Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Remember The Lilies: Women of Courage Book 3 By Liz Tolsma. Enter to Win a Kindle Fire and Connect With Liz at Her Facebook Chat 2/19

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: 


Irene and Rand come from very different walks of life. Will they find common ground in their fight to survive?

Irene has grown up in the jungle as a missionary with her Aunt Anita, but now she and countless others are imprisoned by Japanese soldiers at the Santo Tomas Internment Camp in the Philippines. Irene and her aunt are safe there, and she keeps busy with her duty of delivering censored messages to the camp’s prisoners, but like everyone else, she prays for the war to end and for her freedom. Rand is a wealthy, womanizing American, whose attempted escape from the internment camp has put himself and others in danger. When Rand and Irene’s Aunt Anita meet one another in the hospital, Irene learns more of his story and her heart is determined to save his family. But the danger outside the walls of the hospital worsens every day, and life in this exotic place is anything but luxurious. Can Irene find Rand’s family before they disappear forever? And can a humble missionary woman and an arrogant man find common ground in the face of their biggest fears?



My Thoughts: 


Remember The Lilies is the third book in Liz Tolsma's series Women of Courage and it is a great read. This book tells the story of World War II in The Philippines in Santo Tomas Internment Camp.  As a HUGE Historical Fiction fan I am always interested in learning more, on top of that I have had the pleasure of reading the two previous books that Liz Tolsma wrote in this series, so I was doubly intrigued.  Irene has been raised by her Aunt Anita since she was eight years old in the jungle as missionaries. They and many others are now in Santo Tomas Interment Camp in The Philippines waiting for the U.S. Troops to come and liberate the camp. Irene works as part of the message center that sensors and delivers correspondence into and out of the camp, in doing so she keeps her and her Aunt safe. Rand is a wealthy man who is also in Santo Tomas. Irene intercepts correspondence for Rand and realizes the importance of it and sneaks it out to give to him, but she is too late, he is already in the middle of an escape attempt. Unfortunately it failed, Rand was caught, and tortured.  Aunt Anita falls very ill and she ends up in transport with a beaten, broken Rand to the hospital outside of the camp walls. Irene works very hard to get a pass to be with her Aunt and as her Aunt Anita recuperates Irene learns more about Rand and his escape attempt. Irene is taken with this handsome man but they are so different that Irene tries to keep her distance. After hearing his story, Irene tries to get medicine and food the Rand's family to help save them. Irene tries to help Rand where ever she can even though the risk to her is great.


Remember The Lilies is the a wonderful book. It is the third book in Liz Tolsma's series, Women of Courage. As a HUGE Christian Historical Fiction fan this book and this series were high on my must read list. I have had the privilege to read and review all three of them thus far. All of these books are about World War II and how it looked in different parts of the world. I have learned so much about this war and the effects it had on our entire world. I had not heard of Santo Tomas Internment Camp or really anything about the effects World War II  had in The Philippines. This interment camp held over 4,000 men, women, and children who were mostly Americans. Liz Tolsma writes with authority on World War II, the military strategies of the different countries involved at that time, medicine, living conditions in Santo Tomas, and The Philippines during wartime. Remember The Lilies is a work of fiction but it has a perfect blend of fact and fiction that really gets the readers interest piqued. Since I wasn't aware of this part of World War II,  I found myself looking things up online and reading things to expand on the wealth of knowledge Liz Tolsma gives her readers. As I read this book I felt like I was there as the events unfolded, found myself get angry at the treatment of these prisoners, sad at the senseless violence, and smile at the way they all helped one another, shared their faith to those who had lost theirs, and despite it all enjoyed things where they could. I enjoyed the characters in this book but my favorite would have to be Aunt Anita. A strong woman who lived her life serving God and being faithful to her beliefs. Anita became blind later in life but she still continued being a missionary and when Irene's Dad disappeared she raised her as her own, doing and sacrificing as a mother would. I had a hard time putting this book down from the start.  This book is a fast paced, action filled and keeps you guessing until the end. Many surprise throughout this book. Even though this is the third book in this series, Remember the Lilies and the others are stand alone books, they do not need to be read in order, it is not that kind of series. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, especially during World War II, I promise you will learn a lot and will enjoy it. I look forward to reading more from Liz Tolsma! I give this book 5 STARS





This gripping new tale from Liz Tolsma, Remember the Lilies, is a must-read for fans of WWII-era fiction. When Irene is attacked by a sinister Japanese guard and their secrets are exposed, she and Rand must learn the true meaning of forgiveness—if they can stave off starvation until the American troops bring freedom.

Help Liz celebrate the release of Remember the Lilies with a Kindle Fire giveaway!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • One copy of Remember the Lilies
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 2/19. Winner will be announced at Liz's Remember the Lilies Facebook author chat party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Liz and WWII fiction fans, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!   

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{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 19th!

Return To Exile: The Carthage Chronicles Book 2 By Lynne Gentry

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:


How far would you go to save the ones you love?
Six years ago, impossible circumstances forced Dr. Lisbeth Hastings to leave behind the love of her life, not just in another country, but in another time. Her work as a top-notch epidemiologist and parenting her little girl helps alleviate the pain, but at night when her exhausted head hits the pillow, images of her beloved Cyprian haunt her sleep.
Cyprian Thascius returns from political exile a broken man. He’s lost his faith, the love of his life, and his purpose. He attempts to move on, to face the danger that is looming over Carthage, but when Cyprian’s true love suddenly reappears, his heart becomes as imperiled as the fledgling church he seeks to save.
Have the years that kept Lisbeth and Cyprian apart created too wide a chasm to bridge? In the midst of a new epidemic and rising oppression, will their love be the most costly fatality? Filled with gripping action and raw emotion, this spell-binding adventure of star-crossed lovers captivates with every turn of the page in this electric continuation of The Carthage Chronicles.


My Thoughts: 


Return To Exile is the second book in Lynne Gentry's Carthage Chronicles series and it is fantastic! I read the first book, Healer of Carthage as one of the few books I have in my every growing TBR pile and it was a hit so I knew I had to find out what came next!  Return To Exile takes place six years after the Healer of Carthage ends. Dr. Lisbeth Hastings in back in Texas working as a epidemiologist, the top in her field, and raising the daughter she had with Cyprian Thascius, her husband from 3rd Century Carthage. Cyprian Thascius has been in political exile for six years and returns to Carthage a broken man, losing his faith and his purpose. Not long after he returns to his life and tries to move on, Lisbeth shows back up with their daughter in tow, because Lisbeth feels compelled to save Cyprian from his impending death that she read about in the history books. Armed with 21st century medicine she comes back to find out that Cyprian, Ruth, her Mother, and her brother have all moved on with their lives. Cyprian and Ruth have been married and are expecting their first child. As they struggle to work out the personal stuff, they work to also rid Carthage of another epidemic that is killing the rich and poor alike.


Return To Exile is a fantastic book in this great series by Lynne Gentry. As a huge fan of Christian Historical Fiction, I was drawn to this book and this series. This book takes readers back to 3rd Century Carthage where Ruth, Lisbeth's mother Magdalena, and other survivors of the measles are caring for any new break outs of measles trying to keep it under control. Lynne Gentry writes with authority about 3rd Century Carthage and other parts of the world at this time, diseases and disease control in the present and in 3rd Century, and the history of Carthage, and the history of Christianity.  As I read this book, I felt like I was time traveling with Lisbeth and Maggie, transported to another time and place. I really felt like I was there with them experiencing the life and times of Carthage. The characters are wonderfully written and I think my favorites are Magdalena and Lawrence, Lisbeth's Mom and half brother. The love they have for one another and the way they give of themselves for the welfare of others is inspiring. Magdalena and Lawrence's faith gives them the strength to endure what they have had to endure. I could not put this book down, from the first page this book grabbed a hold and wouldn't let go. This is a fast paced, action filled book that keeps you guessing until the end and leaves you wanting to know more of this cast of characters. I recommend reading The Healer of Carthage first to fully understand the story lines. They are both worth the read! I highly recommend this book and series to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed.  I cannot wait to read Valley of Decision, the third and final book in this trilogy. Added bonus: there is an excerpt from this book at the end of Return To Exile. I give this book 5 STARS.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Abbot's Agreement (Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Book 7) By Mel Starr

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


Book Description: 


My life would have been more tranquil in the days after Martinmas had I not seen the crows. Whatever it was that the crows had found lay in the dappled shadow of the bare limbs of the oak, so I was nearly upon the thing before I recognized what the crows were feasting upon. The corpse wore black. Master Hugh is making his way towards Oxford when he discovers the young Benedictine - a fresh body, barefoot - not half a mile from the nearby abbey. The abbey's novice master confirms the boy's identity: John, one of three novices. But he had gone missing four days previously, and his corpse is fresh. There has been plague in the area, but this was not the cause of death: the lad has been stabbed in the back. To Hugh's sinking heart, the abbot has a commission for him . . .


My Thoughts:


The Abbot's Agreement is the 7th book in Mel Starr's series, The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon but is the first book I have read by this author and in this series. This series follows the adventures of Master Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon and Bailiff who on his way to Oxford when he sees crows and knows it cannot be a good thing. As he and his companion search the wooded area a half a mile from an abbey they find that the crows are feasting on a corpse. The Novice Master confirms that it is the body of one of the three novices at the abbey named John. As Master Hugh investigates he finds out that the novice had been missing a few days and his corpse is fresh.  The Plague has been in the area but Master Hugh knows that is not what killed this novice, he has been stabbed multiple times in the back. Now Master Hugh has been tasked with helping them investigate what happened to John.


The Abbot's Agreement, The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton Book 7 is the first book by Mel Starr I have had the pleasure of reading.  When I requested this book I didn't know that it was the 7th book in the series so I was worried about being able to follow, but I was pleasantly surprised. This book can be read as a stand alone, as I didn't feel like I was missing much in this story. Maybe a few references to other investigations but nothing that had any impact on this story.  This book takes place in the 1300's and Mel Starr writes with authority about this time in history and the gives the reader the feel of being in that period.  The language and the events of that time period are portrayed in this work of fiction.  This book read like a journal written by Master Hugh, giving insight into his thinking and methodology in solving this crime.  For the most part this book kept me engaged and I had a hard time putting it down, in bits and pieces I got lost in some of the details but it did not last long.  I have found a new author to read, cannot wait to read the other books in this series.  I recommend this book anyone who enjoys Christian Suspense Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I give this book 4 STARS.