Books reviewed prior on this site prior to March 2019 were provided to me, at no charge, by the publisher, or by the author, in exchange for an honest review. I have received no further compensation for these reviews. Reviews beginning March 2019 come from a variety of sources: advanced copies, library loans, and my own purchases. All reviews are my honest opinions.

December 21, 2018

Secrets at Cedar Cabin {Colleen Coble}

secrets at cedar cabin colleen coble
Running for her life in the wake of her mother’s murder, Bailey Fleming escapes to the only place she can think of—a remote, dilapidated cabin in Lavender Tides. Intending to finally get to the truth behind the lies of her past, Bailey only finds more questions when bodies are discovered near her cabin hideout along with traces of a dangerous human trafficking ring. In an unlikely partnership with FBI agent Lance Phoenix, Bailey races to understand the mystery surrounding her life and circumstances before the murderer tracks her down.

Meanwhile, Lance is determined to rescue his sister, Ava, who was abducted after running away from home as a teenager. An unexpected lead brings him to the remote cabin, and he wonders if Bailey—with her suspicious past and strange connections to his sister’s case—is really who she claims to be and if she can somehow lead him to Ava.

Filled with Colleen Coble's custom blend of suspense and romance, Secrets at Cedar Cabin takes us back to the evocative landscape of Washington's coast where nothing is quite as it seems.

My Thoughts:
When you pick up a Colleen Coble book, you know you are going to get a story filled with drama and suspense with a sweet love story mixed in. This book fit that expectation just perfectly and I loved it for it.

I did not read the first two books in this Lavender Tides series, but this book worked well as a stand-alone and I had no trouble getting to know the characters and the necessary backstory to make sense of the big picture story. I immediately felt drawn to Bailey and the grief she must feel with the loss of her mother and the threat on her own life. As the story progresses and we begin to discover secrets of Bailey's life - and as she discovers her entire life history has been a lie - my heart just went out to her and I wanted nothing but for her to have a perfectly happy ending in her life.

I also felt drawn to Lucas and his instinct to immediately protect Bailey from the unknown and the danger she would find herself in. The determination in his pursuit to find his sister made him the type of character you hoped would find his happiness in life as well.

I appreciate Coble's ability to take each of her characters and have them find their way back to God no matter the circumstances they are faced with. She does it in such a natural way that does not seem preachy, and I love the message that comes from those relationships.

If you are a fan of Colleen Coble you will love this book. If you have never given her a read, pick this one up and prepare to fall in love!

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December 7, 2018

The Wondering Years {Knox McCoy}

the wondering years knox mccoy
When you hear the phrase pop culture, you likely think reality television, boy bands or Real Housewives of various cities. While these are elements of popular culture, they aren’t all it has to offer. Pop culture may not cure diseases, topple political regimes, or make scientific breakthroughs, but it does play a vital role in the story of humanity.

In fact, it’s pretty hard to define the human experience without it. And it’s impossible to create pop culture without the human experience. Popular podcaster Knox McCoy understands this, and so do the tens of thousands of listeners who tune in to hear him talk about pop culture every week on his wildly popular podcast, The Popcast with Knox and Jamie.

In The Wondering Years, Knox explores this idea of connecting popular culture to his own experiences. Through hilarious yet poignant stories, he reflects on how pop culture has helped shape his life and carve out the foundation of his faith. While the three cultural tentpoles—the South, the Church, and Sports—defined many aspects of his East Tennessee upbringing, it was pop culture that most definitively influenced Knox and his sense of the world at large.

Through books, television, music, and movies, Knox found many of the answers he was searching for about God and the universe and why we are all here. The Wondering Years is a hilarious look back at the key influences that shaped Knox’s formative years and his faith, a reminder of our own encounters with pop culture that have shaped each of our formative years and continue to influence us today.

My Thoughts:
Once upon a time I discovered Knox McCoy's podcast, The Popcast, and discovered a huge appreciation for his amazing pop culture combined with a fast wit and the ability to turn unlikely occurrences into something meaningful in life. This book embodies every one of those characteristics in the most refreshing way.

As someone who finds themselves completely fascinated with pop culture, but also has a love and desire for Jesus, I appreciate Knox's ability to combine these two worlds in a relevant way. His story-telling is hilarious and brings back so many memories of growing up in the 80s and 90s. Yet he finds a way to take each of his memories and use it as a method of getting to Christianity and how it also plays out in his life.

I laughed out loud through many pages of this book, nodded my head in agreement, and found myself in awe of some of the connections he was able to make. I appreciated every aspect of this book and know I will find myself flipping through it again and again in the future. I am proud to have it as an addition to my bookshelf.

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