Imagine: The Ten Plaques by Matt Koceich

The Ten plaques

We may have a lifetime of bullies, but we have to remember that God is always with us and He never leaves our side. He’ll protect us and help us stand up to them.”

Imagine: The Ten Plaques, by Matt Koceich, is the second book in a new adventure series for children between the ages of 8 and 12. This is such a great series. I would highly recommend it for families for their children. There are not a lot of good clean stories for children that teach the life lessons this series does in such an adventuresome way. The story does reference parts of the Old Testament.

Fourth grader, Kai Wells is being bullied at school when all of a sudden she finds herself sent back in time. She finds herself in Egypt at the time of the ten plagues. She witnesses the insane insect invasion that seem to avoid her, as well as the other plaques. She also witnesses the Israelites fleeing through a wall of water before she returned to modern day. The adventures she had in Egypt taught her how to deal with the bullying she was going through.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.”

Series: Imagine (book 2)

112 pages

ISBN: 9781683223801

Matt Koceich is a husband, father and teacher. He lives in Texas with his family.

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A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green


A Refuge Assured, by Jocelyn Green, is a historical fiction novel based around the French Revolution. Vivienne is a lacemaker who made lace for the royal family. For this reason her life is in danger. She left France and came to America. The story takes place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the late 1700’s. Vivienne smuggles some of her lace to America with her and tries to sell it to survive. When illness hits the area, she helps care for the ill. Her friend dies and Vivienne is left to care for her friend’s son. Many people feel the young boy is the future king of France. Vivienne is forced to move to keep him safe.

Liam is a mail carrier and brother to Vivienne’s employer. When he finds out Vivienne has to move quickly, he takes her and the boy to claim their home in Asylum. What he is not expecting is that the property he purchased and has been improving is not really his, it belongs to Vivienne’s father.

This is a good book with lots of history, both French and American. The story dwells on the imposition of the liquor tax and military actions to enforce it. The story is so well written it is easy to envision the tiny details of using the treads to form beautiful, delicate late. It’s also easy to imagine the fear Vivienne must have felt in protecting the young boy and the cold they traveled in to safety. As well as the pain the young boy felt with leaving his home, losing his mother and friends.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing, this is my honest review.

416 pages

ISBN: 97807464219078

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Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

9780735289567 (1)

Where the Fire Falls is book 2 in A Vintage National Parks Novel series by Karen Barnett. This story takes place in 1929. Olivia Rutherford has been carry the sins of her father with her for so long. She has changed her name and appearance and is now an artist who is traveling thought Yosemite National Park painting for a travel magazine. Olivia has been sending money to her aunt for the care of her sisters and is trying to make enough to care for them. She is traveling through Yosemite with the help of Clark Johnson, a local guide and a couple her agent has introduced her to. Her paintings have been stolen and she is forced to start over again. Her stolen painting are selling for enormous amounts of money and magazines are printing articles full of lies about Olivia. And now people begin showing up where she is staying and she is in danger.

Clark, a former minister, was falsely accused and released from his duties. He took a job at Yosemite as a guide and is now needing to make the decision to take on the responsibilities of national park ranger.

This is a beautiful story. Through Olivia’s paintings we get to envision the beautiful scenery of Yosemite. The things that stand out for me in this story is how both Olivia’s and Clark’s lives have been affected by the wrongs others have done and how these wrongs have made others view them. This story has adventure, suspense and a touch of romance.

I have really enjoyed reading the stories in this series. I look forward to reading more of them. I think anyone who enjoys reading stories based on the early 1900’s in our country will enjoy this series.

I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook publishing through Blogging for Books, this is my honest review.

Series: A Vintage National Parks Novel (Book 2)

352 pages

ISBN: 9780735289567

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The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel


The Heart Between Us, by Lindsay Harrel, is a story of Megan Jacobs. Megan was diagnosed with a heart condition at a very young age and eventually had a heart transplant. She was in and out of hospitals for many years. During this time she became friends with Caleb who was going through the same illness. After the heart transplant, Megan lost contact with Caleb and her twin sister. Now, three years later, she has reconnected with Caleb. She has also been contacted by the parents of the heart donor and they have lent her their daughters journal. In the journal, Megan reads of her donors bucket list and decides to take the trip for her and her sister goes with her.

This is an amazing story. The author shows us that an illness such as Megan’s affects the entire family. We see how Megan’s illness has caused her to not take the chance and move forward in her occupation. With the blogging of her trip, she is able to gain the strength and courage she needs to take the chance.

This story has many little stories written within it. Some of the things that stands out for me is that Megan refers to her heart as the donor’s heart, not her’s. Another is Megan’s question why God allowed a young girl to die to give her life. I like that once Megan fulfilled the young girls dreams, she is able to move forward with her life. I also enjoyed seeing how the trip has allowed time for Megan to work on repairing the relationships with her sister and Caleb.

I feel those who enjoy contemporary fiction concerning women’s issues will enjoy this story. It is a Christian Fiction but the Christian references are not strong and will not offend readers.

I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishing through BookLook Bloggers.

336 pages

ISBN: 9780718075705

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The Empowered by Craig Parshall


The Empowered is the second book in A Trevor Black Novel series by Craig Parshall. I hesitated about reading it due to the back cover and reference to voodoo. While this is a story that deals with spiritual darkness, there is so much more in this story. Trevor was a powerful attorney in New York who became a Christian and was given the gift of sensing supernatural forces.

Since being forced to stop practicing law, Trevor has moved and spends his time fishing and writing true-crime articles for magazines. He maintains his friendship with New York police detective, Dick Valentine. Dick has just called him regarding a spooky death of a Washington lawyer. When Trevor gets a call to speak at an attorney’s convention in New Orleans, he and his daughter go to New Orleans. Almost immediately things begin to happen, someone is found dead in Trevor’s hotel room and his daughter goes missing. Trevor starts investigating and finds demon worshiping and human trafficking alive in New Orleans.

I am so glad I read this book. It has a slow start but gets moving and never stops. There is suspense and mystery. Some of the things I enjoyed about the story was Trevor’s strong Christian faith and his strength to speak out against the supernatural. Another things is since Trevor became a Christian, he is trying to change his life. He has united with a daughter he never knew he had and is trying to build a relationship with her. Due to the violence and topics in this story I would caution the prospective reader. This is not a book for the young reader.

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Blog Network This is my honest review.

Series: A Trevor Black Novel (Book 2)

464 pages

ISBN: 9781496411372

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The Innkeepers Daughter by Michelle Griep

224358The Innkeepers Daughter by Michelle Griep is set in Dover England in 1808. This story is full of action and suspense with a touch of romance and lots of twists and turns. Something I typically enjoy. For me, this was a hard story to follow. I felt it had too many characters to keep them all straight. That being said, it is a good story and I especially liked how hard Johanna struggled to keep the family inn going and the family together.

If she cannot pay the bills on time she and her family will end up in the workhouse and separated. Her younger brother hears her commenting if they could get a band to play at the inn, they would have people coming for miles around. He brings home a group of men who supposedly make up a band. He has made a deal with them room and board in exchange for them to play.

Alex is an undercover officer who has been given an assignment to find a traitor. He is to spend time with the Viscount Lord Coburn and marry his daughter Louisa. Louisa plans to run away with another man her father does not approve of. And while staying at the inn, Alex has developed feelings for Johanna.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

320 pages

ISBN: 9781683224358

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So Great a Love by Kristie Wilde


“He watches over you . . .

. . as the shepherd watches over his flock.”

So Great a Love is book 2 in the Joyful Creation Series by Kristie Wilde. The story is told in short simple sentences, great for the young reader. The story uses animals caring for their young to compare God’s love for us. The story shows mama bear protecting her cubs, koala bear helping her young, and lioness washing her cubs. The story tells us God’s love is wider than the desert, higher than the mountains, refreshing and delightful.

The story itself is just 20 pages and a couple pages at the end with the Bible scripture pertaining to each picture. This is a thin paperback for for children with beautiful watercolor type picture of nature and animals with their young. I think this is a great short story to help teach children of God’s love for us. I think the young child and reader will enjoy this book.

I received this book from the author through BookCrash, this is my honest review.

Series: Joyful Creation (book 2)

24 pages

ISBN: 9780997482812

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The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin


The Sea Before Us is the first book in Sunrise at Normandy series by Susan Sundin. The Paxton brother of Kerrville, Texas had a falling out that lead to Wyatt leaving home. He “borrowed” his younger brothers college fund and lost it all on a business adventure. Now he is in England as a US Naval Officer, saving everything he can to pay his brother back.

As D-Day approaches Dorothy, along with the other women in the Women’s Royal Naval Service are busy going through photos to make maps of Normandy. Wyatt then uses these to determine the attacks to be made. Dorothy has traveled with her family and uses photos from her travels. One of the new photos shows a shed on a property that never use to be there.

As Dorothy and Wyatt work together they develop a friendship that leads to Wyatt helping Dorothy find out who is stealing money from her father’s business. As their friendship deepens they both struggle as his home is in Texas and she is the only one to care for her father in England. And she has had feeling for another man for years.

This is a very interesting book to read. I enjoyed how this book shows the reader what the women did for the war, the important job they had and how it lead to success of the war. One thing that stand out in this book for me, is the depth of care Dorothy gives her father while serving in the war. Another is the determination Wyatt has to pay back his brother. I also enjoyed the surprise twist toward the end of the story that explains the change in Dorothy’s father and business. I think anyone who enjoys reading of this time in history will enjoy this book.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing, this is my honest review.

373 pages

ISBN: 9780800727970

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Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher


Phoebe’s Light is the first book in the Nantucket Legacy series by Suzanne Woods Fisher. This is an interesting book to read. The story is about Quakers, their customs and some of their struggles. This book focuses on Phoebe Starbuck. She has always taken care of her father and has now found out he has taken a loan out on their home for another one of his business adventures and cannot repay. They have just a few short weeks to move out.

Phoebe has had feeling for Captain Phineas Foulger for years. He has come home from a whaling expedition and is visiting her. They marry and Phoebe insists on going on his next trip. What she does not plan for is to have seasickness that does not go away. She spends her days in their room reading her great-grandmothers journal that tells of a treasure buried on the island. She also finds out he has another wife and family. When she gets really sick he drops her off on an island to get medical care. He also leaves his cooper, her long time friend, Matthew, to see to her care and burial. She gets better and along with Matthew, she returns to Nantucket to find out her husband was murdered on the ship and Matthew is the suspect.

I enjoyed reading this book. The book show us what it was like for the Quakers at that time. The story is so well written, it is easy to imagine the struggles they has as well as the early settlers on Nantucket Island. We see the love and caring Phoebe has towards her father, yet we see the immature young lady who will take life into her own hands to get what she wants, even when it is not the right thing. I think anyone who enjoys reading Christian historical romance will enjoy this story.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing, this is my honest review.

352 pages

ISBN: 9780800721626

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A Passionate Hope: Hannah’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith


A Passionate Hope – Hannah’s Story, written by Jill Eileen Smith, is book 4 in the Daughters of the Promised Land series. While this is a series, the novels are stand alone books as well. The author has an great job of writing this story based on 1 Samuel 1 in the Bible.

Hannah and Elkanah have been married several years and have not been able to have children. He is pressured by his family to take another wife to have children. He loves Hannah and only Hannah. He eventually marries Peninnah and they have many children. Peninnah’s mother lives with her and convinced her to taunt Hannah so Peninnah can have Elkanah. But Hannah is a loving a supportive person. She prays for a child, going so far as to say if she can have a son, she will give him back to the Lord’s work. Peninnah has always hoped Elkanah would love her the way he loves Hannah.

I really enjoy reading this series. I enjoy how the author has taken a small portion of the bible and written a fantastic story of what it may have been like for the people of the time. Even in a time of great troubles, Hannah and Elkanah love each other very deeply. The also have great love for God and respect for His tabernacle despite the going ons of the Priests.

This book would be enjoyed by anyone who likes to read Biblical Fiction. I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing, this is my honest review.

368 pages

ISBN: 9780800720377

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