Thursday, May 19, 2016

Blog Tour: Book Review: Samara's Peril by Jaye L. Knight

Join me in celebrating the newly released Samara's Peril by Jaye L. Knight! I always love spotlighting Jaye's books, because they're so amazing and pretty much automatic favorites! *grins*

Below, I have my review for Samara's Peril, as well as lots of other fun stuff. So keep reading! ^_^

Purchase HERE

Title: Samara's Peril

Author: Jaye L. Knight

Series: Ilyon Chronicles #3

Genre: Fantasy

Audience: New Adult


When news arrives that Emperor Daican has been in contact with his chief war strategist, it signals potential doom for the country of Samara. Determined to intervene, the resistance in Landale, headed by Lady Anne, embark on a covert mission in hopes of unearthing further information. However, a shocking discovery leads to complications no one could have foreseen.

Armed with their newfound knowledge, they set out for Samara to warn the king. War is inevitable, and they must face two desperate battles—one on the walls of Samara’s great stronghold, and the other on the battlefield of Jace’s heart, where victory might only be achievable through great sacrifice.

Available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks!

Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? Find out more at the official Ilyon Chronicles website!

**5 stars**

A brilliant edition to the ILYON CHRONICLES by Jaye L. Knight, Samara’s Peril sweeps us back into the land of Ilyon and to our favorite characters, Jace, Kyrin, Kaden, Trask, Anne, and the rest. As the third book in the series, I found it very well-done and was delighted that it delved significantly deeper into the story, exploring backstories and having special and pivotal moments come about. This book is incredible; I beta-read it in January, and advanced-read it in April, and loved it both times!

The outlaw camp of Landale is disrupted as disturbing rumors spread about the welfare of Samara. And Jace goes into a personal downhill spiral as a dark war rages in his heart. New, intimidating adventures and battles are on the horizon, and each person must decide who they trust. –And if they will choose the courageous way, even if it’s the very hardest.

How to describe this tale? Heart-rending, yet beautiful. Poignant and soul-stirring. Intense. Humorous and endearing. Incredibly sweet. Emotional. So many moments for our beloved characters! I feel the first two books (and the prequel novella) built up wondrously to everything that happened in Samara’s Peril. Such excitement! *smothers fangirly squeals* I’ll try not to blurt out all the spoiler-y epic parts!

Undercover missions. Dragons. Torment. Secrets. Bitterness. Redemption. Love. Allegories. Relationships ...

The characters have become dear and familiar friends. Jace is perhaps the most prominent POV character. Then we have Kyrin, of course. Trask, Anne, Kaden, Marcus, Liam, and Timothy are also POV characters from time to time. And we get some new characters introduced! I love seeing the different storylines and relationships and experiences. Jaye L. Knight does a great job of making each of her many characters unique, intriguing, and lovable in their own way. I adore them! *hugs them all*

Ah. What can I say? I get so, so excited when a new book from the ILYON CHRONICLES series comes out. I loved Samara’s Peril the first read. I loved it the second read. It wasn’t dull or uninteresting even a bit during the second time; I cried, and squealed, and sighed, and raged, and rejoiced, and felt my soul was deeply touched just the same. These books, my friends, are such awesome Christian fantasy stories! I’m intrigued by this world and these people. The stories of faith, persecution, courage, personal struggle, love, redemption, friendship …

Oh, Jayrin. Can I talk a bit about my favorite fictional couple, Jace and Kyrin? They are more adorable in each new book! *grins* I loved how their relationship was going in this book. So many moments make me start grinning like a fool because they’re just so cute! Jace’s internal struggle on this aspect was sometimes quite hard to read, but other times it just made me giggle. Oh, Jace! *hugs him* And then the particularly breathtaking scene … (spoiler)

The Christian allegory of this series has always been very deep and thought-provoking, but it really rose to new lengths in Samara’s Peril. The story of Elon could perhaps feel brief, but was it ever powerful! I loved it so much. Elon’s character was portrayed with such strength and majesty, yet also so much love and compassion! So poignant. Amazingly beautiful. It was deeply meaningful, and written in a careful, Biblical way. Very, very well done Christian allegory. It meant so much to me! The whole story surrounding Jace, and Elon, and everyone, struck a chord in my heart. I believe this is a story that can really impact readers. Such a powerful and touching message. –How Jesus saves the world. And how He loves and redeems you, personally.

This book is perhaps slightly more mature than the books before it. There’s a little more of a romance theme; and also some mentions of rape and men with dishonorable and violent intentions. But there’s nothing graphic in the least, and everything’s written in an appropriate and tasteful way.
There’s some violence and intense battle moments as usual.

Overall? My friends, you are not going to want to miss the latest from Jaye L. Knight! Samara’s Peril is absolutely amazing, from beginning to end. Christian, non-magical fantasy with the ability to please a wide variety of readers. I myself am a puddle of fangirly emotions! *winks and grins* And I can hardly wait to read Book 4!

I received a copy of Samara’s Peril from the author in exchange for my honest review.


Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Etsy.


Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Samara’s Peril, a John 3:16 necklace by FaithWearDesigns, and a green wire dragon bookmark by Wirelings! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Book Review: Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E. Ladd

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Title: Dawn at Emberwilde

Author: Sarah E. Ladd

Series: Treasures of Surrey #2

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult


Isabel Creston never dared to dream that love could be hers. Now, at the edge of a forest filled with dark secrets, she faces a fateful choice between love and duty.

For as long as she can remember, beautiful and free-spirited Isabel has strained against the rules and rigidity of the Fellsworth School in the rolling English countryside. No longer a student, Isabel set her sights on a steady yet unexciting role as a teacher at the school, a safe yet stifling establishment that would provide her a steady environment to care for her younger sister Lizzie, who was left in her care after her father’s death.

The unexpected arrival of a striking stranger with news of unknown relatives turns Isabel’s small, predictable world upside down, sweeping her and her young charge into a labyrinth of intrigue and hidden motives.

At her new family’s invitation, Isabel and Lizzie relocate to Emberwilde, a sprawling estate adjacent to a vast, mysterious wood rife with mysterious rumors and ominous folklore—along with whispers of something far more sinister. And perhaps even more startling, two handsome men begin pursuing Isabel, forcing her to learn the delicate dance between attraction, the intricate rules of courtship, and the hopes of her heart.

At Emberwilde, Isabel will discover that the key to unlocking the mystery of her past may also open the door to her future and security. But first she must find it—in the depths of Emberwilde Forest.

**4 stars**

I think this is my favorite novel by Sarah E. Ladd yet! Never mind that I haven't read the first book of this series, Dawn at Emberwilde was a thoroughly enjoyable read - sweet and suspenseful. A bit of a quick read, with a heartwarming and romantic ending that is fully satisfying!

Book Two to the
TREASURES OF SURREY series, this story centers on twenty-year-old, orphan Isabel Creston who is relocating to her aunt and uncle's place, Emberwilde; and Colin Galloway, the local magistrate. As Isabel struggles to find her place at her new home, Colin investigates suspicious activities deep within Emberwilde Forest. All is not as it seems. And Isabel must find who she can trust with her and her sister Lizzie's well-being.

I really like Regency romances. And this one was light and sweet. It did have a generous hint of suspense, but not too heavy. Just about how I prefer! *smiles* I enjoyed the characters of Colin and Isabel ... both relatable and someone you would hope happiness for! There was a hint of a faith theme. I like a deeper Christian aspect, but this did suit Dawn at Emberwilde just fine. As I mentioned, it was more of a light read. A romance to warm your heart. That being said, the romance actually was pretty subtle. But still there, in a way, for the duration of the story. There were a couple kisses exchanged at the end, but nothing more. I have to say, it was rather refreshing. None of those too-soon, passionate kissing scenes. But more of a gentle romance. I quite liked it! ^_^

All in all, I had a lovely time reading this book, and really look forward to reading more by Sarah E. Ladd! Dawn at Emberwilde had a captivating quality to it, and kept me turning pages happily. Heartily recommend to fans of historical, especially the Regency era, romance.

I received a copy of Dawn at Emberwilde from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Book Review: This Quiet Sky by Joanne Bischof

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Title: This Quiet Sky

Author: Joanne Bischof

Series: The Cadence of Grace Novella

Genre: Historical

Audience: Young Adult


There is nothing extraordinary about Tucker O’Shay’s dreams. Go to college. Become president. Fall in love. And pretend like he has enough time to get it all done.

Sixteen-year-old Sarah Miller doesn’t expect anything out of the ordinary when she begins her first day at the one-room-school house in her new hometown of Rocky Knob. But when she meets seventeen-year-old Tucker O’Shay—the boy with the fatal illness who volunteers to tutor her in algebra—she finds herself swept up in a friendship that changes the way she sees the world and a love that changes her life.

**5 stars**

This book ... so sad, but so beautiful! Joanne Bischof writes with such tenderness and grace! I loved her other books, and loved this bittersweet, little novella, This Quiet Sky.

It centers around a sixteen-year-old girl, Sarah, who attends a one-room schoolhouse in 1885. There she meet Tucker O'Shay, the boy who rocks her world; who heightens her dreams. The boy who is ill. In a breathless tale of discovery and heartache, we hear Sarah's story.
     This Quiet Sky connects to Joanne Bischof's THE CADENCE OF GRACE series; Sarah to be Lonnie Sawyer's aunt.

I'm not one for tragedies, but there's just something about this simple, impacting short story. The classic-ness and warmth to the writing. The vividness of the characters and their emotions and dreams. The message to live every moment to the fullest! Aw, it was radiantly beautiful in a heart-squeezing way. I appreciated how it showed the journey through fear and grief. Though mournful in many ways, This Quiet Sky somehow bursts with hope.

Note: This is definitely a romance, and there is some kissing. Some kissing scenes were a bit much in my opinion. I would recommend at least 16 and up.

It could feel something like Janette Oke's or L.M. Montgomery's novels. Such a sweet, lyrical, old-fashioned touch to the writing style. (Though it was written in first person, I believe).

Anyway, I loved it in some way or another. The Epilogue was precious, in, yes, a bittersweet kind of way. I do like how it ties into THE CADENCE OF GRACE series ... makes me want to read them again!

Don't miss this heartfelt, historical tale! It's truly touching. I can't wait to read more by Joanne Bischof!

Book Review: The Amazing Interlude by Mary Roberts Rinehart

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Title: The Amazing Interlude

Author: Mary Roberts Rinehart

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult


Driven by a sense of duty and a fear of monotony, Sara Lee leaves her comfortable life and fiance in Philadelphia to serve the Red Cross in Belgium during WWI. The spirited heroine finds a niche for herself helping wounded soldiers. She meets a mysterious gentleman and falls into a haunting romance. 
The Amazing Interlude is a bittersweet journey that draws from Mary Rinehart's own experience as a World War I correspondent. Fusing fiction with fact, she deftly portrays an exhilarating tale of an honorable woman's determination to make a difference in a time of tumultuous war.

**4 stars**

It's so interesting reading a novel about World War 1 that was written around the same time, 1918! The Amazing Interlude by Mary Roberts Rinehart tells the story of a quiet, ordinary girl who has a niggling longing to do something that counts. But with a stubborn, bullish boyfriend and many odds stacked against her, will she be able to go where her heart belongs?

Though the writing style of these old books isn't my favorite (it's more narrative), I do love reading them once in awhile! There's something charming and classical about The Amazing Interlude and I quite enjoyed it! ^_^ War, struggles, tender romance, soldiers, spies, and searching out the heart's longings. An interesting and lovely little tale. If you enjoy old books and World War 1 historical romance, you should definitely give this novel a try!

Book Review: The REGINA SILSBY Series by Thomas J. Brodeur

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Title: Regina Silsby's Secret War

Author: Thomas J. Brodeur

Series: Regina Silsby #1

Genre: Historical

Audience: Children/Teen+


The daughter of a wealthy ship owner uses the superstitions of the day to divert the British forces and support the Sons of Liberty following the Boston Tea Party.

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Title: Regina Silsby's Phantom Militia

Author: Thomas J. Brodeur

Series: Regina Silsby #2

Genre: Historical

Audience: Children/Teen+


Thomas J. Brodeur’s historical fiction saga continues in Regina Silsby’s Phantom Militia. The British army’s worst nightmare becomes a reality when rumors spread that the legendary ghost, Regina Silsby, has returned to defend pre-Revolution Boston. Rachel Winslow and her cousin work to keep the superstitions alive, leading the redcoats to believe that it is Regina who continues to foil their plans and that this time she is not alone. Even the brash Major Cauldon gets nervous as he sees his ranks thinning even as their fears heighten. Young adult readers will thrill at the daring feats and foibles in this magnificent sequel to Regina Silsby’s Secret War. 

**4 stars**

This review is for both Regina Silsby's Secret War and Regina Silsby's Phantom Militia

Adventurous and delightful novels for children/teen and up! I quite enjoyed these intriguing tales set in the tumultuous times leading up to the American Revolutionary War.

The REGINA SILSBY series by Thomas J. Brodeur is about a girl named Rachel Winslow who goes on many a daring adventure. Determined to aid those in need in a time when many are oppressed by the British soldiers from overseas, Rachel goes about Boston as a spy of sorts, leaving chaos in her wake.

Historical events such as the Boston Tea Party are witnessed by Rachel. Great historical, with a generous dash of speculative fun and dramatic adventure. These books do have a Christian theme of considerable depth, which I really liked. Some meaningful and tender moments of faith, lessons learned, and such.
     On a cautionary note: There are many mentions of ghosts, demons, hauntings, and whatnot. It all has to do with old rumors, superstitious people, and a certain person's ghastly masquerade. All in all, I felt it was pretty tastefully done. There are no real ghosts in these stories - that's made quite clear; even lined up with Biblical teachings. But there is a slightly disturbing story about the death a woman rumored to be a witch, in the first book. And yeah, stuff like that. I didn't mind any of it, for the most part, but some people might be more sensitive toward those kind of things.

Anyway, I had fun reading the REGINA SILSBY series and going on grand escapades with a daring girl in the late 18th century!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Book Review: A Flight of Arrows by Lori Benton

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Title: A Flight of Arrows

Author: Lori Benton

Series: The Pathfinders #2

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult


October 1776 - August 1777

It is said that what a man sows he will reap - and for such a harvest there is no set season. No one connected to Reginald Aubrey is untouched by the crime he committed twenty years ago.

Not William, the Oneida child Reginald stole and raised as his own. Identity shattered, enlisted in the British army, William trains with Loyalist refugees eager to annihilate the rebels who forced them into exile. Coming to terms with who and what he is proves impossible, but if he breaks his Loyalist oath, he'll be no better than the man who constructed his life of lies.

Not Anna, Reginald's adopted daughter, nor Two Hawks, William's twin, both who long for Reginald to accept their love despite the challenges they will face, building a marriage that bridges two cultures.

Not Good Voice and Stone Thrower, freed of bitterness by a courageous act of forgiveness, but still yearning for their firstborn son and fearful for the future of their Oneida people.

As the British prepare to attack frontier New York and Patriot regiments rally to defend it, two families separated by culture, united by love, will do all in their power to reclaim the son marching toward them in the ranks of their enemies.

**4 stars**

How exciting it was to dive back into the thrilling world of Anna, Two Hawks, and their tangled families, in the year 1776. A Flight of Arrows, book two in THE PATHFINDERS series, continues from The Wood's Edge, to finish it's intriguing tale. Oh, how I love Lori Benton's novels, with their depth and richness, beauty and sorrow.

Amidst harrowing battles of the American colonies' War for Independence, two families struggle with forgiveness, bitterness, acceptance ... Torn asunder, they strive desperately to be reunited. For unity and healing. But can they bridge the gap between the white men and Native Americans?
     The journey to restore William, and to receive approval for Two Hawk's and Anna's love, has begun.

Lori Benton has a beautiful writing style - it just draws you in. I quite enjoyed this book, with its twists and turns, ups and downs. The theme of redemption and grace, so poignant and bittersweet! Anna's struggle to forgive and honor her father, pulled between him and Two Hawks as she is, was very real. A Flight of Arrows doesn't gloss over the trials and pain; characters do not get the easy way out, but are forced to deal with their mistakes, and also the sin of others. The faith aspect is deep here. God is near; you can see His hand weaving together the brokenness into something beautiful. I loved these journeys of faith! The mending of relationships! The choosing to do the hard thing, because it is the right thing. Very thoughtful and profound.

Two Hawks and Anna ... I love them!! I only wish there could have been more of them together! Often, in this book, came heartrending separations. So yes, I wish there could be another book for them!
     I so enjoyed getting to know William better. Loved his journey. Love where he is now. Also was so happy to see more of Good Voice, Stone Thrower, and Lydia. Reginald isn't my favorite character, I have to admit, but his story is an amazing one, a good one, as well.
    It's all so masterful, how their lives twine together. Heartbreaking and bitter in some ways, yet joy and such beauty come through!

I'm thrilled to have A Flight of Arrows on my bookshelf, and can't wait to get The Wood's Edge to sit beside it! So beautiful, these two! ^_^
     But I suppose the reason for rating A Flight of Arrows a star less than the first book is ... well, it was a hard book in some ways. The separation. The sacrifice. And though you see God's hand so powerfully in the circumstances, even the hard ones, I still felt there was so much tension and pain and fear, it was hard for me to relax in the end and enjoy the beauty of the Epilogue. I suppose I'll have to go back and read it again after I've had more time to take in everything that happened.

But overall, A Flight of Arrows concludes this dramatic tale in a thought-provoking, powerful, and lovely way. I love the history, the family aspect, the romance, and the faith themes of Lori Benton's novels. And absolutely can't wait to read more!

I received a copy of A Flight of Arrows from Blogging For Books program in exchange for my honest review.