Thursday, December 19, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 
 
 
16TH CENTURY COTTAGE IN WILTSHIRE
 
Hope you all have had a great summer and fall. Mine was memorable on many levels--the reason I've been AWOL these past months. My first distraction was a two week trip to the UK, the second was my early retirement from a job with terrible hours  (sometimes seven days in a row, and weekends). My husband felt God's prompting that it was time for us to rely on Him more and take a leap of faith. I have included a photo of one of the cottages I stayed in as well as a link to the owner's site in case you are interested in renting it.  http://www.thebluecottage.co.uk/
 
This new found freedom will allow me to have more time to devote to writing, my home based travel
business, organizing my house, many hobbies, and working on a new ministry at church. I will be alternating highlights from my trip, book reviews, and other topics beginning in January 2014.
 
Let's not forget why we have Christmas. Happy birthday, Jesus!
 
Have a Merry Christmas and God bless.
 
 
Carole

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Murder at Rosamund's Gate Book Review


A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate

by Susanna Calkins

 

3 out of 5

Historical Fiction


Susanna Calkins A Murder at Rosamund's GateSeventeenth-century English chambermaid, Lucy Campion, works for the local magistrate and his family.
 
Between chamber pots, polishing, and many other household chores she tries to solve the murder of her friend and fellow servant. Suspicious of someone in the household, she follows clues and tries to be discreet in her search.

Becoming a very determined young woman takes her into gypsy camps, Newgate prison, the most detestable streets of London, and many other places she would never have ventured. Her conviction to find her friend's killer leads her into dangerous situations.
 

The historical aspects of Susanna Calkins debut novel is well researched and captivating.
A Murder at Rosamund's Gate tells an interesting tale of the role of a servant girl in London's society, among the plague and the great fire. Her elements of romance are well balanced with the historical. 
I look forward to Susanna Calkins next novel.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Firebird Book Review


The Firebird

by Susanna Kearsley
 

5 out of 5

Historical Fiction


Nicola Marter is an art/antiques dealer in London where she works for Sebastian, the owner of Galerie St.-Crois, specializing in Russian art and artefacts. Little does he know of Nicola's psychometry gift.

Touching a carved bird owned by a would-be client, Nicola 'sees' an exchange between two women from another century. The client is desperate to prove the value of the firebird so she may live out a life long dream of travel before she dies -- something Nicola discovers by touching a scarf the woman accidentally left in the gallery. She had sacrifically given her life to the care of others and never had a life of her own, which is soon to end.

Nicola reconnects with an old friend, Rob (from the Shadowy Horses), who's talent is much stronger than hers. She travels to Scotland to ask for his help in proving the worth of the carved bird--a gift from Empress Catherine of Russia to Anna Moray (The Winter Sea).

Rob and Nicola go to Russia seeking evidence of the origins of the firebird and find far more than what they were searching for.

Susanna Kearsley's talent of weaving past and present into an amazing and entertaining story keeps you compelled to turn each page wanting more.

With The Firebird she has gone far beyond my expectations. For those who have not read The Winter Sea or The Shadowy Horses, please pause and read them before you read The Firebird. You will more fully enjoy The Firebird due to the way these previous novels were expertly woven into the story.

Susanna Kearsley cannot write the next novel fast enough for me!

For more about Keasley’s novels, visit her website at http://www.susannakearsley.com/.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Glastonbury Book Review


 

4 out of 5

Historical Fiction


It was a sanctuary from the world—and a silent witness to it all

As the legacy of faith passed from generation to generation, each era of believers found refuge in Glastonbury. In its story you will experience the faith that gave Joseph of Arimathea and his family courage to claim new land for Christ. Relive the persecution of St. George and St. Patrick during their captivity under the Roman Empire.

Ride along with King Arthur on his historic adventures and discover the spiritual fortitude that enabled him to become the greatest leader of his time. Witness the rekindling of Christianity with St. Augustine of Canterbury. Be inspired by the faith of the remnant in the midst of the Dark Ages.

Watch the upheaval under the rule of Henry VIII that led to the Reformation. And as Christianity triumphs over the darkest moments of its history, you may even find your own spiritual roots.

An epic novel of the history of the faith.

Glastonbury is very long but well worth the time. I loved the way Crow wove 1,500 years of Christian and British history into a fictional novel about Glastonbury. It makes me long to travel there and see the places myself!

Phenomenal job with this book. A must read, especially for Anglophiles like myself!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Merchant's Daughter Book Review



 
4 out of 5

Young Adult

An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice.

Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff—a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past.

Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger.

Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

I know this is labeled as a YA novel, but I loved The Merchant's Daughter and I am far past teenage years.

It was hard to put down because I wanted to find out what happened to Annabel. This is a well done romance novel set in the 14th century. Melanie Dickerson did a great job!

Recommendation: I definitely also recommend Melanie’s latest release—The Fairest Beauty. I really enjoyed it. Read my review here.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The House at Riverton Book Review





4 out of 5

Contemporary-Historical Fiction 

The House at Riverton is a stunning and very suspenseful debut by Kate Morton. It kept me wondering right up until the end. I love the way she intertwines the past and present in her novels.

The book alternates between the youth and elder years of Grace Bradley, who worked at Riverton House as a maid prior to World War I and became close to the distinguished Hartford family—particularly the two daughters, Hannah and Emmeline.
 
While in their service, Grace was swept up into the drama and trauma of their young lives as her own became intertwined with the Hartford family and Riverton forever.
 
In modern day, ninety-eight-year-old Grace is approached by a young film maker, who whisks her back to Riverton House and reawakens her past and these secrets she has guarded for decades.
 
Since I have read all of Morton’s other novels, I have to admit this is a great debut—though each release has gotten better (which I didn’t think was possible).

Recommendation: I recommend reading this one, but Morton's latest—The SecretKeeper—is quite fantastic and highly recommended. Read my review here.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Rose Garden Book Review



 
5 out of 5

Contemporary-Historical Fiction


Susanna Kearsley's books just get better and better. The Rose Garden is a time travel book that is handled so well. It is a romance that spans present day and eighteenth century England. She has done her research, making one feel they have actually gone to the past.

The history of the first Jacobite Rebellion is told among the romantic theme of the novel, without interrupting or distracting the reader. It makes me want to 'find' a ley line! Just kidding!

The romantic side of this novel has an unusual twist, but it is very intriguing. I loved the ending! I don't want to tell more...you have to read this book.
 
Recommendation: Another fantastic novel from Kearsley is The Winter Sea. It’s a must read!