Pulse by Linore Burkard Review and Giveaway!

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About the Book

Book: Pulse

Author: Linore Burkard

Genre: Christian YA/Apocalyptic Suspense

Release date: August 24, 2015

PulseWhat do you do when the whole world stops?

Andrea, Lexie and Sarah are just ordinary teens until a mysterious event shuts down all technology. In the dead of winter, there’s no heat, no internet, no cell phones–not even a working car.
In this chilling Christian YA tale, most of the population doesn’t survive. Pitting faith and grit against a world without power, the girls and their families must beat the odds. But can they find the strength to survive when society collapses and technology fails?

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

My Thoughts

The thought of an EMP, or Electro Magnetic Pulse has always terrified me. Everything that has electrical parts will cease to work…including cars and cell phones. Our country could be crippled in a matter of seconds. This book delves into that scenario by following 3 teenage girls who are friends and all live in different types of homes…Andrea’s family is on the wealthier side but her dad is not the nicest person to be around…Lexie was raised in a Christian home and her family has been “prepping” for a difficult situation for years…and Sarah lives in an apartment in the city with her parents, older brother, and younger cousin.

The story is narrated by the 3 girls and  it’s interesting to see the EMP effects through each of their eyes. There are some very gritty moments in the book but I imagine that everything described is something that would happen if this scenario occurred.

There were a few times when the author got very political in the story, which isn’t my cup of tea, whether I agree with the sentiments or not. Other than that I found the story to be very intense and stressful and it caused me to evaluate what I should do to prepare should this ever happen in the future. It’s definitely a thought provoking book!

I am interested to read the second story to find out what happens next!

I received this book from the publisher/author to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

About the Author

Linore_SmallerLinore Rose Burkard wrote a trilogy of genuine regency romances for the Christian market before there were any regencies for the Christian market. Published with Harvest House, her books opened the genre for the CBA. She also writes YA Suspense/Apocalyptic fiction as L.R. Burkard. Married with five children, Linore home-schools her youngest daughter, teaches workshops for writers, and is the Vice President of the Dayton Christian Scribes.  Her latest PULSE EFFEX SERIES, takes readers into a “chilling possible future for America, while affirming the power of faith in the darkest of times.”

 

More from Linore

When my sweet historical romance series was published, I never dreamed my next would be YA/dystopian. What a switch in genres! So, how did I go from one end of the writing spectrum to another? Blame it on an idea that refused to die. I read a headline about how close the earth came to suffering a catastrophic electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, in 2012. We missed the worst effects of a solar flare by a hair (in space terms); but the “what if” factor had been set in motion. What if that flare hadn’t missed us? What if I was a teen raised on electronics–or an adult medically dependent on them–and it all went dead in a matter of seconds? What if the next flare doesn’t miss? PULSE, the first book in my PULSE EFFEX Series, was born.

The books shows life in the aftermath of such an event for three teens and their families. With the world plunged into a new dark age, can they keep hope alive?

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, July 13

Through the Fire Blogs, July 14

amandainpa, July 14

Genesis 5020, July 15

Real World Bible Study, July 15

Retrospective Spines, July 16

Blogging With Carol, July 17

Artistic Nobody, July 17 (Spotlight)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 18

All-of-a-kind Mom, July 18

Inspired by fiction, July 19

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, July 19

Mary Hake, July 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 20

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, July 21

Pause for Tales, July 21

Inklings and notions, July 22

janicesbookreviews, July 23

Emily Yager, July 23

Ashley’s Bookshelf, July 24

Texas Book-aholic, July 25

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae, July 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 25

A Reader’s Brain, July 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linore is giving away the grand prize of an eBook copy of her book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

https://promosimple.com/ps/e683/pulse-celebration-tour-giveaway

The 49th Mystic by Ted Dekker Review

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Synopsis

Some say the great mystery of how one can live in two worlds at once died with Thomas Hunter many years ago. Still others that the gateway to that greater reality was and is only the stuff of dreams.

They are wrong. In the small town of Eden, Utah, a blind girl named Rachelle Matthews is about to find out just how wrong.

When a procedure meant to restore Rachelle’s sight goes awry, she begins to dream of another world so real that she wonders if Earth might only be a dream experienced when she falls asleep in that reality. Who is a simple blind girl to have such strange and fantastic dreams?

She’s the prophesied one who must find and recover five ancient seals–in both worlds–before powerful enemies destroy her. If Rachelle succeeds in her quest, peace will reign. If she fails, both worlds will forever be locked in darkness.

So begins a two-volume saga of high stakes and a mind-bending quest to find an ancient path that will save humanity. The clock is ticking; the end rushes forward.

Ready? Set?

My Thoughts

I have heard a lot of good things about Ted Dekker’s Circle Series so I was thrilled when I won this book from the Goodreads giveaways. This is a spin off of the Circle series but it easily stands alone (I haven’t read the Circle series, but now I want to!). It is the first book in a duology, with book 2, The Rise of the Mystics also released.

The story falls into several genres…dystopian, fantasy, post-apocalyptic. It has no romance, which I loved. The pacing is brisk and the story is full of action. Although I’m new to fantasy and it’s not my go-to genre, I found that this story was very easy to follow and picture.

The characters were very interesting and thought out. There were many characters but I didn’t struggle to distinguish them from one another.

Beyond the story is a much deeper meaning that I appreciated but at times I felt that the theological explanations and speeches became very wordy and drawn out.

Overall, the story was enjoyable and ended with me excited to read the next installment.

My Rating

3.5 stars

I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Uncloaked Trilogy by J. Rodes Review and Giveaway!

Uncloaked Trilogy Tour Banner SLB

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The Uncloaked Synopsis: “Apathy is the illness of the overprivileged…” Words laced with fear—and maybe a hint of prophecy. His father’s words. Words Braxton would prefer to ignore.

Braxton Luther is sixteen when the Progressive Reform Party takes over the government. It can’t be that bad. So they don’t want religion in government—that’s constitutional. He can’t understand his church’s hypersensitive reaction or his father’s cryptic warning to stand against the Party’s ultimatums.

But after living under the new government for a year, Braxton faces a choice—conform to the demands of the ungodded in order to protect his best friend, Eliza, or defy the system and go into hiding, ensuring a life of misery. Still certain that life will settle back into normalcy in the near future, Braxton chooses compliance.

Then the killings begin, and Eliza is captured and sent to Reformation Camp for her defiance. Reality finally sinks in.

Apathy is no longer a choice.

2-Tearing the Veil

Tearing the Veil Synopsis (Spoilers for Book 1): Braxton Luther, the sellout.
Now a part of the Den, he’s determined to make good on Eliza Knight’s faith in him—to be more than what he’d settled for when the Party had taken over. But his goal is dangerous, and not just for him. As he searches for a way to protect the silent, invisible victims of the new government, Braxton’s mission—which includes finding a way to rescue Eliza from the Reformation Camp—becomes even more complicated. Hannah Knight, Eliza’s sister, is simply too much like him.
Tired of standing in her perfect sister’s shadow, Hannah determines to find her own place in the world. If that place is with the Pride—the girls’ home and training center provided by the Party—so be it. When she leaves the hopelessness of the cellar, that’s all she’s aiming for. But Quinn Sanger, the handsome son of a powerful political leader, finds her at the creek, and her life takes an unexpected and optimistic turn.
Braxton’s convinced Hannah’s in trouble. Hannah’s convinced Braxton, and all the Uncloaked, are insane. But when they peek behind the real veil the Party maintains, the truth is beyond what either had feared or hoped.
If everyone knew, it could change everything. They redefine their mission. It’s time to tear the veil.

3-The Charging Darkness

Charging the Darkness Synopsis (Spoilers for Books 1 and 2): You were not saved for this… 

The veil has been torn, but Braxton Luther still has more to do.
The captive Uncloaked have been freed, and the people know the dark truth. A rebellion against the Party has begun, but the question lingers among those who are safely hidden in the Refuge–what will happen to their broken nation? Secrets and shame, resentment and hatred continue to shake the nation, now divided.

What will it take to break the grip of the Party? Beyond that, is there any hope of healing after the damage of the darkness?

My Thoughts of the entire trilogy (Spoiler free): 

I love dystopian stories, they always cause a bit of anxiety as I allow my mind to wonder, “could this really happen?”. This was the first Christian dystopian trilogy I’ve read and was the most terrifying dystopian series I’ve read so far as when I pondered, “could this really happen?” I realized that the answer was yes.  These books caused me to reexamine my faith and consider what I would do if I came to a place where apathy is no longer an option.

In the trilogy, the reader follows Braxton, who is a preacher’s kid that faces a very difficult choice. His character development throughout the books is amazing…I went from being frustrated with him to being very proud of him. The other characters were also great…there were some great twists and surprises that I never saw coming. The author was great at connecting the books and making the story flow nicely.

The stories also send a beautiful message of forgiveness. I’ve read other books with Christian characters in uncertain times and found the emphasis on love lacking at times. I really appreciated how the characters in this book still allowed their lights to shine throughout their turmoil and showed love to those “undeserving” of it.

Overall, this was an amazing set of books that I will definitely revisit in the future. It’s thought provoking, adventurous, and unputdownable.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received these books from the author/publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author:

jennifer-rodewald_8

Jennifer Rodewald is passionate about the Word of God and the powerful vehicle of story. Four kids and her own personal superman make her home in southwestern Nebraska delightfully chaotic.

Born in Colorado, she experienced both the seclusion of rugged mountain living and the busy streets of a Denver suburb during her growing up years. Somewhere in the middle of college, she married a Husker and found her way back to the quiet lifestyle of a rural area, which suits just fine.

Blessed with a robust curiosity, Jen loves to research. Whether she’s investigating the history of a given area, the biography of a Christian icon, or how nature declares the glory of God, her daily goal is to learn something new. Aiming to live with boundless enthusiasm, her creed is vision, pursuit, and excellence.

Jen lives and writes in a lovely speck of a town where she watches with amazement while her children grow up way too fast, gardens, and marvels at God’s mighty hand in everyday life.

CONNECT WITH JENNIFER: websitefacebookgoodreadstwitter

Visit the Other Stops on the Blog Tour!

BLOG TOUR STOPS

January 8: Soulfully Romantic
January 11: Just Commonly 
January 12: Remembrancy
January 15: amandainpa
January 18: Henry Happens
January 20: Pause for Tales

 

Giveaway!

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Rondi Bauer Olson’s ‘All Things Now Living’ Blog Tour and Kindle Fire Giveaway

About the book:
 

Her whole life Amy has been taught the people of New Lithisle deserve to die, but when she falls for Daniel, she determines to save him.
Sixteen-year-old Amy doesn’t like anything to die, she won’t even eat the goats or chickens her mama has butchered every fall, but she can’t let herself pity the inhabitants of New Lithisle. In a few short months the dome they built to isolate themselves from the deadly pandemic is predicted to collapse, but her whole life Amy has been taught it’s God’s will they die. They traded their souls for immunity to the swine flu virus, brought God’s curse upon themselves by adding pig genes to their own.
Then, while on a scavenging trip with her father, Amy is accidentally trapped in New Lithisle. At first her only goal is to escape, but when she meets Daniel, a New Lithisle boy, she begins to question how less-than-human the people of New Lithisle are.
Amy’s feelings grow even more conflicted when she learns she didn’t end up in New Lithisle by mistake. Her father is secretly a sympathizer, and was trying to prevent the coming destruction.
Now time is running short and Amy has to decide if she will bring the computer program her father wrote to his contact or save herself. Installing the program could prevent the dome’s collapse, but if Amy doesn’t find her father’s contact in time, she’ll die, along with everyone else.
About the author:

Rondi Bauer Olson is a reader and writer from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where she lives on a hobby farm with her husband, Kurt. She has four grown children, works as a nurse, and also owns a gift shop within view of beautiful Lake Superior.
Find out more about Rondi at http://rondibauerolson.weebly.com.
My Thoughts: I was very excited to pick up this book but overall, it wasn’t the book for me. The plot was very interesting and unique…a quarantined society that dabble in genetic alterations and a girl from the outside, given the task to save them from impending destruction and death. Unfortunately, the story was not described in a way that made it easy to understand…the world building could have been better and I was often confused about the history of this society and how they got to the present situation.
I also found the main character Amy to be very unlikeable. She was so invested in her love interest at times that she seemed to forget the gravity of the situation that she was in. The insta-love was very hard for me to read. I never like romance in books so it may  be just me, but the romance was so instantaneous and unrealistic and very immature. I think the fact that the characters were teenagers added to my dislike of the romance as they were moving very fast for their ages.
On the plus side, the cover of this book is gorgeous and the plot is very unique. I think some people would definitely enjoy the story. I just found it to be too heavy on the romance and a bit too light on the descriptions.
My Rating: 2 stars
I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Stay up all night reading this thrilling new book from Rondi and enter to win a Kindle Fire!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of All Things Now Living
  • A Kindle Fire

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on December 14. The winner will be announced December 15 on the Litfuse blog.

 

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen Review

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Synopsis: Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.

My Thoughts: Wow! What an adventure this was! This book had me hooked from the first page to the last page. It covered a lot of genres…sci-fi with a bit of a dystopian feel, a lot of action and adventure and some mystery thrown in as well.

There are a lot of characters that are introduced quickly but they all were described in a way that made them easy to distinguish from each other. This book was full of diversity…the characters came from all over the world and spoke many different languages.

I appreciated the fact that there was very little cursing in this book. I would be comfortable letting my 11 year old read it because the content was appropriate.

There were a few surprises that had me gasping…one in particular that I would have never seen coming. The story ended abruptly and I will be one of the first in line to buy the next one when it comes out!

I highly recommend this book for fans of The Hunger Games or Illuminae.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books to review.

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine Review

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Synopsis: Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…

My Thoughts: I requested this book with slight apprehension because this genre is far from my comfort zone. I do not tend to go for fantasy or paranormal but I do love books and libraries as well as dystopian stories so I decided to give it a go.

The story was unlike anything I’ve read before…a world where owning physical copies of books is forbidden and The Great Library controls everything that people read. It follows Jess Brightwell, who is a book smuggler for his father but gets the opportunity to train to enter the library’s service.

I was on board for the first half of the story, I loved the atmosphere and the things that occurred during the training. Towards the middle of the story, a mission needs to be accomplished and that’s when I started to lose interest. I just wasn’t excited about the subject and what was happening.

The concept of this story was very unique and clever but the world building was a bit lacking. I had difficulty picturing some things as they were described because I felt there weren’t enough details.

Overall, I was pleased with this book for an “out of my comfort zone”, non-preferred genre book. I found it interesting and enjoyed the adventure but I don’t feel compelled to pick up the rest of the books in the series.

My Rating: 3 stars

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

 

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan Review

graceGenre: Fantasy, Adult Fiction, Dystopian

Judging the Cover: This is one of my favorite book covers of all the books that I own. I love the colors and the cover depiction of Callanish in the graceyard was very helpful in picturing the world.

Plot according to Goodreads: As a Gracekeeper, Callanish administers shoreside burials, sending the dead to their final resting place deep in the depths of the ocean. Alone on her island, she has exiled herself to a life of tending watery graves as penance for a long-ago mistake that still haunts her. Meanwhile, North works as a circus performer with the Excalibur, a floating troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers, and trainers who sail from one archipelago to the next, entertaining in exchange for sustenance.

In a world divided between those inhabiting the mainland (“landlockers”) and those who float on the sea (“damplings”), loneliness has become a way of life for North and Callanish, until a sudden storm offshore brings change to both their lives–offering them a new understanding of the world they live in and the consequences of the past, while restoring hope in an unexpected future.

My Thoughts: This book is described as a cross between Station Eleven and The Night Circus. Although I haven’t yet read Station Eleven, The Night Circus is one of my favorite books. Stories with a circus or amusement park setting always interest me so I was eager to pick this one up. I was not disappointed. As with The Night Circus, the imagery is the star of this book…the author’s imagination and creativity shines through every page.

The Good:

  • The setting of the story (a world that has been flooded and all that remains are small islands dispersed throughout the ocean) was very interesting. I was able to easily visualize the world and felt like I was part of it.
  • The story was very unusual…I haven’t read many fantasy books and this was a great place to start. The plot was different than anything I’ve read before.
  • I enjoyed the hierarchy that was present between the Damplings and the Landlockers…there was a lot of tension between these two groups of people and I found it very interesting.
  • The circus aspect was fun. The circus traveled in a large boat with several smaller boats (coracles) attached with chains. When they docked, the larger boat became the stage and the large sail became the tent. I felt like a member of the audience when reading the circus scenes. These scenes were among my favorites in the book.

What I didn’t Like:

  • The pacing…this wasn’t a book that I flew through, it took some time to read and was a slower paced story.
  • Some of the aspects of the story weren’t explained fully and left me with a few unanswered questions.
  • This was the type of book that was easy to put down and difficult to pick up (but when picked up, was enjoyable to read). It didn’t have that indescribable quality that sucks you into the story and won’t let you go.

My Rating: 4/5 stars.

Disclaimer: I received this book from blogging for books in exchange for an honest review.