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Cloak of the Light ~ Review

Cloak of the Light
Wars of the Realm 1
By Chuck Black

I have to admit I've never read Chuck Black's books before.  But my sister loves them, so based on her recommendation I agreed to review this book.  I am so glad I listened to her recommendation (which earned her her very own copy of this book!)

Drew Carter has given up on God, after all if there was a God he would have kept Drew in Columbia, South Carolina.  But that didn't happen. And He would have kept Drew from moving to Rivercrest, Kansas.  But Drew made the move with his mother.  And it was in Rivercrest that it started happening.  First there was the accident in which Drew should have been badly hurt and he wasn't.

When Drew's best friend Benjamin Berg sees something that shouldn't he goes to Drew for help.  But something happens when Drew sees what Ben saw.  Drew is left blinded and Ben is missing.  But when Drew's sight returns he can still see what Ben discovered - invaders who are affecting change in our world.

What goal these invaders are after is a puzzle Drew has to figure out.  But he has seen them influence criminal acts. But who would possibly believe this story he has to tell?  He would be viewed as paranoid or insane.

This is an intriguing story that will keep you on the edge of your seat as Drew battles these invaders while attempting to stay hidden from those who are hunting him.  If you like intense excitement in your reading, you will love this book!

I was provided a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

About This Book

Drew is caught in a world of light - just inches away from the dark
What if...there was a world beyond our vision, a world just fingertips beyond our reach? What if...our world wasn’t beyond their influence?
Tragedy and heartache seem to be waiting for Drew Carter at every turn, but college offers Drew a chance to start over—until an accident during a physics experiment leaves him blind and his genius friend, Benjamin Berg, missing.
As his sight miraculously returns, Drew discovers that the accident has heightened his neuron activity, giving him skills and sight beyond the normal man. When he begins to observe fierce invaders that no one else can see, he questions his own sanity, and so do others. But is he insane or do the invaders truly exist?
With help from Sydney Carlyle, a mysterious and elusive girl who offers encouragement through her faith, Drew searches for his missing friend, Ben, who seems to hold the key to unlocking this mystery. As the dark invaders close in, will he find the truth in time?

The Identical ~ Movie Review

The Identical

This Labor Day week-end I had the pleasure to view a pre-release screening of The Identical a movie starring Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, Erin Cottrell, and Blake Rayne.  This movie is set to hit the BIG Screen this week, September 5th to be exact.  And this is movie was a delightful surprise - one I want to see again.  If you like good music (early rock and roll era) and an entertaining and powerful story rolled into one package you have to see this movie.

In 1935 William and Helen Hemsley are living in Decatur, Georgia, when they have twin sons.  But for Wiliam this is the worst possible news - he is out of work and jobs are scarce.  But on the night of his sons' birth a tent revival is taking place and William thinks he has found the perfect solution - the preacher Reese Wade and his wife Louise are unable to have children and have requested prayer.

In a heartbreaking decision the Hemsleys offer to give the Wades one of their sons because it is better to give than to receive.  Both boys are raised separately never knowing the other.  Ryan is raised believing he is the only child of a Tennessee preacher.   Dexler is raised believing his twin brother died at one day of age.

This movie is Ryan's story and his journey to discover his path and his calling.   And in an unexpected twist both young men are drawn to music.  One finds fame with his gift and the other is The Identical of the other.

This is a movie that is moving as one brother struggles with discovering who he is amid pressures to follow in his father's footsteps.  This is a movie that is suitable for the family (PG) and at 1 hour and 46 minutes it is a perfect length.

starring Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd and newcomer Blake Rayne 
opens in theaters all across the country on Sept. 5, 2014.


Oath of the Brotherhood ~ Review

Oath of the Brotherhood
The Song of Seare 1
By C.E. Laureano

Connor Mac Nir is the son of the king.  A prince who has been fostered by Labhras O Maonagh while King Galbraith yet sits upon the throne.  And the time has come for him to return to his home.  But Connor knows he will be a disappointment - he has no skill in the ways of a warrior but rather the knowledge of a scholar and a gift with the harp.  But King Galbraith has found a use for his son he is to be a hostage of the kingdom of Faolan in exchange for an alliance between the kingdoms.

In Faolan, Connor's skill with music is encouraged.  And he is allowed to follow the Balian faith, a faith that has been forbidden in Tigh upon pain of death.  But it is his growing friendship with Aine, the king's youngest sister, that has the greatest influence upon him.  Aine and Connor develop a unique bond that allows both to further hone their gifts - gifts that have a tie to the ancient magics of the Balian faith.

An ancient evil is gaining power, bringing the threat of war with it.  Time is running out and Connor must leave everything he knows and loves behind to find his true path and how to use it for Comdiu's glory.  But is he truly prepared to pay the price that his path is about to cost?

This is a truly fantastic book and I can't wait until the second one is released in February 2015.  That in my opinion is the sign that a book is well-worth my time when I want to read a second book in the series.

About the Book:
In a kingdom where the Old Ways hold fast and a man’s worth lies entirely in his skill with the sword, Conor Mac Nir is a scholar, a musician, and a follower of the forbidden Balian faith: problematic for any man, but disastrous for the son of the king.

When Conor is sent as a hostage to a neighboring kingdom, he never expects to fall in love with the rival king’s sister, Aine. Nor does he suspect his gift with the harp (and Aine’s ability to heal) touches on the realm of magic. Then his clan begins a campaign to eliminate all Balians from the isle of Seare, putting his newfound home in peril and entangling him in a plot for control of the island that has been unfolding since long before his birth.

Only by committing himself to an ancient warrior brotherhood can Conor discover the part he’s meant to play in Seare’s future. But is he willing to sacrifice everything—even the woman he loves—to follow the path his God has laid before him?

All for a Story ~ Review

All for a Story
By Allison Pittman

Monica Bisbaine is determined to live life her way.  And her way is having as much fun as she can, flirting with any man who is within a mile of her, and having a boyfriend who's married.

But Max Moore, her new boss at Capitol Chatter, has other plans when he takes over.  He wants to find the good in Washington D.C. and he wants it reported.  And when one of Monica's articles brings both her and the paper to the notice of local gangsters, Max is determined to bring new values to the paper.  His first assignment for Monica join the Anti-Flirt Society and report on their efforts.

But Monica isn't changing her ways without a fight and she's determined to bring Max down (to the fun and illegal life of speakeasies and liquor).  But Monica is about to be broken and see herself in a new light.

About the Book:
Monica Bisbaine loves being a modern girl in the Roaring Twenties. Her job writing a gossip column allows her access to all the local speakeasys in Washington, D.C., where she can dance the night away—and find fodder for her next article. But when the owner of the Capitol Chatter newspaper passes away, Monica wonders what will happen to her job, and the lifestyle she loves.

Max Moore may hold the title of editor-in-chief for evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson’s paper, The Bridal Call, but Aimee calls all the shots. So when Max learns that his great-uncle has passed away, leaving him all his earthly possessions, Max resigns and heads to D.C. Determined to take over the Capitol Chatter, infuse it with his values, and turn it into a respectable paper, Max is soon bumping up against the equally determined Monica Bisbane.

Under Max’s direction, Monica embarks on her most challenging assignment yet: infiltrating and reporting on the Anti-Flirt Society. Though reluctant at first, as Monica meets and mingles with the young women of the club, she begins to question the innocence of her flirtatious lifestyle. And when romance begins to blossom between Max and Monica, she must choose where her loyalties lie: with the young women of the society or the alluring pull of the speakeasy and its inhabitants.


The Healing Quilt ~ Review

The Healing Quilt
Return of the Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club
By Wanda E. Brunstetter

Emma is bored, she's not made for a life of leisure, searching the beach for shells.  She misses her students and her quilting classes.  When her husband Lamar suggests starting up classes in Florida, Emma agrees.

But this may be her most difficult class yet.  One young woman, Erika, is paralyzed, wheelchair bound teen who sees no future for herself.  Kim, a waitress, is determined not to fail yet again.  Mike, who is at loose ends, is filling in for his wife.  Jennifer is a soon-to-be mother whose husband is out of work.  And then there is Noreen a widow at loose ends and BJ who is keeping his declining health a secret.

But 6 weeks of caring instruction and fellowship just might be what everyone needs.  And Emma is always willing to offer a listening ear and a word of encouragement and prayer.

It is interesting that when each person looks outside of their own concerns that their attitudes improve and they actually are happier.

There are several former students who play important roles throughout, sharing what Emma had given them.  And there is even romance in store for one former student and a current one.

This is a feel good book.  There are problems, but they aren't drag you down depressing,  If you want an enjoyable week-end read this is one you'll want to pick-up and then share with a friend.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book:

Join retired Amish newlyweds Emma and Lamar Miller in Florida for the winter as they lead another quilting class with a new group of unlikely students: Jennifer, a pregnant new mom; Mike, a charter boat owner; Erika, a wheelchair bound teen; Kim, a waitress; Noreen, a newly-retired widow, and BJ, an artist facing illness. When old friends visit from Indiana, will romance also become a subject of class discussions?


CSFF August Blog Tour ~ Merlin's Nightmare Day 3

~ Welcome to the Third and Final Day 
of the CSFF August Blog Tour ~

This month's featured book is Merlin's Nightmare
which is the concluding book in The Merlin Spiral series

Merlin's Nightmare
The Merlin Spiral #3
By Robert Treskillard

Merlin has kept his identity a secret.  For years he has hidden his face from the public eye, wearing a mask that covers his scars.  Scars that would reveal his identity to Vortigern should even a whisper touch his ear.

And if Merlin was revealed, Arthur's identity would be revealed as well.  An identity that Arthur is unaware of.  Even his name is hidden from him, as he has been called Artorius for as far back as his memory will take him.

But Arthur and Merlin's safety and indeed all of Britons is about to be threatened in a way that Merlin hoped and prayed would never come. His half-sister Ganieda, known as Morgana, is about to strike, bringing with her, her beloved wolves.  But her wolves are no longer the beasts that hunted Merlin in his youth. These wolves have been perverted through the darkness of the Druid power that Morgana wields.  (Think wolf/human cross and you get the picture - though not the total evilness behind it)

Morgana is manipulating both Merlin and Arthur towards her ultimate goal - a goal that no one saw coming... And Morgana is willing to sacrifice all those she controls to obtain her goals.  Love is an unknown in her heart and it obvious that her hate for Merlin has grown in intensity in the years since their last encounter.

There is loss that will test both Merlin and Arthur and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out in the new upcoming series from Robert Treskillard The Pendragon Spiral.  A little hint  "HC SVNT DRACONES!" "Here be Dragons!" Highlight the blank section for a translation if you want your hint in English rather than Latin!

I highly recommend this book and the entire series for fans of any of the following: Merlin, King Arthur, Historical Fiction, Action, and Fantasy Fiction.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in conjunction with this CSFF blog tour in exchange for my participation and my honest review.

Click to learn more about Robert Treskillard or purchase Merlin's BladeMerlin's Shadow, or Merlin's Nightmare.

Be sure to come back next month for Rebels and be sure to visit the other tour participants who will be sharing their thoughts throughout this 3 day tour (August 25-27, 2014)


CSFF August Blog Tour ~ Merlin's Nigtmare Day 2

~ Welcome to Day 2 of the CSFF August Blog Tour ~

This month's featured book is Merlin's Nightmare
which is the concluding book in The Merlin Spiral series

In Merlin's Blade Merlin vowed his fealty to Uther High King of Briton and to his son and heir Arthur.

And in Merlin's Nightmare Merlin's vow is tested.  He has vowed to serve Arthur as king, and yet he is torn.  Does he reveal to Arthur his long hidden identity?  Or does he keep this knowledge secret and allow Arthur to continue to see him as his father?

Merlin knows that Arthur's destined to fight for his throne and yet he wants to keep him safe - hidden from those who think him long dead.

Fealty what is it?

An oath of fealty, from the Latin fidelitas (faithfulness), is a pledge of allegiance of one person to another. From Wikipedia

Fealty is sworn by subjects before their king in Merlin's Blade. Yet we take such a vow before our Heavenly King. But what does such a vow mean?

Do we, like Merlin, vow to serve our King and His Son? Or are we making a vow that is only half-hearted. We don't really mean it and don't want to offer the King too much out of fear that He will demand more than we are willing to give?

Have we made a vow to serve our own interests?  Placing our wants and desires above everyone and everything?

To whom do you pledge your life? Has your heart made an oath of fealty? Have you pledged to the Deceiver, to self, or to the King? The choice is yours. Choose wisely, your eternal soul depends on it!

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in conjunction with this CSFF blog tour in exchange for my participation and my honest review.

Click to learn more about Robert Treskillard or purchase Merlin's BladeMerlin's Shadow, or Merlin's Nightmare.

Be sure to come back for Day 3 of Merlin's Nightmare and be sure to visit the other tour participants who will be sharing their thoughts throughout this 3 day tour (August 25-27, 2014)