Book Reviews

The Winter King by Christine Cohen

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 352
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Middle Grade
Published: Nov. 19, 2019, by Cannonball Books
Rating: 5 stars


A village trapped in winter, a tyrannical god, and a girl who will do anything to keep her family alive…

Ever since Cora’s father disappeared through the ice, whispers about her family’s “curse” have grown increasingly louder. Desperate to help her mother and siblings survive another bleak season in the Winter King’s frozen grasp, Cora begins to bend (and even break) the rules she has kept since she was a little girl. But when she discovers a secret that’s much bigger than herself, she realizes too late that she has put herself—and those she loves—in even greater peril.


Cora’s father passed away when ice fishing. The town thinks her family is cursed. When it’s time for winter and the Winter King’s return, Cora becomes desperate to help her family make it through the winter.

I rarely read standalone fantasies. When I came across this one, I decided I would give it a go. I want to add more standalone to my collection. This book I will most definitely be buying a physical copy.

I didn’t think I would get sucked into the story as I did. I almost read this in one sitting. If I didn’t have a few things to do yesterday, I would have finished it. I think it has been a while since a book thoroughly sucked me in the way this one did. I loved it.

It didn’t turn out the way I thought. I loved the pacing. I loved the world-building. The hardship that the MC goes through. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I do have another book by this author. I can’t wait to dive into more of her writing.

With it being middle grade, I can’t wait for my son to be old enough to read this. I may even read it to him.

Book Reviews

In Feast or Famine by Mesu Andrews

My edition: ARC provided by Netgalley
Pages: 448
Series: The Egyptian Chronicles #2
Genre: Retelling, Biblical Fiction, Historical fiction
Published: Expected May 9, 2023
Rating: 5 star


Thrust into an arranged marriage, the daughter of ancient Egypt’s high priest plays a pivotal role in Joseph’s biblical narrative in this powerful novel from the award-winning author of Potiphar’s Wife.

After four-year-old Asenath’s mother is murdered by Egypt’s foreign rulers, the child is raised to be a priestess by her overprotective father–high priest of Egypt’s sun god. For fifteen years, Asenath is sequestered in the upper levels of Ra’s temple, convinced it is her destiny to heal the land by becoming the queen to the next Egyptian pharaoh. But when Egypt’s foreign king instead gives her as a bride to the newly appointed vizier–a Hebrew named Joseph–her entire world is shaken.

Beyond the walls of her tower, Asenath discovers treachery, deceit, and conspiracy that forces her to redefine her destiny and weigh where her true loyalties lie. Can she still trust the gods of Egypt? Or is Elohim, the foreign God of her husband, the one who will heal her nation during the feast and famine to come?


Thank you Netgalley and WaterBrook Multnomah for this ARC.

“Elohim is perfect,” he said with a faraway stare. “His covenant bearers aren’t.”

Joseph is one of my all-time favorites to read about in the OT. Mesu made me fall in love with him even more. Especially, when he told Asenath that no one would take her away from him. He is a book husband.

Mesu’s research always impresses me. The depth she goes into respecting history and telling Elohim’s story is straight beauty. An art many authors don’t have. I love that Asenath has inner battles. It wasn’t just oh my husband believes so must I. No, at first she was like “I am Isis Incarnate” but then she starts to realize she is so much more. She is a beautiful daughter of Elohim who has a bigger plan for her than she realized.

This book was beautiful. I loved the writing. I loved the story. The only thing that I wasn’t the biggest fan of was alternating persons. Anenath’s POV is in the first person, while the other two POVs are in the third.

I love Joseph telling Asenath stories of his family. At times, I forget that Abraham is Joseph’s great-grandfather. Mesu does a fantastic job of telling Joseph’s story to us. I loved being able to experience Joseph and Asenath falling in love and being true to each other even when the odds were stacked against them. I love Asenath’s journey into believing in Elohim as I stated before.

At times, I did not like Potiphera, but then I was like he was just a father wanting what he believes is best for his daughter. He’s not the classic villain. He is human and we get to realize that he is human and it’s not black and white.

I highly recommend this book.

Book Reviews

Words with God: Trading Boring, Empty Prayer for Real Conversation by Addison Bevere

My edition: Kindle (Provided by Netgalley)
Genre: Christian, Non-fiction, Prayer
Published: April 18, 2023
Rating: 4 stars


For most of us, prayer is a struggle. We know we should pray. It would be good for us–help us be more grounded, more connected to God. But in our hurried lives, slowing down to pray can feel like a cosmic waste of time. Do our prayers even matter? What, if anything, happens when we pray? Are we having words with God or just words with ourselves?
In this thoughtful book, Addison Bevere takes you into and through the tension of prayer–the struggles, the doubts, the answers–to the place where God makes himself real to you. 
Tired of boring, empty, transactional prayer? This is the book for you.


A huge thank you to Netgalley and Revell for gifting me this ARC for an honest review.

The reverberations are fun to manipulate, at least for a while, but eventually it gets old listening to yourself on repeat. Conversations, by definition, are supposed to involve two or more people, so it’s only natural for us to want someone else to get involved.

To be honest, I am one who struggles with prayer. At times, I find myself not enjoying that I get to communicate with the Creator. I tend to look at it as a chore. A ritual. A tradition. I take it for granted. I want to be able to get deeper into my prayer life. I’m tired of looking at it like I have and realize the beauty of being able to take anything to the Creator and converse with him.

It’s in the canyon that we figure out that a “prayer life” is much more than a spiritual exercise, it’s the higher consciousness that reorders and intergrates life, reclaiming every bit of living (and us) as holy and necessary to God’s purposes and design.

This is my first Addison Bevere book. I loved his writing style. I have so many highlights. I loved what he said about prayer. I think God knew I needed this book because I was in a prayer rut. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be buying a physical copy.

This book made me stop and think am I praying because that is what I was told to do or am I praying to get closer to God? I love him pointing out that normally we pray for something be we don’t put any action to it. His example was praying to be healthy but eating unhealthy and not taking care of our bodies. Most times the world treats God like a genie but that is not what prayer is. Addison does a great job at pointing out what prayer is and how we should pray. Highly recommending this book

Book Reviews

Green: The Beginning and the End by Ted Dekker

My edition: Library book & audiobook
Pages: 392
Time: 14h 59m
Narrator: Tim Gregory
Series: The Circle #0
Genre: Christian Fantasy
Published: Sept. 1, 2009, by Thomas Nelson Publishers
Rating: 2.5 stars


AS FORETOLD BY ANCIENT PROPHETS, an apocalypse destroyed Earth during the twenty-first century. But two thousand years later Elyon set upon the earth a new Adam. This time, however, He gave humanity an advantage. What was once unseen became seen. It was good and it was called…”Green.”

But the evil Teeleh bided his time in a Black Forest.

Then, when least expected, a twenty-four year old named Thomas Hunter fell asleep in our world and woke up in that future Black Forest. A gateway was opened for Teeleh to ravage the land. Devastated by the ruin, Thomas Hunter and his Circle swore to fight the dark scourge until their dying breath.

But now The Circle has lost hope. Samuel, Thomas Hunter’s cherished son, has turned his back on his father. He gathers the dark forces to wage a final war. Thomas is crushed and desperately seeks a way back to our reality to find the one elusive hope that could save them all.

Enter an apocalyptic story like none you have read. A story with links to our own history so shocking that you will forget you are in another world at all. Welcome to “GREEN.” Book Zero.



Let me start off with the fact that I was confused about the world in this book. I think it would have been better for me to start off with Black. I have seen that in many reviews of this book. I will know when I finish the series.

Also, should say I have tried starting this book three or four times now. I always just said screw it and gave it back to the library. Well, I decided to give it one more go and actually finish it so I could move on to Black. I really should have seen the reviews on this to read Black first. Ted mentions at the beginning of the book before you start that this series is a circle. You can either start with Green and end with White or start with Black and end with Green. I can’t say anything about this until I finish the series.

I like the story with Thomas, but when we get the past POV with Billy and Janae I couldn’t care less. I just wanted to know what was going on with Thomas and “the future”. But most of the time, I wasn’t rooting for any character. I didn’t like Thomas’s wife, Chelise. Actually, I don’t think I liked any character, especially Samuel. I just wanted to know what was going on in the other world.

I’ve got a few more library books to read before I take this back and get Black.

Book Reviews

Gods and Kings by Lynn Austin

My edition: Library paperback
Pages: 316
Series: Chronicles of the Kings #1
Genre: Christian, Biblical Fiction
Published: Feb. 01, 2005, by Bethany House
Rating: 3.5 stars


Though born the second son of King Ahaz, Hezekiah is not protected from his father’s perverted attempts to gain the favor of the idol Molech. Terrified and powerless at the foot of Molech’s altar, Hezekiah encounters for the first time the one true God of his royal ancestry, Yahweh.

But his journey to the Holy One is riddled by influence from an assortment of men: Zechariah, a grandfather of noble standing who has fallen into drunkenness; Uriah, the High Priest whose lust for power forces him to gamble the faith he proclaims; and Shebna, the Egyptian intellectual who guides Hezekiah’s instruction.

For the two women who love Hezekiah, the meaning of love–and its sacrificial essence–will direct the course of their lives and help shape the young prince’s future.


Let me point out the obvious here, this book was hard for me to read. I have read two other Lynn Austin books. I enjoyed them and they were nice to read if my memory serves me correctly. This book here dealt with some issues that were super hard.

Disclaimer: There will be spoilers ahead.
Trigger warning: Child sacrifice

The thing about this book is that upon the child sacrifice, there isn’t much gory detail. But it is still hard to read. Ahaz and Uriah are my absolute least favorite of the characters. Uriah, I disliked more than Ahaz. Ahaz didn’t act right from the beginning. Uriah was a priest and not just any priest, the HIGH priest of Yahweh. He was commanded by Ahaz to oversee a human sacrifice to the Canaan god Molech. Uriah does this and doesn’t stand up to Ahaz saying how wrong it is. Then he has the nerve to think Ahaz is a coward for sacrificing his children to keep him alive. Okay, but what does that make you, Uriah? Uriah wanted power and title more than pleasing God. Uriah’s character annoyed me with his hypocritical judgment. There isn’t much mention in the Bible about Uriah other than he did what Ahaz commanded. It was interesting to see a take on what possibly happened to Uriah.

Uriah is what I call the best example of the saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” The perfect example really. The more his character showed, the more I was saddened by him. But he is a cautionary tale of what happens when corruption takes over. Another perfect example of when a person who was once for God slowly starts turning to the world to appease the world rather than please God. The people of God are called to stay faithful to God even if we are the only ones doing it. Uriah didn’t do that and you can see this battle when Zechariah and Isiah remain faithful, but Uriah has not. Even Abijah the woman Uriah loves was faithful to God until her end which Ahaz ordered because of her faith.

Now I think another reason I wasn’t a big fan of this book is that I am going into a slump. I don’t know what happened but every book just doesn’t sound good. I am blaming Tessa Afshar who gave me my first five-star book. The book is told in two parts. Part one was slow for me but it wasn’t boring or anything. Like I said, I think the slump had something to do with it. Part two really picked up and I think got me out of the slump. I can’t wait to pick up book two. I hope my library has it.

Book Reviews

In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar

My edition: Library paperback
Pages: 283
Genre: Biblical Fiction, Christian, Romance
Published: July 1, 2014, River North
Rating: 5 star


Without wealth or family, the widow Ruth left her people and followed Naomi, her beloved Hebrew mother-in-law, to rebuild Naomi’s home in Israel. Provisions gone and starvation at the door, Ruth used all that she had left–a strong back and a willing heart–to gather grain in a field, abandoned after the harvest.

Tormented by others, Ruth is shocked to find the owner of the field watching her. Talking to her. Bringing food to her and Naomi. Boaz tells himself his kindness toward Ruth is repayment for the love she has shown to his cousin Naomi. But his heart knows better.


“If God spared us from the piercing shaft of every sorrow,” she said, “we could never fulfill His best plans for our lives. Sometimes the sweetest things in life rise up out of the worst things in life.”

The book of Ruth is one of my all-time favorite OT books. A true romance with God’s redeeming plans hidden within. Miss Tessa brought this book to life with her characters. While it’s not the Word of God, it is for sure my first five-star of the year.

Boaz is an amazing man. Ruth is so kind. I just love them. I love their story as it grew to the end I knew was coming. Boaz does what is right for Ruth not because he is obligated but because he was very much in love. I have to get myself my own physical copy of this book. I love the start of Boaz’s past. Then the introduction of how a possible version of how Naomi met Ruth, how Ruth married Mahlon, how Mahlon passed… So beautifully written. Also, I have to highly praise a book for making me cry fifteen pages in. FIFTEEN!!! That’s a new record. The characters deal with grief and hardship while learning to lean on God and trust Him even when it all looks bleak.

In the book of Ruth, there isn’t much on the growth of Boaz and Ruth’s love. In this book, we get to read about the growth which just makes the ending that much sweeter.

I will also be getting many more Tessa Afshar books. She was true to the biblical story. She made me love the book of Ruth even more. I wonder if she has a book about David.

Book Reviews

Rooted in Wonder: Nurturing Your Family’s Faith Through God’s Creation by Eryn Lynum

My edition: Kindle ARC (provided by Netgalley)
Pages: 256
Genre: Christian, Non-fiction
Published: April 11, 2023
Rating: 4 star


“Masterfully connects Scripture to nature and nature to God.”
–Lori Wildenberg, national speaker, parent coach, and author

For a generation whose eyes are constantly trained on screens, encountering nature at all is increasingly difficult, much less seeing what it reveals about God. How can parents help children reengage with God’s world that is full of amazement, creativity, and love?

Eryn Lynum is a certified master naturalist, Bible teacher, and mom of four who wants to help families encounter and understand the connection between God and creation. She shares her own story of putting her kids in front of nature, and invites other parents to consider a similar journey.

With practical sections that look at nature through the lens of the Bible and activities to integrate faith and the natural world, Rooted in Wonder helps parents instill within their kids an unshakable faith. Through the art of play, the drive of discovery, and the awe of adventure, children will gain a sense of wonder in their Creator that will last a lifetime.

“With joy and practical know-how, Eryn Lynum helps parents connect the beauty of creation with love for the Creator. Rooted in Wonder is a must-read for helping the next generation to get outdoors and get to know God.”
–Matthew Sleeth, MD, executive director of Blessed Earth


Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers from IPG for allowing me to have an ARC of this book. I will definitely be buying a physical copy when it comes out.

At the metronome of God’s pace, creation answers our questions, then teaches us to ask better ones.

My husband and I love the outdoors. If we had more time to be outdoors we would do it. We kayak, hike, fish, he hunts, and I love just sitting outside reading a book or just enjoying the sun. Now that we are first-time parents, I wonder if our son will love the outdoors too. (So far he has shown that he does.) When I saw this book on Netgalley I thought, this could help me not only to encourage my son to be outdoors but how to connect with God through His creation. Maybe even teach me how to as well.

How could I, in a world that often worships creation rather than the creator intelligently and graciously educate others about natural things and, in every detail, show how those facts and wonders point back to the One who so eloquently designed them?

At the end of each chapter, it has a little activity along with scripture to read and questions to ask your children. This book helps to connect with God through nature as well as teaches our children how to connect with God.

I also love when she is talking about the fire that happened in Colorado by her house along with the floods that came after. My brother lives in Colorado so I was able to relate to what she was saying because my brother went through watching the fires and dealing with the floods that came after. I had a personal attachment to what she was saying because my mother and I dealt with the fear and anxiety of what was happening with Daniel. To read her connect that with God is amazing and quite dear to me. My favorite part of all.

I cannot wait until my son J is old enough to do some of these activities. Though I am definitely going to have to make it a tradition now to limit screen time. I feel like my husband might be the worst when it comes to this because he is either on his phone or watching TV, or playing video games. But it will be worth every minute we can spend outdoors.

Book Reviews

Vanished by Irene Hannon

My edition: Library Paperback
Pages: 314
Series: Private Justice #1
Genre: Christian, Suspense, Mystery, Romance
Published: Jan 1, 2013, by Revell
Rating: 3 stars


Reporter Moira Harrisons is lost. In the dark. In a thunderstorm. When a confusing detour places her on a rural, wooded road, she’s startled by the sudden appearance of a lone figure caught in the beam of her headlights. Though Moira jams on her brakes, the car careens across the wet pavement–and the solid thump against the side of the vehicle tells her she hit the person before she crashes into a tree on the far side of the road.
A dazed Moira is relieved when a man opens her door, tells her he saw everything, and promises to call 911. Then everything fades to black. When she comes to an hour later, she is alone. No man. No 911. No injured person lying on the side of the road. But she can’t forget the look of terror she saw on the person’s face in the instant before her headlights swung away.

The person she hit had been in trouble. She’s sure of it. But she can’t get anyone to believe her story–except a handsome former police detective, now a private eye, who agrees to take on the case.

From the very first page, readers will be hooked into this fast-paced story full of shocking secrets from fan-favorite Irene Hannon. Vanished is the exciting first book in the Private Justice series: Three justice seekers who got burned playing by the rules now have a second chance to make things right.


Irene Hannon is an author that I was recommended and I had seen her books on my recommendation lists. This is the first book I have read by her. While the writing was good, I figured out a lot of the plot before it really happened. I’m not going to judge that her books are normally like this but for this one, I figured it out.

I wouldn’t necessarily say that this is a disappointment, I would say that it fell a little short in the beginning. The problems I had with the book are solely on me. I am particular with mysteries due to if I figure it out fast, I lose all interest in the book. I also don’t like when the villain is given away early on in the book. I do like getting their POV but I don’t like knowing who it actually is.

In this book, the “good Samaritan” is revealed early. I get that the mystery is why and what happened to the woman that vanished. This just wasn’t my full cup of tea. I did like some of it. I wasn’t a fan of the romance though. I didn’t feel the connection between the two MCs. But other than that, about the halfway point is when the story started to pick up. The “good Samaritan” reminded me in a way of a Criminal Minds episode. Especially, the ending, that really gave me that kind of vibe the BAU would investigate.

Book Reviews

The Days of Elijah by John Noble

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 233
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Published: Sept. 10, 2018
Rating: 2 stars


Elijah’s friends are dead, and without a miracle, he’s next.

Elijah is a young prophet studying the Torah, when the soldiers of Queen Jezebel burn his school and massacre his teachers. He escapes, barely, but finds himself on the run and hunted as Queen Jezebel attempts to stamp out the worship of the Hebrew God in Israel and replace it with the worship of Ba’al.

As the queen’s soldiers close in on him, Elijah discovers a little known promise in the Scroll of Deuteronomy and prays for something impossible – that God would turn the skies to bronze and stop the rain on the kingdom that has abandoned Him.

And God says yes.

As drought and famine grip the cloudless land of Israel, God tells Elijah to hide and sends him to the land of Tyre, to a widow and her son who are on the edge of starvation. In Tyre Elijah finds a darkness at the heart of the city, a darkness that threatens to consume Israel next. But even if he survives, will Israel listen to his warning?

This is a re-imagining of the story of Elijah from the Bible.


To find Elijah’s story 1 Kings 17-19; 2 Kings 1-2

Trigger warning: Involves child sacrifice

Elijah is one of my favorite OT prophets. When I saw this book, I jumped on it. Then I saw it was on KU and my excitement when through the roof. I quickly grabbed it and started reading.

To say I was disappointed would be a correct statement. While this book is an easy read with less than 250 pages, I could have had it done in a day. The reason that did not happen was due to the writing. I didn’t feel like I was in Ancient Israel. The world-building wasn’t the best either. I wish there were more descriptions of the surroundings. The dialogue sounded modern. It took me out of the story.

It sucks because like I said Elijah is one of my favorites but this re-imagine of his life events fell flat.

I do have a trigger warning that I will not hide with a spoilers tag. This does include child sacrifice which many pagan religions are extremely known for doing during this time. It was a hard scene for me to get through and even harder to read Dema’s reaction to Elijah being sickened by it.

Book Reviews

Double Trouble by Susan May Warren

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 335
Series: PJ Sugar #2
Genre: Mystery, Christian, Romance
Published: Feb. 10, 2010
Rating: 2.5 stars


With one solved case under her belt, PJ Sugar is ready to dive into her career as a private investigator. Or at least a PI’s “assistant” until she can prove herself to Jeremy Kane, her new boss. Suddenly PJ’s seeing crime everywhere. But is it just in her head, or can she trust her instincts? When she takes on her first official case—house-sitting for a witness in protective custody—Jeremy assures her there’s no danger involved. But it soon becomes clear that there is someone after the witness . . . and now they’re after PJ, too.


I didn’t mind the love triangle in the first book because it wasn’t a focal point and she wasn’t dating either hero. Now in this second book, I am not a fan.

The plot… Not a fan of that either. It was unrealistic at best. In the synopsis, as well as when the job is being described to PJ, it sounds like she is house-sitting for a woman in witness protection. But no, she has to impersonate this woman in which she has a like three-page interaction with her. This woman also has tattoos, which if you think about it would not work. Even though someone painted it on, people who really know tattoos can see the fake. She has a different style than PJ and different hair. She looks and acts nothing like PJ so it just isn’t the best to have PJ impersonate her.

I don’t know how I feel about Jeremy in this book. Boone in the first book didn’t feel fully flushed out which I didn’t mind because that gives the character growth in the next books. But in this book, I really didn’t like his character. I really didn’t like that PJ was in a relationship with Boone but still thought about Jeremy in certain ways at times. It felt slimy to read. It’s obvious from the first book that Jeremy will be the long-term love interest. Why have PJ date Boone? Why have Boone be serious enough to propose? It seemed like unnecessary drama that really didn’t do much for the plot.

I normally love the characters Susan creates but this book series doesn’t add up to her others. To be honest, if I read this series before the others, I wouldn’t give Susan another chance.

Though I will say the scene with Gabby in the rain hit me in the feels. That was a bit hard to read. I am going to read the third book because I do want to know what goes down with her and Jeremy. I just don’t think I am going to read it right away.