Thursday, April 24, 2014

"What Follows After," by Dan Walsh

In 1962, life was simple, the world made sense, and all families were happy.
And when they weren't, everyone knew you were supposed to pretend.

For the past year, Scott and Gina Harrison have been living a lie. While they show up at family get-togethers in the same car, they've actually been separated for over a year. To keep up the charade, they've even instructed their sons, Colt and Timmy, to lie--to their grandparents, their teachers, and their friends.

Colt, for one, has had enough, so he hatches a plan. He and his little brother will run away from their Florida home, head for their aunt's house in Georgia, and refuse to come home until their parents get back together. But when things go terribly, terribly wrong, Scott and Gina must come to grips with years of neglect and mistrust in order to recover their beloved sons, their love for one another, and their marriage.

My thoughts when reading this book were, gosh how times have changed, and if this happened today, how differently it would have been handled.  Without giving away the story I think you will agree when you read it.  I wasn't born in 1962 so I do not know or remember anything about the Cuban/Soviet/American action at that time, so that was also interesting to read about and how it was wound into the main theme of the book.

The one thing you will read and take from this book is that things happen for a reason and the feeling is God is behind it all.  The more I got into the book the more I was hooked and had to know what was going to happen next.

If you are going through a divorce or separation this is a good book to read, especially if you have children, as sometimes you do forget the important things in life when you are wrapped up in dealing with life changing events.

Stars out of 5 : 4 a bit of a slow start, but once the story gets going, it is a page turner that you don't want to put down until the end.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"Hope Runs," by Claire Diaz-Ortiz and Samuel Ikua Gachagua

"Hope Runs," by Claire Diaz-Ortiz and Samuel Ikua Gachagua
She went to Kenya to climb a mountain. But God had other plans.When Claire Díaz-Ortiz arrived in Kenya at the end of an around-the-world journey, she decided to stay the night, climb Mount Kenya, and then head back home. She entered an orphanage, seeing it as little more than a free place to spend the night before her mountain trek.

Sammy Ikua Gachagua had lost his father to illness, his mother to abandonment, and his home to poverty. By age ten, he was living in a shack with several other children and very little food. He entered an orphanage, seeing it as a miracle with three meals a day, a bed to sleep in, and clothes on his back.

Hope Runs is the emotional story of one American tourist, one Kenyan orphan, and how one day became one year that would change the course of both of their lives forever. It's about opening your heart to outrageous possibilities. It's about what it means to hope for the things you cannot see.

It's about how God can change your life in the blink of an eye.

I was trying to think what I would say about this book and I think the best expression that sums it up, is "All things happen for a reason."  This book confirms that time and time again, and the people featured in this book all believed God had a hand in what happened to them.

It is a feel good book, a true story told from both Claire's and Sammy's point of view.  In Sammy's case he had a hard start to work, but through hard work and a series of situations things turned around for him.  In Claire's case coming to Kenya was a life changing experience.

Stars out of 5 : 4 Worthwhile read and one that will educate you in how other people live and what they value.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Monday, April 21, 2014

"A Sensible Arrangement," by Tracie Peterson

Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past.Answering an advertisement for a "Lone Star bride," she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn't know.

Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her.Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed. Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.

When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake's yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty's dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.

What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways...
and dreams and secrets collide?

I am a big fan of Tracie Peterson's work but this book wasn't one of my favourite's of hers.  This is the first in " Lone Star Brides" series and I found it very slow to get going.  However what I really didn't like about it was the way it ended.  I felt the ending was not complete and left you hanging mid air wondering what happened.

Its an easy book to read and the story is easy to follow; the lead characters are people you can relate to also.  The story itself was just lacking substance to my mind.

Stars out of 5 : 3 not the worst book I have read, but not the best either.  The book was not Tracie's best work.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"The Pelican Bride," by Beth White

"The Pelican Bride," by Beth White

She's come to the New World to escape a perilous past. But has it followed her to these far shores?
It is 1704 when Frenchwoman Geneviève Gaillain and her sister board the frigate Pélican bound for the distant Louisiana colony. Both have promised to marry one of the rough men toiling in this strange new world in order to escape suffering in the old. Geneviève knows life won't be easy, but at least here she can establish a home and family without fear of persecution for her outlawed religious beliefs.

When she falls in love with Tristan Lanier, an expatriate cartographer-turned-farmer whose checkered past is shrouded in mystery, Geneviève realizes that even in this land of liberty one is not guaranteed peace. Trouble is brewing outside the fort between the French colonists and the native people surrounding them. And an even more sinister enemy may lurk within. Could the secret Geneviève harbors mean the undoing of the colony itself?

Gulf Coast native Beth White brings vividly to life the hot, sultry South in this luscious, layered tale.

What an interesting book.  This was set in a period of history I do not know anything about.  As noted in the authors notes this book is partly based on actual facts.  I do know this wouldn't be the life for me but what brave women and men they were in those days setting up new colonies.

Genevieve and Tristan are made for one another and you know they are destined to be together.  It just involves getting around a few obstacles in their way.  It is a fast paced book with plently of twists and turns along the way that keeps you interested.  This book is the first book in the Gulf Coast Chronicles series.  I am looking forward to reading the next book.

Stars out of 5 : 5 Great book, got hooked right away and one I didn't want to put down.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

"For Such a Time," by Kate Breslin

"For Such a Time," by Kate Breslin

In 1944, blonde and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric's secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz.

Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy.

Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp's prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself?

I am generally not a fan of World War II stories but this one is one book that you won't want to put down.  It isn't graphic, but tells enough of what the Jews were put through to let you know it wasn't a walk in the park for them.  Hadassah (Stella) and Aric are such good lead characters, you want them to be together forever and ever.  What actually happens puts you through a whirlwind of emotions.

There is never a dull moment and the speed of the story speeds up and up until it comes to a crashing stop and then you think it's all over.........but it's not.  Without giving away the end this book is well worth the read and it will keep you on edge wanting to know what happens next.

Stars out of 5 : 5 A must read in my eyes.  Also make sure you read the authors note at the end as that too is very interesting.  This is the authors first book, I can't wait to read more of what she writes.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

"The Tinderbox," by Beverly Lewis

"The Tinderbox," by Beverly Lewis With her parents' twentieth anniversary approaching, eighteen-year-old Sylvia Miller find...