Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Simple Soul by Vadim Babenko (Review)

We see into the thoughts of numerous characters while Timofey is trying to avoid marriage to his boss' daughter, by convincing an old girlfriend to marry him. They get into some amusing situations, including being kidnapped and a brawl.

This book opens with Elizaveta Andreyevna walking out of the apartment of her "latest lover" and includes references to experiences occurring. There is very minimal dialogue for the first half of the book. Lots of long sentences that have a wealth of descriptive details, which makes for very slow reading. Elizaveta mentions every shop and stall she passes on her way to work and again after she leaves to go home. Written in the 3rd person, we switch from character to character, which leads to confusion, and sometimes tells what a different person was doing hours before the current event we just read about. Some characters have other names and numerous nicknames throughout, Elizaveta is also referred to as Bestuzheva. To say I'm confused is an understatement, "…she knew she held an entire universe inside her, replete with heavenly bodies. Some of her planets were inhabited, and she could hear the voices of all the countless creatures who lived there."

I'm sure this is a good book but do not put it down, read continuously or you will get lost. This is not one of those books that I couldn't not wait to pick up again, it dragged a lot and lost my interest. Not a Christian book. 2 out of 5 stars.

I received the review request for this book from

From the back cover:
His crafty plan results in a deadly threat. Her hopes keep her locked in a vicious circle. They parted ways, supposedly forever. But will they be able to live apart? 

Elizaveta, an attractive Muscovite, experiences a series of odd events: she is followed; she receives anonymous calls, flowers, and gifts. The culprit is her former lover, Timofey. He now lives far from Moscow and has a flourishing business, but a serious threat emerges when the daughter of a local mafia boss wants to marry him. Timofey knows his life is at risk if he says no. He creates a cunning scheme to save himself by staging a sham marriage with Elizaveta playing a primary role. Masterfully manipulating her feelings, Timofey persuades her to come visit him in his small town, but things soon take a dramatic turn. 

A seemingly romantic journey becomes a struggle for survival. Timofey and Elizaveta confront real danger when they least expect it. Love and deception reveal their essence when the best of intentions come into conflict with each other. The protagonists try hard to achieve their goals, but, in the end, each of them finds something much different instead. Illusion, ultimately, proves stronger than reality. And coincidences are often not so random after all.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Gift by Wanda E. Brunstetter (Review)

God gave Leah the gift to heal through foot massages.

Adam owns a hardware store in the town of Arthur. Leah practices reflexology in her basement. Adams mother, who also practiced reflexology, left the faith and her family when Adam was 5 years old, and views anything to do with his mother and marriage as a  ad thing that he will never partake in. All that changes when tragedy strikes and he ends up raising his 3 young nieces. He ends up having Leah watch the girls and they marry to provide full time care to his nieces. 

The Gift is book 2 in the prairie State Friends series. Written in the third person point of view, we get to follow numerous people, not just Adam and Leah. Very well written and keeps you guessing about where everything is going. The end was very abrupt and leaves some things unanswered so you know there will be a book 3 coming out. 

I can't wait to see what some of the other characters stories turn out to be next. 4 out of 5 stars. Christian approved and recommended for all.

From the back cover
Follow the heart-wrenching story of Adam Beachy, whose mother walked out on him and his family—and away from the Amish faith. Now he balks at the idea of ever marrying and having a family of his own. But when tragedy strikes, Adam is suddenly a father figure to his three nieces and finds himself needing a wife. Despite their differences over her practice of reflexology, Leah Mast seems the best option to fill that role. Can they make it work in a modern-day marriage of convenience?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Time is Relative for a Knight of Time by Brett Matthew Williams (Review)

"Outside of our world exists a place where time has no meaning,  and the illusion that time represents is given the former of a stream of white water jettisoning into the never ending tide of tomorrow. The gateways to this paradise lie all over Earth... for those who call it home, it is simply known as Eden."

This is the first book in the Time is Relative series. Rolland Wright has lost his mother, was abandoned by his father, and is now homeless and living in his car and using stores to bathe. He goes to a book store where his life is forever changed. He is transported to Eden where time does not exist and green tiger guys try to kill you. Rolland meets many Knights in Time and travels back to the 19th century to meet real historical figures as well as some supernatural. He internally fights to determine right from wrong, good from bad and truth from fiction, while also figuring out which girl he wants to be with.

This book opens with a message from the keeper of records and is written with historical accuracy. The author describes a very thing extremely well, from the third person point of view. There are some very long, run on sentences, without proper comma usage and, at certain points, extra words are added, ie: "... he guessed it would take another couple of minutes or so before he could it would function fully." The pacing and flow are moderate to fast and keeps you guessing at every turn. 

This is a very long story that is no where near a quick read. As a caution, there are some graphic, violent scenes and one part where we get a look into Jackson's personal journal where he writes that he took advantage of a beautiful slave girl "without permission or consent". This is an easy, intriguing read and I would recommend this books to teens and adults. 4 out of 5 stars. Christian approved with parental discretion due to paranormal occurrences. 

This is my first book as a reviewer for
From the back cover:
Meet Rolland Wright - a seventeen year old orphan living out of his car in rural Woodland Hills, California. Aside from grappling with the fact of being abandoned by his drunken father two years previous following his mothers mysterious murder, his life mostly revolves around finding a warm place to sleep at night. When one day he is attacked by men claiming to have killed his father, Rolland discovers a strange ability to slow the flow of time around him, beginning a journey that takes him to places outside of time, space, and eventually to the early 19th century to fight the sinister General Andrew Jackson. With the help of a rag-tag group of historical and mythical figures with various supernatural abilities of their own (Joan of Arc, Jesse James, etc) known as the Knights of Time, Rolland solves the mystery behind his mother's murder, falls in love, battles the evil Edward Vilthe - reaper of souls, and finds a home of his own in the paradise known as Eden. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I just joined the NetGalley Challenge. If you are a bookseller, librarian, reviewer, blogger, educator or in the media, show your love for reading, reviewing and recommending new books by joining the NetGalley Challenge. You can attend online events, and enjoy early access to new books and surprises just for participants.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Gifted by H.S. Stone (Review)

This is a past read and reviewed book. I finished on February 23, 2015. I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

This book was an easy read. It started off kind of slow but was interesting right from the start. I chose to begin reviewing books since I have come across numerous books that have been labeled "Christian" and were clearly not. This book, with its "powers" clearly is not a Christian book but is not a book that Christians necessarily need to be wary of. This is a very clean book, which is what most parents look for when reviewing a book for one of their children.

Twin 16 year olds, Vendd and Voima, are basically running for their lives. They are in a world where people with "Powers" is something to hide. Vendd has a power that they must hide, for fear he will be captured by the king and killed in a "Gifteds Duel". One day Vendd is captured after inadvertently showing his power. Voima thinks of everything possible to save her brother and in the end realizes that she too is Gifted. She has the power of protection, which protects her and her brother from the king killing them. Many Gifteds die throughout the book, but the twins survive along with friends they meet along their journey.

There is a powerful life story of betrayal portrayed throughout the book that you would never expect. Overall, I would recommend this book to other parents. Please use discretion when allowing younger children to read this, as there is death and destruction as well as science fiction. 4 out of 5 stars.

From the back cover:
In a kingdom where the Gifteds are captured and thrown into fights to the death, Voima is fortunate that she is just a Regular. However, her brother, Vendd, isn’t so lucky. Since his Power started manifesting itself, the siblings have lived a life on the run, barely escaping the king’s soldiers.

Just as Voima and Vendd have settled into a new home, a fleeing Gifted enters their lives, begging for help but bringing soldiers after him. Despite the siblings’ efforts, the soldiers discover Vendd’s Power. Now Voima, an outmatched Regular girl, must find a way to defeat the kingdom’s most dangerous Gifteds in order to save her brother from certain death