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I loved Seeing Voices by Olivia Smit and I was really excited to read Hearing Lies, which is the sequel to Seeing Voices. Also can I just say, I love how the titles match the story. It is just so perfect. Skyler and Mike find themself back in Golden Sound but life has moved on in the small town. Will Skyler and Mike be able to pick up the pieces of the life they left months ago? Will the lies that lie between them ruin their relationship yet again? I had some issues with Skyler in the beginning of the book, but by the end of it I felt like I understood her. She was trying to do her best, to help Cam, to save the library, and to care for Mike. She didn’t want to see anyone suffer but there were often things just out of her control. She was also struggling to figure out what it means to be a christian and how to trust God in all of life. I did like reading Skyler maturing and learning that God accepts her worst and loves her even when she fails. I was so excited to see Mike’s perspective, it was such a fun change. Mike was trying hard to pick up the pieces of his life. I liked learning more about Mike and finally learning about some of the demons that haunted him in the past. I felt bad for him and I wanted him to find peace. It was so sweet to read about Mike growing up as he found himself surrounded with Christians, and as he learned how to make amends for his mistakes. Mike still had a lot to learn, but it was fun to see his growth. Oh, poor sweet Cam. I felt so bad for Cam. We did not get to read through his perspective but I still felt like you got to know him better. He carried the weight of the world on his shoulders and he had to learn to trust Skyler. Cam was trying so hard, but in his own strength. He had to give it all to God, the good and the bad. Cam was not perfect but that was what made him relatable. Hearing Lies was such a heart wrenching book. Mike was trying to figure out what to do with himself and Cam and Skyler were trying to save the library. This is not an easy book but it also leaves you hopeful. Hearing Lies reminds you to trust God and to learn from your mistakes. The storyline was interesting and I was really engrossed in the book wanting to see how it would end. I would recommend Hearing Lies but it is a heavier book so be prepared to be hit with the feels. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, I was not required to write a positive review.

Psalms 139: 15-16 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the Secret Place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (this verse was at the beginning of the book). The Secret Place is a beautiful story about family, love and forgiveness. Twin sisters name Josie and Nadine are dropped by their mother to live with their Aunt Libby and Gram. I loved all the characters in this book. The Secret Place does touch on some sensitive topics but the author does an amazing job writing those topics. My emotions were all over the place. I love that when an author is able to make me feel what the characters are feeling. This book is a must read. I highly recommend it.

I first thought that this was a contemporary romance about a couple who loved, separated, and then, found themselves back in each other’s orbit. Learning the hurt and disappointments that they had endured, it seemed unlikely that Kaylee and Gabe could ever find a future together. Author V. Joy Palmer, however, proved me very wrong. Marriage, Melodies, and Rewritten Conclusions is a story of forgiveness and reconciliation: learning to forgive others, being able to forgive ourselves, and accepting that we all have human failings! This is a book filled with intriguing characters, a plot that contains music and pop culture, and the daily conflicts of Kaylee, Gabe, and the other members of their wedding band.. More importantly, it is a story of second chances, both human and divine. Palmer reminds us that God loves us and He is always willing to give us a second chance. God is eager to share His wonderful gift of Grace! This is such an inspiring story and I recommend Marriage, Melodies, and Rewritten Conclusions to all who enjoy contemporary Christian romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book but there was no obligation to share a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

Heart of a Princess by Hannah Currie Book 2 in the Daughters of Peverell series Rating: 5/5 Wow. I was pleasantly surprised at how much more I liked this second book in the series more than the first. I really enjoyed the first book, Heart of a Royal, but I felt that this book had so much more depth and character development. I laughed and cried and lost sleep over this one. Princess Alina has a secret that no one really knows about. When she is sent away to help her deal with her problems, the farm is the last place she’d ever expected. A princess doesn’t know how to milk a cow, cook dinner, or bake a dessert. How is she supposed to get on with her life with her fiancé, Prince Marcos of Hedonia, if she is stuck in such an uncomfortable place? Can Joha help her see the beauty and peace to be found or will he be the one to drive her further away from asking for help? Alina’s character is one that I really disliked in the first book. Her immaturity was a good contrast to McKenna, but in this book, Alina gets a chance to change. She is thrown into a place where her insecurities and imperfections abound and she must deal with her struggles to always be the perfect princess and royal like her deceased mother she never knew. I loved her by the middle of the book and laughed at her relationship with Joha. I cried with her as she learned to open up and trust in God. I highly recommend this book and series for those that enjoy fairytale-like princess stories with romance, humor, and ducks.

“It’s okay to mourn our losses and missed dreams and unmet expectations, but then, we need to wash our face, breathe deep, and embrace the life and the gifts and the blessings that God HAS given us. Embrace life and live.” This is the first book by Camille Eide I have read and I can see why many people love her writing. Her characters are real, raw, and lovable; though written in third person, I felt like the characters revealed themselves as in first person, which solidified my connection with them. The plot moves at a good pace and the internal dialogues are snarky and fun. The author addresses deep topics like coping with dementia and brain injury, soul-shattering grief and loss and rejection, but also hope, saving grace and peace of God through the everyday life of three generations of women in their past with their secrets and their present/future with reconciliation and forgiveness. I particularly enjoyed getting to know Will’s character who is sweet, strong, upright, devoted, and faithful but still in need of healing that comes from forgiving. His struggle with bitterness of his past is every believer’s struggle when there is someone we have a hard time forgiving. Josie is a caring heroine who puts her life on hold to care for her family. The secondary characters (Josie’s grandmother and aunt and twin sister) become dear as the story and generations of secrets unfold. I received the book from WhiteFire Publishing via JustRead Publicity Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are solely my own.

As a retired 2nd grade teacher, I enjoyed reading the story of the magic Sugar Maple. The children I’ve read it to and neighbors I have shared it with enjoy it, too. The story is intriguing and the illustrations depict it in a fun, colorful and imaginative way. I am enticed by all the little creatures the illustrator has half hidden on each page. Rachael Koppendrayer is an exceptional artist bringing the characters to life.

Sweet, sassy, and heartwarming, this is a book you don’t want to miss!! I’ve never read any of Clancy’s work before, but Victoria Grace won my heart in a second! Her personality is so vivid (and authentic – felt very accurate to a YA character!), flaws and quirks and all.  A couple other things I loved: – Real-life, likeable secondary characters! MamaBear, Marigold, and Corbin popped off the page and straight into my heart! – Tori’s strong voice is unmistakable – she doesn’t sound like anyone else and is instantly recognizable on the page! I could pick her internal monologue out of a lineup, and I loved that! I feel like I really know her. – Parents aren’t the bad guys!! So often in YA fiction, the parents “get in the way” or are otherwise absent (or downright evil). I loved that Tori and her mom had such a healthy, loving relationship.  – Without giving anything away (no spoilers here) I was deeply satisfied with the ending. It felt right for the story, and I walked away feeling touched. Can’t wait to see what’s up next for this author-friend of mine! *I was given an ARC, but no review was required and all opinions are entirely my own!

It’s a lovely book about a relationship between two siblings. It’s the kind of book where you don’t get sick of reading it! I loved it and it was a great read. I really liked Skylar because even when times were tough, she persevered right through them. I highly recommend this book!

“Her father was her only chance at a new beginning—if she could find him.” Growing up, I was an avid reader and fan of “Little House on the Prairie” and anything about pioneers, with a special fondness for Oregon Trail stories. Although I’ve broadened my reading horizons since then, the nineteenth century will always be my first love, and I remain on the lookout for opportunities to read and review historical fiction whenever possible. From the first time I glimpsed the cover of “One Hundred Valleys”, I knew I had to read it; I didn’t even read the synopsis, although I was thrilled when I found out it was set in Oregon in the mid-1850s. No matter how many historical fiction books I read, I never grow tired of them, and this book is a great example of diversity within the genre. From the first page of “One Hundred Valleys”, it became apparent that this was going to be a different kind of pioneer adventure. Author Bonnie Leon creates a unique story by merging common elements in a distinctive way. Rather than an Oregon Trail account, although details of the journey are scattered throughout the narrative, Emmalin Hammonds’ story opens in Oregon City after she and her Uncle Jonathon have made the trek. Moving on from a tragic past in search of the father she had been told was dead, Emmalin ends up making the last leg of the journey alone with a hired guide named Jacob Landon. For Emmalin, the travails of the journey are becoming more and more overwhelming as she finds everything stripped away from her. Emmalin’s character is interesting in and of itself. I have to admit that initially I found myself unimpressed with her, and at times downright annoyed. However, Leon writes her this way for a reason. Back in Philadelphia, Emmalin was a member of the upper class and led a privileged life, which made her completely unprepared to live in a rather uncivilized wilderness. She seems quick to judge and complain, but then she surprises readers with her strength and determination. As her newfound friend Margaret tells her about courage: “It’s being afraid and trusting God enough to do whatever it is He’s called you to do that shows how brave you are.” She slowly softens her heart toward people and things that seem absurd compared with her old life, including the issue regarding the Indians, whom she has previously considered to be lower class. Her journey demonstrates how we all tend to categorize people, yet to God none of those things matter; He loves us all and yearns for us to enter into a personal relationship with Him. As Emmalin’s time of spiritual deliverance unfolds, it is worth noting that no matter how far away she felt God was, He never left. I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

Wings Like a Dove, by Camille Eide, is one of the most moving novels I have ever read. The history it explores and the themes it pursues are powerfully intense, necessary, and timely. This well-written novel is gut-wrenchingly raw and honest, yet it is not without hope. It is tender, beautiful, emotionally-stirring, and thought-provoking. This novel bravely and boldly explores very difficult and sensitive topics such as prejudice, racism, gossip, hatred, and hypocrisy. Even still, I couldn’t turn away. I found the stories and perspectives contained within this novel to be incredibly compelling, because Ms. Eide has skillfully crafted believable characters who are vulnerable, flawed, and achingly real. At times, this novel broke my heart. I wept and I grieved for those who actually lived this story beyond the world of ink on paper. As revealed throughout history, and as depicted in the pages of this book, the human capacity for evil is beyond my fathoming. Yet, the human capacity for compassion and self-sacrifice is equally striking. This book also reveals that where there is unwarranted hatred and oppression, there will always be those who purposefully risk much to oppose such injustice and cruelty. When fiction can make us explore our own hearts, our own motivations, our own insecurities, and our own fears, it is an incredibly marvelous thing. When fiction can nurture positive change, then written words become something profound and meaningful. This book and its many poignant themes reminds us all that assumptions can be dangerous, empathy is life-changing, and grace and forgiveness can lead to healing and reconciliation. Throughout this novel, Ms. Eide also illustrates the capacity of God’s love to heal wounded hearts and broken lives. This story never fails to affirm the promise that God is near to everyone at all times. It is He who makes a way when no way can be found. Even in moments of regret, even in situations that seem desperately bleak, and even in the midst of significant shame, fear, and danger there can be found an unshakeable hope when trust is placed securely in the promises of an eternal God.   Wings Like a Dove is truly an outstanding novel from beginning to end. Ms. Eide’s talent for storytelling is remarkable. Her writing is well-researched, descriptive, and very immersive. Within every paragraph and page there is deep meaning, real truth, and thoughtful purpose. This story is relevant, fascinating, and unforgettable. I recommend it wholeheartedly.   *I was given a copy of this book by the author/publisher. A review was not required. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.
Lis Loves Reading

This story is amazing! I love how Roseanna brings to life the original story behind St. Nicholas, something I hadn’t read much on. I can imagine that it is hard to write about someone who lived so long ago (with finding information about them). I thought that the story was excellent, since it flows well and does St. Nicholas justice. Two thumbs up!

I will admit that hiking along a trail that is amongst the gators and cottonmouths does not appeal to this yuppy girl (lol), but I did find Lauralee’s account of her adventure a lot of fun to read! Her style of writing drew me in from the get go. Lauralee is hilarious and her adventures keep readers wondering “what will she encounter next?”. I enjoyed that she wove her physical and spiritual stories together with this book. Whether you are into hiking or not, this is a delightful book to pick up! I receive this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

“We will never have unity as long as people demand sameness. Unity is not sameness, but oneness of purpose. But whose purpose? Who gets to decide?” Camille Eide’s poignant and heart-wrenching story, Wings Like a Dove, swept me away and kept me riveted to the end. Set in 1933 when times were especially hard economically throughout America, this tale brought out not only the problems of poverty, but also those of racism and intolerance. Masterfully written and populated with colorful, layered characters, this is a story I won’t soon forget. Its rich imagery and impeccable historical detail, combined with tender messages of forgiveness, grace, and mercy touched my heart. “Will we not all need mercy at some time in our lives? Mercy we do not deserve? It is a precious gift, and yet it is free. Everyone has the power to give it.” The main characters, Thomas Chandler and Anna Leibowicz, endured much in their pasts, yet come together to try to help 6 orphaned boys. I loved Thomas’s kind, compassionate heart and Anna’s willingness to help others who were suffering, even though she had problems of her own. Samuel, one of the orphaned boys, was one of my favorite characters. He had wisdom beyond his years and had been traumatized over and over, yet his resiliency touched my heart. Anna’s friend Sarah was another favorite. Her courage and strength were inspiring. We all need a friend like Sarah in our lives. This quote has a wonderful message for everyone. “I think people dislike those they do not know because they cannot see the good in others. What if we choose instead to be blind to people’s flaws and shortcomings, and the differences we do not understand?” I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys excellent historical fiction. It has earned a place on my list of top reads of the year. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

I really enjoyed this story! Johnny’s faith journey made for a heart tugging and soul stirring read! I think this is the first historical I’ve read that is set in the 1950’s, I really liked learning about some of the issues that were happening then that I wasn’t familiar with prior to reading this novel! This is a great read and I recommend it!

I really enjoyed this lovely Christian romcom by a new-to-me-author! I seriously cannot even begin to count the number of times that this book had me smiling and literally laughing out loud! I loved that this story was set in New Hampshire (a state which borders my own home state of Vermont!) Overall, this is a very good romcom that I’m glad I read, and I highly recommend it, especially to fans of Bethany Turner, Melissa Tagg, and Sarah Monzon! I look forward to reading more of Ms. Palmer’s work in the future! (4 Stars!) I received an ebook copy of this book from the publisher which did not influence my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.

Wow, what an absolutely fantastic debut novel! If you know me at all then you know I am a huge fan of all things Royal, so when I heard about this book I knew I had to read it, and I jumped at the chance to request a review copy! Before I finished the first chapter I knew I was going to love this enchanting book, and love it I did! Not since Lisa T. Bergren’s River of Time series has a YA book held me so completely and utterly spellbound as Heart of a Royal did! I loved Kenna and Prince Thoraben instantly, and could not stop reading because I had to know what would happen next in their story. And yes, Prince Thoraben left me swooning more times than I can count! This book has a perfect mix of drama and wit, along with a beautiful message. Heart of a Royal is everything I hoped it would be, and so much more! This book gave me all the feels, had me laughing out loud numerous times, and made me so happy that I couldn’t stop smiling! I already want to re-read it, it’s that good! I loved, loved, LOVED everything about this book, and it definitely has a spot on my keeper shelf! Heart of a Royal swept me into its story from the first sentence and I hated to leave Peverell when I turned the final page, needless to say I cannot wait for the next book in this series! Hannah Currie has a forever fan in me! I totally and completely adored this book, and I most highly recommend it! Heart of a Royal is not to be missed! (5 Stars!) I received a copy of this book from the publisher. Which did not influence my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own!