Tag Archives: christian romance

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. 

Book Review – April 2016

3 May

This post has been sitting in ‘drafts’ for about 3 weeks now… leave it to me to wait until past the last minute to get it finished and published!

I didn’t read near as much this past month, having finally hit a writing streak, I was here at my desk scribbling as fast as I could instead of reading. But, because of that, I’m feeling a little more confident that I’ll actually finish the first draft by my deadline! woohoo! bkrvwapril2016

Time Enough for Drums by Ann Rinaldi – As rumblings of a Revolution spread, the same is taking place in the Emerson house. Jemima can’t stand that her tutor is a known Tory, a man who opposes American freedom. She doesn’t understand her parents friendship with him, and does all she can to defy him. But when the revolution starts in earnest and her whole family does whatever they can, she finds out that there is more to her tutor than she ever thought possible.

~As is often the case with a favorite book of mine, this came from a friend, let’s call her V 😉 . It’s always SO exciting when she sends me books. I enjoy this one for several reasons, I’ve read very few American Revolution stories ; while Jem is growing up it encourages you to think about your own behavior/motives; it’s a story full of adventure, faith, romance and standing up for what you think is right. It is a young adult novel so it can be fully enjoyed from young teens on up.

Secrets by Kristen Heitzmann – Rese Barrett had one last renovation job planned – turning the old villa into a bed and breakfast. Lance Michelli was on a mission for his grandmother, finding the secrets of the old place that calls to him. Before long though, love  intervenes and makes their plans a whole lot more complicated.

~I completely forgot that this is the first of a trilogy. It ends pretty satisfactorily to read it on its own, which is always nice. I get frustrated when the author leaves it hanging so open ended that you lose some of the enjoyment of it. You probably know by now that I’m a sucker for books that include food and old houses (Chateau of Echoes, anyone?)  and Heitzmann does it splendidly. The frittatas, crepes and lasagna that Lance creates, makes me want to forget about my food allergies…. 

 

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien (book 2 of Lord of the Rings) – Danger has followed the Company ever since they set out.  Gandalf and Boromir have been lost. Frodo and Sam are on their own as they keep on their journey to Mount Doom. Sauron’s power grows stronger as the days pass, spreading evil across Middle Earth.

~You will receive a series review when I’m done with this trilogy but i’m moving through it slowly for one reason : It’s such a gorgeous book I won’t read it while I’m eating. And let’s face it, that’s when I do most of my reading. Sigh. It’s a fantastic story and right now they are under attack in Helm’s Deep. Aaauuugghhhhh

I am even crazier about The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in the 1800’s than I was when I got it. I am pulling it out frequently while working on my novel.

I am still, oh so slowly, getting through To be a Jew. It is well worth the read though!

On my to-read-next list:

Little Britches by Ralph Moody

You Can’t go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe (I started it end of March but it’s been abandoned ever since)

 

And now, I do believe it’s time for a nap. And after that, I’ve gotta get to writing my novel! I’d planned on it this morning but puppy was feeling the need for attention.

Oh! Check in for a children’s book review  coming soon!

~Laura

What have you been reading lately??

 

Series Review – Deep Haven

11 Apr

You know when you sit down to write a post and then you just do not like how it’s turning out? Sigh. That was me yesterday. So, I’m starting fresh and giving you a review on a series by Susan May Warren.

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(random insert here, puppy Abby is learning the sad truth that if she plays in the water, she has to stay outside til she’s dry-ish. Her sad puppy eyes staring at me through the sliding door are awfully pathetic right now)

Yet again, this is a series that I have enjoyed for years – but just the other week I learned that this is only half of it! There are 3 more books just waiting for me to read! ahaha, such wonderful news this is!

I will admit that the first book is my favorite of the three. The first reason being simply because it involves a bookstore. Happy, contented sigh.

~Happily Ever After – Mona Reynold’s  dream of opening her own bookstore and coffee shop is about to come true. With the help of her friend and a handyman that leaves her breathless, she races to fix the old Victorian house up in time for opening day. But when disaster strikes, her faith gets shaken and she turns to her handyman for help. Both will learn of God’s forgiveness and overwhelming love – and that His plans for them are far better than any they had.

~Tying the Knot – Anne Lundstrom was an EMT in Minnapolis when her life got ripped apart. She escapes to quiet Deep Haven, eager to start over and forget the pain of her past. What she doesn’t expect, or want, is to spend the summer at Noah Standing-Bear’s camp for inner-city kids. She’s torn in two directions, wanting to run as fast as she can from the daily reminders of her past, and drawn in by Noah’s charm.

~The Perfect Match – Firefighting is a man’s job – is exactly the thinking that Ellie Karlson has been fighting for fifteen years. Fighting for respect and a chance to prove herself. So when she’s given the interim fire chief position for the small town of Deep Haven, she’s determined to lead the crew and whip them into shape. Soon it becomes apparent that there’s an arsonist in town and she wonders if she’s the cause. The one fire she can’t fight is the one that Pastor Dan Matthews has set in her heart, and she’s not entirely sure she wants to.

Each novel, I feel, focuses on a different attribute of God, which I always appreciate in a series. It makes me think past the story of these characters and into how I feel/believe. I can highly recommend these three novels!

Happy Reading,

Laura

Did I mention my OH got me THIS for my birthday?!?!?!

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March 2016 Book Review

30 Mar

Happy End of March and almost- April! You will forgive me if I keep this brief, I really want to get to working on my novel and my window to do so today is swiftly closing. What with the sunshine and the smell of spring in the air, I keep getting lured outside in the morning to pull the never-ending weeds instead of writing. . . .

I’m debating about starting to give my rating ( 1 to 5 stars ) for the books I review but I just cannot decide! What do you wonderful SGL readers think? Do you like having that quick-reference point or not??

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Love Finds You – in Pendleton Oregon – Melody Carlson – Sunny Westcott is used to the quiet reflections of the small university where she had been a teacher for years. Signing on as a model had never been in her plans. But finding a new job had proven difficult and she needed the money. Then her friend Aubrey drags her to Pendleton for the rodeo, she’s surprised at how much she enjoys the ranch, the small town and riding horses. Meeting a cowboy that sends her pulse racing helps as well. While she’s there, she does some digging into the lives of her ancestors that used to live on the reservation nearby.

 – So. This review is a little sad to write. I normally LOVE Carlson’s books but while this one was very cute and fun to read due to the fact that it is set in Oregon, (i love my Oregon!), it seemed a little rushed. Well, at least the romance part of it did. Which left me rather dissatisfied at the ending. Apparently Carlson has a whole series of ‘love finds you in’ but this is the only one i’ve read! Just might have to get to the library and give the others a shot.

The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas – Accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Edmund Dantes spends more than a decade in Chateau D’if. Finally escaping, he focuses on exacting revenge on those who sent him there.

– What the what. This Book! It is taking me longer to read than I thought it would – as it is I’m only halfway through, but Dumas is a brilliant writer. Having only seen the movie (with Jim Caviezel ) , I was a little concerned about it affecting my enjoyment of the book, but so far – I’m loving the story even more! 

You Can’t Go Home Again – Thomas Wolfe  – I got this as a birthday present this past weekend (thanks brother!) and have read the first few chapters and am enjoying it so far.  I’m not looking up the storyline/synopsis though, as I am kind of enjoying having NO clue what the book is about. =) You’ll just have to come back and read my review! 

The Deep Haven series by Susan May Warren – Set in Deep Haven, Minnesota, each book follows those eager to plant roots in this small, tourist town. With romance, faith and a touch of mystery, Warren delivers a delightful, easy to read series.

-I reviewed them here! they are a fun, faith filled series that I’ve enjoyed for years!

Book Review – Feb 2016

29 Feb

Happy Leap Year Day! Which means we are less than a month away from Spring Equinox! Woot woot!( I’m SO very ready to start driving my classic VW again! ) But, while it insist on rain-rain-raining, I’ve got some great books to keep you happily indoors.

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Not Exactly Eden by Linda Windsor – After her fiance postpones their wedding, Jenna Marsten finds a mysterious wedding gift – and traces it to her father in the Amazon. Determined to  meet him, she leaves the glittering socialite life and grabs her courage for an adventure of a lifetime.

~ Windsor rarely disappoints and in this one she delivered a sweet romance without being too sugary sweet. The emotions of the main characters keep it from being too unrealistic and remind the reader that Christ never leaves us! 

 

Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings part 1)  by J.R.R. Tolkien – Inheriting Bag’s End, and the Ring, from Bilbo wasn’t what Frodo wanted but inherit them he did when Bilbo up and disappeared on his 111th birthday. Their wizard friend, Gandalf, comes with a fantastic story for Frodo about the Ring. It is the One Ring, forged to rule all rings and must be guarded from the evil that seeks its power once more. And so starts a journey that neither Frodo nor his hobbit friends had never dreamed of, or wanted. Joined by Elf, Man, Wizard and Dwarf, this company must help the Ring-bearer across Middle Earth to defeat evil.

~It’s really intimidating to write a synopsis for such a classic. I mean, REALLY intimidating. I am almost to the end of this book and lamenting the fact that I don’t have any more of the series! Tolkien’s world is fantastic – can I just go live in the Shire right now please?? 

 

Little Lord Fauntleroy  by Francis Hodgson Burnett– Seven-year-old Cedric is a kind-hearted boy growing up in New York with a circle of dear friends. But all that changes when he is told that he is to be an earl and his grandfather wishes him to come live with him in England. Deciding to be the best earl that he can be, Little Lord Fauntleroy faces even his selfish old grandfather without fear.

~ Can I just say that this classic children’s book is PERFECT?! It was originally published in 1886 and is now one of the most famous children’s books written. I quickly became enchanted with Cedric and his mother. I’d say this is a must-must-read for all. 

To Be a Jew by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin – This has been acknowledged as the classic guide – full of information and daily inspiration – to Jewish attitudes, law and philosophy. From Shabbat to Succot, dietary laws to family life, birth to death and mourning, this book shines the light on how to live a devout life.

I will admit that I’m struggling getting through this one. Nothing against the book itself, though. While it is ‘meatier’ than God-Fearers was, it is still very well written. You might recognize this from December’s book review…. I am oh so slowly getting through it but am enjoying it. It often sparks conversations between me and my OH and we even pulled it out for the blessings for doing Havdallah the other night. 

Is your to-read stack of books going down at all or is it growing like mine seems to be doing??

~Laura

Series Review – Heart of India

17 Jan

I have loved this series for at least 15 years. Written by Linda Chaikin, it is full of mystery, intrigue, romance, history, etc etc. Set in India, it follows Coral Kendall and Captain Jace Buckley. I’ll go into more detail under each book title but what I enjoy so much is that, even if it is only a novel, you learn some history about the upheaval of India, and the mission work that went on there. After finishing it this last time, I decided I really want to read some biographies on the missionaries, including William Carey.

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What’s fun is that as I’ve read them over the years I’ve been able to pick up something different each time. When I was younger, I really only could identify with some of what she goes through, but now…. to put it as a friend does ‘the books grow with you’.

As for who it would be appropriate for, I’m guessing I started reading it around 15 years old. It has no language or sexual overtures in it. But there are battles and intrigues going on so I don’t know how much younger it would be appropriate. As usual, that’s up to you!

Silk – Coral Kendall does the only thing she can do while her dear friend is dying, she promises to care for the newborn baby. In doing so, she breaks caste – she is a silk heiress and the baby is an Untouchable.  She quickly falls in love with Gem and teaches him about God as he grows older. But when he is kidnapped, her strength is tested and her faith that he is still alive is the only thing that will get her through. She enlists the aid of a sea captain to find her son.

Under Eastern Stars – Coral’s decision to start a school for the children on the plantation only aggravates an already volatile situation. India is increasingly more dangerous as hatred for the English is used by those hungry for power. Coral’s Uncle, Hugo Roxbury is determined to stop her plans of a school. Two very different men are filling her heart – the sea captain, Jace Buckley, and Dr. Ethan Boswell, the man who has professed his love.

Kingscote – With Buckley’s promise to bring her son Gem home by Christmas, Coral sets out to start her school for the Untouchables. Ethan has committed himself to helping her. Danger soon rears its ugly head, this time on Kingscote in the form of ashes of the Hindi scriptures that William Carey gave her. Jace searches for Gem but the world of intrigue are dangerous and he starts wondering if he will ever get back to Kingscote to claim Coral as his own.

~I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there are new pages to check out! The Book List will have all the books I’ve reviewed in one convenient place! It will take a while to get that done though, so bear with me. The Chronic Pain and My Writing pages are still waiting for content but don’t forget to come back and check them out. Thanks for stopping by SGL,

Have any favorite series you want to share with me?

~Laura

Book Review – Nov. 2015

1 Dec

Hello friends! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that the transition back to work hasn’t been too painful. That was always sooo hard for me, going back to work the Monday after a holiday (working in a daycare/preschool, we always had weekends off). I always made sure to wear cute but comfy clothes, have a hot drink in my hand and had a lazy day planned – dance parties or play doh were hits. There are certainly days where I miss working with kids but not today! I got to walk my two dogs, worked in the backyard and watched some Christmas cartoons. All that with the thought that I really needed to finish this post, ha!

Thank goodness I was on top of it last week, while on vacation ironically, and wrote the reviews already! So here you go, fellow book-addicts, some great reads for you!

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Highland Crossing – Pamela Griffin – Join four women as they cross from Scotland to North Carolina, where a brooch unites them in their search for love and a new life.

  • Seona hides on board the ship bound for N.C. with one goal – to stay away from the cargo master. To get caught by him will mean getting sent back to Scotland – which will lead to her death. The brooch is a family heirloom, will she be able to find the one it’s meant for?
  • Fiona travels to retrieve the brooch, but ends up on the whipping block. Can she trust the man who rescues her?
  • Seren sells the brooch in order to achieve her dream – to open a confectionery. But will it be worth it? Or will she have sold the heirloom for nothing?
  • Brynna finally has the brooch in her possession, but then it’s stolen. Will she be able to reclaim it, or will she lose something far more valuable?

-These were short, fun reads that, as with most short stories, I would have loved if they were longer! I enjoyed the fact that it was one family through the generations – with the brooch often being the item that changed their goals/focus/whatever you want to call it.

Spindle’s End – Robin Mckinley – On her name-day, Princess Briar-Rose is cursed by Pernicia to one day prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a never-ending sleep. But Katriona, a young fairy, kidnaps her in order to save her from her fate. She takes the princess to her small village and there, her aunt and her raise Briar-Rose where no one knows her true identity. But Pernicia won’t easily give up the chance to exact revenge for a defeat over four hundred years old.

-Mckinley once again delivers an enchanting re-telling of a fairy-tale. I picked this up at Powell’s Bookstore when my OH and I went last month and the risk paid off! I have heard that some of her re-tellings aren’t as good as Beauty (if you haven’t read that one, you simply must.) but I enjoyed this one! What I didn’t like about it was the loong detailed intro about the world they live in – and how the magic affects it and how they deal with it. It was a bit too much for me, I had to keep myself from skimming to get to the actual story. But once that was done, I loved every bit of it.

Hidden Places – Lynn Austin – Eliza has wanted a home all her life. After 10 years of having one, she isn’t about to let it go now. Wyatt Orchards is hers and her kids’. But keeping it up is more than she can handle. Help comes in the unexpected form of a hobo, who shares similarities to her late husbands’ lost brother. The pain and heartbreak in the farmhouse is overflowing, will it take a hold of Eliza as well?

– This is a novel that pulls at your heartstrings! I did a partial review last month but by the time I finished it I decided it’ll for sure be on the re-read list! Austin takes you through several of the characters backstories in detail which were like short stories all on their own! I loved that. The way she tied them all together was fantastic. Be prepared to not want to do anything but READ this book!

God-Fearers – Gentiles and the God of Israel – Toby Janicki – How do non-Jews participate in the modern revival of the Messianic Jewish? This book  brings together what is known on late Second-Temple Era Judaism and early Christianity to answer this question, and to introduce  those first non-Jewish believers, called God-Fearers.

-I set a goal of reading five Jewish focused- books this year. Sadly this is only my second! But, it is really good so far and written so that I can understand it! I don’t know about you, but I’ve found a lot of theology books to be hard to understand/follow. I highly recommend this for anyone wanting an intro of how Messianic Judaism and non-Jews can blend and worship together.

Silk –  Heart of India series #1 – Linda Chaikin – In the late 1700’s in India, Coral Kendall is heiress to Kingscote Silk Plantation. Breaking all caste rules, she adopts an orphaned Indian boy. Their love becomes that of mother and son but when he is abducted and then a body is found in the river, Coral’s heart is broken.

But could there be a reason to believe that the boy’s identity was not what she believed? Could he still be alive?  In order to find out the truth, Coral will have to trust one man – a man with more mysteries in his past than she can imagine.

-ACK! (that was an exclamation of excitement just so you know.) I have read these since I was a teenager and love them every. single. time. As I’ve grown I’ve picked up different aspects of the story. This is a trilogy, so don’t expect it to conclude quickly. I actually can’t remember where this novel ends!

(I will be doing a series review once I’ve read all of them but I wanted to share this one now)!

Happy December and Happy Reading!

~Laura

~If you purchase a book from Amazon by following a link here on SGL, I will get a percentage of the sale =) ~

Book Review – Good-bye, Lover

19 Nov

goodbyelover

Good-bye, Lover by Rachel Britz  – Set in Ireland in 1880. For Honora (Nora) Gallagher, her life is turned upside down when her father unexpectedly dies. The news of his death, and the unlikely requirement for her to inherit the estate, spreads across the country.  His will states that seventeen-year old Nora must marry within a year in order to inherit King’s Castle. Upset, she has to decide whether to follow her dream of attending the music school in Dublin or saving her home. As time passes though, things aren’t quite as they first appeared – money has gone missing and Fair Day has been cancelled – what is going on without her knowledge?

She soon realizes that the only way to solve her problems is through sacrifice.

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Can I officially FREAK OUT now? I adored this book. When I got it I thought of passing it on as a gift, but now it’ll only leave my hands if I know it’ll return! A new favorite!

Things I loved about it:

Set in Ireland.  – I have longed to go there for years and years

Set in the 1800’s – Adore that era, that’s even the time period my novel is in!

Faith is critical but didn’t feel overly done or fake – because, let’s be real, it happens people, even in books.

Talks about an actual composer and songwriter –you’ll have to read it to find out who. I’d never heard of him but I’m listening to one of his songs and WOW. Beautiful.

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Things I didn’t like about it:

When she is thinking (in italics), most of the time it was in the past tense. – This broke the flow for me. I’d go back and read it a few times, then, because I’m ME, I’d change it to the present tense. It would flow better to me and I could move on. 

It ended. – I don’t care if it is 215 pages. I didn’t want it to end!

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I received this book free from the publisher, Ambassador International. Check out Good-bye, Lover here on their site. Or, if you want to snag it from amazon, follow this link.

~Laura

Little Blossoms for Jesus

• Enjoying the old-fashioned & beautiful • • Thankful for grace • Growing in faith • • Learning life • Loving people •

Elaine Howlin

lost in the pages of books

See Jayne Run

Navigating with Chronic Illness in a Self Absorbed World