Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett Review


Synopsis: Stunning Yosemite National Park sets the stage for this late 1920s historical romance with mystery, adventure, heart, and a sense of the place John Muir described as “pervaded with divine light.”

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford fashioned her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region’s wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty.

After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he’s faced with the choice of becoming a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling?

As Clark helps open Olivia’s eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park’s story as its vistas– a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.

My Thoughts: I loved the first book in this series, The Road to Paradise, so I was eager to pick this one up! Set in Yosemite National Park, this story follows Olivia, an artist with a lot of secrets, commissioned to paint scenery from Yosemite and Clark, a trail guide who works at Yosemite and is dealing with issues from his past.

Karen Barnett is extremely gifted at setting the scene…I’ve never visited Yosemite but her descriptions make me feel like I almost have. In this book, the reader sees many different sights and locations in the park.

There is a lot of adventure and some mystery to the story, which was my favorite aspect. I wasn’t as fond of the romance as it seemed a bit forced and unrealistic at times (plus I’m usually not a romance reader).

I will say that I enjoyed the first book more but this one was still fun and worth picking up. I can’t wait for the next one!

My Rating: 3 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


The Uncloaked Trilogy by J. Rodes Review and Giveaway!

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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 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!


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



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Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman Review

About the book:

The police say the woman was a murderer. Emilie Wesley knows they can’t be talking about her client . . . can they?
To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then was shot by police. Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story: Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship. Her death shakes Emilie’s belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages. Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.
Reid Billings thought he knew his sister-right up until he learned how she died. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her. No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but Kaylene’s letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.
Thrown together in a race to save Kaylene’s surviving daughter, Emily and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth. If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl-and find a future for themselves in the process?
About the author:

Cara Putman is the author of more than 25 legal thrillers, historical romances, and romantic suspense novels. She has won or been a finalist for honors including the ACFW Book of the Year and the Christian Retailing’s BEST Award. Cara graduated high school at 16, college at 20, completed her law degree at 27, and recently received her MBA. She is a practicing attorney, teaches undergraduate and graduate law courses at a Big Ten business school, and is a homeschooling mom of four. She lives with her husband and children in Indiana.
Find out more about Cara at http://caraputman.com.
My Thoughts: 
I am new to the genre of legal thrillers and I’m really enjoying them. This story follows Emilie, a lawyer who works to help abused women escape their abusers. This is book 2 in a series but I never felt lost or confused, it worked well as a standalone.
The story was engaging and had a few twists that I didn’t expect but I felt that it dragged a little bit in the middle. I found the descriptions of the legal system and protective orders interesting (I am an avid trial watcher, so I’ve always found the court system interesting).
Emilie was a good character with some flaws…there were a few times that she made some questionable choices that left me a bit frustrated. I loved Reid’s character and his drive.
I would definitely pick up more books by Cara Putman, I enjoyed her writing style and the legal aspect of her books.
My Rating: 3.5 stars
I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group to review. All opinions are my own.

Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano Review and Giveaway!


About the Book



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.

jen turano


Blog Stops

Vicky sluiter, November 11

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cherylbbookblog, November 11

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Lane Hill House, November 12

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 12

C Jane Read, November 12

The Power of Words, November 12

Smiling Book Reviews, November 13

Moments Dipped in Ink, November 13

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 14

Faithfully Bookish, November 14

BigreadersiteNovember 14

Mommynificent, November 14

All 4 and About Books, November 14

Just the Write Escape, November 15

allofakindmom, November 15

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 15

Pause for Tales, November 16

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 16

A Baker’s Perspective, November 16

To Everything A Season, November 16

Neverending Stories, November 17

Have A Wonderful Day, November 17

Christian Bookaholic, November 17

A Reader’s Brain, November 18

Karen Sue Hadley, November 18

The April JournalNovember 18

Cafinated Reads, November 18

Bibliophile ReviewsNovember 19

Blogging With CarolNovember 19

Mary Hake, November 19

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 19

Baker Kella, November 20

Rachel’s Back Talk, November 20

Texas Book-aholic, November 20

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

amandainpa, November 22

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





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/




Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey Review


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


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


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.