The Case for Christ Daily Moment of Truth by Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg

About the book:

Why Do We Believe What We Believe?

Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg, leading apologists for Christianity, present 180 insightful readings that will give you daily infusions of spiritual truth while deepening your knowledge of the evidence for and the apologetics for Christian belief.

Each reading is based on scientific, historical, or biblical fact that will bolster your confidence in Christ. You will be inspired, encouraged, and equipped to “give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). Practical takeaways will allow you to put this confidence and knowledge into action.

You’ll emerge with a deeper understanding of why you believe what you believe. In the process, you’ll find your love of truth — and your passion to share it — growing each day.

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My review:

I have been looking for a new devotional and am so glad I picked up this one! It is so rich with information and inspiration that I want to read it again and again.

This devotional gives you tools to help you grow in your knowledge and faith, as well as tools to help you share your faith with others (scholars, seekers, and skeptics alike). And the layout is easy-to-read: written for the lay person, but so filled with details and insights on apologetics that it would make a great gift even for your pastor.

Though it may seem like a trivial detail, I really appreciate the table of contents in the front of the book. If you have someone ask you a question that this book addresses, thanks to that table of contents, it’s easy to look up the answer that Strobel and Mittelberg provide. And those answers provided are fascinating and faith-affirming.

If you are looking for a way to deepen your spiritual knowledge, or if you are looking for answers to questions you have about the Bible, or if you are just looking for a fascinating devotional to help you in your quiet time with God, I’d highly recommend The Case for Christ Daily Moment of Truth. It’s a wonderful resource and an enjoyable read.

Many thanks to BookLook Bloggers Readers’ Lounge, Zondervan, and HarperCollins Christian Publishing for the copy of this devotional for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

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Jerusalem’s Queen by Angela Hunt

About the book:

Born in the small village of Modein, a town made famous by the warrior Maccabees, Salome Alexandra knows better than to harbor grand dreams for her future. She pales in comparison to her beautiful older sister, and though she learns to read at an early age, girls are not valued for their intellectual ability. But when her father and sister are killed, John Hyrcanus, a distant relative, invites Salome and her mother to live with his family in Jerusalem, where her thirst for knowledge is noticed and indulged.

When her guardian betroths her to a pagan prince, she questions HaShem’s plan. When Hyrcanus finally marries her to a boy half her age, she questions her guardian’s sanity. But though Salome spends much of her life as a pawn ordered about by powerful men, she learns that a woman committed to HaShem can change the world.

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My review:

Jerusalem’s Queen is a fascinating look into the intertestamental period of history in Jerusalem. It brings to life a period of time that I’m sadly unfamiliar with, but Hunt’s well-spun tale has sparked an interest in me to know more.

I truly enjoyed how the author showed two simultaneous points of view: Salome Alexandra’s version of events interwoven with the story as told by her Egyptian maidservant, Kissa. What an intriguing way to bring so much more depth to the tale. It made for a very interesting read.

If you have ever wondered about what went on in the 400 years between the history recorded in the Old Testament and that of the New Testament, I’d highly recommend you read Angela Hunt’s Jerusalem’s Queen. It is an intriguing introduction to the people and events of the intertestamental period of history.

Many thanks to Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for the copy of this novel for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

The Line Between by Tosca Lee

About the book:

An extinct disease has re-emerged from the melting Alaskan permafrost to cause madness in its victims.

For former apocalyptic cult member Wynter Roth, it’s the end she’s always been told was coming.

When 22 year-old Wynter Roth is cast out of self-contained doomsday cult New Earth, a mysterious outbreak of rapid early onset dementia is spreading across the nation.

As she struggles to start over in a world she’s been taught to regard as evil, Wynter finds herself face-to-face with the apocalypse she’s feared all her life, convinced she’s made a terrible mistake. Until the night her sister shows up with a set of medical samples key to decoding the disease and Wynter learns there’s something far more sinister at play.

Now, as the power grid fails and the country descends into chaos, Wynter must find a way to get the samples to a lab in Colorado. Uncertain who to trust, she takes up with former military man Chase Miller, who has his own reasons for wanting to get close to the samples in her possession, and to Wynter herself.

Filled with action, conspiracy, romance, and questions of whom—and what—to believe, The Line Between is a high-octane story of survival and love in a world on the brink of madness.

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My review:

The Line Between shoved its way to the top of my favorite reads list last night as I plowed through it, rapidly turning the pages, desperate to know how it would end, but horrified that I would finish it and not have any more pages to read. I read most of this extraordinary book in one shot, because I could not stop and have an inadequate respect for sleep, especially when faced with the prospect of not knowing what would happen to Wynter next!

The story seems so real, so possible, that it is frightening. But Tosca Lee does such an amazing job of building a world gone completely mad, yet still full of beautiful, touching moments that your heart absolutely runs the gamut of emotions.

And Wynter is such a fascinating character: unsure of herself, her faith, her reality in so many ways, yet still strong and snarky. My heart broke for her, and I cheered her on; I teared up alongside her, and I laughed at her wit. Such a complete character, backed by a complementary cast that bring out the best in Wynter Roth and show the depth and breadth of Tosca Lee’s art.

If for some bizarre reason you have not read a Tosca Lee book, start now! Do not wait a moment longer! Pre-order The Line Between from your favorite bookstore, request it at your local library, do whatever you have to do to get your hands on a copy, because you don’t want to miss this one! 🙂

So very many thanks to Howard Books and Tosca Lee for the advanced digital copy of this awesome book for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review — it totally deserved it! All opinions are my very own. 🙂

The Christmas Bride by Melanie Dobson

About the book:

Christian and Susanna had never met when they were chosen by lot to marry in a Moravian community in Germany. But in 1754, they traveled together with a dozen other newly married couples to Nazareth, Pennsylvania, to help establish a Moravian borough and share their faith with the surrounding Indian nations.
Susanna’s heart warms toward her new husband even after she learns that he had wished to marry another woman. As war rages between the British and French Indians-—and the Moravians face a crisis that almost destroys their community—Christian must decide if he can forgive his past and love the bride that God has given him.
Only the hope found in the Christmas child can heal his faith and his family.

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My review:

The Christmas Bride was a lovely read, filled with history, tension, and romance.

The history, of course, was my favorite part. Having the story set mainly in Pennsylvania during the French and Indian Wars was fascinating, especially because Dobson gives the history from a different perspective than what we usually see: that of the missionaries who came not to fight for a side, but to spread the love of God.

I really enjoyed learning about the Moravians and the fortitude they must have had to live as they did, putting service to God above everything, even raising their own children. It made my faith seem almost weak in comparison, yet made me grateful that God has me here as part of His plan and not there! 🙂

And, of course, the tension-filled romance was captivating. Knowing that in the end the two main characters would discover the love the God had planted in them for each other, yet wondering if they could ever get past themselves, kept the pages turning. And to know that the story is loosely based on the author’s ancestors makes it all even more fascinating — I totally spent time wondering what might have really happened and what was purely from the author’s imagination.

The Christmas Bride is a perfect read for Christmastime or anytime you want to slip away into history. Grab a cup of hot cocoa and a warm blanky and snuggle in to enjoy! And have a blessed Christmas! 🙂

Note:
Legacy of Love is a series of historical romance novels based on the courageous people and significant events that wove together the rich tapestry of America’s freedom and faith. The print version of The Christmas Bride is available online under its original title of Love Finds You in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley

About the book:

Although it is autumn in the small English town of Bishop’s Lacey, the chapel is decked with exotic flowers. Yes, Flavia de Luce’s sister Ophelia is at last getting hitched, like a mule to a wagon. “A church is a wonderful place for a wedding,” muses Flavia, “surrounded as it is by the legions of the dead, whose listening bones bear silent witness to every promise made at the altar.” Flavia is not your normal twelve-year-old girl. An expert in the chemical nature of poisons, she has solved many mysteries, sharpening her considerable detection skills to the point where she had little choice but to turn professional. So Flavia and dependable Dogger, estate gardener and sounding board extraordinaire, set up shop at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, eager to serve—not so simple an endeavor with her odious little moon-faced cousin, Undine, constantly underfoot. But Flavia and Dogger persevere. Little does she know that their first case will be extremely close to home, beginning with an unwelcome discovery in Ophelia’s wedding cake: a human finger.

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My review:

Alan Bradley is a master! He knows just how to plait humor, tension, intelligence, excitement, wit, hope, and interesting history all into one beautiful braid of a story.

Flavia de Luce is definitely one of my all-time favorite characters: she is smart, snarky, and willing to do anything for adventure; but she’s also deeply sensitive and so longs for strong, lasting relationships with people who she cares about. And as she grows, she gains depth of emotion that brings her even more to life. She’s a very complicated young girl, and that is exactly what makes her an amazing character. 

And I always learn the most interesting tidbits of history while enmeshed in a Flavia de Luce novel: reading them is like finding the chocolate covered peanuts in your Rocky Road–they add that little bit of awesome to take it to the next level.

If you’ve never read a Flavia de Luce mystery, you must! They are intelligent and charming reads that I can’t get enough of. And you have time to get caught up on the first nine books in the series before this tenth book hits the shelves on January 22, 2019. Hurry up and get to it! 🙂

Many thanks to Random House Publishing Group/Delacorte Press and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this novel for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

Mark of the Raven by Morgan Busse

About the book:

Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person’s dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.

As she discovers her family’s dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family’s legacy–a legacy that supports her people–or seeking the true reason behind her family’s gift.

Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.

One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?

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My review:

If the cover doesn’t tempt you, if the description doesn’t interest you enough, then I hope this review makes you want to buy this book, because it’s an awesome read!

Selene is a wonderfully drawn character: a young woman who so dearly wants to do what is best for her family and for her nation, but who even more desperately wants to do what is right. Every time her “mask” dropped into place, my heart broke for her, since we’ve all been there–needing to set aside what we feel/want/need for the sake of keeping the peace or doing what we’re supposed to do. And I love that she sought truth above all, even knowing the consequences of that search.

All the other characters in the novel, whether they play major roles or bit parts, are all well-crafted and brought beautifully to life. It’s this great variety of characters that helps to keep this story moving swiftly.

And Morgan Busse has built a fantastic world, filled with beauty, intrigue, passion, political rivalry, swordplay, and wyverns! Can’t ask for much more than that!

Seriously, Mark of the Raven is excellent, and I highly recommend you pick up a copy today!

Many thanks to Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for the digital copy of this novel for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂 

Rothana Blog Tour!

Today I’m so excited to be a part of the blog tour for Sarah Delena White’s second installment in her Star-Fae Trilogy, Rothana!

About the book:

A new queen falls. A death lord rises. An ancient foe loomsin the shadows.

Sylvie Imanthiya is desperate to lead Faeriewell and deepen the bond with her husband, former king Taylan Ashkalabek. Butall hope of that vanishes when the winter solstice ceremony ends in disaster,stranding her and Taylan in the Deathrealm, and stripping the kingdom from her.

With Faerie in chaos, Zad and Diza are separatedonce again: Zad to reconcile with an old mentor to stabilize the kingdom, andDiza to confront the nefarious Casimir in the mortal realm. But Casimir claimsthat a greater evil seeks to destroy both realms, an evil that Diza’s uniquedeath magic can hold at bay—if she could only remember how.

In the Deathrealm, Taylan is succumbing to thelure of specters from his past, and pushing away Sylvie’s love. Overwhelmed bydecay and darkness, Sylvie must summon unexpected magic from the soul of Kyureto fight for her convictions and her husband’s heart.

Shadows divide them. Their friends are in peril.If Sylvie fails, her marriage and her world will fall.

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My review:

My heart barely made it through this book! It was packed so full of emotion, so fraught with action, that it kept me reading well past my bedtime. 

The characters we met in Halayda gained so much more depth and fullness in Rothana, and I grew to love them and cheer for them even more. I love how Sarah Delena White displayed their weaknesses right alongside their strengths and how she showed the power contained within love and forgiveness.

And the action? Non-stop! I thought Sylvie and the crew had gone through a lot in Halayda, but that was just the warm-up! If the author keeps up this pace, I don’t know how anyone will be able to make it to the end of the trilogy! 🙂 So exciting, yet filled with heart-rending moments of beauty at the same time.

Rothana is a beautiful book, and I’d highly recommend it be the next book you pick up. 🙂

Many, many thanks to Uncommon Universes Press and Laura A. Grace of Unicorn Quester for the advanced copy of this book for review purposes and for allowing me to be a part of this book tour. Congratulations to Sarah Delena White – I hope the third book comes quickly! 😀

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And if, for some reason, you need more convincing to want to read Rothana, here’s an excerpt to tempt you:

The world was all wrong.

Maybe it was the pungent incense that burned Sylvie’s nose or the off-kilter beat of the drums. Maybe it was the way every face in the crowd turned toward her, wearing shadowy snarls, as she emerged from the mountain pass onto the banks of the hidden lake.

She gripped Taylan’s arm and drew herself up to her full height as they moved forward with deliberate steps. He was tense beneath her grasp, and his free hand twitched as if eager for his sword. He looked down at her with a brief, reassuring glance before returning his gaze to the crowd.

“You’re leaving a trail of flowers again,” he whispered.

“Drat!” Sylvie looked behind them. Sure enough, thin leaves were springing up in her footsteps, unfurling into blue and yellow blossoms that were bright against the bare ground. She waved her hand toward them, willing them to sink back into the earth. They grew a few inches taller, and she sighed in defeat. “I’m a faerie queen who can’t control my own power. No wonder everyone here is glaring daggers at me.”

“You could always strangle them with vines.” Taylan gave a dark smile.

Sylvie smacked his arm. “Not funny. I’m trying to break the cycle of violence, remember?”

She resisted the urge to chide him further. Taylan had ruled this Court for twelve hundred years before passing his power to her, living every day with the threat of assassination. He’d inherited the kingdom by killing the previous monarch, and even though he’d done so to end a tyrant’s reign, that legacy had followed him through the ages. Faerie took on the qualities of its ruler, as all the magic was ultimately connected to that person.

One more reason why she couldn’t let nerves get the better of her, especially on a festival night. Already the glamour pulsed around her, charged with emotion from the gathered crowd. Every stone in the glade, every overhanging tree limb, every faerie who watched her movements would be a mirror of herself.

A breath of wind sent icy prickles across her skin. She clutched the velvet folds of her cloak and pulled it over her low-cut dress. Taylan looked slightly more comfortable, shrouded in layered black robes. Always black these days.

His gaze was fixed on something beyond the waiting crowd. His posture went rigid.

“Is something wrong?” Sylvie whispered.

He was silent for a moment. “No. It’s nothing.”

Sylvie followed his gaze, but there was nothing but a line of somber evergreen trees.

A group of Maithe nobles twined in a circular dance on the edge of the lake, their steps heavy with the solemnity of the night. It was a dance, not of merrymaking, but of ceremony, to bid farewell to the autumn. Each wore garments like layered leaves in the icy hues of winter, and their long golden hair was bound in intricate braids. They swayed to the beat of the drums, lost in the rhythm of their dance… except for their eyes, which fixed on Sylvie in challenge.

A flash of red caught her attention. Zad and Diza spun along the outskirts of the dance, Diza’s fiery hair flying loose behind her. Zad’s eyes were filled with deep admiration and affection as he watched his wife. Diza let out a laugh as they whirled, though there was a hollowness to the sound. Zad leaned down and whispered something in her ear, and the couple slipped away from the dance and strolled around the edge of the crowd, hands poised above the weapons hidden in their fine clothing.

On the other side of the dance, General Sidika stood on the bank of the lake, her arms folded and her watchful gaze on the festival-goers. Sidika never danced.

Sylvie shivered as she turned back to Taylan.

“What’s wrong?” Taylan asked, leaning down and brushing his cheek against hers.

“Everything.Except us.” She lifted her chin, meeting his lips. His kiss sent fire throughher, and she clutched his arms, fingers digging into his silk robes as if hemight slip from her grasp. “Come on, let’s get this over with.”

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I know, right?!?!

If you want to know more, check out the other stops on the blog tour for fabulous interviews, behind-the-scenes features, and more:

Monday, November 26th

Tuesday, November 27th  

Wednesday, November 28th

Thursday, November 29th  

Friday, November 30th

Saturday, December 1st

Monday, December 3rd

Tuesday, December 4th

Wednesday, December 5th

Thursday, December 6th

Friday, December 7th

Saturday, December 8th

Facebook Party

Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/697422377305289/

Join Uncommon Universes Press and Laura A. Grace of Unicorn Quester to celebrate the launch of Rothana by Sarah Delena White! Includes games, giveaways, exclusive behind-the-scenes, and more. Also features guest authors Bethany A. Jennings and Morgan L. Busse. Save the date to hang out with these fabulous authors!

PurchaseLinks

Amazon Barnes & NobleSigned Paperback

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42637351-rothana