Black Friday Book Sales

Hi guys! I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving! I know I certainly did, despite a cold I had a great time. Instead of a book review, this week I am advertising Black Friday Book Sales! I hope you all find a great read for a great price, Happy Holidays!

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Like most other bookworms, great books make their way onto my “things I’m thankful for” list every year. It’s hard to choose favorites, but I went ahead and picked five books I read in 2016 and am thankful for.

  • Samara’s Peril, by : Jaye L. Knight
  • Reversal Zone, by : J. Grace Pennington
  • Prophet, by : R. J. Larson
  • Dare, by :Tricia Mingerink
  • The Widow of Larkspur Inn, by : Lawana Blackwell

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to another great year of reading! Speaking of more reading, here’s one more thing to be grateful for. Books on sale! In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a group of independent Christian authors banded together to offer over seventy discounted books on Nov 25-28. There’s literally something for everyone.

Every single book listed on Indie Christian Books is on sale in one or more ways. Find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals and more. Even if you have a budget of $0, new reading material awaits you.

Don’t know what to pick? The fearless Indie Christian Books team created a quiz that will generate a book list perfect for you! Check it out!

What awesome reads of 2016 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?

A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as “Sold Out.” This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.Also, some of the authors this year chose to not sell their paperbacks directly through the site. Those books are also marked “Sold Out” but if you click them open, you’ll find a link to the site where they are on sale and a discount code for you to use at check out.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good and Kendra E. Ardnek for their work organizing this sale, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Book Review: The Widow of Larkspur Inn

When Life Seemed Its Worst, Gresham Awaited1123434

Julia Hollis’ opulent life in Victorian London crashes to pieces when her husband passes away. Worse, she is told by his bankers that he gambled away their fortune. Now, the family’s hope rests on The Larkspur, an old abandoned coaching inn in the quaint village of Gresham.

Driven by dread and her desire to provide for her children, Julia decides to turn the dilapidated inn into a lodging house. But can she–who was accustomed to servants attending to every need–do what needs to be done and cope when boarders begin arriving? And then an eligible new vicar moves into town…

 


 

Overall Impression

If you are looking for a sweet and wholesome Historical Romance, The Widow of Larkspur Inn  is for you. I had seen this quite awhile ago and was instantly attracted to the cover. As I skimming through my Kindle library, searching desperately for a new book to read and this one popped up. I started in with high expectations that were not disappointed. 

The overall feeling to this book was warm and homey. Gresham was delightfully portrayed, I could see the very streets with a wonderful clarity as I read the book. I love it when books have strong settings, ones where you can see the story playing out in your mind. So was The Widow of Larkspur Lane.  

The Widow of Larkspur Lane is a great novel for single readers and families alike. I would recommend it strongly to reader who are looking for, or fine with a somewhat slower story.

Characters

I really enjoyed all the characters in this book. Julia, in particular, was refreshing. In lots of books the heroines bounce from one end of the spectrum to the other. Either they are perfect or they can’t boil water without messing it up. Julia was a breath of fresh air! She was totally out of her element in Gresham but that didn’t stop her. She worked hard, and learned a lot. She had children to provide for and nothing was getting in her way. Julia had an air of elegance and graciousness to her that was lovely. She was very kind, very tactful, and properly discreet. I loved this character! 

Julia’s children, Philip, Aleda, and Grace were well done.Philip tried hard to be the man about the house and was very sweet. Aleda, to be honest, wasn’t really my favorite. She was rather sharp and annoying. Grace was a dear! She was so sweet definitely my favorite of the two girls. 

Fiona O’Shea, Julia’s maid/housekeeper/best friend. Fiona was so sweet. Her Irish brogue, not to mention her pluck, spiced the book up nicely. She was so dutiful and God-honoring without being annoyingly perfect. I loved her character and I was so glad she got a happy ending! 

There were a lot of lodgers, all of whom were unique personalities. But as there are so many I will only touch on my favorite, Mr. Clay. Ambrose Clay was such a dear man. He was always kind and considerate even through his depression. He was one of my very favorite characters. 

The other supporting main and side characters were good. They added to the story beautifully. My hat’s off to  Mrs. Blackwell! Her characters were superb. 

Plot

The plot of The Widow of Larkspur Inn was very enjoyable. The story was definitely a slower pace than most books I read, this wasn’t bad however.

My only critiques on the story line and pace was the end. This, I felt, was not wholly satisfying. Julia’s romance literally took place in like the last 3% of the book. Now to be honest, Fiona’s romance was more important to me than Julia’s, but I would have preferred more time with Julia’s romance. I don’t even think the way that her romance was laid out was bad, just too short. The ending was abbreviated in my opinion, I would have been happy for another chapter or two.  

Other than the above mentioned I felt that the plot and story were organized well. It flowed well and had good passage of time. The characters had time to progress in their character arcs. This book was relaxing and fun to read! 

Warnings:

Language/Profanity: None

Violence/Gore/Frightening Scenes: None

Sex/Nudity: There is one comment that is suggestive of immoral behavior. Not a big deal for older readers, and families could easily skip. 

Book Review: Truth by Molly Evangeline

12121575Trapped in a village no one is allowed to leave, Makilien yearns for the answers to her questions about life and the world outside the village walls. Yet no one but her closest friend seems to understand or share her desire. Despite her family’s fears and warnings of the consequences, she is determined to find answers.

The unexpected arrival of a stranger, and the knowledge he possesses, drives Makilien to drastic action. Confronted with a world she knows nothing about, she must choose carefully who to trust as both good and evil lurk in all places. As a battle looms, one in which will be determined the fate of all, she must decide whether to believe in the One who is truth or fall prey to the lies of the enemy.


 

Overall Impression

Truth is one of my all-time favorite fantasy reads. It is, actually,the book that first inspired me towards writing. It was so different from anything I had ever read before. Entering the world of Dolennar was, and still is a treat.

Truth is exactly what I look for in Christian Fantasy. A good, magic free story, deep and lovable characters, and a wonderfully constructed world. This book’s theme is a mix of a coming-of-age story and an epic quest for truth. Truth is a fun read for single readers and families both.

Characters

The large cast of characters in Truth are done wonderfully.

Makilien, the main character, is a nice mix of femininity  and warrior. She does what needs to be done without becoming a callused shell of a female. She is sweet and vulnerable, but very skilled. Makilien is a great role model. She wants to do the right thing and tries hard to do it. She, though somewhat rebellious in the beginning of the book, is not the sarcastic, hard-as-nails female character we have come to expect nowadays.

The supporting characters in this book are done very nicely as well. Each one is different from the next. Sometimes large casts of characters can detract from a book’s story. Either they divert too much attention from the main characters, or the large number background makes it impossible to give each an individual personality. This is not the case in Truth. The background characters have definable personalities and add flavor to the story rather than detracting from the book.

The baddies in this book are pretty good.And although they can be a slight bit overdone, overall they are good story catalysts.

Plot

The plot of Truth is an epic journey. The story-line, overall, is unique and exciting.And though there are some clichés, I didn’t mind them.

The story enters upon Makilien at the end of her patience with her stagnant village. A stranger arrives in Reylaun, her village, and  a series of event transpires that causes Makilien to leave her village. After that she visits several countries and makes many new friends.

Truth is a fascinating story, with characters you love to root for.

Warnings: 

Language/Profanity: None.

Violence/Gore/Frightening Scenes: This book has some frightening creatures and scenes. Goblins and orc-like creatures called Shaikes. There is some torture, nothing horrible, but for younger readers it may not be advisable. This book has several skirmishes and battles in this book and thus there is the stuff you might expect from that. The descriptions of battle, war, and death are apt while still being tactful. A main character is stabbed and nearly dies. This book is probably best for children 10-12 (depending on the child and parents preferences) on up.

Sex/Nudity: None.

 

 

Book Review: Call of the Wild by Jack London

8146139Buck, a sturdy crossbreed canine (half St. Bernard, half Shepherd), is a dog born to luxury and raised in a sheltered Californian home. But then he is kidnapped and sold to be a sled dog in the harsh and frozen Yukon Territory. Passed from master to master, Buck embarks on an extraordinary journey, proving his unbreakable spirit…

First published in 1903, The Call of the Wild is regarded as Jack London’s masterpiece. Based on London’s experiences as a gold prospector in the Canadian wilderness and his ideas about nature and the struggle for existence, The Call of the Wild is a tale about unbreakable spirit and the fight for survival in the frozen Alaskan Klondike.

 


“Old longings nomadic leap,

Chafing at custom’s chain;

Again from its brumal sleep

Wakens the ferine strain.”

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

The Call of the Wild, by Jack London, is a novella about a domesticated dog’s journey to becoming a wild wolf-like animal. The story, though in some parts sad, was magnificent. It features Buck, a half St. Bernard half Scotch shepherd dog. It begins by showing the life that Buck lives in his Californian home; there he is a favorite among the pets, a well-treated and well-respected dog. This seemingly perfect life is ended when one of the servants leads Buck away from the property and sells him. While at first his abduction and the hard times that follow seem a sad reversal of fortunes, in truth they are a stroke of luck. For in the harsh and cold north, Buck lives a more vibrant life than ever before.

The Klondike gold rush has struck and sled-dogs are in want. Though not the typical husky, Buck is a large, strong, and thickly coated dog. For these qualities he is soon bought. Surprisingly, the harsh northern environment suits him well; better even, than his lazy life in sun-kissed California did.  And though the work is arduous and tiring, it brings Buck satisfaction and pride to his life. He works and lives in a truer sense than ever before.

During his journey Buck meets John Thornton, a man who saves Buck from death. Thornton’s actions light in Buck a raw, passionate, and wild love for the man. Buck trusts in Thornton un-doubting and unquestioningly, committing himself to protecting his friend.  This relationship is unlike any Buck has ever had with a human. It burns with a passion new to him; a passion that lasts even after Thornton’s death.

Throughout the book, the longing to surrender to the call of the wild grows in Buck’s heart. By the end, the only reason he has stayed so long is because of John Thornton. But when Thornton is killed, Buck’s last tie to humanity is cut. He sheds the last bit of his domestication and embraces the fierce life of the Canadian wilds. From then on, Buck follows the call of the wild, free, and contented.

He walked to the centre of the open space and listened. It was the call, the many-noted call, sounding more luringly and compellingly than ever before. And as never before, he was ready to obey.”-The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Warnings:

Language/Profanity: This book contains several h*ll, d*mn, and oh my g*d’s.

Violence/Gore/Frightening Scenes: This book is violent and somewhat descriptive. A man chokes a dog several times. A man hits a dog with a club. A dog is attacked and ripped apart. Dog’s engage in violent battles. A couple of animals have their back  or neck broken. Multiple animals have flesh torn, bones broken, and eyeballs are lost. Multiple dogs  A dog rips and bites multiple people’s throats. For children and teens who are sensitive to such things I wouldn’t recommend this book.

Sex/Nudity: Except for perhaps a brief mention of animals mating there is none.