Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Book Review - "The Promise of Morning"

When I received the offer from Revell to read and review Ann Shorey's 2nd book in her "At Home in Beldon Grove" series - "The Promise of Morning," I bought the 1st book in the series so I could read that first. I am so glad I did! I enjoyed both books so much and by reading the 1st book, I feel that I got so much more out of the 2nd book in the series.
"The Promise of Morning" begins in March 1846, seven years about book 1 "The Edge of Light" ended off. While "The Edge of Light" focuses on Molly McGarvie's life, Molly's brother Matthew and his family are introduced and play a role in the book as well. Although Molly and her family still play roles in "The Promise of Morning," this novel focuses on Matthew's wife, Ellie and trials and surprises that arise in this part of the family.
Shorey delivers stories that focus on realistic people living in the mid 1800's. The characters in this series are faced with common struggles for this time period and the strength that they use to overcome these hardships are inspiring for readers living into world which is harsh at times.
One aspect that I really enjoy of Shorey's writing is the relationships that are developed throughout the novels and the depth of growth experienced by the characters individually and with each other both.
I highly recommend this series to any historical fiction fan!

“Available March 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Monday, March 29, 2010

Book Review - "Ryken's Bible Handbook"

Picking up the Bible and beginning to read can be intimidating to anyone. Ryken's Bible Handbook is a book that can be helpful as it can be a guide for the reader before diving into the Bible.
This book provides background information on each book of the Bible and takes a literary approach with each book. Maps and charts are also included and also a topical guide. There is also a reading guide for those who wish to read the entire Bible in a year. This book is an invaluable tool for anyone who is just beginning to read the Bible or for anyone who is seeking for a deeper understanding of the many stories, truths and passages in the Bible.
Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of the book.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Book Review - "Scattered Petals"

"Scattered Petals" is the second book in Amanda Cabot's Texas Dreams series. I would recommend having read book 1 in the series, "Paper Roses," first as you will appreciate the story more as book 2 picks right up where the first book left off.
Amanda Cabot creates very real characters in her books allowing you as the reader to experience their emotions, hardships and joys right along with them. I felt as if I were living in Texas along with the main characters and experiencing life in the mid 1800's.
"Scattered Petals" revolves around the story of Priscilla Morton, Clay Canfield's late wife's sister. Priscilla is seeking adventure in Texas and persuades her parents to travel to Texas to attend Clay and Sarah's wedding. Priscilla never dreams that she will be the only Morton to actually arrive to attend the wedding. Once arriving at the Canfield ranch and meeting Zach, she sees a resemblance between him and a man she wishes to never see again. However, as time passes Priscilla realizes that Zach may be the person who can help her with the trials she is facing and will need God's help in trusting Zach.
I love how Clay and Sarah's story is continued in this second book as well as the other people in their town. Priscilla and the life she builds in Texas is a great addition to this story.
Cabot has a flowing writing style that is easy to read and you will be quickly drawn into this historical romance novel. I am greatly looking forward to a third book in this series!

“Available March 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Book Review - "A Distant Melody"

Sarah Sundin has truly found her calling - writing historical romance novels! Her debut novel, "A Distant Melody," is hopefully the first of many works that will be released!
"A Distant Melody" is book one in the Wings of Glory series. Set during World War II the reader is transported to this time period and travels between California and England as the lives of Walt and Allie become alive. Allie is a young woman who has never been pretty enough according to her mother, has never been told she is pretty by her fiancee or felt that she is truly special to this fiancee as well. While traveling by train to a college friend's wedding, Allie is beginning a journey that will forever change her life. Befriending a mother and her young children on the train leads Allie to meet a serviceman Walt, who she ends up spending a great deal of time with as he is also a part of this friend's wedding. This week filled with wedding festivities is a great deal of fun for Allie as she feels as if she is surrounded by friends and people who really do care about her. However, omitted details, misunderstandings, and distance wedge in between Allie and Walt as they lead their separate lives thousands of miles away from each other. In the midst of war, Allie and Walt eventually are drawn together by corresponding through letters. However, Allie is still planning her wedding to her fiancee, Baxter, although she has several doubts. Faced with an ultimatum from her parents, Allie must make life-changing decisions. Allie learns what is important and gains courage by trusting God.
Sundin's has a flowing, descriptive writing style that draws the reader into the story. I felt as if I was transported back in time to World War II. The characters are so real and believable that the reader will wish for friends such as Allie, Walt, George and Betty.
This is a must read for all historical romance readers and for those who are not! I am looking forward to book two in this series being released and hoping it picks up where "A Distant Melody" left off!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Book Review - "The Flowering Cross"

I recently received this book, "The Flowering Cross" by Beth Ryan from Thomas Nelson publishers. It is a sweet story for Easter to be shared with children. Katie and her brother NoNo are friends with a neighbor Papa Jack, whom the other children are afraid of. Katie goes to Papa Jack's beautiful garden to pick flowers to take to church on Easter Sunday to place on the cross. Through Katie's kindness and witness, Papa Jack decides to attend church with Katie's family and comes to Jesus as well. Before Easter dinner with the family, NoNo and Papa Jack go to his workshop and build a flowering cross for the dinner table.
This book illustrates the love that Jesus has for each of us and what the cross represents, Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. This book also contains "Faith Imprints" on several of the pages, statements that can lead to further discussion with your children along with a Bible verse correlating with the story text on the page. There are also instructions in the back of the book so that the reader is able to make his or her own flowering cross. This would be a wonderful book and project to become a part of families' traditions during Easter time.