Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Review: A Corpse at St. Andrew's Chapel by Mel Starr

A Corpse at St. Andrew’s Chapel by Mel Starr is not my usual read.  However the synopsis intrigued me and I became very invested in the story and connected with the main character.  Sir Hugh, not only a surgeon but also the bailiff for his lord’s land, is trying to keep the castle and grounds running smoothly while the lord is away.  A strange murder has taken place under his watch and some of the peasants believe it was a wolf.  Sir Hugh is not convinced as there is not much blood and the man’s shoes are missing.  As he sets out to investigate this matter a number of strange things are happening and some folks are acting suspiciously. 

I really enjoyed this medieval read.  I liked the descriptions of medieval life, medicine, and being inside Hugh’s head as he tries to unravel this mystery before the lord of the castle comes home.  He is also in want of a wife and it was very interesting to read his thoughts as he journals them to us.  This is the second book in this series and the first one I have read, however this in no way affected my reading enjoyment.   I would like to continue reading more about Sir Hugh as this book ended on a very curious note.   I received my copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Review: Evergreen by Susan May Warren

Evergreen by Susan May Warren was a poignant yet also a heart breaking and heartwarming read.  Ingrid and John of the Christiansen family are finding themselves as empty nesters for the first time and most of their children are not coming home for the holidays.  While John plans a surprise romantic trip for Ingrid, Ingrid is not dealing with her empty home well.  When past feelings long buried begin to resurface, Ingrid and John need to take a step back from their lives and really look at and begin anew with the spouse they married, especially in this new season of life.  Enter their 16 year old nephew who needs them as guardians and their older sick dog, and you have some bittersweet holidays in the making.  I have always enjoyed reading Susan May Warren books.  This one I was pretty much crying through most of the book as I do not look forward to my children leaving the nest.  This book for the most part has a happy ending, though we went through much with the characters to get there.  I do look forward to reading more of the Christiansen family novels which are about Ingrid and John’s six kids.  I received this book from The Book Club Network, Inc. for an honest review and the opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Review: The Pharaoh's Daughter by Mesu Andrews

This was an epic read for me.  I have just recently really started to delve into Biblical fiction after avoiding it for years.  After a while, I decided to go ahead and take a chance on it and so far I have really enjoyed reading that genre.   This may be my favorite so far.  Mesu Andrews takes the Egyptian mother of Moses and writes her into the pages of history and shines a light on her story.  Grant it, this is fiction but Ms. Andrews has done her Biblical and historical research.  I have always wondered about the workings of Moses being saved from the Nile and becoming the son of pharaoh’s daughter.   This story takes a plausible look at how that may have happened.   With political intrigue and a thread of romance I was taken back into time into the workings of Egyptians royal family and court.  This story does not shy away either from the cruelty of some of these leaders.  I also saw the relevance concerning our current times and culture happening right now in the world.  I so very much enjoyed the author’s notes as well.  I learned some Bible lessons and history lessons as I went back and did my own investigating of Ms. Andrew’s research.  That is what I have discovered the most that I enjoy about Biblical fiction.  That I go back to the Word of God and see little tidbits of information I had only glossed over before.  And also discovering anew how the Bible so neatly and wonderfully fits into history.  So I really do appreciate the authors’ notes at the end of their books and the meticulous research they do.   I look forward to the next in this series of A Treasures of the Nile and to reading her previous books.  

FTC disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  As always, the opinions are my own.

Mesu Andrews’ deep understanding of and love for God's Word brings the biblical
world alive for her readers. Her first novel, Love Amid the Ashes won the
2012 ECPA Book of the Year for a Debut Author. Her three subsequent novels, Love's
Sacred Song, Love in a Broken Vessel, and In the Shadow of Jezebel all released to
great reader enthusiasm. Mesu lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Roy.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Review: The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen

The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen was such a yummy book to dive into.  If you like gothic romances this one delivers with bumps in the night, strange and estranged relatives, young innocents, mystery, murder, intrigue, and plenty of secrets.  Throw in a romantic thread and you have a story that kept me up long past my bedtime.  Abigail Foster and her family are facing financial ruin and so they, being distant relatives of the Pembrooke estate have been asked to occupy it and care for its upkeep.  Ready to abandon the city, Abigail, nursing a broken heart and her father travel to the property and begin making it habitable ahead of her mother and sister’s arrival.  However, things are not so simple, and the home and the entire town are shrouded in secrets long kept for 18 years.  Along with rumors of a secret treasure room somewhere on the estate, Abigail becomes very much a part of the story of this home.  I have not read a book by Julie Klassen I have disliked and this one goes on the keeper shelf.  I received my copy from The Book Club Network, Inc. for an honest review and the opinions stated are my own.

Review: Anna's Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Anna’s Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher is not your usual Amish story.  This story takes place in 1737 where we find a group of Amish and Mennonite communities preparing to leave on a ship from Germany to the New World.  They have decided to travel to Penn’s Woods so that they may have the freedom to worship as they see fit.  I enjoy sea faring tales a great deal, and this one takes place for the most part on the ship known as the Charming Nancy.   This was a very in depth story of their lives at sea, particularly that of Anna Konig and her community of Amish.  This story is not for the faint of heart as it does mention some of man’s inhumanity to man, especially on slavers, and the hardships these emigrants braved to come to the New World.  This story has a lovely romance, familial love, and shows a strong community.  I was also quite surprised at some of the major revelations this story revealed for our characters.  Ms. Fisher has done her homework with the historical detail she gives this story and includes some of the actual history of this ship and its voyage in her author’s notes.  I really enjoyed this story and I hope that there might be a sequel.  I received my copy for an honest review from Revell, and the opinions stated are my own.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Review: Waiting for Your Prince by Jackie Kendall

Waiting for your Prince by Jackie Kendall is a must read for every young lady in waiting. Taking examples from the story of Ruth and from her own life, Jackie Kendall encourages girls to wait for God’s best by spending their time growing closer to Christ rather than simply hunting for a man.  In an easy and fun to read way, this book shows girls, based off the example of Ruth, how to become young women of purity, contentment, patience, and so on in order that they may become girls after God’s own heart and attract their Boaz rather than bozos. This book encouraged me and helped me see romance in a Biblical perspective- not the media’s, for once- and I strongly recommend everyone to read this book; seriously, I can’t say this enough.  I received this book from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions stated are my own.
Reviewed by Jes

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Review: The Egg-Cellent Easter Adventure by Darcie Cobos

The Egg-Cellent Easter Adventure is a storybook for kids about what Easter is all about. Told in a unique way, three children and their dog embark on a scavenger hunt of sorts when they find a treasure chest with a glowing Easter egg in their attic.  The story was simple and easy to understand and the illustrations were bright and colorful and full of the life of the story.  I liked the message this book promoted, of Jesus being the light in the world and that His light shines in the darkness.  This story book is a companion to the Egglo glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunts.  I think that having an Easter egg hunt in the dark sounds like a novel and fun idea.  With Easter coming soon this could make a memorable impression on a young child.  I received my copy from The Book Club Network, Inc.  in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated are my own.