Kelly Klepfer came on board Novel Reviews several years ago as the Senior Editor through her connections with Gina Holmes, Ane Mulligan and Jessica Dotta of Novel Journey fame. Novel Reviews is the baby sister of the popular Novel Journey. At Novel Reviews we offer honest reviews of Christian and secular fiction titles and love to promote exceptional fiction. We began to do so after we met the authors via their interviews at Novel Journey. Disclaimer: Our reviewers are not paid for their reviews. Some may consider the receiving of a complimentary book or loosley bound manuscript (by publisher or author), as a form of compensation, so, be forewarned that our reviewers RECEIVE BOOKS. In our defense, it would be difficult to review without them. (Also, we are not affiliated or paid for any links to online bookstores.)
Erin Healy (Author)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Original edition (October 4, 2011)
Before Audrey was the baker's wife, she was the pastor's wife.
Then a scandalous lie cost her husband a pastoral career. Now the two work side-by-side running a bakery, serving coffee, and baking fresh bread. But the hurt still pulls at Audrey.
Driving early one morning to the bakery, Audrey's car strikes something-or someone-at a fog-shrouded intersection. She finds a motor scooter belonging to a local teacher. Blood is everywhere, but there's no trace of a body.
Both the scooter and the blood belong to detective Jack Mansfield's wife, and he's certain that Audrey is behind Julie's disappearance.
But the case dead-ends and the detective spirals into madness. When he takes her family and some patrons hostage at the bakery, Audrey is left with a soul-damaged ex-con and a cynical teen to solve the mystery. And she'll never manage that unless she taps into something she would rather leave behind-her excruciating ability to feel other's pain.
Erin Healy blends supernatural gifting and challenging topics and bakes up a satisfying, fragrant, crusty-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside read.
Audrey was married to a pastor, and one of her ministries was delivering fresh bread she and her husband made to parishioners that God laid on her heart. However, a scandal erupts in the church and Audrey and Geoff are pushed out of the ministry and into baking as a career.
One day the unbelievable happens and the elder who pushed the hardest to have Geoff step down as pastor is in the middle of it all.
Audrey is left, with the help of an ex-con in town to atone for her past, to solve a mystery, and save those nearest and dearest to her when the situation explodes.
Healy handles some heavy topics in this unique novel including depression and religiosity vs relationship. She mixes in the Holy Spirit's working in individuals and fallout of church fractures. This is a well told story with a heavy mix of complex characters. Those who love fiction light might find this a little too overwhelming due to the topics. But Healy does a terrific job with the mixing and blending of ingredients and those who love hearty Christian fiction might want to check it out.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer at: Scrambled Dregs
By Jill Williamson
When Your Life Is Not Your Own Martyr---otherwise known as Jason 3:3---is one of hundreds of clones kept in a remote facility called Jason Farms. Told that he has been created to save humanity, Martyr has just one wish before he is scheduled to 'expire' in less than a month. To see the sky. Abby Goyer may have just moved to Alaska, but she has a feeling something strange is going on at the farm where her father works. But even this smart, confident girl could never have imagined what lies beneath a simple barn. Or what would happen when a mysterious boy shows up at her door, asking about the stars. As the reality of the Jason Experiment comes to light, Martyr is caught between two futures---the one for which he was produced and the one Abby believes God created him to have. Time is running out, and Martyr must decide if a life with Abby is worth leaving everything he's ever known.
Martyr—otherwise known as Jason 3:3—is one of hundreds of clones kept in a remote facility called Jason Farms. Told that he has been created to save humanity, Martyr has just one wish before he is scheduled to “expire” in less than a month. To see the sky.
Abby Goyer may have just moved to Alaska, but she has a feeling something strange is going on at the farm where her father works. But even this smart, confident girl could never have imagined what lies beneath a simple barn. Or what would happen when a mysterious boy shows up at her door, asking about the stars.
As the reality of the Jason Experiment comes to light, Martyr is caught between two futures—the one for which he was produced and the one Abby believes God created him to have. Time is running out, and Martyr must decide if a life with Abby is worth leaving everything he’s ever known.
Author Jill Williamson knocks yet another one out of the park. REPLICATION is a hard-hitting, fast-paced, can’t-put-it-down kind of read—one you shouldn’t miss.
Cloning is a sensitive issue. Williamson deals with it head on. She confronts the morality of saving one man’s life by harvesting organs from others, and does so with poignancy. If the intricacies of the topic are unfamiliar to you, don’t worry. You’ll receive quite an education.
Biblical truths are interspersed throughout, the most powerful being that of loving your enemy. Without giving any spoilers, let’s just say that hero Martyr is aptly named and illustrates this point in a tangible, beautiful way.
As always, Williamson also tosses in a healthy dose of humor. When hero Martyr escapes to the real world, some of his misconceptions and flat-out ignorance is hilarious. And let’s not forget romance. Oh yeah. There’s quite the attraction going on between Martyr and Abby.
I can’t rave enough about REPLICATION. Even if YA isn’t your usual genre, give this one a whirl. You won’t be sorry.
Reviewed by: Michelle Griep at: Michelle Griep
Paperback: 282 pages
Publisher: Risen Books (June 30, 2011)
The inhabitants of the planet Gannah are known as bloodthirsty savages who once tried to conquer the galaxy. Now a plague has ravaged the planet and only one survivor remains, a young woman named Dassa. Pik, the doctor from the League of Planets assigned to her case, hates everything Gannahan and wishes every last one of its people had died. Bereft of everything she's ever known, Dassa clings to her God and the story he has written in the stars. He has given her an assignment: to return to Gannah and replenish it with a new race of people. But she must first overcome the prejudice of the entire galaxy and recruit her de facto enemy, Pik, to help her.
I'm not a sci-fi fan, but I'm loving The Story in the Stars! The characters are realistic, they're three-dimensional, and relatable. The story is so good, I couldn't put it down. Yvonne Anderson writes with skill and emotion, bringing this new world to life for the reader. And that's amazing for a non-sci-fi aficionado. I highly recommend it! It's a "must read."
Reviewed by: Ane Mulligan at: Novel Rocket
Mix together a deadly plague with a snarky hero--one sporting abnormally large ears. Then throw in an independent heroine who's lost everything, and you've got a blue-ribbon recipe for a winning debut novel. The Story in the Stars is sci-fi at it's best with plenty of action, unbelievable landscapes, and a message that is hard hitting. Don't miss Yvonne Anderson's first installment in the Gateway to Gannah series.
Reviewed by: Michelle Griep at: Michelle Griep