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

Book & Cover Review of "Unrivaled" by Siri Mitchell

Front cover of book "Unrivaled" by Siri Mitchell Back Cover of "Unrivaled" by Siri MitchellBook Review

Lucy Kendall was sent abroad with the hope that she would return ready to take on the expected life of a lady – and hopefully snag a husband. However, as the daughter of a candy maker she instead finds inspiration in every decadent bite of Europe’s best confections and returns eager to jump into the candy making business with her father. Not exactly lady-like.

Set in St. Louis around 1910, this story surrounds the lives of Lucy Kendall and Charlie Clarke. Their father’s own competing candy manufacturing companies – though neither of them knows this when they first become attracted to each other. Sparks of a different kind fly once the truth is out! I found the story to be unique in that for once the heroine doesn’t make all the right choices. Motivated to protect her ailing father’s business you are at times shaking your head at some of the things Lucy chooses to do to try and save her father’s business.

Not that Charlie always knows the right thing to do either, but having grown up without his father he’s learned a few things about making choices that affect the people he loves. This is a sweet story, full of delectable descriptions and daring deceit. Will one family put the other out of business? Or, will the next generation of candy makers learn to work in harmony? You’ll have to read this enjoyable story to find out! 

Cover Review

The cover photo is the primary element of this cover and it is gorgeous! The models and wardrobe are wonderfully selected for this turn-of-the-century love story. Soft blues and ecrus set the tone for a sweet romance that only turns bitter when long-standing family rivalries get in the way. This cover will absolutely attract the right reader. It’s soft color palette, the body language of the cover models, and the historical dress reflect that it is a historical romance of the early twentieth century.The designer has let the photo do the talking, yet has still called attention to the book’s title and author name via unobtrusive and complimentary usage of matching ecru scrollwork and embossing/gloss coatings. The spine is also beautiful and easy to read and would also attract the same readership. So far, this is one of my favorite covers for the year. Great job!

* This book was received from Bethany House publishers for review under no promise of a positive review. 

 

Christian fiction, Christian historical, Christian romance, Historical, historical christian fiction, Historical Fiction

Book & Cover Review of "Moonlight Masquerade" by Ruth Axtell

MoonlightMasqueradeBookCover Back Cover of Moonlight MasqueradeBook Review

The author does a great job of leaving the reader guessing from page one. Though I will admit that at first I found it to be a problem. It took me a little while before I was completely sucked into this novel (though I eventually was). I feel this happened because I wasn’t sure which character I should be rooting for? I didn’t know if I wanted Reese — the butler who is really an English spy — to discover Lady Wexham was a French spy … or not.

Once I knew the two characters better (a few chapters in) I was more solidly into the story … and I truly began to enjoy the historical Regency era backdrop. I’m glad I stuck with it and read to the end. It was a wonderfully written story, full of misdirect and intrigue. I had not previously read a spy novel from the Regency-era and thoroughly enjoyed this one. Though there is a strong male character in this story, I do feel female readers would enjoy “Moonlight Masquerade” more then men. There are too many details about dresses and socialite expectations of the era for me to feel it is written to appeal to both sexes equally.

This book was provided by the Publisher for review, with no guarantee of a positive review.

Book Cover Review

Wealth. Beauty. Power. These three elements are all present in the story, and also reflected well in this cover. The cover model looks down at the hem of her dress in a semblance of demurity. However, the elegance of her surroundings, and her dress, betray that she is a woman of great means. This woman knows how to direct your attention where she wants it. If she wants you to notice how well she is dressed, she knows all the moves. The blue color of her dress are the perfect compliment to the golden tones of her surroundings. She knew exactly which dress to where to this event to make herself appear as though she belongs here … yet still have her beauty stand out. A perfect spy? You’ll have to read the book to know!

Available March 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Moonlight Masquerade

By Ruth Axtell

In this new Regency Romance, Ruth Axtell deftly creates a world where black and white burst into a confusion of colors and no one is who they seem.  Axtell’s expert storytelling and attention to historical detail bring the Regency era alive with  intrigue and romance.

Lady Celine Wexham seems the model British subject. French by birth but enjoying life in 1813 as a widowed English countess, she is in the unique position of being able to help those in need–or to spy for the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte. When Rees Phillips of the British Foreign Office is sent to pose as the countess’s butler and discover where her true loyalties lie, he is confident he will uncover the truth. But the longer he is in her fashionable townhouse in London’s West End, the more his staunch loyalty to the Crown begins to waver as he falls under Lady Wexham’s spell.

Ruth Axtell is the author of thirteen novels, including Wild Rose, one of Booklist‘s Top Ten in Christian Fiction. Currently a resident of Downeast Maine, Axtell has lived in the Canary Islands, Miami, and the Netherlands.

Endorsements for Moonlight Masquerade

 

 “Intrigue, romance, a clandestine kiss . . . all cast in a Regency setting so magnificently detailed I could see the fabrics and feel the glow of another era. Secrets and past disappointments keep Céline and Rees apart, not to mention the largest chasm of all—class. A wonderfully romantic and memorable read!”—Maureen Lang, author of Bees in the Butterfly Garden

“The first paragraph drew me into the story, and the next twist held me there to the end.”—Laurie Alice Eakes, author of A Flight of Fancy

Moonlight Masquerade is a wonderful romance, graced with expert detail of the Regency period, as well as with Ruth Axtell’s usual flair for intensely romantic situations between characters so real I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Moonlight Masquerade is an exciting romantic adventure of spies, forbidden love, and happily-ever-after that I thoroughly enjoyed.”—Melanie Dickerson, two-time Christy Award finalist and author of The Healer’s Apprentice and The Merchant’s Daughter

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 children's book, cover design

Book & Cover Review of "A New Home for Lily" by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher

Front Cover of "A New Home for Lily" Back Cover of "A New Home for Lily"

Book Review

“A New Home for Lily” is the second book in an Amish Juvenille fiction series “The Adventures of Lily Lapp” by authors Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher. Although I did read book one of this series, my children and I would have enjoyed this book even without having read the first one. A lovely trait of both books is that each individual chapter is a small story of its own – making it perfect for bedtime story reading! The stories also connect into one over-arching story line, but the fact each chapter is a story of its own is perfect for younger readers with shorter attention spans.

I have read quite a bit of Amish fiction, but this series is the first I have ever read that is written from the viewpoint of a very young child. My girls don’t get that this is modern day and call it ‘stories about the girl who lived in a long time ago.’ And really, that is what is unique about reading Amish fiction. It doesn’t feel like our everyday lives, and yet we can still relate to the frustrations and joys these loveable younger characters face within the chapters of this series.

In book two Lily is dealing with learning to love the things that are different about her family’s new home in a new town. A new school, new friends … and all the feelings of being uprooted and transplanted into a new situation. What small child can’t relate to starting in a new classroom or a new school – even if they don’t have to move to a new home?

* This book was provided by Revell for review with no promise of a positive review.

Book Cover Review

Like the first book’s cover, this one also fits the series very well. I think the cover of book one was slightly more eye-catching because of the brighter sun and the vibrant red barn in the background, but this cover is still successfully crafted. I like that the model (the little girl in Amish clothes) is not looking at the reader in either cover. This helps to emphasize that this is a book about everyday life. She isn’t posing for a special event. She’s simply taking care of her goat. And there is a great goat story in at least one of the chapters – so the photo is very appropriate in that way too!

A New Home for Lily

By Suzanne Woods Fisher & Mary Ann Kinsinger

The second novel in the charming Adventures of Lily Lapp series, A New Home for Lily gives children ages 8-12 a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Amish with lots of fun and laughter along the way. It combines the real-life stories of growing up Amish from Mary Ann Kinsinger and the bestselling writing of Amish fiction and nonfiction author Suzanne Woods Fisher. With line illustrations throughout, this series is sure to capture the hearts of readers young and old.

Lily Lapp is moving with her family to Pennsylvania to join a new Amish community. In this small town where changes – and newcomers – are greeted with suspicion, Lily must adjust to a new school, new friends and Aaron Yoder, an annoying boy who teases her relentlessly. Still, there are exciting new developments, including an attic full of adventure and a new baby brother. But why, Lily wonders, can’t God bring her just one sister?

Mary Ann Kinsinger was raised Old Order Amish in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. She met and married her husband, whom she knew from school days and started a family. After they chose to leave the Amish church, Mary Ann began a blog, A Joyful Chaos, as a way to capture her warm memories of her childhood for her own children. From the start, this blog found a ready audience and even captured the attention of key media players, such as the influential blog AmishAmerica and The New York Times. She lives in Pennsylvania.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The ChoiceThe WaitingThe SearchThe Keeper and The Haven, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Christy Award finalist and a Carol Award finalist. She is the host of internet radio show Amish Wisdom and a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. For more information, please visit http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and connect with her on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Praise for The Adventures of Lily Lapp series

“I didn’t want to stop reading it when I started. I liked Lily a lot and it was interesting to learn about her life as an Amish kid. It’s a lot different than mine. I think that was part of why I liked the book so much.”

– Christian Hope, age 10, Radiant Lit

“The simple prose focused on daily living will appeal to those who like realistic fiction that comforts.”

Publishers Weekly

“This is truly a gem”

–  Fiction Addict