REVIEW: ONCE I KNEW by Victoria Lynn

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

 Hey everyone! Today I have a review for Once I Knew by Victoria Lynn! It just released yesterday, so make sure to snag a copy when you get a chance! Check out some info about the book before we dive in...




BLURB

Violet lives her quiet little life in her sleepy village. Trying to remain as dead to the politics that are threatening their world as possible. She follows the rules, stays out of trouble and does her best to remain out of sight of the dreaded and overbearing Kingsmen.

With the new regent on the throne, the country has been thrown into a turmoil. Unlike the kindly king before him, the new ruler is overbearing, frightening and tyrannical in his rule. Taxes are bleeding the people dry and without the money or goods to pay, they have been forced into penal servitude and imprisonment by the Kingsmen, who know no mercy. The despair and fear that has taken over their lives has ruled out any level of hope.

When Violet stumbles upon an unconscious and injured Kingsman in the woods, despite the consequences, she cannot help but take care of the injured man. When he wakes and has no memory of who he is, she takes the only precaution that will keep her and her grandmother safe; she destroys the evidence of his past life.

If Violet’s lowly Kingsman regains his memory, will she be able to live with the consequences? And will the Kingsman be able to live with his past life?

AMAZON | GOODREADS

AUTHOR

Victoria Lynn is in her 20s and if she's not writing, she is probably sewing, singing, playing the piano, washing dishes, creating something with her hands, or learning something new. She has a passion for serving her Creator, encouraging others and being creative. She blogs at www.rufflesandgrace.com about writing, fashion, her walk with God and life. She lives in Michigan with her parents and 8 siblings.

REVIEW

3.5/5 stars 
This is a squeaky clean low-fantasy novel with strong themes of redemption and following God's will even if it's hard. 

The prose is very nicely written and you'll get a strong "cottagecore" vibe from reading this, which was interesting to see! I also appreciated the themes Lynn incorporated into the story, as well as seeing how the dysfunction of the kingdom's leadership affected the villagers. However, the characters just felt a bit one-dimensional to me. I love characters that you can really grow attached to and that just wasn't there for some reason; may just be me. I would have loved to see Violet growing and learning to rely on God more for her severe anxiety, and would have appreciated a smoother character arc for Obed -- I can't get into details on that one though ;) I did very much enjoy Markus' character though!

If you enjoy low-fantasy novels with a sweet romance and no concern of finding gruesome descriptions or language, this one's for you!


REVIEW: BEHIND THE ACT by Abigayle Claire!

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Hey everyone! Today's the release day for Abigayle Claire's latest release, Behind The Act! Before we get into the review, check out more info about the book...



BLURB

The predictable lull of Tiffany Burch’s small-town existence is making her stir-crazy. At the news that her town is going to be a filming location—and local acting talent is needed—she takes a leap to follow in her dead mother’s footsteps as an actress.

Tragedies from Tiffany’s past and present seem to indicate the timing is right, and so she leaves everything from her boyfriend to her shelter dog all for the dream of stardom. Yet as her success grows, so do her anxiety and disillusionment.

As her rise to fame is jeopardized by yet another tragedy, Tiffany returns home. There she must unravel who she really is: the girl her town remembers, the face on the posters, or the still-distraught woman behind the act.

AMAZON | GOODREADS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 
Abigayle has been a writer ever since her mother taught her how to hold a pencil. However, she devoted more time to reading words with her green eyes than penning them with her left hand. Inspired by a crazy dream at the age of sixteen, she set off on a journey to self-publish her first novel, Martin Hospitality.

Since then, Abigayle has devoted herself to sharing what she has learned through the mediums of freelance editing and her blog The Left-Handed Typist when period drama films are not calling more loudly. Now she is committed to providing a community where real-world stories resound and prose has purpose.

None of her successes, including winning a 2017 Readers’ Favorite Award, would be possible without the support of her Savior, large family, and online community.

MY REVIEW

I sat down to read a couple chapters and ended up reading the whole thing. (Whoops.) Claire does an excellent job of conveying sensitive topics realistically AND tactfully, and the characters are memorable. The plot is engaging and keeps you interested. It's also something original; not a lot of books go this route at all -- I can't get into it with spoilers, but it was refreshing to read. While sometimes I wanted to take the book and whack sense into the main character, it all turns out in the end ;) I did feel as though some portions of  the plot were rushed, but not so much that I lost interest or felt dissatisfied. If you're looking for a contemporary Christian novel, check this one out! 

SPOTLIGHT: CURVE OF THE EARTH: A STORY OF LAZARUS by Craig Brockman!

Wednesday, June 15, 2022



Hey everyone! Today I have a spotlight and very brief review of Curve of the Earth: A Story of Lazarus, a new novel by Craig Brockman! It was very recently released, so make sure to check it out on Amazon. Fans of speculative fiction will enjoy this twist on the story of Lazarus! Check out the info first -- below: 

BLURB


What if Lazarus of the Bible was not fated to endure a second death? He lives a Methuselah-life spanning centuries: his body renewed but his faith decaying.
This is the story of a wanderer through an epic of apostacy and dissipation, as sailor and slave, warrior and companion, in love and strife, marooned and forgotten. He struggles to discern the kernel of meaning in a meaningless existence, and to divide the gossamer between mortality and immortality.
Pursued by ruthless Immortals—radiant entities from beyond the veil—he struggles to avert their wrath and protect those he loves. The church becomes a circus of ritual and religion. He yearns only for his Beautiful Friend: the humble Messiah.
Curve of the earth: 
Because we stand on its broad surface, hidden is a view of the earth itself. We see the curve only as it is reflected upon something else: an eclipse or a celestial display that betrays its vastness.
Where are you, Lord?... The Infinite is unseen only because we walk too near.

 AMAZON 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

CRAIG A. BROCKMAN is in tune with the life and culture surrounding Lake Superior having lived in the U.P. (Michigan's Upper Peninsula) for nearly 20 years while employed by the Indian Health Service, Lake Superior State University and at other facilities.

In 2017, an article in the Ontonagon Herald chronicled the final 140-mile leg of his meandering 450-mile hike across the entire U.P. from the Drummond Island Ferry Dock in DeTour Village to a sandbar at the mouth of the Montreal River on the Wisconsin border.

Craig currently lives with his wife Sally in Tecumseh, Michigan. In 2007, he published Marty and the Far Woodchuck, a middle-grade novel. He is published in “The U.P. Reader” #4 & #5

You can visit craigabrockman.com for more information or contact craig@craigabrockman.com.



REVIEW
Curve of the Earth: A Story of Lazarus is an impactful and imaginative story. With fantastic imagery and hard-hitting themes of redemption, it's easy to get into this book and stay into it. 
For fans of gritty fiction and hard-hitting topics, especially around the struggle of faith and overcoming darkness, this is an excellent summer read! 

PREORDERS LIVE: LET THEM HEAR by Makenzie Gray!

Tuesday, June 14, 2022


 

Hey everyone! Kindle preorders for LET THEM HEAR are now live! Click HERE to preorder, HERE to shelf on Goodreads, and of course, stay tuned for reviews!! 

AND as I snagged the preorder link from Amazon today (June 14th), I also noticed that Amazon is running an 8% off sale for paperbacks of THOSE WITH EARS! If you've been wanting a copy, now might be the time to grab one! I don't know how long the sale will run (I'm not controlling it) so don't wait! Check it out HERE.


In case you haven't checked out the blurbs yet, here you go: 

THOSE WITH EARS
What will Takvi do when the End begins?
In the blink of an eye, Takvi's guardians disappear into thin air, along with thousands more. When the government swiftly moves to cover up the Disappearing, she and her siblings grapple with the truth behind what happened. They've been government loyalists their whole lives, but a split in opinions threatens to upend their lives permanently.

And Takvi is trapped in a vacuum where no solution leaves her or her family unscathed, which is the one thing she can't bear.

The illegal book their guardians left them has answers that agree with her siblings, but Takvi struggles to accept it. When the newly-formed government tightens its grip in eerie prophetic fashion, will she stand up or will she fold? Will any of it matter in the end of the world?

A compelling apocalyptic story on redemption, sibling bonds, and seeking truth in a corrupt world, Those With Ears is the first novel in the Midnight Hour series.


LET THEM HEAR
Since the End began, Unmarked are hunted and imprisoned like animals while the Marked live in excess. Eighteen-year-old Takvi has been on the run since it all began. When she learns that her brother is in the One Order’s custody - alive - she leaves everything to search for him. But to succeed in her rescue mission, she’ll need aid.

Gathering a ragtag group of Unmarked is dangerous, but it’s Takvi’s only chance at saving her brother. As they travel across apocalypse-torn North America, they learn the Order is growing darker and more powerful than they ever imagined. The group wants to save as many tortured Unmarked as possible - but Takvi refuses to face the wickedness she’s running from. One person can’t stop the End and Takvi won’t die for a lost cause. But everything has a cost these days. Will the rescue come at a cost too high to pay?

A gripping novel about sacrifice and redemption, The Hunger Games meets Mad Max in this post-apocalyptic ride.

Let Them Hear is Book 2 in the Midnight Hour series.

REVIEW: A STUDY IN TERMINAL by Kara Linaburg

Monday, June 6, 2022

 Hey everyone! Today I have a review for A Study in Terminal, the newest release by Kara Linaburg! This one will hit you right in the feels, man. Here's some info on it before we get into the review...



BLURB

Sean Brogan has spent most of his life running from a past he can never escape. Emotionally abandoned by his alcoholic father and secretly blaming himself for his mother's death, the scars he carries are ones no one can see. On the anniversary of the day that changed his life forever, Sean flees New York City on his 1965 Triumph Bonneville, hoping to face the demons that plague his nightmares.


He plans to slip into the sleepy town of Lake Fort, West Virginia as quietly as he did ten years before, but his life has never gone as planned. Sean never expects to see Rina, the blue-haired sister of his childhood best friend who makes it her mission to rescue the lost things. A hopeful dreamer who sits on the roof and watches the sunset, she represents all the things that he has lost. As Sean spends time in the lakeside town that has haunted his dreams since he was a little boy, he has no choice but to face the pain that he buried from a life cut off too soon. In the blink of an eye, with a gun to his head, Sean is forced to confront what it means to fight for the will to live when your world has gone dark.


An anthem for those of us who have been left behind, A Study in Terminal is a vulnerable story about the human condition that reminds us that to beat your past, you first must turn around and face it.


Content: Parent death by suicide; suicidal thoughts; crime; gang violence; gun violence; substance abuse


AMAZON | GOODREADS 

AUTHOR

Queen of awkward and writer before she could properly spell, Kara Linaburg is passionate about creating stories with beauty in brokenness. When she's not playing the role of author or editor, she's planning her next adventure or watching the sunset. Kara lives in the mountains of West Virginia, the setting of A Study In Terminal. Find her on social media, where making new friends is basically her hobby. www.thebeautifullybrokenblog.com @kara_lynn_author

REVIEW

With strong contemporary “Sherlock Holmes” vibes and a masterful grasp on description and poignant stories, Linaburg weaves a story of redemption, healing, sacrifice, and what ‘terminal’ means. She infuses hope into desperate situations, forgiveness and healing into torrid circumstances, and memorable characters that will stay with you long after you set the book down. Readers of gritty contemporary, suspense, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fans alike will find something to appreciate in this book.

COVER REVEAL SIGNUPS: BACK TO ME!

Tuesday, May 31, 2022


 

Hey everyone! Just a quick post asking for folks to help me reveal the cover for Back To Me!

Click HERE for more info and to sign up; read below for the blurb ICYMI!


I'm not me anymore. 

Bridget Owens spends her days working and her nights trying to escape the nightmare she was born into. One year after leaving her old life, she still sees ghosts, hears threats, feels nails digging into her flesh, and can't sleep unless she wants to wake up sobbing. Her memories become a graveyard of who she once was, and she nurtures it daily until she reaches her breaking point. 

When Nick, a childhood friend, suggests help at the last moment, she finds it hard to sit across from a counselor who says he cares. She finds it impossible to trust anything, even herself. She's broken, and she isn't sure how to put the pieces back together. What if they never fit right anymore?

A story of redemption, calling, healing, and recovery. 

Back To Me: A Contemporary Christian Novel, releasing October 25, 2022. 

COVER REVEAL: PROGRAM MIRA by R.J. Setser!

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

 Hi everyone! Today I have a cover reveal for R.J. Setser's next novel, Program Mira! It sounds like a fantastic novel with a unique twist, so if you love dystopians, keep reading! 


BLURB

Snow White collides with Divergent in this dystopian fairytale.

 

The Coterie was once a godsend; a group of high-esteemed intellectuals who looked out for the people of Dyvercity. Until Estrella. Aided by a government-banned AI, Estrella’s power is unchecked and the divisions of Dyvercity suffer in the grasp of her power-hungry hands.

 

Wynter is an orphan destined to live the rest of her life with her fellow orphaned “brothers” in Division 1812: The Apple Pickers. She and her band of brothers are different from the common folk, though. They all failed the Prosperity Test, which stamped their fate in the poor divisions, but Wynter and the boys feel like their intelligence is above those around them. If they learned something about their birth parents, could they earn entrance to the mysterious city behind the wall?

 

A terrifying discovery leads to Wynter and her brothers fleeing their lifelong home in the orchards for the web of lies in Dyvercity… where Program MIRA is waiting for them.

ARRIVING OCTOBER 10, 2022

PREORDER ON AMAZON | GOODREADS | PAPERBACK PREORDER


And now, for the gorgeous cover...