Sin Eater by Megan Campisi – Book Review

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What I Loved:

I love historical fiction. I appreciate that an author took the time to research some event or timeframe in history and then spent countless weeks, months, or years to create a story about it. It’s especially exciting for me when I find a historical fiction book that surrounds an event or person that I didn’t know anything about previously.

I got everything that I wanted out of Sin Eater. I loved that this story was about a working position in history that I knew nothing about. I was fascinated by what the Sin Eater must do and the long list of things they must not do.

How I Felt:

I found Sin Eater as I was wandering the virtual shelves of NetGalley. I saw the cover, which has changed since I originally found it, but it just called to me. I KNEW it was a book I needed to read, and then Atria Books was kind enough to send me a copy! I am SO glad that I had the chance to read this book. It was just wonderful.

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Quarantined? Here is a list of Free or $0.99 Books!

Feed Your Reader Informational Blog Tour is hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions!

With the entire country under an essential house arrest until further notice, I know that our house has been on the hunt for new things to do and read. I have been on the hunt for new books to fill up my e-reader without spending a ton of money. I was so excited to find out that there are a ton of options that are free to download or cost just $0.99! Here is a compiled list of where to find these great books!

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A Reason for Living by Julian Jingles – Review and Giveaway

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What I Loved:

I really enjoyed the location for A Reason for Living. Set in Kingston, Jamaica in the 1960s, there were Civil Rights movements happening, and I really liked reading a story that was surrounded by this time in history. It was a new subject for me, and I appreciated learning about the events of the time and how people reacted to them.

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The Road to Delano by John DeSimone – Review and Giveaway

Welcome to The Road to Delano book tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours!

What I Loved:

The Road to Delano is a wonderful mix of thriller, mystery, and historical fiction. I loved the way the author set this story. It was impactful and kept me on the edge of my seat!

How I Felt:

The characters were easy to relate to. I was so invested in Jack’s story. I wanted him to find out who killed his father and to find all the answers to his questions. My heart continued to go out to him as one incident after another happened. He was an excellent main character, and one I feel readers will enjoy!

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Matilda Empress by Lise Arin

What I Loved:

Matilda Empress had SUCH an intense world! I really appreciated Lise Arin’s creation of Matilda’s life. The buildings, people, and story just felt so real. It was just how a historical fiction should feel, and I loved it!

How I Felt:

The Characters: Matilda turned out to be a bit more of an unlikable character than I had anticipated. I really wanted to like her, but I found her to be a bit snobby. Her utter infatuation with her cousin was a lot to take, however, it didn’t turn me away from the book. That’s not the first time something like that would have happened in history!

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Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – An Unpopular Book Review

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What I Loved:

I didn’t really love this book. I’m just going to get that out in the open now. So, here’s what I did love.

The beautiful descriptive writing was lovely. Delia Owens can definitely describe things in detail.

Continue reading “Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – An Unpopular Book Review”

Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green – A Book Review

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What I Loved:

Jocelyn Green’s writing has a beautiful way of captivating a reader. I loved the story she told with a mixture of historical information and a mystery!

Continue reading “Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green – A Book Review”

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris- A Review

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What I Loved:

The Tattooist of Auschwitz featured a new perspective for me in the overwhelming number of WWII historical fiction books out in the world. While the main character, Lale, is a prisoner, he is also working with the Nazi’s as the Tätowierer, the tattooist. I knew that many jobs within a concentration camp were done by the prisoners, but had never encountered a book focused on the person tattooing the people there. It was such an interesting story and I really loved it.

Continue reading “The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris- A Review”

A Beautiful, Heartbreaking Book – Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate – A Review

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What I Loved:

Before We Were Yours tackles a terrible time in American history. The story was written so well and with such emotion that I was utterly captivated. Lisa Wingate’s writing was so impressive and it was definitely the thing I loved most about this book.

How I Felt:

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I love reading about historical events from a story-telling perspective. Before We Were Yours is a great example of why I love this genre. The Tennessee Children’s Home Society was something that I had briefly heard of, but I was able to be completely immersed in this story and learned so much about heartbreaking story.

The Characters: I found myself extremely connected to the children in this story. The main child, Rill was so determined to help her family and I just loved her. In the present part of the story, I found that I didn’t connect well with Avery, the main character. She was fine, but I was just so connected to the past portion of the story that I tended to want to get back to that.

The Writing: This story was woven together so well. I loved the way things were revealed to the reader. I appreciated the historical facts added to the story as well. At the end there is a section that discusses the historical basis for this fictional story and I was so happy to see that.

The Story: Before We Were Yours had a beautiful, sad story. With a time-jump story-line, the information given to the reader comes from both the present and the past portions of the story. I appreciated the way this story was woven and I loved that each character’s story was wrapped up by the end.

Overall: I found Before We Were Yours to be a wonderful must-read kind of book. The story was captivating and covered a terrible situation, but managed to add a heartwarming aspect.

Content Warning:

I have quite a few content warnings for this one: Child death, reference to child molestation and potentially rape, child abduction, and child abuse.

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate for readers that enjoy historical fiction not related to a war, but on family and a struggle to survive.

Where to Find This Book:

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate is available at these sites.

Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Goodreads

The Foss children live on a shantyboat in 1939 with their father and mother and really are loving life. They travel down the river going from town to town and love each other. On the night their mama goes into labor with their twin siblings, they are left alone during the delivery. Soon, the police arrive, round them up and take them to the Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage without any explanations to them about what is going on.

In present day, Avery has it all, a wonderful fiance, great career, successful family, and then, she meets May. At a nursing home, a chance encounter between May and Avery, sticks with Avery. She can’t get May out of her head. The things she said…and the fact that she said Avery’s bracelet was May’s and she stole it right off Avery’s arm! Now Avery is digging into the past and one answer leads to so many more questions. Why does May think she knows Avery, what is Avery’s grandmother hiding from her?

Before We Were Yours follows the Foss children as they are abducted and illegally taken to the orphanage and one by one sold into adoptions to other families. In present day, Avery works to understand the secrets her grandmother is hiding about her connection to the Tennessee Children’s Home Society.

Just the Facts:

  • Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Page Count: 368 pages
  • Publisher:  Ballantine Books
  • Pub Date: May 21, 2019
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Stefan’s Promise by Sam Rennick

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What I Loved:

Stefan’s Promise is a book broken into two separate stories. I enjoyed that the writer was able to separate the story by so many years and keep me connected and interested in the character’s lives.

How I Felt:

The story of these two character’s lives felt so real. I forgot I was reading fiction at times and would have to remind myself it wasn’t a memoir! Sam Rennick’s writing was beautiful.

The Characters: Alan and Stefan are the two main characters in Stefan’s Promise. I liked and connected with both characters, but I felt like things were just always going wrong for one of them and right for the other. So, I tended to keep pulling for Alan to have something good happen for him.

The Length: While Sam Rennick’s writing is absolutely amazing and I really did enjoy this book, it is a fairly long one. I think that I would like to see this story broken into two books. There really are two stories here and they could be a book 1 and book 2 of a series.

Overall, this was a well-written, wonderful story. The characters felt real and so did the story.

To Read or Not To Read:

Readers that enjoy books like The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared and A Man Called Ove would really enjoy this story. If you like books that tell a story of many years, connect you to the characters, and tug at your heartstrings, this one is for you.

Where To Find This Book:
Goodreads | Kindle | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Hugo House

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The Vietnam War Changed America. Two Best Friends Weren’t Spared. Only One Was Drafted.

It’s 1968. America is rocked by assassinations, war protests and political upheaval. Alan Young, 21, is brooding over having been dumped by his girlfriend. This won’t last long. His draft notice is in the mail.

Stefan Kopinski isn’t about to let the war get in his way. He spends his days at the mercy of his reckless ambition. When fate steps in, will he finally understand what has been right in front of him for 30 years?

“Stefan’s Promise” is the story of Alan and Stefan. Circumstances part them and sharply diverging temperaments further erode their bond. Yet, Alan and Stefan are wrong in supposing their friendship has ended. It’s just getting started.

  • Stefan’s Promise by Sam Rennick
  • Genre: Literary Fiction
  • Page Count: 546 pages
  • Publisher: Hugo House Publishers
  • Pub Date: September 3, 2019

Sam Rennick began writing Stefan’s Promise forty years ago, but it wasn’t until fairly recently, when he retired from his law practice that he was able to take his manuscript from its drawer and finish it. He admits he wishes he could say he planned this all along, since the two books comprising the novel, though written many years apart, combine perfectly into a compelling narrative.

While many authors have influenced him, he singles out Somerset Maugham as his muse, observing that Maugham always starts with a good story, but often finds a way to insert that “something extra” separating merely a nice tale from literature. Sam’s interest in books is only exceeded by his love for baseball, which began when he was nine years old.

I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M. White

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What I Loved:

The main characters, Phillip and Arabelle had such depth. I felt like they were real people. They had wonderful backstory and enough details to really enjoy and connect with each of them. Arabelle was a strong female lead with a deep spiritual belief system and Phillip is a wounded man that you can’t help but love.

How I Felt:

The religion in this book was very prominent. Sometimes books will have a little of it here or there, but this book created some characters that were incredibly religious, and it made for a wonderful Christian romance.

The story line of On Wings of Devotion was absolutely enchanting! There were little twists and turns in the story that made this a beautifully written book. I loved the change that Phillip goes through in this book. Taking a very negative persona and changing to a positive was a lot of fun to read.

This is my first book by Roseanna M. White, but I understand that there were characters throughout this story were from her other books, so regular readers of her books will really enjoy these cameos! Not knowing these characters, as this was my first book by her, did not in any way impede my enjoyment of the story though, so new readers, do not worry!

To Read or Not To Read:

Christian romance readers will really enjoy this story. Additionally, if you are already a reader of Roseanna M. White’s books, you absolutely need to pick this one up!!

Against Every Warning, She’s Drawn Ever Closer to the Man Known as “Black Heart”

All of England thinks Major Phillip Camden a monster–a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But he would have preferred to die that day with his men rather than be recruited to the Admiralty’s codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved.

As nurse Arabelle Denler observes the so-dubbed “Black Heart,” she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their families and paths twist together unexpectedly, she realizes she has a role to play in his healing–and some of her own to do as well.

With Camden’s court-martial looming, an old acquaintance shows up, intent on using him in a plot that sends the codebreakers of Room 40 into a frenzy. With their fragile hopes for the future in the cross hairs, Arabelle and Camden must hold on to hope–and to each other–if they want to survive.

  • On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M. White
  • Book 2 in The Codebreakers series
  • Page Count: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
  • Pub Date: January 7, 2020

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes.

When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

I received a copy of this advanced reader’s copy for free from Bethany House Publishing and JustReads Tours. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.

Paper Wife by Laila Ibrahim

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  • Paper Wife by Laila Ibrahim
  • Page Count: 293 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
  • Pub Date: October 30, 2018

What I Loved: Paper Wife was a story filled with so much determination and pure resolve to make things work and I loved that! Mei Ling continues, time after time, to make choices that will take care of her, and her family. It was so amazing to watch her journey.

How I Felt: I was intrigued by a story of early immigrants to the United States and I loved that it was an arranged marriage. I had never heard of a paper family before this book, so I definitely learned something new! Mei Ling becomes a paper wife, leaving China and traveling to the US with her husband and step-son. I was fascinated by her journey, the customs she left behind, and the new laws and rules surround immigration to America. Once she was on US soil, she still had mountains of problems to overcome and her journey had me completely spell-bound.

To Read or Not To Read: If you enjoy Historical Fiction, this is a great book for you! Reminding me a bit of Memoirs of a Geisha, while this is absolutely a different story, the history and culture of Paper Wife reminded me of this previous book I had read.

Mei Ling is the second daughter in the family. Days before her sister is to be married to a widower, she falls ill and Mei Ling is placed into the arranged marriage in her sister’s place. Mei Ling is a dutiful daughter and intends to honor her family and make this marriage work. She packs her things and heads to the church to meet her new husband.

Married life starts out completely different than she expected. She is immediately a mother to a young son from her husband’s previous marriage and living in different conditions than she imagined. She must pretend to be her husband’s previous wife to gain entrance to the United States.

As they board the ship to embark on their journey, she is separated from her new husband and left with the two year old boy she barely knows. She rarely sees her husband the entire journey, but makes new friends and learns a lot about what to expect as she sets foot on American soil.

Can she remember all the details necessary to fake who she really is? Once in the United States, circumstances will continue to change for her, giving us a wonderful story with a quick pace.

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