Sunday, April 30, 2017

Book Review: The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson

Purchase HERE

Title: The Noble Servant

Author: Melanie Dickerson

Series: Thornbeck #3

Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling/Historical

Audience: Young Adult


She lost everything to an evil conspiracy ... but that loss may just give her all she ever wanted.

Since meeting Steffan, the Duke of Wolfberg, at Thornbeck Castle, Lady Magdalen has not been able to stop thinking about him. She knows—as a penniless lady with little to offer in terms of a dowry—she has no real hope of marrying such a highly titled man, so it comes as a great surprise when she receives a letter from him, asking for her hand in marriage.

But all is not what it seems at Wolfberg Castle. Steffan has been evicted by his scheming uncle, and his cousin has taken over the title of duke. Left for dead, Steffan is able to escape, and disguised as a shepherd, hopes to gain entry to the castle to claim the items that will prove he is the true Duke of Wolfberg.

Journeying to the castle, Magdalen has no idea what awaits her, but she certainly did not expect her loyal maidservant to turn on her. Forcing Magdalen to trade places with her, the servant plans to marry the duke and force Magdalen to tend the geese.

Without their respective titles—and the privileges that came with them—Steffan and Magdalen are reunited in the shepherd’s field. Together they conspire to get back their rightful titles. But they must hurry ... or else they risk losing it all to the uncle’s evil plan.


When I got The Noble Servant, I thought, How lovely it is to be reading another one of Melanie Dickerson’s novels! Something about this author’s writing style makes me smile as I start reading. And fairy tale retellings set in the medieval Germany world are just something I can’t pass up.

This newest release is a non-magical retelling of The Goose Girl and The Prince and the Pauper. Lady Magdalen is on her way to marry the Duke of Wolfberg when her maidservant, Agnes, and Agnes’s father, turn Magdalen’s world upside down. Now a lowly goose girl of an estate that holds all too many secrets and deceptions, Magdalen must find a way to reveal the truth and set things to right.
What she doesn’t count on, is meeting a handsome shepherd, and falling in love with the one man she realizes she can’t have, after all.

I did indeed enjoy parts of The Noble Servant. The geese were fun, and I like that Magdalen got to get some glimpses of the ocean. Unfortunately, however, it didn’t end up being the book for me. Kind of strange, considering I’ve loved so many of Melanie Dickerson’s novels! But it was fairly slow paced, and I felt nothing much happened, action-wise. I sympathized with both Magdalen and Steffan's plights, but I guess their whole romance and personalities didn't seem much different from the characters of the other books. Perhaps I'm just in some sort of reading slump, but all in all, this book fell flat for me. I've decided to keep a space for it on my bookshelf, because it is part of the THORNBECK series, and the cover is gorgeous, and some of my sisters and friends might like it!

Don't let my thoughts on The Noble Servant hinder you. If you enjoy The Goose Girl retellings, fairy tale romance, and a splash of danger, this might be the book for you! *smiles*

I received a copy of The Noble Servant from BookLookBloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Book Review: Deliver by Tricia Mingerink

Purchase HERE

Title: Deliver

Author: Tricia Mingerink

Series: The Blades of Acktar #4

Genre: Fantasy

Audience: New Adult


Can something broken ever heal? 

Martyn is broken. After torturing his best friend, he doesn't belong anywhere in Acktar. No matter how far he runs, he can't lose his guilt. 

Leith is broken. While healing from the torture he received at Nalgar Castle, he struggles to find his new role. But can a Blade ever run from his past? 

The country is broken. Bitterness divides town against town, neighbor against neighbor. What will it take to deliver Acktar from itself? 

They face their hardest battle yet. 

**5 stars**

How to say goodbye to a favorite fantasy series? It wasn't easy, especially considering how Deliver tugged at my heartstrings. *huggles all the characters* In this fourth and final installment to THE BLADES OF ACKTAR by Tricia Mingerink, we journey with our dear fictional friends on one last mission for freedom, peace, and healing.

Martyn Hamish can't seem to understand being free. Forgiven. Struggles to grasp his friends' irrational faith. Has nightmares over the betrayal he's felt and caused.
Leith and Renna learn to trust each other even more, while dealing with new threats on the horizon.
... And Brandi and Jamie are there, as lovable as ever. And of course, Shad. As well as Ranson. And a new, fascinating and fun character ...

*laughs and cries* I can't believe it's over! I don't know how I'm going to deal with this. No more novels from THE BLADES OF ACKTAR series? What will I do without all my beloved peoples? I adored Leith, Renna, Brandi, Jamie, and Shad every bit as much this time around. And fell in love with some others ... such as Martyn, and our new character. (view spoiler). I mean, Martyn is just fabulous! He's another one of those tortured heroes, but in a different way than Leith. He's a little harder. He was practically one of the bad guys in Book Two/part of Book Three. He needs to have his mouth washed out with soap once or twice ... *winks* He's stubborn and his walls are a little higher than Leith's. But, oh, is it worth it when they break down! ^_^ Martyn made me chuckle again and again. His story and guilt and pain squeezed my heart, and I was quickly rooting for him to discover light and life.

AND LEITH! Can one say enough about Leith Torren/Daniel Grayce? He had me bursting into giggles and blinking back tears. And grinning because he's just so cool. *big grin* I love this guy so much. Definitely one of my favorite guy characters EVER.

And Renna and Brandi, still the sweetest sisters there is. So much growth they went through, and still they march on.

I wanted to see more of Jamie! And Brandi, for that matter. Please, could there be another novella? (view spoiler) These characters have my heart. I don't want to say goodbye. And I want to see little Leiths and Rennas!

Though there were skirmishes and danger, Deliver was a lighter read than the previous books in the series, which I think is fitting, as it is the conclusion. We still have adventure, daring escapades, and near-death experiences. Also, crying-worthy parts. Many a time, tears stung my eyes, though mostly they were tears of healing. ^_^ Happiness. This book touched my heart, as all Tricia Mingerink's have!

And I laughed! I couldn't contain my giggles more than once! Oh, these characters crack me up. *hugs Leith* *And Martyn* *And Renna* *Okay, hugs them all again* Tricia Mingerink, you are a fabulous writer! You had me laughing, and crying, and gasping, and sighing happily.

And that ending ... <3 Deliver was a beautiful ending to THE BLADES OF ACKTAR series. This non-magical fantasy adventure is not to be missed. Experience faith, trials, friendship, redemption, grief, courage, adventure, romance, and love in this truly memorable fantasy story set on the plains of Acktar.

I received a copy of Deliver from the author.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Book Review: The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis

Purchase HERE

Title: The Ebb Tide

Author: Beverly Lewis

Series: Standalone

Genre: Contemporary/Amish Fiction

Audience: Adult


When a well-to-do family asks Sallie Riehl to be their daughter's nanny for the summer at their Cape May, New Jersey, vacation home, she jumps at the chance to broaden her horizons beyond the Lancaster County Amish community where she grew up. Curious by nature, Sallie loves reading and learning, and she fears that her chances of making a good match with an Amish farmer will be hampered because of it.

Though she loves taking care of nine-year-old Autumn Weaver during the week, Sallie has free time on the weekends to enjoy the shore. It is there that she meets Edward Kreider, a young marine biology student who talks freely about all he's learning and asks about her interests, unlike the guys she grew up with. Sallie wonders if this is the kind of relationship she's been longing for. Then again, Ed isn't from her community--and he's Mennonite, not Amish.

Sallie is afraid of what her parents would think about her new friendship. But that's not all she's fearful of. When unexpected danger threatens Autumn, Sallie will have to put her fears aside. Will this be a summer to remember, or one to forget?

**5 stars**

The Ebb Tide was delightful! Beverly Lewis writes with such charm and grace, and this newest novel of hers completely swept me away.

Sallie Riehl is a sweet character, likable and so fun to explore the world with! When the nineteen-year-old is asked to be a nanny for the summer in Cape May, New Jersey, the adventure of a lifetime begins. Through trials and joys, I inwardly urged her to follow the Lord's gentle prompting and her own beautiful dreams, and rejoiced with each new discovery that touched her Plain life.

Not only is the Amish lifestyle always interesting to read about when penned by Beverly Lewis's hand, but the ocean theme in The Ebb Tide was spectacular! It was intriguing reading about "sea diamonds" and different ocean life. And lovely revisiting the crashing waves, ocean sunrise, boogie boarding, and calm, sandy beach walks - not to mention, the unique and fun shops! (I recently was at the ocean myself and got to experience all that! So made me want to go back!)

Ah, what a journey of faith and discovery this was! So sweet and touching, it unfolding in just the perfect timing. Hearts changed and minds were renewed. Romance blossomed and friendships deepened. Sallie's walk with the Lord deepened in a beautiful way throughout the course of The Ebb Tide as she surveyed His magnificent creation and met some of His devoted followers. Oh, how I loved it. I must admit, I was anxious and frustrated at certain points in this book, but it turned out oh so incredibly right, and joy filled my heart at the last page.

The characters were all wonderful. From Sallie and her family, to Cousin Essie, to sweet Autumn, to the strong and dear Kevin. (Yes, yes, I so loved Kevin! What a guy! Actively seeking the Lord, searching beneath the surface for God's Hand in everyday life, passionate about exploring the world and helping people ... ) Certainly fun to get to know them all, and watch them grow in character - struggle and blossom in life.

The Ebb Tide wasn't all charm and delight. There were hard decisions. Frightening moments. Intense confusion. Crippling heartache. Sallie was a character with real struggles and fears. There were times when it didn't seem like it could all work out as it should. But Beverly Lewis unfolded this tale of finding God and finding oneself with gentleness and depth, beauty swirling across every page as we taste the salt of the ocean and feel the sand beneath our feet. With clean romance and touching faith themes, The Ebb Tide ultimately leaves its reader satisfied and joyous.

I absolutely loved it and highly recommend!

I received a copy of The Ebb Tide from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.



T H E  B L A D E S  O F  A C K T A R by Tricia Mingerink


~ book one ~

"The characters won’t let me forget them. I’m captivated, intrigued, and eager for more!"

~ book two ~

"Deny is the fantastic ... absolutely heart-wrenching ... sequel to Dare."

~ book three ~

"The fantasy world [is] epic. Leith is just a fabulous guy. And Renna and Brandi both brilliant heroines in their own ways. There are battles. Tender scenes. Deepening romance. Tears, but strength. Hilarious moments."

~ book three-point-five ~

~ prequel short story ~

~ book four ~

** RELEASED APRIL 25th, 2017 **

Fantasy // Christian // Danger // Humor // Assassins // Redemption // Adventure // Romance // Faith // Persecution // Secrets // Friendship // Sisters // Escape // Fear // Betrayal // Princess // Hope // Prairie // Battles // Resistance // Grief // Captivity // Blizzard // Laughter // Life // Love // Change // Non-Magical // 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Blog Tour: Book Spotlight: Deliver by Tricia Mingerink

It's time to spotlight the next book for one of my favorite series ever! Book Four of THE BLADES OF ACKTAR by Tricia Mingerink, Deliver, is now releasing.

If you haven't read Dare, Deny, and Defy, do pick up these incredible Christian fantasy novels. Geared toward new adult, they're thrilling, thoughtful, humorous, tender, and impacting reads. And Leith, Renna, Brandi, Jamie, and Martyn are characters you're going to want to know better! Not to be missed. *smiles*

About the Book

Can something broken ever heal?

Martyn is broken. After torturing his best friend, he doesn’t belong anywhere in Acktar. No matter how far he runs, he can’t lose his guilt.

Leith is broken. While healing from the torture he received at Nalgar Castle, he struggles to find his new role. But can a Blade ever outrun his past?

The country is broken. Bitterness divides town against town, neighbor against neighbor. What will it take to deliver Acktar from itself?

They face their hardest battle yet.


About the Author

Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.

You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and her blog.

Intrigued yet? You definitely should be! *winks* Don't miss the Facebook Party on April 28th! It's sure to be lots of fun, and I hope to be there myself!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Another Post Concerning Book Covers

What do you think of these book covers? Have you read any of these books? Which are you excited to? ^_^

Marrying Miss Marshal by Lacy Williams

Published: August 2nd 2011
(appears it's been given a new cover recently. *smiles*)

Land Uncharted {Uncharted #1} by Keely Brooke Keith

PublishedOctober 21st 2016

Only the Heart Knows {The Brides #4} by Lena Goldfinch

PublishedDecember 13th 2016

Secrets and Charades by Cindy Ervin Huff

PublishedMarch 15th 2017

The Vicar's Daughter {A Proper Romance} by Josi S. Kilpack

PublishedApril 4th 2017

As Time Goes By {The Mulligan Sisters #2} by Melody Carlson

Expected PublicationApril 15th 2017

Deliver {The Blades of Acktar #4} by Tricia Mingerink

Expected Publication: April 25th 2017

A Season to Dance by Patricia Beal

Expected PublicationMay 9th 2017

Expected PublicationJune 13th 2017

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring {My Heart Belongs} by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Expected PublicationJuly 1st 2017

Expected Publication: July 2017

The Innkeeper's Sister by Linda Goodnight

Expected PublicationSeptember 2017

A Daring Escape {The London Chronicles #2} by Tricia Goyer

Expected PublicationJanuary 1st 2018

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Blog Tour: Book Spotlight: Ashen City by Sara Baysinger

I'm excited to be participating in the blog tour for Ashen City today! Ashen City is book two in a thrilling, YA dystopian series by Sara Baysinger. You won't want to miss! *smiles*

Scroll down for an incredible giveaway!

About the Book

Make your choice, Ember Carter. And make it count.

Ember Carter has escaped the flames of death. But will she ever be free from Chief Titus? When the orchard goes up in smoke and her family turns up missing, Ember returns to Frankfort hoping to find her brother and father, and to get Titus to drop the death wish he has against her.

But Titus is always one step ahead. When Ember faces him head-on, she’s captured, only to receive another death sentence. But on her way to her execution, plans go a little askew, and Ember finds herself traveling to the one place no one dares travel: Louisville. If the outskirts of Ky were a ghost town, the ashen city is the borderline of hell itself, but it’s the one place Ember can find refuge from the people who want her dead.

In the ashen city, Ember must learn that being a hero is more than doing what is right because she can, but doing it for the good of the people. And when plans take a turn for the worst, she must decide if it’s worth risking her life to save her country.

About the Author

Sara Baysinger grew up in the heart of the Andes Mountains in Ecuador where she spent her childhood exploring uncharted lands and reading all things magical. She now lives among the endless cornfields of Indiana with her husband and two young children. Sara enjoys writing and reading anything out of the ordinary, and has a bad habit of zoning out at the most inopportune moments. She is currently considering seeking medical attention for her potentially life-threatening coffee addiction.

Social Media Links:


Sara has generously offered to give away a paperback of either BLACK TIGER or ASHEN CITY with a Louisville skyline bookmark (two winners) as well as a grand prize of a paperback of either BLACK TIGER or ASHEN CITY, Louisville skyline bookmark, adjustable ring that says "inhale/exhale," and journal (one winner). Open to US only.

Blog Tour Schedule:

April 6th – Holly’s Little Book Reviews – Book Review

April 7thkindred-he4rts – Book Reivew // Midwest Ladies Who Lit – Book Review

April 8thLands Uncharted – Guest Post // She Reads Many Books – Book Review

April 10thBrie Donning – Book Review & Interview

April 11thLooseleaf Reviews – Book Review & Guest Post // Books Before Bandaids– Book Review

April 12th Quills and Inkblotts– Book Spotlight

April 13thRJ Metcalf – Book Review // Between the Pages of this Bookish Life – Book Spotlight

April 14thHope Perch – Book Review

April 17thSomewhere Between the Nebulae – Book Review

April 18th Jannette Fuller – Book Spotlight

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Book Review: Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky

Purchase HERE

Title: Shine Like the Dawn

Author: Carrie Turansky

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical (Edwardian era)

Audience: Adult


In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother's millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event shattered their idyllic family life and their future prospects. Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart as she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake ... might not have been an accident.

When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son and Maggie's estranged childhood friend, Nathaniel, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father's vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father's engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll, and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.

Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate - and reconciling with God? Will the search for the truth about her parents' death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?

**4 stars**

Shine Like the Dawn was such a lovely story, set in the Edwardian era, with a little romance and just a dash of mystery and suspense. The faith themes were utterly beautiful - challenging and uplifting, with depth and sincerity. I love novels where the characters are on a journey closer to God, because I can relate to that!

Speaking of characters, both Maggie and Nate were wonderful; with unique personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. It was amazing and satisfying to see them grow in character and learn about humility and forgiveness. I loved the secondary character, Maggie's grandmother! She had such wisdom to share. It was also interesting to peek into Clara's life. I think author Carrie Turansky did a lovely job with these characters and their backstories and personal struggles. But, to be honest, I believe Nathaniel Harcourt was definitely my favorite! *smiles* I just love how he is such a man of God! He does have his faults, but he actively seeks the Lord.

The romance was very sweet and gentle. A couple brief kisses are exchanged in the end ... I adore how they were waited for! Carrie Turansky unfolded this love story beautifully; her characters actually thought in depth and put up boundaries (physically and emotionally) instead of just getting caught up in a whirlwind of romantic feelings and going where it took them. It was so very meaningful to me. ^_^

Shine Like the Dawn deals with tragedy, and some parts were a little hard to read. But in this story comes healing and hope. It is truly a beautiful journey of faith.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this new novel from Carrie Turansky! She puts heart and hope and light in her stories, and I greatly look forward to reading more!