“Lyre and the Lambs” by Sydney Avey, book review

“Lyre and the Lambs” by Sydney Avey, book review

This is the 2nd book in the series about Dee’s family. We are taken to the 60’s, where life in America is quickly changing for everyone, including Dee and her family. Her daughter, Valerie, builds a modern house on the land where her grandmother’s home once stood, but the neighbors don’t know what to make of it. Dee finally marries and moves in the Valarie and her husband. Then the almost adult children start arriving from all over the world. And the neighbors are quite concerned now.

Father Mike is still the spiritual advisor and when his church closes its doors, he continues his work with teens, meeting at the Glass House. Now the neighbors are upset.

Continuing where the 1st book (Sheep Walker’s Daughter) left off, this new book continues the story of these family members as they learn to work together, depend on God and help each other.

I did like the book. It was easier to follow than the 1st one, as Dee is the only narrator. While I was a child in the 60’s I do not remember most of the historical items shared in the book, but my parents do. It was interesting to read about that time and how this family endured.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, HopeSpringsBooks. All opinions expressed are me own.

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“Thief of Glory” by Sigmund Brouwer, book review

“Thief of Glory, by Sigmund Brouwer, book review
Jeremiah Prims was 10 years old when his life changed, forever. He lived with his family in the Dutch West Indies where his father was headmaster of the school. But in 1942 the Japanese invaded the Southeast Pacific. His father and older brothers were taken to work, while the rest of his family was interned. In the camp, Jeremiah was the head of his family, as his mother was a little mental unstable (now we might call it bipolar).

Through out the weeks, months and years, Jeremiah does what it takes to care for his family, even at his own peril.

This book is quite honest and open with the cruelty and brutality in the camp, sharing in shocking detail. I was not quite prepared for the detail. While it was true, it was still shocking. Reader beware.

The opening and ending are interesting, and show how experiences in childhood can haunt or encourage us into adulthood. I do not want to give away the ending, but needless to say, it has an interesting ending.

I did enjoy the book, shocking details aside. It was a page turner, as I wanted to know what would happen next. The plot was thick, with many characters, but well written. I would recommend to history buffs, especially WWII.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher, Waterbrook Press. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“Miracle in a Dry Season” by Sarah Loudin Thomas, book review

1954- Casewell Phillips is satisfied with his life as a bachelor.  He has a good business building furniture.  He helps his dad with the cows and the farm.  He is active in his church and loves to have dinner with his parents, especially when his mother sends home leftovers.  But life changes when a drought hits the area.  The fields and wells dry up.  Folks want to place the blame on someone.

At this same time, Perla Long and her daughter Sadie arrive to stay with her aunt and uncle a while.  She helps out at the store and with chores at home, including cooking.  And can she cook!  It is wonderful what she makes, and there are always left overs.  So when the drought is really getting bad, the town works together to see that no one goes hungry and Perla is the cook.  But some in town are suspicious of her talent and the rumors begin again.

This is an interesting and enjoyable book.  It explores how people work together and often how hurtful words can be.  Another theme is miracles, and while we see them in the Bible, we may discount them in modern times.  I hope there is another book that continues the story.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, as a member of the Christian Fiction Bloggers group.  All opinions expressed are my own.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Miracle in a Dry Season

Bethany House Publishers (August 5, 2014)

by

Sarah Loudin Thomas

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Her first novel, Miracle in a Dry Season, releases August 2014 through Bethany House. Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency.

A graduate of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, Sarah once dreamed of being a marine scientist. But her love for words won out and she has spent much of her career in public relations and marketing. She currently oversees fundraising and communications for a Christian children’s home in Black Mountain, NC.

Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with Thistle–the canine equivalent to a personal trainer pushing them to hike, run, and throw sticks. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and–you guessed it–reading.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In a Drought, It’s the Darkest Cloud

That Brings Hope

It’s 1954 and Perla Long’s arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle.

Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor. . .until he meets Perla. She’s everything he’s sought in a woman, but he can’t get past the sense that she’s hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla’s unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Miracle in a Dry Season, go HERE.

 

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“A Grand Design” by Amber Stockton, book review

” Grand Design” by Amber Stockton, book review

Alyssa used to spend every summer on Mackinac Island with her grandmother.  But 15 years ago was the last time.  Now, she is returning.  Surely it will be ok.  On a dare she entered a contest to win a 2 week stay on the island and won.  She and her best friend Libby are enjoying all the activities including the attention of 2 island employees, who are nice young men, in the words of her Grandmother.

Alyssa’s grandmother has a project for the girls, collecting quilt squares from her long lost friends on the island.  With the help of Scott, Alyssa travels the island and meets fascinating women and hears stories of the old days.  She is really enjoying her vacation and getting to know Scott.

But then the past reappears and it is just as bad as she remembers it!

I enjoyed this book.  The characters are well developed and the plot moves along.  Great summer vacation reading.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Abingdon Press.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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“The Sheep Walker’s Daughter” by Sydney Avey, book review

Dee’s mother dies after a short illness, but takes with her so many unanswered questions about her past.  As she sorts through the few belongings her mother left behind, Dee begins to piece together the puzzle of her mother’s life.  When her daughter, Valarie, comes home from Stanford to help with the sorting process and to grieve, she adds a few more details.  Then a trip to Spain reveals more interesting and fascinating facts about her mother’s family.

This book is about family relationships and how one generation often does not understand the decisions of the past one.  In this case, twins separated by their parents grow up in different countries not knowing the other exists until well into adulthood, and then they are uncertain if they want to meet or become friends, let alone sisters, again.

I liked the book.  The author changed between the mother and daughter’s point of view in telling the story often, and it was sometimes a paragraph or 2 before I knew who was talking.  Overall, it was an enjoyable book.  I am now reading #2 in the series and look forward to see how this family moves on.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher, HopeSpringsBooks.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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“Sky Zone” by Creston Mapes, book review

Jack and Pamela Crittendon are just not sure how much longer they can make it work, and it is not really working now.  Jack lost his job and despite looking and looking, he cannot land a full time job.  Pamela found a job at the orthodontist office, but being 8 months pregnant, she know that will end soon.  Then what will they do?

Jack did find a part time job working for EventPros at the local arena.  And tonight he would work the rally for the popular presidential candidate.  In a matter of moments everything goes from normal and boring to extraordinary and overwhelming.  But in it all, God’s love, protection and provision is highlighted.

This is an action packed book full of intrigue and plotting.  It reads quickly, because I wanted to know what was happening next.  Both male and female readers will enjoy this book.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the pubisher, David C Cook.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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“The Healing Quilt” by Wanda E Brunstetter, book review

Emma and Lamar Miller have come to Florida to see if the warmer weather will help Lamar’s arthritis, and it does.  There are other Amish folks in this area of Florida, and the Millers are able to keep in touch with family and friends back home.  After they have settled in, Emma finds she has free time on her hands and decides to teach a quilting class, like she did back home.  And she is pleasantly surprised when her class fills quickly.

While all who attend the class learn the basics of quilting, they also have some social and spiritual needs met.  All the students seem to have some problem or issue in their lives, and through out the weeks of the class, they open up and the other students, along with the Millers are able to overcome some of the problems.

I enjoyed this book.  It is the 3rd in the Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club series, and some of the characters from the previous books reappear here.  This book was easy to read and follow the story line and characters.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Handbar/ Shiloh.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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“Evergreen” by Susan May Warren, book review

John and Ingrid have raised 6 kids and the last one has flown the nest.  John sees it as a time to get out and do all the things they could not while the children were little; but Ingrid is not ready to let go of this “job” of being the mom.  As Christmas approaches John wants to surprise her with a trip to Europe, but Ingrid keeps volunteering for events at church during the season.

Then Butter, their beloved dog, suddenly becomes ill and requires expensive surgery.  John is ready to let her go, she is 16 years old.  But Ingrid sees the dog as her last child, bought be John when she had a miscarriage.  And then her drug addicted sister calls and asks them to keep her 16 year old son while she attends court ordered rehab.

This story deals with the real life issues many families deal with and how with God’s guidance this family was able to overcome so many troubles.  It is a quick read and wonderful for winter evening near the fire.

Disclaimer:  I received a coy of this book from the publisher, Tyndale as a part of their books for bloggers program.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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“A Table by the Window” by Hilary Monton Lodge, book review

Juliette grew up in the restaurant, and it is still in her blood.  Her parents own and operate a wonderful little Italian restaurant and now her brother wants to open his own place, but he needs her help.  Juliette got out of the restaurant business a few years ago and has been the food writer for the local paper, and liking it.  But should she leave her secure job to help her brother?

When her grandmother dies, Juliette inherits the pastry table, and while sifting through her belongings discovers a picture of a man, who looks a lot like her brother.  Now she is on a quest to discover the identity and other facts or secrets her grandmother left behind.

This was an enjoyable book to  read.  Since it was centered around food, there are many recipes included in the book, and that makes it more interesting.  Great book for the foodie in your life.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the publisher, Waterbrook Press, as a member of the Blogging for Books program.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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“Through Deep Waters” book review and Giveaway!!

“Through the Deep Waters” by Kim Vogel Sawyer, book review

Dinah has always felt like she was alone. Raised in a brothel, the daughter of a harlot, she lived under that shame. To care for her dying mother, the brothel owner sells her to a wealthy business man. After her mother dies, Dinah accepts a job as a chambermaid for the Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas. There she tries to make a new life for herself.

She is quickly accepted by her roommate, Ruthie, and a local chicken farmer, Amos. But she also encounters problems and suffers from night terrors from her one night of shame. Ruthie is jealous of Dinah, because of things she “thinks” she knows about her past in Chicago. But Ruthie is able to lead Dinah to a saving knowledge in the forgiveness of Jesus.

This is a wonderful story of love, forgiveness and courage. I enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading another book about Dinah and Amos.

Want to read this book for yourself?  Waterbrook press is giving away 1 copy of this book to one of my readers.  Just go here.

The contest starts on July 31, 2014 at 6:00am EST and ends on August 20th, 2014 at 11:59pm. One winner will be chosen at random on August 21st, 2014 and will be alerted by email. For a complete listing of the rules, please see below.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Waterbrook Press, as a member of Blogging for Books. All opinions expressed are my own.
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