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“Far Side of the Sea” by Kate Breslin ~ Book review

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“Far Side of the Sea” by Kate Breslin

WWI fiction

Review copy from the publisher as apart of the launch team

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

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About the Book:

In spring 1918, Lieutenant Colin Mabry, a British soldier working with MI8 after suffering injuries on the front, receives a message by carrier pigeon. It is from Jewel Reyer, the woman he once loved and who saved his life–a woman he believed to be dead. Traveling to France to answer her urgent summons, he desperately hopes this mission will ease his guilt and restore the courage he lost on the battlefield.

Colin is stunned, however, to discover the message came from Jewel’s half sister, Johanna. Johanna, who works at a dovecote for French Army Intelligence, found Jewel’s diary and believes her sister is alive in the custody of a German agent. With spies everywhere, Colin is skeptical of Johanna, but as they travel across France and Spain, a tentative trust begins to grow between them.

When their pursuit leads them straight into the midst of a treacherous plot, danger and deception turn their search for answers into a battle for their lives.

 

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My Thoughts:

 

What a well-crafted and splendid novel this was! I love the author’s ability to write compelling and realistic (and romantic ;)) historical fiction. “Far side of the Sea” is set during WWI, and while I’ve read (and enjoyed!) my fair share of WW TWO fiction, I haven’t read too many WW ONE fiction – so it is always a delight to learn more about historical time periods through fiction. And it is woven so well throughout this novel.
The plotline was superb with many twists and mysteries, though I shan’t be saying much about that because…spoilers! And I should dearly hate to ruin the enjoyment of finding out everything for yourself. So if you enjoy compelling WWI fiction, don’t hesitate to add this one to your list!
The characters were amazing, as well. I simply loved Colin, and Johanna both! They were each so realistic, and beautifully portrayed that it was so easy to fall in love with them right away. At first, I thought I would favor the parts written from Colin’s point of view (third person), but as soon as I got to know Johanna, I was just as much enthralled with hers (also third person)! So well done, and remarkably enjoyable.
It was also fun to see familiar characters from “Not By Sight” :)
The faith strand was present and sweet. I really liked how it ended, and the conclusion Colin came to, and there was just so much to love! So sweet! But again, I hesitate to mention too much more!
I can’t end though without saying I also loved the pigeon history and involvement throughout the story! So interesting, and added a great touch.
Bravo to the author for another riveting and beautiful book!
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Black Friday Deals

Just a quick post to let ye all know about the black friday book sale happening!

 

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I was able to get a few books during this sale last year. Not sure I can make that happen again this year, but I am definitely eyeing some! Great deals for sure. And there’s also free books – can’t beat that price! ;)

Be sure to check it out!  perrykirkpatrick.com/sale

Posted in Books, lists, Questions/answers, reading, Uncategorized

The First Book You’ve Ever Read Challenge

Hello readers! Marrok McIntyre created a tag-like challenge about the first book you’ve ever read that also inspired you to become a writer. In his words, “I thought it would be a pretty cool idea if we writers would share what originally inspired us to pursue this path of artist expression.”

 

Quite a fun idea, so lets get started!

 

 

 

The rules are simple
  • Challenge at least 1 person
  • Share what was the first book you’ve ever read
  • Why you read it in the first place
  • How did it inspire you to become a writer

 

 

 

Okay, so the first book I ever read.

Well, this may be hard to believe, but I actually hated reading at first. I know. But I did. I resisted it for quite a while. I didn’t want to learn, I didn’t like it, and I didn’t want to. I’ve always been a little envious of others who could say they loved reading from the get-go. Especially since reading is now one of my biggest hobbies. But, alas, it was not so for me. I remember how hard my Mum tried to get me to read. My older sister was one who loved reading right away. But not me. I liked The Bob Books that helped teach us to read, but only a little. I liked them in the way that they were entertaining, but the struggle to learn the words was aggravating.
So what switched me on reading? Well, again, I wish I could say that it was some amazing book. But it was…
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Yep. SpongeBob. I now realize it wasn’t even the first book in the series. I just remember sitting down at my sister’s bookshelf, wondering why she liked reading so much. I picked this one out (wish I could remember my motivation for this choice particularly!) and realized, “Hm, this is actually…enjoyable. The story isn’t boring,” and that was it, so to speak. Now, I don’t think I took off reading like a mad-man at that point, but it was my start. I realized that books took you on great adventures. Even silly ones. ^.^
However, I don’t think I really began wanting to write until I read this book:
I don’t remember much about the book, other than the thought of “I want to write a story too”. So I did, and it was basically a carbon copy of this book, with different characters. XD I don’t believe I finished it either.
But once I started writing, I found that I liked. For a while most of my writing energy was poured into journals (I had discovered “Amelia’s Notebook” series, and the Dear America series coincidentally) as I processed life. Then I eventually came upon another book that boosted my desire to write, and since then I haven’t looked back. Well, I mean, I’m looking back right now, but I think you know what I mean. ;)
The book that made me want to write more was:
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That was at about 12/13, and I reread it several times. It’s been several years since I read it, but I hold it in fond remembrance for being the book that I loved to read the most and what made me want to write more. And as for the motivation of why it made me want to write in ernest…well, it was creative, and captivating, and I loved how it transported me to a new world, to new things. I wanted to be able to do that too.
So, there you have it! A too-long posts about books from a now-book-lover who was once a book-hater! Sometimes I forget that I didn’t always love to read and I wonder how anyone couldn’t like it, but all I have to do is remember. And know that everyone is different. My younger sister has never been a fan, and that’s okay. She’s started to enjoy it a bit more now, but as more of a side-hobby.
So I’m more understanding now that I might’ve been before.
And I do really love books now. Really, really love books. ;)
Now, I hearby challenge, should they accept:
And I’d love to also challenge my bestie, author MacKenzie Morganthal, but she does not have a blog. However, I would like to know your answer, Ken… :D ;)
And that is that. Hope you all enjoyed reading, and if you were not challenged and would like to be, consider yourself challenged and please let me know when you post, because I’d love to read it!
Posted in Book reviews, Booklook Review, Uncategorized

“Jesus Calling: 50 Devotions for Comfort” – Sarah Young ~ Review

Jesus Calling: 50 Devotions for Comfort

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher through BookLook Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

 

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

 

My thoughts:

 

I looooove the Jesus Calling devotionals. I may have more than two…or more than three…Okay, so I have four different ones. And I love them all. I was very excited to see this one come available for review, because who doesn’t need comfort from Jesus?
I love how these devotionals are written, as Jesus speaking to us. It feels very personal, and I definitely believe that the Lord uses them. There have been so many times where I am feeling low or discouraged, etc. and open to a devotional page and it’s exactly what I needed to hear.
In this one, they are the devos selected from the bigger one, Jesus Calling, so I have read them before, but many seem like reading them new, and they do share immense comfort. And the artwork! Oh my. I wasn’t expecting that, but each devotional page has a piece of art on the other side with a verse scripted across it, and then also some pages in between devotionals with Bible verses elegantly scripted across a lovely scene. It really is beautiful, and so peaceful and calming.
So yes, I definitely recommend this devotional, as well as the other Jesus Calling devotionals!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

You’ve probably (most likely) heard this before…

Yeah, the GDPR rules. I’m guessing you’ve heard about them. I’ve received well over 2 dozen author newsletters/blog posts stating I needed to update my subscriptions to comply with the GDPR rules.

 

However, that doesn’t mean I’m sure if I should be doing something for my blog personally…! So I thought I’d better be safe than sorry.

Just wanted to assure everyone that any information you’ve submitted to this blog, whether in the form of subscribing to posts by email, or commenting, contacting me, etc. is safe and I don’t have any ulterior motives there – chances are, I’m not even sure where this information is kept, so. XD

Any information provided really is just used for sending out blog posts (which I believe WP does on its own),  and/or contacting you if there’s a giveaway going on and you’re the lucky winner.

 

So, I’m hoping that about covers it! :D Carry on peoples.

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“The Melody of the Soul” by Liz Tolsma ~ Review

“The Melody of the Soul” by Liz Tolsma

Book One in the Music of Hope Series

Review copy from the publishers through Litfuse

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

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Anna has one chance for survival-and it lies in the hands of her mortal enemy.

It’s 1943 and Anna Zadok, a Jewish Christian living in Prague, has lost nearly everything. Most of her family has been deported, and the Nazi occupation ended her career as a concert violinist. Now Anna is left to care for her grandmother, and she’ll do anything to keep her safe-a job that gets much harder when Nazi officer Horst Engel is quartered in the flat below them.

Though musical instruments have been declared illegal, Anna defiantly continues to play the violin. But Horst, dissatisfied with German ideology, enjoys her soothing music. When Anna and her grandmother face deportation, Horst risks everything to protect them.

Anna finds herself falling in love with the handsome officer and his brave heart. But what he reveals might stop the music forever.

 

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Best-selling novelist Liz Tolsma is the author of several World War II novels and prairie romance novellas. She also works as a freelance editor. She lives in a semirural area of Wisconsin with her husband and two daughters. Her son serves with the US Marines. All of their chidlren came to them through international adoption. Her other passions include walking, gardening, camping, and reading.
Find out more about Liz at http://www.liztolsma.com.
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My Thoughts:

 

 

Liz Tolsma has a remarkable knack for writing heart-filled WWII Fiction. “The Melody of the Soul”, book one in her new series, was a beautiful tale.
Anna Zadokova is a violinist, but she’s also a Jew, which in Czechoslovakia during the War means death. When her time runs out and she along with her grandmother receive their transport notice to Terezin, they fear the expected end. But the German Soldier living in their apartment building has a soft spot for Anna and her music-playing – Horst Engel rescues them from certain death by giving them a hiding spot. But how long can that last till the looming danger persists?
This book keeps you turning the pages to see Anna, her grandmother, and Horst struggle to survive undetected in Nazi- occupied Prague.
I really liked the music element of this novel. That the music was Anna’s passion, her soul. Even more, I liked the reminder spread throughout the book that the Lord was faithful and would provide for them. It was also realistic, seeing Anna’s struggle with trusting the Lord in the face of such tragedies.
It was enjoyable to see how Anna and Horst’s relationship developed, changed and grew. Each of the {good} characters were lovely and well-written!
There were heart-breaking scenes that I know were all too common during WWII. So terrible, and just…oh so awful.
The only thing that I was a little…I don’t know if ‘disappointed’ would be the right word, but I’ll use it for lack of a more fitting word…disappointed with was the fact that I guess I was expecting more from Anna being Jewish – don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of danger portrayed for her ethnicity, but I suppose I was expecting that being Jewish for Anna would be more than just her ethnicity – and when I read that she was a Christian Jew, I was even more interested to see how that would look in the 40’s, especially during WWII. But it seemed to me – and I could be wrong – that her being Jewish was not much more than just a word. It didn’t feel very ‘authentic’ to how a Jewish person would live then. As my family and I have been studying a little bit more about the Hebrew heritage and how that all connects us to the Messiah, we have learned that to be Jewish was  a very important thing to all of them, especially during WWI. It was their identity, it was who they were. And they followed the Torah and all of the Jewish Laws very strictly. Whereas in this book, she was ready to just flippantly denounce them – she seemed more like a Christian in any Christian Fiction rather than a Jewish person would be set in that time period. I feel like the story didn’t really mesh in that regard.
This is not to say that the book wasn’t good – as I’ve stated, I very much appreciated the faith strand, and the story as a whole. I was just expecting a bit more from her Jewish heritage, I suppose.
I recommend it for anyone with a taste for WWII Fiction :)
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Quotes:

Yes, I accidentally made two different graphics with the same quote…oops. ^.^

 

 

 

Giveaway:

Ends February 6th, so enter now!


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October 2017

The great month of October is over. That is rather sad, as it’s one of my most favourite months! But I do love Winter, too, which definitely starts in November here in Minnesota. We’ve already gotten our second snowfall, though it’s the first that has actually stayed a bit. We got 3 inches the other night, but now there’s only about an inch on the ground, with some ice. Because that’s how this time of the year rolls.

This wrap-up post is a bit late…but it’s the day that works to post this, so it’ll do. ;)

I’m rather awful at these wrap-up posts…I probably say that every month. But hey, it’s true. Life is hard to wrap up, even just one month.

“Too much, I sum up…”

Sooooo…October was great, with plenty of Fall weather to delight us with. I turned the whopping age of 22. And got my yearly bag (or two…) of candy corn. The changing of the leaves was beautiful, but too short. I’m thankful we got to see a good amount of Fall beauty while up north visiting my grandparents, and also just the beauty around here. Fall is such a pretty time of year! And for many places, it is still in progress – lovely! Here, as I mentioned, we’ve hit Winter. It’s a bit early this year, and there are still some leaves on top of the snow, but Winter it is nonetheless. In temperature if nothing else! But I’m sure no one really wants to read about the weather…

Another great part of October was the release for this book:

Out of the Dark

(You sick of seeing this graphic? Too bad. I really like how it turned out. XD)

In case you missed it, this blog was the host blog for the blog tour of “Out of the Dark”. ‘Twas fun! You can check out the first post HERE.

 

I also wrote a blog post that was NOT related to books. Shocker! You can find that here: “Social Media and Me”.

 

What else happened in October….

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I just don’t know.

 

 

 

Well then, let’s move on to the book section! (I can hear imaginary groans here, but what can I say…I love books.)

 

 

So yep, as the pictures show, I swapped some books, got review books, bought a couple books for SUPER cheap at a used Christian bookstore up north, and then redeemed my reward points on MyReaderRewards (used to be Tyndale Rewards).

 

I read 6 books:

 

Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano  Justice Buried by Patricia  Bradley  Whither Shall I Go? by Gina Holder  Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan  Perception by Emily Ann Benedict  An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter

The first three already have their reviews up (just click on the image to go to it), and I will be posting the other three shortly. The review of “Perception” will be up on the 9th. :)

They were each pretty good books. :)

 

This month, I have quite a bit of reading to do, as usual. So that hopefully means more book reviews, once I get caught up! :D

 

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This is one of the books on my list. I’ve actually already started it! :)

 

So, how was your October? Are you still enjoying the Fall Leaves?