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 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

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

Book & Cover Review of "Waiting for Spring" by Amanda Cabot

Back Cover of Waiting for Spring by Amanda CabotFront Cover of Waiting for Spring by Amanda Cabot

Book Review

Amanda Cabot’s second book in the Westward Winds series, “Waiting for Spring”, can be read as a wonderfully engaging stand-alone novel. I have not read the first book of this series and felt neither lost, nor unsatisfied.

Both the male and female leads are well-developed and unique characters I was both rooting for, and frustrated with for much of the book. (Will these two ever figure out they are meant for each other?)

Amanda has also brilliantly developed a bad guy you slowly love to hate. He starts off seeming only slightly untrustworthy … and eventually his true nature leaves you squirming with displeasure — earnestly turning pages to learn how his bad intentions will affect the hero and heroine.

A wonderful story — based in the early years of Cheyenne, Wyoming. It definitely makes it onto my favorites list for the year.

Book Cover Review

May I say that the dress steals the show on this cover? But … since the story is about a dress maker it totally works! The vibrant blue color draws attention, and the style of the dress establishes it is a historical set in the late 19th century. This cover will appeal more to women, but since that is the same target as the story, it is a great match.

One small factoid that I thought was fun about this cover design, is the fact that the title grouping is actually partially hidden behind the cover model’s shoulder. The designer was obviously aware the model and the dress ‘steal the show’ — they are purposely letting it, by giving the title grouping a secondary status in this design (though they did add a touch of gloss to balance it a little).

* This book was provided by the publisher with no guarantee of a positive review. Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Waiting for Spring By Amanda Cabot

Amanda Cabot explores themes of love, courage and sacrifice in the second book of the Westward Winds series.   With an authentic backdrop of 1880s Wyoming, Cabot creates characters whose struggle to forge a life in the old West ultimately win your heart.

After the loss of her husband and the birth of her baby, Charlotte has had a long, hard year. But when a notorious robber believes she knows the location of a long-lost treasure, she flees to Cheyenne and opens a dressmaker’s shop to lie low and make a living. When wealthy cattle baron and political hopeful Barrett Landry enters the shop to visit her best customer Miriam, Charlotte feels drawn to him.

If Barrett is to be a senator of the soon-to-be state of Wyoming, he must make a sensible match, and Miriam has all the right connections. Yet he can’t shake the feeling that Charlotte holds the key to his heart and his future.

Soon the past comes to call, and Barrett’s plans crumble around him. Will Charlotte and Barrett find the courage to look love in the face? Or will their fears blot out any chance for happiness?

Amanda Cabot is an accomplished author under various pen names and a popular speaker. The author of Paper Roses, Scattered Petals, Tomorrow’s Garden, and Summer of Promise, she is also a charter member of Romance Writers of America, the cofounder of its New Jersey chapter, a member of the ACFW, and an avid traveler. She lives in Wyoming.

Endorsements for Amanda Cabot and Waiting for Spring:

“One thing I know to expect when I open an Amanda Cabot novel is heart. She creates characters that tug at my heartstrings, storylines that make my heart smile, and a spiritual lesson that does my heart good. Her stories are like the first sweet scents of spring—pure pleasure.”—Kim Vogel Sawyer, bestselling author of My Heart Remembers

“From the first page I found myself rooting for the young widow, Charlotte, who’s trying to forge a life for herself in Cheyenne while also caring for a disabled son. My heart beat with worry as trouble from the past found her. And it pattered with hope as sweet Charlotte caught the eye of handsome Barrett. Amanda Cabot offers a delightful read, and as I turned the pages I was swept away with a story of love, courage, and sacrifice. Recommended!”—Tricia Goyer, bestselling author of 32 books, including Beyond Hope’s Valley

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

 

Amish fiction, Christian children's book

Book & Cover Review of "Life with Lily" by Kinsinger and Fisher

 

Front Cover of Life with Lily 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Back Cover design of Life with Lily

Book Review

Life with Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher is an endearing story, centering on the daily life of a little Amish girl named Lily Lapp and her family. The book is written for young children,  – those just beyond picture-book age. I read the first few chapters aloud to my 6-year-old and 4-year-old daughters. My oldest was the most interested, as she is old enough to listen for longer spans of time and can picture the story in her mind. My youngest was more interested in seeing the photo at the beginning of each chapter, and I’m not sure how much she paid attention during the reading of the chapter.

My oldest child enjoyed it more. Her main comment was “she’s like a little girl that grew up a long time ago.” We’ve visited a historic village with our children in the last year, and I think she was picturing that village from ‘a long time ago’ when she was listening to me. (No electricity, lots of animals etc.) She was fascinated to learn about Lily, and through her what it was like
to be a little girl growing up Amish (much like it was to grow up a long time ago, but not quite).

Example illustration

The book is composed of 39 chapters, and each chapter can be read as an individual story. Each chapter builds upon the other into an over-arching story, but has a satisfying short storyline of its own. The stories involve Amish life, animal care, friendships, siblings, school, gardening and much more. They are told in such a way that the child learns about the Amish life, yet there are many things about the story that the child can still relate to.

A great read for ages 6 and up, particularly for girls.

Book Cover Review

The model chosen to represent Lily Lapp for the cover is adorable. Her smile is welcoming, and the red barn in the background will help to attract children interested in ‘farm’ or ‘animal’ stories. A beautiful sunny day, and the attractive child in what my young children saw as an odd dress-up outfit from a long time ago will intrigue them to hear or read the story for themselves.

The only negative I have about this cover is very knit-picky. The shadows used behind the title and some larger text areas is a little too difused. I wish it was a little sharper of a shadow to add depth, rather than to make the edges just seem fuzzy and undefined. But that is really looking close at it, and from afar it is not very noticeable. The cover will attract the kids and their parents or grandparents just fine the way it is.

* This book was received from the publisher for review. Available October 2012  at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.