Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Heart's Pursuit


The Heart's PursuitBook Review:

A book by Robin Lee Hatcher is always something to look forward to. The Heart’s Pursuit is not an exception. The unlikely duo of Silver Matlock, a jilted bride and a bounty hunter, Jared Newman traveling together makes for a great story. They traveled from the Denver area to Virginia City, Nevada. Traveling this route in 1873, through mountains and desert, mostly on horseback made for an arduous trip.
Hatcher is masterful at creating characters. Her characters are complete. She allows you to get to really know them. I loved Silver. She was much more than a 19th century “lady.” She was brave and gutsy and handled the difficult trail ride with a true classiness. Jared was also an appealing character. In spite of his driven desire to catch the murderer of his family, he displayed softness and vulnerability underneath his tough façade. You will find yourself cheering for them both and wanting things to work out well for them.
I also really liked Corrine Duvall, a secondary character. Corrine was a wealthy woman who had not forgotten the difficulties of being young and alone. I loved the descriptions of her gorgeous, beautiful home and the young women fortunate enough to be her housemates.
The descriptions of life on the trail were graphic. I could feel the disappointment after a difficult day of riding – being exhausted and having to eat hardtack and beans for dinner. I could feel the roughness of the ground under a blanket and being so exhausted that sleep came anyway.
The Heart’s Pursuit is a very good book and I recommend it. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:

A jilted bride desperate to save her family from ruin.
A bounty hunter seeking vengeance for a ravaged past.
An arduous trek toward justice---or redemption.
Silver Matlock and Jared Newman know traveling together is a bad idea. Bad for Silver's already tarnished reputation in her small Colorado town. Bad for bounty hunter Jared's secret, single-minded mission for revenge. But Silver is determined to track down the rogue who left her at the altar and stole the last remnant of her father's fortune. And Jared's in a hurry to hunt down the murderer who destroyed his family---even if Silver is too distractingly beautiful for comfort.
The pair takes off over mountain and desert, past bleak homesteads and raw mining towns, hot on the trail of the two villains who took what wasn't theirs to take. Soon supplies dwindle, secrets emerge, and suspicion leave Silver and Jared at odds when they need each other most. To confront an enemy deadlier than desert rattlesnakes and rocky cliffs, Silver and Jared must learn to forgive and trust and face the question they haven't dared voice: What happens next?

About the Author:

Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heart-warming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over sixty novels.

Daisies Are Forever


Daisies Are ForeverBook Review:

I read Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma and thought that it was a fabulous book. When I was given the opportunity to read another book by Tolsma, I jumped at the chance. Daisies are Forever was also a wonderful book. Like Snow on the Tulips, this new Tolsma book is set during World War II. However, this book was written about average people in Germany. This was a slant on the war that was new to me. Using stories passed down in her own family, Tolsma gave us an intimate insight into how the war affected German citizens.
The story is about Gisela Cramer who evacuated from East Prussia and walked to Berlin with her cousin’s two tiny daughters and three elderly people, including two women with dementia. On the way she picked up a British soldier who had escaped from a German POW camp and helped him escape by saying they were married. This book made me feel the fear, the constant, grinding fear that never let up.
My initial reaction was contemplating what people are able to tolerate to survive. The human spirit is indeed remarkable. This showed with startling clarity what it was like to live under the Third Reich. I have read several books that dealt with Americans and British and their roles during this war. This was the first book I have read that told the other side – the German people who were also victims. On an intellectual level I understood that not all German people were worshipping their Fuhrer; but this book brought to life the people who suffered and desperately wanted the war to stop. Starvation, bombing and constant danger were a part of their lives.
The book is exciting and also very tense. The two sisters with dementia offered comic relief, talking about being on holiday in Paris and Vienna as they sat in a dark, musty basement, hiding from the bombs. It was interesting to watch a real romance develop between the two protagonists who pretended marriage.
This is definitely a book worth reading. Realizing that this was a fictional account of experiences of real people made it incredibly powerful. I definitely recommend this book. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:

Gisela must hold on to hope and love despite all odds in the midst of a war-torn country.
Gisela Cramer is an American living in eastern Germany with her cousin Ella Reinhardt. When the Red Army invades, they must leave their home to escape to safety in Berlin.
However, Ella is a nurse and refuses to leave, sending her young daughters with Gisela. During their journey, Gisela meets Mitch Edwards, an escaped British POW. She pretends she is his wife in order to preserve his safety among other Germans, especially one wounded German soldier, Kurt, who has suspicions about Mitch’s identity. Kurt also has feelings for Gisela and tries to uncover the truth about her “marriage.”
Their journey to Gisela’s mother in Berlin is riddled with tragedy and hardship, but they strive to keep Ella’s daughters safe so they can reunite with their mother. During the journey Gisela and Mitch begin to develop feelings for one another beyond friendship. They reach Berlin, but their struggles are far from over. Gisela and Mitch must learn to live for the day and find hope in the darkest of circumstances.
In this moving, historically accurate portrayal of WWII Germany, the characters learn that, even with destruction all around them, some things last forever.

About the Author:

“New York Times” best-selling author Liz Tolsma is the author of “Daisies are Forever,” “Snow on the Tulips,” and the contributing author of “A Log Cabin Christmas.” When not busy putting words to paper, Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and children, all adopted internationally.
Find out more about Liz at http://www.liztolsma.com.

A Promise in Pieces


A Promise in PiecesBook Review:

It has been some time since reading a book has made me cry. I’m talking about tears, runny nose – the whole experience. Emily T. Wierenga’s book A Promise in Pieces was the reason for my tears. The book is part of the Quilts of Love series. The story moves between the World War II era and the year 2000. The protagonist is Clara, who became a newly minted army nurse during World War II.
Clara is taking taking a road trip with her family: husband, children and grandchildren. Her grandson asks her about her earlier life and Clara tells her story. The story moves between the contemporary family road trip and Clara’s earlier life. I have read several works of fiction that are set in WWII but none have affected me as profoundly as this book. I have been trying to ascertain why this seemingly simple book made such an impression. I think that it is partly in the telling of the story. Clara tells it almost like a reporter objectively reporting the news. The simplicity of Clara telling her story makes an impression. A more emotional accounting would not have the same effect.
Wierenga is a skilled, beautiful writer and this book is crafted in a way that leaves a strong impression. There was much to think about. It is a book about a spiritual struggle, the beauty and loyalty of a deep friendship and the strength of family. But I think, most of all, this is a book about a life well lived.
I definitely recommend this book and I hope that Wierenga writes many more. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:

It’s been more than 50 years since Clara cared for injured WWII soldiers in the Women’s Army Corp. Fifty years since she promised to deliver a dying soldier’s last wish. And 50 years since that soldier’s young widow gave her the baby quilt—a grief-ridden gift that would provide hope to countless newborns in the years to come. On her way to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Clara decides it’s time to share her story. But when the trip doesn’t go as planned, Clara wonders if anyone will learn the great significance of the quilt—and the promise stitched inside it. From the Quilts of Love series

About the Author:

Emily Wierenga is a former editor, ghostwriter, freelance writer and staff journalist, a monthly columnist for “The Christian Courier,” and the author of “Save My Children,” “Chasing Silhouettes,” and “Mom in the Mirror.” Emily and her family reside in Alberta, Canada. This is her first novel.
Find out more about Emily at http://www.emilywierenga.com.

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