Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Blood Secrets By Morgan Busse

Blood Secrets
by Morgan Busse
Publisher: Enclave Escape
Series: Skyworld
ISBN: 979-8886050004

After being so thoroughly drawn in by book one, Secrets in the Mist, I was thrilled to join the launch team for book two in this duology. 

Summary:

Not everyone wants to see the world saved . . .

Time is running out. Cities are being engulfed in the Mist and humanity is on the brink of extinction. Theo believes he has found a way to stop mankind from Turning, but he doesn’t know how to alter Cass’s unique blood into a cure. Or if it can even be done.

Meanwhile, Cass struggles with the idea that she is possibly the savior of the world—a world she is not sure is worth saving.

From the Winchester manse to the steel city of Decadenn, there is something more chasing Cass than the House of Lords or the masked man who can walk in the Mist. Soon she must decide if she will use her blood to save mankind or let those who only care about themselves perish.

My Review:

I was excited to dive back into the Skyworld series with Blood Secrets after the cliffhanger of Secrets in the Mist! I couldn't wait to learn what happened with Cass and Theo.

This was an interesting read. While I've read almost all of Morgan's books, they all have the same "feel" in them. This one seemed different somehow. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it felt like it was missing something. I like that she does duologies like this one because we don't have to wait for a 3rd book for the conclusion.

What I liked about this book is that Cass struggles with knowing she can help everyone from becoming a Turned, but the way she and others have been treated over the centuries, she questions if she wants to even help. Luron is just as creepy in this story as he was in the first one. He tries to lure her to his way of thinking and in a way, it makes sense. Readers will be able to see the gray area between good and evil as these two struggle with the future.

Theo once again plays the hero, and one we can all count on! I think we can all agree that when someone is in power and they truly care about others, we want them to come out on top. Too bad others in power don't want the same thing!

I never realized how much of a fan I would be of the steampunk genre until I read Morgan's books! She's able to bring that world to life and have it all make sense. There are a number of tense scenes that had me quickly swiping my ebook pages!

If you're a fan of this genre, don't miss out on this whole series! Skyworld will come to life for you through Morgan's writing.

About the Author:

Morgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series, The Soul Chronicles, and The Ravenwood Saga. She is a three-time Christy Award finalist and winner of both the INSPY and the Carol Award for best in Christian speculative fiction. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel. Visit her online at www.morganlbusse.com.

Monday, August 8, 2022

The Stories Of God (And Kiki) By Dave Connis & Amy Domingo

The Stories of God (and Kiki)
Story by Dave Connis
Art by Amy Domingo
Publisher: Waterbrook
Series: Made in His Image
ISBN: 9780593233573

In my quest to build my granddaughter's library with faith-filled books I was excited to be invited to join in the launch of this story! I was sent the hardcover for this review.


Summary:

From the creators of The Inventions of God (and Eva) comes a delightfully illustrated picture book that tells the story of would-be author and artist Kiki—and the God who created her to be a lot like Him.

Little Kiki is an aspiring author and illustrator who weaves daring tales about swashbuckling otters, all-knowing sea cucumbers, and nail-biting rescues from the clutches of gerblins (part gerbil, part goblin). But where do her imagination, creativity, and ideas come from?
 
Meet God, the author of all stories. He writes adventurous tales such as Esther Saves Her Family and Friends, Jesus and the Tomb that Couldn’t Hold Him, and the Story of Kiki.

Kiki loves to write but sometimes she forgets to include important pieces (like the time she forgot to give the ship’s cook a kitchen). God also loves to write, and He knows exactly what every story needs. They are both writing their biggest story of all, and the endings are bound to be incredible.
 
Children and parents alike will delight in the playful illustrations, imaginative side stories, and the gentle reminder that the image of God is alive in each of us. 


My Review:

The Stories of God (and Kiki) is a delightfully illustrated story with the comparison of how God writes stories and little Kiki writes her stories.

The illustrations have a LOT going on in them. Trust me when I say your little one will be going back to this story and seeing something new each time. It's fun to see Kiki's imagination on the page in the way a child might draw them. It's a great way for kids to relate to her. 

It starts off with an introduction to who God is and who Kiki is. From there it compares the stories each of them has written. The story shows how Kiki might forget something in her story, but God never forgets. The story also reminds children that God wants them to use the gifts He's given them. 

I love that it conveys that God wants children to enjoy life and that He has good things for them. Also, that there's so much to look forward to when He creates a new Earth. I think children will be encouraged to be more of who they are through this story and might even encourage others to figure out more about what they like to do. It's definitely a great conversation starter on many levels!


About the Author:

Dave Connis is a former librarian and the author of several YA novels, including The Temptation of Adam and Suggested Reading, recipient of a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. He lives in Georgia with his wife, three kids, and a dog that barks at nonexistent threats.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Love And The Dream Come True By Tammy L. Gray

Love and the Dream Come True
by Tammy L. Gray
Publisher: Bethany House
Series: A State of Grace
ISBN: 9780764235931

I have been looking forward to Cam's story for a couple of years now. I was so thrilled to be on the launch team and immediately dove into the story. I was sent the book for review.

Summary:

Their faith will face its toughest test yet.

Four years after getting the biggest break of his life, Cameron Lee's music career has taken a nosedive, leaving him two options: become a sellout or give up on his lifelong dream. He reluctantly returns home for his sister's wedding, hoping to avoid his past and find his love for music again.

Single mom Lexie Walters has suffered her fair share of tragedies and setbacks, but she has finally scraped together the money to achieve her dream of going into business with her cousin as an interior designer. When Lexie's life is at an all-time high, she runs into her teenage crush, Cameron Lee.

Lost in the emotional turmoil of failure, Cameron is immediately drawn to Lexie and her infectious smile and optimistic spirit. Moreover, he adores her mouthy, no-holds-barred daughter. But fantasies only last so long, and soon Lexie and Cameron must face the real world, the one fraught with heartbreak, disappointment, and questions that sometimes can only be answered by a leap of faith.

My Review:

I've need Love and the Dream Come True since book one! My heart just ached for Cameron. He just could NOT catch a break. First with January, the new gal on the scene, and then with Darcy, who he thought he had a future with.

When we're introduced to Lexie, I wonder how she's going to break through the wall Cam has around his heart. I have to admit, I wasn't a fan of her 13 year old daughter, Morgan, initially. In fact, I had very little patience with how she treated Lexie. As I read more and got to know what was going on in their lives, I began to understand their relationship more and why Morgan talked to her the way she did. I know, I'm being cryptic, but I want you to give her a chance once you start reading the story. In fact, some of my favorite scenes ended up including her.

And Cameron. His brokenness that he doesn't seem to see or understand was incredibly palpable. His anger towards so many and not wanting to be back in Midlothian... I felt it too, for him! The emotional scenes with Bryson, Darcy, and Mason had my heart racing! They were very powerful moments and watching him grow, seeing scales fall from his eyes (and his heart) just filled me up so much. Watching him heal and be restored was wonderful.

One of the things I liked most about this story was Lexie and her perpetual cheerfulness. Usually that would be an immediate turn-off for me, but she was so well written that it endeared her to me! We get to understand what's taken place over the course of her life to make her this way and it's bittersweet. The storyline between her and Cam was raw and beautiful. I kept wanting to turn the page to read as their relationship grew deeper and deeper.

I appreciated Cam's faith journey as well. Watching as he begins to unravel what he's pushed aside and how it's affected his entire life. What a story of seeing someone in a fog see clearly again!

I'm completely sad the story is over and I want Mason's story now!! I didn't know I wanted it until we got to know him better in this story. I can't tell you how sad I am that there aren't 4 books in the series with the last one ending on him.

About the Author:

Tammy L. Gray (www.tammylgray.com) lives in the Dallas area with her family, and they love all things Texas. Her nine modern and true-to-life contemporary romances include the 2017 RITA Award-winning My Hope Next Door. When not taxiing her three kids to various events, Tammy can be spotted crunching numbers as the financial administrator at her hometown church.

Monday, August 1, 2022

The One Who Got Away By Tara Grace Ericson

The One Who Got Away
by Tara Grace Ericson
Series: Second Chance Fire Station
Publisher: Silver Fountain Press
ISBN: 978-1949896398

I love being on Tara Grace Ericson's launch team! I've become a huge fan of Minden. Now we get to know some of the fellas at the fire department. She sent me the ebook ARC of the first book in this new series!

Summary:

The relationship is fake. But the sparks are real.
Can these best friends rekindle a second chance at first love? Or will they both end up burned?

Right here at the Minden Fire Department is exactly where I belong. But when I became Captain Storm, apparently it meant I needed a wife. Or at least, that’s what my mom’s friends think.

When Krystal comes back to town, I don’t know what to think. She was my best friend in high school. The truth is I loved her–as much as any eighteen-year-old kid could have. I think she loved me, too.

But she left, anyway.

I really do understand why. She had dreams to chase in Hollywood. How could I deny her that?

She’s here now, though. For eight weeks. And she’s taking over the fire department charity auction while her mom recovers from her fall, which means working with me.

I know we’re just friends. She’s going back to LA after the auction, but maybe her presence could get my mom’s friends off my back for a minute. We’ll just let people assume there is more to our friendship… No harm, no foul. I really could use the break from my personal matchmakers’ attention.

And I won’t say no to a little extra time with Krystal. I’m probably torturing myself. Friends is all we’ll ever be. Even a fake relationship can’t change the fact that she was The One Who Got Away.


My Review:

This was such a fun story to read. If you enjoy Hallmark movies you're going to enjoy this story!

First, I love small town stories, and I especially like going back to towns I've grown fond of. The little town of Minden has worked its way into my heart. I already know I'm going to look forward to getting to know the people connected with the fire station.

Bryce is the one who stayed behind. Minden is where he's rooted and you can feel his love for the town. He's also eligible and the mamas of the town know it. That's a pretty amusing thread in this story.

Too bad Krystal, the one who got away, comes back to town to take care of her mom after a fall. I could imagine her wanting to get out of the little town and pursue her dreams. I really liked her and her struggle of wanting to pursue her dreams while feeling the pull of the small town living.

The overall story was very sweet and was a quick read. Watching both Bryce and Krystal "pretend" that they're dating so their families won't set them up on dates is both helpful and not helpful because of the feelings they have for each other that seem to be watered with their time together. There's a plan that's bound to backfire.

Of course, I can't neglect the faith element that is throughout the story. It's subtle (as in not shoved in the reader's face), and flows nicely with the story and the characters. Both of the MCs have to look to the Lord for guidance and what he has for each of them.

I'm already champing at the bit for Jake and Monica's story! That will be an interesting one!

About the Author:

Tara Grace Ericson lives in Missouri with her husband and three sons. She studied engineering and worked as an engineer for many years before embracing her creative side to become a full-time author and mom. 

She loves cooking, crocheting, and reading books by the dozen. She also loves a good “happily ever after” with an engaging love story. 

That's why Tara focuses on writing clean contemporary romance, with an emphasis on Christian faith and living. She wants to encourage her readers with stories of men and women who live out their faith in tough situations.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Off the Chain By Janice Thompson + GIVEAWAY

Off the Chain JustRead Takeover Tour

Welcome to the Takeover Tour for Off the Chain by Janice Thompson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I received the book for being part of this tour!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Off the Chain
Title: Off the Chain 
Series: Gone to the Dogs Mysteries #1 
Author: Janice Thompson 
Publisher: Barbour Fiction 
Release Date: July 1, 2022 
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Christian 

The Town of Brenham, Texas, Has Gone to the Dogs! 

Curl up with your pup and sink into a delightful small-town mystery as riddles and rescues stack up in book one of a new cozy mystery series

Marigold Evans’ first attempt at rescuing an abandoned pooch lands her in the underground sewer lines of Houston’s Buffalo Bayou. . .and almost in jail, until Parker Jenson comes to her defense. Then a bad day only gets worse as the Lone Star Vet Clinic, where they both work, is vandalized and the list of suspects starts to climb. With the help of her fellow employees, Marigold sets out to simultaneously solve the crime, rehab the rescued dog, and help more dogs in crisis. But why would anyone continue to work against all their good efforts? 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Christianbook | BookBub

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Janice Thompson

Janice Thompson, who lives in the Houston area, writes novels, non-fiction, magazine articles, and musical comedies for the stage. The mother of four married daughters, she is quickly adding grandchildren to the family mix.

Connect with Janice by visiting janiceathompson.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of Off the Chain and a $15 Amazon egift card!

Off the Chain JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight July 27, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on August 3, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

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Creative Commons License
Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.