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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 14 August 2018 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – A DISTANT MELODY by SARAH SUNDIN

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – A DISTANT MELODY by SARAH SUNDIN

                                                                             

THE BLURB:

Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval–even marry a man she doesn’t love. Lt. Walter Novak–fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women–takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas. Walt and Allie meet at a wedding and their love of music draws them together, prompting them to begin a correspondence that will change their lives. As letters fly between Walt’s muddy bomber base in England and Allie’s mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?
A Distant Melody is the first book in the WINGS OF GLORY series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II.

 

THE AUTHOR:

Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the author of ten novels, including the The Sea Before Us (February 2018) and the Waves of Freedom series (Through Waters Deep, Anchor in the Storm, and When Tides Turn).

A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups. Her novels When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were both named to Booklist’s 101 Best Romance Novels of the Past 10 Years. Through Waters Deep was a 2016 Carol Award Finalist and won the INSPY Award, and her novella in Where Treetops Glisten was a finalist in the 2015 Carol Awards. In 2011 she received the Writer of the Year Award from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Please visit Sarah at http://www.sarahsundin.com, on Facebook at SarahSundinAuthor, and on Twitter at @sarahsundin.

 

 

MY REVIEW:

How have I never read a book by this author before?!?!?!? It may be my first, but A Distant Melody certainly won’t be my last read by Ms. Sundin!

This story is filled with all the things I love—genuine characters, plausible scenarios, realistic conflict, and authentic settings and details.

I could hear the tunes, I could feel the rumble of the B-17 engines, I cringed at the swarming ‘flak.’ I ached and yearned with Allie and Walt—and wanted to knock both their noggins! And when it all looked hopeless I cried and… I kept turning the pages til it wasn’t. I wanted to step into the story and smother Allie with motherly hugs. I wanted to sit with Walt, and offer encouragement—I cheered him on so many times.

Ms. Sundin knows her era, her story world, and she knows her people, and she wraps it all together in a story so tender, so touching, I was moved to tears and fictional prayers over and again. I look forward to continuing the series!

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS:

ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

 

 

I purchased this book on Amazon. I offer my review of my own free will, and the opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, A Distant Melody, Sarah Sundin

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 7 August 2018 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – THIEF OF CORINTH by TESSA AFSHAR

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – THIEF OF CORINTH by TESSA AFSHAR

THE BLURB:

First-century Corinth is a city teeming with commerce and charm. It’s also filled with danger and corruption—the perfect setting for Ariadne’s greatest adventure.

After years spent living with her mother and oppressive grandfather in Athens, Ariadne runs away to her father’s home in Corinth, only to discover the perilous secret that destroyed his marriage: though a Greek of high birth, Galenos is the infamous thief who has been robbing the city’s corrupt of their ill-gotten gains.

Desperate to keep him safe, Ariadne risks her good name, her freedom, and the love of the man she adores to become her father’s apprentice. As her unusual athletic ability leads her into dangerous exploits, Ariadne discovers that she secretly revels in playing with fire. But when the wrong person discovers their secret, Ariadne and her father find their future—and very lives—hanging in the balance.

When they befriend a Jewish rabbi named Paul, they realize that his radical message challenges everything they’ve fought to build, yet offers something neither dared hope for.

Be transported back in time by this gripping tale of adventure, bravery, and redemption, and discover why Debbie Macomber says, “No one brings the Bible to life like Tessa Afshar.”

 

THE AUTHOR:

 

Tessa Afshar is an award-winning author of historical and biblical fiction. Her novel Land of Silence was voted by Library Journal as one of top five Christian fiction titles of 2016 and won the INSPY Award for General Fiction. Harvest of Gold won the prestigious 2014 Christy Award in the Historical Romance category. Her book Harvest of Rubies was a finalist for the 2013 ECPA Book Award in the fiction category. In 2011, after publishing her first novel, Pearl in the Sand, Tessa was named New Author of the Year in the FamilyFiction-sponsored Reader’s Choice Awards. Tessa lived in the Middle East for the first fourteen years of her life. She then moved to England, where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States. She holds an MDiv from Yale Divinity School, where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship. But that has not cured her from being exceptionally fond of chocolate. Contact Tessa at tessaafshar.com or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTessaAfshar/

 

 

 

 

MY REVIEW:

“They will know we are Christians by our love.”

If the whole of the Gospel could be summed in one message, one word, is it this: Love. And that is the message of this book, this story: God is Love.

Ms. Afshar writes in such a way that this message jumps from the pages. The Apostle Paul talks about love in what was to become I Corinthians 13, bringing it to life in a real way.

In first century Athens, and then Corinth, Ariadne has known hardships that today are unthinkable. And without the Gospel of Christ, she addresses her life the best way she knows how—in her own strength and ability.

And as is true for all time, when we face the world in our own strength and ability, she falls short.

The message Paul brings to Ariadne changes everything.

Which is the eternal message of the Gospel—it changes everything.

 

Ms. Afshar has written a compelling story, bringing the streets of Corinth to life, and the life of a young woman in the first century. Her struggles, her longings. Her failures. Oh! how familiar I am with that sense of worthlessness, of being invisible to others. Of not having the love of those dear to me. I wanted to step into the pages and give Ariadne the love she needs and deserves; I rejoiced when Paul showed up and gave her a deeper love than I ever could.

This story is deep and profound, challenging believers to be as Christ, to love in the face of opposition and ridicule. To rise above the base and selfish ways of the flesh. This story presents the message of love in a real and practical—and seeming impossible—way, and points to the Source as the only way.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS:

ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

 

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Thief of Corinth, Tessa Afshar

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 24 July 2018 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – ASHTON PARK by MURRAY PURA

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – ASHTON PARK by MURRAY PURA

                                                                             

THE BLURB:

For fans of the hugely popular Downton Abbey series, comes this equally enthralling story of the Danforth family of Ashton Park.

Among the green hills and trees of Lancashire, only a few miles from the sea, lies the beautiful and ancient estate of Ashton Park.

The year is 1916.  The First World War has engulfed Europe and Sir William’s and Lady Elizabeth’s three sons are all in uniform—and their four daughters are involved in various pursuits of the heart and soul.

As the head of a strong Church of England family for generations, Sir William insists the Danforth estate hold morning devotions that include both family and staff. However, he is also an MP and away at Westminster in London whenever Parliament is sitting. During his long absences, Lady Elizabeth discreetly spends time in the company of the head cook of the manor, Mrs. Longstaff, who is her best friend and confidante. This friendship includes visits to a small Baptist church in Liverpool that exposes Lady Elizabeth to a less formal approach to Christian worship and preaching than she is used to and which she comes to enjoy.

Readers will follow Ashton Park’s charming upstairs/downstairs characters through the perils of war and the affairs of the heart with relish—and with an eye to the sequel coming in Fall 2013.

Book One in The Danforths of Lancashire series

 

THE AUTHOR:

Murray Andrew Pura was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and has traveled extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Ordained as a Baptist minister in 1986, Pura has served five churches in Canada and headlined numerous speaking engagements in Canada and the United States. He has five books published, was a contributor to the Life With God Bible, has been a finalist for The Paraclete Fiction Award, The Dartmouth Book Award, and The John Spencer Hill Literary Award, and has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2010 Kobzar Literary Award of Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY REVIEW:

Such a magnificent, sweeping tapestry! Seven siblings, each with their own intrigue. The Great War and its immediate aftermath. The Irish uprising, and tangents to riots in Jerusalem. A broad scope with a masterful telling of details that brings the reader right into the midst of the story.

Each of the cast of characters is as individual as a snowflake, with their own peculiarities and tastes and traits; this reviewer enjoyed meeting each one of them.

As in the magnificent tapestries that hang on castle walls, so, too, has Mr. Pura woven his colourful and variegated and seeming disparate threads into a compelling and passionate story. I look forward to spending more time with these characters in the next book.

 

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS:

 

 

ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

 

I purchased this book on Amazon. I offer my review of my own free will, and the opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Ashton Park, Murray Pura, The Danforths of Lancashire, Beneath the Dover Sky, London Dawn

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 17 July 2018 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – ROOMS by JAMES L. RUBART

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – ROOMS by JAMES L. RUBART

                                                                             

THE BLURB:

It was just a letter. Cryptic, yes absolutely. But Seattle software tycoon Micah Taylor can’t get it out of his mind—the claim that a home was built for him by a great uncle he never knew, on the Oregon coast. In Cannon Beach. The one place he loves. The one place he never wants to see again.

Micah heads to Cannon Beach to sell the house and keep his past buried, but the nine thousand square-foot home instantly feels like it’s part of him.

Then he meets Sarah Sabin at the local ice cream shop … maybe Cannon Beach can be the perfect weekend getaway.

But strange things start happening in the house. Things Micah can’t explain. Things he can barely believe. All the locals will say is the house is “spiritual.” Unsettling since Micah’s faith slipped away like the tide years ago.

And then he discovers the shocking truth: the home isn’t just spiritual, it’s a physical manifestation of his soul.

 

THE AUTHOR:

James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man’s body. He thinks he’s still young enough to water ski like a madman and dirt bike with his two grown sons, and loves to send readers on journeys they’ll remember months after they finish one of his stories.

He’s the best-selling, Christy Book of the Year, Carol, INSPY, and RT Book Reviews award winning author of nine novels as well as a professional speaker. During the day he runs his marketing company which helps businesses, authors, and publishers make more coin of the realm. He lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at http://www.jameslrubart.com More at http://jameslrubart.com/ and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesLRubart

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY REVIEW:

Fantasy Island: Holy Ghost Edition.

 

A captivating spiritual journey of self-discovery and the search for truth. A vivid depiction of Holy Ghost encounters and visions. And a poignant story of what ifs.

 

Within each visitation, Micah Taylor is drawn more fully in Truth. And awareness of his choices becomes clear. And when the gauntlet is thrown, “Choose you this day whom you will serve,” Micah is convinced he can have both.

 

It was easy to read this story from an outsider perspective, urging Micah to choose the good thing. The right thing. But the deep and profound Truth of this story is we all are faced with The Choice: the narrow way or the wide path. And the shiny lure and ease of the wide path woos us so sweetly. It was easy to chastise Micah for teetering on the fence. Until we realize that we all teeter on the fence.

 

Rooms is a story that gives the reader pause to think, to consider. How many times has Holy Spirit sent visions and visitations that we didn’t recognize or stop to acknowledge? What if Micah Taylor was watching us when we received the cryptic letter? Would he chastise us for teetering on the fence? Or would he cheer us on as we make the choice for Truth?

 

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS:

ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

 

 

I purchased this book on Amazon. I offer my review of my own free will, and the opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Rooms, James L. Rubart

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 19 June 2018 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – FAÇADE by PEPPER BASHAM

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – FAÇADE by PEPPER BASHAM

 

THE BLURB:

A reclusive academic who would do anything to save her brother. A reluctant spy who’d risk is life to save the woman who broke his heart. Olivia Rakes has almost mythic observations skills when it comes to facts, figures, and details, but she stumbles through matters of the heart. When her brother goes missing over German-occupied France, Livy enlists her services with a group of search-and-rescue spies, who not only thrust her toward espionage, danger, and deceit, but the most frightening of all…romance. Agent Christopher Dawson has avoided Livy Rakes since she broke his heart three years ago. Which is probably for the best, since, as a British spy, he could very well die any day and pursuing a romantic relationship is not on the agenda for him. But when the search for his best friend brings them together on a secret mission, the heart takes on a mind of its own. In a world where war changes the rules of life and love, can Christopher and Livy work together to complete their rescue mission before the enemy catches them first.

 

THE AUTHOR:

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus. Her debut historical novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015 and has garnered awards such as Reader’s Favorites Award, finalist in the Grace Awards, shortlisted for the Inspy Awards, and a finalist in ACFW’s Carol Awards. Her second historical novel, The Thorn Keeper, released in Feb 2016 and her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, released in April 2016 with a 4 star review from Romantic Times. In December 2016, her third historical in the Penned in Time series, The Thorn Healer – released with a 4 1/2 star review from RT and a Top Picks rating. You can get to know Pepper on her website, http://www.pepperdbasham.com, on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY REVIEW:

Oh my goodness! Spies and pilots and agents. Oh my! Search and rescue, and cleverly hidden weapons and disguises.  Oh mercy!

Ms. Basham has served up a tasty dish of a story, eloquent with her words, and gripping with her plot. She takes the reader right into the 1940’s England, and occupied France. The tension of war—and of love drawing the reader page after page.

Livy’s cluelessness of all things romantic was both endearing and frustrating—and all too real for this reviewer. Christopher’s assumptions, an all-too-common human foible—and the heart breaking result. Both of them with the drive and purpose of their mission, and ultimately of their hearts.

Ms. Basham weaves the frisson of war and the frisson of love into a beautiful fabric.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS:

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Façade, Pepper Basham

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 5 May 2018 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – THE CAPTURED BRIDE by MICHELLE GRIEP

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – THE CAPTURED BRIDE by MICHELLE GRIEP

                               

 

THE BLURB:

Mercy Lytton, a scout with keen eyesight raised among the Mohawks, and Elias Dubois, a condemned traitor working both sides of the conflict, must join together to get a shipment of gold safely into British hands.

A War-Torn Countryside Is No Place for a Lady
Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause. . .to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart.  Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he is offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he is the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.   Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?

 

THE AUTHOR:

I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I’ve been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write–except for that graffiti phase I went through as teenager.

 

 

 

 

 

MY REVIEW:

Ms. Griep has done it again! A story that stays with you and won’t leave you alone. Ms. Griep joins this reviewer’s favorite American Revolutionary War authors—Lori Benton, Angela Couch, and Laura Frantz—with her mix of American Indian, American Patriot, French, and British ties.

The nuance of personality, the conflict of those personalities, the twist and tangles and knots within the story—creates an authentic setting, and pulls the reader into the pages. I felt the strain and fatigue of a journey without benefit of cushioned seats or air conditioning. Or paved roads. Apprehension gripped me with every obstacle and difficulty.

Mercy’s fight against love, and herself, was both maddening and completely justified. The mystery of Elias Dubois, who he was and what he was about, betrayed the conflict within him.

The stability that Matthew Prinn’s easy nature gave them both.

Tightly knit and tightly written, this story will remain as a favorite on my shelf.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS:

ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, The Captured Bride, Michelle Griep

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BLOGWORDS – BLOG BLITZ & BOOK LAUNCH – MAY 2018

BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 29 May 2018 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – ECHOES by KRISTEN HEITZMANN

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – ECHOES by KRISTEN HEITZMANN

                                                                             

Leaving her self-imposed limbo in the Bronx, Sofie Michelli heads to Sonoma to stay with Lance and Rese at their villa, where she meets Matt, who is instantly intrigued, but before their relationship can progress, a beloved child from the past calls and sends Sofie into a tailspin–and back to New York.

 

 

Kristen Heitzmann is the bestselling author of contemporary romantic suspense, psychological suspense, and historical novels, including Colorado Book Award finalist The Still of Night, Christy Award finalists Indivisible and The Tender Vine, and Christy Award winners Secrets and The Breath of Dawn that won both a Christy Award and Inspirational Readers Choice Award and was a finalist for a people’s choice award in the Netherlands. She is a fiction track and workshop teacher at writers conferences. An artist and musician, she’ll also be found hiking the Colorado Rocky Mountain trails near her home where she lives with her husband, pets, extended family, and wildlife.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A master with the words, Ms. Heitzmann tells a story both poignant and compelling and breathtaking. As in real life, evil is pervasive in this story, but the Truth and Father’s love more so.

I wept and chewed my nails and fought for Sofie to have her freedom and embrace true joy.

 

“I don’t harbor grudges. It only makes the wound grow deep.”

 

I read in awe as Lance allowed himself—gave himself—to be used by God—and was.

 

“ ‘If travail has a purpose, let me find it now. If honor needs a taker, O Lord, me endow. If wisdom is a garment, let me wear it well; if goodness needs a champion, help me dark dispel.’ ”

 

I begged Matt to give credence to their faith, urged him on as he struggled to reconcile two diametrically opposite experiences.

 

“…he groped for words to reach a being out there somewhere who might be listening after all. ‘God help me,’ he murmured, then realized they were the words he needed…”

 

If there is a single truth to be grasped from this story, Ms. Heitzmann says it well,

 

“God isn’t only in the glorious moments, but the dark and hopeless ones as well. Maybe most of all.”

 

Echoes neatly concludes the Michelli Family Series. And yet, I could read more of this family, I could visit with them in the villa, another misfit who found a place to belong.

 

ALL.THE.FEATHERS

 

 

I purchased this book on Amazon. I offer my review of my own free will, and the opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Echoes, Kristen Heitzmann, Michelle Family Series, Secrets, Unforgotten

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