Book Review: Delilah by Angela Hunt

Delilah: Treacherous Beauty by Angela Hunt is a retelling of the Biblical story of Samson and Delilah, told from both Delilah’s and Samson’s point of view. It gives a different perspective to the age old tale of love and betrayal. We see the story through both Delilah’s and Samson’s eyes. The book is filled with rich, vivid descriptions of the time, setting, and details of daily life during this cultural upheaval.

Delilah: Treacherous Beauty by Angela Hunt

I totally enjoyed the glimpse into Delilah’s personal life, even if it is a fictional story. Since no one really knows much of her history, I felt the author wove a plausible story. Digging into historical background during this period, she tells the story of how most women would have lived and how a single woman with a child could have survived without a man to protect or support them.

Then there is the telling of the story from Samson’s point of view. I really felt a new respect and got a totally different idea of what the man was like, instead of only knowing the myth of his strength and how Delilah betrayed him.

I do love a Christian retelling, especially if it’s from the female perspective, since nearly all stories in the Bible are told with a male slant, due to the Patriarchal society of it’s writers. With this retelling, you will develop a bit more empathy for Delilah, because she feels more real in this book, than she does in the Bible. The author brings these Biblical characters to life.

Of course, Samson and Delilah is a love story as well as a story of betrayal. Mrs. Hunt does a fabulous job of staying true to the abiding love these two had for one another, and how devastating a choice Delilah had to make in order to keep herself and her son safe. What a wonderful and all too human love story they had.

About the Book:Delilah: Treacherous Beauty

Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself.

When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.

About the AuthorAngela Hunt

Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With over four million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 100 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.

Now that her two children are grown, Angie and her youth-pastor husband live in Florida with Very Big Dogs (a direct result of watching Sandlot too many times). This affinity for mastiffs has not been without its rewards–one of their dogs was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly as the second-largest canine in America. Their dog received this dubious honor after an all-expenses-paid trip to Manhattan for the dog and the Hunts, complete with VIP air travel and a stretch limo in which they toured New York City. Afterward, the dog gave out paw-tographs at the airport.

When she’s not home writing, Angie often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers’ conferences. And to talk about her dogs, of course.
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I received this book for free or at a discounted price from the publisher or the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Book Review: The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis is a post apocalyptic thriller about a 7 year old girl that gets swept away by a storm and ends up lost in the woods. She comes across a cabin after wandering for days with jerky drying on racks out front. She sneaks up and steals a piece. Trapper, the loner that lives there catches her and asks her if she likes the jerky. When she says yes, he takes her in and teaches her to survive. Unbeknownst to her, he is a notorious serial killer.

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

Once she learns of his true identity, many years later, she runs away and heads north on the Wolf Road. She is looking for her long lost parents who left her with Granny when she was very young. They left her so they could make their fortunes in the far north during the gold rush that happened after the big war.

On her trek north, she begins to have disturbing flashes of memory about learning to hunt, trap, and survive with Trapper. As she moves further and further north, she begins to remember more and more details of these teachings, but in bits and pieces which makes the story gripping. She also realizes that Trapper is tracking her which adds another element of tension into the story.

As she wrestles with her mixed feelings about Trapper – love one would feel for a parent and anger for his turning out to be an evil man bent on hunting and hurting others for his own pleasure, the tension builds. She eventually devises a plan to catch him with the marshall (and the mother of one of the boys he hunted). This story is disturbing and the unfolding of her memories as time goes on makes it even more so. I couldn’t help but feel both revulsion for the girl and sympathy for the traumatized young lady.

I really got into this book. I loved the tension of the slow unfolding of the girl’s memories of what really happened during those years she lived with the notorious serial killer. There was a definite feel of the old west about the story, mixed with a futuristic, apocalyptic overtone. The entire book was one long building tension after another.

I was rooting for the girl as she made her way north, at times, and despising her at others. I love a psychological thriller that makes me feel so many different things for the main character, it just feels more real somehow. You know how you can love someone, but really dislike some things about them, even in the midst of all that love? That’s what this book ultimately did for me.

Great, unique story line, told from the perspective of someone that lived with a serial killer for many years. She sees the good as well as the bad within him, which makes him more human to the reader. This author is deft at bringing depth to her characters and making the story feel as if it could be pulled right from the pages of today’s headlines.

About the Book:The Wolf Road

True Grit meets The Road in this post-apocalyptic psychological thriller–narrated by a young girl who has just learned that her adopted father may be a serial killer, and that she may be his next victim.

In the remote wilds of a ravaged land, Elka has been raised by a man who isn’t her father. Since finding her wandering in the woods when she was seven, he has taught her how to hunt, shoot, set snares and start fires–everything she needs to survive. All she knows of the world outside is gleaned from whispers of a cataclysmic event that turned the clock back on civilization by a hundred and fifty years and reduced governments and technology to shambles, leaving men at the mercy of the elements–and each other.

Everything changes when Elka learns that the man she has been calling father is harboring a terrible secret. Armed with nothing but her knife and her wiles, she decides to escape his clutches and sets out on a long journey to the frozen north in the hope of finding her long-lost parents.

But as the trail of blood and bodies grows in her path, Elka realizes that daddy won’t be letting his little girl go without a fight. If she’s going to survive, she’ll have to turn and confront not just him, but the truth about what he’s turned her into.

About the Author:Beth Lewis

Beth Lewis is a managing editor at Titan Books in London. She was raised in the wilds of Cornwall and split her childhood between books and the beach. She has traveled extensively throughout the world and has had close encounters with black bears, killer whales, and great white sharks. She has been a bank cashier, a fire performer, and a juggler.
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I received this book for free or at a discounted price from the author or publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Kelli Stuart’s ‘Like a River from Its Course’ Blog Tour and Kindle Prize Pack

Like a River From It’s Course by Kelli Stuart is an historical novel detailing the tragedies and triumphs of four characters who experience Hitler’s blitzkrieg of the city of Kiev during WWII. The author spent 15 years researching and interviewing the survivors of this period in history and she shares their stories in this heartbreaking, and heartwarming story. This story is told by four different characters, telling the same story from their own viewpoints.

Like a River From It's Course by Kelli Stuart Review and Giveaway

Masha is a 14 year old girl when the bombings happen. She tells the story of her experiences of devastation, hunger and fear living in the bombed out city of Kiev. Not long after the bombings, she is ripped right out of the arms of her parents and forced to work in a German labor camp.

Ivan is Masha’s father and he survives the horror of Babi Yar, the killing ditch, where 34,000 Jewish men, women and children were are killed, while trying to save his daughter’s best friend Polina from this massacre. The experience devastates him and he is never the same.

Luda is sixteen and has spent her entire life taking care of her father, who is a drunkard and mistreats her at every turn. The final blow comes when she is abandoned by him as three Nazi soldiers rape and impregnate her. She turns to the only friends she has, who quickly become her family and help her to survive and learn to trust and love again.

Frederick was raised in the bosom of the Nazi philosophy. His father is a trusted friend and advisor to Hitler himself, and Frederick is convinced of the truth of the Fuhrers plans. He is obsessed with pleasing his demanding father, but never seems to meet his expectations.

I have never been a big fan of fiction based in WWII for some reason. At least not the ones that discuss military tactics and plans, etc. But this novel spoke to me, right from the description, and I just knew I wanted to read it. I am a sucker for any character driven novel and this one has that in spades.

I loved getting to know these characters and their lives during such a trying time. It gave me all the feels, laughter, tears, anger, bitterness, fear, all of them. I was especially drawn to the plight of Masha and Luda. They are both very strong female characters that are well-developed and totally believable. I found myself rooting for them both, as I lived their experiences right alongside them.

Of course this is a Christian historical fiction novel, so there are some Christian parts in this book. But, they were woven into the story so well, that it certainly didn’t feel preach-y or necessarily Christian at all. Overall, the trials and triumphs and losses of these characters stole the show and make this a marvelous story of love and redemption; of survival and strength.

Get a free copy of Chapter one from the author:

About the book:Like a River from It's Course

Like a River from Its Course (Kregel, June 2016)

An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hope.

The city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler’s blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little-known history of Ukraine’s tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.

Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.

Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the “killing ditch.” He survives, but not without devastating consequences.

Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.

Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the Führer’s plans for domination
are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism.

Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

Purchase a copy


About the Author:Kelli Stuart

Kelli Stuart is the coauthor of Dare 2B Wise and has written for several brands including Disney, American Girl, and Short Fiction Break. She has served as editor-in-chief for the St. Louis Bloggers Guild and as a board member for the St. Louis Women in Media. In addition to her writing, Kelli has spent twenty years studying Ukranian culture. Kelli lives in Florida.

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like a river
One grand prize winner will receive:
A copy of Like a River from Its Course
A Kindle Fire
A Kindle Fire case (winner’s choice)
A $30 Amazon gift card

I received this book for free or at a discounted price from the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Product Review: BellaSentials Executive Black Diffuser

I am new to the whole essential oil craze that seems to be sweeping the world. I understand that it is actually a very ancient form of medicine and aromatherapy, but I never paid much attention to it until now. I bought my first diffuser about a month ago, and quickly became enamored with it. So when I was offered the chance to review this BellaSentials Executive Black Diffuser, I of course said yes.

BellaSentials Executive Black Oil Diffuser

I was using it for both my meditation practice and as an aromatherapy aid to fall asleep. But, I don’t meditate and sleep in the same place, so this became frustrating pretty quick. To move it back and forth, back and forth, just wasn’t cutting it for me.

Now I have a diffuser for meditation practice which is much more showy in the lights area (which I like to use as a focus object), and this one that is more subtle and soothing for use at bedtime. I think this little diffuser is very beautiful with it’s shiny black exterior. It blends in well with any decor and looks professional and understated at the same time.

The color changing lights are subtle. They change at the top of the diffuser, where the cool mist comes out and they change along the center band. So, I can even run the lights at bedtime for a little while, without stimulating me so much that I cannot go to sleep.

The diffuser is silent while running and does turn off automatically after an hour, which is very handy for use at bedtime. It has two switches so you can run just the diffuser or just the lights, or both at once. I don’t have to worry about turning it off before falling asleep, because it will shut down on it’s own.

Overall, I am really impressed with this classy little diffuser. It does what it says with no fuss and no bother. Just plug it in, add the water and your desired essential oils and turn it on. My grandkids were very impressed by it, they especially love the changing lights and the smell of the diffused essential oils. I like the sleekness of it’s style and how quiet it is when running.

I received this product for free or at a discounted price in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.

Book Review: All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

All the Missing Girls is the story of the disappearance of Nicolette’s best friend 10 years ago, and the current disappearance of her neighbor, and alibi the night her best friend Corrine went missing. The suspects in both cases are nearly identical, Nic, her brother, her best friend’s boyfriend Jackson, and her ex-boyfriend Tyler, who just happens to be dating the second girl that disappears.

Nic comes back to her hometown to help take care of business with her ailing father on the day of Annaliese’s disappearance. As she becomes entangled in trying to figure out what happened to her best friend and now her younger neighbor, she learns many secrets about all those involved in both disappearances. The author weaves the stories of both disappearances in such a seamless manner pointing out the similarities and differences in both disappearances.

I really enjoyed the way the author told the story backwards, from day 15 after Annaliese disappears to the day she actually disappears. It gave an interesting twist to the entire mystery genre of this book. So basically as you go backwards in time in the book, you learn more backstory of the characters in the book.

I love when an author can take a fairly predictable plot, as most mysteries are, and turn it on it’s side. This one completely surprised me. Generally I am pretty good at figuring out “whodunit”, but I didn’t even come close with this one. My suspicions kept jumping from character to character as I learned more about each one and their history.

I truly enjoyed reading this book, it kept me up turning the pages long after I should have been asleep. This is always a mark of an engaging and enjoyable story for me. I would totally recommend this to anyone who loves a good mystery with a twist and a lot of backstory into characters.Book Review: All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Title: All the Missing Girls
Author: Megan Miranda
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

About the Book:
Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse.

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.

About the Author:
Megan Miranda is the author of the young adult novels FRACTURE, HYSTERIA, VENGEANCE, and SOULPRINT (all from Bloomsbury). Her next young adult novel, THE SAFEST LIES, will be published by Crown BFYR/Random House in May, 2016. Her debut adult suspense novel, ALL THE MISSING GIRLS, will be published by Simon & Schuster in June, 2016. Megan has a degree in Biology from MIT and currently lives near Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and two children.

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I received this book for free or at a discounted price in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.