A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell

Title: A Heart Most Worthy

Author: Siri Mitchell

Series: Against All Expectations, #4 (is meant to be a standalone)

Genre: Historical Romance with Christian undertones

Era: 1918 (WW1)

Setting: Boston, United States

Publisher: Bethany House

Source: bought myself a copy at the local library

Time Taken to Read: about three days

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

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The Mayflower Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse

Title: The Mayflower Bride

Author: Kimberly Woodhouse

Series: Daughters of the Mayflower, #1

Genre: Historical/Christian Romance

Era: 1620s (Pilgrims)

Setting: England and then New England, 1620

Publisher: Barbour Books

Source: from NetGalley (in exchange for honest review)

Time Taken to Read: seven days (during NaNoWriMo, too!)

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Continue reading “The Mayflower Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse”

Disowned by Sarah Addison-Fox (Blog Tour)

AllegianceBlogTour

Title: Disowned

Author: Sarah Addison-Fox

Series: Allegiance, #1

Genre: Christian Fantasy Adventure (though I’d say more dystopia but in a fantasy world and with slightly less drama)

Setting: Etraea and Kyraenea, both countries in a made-up world. Non-magical.

Publisher: Sarah Addison-Fox

Source: from author (in exchange for honest review)

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

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Rainland by Sarah Allerding

Title: Rainland

Author: Sarah Allerding

Genre: Middle Grade (Light) Fantasy

Publisher: Sarah Allerding

Source: from author (in exchange for honest review)

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Rainland by Sarah Allerding

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When Thomas gets caught in a summer storm, he is sucked into the world of raindrops through a tornado. He learns he will not be allowed to return until he can defeat the lightning, which has been hurling raindrops from the clouds. Many adventures await him in this strange land. Is everything just as the raindrops say it will be? Is it the lightning they need to defend themselves against, or is there a much greater foe behind the disturbing disappearances?

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A Question of Courage by Jesseca Wheaton (Blog Tour)

AQoC Blog tour image

Title: A Question of Courage

Author: Jesseca Wheaton

Series: Questions of War, #2

Genre: Christian Historical Adventure (with light romance)

Era: World War Two

Setting: Kansas and the South Pacific

Publisher: Jesseca Wheaton

Source: from author (in exchange for honest review)

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Continue reading “A Question of Courage by Jesseca Wheaton (Blog Tour)”

As In Olden Days by Jesseca Wheaton

Title: As in Olden Days

Author: Jesseca Wheaton

Series: Questions of War, 0.5

Genre: Christian Historical Short Story (@Christmas)

Era: late 1940s

Setting: Kansas

Publisher: Jesseca Wheaton

Source: from author (in exchange for honest review)

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

As in Olden Days by Jesseca Wheaton

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The short story prequel to the Questions of War series, As in Olden Days is an adorable Christmas story about all our favorite characters – Gil, David, Lily, Elaine, Rafe with an awesome peek into their pre-war life.

It is awesome in its awesomeness, and the cover is pretty. I love red on gray and white. It’s so striking. Kind of reminds me of blood on snow. Which I’ve seen a lot of because my brother gets bloody noses all the time. It looks cool.

(~summary by moi … which is why it’s … like it is)

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The Journey by John A. Heldt

And we’re back!

I’m planning on posting Tuesday and Friday from this point forward, although there may occasionally be a post on another day. Especially as I need to catch up on reviews. The hiatus was nice, but it’s good to be back. 🙂

Title: The Journey

Author: John A. Heldt

Series: Northwest Passage, #2

Genre: Science Fiction (time travel romance/adventure)

Era: contemporary and 1979

Setting: Unionville, Oregon, United States

Publisher: John A. Heldt

Source: from the author (in exchange for an honest review)

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

THE JOURNEY BY JOHN A. HELDT

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Seattle, 2010. When her entrepreneur husband dies in an accident, Michelle Preston Richardson, 48, finds herself childless and directionless. She yearns for the simpler days of her youth, before she followed her high school sweetheart down a road that led to limitless riches but little fulfillment, and jumps at a chance to reconnect with her past at a class reunion. But when Michelle returns to Unionville, Oregon, and joins three classmates on a spur-of-the-moment tour of an abandoned mansion, she gets more than she asked for. She enters a mysterious room and is thrown back to 1979.

Distraught and destitute, Michelle finds a job as a secretary at Unionville High, where she guides her spirited younger self, Shelly Preston, and childhood friends through their tumultuous senior year. Along the way, she meets widowed teacher Robert Land and finds the love and happiness she had always sought. But that happiness is threatened when history intervenes and Michelle must act quickly to save those she loves from deadly fates. Filled with humor and heartbreak, THE JOURNEY gives new meaning to friendship, courage, and commitment as it follows an unfulfilled soul through her second shot at life.

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Hannah’s Moon by John A. Heldt

Title: Hannah’s Moon

Author: John A. Heldt

Series: American Journey, #5

Genre: science fiction (time travel romance)

Era: contemporary & 1945

Setting: Tennessee, United States

Publisher: John A. Heldt

Source: from author (in exchange for honest review)

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Hannah’s Moon by John A. Heldt

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After struggling for years to have a child, Claire Rasmussen, 34, turns to adoption, only to find new obstacles on the path to motherhood. Then she gets an unlikely phone call and soon learns that a distant uncle possesses the secrets of time travel.

Within weeks, Claire, husband Ron, and brother David find themselves on a train to Tennessee and 1945, where adoptable infants are plentiful and red tape is short. For a time, they find what they seek. Then a beautiful stranger enters their lives, the Navy calls, and a simple, straightforward mission becomes a race for survival.

Filled with suspense, romance, and heartbreak, Hannah’s Moon, the epic conclusion of the American Journey series, follows the lives of four spirited adults as they confront danger, choices, and change in the tense final months of World War II.

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I don’t know what to say about this novel. It was amazing, yes, but I don’t know if I can put that amazingness into sentences that make a lick of sense. But I’m going to try, and hopefully I’ll be able to do this book justice.

Let me just say, before I delve into each individual aspect, that it is an amazing book. I cried, I laughed, I shivered – from fear, from worry, from excitement. It’s threatened Indiana Belle‘s place as my favorite Heldt book!

PLOT: 5/5

Incredible.

I’m not going to attempt to recap this book (I rarely do that; it’s just not my style), but let me just say that all the twists and turns were quite amazing. I can honestly say I didn’t see most of the plot twists coming, and even the smallest changes kept me spinning, excited to keep reading, not wanting to stop.

Also, the ending … I don’t want the American Journey series to end, but let me just say, that the final plot twist + seeing all the characters I’ve read about in previous books again if only briefly + how it concluded the series was pretty awesome!

Also, it was pretty clean (that I remember). Which is something I’m technically supposed to talk about later on, but, well, it bears mentioning twice.

CHARACTERS: 5/5

I felt that every character in this book was well-developed and interesting. A few of my favorites were …

Margaret: I loved her to death. Her backstory was heartbreaking, but it really added depth to her character. Also, she was just a sweet, friendly lady. Technically, the main story didn’t revolve around her, but she was a great sideplot.

David: David is awesome! He’s one of those guys you root for and yet want to push into a creek or something.

Claire: Because she’s just so sweet. And I feel so awful for her, poor dear, or at least at the start of the book.

Ron, I’m not putting up there because he annoyed me. He did some pretty stupid things, even if he did them for the right reason. I was impressed with his fortitude in certain situations, though.

SETTING: 5/5

I felt that John A. Heldt did a great job researching for this book and putting that research into this fictional world.

(Minor spoilers!)

One of my favorite parts were the details about the Indianapolis. I am by no means a WW2 buff, but I do know a ton (and I’m not exaggerating) about the USS Indianapolis. Possibly because of Jaws and the sharks. Okay, mostly because of Jaws and the sharks. *sigh*

Also, am I the only one who was just a little disappointed that there was no Jaws reference? That would have been a perfect way to warn Ron. Ah, well, I can go write my own book if I want to use that. 😛

(End of minor spoilers!)

WRITING: 5/5

I thought it was quite well-written. I don’t know if it’s proper reviewer protocol to say this or not, but I really see how the author’s prose, dialogue, etc. has improved from book to book, which is just fun to see.

CONTENT: 3/5

Language: some language, including a few instances of d**n and h*ll as well as possibly oh my g*d (although it’s been a while since I read it). Pretty infrequent.

Violence: talks about the war, people dying, etc. A semi-detailed account of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis and what the survivors experienced. A fight in an alley, described in a little detail.

Sexual: several kisses, some a little bit detailed (but not much). Claire and Ron have suffered numerous miscarriages and a stillborn child. Margaret and David kinda-sorta have a romance while Margaret is engaged. Margaret has a backstory; (spoilers ahead) she got pregnant out of wedlock; she gave her child up for adoption. (end of spoilers)

Other: much sadness and drama. *couldn’t think of anything else to put here*

Overall, it was pretty clean. I wouldn’t recommend it to younger teens, but I think anyone about 15+ would be able to handle it.

OVERALL: 5/5

I’m starting to feel a little guilty about not thinking up something negative to say about this book, but I honestly can’t! It’s a little heavier than the other Heldt books, but it’s really, really good. Heartbreaking … and yet leaves you with a satisfied feeling.

Hmm … I guess it’s not out in paperback, so I could moan about that a little. I really want to own a physical copy!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John A. Heldt

John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life at johnheldt.blogspot.com.

Blog (social media links on sidebar)


~Kellyn Roth~

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p.s.

Have you ever read anything by John A. Heldt? Do you enjoy time travel fiction? What about WW2 fiction?

The Reluctant Godfather by Allison Tebo (blog tour)

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I know I already reviewed The Reluctant Godfather, but I’m reviewing it again. This one is a full-length review as part of Allison Tebo’s blog tour for her new novella. You can enter the giveaway here.

Before you read the review, a little about the author …

Allison Tebo is a Christian homeschool graduate in her mid-twenties, who works part time as a sales associate for a major transportation company.  A graduate of London Art College, Allison pursues avenues in cartooning and illustrating as well as singing and voice acting. In her spare time she writes and blogs at www.allisonswell.com.

It is her goal to write fiction that appeals to many different kind of people, by writing clean, classic fun. Her faith in Christ directly influences all she writes about – or does not write about.  Whether the story possesses a strong message or is simply fun and imaginative fiction – her desire is to bring honor to God – and to provide quality stories for everyone to enjoy.

And the review …

Title: The Reluctant Godfather

Author: Allison Tebo

Series: Tales of Ambia, 1

Genre: fairytale retelling (light fantasy)

Publisher: Allison Tebo

Source: bought

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

The Reluctant Godfather by Allison Tebo

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A humorous and magical re-telling of Cinderella from a unique perspective.

Burndee is a young and cantankerous fairy godfather, who would rather bake cakes than help humans. A disgrace to the fairy order, Burndee has only two wards entrusted to his care…a cinder girl and a charming prince.

A royal ball presents Burndee with the brilliant solution of how to make his wards happy with the least amount of effort. He’ll arrange a meeting and hope the two fall in love.

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I got this book on a free day, and I was so excited! I’d really been looking forward to reading it. A retelling of Cinderella from the perspective of the Fairy Godfather? Sign me up! Then I skim-read it again (although it was hard; I really wanted to just settle in and enjoy it!) so I could rewrite this review. I’m going to have to read it again sometime sooner or later … it’s really that good!

The Reluctant Godfather is a fantastic story. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. It was hilarious, causing me to laugh aloud several times. Allison’s writing style is unique and engaging. It’s light and just a bit silly, but completely self-aware and quite clever.

The characters were amazing. Burndee was especially awesome with Ella running a close second. Colin … I am a little irritated with him. Mostly because I think all Colins should be amazing. *shrugs* It’s a weird quirk …

Though, in hindsight, I guess Colin wasn’t terrible. He was irritating, though. Sometimes I was like, “Colin … I’m going to strangle you … and I don’t think anyone’s going to try to stop me …”

I can’t tell you all the amazing twists and turns of the plot without giving away spoilers, so I’ll just say that this retelling leaves no cliché unaddressed. Sometimes I thought, “Oh, well, that’s gonna be a little cliché …” and it turned out so creative! It’s truly a work of genius. And it’s really funny. What’s not to love? I honestly can’t stop raving about it.

I’m not going to rant on about the amazingness of this book forever, but you must read it! Really. Get yourself a copy.

In closing, I just want to say: Allison. I MUST READ THE SEQUEL AAAAH!!! More Ella and Burndee and maybe even Colin … *squeals*

~Kellyn Roth~

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p.s.

Have you read this book? Are you going to? Did you check out the giveaway and other blog posts? What are your thoughts on fairytale retellings?

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

Title: The Scarlet Pimpernel

Author: Baroness Orczy

Series: The Scarlet Pimpernel, #1

Genre: Classic Adventure/Romance

Era: 1790s (French Revolution)

Setting: England and France

Source: from library (read with my mom)

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

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Armed with only his wits and his cunning, one man recklessly defies the French revolutionaries and rescues scores of innocent men, women, and children from the deadly guillotine. His friends and foes know him only as the Scarlet Pimpernel. But the ruthless French agent Chauvelin is sworn to discover his identity and to hunt him down.

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I really enjoyed this book. It has definitely earned a place amongst my favorites! I think it’s one of those books everyone should read, along with Austen. It’s both humorous and thrilling, romantic and adventurous.

Plot: 5/5

This is genius. Absolute genius.

A dashing hero is saving the aristocrats from the dreaded guillotine. A beautiful woman fights for her marriage, which seems to be falling apart at the seams. An evil man plots to capture the dashing hero.

The plot is sooo good! I can’t begin to describe how much I enjoyed all the twists and turns. I swear I didn’t guess a single plot twist before it happened … not a single one! I was surprised every time.

It was so good that I’m just gonna have to send you off to read it. ‘Cause I can’t tell you with words how amazing it is.

Characters: 5/5

The characters were awesome, too! They were all beautifully developed and loveable – or hateful, in the case of the villains. I’ll describe a few of my favorites.

Marguerite … who can hate this girl? She comes off as a little silly and self-centered at first, but we soon learn her true mettle. She’s awesome.

Percy: *swoons* HE IS SO AMAZING I LOVE HIM! He’s got to be my favorite hero. Well, my favorite hero from classic fiction, anyway. Except … well, maybe he’s not my absolute favorite hero, but he’s up there! Top ten at least!

Chauvelin: I hate you. Die. But really, he was so absolutely despicable that I kinda admired the character development. Such evil! Such malice! Such hatred!

There were several other notable characters, but I won’t go into them.

Setting: 4/5

There wasn’t a ton of work done on setting, but I did enjoy everything about English social life at the time and then the French upheaval. The more I read about the French Revolution, the angrier I get. *glares at the evil French Revolution peeps* Seriously, that was so awful! I was shocked … I hadn’t realized it was that bad until I started studying it this year.

Writing: 5/5

*grins* I’m a sucker for old books. And old writing. I wish I could write like that and magically not bore secular readers. So yes, loved the writing. I really enjoyed the author’s style.

Content: 2/5

Language: Percy exclaims, “Odd’s fish!” and “Sink me!” and such. Otherwise, no.

Violence: mentions of the guillotine and people getting killed by it. Lots of talk of killing (’cause it’s Le Revolution!).

Sexual: Percy and Marguerite kiss a couple times (I think), but there are no details.

This was a pretty clean book, though the whole thing with the French Revolution might scare younger readers. Okay for any young adult.

Overall: 5/5

I LOVE THIS BOOK IT’S SO GREAT READ IT NOW AAAAAAAH!!!

*clears throat* Um … this is an excellent book. You may want to procure a copy and devour it. I enjoyed the plot, characters, and setting thoroughly. I’d recommend it to any lover of classics, adventure, romance, or simply good books.

~Kellyn Roth~

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p.s.

Have you read this book? If so, did you enjoy it? If not, will you read it now? Do you enjoy classics? If so, what are some of your favorites? If not, have you even tried classics? ‘Cause maybe you’d enjoy them … who knows? 😉

Also … I am out of town. *nods*