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Title: The Liberation                                                        3D_BOOK-2-614x1024[1]

Author: Marissa Shrock

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Cover Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

If you haven’t read Marissa Shrock yet, you are missing out.

I originally fell in love with Shrock’s writing when I read what was her debut novel in this series, The First Principle. (You can read the review here.)

I loved that book and didn’t think it could get any better… annnnd then I read this one. 😉

The Liberation picks up where The First Principle left off:

In a corrupt, dystopian society, Vivica Wilkins has joined the rebel forces and must either keep her identity a secret, or risk being executed. With the clock ticking, will she and the other Emancipation Warriors be able to rescue those they love before it’s too late, or will their quest for liberation cost them more than anyone ever bargained for?

This book. Lemme tell ya.

First of all, you won’t be able to stop reading. Second, Shrock’s crazy talented imagination will creep you the heck out with how realistic she created this society to be. And third, her characters are so endearing and well-developed, you’ll cheer for them ’till the very end.

In a style similar to The Hunger Games, you’ll be hooked from the beginning and want to know more. It’s not very often anymore I have to stay up late to finish a book, and The Liberation kept me up until 2:00 in the morning to find out what would happen next.

If you like fast-paced, creative thrillers with faith interwoven throughout, then I definitely recommend this book!

Me, I’m gonna catch up on some sleep before the third and final book comes out! 😉

Let’s Talk Book: When’s the last time a book kept you awake long into the night?!

 

 

 

 

 

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I Like GivingThe winner of one free copy of I Like Giving chosen by random selection is…

Tessa Ice!

Congratulations, Tessa! I’ll be in touch soon to get your prize to you.

Thank you to all who entered, and make sure to stop by often for more giveaway opportunities in the future! 🙂

 

Born of Persuasion, DottaTitle: Born of Persuasion

Author: Jessica Dotta

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Strangely enough, I first heard of debut author Jessica Dotta through an ad on my Facebook feed. The ad claimed Dotta’s style to be similar to that of both Jane Austen and Jane Eyre, and being the Jane fan I am, I was cautiously optimistic about her upcoming release, Born of Persuasion. Cautiously optimistic because there are a lot of authors who claim to have styles similar to both the respective Janes in an effort to sell books.

But I decided to try her out, and I am so glad I did! Dotta was the first author in a long time whose style really did hearken back to Jane Eyre. (As far as I can tell without having actually read the book. I know! Completely unforgivable. But I have seen the movie and have the book at the top of my must-read list!) I read a lot in the Christian market, and the more you read, the more you begin to see a lot of the same thing over and over. Publishers find a formula that works and/or sells books (historical setting, girl meets guy, girl can’t have guy, they’re finally together, the end), and they tend to stick with it. I completely understand why, but it can get a bit boring and a little predictable after a while. So when I find a book that shakes things up a little, I get really excited!

Dotta’s novel does just that. Full of mystery, drama, and intrigue, it became the book I didn’t know I was looking for. Both Dotta’s style and plotline were completely unpredictable. For starters, forget just one suitor. The heroine in this book has to deal with two. And for once, I had no idea who she should pick! I felt just as confused as she was about which of them measured up to the title of hero. Add to that a twist I never saw coming and a rich historical setting, and Charlotte Bronte, we’re in business!

If I had to pick one thing I wasn’t fond of, it would be that she does have a couple of scenes that do edge closer to the “hot and heavy” line than was probably necessary.

But overall, Dotta made quick work of making me an avid fan, and I cannot wait to see more from her!

Here’s what Amazon has to say (and, BONUS: Born of Persuasion is FREE right now on Kindle! It would be terribly silly of you to miss that kind of opportunity):

“The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.”

(I received this book for free from the publisher on Goodreads. All opinions are my own and are not paid for or solicited.)

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Burning Sky, BentonTitle: Burning Sky

Author: Lori Benton

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book had me at hello. I mean, just listen to this description: “Abducted by Mohawk Indians at fourteen and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People. At the boundary of her father’s property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path. Feeling obliged to nurse his injuries, the two quickly find much has changed during her twelve-year absence—her childhood home is in disrepair, her missing parents are rumored to be Tories, and the young Richard Waring she once admired is now grown into a man twisted by the horrors of war and claiming ownership of the Obenchain land.

When her Mohawk brother arrives and questions her place in the white world, the cultural divide blurs Willa’s vision. Can she follow Tames-His-Horse back to the People now that she is no longer Burning Sky? And what about Neil MacGregor, the kind and loyal botanist who does not fit into in her plan for a solitary life, yet is now helping her revive her farm? In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, strong feelings against “savages” abound in the nearby village of Shiloh, leaving Willa’s safety unsure.

Willa is a woman caught between two worlds. As tensions rise, challenging her shielded heart, the woman called Burning Sky must find a new courage–the courage to again risk embracing the blessings the Almighty wants to bestow. Is she brave enough to love again?”

If we’re making a list of things Lizzie loves, Burning Sky has quite a few of them!

Strong female character? Check.
Scotsman? Check.
Great time period and awesome Historical setting? Check.
Betrayal, tragedy, and a chance to overcome both in one breathtaking fictional treatise on hope? Check.

I really connected to the character of Willa wondering where she belongs in the world, and I cared about her from the very beginning. It was just one of those stories and one of those characters that will always stick with you. I was pulling for Willa from the very first page, just as heartbroken as she was over the loss of her family, and, even more than that, her identity. There’s only a few books in life where you can look back and say, “I almost felt as if the characters in that book were real. I’ve walked that road. I’ve fought that fight. I’ve felt those tears,” and Burning Sky was one of those books for me. I’ve walked away from plenty of books saying, “Well, that was a good read. Fun and fictional, but good.” And then there are those that are real and relational. It’s a tricky thing to accomplish, which is why I applaud Benton all the more.

Like Born of Persuasion, Benton’s debut novel was refreshingly different. Again, two suitors. (In a way, three, but I’ll let you discover that on your own!) And just as confusing about whom she should choose.

So, to sum things up, you should go buy this book. No, really. Go buy it. Now. 😉

Until next time!

(I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.)

Let’s Talk Book: What is it you look for in a debut author? What would make you pick up their next book? Who are some debut authors that you’d recommend?

Gone to Ground, CollinsTitle: Gone to Ground

Author: Brandilyn Collins

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

In the small town of Amaryllis, Mississippi, everyone knows everyone and most don’t even bother locking their doors. That is, until the murders start happening.

In the past three years five unsolved murders have occurred within the town. All the victims were women, and all were killed in similar fashion in their own homes. And just two nights ago, there was a sixth.

As panic floods Amaryllis, three women are certain they know who the killer is and will stop at nothing until he’s caught. The only problem? They each suspect a different man.

Who is right?

Who is wrong?

And who is dead?

Brandilyn Collins has become one of my favorite authors, and Gone to Ground is a fantastic example of why I love her writing so much. At this point I’ve read four novels by her, and I can pretty much guarantee that if you pick up anything of hers you’ll be hanging onto the edge of your seat until the story finishes. Her books are fast-paced and almost impossible to put down, and Gone to Ground is no exception.

Not only was I completely immersed in the story, but I could not figure out who-dun-it. I enjoy books that make you think and keep you involved in the mystery, and with this particular novel I was guessing until the very end.

Throughout the book Collins’ uses the viewpoints of three different women who are certain they know who the killer is. I’d read one viewpoint and was certain I knew, too. But then the other woman would get a chance to tell her story and show her evidence, and I was certain she was right. And so it went the entire book.

Collins is a master at both suspense and cleverly woven twists, and Gone to Ground had a twist I never saw coming.

The characters in this book were even more well-rounded and defined than I’d seen before in any of the other books I’ve read by Collins, and their voices were so uniquely crafted that I think you would know who was speaking even without the chapter headings at the top. I also really appreciated the fact that Collins went a little deeper than she normally does with her characters’ faith.

Because of the perfect balance Collins struck between an excellent plot and characters you felt as if you’d known all your life, Gone to Ground may be my favorite of hers yet.

So if you haven’t guessed already, I’m highly recommending you check out this book!

Let’s Talk Book: What’s your favorite surprise ending or twist you never saw coming? Just this once, I’ll even let you use a twist from a movie if you want. But just this once! 😉

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