Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Skip Rock Shallows By Jan Watson

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

Book Description:

Lilly Gray Corbett has just graduated from medical school and decided to accept an internship in the coal camp of Skip Rock, Kentucky. Her beau, Paul, is doing his residency in Boston and can’t understand why Lilly would choose to work in a backwater town. But having grown up in the mountains, Lilly is drawn to the stubborn, superstitious people she encounters in Skip Rock—a town where people live hard and die harder and where women know their place. Lilly soon learns she has a lot to overcome, but after saving the life of a young miner, she begins to earn the residents’ trust.

As Lilly becomes torn between joining Paul in Boston and her love for the people of Skip Rock, she crosses paths with a handsome miner—one who seems oddly familiar. Her attraction for him grows, even as she wrestles with her feelings and wonders what he’s hiding.

My Thoughts:

Skip Rock Shallows by Jan Watson is the first novel I have read from Jan Watson and I loved it!  The story takes place during 1908 in Skip Rock, Kentucky, a small mining community.Dr. Lilly Gray Corbett is there for the summer to provide medical care for the miners and their families.  When she gets to Skip Rock she is not very welcomed because of her being an outsider, which Lilly expected because she grew up in a small community like Skip Rock. Lilly has a fiancee who is working in Boston and expects her to join him at the end of the summer. After Dr. Lilly Corbett saves the life of a miner the townspeople start to warm up to her.  Lilly feels God's calling her to stay there in Skip Rock but knows her fiancee will not move there and is torn.

Skip Rock Shallows is an awesome book that really moved along at a great pace and truly kept my interest from start to finish.  As a fan of historical fiction I was drawn to this book and I am so glad I read it.  Jan Watson weaves a story of love, suspense, action, and faith that really draws you in.  Jan Watson writes with authority not only about 1908 but Skip Rock, Kentucky and mining. Also through out the story the theme of faith and trusting God's calling adds depth to this story.  The descriptions are fantastic, I could see everything she described as I read it.  I found this book hard to put down.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Bride Wore Blue The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek books #3 By Mona Hodgson

I received this book from Waterbrook Press through their Blogging for Books program for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed are my own.

Book Description:

Headed toward a fresh start but tethered by her past, Vivian longs to break free, to find forgiveness and love.

At last, the sisters are reunited! The youngest Sinclair, the family“ baby”, is moving from Maine to Cripple Creek, Colorado and joining Kat, Nell, and Ida. But Vivian is a young woman with a will of her own, and made some decisions back in Portland that have begun to haunt her. Will she be able to live up to the expectations of her three perfect and now happily-settled sisters?

The sisters warmly welcome Vivian to the mountain west, but the wild-and-woolly mining town isn’t ripe with opportunities for a respectable young woman. The youngest Sinclair sister is determined to make her own way, so
when she’s offered a job as a hostess in a sporting house, she takes it, thinking the position is appropriate for a tainted, unlovable woman like herself. Although she’s convinced she’ll never be asked to entertain privately, Vivian
keeps her employment a secret from her sisters, knowing they’d be mortified—as will Carter Alwyn, the kind and godly sheriff ’s deputy who’s sweet on her.

Vivian is descending into a life of secrets, lying to the very people who love her and could help her heal from her mistakes. Will an outpouring of grace remind her that she is still God’s beloved and that her past can be washed as clean as Rocky Mountain snow?

My Thoughts:

The Bride Wore Blue is the third book in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series by Mona Hodgson.  I have had the pleasure of reading all of this series so far and it is great.  The Bride Wore Blue continues the story of the Sinclair Sisters, this time focusing on Vivian Sinclair, the youngest sister who is finally coming to live in Cripple Creek with her older sisters. A train robbery happens on Vivian ride into Cripple Creek.  Vivian wants to be a clothes designer and wants to make her own way. After many failed attempts at finding a job and keeping a job she takes a job at a sporting house as a hostess, which she keeps from everyone around her because of the place she is working.  She finds herself in a bad situation and prays no one she loves finds out what she has been doing.

Mona Hodgson writes another awesome story of the Sinclair Sisters.  We meet some new characters and get to find out more about the old friends we made in the other books.  The Bride Wore Blue is set in Cripple Creek, Colorado in 1897.  Mona Hodgson writes with authority on this time period, the area at this time, and the types of activities that went on.  As I read this book I could picture everything as it unfolded. I felt like I was right there.  The Bride Wore Blue can be read stand alone, Mona Hodgson gives enough background that a new reader doesn't feel lost and also that a follower of her books isn't bored by them.  This story has a little of everything, Action, suspense, romance, and faith.  I highly recommend this book and series to anyone who enjoys these types of books. You will not be disappointed.  I cannot wait to read the next Sinclair Sisters Novel!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Arms of Love By Kelly Long

I received this E-book from Thomas Nelson Publishing through for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this E-book.

Book Description:

The year is 1777. America is in turmoil. And Amish life is far different than today.

Pennsylvania in the late 18th century, once called William Penn’s Woods, was an assortment of different faiths living together for the first time in American history. Included in this tapestry was a small and struggling population called Amish.

Surrounding this peaceful people were unavoidable threats: both Patriots and the British were pillaging land and goods for the sake of the war, young Amishmen were leaving the faith to take up arms and defend freedom. A simple walk in the untamed forests could result in death, if not from bullet or arrow, then from an encounter with a wild animal.

Amid this time of tumult, Adam Wyse is fighting a personal battle. To possibly join the war efforts and leave his faith, which would mean walking away from the only woman he’s ever loved: Lena Yoder. But for that love he’s made a promise that may keep them apart permanently.

My Thoughts:

I am a HUGE fan of Amish Fiction so when I was given the opportunity to read Arms of Love By Kelly Long I was happy. This is my first book by Kelly Long I have read and after reading the description of the book it sounded interesting because it is a different aspect of the Amish then I have been reading.  Arms of Love by Kelly Long was just not for me.  I really couldn't feel the love story part of the book, it just didn't seem to have the passion. Also just felt like I was getting lost in the details of things that did not need to be and statements that continued to be repeated over and over throughout. That being said, it is obvious that Kelly Long did a lot of research not only on the Amish but on the Amish in 1777 during the Revolutionary War, the war itself, and Pennsylvania.  I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an Amish Fiction story unlike the others that are out there.  I look forward to reading other books Kelly Long has written because I think she is a good writer, its just Arms of Love wasn't for me.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

After All Book 3 of Hanover Falls Series by Deborah Raney

I received this book from Howard Publishing for no charge in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.

Book Description:

Eighteen months after the tragic Grove Street Fire took the life of her husband, David, and four other heroic firefighters, Susan Marlowe thinks she’s finally beginning to heal. But then she discovers that David carried a secret to his grave.
A secret that changes everything she thought their marriage had been.
For the sake of their sons, can Susan forgive the unforgivable?
Andrea Morley lost her closest friend in the fire. But she has no right to mourn him. Instead, she must forever grieve in silence—because her dearest friend was someone else’s husband. Peter Brennan carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. As Hanover Falls’ fire chief, he was responsible for the brave firefighters
who lost their lives that awful November night.
Can he ever shake the feeling that he should have somehow prevented the tragedy?
As he tries to rebuild the team at Clemens County’s Station 2, it seems he might find comfort in the arms of the woman he least expected.

My Thoughts:

After All is the third and last book in The Hanover Falls Series by Deborah Raney and I have had the pleasure of reading all three of them.  I am sad the series is done but what a finish.  In After All, Deborah Raney focuses on Susan Marlowe's story. She runs the homeless shelter and ran it when the fire happened. In addition to losing the homeless shelter, she lost her husband who was a firefighter. Eighteen months later, a new homeless shelter is up and running but some people in town are opposed to the shelter.  Susan finds herself needing assistance from Peter Brennan, the fire chief of Hanover Fall's, who worked with Susan's husband.

After All is an awesome story that really brings everything together in this series.  We meet new characters and get to follow some old favorites. After All brings everything full circle with some twists and definite surprises.  I love the cast of characters Deborah Raney writes in this series and find that they are real people dealing with the day to day stuff we all do in the real world.  Deborah Raney writes with such authority on firefighting, homeless shelters, mental health issues, and dealing with grief it is obvious how much research and time she takes to really know about what she writes.  I find myself being able to picture the people and places in these stories like watching a movie.  In After All, Deborah Raney writes about love, infidelity, forgiveness, and trusting God for what we need.  This beautiful story really brings this series to a wonderful close, but the book can be read without reading the other two books. Deborah Raney makes sure there are enough background details for people who haven't read the others without it being redundant for those of us who have read all of them.  I highly recommend this book and this series to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction.  I am looking forward to seeing what Deborah Raney writes next.

Darkroom By Joshua Graham

I received this book from Howard Publishing for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book.

Book Description:

After scattering her mother’s ashes in Vietnam, photojournalist Xandra Carrick comes home to New York to rebuild her life and career. When she experiences, in her darkroom, supernatural visions that reveal atrocities perpetrated by American soldiers during the Vietnam War, she finds herself entangled in a forty-year-old conspiracy that could bring the nation into political turmoil. Launching headlong into a quest to learn the truth from her father, Peter Carrick, a Pulitzer Prize laureate who served as an embedded photographer during the war, she confronts him about a dark secret he has kept—a secret that has devastated their family. Her investigations lead her to her departed mother’s journal, which tells of love, spiritual awakening, and surviving the fall of Saigon. Pursued across the continent, Xandra comes face-to-face with powerful forces that will stop at nothing to prevent her from revealing the truth. But not before government agencies arrest her for murder, domestic terrorism, and an assassination attempt on the newly elected president of the United States. Darkroom is a riveting tale of suspense that tears the cover off the human struggle for truth in a world imprisoned by lies.

My Thoughts:

Darkroom is the first book by Joshua Graham I have read and I am hooked.  I cannot wait to have the time to read the other books he has written.  Darkroom is full of suspense and intrigue, keeps you guessing until the end.  Right from the start I was taken in by this book and couldn't put it down.  Joshua Graham writes a fast paced thriller that keeps you on your toes.  Darkroom is set in the present with flashbacks to the time of Vietnam.  The characters in this story are awesome and multifaceted.  Joshua Graham writes with authority on government agencies, Vietnam now and during the war, and supernatural visions.  This story also has a focus on faith and spiritual awakening.  I truly enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more by Joshua Graham. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Suspense, it will NOT disappoint.

The Egyptian Princess: A Story of Hagar By KD Homberg

I received this audiobook for no charge from the author and Celebrate Lit Blogger Program in exchange for my honest review of this audiobook...