Friday, December 29, 2017

"The House on Foster Hill," by Jaime Jo Wright

"The House on Foster Hill," by Jaime Jo Wright
Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious demise fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather's Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house's dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.

A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy's search leads her into dangerous waters, resurrecting painful memories and forcing a reunion with the man who broke her heart. Can Ivy unravel the mystery and find a renewed hope before any other lives--including her own--are lost?


This book had plenty of things happening in it to make you pay attention and keep you thinking.  The mystery of both the women's stories and how they are connected keeps you on your toes.  I never did figure out who was who and what was what until it was revealed in the book.  When the mysteries were revealed it made you go, "oh wow, didn't see that coming,"

That being said this book was not my cup of tea.  The whole going back and forward between the two stories I found annoying, and confusing in some places.  Parts of the book made no sense at all too me and I would have preferred if this were two books telling separate stories of both Ivy and Kaine.

Stars out of 5 : 3 I am glad I read it, but it felt more like a chore reading it, than an enjoyable read.  There is another book being released by the same author in 2018, which sounds like a similar theme.  It's called: "The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond;" I think I will be giving it a miss.

"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
"

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

"A Dangerous Legacy," by Elizabeth Camden

"A Dangerous Legacy," by Elizabeth Camden

Telegraph operator Lucy Drake is a master of Morse code and has made herself a valuable asset to the Associated Press news agency. But the sudden arrival of Sir Colin Beckwith at rival British news agency Reuters puts her hard-earned livelihood at risk. Colin is talented, handsome, insufferably charming--and keeping a secret that jeopardizes his reputation.

Despite their rivalry, Lucy can't deny that Colin has the connections she needs to give her family an edge in the long legal battle they've been waging over their rightful inheritance. But when she negotiates an unlikely alliance with him, the web of treachery they dive into proves to be far more dangerous than they ever could have known.


I really enjoyed this book while I was reading it.  I enjoyed the differences between the American's and the British.  There was plenty of adventure and mystery to keep this book interesting.  I enjoyed how the author weaved into the story true historical facts and occasions.  

I would never have though of putting together plumbing and two different news agencies into a story.  Also now know more about sewers than I really want to know😊  Touching on the subjects of asylum's and tenement building of the early 1900's in New York added another dimension to the story.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5 Overall a good book and one that will keep you entertained.  I will admit I read this a couple of weeks before I wrote this review and just looking at the front cover of the book I had trouble remembering what it was all about, but when I read the back cover the story line all came back to me.  I would love to read the next book about Lucy's brother Nick, which will be published in 2018.

"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
".

"Where We Belong," by Lynn Austin

"Where We Belong," by Lynn Austin
In the city of Chicago in 1892, the rules and expectations for Victorian women are strict, their roles in life limited. But sisters Rebecca and Flora Hawes are not typical Victorian ladies. Their love of adventure and their desire to use their God-given talents have taken them out of society ballrooms and delivered them to the Sinai Desert--and into the teeth of a sandstorm.

Accompanied by Soren Petersen, their somber young butler, and Kate Rafferty, a plucky street urchin learning to be their ladies' maid, the two women are on a quest across the desert chasing rumors of an important biblical manuscript.

As the expedition becomes ever more dangerous and uncertain, all four travelers sift through memories and adventures of their past, recalling the events that shaped them and the journeys and providence that brought them to this very time and place.


I both loved and hated this book, which of course makes no sense what so ever, right?  The two lead characters, were great and I loved the details of their adventures and lives.  I felt though that the stories of Soren and Kate didn't really add anything to this book.  Yes, I would have included them as characters but I would not have given them complete chapters to tell their background stories.  I was bored reading about Soren.

I felt as though Soren and Kate would have been better to have had their own book.  However their story went one way then another, which again I thought was strange.

Rebecca and Flora's story though was very interesting and was well worth reading. Rebecca was an inspiration and Flora's heart and goodness showed no bounds, she was a good person through and through, as was Rebecca.

Stars out of 5 : 3 Please read the author notes at the end of the book, as this book is inspired by "real" people.  I am glad I read the book, but wouldn't want to read it again; as it was I will admit to skipping parts of the chapters that were about Soren's early childhood.  Something I don't normally do.

"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
".

"A Plain Leaving," by Leslie Gould

"A Plain Leaving," by Leslie Gould

Three years ago, Jessica Bachmann walked away from everything: her family, their beloved farm, her Amish community, and Silas Kemp. After clashing with the new bishop and her brother about her role in her family and the future of the family farm, anger and restlessness wouldn't allow her to stay.

When she is forced to return home because of her beloved father's death, her arrival stirs up all kinds of emotions--sorrow, grief, and yearning alike. Jessica knows things can't return to the way they were, but, especially upon seeing Silas again, she can't help wonder what might have been--and what still could be. The stakes grow higher when she learns that her brother, Arden, is still pursuing potentially hazardous fracking on the family's land.
As Jessica wrestles with her next step, she learns the cautionary tale of Ruby Bachmann, a Revolutionary War-era ancestor who faced similar struggles. Will Ruby's decisions motivate Jessica to leave her family, the land, and her community forever? Or is there healing, love, and belonging yet to come for her in Lancaster County?  

This book tells two stories side by side of Jessica and Ruby, one set in the present day,Jessica; and one set in the 1700's, Ruby.  Honestly I am not a huge fan of a story skipping back and forward, add to the fact that this particular book took me a couple of chapters to really get into, this book was hard work to start with.

However, after a few chapters I began to get the feel of the book and I did want to know what was going to happen next.  I never did guess what would happen in the end, but will say I was very pleased with the out come.

Stars out of 5 : 3.5  This is the first book in The Sister's of Lancaster County series, with the next book due out in the middle of 2018.  If you enjoy Amish stories and a bit of history you would probably enjoy this book.  I know I won't remember reading this book in a week or two so am not overly bothered if I don't read any more of the series.  It's an easy read though so a good one to pick up and read in a couple of afternoons.

"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
".

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"Dangerous Illusions," by Irene Hannon

"Dangerous Illusions," by Irene Hannon
Trish Bailey is on overload trying to deal with a demanding job, an ailing mother, and a healing heart. When a series of unsettling memory lapses leads to a tragic death--and puts Trish under police scrutiny--her world is once again thrown into turmoil.

Detective Colin Flynn isn't certain what to think of the facts he uncovers during his investigation. Did Trish simply make a terrible mistake or is there more to the case than meets the eye? As he searches for answers, disturbing information begins to emerge--and if the forces at work are as evil as he suspects, the situation isn't just dangerous . . . it's deadly.


This book has a bit of everything in it; romance, mystery, murder, suspense and great characters.  I love the way Irene writes and this book certainly kept you on your toes.  What was different though, was she kept feeding you information throughout the book, so it made it easier to figure out certain aspects of the story.  However, I was still left thinking; "well I didn't see that coming."

There were so many twists and turns in the book, that you had to keep on reading as you needed to know what was going to happen next.  This book is the first in the Code of Honor series and I can't wait to read the next one.

Stars out of 5 : 5 A really good book, that drew you in right from the beginning.  I didn't want it too end as I was enjoying it so much.  Well worth the read.

"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, November 14, 2017

"All She Left Behind," by Jane Kirkpatrick

"All She Left Behind," by Jane Kirkpatrick


Already well-versed in the natural healing properties of herbs and oils, Jennie Pickett longs to become a doctor. But the Oregon frontier of the 1870s is an unforgiving place--especially for a single mother. To support herself and her young son, Jennie finds work caring for an older woman. When her patient dies, Jennie discovers that her heart has become entangled with the woman's widowed husband, a man many years her senior. Their unlikely romance may lead her to her ultimate goal--but the road forward is uncertain. 

I am a big fan of Jane Kirkpatrick's books.  Add in the historical factor and it is based on a true story, I knew this book would be good.  One thing it brought to light for me was how women's views and rights were not taken into consideration back in the late 1800's.  It touched upon many subjects including dyslexia, domestic abuse and alcohol and drug abuse.  The details in this book make it more life like and you can visualize things so clearly with the way Jane has described everything.

I did find the story a bit slow going to start with, but once you got settled into the book it got more and more interesting.  I found the character list at the front of the book very useful and referred to it often.  The authors notes were really interesting as were the list of Jennie's herbs and oils, both well worth reading.  The story brought to light the hard life the people in the West of the United States had in the late 1800's.  

Stars out of 5 : 4 I found the book a little hard to get involved in at first, but once I was a couple of chapter's in the story got more interesting for me.


"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".

"These Healing Hills," by Ann H Gabhart

"These Healing Hills," by Ann H Gabhart

Francine Howard has her life all mapped out--until the man she loves announces his plans to bring home an English bride from war-torn Europe in 1945. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service.

Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he's at a loss when it comes to envisioning what's next for his life.

When Francine's and Ben's paths intersect, it's immediately clear that they are from different worlds and value different things. But love has a way of healing old wounds . . . and revealing tantalizing new possibilities.


As a huge fan of the Appalachia region and it's history I was really looking forward to reading this book and I was not disappointed.  The way Ann described the area, was spot on and the way she described the people of the region made you feel as though you were standing by them.  I had not heard of the Frontier Nursing Service, so that made the book even more interesting learning about them.

Add to that leading character's that you can relate too and all in all you have a super story and book too read.  It's not a hard read, but it does keep you interested with all that is going on.  Make sure you read the reader's notes at the end, very interesting. You can read more about Frontier Nursing Service here.  Also just in case you have forgotten how the song "Froggie Went A Courtin," the song featured in this book goes here is a link.

Stars out of 5 : 5 Loved this book, a bit of history, a bit of a love story and a lot of real living, my kind of book!!.

"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".

"The Proving," by Beverly Lewis

"The Proving," by Beverly Lewis

"Mandy, you are to inherit the farmhouse, including the business of the inn."

She could scarcely find her voice to respond. "
Ach, this must be a mistake," she told him, shaking her head as she talked into the phone, feeling befuddled. "The house . . . and everything related to the inn . . . shouldn't that go to Arie Mae?"
After five years as an Englisher, Amanda Dienner is shocked to learn her mother has passed away and left her Lancaster County's most popular Amish bed-and-breakfast. What's more, the inn will only truly be hers if Mandy can successfully run it for twelve months. Reluctantly, Mandy accepts the challenge, no matter that it means facing the family she left behind--or that the inn's clientele expect an Amish hostess! Can Mandy fulfill the terms of her inheritance? Or will this prove a dreadful mistake?

I have read many Beverly Lewis books over the years and have generally enjoyed them.  They tend to follow the same pattern, beautiful settings, family secrets, and redemption.  This was no different in that it followed the same pattern but I will say it was one of Beverly's weaker novels. I knew what was going to happen before it happened in the book.

One of the highlights of this book was all the delicious food items that were mentioned.  It was a shame one or two recipes were not included at the back of this book.  The main characters soon became familiar to you and you could easily keep track of their individual stories.

Stars out of 5 : 3.5  I did feel as though I have read similar books by Beverly before.  It's an easy read with a pleasant story line.

"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
".

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

More Things in Heaven and Earth by Jeff High

More Things in Heaven and Earth by Jeff High

Tucked away in the rolling Tennessee countryside is the charming community of Watervalley, whose inhabitants are quirky and captivating and more surprising than you might expect . . .

As an ambitious young doctor with a penchant for research, Luke Bradford never wanted to set up practice in a remote rural town. But to pay back his student loans and to fulfill a promise from his past, he heads for Watervalley, Tennessee - and immediately stumbles into one disaster after another. Will he be labeled the town idiot before he’s even introduced as the new doctor? 

Very quickly he faces some big challenges - from resuscitating a three-hundred-pound farmer who goes into cardiac arrest to not getting shot by a local misanthrope for trespassing. He expects the people of Watervalley to be simple, but finds his relationships with them are complicated, whether he’s interacting with his bossy but devout housekeeper, the attractive schoolteacher he consistently alienates, or the mysterious kid next door who climbs trees while wearing a bike helmet. 

When a baffling flu epidemic hits Watervalley, Luke faces his ultimate test. Whether the community embraces him or not, it’s his responsibility to save them. And he’ll soon discover that while living in a small town may not be what he wants, it may be just what he needs . . .


This book has a bit of everything in it and it will keep you entertained as well.  You are drawn into the story right away and before long you are laughing at the poor doctor and the silly things that happen to him.  The way the book was written you are also quickly drawn into the lives of the residents of Watervalley.

The book moves along at a fast pace but there is plenty happening so you won't get bored.  The mystery of the flu epidemic was a good read and again interesting.  This book is the first in the series and you can find out more information about the others here.

Stars out of 5 : 5 I have nothing negative to say about this book.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading more in the series.

I purchased the book and all of the opinions are my own.

Vintage by Susan Gloss

Vintage by Susan Gloss


At Hourglass Vintage in Madison, Wisconsin, every item in the boutique has a story to tell . . . and so do the women whose lives the store touches.
Yellow Samsonite suitcase with ivory, quilted lining, 1950s
A small-town girl with a flair for fashion, Violet Turner had always dreamed of owning a shop like Hourglass Vintage. But while she values the personal history behind each beautiful item she sells, Violet is running from her own past. Faced with the possibility of losing the store to an unscrupulous developer, she realizes that despite her usual self-reliance she cannot save it alone.
Taffeta tea-length wedding gown with scooped neckline and cap sleeves, 1952
Eighteen-year-old April Morgan is nearly five months along in an unplanned pregnancy when her hasty engagement is broken. When she returns the perfect vintage wedding dress to Violet's shop, she discovers a world of new possibilities, and an unexpected sisterhood with women who won't let her give up on her dreams.
Orange silk sari with gold paisley design, 1968
Betrayed by her husband, Amithi Singh begins selling off her vibrant Indian dresses, remnants of a life she's determined to leave behind her. After decades of housekeeping and parenting a daughter who rejects her traditional ways, she fears her best days are behind her . . . until she discovers an outlet for her creativity and skills with a needle and thread.
An engaging story that beautifully captures the essence of friendship and style, Vintage is a charming tale of possibility, of finding renewal, love, and hope when we least expect it.
The reason I bought this book was partly for the story and because I only paid a couple of dollars for it.  It is however a hidden gem of a book, with a lovely story too boot.
This story captures your heart right away and you will soon get involved with each of the characters and their stories.  One thing I do love at the start of each chapter there is a brief description of an item in the boutique telling you want the item is, what it is made of and the year and the source.  That I thought was a lovely way of introducing each chapter.
The way the author writes you feel like you are in the room with the characters and you can't help but get wrapped up in their lives.
Stars out of 5 : 5 Nothing negative to say. Loved this book, the story was easy to follow and it will capture your heart.
I purchased this book and all the opinions are my own.


Glory Over Everything, by Kathleen Grissom

Glory Over Everything, by Kathleen Grissom


A novel of family and long-buried secrets along the treacherous Underground Railroad.

The author of the New York Times bestseller and beloved book club favorite The Kitchen House continues the story of Jamie Pyke, son of both a slave and master of Tall Oakes, whose deadly secret compels him to take a treacherous journey through the Underground Railroad.

Published in 2010, The Kitchen House became a grassroots bestseller. Fans connected so deeply to the book’s characters that the author, Kathleen Grissom, found herself being asked over and over “what happens next?” The wait is finally over.

This new, stand-alone novel opens in 1830, and Jamie, who fled from the Virginian plantation he once called home, is passing in Philadelphia society as a wealthy white silversmith. After many years of striving, Jamie has achieved acclaim and security, only to discover that his aristocratic lover Caroline is pregnant. Before he can reveal his real identity to her, he learns that his beloved servant Pan has been captured and sold into slavery in the South. Pan’s father, to whom Jamie owes a great debt, pleads for Jamie’s help, and Jamie agrees, knowing the journey will take him perilously close to Tall Oakes and the ruthless slave hunter who is still searching for him. Meanwhile, Caroline’s father learns and exposes Jamie’s secret, and Jamie loses his home, his business, and finally Caroline.

Heartbroken and with nothing to lose, Jamie embarks on a trip to a North Carolina plantation where Pan is being held with a former Tall Oakes slave named Sukey, who is intent on getting Pan to the Underground Railroad. Soon the three of them are running through the Great Dismal Swamp, the notoriously deadly hiding place for escaped slaves. Though they have help from those in the Underground Railroad, not all of them will make it out alive.


I have to say I was a little disappointed that this book, didn't just carry on from The Kitchen House, but the more you read the book, the more you are hooked with this story.  It is as good as The Kitchen House, and although it says it's a stand-alone book, I do think it is helpful to read The Kitchen House first as some characters from that book pop up in this book.

It was a page turner and you had to know what was going to happen next.  The details that Kathleen wrote into this book made you stop and think and ask "why would they do that?"  There were some cruel people who ran those plantations.

Stars out of 5 : 5 Such a good read well worth buying or borrowing from your local library.  I wish I had read both books before we went away to Williamsburg on vacation.

I purchased this book and the opinions are my own.

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grisson

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grisson
Lavinia, a seven-year-old Irish orphan with no memory of her past, arrives on a tobacco plantation where she is put to work as an indentured servant. Placed with the slaves in the kitchen house under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her new adopted family, even though she is forever set apart from them by her white skin. As Lavinia is slowly accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles an opium addiction, she finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When Lavinia marries the master’s troubled son and takes on the role of mistress, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare and lives are put at risk. The Kitchen House is a tragic story of page-turning suspense, exploring the meaning of family, where love and loyalty prevail.

This book is a page turner, you have to know what happens next.  Most books of this gendre tend to be told from the "Big House" side or from the "Slaves/Servants" side.  This book is different as it dips into both places and we see it all through the life of Lavinia.

You so want Lavinia to wake up from being so innocent but you know that will never happen and the more she lives in the white skin world the more she leaves her childhood behind. When she does realize exactly what has been hidden from her it's too late and to see how she copes is so sad.

Stars out of 5 : 5 I loved this book and ordered the sequel to this story right away.  It is so well worth reading in my humble opinion.  I do wish I had read this book before we went away to Williamsburg in Virigina as there were places mentioned in the book that I would have visited.  We did go to the Hospital that was mentioned in the book.

I purchased this book myself and all my opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"All Saints," by Michael Spurlock and Jeanette Windle

"All Saints," by Michael Spurlock and Jeanette Windle
The True Story Behind the Powerful Film ALL SAINTS
Newly ordained, Michael Spurlock's first assignment is to pastor All Saints, a struggling church with twenty-five devoted members and a mortgage well beyond its means. The best option may be to close the church rather than watch it wither any further. But when All Saints hesitantly risks welcoming a community of Karen refugees from Burma--former farmers scrambling for a fresh start in America--Michael feels they may be called to an improbable new mission.

Michael must choose between closing the church and selling the property--or listening to a still, small voice challenging the people of All Saints to risk it all and provide much-needed hope to their new community. Together, they risk everything to plant seeds for a future that might just save them all.

Discover the true story that inspired the film while also diving deeper into the background of the Karen people, the church, and how a community of believers rally to reach out to those in need, yet receive far more than they dared imagine.


When a book is turned into a movie, more times than not you lose a lot of the original feeling from the book.  So I like to read a book before seeing a movie.  I have not seen the movie "All Saints," but have now read the book.

The one thing I took from this book, things don't stay the same forever and you have to move and change with the times.  Also it takes all sorts of people and things to make a community.  This was the case with the All Saints church in Smyrna, Tennessee.  The book lays out the before, during and after of when the Karen refugees from Burma arrived in the community of Smyrna and how it changed not only their lives but the lives of the people in the area.  It was interesting to read the back story of some of the Karen people to see where they had come from and how they had come to America.

The "God works in mysterious ways," phrase comes to mind when I think back about this book, as he did indeed work many miracles in many ways over the years at All Saints Church.  This book also educates us on the Karen people of Burma.  I knew little to nothing about them prior to reading this book.  There are many articles about them, here is a link that you may find interesting.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5 It was a solid book that was interesting and a true story.  I will watch the movie when it comes out on dvd.  It is well worth the read.

"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
".

Monday, September 18, 2017

"Gracelaced," by Ruth Chou Simons

"Gracelaced," by Ruth Chou Simons


This Journey Is As Perennial As The Seasons

GraceLaced is about more than pretty florals and fanciful brushwork—it’s about flourishing. With carefully crafted intention, this beautiful volume of 32 seasonal devotions from artist and author Ruth Chou Simons encourages readers in any circumstance to become deeply rooted in God’s faithful promises. GraceLaced extends a soul-stirring invitation to draw close to God while...
  • resting in who He is
  • rehearsing the truth He says about you
  • responding in faith to those truths
  • remembering His provision to sustain you, time and time again
I must say when I first saw this book I fell in love with it.  The artwork and photography is just gorgeous.  You could spend ages just looking at those.  However once you start to read the book, you know it's much more than a pretty coffee table.  This is not a book to read in one sitting, it's a book you pick up and read in stages, when you need to be uplifted and when you need to hear the right words........

Stars out of 5 : 5 This is a lovely book and one that you will read over and over again.  It truly is a beautiful book.

Book has been provided courtesy of Harvest House and Graf-Martin Communications 

"The Promise of Dawn," by Lauraine Snelling.

"The Promise of Dawn," by Lauraine Snelling.
Opportunities are scarce in Norway, so when Rune and Signe Carlson receive a letter from Rune's uncle, Einar Strand, offering to loan them money for passage to America, Rune accepts. Signe is reluctant to leave her home, especially as she is pregnant with her fourth child, but Einar promises to give them land of their own, something they could never afford in Norway.

But life in Minnesota is more difficult than Signe imagined. Uncle Einar and Aunt Gerd are hard, demanding people, and Signe and her family soon find themselves worked nearly to the bone to pay off their debt. Afraid they will never have the life they dreamed of, she begins to lose her trust in God. When the dangers of the North Woods strike close to home, will she find the strength she needs to lead her family into the promise of a new dawn?


This is the first book in the "Under Northern Skies," series.  I have to say I love Lauraine's books in general and this one was the same; but the first couple of chapters of this book were so confusing that I was very close to giving it up.  Once the story started in America then it got a whole lot better and easier to understand.

I loved the way it dealt with day by day life and how life was lived; and what a hard life they had.  The relationship with Rune and Signe and their aunt and uncle also was well written.  Lauraine truly made their world seem so real.  I think it's the little details that make a book and there were plenty of details in this book.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5, it lost half a star because of the beginning.  I am looking forward to the next book in the series which will be released in April of 2018.  Well worth reading in my opinion.



"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 G
roup
".

Thursday, August 10, 2017

"The Two Of Us," by Victoria Bylin

"The Two Of Us," by Victoria Bylin
After two broken engagements, Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she's focusing on God and her goal to join an international aid organization as a nurse practitioner. But when her 18-year-old sister, Lucy, calls with an invitation to her Vegas wedding, it throws a wrench into Mia's plans.

Jake Tanner has recovered from the injuries he sustained as a police officer--on the outside. Inside, he's yet to heal from losing his partner in the tragedy, but finds some solace in keeping an eye on her young adult son, Sam, who's asked him to be best man at his wedding.

Mia expects a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn't expecting Jake, who views the marriage a little differently. As Jake's and Mia's lives slowly become more intertwined, could his courage and her caring heart be enough to bring them a lifetime of healing?


This book was a very pleasant read, that kept me busy over a couple of afternoons.  I will say I had forgotten what the story was about, as I had read it a week prior to writing this review, so it didn't stick in my mind until I read the back cover again.

This is one of my "shopping list" books that I can read and think of other things while I am reading, as it's not overly taxing on the brain.

Stars out of 5 : 3  If you are looking for a book to read on the beach or by the fire, this is a great book for that.  Glad I read it.  Learned a couple of things about Alzheimer's which was a positive thing.  Also make sure you read the author's notes at the end of the book, very moving.

"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 Return," by Suzanne Woods Fisher

"The Return," by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family's rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans--but then she never had to. Not until the night she's taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she's developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances.

Greatly anguished by Betsy's captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans's hunger for revenge. But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far?

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.


This is the third book in the Amish Beginnings Series.  I have read the first book in the series and thoroughly enjoyed it, but haven't read the second book.  I enjoyed this book at the time, but I will say I have forgotten much of the story already.  

I did enjoy the history aspect of this story, as there are a few things mentioned in this book that did happen in real life.  I did feel it ended a bit strangely and do feel there is more to be told in this story/series.  Not sure if that will happen or not?  

Stars out of 5 : 4 It was a good book to read over a few afternoons and it wasn't too hard a read.  As always read the authors notes at the end as they are interesting.  

"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".


"Fault Lines," by Thomas Locke

"Fault Lines," by Thomas Locke
There isn't much that can throw Charlie Hazard off balance. But the mystery woman with the striking eyes and the intense request to follow her--now--is about to shake his world. Knowing little more than her name, Charlie leaves his post as a guard at the Satellite Beach community center for what he thinks is just another risk-containment job. But Gabriella, an experimental psychologist, has far more in store for him than protection duty--if the two of them survive the test.

Reese Clawson relishes her work at the Combine and all the perks and power that come with it--including the ability to manipulate perceptions. But the Combine never anticipated this mind-shifting technology. If Gabriella's experiments succeed, the Combine would be destroyed. And Reese will never allow that to happen.


The sign of a good book in my humble opinion, is when you can't stop thinking about the book, both during and after reading it.  It's a page turner and a book that you don't want to put down, as you need to know what happens next.  This book is all that and more.  

I kept going over and over the story to try and figure out what was going to happen next, and why this was happening and that was happening.  I was also amazed at the authors imagination and kept thinking, "how on earth did he come up with this and that?"

The story is so fast paced that you struggle to keep up with it at some stages.  My only negative about this book was that it was a little too technical in places.

Stars out of 5 : 5 it really is well worth reading, as this book keeps you on your toes and keeps you interested all the way through it.  Can't wait for the next one to come out; there is a preview at the end of this book and it sounds as though it will be as good as this one.

"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".

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"High as the Heavens," by Kate Breslin

"High as the Heavens," by Kate Breslin

A British nurse in WWI German-occupied Brussels, Evelyn Marche spends her days at the hospital and her nights working at a café . . . or so it seems. Eve's most carefully guarded secret is that she also spends her nights carrying out dangerous missions as a spy for a Belgian resistance group.

When a plane crashes as she's en route to a rendezvous, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to recognize the badly injured pilot as British RFC Captain Simon Forrester. She risks her life to conceal him from the Germans, but as the secrets between them grow and the danger mounts, can they still hope to make it out of Belgium alive?

Normally I am not a fan of books set in the first and second world war, but have to say this book was very interesting, both from a historical sense and as a story in itself.  The story moves along at a fast pace and you have to keep up with it.  I learned a lot about spies and the underground network that I previously didn't know.  Once again the author's notes at the end fills in a number of questions you may have and as with many good books, this story includes both fact and fiction in it.

The love story between Eve and Simon is so interesting as well and what they went through throughout this book shows how much love can make you hold on to whats important.  There were many brave people in this book that risked their lives to help others.

Stars out of 5 :5 A really good book with plenty going on in it to keep you interested.  It's also educational, as I learned a thing or two from it.  I look forward to reading more books by Kate.

"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
".

"Heart On The Line," by Karen Witemeyer

"Heart On The Line," by Karen Witemeyer

Grace Mallory is tired of hiding. She hungers for a normal life, perhaps even a suitor like two of her friends in Harper's Station have found. But when the man she believes responsible for her father's death discovers her whereabouts, survival takes priority.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His fellow telegrapher, the mysterious Miss G, has been the ideal companion. For months, their friendship--dare he believe, courtship?--over the wire has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intends for him. However, when he intercepts an ominous message and discovers her life is in peril, Amos must shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

I must say I am a big fan of Karen's and love the way she writes.  This is another book set in Harper's Station and is as full of mystery, action and suspense as the other books set there.  The chemistry between Grace and Amos is great and I love the way they can communicate without other's knowing what they are saying.

However this story was lacking in something and I can't put my finger on what?  I actually found the other side story with Helen as interesting.  Again you will have to read the book to see what that is all about.  

Stars out of 5 : 3 A nice book and one you can read and not get confused over.  It was one of my "shopping list," books where you can read it and think of other things at the same time.  I probably won't remember it though in a month's time.  This was not one of Karen's best books.

"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
".

"Under a Summer Sky," by Melody Carlson

"Under a Summer Sky," by Melody Carlson

High school art teacher Nicole Anderson is looking forward to a relaxing summer in Savannah, house-sitting and managing an art gallery for a family friend. The house is luxurious in a way that only old money could make it, and the gallery promises interesting days in a gorgeous setting. Yet it isn't long before her ideal summer turns into more than she bargained for: a snooty gallery employee who's determined to force her out, a displaced adolescent roosting in the attic, and two of her childhood friends--who also happen to be brothers--vying for her attention.

With the backdrop of a gorgeous historical city, incredible architecture, and even an alleged ghost or two, combined with the opportunity for romance . . . anything can happen!

This is the third book in the "Follow Your Heart" series and I thoroughly enjoyed this book and all the characters in it.  One thing this book made me want to do was visit Savannah; the way the author describes Savannah makes the city come alive.  This is one of those books which is perfect to wile away a few hours on the beach.  There are no huge mysteries in it and it moves along at a steady pace.  I have to say one of my favourite characters was Amyra; you'll have to read the book to see who she is...LOL

Stars out of 5 : 4 The description of Savannah and all the architecture made this book come alive for me.  However I don't think this will be a book I will remember in a month or two.  As I said before a perfect beach read and a book I enjoyed while reading it.

"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".

"The Tinderbox," by Beverly Lewis

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