed, and formerly platted sites became bustling towns. Pine Grove and Branch Springs followed, and Dwadlo suddenly thrived with immigrants, opportunists, and adventure-seeking folks staking claims out West. A new world opened when the Dakota Boom started.
  Hal’s gaze focused on Mae’s left hand. “Jake still hasn’t popped the question?”
  Mae sighed. Hal was a pleasant sort, but she really wished the townspeople would occupy their thoughts with something other than her and Jake’s pending engagement. True, they had been courting for six years and Jake still hadn’t proposed, but she was confident he would. He’d said so, and he was a man of his word—though every holiday, when a ring would have been an appropriate gift, that special token of his intentions failed to materialize. Mae had more lockets than any one woman could wear, but Jake apparently thought that she could always use another one. What she could really use was his hand in marriage. The bloom was swiftly fading from her youth, and it would be nice if her younger brother, Jeremy, had a man’s presence in his life.
  “Be patient, Hal. He’s busy trying to establish a business.”
  “Good lands. How long does it take a man to open a law office?”
  “Apparently six years and counting.” She didn’t like the uncertainty but she understood it, even if the town’s population didn’t. She had a good life, what with work, church, and the occasional social. Jake accompanied her to all public events, came over two or three times a week, and never failed to extend a hand when she needed something. It was almost as though they were already married.
  “The man’s a fool,” Hal declared. “He’d better slap a ring on that finger before someone else comes along and does it for him.”
  “Not likely in Dwadlo,” Mae mused. The town itself was made up of less than a hundred residents, but other folks lived in the surrounding areas and did their banking and shopping here. Main Street consisted of the General Store, Smith’s Grain and Feed, the livery, the mortuary, the town hall and jail (which was almost always empty), Doc Swede’s office, Rosie’s Café, and an empty building that had once housed the saloon. Mae hadn’t spotted a sign on any business yet advertising “Husbands,” but she was certain her patience would eventually win out.
  With a final smile Hal moved off to pay for his goods. Mae hummed a little as she put the money box in the safe. Looking out the window, she noticed a stiff November wind snapping the red canvas awning that sheltered the store’s porch. Across the square, a large gazebo absorbed the battering wind. The usually active gathering place was now empty under a gray sky. On summer nights music played, and the smell of popcorn and roasted peanuts filled the air. Today the structure looked as though it were bracing for another winter storm. Sighing, Mae realized she already longed for green grass, blooming flowers, and warm breezes.
  After Hal left Mae finished up the last of the chores and then reached for her warm wool cape. She usually enjoyed the short walk home from work, but today she was tired—and her feet hurt because of the new boots she’d purchased from the Montgomery Ward catalog. On the page they had looked comfortable with their high tops and polished leather, but on her feet they felt like a vise.
  Slipping the cape’s hood over her hair, she said goodbye to Dale and then paused when her hand touched the doorknob. “Oh, dear. I really do need to check on Pauline again.”
  “How’s she doing?” The store owner paused and leaned on his broom. “I noticed she hasn’t been in church recently.”
  Dale always reminded Mae of an owl perching on a tree limb, his big, dark blue eyes swiveling here and there. He might not talk a body’s leg off, but he kept up on town issues. She admired the quiet little man for what he did for the community and respected the way he preached to the congregation on Sundays.
  How was Pauline doing? Mae worried the question over in her mind. Pauline lived alone, and she shouldn’t. The elderly woman was Mae’s neighbor, and she checked on her daily, but Pauline was steadily losing ground.
  “She’s getting more and more fragile, I’m afraid. Dale, have you ever heard Pauline speak of kin?”
  The small man didn’t take even a moment to ponder the question. “Never heard her mention a single word about family of any kind.”
  “Hmm…me neither. But surely she must have some.” Someone who should be here, in Dwadlo, looking after the frail soul. Mae didn’t resent the extra work, but the post office and her brother kept her busy, and she really didn’t have the right to make important decisions regarding the elderly woman’s rapidly failing health.
  Striding back to the bread rack, she picked up a fresh loaf. Dale had private rooms at the back of the store where he made his home, and he was often up before dawn baking bread, pies, and cakes for the community. Most folks in town baked their own goods, but there were a few, widowers and such, who depended on Dale’s culinary skills. By this hour of the day the goods were usually gone, but a few remained. Placing a cherry pie in her basket as well, she called, “Add these things to my account, please, Dale. And pray for Pauline too.”
  Nodding, he continued sweeping, methodically running the stiff broomcorn bristles across the warped wood floor.
  The numbing wind hit Mae full force when she stepped off the porch. Her hood flew off her head and an icy gust of air snatched away her breath. Putting down her basket, she retied the hood before setting off for the brief walk home. Dwadlo was laid out in a rather strange pattern, a point everyone agreed on. Businesses and homes were built close together, partly as shelter from the howling prairie winds and partly because there wasn’t much forethought given to town planning. Residents’ homes sat not a hundred feet from the store. The whole community encompassed less than five acres.
  Halfway to her house, snowflakes began swirling in the air. Huddling deeper into her wrap, Mae concentrated on the path as the flakes grew bigger.
  She quickly covered the short distance to Pauline’s. The dwelling was little more than a front room, tiny kitchen, and bedroom, but she was a small woman. Pauline pinned her yellow-white hair in a tight knot at the base of her skull, and she didn’t have a tooth in her head. She chewed snuff, which she freely admitted was an awful habit, but Mae had never heard her speak of giving it up.
  Her faded blue eyes were as round as buttons, and no matter what kind of day she was having, it was always a new one to her, filled with wonders. Her mind wasn’t what it used to be. She had good and bad days, but mostly days when her moods changed as swift as summer lightning. She could be talking about tomatoes in the garden patch when suddenly she would be discussing how to spin wool.
  Mae noted a soft wisp of smoke curling up from the chimney and smiled. Pauline had remembered to feed the fire this afternoon, so this was a good day.
  Unlatching the gate, she followed the path to the front porch. In summertime the white railings hung heavy with red roses, and the scent of honeysuckle filled the air. This afternoon the wind howled across the barren flower beds Pauline carefully nurtured during warmer weather. Often she planted okra where petunias should be, but she enjoyed puttering in the soil and the earth loved her. She brought fresh tomatoes, corn, and beans to the store during spring and summer, and pumpkins and squash lined the railings in the fall.
  In earlier days Pauline’s quilts were known throughout the area. She and her quilting group had made quite a name for themselves when Dwadlo first became a town. Four women excelled in the craft. One had lived in Pine Grove, and two others came from as far away as Branch Springs once a month to break bread together and stitch quilts. But one by one the women had died off, leaving Pauline to sew alone in her narrowing world.
  Stomping her boots on the porch, Mae said under her breath, “I don’t mind winter, Lord, but could we perhaps have a little less of it?” The only answer was the wind whipping her garments. Tapping lightly on the door, she called, “Pauline?”
  Mae stepped back and waited to hear the shuffle of feet. Pauline used to answer the door in less than twenty seconds. It took longer now. Mae made a fist with her gloved hand and banged a little harder. The wind howled around the cottage eaves. She closed her eyes and prayed that Jeremy had remembered to stack sufficient firewood beside the kitchen door. The boy was generally responsible, and she thanked God every day that she had him to lean on. He had been injured by forceps during birth, which left him with special needs. He was a very happy fourteen-year-old with the reasoning power of a child of nine.
  A full minute passed. Mae frowned and tried the doorknob. Pauline couldn’t hear herself yell in a churn, but she might also be asleep. The door opened easily, and Mae peeked inside the small living quarters. She saw that a fire burned low in the woodstove, and Pauline’s rocking chair sat empty.
  Stepping inside, she closed the door and called again. “Pauline? It’s Mae!”
  The ticking of the mantle clock was the only sound that met her ears.
  “Pauline?” She lowered her hood and walked through the living room. She paused in the kitchen doorway.
  “Oh, Pauline!”
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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Filed under 4 Stars, Fiction, FIRST Wild Card Tour

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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Refuge on Crescent Hill: A Novel by Melanie Dobson

Refuge on Crescent Hill: A Novel

 

My rating: 4 stars

Camden inherits the Bristow Mansion when her grandmother dies, but the house needs so many repairs and Camden is almost out of money so she doesn’t know if she can keep the house that’s been in the Bristow family for generations.

Soon though, she learns that someone is sneaking around her house – and stealing her purse! What is this person up to and what does he/she want with the house?…

I find houses that have hidden rooms or secret passageways interesting – and since ‘Refuge on Crescent Hill’ features a house that was a part of the Underground Railroad and has a secret tunnel, it’s hardly a surprise that I really enjoyed it!

To me, ‘Refuge on Crescent Hill’ was a cozy mystery (I don’t think I found anything scary, but there was a lot of mystery). It had an interesting plot and the characters themselves were intriguing.

After reading ‘Refuge on Crescent Hill’, I now look forward to reading more Melanie Dobson novels (maybe ‘The Black Cloister’?)

I recommend ‘Refuge on Crescent Hill’ if you enjoy reading mystery novels with a little romance.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion.*

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Book Review: The Economics of Ego Surplus: A Novel of Economic Terrorism by Paul McDonnold

The Economics of Ego Surplus: A Novel of Economic TerrorismThe Economics of Ego Surplus: A Novel of Economic Terrorism by Paul McDonnold

About the book:

Part action novel, part literary novel, part guidebook to economics, The Economics of Ego Surplus is the story of college instructor Kyle Linwood. Anticipating a relaxing summer with his girlfriend and his PhD dissertation, he gets recruited by the FBI to help with an obscure case of terrorist internet “chatter,” which explodes into a shocking, mysterious assault on U.S. financial markets.

As the economy melts down and a nation panics, Kyle follows a trail of clues from Dallas to New York City to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In his quest to discover the truth, he will be forced to confront the assumptions underlying his education as well as his life. But will it be enough to save America from the most brilliant terrorist plot ever conceived?

My rating: 4 Stars

I very much enjoyed ‘The Economics of Ego Surplus’ – it was interesting, thought provoking, and much better than I had anticipated.

Kyle Linwood, a college professor, helps the FBI with a case involving possible economic terrorism during his summer break.

The story was very believable and I have even found myself thinking about it when I watched the news. The story is fictional, however, ‘The Economics of Ego Surplus’ opened my eyes to economics and how the economy works.

‘The Economics of Ego Surplus’ is not labeled Christian Fiction, however, I found it to be clean and think the story was good.

I really liked and definitely recommend ‘The Economics of Ego Surplus’ if you enjoy reading suspenseful stories that are interesting and make you think!

*I received a complimentary copy from the author. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion.*


Where you can find ‘The Economics of Ego Surplus’:

Amazon

B&N

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Book Review: Cherished by Kim Cash Tate

CherishedCherished by Kim Cash Tate

My rating: ♥♥♥♥



Kelli London doesn’t think she can ever be cherished because of past mistakes. She doubts God will ever use her and thinks her dream of songwriting can never come to anything.

Heather Anderson – she had an affair with a married man and now with a drummer for a christian band – only to find out that he has a girlfriend (soon to be fiance) and that she is just a fling…she feels like a tramp and wonders if she can ever be truly remade and cherished.

I really liked ‘Cherished’. The story was great and the characters held my attention. I loved the Gospel message throughout and I think it dealt with an issue a lot of people deal with – guilt.

Kelli had an abortion years ago and still lived with the guilt. Heather, after her one-night-stand, realized how in need of Jesus she is and how God will forgive her (Matthew 12:31). But when confronted by Ace (the drummer) she starts to see herself again as who she was, until Logan reminds her that she is a NEW creation

2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (KJV)

I found out that there is a first book with a lot of the same characters – ‘Faithful‘ – and I plan to read that book as well, because it sounds really good.

I recommend ‘Cherished’ if you enjoy reading stories that show the Gospel message throughout or need assurance of God’s grace.

*Much thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing me a complimentary ebook copy of ‘Cherished’ through their review program ‘Booksneeze’!*

Click ‘read’ to read an except.









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Product details:
  • Page Count: 336
  • Retail Price: $15.99
  • ISBN: 1595548556
  • ISBN-13: 9781595548559
  • Style#: 9781595548559
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Filed under 4 Stars, Fiction, Kim Cash Tate, Reviews, Thomas Nelson