Thursday, July 31, 2014

When I Fall In Love by Susan May Warren

About the Book
Hawaii was the last place Grace Christiansen ever imagined she’d vacation, much less fall in love. But when her family surprises her with a cooking retreat in paradise, she is pulled—or maybe yanked—away from her predictable, safe life and thrown headfirst into the adventure of a lifetime.
Max Sharpe may make his living on the ice as a pro hockey player, but he feels most at home in the kitchen. Which is why he lives for the three-week culinary vacation he takes each year in Hawaii. Upon being paired with Grace for a cooking competition, Max finds himself drawn to her passion, confidence, and perseverance. But just when Grace dares to dream of a future beyond her hometown, Max pulls away.
Wrestling with personal demons, Max fights against opening his heart to a love he knows he should never hope for. And as his secrets unfold, Grace is torn between the safe path in front of her and what her heart truly desires. If love means sacrificing her ideal happily ever after, Grace’s faith will face its toughest test yet.
Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/z5Ijj

My Thoughts
This book was amazing! I absolutely hated putting it down and had it finished in less than 24 hours, despite being entirely busy that day. The story was just so completely amazing and totally had me sucked in from the first page until the very last! Of course that always happens with Susan May Warren's novels!
I loved Grace! She was so like me in a lot of ways and it was so cool to watch her blossom as the story progressed. And Max, Max was so stinkin' awesome! I loved the way he brought Grace out of her shell, they were the perfect mix. My heart broke for what he had to face and the life he forced himself to live because of it (trying to avoid spoilers here!).
The whole cooking aspect of the story was really fun even though I probably wouldn't eat most of the things that were being prepared!
It was also great to hang out with the Christiansen gang again and to see Derek and Ivy, and Jace and Eden's relationships progressing! I loved the look we got into Casper's story and I absolutely cannot wait for his book to come out! He's kinda been in the background until now and he is promising to be a fantastic hero!
So yeah I totally adored this book! I stayed up late, read while riding to church, and skipped my Sunday afternoon nap just so I could read more! If I hadn't of had church in the morning I'm pretty sure I'd have read it in one sitting! It's that good! You should definitely check out this series but make sure you read them in order, their better that way!
Tour Landing Page

Meet the Author
Growing up in Minneapolis and attending the U of MN, I learned to love city life, although I'm a woodsy girl at heart. Or maybe I'm an adventurer -- having lived and traveled all over the world, including Siberia Russia as a missionary for eight years. Probably that's why my characters can't sit still, and seem to get into one scrape after another -- they're too much like me! I love God, my family, my country, my church, and feel privileged every day to be able to write stories, that I hope inspire and entertain!
Find Susan online: website, My Book Therapy, Twitter, Facebook

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.



Susan May Warren's newest book in the Christiansen Family Collection, When I Fall In Love,  has won over readers' and critics' hearts alike. With critical reviews like, ". . . an exquisite romance. Profoundly touching on the topic of facing fears, this book is a true gem," and more than 60 five-star reviews at Amazon, When I Fall in Love is sure to please.

Susan has teamed up with some amazing food bloggers for a fun food challenge and a KitchenAid Mixer giveaway!
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  One grand prize winner will receive:
Grab your aprons and wire whisks and buzz on over to the When I Fall in Love website to learn more and enter the Hawaiian Chef Showdown! Susan is challenging you to make a Hawaiian-inspired dish using coconut, mango, or one of the other ingredients mentioned in the book. You’ll get extra points for creating your own recipe—plus she might share it on the When I Fall in Love site! Or if you're not up for an adventure in the kitchen just click one of the icons below for easy entry.

Hurry, the giveaway ends on August 10th. All winners will be announced August 13th at Susan's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Susan's blog on the 13th to see if you won!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #123: With Every Breath

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases that we're
eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden
Bethany House-August 5, 2014

About the Book
In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston's respectable life as a government worker is disrupted by an encounter with the insufferable Trevor McDonough, the one man she'd hoped never to see again. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and business is the only reason he has sought her out now. 
Despite her misgivings, Kate agrees to Trevor's risky proposal to join him in his work to find a cure for tuberculosis. As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor's past, his hidden depths fascinate her. However, a shadowy enemy lies in wait and Trevor's closely guarded secrets are darker than she ever suspected.

As revelations from the past threaten to destroy their careers, their dreams, and even their lives, Trevor and Kate find themselves in a painfully impossible situation. With everything to lose, they must find the strength to trust that hope and love can prevail over all.

Why I Want It
I have enjoyed this author's previous books and I'm looking forward to this one!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Top Ten Authors I Own the Most Books From

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

#1. Susan May Warren (42)
#2. Melody Carlson (37)
#3. Mary Connealy (19)
#4. Dee Henderson (16)
#5. Irene Hannon (12)
#6. Lisa T. Bergen (11)
#7. Kaye Dacus (11)
#8. Lori Wick (11)
#9. Janette Oke (10)
#10. Julie Lessman (9)

Honorable Mentions
Ronie Kendig (9)
Jenny B. Jones (9)
Deeanne Gist (9)
Denise Hunter (9)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Bout of Books 11: Sign-Up

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

So excited to participate in this read-a-thon! I'm really hoping I will have a rather empty week but I can't be sure so I'm going to save my goals for later!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #132

 Hosted By: Book Journey

Here is what I finished last week:
I had a pretty great week of reading! As it started I thought I'd have a lot of reading time but as the week got busier I began to wonder if I would get many at all! There were shopping days, babysitting, company, and the icing on the cake, my second niece was born! I am already in love with her and she is absolutely adorable! Her name is Mia Claire and here is proof of her cuteness!

What I am currently reading:
I just finished When I Fall in Love and haven't gotten a chance to start another one!

What I hope to read this week:
SO excited about these two! Hoping to get these two finished but with a full work week and who knows what else, I may only be able to finish one!

Blog Posts
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #131
Top Ten Characters I'd Want With Me On A Deserted Island
Waiting on Wednesday #122: Prelude for a Lord
Firewall by DiAnn Mills
Mindwar by Andrew Klavan

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

About the Book
A mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz—and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.
Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl—a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.
In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover, the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul, who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together, Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting's subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.
A darling of the Austrian aristocracy, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.
As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: in the grim camps of Auschwitz and in the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.
Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/zhXo3

My Thoughts
It is hard to put this book into words that will fully capture it, but here is my attempt. Every word of this book was beautiful! I was swept away and didn't want to return. I loved how it was both a WWII story and a modern day one and was very impressed with how seamlessly the author went from one to the other. Both stories were wonderful but I'm not gonna lie, Adele's was my favorite, and not only because WWII is my favorite time period. Her story was both heartbreaking and beautiful. All of the things she had to endure and was forced to watch others endure, were absolutely horrible, but through it all she clung to God and found the strength to survive. Also her and Vladimer's love story was so sweet!
As for Sera, I enjoyed her and William's search for the painting of Adele, and even though their romance seemed a little fast I still loved it. I really liked how William was the opposite of what you expected when you first met him and instead of the hard businessman he was a man of hidden depths.
In short, this book was absolutely amazing and I highly recommend picking up a copy of your own so you can discover it's beauty for yourself! I can't wait to see what else this author has in store for us!
Blog Tour Landing Page

Meet the Author
Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with the WWII Era since hearing her grandfather's stories of his experiences as a B-17 co-pilot in the war. She writes WWII and Regency Era Christian fiction titles, which placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations & 2012 FCRW Beacon contests, and finaled in the 2013 Lauries. THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN, Book One in the Hidden Masterpiece series on the prisoner camp art of the Holocaust, released from Thomas Nelson Publishers in July 2014. A SPARROW IN TEREZIN (Hidden Masterpiece #2) will release in April, 2015.
She's a proud Hoosier, living in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good Christian fiction read.
Find Kristy online: website, Facebook, Twitter

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Welcome to the launch campaign for debut novelist Kristy Cambron's The Butterfly and the Violin. Romantic Times had this to say: "Alternating points of view skillfully blend contemporary and historical fiction in this debut novel that is almost impossible to put down. Well-researched yet heartbreaking. . . ."

Kristy is celebrating the release of the first book in her series, A Hidden Masterpiece, with a fun Kindle Fire giveaway and meeting her readers during an August 7th Facebook author chat party.


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 One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 7th. Winner will be announced at The Butterfly and the Violin Author Chat Party. Kristy will be connecting with readers and answering questions, sharing some of the fascinating research behind the book, hosting a fun book chat, and giving away some GREAT prizes. She will also be giving an exclusive look at the next book in the series, A Sparrow in Terezin!

So grab your copy of The Butterfly and the Violin and join Kristy on the evening of August 7th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 7th!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Memes 7/25

Book Blogger Hop

The Question:
Do you like to read books with a theme such as Halloween, Christmas, etc?

My Answer:
I'm pretty neutral on this subject. If the plot sounds good it really doesn't make a difference to me if there is a theme or not. That being said if the book does have a holiday theme I like to save it to read around that holiday!


Hosted by: Rose City Reader

"Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name."

"Is this it?" Sera James bounded through the front doors of the Manhattan gallery, so excited that she nearly slipped for running across the hardwood floor in her heels. She came to a flustered stop in front of the large canvas hanging on the back wall. Breathless, she asked, "You've confirmed-this is her?"
The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

My Thoughts
I love how this beginning gets you excited without knowing what you are excited about! The author did a fantastic job of making you feel the anticipation!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mindwar by Andrew Klavan

About the Book
When Rick lost the ability to run, he came one step closer to becoming a hero.
New High Score! New Record Time!
Rick nodded with grim satisfaction. He laid the game controller aside on the sofa and reached for his crutches.
Rick Dial was the best quarterback Putnam Hills High School had ever seen. Unflappable. Unstoppable. Number 12. But when a car accident left him crippled, Rick’s life as he knew it ended. He disavowed his triumphant past. He ignored his girlfriend. He disappeared into his bedroom—and into the glowing video screen.
But Rick’s uncanny gaming skills have attracted attention. Dangerous attention. Government agents have uncovered a potentially devastating cyber-threat: a Russian genius has created a digital reality called the Realm, from which he can enter, control, and disrupt American computer systems . . . from transportation to defense. The agents want Rick, quick-thinking quarterback and gaming master, to enter the Realm and stop the madman—before he sends America into chaos.
Entering the Realm will give Rick what he thought he’d never have again: a body as strong and fast as it was before the accident. But this is no game, there are no extra lives, and what happens to Rick in the Realm happens to Rick’s body in reality.

Even after Rick agrees to help, he can’t shake the sense that he’s being kept in the dark. Why would a government agency act so aggressively? Can anyone inside the Realm be trusted? How many others have entered before him . . . and failed to return?

My Thoughts
As with all Andrew Klavan's novels, this book was packed with adventure and action that didn't seem to let up. The whole concept of the story was really unique and interesting. I'm not into video games so I didn't really connect to that aspect but it was still a great read.
I liked Rick's character and admired his willingness to put his life at risk for his country. His little brother was especially cute and I was very proud of the way that Rick did his best to control his surliness around him.
There's not much else I can say without giving away things but I will say I enjoyed this book and think others, especially teenage boys, will too! Can't wait for book two!

Meet the Author
Andrew Klavan has been nominated for the Mystery Writer of America's Edgar award five times and won twice. He is the author of several bestselling novels, including Don't Say A Word, filmed starring Michael Douglas, True Crime, filmed by Clint Eastwood, and Empire of Lies. He is currently writing a series of thrillers for young adults called The Homelanders. The first two novels in the series are The Last Thing I Remember and The Long Way Home. Klavan is a contributing editor to City Journal and his essays have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, among other places. His satiric video commentaries can be seen on PJTV.com.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Firewall by DiAnn Mills

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Firewall
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (July 1, 2014)
by
DiAnn Mills

MY THOUGHTS:
This book started with page-turning action and didn't let up until the end! As soon as I started it I was sucked in and hated to put it down. There were so many twists and turns that I didn't see coming at all and you could never be sure who you could trust and who you couldn't. One thing I especially appreciated was how at the beginning when the FBI believe Taryn is involved in everything the author made that a plausible assumption. Often in books the main character will be suspected of something that makes no sense for them to be, but in this one I could totally see how they came to the conclusion that she had something to do with it even though she didn't.
I really liked both Taryn and Grayson's characters and all their different attributes, including bravery, smarts, patriotism, loyalty, and quick thinking. My favorite character though was definitely Grayson's uncle Joe. He brought to mind both Mike Franks from NCIS and Joe White from Hawaii Five-O. He had that same type of personality, full of wisdom, humor, strength, care, and good-natured gruffness!
Overall I really enjoyed this book though the one problem I had was that occasionally things didn't flow as well as they could have and things just felt a little forced which caused a bit of a disconnect for me. That being said it didn't affect my end opinion that this is a fantastic book that I definitely recommend!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
DiAnn Mills believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” She is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels. Her books have won many awards through American Christian Fiction Writers, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005, 2007, and 2010. She was a Christy Award finalist in 2008 and a Christy winner in 2010.
DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and is the Craftsman Mentor for the Christian Writer’s Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops.
DiAnn and her husband live in Houston, Texas. Visit her website or find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/diannmills


ABOUT THE BOOK
After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they’re both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn’t who he appears to be.

Agent Grayson Hall’s number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day’s act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. Is her naiveté just for show, or could she truly be another victim of a master scheme, possibly linked to the software she recently developed for her company?

With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Firewall, go HERE.

Waiting on Wednesday #122: Prelude for a Lord

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases that we're
eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Prelude for a Lord by Camille Elliot
Zondervan-August 5, 2014

About the Book
An awkward young woman. A haunted young man. A forbidden instrument. Can the love of music bring them together . . . or will it tear them apart?
Bath, England—1810
At twenty-eight, Alethea Sutherton is past her prime for courtship; but social mores have never been her forté. She might be a lady, but she is first and foremost a musician.
In Regency England, however, the violin is considered an inappropriate instrument for a lady. Ostracized by society for her passion, Alethea practices in secret and waits for her chance to flee to the Continent, where she can play without scandal. 
But when a thief’s interest in her violin endangers her and her family, Alethea is determined to discover the enigmatic origins of her instrument . . . with the help of the dark, brooding Lord Dommick.
Scarred by war, Dommick finds solace only in playing his violin. He is persuaded to help Alethea, and discovers an entirely new yearning in his soul. 

Alethea finds her reluctant heart drawn to Dommick in the sweetest of duets . . . just as the thief’s desperation builds to a tragic crescendo . . .

Why I Want It
This book sounds entirely enjoyable and I know the author is good!