Saturday, June 27, 2015

Easily Understood with all the Depth

Draven's Light

Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Tales of Goldstone Wood Novella

Drums summon the chieftain’s powerful son to slay a man in cold blood and thereby earn his place among the warriors. But instead of glory, he earns the name Draven, “Coward.” When the men of his tribe march off to war, Draven remains behind with the women and his shame. Only fearless but crippled Ita values her brother’s honor.

The warriors return from battle victorious yet trailing a curse in their wake. One by one the strong and the weak of the tribe fall prey to an illness of supernatural power. The secret source of this evil can be found and destroyed by only the bravest heart.

But when the curse attacks the one Draven loves most, can this coward find the courage he needs to face the darkness?

     This is the perfect novella for the Tales of Goldstone Wood. Less complicated then literally every other book in the series, it delivers the same delightful story on a quick and less intensive time span. The need to be in  an environment where you can focus, and leave off at specific points so you won't forget what is going on isn't present. 

     This novella delivers the style, and the environment, in a friendly for beginners fashion. I would even go so far as to say this novella is perfect for those just starting on these intense books, and also good for those who are looking for a light beach read. 

     Not to say that it doesn't deliver the emotional plot, or the touching and deep plot. Because it does. It is just less characters. Less people who with their own individual story lines can gunk up the basics with incredible tangents. 

     It is a perfect compliment to the rest of the series and I highly recommend reading it any way you can. 

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my review. Enjoy Reading!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

What You Read Really Matters

In Firefly Valley

Amanda Cabot

Texas Crossroads 2

Devastated by a downsizing, Marisa St. George has no choice but to return to the small Texas town where she grew up. Though it means a giant step backward, she accepts a position as business manager at the struggling Rainbow's End resort. The only silver lining: Blake Kendall, a new guest who might make her believe in love at first sight. But will Marisa's dreams of happily-ever-after be turned upside down when she discovers Blake's real identity?

    One of the things about being a Christian and having a passion for reading (or really anything) is the choice you make about how much secular influence you are going to allow to exist in that passion. The majority of books/movies/songs etc released today are not edifying to the Lord. So do you choose to keep reading, to only read some, or to cut it all out? If you manufacture secular works (books/movies/songs) do you choose to edify the Lord in the things you do? All of these questions are presented to the characters in this books. And these are questions that I as a consumer of stories struggle with. I thought the way that Amanda Cabot handled working out these questions showed passion for the Lord and the wisdom to know where to draw the line. And if that was the only thing I had to say about this book, I'd already recommend it as a fantastic read. But it isn't 

     There are soooo many wonderful aspects to this book. How do you handle forgiveness towards a mentally abusive/absentee family member? Losing your job? Losing passion for things you used to love? All answered, all glorifying to the Lord. 

    I sobbed buckets when reading this book. SOBBED. BUCKETS. The only time I wasn't crying was when I was processing or laughing. This book was thought provoking, but also oddly light. Absolutely loved it. 

    Plus the romances - so cute! There was not only the one relevant to the main characters, but a developing one that was quite prominent and a really heartwarming/wrenching reunion. It didn't make me ache to find out what would happen, but it was really wonderful.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Enjoy Reading! Click on the cover to read an excerpt. 

Writing Opportunity

Every year Anne Elisabeth Stengl's  Rooglewood Press hosts a writing contest. The past two years were Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast.

Rooglewood Press is delighted to introduce their second fairy tale novella contest—
Five Magic Spindles
a collection of “Sleeping Beauty” stories
     The challenge is to write a retelling of the beloved fairy tale in any genre or setting you like. Make certain your story is recognizably “Sleeping Beauty,” but have fun with it as well. Make it yours!

     Rooglewood Press will be selecting five winners to be published in the Five Magic Spindles collection, which will be packaged up with the phenomenal cover you see here. Maybe your name will be one of the five listed?

     All the contest rules and information (how to enter, story details, deadline etc.) may be found on the Rooglewood Press website. Just click HERE and you will go right to the page.

     Rooglewood Press’s first collection, Five Glass Slippers is available for purchase, and our second collection, Five Enchanted Roses is scheduled to launch on July 27, and is currently available for pre-order. Be certain to get a copy of each and see what previous winners did with their wonderful retellings.

The blog button information, This link will take you directly to the contest information. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Ships that Saved A Million Lives

Maggie Bright
Tracy Groot

England, 1940. Clare Childs knew life would change when she unexpectedly inherited the Maggie Bright—a noble fifty-two-foot yacht. In fact, she’s counting on it. But the boat harbors secrets. When a stranger arrives, searching for documents hidden onboard, Clare is pulled into a Scotland Yard investigation that could shed light on Hitler’s darkest schemes and prompt America to action.

Across the Channel, Hitler’s Blitzkrieg has the entire British army in retreat with little hope for rescue at the shallow beaches of Dunkirk. With time running out, Churchill recruits civilian watercraft to help. Hitler is attacking from land, air, and sea, and any boat that goes might not return. Yet Clare knows Maggie Bright must answer the call—piloted by an American who has refused to join the war effort until now and a detective with a very personal motive for exposing the truth.

The fate of the war hinges on this rescue. While two men join the desperate fight, a nation prays for a miracle.

     Maggie Bright is an absolutely revolutionary book. I loved it from the moment I opened to the second I finished. World War 2 period books are some of my favorites, and this one totally delivered. Instead of focusing on the time right in the middle or end of the war, it focuses on the beginning. It focuses on an event known as the Dunkirk Evacuation.

    When I think of WW2 I think of concentration camps, for the Jews and the Japanese, of the Candy Bomber, Nazis, and all those itty-bitty little ships evacuating the entirety of the British army across the Chanel before the Nazis could get to them. This book goes into so much depth about that evacuation. But the book doesn't start at the evacuation, it builds up to it, making the evacuation so much more special. 

    I loved the characters, and all of the little plots that had amongst themselves. It was cute and gave me butterflies trying to figure it out all at the same time. I cannot say enough good things about this book. It was wonderful and I will treasure it. 

    Warnings. It is a story about World War 2. There are some semi-graphic explanations of violence and injuries. An adult could handle it with no problem, a child could not. Honestly, those moments (thankfully rather few) horrified me and made me cry. Looking back though I only remember a sense of wonder and peace reading it. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Enjoy Reading! Don't forget to click on the cover to read an excerpt.