Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Map of Fates by Maggie Hall ~ Waiting on Wednesday

WOW is a weekly meme spotlighting soon to be released books hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick this week ... 

  • ISBN-10: 0399166513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399166518

Release Date: March 8, 2016


Two Weeks...

That’s how long it took for Avery West’s ordinary life to change forever. In two weeks, she discovered she was heiress to a powerful secret society known as the Circle, learned her mother was taken hostage by the Circle’s enemies, and fell for a boy she's not allowed to love, just as she found out another was her unwelcome destiny.

Now Avery crosses oceans in private jets to hunt for clues that will uncover the truth about the Circle, setting her mom and herself free before it's too late. By her side are both the boys: Jack—steady, loyal, and determined to help her even at the expense of his own duty—and Stellan, whose connection to Avery grows stronger by the day, making her question what she believes at every turn.
But at the end of a desperate hunt from the islands of Greece to the red carpet at Cannes comes a discovery that not only changes everything, but could bring the whole world to its knees. And now Avery is forced to face the truth: In the world of the Circle, no one is what they seem.

Bookish Things I Am Very Thankful For ~ Top Ten Tuesday 2015

                     Hosted by The Broke And Bookish

This week's post is all about  bookish things that I am Thankful for (Listed in no particular order) ...

1. Books were a very dear life-line during my childhood and teenage years. They provided me with comfort and joy. A chance to grow my imagination and explore the world (and universe) through the books I read. To this day books remain a constant joy in my life and I am so thankful for them!

2. I am thankful for my Jr. High Librarian who took me under her wing, saved new books for me to read and suggested other books for reading. She encouraged me to expand my reading to classics and other genres. She definitely was a positive influence towards my love of libraries, books and reading! 

3. I am so grateful for my children and sharing the gift of reading with them. It warms my heart to see them loving to read, enjoying books and watching their individual reading preferences develop over the years. What a true delight! 

4.  I am thankful for those life changing "light bulb" moments when I have read a passage or sentence in a book that has profound meaning and impact on my life. These type of moments are rare (I can count them on one hand) but they have occurred several times in my life and usually  with the most unlikely of books! God has a way of getting His message across to me even when I may be trying to avoid issues and I am so grateful that He does. 

5. I am thankful for my bookish friends. For me there is only one thing better than reading a book ...  it's sharing and discussing it with other book lovers!  

What Bookish Things Are You Thankful for? 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Heart's Journey by Kristen McKendry

  • ISBN-10: 1680471260
  • ISBN-13: 978-1680471267


Adventure is in her blood, so when wealthy eighteen year old Rachel Hamilton’s treasure hunting father disappears in the wilderness of British Columbia, she considers only one course of action: she will embark on a quest to find him. But for a well bred woman with little understanding of the world beyond her upper class existence, the harsh realities of the trail quickly become apparent. Woefully unprepared for the hardships of crossing a wild and unsettled continent, Rachel is hungry, lost, and distraught when handsome frontiersman Peter finds her in the middle of nowhere. 

Taking pity on the downtrodden young woman, Peter promises to escort her to the safety of civilization. Little does he realize he’s taking on a naïve and foolishly brave girl who will test the limits of his patience. But he also discovers the same naïve girl will blossom into a strong, competent, and captivating woman as they undertake an epic journey that will forever alter both their lives.

{ My Review}

Heart's Journey by Kristen McKendry is a historical novel full of clean romance and strong faith. It is a relaxing historical fiction read.  

 Unfortunately, Heart's Journey just didn't resonate with me.  I had a hard time connecting with the story and the characters. I thought the premise of the book ~ an 18 year old girl traveling from Canada to the west by herself to join  wagon train and actually making it to the wagon train ~ was just a bit too far fetched. I couldn't let go of this fact and unfortunately, it affected my enjoyment of the rest of the story.  

Ms. McKendry has talent and Heart's Journey is getting some rave reviews. Please check this book out for yourselves and make your own decision. 

2 Stars

Thank you to Covenant Communications Inc. and Netgalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Wonderful Family Advent Book ~ Ishtar's Odyssey: A Family Story For Advent by Arnold Ytreeide

  • ISBN-10: 0825443938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825443930


A new Advent family devotional from the author of Jotham’s Journey! Fourth in a set of Advent adventure books for families, Ishtar’s Odyssey follows the ten-year-old son of a Persian wise man as their caravan follows a star across the desert. Ishtar would just as soon stay in the comfort of the palace, but slowly he learns that there’s much to see, do, and learn in this world that can’t be experienced in school. He eventually meets Jotham, Bartholomew, and Tabitha as he follows his father and uncles in their search for a newborn king.

Arnold Ytreeide’s family advent devotionals have become a much-loved Christmas tradition, enjoyed by multiple generations. With over 100,000 in print they include Jotham’s JourneyBartholomew’s Passage, and Tabitha’s Travels.

Ishtar's Odyssey: A Family Story for Advent by Arnold Ytreeide is the fourth in his Advent book series but it can be read as a stand alone book or as part of the series.

It is a historical fiction book that is strongly based on Biblical truths, Bible verses and of course, the story of Christ's birth. Mr. Ytreeide has brought history to life through this book (and series) that the whole family will enjoy as an Advent devotional.

The story is  divided into short chapters  to be read aloud for each day of Advent. After each chapter there is a short summation by the author with end of chapter "thinking points" that can be used to discuss what was just read aloud. He also includes a Bible verse for each day as well. 

There are suggestions throughout the book that can be used to help bring the story "to life" even more. There is a list of Persian food that Isthar ate during his journey next to a "comparable meal for today" as well. At the back of the book there is a list of dates for "Advent through the years" that I think is extremely helpful. 

All in all, Ishtar's Odyssey is a wonderful story and devotional that parents, children and families can share together to experience and celebrate the wonder and joy of the Advent season! 

5 Stars!

Thank you to Kregel publishing for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Patterns of Change by Terri Dulong

  • ISBN-10: 1601835523
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601835529

Release Date ~ November 24, 2015


Chloe Radcliffe was ready to shake the dust of Cedar Key off her feet and sink her toes into the warm sands of Ormond Beach with her soon-to-be husband. But when tragedy struck, she found herself alone, unraveled—and unsure where she belonged…

A series of vivid dreams of a Victorian house with a beautiful fishpond convince Chloe to take a leap of faith and rent a condo in Ormond Beach. There, she makes fast friends with a group of knitters and the owner of a tea shop, who also happens to have a house nearly identical to the one in Chloe’s dreams—and she’s willing to rent her the property. 

Just as Chloe begins casting on her grand plans for the home, her tangled past comes back to haunt her—but her dreams and new-found friends just might point her toward the love she’s been missing all along…

Patterns of Change by Terri Dulong is a relaxing read that I quite enjoyed. The story was interesting and well written with believable characters. The story line was  engaging  though a bit fantastical but what is romance without a bit of fantasy and dreaming?  

Ms. Dulong's ability to capture the essence of the joys and challenges women face in their lives as well as portray so accurately the complexity and joy of the friendships we build with each other is one of the things that I most enjoyed with this book. 

In an effort for full disclosure, this romance novel contains issues of date rape and pre-marital relations though the author has addressed these issues with sensitivity and subtlety.   

3 Stars

Thank you to Lyrical Press and Netgalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.