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Friday, October 26, 2012

Win an autographed copy of The Secret Within by Lila Dawn


The Secret Within

By Lila Dawn

  • Fiction
  • my rating is 4 out of 5 stars
  • ISBN: 978-1-4259-9452-5

                Two best friends, enjoying becoming closer friends, trusting each other and talking about everything. Nicholas and Lexi have spent the last year building a great foundation for their relationship.
They never would imagine anything could go wrong. For Lexi's birthday, Nicholas plans a hiking trip in the woods, and a trip to meet his mother with whom he has a rocky relationship, to say the least.
The day starts out great, with the weather perfect for hiking and  a great picnic lunch with conversation about upcoming events and plans. On the trail back to the car something happens that changes everything. Lexi falls, leaving her injured. As Nicholas desperately searches for help, the unimaginable happens, Lexi goes missing. What has happened to her? Where could she have gone? These are just a couple of the questions you will wonder about as you go through this experience with both of their families.
                 As the day goes on and things begin to unfold, you see that lives are intertwined in very unusual ways. This is an honest story of a year in Nicholas's life and how he handles the stress of his best friend gone from his life. You feel his guilt and sadness as he struggles to find a reason for what's happening and what he finds in the process.  It's a story of love, trust and life.

             This is a great story. It's easy and straightforward writing helps you gain a connection with each of the characters right from the start. Each character is carefully created in a unique and realistic way. You get a sense of emotion as you realize the relationships between characters and how they relate to each others storyline. 
            I recommend this book to anyone looking for a refreshing read, with great characters, and a little suspense and drama mixed in.  You learn a lot about yourself and how you might handle life situations would they arise in your own life. 
           The way Lila Dawn brings real life into the story, along with creative circumstances, you are
sure to enjoy this book.

It's giveaway time! Enter to win an autographed copy of this book! You must be 18 yrs old to enter and be a  lower US resident. There is one (1) winner. Giveaway is open from Oct 27 2012 thru Nov 17 2012.  This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this review. The opinions in this blog are my own.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Woman behind the Mirror by Judith Couchman

Enter this giveaway to win a copy of Judith Couchman's "Woman behind the Mirror"!
Presented by author, Judith Couchman, and Rebecca @ Love2EncourageYou Judith Couchman is a very experienced author. She has touched many lives through her writing and has encouraged readers  to improve their relationship with the Lord through her books that share insight about the Word of God and Christian living. Please stop by Judith's website and check out the incredible collection of free resources she has available to the public. GIVEAWAY TIME!  PRIZE: One winner will receive an autographed copy of Judith Couchman's book: Woman Behind the Mirror Book Description: "Do you struggle with your appearance? If you feel less than acceptable, there’s hope. In The Woman Behind the Mirror, Judith encourages you to stop obsessing about your body. If you’re tired of the beauty quest, you can make peace with your looks, regardless of the world’s insistence on physical perfection. Viewed from God’s perspective, you’re already captivating."  DATE: Ends on 11/13/2012. LOCATION: Open to residents of the USA and Canada AGE: 18+yrs to enter
Keep up to date with the latest new books and special offers from Judith Couchman by following her on Facebook, Twitter or subscribing to her incredible new resource: Forty Days Blog.
a Rafflecopter giveaway If you are a blogger: Please join us and sign up for the Love2EncourageYou Opps & More private Facebook Group to be included in all the latest giveaway opps and review opps, plus a chance to earn special prizes just for members participating in these opps. There are currently five awesome prizes available for Members Only to win this month! Come be a part of the team! *Disclosure: Lost Island of Book Reviews received no compensation for this post. Love2EncourageYou and Lost Island of Book Reviews are not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Planned Purity by Jennie Bishop

I had the privilege of interviewing author Jennie Bishop for her new book "Planned Purity".
Here she answers some questions we all probably are wondering. Hope you enjoy!
There is also a giveaway where you have the chance to win a free copy of the book!

1.   What have you found to be the hardest in teaching "saving the first kiss" in your experience?

The hardest thing is trying to explain to a teenager why it's important when no one has talked to them about it prior to the teen years. The second hardest thing is trying to convince parents that they must start with the heart and start early. Early purity of heart training is the best way to ready a child to embrace sexual purity as they grow, period.

2.    What are some ways you explained the biblical approach to purity when your girls were young besides just reading the Bible to them?

Hoo boy. I can't say that I did it as I would have liked to, because things still weren't completely clear to me at that time. I was intentional in making sure they understood their bodies and that their questions were answered. Randy and I tried to keep their trust for future conversations so they knew we would be safe to ask ANY question. I think we were engaged, transparent parents. I wish I had been teaching them the five doors of the heart when they were preschool age, but I didn't know about it yet! I guess that was my impetus for creating the Planned Purity training system—I needed a better plan myself!

3.    Do most of your books come from real life experiences in parenting your own children?

Mine and many others'. Loads of people shared their stories for Planned Purity for Parents. The children's stories come by some particular inspiration, certain windows of insight, maybe. Each one has its own story and ingredients.

4.    What is the most exciting thing you've learned through writing books?

The thrill of seeing pictures and other media come from stories is amazing and really magical. But having someone tell me the books changed their lives is humbling and wonderful. And to see my own family affected by them, well … no words for that.

5.    What would a "day in the life of an author" be like?

My answer may disappoint some. It's laundry and dishes and meals and toilet scrubbing, being available to two young ladies and a husband, all creative and wonderful and messy, emotionally and otherwise. And there's some undisciplined writing in there as well as a little travelling and speaking. And walks on the beach. (:

6.    What advice would you give someone who is an aspiring author?

Make sure you're called to it, that you're not looking for an identity. I've read a lot of manuscripts from a lot of people who are writing but would be so much happier and more productive doing something else, but the "glamour" (insert a hearty laugh here) of being an author has them in its grip. After reading my "day in the life" you can see how glamorous the life of an author really is. Life must be based on the satisfaction of loving God and serving those we love, not on being a writer. Any path one chooses is only fulfilling if it accomplishes the purpose one needs to complete in his/her generation.

 The Princess and the Kiss w/NO Audio CD
Best Selling author, Jennie Bishop, of The Princess and the Kiss now brings you a wonderful parenting book called Planned Purity. This is a gift and a tool for parents to use to raise up young men and women with the power to make wise choices and keep themselves pure.
Here's a terrific glimpse at the fantastic speaking events that Jennie Bishop presents to parents all over the world on behalf of Planned Purity. Follow Jennie Bishop and Planned Purity on Facebook or Twitter. Visit her website to experience all the great resources available for parents and children.
 Planned Purity for Parents
PRIZE: 1 winner will receive a signed copy of the book Planned Purity by author, Jennie Bishop. 
DATE: Starts on 10/17 and ends on 11/1 at 12:00am. LOCATION: USA and Canada AGE: 18+ years or older to enter. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Lost Island of Book Reviews  did not receive compensation for this post except for a link on the rc. Love2EncourageYou and Lost Island of Book Reviews are not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mail-Order Marriages by Debbie Macomber

Product Details

Mail-Order Marriages

By Debbie Macomber

  • fiction
  • my rating is 5 out of 5 stars     

The thing I like most about a book series is the excitement you have knowing that the characters you come to love throughout the book will in some way return, through the eyes of another focus character. This allows for a deeper knowledge of a character and how they fit in more peoples lives. In this review, I am looking only at book one, titled Mail-Order Marriages. It is the first of three books but contains in it two stories separated by the titles.  All three books revolve around the O’Halloran brothers and the bush pilot charter service, called Midnight Sons, that they run out of Hard Luck, Alaska. Hard Luck is a very small town located north of the Arctic circle where the scenery is beautiful, but the weather can be rough. 

The first story is called “Brides for Brothers”. This story focuses on Sawyer O’Halloran, the middle brother. When he and his younger brother Christian notice a lot of their pilots are thinking of leaving for someplace where they can meet women, they decide they need to do something to keep them in Hard Luck. They decide to create jobs and offer land to any women willing to live in Hard Luck for a year. As expected, this doesn’t turn out the way they planned. The first woman to arrive is Abby. She is there for a library position. When she arrives with two children, the men realize they may not have thought the plan through like they should have. Sawyer is intrigued, but determined not to get involved with her, and he doesn’t feel like he needs the distraction. As Abby gets settled into the way of life and her kids make friends, Sawyer finds himself starting to fall for her. He finds himself getting more involved with her and her kids, and becoming a part of their lives. This scares and annoys him, and he goes to great lengths to get her out of his mind, including trying to send her back to Washington State. He learns many things throughout their growing relationship about himself, his family and love. He knows life will never be the same, and realizes he can’t live without her.

In “The Marriage Risk”, it’s Charles O’Halloran, the oldest brother, who gets his turn at finding love. Due to the number of women arriving in Hard Luck, Lanni Caldwell is in town getting her grandmother’s house ready to be used for their living arrangements. Her grandmother is in a nursing home and the family has decided to allow the women to use the home rather than see it sit empty. When Charles sees her he has instant feeling, and does not like it one bit. He is determined to stay away and not let her get under his skin. When it turns out she is helping at Midnight Sons for awhile, it seems that is not going to happen. Finally when he allows himself to spend time with her, he learns more about her..and falls in love with her. It’s then that  he finds out things are not as easy as they seem. Turns out Lanni is the granddaughter of his family’s least favorite person. This could be a deal breaker. He is so angry at the fact that she is related to the woman that he thinks broke up his family, he isn’t willing to even think of staying together with her. He begins to fight the relationship with all he has. When Lanni is put in what could be a dangerous situation, Charles has to open up to the fact that he does love her regardless of what the past family situations might be. He has to stop fighting the process of love, and acknowledge what’s in his heart. 

I really enjoyed both stories. I felt the experience of small town living and thinking what fun it would be to visit the fictional town. Not only is it a good romance book, it pulls you in to an experience of being a part of the town where you feel the characters are friends.

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated for this posting. I am sharing this post on my own. My posts are my honest opinions. All images on these posts are directly linked to their source.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Guest List by Fern Michaels

The Guest List 
by Fern Michaels

  • Romance/Mystery
  • My rating is: 5 out of 5 stars 
 You know how when you read a book you sometimes wish you knew the backstory and how they came to the place they are at? This book achieves this. In part 1 you get the story of the family and how they deal with a daughter, Abby, who is born with a birthmark that covers one whole side of her face. Mom is unable or unwilling to deal with the child, and through the first few chapters you learn how she translates this dislike with her older daughter, Mallory, and therefore causes hateful thoughts to occur between the sisters. Because of the "imperfection" the sisters are unable to have the sweet friendship between sisters, and it shows the dynamics of a troubled family life. A family tragedy leaves the girls alone, and sent to live with a family friend. The trouble only seems to escalate and the newly married, and new to parenthood, make the decision to send Mallory away to a school they hope can help her.

You are then brought into Abby's growing up years. Although she struggles with her birthmark and the hate from her sister, the love of her adopted family has brought her joy and a feeling of security. She enjoys college life, spending time with her boyfriend and best friend and dreaming about their future lives. She is beginning to do some writing, in hopes of becoming a published writer.

You only really see the life of Abby, but can see Mallory through the family's eyes and by the mention of occasional trying of reconnecting. The hurt Mallory feels about the abandonment is apparent in her willingness to make amends with those she has hurt. You can see how both girls wish things had been different in the early years. As Abby grows older, the dynamics of the family change as Abby gains independence, and the way the step-mom, Carol, reacts to these changes. Carol becomes controlling in an effort to keep Abby needing only her. This is all too apparent when Abby begins to repair her relationship with Mallory.

Things really change when Abby graduates from college with a serious boyfriend and plans to move away. This is when the mystery really begins. There are different focuses coming together from Abby and her friends,to Carol and the step-dad Donovan, and their son. Abby is also dealing with the past, moving on and begins a relationship with her sister you wouldn't imagine could ever happen. as situations begin to unfold, you find out people aren't really who they appear to be. The girls have the growing friendship of sisters...but is it a healthy thing? through fear, trust and following their instincts, the sisters find themselves closer then ever. Will they be able to survive long enough to have their happily ever after? Will their feelings of what really happened be correct? This is a must read for anyone who likes not only the romance,and love of family, but also a good mystery where you won't know what happens till the end!

Disclosure: I was not compensated for doing this post. I am sharing this review on my own. I always try and be honest in my opinions.