Saturday, December 26, 2015
The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson is an awesome retelling of Rapunzel. Melanie has an incredible talent for re-working the original fairy tales we have known since childhood into plausible tales set during Medieval times. Her characters while still portraying good versus evil are well thought out and quite realistic. These stories are complex enough for young adults and adults who are still young at heart. Melanie also weaves in Christian values such as love and forgiveness. The story is engaging and draws one into it.
I was given The Golden Braid by the author in exchange for my honest opinion. All thoughts are truly my own.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
rma Joubert's novel, The Girl From the Train, covers an aspect of World War Two that I was not aware of, the placement of Aryan orphans into South African families. Gretl Schmidt, the six year old,orphaned daughter of a Nazi soldier and a German- Jewish mother escapes a train bound for Auschwitz. She is rescued by 21 year old Polish rebel Jakob Kowalski. He manages to protect her through the war years.
This novel can best be summed up by the Bible verse 'For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' Jeremiah 29:11. It is a novel of hope and survival. I have not read any books about South Africa before, but found the word pictures painted by Joubert to be fascinating. The characters are complex, with real life flaws. I would recommend this book to any fan of Historical fiction.
I was given this book by The Fiction Guild for review purposes. I was not required to post a favorable review. These are my true thoughts on the book.
Friday, December 18, 2015
Elizabeth Camden has created a wonderful cast of characters in 'Until The Dawn' Sophie van Riijn is happily taking readings for the weather bureau and helping take care of the long abandoned Vandermark mansion. She and the other remaining staff have kept everything in tip top shape. They have ever become possessive of the mansion. The sudden appearance of bitter Quenton Vandermark and his emotionally crippled son has put everyone into a tizzy.soon after Quentin's grandfather arrives with the intentions of blowing up the mansion. This is a story of how self pity and physical pain can turn a man to bitterness, And how G-d can use our broken lives to bring about good. The characters are quite complex and Elizabeth uses beautiful word pictures to create the backdrop to the story. I was given this novel for review purposes by Netgalley. All opinions are entirely my own..
Sunday, December 6, 2015
'A Lady always pays attention to her guests, even when she finds them boring.' 'A Lady never gives her servants something to gossip about.' Even when her mother is not present, Lady Miranda can here her mother's Lady lessons. Miranda has done fairly well at obeying these lessons, all but one. 'A Lady never has correspondence with a gentleman who is not a close relative.' Miranda has been writing to Marsh, her brother's school chum for years, but she has never mailed any of them, so it shouldn't matter, right? But when her brother's new valet finds one of her letters, everything changes.
A Noble Masquerade will keep you on the edge of your seat, and may cause you to miss sleep. Even after finishing the book, I find myself wondering what everybody is doing. The characters and plot was so plausible that it is easy to believe that they are continuing their lives long after the book was done.I look forward to the next Hawthorne House book.
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Securing Aisling, a fairytale for grown ups. Andrea Boyd's Securing Aisling brings all of the elements of a fairytale to a more mature audience. There are Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses. Advisors, loyal servants and faithful warriors also come to life. In true fairytale fashion, there are also traitors, dungeons and perhaps a dragon or two. The storyline is full of intrigue and treachery, with a healthy dose of romance.
The characters are well developed and the plot, although a bit predictable. moves along quite well. The only reason I gave it four stars as opposed to five is the fact that the story is told in the first person point of view, which is not my favorite POV. I am looking forward to reading Healing Gilvary, Prince Reagan's tale, due to be released in 2016.
I was given Securing Aisling by the author for review purposes, but all thoughts are my own.
Friday, November 27, 2015
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Saturday, November 7, 2015
I always enjoy a visit with the good folks of Blessing North Dakota. Streams Of mercy continues the story of the Bjorklund family. Many new faces are making themselves at home while other beloved characters have moved on. It was wonderful to visit and enjoy the joys and sorrows of a community that has indeed been blessed by G-d. The books about Blessing are always uplifting and provide many hours of enjoyment.
Fans of The Butterfly and the Violin will love A Sparrow in Terezin by Kristy Cambron.It is again a story within a story. Present day,it is William and Sera's wedding day, as they say 'I do" William is arrested.Sera cannot leave William's fate to the lawyers, despite William's pleas to stay out of it. Meanwhile in World War two London Kaja meets Liam setting in motion the adventure of a lifetime.
I love the way Kristy ties the two worlds together. Kristy has done an excellent job of making both stories fit together. Her characters are strong and complex. I found myself not wanting to do anything but find out what happens next. Kristy manages to paint word pictures of the terror of the bombings in London and the despair of the ghettos under Hitler. She accurately portrays the themes of redemption and forgiveness.
I look forward to reading more books by Kristy.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Carrie Turansky's third book in her Edwardian Brides series, A Refuge at Highland Hall, opens with some of the family living in London. But World War I has come to their door. The Zeppelins are bombing London and the men of the family decide the women and children must seek refuge at Highland Hall, the families estate out in the country. The Hall is large enough to house family and servants comfortably and the large gardens and fields make the place self sustaining.
Meanwhile love is blossoming between Penny Ramsey and Alex Goodwin an old friend of Penny's sister Kate's husband and Lady Julia Ramsey, Sir William's wife. Love also blossoms among the servants as Lydia finds herself attracted to Marius Ritter, an Englishman, born and raised but of German descent. Marius has been incarcerated at a nearby internment camp.
The story is fast paced and very well written. The characters are complex and I found myself disappearing into the story and losing track of time.The characters lived their faith and freely discussed G-d with one another. Their love of Christ was quite evident, but natural, not forced or preachy.
I felt as though I could stop by Highland Hall and find the Ramsey's in residence ready to receive guests and going about their lives. But there is a bittersweet side to A Refuge at Highland Hall, it is the final story in the series and I will miss visiting the family.
I was given this book by the author in exchange for my honest opinion. All thoughts are entirely my own.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Valley of Decision is the Third and Final (sob) installment in Lynne Gentry's Carthage Chronicles. Thirteen years have passed for Lisbeth and Maggie. Maggie is now an eighteen year old lady, determined to rescue her father Cyprian from being beheaded in third century Carthage. She ventures through the Well of the swimmers only to find she has returned as an eighteen year old, only days after leaving as a five year old child.
Lisbeth and her aging father follow Maggie through the well into the past.
Can people from the future alter the past or does G-d's plan overwrite any changes they try to make? Lisbeth and Maggie learn several truths about themselves and about the power of love. There are decisions to be made, who will be strong enough to make the decisions and who will be strong enough to submit? The tension rises throughout the book to reach a final heart-wrenching conclusion. I will certainly miss Lisbeth, Cyprian and Maggie.
I was given this book by the author but was not required to offer a specific opinion. All thought's and opinions are entirely my own.
Monday, September 21, 2015
I fell in love with the cover for The Lost Heiress way back when it first became available for pre-order. I waited with great anticipation to open the book and settle in for a fabulous read, I was not disappointed. Brook lives with the with the Grimaldi's in Monaco and although she was not born to them, she was raised as a Princess. She is spirited and full of life. Brook and her friend Justin seem perfect for each other, but they are so afraid of ruining their friendship, that they are afraid to admit they love each other.
All of the characters are strong and pairing them with a great storyline, caused the book to fly. Brook is definitely a woman ahead of her time. She does things that should cause scandal, but it works for her.Brook reunites with her birth family and then walks a virtual tightrope trying to decide who is on her side and who is the enemy.
The Lost Heiress can be listed under several genres, Historical fiction, Romance and suspense.
I am drooling to get my hands on The Reluctant Duchess, book number two in The Ladies Of The Manor series. I can see that I need to make a space on my keeper shelves for Roseanna White.
I was given this book by the author in exchange for my honest opinion. all thoughts are entirely my own.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Daughters Of The Heart was the first book I have read by Caryl McAdoo. I did not realize that it was book 5 until I was into the book. While I did enjoy the laughter and joy of an over-protective dad and his teenage daughters, the book would have made more sense had I read the first four.
That being said, I liked the story well enough that I am going to go back and read the first four.The family is totally charming, and well armed :)
I find myself wanting to know how they arrived at this point in their lives.The characters are well written and I find myself wondering what they are up to when I have closed my kindle for the evening. it is truly the sign of a good book that you long for more.
I was given this book for review by celebrate lit.All thoughts and opinions are my own and I was not required to express any opinion.
Saturday, September 12, 2015
Kristy Cambron's the Butterfly and the Violin is one of the best books I have read this year. I was quickly drawn in by the story and loved the story within a story format. Sera James and William Hanover live in modern times. She is a Manhattan art dealer and he is the CEO of his family's corporation.They are both searching for the same portrait, each for their own reason. Their search uncovers the love story of Adele Von Bron, Austrian aristocrat and Vladimir Nicolai a Jew.
I loved the romance and self sacrifice of the story. The word pictures create an image of the fear endures by all who opposed Hitler and his minions. The story although fictitious had a realistic, this may really have happened feel to it and I had trouble setting it aside to keep up with my household chores. I wanted to discover Adele and Vladimir's story as much as Sera and William did.
I hope you settle in for a weekend read and become as enthralled as I did.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Who is the Lady who is in the carriage accident with Sir John? Who is the Lady who drowned? Secrets, betrayals, lies are rampant in Julie Klassen's latest novel. Lady Maybe has a fast moving storyline that will make you loathe to put the book down and do the mundane things of life. The characters are well defined and I found myself cheering for some while wishing others would get what they deserve. The plot is complex and rich with details of life in Regency England.
Grab your tea and crumpets and settle down for lovely afternoon's reading pleasure.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Luther and Katharina is Jody's best book yet. I love historical novels about real people and Jody does an excellent job. You can tell she loves research, her novels are rich with details that make the stories come alive. Some of the details in this book are so realistic that I felt my stomach twist at the vivid picture her words conjured in my mind. I jumped to conclusions about certain characters, only to be proven wrong. The story is fast-paced and draws one along, often causing lack of sleep.
Luther and Katharina will stick with you long after you finish reading the last page. It will also cause you to wonder, what would you endure to stay true to your faith? It is important to learn about the Heroes of the Faith and Jody brings them to life in a way that showcases their beliefs, while maintaining their humanity.
I was given this book for review, but the opinions are entirely my own.
Friday, August 7, 2015
Mist of Midnight by Sandar Byrd is a mystery with just enough romance to make you sigh. I loved the idea of impersonation, how could one prove one's identity in Victorian England? The twists and turns of plot, where you never know for sure who is good and who is evil keeps one reading long after a normal bedtime. I also enjoyed the various romantic threads woven into the mystery. The only reason this was a 4-star novel instead of a 5- star novel for me was that it was first person.I am not fond of books written in the first person narrative. Otherwise, it was a truly delightful book.
I was given this book by the author for review purposes but was in no way required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Wow! What can I say? Kate Breslin's second novel, Not By Sight, is an excellent story. The setting is England, the spring of 1917. Grace Mabry is a suffragette determined to shame the conscientious objectors into going to war. Jack Bennington, handsome, titled and apparently determined playboy is the recipient of the white feather, a symbol of cowardice. But all is not as it appears.
I loved the story and the characters are complex and well-developed. The story draws you in, causing lack of sleep on this readers part. Fortunately my children had dentist appointments, allowing me time to enjoy!This book contains romance and mystery, along with well researched historical facts. Kate Breslin is definitely an author to follow. I have thoroughly enjoyed both novels that she has written and look forward to her next book with great anticipation.
I was given this book by the author in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to offer a positive review. All opinions are definitely my own true feelings.
Monday, July 27, 2015
Shadows Of Ladenbrooke Manor is an excellent book. It is a book of deception and redemption. The Doyle family is created by deception and this seeps down through the generations reminding me of the verses The Lord...visits the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation. (Exodus 34:6-7 = Deuteronomy 5:8-10).
It was interesting to read as the book actually contains two storylines that alternate chapters. The characters are well developed and for the most part quite likeable, in spite of their faults. As a person who works with special needs children, I found it quite interesting to see how these children were handled in the 1950s-'60s. I found myself caught up in their lives, needing to know what happened next. I will certainly be on the lookout for more books by Melanie Dobson.
Saturday, July 25, 2015
I enjoyed reading Michelle Griep's Brentwood's Ward. There was plenty of action and the story moved along at a fairly fast pace. I enjoyed the fact that each character was multi-faceted. Emily Payne was indeed well named as she was a pain in the neck for Nicholas Brentwood. Nicholas also has ulterior motives. This was the first book I have read by Griep, but it won't be the last.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
I enjoyed reading Castles by Tracie Peterson very much.Although it is a collection of some of her first novels, the stories were strong and I really liked the characters. I thought she did a very good job with the medieval time period and I would definitely enjoy reading more tales of this type.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Melissa Jagears' A Bride At Last is the third book in her Bride series. As with the other 2 books, it is about a mail order bride. Kate Dawson came west in answer to an advertisement for a mail order bride. Disappointed with her 'groom' she abandons him and takes a job as a school teacher. She befriends the sickly mother of one of her students and plans to raise him when her friend passes away. Before she can settle in as mom, two men show up, each claiming to be the boy's father.
A Bride at Last is full of romance and adventure. It is a fun, fast-moving read that fully entertains. The characters are well developed and the storyline is very realistic. I have enjoyed all three books in this series and hate to see it end. Melissa's books are on my 'keeper'shelf.
I was given this book by the author for review purposes, but all opinions are entirely my own.
Monday, June 29, 2015
I really enjoyed reading Rebecca DeMarino's To Capture Her Heart. It is book number two in her Southhold Chronicles. I think one of the most interesting facts about this series is the fact that DeMarino has dug into her own family history to bring her novels to life.
To Capture Her Heart is a story of two people whose hearts have been broken. Benjamin Horton loved anna, but she married another, does he dare pursue Heather Flower? Heather Flower is only free to marry because she is a young widow and still in love with her dead husband. To complicate matters more, Dirk Van Buren a Dutch Lt. also loves Heather Flower. I love the way that DeMarino handles the brokenness of all three young people. She truly creates an emotional triangle and I found myself alternately cheering for Dirk and for Benjamin. By the end of the book, I was totally enthralled and I have to admit I did stay up past my bedtime to find out what happened. I am looking forward with great anticipation for the next installment.
I was given the book by the author in exchange for my honest opinion, but I attest that all thoughts are my own.
Sunday, June 14, 2015
Sarah Ladd is one of my favorite Regency authors.She has a way of making the time period real and I find myself caught up in another time while reading. The characters are very realistic and well developed. The story is captivating and fast-paced. The Curiosity Keeper is her latest book and it is well worth reading. It is the tale of the search for a fabulous jewel, stolen from an estate that faces insolvency if it is not returned. An heir who rather not inherit the estate and a penniless shopkeeper's daughter, who deals in curiosities. This tale contains romance, theft, betrayal, a villain or two and quite a few surprising plot twists. Sarah Ladd is definitely on my must read list.
I was given this book by the author for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Hallee Bridgeman's A Carol for Kent is a well thought out hum dinger of a murder mystery, with betrayal, love, hurt and forgiveness. Carol has hated the father of her child. His parents informed her that Bobby wanted nothing to do with her or their child, Lisa. Nothing could be farther from the truth!Now Bobby is back in town determined to get to know his daughter. Meanwhile, Carol is on the trail of a serial killer. Just as her professional life heats up, so does her personal life.
Bridgeman has done an excellent job of character development, the plot is fast moving and draws one into the story. There are some plot twists and visits from characters in her previous books.A Carol for Kent would make a great beach read, but not for a dark and rainy night!
I was given this book by the Author for review purposes, but the opinions are strictly my own.
Saturday, June 6, 2015
Although Jody Hedlund did not use this verse in Hearts Made Whole I believe it suits the story: Isaiah 40:31King James Version (KJV) But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Caroline Taylor has been running the Windmill Point Lighthouse since before her father's death. Now the head of the lighthouse board says a woman can't be in charge, and in fact she needs to pack up her family and belongings and get out.
Ryan Taylor, drunken, addicted to painkillers, wounded Civil War Veteran is appointed to take Carolines place. He can't do the job and Caroline needs the home that comes with the position, so they work out a compromise. If only life was that easy!
Hearts Made Whole is a skillfully written novel that reveals the trials and blessings of waiting on the L-rd. Caroline is learning to lean on G-d and not her own devices. Ryan meanwhile must remember where G-d has brought him from and to depend on G-d for everything, every day. I loved the way Jody wove several storylines together into one cohesive novel, with strong characters and well-developed themes.
Although I was given this novel by the author for review purposes, the opinions are my own. I would not hesitate to buy a Jody Hedlund novel as she never disappoints.
Sunday, May 24, 2015
I really enjoyed Sylvia Bambola's The Salt Covenants. It is the story of Isabel, a 'Converso' Jew during the Spanish Inquisition. While yet a young teen she is divorced by her arranged 'husband', forced to marry a man she does not love. She must then leave her home and family in order to join her husband on Christopher Columbus' voyage to the New World.
The Salt Covenants is an interesting book, but by no means a quick read. The Characters are well developed and the book is full of historical information.I learned quite a bit about the Jews of the Middle ages in Spain and about the history of Christopher Columbus' voyages.I found myself cheering Isabel on and cringing at some of the plots in the book. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart as there are some graphic scenes...it is the Inquisition after all! So if you love history and don't mind a slower pace, I can certainly recommend The Salt Covenants as a great read.
I was given this book by the author for review purposes, but the opinions stated are entirely my own.
Saturday, May 16, 2015
I never pass up a chance to visit Blessing North Dakota. A Harvest of Hope is the 19th book about the people of Blessing and it did not disappoint. I love the way Lauraine has made the town and characters come to life. Ingeborg and Kaaren still guide their family with the help of John Solberg, and just as in real life there are changes. It is the same with Blessing. A Harvest of Hope takes place soon after the death of Ingeborg's beloved Haaken and everyone is in shock. Dr.Elizabeth is expecting a baby and is confined to bed leaving Dr.Astrid to care for the townspeople with the help of her nurses. Through love and laughter, grief and tears Nurse Miriam Hastings from Chicago helps the town through several tragedies as she is being courted by Trygve.Should she give up all of her plans and follow G-d's plans for her life? Does G-d even care about her, or is He as malicious as she has always believed?
Saturday, May 9, 2015
The Huntress of Thornbeck Forrest is Melanie Dickerson's newest YA novel. Odette Menkels, an orphan has been raised by her Uncle Rutger in great luxury. She is allowed to learn to read and spends her days doing as she pleases. She is also allowed to choose her own husband, an unheard of privilege. She also spends her nights poaching deer to feed the poor.
Jorgen Hartman is the Margrave's forester charged with protecting the king's deer. He fall's in love with Odette the first time he sees her.
I really enjoyed reading this retelling of Robin Hood with a charming female cast in the traditionally masculine role. I found myself cheering for Odette, hoping she would decide that Jorgen, although poor was actually a much better person than the rich Mathis. The story brings to the forefront a moral dilemma, is it morally right to poach deer if you are doing it to not to benefit yourself, but to provide for the wellbeing of children who would otherwise starve? G-d must be on her side, right?
I was given this book by the author in return for my honest review, but the opinions are my own.
Sunday, April 26, 2015
The Thorn Bearer is an engrossing story of brokenness and G-d's restorative powers. Pepper Basham has written a story that begins with 2 broken people, Ashleigh and Sam. Sam is engaged to Ashleigh's sister Catherine. Ashleigh is going to England to nurse the wounded soldiers and try to get over a broken engagement. Both Ashleigh and Sam are broken people and are traveling together on the Lusitania so that Sam can join Catherine and Ashleigh will join the staff of a private hospital and start an orphanage.
Pepper Basham has done a wonderful job of creating realistic characters that one could envision themselves sitting down to chat with. I,at times, found myself so caught up in the story that I would jump when the telephone rang or realize with surprise that time had passed and I needed to put my book down and attend to my chores. I love when a book draws me into the story and lets me feel what the characters feel. The Thorn Bearer is such a book. There are themes of brokenness and betrayal, loyalty and devotion. The greatest theme of all is forgiveness that G-d freely offers if only we ask. Pepper has woven all of these themes into a touching and engrossing tale that will leave you longing for more.
I received this novel from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Friday, April 17, 2015
Just a few more days to enter this a-ma-zing giveaway! These are some crazy awesome prizes...I'm kinda sad I can't win myself. To whoever wins the home theater projector and classic movies, I would not be sad if you invited me over for a movie night! smile emoticon https://promosimple.com/ps/6ff5
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Jody Hedlund is branching out into the Young Adult market with An Uncertain Choice being her first novel in this genre. Four years ago Lady Rosemarie's parents died in from the plague. On the night of her mother's death, 12-year-old Rosemarie finds a paper in her mother's chest stating that her parents invoked the Vow of Hannah promising that they would turn Rosemarie over to the convent on her eighteenth birthday. Now Rosemarie is one month shy of her eighteenth birthday and preparing to enter a life dedicated to G-d.
What if everything you believed and the life you had planned was suddenly turned upside down? One month before her eighteenth birthday Rosemarie's parent's best friend the Duke of Rivenshire has arrived bearing news that there is an exception to the ancient Vow. He has three knights with him, for Rosemarie to fall in love with one of them and marry before midnight on her eighteenth birthday, otherwise she must fulfill her parent's vow.
An Uncertain Choice is a coming of age story as Rosemarie must decide who to trust and how to become the leader her people need. The book is full of medieval life and the various roles that people play. I believe this book to be my favorite of Jody Hedlund's and I am eagerly awaiting the sequel.
I was given this book by the author in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are entirely my own.