Bethany House Publishers, Book

Until the Dawn~Elizabeth Camden~

Until The Dawn

~Synopsis~

A volunteer for the newly established Weather Bureau, Sophie van Riijn needs access to the highest spot in her village to report the most accurate readings. Fascinated by Dierenpark, an abandoned mansion high atop a windswept cliff in the Hudson River Valley, Sophie knows no better option despite a lack of permission from the absent owners.

The first Vandermark to return to the area in sixty years, Quentin intends to put an end to the shadowy rumors about the property that has brought nothing but trouble upon his family. Ready to tear down the mansion, he is furious to discover a local woman has been trespassing on his land.

Instantly at odds, Quentin and Sophie find common ground when she is the only one who can reach his troubled son. There’s a light within Sophie that Quentin has never known, and a small spark of the hope that left him years ago begins to grow. But when the secrets of Dierenpark and the Vandermark family history are no longer content to stay in the past, will tragedy triumph or can their tenuous hope prevail?

~My Review~

I have no doubts now! Elizabeth Camden has to be hands down my utmost favorite author! I’m convinced that I must have all her books on pre-order because I already know that they are going to be absolutely AWESOME!!

I can truly say that this book was the author’s way of stepping out of her comfort zone because the story was so different which is always a very good thing in my opinion. I love it when an author can step outside themselves and always bring life and new excitement to their novels. This novel makes me excited to discover more about her writings that could be presented on many,many different levels.
Until the Dawn was such a good read that I don’t mind reading it again and again! It was just that good! I kept thinking about it over and over which is a good sign in itself.
I love how the author always finds new ways to incorporate in her novels about the professions of her heroines. It was so interesting to read about this heroine’s profession. I’ll try not to spoil it!
All in all, this was just a fantastically wonderful story! I loved reading this novel which I devoured in no time because it had a way transporting me to a wonderful sublime place.*Sigh* The writing flowed perfectly and the characters were superb! I highly recommend this book! (4.5 stars)

Also read about the alternate book covers for Until the Dawn here on Elizabeth Camden’s blog. It’s pretty interesting. 🙂

~Author~

Website

*I received this book from Bethany House Publishers through Netgalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.*

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Book, novel

Through Waters Deep~Sarah Sundin~

Through Waters Deep (Waves of Freedom, #1)

~Synopsis~

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges–and dangers–await them.

~My Review~

I have become a huge fan of Sarah Sundin’s writing and now with this novel, I can totally understand why I anticipate just about every novel she writes.
First off the book cover is spectacular!! I love this book cover so much that I was blown away. I do admit that the book cover is another reason that prompted me to read this novel.
I was very moved the romance in this novel between the two main characters. The author has a talented way of writing about romance in her novels. The romance in her books are so heartfelt and moving.
As far as the storyline goes in this novel, I just wish it were more memorable. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading the author’s ingenious way of writing about WWII in her novels. Most of her novels have a creative way of including romance,drama,and gripping history all into one novel. As far as this novel goes, it left me a little it wanting. It was a pretty good story to read but I’m not just looking for a good story to read anymore but also a novel that memorable and exciting to read.
Overall,this was a pretty good read and if you haven’t read any of Sarah Sundin’s novels, then I encourage you to read them! I’m eagerly looking forward to the next book in this series.

*I received this book through Revell. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and I was not required to write a positive review.*

~Author~

Sarah Sundin

WEBSITE

Sarah Sundin

Book, Faith

The Midwife’s Tale~Delia Parr~

The Midwife's Tale (At Home in Trinity #1)

~Synopsis~

Martha Cade comes from a long line of midwives who have served the families of Trinity, Pennsylvania, for generations. A widow with two grown children, she’s hopeful that her daughter will follow in her footsteps. But when Victoria runs off, Martha’s world is shattered.

Worse, a new doctor has arrived in town, threatening her job, and she can’t remember a time when her faith was more tested. Still determined to do the work she knows God intended for her, Martha is unprepared for all that waits ahead. Whether it’s trying to stop a town scandal, mending broken relationships, or feeling the first whispers of an unexpected romance, she faces every trial and every opportunity with hope and faith.

~My Review~

I have never read a book by this author so naturally I was excited to read a book by a new author to me. While reading this novel I was kinda disappointed that the heroine was older than what I was used to. I guess I am used to reading  books that have the hero and the heroine in their 20 somethings or whatever. I must admit that it took a long time to even warm up to the story.

To be honest, I really like my books to be full of dialogue between the different characters. I really don’t like when novels have more descriptions or are more wordy than anything because then I just lose interest.
That being said,this book wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. It did have a pretty good beginning but the rest of the novel just didn’t have “it” for me because I thought the book needed to be more adventurous and it didn’t have as much dialogue as I would have liked.

Overall, I wasn’t overly impressed by this novel. I may still read the rest of the series but right now I really don’t know yet.

*I received this book from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and I was not compensated in any way for my review*

Book, Faith

Like a Flower in Bloom~Siri Mitchell~

Like a Flower in Bloom

 

For years Charlotte Withersby has worked as an assistant to her father, an eminent English botanist. As she approaches the old age of twenty-four, her father pushes her out into society, swayed by an uncle who believes God’s only two roles for women are marriage and motherhood. When one of the Withersbys’ colonial correspondents, Edward Trimble, returns to England, he’s drafted as the new assistant so Charlotte is free to marry. This suits Edward’s plans quite well, since the last thing he wants to do is reunite with the family he is ashamed to call his own.

Though Edward proves himself vexingly capable on the job, Charlotte won’t surrender the job without a fight, and schemes with her best friend to regain her position. Perhaps if a proposal seems imminent, Charlotte’s father will see his error and ask her to return. Charlotte tries to make headway in her town’s social life, but reveals herself to be unaware of all the intricacies of polite society. Though Edward pitches in, tutoring her in society’s expectations, she just seems to make things worse. And the more she comes to know of her father’s assistant, the more trouble she has imagining life without him. Caught in a trap of her own making and seeing the hopelessness of her prospects, will Charlotte get to keep her work or will she have to cede her heart?

 

~My Review~

When I first saw his book, I was amazed at how bright and vibrant the book cover was! I was also amazed at how much I really enjoyed reading this story. It was very captivating and very well written.

I do so love reading about extraordinary women who defeated the odds. There were many women who didn’t want to conform to the “norm” but were willing to step out in faith and take a risk to follow their heart’s aspirations. I would count Siri Mitchell’s heroine along with famous women such as Madame Curie and many other women in history who overcame the odds. I like how Siri Mitchell really gives the reader a glimpse of what it would have meant for women living in this time period. It makes me thankful for the sacrifices women before me went through so that many opportunities could be opened to women today. I was inspired!

I honestly didn’t know botany could be so interesting to read about in fiction. The author did a well done job of really capturing my attention when it came to the botany life. It was really amazing and I truly enjoyed myself reading about Charlotte’s world. I thought it was very intriguing to learn about the different flowers and such.

All of the characters in this book were just delightful to read about! I found myself being totally immersed into the story and I would be laughing my head off at the many different scenes in this story. It was like a historical romantic comedy at its best!

I’m really looking forward to reading more from Siri Mitchell. Like a Flower in Bloom was filled with adventure,humor,and a taste of romance. I highly recommend this wonderfully written tale.

* I received this book from Bethany House Publishers through Netgalley. All opinions expressed are completely my own and I was not required to give a positive review.*

Happy Reading Y’all!!! 🙂

The Author~Siri Mitchell~

Siri_2011

Website

Amazon

Jane Austen, Regency Fiction, Uncategorized

The Secret of Pembrooke Park~ Julie Klassen~

The Secret of Pembrooke Park

~About~

Abigail Foster fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry to improve her charms and the one man she thought might marry her–a longtime friend–has fallen for her younger, prettier sister.
When financial problems force her family to sell their London home, a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll’s house left mid-play . . .

The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem to know something about the manor’s past, the only information they offer Abigail is a warning: Beware trespassers who may be drawn by rumors that Pembrooke contains a secret room filled with treasure.

Hoping to improve her family’s financial situation, Abigail surreptitiously searches for the hidden room, but the arrival of anonymous letters addressed to her, with clues about the room and the past, bring discoveries even more startling. As secrets come to light, will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks…or very real danger?

~My Review~

 

I had been looking forward to reading this book ever since I knew it was coming out! I’m always in very high expectations to read anything by Julie Klassen. If you would look at the book cover it will almost have a story to tell in itself. That’s AWESOME when a book cover can give a little glimpse into what the story would be about. To me it was like anticipating an upcoming movie!

Throughout the story there are many,many Jane Austen inspired situations and that made it even more enjoyable. There were a lot of situations that put me in mind of Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey. It was truly inspiring. There was a lot of mystery and intrigue included throughout the story and it always kept me at the edge of my seat for the majority of the time. One warning though, “TRY NOT TO READ IT AT NIGHT!” In a way, it was intriguing how the suspense and the mystery really drew me in but I have poor nerves and faint of heart when it comes to suspense! That’s just how I am. So if you love reading Regency and Mystery this is definitely the book for you! In my opinion, this story had a bit of a different twist than the usual Julie Klassen book and I think that this book is an example of her talent to really push herself to the limit to spark the imagination among her fans. I loved it!

I really enjoyed reading about the heroine,Abigail. It was wonderful for me as a reader to be included in the adventure along with Abigail as she tried to discover the secret of Pembrooke Park.

Let me not get started with the hero, William! WOW,WOW,WOW! When you read this book you’ll understand. I really enjoyed William’s sermons. They were truly a blessing! It very inspiring. Sometimes there are times that I’m not a fan of reading sermons in books because sometimes it can be too preachy or it sometimes could feel like the author is pushing their beliefs on the reader. There was none of that in Julie Klassen’s story. The sermons were fantastic and I was deeply moved.

I certainly do recommend reading this well done classic by Julie Klassen. It’s absolutely a Jane Austen inspired novel with more than enough mystery to keep you awake at night wanting more! My only slight problem with this book is that it was a tad bit longer than I expected. I do love my books to be not too long or not to short but I what I cherish most is that my favorite authors pour their heart and soul into the story. To me that’s what makes it a keeper in my opinion. I hope you all know what I mean. 🙂

Last but not least, the book cover is hands down one of the perfect book covers! It was really well done. If I could, that book cover would be framed and hanged on my wall to admire its beauty. That would be so awesome! Well done Julie Klassen! I can’t wait for her next book,”Lady Maybe”.

Until next time!
Happy Reading!

*I received this free copy from Bethany House for an honest review. I was not required to write a favorable review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.*

 

Julie Klassen’s next book

Lady Maybe

 

 

Book, WWII Fiction

Thief of Glory~Sigmund Brouwer~

Thief of Glory

~Synopsis~

In the early 1940s, Jeremiah Prins was a 12-year-old living a content life as the son of a school headmaster in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). When Holland declared war on the Japanese in 1941, the situation changed swiftly. The Japanese army invaded, and Jeremiah and his family were placed in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp-a camp Jeremiah finally escapes and returns to Holland. Yet wartime complications force him to abandon a marriage engagement with Laura Jensen. The young man flees to California, where he struggles with the lingering anger and war stress he faced as a child.

Determined to find some kind of redemption, a now-elderly Jeremiah tries to make sense of his life by journaling of all that he does not want to reveal to his children about his past, intending to leave his writings as an apology after he is gone.

An online encounter puts Jeremiah in touch with his true love from the war years, Laura, and when they meet again, it triggers the time bomb of long-buried secrets. Even seventy years later, if uncovered, these secrets can harm everyone who matters to Jeremiah.

~My Review~

I’d never read anything by Sigmund Brouwer before and I’m always willing to read a book by a new author. Though it is very hard for me to step out of my comfort zone of my preferred circle of well-known and beloved authors, I do try to read books from new authors whenever I can.

I liked reading about the main character,Jeremiah Prins,pretty well. Just the way that the author used his voice in the story was really ground-breaking.I was intrigued by both Jeremiah and his mother’s story. It was very interesting to read about.

There was also one part in this book that was so gripping and suspenseful that if more of the story was written like that I think I would have enjoyed this story a whole lot more. I don’t want to spoil it but it was so suspenseful that it actually reminded me of another book I’d read and enjoyed. If anyone has read Lemony Snicket’s book series, “A Series of Unfortunate Events” you’ll see what I’m talking about.

The heroine, Laura, was one of the biggest elements of the story as well but I didn’t really have that connection to her character like I did with the hero for some strange reason. I wish that the author would’ve included her character more in the story. To me, I thought that this story would’ve been more like a love story taking place during the war. It kinda was a love story but it wasn’t what the story was solely built upon.

I think that the book cover was absolutely stunning! I will admit that it was the book cover that drew me into reading this story. The book cover was just so well done. Enough said!

Overall, this was a pretty good read. Though there were some parts of the story that seemed to lag to me. The author wrote about a certain part of  WWII that I didn’t really have an idea about which was something interesting as well. There were also many parts in the story that were absolutely gripping and heart wrenching. The “Thief of Glory”was a pretty good read about a boy growing up in the war times.

My Book Rating: (3.5 stars)

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

~Author Sigmund Brouwer~

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Read chapter one here!

About Sigmund Brouwer and his books

Happy Reading Y’all!! 🙂

Book, Christian Fiction

A Beauty So Rare~ Tamera Alexander~

A Beauty So Rare (Belmont Mansion, #2)

Synopsis

Plain, practical Eleanor Braddock knows she will never marry, but with a dying soldier’s last whisper, she believes her life can still have meaning and determines to find his widow. Impoverished and struggling to care for her ailing father, Eleanor arrives at Belmont Mansion, home of her aunt, Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America–and possibly the most demanding, as well. Adelicia insists on finding her niece a husband, but a simple act of kindness leads Eleanor down a far different path–building a home for destitute widows and fatherless children from the Civil War. While Eleanor knows her own heart, she also knows her aunt will never approve of this endeavor.

Archduke Marcus Gottfried has come to Nashville from Austria in search of a life he determines, instead of one determined for him. Hiding his royal heritage, Marcus longs to combine his passion for nature with his expertise in architecture, but his plans to incorporate natural beauty into the design of the widows’ and children’s home run contrary to Eleanor’s wishes/ AS work on the home draws them closer together, Marcus and Eleanor find common ground–and a love neither of them expects. But Marcus is not the man Adelicia has chosen for Eleanor, and even if he were, someone who knows his secrets is about to reveal them all.

 

~My Review~

A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander
I’ve read a great many books by Tamera Alexander and I’ve really enjoyed re-reading them throughout the years. Included in this series was, “A Lasting Impression” and that was a really good book to read as well! I recommend that book to those who haven’t read it yet!

Another great quote from @Tamera Alexander's latest (which is awesome and you should all read immediately :).
I can truly say that I thoroughly,thoroughly,enjoyed reading, “A Beauty So Rare”! I felt that I had much in common with the heroine and the hero as well! Even reading about a very historical woman in history as Adelicia Ackleman in Tamera Alexander’s writing was very interesting. I’m so glad when authors include figures and happenings in history into their stories because that makes it even more interesting and enjoyable! Adelicia Ackleman seemed a very inspiring and interesting character being the richest woman in history at the time. Reading Tamera Alexander’s story, made me want to know more about Adelicia.

Favorite Quote 1 from "A Beauty So Rare" by (@Tamera Alexander) Tamera Alexander. Bethany House Publishers.
I really loved and admired Eleanor’s character in this story. She was very dedicated to what she did. Her recipes in the book sounded delicious! Also I loved how the author really worked on the hero’s character because I had a serious HERO CRUSH! I love when an author can create such a *swoon worthy* hero! 🙂

I recently asked some blogging buddies to share their favorite quotes from A Beauty So Rare. Here are just a few. Some of them actually made their own pictures, too! So cool!
Also, I could really identify with all that Eleanor dealt with regarding the situations with her father. It was really familiar. The author really explained the situations so well.
I do wish  that the author included a glossary because their was a lot of German intertwined in the story. Sometimes couldn’t quite grasp what the characters were saying, but I did sorta figure it out by the following sentences though. Even though I’m also not fond of very long books,I thought this one ended too soon!! I didn’t want the story to end!!! lol!

 

 


Overall, I was enriched by reading this story! I really appreciate the author for dedicating her time in research and imagination to make this story a cherished story in my heart forever! This book has the potential to be my go-to re-read in the future or at least I tackle most of my to-be-read books!  This story is definitely a keeper! I was captivated by every page!  I would certainly recommend this book to anyone looking for a very good read. I promise you that you won’t be disappointed!! 🙂

HAPPY READING Y’ALL!! 🙂

 

(The Pics are from Tamera Alexander’s Board on Pinterest)

 

About Tamera Alexander:

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USA Today bestselling author Tamera Alexander is a novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose have earned her devoted readers worldwide as well as multiple industry awards. Tamera enjoys a devoted international following with her books being translated into German, Dutch, and Polish. She recently returned from a book tour in The Netherlands for the release of A Lasting Impression.

Her first seven novels are set against the rugged backdrop of the Colorado Territory (1860-70s), but she’s recently turned her pen toward “home” and is writing about her own Southern heritage. A Lasting Impression, the first of three Belmont Mansion novels, showcases the larger-than-life history of Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America at the time, and the Belmont Mansion in the years following the Civil War.

Tamera’s ninth novel, To Whisper Her Name, the first of three Belle Meade Plantation novels reveals the story behind the most influential thoroughbred stud farm in our nation’s history, as well as what happens when a Southern born son who chose to fight for the Union mets a Southern belle whose husband was killed for being a traitor to the South.

These two Southern series (the Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation) intertwine with each other, detailing the “real life” history of two of Nashville’s most famous homes and their intriguing families. A Lasting Impression was a 2012 Christy Award finalist for Best Historical Romance (an award honoring excellence in Christian Fiction. This was Tamera’s sixth Christy nomination. She’s also the recipient of two RITA awards for Best Inspirational Romance.

After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband have returned to their native South and reside in Nashville, Tennessee, where they enjoy spending time with their two grown children who live nearby, as well as a ten-pound silky terrier named Jack. When she writes, Tamera takes steps closer to Christ, and it’s her earnest desire that her readers will do the same, as they read.

She LOVES connecting with readers, so please join her through these venues:
www.tameraalexander.com
www.tameraalexander.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/tameraalexander
www.facebook.com/tamera.alexander
http://pinterest.com/tameraauthor/

Tamera’s Historical Group Blog:
www.writespassage.blogspot.com

 

To Learn more about Tamera Alexander and her books visit:

Website

Twitter

 

Happy Reading Y’all!!

 

*My sister won this book from Goodreads and she was gracious enough to let me read it! Thanks sis! 😉 All opinions are entirely my own.*

 

UPCOMING RELEASE FROM TAMERA ALEXANDER!!

 

To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander ~~ Available April 2015

~Synopsis~

A gifted rider in a world where ladies never race, Maggie Linden is determined that her horse will become a champion. But the one man who can help her has vowed to stay away from thoroughbred racing for good.

An Irish-born son far from home, Cullen McGrath left a once prosperous life in England because of a horse racing scandal that nearly ruined him. He’s come to Nashville for a fresh start, hoping to buy land and start a farm, all while determined to stay as far away from thoroughbred racing as possible. But starting over proves harder than he’d wagered, especially when Maggie Linden’s father makes him an offer he shouldn’t accept yet cannot possibly refuse.

Maggie is certain that her mare, Bourbon Belle, can take the top purse in the annual Drayton Stakes at Nashville’s racetrack––the richest race run in America. Maggie only needs the chance to prove it. To give her that chance, and to save Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder, Maggie’s father––aging, yet wily as ever––makes a barter. His agreement includes one tiny, troublesome detail––Maggie must marry a man she’s never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.

Cullen and Maggie need each other in order to achieve their dreams. But their stubborn, wounded hearts––and the escalating violence from a “secret society” responsible for lynchings and midnight raids––may prove too much for even two determined souls.