March 15, 2014

Tide and Tempest

Tide and Tempest
by Elizabeth Ludwig

I had actually never heard of Elizabeth Ludwig nor her "Edge of Freedom" book series until this title came through my email. When I signed up to review this book I knew I wanted to read the first two books in the series and I am so glad I did! I loved No Safe Harbor and Dark Road Home and by the time I finished them I couldn't wait to read Tide and Tempest! I would definitely recommend reading the series in order so you get the full effect of the story. Plus if you read them in order you can fall in love with ALL of the characters and not just the main ones in book three.

I've read books with an Irish background before but Elizabeth Ludwig does a great job of bringing their pronunciation to life when she spells words out so you'll read them in an Irish accent. For example "kinna" and "dinna."

Tide and Tempest tells the story of a young woman, Tillie, who moved to America with her betrothed - only he didn't make it across the ocean alive and the captain of the ship was kind enough to find Tillie a place to live once they landed. Unfortunately years later Captain Morgan learns that the young man's death was no illness or accident but murder by poison. He then sets out to make things right with Tillie.

Unfortunately as Tillie and Morgan and the others start looking into the situation they realize it goes much deeper than they imagined. They get some of our favorite characters from the first two books involved and together they find the answers to many of the questions brought up in all three books. Tide and Tempest does an amazing job of not only solving the murder of Tillie's fiance but also weaving a love story and solving the crimes and murders from the first two books and tying up all loose ends magnificently.

About halfway through the book I have to admit I was feeling a little bit disappointed that the love story was going to unfold too easily. Sometimes I get bored when there isn't at least a little bit of delay or conflict or changed minds! But Ludwig did an excellent job of turning the story to add just the right amount of suspense!

Ludwig writes excellent characters full of passion. I've noticed especially in book two and book three that these women love their men fiercely. Ana in book two and Tillie in book three both more than once mention both out loud and in their silent thoughts that they'd rather be hurt or die than see their men suffer. Very admirable and only goes to show how much they love them! Of course the men feel quite strongly right back!

If you like historical fiction with just the right amount of romance and suspense you'd be remiss not to read the Edge of Freedom series. Elizabeth Ludwig is a writer to watch. I can't wait for her to come up with her next series! Click HERE to like her on Facebook!

 This book was provided to me by the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for my honest review.

March 2, 2014

A kid's book review

The Redcoats are Coming

When I first learned about the Imagination Station books I was immediately intrigued! You see, I grew up listening to Adventures in Odyssey as a kid almost every night! In fact it was the highlight of most of my evenings! This book helps me relive those moments with the same characters and locations I fell in love with as a child.

The second best part of this book is the history! I've always loved history and I really enjoyed how this book was written in a way that kids could learn history and enjoy a good story at the same time.

I don't have kids yet, but I plan to someday and once they are old enough I plan to make sure we read these books together in the evenings!

This book was provided to me by the publisher, Tyndale, in exchange for my honest review.

February 22, 2014

Where Courage Calls

Where Courage Calls
Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan

Did you have a favorite author growing up? Perhaps books that belonged to your mom or dad that you read from their bookshelves as soon as you were old enough to read the bigger chapter books? I did! I still remember my first book by Janette Oke! I read Roses for Mama and fell completely in love with her books, characters, writing style and love stories! I went on to read all of the books my mom owned and as more books came out I added to the collection however I could! (Birthday and Christmas gifts, begging when we went to the Christian Book Store, and buying some myself!)

So imagine my delight when Bethany House published "Where Courage Calls: A When Calls the Heart Novel"!!! A continuation of sorts of one of my favorite series growing up!  When Calls the Heart was the story of Elizabeth who went west to teach and met and fell in love with a Mountie named Will. Where Courage Calls continues the story in a way by following Elizabeth's niece, Beth, in a similar story where she leaves her fancy home in Toronto to go west to teach for a year in a small mining town.

Poor Beth doesn't know what she is in for! She leaves a home in the city with every modern convenience and ends up in a tiny mining town with no modern conveniences. But she learns to live without an indoor latrine, electricity, fully stocked stores and restaurants and soon thrives among her new "family" comprised of her students, their families, the foreign miners from Italy, and the woman who runs the boarding house where she lives.

I love Beth's character because she is so persevering. She endures much and still keeps on going. Throughout the book you read her inner thoughts as well as her prayers. This is one of my favorite aspect of Oke novels. They always have a theme of the importance of family and faith. And they never mince words on God's love for His children. Often in the book Beth cries out to God for his guidance and He never fails her (even if He doesn't answer when/how she expects).

I also love how Beth doesn't simply teach school. She also forms a "Bible Club," English classes for the Italian miners, early morning service projects and breakfast, and is constantly searching for other ways to help the community and not just her own students. It is no surprise that this attitude of giving attracts the attention of a certain Mountie! But you'll have to read the book to find out which one as there are actually  TWO Mounties!!!

You'll love this book if you loved the original Oke novels. But even if you haven't read any other books by Janette Logan or Laurel Oke Logan you can still pick up this book and not miss anything. But I'll imagine finishing this book will leave you longing to read all of the other ones!

Don't miss this book if you have a heart for the hurting, needy, children, or unchurched. The work that Beth does in her small mining community will give you renewed longing to help others.

Oh and make sure you check out the new Hallmark channel tv show based LOSELY on this book.

This book was provided to me by the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for my honest review.