Sunday, August 17, 2014

A shocking surprise that will leave you breathless...

::From the back of the book::
In a world where global power has shifted east and revolution is brewing, two women embark on vastly different journeys—each harrowing and urgent and wholly unexpected.

When Meena finds snakebites on her chest, her worst fears are realized: someone is after her and she must flee India.  As she plots her exit, she learns of The Trail, an energy-harvesting bridge spanning the Arabian Sea that has become a refuge for itinerant vagabonds and loners on the run.  This is her salvation.  Slipping out in the cover of night, with a knapsack full of supplies including a pozit GPS system, a scroll reader, and a sealable waterproof pod, she sets off for Ethiopia, the place of her birth.

Meanwhile, Mariama, a young girl in Africa, is forced to flee her home.  She joins up with a caravan of misfits heading across the Sahara. She is taken in by Yemaya, a beautiful and enigmatic woman who becomes her protector and confidante. They are trying to reach Addis Abba, Ethiopia, a metropolis swirling with radical politics and rich culture.  But Mariama will find a city far different than she ever expected—romantic, turbulent, and dangerous.

As one heads east and the other west, Meena and Mariama’s fates are linked in ways that are mysterious and shocking to the core.

::My Thoughts::
I have to admit, upon first beginning this book it wasn't my favorite. I was having trouble following along with the story and it was difficult to understand. However, it somehow still kept my interest. Now that I've finished the book I am glad it held my interest because once I got further along I understood a lot more. It was such a shock of a read, and I highly recommend it if you like being surprised.
The two separate story lines aren't hard to follow after you read for awhile.
This book is set in the future, and the author does a wonderful job of creating each character. Not one blended in with another, and they are all individual.
My favorite thing about this book is that it is unlike any other book I have ever read. I honestly cannot compare this book to another. As it is the author's first novel also I think she not only did a wonderful job, but we have much more to look forward to from her! It was shocking, unpredictable, and compelling. There were some factors I did not like about the book. Without giving too much away I will just say the part I didn't like was one major inappropriate "relationship" involving Mariama.
Meena is an incredibly strong but paranoid character. I did admire her determination and strength. I did feel very bad for her throughout the novel because of her insane hallucinations and beliefs. But without it the novel could not have been as thrilling.
I say if you want a read that will shock you to your core, and leave you on the edge give this one a try! Just beware, this book is definitely not for the faint of heart.

::To purchase this book::
Kindle   Nook   Paperback   Audible   Hardcover

::Book Details::
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (May 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804138842
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804138840

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a Blogging For Books reviewer. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Woman of Courage by Wanda Brunstetter

::Description from the back of the book::
Take a three-thousand mile journey with Amanda Pearson as she leaves the disgrace of a broken engagement and enters the work of a Quaker mission in the western wilds. The trip is fraught with danger, and Amanda is near death before reaching her destination. Among those she meets are an Indian woman who becomes her first convert and a half-Indian trapper who seems to be her biggest critic. But love follows her into the wilderness and will determine the course of her future. You are sure to enjoy this historical romance adventure from New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter.

::My Thoughts::
This was a great and adventurous book. I do wish Amanda would have let loose a bit more in the sense of expressing her feelings. She is a determine, courageous, strong young woman. More than often though it was as if she should have addressed certain emotions but just bottled them up or pushed them aside. It was a tad frustrating. Buck was one of my favorite characters. Having been through so much he doesn't trust easily, and that makes it all the more intriguing. To wonder how his character will end up, and to learn more about him as the story goes on.
The descriptions and scenes were very well written. They were accurate for the date and time setting of the book, and that comes greatly appreciated by me. I can sometimes be one of those types of readers who appreciates everything being as accurate as possible.
It was also really nice to find a character that had an unshakable faith in God. No matter what obstacles were thrown in Amanda's path, (and believe me there are many), she didn't bat an eye with her beliefs. That was so heartwarming. And I love that the author used Quaker language with a mix of the more modern. 
The facts about Native American's were also a good throw in for this novel, and Mary was one of my other favorite characters. She had an open mind, loving heart, and genuine spirit.
I really think this would make a great series so I'm going to be keeping my eye out. It's so hard to try to predict what turn the story will take next. I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation flying through the pages many times. It was an enjoyable read. If you enjoy romance, adventure, and historical novels I recommend this book.

::Interested in purchasing this book?::
Paperback   Kindle   Nook   Hardcover   MP3 CD   Audible

Friday, July 25, 2014

Willie Out West

Willie Out West is about a young walrus who just isn't satisfied with his seemingly boring life. Believing he never gets to do anything fun he sulks until an unexpected visitor arrives seeking his help. Eager to get out of the day to day life he leads Willie sets out into the west for some adventure. Facing fears, meeting new friends, and finding himself in an unexpected situation Willie realizes that maybe his day to day life isn't so bad.

I thought this was a cute story for children. It teaches a good lesson of being happy with what you have, and also the grass isn't always greener on the other side. It's great to have a fun story to show kids that just because you think your life is a little boring from time to time adventure isn't always that fun, and you should be grateful and thankful for the life you have.
My kids liked the story. They were more drawn in with the illustrations rather than the story itself but they are also 6 and 3 so maybe that was somewhat of a factor in that. It was still a fun read, and they did take a little lesson from it which is good. Most importantly they did have fun reading it.

::Product Details:: 
E-Book (available as ePub, Mobi, and PDF files)
Print Type:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this e-book as a BookLook blogger, however, all opinions expressed are solely my own.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Coppertone Clearly Sheer

I was really impressed with the Coppertone ClearlySheer Sunscreen line. I mostly enjoyed the:
Coppertone ClearlySheer for Beach & Pool with SPF 50. It was by far my favorite out of the whole line. While I did like them all I much prefer a higher SPF, and the spray is so easy to apply. My kids also thought it was a lot of fun when applying. It simply sprays on and with a quick rub absorbs into the skin in seconds. It is water resistant for 80 minutes. It's easy to transport and the bottle I had the cap closed so it wouldn't randomly spray in our beach bag. It has a very light scent to it, and nothing overpowering. It's clinically proven not to cause breakouts which is just perfect for my family as we all have very sensitive skin. It's nice to find a product that won't break the bank but gives you all the perks! I also love that it has moisturizer's in it and that leaves your skin feeling smooth and fresh while still giving you the protection you need.

I also loved the Sunny Days sunscreens:
While my favorite is definitely the Beach and Pool spray I also liked this one. The only thing I didn't like about it is that the SPF only goes as high as 30 and a higher SPF is always a factor for us since we spend a lot of time outside in the sun. Still it has a light clean feel on your skin, won't cause breakouts, and is hypoallergenic which is a huge plus. You can wear this on those barely sunny days, and it is also fast absorbing.
I definitely recommend you at least trying these products out to form your own opinion. I think you will probably end up liking them as much as we did.
I am so thankful that I got the chance to try these products out as a BzzAgent. :)

Disclaimer: I received samples of the products I tried above for free to try as a BzzAgent. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

50 Things You Need To Know About Heaven

I was drawn to this book by the title. We are all curious about heaven. What it will be like, who will be there, what we will do there, how we get there, what it will look like, etc. The questions are endless. What we sometimes do not realize is that the Bible is filled with many answers to our questions. This book takes those passages and deciphers them into easy to understand explanations.

This book is very easy to read, and very thorough. The author references more than one translation of the Bible, and even gives additional references at the end of each chapter that you can study more in depth on your own if you so choose.
This is a book that you can read cover to cover, or just simply find the question you want answered in the table of contents and read the answer. Of course while this book does not answer all the questions you may have about the Bible it does have fifty which is quite a bit. It also goes to show that the answer to all of our questions are in the Bible waiting for us to find them and decipher them. In the meantime this book is a great starting point for any curious person to gain some answers.
There are a few personal assumptions in this book from the author but for the most part this book stays on track with Scripture. We are all going to make our own assumptions from time to time anyway, and it is always refreshing to hear another person's opinion here and there.
This book is wonderful for many curious individuals which is also a must for a great book. It can apply to Christians, those curious about Christianity, etc.
I loved that I was able to study topics I hadn't even given thought to. Some of the fifty questions I was already curious about while some I hadn't even thought about, and was relieved to see.
The author does not lecture or try to persuade you in anything in this book but rather sticks to what is gained from the Bible. I felt that this is a very well researched, very wonderfully written book good for anyone to read. I recommend it to everyone, and especially the fellow Christians out there such as myself always hungry for more information.

::Book Details::
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (June 3, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764211668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764211669

::About the Author::
Dr. John Hart (ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary; ThD, Grace Theological Seminary) is Professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute, and he is the author of Demonology and the Mission Field. Dr. Hart lives in Valparaiso, Indiana.

::This book is also available in::    Paperback    Kindle    Nook 

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Face to Face with Jesus by Samaa Habib and Bodie Thoene

This book left me in awe and opened my eyes in more than one way. About a young Muslim girl who finds herself in the middle of her countries Civil War life is not easy. Sunni and Shia Muslims are at war with each other and many suffer. Prominent families lose their status and wealth. They have to burn their furniture to keep warm, and many die from the cold. Food is scarce and many kill wild dogs or worse just to eat. There are bread lines but they are often fruitless and citizens are told there is no more bread to give despite standing outside for hours.
During one of these times in the bread line a commotion begins and an angry mob begins fighting. Gunshots are fired, people are trampled and Samaa finds herself praying to God. By some miracle she is spared when she could have been dead. More so they were lucky enough to get bread. Realizing that none of her prayers were ever answered by Allah Samaa starts realizing there is more to this God than she knows, and she yearns to know more.
Craving Jesus she begins finding out more and more on Christianity. She finds herself at some of their services, she begins Tae Kwon Do classes taught by Christians, and she begins to absorb all the knowledge she can. With that knowledge comes an unshakable faith that Samaa did not quite expect, and the hold she has always carried within her closes up.
Loving her new relationship with God she yearns to share His love with others, especially her family. Tentatively she starts spreading the news to others. Despite persecution, despite others throwing rocks at her, and her own family beating her Samaa does not give up. Slowly her loved ones begin transforming and Samaa realizes this is only the beginning of her journey.
An explosion at her church where she was a victim goes further to prove her theory that there is much more for her to do for Jesus in the world.

This book is not for the faint of heart. This is a real story of one young woman's harrowing experience in a land where freedom of religion is not accepted, and where all Christians are considered traitors. It is heart-breaking, heart-warming, and will send you on a roller coaster. It will leave you breathless and you cannot help but to sit at the edge of your seat. The difference between this book and many others is this is one young girl's TRUE accounting of what happened to her, her family, and her land.
I was left awed by this book. I was encouraged by Samaa's unflinching faith and I believe every encounter she detailed in this book. It is sometimes hard for us to accept such strong emotions and miracles. Sometimes it is easy for our minds to shed doubt on such things because certain circumstances are incomprehensible to us.  For me I loved this story and am grateful it was shared. I just know this book will go on to change lives, and I am thankful to have had the chance to read it. I have been recommending this book left and right, and will continue to do so. It woke me up even further to a lot of the issues pressing on Christians in other countries. Samaa's story is one of courage, faith, love, hope, determination, and the strength of Jesus. It just goes to show when we have Jesus on our side anything is possible.

::Book Details::
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Chosen Books (June 3, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800795792
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800795795

::Purchase this book::    Paperback    Kindle    Nook

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Chosen Books in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Silenced by Dani Pettrey

I LOVE this book. It was filled with so much suspense that I just didn't want to put it down. From the beginning to the end I was at the edge of my seat!
Before I go any further I will give you some details about the book.

::Taken from the back of the book::
Jake Knew Something Was Wrong.
But He Never Guessed 
How Wrong. 

A relaxing day of rock climbing takes a disturbing turn when Kayden McKenna's route brings her face-to-face with a dead climber. Is it a terrible accident or something darker? When the case is handed to overburdened sheriff Landon Grainger, he turns to Jake Westin for help. With Jake's past now revealed, he's ready to use his talent for investigation again--but he could never prepare for where the mystery will take him.
Kayden's climbing expertise soon leads her and Jake to the realization that the death was no accident. And worse, it seems the killer is onto them. When strange things begin happening in Yancey, Jake is terrified that once again his world may put someone he loves in danger. But the truth is far worse than he could ever imagine. 

::My Thoughts::
As I said I was captured by this book. There is definitely suspense from beginning to end.
The author draws you into her novel and the words easily flow and hold you. Everything is so very well explained, and all scenes are created in just a way as if you feel as if you are right there alongside the characters!
What I loved most about this book was the twist and turns in suspense! I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that this book doesn't leave you wanting for more mystery and suspense. I literally found myself on the edge of my seat, sitting straight up in bed, holding my breath, and chewing on my lip at times I was so nervous and captured!
I also found myself frustrated while reading this book mainly because Kayden and Jake each in their own way was just so stubborn! I wanted to shake them and give them a good talking to. They are each attracted to each other, but neither will act on their feelings. It is so frustrating to see romance and sparks between two characters only for them not to act on it because of their own ridiculous reasons. Jake knows that Kayden is emotionally unavailable and believes she has no interest in him. Because of this and his past he fears telling her how he really feels will push her away so he keeps it to himself.
Kayden will simply not allow herself to feel. Terrified because of the loss of her parents due to health reasons she doesn't want to feel that type of pain again nor does she want to inflict that kind of pain on anyone. Despite the fact she is giving up love and personal happiness she is determined to go it alone and live the healthiest lifestyle she can.
Another wonderful aspect of this book is the closeness of the McKenna siblings and friends. They all hold faith in God and stick together in unimaginable ways. I fell in love with all of them in my own way. And to see God so strong in not just a few but many of the characters lives was so refreshing. Not to mention all the characters have such a strong personality each their own! No character melts into the next, and each is interestingly unique. I can't wait to go back and read the other books in this series to find out about more of the characters, and I especially can't wait to read the next book after this one. I'm hoping it tells more on Reef and Kayden and Jake. I was definitely left wanting more.
I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more information on Conrad Humphries death. I was really wanting more information on that. I can't go into specific details on that because I don't want to spoil anything.
Even though this is Book 4 in the Alaskan Courage series it does well as a stand alone book. All the characters are present, but this is more of Kayden and Jake's story. You get snippets of the other characters which makes you want to go back and read the other books dealing with their individual stories. Each of the novels are centered around suspense so you know they are all going to be page turners.
I urge you to give this book a read. Go out and get it and read it as fast as you can! :)

::Book Details::
  • Series: Alaskan Courage (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764211951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764211959

::Purchase this book as::   Paperback   Kindle   Nook   Audible

Disclaimer:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
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