Tag Archives: christian romance

January 2017’s Book Review

27 Jan

It’s rather appalling but I’ve only finished TWO books this month. TWO. This has got to be a new low for me.

But! You will notice that I’m currently in four (very different) books right now. So, I guess I don’t feel too badly.

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The Unfolding Heart by Joann A. Grote As a headstrong, independent woman, Millicent Strong is certain she doesn’t need either a man, or God in her life. She’s sure of her path and convictions until she goes to her brother’s wedding in the West and meets the kind-hearted minister, Adam Conrad. Their mutual interest is strong but her lack of faith – and unwillingness to leave the comforts of civilization for the West,  threaten their love. (Love Song, 1997)

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier – Jenica lives with her sisters and father in the Transylvania woods in Piscul Draculi – a castle that hides a portal to the Other Kingdom. Every month, on the Full Moon, the sisters go through the portal and dance the night away. But in their world, everything is changing and soon, events will bring their two worlds together and change everything. Forbidden love – Unswerving anger over an act of betrayal – an enchanted frog – and the ultimate test of trust.

~I enjoyed these both immensely, so go check out my full reviews! If you’ve been around here more than a year, you’ll notice that I read Wildwood dancing AT LEAST twice a year. It’s that good.

Currently Reading:

Failure is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in her own words by Lynn Sherr – Anthony’s letters and notes are combined with reports and essays, making this book a-one-of-a-kind, giving a glimpse into Susan B. Anthony’s life and passion for the causes she fought every day of her life for.

~I am so excited to be reading this! I found it at the library while searching for research materials for the book I’m plotting (!). I am pretty much reading a chapter every morning as I eat my breakfast – which means it is a good read. It’s not necessarily a quick one  though. It is full of interesting tid-bits about this hero from so long ago. She dedicated her life to rights for women, as well as temperance and abolishing slavery (and I’m only in the fifth chapter!) 

Messianic Jewish Manifesto by David H. Stern – This book studiously ignores the argument between being a Christian or a Jew – instead believing that being a Messianic Jew is a movement. A right. A challenge. And that challenge is to heal the brokenness between the Church and the Jewish people – whether you are Jews who follow Yeshua or others involved in the movement. This book is a call to action and a source of information.

~Once again, as part of my new year planning, I asked my OH what books I should read. And of course, of the five he pulled out, four of them were the intimidating (to me) ones. But, he said to start with this one. I will admit that I haven’t gotten very far with it (5 pages in) . I won’t read it while I’m eating so, combined with trying to finish the Anthony book and plot my novel, this book has fallen by the way-side. I do intend to give it top priority soon though.

Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott – A masterpiece by the author of Little Women. Rose Campbell, recently orphaned, goes to live with her relatives on “Aunt Hill”. She’s less than impressed with her new life, accustomed to a girls boarding school but when her Uncle Alec arrives, along with meeting her seven boy cousins, she finds it’s not quite so bad.

~I am enjoying this book so much already! Alcott wrote with such a wonderful style of drawing you into her world and brought her characters to life. The only thing is that I keep picturing Rose to be about 8, when really she’s 13! (I think, she could be 12…or 14… don’t quote me on her age.) =)

The Writer’s Journey : Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler – Vogler sets out a system, a structure that every storty teller has used over the centuries.

~Sorry it’s such a short synopsis, but I’ve been talking about this book for a while now…and goodreads has a nice, long synopsis about it if you just click the link. I’m tired. I’m hungry. And, I LOVE this book. Why didn’t I read it three years ago? It would have been so helpful before I really started writing my first novel. But, I’m thankful that I’ve got it now – after having a copy from the library for a month, I decided to go ahead and order my own. happy day!

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To Read :

Created to Live by Cathy Harris (received free from Ambassador Int. for my personal review)

Quite honestly, i’m leaving my to-read list alone right now. I’ve simply got to finish the ones I’m in! But don’t worry, the list is ridiculously long, and with a broad range of genres as well.

I hope you found something to read in this list today. Thanks for stopping by SGL – check out my Ultimate Book List as well! (which will be getting a major overhaul if I can just get to it)

~Laura 

I have just found a fun linkup to join ~book reviews from other lovely bloggers! Check it out and find some more books to add to your to-read pile

Reading Roundup

Book Review – The Unfolding Heart

10 Jan

Happy Tuesday!

Now, I have read and loved this book many times since I first was introduced to it (I  believe it was my great-aunt’s) as a teen. The characters are believable and sweet- I always want to live around these folks and be a part of their lives! I like that Grote brings up the laws that were in place about marriage – a woman could own land but once she got married, it transferred to the husband (who has better business sense). Coughcough. So glad that laws like that were changed.

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Anyway, like I said, I appreciate it when an author brings up a different part of Victorian life. And using this one as a reason that Millicent isn’t looking to get married, I like it. I simply like it. Anyway, before I go on, here’s the synopsis:

The Unfolding Heart by Joann A. Grote,

As a headstrong, independent woman, Millicent Strong is certain she doesn’t need either a man, or God in her life. She’s sure of her path and convictions until she goes to her brother’s wedding in the West and meets the kind-hearted minister, Adam Conrad. Their mutual interest is strong but her lack of faith – and unwillingness to leave the comforts of civilization for the West,  threaten their love. (Love Song, 1997)

Faith. Love. Hospitality. Forgiveness. Trusting God.  That’s what this book is about, in a sweet love story. I highly recommend this, for young teens up.

Have you ever read this book? What’s your favorite sweet romance story?

~Laura 

 

Book Review – A Victorian Christmas Cottage

14 Dec

I decided, since it’s Christmas season, why not review a few season-appropriate books?! I got this book from my mom’s bookshelf because, let’s face it, christmas books are appealing. And so, I bring you this collection of novellas, all set in Victorian times.

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A Victorian Christmas Cottage by Catherine Palmer, Debra White Smith, Jeri Odell and Peggy Stoks.

Now, you probably all know by now how I feel about short stories (never long enough, want more character development, etc) but each one of these stories was so good that I thoroughly enjoyed them! Plus, this happens to be one of my favorite time periods.

These novellas take you from England where a young widow finds strength in God and protection in an unexpected place, to San Francisco where a society beauty learns what is really important. Then on to a plantation in Georgia where coming home means learning forgiveness and healing. Last, we go to Minnesota where a wounded young woman is pursued by a very determined young man.

If I could give you full descriptions of each of these stories, I would. But that would give too much away! The way that faith was weaved into each one of these was masterful and has given me much to ponder about my own life. And that, as I was telling a friend of mine recently, is why I enjoying Christian romance. You get the sweet, romancy stuff as well as sound faith and living advice. I like that I get to come away with some morsels to chew on, long after the book is done.

So, SGL friends, for a fun, quick read I recommend you get a copy of these novellas.

Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas,

Laura

Book Review – October 2016

28 Oct

 

Hello readers! Thank you for coming by SGL! It means a lot that you’re here! Due to feeling pretty awful for most of this month, I haven’t read too much. I expect I won’t read much next month either as I’m planning on doing Nanowrimo – read ‘i’m planning on writing/editing my novel until I can’t stare at the computer screen anymore without burning my eyes out’ , that’s basically what it means, it’s going to be crazy but I’m hoping on getting a LOT of editing done!

 

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Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose –   This is the true story of a young woman, newly married, surviving the jungles of New Guinea and four years in a Japanese prison camp. Her triumphs and strengthening of faith despite everything.

~I’m not sure how to start my review of this book, the words keep swirling in my brain. It was a well-written book that I would recommend for sure. The nature of it keeps it from being a light read, instead it is one that will tear your heart out. At the same time it made me appreciate some of the things that we take for granted – showers for instance. It took me a month to read (thank goodness for being able to renew from the library!) 

The Color of the Star book 2 of The Price of Liberty by Gilbert Morris – Jordan Simms was raised by her rather eccentric aunt on the wrong side of town in Liberty, Georgia. No matter how sweet she is, that fact alone is enough to make her unsuitable for Billy Christmas, according to Billy’s parents. They have someone else in mind, a girl from a prominent, wealthy family. But Billy doesn’t want the life his parents have planned, so he joins the Marines and fights on the bloody battlefields of Guadalcanal. Halfway across the world, Jordan and Billy meet again, changing both their lives forever.

~I enjoyed Jordan’s story more than I did Billy’s, although I can’t quite say why that is. I liked how we stepped back in time, in Liberty , and ran across Ben from the first book, as a youngster, and met many other characters from the first book – getting to know them better. I’m hoping each book in the series does this!

Maire by Linda Windsor –  In Ireland in the fifth century the light of Christ was spreading – thanks in huge part to the druids who started seeking truth. During this time of change, two warriors stand against evil. Rowan of Emrys, a leader of his tribe and repentant warrior and Maire, warrior queen of Gleannmara. As these two leaders form an unlikely and unplanned bond, they face the evil druid, Morlach  who is determined to have Maire and Gleannmara and Rowan’s older brother who sold him into slavery as a boy.

~I thought I hadn’t read this book in such a long time and just found evidence that I read it in January of this year…so much for my memory. Ahem. Anyway, this is one of my FAVORITES. I love Rowan’s testimony in his daily actions; Maire’s struggle to understand her new husband and his faith; and the way Windsor weaves an engrossing story of light vs. dark. 

Currently Reading:

Blink – the Power of thinking without thinking by Malcolm Gladwell – This is a book about how we can know something without knowing how we know, in the blink of an eye. It shows that those who are good at ‘thin-slicing’ – filtering a few facts from an overwhelming amount of variables-  can often be better decision makers than those that spend a lot of time gathering information and deliberating.

~I was so excited when my OH bought this for a class of his, I’d been wanting to read it! I’m about halfway through it and the information is intriguing. I’m enjoying it!  

Roses for Mama by Janette Oke – After both their parents die, Angela and Thomas are left in charge of their younger siblings. Angela struggles as the responsibility gets harder, on how to raise them the way their mother would have wanted.

~I have grown up reading this book and I love it as much now as I did the first time I read it. Oke creates characters that become so real, and worlds that I always want to visit. I wanted a light story that I could focus on with a severe migraine and this fit the bill! 

 

What are you reading lately? 

~Laura

 

While covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.

Book Review – Sept 2o16

30 Sep

I’m pretty sure the end of September means it’s officially fall, doesn’t it? I obviously have no idea when it actually starts but it sure feels like it here! I’m loving being able to keep the back door open for some fresh, cool air. Abby is liking it too – being able to come in and out whenever she wants is right up her alley. It also means I can sit here at my desk and write while she plays in the sprinkler (she won’t play in it without being watched, oy). She’s mostly okay with this version of me being out there with her and I’m able to actually get some editing and blogging done. Thank goodness. Poor thing is going to be heartbroken when it’s too cold for the sprinkler though. Anyway, that’s enough about the puppy – on to books! bkrvwsept2016

 

A Call to Honor  ( The Price of Liberty #1) by Gilbert Morris – When Ben Logan is given the choice to join the Navy or go to jail, he quickly signs up for the Navy. He leaves behind his mother and a girl named Rachel and decides to live life to the fullest. But while serving in Hawaii, he changes his mind about God. His new faith is tested to the limits when bombs start falling on Pearl Harbor.

– this is the first in a long (7 books) series and once I’m through them all I’ll do a series review but since it’ll take me quite a while, I’ll review them separately now. Hopefully you don’t mind!  I haven’t read this series in several years now so I don’t remember very much about them. It is refreshing to read a book from a male point of view and the emotions just transferred themselves from Ben, to me… that does sound strange but I was talking to him as I was reading ‘don’t do it!’ ‘serves you right!’ etc…

City of Tranquil Light – When Will Kiehn feels God call him to go to China as a missionary, he leaves his family’s farm in the Midwest and goes. He falls in love with a fellow missionary, Katherine, and  after they wed, they move to Kuang P’ing Ch’eng – City of Tranquil Light – and settle in to offer medical and spiritual help to the people there. As the years go by, they endure much hardship – war, famine, floods, bandits – will their faith be enough to help them?

I reviewed this about a week ago, check it out!

Evidence Not Seen : A Woman’s Miraculous faith in the Jungles of World War II by Darlene Deibler Rose –  This is the true story of a young woman, newly married, surviving the jungles of New Guinea and four years in a Japanese prison camp. Her triumphs and strengthening of faith despite everything.

– I’m a quarter in to this book and while I am enjoying it, it’s not a light/breezy/readrightthrough type of story. I just have a feeling it’s probably going to make me cry. I also find myself comparing it to ‘city of tranquil light’ since I just read that one. This one, equally well-written, starts off emotions galore, there’s no easing into it like in city of tranquil light, so perhaps that’s part of the difference. But it is very well-written and I think it will be worth the read. It just might take me a while to get through it. ( side note, the synopsis I wrote is SHORT because the one I read on Goodreads tells a lot of the story, some I wish I didn’t know because now I’m pretty positive this is going to be super emotional to read through…. )

Vegan Slow-Cooking for Two or Just for You by Kathy Hester – This isn’t your ordinary cookbook – these recipes are quick to prepare in your 1.5 or 2 qt slow cooker. Ranging from coffee creamers to side dishes to dessert, you can make anything vegan that you long for!

– I have only made a few recipes from this so far (as I keep forgetting some key ingredients on my shopping trips, oy) but we’ve enjoyed them and I was surprised at how filling they were. That might sound silly but I have a hard time with staying full. And not eating meat tends to make that worse, but with these meals, I didn’t get hungry for about 3 hrs (which is good!). Once I get to the produce stand again I plan on making some more meals from this book =) 

Golden Retriever by Dog Fancy Magazine – Covering everything the owner of this friendly breed needs to know to be a well-informed caregiver, this book is easy to read with beautiful pictures of adorable puppies to adult Goldens to compliment the information.

– This book covers SO much. It was an impulsive grab at the library but I’m hoping to learn a few things, what with having a senior and a puppy. 

On my To-Read List:

The Color of the Star book 2 of The Price of Liberty by Gilbert Morris

Love’s Pursuit by Siri Mitchell

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

What’s on your to-read list?

~Laura

 

Book Review – August 2016

2 Sep

Hello again friends! I didn’t feel like I’d done a lot of reading this month and then I started writing this post! Ha! This month feels like it’s been going on a lot longer than 31 days, does anyone else feel that way? It definitely had its good times though – getting to be in Bend and celebrate my brother in law’s and a nephew and a niece’s birthdays; having a good friend stay over so we could binge-watch Star Wars and play with the puppies and getting oh-so-close to the end of the novel I’m writing. I am glad to see it go for the hard side of it too – severe pain; moodiness because of the pain; for the first time not being able to recall words to songs i’ve known for years and puppies having bad reactions to fleas. But! That’s not why you’re here! Books! Books! That’s why you’re here.

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I want to remind you of two things real quick.  One, while covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.  Two, I have an ever-updated Book List of all the books I’ve reviewed, check it out!

December Caravan by Rebecca Vandemark – Just when her life seemed as perfect as it could get, Rebecca’s world turned upside down. A few month before their wedding, her fiance left her. As the months and years passed, her body seemed determined to fail, no matter what she did. After getting diagnosed with late-stage Lyme Disease and cancer (among other things), her plans and goals for the future drastically change. But what remained constant was her love of the Lord and seeking His heart no matter the circumstances.

~I received this book free for an honest review. I enjoyed this look into Vandemark’s story so much as she constantly reminded me to keep my focus and hope on the Lord.  Her trials are beyond imagining, and yet here she is, years later – encouraging those around her to run to the heart of God. I highly recommend this book and if you want to know more about her, here’s her blog

Why Can’t I get Better? Solving the Mystery of Lyme and Chronic Disease by Richard I Horowitz – Lyme disease is known as the great imitator. And Horowitz has been studying it for years. In this book he shares the method that he uses for diagnosing Lyme, and other chronic pain as well as thoroughly covering Lyme’s leading symptoms.

~ This book is nothing if not thorough. To be honest, I only made it a quarter of the way through. The information was interesting and I picked up a few tidbits that were extremely helpful to know. The reason I wasn’t able to finish it was that it read like it was also written for doctors – with a lot of information that only those with medical background would find helpful. It was interesting reading how he started his practice and how it evolved into what it is today – with surprising advancements in Lyme research and ‘curing’ if you will. I’d love to read it if they cut it down to maybe half it’s size and written especially for non-medical readers. 

Tucker Mills Trilogy by Lori Wick – Tucker Mills, Massachusets in the mid 1800’s. Jace has fallen for Maddie but will his sister allow him to follow his heart? Reese is finally a free woman, but her heart is still in a cage of fear, will she let Conner in? Dannan’s world has drastically changed, but the one thing he longs for most can never happen, can it?

~Let’s move to Tucker Mills, shall we? In case you missed it, I reviewed it earlier this week! 

These Three Remain A novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman #3  by Pamela Aidan – After being rejected by Elizabeth, a humbled Darcy returns to Town and tries to become the kind of man he’s always wanted to be, the kind of man Elizabeth could love. When a chance meeting brings Elizabeth back into his life, Darcy sets out to show her he still loves her. But when Wickham creates havoc again, will Darcy’s newly-found strength withstand the test?

~I adore these books. I mean, Darcy and Elizabeth all over again? Yes please and thank you! Come back for a review of the whole trilogy!! 

On my To-Read list:

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell

 

I hope you found something to read! Happy last-day of August to you all!

 

~Laura

 

Series Review – Tucker Mills Trilogy

30 Aug

You Guys. Seriously. I can’t tell you just how much I LOVED this trilogy. Yes I’ve read it before. Yes I read them all in about a week. Yes, it’s by Lori Wick. What can I say? She’s a favorite of mine.

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Moonlight on the Millpond – As a newcomer to Tucker Mills, Massachusetts, Jace Randall learns the workings of his uncle’s farm and mill. When Maddie Shephard comes back to town, Jace is instantly smitten and decides that not even his sister, Eden, could find fault with her. What he didn’t count on was Eden’s need to control his life – or the lengths she’d go to to maintain it. Will Maddie and Jace be able to forgive her, and each other, after the betrayal and lies?

~First off, I love the name Maddie. Second, Jace just happens to be one of my favorite guy’s names. Third, this book sucks you in on the first page and you quickly fall in love with, well, pretty much everyone. Except Eden. (coughcough)

Just above a Whisper – Indentured servant, Reese Thackery’s life gets another hit when the owner of her contract dies and the bank becomes the holder of her fate. The bank owner’s son, Connor Kingsley, comes to investigate and soon releases her from service. He then hires her to keep house for him, but Reese can’t decide how she feels about him. Can both put aside the hurt of the past and learn to trust again?

~Honestly, I think these two characters are some of my favorites of Wick’s. Reese’s attitude throughout her trials is how I would sincerely like to be! And Conner’s patience…sigh.

 

Leave a Candle Burning – Dannan Mckay has taken over his uncle’s practice in Tucker Mills. While everyone loved Doc Mckay, Dannan has settled in and feels welcomed by the townspeople. When he has an unexpected meeting with a woman in the general store, he starts to dream of something more – a wife and family. But then he learns something that stops his dreams of love in an instant, and he focuses all his attention on his patients. Life once again gets turned upside down when he ends up taking guardianship of a young cousin. The new role of father makes Dannan think of how the young one needs a mother – but the one he loves is out of reach.

~I remembered very little of this one – happy sigh. A unique storyline, wonderful romance. 

If I could move to the small town of Tucker Mills, I would do it in a heartbeat.  I’m not kidding. I would. BUT, we’ll get back to reality now… I enjoy how Wick weaves faith into all of her books, I’m always left contemplating the focus in each novel (i.e. each of her novels tend to have one main point in faith that the main character is dealing with) and that normally inspires conversations with my OH.

As with most (if not all ) of Wick’s books, any age could read these – I probably started reading them when I was 13/14. You might have noticed I had to get the 1st and 3rd from the library! Such a tragedy I know, but so far I haven’t found them in used bookstores. One day though, One day.

I also love that since I’ve been reading them for…well, over a decade, I am picking up on different things. Now that I’m married, I pick up on the hurt or joy when it’s a marriage moment… did that even make sense? Maybe I’ll close now and say : This trilogy is delightful. READ IT.

~Laura

Do you have a series you’ve been reading since you were a teen and still enjoy today?

Book Review – July 2016

3 Aug

Ahem. Let’s just pretend that it’s  about 4 days ago, shall we?! What with traveling and trying to get through a monster of a book about Lyme Disease, I went for light reads last month.

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Just Above a Whisper (book 2 Tucker Mills Trilogy) by Lori Wick – Indentured servant, Reese Thackery’s life gets another hit when the owner of her contract dies and the bank becomes the holder of her fate. The bank owner’s son, Connor Kingsley, comes to investigate and soon releases her from service. He then hires her to keep house for him, but Reese can’t decide how she feels about him. Can both put aside the hurt of the past and learn to trust again?

~Honestly, I think these two characters are some of my favorites of Wick’s. Reese’s attitude throughout her trials is how I would sincerely like to be! If I could move to the small town of Tucker Mills, I would do it in a heartbeat. And I always forget that this is smack dab in the middle of a trilogy, but it certainly works as a stand alone!  There is nothing in this novel that I don’t like! An absolute favorite. 

An Assembly Such as This bk 1 by Pamela Aidan – Darcy can’t believe the company he’s forced to keep when he follows his friend, Charles Bingley to Hertfordshire to check out an estate for sale. As he spends his days fending off Miss Bingley’s attentions and supervising Bingley, he finds himself falling for Elizabeth Bennett, quite unwillingly. When an old nemesis unexpectedly shows up in the form of George Wickham, Darcy is left dealing with old emotions, and growing concern about Elizabeth’s friendship with him.

~I found this novel while browsing a used bookstore years ago and am SO very glad I took a chance on it and grabbed it! To finally find a well-written novel from Darcy’s perspective (of Pride and Prejudice)  is like a literary dream come true. I enjoy the characters that Aidan creates in Darcy’s world. His butler, Fletcher, is one of my favorites. If you’re a fan of Jane Austen, you simply MUst read this book! IF you’re a fan of the Regency Era, you must read it!! 

The Hero and the Crown by Robin Mckinley – With rumors of her mother being a witch from the North, Aerin has never been accepted as rightful heir of Damar’s king.  It’s said in whispers that her mother entrapped her father into marrying her, and then died of despair after having a daughter instead of a son. And so, Aerin grew up as a bit of an uncomfortable oddity, not able to hide completely but not able to properly claim her place in court. No one knows the truth of her destiny, that she is to become the wielder of the Blue Sword.

~ This is another novel that I took a risk on in a bookshop, one in Cannon Beach Or! I’ve read it once before and enjoyed it just as much this second time. Aerin’s journey is exciting as she goes from awkward reminder to hero. And we all love a female hero who wonders at the calm in her voice and how she instinctively knows what to do. 

 

Come back for a review on Ralph Moody’s Little Britches series!

I never did finish the Trim Healthy Mama book or Captivating…. They just fell by the wayside with everything going on. You’ll see I’m still reading Why Can’t I get Better? , it’s a good book about Lyme disease and chronic pain but it’s so in-depth and also written for doctors that i’m getting bogged down by it all. I’m starting to think of returning it to the library early and finding another book about Lyme that maybe isn’t so hard to get through.

 

Currently Reading:

Why Can’t I get Better? by Richard Horowitz, M.D.

The Fields of Home by Ralph Moody

Duty and Desire bk 2 by Pamela Aidan

 

To-Read List:

Mary Emma and Company by Ralph Moody (bk 6)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The rest of the Tucker Mills Trilogy by Lori Wick

While covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.

 

Book Review – May 2016

1 Jun

Happy June 1st! May was an interesting month – doctor visits, a wedding, tons of birthdays and my parents came for a visit! I also wrote a LOT more than I have in the past few months so I am proud of that and am planning on keeping the momentum up! My first draft is getting closer to being finished! eeek! I’m so very excited.

bkrvwmay2016 Because of the excess writing, I haven’t been here on SGL as much and I’m sorry! I’ve missed it but if I hope to get published….. priorities! It’s also why I haven’t read as many books as normal either, I’ve started taking my book (mainly the 10-lb Tolkien one) to bed with me and reading until I just can’t stay awake any longer!!

To Be a Jew – by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin – Donin did what no one else had at the time, he put together a book, simply stated, on how to daily live the Jewish life. Including the blessings to be read, why certain things are done etc, it’s a stand-alone book to guide you in following the Torah.

~I Finally finished this book! It’s absurd how long it took me to get through it, especially as it’s  easily understandable. I do plan on reading it again, and it is one of the main books we pull out when we have a question on specific blessings, or what the traditions for a festvial are. A must have in your Jewish library.

The English Garden – Gail Gaymer Martin, Diann Mills,  Jill Stengl and Kathleen Y’barbo  – In these four short stories, we see how the garden can hold the key to peace, quiet and sometimes even love.

~A Woman of Valor – Marston Hall was to be Helen’s new home in 1631. She was to take care of three children who would test every bit of patience she had. But she found that being around the horseman unsettled her every bit as much as the children did. Will time in the garden help each see the beauty in each other?

~Apple of His Eye -Sarah’s only escape from social demands is the Victorian garden behind her parents’ home. But when she meets and falls in love with the orchard keeper, more than the flowers keep her coming back. How will these two find a future together ?

~A Flower Amidst the Ashes – During World War 2,Corporal Margaret Walker meets a handsome Royal Air Force pilot who slips past her defenses with beautiful drawings of gardens. Will she allow love to grow when she’s already lost so much?

~Robyn’s Garden – Robyn regularly has a group of disabled children over to learn about nature as they help tend the garden. But then a handsome American arrives, and takes something she can’t afford to lose. Will she be able to learn the hard lesson of trust, before it’s too late?

~These stories are well-written and heartwarming. As usual, I wold love them to be longer and more in depth. The first one is probably my favorite, perhaps because of my experience with working with children. It’s also fun that they progress through time, starting in 1631 and ending in modern times. 

Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge – Your heart matters! It has gotten pushed aside and wounded through the years, but the longings of being in a great adventure, being the Beauty in a tale and part of a wonderful romance, were all put there by God. He is the Hero our hearts are longing for and will help us be the woman we long to be – a woman that is captivating.

~I read this right out of high school with a group of friends and learned so much from it. It’s only taken me YEARS to pick it up again but it’s fun to see the same things standing out to me and hitting home as I’m in a completely different place in life. I highly recommend this for any woman!

Lights of the Veil by Patty Metzer – Mere hours after meeting her nephew, her late sister’s son, both Erica and Betul are kidnapped and taken to India. Back in the place of her birth, Erica meets Prince Ajari who helps her, and then tells her he is Betul’s uncle. Desperate to not let Betul be taught to be Hindi, but raised in faith of Christ, as her sister wanted, Erica is caught between the charisma of Prince Ajari and keeping Betul safe. Will the light of Christ pierce the blackness, and free both Erica and the Prince?

~This is an absolute favorite of mine! I know for sure that I’ve reviewed it here before but one can never get enough of this novel! I am currently halfway through it – which means I want to read it all the time to get to the end but I don’t want to get to the end!! It’s a real problem folks. 

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery – I reviewed this HERE, check it out!!

The Two Towers book 2 of the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – The fellowship has been scattered. Some of them are dealing with Saruman. Some are preparing for the onslaught of war with Sauron. Only Frodo and Sam are left to take the Ring of Power to Mordor.

Return of the King– book 3 of Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – The fight continues against the evil Sauron –  Aragorn has joined with the Riders of Rohan. Gandalf has returned and defeated Saruman.  Merry and Pippin have met the Ents. Frodo and Sam continue their journey into Mordor

~Okay, if you’ve read, or know anything about this series you know this is the shortest synopsis of each book. But, I am planning on reviewing the series as a whole once I finish Return of the King. So, this is only to whet your appetite! 

What are you reading lately?

~Laura 

Series Review – Rocky Mtn. Memories

13 May

Hello readers!

It’s been fun going through my shelves and deciding what series to read next to share with you guys! Trust me, I’ve got several series just begging to be shared here!

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As with most Lori Wick books, I grew up reading this series and will admit that the first one is still my favorite. It just might be my favorite of all her books, honestly. I also had a few ‘writer aha’s ‘ while reading this series this time around – you don’t have to write a complex story ( i’m looking at you Tolkien) and move your story along with the dialogue. These are pretty basic writing things here of course but I tend to get so focused on the one conversation that I don’t look ahead and tie in what I want to happen, in the conversation. And, when reading Tolkien, it’s been easy to compare the complexities of Middle Earth with my little universe, but it’s ok! Wick is a hugely popular author who’s been getting published since 1989 (!! for more info on her, check it out!). Just imagine that. 27 years! I’m in awe now that I looked it up.

Ahem.

Anyway, let’s get to it, shall we?

Where The Wild Rose Blooms – book 1 – Clayton Taggart loves his home in the high mountains of Colorado where he mines with his father.  But he dreams of one day becoming a teacher and getting out of the dark, dangerous mines. When he meets Jackie Fontaine, a beautiful, strong-willed beauty from the east, he only wants to tease her. But as time passes, they fall for each other.  Then an accident happens and Jackie keeps it a secret from Clay – will she be able to move past her fear and let Clay back in?

 

~ Sigh. This is a tender romance full of faith in love and Christ. I have loved the name Clayton ever since I first read this book and am in the sloooow process of convincing my OH that we should name our (very) future son that. =) 

 

Whispers of Moonlight- book 2 – Rebecca runs away after rumors reach her ears that her husband only married her for her father’s ranch. She’s confused and hurt but can’t believe Travis could love her. She starts a new life for herself but struggles through each tiring day.   Travis can’t believe Rebecca would leave him, hadn’t they had a good marriage, short though it was? His anger carries him for years but then his whole outlook changes and he starts praying for his wife. When she contacts him, he sets off to find her and bring her home.      Rebecca finds herself back at the ranch with Travis but he’s changed since she left and she struggles to make sense of everything that happened. Can she really let go of her fear and pride and let him love her?

~Ah! This book. This. Book. 

To Know Her by Name – book 3 – Mckay Harrington isn’t sure what to make of the woman taking care of him up in the Colorado hills. He’d tracked and killed an outlaw, but in the process he’d gotten shot as well. Now he was laid up with only this mysterious woman. When he’s finally healed enough to get back to work, he’s sure he’ll never see her again. But an unexpected encounter leads to intrigue, faith and love.

~I love reading about women who push the boundaries of what is expected/allowed, mainly in western days! 

I enjoy how each one of these books focus on  different aspects of faith – forgiveness, letting go of pride and fear and relying on Him. It even prompted a good conversation with my OH. And if a christian romance novel sparks theological discussion, it’s a keeper in my book.

These can be read separately but  you do get to see the previous characters in the next books, which is always fun. I highly recommend this series, it is delightful and honestly, I got through each book in two or three days probably, I just couldn’t put them down!

*there was no slight meant on Tolkien, I am amazed at his writing skill. I mean, it’s hard to put down The Two Towers! My revelation is that I DON’T have to write like that, which is good, because if I did, I’d give up now. *

*you might notice that I had to get book number 2 from the library! I couldn’t believe it when I realized I only had 1 and 3!!*

*UPDATE: This series has 4 books! I can’t believe I forgot that! From what I remember when I read it years ago it is just as enjoyable as the other 3! It’s called Promise me Tomorrow. 

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