_225_350_Book.1436.cover“Two Renegade Realms” is the second book in the Realm Walkers series by Donita K. Paul.  It continues the story of Cantor and Bixby, along with Dukmee and Cantor’s dragon constant, Bridger.  Three years have passed since the events from the first book, and the companions are now on a mission to locate the fabled Chomountain after they learn that he might still be alive, just imprisoned somewhere.  Time is of the essence since they are also trying to prevent their realm from being invaded, despite the fact that they had been close to success previously. With twists and turns, Ms. Paul has once again weaved a story that readers of all ages would immensely enjoy!

I’ve read almost all of Ms. Paul’s other books, and I am a huge fan of her story-telling.  This novel fit with what I was expecting and I am looking forward to any other book that she writes, as well as hoping that she continues the Realm Walkers series since I can’t wait to find out what happens next!  I would definitely recommend this book to all of my friends, especially those who enjoy fantasy fiction.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

_225_350_Book.1332.cover Palace of Darkness is a stand-alone novel in the Lost Cities novels by Tracy L. Higley.  Set in AD 106, it follows a single mother named Cassia and her six-year-old son, Alexander, as they try to find someplace where they’ll fit in and no longer be destitute.  Fleeing to the great city of stone, Petra, Cassia hopes that they’ll be greeted by loving family and that everything will be as it should be… but it’s not.  Due to circumstances beyond Cassia’s control, she loses her son and is forced to eventually realize that she’s unable to save Alexander on her own.  She’ll need help from the followers of the Way.

This story also follows Julian, a young man who is running from everything he knows in an attempt to get away from the plans that God has had in store for him and to get away from the persecution of the church in Rome.  Fleeing to Petra, he tries to start over but God definitely has different plans for him and soon he finds himself trying to lead the church in Petra by learning to serve.

Overall, this was an excellent read and any fans of Christian historical fiction should at least give it a try.  I’ve read other books by this author and I’ve been impressed by each and every one of them and look forward to reading more.  This is a definite must read for anyone who enjoys learning more about ancient civilizations as well.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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“Mindwar” by Andrew Klavan is an edge of your seat thriller that will keep you guessing about what will happen next. It’s the first book in a new trilogy set around Rick Dial, a former high school quarterback who was left disabled after a car accident. Instead of facing everyone about what had happened, he disappeared into his bedroom and essentially into video games, where he discovered a whole new set of talents.

But those talents didn’t go unnoticed, and he was soon contacted by government agents who wanted him to enter a new digital reality called the Realm to help save the country from a madman, but whatever happens to Rick in the Realm happens to him in real life so it’s NOT just a video game.

This book was an amazing read centered around our own modern times so it was easy to get into and I would recommend it to all of my friends who like thrillers. The characters are likeable and easy to relate with in some aspects, and the view of new technology is awesome. Since it is the first book in a new trilogy, I was disappointed when I got to the end and realized that I’d have to wait who knows how long for the next book to come out. Here’s to hoping that that wait won’t be for TOO long!

This book was given to me for free through BookLook Bloggers, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishing, in exchange for my honest review.

_240_360_Book.1146.cover“The Queen’s Handmaid” by Tracy Higley is a new historical novel set in ancient Egypt during the time of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar.  Centered around Lydia, an orphan girl who lives in the palace at the demand of Cleopatra and her “royal child,” it tells the story of the events that occur after her mentor is murdered and Lydia inherits the task of transporting ancient scrolls to Jerusalem before they’re destroyed by those who murdered her mentor.

In order to accomplish this task, she leaves Egypt and takes on the position of a lady’s maid to the wife of King Herod, who had first seen her while in Cleopatra’s palace.  Can Lydia fulfill her mission to deliver the scrolls, or will it all be for naught?

Filled with mystery and intrigue, this novel is a must-read for any lovers of history.  From the descriptive language to the seamless weaving of a fictional character, Tracy Higley has proven that she did her research before writing this novel.  I would definitely recommend this book to everyone, and even though this was the first book I’ve read by her, I’m looking forward to reading more of her novels.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com&gt; book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

17453523“The Carnelian Legacy” is Cheryl Koevoet’s debut novel.  Set mostly in a fantastical parallel dimension called Carnelia, it follows the story of modern-world girl Marisa MacCallum and her search for true love.  After the death of her father, Marisa feels like her world is falling apart as she seeks comfort in her daily horseback rides in the woods on Gold Hill.

After a freak accident that suddenly finds herself transported to Carnelia, Marisa realizes that she’s no longer in the world she knows and had grown up in.  Set in a time where swords and horses were the norm, she meets an arrogant nobleman on a mission to try to negotiate a peace treaty with his cousin and archenemy.  With no other choices left to her, Marisa joins this nobleman on his journey and soon finds that it’s beneficial to herself as well since she begins to fall in love with him after realizing that, underneath his arrogance, he has a soft side as well.

For a debut novel, it was very well-written and the characters were solid and likeable.  I found it easy to get drawn into the story and felt like I was right there with Marisa in the world of Carnelia.  I can’t wait to find out what else Cheryl Koevoet has in store for us, but I will definitely pick up her next novel and hopefully it is either a continuation of this story, or a new story set in this same environment!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com&gt; book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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 “The Church Builder” by A.L. Shields (pen name for Stephen L. Carter) is not what most people would think based on the title alone. Instead, it is a tale of suspense, intrigue, and mystery surrounding Bethany Barclay, a young, small town lawyer, as she finds herself in the middle of a massive game of chess, where it appears that she’s one of the pawns and stuck in the middle between both sides. One side is focused on destroying all religion, while the other, much smaller, side is struggling to preserve the church.

When the son of her wealthiest client is found dead in her kitchen, Bethany becomes the prime suspect for that and a number of other crimes. She goes on the run to prove her innocence, which involves putting together the puzzle pieces of the last few months of her now deceased best-friend’s life. She soon discovers she is in the middle of something much bigger than she can comprehend.

Overall, this book kept me on the edge of my seat throughout it and I just couldn’t put it down.  I would recommend it to all of my friends and I can’t wait to find out what happens in the other books in the series!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

_240_360_Book.879.cover“When Mockingbirds Sing” is the story of Leah, a child from the town of Away who is isolated from the other kids because of her stutter.  Her only friend at the time is an invisible person she calls the Rainbow Man, and when she starts painting prophetic scenes, she attributes her ability to tell the future to her invisible friend.  When these paintings start coming true, it forces the people of Mattingly to take notice and they start fighting among themselves on whether or not to believe this young child on her prophetic works of art.

Overall, this book was an amazing read and I found it difficult to put down once I got started.  It was intriguing on many different levels and was thought-provoking as well since it’s not everyday that people are put into situations like this, even though it’s a fictional novel.  Would you be like Leah with her unending faith, or would you be like the townspeople who are afraid to embrace new thoughts and ideologies?

I would recommend this book to all of my friends and it is definitely on my list to read again.  I had never read any of Billy Coffey’s books before, and I’m definitely interested in looking into what else he has written.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255