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Showing posts from February, 2014

Book Review: The Secret in Belfast by Charity Bishop (2014)

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The Secret in Belfast by Charity Bishop
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Charity Bishop is a self-published author, and her latest book is available on Amazon, HERE. Please consider purchasing it as a means of supporting her efforts, and if you do purchase it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon (and Goodreads if you have an account).

It is an exhilarating time for Harland and Wolff, the ship-builders of Titanic. Their finest creation is being completed under the careful guidance of Thomas Andrews, and the ship will eventually set sail towards its inevitable tragic end. Parallel to the building of Titanic runs another story, this time a story of magic and deceit, of good and evil, and the remarkable Gift of a young man named Richard Pierce. He is an Influencer who can calm the minds and hearts of those around him and influence them to his bidding, if he so chooses. A dangerous magical device known as the grimoire, believed to be destroyed by the Conclave, a group of the Gifted to which…

Book Review: Dandelions on the Wind by Mona Hodgson (2013)

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My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

It is Maren Jensen's greatest desire to earn enough money to return home to Denmark before her eyesight fails her completely. A mail-order bride, her would-be husband refused her upon learning of her degenerative sight, abandoning her in St. Charles, Missouri. Maren now lives with the kindly Widow Brantenberg and her little granddaughter, Gabi, helping care for the house and the farm, but making no additional money to put aside for her return trip. It is only when Gabi's father, Woolly, returns alive from his time in the war between the states that Maren imagines the possibility of another life, a life of wholeness and love in St. Charles.

I am fond of historic literature, but lately prairie fiction is just not impressing me. Anything having to do with the 1850s to 1870s simply slides on past my radar as being mediocre. That could either be just me, or it could be that this book simply didn't snag my attention. I fear it's the latter. Sometimes…

Book Review: What Once Was Lost by Kim Vogel Sawyer (2013)

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My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read Chapter One
Author's Bio

Christina's parents ran a charitable poor farm until their deaths, and now the responsibility falls to Christina herself, a young woman who harbors a deep compassion for the downtrodden. When a fire displaces Christina and the poor farm tenants, she struggles to find places for her little family, at least until the mission board sends the funds to rebuilt. Little Tommy is the hardest one to place, since his blindness makes him a perceived liability around the house, but she finally settles him with a loner who lives on the outskirts of town, Levi Jonnson. The man runs a lumber mill, and is gruff in his ways, but she is left with no alternative. Surprisingly young Tommy takes to Levi almost immediately, and now all Christina must do is wait for the mission board to send funds. Except that they haven't done so, and now her tenants are slowly finding other positions in life. Is it just possible that God has a plan for her l…

Book Review: By the Pricking of My Thumbs (Tommy and Tuppence) by Agatha Christie

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By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I admit it, I'm now a die-hard Tommy and Tuppence fan. Ok, so my adoration actually started upon seeing Anthony Andrews play Tommy in a rather muddled interpretation of this story. But if I hadn't watched the episode, I would have never decided to read the book! A book which, as it turns out, is loads better than what the screenwriters pieced together. Who knew they created such a dreadful Frankenstein's monster?!

When Tommy's aged Aunt Ada dies in a home for elderly ladies, her belongings are disposed of by Tommy and Tuppence, all except for a few knick-knacks, odds and ends, and a painting that originally belonged to one of the other elderly ladies in the home. Tuppence remembers quite vividly her encounter with Mrs. Lancaster, and talk of a child being buried behind a fireplace. In a sudden fit of whatever you want to call it, Tuppence decides to return the picture to Mrs. Lancaster, thinking th…

Book Review: Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate (2014)

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Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Allie Kirkland's father died in a tragic car accident, he left a void that nothing could fill. Nothing except the idea of continuing in her father's chosen profession, the glitz and glamor of Hollywood film-making. Despite the disappointment of her family, mother, stepfather, and various half-siblings, Allie is determined to make a go of the Hollywood life, not in front of the camera, but behind. So when the opportunity crops up to intern with a company producing a historic reenactment village, she leaps at the chance. Little mysteries pop up here and there about Wildwood Creek, the town they are recreating, and none more mysterious than the story of Bonnie Rose, the school teacher of 1861 that many locals had claimed was a witch. Coinciding with Allie's story is the story of Bonnie Rose, the book altering between the voices of the two women, one a strong survivor, and the other learning that she's stronger th…

Book Review: Rescue Team by Candace Calvert (2013)

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Rescue Team by Candace Calvert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Search and rescue team captain, Wes Tanner was driven into the darkness as a little boy and left in the woods by his mother. That heart-pounding of a seven-year old motivates the man to keep looking, to keep pushing, to find the people who are lost. The safety of other people is his top priority, and is almost a complete 180 from the views of Kate Callison, the interim ER director for Grace Medical in Austin, TX. Her life is such that Kate is always running, from her emotions, from her father, from anything that will remind her of the mistakes she's made in the past. Wes and Kate meet through tragedy, and she is inevitably drawn to his quiet strength and his certainty that God watches over His creation. Her instincts are to push him away, but what Kate doesn't realize at first is that when she pushes Wes away, she's pushing God away, and He is the One she needs most to quiet her fears and give her a future and a hope.

Book Review: Captain Wentworth's Diary by Amanda Grange

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Captain Wentworth's Diary by Amanda Grange
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is exactly as it sounds; a diary from Captain Wentworth's perspective, the hero of Jane Austen's Persuasion. As most of my friends know, I don't go in for epistolary writing. Or Jane Austen-inspired fiction, for that matter. But . . . I couldn't resist! Wentworth is my second favorite of the Austen heroes, superseded only by Emma's Mr. Knightley.

Finding a diary from his perspective was pure heaven for two reasons.

1) I love the male perspective in literature. Heroines are usually the focus of most writers, but I've always loved novels from the perspective of the hero. I'm sure I have The Hardy Boys to blame for it, too. While all my friends were reading Nancy Drew, I was nose-deep in a book about my favorite brothers. So, yes, reading Persuasion from Wentworth's perspective appealed to me.

2) I always wanted to see how Wentworth and Anne met and wooed back in 1806! It never…