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Archive for the ‘Historical’ Category

The Rose of Winslow Street

Elizabeth CamdenThe Rose of Winslow Street by Elizabeth Camden

Who owns the house on Winslow Street?

It’s the only house Libby Sawyer has ever called home, but now Michael Dobrescu has arrived from Romania with his family in tow and seems to hold documents showing that the house was willed to him decades ago.  What makes matters worse is that the Dobrescu’s moved  into the house while Libby’s family was vacationing.

With neither family willing to give up their claim the legal battle quickly becomes heated.  When important documents go missing Libby’s father is determined to have Michael charged with the crime.  Libby isn’t sure who is right, but when she realizes she is quickly losing her heart to Michael she despairs at having to choose between him and her family.  What can she do when both families seem to have valid claims?

This book is no piece of fluff.  It is a thoroughly enjoyable read that is well researched and has a fully developed plot.  Although it is  a historical romance there is enough mystery and uncertainty to keep the reader turning pages.  I was completely drawn into the story. I highly recommend this book and give it 5 stars

 

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Chasing Mona Lisa

Tricia Goyer Mike Yorkey

Chasing Mona Lisa

It is August 1944 and Paris is on the cusp of liberation. As the soldiers of the Third Reich flee the Allied advance, they ravage the country, stealing countless pieces of art. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring will stop at nothing to claim the most valuable one of all, the Mona Lisa, as a post-war bargaining chip to get him to South America. Can Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler rescue DaVinci’s masterpiece before it falls into German hands?


With nonstop action, Chasing Mona Lisa is sure to get readers’ adrenaline pumping as they join the chase to save the most famous painting in the world. From war-ravaged Paris to a posh country chateau, the race is on–and the runners are playing for keeps.
I enjoyed reading this book, although it took a little longer than usual to really get to know all the characters and plot.  Don’t expect to breeze through the book–it is very meaty but worth the time you will invest.  I give it a 4 star rating.
 
Read an excerpt, watch a video and find out more here. http://www.triciagoyer.com/historicalfiction.html#ChasingMonaLisa  
 

Win an iTouch SPY Pack in the Chasing Mona Lisa Giveaway from @triciagoyer @mikeyorkey!

Chasing Mona Lisa is the continuing tale of Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler (first introduced in The Swiss Courier). This time the due are on a relentless quest to save the most famous painting in the world  – the Mona Lisa. You can help Gabi and Eric with your very own spy pack when you enter The Chasing Mona Lisa Giveaway!Preview

One passionate protector will receive:

  • iTouch (The must-have device for any spy. Camera, Maps & Music.)
  • Starbucks Gift Card (For all those late nights.)
  • Moleskin Notebook (For those important notes.)
  • Invisible Ink Pen (Don’t want anyone reading those important notes.)
  • Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey (Great handbook and intriguing tale for any spy-in-training!)

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on January 31st. The winner will be announced at the Chasing Mona Lisa Facebook Party on 1/31. Tricia and Mike will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from Tricia’s website) and giving away their books and a Book Club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club AND a LIVE Author Chat for your group with Tricia and Mike.)

So grab your copy of Chasing Mona Lisa and join Tricia and Mike on the evening of the 31st for an author chat, spy training (do you know how to pick a lock?) and lots of giveaways. 

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don’t miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 31st!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions rendered are my own.

A Lasting Impression (and a chance to win a Kindle Fire)

Tamera AlexanderUpon picking up a copy of a lasting impression by Tamera Alexander I was immediately impressed by the intensely beautiful cover work.  Turning  the cover over and reading the back, I was equally intrigued and eager to begin reading.

A Lasting Impression brings us into the life of Claire Laurent, a talented artist who’s father has  forced  her to be a copyist–a forger of master artists.  More than anything Claire dreams of painting her own masterpieces, but her father forbids her from following her dream.  Over and over he tells her that she has no talent of her own, and that this life is the best she can hope for.

When Claire is forced to flee New Orleans after her father is robbed and wounded, she ends up in Nashville, and  her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe.  She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities when he finds her just waking up from spending the night sleeping on a church pew.  But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she’s sorely misjudged the man.

A year after the war between the states has ended, Nashville is still reeling from the impact of the war.  When opportunity befalls Claire  to become personal liaison to Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, one of the only Nashville citizens to make it through the war relatively better off than she entered it, Claire believes her dreams may one day come true.  Adelicia is an art enthusiast and collector of highest regard.  She even hosts an art auction that includes place for new artists to showcase their work each year.  If only Claire can find time to create a worthy painting and enter it without the truth of her past coming to light.

When Claire finds a forgery among the master paintings to be sold she faces her worst nightmare.  Does she let the painting go unnoticed, or will she risk losing the love and friendship she has found  to admit that the painting is a forgery–and that she knows because she’s the one who painted it.

A sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves–and each other–for who they really are, A Lasting Impression is a one of a kind read and fully worthy of 5 stars.


 A Lasting ImpressionTamera Alexander is a best-selling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in Nashville Tennessee, along with their two adult children who live near by. And don’t forget Jack, their precious–and precocious–silky terrier.


For more information about Tamera please visit www.tameraalexander.com

Enter to win one of Tamera’s fabulous prizes and RSVP for Facebook Party on 11/15!

Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Party from Tamera Alexander!

While Tamera and her book,  A Lasting Impression, are traveling across the country virtually
(with a few international stops as well!), she will be hosting a Kindle
Fire Giveaway
(11/4 – 11/15) and preparing for a lavish Southern-Style Facebook Party (11/15) (dripping
with hospitality, of course). She will be giving away Southern Food
Baskets, books, and an array of other fabulous freebies! Don’t miss a
minute of the fun. Swoon!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Brand New Kindle Fire (shipped as soon as it releases)
  • A copy of A Lasting Impression and 3 other special books Tamera wants you to have (for Kindle)

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on November 15th. Winner will be announced at A Lasting Impression Facebook Party on the 15th. Tamera will be wrapping up the A Lasting Impression celebration
with an author chat and giving away Southern Food Baskets (Loveless
Cafe Food Baskets, books, Amazon & Starbucks gift certificates, and
copies of Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate cookbook), six gift certificates to Starbucks and Amazon.com, and copies of A Lasting Impression! So grab your copy of A Lasting Impression (it’s
okay if you don’t have one yet- you might win one!) and join Tamera on
the evening of November 15th for an author chat, a trivia contest (How
much do you know about the 1860’s?) and lots of Southern-inspired
giveaways (complete listing here).

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don’t miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on the 15th!

A Vacation to Remember Forever

Lisa T. BergrenWaterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

reviewed by Megan–a teen who devours books

Teenage sisters Gabi and Lia Betarrini are spending the summer in Italy.  Sounds like fun right?  It would be, except that they’re spending it with their mom at an archaeological sit–the same thing they do every summer.  Because they’re bored, Gabi and Lia start exploring an ancient tomb when they come across a hand print. When they touch it, somehow the hand print tosses them back in time to  the fourteenth  century.

Getting separated from Lia, Gabi finds herself in a the middle of a war between two families.  She meets  Sir Marcello Forelli who takes her back to his family’s castle.  Not sure how to explain what has happened, Gabi explains that she has been separated from her family.  Unsure of how to get home, she begins to discover life in fourteenth century Italy, with long fancy dresses, no indoor plumping, and being called Lady Betarrini.  But when Gabi discovers herself falling for both the time period and Sir Marcello  she begins to wonder if she will ever find her sister or get to go back to the twenty-first century.

I really enjoyed this book, even though I usually prefer action and suspense over romance.  It felt like I had really been transported to fourteenth century Italy.  It felt very real. I would definitely recommend this to my friends.  It was very well written.     4 stars

This book was provided to me by the publisher, David C. Cook  All opinions rendered are my own.

Pompeii: City on Fire by T.L. Higley

Pompeii: City on Fire   By  T.L. Higley

From the fires of Jerusalem’s destruction Ariella flees only to find herself enslaved to a powerful and evil Roman politician.    Nine years of horrific abuse and degregation later  Ariella flees when opportunity arises, and attaches herself to a group of gladiators by tricking them into thinking she is a young man. Cato leaves politics and Rome behind to build a new life in Pompeii as a winemaker.  Before he has a chance to see his dream fulfilled he finds himself an enemy of the elected tyrant, and pursued by others to be the one who takes down the tyrant. Through circumstance and providence, their lives are thrust together, but what can ever break the barrier between a Roman patrician and a Jewish slave?  And what will happen when Mt.Vesuvius bursts forth? If I would describe this book in one word it would be ‘complete’.  When finishing the book I did not find myself thinking “Well what about…”.  The book is wonderfully written just like all of T.L. Higley’s recent work.  The story flows easily on the pages and is an enjoyable read.  The descriptions of Pompeii and life during this time period are well researched and allow the reader to sit back and immerse themself in the journey along with the characters.  I especially enjoyed the portion of the book where the characters are in the midst of the erupting volcano and it’s aftermath.  Altogether this is a very worthwhile read, and to give it another plug, it is also on my daughter’s Honors World History reading list. 5 Stars

Stephen Bly: 1944-2011

Author Stephen Bly                rode home to glory today, at the age of 67. He had been battling cancer.

Stephen Bly authored 100 books and hundreds of articles.  THE LONG TRAIL HOME, (Broadman & Holman), won the prestigious 2002 CHRISTY AWARD for excellence in Christian fiction in the category western novel. Three other books  were Christy Award finalists.

Stephen Bly was born August 17, 1944, in Ivanhoe, CA,  and grew up on a farm in central California’s San Joaquin Valley.  He met his wife, Janet at Redwood High School in Visalia, CA.  He ranched with his uncle and his father  until age 30.  Steven Bly

Stephen pastored several churches, and was currently the pastor of Winchester Community Church.  He was rarely seen without cowboy boots, hat, and jeans–even in the pulpit. He served as mayor of Winchester, Idaho from 2000-2007, and spoke on numerous television and radio programs, including Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family.  He was an Active Member of  Western Writers of America.

Steve graduated summa cum laude in Philosophy from Fresno State University and received a M.Div from Fuller Theological Seminary.

From 1982 to 1996, he was part of a team of speakers who represented Family Living Conferences for Moody Bible Institute.  He traveled with Kevin Leaman, Gary Chapman, Dr. Harold J. Sala, Gary Ezzo, and Greg Speck.  He also mentored writing students for Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.

Stephen lived with his wife, Janet  in the mountains of north-central Idaho, in the pine trees, next to a lake on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation.  A third generation westerner, Steve spent his early years working on ranches and farms. In his spare time, he pursued collecting antique Winchesters and construction of Broken Arrow Crossing, a false front western village near his home.

In his final Facebook post, only 6 days before his death this is what he had to say:    Despite being poked, prodded, tossed and turned every hour by numerous nurses while I bide my time in a quarantined hospital bed, have managed to complete 5,700 words rough draft on Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot. Only 69,300 more words to go.

Stephen once told an interviewer that he doesn’t like writing about a place he’s never been.  Oh, the stories he could tell us now.

Stephen Bly was interviewed for a April 29, 2011 post  http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com/2011/04/throw-devil-off-train-stephen-bly-free.html  The interview contains his salvation experience and other personal questions.

Books Written By Stephen Bly

Nonfiction:
Radical Discipleship Moody, 1981)
God’s Angry Side (Moody,1982)
Quality Living in a Complicated Age (Here’s Life,1984)
How To Be a Good Dad (Moody,1986)
Just Because They’ve Left Doesn’t Mean They’re Gone (FOF,1993)
Once a Parent, Always a Parent Tyndale House,1993)
Help! My Adult Child Won’t Leave Home (Tyndale,2006)
The Surprising Side of Grace (Discovery House,1994)

Fiction Series:

Stephen BlyRivers in Arizona Series

Rivers in Arizona (Back to the Bible, 1991)

Rock of Ages (Back to Bible,1991)

Stuart Brannon Western Series
Hard Winter at Broken Arrow Crossing (Crossway,1991)
False Claims at the Little Stephen Mine (Crossway,1992)
Last Hanging at Paradise Meadow (Crossway,1992)
Standoff at Sunrise Creek (Crossway,1993)
Final Justice at Adobe Wells (Crossway,1993)
Son of an Arizona Legend (Crossway,1993)
Nathan T. Riggins Western Adventure Series
The Dog Who Would Not Smile (Crossway,1992)
Coyote True (Crossway,1992)
You Can Always Trust a Spotted Horse (Crossway,1993)
The Last Stubborn Buffalo in Nevada (Crossway,1993)
Never Dance With a Bobcat (Crossway,1993)
Hawks Don’t Say Goodbye (Crossway,1994)
The Adventures of Nathan T. Riggins, Vol. 1 (Crossway,2001)
The Adventures of Nathan T. Riggins, Vol. 2 (Crossway,2001)
Code of the West Western Series
It’s Your Misfortune & None of My Own (Crossway,1994)
One Went To Denver & The Other Went Wrong (Crossway,1995)
Where The Deer & The Antelope Play (Crossway,1995)
Stay Away From That City They Call It Cheyenne (Crossway,1996)
My Foot’s In The Stirrup & My Pony Won’t Stand (Crossway,1996)
I’m Off To Montana For To Throw The Hoolihan (Crossway,1997)
The Austin-Stoner Files Series
The Lost Manuscript of Martin Taylor Harrison (Crossway,1995)
The Final Chapter of Chance McCall (Crossway,1996)
The Kill Fee of Cindy LaCoste (Crossway,1997)
The Lewis and Clark Squad Series

Intrigue at the Rafter B Ranch (Crossway,1997)
The Secret of the Old Rifle (Crossway,1997)
Treachery at the River Canyon (Crossway,1997)
Revenge on Eagle Island (Crossway,1998)
Danger at Deception Pass (Crossway,1998)
Hazards of the Half-Court Press (Crossway,1998)


The Heroines of the Golden West Series

Sweet Carolina (Crossway,1998)
The Marquessa (Crossway,1998)
Miss Fontenot (Crossway,1999)
Old California Series
Red Dove of Monterey (Crossway,1998)
Last Swan In Sacramento (Crossway,1999)
Proud Quail of the San Joaquin (Crossway,2000)
Fortunes of the Black Hills Series

Beneath a Dakota Cross (B&H,1999)
Shadow of Legends (B&H,2000)
Long Trail Home (B&H,2001)
Friends and Enemies (B&H,2002)
Last of the Texas Camp (B&H,2002)
The Next Roundup (B&H,2003)
The Skinners of Goldfield Series
Fool’s Gold (Crossway,2000)
Hidden Treasure (Crossway,2000)
Picture Rock (Crossway,2001)
The Belles of Lordsburg Series
The Senator’s Other Daughters (Crossway,2001)
The General’s Notorious Widow (Crossway,2001)
The Outlaw’s Twin Sister (Crossway,2002)
The Retta Barre Oregon Trail Series

The Lost Wagon Train (Crossway,2002)
The Buffalo’s Last Stand (Crossway,2002)
The Plain Prairie Princess (Crossway,2002)
The Homestead Series
Strangers & Pilgrims (Crossway,2002)
Courage & Compromise (Crossway,2003)
Reason & Riots (Crossway,2003)
Adventures on the Western Frontier Series

Daring Rescue at Sonora Pass (Crossway,2003)
Dangerous Ride Across Humboldt Flats (Crossway,2003)
Mysterious Robbery on the Utah
Plains (Crossway,2003)
The Horse Dreams Series

Memories of a Dirt Road Town (B&H,2005)
The Mustang Breaker (B&H,2006)
Wish I’d Known You Tears Ago (B&H,2006)

Fiction Stand-Alone:
The President’s Stuck in the Mud (Chariot/Cook,1982)
Trouble in Quartz Mountain Tunnel (Chariot/Cook,1985)
The Land Tamers (Tyndale,1987)(Center Point,2009)
Time Warp Tunnel (Chariot/Cook,1985)
Paperback Writer (B&H,2003)
One Step Over The Border (Center Street,2007)

Creede of Old Montana (Center Point,2009)
Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon (Center Point,2010)

===STEPHEN & JANET BLY (co-authored)===

Fiction Series:
The Crystal Blake Series
Crystal’s Perilous Ride (Chariot/Cook,1986)

Crystal’s Solid Gold Discovery (Chariot/Cook,1986)
Crystal’s Rodeo Debut (Chariot/Cook,1986)
Crystal’s Mill Town Mystery (Chariot/Cook,1986)
Crystal’s Blizzard Trek (Chariot/Cook,1986)
Crystal’s Grand Entry (Chariot/Cook,1986)
The Hidden West Series
Fox Island (Servant,1996)
Copper Hill (Servant,1997)
Columbia Falls (Servant,1998)
The Carson City Chronicles Series
Judith and the Judge (Servant,2000)
Marthellen and the Major (Servant,2000)
Roberta and the Renegade (Servant,2000)

Nonfiction:
Questions I’d Like to Ask (Moody,1982)
Devotions With a Difference (Moody,1982)
How To Be a Good Mom (Moody,1988)

Be Your Mate’s Best Friend (Moody,1989)
How To Be a Good Grandparent (Moody,1990)
Winners & Losers (Moody,1982,1993)
The Power of a Godly Grandparent (Beacon Hill,2003)

The Hawaii That Was

Hawaiian Crosswinds                                            by Linda Lee Chaikin

The tropical vacationers paradise we know today as our 50th state is but a gleam in the eye of Rafe Easton and fellow annexation supporters.  The royal government is not only corrupted by money being offered by the drug lords, but Hawaii is in danger of falling to whatever country decides to overtake the small island nation.  Rafe knows it is crucial to gain the backing of the Unites States Constitution and Military.

Rafe’s fiance Eden Derrington, a nurse,  is part of one of the most influential families in Hawaii.  She longs to go with her physician father, to work on the leper colony island of Molokai.  She has learned that her mother, once thought dead, is actually living–and dying in the colony.  Eden desires more than anything to spend time with the mother she barely remembers before it is too late.

Eden and her father need permission from Queen Liliuokalani to begin a clinic on the island.  Rafe needs to make sure the queen learns nothing of the plans for annexation, or those behind it.  When the plans for annexation go missing and Rafe learns that both Eden and her father were in the vicinity of the theft, will he be able to trust the woman he loves, or will mistrust tear them apart for good.

Written in a classic literary style with lots of dialogue between the characters telling much of the story,  Chaikin really brings to life the struggles to bring Hawaii to what we know it as today.   Well done character development is balanced with an intricate, yet easy to follow plot.   Hawaiian Crossroads was an enjoyable read.  This is the second book in the Dawn of Hawaii series, and although not essential, it is probably a good idea to begin with the first –The Spoils of Eden.

Fans of Chaikin’s work may recognize characters in this beautiful story from earlier book For Whom the Stars Shine.  Having read that book a number of years ago, I asked if it was technically a part of this series and here is Chaikins reply:

“We can call For Whom the Stars Shine a prequel to Spoils of Eden and Hawaiian Crosswinds.  Stars deals with Rafe and Eden when they were younger and sets the stage for the big mystery of what happened to Eden’s mother, Rebecca.  The Dawn of Hawaii trilogy follows and builds on Stars after Eden realizes her mother is a leper.   For Whom the Stars Shine is out of print right now and I’m hoping Moody may want to reprint it to go with the present trilogy.”

This book is a definite 4 star read.

I received a review copy of this book  from the publisher, Moody Press, through the NetGalley service.  All opinions rendered are my own.

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