Ronie Kendig’s Hawk

About

Raptor’s communications expert, Staff Sergeant Brian “Hawk” Bledsoe is struggling with his inner demons, leaving him on the verge of an “other than honorable” discharge. Plagued with corrupted intel, Raptor team continues to track down the terrorist playing chess with their lives. Afghan pilot Fekiria Haidary is devastated when a systems glitch on her aircraft forces a weapons launch on a safe target. And when the deadly bombing separates Brian from the team, he must make an impossible choice: save his brothers-in-arms, or save the woman and children depending on him to survive a brutal snowstorm.

Review

Because I loved the first book in The Quiet Professional series, I could not wait to get the second book. My thoughts:

What I liked:

I was back with the Raptor team. I just love these guys. I love their dedication to their country and their dedication to each other. Even when they get into trouble (ahem, here’s looking to you Hawk), they still take care care of each other.

Hawk. I’m so glad that he’s different than the other guys on the Raptor team. With series like these, you run the risk of having all the guys eventually turn into the same person. Not so with this one. Hawk has a distinct personality which influences every decision he makes. I really liked him and rooted for him the entire book.

Fekiria. I liked that she was in the first book also. In the first novel, you learn that she’s hiding something, and what a secret she has! I thought it was particularly fitting because recently the news did a piece on a female Afghan pilot.

Action. The book is non stop action, I was completely involved in the story, wanting to know what would happen next.

Spiritually, Fekiria and Hawk learn to know and trust Jesus.

What I didn’t like:

The romance. Let me clarify, I liked that Hawk and Fekiria get together. It’s just that Hawk and Fekiria really don’t spend time together until the last 30% of the novel and when they do, they generally argued with each other the whole time. Did I believe they were attracted to each other? Yes. Did I think they really respected each other? Not enough for anything long term. I think at the end of the day I felt like the romance was added at the last minute.

The book switches povs between Hawk, another person, and “the bad guys.” I will admit that I always skimmed “the bad guys” dialogue. I wanted to get back to Hawk!

Romantic Scale: 7

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was fast-paced, action filled, and I didn’t want to put it down! So excited for the next one!

** I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**

Leslie Gould’s Becoming Bea

Beatrice Zook knows God wants her to learn patience toward others. When assisting a family overwhelmed by triplets proves surprisingly successful, her confidence in dealing with others, both young and old, grows.

One person she’ll never be able to find peace with though is Ben Rupp. They’ve known each other forever, and Ben understands precisely how to antagonize her. What neither she nor Ben will admit is that beneath all their bickering, attraction awaits. When friends decide to try and bring the couple together, will the pair be able to find true love? Or will they damage their relationship beyond repair?

Review

I’ve read every other book in this series, so I decided to finish out. My thoughts:

What I liked:

Leslie Gould is a fabulous writer. It took no time at all for me to be invested in the story and invested in the people. Whenever I sat down to read the novel, I read far more than I had planned. Not to mention, that when some authors write about the Amish, it’s not unusual for me to put the book down and think what a strange group of people. But when Ms. Gould writes about the Amish, I think they are just people who live Amish.

Being with all the familiar characters again. Because it’s the fourth book in the series, I felt like I was familiar with just about all the people and it was good to interact with some of the characters again.

I will admit that I have not liked Bea much in the other books, but I wanted to see if the author could make me like her. Though it took a while, I did find myself rooting for Bea in the end (however, there was one thing Bea said that as a reader made no logical sense to me and I just realized I wouldn’t ever completely understand Bea).

Spiritually, the novel deals with pride and how pride can really destroy relationships if you let it.

What I didn’t like:

The romance. I had been really looking forward to Ben and Bea getting together because they were always arguing, and I thought it would be cute to see them together. The problem, for me, was that pretty much the whole book they still argued. At first, I really liked Ben and was irritated with Bea, but then I started to like Bea and was irritated with Ben….I wasn’t sold on their romance. They were too much into themselves and not enough for the other person.

Romantic Scale: 7

Overall, the writing was very good and I definitely wanted to finish the book and know what happened in the end. However, when the novel was finished, I was just confused, and honestly I think the characters might have been too.

** I received a copy of this novel from BethanyHouse. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**

Monday Musings….Most Memorable Heroes

When I decided to tackle this thought, I am almost stopped before I started because I’ve read a ton of fantastic heroes over the years. But then, I thought, that’s just it. What heroes have managed to stay forefront in my mind in spite of the many books I’ve read? Thus, you get my list of the most memorable heroes I’ve ever come across. I’m talking about the guys in books you read just to be in their world again, regardless of whether or not you liked the book. In no particular order:

Matt from My Stubborn Heart. In a word: brooding.

Tanner Richardson, Duke of Cambridge from Who Brings Forth the Wind. Very Alpha male. And did you see the part where he’s a Duke?

Red Shirt from Courting Morrow Little. My heart is on the ground…

Honestly, just about every man Elizabeth Camden writes, but if I must pick one, Bane from Against the Tide. His brilliance cannot be contained.

Another author who writes awesome heroes, but Marcus from A Voice in the Wind wins for me. No words.

Alex from Save the Date. He is hilarious.

Lance from Secrets. He’s the opposite of the classic hero, and I love him anyway,

David from Mixed Signals. Endearing.

Levi from To Win Her Heart. Too much to say here.

Jessie from Spring for Susannah. Jesse makes this book.

Another author who writes amazing heroes. Had a hard time picking one, but my favorite book by here is this one, so we’ll go with James from Beyond This Moment. Now this is a romance.

Siri also writes amazing heroes. Who to pick? Who to pick? Cranwell from Chateau of Echoes because I just love this book.

Darius from Harvest of Rubies. That is all.

  When you think of your favorite heroes, what books come to mind?

Feature Friday….Karen Hancock

One of the hands down best Christian fantasy series I’ve ever read was written by Karen Hancock. Book one is good, but book two really takes the series over the top. If you start this series, you’ll want to read them all.

The series is un-put-down-able. So, if you get book one, try to have book two on hand, and then you’ll want book three, and then you’ll have to have book 4. Not only is Abramm a wonderful hero to follow, the romance in this series is just amazing and beautiful. So, Happy Reading!

Jennifer Hartz’s Realm

About

With one of the Heroes Of The Horde kidnapped by the demons, the remaining five members search aimlessly to rescue her. They face a huge obstacle…the most likely location of their kidnapped friend is inside the demon realm. The only Heroes member to breach the demon realm is the very one who had been taken. How can they enter the realm to save her?

Relationships crumble and morale is weak. The Heroes have reached a breaking point. Surprises lurk not only in the demon realm, but in the very midst of the Heroes as their powers grow. Throwing even more tension into the mix is a newcomer to the group who may hold the key to eradicating the Horde once and for all.

Review

Book three in the Heroes of the Horde picks up right where Siege left off. My thoughts:

What I liked:

By this time, I feel like I know all the characters and I know them well. Their voices have really strengthened and I feel like I can say that I know them and their personalities.

This book is about teens….and the characters really are teens. So many times I read YA and I’m very curious as to why the author would choose YA when what they really have created are adults who go to high school. But not here. Jimmy, Shelley, Mike, Cassie, Cooper, & Maggie are teenagers. They act like teenagers and they think like teenagers.

Romance. I like that it’s always fluid. Most of the couples in this series are not til death do us part, and I found that I liked that. I think most people don’t marry their high school sweetheart (not that it doesn’t happen!). And I like that there is romance because it adds a nice tension to the story.

Spiritually, there is, of course, the fact that they’re fighting demons. But you can tell by this one that they’ve grown spiritually and come to recognize the power of God.

What I didn’t like:

This really is a personal preference, but I’ve noticed with this book (and really with the whole series) that it reads almost like a comic book. You keep getting mini-snapshots of each character as they face different problems. This means, at least to me, that this is a more plot driven series, allowing you to get to know the characters over time. However, personally, I prefer more character driven novels, and so while the series is fun and unique, it’s not quite preference.

Romantic Scale: 7

Overall, a very nice addition to the Heroes of the Horde series. There are some surprises thrown in that I did not see coming and I think anyone who has read the other two books will see that things get shaken up a bit here. Again, fun and unique!

**I received my copy from the author. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**

Monday Musings….Monotonous Reviews

The other day I was writing a review for a novel when I realized that the review I was writing sounded very similar to a review I had written the other day. And so it got me thinking, it is my reviews? Or the books I read? I made a decision a long time ago that unless someone gave me a book to review (or I requested it on Netgalley) I would not post negative reviews. And let me tell you, there are plenty of books that I have read, but just can’t post without sounding too disgruntled. This means that generally, my reviews are upbeat and positive….the same.

I’m not sure really, how I can change my reviews. Some people have star ratings (like 5 out of 5 stars) and I personally love this system. But I chose not to use it because I think my star rating might be harsher than if I just lay out there what I like and what I disliked. So, I don’t know. If you’re a blogger, what do you do to keep your reviews fresh? If you’re a reader of blogs, what style do you find most helpful when deciding whether or not to read a book?

Feature Friday…Hilda Stahl

One of the first Christian children/YA series I ever read was the Sadie Rose series by Hilda Stahl. I must have reread each book several times.

There are 9 books in the series. The only problem (if you can call it that!) is that Ms. Stahl died before she could finish the series, and what a lovely romance she had going (Sadie gets older in each book). Sadie Rose is a little bit Laura Ingalls and a little bit Anne Shirley with a lot of learning about God. Loved this series as a girl….and her adult romances aren’t so bad either!

Anyone else read these books?

Marcus Brotherton’s Feast For Thieves Review and Giveaway!

About

Sergeant Rowdy Slater is the most skilled-and most incorrigible-soldier in Dog Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, an elite group of paratroopers fighting for the world’s freedom in World War II.

Through a bizarre set of circumstances, Rowdy returns to the States after the war, turns his life around, and falls into the only job he can find-preacher at the sparsely populated community church in Cut Eye, Texas, a dusty highway town situated at the midpoint of nowhere and emptiness.

The town’s lawman, suspicious that Rowdy has changed his ways only as a cover up, gives an ultimatum: Rowdy must survive one complete year as Cut Eye’s new minister or end up in jail.

At first Rowdy thinks the job will be easy, particularly because he’s taking over for a young female missionary who’s held the church together while the men were at war. But when a dark-hearted acquaintance from Rowdy’s past shows up with a plan to make some quick cash, Rowdy becomes ensnared due to an irrevocable favor, and life turns decidedly difficult.

Rowdy’s a man used to solving problems one of two ways: with his rifle or with his fists. Will he be able to thwart his old friend’s evil schemes while remaining true to his new higher calling?

This is a wild ride of a book bursting with a bank robbery, kidnapping, desperate prayers, and barroom brawls. Before the smoke clears, all sides just might end up getting exactly what they want.

Review

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I’m generally a romance reader, but I decided to step out of my comfort zone and read Feast For Thieves because a) I had heard good things about it and b) I’m a bit partial to the 101st Airborne (Easy Company anybody?). My thoughts:

What I liked:

The writing. I sat down to read a couple of chapters and read 90% of the book in one setting. It was thoroughly engaging. The novel has that nice southern storytelling that’s done along the same vein as To Kill a Mockingbird (in no way the same book, but that same rhythmic cadence).

It was not formulaic. I’ve read books where people with pasts suddenly become preachers and there’s kind of a very familiar structure to those stories. Not so with this one. I’m glad to say I was never certain of what was going to happen next. There was no great deception here, but an openness about Rowdy that I just loved.

Rowdy. I liked Rowdy from the first page. Being in his head was a joy and if there are ever anymore novels with Rowdy as the narrator, I will be reading them. He’s got this very down to earth vibe and yet you know you that he’s been through some things and can be trusted.

The romance. Yes, there is some. The novel doesn’t focus on it, but it’s there and it’s really cute.

The town of Cut-Eye. They are some interesting people, but I found myself invested in all of the secondary characters.

Spiritually, the novel focuses on how getting to know Jesus can change your life from one direction to another.

What I didn’t like:

There were a few moments where I had to suspend my disbelief. I didn’t mind doing it, but they were there.

The pacing. Sometimes it felt like time went by too quickly.

Romantic Scale: 7

Overall, I really really really enjoyed this book. I think even if you’re a diehard romance reader like me you will enjoy this book and more importantly, fall in love with Rowdy.

**I received a copy of this novel from the author’s publicist. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**

Giveaway

If this book has captured your fancy (and I hope it does!), there’s an opportunity for you to win your own copy! *Note you must be a US or Canadian address. All you need to do is leave a comment below with your email address. The giveaway ends three weeks from now on October 29! The winner will be randomly selected. If you win, you have 48 hours to respond to the notification before I will choose another winner. Happy Reading!

Monday Musings….Books to Keep Your Eye On!

Christy and Todd are looking forward to being part of two important weddings. Christy would never think of missing Katie’s big day, even though she’s getting married in Kenya. Todd has been waiting his whole life to stand up as the best man for his dad’s wedding. How will these two grand events fit into their lives and what will Todd say when Christy tells him the doctor’s diagnosis the day before they leave for Africa? Will they finally settle in and start a home?

A Historical Western Romance Short Story From Bestselling Author Karen Witemeyer

After serving as a doctor during the War Between the States, Jacob Sadler wants nothing more than to establish a quiet country practice in rural Texas. But he knows he’ll never find peace until he buries the pain of his past. To that end, he accepts a job in Cold Spring, Texas–the town he’s avoided for seventeen years–and discovers his past is definitely still alive and kicking.

When a new doctor arrives in town and saves her brother’s leg, Mollie Tate quickly puts him on a hero’s pedestal. But then the new doc insults her “Uncle” Curtis. Years ago, Curtis Sadler rescued Mollie when no one else cared. How could he possibly be the villain the new doctor believes him to be?

Jacob doesn’t know what to make of the young woman who assists him like a seasoned nurse one minute only to take a strip out of his hide the next. Yet the sparks that fly between them make him feel more alive than he has in a long time. As respect for his young nurse turns into something deeper, can he set aside the pain from his past to embrace this new love, or are some sins too big to be forgiven?

I didn’t realize these two were coming out soon (relatively)!

Interview of Kate Breslin

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of reading For Such a Time. My review can be found here.

Thank you for your willingness to be interviewed!

Embassie, I appreciate the opportunity to be on your blog today! J

What gave you the idea to write For Such a Time?

Well, Queen Esther’s story in the Bible is one of my favorites, and as I read one day it struck me how often throughout history the Jewish people have suffered, sometimes with near extinction—the most recent being the Holocaust of WWII. I began to see similarities between the wicked Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews and Hitler’s attempt with his “Final Solution.” As the idea grew, I began my research and found I could superimpose much of Queen Esther’s story into this more modern venue.

When you began your retelling of Esther, what elements did you feel had to be in For Such a Time?

While the novel is loosely based on the Book of Esther, I did want to include how Stella (Hadassah) goes to Aric (the King) with her Jewish identity hidden; Captain Hermann (Haman) despises Morty (Mordecai) and works out a plan to destroy the Jews. Two officers, Sergeant Koch and Lieutenant Brucker (Bigthana and Teresh) plot to kill Aric, but are found out by Morty and suffer the consequences. There are other minor elements, but the most important I think, is how Hadassah’s courage and trust in God bring about Aric’s change of heart and his desire to save her people.

How much research did you have to do for this novel?

I spent about five years (accumulatively) with research, along with writing the first draft of the novel. I studied WWII history in the European theater and the Nazi party, including Himmler’s SS. I pored through personal accounts written by survivors of the camps, including Dachau, Theresienstadt (Terezin,) and Auschwitz. I also read the memoirs of German Wehrmacht soldiers fighting from North Africa to Stalingrad. In order to portray Stella and Morty’s views accurately, I did my best to become well-versed in the tenets and traditions of Judaism. At final count, my bibliography consisted of close to thirty research books, several documentary videos and substantial online information. I felt it so important to treat this horrific period of time with the sensitivity and accuracy it deserved, while crafting a fictional romance between a Jewess and an SS-officer.

Aric was my favorite character in the novel because he was so complex. Did you have a favorite character when writing?

I confess, I always love my hero best! J But Morty was a great character to write as well. A decorated soldier in the first Great War, he was treated abominably in the second. He carried an awful burden of responsibility in the camp yet never wavered in his faith.  He stood up to bullies like Captain Hermann and wasn’t afraid to look Aric in the eye. He loved his niece and believed in God’s vision. I admire his character very much.

 

Can you tell us what you’re working on next?

I just completed my second novel for Bethany House, another historical romance, this time set in WWI Britain. When a beautiful Suffragette meets a mysterious aristocrat, love and intrigue abound!  NOT BY SIGHT will release Summer of 2015. I had fun writing the story and I hope readers will enjoy it!

More about the author:

BIO:

A Florida girl who migrated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Kate Breslin lives with her husband, John, and a very spoiled cat named Coco. Kate has written several travel articles, published award-winning poetry, and her first manuscript, a Scottish historical romance, was an RWA Golden Heart finalist. FOR SUCH A TIME is her debut novel. Kate’s writing journey has been one of faith as well as success; after years spent writing novels aimed at the general romance market, she finally heeded God’s call to write stories of how His love brings two hearts together. When not plotting her next novel, she loves spending time with author friends, reading from her mountain of books, or watching anything Jane Austen on BBC. Kate’s also an avid gardener and enjoys taking long walks in Washington State’s many forests. A traveler as well, she’s toured most of the country at one time or another and also been abroad–Paris, Munich, Rome, Pompeii, Athens, even a day trip to Turkey. She’d love to hear from you so please stop by www.katebreslin.com and say hello!

“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Rom. 8:28 (NRSV)