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Saturday, August 4, 2018
The book starts off with action and never ends which kept me on the edge of my seat. I liked Hannah right away. I loved reading about her job as a forensic sketch artist. It is a very rewarding job that can give closure to families. After losing her husband in a tragic accident, Hannah is trying to pick up the pieces of her life.
Taking a vacation with her son seemed like a great idea until danger enters her cozy little cottage. The struggle she had with the intruder was intense and I held my breath as she tries to escape. When Gage is introduced in the story , I instantly liked him. I love stories about Navy Seals and their determination to do their mission. It was interesting to read that Hannah and Gage knew each other.
There is definitely some friction between the two, but Gage is going to keep Hannah and her son safe at all costs. Hannah seems a bit hesitant to trust Gage. Will she allow Gage to do his job and catch whoever is after her? I loved how Hannah began to realize that God had a plan for her. When something goes wrong in your life, you tend to blame God. You forget that he has never left you. The fact that Hannah finally grasped that helped her to learn to trust Gage.
The story is a great start to a new series that promises intense action and characters that jump off the pages. I really enjoyed the time Hannah and Gage spent together letting each other know of pain from their past. The author does a great job of allowing us to see the vulnerable side of Gage. He is a tough guy and is fierce at his job, but he lets his guard down a bit when he is around Hannah. The ending is high caliber action. I can't forget to mention how creative the author is about how Hannah is being tracked by someone who wants her dead. It's a very well written story that reminds us to forgive, trust God and never give up.
I received a copy of this book from the author. The review is my own opinion.
Thursday, August 2, 2018
About the Book
Book Title: The Banished Lands, book one in The Banished Lands Series
Author: Benjamin Mester
Release date: May, 2015
A kingdom in danger. A prophecy that will change everything. But will they understand it in time? The old world is gone, and barely even histories remain. But something from that time is returning. The closing lines of a farewell poem, written centuries ago by the last great king of the age to his slain wife, might be more than just a poem:
The world and all its light shall fade,
I’ll stay with her beneath the shade
And wait until the world’s remade…
Join us in this epic fantasy adventure as three friends plunge into the great mystery of their age, twelve centuries in the making. A mysterious fog blankets the forest just outside the sleepy town of Suriya. A dark plot unfolds as Durian and his friends discover ties between a strange wanderer and the warlike barbarian kingdom far to the north. Are the mysterious things happening in the forest a prelude to invasion? What happens next will propel Durian and his curious friends into the middle of the oldest riddle in the history of their kingdom, a dozen centuries old.
Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Author
Benjamin Mester is a novelist and poet. He fell in love with the written word and beauty of language at a young age, marvelling at the way a story can transport a person, enveloping their whole mind and heart as they dive into new places and grand adventures. A lover of nature, Mester has spent the whole of his adult life immersed in the study of poetry, often wandering the woodlands of northern Minnesota or the beaches of California.
If asked about his writing, he would say his overarching goal is to inspire people to live with greater passion, often quoting one of his favorite Proverbs, 14:8: The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways. How often do we stop to give thought to our ways, asking ourselves why we live the way we do? What does it mean to live to the full? How can I love more deeply? Mester hopes his writing will build a longing in his readers, that his stories inspire them to want more for their lives than the mediocrity of good enough we so often settle for.
Guest Post from Ben
I’ve always loved that enthralling feeling of adventure and mystery that comes when you dive into a brand new world. My greatest motivation for The Banished Lands was to create a world of rich lore and history, but not overburden the reader with backstory. In The Banished Lands series, we enter a fractured world with a forgotten history. But hints of it remain through a set of poems that speak of the old world and cryptic events which brought an end to that age.
I love the idea of characters living normal, mundane lives, suddenly thrust into an ancient struggle they didn’t even know was raging. I love the fantasy genre because it isn’t ashamed of the classic archetypes – the epic struggle of good and evil, heroics, and everything that often gets the label cliché. Using these archetypes in ways that haven’t been done before was my real motivation for writing The Banished Lands series. The way this series combines poetry, lore and mystery is something unique in the fantasy genre.
When writing this first book, I often sat back and wondered to myself, What would it be like to live in a world with a shrouded past? We often take modern life for granted – the whole wealth of human knowledge at our fingertips. But what would it be like to live in a world where the only history was cryptic poetry telling of a time when the world was a wildly different place? And what if, somehow, those ancient poems that no one really understands seem to be the only thing that really explains the dark things creeping forward from the fringes of the world? Welcome to The Banished Lands!
This is a new author to me and I'm glad that I was given the chance to read this book. It is not like the usual genre I read, but I love that it expanded a new genre to me. The writing is awesome and when the poetry is placed in the story, I savored every moment. The author has created a world like no other. As I traveled with Durin and his friends, my curiosity piqued. Where was the story going to take me? What mysteries would be discovered?
I loved the title of the book and I thought this described it perfectly, " If something had returned from there, it should not have happened in secret," It was powerful to read that the land was watched over and nothing would ever return. So I began to wonder, what was so evil that was causing so much concern? This is when I really started to allow the author to take me to where the story was. I walked beside Durian and others and was on guard at every noise I heard. The writing is good and was easy to feel myself transported to the lands. The group encounters dangerous creatures along the way that would make me scream and run the other way.
I loved the determination of the characters and they seemed to draw strength from each other. It made me think how we should hold each other up when we struggle.This beautiful castle is ruled by a great and powerful man. Guards surround him and he is hesitant to believe that danger lurks nearby. Will he listen to Pallin who has great power? The quest is on to find where King Euthor buried his wife. The story kept me glued to my chair as I read how Pallin and others were faced with enemies. Their purpose was to regain their powers. Would they achieve that before war breaks out? Malfur is a fierce enemy and will do anything to win. I liked him because I thought he was a perfect example of how power can cause you to turn against family and friends. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. This is a fantasy type book, but within the story lies many messages of hope, courage and strength.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Texas Book-aholic, August 2
Two Points of Interest, August 3
Blogging With Carol, August 4
Mary Hake, August 4
Inklings and Notions, August 5
A Rup Life, August 6
proud to be an autism mom, August 7
Bibliophile Reviews, August 7
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 8
Janices book reviews, August 9
Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 10
Carpe Diem, August 11
A Baker’s Perspective, August 12
Books, Books, and More Books., August 13
Multifarious, August 14
Bigreadersite, August 14
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, August 15
The Mimosa Blossom, August 15
To celebrate his tour, Benjamin is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d1c7/the-banished-lands-celebration-tour-giveaway
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Sharp, Precise, Target, Danger, Espionage, Secrets, Enemies, Courage and Determination is a great description of this book by the brilliant and talented author. The characters are fierce and their job is to complete their mission at all cost.
It is a race that will takers readers around the world as the coveted artifact is the prize. Many are willing to die for it and others will destroy their enemy to possess it. The story is action packed and full of surprises. It is a nonstop thrill a minute as one common denominator prevails. Will the enemy tear a team apart? Who can be trusted as the story goes to a high octane level?
I love the feel of a special forces team at command in the story. The author delves a bit more into the characters we have grown to love. We see a glimpse of the symbolism of Christianity embedded into the story that leaves a message of hope and keeping your eyes fixed on God.
The story is a well oiled machine that brings intrigue, danger, and a closure to a series I have loved. The characters were well represented and I will miss them greatly. The ending is powerful and one of a surprise to me. Well done Ronie Kendig.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Monday, July 30, 2018
I'm trying to gather my thoughts as I savor the blessing this book was. There are so many great lessons to receive from this story that I'm not sure I will write an adequate review. The author definitely has a gift of painting a picture with words. I could hear the horses as they galloped on the road. The laughter of children as they played outside whispered in my ears. The gracefulness of a young woman named Lilly could be seen in her bright eyes.
Lilly has always taken care of someone. She has never complained when her father took ill. Lilly honored her father with her quiet words and unconditional love. Her love for children is evident as she patiently teaches them every day. When her mother became ill, she gave all she could to make her mother feel safe. I loved Lilly so much and wished I had her patient, caring and giving heart.
Jacob is hard working and in love with Sarah. I think he has had eyes only for her since he was young. I could feel his heart break in two as his one true love marries another. Will he ever find that kind of love again? Jacob is very family oriented and close to his younger brother who I adored. I won't say how it came to pass, but before you know it two people are married and I questioned their hearts. What is the reason they decide to marry? Do they love each other like a husband and wife should?
The story is very touching and I loved reading how the characters start to share their innermost dreams. They each have a desire to be loved, but something is holding them back. The beauty of the story is how two people come together and through misunderstandings, jealousy, dreams shared, and the gift of unconditional love find joy. I loved how Lilly and Jacob found a way to show how much they care by the special gift each gave to the other. It is truly a love story that captures the message of forgiveness and putting others before yourself.
This review is my own opinion.
JAMIE JO WRIGHT
I love an author who can intermingle the past and present with breathless ease. The book made me feel like I was time traveling and witnessing the 1900s and the escapades of revival and mystery layered deep in the roots of the people in the town. I can remember when I was younger going to tent revivals. My dad was a pastor so he was invited to speak at some. It was so hot under the tents and I always thought people were strange there. As a child I didn't understand what was going on and I was always ready to run out of the revival and hide as soon as the shouting started. I can just imagine this same type of atmosphere during this story.
Libby is quite a character. She works with her dad at the paper and discovers obits of people before their death. I call that creepy but intriguing. The author is a master at subtle hints and weaving stories within stories. She has the ability to jump from the past to the present with precision while never missing a beat. It must have been hard to keep the two story lines flowing with intensity. I applaud her for her technique to achieve a high level of mystery that is like puzzle pieces fitting together to complete a picture.
Annalise is very different and I immediately was drawn to her. She has a dark secret that many don't know about. It has kept her away from God and she is riddled with guilt. I can relate to her because there was a time I was completely lost and knew my mistake would never be forgiven. Annalise will open doors that have been closed for many years. Will she find healing from her past? Garrett is a thorn in Annalise's side and has played a big part in her bitterness. Why has he come back to town? Will he help Annalise solve the mystery behind who is causing her to lose sleep? I feel that danger surrounds her and I was on the edge of my seat the deeper the story drew me in.
I loved learning about genealogy and how in depth the author took the past and present and started to connect the dots. It is not an easy task and very detailed records must be maintained to prove who is related to who. The story goes much deeper in mystery as characters past and present play detective. I loved how the two women each carried a deep secret that has caused them to feel guilty and ashamed for years. Secrets always come out and like a rushing wave, cause damage . I loved the theme of the book about sin and forgiveness. Christians tend to judge others but forget they are not perfect themselves. This is the author's best book yet.
"One may carry guilt and shame with them for years, only to discover that while they attempted to dodge God's judgment, they instead cheated themselves of His forgiveness."
I received a copy of this book from the author and Bethany House Publishing. The review is my own opinion.
Sunday, July 29, 2018
EVIL FOREBODINGS by CAROL E. KEEN BOOK BLAST
PRESENTED BY CELEBRATE LIT
A conservative small town. One woman with a gift. A supernatural battle with lives at stake.
Tiffany Rodgers has been blessed with the gift of animal communication. It’s not always been easy, but she is able to help others using her gifts. For no apparent reason, a stalker is threatening her, at the same time that she’s dealing with terrifying nightmares. Will her new ally, Officer Allen Lawrence understand her gift? Can she clarify her forebodings of evil, cope with the messages written in blood, and help find her kidnapped friend before more harm comes to Newville or herself? The time has come for Tiffany take a stand and fight for her safety and her sanity.
What people are saying about Evil Forebodings:
“When Christian belief is challenged by spiritual forces of darkness in a small town. . .who will ultimately triumph? You’ll need to read Evil Forebodings to discover the answer for yourself.
“A supernatural, paranormal novel with plenty of suspense and a bit of romance. From page one, I was getting tingles down my spine. I would recommend this novel to readers that enjoy supernatural, paranormal, suspense stories.”
“Jeepers, Creepers, you won't want to close those peepers! If you like scary books then you will like this one. This touches on spiritual warfare and the unseen evil that goes on in the world. I like that she wrote about the pastor and other believers praying during the town's battle with darkness and evil.”
“The storyline was fascinating and unique. I loved that Tiffany could communicate with animals and that spiritual gifts and warfare are such a huge part of the story.”
Carol E. Keen enjoys fresh coffee, hot tea, and a good book. She was published for several years in FAMA magazine (Freshwater And Marine Aquarium) as a contributing editor. She published her first book on CD, called Simply Seahorses. She now resides in Alabama with her husband and family and spends her time writing, reading, working in photography, and being with her much loved critters.
Book Bub link:
News Letter link - if you need it:
This is definitely not a book for the faint of heart. The story is filled with darkness and evil that tries to overpower a town. I don't know why, but the story reminded me of the show Criminal Minds. That show deals with the most unimaginable , unstable people walking the earth. The author does a good job of describing the unseen which leaves readers thinking it could be a spiritual thing or perhaps a deranged person.
I really liked Tiffany and loved her ability to sense what animals were saying. Animals seem to know when danger is close and will protect what is theirs. The story at times was a bit hard to get into, but once I felt it got a rhythm it was easy to understand where the author was heading. There is nothing better than a mystery surrounded by unseen forces that add tension. It is an all out battle in the spiritual world as it picks a person who seems weak and controls their thinking. I really thought the police were doing their best to solve the evil going on, but at times did they miss obvious clues?
The author has written another great story that keeps you guessing at every turn. I enjoyed the story and thought that Debra was a very strong character. Her determination to survive is powerful. The writing when she was held captive was creepy and had me on the edge of my seat. What lurks in the shadows of the small town? Can the people be rescued before evil overtakes them? The ending is shocking and hopefully will lead to another book by the author.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion
The author has a beautiful way of taking a story and bringing it full circle with a depth of emotions that you feel in your heart. I loved how the author allowed readers to experience what it is like to find your faith again and reach out for mercy and hope. Catherine is a great character who I think perhaps acted impulsive when she decided to go to Florida. Her decision made, she gets on the bus timidly ready for her adventure.
I liked that the author had Elijah on the same bus as Catherine. I didn't think Catherine was thrilled with him being there, but his presence plays a big part in the story. I remember a few months back riding a bus that took me to a town three hours away. I was scared the whole trip because I didn't know anyone. These thoughts kept running through my mind, "What if the bus crashes?" What did I forget to bring with me? I left my faith behind and allowed the enemy to have a field day in my mind.
I was alarmed at all the tragedies that Catherine and Elijah endured. The first one was enough to send me back home. When the next one hit, I was beside myself. The story takes on a theme of a roller coaster ride as two people try to find their way back to each other .Elijah's determination to not give up just gave me chills. I didn't like the lawyer in the story at all. He was a person who preys on other people's tragedies for money. It just reminds us how some people are selfish and only looking out for themselves.
The story flows very well and blends two characters together as they find their purpose in life. They each travel to places that are not familiar but find hope along the way. The journey is filled with disappointment, hope, and above all mercy.
I received a copy of this book from the author and The Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion.
This is a beautiful love story that reaches into the depths of your soul. It lingers there as you feel the emotions and become one with the characters. I loved the transition from present day with Jesse and Chloe to the past with Esther and Hamilton. The author does an amazing job of transporting readers to the Revolutionary War where we find two people deeply in love. I wanted Chloe to have her forever soul mate so bad I cried though each scene. Have you ever loved someone so much it hurt to be away from them? That is what Esther felt each time she was apart from Hamilton. Their story is powerful and I loved how the author captured their feelings with words, looks and a special letter. Do you know what it is like to want to be with someone you love, but obstacles get in the way? The author makes Esther and Hamilton come alive with her compassionate writing style.
Jesse and Chloe are in the present and their story is just as fierce as Esther and Hamilton's. Chloe has had a hard time as an actress and finally finds a part in a film that could boost her career. This is where the story for me really made an impact. I can't tell you how many times I have lost at love and had my heart broken. When Jesse and Chloe share intimate moments from their past, their vulnerability was the meat of the story. To trust someone so completely with pain from your past, is the start of a true relationship. I loved how their story ran parallel with Esther and Hamilton's.
The story is emotional and one that captures you with a quiet peace. The author explores what happens when pride overtakes you and forgiveness is hard to accept. I loved how the characters were easy to connect with. This is in my opinion the best book the author has ever written. There are so many lessons to be learned throughout the story and shows how love is one of the most treasured feelings we can have and receive.
"When a man loves a woman, nothing can hold him back. The same is true of women. When she is in love, there is no force more powerful."
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit and The Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit and The Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion.