Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Shadowed by Grace: A Story of Monuments Men By Cara C. Putman

 I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own!



Book Description:

Shadowed by Grace is a dramatic story inspired by the Monuments Men of World War II by acclaimed author Cara C. Putman. Desperate to save her dying mother, Rachel accepts her newspaper’s assignment to travel to Italy to capture images dangerously close to the front lines of WWII. Her real motive – to find the father she never knew -- an artist she hopes can offer the comfort and support both she and her mother need to survive. It’s an unlikely situation for love and faith to flourish, but soon Rachel not only finds herself, but also her long-lost earthly father, and ultimately, the man her Heavenly father created to cherish and provide for her.




My Thoughts:

 Shadowed by Grace is the first fiction book I have read by Cara C. Putman and I enjoyed it. This book focuses on the Monument Men of World War II and the artifacts that went missing during WWII and how the United States soldiers worked to find them. Photographer Rachel finds herself teamed up with Monuments Man Scott Lindstrom as they head north in Italy. As they travel, they encounter locals who either welcome or distrust them, and pillaged Catholic churches. They help where they can, and Rachel takes photographs of the devastation. They eventually reach the castle of Montegufoni, where many works from Florence were hidden for safety during the war. It is there that they meet a former associate of Scott’s, a man who may hold the key to Rachel’s personal history.

 As most familiar with my blog know, I am a huge Historical Fiction fan! I love to read these books that have fact and fiction weaved together.  Cara C. Putman writes with authority about the world during WWII especially Italy, Germany, and The United States, the jobs of Monument Men, the military during WWII, and works of art of Italy.  As I read this book I could see these works of art in my mind from the vivid descriptions through out this book. I enjoyed the characters in this book especially Rachel. Her determination and dedication to her art were heart warming. Also her journey to finding God in her life again especially through Scott's display of faith.  I felt like I was there watching the events unfold. I loved the historical facts that went into this book. I learned quite a bit about WWII I didn't know. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you won't be disappointed. I give this book 4 stars! I look forward to reading more from Cara C. Putman.



Cara Putman is celebrating her latest historical suspense novel, Shadowed by Grace with a fun "Past & Present" giveaway! 

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One winner will receive:
  • A Polaroid Instant Camera
  • A beautiful antique AFGRA camera (learn more here)
  • Movie passes to see The Monuments Men movie (with George Clooney and Matt Damon)
  • Shadowed By Grace by Cara Putman
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 8th. Winner will be announced February 10th on Cara's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Cara's blog on the 10th to see if you won.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Julie Klassen’s “The Dancing Master” giveaway and “All Things Jane” webcast 1/23

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of the book. The opinions expressed here are my own.



Book Description:

  Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.

Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch's daughter. Though he's initially wary of Julia Midwinter's reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul--and hidden sorrows of her own.

Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master--a man her mother would never approve of--but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec's help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village...and to her mother's tattered heart?

Filled with mystery and romance, The Dancing Master brings to life the intriguing profession of those who taught essential social graces for ladies and gentlemen hoping to make a "good match" in Regency England.





My Thoughts:  


The Dancing Master is the second book by Julie Klassen I have read and I loved it.  Alec Valcourt moves with his Mother and Sister to Devonshire to start over from scandal in London.  Alec Valcourt has dreams of reopening his dancing and fencing academy until they arrive in Devonshire and found out that the matriarch, Amelia Midwinter,  has banned dancing for reasons unknown.  Alec finds himself befriending Julia Midwinter, Amelia Midwinter's daughter.   Julia knows her mother would never approve of Alec but finds herself attracted to him more and more. Alec makes many friends in Devonshire and starts to unravel the mystery surrounding the dancing ban, while Julia Midwinter unravels secrets in her and her mother's past. 


I really enjoyed this newest novel from Julie Klassen. As a fan of Historical Fiction I was really drawn to this book.  I found it unique because it was told from Alec Valcourt's perspective rather than Julia Midwinter's. I loved the characters especially John Desmond, who has a very intimate and complicated past with Amelia Midwinter. I also loved Mr. Barlow, Amelia Midwinter's right hand. These characters were the main ones that spoke of faith and God's love to the others and demonstrated it to all who saw them.   Julie Klassen writes with authority about dancing, fencing, England, The 1800's and all that happened.  I really felt like I was there in Beaworthy, Devonshire, England watching this story unfold  from the vivid descriptions. I loved that this book has a little bit of everything: Romance, mystery, suspense, and deep history.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more by Julie Klassen.  I give this book 4.5 Stars.



Check out the giveaway Julie is having!

 Best-selling author Julie Klassen will be hosting a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a live webcast event (1/23) to celebrate the release of her latest novel, The Dancing Master. Enter and RSVP today!

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  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on January 23rd. Winner will be announced at the "All Things Jane (from Austen to Eyre)" Live Webcast Event on January 23rd. Connect with Julie for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Julie will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, Jane Austen DVDs, fun "Jane" merchandise, and gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of The Dancing Master and join Julie and friends on the evening of January 23rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 23rd!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Heart Failure By Richard L. Mabry M.D.

I received this book from Booksneeze.com's blogger program for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

 
When her fiancĂ©’s dangerous secrets turn her work upside down, a beautiful doctor must choose between her own safety and the man she loves—and thought she knew.
Dr. Carrie Markham’s heart was broken by the death of her husband two years ago. Now, just as her medical practice is taking off, her fresh engagement to paralegal Adam Davidson seems almost too good to be true . . . until a drive-by shooting leaves Carrie on the floor of his car with glass falling around her.
When he confesses that Adam isn’t his real name and that he fled the witness protection program, Carrie is left with an impossible choice: should she abandon the fiancee she isn’t sure she really knows, or accept his claim of innocence and help him fight back against this faceless menace?
While Carrie struggles to decide whether to follow her heart or her head, the threats against them continue to escalate. Her life—as well as Adam’s—depends on making the right choice . . . and the clock is ticking.



My Thoughts:


Heart Failure is the latest book of Richard L. Mabry M.D. and it is spectacular. Dr. Carrie Markham has put her life back together since her husband's death. She has her medical practice and her fiancee, Adam Davidson. A drive by shooting puts her life back in shambles as she finds out Adam is not who he says he is. Adam tells her his story, claiming innocence in the situation now she must decide if she will stand by "Adam" to fight this or walk away. 

Heart Failure is the second book of Richard L. Mabry's I have had the pleasure of reading. As a fan of medical suspense books, this one caught my attention right away.  Richard Mabry, M.D. delivers  an exciting mystery suspense novel with an intimate  look into the medical profession. Richard Mabry has a unique ability to tell both sides of the story- the doctor and the patients perspective.From the start Heart Failure grabbed my attention and held on to it throughout the whole story.  I found myself unable to put this book down and it kept me guessing all the way to the end.  Richard Mabry M.D. writes a thrilling mystery with God being the center of his characters lives. This book has a little bit of everything. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Suspense Fiction, especially medical suspense. You will not be disappointed! I look forward to reading more by Richard Mabry MD. I give this book 4.5 Stars. 

Fatal Tide: East Salem Trilogy Book 3 By Lis Wiehl and Pete Nelson

I received this book from Booksneeze.com's blogging program for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinion expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

In East Salem, the elite St. Adrian’s Academy is at the nexus of a satanic apocalypse—and the fatal tide is rising.

When Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights is reunited with the pagans who commissioned it, a dark prophecy begins to unfold in East Salem, beginning with a savage double-murder by hellish creatures straight out of the painting itself. The lone survivor of the attack, a seventeen-year-old Brit, finds sanctuary at Tommy Gunderson’s home—and the place is soon surrounded by demons who seem to be biding their time…but for how long? 

Tommy’s pond has been contaminated with Provivilan—an insidious drug that could transform New York City’s children into an army of violence-addicted murderers. But for an occult cabal in the upper echelons of Linz Pharmaceuticals, contaminating the water supply is just part of an ancient conspiracy against all of humankind. 

As the clouds gather, Tommy and Dani realize they must infiltrate Linz and St. Adrian’s to stop the dissemination of Provivilan. Even then, it could take a tangible eruption of the battle between angels and demons to save humanity from the supernatural evils that have been summoned to East Salem



My Thoughts:

Fatal Tide is the last book in Lis Wiehl and Pete Nelson's series East Salem Trilogy and it is AWESOME.  The battle has began as the prophecy stated would happen.  One boy survives the attack and is taking cover with Tommy, Dani, and the rest of their group as they fight this evil.  As each of them take on a different part to defeat this darkness, they find out how deep this goes and all that are involved.  Good and Evil battle for control.

I am a HUGE fan of Lis Wiehl's and have had the pleasure of reading and review almost all of her books. The East Salem Trilogy has been an awesome series that I am sorry to see end. The battle of good and evil erupts in this small town but it takes a lot of big people to help defeat it.  This story is fast paced and action packed from the start. I was instantly taken in and could not put this book down. I loved the characters, good and bad. As I read this story I felt like I was there watching the events unfold. I highly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys suspense, action and Christian Fiction. You will not be disappointed! I look forward to reading more from both of these fantastic authors.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Carolina Gold By Dorothy Love and A Southern Essentials Giveaway Each Day and $100.00 Visa Cash Card

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions express here are my own.


Book Description:


The war is over, but at Fairhaven Plantation, Charlotte's struggle has just begun.

Following her father’s death, Charlotte Fraser returns to Fairhaven, her family’s rice plantation in the South Carolina Lowcountry. With no one else to rely upon, smart, independent Charlotte is determined to resume cultivating the superior strain of rice called Carolina Gold.  But the war has left the plantation in ruins, her father’s former bondsmen are free, and workers and equipment are in short supply.

To make ends meet, Charlotte reluctantly agrees to tutor the two young daughters of her widowed neighbor and heir to Willowood Plantation, Nicholas Betancourt.  Just as her friendship with Nick deepens, he embarks upon a quest to prove his claim to Willowood and sends Charlotte on a dangerous journey that uncovers a long-held family secret, and threatens everything she holds dear.
Inspired by the life of a 19th-century woman rice farmer, Carolina Gold pays tribute to the hauntingly beautiful Lowcountry and weaves together  mystery, romance, and historical detail, bringing to life the story of one young woman’s struggle to restore her ruined world.




My Thoughts:

 Carolina Gold is Dorothy Love's fourth novel. Carolina Gold is inspired by the life of a 19th century woman who became a rice farmer in the Lowcountry.  Charlotte Fraser returns to her home, Fairhaven, to replant the rice fields with the superior strain of rice called, Carolina Gold, that her father had done many years before.  These fields gave the Fraser Family their income and wealth prior to the Civil War. Now that the war is over, Fairhaven is in shambles, the former workers of the land are now free, and there are not enough workers or supplies to go around.  Everyone around Charlotte keep telling her she should farm, but she is determined to keep her promise she made her father.  Charlotte finds herself in need of money so she agrees to tutor two sisters, Anne-Louise and Marie-Claire Betancourt, for their widowed father, Nicholas. Nicholas and Charlotte are neighbors and both of them are trying to find out what their legal claim is to the lands they are one. 

I love Dorothy Love's novels. I started reading them from her debut novel and have read them all from there. Her Hickory Ridge Romance Series is fantastic so I was so excited to see this new book, a stand alone.  Dorothy Love writes with authority about The South, 19th Century United States, farming, medicine, and teaching. All of these things are visable in Carolina Gold.  The characters are great. I truly enjoyed most of them but I have to say I found Anne-Louise Betancourt the best. So wise beyond her years but loved to explore. I loved seeing her adventures through her eyes.  The characters in this book struggled withmany things but most of them came through on the otherside. Carolina Gold has a little bit of everything in it: history, romance, grief, mystery, medical cases, and faith. The characters in Carolina Gold were truly faithful to The Lord and the book reflected that. (NOT PREACHING). Dorothy Love weaves together fact and fiction in this wonderful book.  I love learning new historical facts from my books!  I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Historical Christian Fiction. Dorothy Love will not disappoint I give this book 4.5 Stars.


Please check out the links below for a great contest


 Don't miss Dorothy Love's latest historical novel, Carolina Gold. Fun news: The release of Carolina Gold coincides with Dorothy's birthday. Celebrate with her by entering the Southern Essentials Giveaway and RSVPing to her Facebook party on January 14th!
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Between January 3–14, visit Dorothy Love's Facebook Page to enter to win a new giveaway each day and be entered to win the $100 Visa Cash Card grand prize. Winners will be announced at the Facebook Author Chat party on January 14th! (Don't have a Facebook account? Enter here.) RSVP today for Dorothy's Carolina Gold Author Chat Party on Facebook.

During the party Dorothy will be hosting a book chat, testing your trivia skills, announcing the winner of the Southern Essentials Giveaway, and giving away books, gift certificates, and more. Oh, and she'll also be giving partygoers an exclusive look at her next book!

So grab your copy of Carolina Gold and help Dorothy celebrate her birthday on the evening of January 14th! (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

DON’T MISS A MOMENT OF THE FUN; RSVP TODAY. HOPE TO SEE YOU ON THE 14th!

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Painted Table By Suzanne Field Review and CONTEST

I received this book from Litfuse Publishing for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:


The Norwegian table, a century-old heirloom ingrained with family memory, has become a totem of a life Saffee would rather forget—a childhood disrupted by her mother’s mental illness.

Saffee does not want the table. By the time she inherits the object of her mother’s obsession, the surface is thick with haphazard layers of paint and heavy with unsettling memories.
After a childhood spent watching her mother slide steadily into insanity, painting and re-painting the ancient table, Saffee has come to fear that seeds of psychosis may lie dormant within her. She must confront her mother’s torment if she wants to defend herself against it.
Traversing four generations over the course of a century, The Painted Table is a beautiful portrait of inherited memory. It is a sprawling narrative affirmation that a family artifact—like a family member—can bear the marks of one’s past . . . as well as intimations of one’s redemption.



My Thoughts:

The Painted Table is the debut book by author Suzanne Field and WOW.....what a debut book!  When I received the information on this book, I felt drawn to read it and I am very glad I did.  Joann grew up in a large family and lost her mother at a very young age. Her mother died of mental illness in an asylum, something that haunts Joann from the time she can remember.  Joann spends her childhoon hiding under "The Norwegian Table" as her safe place including to keep her safe from a fire. Joann meets and marries Nels. They have a daughter Saffee when Nels is drafted.  During leave time Joann gets pregnant again and by the time he is back they have another daughter, April.  Saffee is quiet, reserved, and stays to herself. April is the opposite and their mother, Joann is drawn to that. Saffee has always known there was something different about her mother but anytime she asked her dad, he said she was fine so to Saffee this was normal.  Eventually "The Norwegian Table" finds its way back into Joann's life and she becomes obsessed. Painting and repainting trying to cover it up and make it new.  

The Painted Table is a fantastic story about family and mental illness. The Painted Table is a book that shows the effects of mental illness on the whole family and how it affects everyone involved throughout their lives. Our family has history of mental health issues and this book really spoke to me on many levels. Suzanne Field's wrote a beautiful story about something that affects many families for generations. I was drawn into this book from the start, I could not put it down. The Painted Table is a book that takes the reader through an emotional rollercoaster.  I found myself laughing in parts and sobbing in others. Suzanne Field's gives readers a real look into mental illness, a topic that has been taboo for a long time. She writes with authority on mental illness, Norway, Norwegian culture, and the world from the Late 1800's -1973.  I really felt like I was there watching the story unfold as I read.  This is not an easy book to read but it is definitely worth the read! I can't say enough good about it! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction or books on mental illness, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more from Suzanne Field!
I give this book 5 STARS. *****



Suzanne Field is celebrating her novel The Painted Table with a beautiful hand-painted table giveaway!
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One winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on January 18th. Winner will be announced January 20th on Thomas Nelson's Facebook Page.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by the TNZ Facebook Page on the 20th to see if you won.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

For The Love Of Books: Elusive Hope: Escape to Paradise Book 2 By MaryLu ...

For The Love Of Books: Elusive Hope: Escape to Paradise Book 2 By MaryLu ...: I received this book for no charge from the author in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own. ...

Elusive Hope: Escape to Paradise Book 2 By MaryLu Tyndall

I received this book for no charge from the author in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:  (Back Cover)


IN A COLONY NAMED NEW HOPE,
WHILE THEIR FRIENDS ARE SEEKING
A SOUTHERN UTOPIA
HAYDEN IS SEEKING REVENGE. RELENTLESSLY.

After years of all but selling his soul to track down his scoundrel of a father, Hayden Gale discovers his search must continue in South America, where his father is reported to be helping colonize Brazil. Hayden has nothing more to lose, certainly not a good reputation, and vows to keep pursuing – at any cost – the vile man who he believes killed his mother.
MAGNOLIA IS SEEKING A WAY OUT. DESPERATELY.

She's in the jungles of Brazil against her will, but what choice does Magnolia Scott have? Her father insisted on uprooting their family to escape the uncertainty of Southern life after the Civil War. But how will she survive without all she holds dear – wealthy suitors, beautiful clothes, summer balls, and slaves waiting on her every whim? She vows to find a way to get back home – and attaches herself to handsome Hayden Gale.

As they journey toward Rio de Janeiro, they each seek to use the other for their own purposes. Deceptively. Falling in love was never part of their plans...


My Thoughts:

Elusive Hope is the 2nd book in MaryLu Tyndall's latest series Escape to Paradise and all I can say is WOW! This was the last book I finished before the end of the year and what a one to end the year. Elusive Hope takes place a few months later from the end of Forsaken Dreams. The colony is settling in, setting up their homes, crops, and making New Hope their new home.  Hayden Gale came along with this group to find his father and get revenge on him for abandoning him and his mother.  Magnolia Scott is a debutante from Georgia who is determined to get our of New Hope and back to America. Her family left to escape southern life after the Civil War ended.  Magnolia decides she will be heading to Rio de Janeiro with Hayden so she can take the ship back to the states.

Elusive Hope is FANTASTIC.  I loved Hayden and Magnolia's stories.  I loved learning about their pasts and how they came to be the people they are. They both start out using one another for their own selfish reasons but find out through different circumstances that they care for one another. Intertwined in this is a spiritual warfare happening in their New Hope settlement. All of the residents start seeing visions from their past lives, people they wronged. As one resident digs into a site that had been some kind of temple, evil seems to find its way into their lives.  This book definitely has a lot of everything: romance, history, personal and spiritual battles, secrets, mystery, and action! WHEW! Elusive Hope is definitely a page turner. I found myself holding my breath in parts as the action took place and crying in other parts as the characters past lives unfolded and I learned more about them.  MaryLu Tyndall left us readers at a pretty big cliff hanger in the end and I cannot wait to read the next book! I cannot say enough good about this book! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction and action! You won't be disappointed!
I give this book 5 Stars! *****