Friday, November 28, 2014

Review - Crown Duel

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My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genres: YA fiction, Historical, Fantasy
Pages: 471
Crown Duel (Crown & Court #1-2)
I loved this book so much, I read it twice. But still, it's been a while since I've read it, so I'll use the summary as shown on

Young Countess Meliara swears to her dying father that she and her brother will defend their people from the growing greed of the king. That promise leads them into a war for which they are ill-prepared, which threatens the very people they are trying to protect. But war is simple compared to what follows, in peacetime. Meliara is summoned to live at the royal palace, where friends and enemies look alike, and intrigue fills the dance halls and the drawing rooms. If she is to survive, Meliara must learn a whole new way of fighting-with wits and words and secret alliances.

In war, at least, she knew in whom she could trust. Now she can trust no one.

Crown Duel is written in first person, in the point of view of clever, quick-tempered Meliara. Originally, it was not one book, but two(Crown Duel and Court Duel). But they were later put together as one novel,(with a bonus short story!) which is what I'll be reviewing.

The two parts of the story are very different from each other, as you may have guessed from the titles. Part one(Crown Duel) involves war; Part 2(Court Duel) is during times of peace. And Meliara doesn't know what's harder to maneuver—the battlefield or the royal palace.

I loved seeing Mel grow throughout the book. In the beginning she was rude and rather judgmental. But circumstances changed her, though she never grew to be perfect. The quirks that I loved about her personality remained. She certainly wasn't your usual countess, and I loved that she was different.

If you like adventure, fantasy, romance, or teen fiction, pick this one up. It's a classic of young adult literature. And I devoured it. Twice.

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving yesterday! I had a great time with my family. Very grateful for them. So, what are you all thankful for this Thanksgiving week?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Free ebooks!

If you love Christian Fiction, don't miss out! Grab these ebooks for free on Nook or Kindle. Remember, some may be limited time offers.

Once Upon a Summer and The Meeting Place by Janette Oke; Daughter of Twin Oaks and An Untamed Land by Lauraine Snelling; The Last Page by Lacy Camey; The Edge of Light by Ann Shorey; and The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena Miller.

Images from

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Review - Remember Me When

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Genres: Christian, Historical Fiction
Pages: 368

Remember Me When (Women of Hope #2)
Inspired by the biblical story of Abigail in 1 Samuel, Remember Me When is an intriguing story, and has a great message.

Faith Nolan is a humble, God-fearing woman who wouldn't hurt a fly. After all, she's never even put a hand up to defend herself against her abusive husband, Roger. So why is it that when she discovers her husband dead, that she's the one accused of his murder?
Sure, there was that confrontation they'd had before his death. And then there's her brother-in-law's relentless accusations. And to top it all off, other crimes happen only when Faith is around. Even Nathan, the man she thought of as her protector, starts to doubt Faith's innocence.   
Yet while Faith seems to come to terms with her fate—that she must pay for crimes she didn't commit—Nathan and a few others decide to take action. Because if Faith is innocent, as Nathan desperately wants to believe, then there remains a mystery to be solved. Who really killed Roger Nolan?

I enjoyed reading Remember Me When and trying to guess who the killer was, although in the end I found the revealing to be kind of predictable. Also, there were a few things about the story that didn't feel quite so realistic, such as when nearly all of the women of the town believed in Faith's innocence despite the evidence surmounted against her. You'd think some of them would be more skeptical.
But, despite all of that, it was a nice, touching story. I found myself rooting for Faith as the odds stacked against her. The romance was sweet(although, I should clarify that there's not that much romance to the story. It's mostly about clearing Faith of the accusations). And I enjoyed the sprinkling of humor, elements of mystery, and inspiring message about trusting God even in the most difficult circumstances.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes Christian Historical Fiction with a touch of mystery. It's a great clean read.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Home of Our Hearts + free ebook

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.
About 5 years ago, when I was eleven, I was gifted with a book for Christmas. The Christy Miller Collection, Volume 1, by Robin Jones Gunn. Maybe most kids would just put the book aside and keep on searching for their new bikes or electronics--but not me. I was a die-hard bookworm and got maybe a tad bit excited when someone gave me a book(I still do - hint, hint).

So I started reading it after the holidays and pretty soon I was hooked. I read the first volume, then the second, then the third. And it was months until my birthday before I received the final volume. And then maybe a year later, what do I find out? There's another volume of books about Christy called The College Years. I devoured those too.

I think I loved reading the Christy Miller series because the characters are so relatable, especially to young person like me. Today, I'm waiting on yet another addition to the life of Christy and her friends, called Home of our Hearts. It's the second in a series called The Married Years. (Don't you just love it when an author keeps adding on to the lives of her characters?)

Here's the description from Goodreads:

Christy and Todd are looking forward to being part of two important weddings. Christy would never think of missing Katie's big day, even though she's getting married in Kenya. Todd has been waiting his whole life to stand up as the best man for his dad's wedding. How will these two grand events fit into their lives and what will Todd say when Christy tells him the doctor's diagnosis the day before they leave for Africa? Will they finally settle in and start a home?  

So, that's my Waiting On Wednesday. Home of Our Hearts releases on November 25! Just a week from now!

Also, grab Road Trip to Redemption by Laurie Larsen for free on Nook and Kindle. Deal ends tomorrow!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Review - Captives

Captives (The Safe Lands #1) by Jill Williamson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genres: YA, Dystopian, Christian, Science Fiction
Pages: 400
Captives (Safe Lands, #1)

“They're going to execute him?”

“Death is life, peer.”

Jill Williamson's world building is extraordinary in “Captives,” the first book in the Safe Lands Trilogy. It's set on Earth—in the United States even—but it's not the world as we know it.

In the book, we have four main characters: Mason, Levi, Omar, and Shaylinn. Each face their own personal struggles after their village, Glenrock, is attacked and many are brought as captives to the Safe Lands. As it turns out, the “Safe Lands” aren't really safe at all. Most of the inhabitants are plagued by a deadly disease—a disease Mason is determined to find a cure for.

Levi's main concern is setting his people free, while Shaylinn is kept on a tighter reign for the purpose the Safe Lands think she might serve them. And Omar—well, Omar is thinking that this new home might not be such a bad place after all.

But conflict arises against all of them and they must decide which path to take. Will they settle in and choose the comforts this new place has to offer? Or will they choose rebellion and possibly become liberated—a process that remains a mystery to both the inhabitants of Glenrock and the Safe Lands?

Full of creative inventions; vivid descriptions; and complex, likeable(and not-so-likeable) characters, this book is definitely a page turner. I want to recommend it to everyone, but I think it's safe to say that this book was meant for older teens. And even adults, despite its young adult classification. There are some mature themes that some younger children may not understand. Still, it's a wonderful read. I highly recommend it!

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