Sunday, December 17, 2017

Monsterland by Michael Okon

Monsterland

From Goodreads.com:  Welcome to Monsterland, the scariest place on earth.

When world markets are decimated by a crippling plague, philanthropist, and billionaire businessman, Vincent Konrad decides to place monsters in a theme park setting to promote education and tolerance. Copper Valley is chosen as the primary site for the park in the United States.

Wyatt Baldwin, a high school senior is dying to go to the opening and when he lands special passes to the park, he and his friends are expecting the experience of a lifetime.
After all, in a theme park where real zombies, werewolves, and vampires are the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?
 

My Take:  This book was ok.  It was a bit slow in parts and reminded me of other stories is parts.   The scene with the entrance into the park reminded me of Jurassic Park.  Actually the whole story reminded me of Jurassic Park only with Zombies, Werewolves and Vampires instead of Dinosaurs.  There were a few comedic parts but the tone of the book was mostly ominous.  They called Zombies vitality challenged.  One character was named Howard Drucker and was called by his full name whenever he was refered too.  I kept thinking of him as Howard the Duck for some reason.  The transitions between characters were a bit confusing at times.  I think this book is mostly targeted toward YA but I think an adult should read it first before letting anyone less than 16 read it.  There are a few curse words and of course some gore but overall I don't think it was to terrible in those departments but I do feel a parent should be discerning.  If you enjoy reading about monsters you would probably enjoy this book.  

I received a review copy from Pump Up Your Book in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Book Spotlight of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that's obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she's made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she's chosen. She's still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she's not sure she can write anymore. She's beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a "scandalous" book. And the fact that she's falling in love with her pastor doesn't make things any easier.

With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn't afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Book Spotlight of Dangerous Illusions by Irene Hannon

Dangerous Illusions (Code of Honor #1)

Trish Bailey is on overload trying to deal with a demanding job, an ailing mother, and a healing heart. When a series of unsettling memory lapses leads to a tragic death--and puts Trish under police scrutiny--her world is once again thrown into turmoil.

Detective Colin Flynn isn't certain what to think of the facts he uncovers during his investigation. Did Trish simply make a terrible mistake or is there more to the case than meets the eye? As he searches for answers, disturbing information begins to emerge--and if the forces at work are as evil as he suspects, the situation isn't just dangerous . . . it's deadly.

Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon captures readers with a mind-bending story that will have them doubling back to retrace their steps--and figure out what they missed!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Book Spotlight of The Last Christians by Andreas Knapp

The Last Christians: Stories of Persecution, Flight, and Resilience in the Middle East

A Westerner's travels among the persecuted and displaced Christian remnant in Iraq and Syria teach him much about faith under fire.

Inside Syria and Iraq, and even along the refugee trail, they're a religious minority persecuted for their Christian faith. Outside the Middle East, they're suspect because of their nationality. A small remnant of Christians is on the run from the Islamic State. If they are wiped out, or scattered to the corners of the earth, the language that Jesus spoke may be lost forever - along with the witness of a church that has modeled Jesus' way of nonviolence and enemy-love for two millennia.

The kidnapping, enslavement, torture, and murder of Christians by the Islamic State, or ISIS, have been detailed by journalists, as have the jihadists' deliberate efforts to destroy the cultural heritage of a region that is the cradle of Christianity. But some stories run deep, and without a better understanding of the religious and historical roots of the present conflict, history will keep repeating itself century after century.

Andreas Knapp, a priest who works with refugees in Germany, travelled to camps for displaced people in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq to collect stories of survivors - and to seek answers to troubling questions about the link between religion and violence. He found Christians who today still speak Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic, the language of Jesus. The uprooted remnant of ancient churches, they doggedly continue to practice their faith despite the odds. Their devastating eyewitness reports make it clear why millions are fleeing the Middle East. Yet, remarkably, though these last Christians hold little hope of ever returning to their homes, they also harbor no thirst for revenge. Could it be that they - along with the Christians of the West, whose interest will determine their fate - hold the key to breaking the cycle of violence in the region?

Includes sixteen pages of color photographs.
 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Book Spotlight of Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright

Lies Jane Austen Told Me

Ever since Emma read Pride and Prejudice, she's been in love with Mr. Darcy and has regarded Jane Austen as the expert on all things romantic. So naturally when Emma falls for Blake Hampton and he invites her home to meet his parents, she is positive an engagement is in her future. After all, Blake is a single man in possession of a good fortune, and thus must be in want of a wife.

But when it turns out that what Blake actually wants is more of a hook-up than a honeymoon, Emma is hurt, betrayed, and furious. She throws herself deeper into her work as CMO of Kinetics, the fastest growing gym franchise in the nation. She loves her work, and she's good at it, which is why she bristles when her boss brings in a consultant to help her spearhead the new facilities on the East Coast. Her frustration turns to shock when that consultant turns out to be Blake's younger brother, Lucas.

Emma is determined not to fall for Lucas, but as she gets to know him, she realizes that Lucas is nothing like his brother. He is kind and attentive and spends his time and money caring for the less fortunate.

What she can't understand is why Lucas continues to try to push her back into Blake's arms when he so clearly has fallen as hard for her as she has fallen for him. It isn't until Lucas reveals to Emma that he was adopted into the Hampton family that she begins to understand his loyalty to Blake as well as his devotion to the child April-she is Lucas's biological niece.

Emma opens up to Lucas about the feelings of abandonment she has harbored ever since she was a child and her mother left the family. As she helps Lucas deal with his past demons, she is able to exorcise some of her own.

Realizing that her love life is as complicated as anything Jane Austen could have dreamed up, Emma must find a way to let Blake know that it's time for him to let her go and to let Lucas know it's time for him to love her back.
 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

SEEDS OF HOPE BY BARBARA CAMERON | BLOG TOUR AND 5-BOOK GIVEAWAY

Two very different worlds collide, and Miriam and Mark begin to question if love can bring them—and their two worlds—together in Barbara Cameron’s new book, Seeds of HopeMiriam Troyer has had a secret crush on Mark Byler since she was a teenager, but she knows they can never have a relationship: Mark is a big-city attorney and an Englischer. Even though Mark always loved visiting his grandfather’s farm as a boy, he’s convinced the Amish life is not for him. But when he suddenly finds himself out of a job and without direction, Mark heads back to the farm just in time to help with the harvest. Could life in this simple world be right for Mark after all? Has Miriam finally found her happily ever after?
Enter to win a copy of Seeds of Hope. Five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced December 22 on the Litfuse blog!

All Things Now Living by Rondi Bauer Olson

All Things Now Living (Seventh Daughter, #1)

All Things Now Living (Written World Communications, May 2017)
Her whole life Amy has been taught the people of New Lithisle deserve to die, but when she falls for Daniel, she determines to save him.
Sixteen-year-old Amy doesn’t like anything to die, she won’t even eat the goats or chickens her mama has butchered every fall, but she can’t let herself pity the inhabitants of New Lithisle. In a few short months the dome they built to isolate themselves from the deadly pandemic is predicted to collapse, but her whole life Amy has been taught it’s God’s will they die. They traded their souls for immunity to the swine flu virus, brought God’s curse upon themselves by adding pig genes to their own.
Then, while on a scavenging trip with her father, Amy is accidentally trapped in New Lithisle. At first her only goal is to escape, but when she meets Daniel, a New Lithisle boy, she begins to question how less-than-human the people of New Lithisle are.
Amy’s feelings grow even more conflicted when she learns she didn’t end up in New Lithisle by mistake. Her father is secretly a sympathizer, and was trying to prevent the coming destruction.
Now time is running short and Amy has to decide if she will bring the computer program her father wrote to his contact or save herself. Installing the program could prevent the dome’s collapse, but if Amy doesn’t find her father’s contact in time, she’ll die, along with everyone else.
Rondi Olson

{MORE ABOUT RONDI OLSON}

Rondi Bauer Olson is a reader and writer from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where she lives on a hobby farm with her husband, Kurt. She has four grown children, works as a nurse, and also owns a gift shop within view of beautiful Lake Superior.
Find out more about Rondi at http://rondibauerolson.weebly.com.




My Take:  This book was a bit of an adventure in itself as it wasn't actually a fully developed book.  In my opinion it needed a bit more work done to it.  More world building, more idea consistency just a bit MORE.  What it didn't need more of was the Insta Love.  Ugh that doesn't sit well with me as an older woman as I have seen how this kinda of love isn't good for anybody.  The romance should have grown alittle over time.  Don't get me wrong I would give this book a 3 stars but it didn't blow me away.  I think if it had a little more work done to it, It would have been at least a 4.5 stars.  This is the authors first book so I blame the editor who should have sent it back one more time for a bit more.  

I received a review copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas at Grey Sage by Phyllis Clark Nichols

Christmas at Grey Sage

Christmas at Grey Sage(Gilead Publishing, October 2017)
This Christmas, there’s plenty of room at the inn.
Nestled in the snow-covered Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Santa Fe, the Grey Sage Inn looks like the perfect place for weary travelers to escape the craziness of the Christmas season. There’s plenty to see in historic Santa Fe during the day, and the inn’s owners, Maude and Silas Thornhill, are happy to spend their evenings hosting this year’s guests from across the country.
But an unusual snowstorm throws a wrench in the festive mood. The sprawling inn becomes close quarters as stranded guests discover this Christmas won’t be the relaxed vacation they expected. Tension and fear mount as the storm worsens, and Silas, a retired doctor, is called away in the middle of the night to care for a neighbor. The snow and stress unlocks tongues–and in the unexpected conversation that follows, secrets and pasts are revealed, and hearts are healed.
In the midst of snowdrifts and fireside conversations, of tales of days gone by, the warmth of Christmas brings a renewed hope as these trapped strangers become friends–proof again that the joy, hope, peace, and love of Christmas can be experienced no matter where you are.
Phyllis Clark Nichols

{MORE ABOUT PHYLLIS CLARK NICHOLS}

Phyllis Clark Nichols believes everyone could use a little more hope and light. Her character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions from within the simple lives of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a love for nature, art, faith and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment, often through surprisingly serendipitous events. Phyllis grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Now she lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband, where red birds and axis deer are her ever-ravenous neighbors. She is an English major and classically-trained musician, seminary graduate, concert artist and co-founder of a national cable network for the health and disability-related programming. After retiring as a cable network executive, Phyllis began leading mission teams to orphanages in Guatemala and now serves on three non-profit boards where she works with others who are equally passionate about bringing hope and light to those who need it most.
Find out more about Phyllis at http://www.phyllisclarknichols.com.

My Take:  This was a good Christmas Story.  I have found in my life that Christmas has rarely gone in the way I have it pictured in my head but with homeschooling my 3 kids I learned over the years to roll with it.  I felt for the Inn Keepers but appreciated their regard of their fellow man.  I found this book to be a bit slow going at first but once the snowstorm hit it was full speed ahead.  This is the perfect book to read during this time of year.  It brings out how we should all be during the whole year not just during this time of year.  I would recommend if you like heartfelt Christmas stories.  

I received a review copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. 


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Book Spotlight of The Gospel According to God by John Macarthur

The Gospel according to God: Rediscovering the Most Remarkable Chapter in the Old Testament

Written to help readers better understand Jesus's life, death, and ultimate mission, this new book by well-known preacher John MacArthur looks at an important—yet often misunderstood—section of the Bible: Isaiah 53. Often hailed as one of the greatest chapters in the Bible, this passage foretells the crucifixion of Jesus, a critical event in God's ultimate plan for salvation. Explaining the prophetic words of Isaiah 53 verse by verse, MacArthur highlights important connections to the history of Israel and to the New Testament—ultimately showing us how these prophetic words to ancient Israel illuminate essential truths for our lives today

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Book Spotlight of Kiss the Wave: Embracing God in Your Trials by Dave Furman

Kiss the Wave: Embracing God in Your Trials

Charles Spurgeon once said, "I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages." In dark and difficult trials, we often long to be delivered from the pain--but Spurgeon's words describe his experience as one that has brought him to see the hand of God in his suffering. What if God intends to work through our suffering rather than simply take it away? After living for more than a decade with a debilitating nerve condition in both arms, Dave Furman wants to expand our view of suffering by demonstrating that God, in his grace, always designs and uses trials for our good. In the midst of the stormy waves of trials, we can stop flailing our arms and instead embrace the God who is near to us even as we suffer.