Category Archives: Book Reviews

The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron “Giveaway”

 

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

About the book:

A thirteenth century castle, Chateau de Doux Reves, has been forgotten for generations, left to ruin in a storybook forest nestled deep in France’s picturesque Loire Valley. It survived a sacking in the French Revolution, was brought back to life and fashioned into a storybook chateau in the Gilded Age, and was eventually felled and deserted after a disastrous fire in the 1930s.

Sparked by the discovery of a long forgotten family heirloom, Ellie embarks on a journey to French wine country to uncover the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty–the castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale–and unearth its secrets before they’re finally silenced by time.

Set in three different time periods–the French Revolution, World War II, and present day–The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged, and an enchanted castle that inspired the epic fairy tales time left behind.

My Review:

Wow. Just, I mean, wow. It is not often that I have read a book that is set in three different time periods and been able to follow it so well. This book is masterfully written and woven to connect the time periods, the characters and to be so engaged. I loved it. I found myself wanting more as I read, wishing for each one to have the desires of their hearts. Romance? Not really. While there is a faint romantic thread to the storyline, that is not the focus of this book at all. It is so much more the fight from each character to preserve history, a legacy and grant them a reason to keep going.

If you are a historical fiction lover, pick this book up. The author will have you hooked on her books with this one. Don’t usually read historical fiction? Well, give this one a try.

I ended up with an extra copy of this book, so if you would like to enter for it,  comment on this post and tell me your favorite historical fiction book, and leave a way for me to contact you.

This book was obtained through the publisher. The opinions found herein are my own.

You can buy this book from local booksellers, but also on Amazon. “The Lost Castle”

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A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

About the Book:

Vivienne Rivard fled revolutionary France and seeks a new life for herself and a boy in her care, who some say is the Dauphin. But America is far from safe, as militiaman Liam Delaney knows. He proudly served in the American Revolution but is less sure of his role in the Whiskey Rebellion. Drawn together, will Liam and Vivienne find the peace they long for?

My Review:

Influenza decided to foil my best laid plans, and too sick to even pick up a book, I had to languish thinking about this story for almost a week. It was not in vain. This book lived up to the build up that I had in my mind. Ready to enter the French revolution from the inside? Each portion of the story is intricately woven, much like the lace the character has made. Small mysteries keep cropping up, along with historical info that you never knew about the United States.

Jocelyn Green does her historical research, and you will not be disappointed with this one. Well known French words sprinkled throughout the novel make it feel authentic without making you wish you had a dictionary. This story is one of love, forgiveness, and renewal. It will have you see the revolution through eyes in a different way than ever before. Are you looking for a companion book to A Tale of Two Cities for your high school student? This one would be perfect.

I obtained this book from the publisher. The opinions contained herein are my own.

The book is available for purchase from local booksellers and online.

“A Refuge Assured” 

I would highly recommend you put this one on the top of your “must purchase” list.

 

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If I Live by Terri Blackstock

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Description

My Review:
This book had hints that reminded me of one of my all time favorite books, Celia Garth. Only hints, but it was very good. Ms. Frantz delves deeply into the history of the time period, along with how a woman of means would have been helpless and be used as a pawn, even with a strong character and resolve.  It was not just easy to go and make a life on your own, and forced marriages were commonplace, especially among the wealthy as well as the poor.
I thought this book did a wonderful job of helping you live that. You felt her desperation, frustration and also resolve, as she set out to sacrifice what she could for those she loved.
I am looking forward to reading Jocelyn Green’s book as well, which was mentioned in the notes at the end of the book, that while not related, has some of the same notes of flavor.
A deeper historical novel, much like her others, I wouldn’t really classify this as a romance, although it has some romantic overtones and select scenes, there is nothing that would not be appropriate for a high school student.
This book is available where books are sold and on sale from Amazon right now on eBook for under $2.
I obtained this book from the publisher. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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A Light on the Hill by Connilyn Cossette

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

Description

My Review:
Cities of Refuge. It is not a topic in the bible that I have read much about, but the history surrounding it fascinated me. This is a new series by this author, but previous characters from other books came up very briefly. This is a completely new series though. I will say that I was really impressed once again by this author’s talent in her writing.
So, in my reading Tessa Ashfar, Mesu Andrews, this is another one to add to the pile of must haves, must reads. She brings you into the time period, makes you feel the people and live there among them. You will see, feel and taste with the characters as if you were experiencing it with them.
As a side note, I did look up Oleander and yes, it is very poisonous. I hope I never come in contact with it… I will leave that tidbit for you to ponder as you run out and pre-order this book.
This book was obtained through NetGalley and the publisher. The opinions contained herein are my own.
You can purchase it from your local bookseller or order from Amazon. It comes out Feb. 6th, 2018.

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Isaiah’s Daughter By Mesu Andrews

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

 

Description: 

In this epic Biblical narrative, ideal for fans of The Bibleminiseries, a young woman taken into the prophet Isaiah’s household rises to capture the heart of the future king.

Isaiah adopts Ishma, giving her a new name–Zibah, delight of the Lord–thereby ensuring her royal pedigree. Ishma came to the prophet’s home, devastated after watching her family destroyed and living as a captive. But as the years pass, Zibah’s lively spirit wins Prince Hezekiah’s favor, a boy determined to rebuild the kingdom his father has nearly destroyed. But loving this man will awake in her all the fears and pain of her past and she must turn to the only One who can give life, calm her fears, and deliver a nation.

 

My Review:

I have always come to expect Mesu Andrews to challenge me when I read her books. I will not have to search for the biblical story, but I will instead sometimes find myself wondering how someone can take a biblical story and make it so real and alive.
In this story, you will get to know some of the lesser known biblical characters, but will want to open your bible when you are done. If there is nothing else I have learned when reading this authors books, I will feel like opening my bible and searching through it, I will find the details that are in the book in the bible as well as in ancient history. I love it!

Don’t pick this book up if you are looking for a light read, this is certainly not. While there is a relationship in the story, it is not really a romantic story at all. It is quite a deep book.

This book was obtained through Blogging for Books. The opinions are my own.

You can buy it from wherever books are sold or Amazon.

Isaiah’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews 

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The Innkeepers Daughter by Michelle Griep

 

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

Description

My Review:
The setting of this book and the main characters are a bit on the rougher side when we meet them. However, with skilled writing, you feel the weight of the burden they bear.
I was thinking about how in certain time periods, women often had to accept themselves as worthless, as well as the poor/lower class citizens. The workhouse for not paying your debts was a real threat as was injury, blindness, burns, and the like.
I felt as if I was transported into a time that I am glad to not have to experience. But as I experienced this with the characters, I learned some valuable lessons alongside them as well. It was a moving story of faith in the face of hopelessness. I would recommend it.

This book was obtained through NetGalley and the opinions contained herein  are my own.

This book is available for preorder through Amazon and releases March 1, 2018

The Innkeepers Daughter

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Deep Extraction by Diann Mills

 

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About the novel:

A pacemaker should have saved oil and gas magnate Nathan Moore’s life. Instead, it provided his killer with a seemingly perfect means of execution.A bombing at one of Nathan’s oil rigs days earlier indicates his death could be part of a bigger conspiracy, a web Special Agent Tori Templeton must untangle. But her first order of business is separating the personal from the professional–the victim’s wife, her best friend, is one of the FBI’s prime suspects.Clearing Sally’s name may be the biggest challenge of her career, but Tori finds an unexpected ally in the newest member of the task force, recently reinstated Deputy US Marshal Cole Jeffers. As Tori and Cole dig deeper into Nathan’s personal and business affairs, they uncover more than they bargained for. And the closer they get to finding the real killer–and to each other–the more intent someone is on silencing them for good.

My Review:

Like so many of Diann Mills books, this one was filled with intrigue and suspense. It was not quite as much non-stop action, but I felt it had many threads of a story that went off to tie into the previous book. I would not read them out of order.

I really enjoyed it. It was lighter suspense, but kept me completely entertained and working to discover the bad guys. I kind of hope that in an upcoming book, we see some of the same characters again. It did have me asking, “Is that possible? Can you really do that with a pacemaker?” It is something I am going to have to look up.

This book is available for purchase where books are sold and online on Amazon.

Deep Extraction 

I received this book from Tyndale Blog Network. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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Come and Eat by Bri McKoy

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

Book Description

Bri McKoy, of the blog Our Savory Life, celebrates the power of the everyday table and shows how, by regularly and intentionally gathering around it, we can follow in the footsteps of Jesus and usher in grace, love, and deep fellowship.

Raised in the world of takeout and microwaveable meals, like so many busy women Bri McKoy found herself utterly lost in the kitchen and nowhere near using her dining room table as an inviting place of community. However, as she learned how to more intentionally invite not just others but also herself to her table every day, she noticed that the kitchen stopped feeling like a prison cell and started feeling like a sanctuary, that gathering with others around the table, like Jesus often did during his time on earth, had the power to usher in deep relationship and a fuller understanding of God’s love and grace.

In Come and Eat, Bri invites readers on an adventure of burnt pie, ten-pound bags of onions, and kitchen catastrophes to discover how to transform a common dining-room table into a vehicle that ushers in the presence of Jesus. It’s an invitation with no pressure, no strings attached, no advanced cooking skills or fancy accouterments necessary. Just a healthy appetite and a desire to take a deeper look into the power and ministry that can be found at the table. Combining biblical reflection with engaging personal stories from Bri’s own home, as well as the tables she has joined around the world, Come and Eat shows readers how they can intentionally make their own tables a vibrant source of life.

My Review:

This is one of those non-fiction books that you pick up and feel like you were pulled up to the kitchen table with the author. Bri has a honest approach to life as she engages you in story, encouragement and a lovely way of giving practical ways to create your own hospitality and ministry to others. It is done in a relevant way to women of our culture and time period, complete with Paleo recipes that can be served with carbs or without. You will find your mouth watering as the soul feels fed as well. You will find yourself laughing, tearing up and licking your lips.

I received this book from Book Look Bloggers. The opinions contained herein are my own. This book is available for purchase from local booksellers and Amazon.

Come and Eat

I review for BookLook Bloggers

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The Crooked Path by Irma Joubert

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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