Monday, May 18, 2015

Love Letters Review

"The Love Letters" by Beverly Lewis is one of her best books.  Marlena is an Old Order Amish raised young woman whose parents have left the church to join the Beachy Amish ( a modern group of Amish).  Her Mennonite grandfather has recently died and she has gone to stay with her widowed grandmother.  While there her sister (who has left all of the above groups) is in a car wreck leaving her infant daughter in Marlena's care.  While in her new location she befriends her Old Order neighbors and their son with disabilities, Small Jay.  Small Jay, or Jake, as he would rather be called, has recently befriended a homeless man who has trouble remembering even his name.  There are many storylines interweaving and many faiths crossing in this novel.  Marlena starts to question which road she would like to take in her religion.  Where does she belong?  Small Jay, whose father appears to have no use for him, starts to question his care and where he belongs as well.  The homeless many has a mysterious bag of love letters who he may or may not be the recipient of.  Is someone our there looking for him?  To add to the reoccurring theme of where does one belong, Angela Rose, the tiny orphan, is looking for a place to belong as well, even if she doesn't know it.
 
I really liked this book.  Lewis usually can't go wrong.  She spent a little too much time in her past novels with the "tales of the missing kid"; but she has moved on with that and has developed a much more complex method of writing.  I like the new path she is taking with her novels.  Will continue to read more!  I give it 4.5 stars.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Bethany Publishers. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tut meets Moses

"Pharaoh's Daughter" by Mesu Andrews is A Treasures of the Nile Novel.  In this novel Andrews takes two true stories: King Tut  and Moses, and spins a what-if.  What if King Tut had been the unnamed pharaoh in the Moses story?  Tut's sister Anippe, lives in the Delta and is the daughter of pharaoh (Tut's father) that pulls Moses from the river.  There is nothing in history that says this is true, but then again, there is nothing that says it is not.  Andrews weaves a narrative of fiction that combines the maybes and blends an intriguing story. 
Because this story combines two true life stories, there are a lot of names and events to keep track of.  Luckily, the author included a map of the characters in the beginning of the book.  The reader will need to refer to it regularly.  Anippe and her sister Ankhe are forced to watch a birth when they are young.  The mother and baby both die, leaving Anippe too scared of childbirth to risk attempting.  She then adopts a Hebrew child as her own.  Her sister meanwhile just loves to stir the pot.  Ankhe is the most interesting character of the book.  Everyone seems to hate her and fear her.  And with good cause.  She is a nasty one!  This is a book that will take a lot of time to read.  No short cuts.  It is a good what-if though.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from www.bloggingforbooks.com

Monday, April 27, 2015

River's Edge Review

"River's Edge" book 3 in the Cape Refuge Series by Terri Blackstock,is a modern mystery in the Christian Fiction genre.  Ben and Lisa are a well-to-do couple who have been battling infertility for 13 years.  On the morning of Lisa's third try at IVF she turns up missing.  A local psychic leads the police to the location of the body.  Ben, who is in the middle of a heated mayoral election becomes the prime suspect.  As the puzzle pieces come together, the picture gets wider and wider.  The media turns the case into a national circus and one couple's trauma with infertility starts to hit home with another couple who is close to the story. 
I have not read any of the other Cape Refuge books, and though a few past references are made to the other books, they are not necessary in order to understand "Edge."  However, reading this novel makes we want to read the others.  Blackstock consistently turns out a good series and is very skilled at intertwining mystery and faith.  I would call it more of a Christian friendly novel rather than Christian Fiction.  Blackstock steers clear of becoming preachy.  Her characters tend to be Christian and she makes no apologies for that.  And I never did figure out the killer until she told me.  Highly recommend this book!  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from www.booklookbloggers.com

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

the Hawthorne's

"The House of Hawthorne" by Erika Robuck is the novel based on the marriage of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne told through the eyes of Mrs. Hawthorne.  The novel starts out with Sophia traveling to Cuba in an effort to relieve herself of debilitating headaches.  Sophia is an artist that suffers from severe headaches following artistic activity.  Upon her return she meets Nathaniel Hawthorne, the future author of "The Scarlett Letter".  The couple then begin a life together writing and traveling the world. 
House of Hawthorne is a who's who of the early 1800s.  Making appearances are the Emersons, Thereau, the Alcotts, Horace Mann, and the Pierces', as in President Pierce.  The novel is well written and bring to light a lot of issues of the time period and of the Transcendentalist movement.  There is no central storyline, it is more of a timeline in the couple's lives.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from First To Read. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Breaking Creed review

"Breaking Creed" by Alex Kava is the first novel in her new Creed series, branching off from one of her favorites, O'Dell, FBI agent.  In this novel, Creed and his highly trained dogs are in the business of finding whatever needs finding.  He tends to go back and forth between drugs and bodies.  Breaking combines the two.  O'Dell is searching for the killers, whom she suspects are cartel, in the "package" that was found in the Potomac River.  Meanwhile, Creed is searching for drugs on a boat run for the cartel, when he finds several children being shipped to Colombia.  This particular cartel is using children as their mules.  The two cases cross paths in Alabama and O'Dell and Creed join forces to solve the crimes. 
I had read the novel where the two had met before in the original series, so I was familiar with characters.  I love the story line, the characters, and the intrigue.  The only problem I had was that Amanda, one of the mules, seemed incredibly naive.  I found it hard to believe a girl that had lived the life she had would not catch on a little quicker.  She seemed much more typical.  Other than that, this is a great mystery.  I had received this book from First to Read, however, didn't read it in time to be deleted.  Soooo, this was actually checked out of a library.  I would recommend you go to your library and find it to.  Worth the read. 

Beyond OC review

"Beyond Orange County" by Lydia McLaughlin is the telling of life lessons by a former reality show star.  Lydia has been on a previous season of Housewives of Orange County. She brought to the show a Christian aspect; which is unusual for reality TV.  She tells of past life-lessons, quotes scripture, and gives a behind the scenes view of the show.  Let me say that first of all, I had never heard of McLaughlin, have never seen the show, and am not a fan of reality TV.  I picked this book for the reason that my husband was raised and lived in Orange County until he was in his mid-twenties.  Judging from his family, friends, and neighbors, I would have to say that McLaughlin's Orange County must be a little more affluent.  She is also much more religious than average Orange Countian as well.  So that being said, I really didn't have any type of back story going into this book.  A lot more would have been taken from it if the reader where a reality watcher, or at least seen any of the Housewives shows. 
Judging the book as an independent thing, McLaughlin is one heck of a writer.  Removing the subject matter; she can string words together very well.  There is no helper-writer mentioned, so I am assuming she did this entirely by herself.  She incorporated the scripture into the writing so that one didn't especially notice when it was happening.  This is a short book and a quick read.  I would definitely recommend this to someone interested in her or into reality television.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Worthy Publishing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The last four are a doozie

"The Last Four Days of Paddy Buckley" by Jeremy Massey is definitely worth the read.  Paddy is a widower whose world is completely engulfed by his grief. He has buried himself into his work as an undertaker at a funeral home in Dublin when he meets Lucy, a new widow that is using the funeral services for her husband.   The two form an instant bond sharing their mutual mourning when Lucy falls dead.  This triggers a string of rather unusual and dangerous events involving mortuary accidents and the local mafia. 
This is an incredibly well written and riveting novel.  The author makes funeral home rituals and practices actually quiet interesting.  The action and romance keeps the reader reading well into the night unable to put the book down.  I give it four and a half stars.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.firsttoread.com