Category Archives: General Reviews

Reviews for nonfiction

WHAT I AM READING / REVIEWING NOW

What I’m READING & REVIEWING next:

POSTED RECENTLY:

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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BOOK AWARD WINNERS

I just read a number of the national book award winners — and I have reviewed some of them. For a complete listing of the award winners, see this list.
Newbery 2018 – HELLO, UNIVERSE / Erin Entrada Kelly

Caldecott Medal 2018 – WOLF IN THE SNOW / Matthew Cordell

Caldecott Honor 2018

Belpre (Author) Honor Book 2018

Pura Belpre (Illustrator) Award 2018  

 

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Blog Tour – MISS SERENA’S SECRET / Carolyn Miller

Miss Serena’s Secret, / by Carolyn Miller (Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope, 2)
Kregel     ISBN     9780825445347
Adult     Rating:      4

Carolyn Miller returns with another wholesome Regency romance with courtly romance, historical details, and excellent characterization in Miss Serena’s Secret.

Undiscovered artist Serena Winthrop has a secret from her past, which causes her to distrust all men, especially the smooth-talking Viscount Henry Carmichael. His charming reputation makes her distrust and disapprove of him. Will Serena’s artistic talent be discovered? How will Serena’s secret affect her future?

Readers can relate to Miller’s characters because they face problems in terms of others’ expectations, faith issues, and their everyday circumstances. Witty banter, first-rate characterization, historical narrative, reappearance of characters from earlier books, and a light but evident faith element characterizes Miller’s books.

< SEE FULL REVIEW>

Fans of Julie Klassen, Jane Austen, Sarah Ladd, and other Regency fiction will enjoy this new series. Next title in this series are  The Making of Mrs. Hale (Fall 2018).

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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SONG OF LEIRA / by Gillian Bronte Adams is here!

Song of Leira, / by Gillian Bronte Adams (The Songkeeper Chronicles, 3)
Enclave     ISBN     9781683700869
Young Adult     Grades 6-8     Rating:     5

Gillian Bronte Adams returns with the conclusion to her young adult fantasy series. This epic young reader fantasy has the requisite orphan hero (in this case, heroine), grouchy adult figure (Amos), mythical creatures (the talking cat, the griffin, etc.), and allegorical references to Christianity.

In Song of LeiraAdams pens a tightly-written conclusion to her epic fantasy, complete with a final battle between good and evil. In the previous book, the main characters were devastated after their battle with Takhtan (the evil), causing them reconsider whether to press on in a fight they’d most likely lose or surrender in despair. The Song calls to Birdie, the Songkeeper, to rise above the heartbreak around her and to sing hope to those around her. Birdie plays a pivotal role and becomes confident (but not cocky). She has grown tremendously since the first book, as has Adams’ writing.

Given that the earlier books in this series were nominated for awards, one wouldn’t be surprised to see this final volume nominated!

<See FULL REVIEW of SONG OF LEIRA here>

*      *     *

Have you read the earlier books in this series?

Orphan’s Song, / by Gillian Bronte Adams (The Songkeeper Chronicles, 1)
Enclave     ISBN     9781683700289

Songkeeper, / by Gillian Bronte Adams (The Songkeeper Chronicles, 2)
Enclave     ISBN     (9781621840695

 

In Orphan’s Song, twelve-year-old orphaned Birdie is haunted by five notes of a melody that only she can hear. Imagine her surprise when she hears the Song coming out of her own mouth and gets the attention of a nearby soldier Soon she is forced to flee for her life. But she is and she is rescued by the traveling peddler Amos. She joins up with Amos and Ky to avoid those who would silence the Song.

In Songkeeper, young Songkeeper Birdie and former street thief Ky are captives on a slave ship, and Amos the peddler manages to eventually rescue them. Then Ky returns to his hometown to lead his friends in the Underground to safety. Birdie goes on a journey to a mysterious spring that supposedly only the Songkeeper could unleash to defeat the final darkness. But Birdie continues to face doubts about her abilities and her role in that battle. Her capture by the Takran causes her to face her greatest fear: she is powerless and the Song is silent. Will her friends – her protectors — be casualties in the battle with Takran? What awaits them all?

Orphan’s Song was a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards 2015. Songkeeper won the Gold Medal, The Illumination Awards in 2017.

See FULL REVIEWS of Orphan’s Song and Songkeeeper here!

–Carol Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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WINNING MISS WINTHROP Blog Tour

Winning Miss Winthrop, / by Carolyn Miller (Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope, 1)
Kregel     ISBN     9780825445330
Adult     Rating:      4

 

Miller writes Regency novels with historical detail, excellent characterization, and clean romance, suitable for adults and older teens. Her characters face financial problems, others’ expectations, and faith issues, allowing the reader to more easily identify with them. The tension in relationship between Jonathan and Catherine is reminiscent of books by Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen (think of Persuasion). Will Jonathan and Catherine find healing, forgiveness, and redemption? Will they find a future together?

< SEE FULL REVIEW>

Fans of Julie Klassen, Jane Austen, Sarah Ladd, and Regency romances will enjoy this new series. Next titles in this series are Miss Serena’s Secret (Summer 2018) and The Making of Mrs. Hale (Fall 2018).

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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Christy and Carol Awards 2017 – Winners and Finalists

This week, the winners of the 2017 Christy Award were announced recently (November 2017). A number of the finalists were books I reviewed in the past year — not all of the categories are listed here, only the ones I reviewed.

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

VISIONARY

YOUNG ADULT

CAROL AWARDS 2017 WINNERS & FINALISTS

Carol Award winners were announced in September 2017.

Historical Romance

Romantic Suspense

Speculative

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists!

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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MY ANTICIPATED READS FOR 2017

I am excited for the following titles coming out in 2017. As I review these books, I will link my review to the titles here. I may read and review more than these titles, but these are the ones I’m most interested to read. So here they are:

JANUARY 2017

FEBRUARY 2017

MARCH 2017

APRIL 2017

JUNE 2017

JULY 2017

AUGUST 2017

SEPTEMBER 2017

OCTOBER 2017

DECEMBER 2017

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New Reviews Posted!

These reviews have been posted recently:

storm-calhoun

tangled-webs

another-day-another-dali

canthelpfalling

lady-unrivaled

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Some More 2016 Book Award Winners I’ve Reviewed!

2016 CAROL AWARD WINNERS (ACFW)

Historical:
Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke, Tyndale House

Historical Romance:
A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer, Bethany House

Romantic Suspense:
No Place to Hide by Lynette Eason, Revell

Young Adult:
Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman, Bethany House

2016 CHRISTY AWARD WINNERS

Contemporary
The Sea Keeper’s Daughter by Lisa Wingate, Tyndale

Contemporary Romance / Suspense (winner)
Wedding Chapel, by Rachel Hauck, Zondervan — I didn’t review this but I finished reading it earlier this summer. Loved it — 5 * * * * *

Contemporary Romance / Suspense (nominee)
Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey, Bethany House

Historical
Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke, Tyndale House

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BOOK AWARD WINNERS

I just read a number of the national book award winners — and I have reviewed some of them. For a complete listing of the award winners, see this list.

Newbery 2016 – LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET / Matt de la Pena

Newbery Honor 2016

  • The War that Saved My Life / Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  • Roller Girl / Victoria Jamieson
  • Echo / Pam Muñoz Ryan

Newbery 2015 – The Crossover / Kwame Alexander

Newbery Honor 2015

Caldecott 2016 – FINDING WINNIE: THE TRUE STORY OF THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS BEAR / Lindsay Mattick

Caldecott Honor 2016

Caldecott 2015 – The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend / Dan Santat

Caldecott 2014 – Locomotive / Brian Floca

Caldecott 2014 Honors – Mr. Wuffles / David Wiesner

 

CHRISTIAN BOOK AWARDS

CHRISTY AWARD 2015

Contemporary / Romance – Finalists

Contemporary Series Finalist

Visionary Winner

Visionary Finalists

Young Adult Winner

Young Adult Finalist

CAROL AWARD 2015

Contemporary
Speculative
Young Adult
  • Storm Siren / Mary Weber (HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

CLIVE STAPLES AWARD 2013-2015

2015:  The Warden and the Wolf King / Andrew Peterson

2014: A Cast in the Stones / Patrick W. Carr

2013: Starflower / Anne Elisabeth Stengl

 

 

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My 16 Anticipated Reads for 2016

I am excited for the following 16 titles coming out in 2016. As I review these books, I will link my review to the titles here. I will read and review more than the 16 titles listed here, but these are the ones I’m most interested to read. So here are my top 16:

JANUARY

thin ice YoureOneIWant undaunted hope

FEBRUARY

cold shot

spys devotion always watching

MARCH

daring sacrifice kings folly sirenssong

APRIL

sound emeralds

three wishes

MAY

beautiful pretender

courageous

OCTOBER

The Cautious Maiden time-to-rise wildmontanaskies

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Review: HIDDEN IDENTITY series / by Lynette Eason

No place to hideLynette Eason (Hidden Identity, 3)
Revell     ISBN 9780800722104

Nowhere to turnLynette Eason (Hidden Identity, 2)
Revell     ISBN 9780800722098

No one to trustLynette Eason (Hidden Identity, 1)
Revell      ISBN 9780800722081
Adult     Rating:  4

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Lynette Eason kicks off a new contemporary romantic suspense series with No One to Trust, where a wife finds out that her husband is not the man she thought he was — not his name, not his background, and definitely not his relationships.

In No One to Trust, family lawyer Summer Abernathy wakes up to find a gun pointed at her as three men demand to know the location of her husband, Kyle Abernathy, although they ask for him by another name, David Hackett. She is unaware he is in the Witness Protection Program and a key witness  at a crime boss’ trial in three weeks, if he lives that long. While she discovers the truth, others are trying to find him and will use any means to prevent him from testifying.

 <See FULL REVIEW>

She continues her new contemporary romantic suspense series with Nowhere to Turn, where a wife finds out that her abusive husband has built a web of relationships to entangle her even after his death.

In Nowhere to Turn, Danielle Harding takes her eleven-year-old son Simon with her as she tries to escape from her abusive husband. When her husband Kurt is killed that same day, she believes her worries are over. But Kurt’s brother Stuart begins stalking her with unwanted attention.

<See FULL REVIEW>

The final installment in this series is No Place to Hide where a man is framed for a terrorism and his childhood friend helps him prove his innocence while running from law enforcement and the bad guys.

 <See FULL REVIEW >

Lynette Eason is an excellent storyteller, weaving plot twists and character development. Just when the reader thinks the story is almost done, there is another plot twist, a knot in the story line to untangle. Violence in the story is appropriate but not graphic, and the faith element is light not overpowering. Eason’s book will be of interest to fans of Dee Henderson, DiAnn Mills, and Irene Hannon.

 

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Reviews Posted: REVISED LIFE OF ELLIE SWEET [and] UNLIKELY DEBUT OF ELLIE SWEET / by Stephanie Morrill

The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet / by Stephanie Morrill
Playlist Young Adult Fiction     ISBN 9780988759435

The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet / by Stephanie Morrill
Playlist Young Adult Fiction     ISBN 9780988759442
HS     Grade 8-12     Rating: 4

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YA author Stephanie Morrill pens a contemporary novel about a teen girl who turns her everyday life into her first book. Morrill uses the story within a story format, as Ellie rewrites her experiences in a medieval story starring herself as Lady Gabriella.

In The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet, Ellie deals with the ups and downs of high school life. She is a bookish teen on the fringes of the popular crowd, trying to avoid attention yet wanting to see her book published. As she interacts with her friends (some are mean girls), she rewrites their relationships in her own novel.

n The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet, Morrill’s book is a sweet read, with endearing but flawed realistic characters. Ellie’s crushed hopes and heartbreak resonate with the reader. Ellie grows in maturity as she realizes that lying to one’s parents and keeping secrets has consequences.

<See FULL REVIEW>

Winner of 2013 Grace Award, The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet helps a teen girl feel empowered as she navigates the challenges of high school relationships. The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet tells the consequence of using her pen as her sword — revenge isn’t as sweet as she pictured.

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Cover Reveal: HEIR OF HOPE / Morgan Busse

COVER REVEAL:
Heir of Hope / Morgan Busse (Follower of the Word, 3)
ENCLAVE PUBLISHING (April 7, 2015)

COMING IN APRIL 2015

heirofhope

PUBLISHER’S EXCERPT:

The great city of Thyra has fallen and shadows spread across the land. Rowen Mar, the last Truthsayer, is taken before the Shadonae. But the Shadonae are not who she thought they were, and now they want to claim her as their own. Caleb Tala, former assassin and prince, is now a Guardian of mankind. Exiled from his country, Caleb wanders the desert in search of his mother’s past and clues to who he is. These are the last days of the Eldaran race. Rowen and Caleb must find their way along the dark path set before them by their ancestors: to heal what was wounded and love where hatred grows. But the road is narrow and the darkness beckons. If either of them fails, all will be lost… And the human race will be no more.

This is the third book in the Followers of the Word series. I reviewed the other books last fall: Daughter of Light, and Son of Truth.

Daughter of Light was a finalist for the 2013 Grace Awards, the Christy Awards, and the Carol Awards. Son of Truth is a finalist for the 2014 Clive Staples Award.

If Book 3 is the same caliber, this is a title not to be missed!

I plan to read and review this title in the spring — and I love the cover!

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