Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

Book Description

A boy coming of age in a time of war…
the love that inspires him to survive.
For ten year-old Jeremiah Prins, the life of privilege as the son of a school headmaster in the Dutch East Indies comes crashing to a halt in 1942 after the Japanese Imperialist invasion of the Southeast Pacific. Jeremiah takes on the responsibility of caring for his younger siblings when his father and older stepbrothers are separated from the rest of the family, and he is surprised by what life in the camp reveals about a woman he barely knows—his frail, troubled mother. 

Amidst starvation, brutality, sacrifice and generosity, Jeremiah draws on all of his courage and cunning to fill in the gap for his mother. Life in the camps is made more tolerable as Jeremiah’s boyhood infatuation with his close friend Laura deepens into a friendship from which they both draw strength. 

When the darkest sides of humanity threaten to overwhelm Jeremiah and Laura, they reach for God’s light and grace, shining through his people. Time and war will test their fortitude and the only thing that will bring them safely to the other side is the most enduring bond of all.

My Review

I received this book some time ago. I'm sad to say I couldn't really get into like I do with most historical fiction,  especially WWII fiction. I want to try it again one day because I have heard so many friends tell me how wonderful this author is and it may just take some getting used to. I really hope do hope so. 

I will give a more updated review when that happens and I hope it will be with happy reviews. :) 

For now, I give this book a 3.0 out of 5 stars.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my unbiased review

Take A Chance On Me by Susan May Warren

Book Description

Darek Christiansen is almost a dream bachelor―oldest son in the large Christiansen clan, heir to their historic Evergreen Lake Resort, and doting father. But he’s also wounded and angry since the tragic death of his wife, Felicity. No woman in Deep Haven dares come near. 

New assistant county attorney Ivy Madison simply doesn’t know any better when she bids on Darek at the charity auction. Nor does she know that when she crafted a plea bargain three years ago to keep Jensen Atwood out of jail and in Deep Haven fulfilling community service, she was releasing the man responsible for Felicity’s death. All Ivy knows is that the Christiansens feel like the family she’s always longed for. And once she gets past Darek’s tough exterior, she finds a man she could spend the rest of her life with. Which scares her almost as much as Darek learning of her involvement in his wife’s case. 

Caught between new love and old grudges, Darek must decide if he can set aside the past for a future with Ivy―a future more and more at risk as an approaching wildfire threatens to wipe out the Christiansen resort and Deep Haven itself.

My Review

It's a wonder how I ever missed such a book! Susan May Warren's first book in the Christiansen Family series is one you won't want to miss! A story of repentance, forgiveness, and taking a chance on God!

Darek Christiansen, most eligible bachelor in town, yet no ones dares bid on him; the man with the boulder size chip on his shoulder. That is, until Ivy Madison comes to Deep Haven. Not knowing his history, feeling sorry for him she bids on the lonely bachelor. She soon wishes she hadn't. Darek has built walls around him so thick, it seems nearly impossible to get through them. But this woman just might be his undoing. 

Ivy Madison, new assistant county attorney of Deep Haven, an orphan looking for a home. Her whole life seems to be a struggle of survival and belonging. Moving from foster home to foster home slowly built a wall around her heart. But that didn't stop her, she went to Law school to help those who, like herself, fall through the cracks. 

One of the things I absolutely love about Susan's books, they don't revolve solely around two characters. More characters come into play with their own wonderful story which beautifully weaves everything together! I can't help but love every character that enters the scene. 

Claire Gibson, gardner by day and pizza maker by night. Every one is encouraging her to move on and leave Deep Haven, but with her grandfather sick how can she live? But is that her only reason for staying? Something deeper lingers inside, love or fear? 

Jensen Atwood, accused felon working off his probation in a town where everyone seems to hate him. Even himself. After allegedly killing the wife of his best friend, Jensen stays secluded rather than face the town and their judgment. 

Darek's mother, Ingrid, has to be one of my absolute favorites. Her faith and love is the honey that glues it all together. She melted my heart with her tender love towards Ivy. The love for her son and grandson. It made me desperately long to go a visit Ingrid Christiansen just to get a hug from her. 

Each one of these characters experience a form of grief, loss, disappointment, and love. Not just from one another, but in God. I found every one of them so relatable I cried. The feeling of rejection and doubt of belonging to disappointment and wondering if God would listen. 

I originally started this series in book #3: When I Fall In Love. I had no idea it was a part of the series or that it was in the middle of one. But that's a good thing! I was able to read and fall in love with the series without feeling like I'd jumped in the middle of something. However, now that I've read the first book, I feel more complete!

I hope you will check out this book and the rest of the Christiansen Family series. You won't be disappointed. And if you are, well, maybe you are just having a bad day and need to try again next time! Haha!

I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

To Capture Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino

Book Description 

It is 1653 and Heather Flower, a princess of the Montauk tribe, is enjoying her wedding feast when her groom is killed and she is kidnapped by a rival tribe and held for ransom. Though her ransom is paid by an Englishman, she is nonetheless left to die in a Connecticut forest--until she finds herself rescued by handsome Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren. Torn between her affection for Dirk and her long friendship with family friend Benjamin Horton, Heather Flower must make a difficult choice--stay true to her friend or follow her heart.

My Review

“He ransoms me from death and surrounds me with love and tender mercies.” –Psalms 103:4

The story of Heather Flower and Dirk and Benjamin was delightful and fascinating. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen all the way up to the very end! I liked the stories Heather Flower shared of her people and their customs with Mary and friends. Reading it truly has given me a desire to one day take a trip to Long Island and visit the Southold Museum. The love that she shares with both Dirk and Benjamin is beautiful, and with the people of Southold and even ones further out of reach.

I was excited when I ordered this book but quickly became skeptical when I saw it was the second in the series. It’s always hard starting in the middle of a series. You feel like you should know characters that come walking in but you don’t who they are or how they are related to the story. It was the same for this one, however, about 5 chapters in you get into the rhythm and never want put it down.
I recommend reading the first book if possible, but if you can’t don’t worry. Rebecca DaMarino didn’t make this book impossible to read if you missed it like I did.

Her writing style is captivating to me and the flow between characters was just right. Though I have to say, I wanted more of Dirk! Still, there were a few times I couldn’t tell who was talking or asking a question because of the way some of the paragraphs ended and began, but when I got used to her style of writing it was quick to see. The only thing I was a little disappointed in was from the description of the book it sounds like the entire book is all about Heather Flower and her romance with Dirk. However, it was not. You see more of the characters from the first book, like Mary and her friends and family and hardly ever see Dirk and Heather Flower. This love between Dirk and Heather Flower didn’t really have any development either. However, I still really enjoyed it.

“He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!” – Psalms 103:5

Rebecca DeMarino captured my heart with this historical masterpiece. I’ve never heard of the Horton’s or of Southold, Long Island and the Indians that lived in that territory but this book makes me want to learn more about it all. I can’t wait to go back and read the first book and patiently awaiting the third novel.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars!

 received this book for free from the publisher’s in exchange for this honest and unbiased review as part of Revel Review program.

PS: Don't forget to checkout Rebecca DeMarino's awesome giveaway!

To Capture Her Heart Book Launch

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Power of Book-Book Nerds!

You have got to love discussions between a Book book lover and an eBook lovers. My fourth of July weekend ended on a perfect note: with laughter. 

I came across a very humorous parody video ad on books/ebooks, which I highly recommend watching before reading the rest of this post. Here's the link for quick and easy viewing pleasure! Experience the Power of a Book-book!

Now that you have seen the video (if you forgot, just click the link above!) I can share the rest of the story. 

I thought it was so funny I had to post it to my fellow book lover friend's facebook page. Now, she has a friend who likes to debate with me about the power of his Kindle over a Book-book when he see's these kinds of posts on her wall (no, we aren't FB friends and I've never even met him). I've gotten to where I will occasionally, intentionally post ones on her wall just to see what he will say next. This time I really wasn't thinking about that and posted to her timeline. Hours later I find a private message from her saying:

"You are asking for it aren't you? Hahaha" ~book lover friend

I about died laughing because I knew immediately what she meant! The Kindle-guy had responded to the video I shared! (I've erased and color-coded my friends names and faces to respect their privacy! Aren't the little bugs so cute!? Green Grasshopper is my friend and Blue Snail is Kindle-guy)

Oh the story is just beginning. Kindle-guy then has the guts to call book-books... Well just look!

OBSOLETE! I chuckled. He had no idea what he was asking for when he called book-books obsolete.

I refuse to believe digital eBooks are better than book-books. No offense of course to those who enjoy them, I appreciate their functionality and use for people who need them. But as you can see above, our brains use paper for a deeper level of reading and if it's not used we lose that part of our brain.
I am a bonafide BOOK-BOOK NERD GIRL.

Oh, the story isn't quite over. Now for the Epilogue. Hours passed and no response and then it was time for bed. Monday came and my book friend private messaged me again about the post, but this time it was about Kindle-guy's brother. He had now responded! But not to me, no, to his brother!

Bahahaha! I cried I laughed so hard! That was the first time his brother has ever made a comment to my posts and the response itself was so unexpected. It just made my day!

That my friends is the power of a Book-book! God bless!