Meanwhile in 5 Years…

According to this online To Be Read Calculator, I will be finished with my Goodreads TBR list in approximately 5 years. *heavy sigh*

I can’t decide if that means I need to remove things from my To Read shelf, or if I should read faster… Of course I was in the bookstore last night and I added four books to my list so it’s probably 5 years and 6 months now… How do you decide when you need to give up on something you’ve been meaning to read for a year or two, but just haven’t gotten to yet?

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Esther by Rebecca Kanner

Okay, so I know I said I was done with Esther, but I’m changing my tune because Rebecca Kanner totally grabbed my attention with her new novel Esther which comes out in November. I was intrigued by Kanner’s previous book about Noah’s wife, Sinners and the Sea, but I never got around to reading it. I guess I’ve got to go find it now!

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For Esther, becoming queen is a matter of life and death. The king’s harem is a dangerous place and only the favored or the very ruthless survive. To ensure her survival, Esther sets her sights on being queen and embarks on a quest to get there no matter what the cost. She finds help and allies in unexpected places and gradually comes to accept that sacrifices must be made, sometimes by her, and sometimes on her behalf by those she comes to love to secure her place as queen. Of course eventually she realizes that she must be willing to sacrifice her life for her people.

I loved Kanner’s portrayal of harem life! Runaway lions, assassins, poison, – it all felt very real. (Well maybe not the runaway lion so much…but it could happen!) I also liked the relationships in this story and the supporting characters, but I have to say that my favorite element in this book was the love story. *Spoiler alert* It’s not Xerxes! *End spoiler alert*  I should mention that there is perhaps less direct spiritual content than some may prefer in Biblical fiction, but that can be a plus for others. There is also some mature content appropriate to the story so keep that in mind if younger readers are your audience. If you liked Tosca Lee’s Legend of Sheba give Esther a try.

This eBook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Never the Bride by Cheryl McKay & Rene Gutteridge

neverthebride-198x300Never the Bride by Cheryl McKay & Rene Gutteridge
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Jessie Stone has been trying to write her own love story (and failing) for a long time. So when God shows up and challenges her to let Him take a turn at it, will she hand over her pen to the original Author? I was perfectly content with what I thought was a fun, chick-lit-ish read about a spunky heroine who can’t find her prince charming. But then God showed up as a walking talking character, (and a cute one at that!) and this story became so much more than just another contemporary romance. Imaginative, thought-provoking, and a little hysterical!

Jessie Stone has spent thirty-five years fantasizing about marriage proposals, wedding dresses, and falling in love. She’s been a bridesmaid eleven times, waved dozens of couples off to sunny honeymoons, and shopped in more department stores for half-price fondue pots than she cares to remember. But shopping in the love-of-her-life department hasn’t been quite as productive. The man she thought she would marry cheated on her. The crush she has on her best friend Blake is at very best…well, crushing. And speed dating has only churned out memorable horror stories.

So when God shows up one day, in the flesh, and becomes a walking, talking part of her life, Jessie is skeptical. What will it take to convince her that God has a better love story than one of the thousands she’s cooked up in her journals? Will she trust Him with her pen when it appears her dreams of being the bride are forever lost?

A romantic comedy with a spiritual twist, Never the Bride is what it means to lose control—and getting more than any woman could ever imagine.

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The Deliverer by Sharon Hinck

IT’S FINALLY HERE!!!!!

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I’ve been waiting 8 years for this book! The Deliverer by Sharon Hinck released two days ago on July 21st. Deliverer is the newest book in the award-winning Sword of Lyric series. It is a sequel to The Restorer which is one of my 12 Favorite Books of All Time. The last book in this series, The Restorer’s Journey, came out in 2007, so this has been a long time coming! The author was unable to write due to health issues for several years.

From 2011-2013, Enclave Publishing released expanded editions of the earlier books (The Restorer, The Restorer’s Son, and The Restorer’s Journey) which are worth checking out, but after 8 years we finally have another sequel! I’m going to order my copy today and I’m confident that it will have been worth the wait!

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Waterfall Press and Mercy’s Fight by Tammy L. Gray

As you may know, Amazon is now publishing. They have 14 different imprints. Waterfall Press is their imprint for Christian Nonfiction and Fiction. This is pretty old news, but I ran across Mercy’s Fight by Tammy L. Gray in my library earlier this week and decided to give it a try. Gray-MercysFight-CV-FL-v2I LOVED it!

The synopsis below says it all, but let me add that a bad boy hero is tough to pull off for many Inspy authors, but Gray does it very well here! She also does a great job with the heroine, resisting the temptation to make the her too helpless. Instead she challenges the hero to see her strengths and face his own fears. Of course she also needs a little bit of rescuing, but c’mon, we wouldn’t want all those alpha-hero vibes to go to waste would we?

Recovering from a past shaped by violence, Matt Holloway has sworn to live a different life than his parents did. Matt has found a purpose that keeps his lingering pain and fear at bay: helping others to heal. Yet the nightmares continue to haunt him.

Grace has lived a life of luxury, sheltered by her family’s money and connections. When a betrayal forces her to question everything, she leaves her family and accepts an ambitious position in a career for which she may not be ready.

When the two first meet, they cannot deny their instant, intense attraction. While Grace is willing to take another risk with her heart, Matt remains chained by his past and struggles to trust their future together. Fighting to save the children they’ve pledged to help, Matt and Grace must learn to overcome the pain in their past and find their true courage.

Gray is also a contributor to the romance novella collection Just One Summer, along with Jenny B. Jones, another great Inspirational romance author. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Waterfall press, but Gray is making them look pretty good right now! Inspirational publishing is going through a bit of a transition which has many Inspy authors turning to the self-pub market as an alternative to the struggling CBA market. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, but more on that later. :-)

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