Monday 28 April 2014

Book Review: For Such a Time as This

Cover Art
ISBN # 9780764211607


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

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

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

My Reflections: 

This is Kate Breslin's debut novel, but you would never know. The story is a hefty 421 pages, but again you would never know the way they fly by. I decided to review this book because of the intriguing way it is presented, it is a parallel of the biblical account of Esther. Though it is fictional and the biblical account is not told in chronological order, I was in love with the flow and intensity of the plot. This story is so well written and knit together that it is easy to loose your self within the pages of this tale. On all levels I give this story a five star rating, something I rarely do!

The story is set in Czechoslovak during WWII in a concentration camp. Our Heroine is Stella, a Jewish woman, who unbelievably is rescued from execution by Nazi soldier, Colonel Aric von Schmidt. Von Schmidt treats Stella with kindness, and gives her the necessities of life. This is one complex and dynamic character, Aric has the tremendous and hideous task of being the Kommandant of the Theresienstadt camp. I really wanted to dislike his character but oddly I didn't, the same was true for Stella, she felt she should dislike this man but somehow she couldn't bring herself to hate him..

Risking everything Stella takes great chances to try and help those she can, and in turn learns much about the human spirit, her faith, and the God she serves. What happens when she can't help herself?

I love that each chapter of this book is opened with a verse from the book of Esther, giving the reader an insight into where the story is paralleling. This book has so many twists and turns and is by no means predictable, something that I found quite surprising considering the fact that you think you should know how the story ends.

Breslin does not sugar coat this story and it contains some disturbing and gory details of events that took place in this very dark time of our history. This is a hard but exceptional story to read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction.

 "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Kate Breslin

Kate Breslin

A Florida girl who migrated to the Pacific Northwest, Kate Breslin was a bookseller for many years. Author of several travel articles, award-winning poet, and RWA Golden Heart finalist, Kate now writes inspiring stories about the healing power of God's love. For...

Continue reading about Kate Breslin

Monday 21 April 2014

Book Review: Caught in the Middle

Cover Art
ISBN # 9780764209925
 From the Back:
She Wants the Freedom of the Open Plains.
He Wants the Prestige of a Successful Career.
Neither is Ready for What Comes Instead.

The train to Garber, Texas, is supposed to bring life's next victory to Nicholas Lovelace. Instead, it gets held up by robbers who are thwarted by the last person Nick ever expected--Anne Tillerton from back home in Prairie Lea.

Anne's been hiding away as a buffalo hunter. She's only in town to find their runaway cook, but the woman flees--leaving Anne with her infant son. With Nick the only person Anne knows in town, the two form an unlikely team as they try to figure out what to do with the child.

My Reflections:
Caught in the Middle is the third book of the Ladies of Cadwell Country series. All three book are able to be read as a stand alone, but reading them in a series will afford the reader more insight into the details of the story lines and characters.
Having recently read the novel A match Made in Texas, (where Jennings was one of the featured authors) I was reminded how much I enjoyed the writing style of this author. Needless to say I was impressed and could not wait to read more form her.

In Caught in the Middle we explore what becomes of Anne Tillerton. Anne has not had the easiest life, and is a real survivor. She has endured an abusive husband, (who she killed) but Anne is determined to overcome her past. Dressed as a buffalo hunter she is ready to tackle the world and a runaway cook. Saddled with the cooks young child Anne must wrestle with her own fears, inadequacies and learn to trust and love again.

Nicholace Lovelace never imagined he would see anyone he knew on the train, especially not a woman dressed as a man! Things get tricky when the train is over run with robbers and he gets saved by that..woman! Just as things get back to normal their tracks intersect again, and the pair form an unlikely friendship. Nicholace feels his high society standing, is getting rather cramped with rough around the edges Ann. When things get confusing with his work and personal affairs, Nicholace learns there is more to life than what people think, than social standings or money. Can Nicholace tame this wild woman, and will their friendship ever develop into a deep and lasting love?

I felt Jennings did an amazing job on this novel. She captured the spunk and zest of Anne perfectly. She has the ability of layering her characters so that they display the depth and genuine feelings of true to life personalities. Wonderful writing, entertaining stories and depth of emotion, can't wait for book four!

"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"

About the Author:
Regina Jennings

Regina Jennings

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She has worked at The Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various...
Continue reading about Regina Jennings

Sunday 20 April 2014

A new Spring is here..

Here are a few pictures of our spring past and present. Life is ever changing but like the seasons we grow and change, and it is good.  Enjoy!

Hey remember this? We have been here for about 2 1/2 years now and slowly...very slowly we have hauled this beast away. What a big, big boat!
Now the area is awaiting our landscaping ideas. I am thinking it would make a great place to pitch a tent. Have a gazebo, or plant a many ideas. Haha and just look at our Hannah city dog to the right of the picture, transformed to uh this..

What she looks like today. Poor ol' girl!

Last spring this little gem of a woodpecker woke us up every morning. Glad to say he is back and up to his old tricks, letting his girls know how strong and loud he is. Pretty little guy!

 And the flowers are out, Love when new life blooms new.
Fawn Lilies by the river.
And the cat, ever present.   


Book Review: A Sensible Arrangement

Cover Art
ISBN # 9780764210587

From the Back:

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

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

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

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

 My Reflections:
Tracie Peterson starts a new series with her lone Star Brides, new characters, new plot lines and new adventures. I am definitely a fan of Peterson's work so it is no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed her new novel A Sensible Arrangement. 
Set in Texas around the later part of 1892, this historical fiction has the perfect mix of drama, faith and good clean romance. It is easy to become engrossed in the story line of mail order bride and marriage of convenience.

Marty (Martha) yearning to start new, after her husbands untimely death wants nothing to do with ranching or the land that pulls at her memory of her late husband. She devises a plan to become a mail order bride and have a marriage in name sake only. Her character is self sufficient, loving and nurturing, a perfect blend for falling in love with a husband who you don't love.

Jake an upstanding business man, needs a woman on his arm to navigate the social norms of the time. Pressured by his employers he is encouraged to find a "wife". Not lucky at love Jake chooses to take the simple, uncomplicated route and advertise for a bride. Following his desire to one day return to ranching he stipulates that he wants a "Texas bride".  Complications arise..

Another brilliant start to a new series, I will certainly be keeping my eyes open for book two in the Lone Star Brides saga. Anyone who loves a good love story will certainly enjoy 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".

About the Author: 

Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over one hundred novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in...
Continue reading about Tracie Peterson

Thursday 17 April 2014

Book Review: What Follows After

Cover Art
ISBN # 9780800721206
From the Back:
 In 1962, life was simple, the world made sense, and all families were happy.
And when they weren't, everyone knew you were supposed to pretend.

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

Colt, for one, has had enough, so he hatches a plan. He and his little brother will run away from their Florida home, head for their aunt's house in Georgia, and refuse to come home until their parents get back together. But when things go terribly, terribly wrong, Scott and Gina must come to grips with years of neglect and mistrust in order to recover their beloved sons, their love for one another, and their marriage.
My Reflections: 
What Follows after is an emotionally charged saga centering around mistrust and deceit, and the fallout from the decisions made.
This book grabbed me from the start, and I had a hard time putting it down for the need to find out how the book finished. Gina and Scott realize that the lies and stress they have put on their children force the boys to do the unthinkable, run away. Unfortunately the boys don't make it to their destination. Gina and Scott must face the realities their actions have caused. Can they come to a common ground? Will they learn the most important things in life are faith, family and love? 
This book is well worth the read, and I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a good heart wrenching story. I was so very glad to have read this story as it encouraged me on to have the safety talk with my little one about stranger danger. 
Thank you Mr. Walsh for a well written, beautifully crafted story, can't wait to read more from you!
"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"

About the Author:
Dan Walsh

Dan Walsh

Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of several books, including The Dance and The Promise with Gary Smalley, as well as The Unfinished Gift, The Discovery, and The Reunion. He has won three Carol Awards, and two of his novels...
Continue reading about Dan Walsh

Saturday 5 April 2014

Book Review: Dead Man's Switch

Dead Man's Switch  -     By: Sigmund Brouwer
ISBN# 978 0 7369 1747 6

From the Back:

When a teen boy receives a written warning from his friend to avoid his church and leave his remote island town immediately, he’s terrified—his friend died weeks ago!

He knows danger is up ahead when he realizes that his friend’s dead man’s switch computer program has been activated. Unsure who to trust, he sets out alone to unravel a dark conspiracy. Soon, the seeker soon becomes the hunted in an unknown wilderness. The only hope for escape is a trigger-happy hermit—a man with his own secrets to hide.

Fiction fans who love a great mystery and the quest for justice will talk about and think about this book long after the last chapter is read.

My Reflections:
This book came in perfect time, as my two home schooled children had just attended a day long workshop on writing, presented by Sigmund Brouwer. You can imagine their excitement when the very next day the book I was reviewing came in the mail. You guessed it, it was Dead Man's Switch. I was super mom for the day! So needless to say both children were eagerly waiting for me to be finished with the book, just so they could be next to read it!

This book was filled with age appropriate drama, action and adventure. You will not find any foul language or young love scenes in this novel, a real breath of fresh air, it is clean and safe for tweens.

If your child is looking for an action packed story, on the edge drama, this book is for them. I was left on the hook until I flipped the last page. I would recommend "Dead Man's Switch" for grades 5 and up as some of the events can be a bit scary and confusing to the younger crowd.

Definitely waiting for the sequel, can't wait to see Sigmund Brouwer at the next writers workshop!

This book was provided free of charge from Harvest House Publishers in return for my honest review. Thank you Harvest House!

About the Author:

Sigmund Brouwer

Sigmund Brouwer

Sigmund Brouwer is the popular author of more than 40 novels and numerous non-fiction books. He is coauthor of The Last Disciple series, which was featured in Time magazine and on ABC's Good Morning America. Sigmund inspires teens to read through speaking engagements at schools across North America and through his programs. Sigmund is married to Christian recording artist Cindy Morgan, and they have two daughters.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...