Posted in Book reviews, Books, Reviews

“God’s Daughter” by Heather Day Gilbert – an excellent Viking read!

Hello dear readers. :)
I have another book review to share today. I had a lot of feelings and thoughts after finishing this book, and I’m not sure how to get them all across here, but I will certainly try! :)

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Title: “God’s Daughter” Book One in the Vikings of the New World sagas.
Author: Heather Day Gilbert
Source: Review copy from author
Number of pages: 323
My rating (0-5): 5 stars.

Description of book:

One Viking woman. One God. One legendary journey to North America.

In the tenth century, when pagan holy women rule the Viking lands, Gudrid turns her back on her training as a seeress to embrace Christianity. Clinging to her faith, she joins her husband, Finn, on a voyage to North America.

But even as Gudrid faces down murderous crewmen, raging sickness, and hostile natives, she realizes her greatest enemy is herself—and the secrets she hides might just tear her marriage apart.

Almost five centuries before Columbus, Viking women sailed to North America with their husbands. God’s Daughter, Book One in the Vikings of the New World Saga, offers an expansive yet intimate look into the world of Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir—daughter-in-law of Eirik the Red, and the first documented European woman to have a child in North America.

My review:

As soon as I received this book and opened it’s beginning pages, I knew I was going to love it. First of all you should know, I’ve always loved the history involving vikings. I find it so interesting.
“God’s Daughter” is super well-written. It captivates you. I really liked how uniquely it was written, truly.
I loved Gudrid. Her character was very relateable for me right now. I love a character that you can understand what she is going through. Towards the end when she just felt tired from all the death (sorry for that spoiler!), I identified; I grieved. Because I understand her feelings of being so weary.
God always has me read books at the perfect time, and I think this was one of those. I’ve been tired and worn lately. There has been a lot going on. That allowed me to relate to Gudrid and reading this book has allowed me to also ‘grieve’ in my own way. When I finished it, I felt this deeper sadness in me, and I thought it was due to the book, but, I think more accurately, it is that the book just let all that surface in me.
Now, I don’t want you to think this is the most depressing book – because it is not! It is a very good book, and one I’ll keep close. Yes, it’s evident about the struggles involved, but that is partly what makes it such a good read. It’s a real book, not just a ‘fluffy’ one.
And there is happy parts in the book – I smiled many times during my time reading.
“God’s Daughter” is an excellent book. It’s enlightening to the time period, and teaches you more without you even realizing it. It’s a rich book. The ages I would encourage to read this book would be from at least 16 years old and upward, only for some minor scenes of the pagan rituals and minor marriage references. Nothing huge at all, as it was all carefully written.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and am eager for more in the series! I would definitely recommend this book.

Thank you so much, Mrs. Gilbert, for sending me a review copy! I am truly grateful! Well done on an excellent novel. :)

More about the author:

Heather Day Gilbert enjoys writing stories about authentic, believable marriages. Sixteen years of marriage to her sweet Yankee husband have given her some perspective, as well as ten years spent homeschooling her three children. Heather is a monthly contributor to Novel Rocket, a site dedicated to bringing helpful information to authors.

Homepage

Note: I received “God’s Daughter” free from the author in return for my honest and unbiased review.

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Posted in Book reviews, Books, Litfuse, Reviews

Litfuse Review: “The Headmistress of Rosemere” by Sarah E. Ladd

Title: “The Headmistress of Rosemere”
Author:Sarah E. Ladd
Number of Pages:312
Source of copy: Litfuse review copy http://litfusegroup.com/
My Rating: 4.5 stars

Book Description:

Patience Creighton has dedicated herself to the Rosemere School for Young Ladies. But the return of the enigmatic master of the estate puts everything she loves at risk.

Bright, sensible Patience knows what is expected of her. At twenty-five, her opportunity for a family of her own has passed, so she invests herself in teaching at her father’s school for girls. When her father dies suddenly and her brother moves away to London, she is determined to make the school successful.

Confirmed bachelor William Sterling also knows what is expected of him, but mistake after mistake has left him teetering on ruin’s edge. As master of Eastmore Hall he owns a great deal of property — including the land where Rosemere School is located — but possesses little money to manage its upkeep. When debtors start calling, he is desperate to find a new source of income, even if it means sacrificing Rosemere.

When a fire threatens the school grounds, William must decide to what lengths he is willing to go to protect his birthright. And when Patience’s brother returns with a new wife to take over management of the school, Patience suddenly finds herself unsure of her calling. After a surprising truth about William’s past is brought to light, both William and Patience will have to seek God’s plans for their lives-and their hearts.

My Review:

This is the second book in Sarah Ladd’s “Whispers on the Moors” series, but I think it could stand alone. It does relate to the first by characters and place, but you won’t be confused if you read this one without having read “Heiress of Winterwood”.

This book was very good. The story line was rich, and it all flowed pretty well. I really enjoyed the reading of it. I don’t read a lot of romances, and very few have me ‘happy and giddy and sighing’, but this one made one of the few. :)
I really liked the main character, Patience, and had an easy time relating to her. All the characters were pretty well constructed.
The plot was exciting, but not to the point where you’re frustrated – I don’t much care for those kind of books. :D I did have a hard time putting this one down though, as I did with the first in this series.
They’re just light Christian romances that are good. I appreciated the aspect of God being involved, though this second book didn’t deal with the relationship with God as much as the first.
I think this book is well-written and handled well with being in the Regency era.
The only thing I did not care for was the ending. It just did not jump out at me, and like the first, I didn’t care for the intimacy displayed. I think it was unrealistic and unnecessary.
I do warn that, with all romances, there is the need to be cautious, because it is oh-so easy to fall into day-dreaming and such about ones own ‘romantic dreams’.
I suppose that is my own opinion though. :)
Overall I did enjoy this book, and would probably read it again sometime! The rating I give it is 4.5 stars because of the ending not being as ‘innocent and correct’ as I should have liked.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/sgVC4

About the author: Sarah E. Ladd has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and marketing. The Heiress of Winterwood was the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Award for historical romance. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.

Learn more about Sarah at: http://sarahladd.com

http://litfusegroup.com/author/sladd

Note: I received “The Headmistress of Rosemere” free from Litfuse in return for my honest and unbiased review.

Posted in Book reviews, Books, Litfuse, Reviews

Litfuse Review: “The Dancing Master”

Hello!
This is my first review for Litfuse. I hope it is done right :)

Title: The Dancing Master
Author: Julie Klassen
Number of pages: 424
Source: Litfuse http://litfusegroup.com/
The Rating I give this book: 4 stars

Book’s Description:

Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.

Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch’s daughter. Though he’s initially wary of Julie Midwinter’s reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul—and hidden sorrows of her own.

Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master—a man her mother would never approve of—but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec’s help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village . . . and to her mother’s tattered heart?

Filled with mystery and romance, The Dancing Master brings to life the intriguing profession of those who taught essential social graces for ladies and gentlemen hoping to make a “good match” in Regency England.

My Review:

This was the first book that I’ve read of Julie Klassen’s, but she is a favourite author of my elder sister, so I wasn’t too hesitant to read this book. :)
I did quite enjoy this book, though I didn’t necessarily fall completely head-over-heals in love with it. To me, it was just a nice light and kind of ‘fluffy’ read.
Don’t get me wrong – it was written very well, and I enjoyed Mrs. Klassen’s way of writing. I probably will read more of her books in the future. :)
I really liked the aspect of dancing and fencing; I found that all very interesting, and well, good!
I did not care for the main character, Julia, at first, but towards the end of the middle and in the end she improved and ‘grew on me’. I liked Aurora, Alec, Patience, Walter, and John Desmond probably the best.
I was a little disappointed though, with a couple things. One, was how it was more romance than Christian. The story line was good, but it really did not touch on deeper, spiritual matters, which I think is the most important and winning aspect of a book. It was only in the end that anything related to the Lord was really touched on.
Second, was how much, well to put it plainly, ‘deceit’ was going on between Julia and her mother, Lady Amelia. Julia was constantly going out behind her mother’s back and doing things Lady Amelia strictly warned against, as well as keeping many secrets. And that was never really put to right in the end. I was hoping, as I was noticing this, that Julia would realize just how wrong that was, and stop, but even in the end, she still did another incident of going behind her mothers back in secrecy and it was just ‘swept under the rug’ so to speak. I just didn’t like that.
Other than those two points, I think it was good.
The book was fairly long, and sometimes, drawn out. You didn’t learn things till the very end, which is okay. Like I said, I enjoyed how it was written, however, there were just times when I felt like it should be over by now. :D
Oh, and I really liked the fact that the Prologue and the Epilogue were written in first-person, like from Julia’s point of view; I thought that was neat.
I also found the quotes and such at the beginning of each chapter, interesting and fun.
Reading about English Dancing really made me wish I could attend an English ball of old. How fun that would be!

“The Dancing Master” is a good book, truly. I may not have adored it, but I did enjoy it. :)
And if you have any questions, or are wondering about anything particular about it, please do ask! I would be glad to try to answer any questions you might be wondering about. :)

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/s7Yl1

About the author: Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She is a three-time Christy Award winner and a 2010 Midwest Book Award winner for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.
http://www.julieklassen.com

http://litfusegroup.com/author/jklassen

Note: I received “The Dancing Master” free from Litfuse in return for my honest and unbiased review.

Posted in Book reviews, Books

Just a quick review. “The Heiress of Winterwood” by Sarah E. Ladd

Hello!
As I mentioned in previous post, I was hoping to post my review of the first book in the “Whispers on the Moors” series by Sarah E. Ladd, and now I am. This review is just of my own choice – I requested this book from the library and did not receive it from a publisher to review.

Title: “The Heiress of Winterwood”
Author: Sarah E. Ladd
My rating (from 0-5 stars): 4.5 stars

Description of the book:

Darbury, England, 1814

Amelia Barrett gave her word. Keeping it could cost her everything.

Amelia Barrett, heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s baby. She’ll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father—a sea captain she’s never met.

When the child vanishes with little more than an ominous ransom note hinting at her whereabouts, Amelia and Graham are driven to test the boundaries of their love for this little one.

Amelia’s detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she’s forced to examine her soul and face her one weakness: pride.

Graham’s strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own discipline. And away from the family he has sworn to love and protect.

Both must learn to have faith and relinquish control so they can embrace the future ahead of them.

My Review:

I really liked this book. I was impressed by the writing, as well as the story itself.
The characters were all excellent – so “warm” if that makes sense.
The book was just the right length, and for it being Mrs. Ladd’s first book, very well written. It made you admire the characters, then fall in love with them, then it gripped you as the plot got going, and then calmed you again in the end.
I really did love this book; all except for the ending. And by ending, I simply refer to the last two pages. I had really hoped it wouldn’t end like so many other romances. Alas, though, ’twas not the case. I guess I just wished it could’ve ended on a more ‘innocent’ or ‘pure’ way. It would’ve been just as good – better in my opinion.
But that aside, I really enjoyed it, and it might just end up on my ‘favourites list’. :) I really appreciated how God was obviously kept in it and involved.

Note: The ending isn’t inappropriate or anything; I just didn’t care for it.

Posted in Book reviews, Books, Give-aways, Litfuse

“School” Your Desk Kindle Giveaway | The Headmistress of Rosemere

Hey there :)
I am so sorry I have not been posting more. I really was planning to, but then we’ve been on a real roller coaster. It’ll get smoother soon, I’m sure. For now, I’ve just got another give-away to share with you. My review of “The Headmistress of Rosemere” will be posted on the 26th. I am hoping to post my review of the first book in the “Whispers on the Moors” series soon, but we’ll see.
I’ve been reading a lot lately. Which has been nice. :) But besides the reviews I’ll post, I do hope to get regular posts in here and there!
Anyway…
Enjoy!

Don’t miss Sarah Ladd’s latest Regency novel, The Headmistress of Rosemere. She is celebrating the release of book two in her Whispers on the Moors series with a fun “School” Your Desk Kindle Fire Giveaway and an Author Chat Facebook Party!

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Between January 17–28, visit Sarah Ladd’s Facebook Page to enter to win a new giveaway each day and be entered to win a Kindle Fire grand prize. Winners will be announced at the Facebook Author Chat party on January 28th! (Don’t have a Facebook account? Enter here.)


RSVP today for Sarah’s The Headmistress of Rosemere Author Chat Party on Facebook. During the party Sarah will be hosting a book chat, testing your Regency trivia skills, announcing the winner of the “School” Your Desk Giveaway, and giving away books, gift certificates, and more. Oh, and she’ll also be giving partygoers an exclusive look at the next book in the Whispers on the Moors series!

So grab your copy of The Headmistress of Rosemere and hope to see you on the evening of January 28th! (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

DON’T MISS A MOMENT OF THE FUN; RSVP TODAY. HOPE TO SEE YOU ON THE 28th!

Enter Today – 1/17 – 1/28!
Sarah Ladd The Headmistress of Rosemere

Posted in Book reviews, Books, Give-aways, Litfuse

Julie Klassen’s “The Dancing Master” giveaway and “All Things Jane” webcast 1/23!

Hello one and all!

I hope you are all having a good new year thus far. I am sorry to have not posted sooner – I’m afraid that the new year brought sickness, and so we’ve all been ‘down’ lately. But now we’re looking up! Praise God! I will have a few books reviews coming hence, but first, today, I am sharing about a book that includes a give-away, and my review of the book will come later this month. :) Below is the image that you can click on and enter! Good luck! And be sure to come back around/on the 23rd for my book review of “The Dancing Master”! :)

Enter Today – 1/6 – 1/23!
Julie Klassen The Dancing Master