book cover review, book review, Christian fiction, Christian historical, Christian romance, cover design, historical christian fiction, Historical Fiction, historical romance, inspirational fiction, Uncategorized, WWII historical novel

Book & Cover Review of 'Through Waters Deep' by Sarah Sundin

ThroughWatersDeepF

Book Review 4BlogStars

Through Waters Deep is the first book in Sarah Sundin’s Waves of Freedom WWII romantic mystery series. Set in 1941, the U.S. is not yet at war, and a young Mary Stirling is working as a secretary at the Boston Navy Yard. Her secretarial skills and access at the navy yard come in quite handy when suspicious sabotage starts happening. A childhood friend, Jim Avery is an Ensign aboard one of the yard’s brand-new destroyers and assists in her amateur investigations. Will Jim be the only one to take her amateur investigations into the events of sabotage seriously?

The mystery and sweet romance will draw you into this WWII mystery novel. I would say women would enjoy this novel more than men, but anyone who loves fiction set in the WWII time period will find it a very enjoyable read. Both the female and the male leading characters are enjoyable, with personal character flaws that make them endearing to the reader.

Cover Review 5 Star Rating

Revell has done a wonderful job with this cover! By looking at the cover alone it is easy to tell this novel is a romance, that it is set in WWII, and that it involves the navy. The stormy grey sky also adds an air of turbulence and mystery.  Even the positioning of the two cover models hints that this is not just a simple love story – not all blue skies and rainbows to be read about in here. I additionally love the treatment of the title. The three horizontal, and partially translucent, white bars help to draw attention to the title, without blocking out any part of the photo. The spine is also attractively designed, and easy to match up with the correct genre of reader. The back cover design is not as strong as the front and spine, but it is still attractive, and the overall design is carried over effectively.

Christian fiction, Christian historical, Christian romance, cover design, Historical, historical christian fiction, Historical Fiction, historical romance, inspirational fiction

Book & Cover Review of "Full Steam Ahead" by Karen Witemayer

Back Cover of book "Full Steam Ahead"Front Cover of "Full Steam Ahead"
 5 Star Rating

Book Review

“Full Steam Ahead” is the perfect book for those who love heroes and heroines that don’t necessarily fit the mold. Nicole Renard is deeply devoted to her father, but their relationship is strained due to one problem totally out of her control – she’s not male. Smart as a whip, and full of spunk, this heroine will capture your heart from the first page.

At the beginning of this story, Nicole has returned home because her father is deathly ill … and his business competitors know it. Attempts are made by his competitors to end her father’s business legacy, and Nicole is desperate to find a husband to give her father a male heir, and help hide what she thinks is her father’s greatest treasure – the Lafitte Dagger. (Yes, there is pirate lore in here too; a unique twist!)

During her adventurous journey to find a spouse among her father’s business partners, she bumps into a very unlikely spousal candidate – Darius Thornton. Darius is a man whose life has become totally obsessed with one thing – improving steamship boiler safety. His explosive experiments, and driven focus, have the entire town talking. Everyone avoids even being near his home except for a couple of loyal house staff members.

These two characters, on the surface, do not seem made for one another at all.  However, once Nicole begins applying her keen mind to Darius’s boiler experiments … he can’t help noticing Nicole is more than a pretty exterior; something her father has failed to do.

I would say that this story is written more with female readers in mind, but anyone interested in the history of US steamboats would enjoy this journey back to that era of travel.

5 Star Rating

Cover Review

I will state for the record, that Bethany House covers tend to be among my favorites. Their design and photography teams manage to capture the buyer’s attention, as well as the heart of the author’s story on a very consistent basis.

The expression of the female model, her body-language of arms folded about her mid-drift, her fly-away hair, and the blast of steam coming from the boiler the male model appears to be working on, all combine into one intriguing and rather fun cover. You know from the moment you look at this cover model, that this young woman is determined, and more than a little spunky.

On the front cover, we only catch a glimpse of the chin of our hero’s face, but he does look rather hunky. You already wonder what he’s up to with all of that steam?

The beautiful embellishment around the title is enhanced by a subtle embossing over both the title and the author name on this cover. I also love that they used the same steamy look behind the title and embellishment to help the title stand out from the background of the model’s vibrant green dress.

The spine features the same photo as the cover, only we do get to see the hero’s entire face (still hunky). The spunky theme is also cleverly carried into the back cover design, where our heroine model appears to be giving her hero an “I told you that wouldn’t work” speech, with one hand on her hip and the other pointing a finger in a commanding way. The hero has his arms slouched, palms up, as though conceding she is correct, or admitting he didn’t know something. I love that I can guess what their conversation is, and what they personalities are like by their body language. So often a cover is only a face staring into the distance.

This cover definitely draws you into the characters and into the story from first glance. Well done!

*This book was provided by the publisher for review under no guarantee of a positive review.

 

 

 

book cover review, Christian fiction, christian mystery, Christian romance, inspirational fiction

Book and Cover Review of "Deadly Devotion" by Sandra Orchard

deadlydevotionBook Review
Research scientist Kate Adams is determined from the onset to prove her herbal medicine research partner — and dear friend — was too knowledgable to have killed herself by adding the wrong herbs to her tea (and not prone to suicide either!) In this story Kate comes across somewhat like a young Jessica Fletcher (for those of you who remember the popular show ‘Murder She Wrote’. Due to something that happened in her family’s past, Kate does not trust the police to investigate the murder of her friend … so, she tackles it on her own.
Thankfully for Kate, a certain former FBI agent and his retired father are following her every move. Even though the law enforcement duo save her bacon more than once, Kate still isn’t sure she can trust them. They have just as many doubts about her when they find out she’s living under an assumed name.
This was a quick read that was hard to put down. As an amateur sleuth, Kate comes up with some rather inventive suspects and scenarios. Who knew one sleepy little town would have so many suspicious characters? I am already looking forward to book two of this fun new series.
Cover Review
The attractive female on the cover, with her fiery red hair and her suspicious looking glance to the left are a good fit for our heroine. The spooky clouds in the background and the creaky-looking abandoned shack also lend an air of mystery to this cover design. I also like the treatment of the title text; the fragmentation matches the feel of a murder mystery without having to feature finger prints, evidence bags, guns or drops of blood. It’s subtle, but effective. The spine is not as effective as the front cover, but overall I feel the cover will draw the right audience to Sandra’s story.
*I received this book from Revell for review.
Additional bonus material from the author can be found here:
Christian fiction, Christian historical, cover design, Historical, historical christian fiction, Historical Fiction, inspirational fiction

Book & Cover Review of "All for a Song" by Allison Pittman

366807oBook Review

“All For a Song” was a story about options. What if you dare to take the road less traveled? To take the unsafe road; the one where you can’t predict what will happen two steps ahead. Dorothy Lynn Dunbar is a small-town girl with a lot of talent. Her talent takes her on a wild journey — one which will help her discover if her current path of security and predictability, is the one she really wants to be on. It was also a story about family. How far will we go out of our comfort zone when our love of a family member is involved?

I won’t spoil all of the fun, but it was entertaining to get an insider’s glimpse of what life was like during the roaring twenties, both in rural areas and urban ones. I was also not very aware of the history of early female evangelists. Unfortunately for our heroine, she finds out all too easily how many temptations are present when you are living life on the road away from your family. You’ll have to read the story to see how she handles it!

* This book was received for review by the publisher with no promise of a positive review.

Book Cover Review

I like this cover, except for the very limited color palate. Because all of the tones are muted I don’t think it will stand out as well on the shelf and attract unfamiliar purchasers. I do feel that, if it does get noticed, it will appeal to the right reader. The style of dress and hat on the model is appropriate for a 1920s historical. I do wish they could have worked the musician or singer part of the story into the front cover a little more though. The tiny hint of a musical instrument at the top of the back cover is our only clue that this story is about an early female worship leader.

Book Description from the Publisher

Dorothy Lynn Dunbar has everything she ever wanted: her family, her church, her community, and plans to marry the young pastor who took over her late father’s pulpit. Time spent in the woods, lifting her heart and voice in worship accompanied by her brother’s old guitar, makes her life complete . . . and yet she longs for something more.

Spending a few days in St. Louis with her sister’s family, Dorothy Lynn discovers a whole new way of life—movies, music, dancing; daring fashions and fancy cars. And a dynamic charismatic evangelist . . . who just happens to be a woman. When Dorothy Lynn is offered a chance to join Aimee Semple McPherson’s crusade team, she finds herself confronted with temptations she never dreamed of. Can Dorothy Lynn embrace all the Roaring Twenties has to offer without losing herself in the process?

Link to discussion guides and further information.

Christian fiction, Christian historical, Christian romance, cover design, Historical, historical christian fiction, Historical Fiction, historical romance, inspirational fiction

Book & Cover Review of "Flight of Fancy" by Laurie Alice Eakes

Book Cover for "a Flight of Fancy" by Laurie Alice EakesBack Cover for "a Flight of Fancy" by Laurie Alice EakesBook Review

Cassandra Bainbridge is a heroine afraid of her own passions. Well, her emotional passions for a certain handsome fiancé anyway. A terrible injury leaves her feeling less than desirable and fearful that God is punishing her. Having not read book one , the leap to her feeling judged by God for a moment of passion seemed a little fast … and the mention that she had put her wedded bliss on hold once before (even though she really did love her fiancé) made her seem ‘flighty’ in more ways than one!

However, the fascination with independent balloon flight was very interesting. I enjoyed her exploits, and that the author made her a very curios and capable young woman, despite her injury. The trial and error of the early balloonist was something I had never read about before. Spoiler alert: Her fiance’s believable fear of heights helped to explain how this fascination was drawing them apart. The fact that it eventually saves his life and draws them together, was a very nice touch!

The writing was done well, and drew me in. I feel I enjoyed it as a stand alone once I’d read only a couple of chapters. I might have enjoyed it sooner if I’d read book one. Women readers will especially enjoy this independent and curios heroine.

Book Cover Review

By the cover alone I was able to determine not only that it was a historical, but that it was a Regency, that it was likely about a heroine of wealth, and that hot-air balloons were somehow involved. Since all three are a big part of the story I think this will be a successful cover – drawing exactly the readers that will enjoy it. I also love the font used for the title. Very elegant and befitting for this English lady of privilege. The area surrounding the author’s name is my least favorite part of the design, but that is being picky. I think it’s the mint green color that bothers me about it. It just seems to clash with the richer greens in the photo background. If the designer had color picked another color directly from the photo, either dark or light, I think it would have felt slightly more harmonious as a whole. I would have used this same color on the back cover as well. But as I said, overall I really like this cover, and that is being extremely picky. The artist has done a great job overall!

*Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

The additional information below was provided by the publisher:

A Flight of Fancy
The Daughters of Bainbridge House Series- #2
By Laurie Alice Eakes

Filled with the mystique of London society and the charming beauty of the English countryside, A Flight of Fancy explores what it means to find the true source of happiness and love amid the distractions of life. Readers will love the next installment in this rousing Regency series from accomplished author Laurie Alice Eakes.
Cassandra Bainbridge has twice set aside her scholarly pursuits–once for the London Season and once for her wedding preparations. Love seems a wonderful alternative to study, until disaster strikes. When an accident brings an end to her betrothal, she heads for the country to recover from both her injuries and her broken heart. There she pursues her love for ballooning and envisions a future for herself as a daring aeronaut. But when her former fiancé slips back into her life, what course will she choose?
Laurie Alice Eakes is the author of Lady in the Mist, A Necessary Deception, Heart’s Safe Passage, and several other novels. She won a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007 for Family Guardian. Laurie Alice writes full-time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats.

Praise for Laurie Alice Eakes’s A Necessary Deception- #1 in The Daughters of Bainbridge House Series:

A marvelously well told adventure detailing the difficulties of British life for a woman during 1812 – and the faith that can be found in the trying times. – CBA Retailers & Resources

4 stars
The first in Eakes’ Daughters of Bainbridge House series, this is a great Regency-era novel with characters who may not be who people think they are. These characters are lovable, caring and willing to let their tender sides show. – RT Reviews

Laurie Eakes whisks the reader into 1812 – London Society – into the Regency Era. It’s a world filled with drawing rooms, masquerade balls and a time when women were entréed into society in hopes of a marriage proposal.  This author knows her stuff and brings historical richness to the story I adored. This was an intriguing story filled with mystery.  I recommend this book to the historical minded and those who like a good mystery! – Nora St Laurent