Until the Harvest is the continuing story to Sarah Loudin Thomas’s first book Miracle in a Dry Season. You do not need to read the first to enjoy this companion novel however I was glad I did as I had a much deeper connection with the town and the Phillip’s family. Starting off with a bit of a shocker, I was not sure how this story could redeem itself. But in Ms. Thomas’s very capable hands I was able to close the book at the very last page with a deep sigh of satisfaction. This story deals with grief and the consequences of our actions especially when we did not make the right choices. It is a coming of age story, and I must point out that the two matriarchs, Perla and Emily Phillip’s, handled some of the situations in this book in a fantastic loving manner. This is not an instant love story, but shows the growth and maturing of the characters. I also really liked the definition of family, especially when yours has written you off. Just like the first, this one has a touch of supernatural which was very interesting to watch and the explanation for it was pure and simple. I received this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.
Monday, August 31, 2015
Not by Sight is author Kate Breslin’s sophomore novel and it did not disappoint. Taking place during World War I this novel deals with spies, suffragettes, and gives us a brief history on the Women’s Forage Corps. From the beginning this book took an interesting turn and I was very excited to see what path Ms. Breslin would take us on for the final resolution. I enjoyed both of the main characters, Grace Mabry and Jack Benningham, especially Grace’s quick wit and retorts. I understood both of their plights and so wanted them to have a sit down talk, but knew that really would not be possible. The title of the novel fits the story in so many ways. This story was filled with intrigue, a romance simmering just below the surface, the importance of friendship, and plenty of action and mystery to keep me turning the pages. Kate Breslin has a way of telling stories during very serious times in history with a bit of a fairy tale quality, masks and labryinths included. I look forward to more of her storytelling. I received a copy for an honest review from Bethany House Publishers and the opinions are my own.
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Trial Run by Thomas Locke was a story with a very interesting premise. It is at times difficult to explain and there are quite a few key characters to keep track of. This is a bit of a science fiction story of people leaving their physical bodies and being able to travel to places with their conscience mind. A place where time is not what we know as in the physical realm. One group wants to use this new technique for good, to heal people, and another wants to be able to use it for the government for less than noble reasons. There are a couple of love stories woven in for the romantics and this also talks about quantum physics, and I hope maybe tie in time travel as well in future books. I am intrigued and do want to see where Mr. Locke takes us with his story. I received a copy for an honest review from Revell Publishing and the opinions are my own.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Trial by Twelve by Heather Day Gilbert is my first read by her and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is the second in the series, A Murder in the Mountains, but it can be read as a standalone. I own her Viking historical and the first in this series, but unfortunately due to time constraints I needed to read and review this one first. However, I plan to rectify that soon. I have just in the past few years been reading mystery and suspense and have read a lot of good ones. This one is by far my favorite. This continues the adventures of Tess a loving wife and mother to a sweet baby girl just working a part time job at a mountain spa to help pay for her husband's law school loans. Thomas, her husband, I instantly liked and I do wish there was more of Tess and Thomas time together. I do understand that this all takes place in a relatively short time and Thomas was working a lot to provide for his family too. When construction workers digging on the spa property find a human bone, the police are called in and discover a mass grave of eight bodies. For about ¾ of the book at the beginning of each chapter we have a very delusional father writing letters to his child through the years. Now this man seems to be getting more dangerous each passing year and we as the reader along with Tess and the police do not know if his child is male or female. That makes everyone suspect then from Tess’s peace loving boss, to the creepy computer guy, to the very strange masseur. Even the lead cop is a bit off. I will state that at times Tess, kind of like a Nancy Drew character, helping the investigation as much as she was seemed a little bit far-fetched but this was a fun, creepy, could not stop turning the pages kind of novel. I look forward to more stories, past and future by Ms. Gilbert. I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.
Sunday, August 16, 2015
Real Food for Rookies is a great book chock full of information on all kinds of food facts. This book is easy enough for a beginner learning to eat healthy food and just a great reminder to those of us who have been trying to eat healthier. I learned some surprising facts from this little food guide that I had not previously known. In a quick and simple matter, Kelly the Kitchen Kop explains such things as organic, MSG, sugar, fake sugar, fat free, raw milk, soy, etc. and those food stuffs that will benefit you and the ones you should absolutely avoid. She was very thorough with her research. Also the first chapter is a great quick reference food ingredient guide with the ratings of good, better, and best to help you when you shop for foodstuffs. She does include a few recipes and I think this is an invaluable resource to set families on the path to eating healthier and hopefully avoiding obesity and severe health problems due to our food intake. This will be a staple next to my cookbooks for a long time to come. I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.
Knowing My God Essential Bible Basics is a series starter set that includes three sturdy board books. The first one, Jesus Invites Me, is based on Mathew 11-28-30; the second one is Jesus Saves Me and is based on John 10:14-16; and the third one is Jesus Shows Me based on John 15:9-14. All the books have photographs of either children or animals and on the opposite page is part of the verse. Underneath there is an explanation and or an example of a life lesson of the part of the verse on the page. All three books are wrapped up in a lovely card stock that includes pictures to color and questions to answer. The books in the Graham Blanchard line are quickly becoming my favorite children’s books for teaching young ones the profound and important truths of God. I received a set of these books for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.
Through Waters Deep is my very first Sarah Sundin novel and I really enjoyed it. Taking place right before America entered into Word War 2, it portrays some of the pressure of those that were living in Boston at the time. Starting with the distrust of all Germans, the French and British wanting the Americans to enter the war, and those that did not want the draft to be enforced and who wanted their sons back home made this read full of high tension. With rising threats of a saboteur harming the ships, our heroine, Mary, with Nancy Drew tendencies is focused on finding the guilty party and doing her part to aid in the war. She meets up with old high school buddy Ensign Jim Avery whom she becomes close friends with and he believes her suspicions. Alternating between Boston and Jim’s time on ship acting as a convoy we are given a much more complete picture of the times of an ordinary citizen and the sailors on board during this crisis in American history. The romance was a gradual one and the action at times was nonstop. In regards to the romance, I wanted to at times shake both of them and tell them to open their eyes. When they finally did realize what fools they had been, they sizzled. This was book one and I look forward to book two when we meet Jim’s sister. I received this book for an honest review from Revell Publishing and the opinions are my own.
Monday, August 10, 2015
Hope Harbor is a novel about forgiveness, second chances, and starting over. I have only read Irene Hannon’s suspense books before and this is the first contemporary romance of hers that I have read. This dealt with two widows and a widower who all were carrying the baggage of guilt and regret. I really liked how all of their stories unfolded as the story was told and Ms. Hannon managed to keep me turning the pages to know what these deep seeded hurts were. And I especially enjoyed the way they all began to rejoin life and the hope that took root and bloomed for all of them in a very special place called Hope Harbor. I think my favorite character was Charley with his yummy sounding fish tacos and the mystery of his wise and sage advice. I received a complimentary copy for an honest review from Revell Publishing and the opinions are my own.
Where Trust Lies was a very surprising book for me. I have not read a book from author Janette Oak in a while and this was also co-authored with her daughter. The cover is absolutely beautiful and I so want to visit Canada now. This is the second in the series but it can be read as a standalone. This story does not focus so much on the romance between Beth Thatcher and her Mountie, but on Beth’s family and primarily her relationships with her mother and sisters. The Thatcher family have decided since Beth is back from her teaching position that the women will take a cruise around Canada and the USA. Beth at first is dismayed by the whole idea but as she is on the trip she does grow closer to her family. We along with the Thatcher’s get a glimpse of the different ports in Canada and wait expectantly with Beth for news from Jarrick, the Mountie, either by letter, telegraph, or phone. However, not everyone is as they seem on this cruise and things do begin to take a turn for the frightening. This is stated as a companion story to the Hallmark TV series, When Calls the Heart, which I just may have to start watching. I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.