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Mystery, drama, oh my!

Newest novel by Lynn Austin

Book three in the Restoration Chronicles!

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Historical fiction and Biblical fiction, reviewing since 2008

My epiphany of 2015

Please don't contact me for a review request, I am not accepting any review books.

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Oct 15, 2013

Return to Me by Lynn Austin (The Restoration Chronicles #1)




Fantastic biblical fiction that propels  to the top of my favorites list!
Return to Me by Lynn Austin (The Restoration Chronicles #1)
Biblical Fiction
Bethany House, 2013
Paperback 459 pages
Review copy provided by Litfuse in exchange for this honest review
Burton Book Review Rating: FIVE STARS, NEW FAVORITE OF THE YEAR

After years of watching his children and grandchildren wander from their faith, Iddo's prayers are answered: King Cyrus is allowing God's chosen people to return to Jerusalem. Jubilant, he joyfully prepares for their departure, only to learn that his family, grown comfortable in the pagan culture of Babylon, wants to remain. Zechariah, Iddo's oldest grandson, feels torn between his grandfather's ancient beliefs and the comfort and success his father enjoys in Babylon. But he soon begins to hear the voice of God, encouraging him to return to the land given to his forefathers.


Lynn Austin is a well-known author of biblical novels, but Return To Me was my first of hers that I'd read. And with this one fantastic novel, I am already searching out all of her works because this story was perfect and hit home for me. The biblical story of a second exodus was not one that I had studied too hard, but the main gist is that Babylon had enslaved the followers of God and for many years they could only dream of going back to their ancestral land in Jerusalem to fulfill the dream of the tribe of Judah populating the earth with numerous descendants to outpace the stars in the heavens. We watch that dream come alive with this masterfully told novelization of an important faith testing period of Jewish and Christianity's history as the believers finally get to rebuild Solomon's temple in Jerusalem.

This is the story of Iddo and his family, their struggles, their beliefs, their hardships. And wrapped up in this story is strife and survival, and Zechariah, the prophet who has his writings in our bible of today.

The author propels us into this biblical story without leaving anything out from her imagination: the Samaritans, the prophets, the sorceress, the fear, the faith, the hatred, the love, the greedy and the humble. And everything in between. Zechariah starts off as a young boy in the story but he leaves us a full grown man who has finally found his calling as a prophet revered by his peers and neighbors. Haggai is mentioned as well, along with many family members who help flesh out the dramatic story that hides beneath the prophetic words of Zechariah. Although not a Zechariah quote, the story focuses on the people finally leaving Babylon and following their heart to where they felt the Lord will dwell, and how they had to have faith that God would preserve them: "How great you are, Sovereign lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears." - 2 Samuel 7:22

A compelling story focused on returning to the Lord that I would recommend for any reader of the bible who likes biblical and christian fiction. This story was so fascinating that I am perturbed I cannot find any news on the next book in the trilogy. Another bonus was the chunky-ness.. loved the length of this novel. It was just right; not too small, not too big.. I just wish I could get my hands on book two..

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/pfkmh


Lynn Austin is celebrating the release of Return to Me, the first book in her new Biblical fiction series, The Restoration Chronicles, with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a Facebook Author Chat party.
returntome-rafflecopter
 
  One winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 22nd. Winner will be announced at the "Return To Me" Facebook Author Chat Party on October 22nd. Connect with Lynn and friends for an evening of book chat, biblical trivia, prizes, and get an exclusive look at the next book in Lynn's Restoration Chronicles series!

So grab your copy of Return to Me and join Lynn on the evening of October 22nd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word — tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on the 22nd!

Oct 11, 2013

Life in the fast lane


the 2013 version of Big Tex!
Hey fellow readers! Can I really say that any longer? WHY YES.. I am still reading, but just not caught up too much in the whole review biz thing, thank the Lord! After a full year of stressing the fact that I am no longer accepting review copies, it has finally come to fruition where I am not a slave to that despicable review schedule. Of course, there are a few goodies that I have the time to slip in, so you will see a few posts here and there that are "blog tour" type posts, but those will be just a few along the way.

I do miss chatting with all my fellow bloggy buddies, so I wanted to touch base and let you all know what's been going on in my life. I do hope you are all just peachy, and that life is treating you well!

Pretty much the last few months have been a whirlwind, and for those followers who have been with me since 2008/2009 you will know that I used to be able to read and review like lightning. Then I got burnt out, and bloggy type drama turned me off the whole thing and so I stepped away and focused on things that made me happy - enjoying time with the family, doing nothing. Greatness! Well, we did meander out to the State Fair of Texas a few weeks ago... the fried kit kat was kinda of a once in a lifetime experience I don't want to go through again. And now both of my kiddos are a Scout of some sort, so that means meetings meetings meetings fund raising stick a fork in me...

Of course, my career path changed so that I am no longer watching the crows outside the office windows -- I have no windows in my new 'office' (where I sit among a bunch of cubicles in the finance office of my local school district) and I am now doing the exact opposite of what I used to be doing: bouncing off the walls of busy busy busy but now I am happy happy happy. (Yes, I have caught on to the Duck Dynasty craze, a season or two later). I am even going to conferences and all that fun stuff, and I get weeks and weeks off, bwahahahaha...(no joke!!)

So while I was out changing my life, I bought a fast car. I do love the darling thing, and now I kinda kick myself for living two to three minutes from my office. Sometimes I do have to take the top down and drive the long way home. Tack on an extra mile or so as I cruise down Highway 66 with my hair whipping my face making a fool out of my forty year old self.
But you only live once.
2013 Mustang Club of America edition V6 Premium convertible with saddle leather seats, thank you very much! = my unicorn.

As you can see, I've also been eating and drinking a lot. You heard me. But heck, for the first half of my life I've been a thin thing, so now the last half (Lord willing) I am really just going to enjoy myself, alcoholic beverages and all.

I think maybe in a month or so I will be back to reading a bit more since I will have a full three weeks off to recover from major surgery around Thanksgiving time. Yes, that horrible surgery that many women end up having to get. I'm one of the lucky ones due to a plethora of problems -- and I am so freaking looking forward to it because I am so sick of feeling like a pile of ouch. My eleven year old daughter will be my slave as I recover, and yea, I am milking it for the full three weeks. Then I go back to work for a week to see what drama occurred while I was away, and then I will take another two weeks off at Christmas time. It will certainly be a different holiday season! But I have slated three review titles to keep myself busy while I milk it recover- here's hoping that I can coin a sentence together intelligently at that point.

While I still enjoy reading, I have found that I have completely lost the mojo to review. I kinda hate doing that. It's a lot like homework. So I apologize in advance for the missing wow factor in my upcoming reviews, but heck, I think I've earned myself a break after the three hundred reviews I've posted for you here.

I did read a heckuva great story this past week that really floored me. It was Return to Me by Lynn Austin, and if you are interested in biblical retellings this is the one to get. LOVED IT. And with that, I am off to go see what is available for cheap by Lynn Austin. I know I have her much acclaimed Gods and Kings novel but I need to figure out which book goes with what series etc.

Happy reading folks, and see you next week with my Return To Me review! Peace and blessings -- and good health!

Oct 3, 2013

Fired Up (Trouble in Texas #2) by Mary Connealy


Romance and charm in this fun novel!


Fired Up (Trouble in Texas #2) by Mary Connealy
Bethany House, September 2013
Review copy provided by the publisher
Burton Book Review Rating:Four and a Half Stars


Dare Riker is a doctor who saves lives, but someone seems determined to end his. It may have something to do with the traitors he dealt with during the Civil War, or it might be related to the recent incident with Flint Greer and the ranch. Whoever the culprit is, he or she seems really fired up, and Dare can't let his guard down for a moment, which is a challenge, since right now he's trying to win the heart of the recently widowed Glynna.
Glynna Greer came west as a mail-order bride and ended up in a bad situation. Now her husband, Flint, is dead, and she's determined to care for her son and daughter on her own. She wants to believe Dare Riker is as decent as he seems, but she's terrified to lock herself into another marriage. She plans to support her small family by opening a diner—never mind that cooking is not her greatest talent. The men in Broken Wheel, Texas, are so desperate for home cooking that they seem willing to overlook dried-out beef and blackened biscuits.
Glynna can't help but notice that danger follows Dare wherever he goes. There's the avalanche. And then the fire. But things really get out of hand when someone plunges a knife from Glynna's diner into Dare's back. Are Flint's cronies still plotting revenge? Is Glynna's son engaged in a misguided attempt to protect his mother? Is a shadowy outsider still enraged over past injustices? And can Dare survive long enough to convince Glynna to take another chance on love?
Dare Riker is a stubborn man who thinks he shouldn't doctor anymore due to ethical reasons, yet he is the best doctor in town. Glynna Greer has a troubled past but if she and the doctor could find their ways into each other's hearts there could be a happy ending. But her son had enough of dirty rotten men who do harm to his family, and he just might take matters into his own hands if the doc and his mom start to show signs of love. Things start heading south and there are a few suspects.. but could Glynna's own son truly have a murderous streak? After their hard life, it wouldn't be that hard to believe.


I really enjoyed the first book in the Trouble in Texas series (Swept Away), and it was no different with this new installment. It is a bit of a western romance but told with light hearted wit that is charming. While the storyline could have used a bit more oomph behind the 'suspense' factor, the rest of it seemed to flow well and is an enjoyable Christian based romance. Mary Connealy's regular readers will enjoy this novel as well with its unique set of characters and story. Even though this is a series novel, this is one where I believe it could be a stand alone novel but the characters do carry through so if you read the series out of order you will be spoiling it for yourself.