Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano Review and Giveaway!

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About the Book

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Name of book: Out of the Ordinary

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Christian historical

Release Date: November 7, 2017

“With all the charm of a Regency romance, the humor of a drawing room farce, and the swoonworthy delight of a fairy tale, Turano’s first Apart from the Crowd historical absolutely sparkles.”–Publishers Weekly on Behind the Scenes

Working as a paid companion may be quite commonplace, but Miss Gertrude Cadwalader’s eccentric employer makes her job unpredictable, to say the least. She finds herself carrying out an array of highly unusual tasks, including wearing peculiar outfits and returning items the woman pilfered. But when the wealthy Mrs. Sinclair catches Gertrude sneaking around the Sinclair yacht with some of the missing items in her possession, she immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion.

Shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair is caught in the middle of a misunderstanding between his mother and Gertrude, but he can’t help coming to his friend’s defense. Even as he hopes their friendship might become something more, Harrison is unprepared for the outlandish escapades that seem to follow the lovely, anything-but-ordinary Gertrude at every turn.

“The second installment of Turano’s Apart from the Crowd series is laugh-out-loud enjoyable. The foibles of the characters, balanced out with a light-hearted yet meaningful love story, is a true treat. . . . All of the threads are tied together in the end, even the small mysteries and side stories. It makes for a very satisfying read when the last page is turned.”–RT Book Reviews

My Thoughts: This was my first experience reading a book by Jen Turano and I’m now eagerly looking forward to picking up another one. I wasn’t sure if her books would be my style but I think she could easily become one of my favorite authors.

Filled with wittiness, humor, drama, and great clothing descriptions, this book was a ton of fun. The characters in this book were some of my favorites. I particularly loved Gertrude and Harrison. Gertrude didn’t always conform to everyone else and she had a very sweet spirit. I also adored Harrison, who seemed a bit clueless at times, which causes some funny moments. His personality is very sweet and endearing, even though some of his gestures result in unplanned results. There are also some side characters who really added to my reading enjoyment.

The plot was original and the fact that a portion of it was set on a yacht made it very fun. I was surprised by some tender moments that brought tears to my eyes. There were also some moments that had me laughing out loud, one scene in particular that I described to my husband because I thought it was so funny.

I can honestly say that I enjoyed every moment I spent with this book and I would definitely recommend it. It is book 2 in a series (Apart from the Crowd series) and even though I hadn’t read book 1, I was easily able to read and enjoy the story.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Rating: 5 stars

I received a free copy from the author. No review, positive or otherwise, was required — all opinions are my own.

About the Author

Jen Turano, author of nine books and two novellas, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at http://www.jenturano.com.

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D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 16

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To Everything A Season, November 16

Neverending Stories, November 17

Have A Wonderful Day, November 17

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Bibliophile ReviewsNovember 19

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Joy of ReadingNovember 21

Blossoms and Blessings, November 21

Remembrancy, November 21

The Fizzy Pop Collection, November 22

Splashes of JoyNovember 22

The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, November 22

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Inspiration Clothesline, November 23

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 23

A Greater YesNovember 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 23

Radiant Light, November 24

Fiction, Faith, and Fun, November 24

Raining Butterfy Kisses, November 24

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate the tour, Bethany House is giving away a grand prize of Two Jen Turano Novels and a $20 Starbucks Gift Card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4664b04914/

 

 

 

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Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey Review

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Synopsis: FBI agent Declan Grey is in the chase of his life–but isn’t sure exactly what he’s chasing after. Threatened by a terrorist that “the wrath is coming,” Grey fears something horrible is about to be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw to help him. She’s sought justice for refugees and the hurting around the world, and if there’s anyone who can help him, it’s Tanner.

Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . . meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with Declan. But that tension also includes a spark she can’t deny, and she’s pretty sure Declan feels the same. But before anything can develop between them, they discover evidence of a terror cell–and soon are in a race against the clock to stop the coming “wrath” that could cost thousands their lives.

My Thoughts: This is book 3 in the Chesapeake Valor series. I read the first 2 books and was eager to pick this one up. Each story focuses on a man in a group of childhood friends who all work together in the FBI. This story focuses on Declan, a serious and tough agent with a gentle heart. I enjoyed getting to know Declan better and seeing his relationship grow with Tanner.

I adore the characters in this book. If I were able to choose a group of fictional characters to “hang out” with, I would choose these characters. Each one of them loves Jesus, live lives of integrity, and are always there for each other. They also manage to have fun despite the dangers they face.

The mysteries in this book were intriguing. One of the mysteries was carried over from book 2 and the other one began and was resolved in this book.  I liked this aspect because it left me wanting more but didn’t end on such a cliffhanger that I felt unsatisfied when the book was over.

I really enjoy Dani’s writing. I find myself flying through the pages and riding along on the adventures while on pins and needles, because of the suspense.

The faith content in this book is also great. The characters let their lights shine and “walk the walk”.

I highly recommend this book for fans of suspense and thrillers.

My Rating: 4 stars

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers to review.

 

A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star by J.A. Myhre Review

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Synopsis: Follow along with thirteen-year-old Kusiima in the third book of J.A. Myhre’s The Rwendigo Tales.

Just thirteen years old, Kusiima has no time for school, sports, or hanging out with the other boys in his African village. With no father or mother to take care of him, he works long hours to support his grandmother and sickly baby sister. Then one day, Kusiima’s life suddenly changes when he travels into a nearby protected forest. In the forest, Kusiima is presented with many choices, all with uncertain outcomes. Should he go along with illegal logging? Help to save an endangered baby gorilla? Follow a donkey to who knows where?
With each choice, Kusiima has to make yet another decision about what is right in front of him. As he does, he meets a mysterious doctor who holds the key to his past and his future. In the end, Kusiima is faced with the hardest choice of all. Can he forgive a great wrong and heal a broken relationship?
Readers of all ages won’t want to put down this exciting book that addresses current realities like AIDS, malnutrition, and environmental destruction, all set in a richly detailed African adventure story. Following along as Kusiima makes his decisions, readers will find themselves considering their own choices and growing in empathy for others. This action-packed tale of a boy, his sister, and an orphaned gorilla is also a clear call to give up bitterness and forgive deep hurts, restoring broken lives and relationships.

J. A. Myhre serves as a doctor with Serge in East Africa where she has worked for over two decades. She is passionate about health care for the poor, training local doctors and nurses, promoting childhood nutrition and development, and being the hands of Jesus in the hardest places. She is married to her best friend and colleague Scott, and together they have raised four children for whom many of her stories were written as Christmas presents.

Find out more about J.A. at http://paradoxuganda.blogspot.com.
My Thoughts: I have never read a book like this before and it was delightful. The story follows Kusiima, a 13 year old boy who lives in Africa with his grandmother and younger sister, who is severely underweight and unhealthy. I loved the author’s descriptive writing…I was able to picture the scenes in the book very easily and felt like I was transported to Africa while reading. This book was what I think of as an “escape book”…it’s written in a way in that the reader truly escapes their current environment and enters the world of the book.
The plot was full of adventure, suspense, and drama. I found myself on the edge of my seat several times while reading. The illustrations were also delightful and provided a better glimpse into the world.
I adored Kusiima, he was a very strong, courageous young man of amazing character. I think this would be an excellent story for boys to read. It causes the reader to see that there are people in the world that don’t live as comfortably as those in the western world. In spite of Kusiima’s poor circumstances, he still persevered.
There was a bit of violence and some scenes that might be scary for younger readers.
I highly recommend this book and plan to pick up the other 2 in the series (this is book 3).
My Rating: 4.5 stars
I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group to review.

Poison by Jordyn Redwood Review

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Synopsis: Five years ago, Keelyn Blake’s stepfather took her family hostage, raving about Lucent, a being who forced him to commit unspeakable acts. Some of the family made it out alive; the rest did not. Even Lee Watson, the best of SWAT, failed to overcome the man’s delusions and end the standoff peacefully.

Now, Lucent is back– and he’s no hallucination. He has kidnapped Keelyn’s niece, and although Keelyn is estranged from her half-sister, Raven, she feels compelled to save what little family she has left. But Raven is nowhere to be found, and when others involved in that fateful day start dying under mysterious circumstances, Keelyn wonders if she and Lee– and their budding relationship– will surive.

My Thoughts: The premise of this book was very interesting and I found myself intrigued to find out what was going on. Everything came together nicely in the end and I was unable to predict most of the twists (which there were many twists). The author is extremely gifted as a writer and is also a very creative story teller…she always seems to present ideas that make me think long after I’ve finished the book. I will definitely be picking up more of her books.

I read Book 1 in this Trilogy (Proof) last month and loved it. I gave it 5 stars and couldn’t put it down. I enjoyed this book as well, but not quite as much as the first one. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately though so it has been difficult for me to connect with most of the books I’ve picked up lately.  I had a little bit of trouble with the amount of characters in this book, there was a lot going on and I had a little trouble keeping everything straight at times.

Overall, this was a great addition to the trilogy and I recommend it if you enjoy suspense and twists.

My Rating: 3 stars

I received this book from Bookfun in exchange for an honest review.

Kill Devil by Mike Dellosso Review

Spoilers to Centralia ahead.

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Goodreads Synopsis: Jed Patrick is convinced he’s doing all it takes to keep his family safe–new names, new location, new identity. But just when he thinks he finally has his life back, trained men claiming to be CIA agents break in and threaten his wife and daughter, proving once and for all his family will never truly be safe until he eliminates the agency dead set on hunting him down.Not knowing if Karen and Lilly are better off by his side or in hiding, Jed is determined to protect them while finding a way to use the classified information that he possesses to dismantle the Centralia Project. But he soon learns that eliminating Centralia may require compromising his own values. As danger escalates, Jed isn’t sure whether there’s anyone or anything he can trust–including his own senses.

My Thoughts: I read the first book in the Jed Patrick series, Centralia in May and thought it was good but not great. This book was much better in my opinion. The story is full of action and through the entire book, the reader is unsure who to trust (as the main character, Jed is). There is a great twist towards the end of the book that I never saw coming. I’m not always a fan of government/ military thrillers but this was really enjoyable.

The author is a very good writer, the writing style was extremely easy to fall into and the pacing was perfect. I flew through the book and didn’t want to put it down. My only problem with the book was that the daughter, Lilly in the book is 8 years old but many times seems much older than that.

This is a Christian fiction story and the subject of faith and trust in God is prevalent. I enjoyed that it was part of the story but don’t feel like it would be too much that a non-believer wouldn’t enjoy it.

Overall it was a great story and I’m interested in seeing if the series will continue. I own several other books by Mike Dellosso (the cover art is amazing on his books) and look forward to picking them up soon.

My Rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book from Tyndale House in exchange for an honest review.

 

Forbidden by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee Review

forbiddenGenre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Christian Fiction

Judging the Cover: The cover is very relevant to the story and had a lot to do with my decision to purchase the book.

Plot according to Goodreads: Many years have passed since civilization’s brush with apocalypse. The world’s greatest threats have all been silenced. There is no anger, no hatred, no war. There is only perfect peace… and fear. But a terrible secret has been closely guarded for centuries: Every single soul walking the earth, though in appearance totally normal, is actually dead, long ago genetically stripped of true humanity.
Fleeing pursuit, with only moments to live, a young man named Rom stumbles into possession of a vial of blood and a piece of cryptic writing. When consumed, the blood will bring him back to life. When decoded, the message will lead him on a perilous journey that will require him to abandon everything he has ever known and awaken humanity to the transforming power of true life and love.
But the blood will also resurrect hatred, ambition, and greed.

This is book 1 in a trilogy called The Books of Mortals.

My Thoughts: This story was a bit out of my comfort zone as it had a fantasy feel to it (and I’m not generally drawn to fantasy) but I found it to be very interesting and enjoyable. I decided to read this book because I owned this one (found at Goodwill) and book 2 (from Ollie’s) and stumbled across book 3 while shopping at my local grocery store. It was in the bargain box, priced at $3.50 for hardcover but I didn’t want to buy it until I started book 1 to see if I would like the story. I bought book 3 after reading about 50 pages and I’m glad I did.

The Good: The plot is a very interesting one…set in Rome in the future, all humans have been stripped of every emotion except 1…fear. I was impressed by the way the authors were able to stick to this concept throughout the book as I imagine writing emotionless (except for fear) characters can’t be an easy task. As mentioned above, it had a fantasy feel to it which I was wary of when I began reading it, but I actually loved the dungeon scenes and the unusual names. There is a lot of Christian symbolism in the story but I didn’t feel it was something that would deter a non-Christian from enjoying it (especially if they aren’t familiar with the Bible). I loved the symbolism. The ending was a great cliff hanger and left me wanting much more so I can’t wait to dive into books 2 and 3.

What I didn’t Like: This is the 5th book I’ve read by Ted Dekker and although I love the stories that he tells, I don’t like the way he tells them. I always find it difficult to “get into” his books. It usually takes me 50-100 pages to get comfortable with his writing style and I don’t think I enjoy the stories as much as I could because of it. The atmosphere of the story was great but I wanted more…there were times when I felt that the places could have been described in better detail. There was a bit of insta-love in this story that was kind of ridiculous.

My rating: 4/5 stars and recommended for lovers of dystopian and fantasy stories

Solitary by Alexander Gordon Smith Review

solitaryThis is book 2 of the Escape from The Furnace Series, so I won’t be able to share a lot about this book as I don’t  want to give away spoilers.

Genre: Horror, Young Adult

Judging the Cover: This cover really represents the story well…I also picture Alex, the main character to look similar to the guy on the cover.

My thoughts: I hate to say it but I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first one. I felt like it kind of dragged in the middle and was a bit repetitive.

The good: The setting is great and the mystery of the story kept me interested.

The bad: The pacing seemed a bit slow and I still don’t feel like I know the characters very well.

My rating: This was an average read for me, I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it so I gave it 3/5 stars. I’m still continuing the story, I have to find out what happens!