Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Long Fall

I received a copy of THE LONG FALL by Penelope Wilcock from Lion Hudson in exchange for an honest review.  It is book three in the HAWK AND THE DOVE series.  I am completely in love with this series and cannot recommend it enough.  The readers get to experience love and faith, and although much of it takes place in the past, the reader can recognize many timeless truths.  I love historical fiction, so that passion might make me biased towards this series. 

The reader can learn a lot of the relationship between Father Peregrine and Brother Tom.  I can see the reader seeing much of him or herself in both of them. 

Something else I greatly enjoyed about this series is the way they comfort you.  My life has been hectic and sad lately, and I found these books to be a solace. 

Of the three books in the series, this cover enticed me the most.  It gave an eerie, intriguing feel, sucking me deep into another world that left me breathless and yearning for more.  The series receives five stars from me and a stamp of approval!

If you’re looking for a gift, try giving book one and hooking a new reader on this literary journey.  

The Wounds of God

I received a copy of THE WOUNDS OF GOD by Penelope Wilcock from Lion Hudson in exchange for an honest review.  It is book two in the HAWK AND THE DOVE series.  With only one hundred and eighty seven pages, this book flew by.  The chapters are written in a simplistic, beautiful prose that is both engaging and endearing.  You feel as if a dear friend is telling you a story.  It is late at night, but you keep begging for more.   

I loved the historical wisdom that exists upon the pages.  Father Peregrine is a notable man who readers can learn a great deal from.  He has a disability, and that helps him to grow as a human.  He is an excellent role model for people of any age. 

Melissa is also a role model to love.  In this book, she is sixteen, and is learning from these stories.  I loved her role in the series, for the reader gets to learn right along with her, making for a well-rounded experience. 

I highly recommend this series, and this book as well.  I did read them in order, but upon finishing THE WOUNDS OF GOD, I don’t think it is necessary to do so.  If you only come across this installment, don’t miss your chance to read it.

The Hawk and the Dove

I received a copy of THE HAWK AND THE DOVE by Penelope Wilcock from Lion Hudson in exchange for an honest review.  I had heard about this series before – THE HAWK AND THE DOVE is book one in a series with the same name – but it wasn’t until now that I got to test it out.  Am I glad I did!  This is a fast and poignant read. 

It is a strange book, although very enjoyable.  I had to really think hard about how to review it, and when I read the other reviews, a word jumped out: vignettes.  This series is all about vignettes from a monastery; very unique and thought provoking.   I couldn’t stop reading.  I was gobbling up the chapters.  They are written simply, but not simplistically.  I enjoyed that tremendously, for I know many people who become confused by “big words” and complicated sentences.  These books will appeal to the masses and open many eyes to God’s beautiful ways. 

I was excited to have been given all three books at once, because I really couldn’t put it down.  I had to read the next one… and then the next.  I finished the series with a content sigh.  

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Broken Blade

I received a copy of THE BROKEN BLADE by Anna Thayer from Lion Hudson in exchange for an honest review.  This is book 3 in the KNIGHT OF ELDARAN series.  I read the other two books, THE TRAITOR’S HEIR and THE KING’S HAND, in the past and adored them.  This is a series I recommend to my friends who enjoy Christian Fiction and Fantasy. 

I’ve found that there isn’t a lot of Christian fantasy out there.  Most of the Christian books I find are contemporary romances or historical fiction, and while they always leave me with a smile, I had a soft spot for fantasy. 

THE BROKEN BLADE is my favorite of the series.  Maybe it is because my favorite characters were there; maybe the action was more intense… whatever the reason, I really savored this book.  My life has been a bit scattered lately, so I enjoyed immersing myself in another world.  Although it is another world, you will see parallels to ours. 

I highly recommend not just this installment, but the entire series.  This is a must read.  The cover pulls you in – all the covers for the series are fantastic – but the writing keeps you hooked.  Bravo, Anna Thayer!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The King's Hand

I received a copy of THE KING’S HAND by Anna Thayer from Lion Hudson in exchange for an honest review.  This is book 2 in the KNIGHT OF ELDARAN series.  I read the first book, THE TRAITOR’S HEIR, a short while ago and greatly enjoyed it, so I was thrilled to receive this one.  I am even more thrilled to soon be reading the third installment.

As for THE KING’S HAND, it is just as exciting as the first book.  With lots of political intrigue, I have recommended this to my friends who love the Game of Thrones series.  I found it very reminiscent of that. 

THE KING’S HAND focuses on good versus evil, but in a smooth way that doesn’t make this feel overly done.  Everyone, the villains and the heroes, is a complex character.  No one is unrealistic.  The dialogue feels so true to life, this could be a biography… minus the fantasy elements, of course! 

Anna Thayer has done a remarkable job with this trilogy.  THE KING’S HAND does follow book one, but you don’t need to have read that installment in order to enjoy this one.  Bravo, Anna Thayer!  I look forward to reading so much more from this author.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Until the Beat Stops

I received a copy of UNTIL THE BEAT STOPS by Stella Mowen in exchange for an honest review.  This is a beautiful book from cover to cover that will have you emotionally touched and wishing to share this with others.  Without giving any spoilers, this is truly a powerful book. 

It was fitting to cover this book this week, as I lost my beloved grandmother on Monday.  I would love to include my memories of her and the beautiful, strong person that she was on a website similar to what is created in the book. 

People should follow the lead of these main characters and create such a group to help themselves embrace each day.  

Friday, May 15, 2015

Tales from the Circle C Ranch

Susan K. Marlow is one of my favorite authors BY FAR.  Her books are thought-provoking, beautiful, and full of the “good stuff” young readers need in literature these days.  As you can guess, I was beyond thrilled to receive a copy of ANDREA CARTER’S TALES FROM THE CIRCLE C RANCH by Susan K. Marlow from Kregel Publications. 

I have read other Andrea Carter books by Susan K. Marlow and this is a great addition to that.  In a nutshell, “Andi” is a young girl living on a rach in California.  The books take place in the late 1800’s.  I am total sucker for historical fiction. 

The books take place over her life, and it is great because girls of all ages can fall in love with the main character.  The short stories in TALES FROM THE CIRCLE C RANCH take place over a span of years, and they include introductions to let you know where they fit in with the series.  I recommend this for people who already love Andrea Carter and for those who would like to get to know her.  I am passing this on to a friend to give to her granddaughter.  Five stars from me and a giant round of applause.  

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Amish Promises

I received a copy of AMISH PROMISES by Leslie Gould from Bethany House.  It is the first installment in the Neighbors of Lancaster County series.  I must preface this review by saying that I visit the “real” Lancaster County at least once a year and it is as picturesque and magnificent as the book describes.  I felt as if I were visiting there anew. 

In the past I read ADORING ADDIE, also by Leslie Gould, so I knew this book would be a treat. 

In this adventure, two families are learning to live side-by-side.  One family is Amish and the other family is not, and boy, do things start off on the wrong foot!  There are plenty of moments that will make you gasp and even more that will make you laugh.  Everyone is realistic and you will find many who you relate to, although in different ways.  The chapters flow along at a fast pace and before you know, you’re turning the final page and sighing in longing because it is over.

I look forward to the second book in this series.  I will be passing this one on to my mother, who loves Amish fiction and visiting Lancaster County just as much as I do.