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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dark Road Home by Elizabeth Ludwig (Book 2 in the Edge of Freedom series)

Elizabeth Ludwig continues in her Edge of Freedom series with another great book Dark Road HomeHead over to here to read my review of her first book in this series.
This book is Ana Kavangh's story (Cara's friend from the boarding house).  Ana has lived through a painful past where she survived a fire that left her with scars not only on her hands, but also on her heart.  Through a chance meeting at a local church where Ana volunteers, she meets and befriends Eoghan Hamilton (Cara's brother).   Eoghan is still struggling with Cara's betrayal and wants nothing to do with her.  Ana is convinced she can bring the two together, but realizes she also has bitterness to deal with when it comes to God. Unbeknownst to Ana, there is someone who wants her dead and trouble is lurking around every corner.  And while Eoghan has vowed to protect Ana, He himself is a target too.

I thought this second book continued the story line well.  It was thrilling and fun to read.  The ending of the book left enough intrigue to make me wish the third book was already out!  Ana and Eoghan both have their difficulties that they must face and overcome.  And until they see God as good, they struggle in their relationship with Him, blaming Him for all that has happened.  I thought the author did a great job building the stories of the characters and weaving together all the mysterious details that make the story interesting.  I'm really looking forward to reading about Tillie's story in the third  and final book in the series called Tide and Tempest when it comes out March 1, 2014.

***I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock

Eve Marryat is tired of living in the city of St. Paul, Minnesota.  She's tired of all the crime happening around her and longs for a place that is peaceful and filled with good, honest people.  When Eve's dad looses his job at the Ford Motor Company in 1931 and decides to move his family to Ohio, Eve is pretty excited about the change.  But what Eve doesn't know is that trouble is brewing even in the places that seem to be safe.

This story takes place during the Great Depression and the age of Prohibition.  This is a period of time that I haven't read too much about.  Even seemingly good people were selling illegal liquor to make money and keep their family alive.  Eve, being seventeen, has a lot to learn about human nature and it's bent toward sin.  She has great ideals, but quickly realizes that not everyone upholds the law.    Many times the sin seems like an easy way out, but in the end it only compounds the misery.
I enjoyed reading this story.  The author even includes Al Capone in the story.  I can't imagine growing up in such a difficult time period.  If you're looking for a great story depicting how the Great Depression and Prohibition affected the people of that age, pick up Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock.

***I received this free book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Trouble in Store by Carol Cox

     Miss Melanie Ross is a governess for an affluent family in Ohio until one of her young charges gets her fired.  With no family in town and no hope of a job, she heads out west to Arizona to claim what her cousin, George, willed her when he died.
But when Melanie finally arrives in Arizona, she encounters Caleb Nelson, who says that he has inherited the mercantile from his uncle Alvin (George's partner).  Melanie struggles to prove her worth to the store's operation in order to convince Caleb that she would be a worth partner.  She has to make this work because she has no where else to go.
Meanwhile, someone is leaving threatening notes around the store warning the owner to get out of town or else.  Other odds things are starting to happen too.  Melanie and Caleb must find out who wants them out of town before someone gets hurt.

I really enjoyed reading this novel by Carol Cox.  This is the second book that I've read by her.  The other book is called Love in Disguise, and you can read my review of that book here.  The story line is such a cute story.  I love that it is a Historical Fiction book.  I love learning about history while reading a great story.  The story is set in the great wild west.  Things in the west are definitely different from the midwest.  Melanie is quite a character.  She's not one to back down, but is vulnerable on the inside.  Caleb has his troubles too.  With past trials that have broken his heart, he's not out to find love again.  Both Melanie and Caleb have to learn the lesson of trusting in God when the situation with the store becomes extremely dangerous.
If you're looking for a fun, cute read with a little bit of mystery thrown in, this would be a great book to pick up!

*** I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Scaredy Squirrel is Free this week for iBooks on iTunes!

This week Scaredy Squirrel is free on iTunes for iBooks.  You can download the book here  We LOVE this series by Melanie Watt.  Scaredy Squirrel is scared of everything and goes to great lengths to stay safe.  He's such a funny character that your kids will love.  Download the book and find out how great it is!  There is also a great Scaredy Squirrel site to play at and a fun little app too.

Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke

This latest book that I read was incredibly interesting.  I always love reading historical fiction books since I actually learn something about the history of that time period while being entertained by the book.  This story is about the immigrants and human trafficking.  Something that I've heard about even recently on the news right in our own time.  This subject is very relevant for today since it unfortunately hasn't stopped.  Below you will find the book description, my thoughts about the book and about the author.

About the Book:

Maureen O’Reilly and her younger sister, Katie Rose, have nothing holding them to their homeland of Ireland.  They have just laid their mother to rest and their father had died many years before.  Maureen decides to take a journey to America to escape her shameful past and begin a new life.  Maureen and Katie's father had received a letter over twenty years before from a Colonel Wakefield stating that he would help their father begin a new life in America.  So armed with their letter and the few gold coins Colonel Wakefield sent, they head off on their journey.  Ellis Island proves to be more challenging then either of the girls ever imagined.  Maureen finally gets through when a sweet lady named Mrs. Melkford vouches for her and takes Maureen to her house.  When Maureen heads over to the Wakefield house, she learns that her benefactor, Colonel Wakefield, has died.  Mr. Wakefield's family refuses to help her and even burns the letter in the fireplace.  With no place to go, she returns to Mrs. Melkford's house spinning a grand tale of how everything is fine and she'll join the Wakefields soon.  She then forges a reference letter and heads to a respectable department store for work.  But after working in the store for a little while, Maureen learns of the dark secrets of the fourth floor that is known as the floor of promotion. When girls, even two of her friends, begin disappearing, Maureen knows she has to do something, but what can she do?
Olivia Wakefield is unhappy with how her brother-in-law, Drake Meitland, handled the situation with the O'Reilly girl.  She is determined to go against her sister and brother-in-law and make things right.  But where could Maureen be in this huge city of New York and how will Olivia ever find Maureen and her sister.

 My Review:

 This book starts off in the great land of my ancestors.  I love reading about Ireland, but Maureen has quite a dark past.  A past that was so shameful and forced upon her.  It's hard to believe that things could be so awful, but when you're poor and have no other choice to survive, what would you do?  Do you continue to return to an employer that abuses you or starve?  Maureen was in such a predicament.  When she and her sister come to America thinking they were in the land of the free, they quickly realize that the same horrible slavery is here as well.  This is such a hard subject.  One that is overlooked and not talked about, but is still going on today.  I think that Cathy Gohlke did a great job bringing this subject to light in her book, Band of Sisters.  The book is well written and the storyline is very interesting.  Although, I would not recommend this book for teens because of the subject matter talked about in the book. 

About the Author:

Cathy Gohlke is the two-time Christy Award–winning author of William Henry is a Fine Name and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires, which also won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Award and was listed by Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2008. Her newest book, Promise Me This, was released February 1, 2012.  Her next book, Band of Sisters, will release September, 2012.
Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children’s and education ministries. When not traipsing the hills and dales of historic sites, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, make their home on the banks of the Laurel Run in Maryland.  Read more at her website by clicking here.

Author Cathy Gohlke

**I picked this book up from my local library to read for the Tyndale Summer Reading program. 
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