Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Who Are Your Children

When I was a little kid I had many relatives that were not biologically related to me. The growth of my family began, with my parents. They tried to think of a way to introduce their adult friends to their young daughters. So we were told that we had another set of grandparents in Grandma and Grandpa Parrish. A friend of my Grandma Watts became Aunt Carol. I still think of them as family today. I also inherited a group from college that I  affectionately refer to as my baseball bros.

In Sarah McCoy’s book The Mapmaker’s Children her main character Sarah Brown is in much the same position. Her family has grown despite her illness and her work. Eden Anderson in the present timeline wants children badly but has not been able to have them. How will they define family?

Synopsis:

Sarah Brown is the daughter of John Brown the famous abolitionist. The story begins when Sarah finds out that because of an illness; she cannot have children. So she actively takes up her father’s cause with the Underground Railroad through her art. Her father has many supporters especially near Harper’s Ferry in a little town  New Charlestown West Virginia. This family takes the Brown girls under their wing after the passing of their father. Sarah’s relationship grows with the son Freddie Hill. They meet to exchange her work and visit with his family. When Freddie asks her to marry him; will she accept? Will Sarah have a lasting legacy?

Eden and Jack have just moved into the town of New Charlestown West Virginia. They need time to heal and start again. Eden has been childless for more years than she can count. She feels that a marriage is about having children and their something wrong because she can not. Should she leave Jack and start over somewhere new? Eden starts to discover artifacts in her house that date back to the previous century.  Could they be related to the Underground Railroad? Could her life be fulfilled without having children?

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this story by Sarah McCoy. She has a way of making you want the best for these characters. I remember studying about John Brown but was unaware of his family. The author used the characters of Sarah and Freddie to tell the story that took place in 1859 through 1869. I also had hoped that more would come from their relationship. I also loved how she interwove both stories throughout the book.

I wanted to adopt Eden’s dog. I also love how she used the dog to teach Eden how to deal with her struggles of infertility. Eden was not one of my favorite characters.  I grew to like her more as the book progressed.

I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more by Sarah McCoy in the future.

Rating:

4/5

Sarah is very active on both Facebook and Twitter. You can purchase a copy of  Mapmaker's Children.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

What Lurks Behind the Veil of Vaudeville?

Welcome Kristy Cambron to Writer’s Corner. I am sharing her latest book TheIllusionist’s Apprentice published by Thomas Nelson. I received no financial compensation for this review.

Kristy Cambron is a very popular author in Inspirational Fiction genre. She just received an Inspy  award nomination for her book The Ringmaster’s Wife. Her other novels are very popular as well.

Synopsis:

Horace Stapleton is attempting the grandest illusion of all time. He will try to bring a man back to life that has been dead for many years. When his attempt fails certain key characters are there to witness what happens next. The FBI led by Elliot Matthews and his partner Connor Finnegan. Then there is Wren Lockhart the famed apprentice of Harry Houdini. The FBI feels that Wren knows more than she is willing to share about this grand illusion. Will Elliot be able to unearth her secrets before it is too late? What really happened that day in the cemetery?

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this book! I found it refreshing style that was different from some of the other authors I have shared here. The Jazz age seems to be a popular era in publishing houses. Ms. Cambron wove the story around the history of her main character Wren Lockhart. Readers know that Wren is important to the story, but do not know how her past impacts the story. It was a satisfying read. She includes a character from history Harry Houdini. Readers can visit the notes at the back to find out more information about how the story was crafted.

Whenever I read someone new I try to follow writing style. A reader will want to understand how the story is structured because it makes for a more entertaining read. I was a little confused by the structure of the story at first. Once I understood it; I very much enjoyed the story. Wren Lockhart is quite the complex character. I thought the author did a great job of revealing her character a little over time. The pacing was good as well!

I look forward to reading more from Kristy Cambron in the future. To learn more about the Inspy Awards and what it does for Christian Fiction.

Rating:

4.5/5



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Stephanie Rische and the Waiting Game

I absolutely devoured her book I WAS BLIND (Dating), BUT NOWI SEE. I received this book from Tyndale.  I received no financial compensation for this post.

Today Stephanie Rische is visiting Writer’s Corner.  I recently devoured her book I WAS BLIND (Dating) BUT NOW I SEE.   I feel her message speaks volumes to singles who are on this journey.

Synopsis: 

Stephanie shares her journey looking seeking the man of her dreams.  She uses stones to mark her path to Mr. Right.  The journey may have taken longer than she thought but it was worth it in the end.  She also shares what God taught her along the way in the journey.  How seeking God’s path is not easy but can be fulfilling at times.  How to stay the course when life takes turns you would not have otherwise chosen.  What can the reader learn from these experiences?

What five aspects of Stephanie Rische should readers know?

1.” When I was a kid, my best friends were all found on the pages of books. (Depending on the day, I’d wish for red hair like Anne, to live on the prairie with Laura, or to have three sisters like Jo.)

2. Someone asked me if my book is a how-to about dating, and I almost choked on my coffee. Nope, this is pretty much the story of all my biggest flops and most embarrassing moments. So if you’re looking for advice, I’d strongly recommend going elsewhere!

3. All my best ideas come to me when I’m riding my bike. And then I promptly forget them when I get home and try to write them down.

4. On the second and third dates with the man who is now my husband, I tripped over nothing and then burned the dinner so badly it set off the smoke detector. Gratefully, he married me anyway.

5. I think you, reader, are a treasure. You are beautiful. And you are more loved than you can imagine.”

While you were going through this experience of waiting what was the hardest part?

“Regardless of what you’re waiting for, I think one of the hardest parts is feeling alone in the wait. As I was longing for this desire of my heart, I sometimes felt like God was far away and that I was the only one who felt this way. It was a process to crack my heart open to God and to other people, and along the way I realized I truly wasn’t truly alone. And neither are you.”

How did you find encouragement in the waiting?

“I think we often feel like waiting is a punishment, like God isn’t granting us our heart’s desire because there’s something wrong with us. And let’s be serious: you can’t be single for long before you get some unsolicited advice about what you need to do to snag a mate. So I was surprised but encouraged to discover how many people in Scripture had to wait. From Abraham to Moses to Hannah to Elizabeth, almost everyone God used in a mighty way first had to go through a season of waiting. And perhaps even more surprising, God was so gracious to all those waiters—and not only that, but he was there with them in the waiting. And he’s there with you in your waiting too.”

Who would you cast as yourself in your story? 

“People have told me I look like Tina Fey, but let’s not kid ourselves: I’m not that funny!”

What is your next writing project?

“I’m working on a slightly different creative project right now: my husband and I are expecting our first baby! Interestingly, the lessons I learned about waiting and God’s character are things I’m still leaning on. When we went to our ultrasound, we were delighted to see our baby. What we weren’t expecting was to hear was that our child may have a genetic abnormality. And now we find ourselves in another season of waiting. The truth is, whatever stage of life you’re in, there will be something you need to wait for, to trust God for. Whatever you’re facing, he sees you. He knows you. He is powerful to act. And he loves you.”


Thank you for chatting with us today.  Continue to follow Stephanie on her Facebook and website

To Purchase visit these retailers:  




Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Welcome Back to the Beach House!

Are you ready for the first of the beach reads of 2017! Here is the first one on our docket at Writer’s Corner. Thank you to Gallery Books for a copy of Beach House for Rent by Mary Alice Monroe. I was not given any financial compensation for this review.

This is the third and final installment of the Beach House series. Readers will get a chance to learn what will happen to Cara’s beach house and her family. Yes, turtles and shore birds are also included in this story. What will the future bring?

Synopsis:

Cara and Brett are putting the finishing touches on their renovations of the beach house. Her plan is to rent it for the summer for some extra income that she and Brett desperately need.  The perfect opportunity comes from a contact of Palmer’s who needs a place for this summer.  This contact has a daughter who will live there and work all summer.  So the rental agreement is made between Cara and Heather for the summer. Her job for the summer is to sketch shore birds for use by the Post office on future stamps. Then tragedy strikes and Cara needs to move back to the beach house. It is her center and place that she feels close to her mother, and a place of healing. Heather does not want to leave.  The women work together on an arrangement that becomes beneficial to both for living at the beach house. How does this relationship impact both Cara and Heather’s lives? Will it help Cara to heal? Will Heather be brave enough to move forward with her life?

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed Beach House for Rent. Mary Alice Monroe has a quality to her writing that makes readers want to turn pages. She brings back favorite characters of Cara, Brett, Palmer, Emmi, and Flo. Then she creates a complex character as Heather. What makes her a great edition is her complexity which is the autism. I thought she represented the autistic perspective well. Heather is a high functioning autistic person.

The book is set on Isle of Palms. This location includes gorgeous beaches. Who could not desire that for the summer? We also learn about shore birds. Not much time is given to the turtles in this book. Mary Alice always seeks to educate her readers through fiction. So I can’t help but wonder if we will see more about Shore birds in future books? Or might we see more of Heather in another book?

Purchase your copy here. If you have not read the entire Beach House trilogy then buy here.

Rating:


5/5

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Try Something New From Mary Kay Andrews

This year Mary Kay Andrews (MKA) is sharing her Beach House cookbook with us.  If you know MKA then her books all revolve around the beach.  So it is only appropriate that the cookbook is represented as well.  It features highlights from her Kay’s family recipes.  I am a baker at heart so I love to cook! I am also looking forward to trying one of her recipes.   So let’s take a look at this fabulous cookbook!

Synopsis:

“You don’t have to own a beach house to enjoy Mary Kay Andrews’ recipes. All you need is an appetite for delicious, casual dishes, cooked with the best fresh, local ingredients and presented with the breezy flair that make Mary Kay Andrews’ novels a summertime favorite at the beach.

From an early spring dinner of cherry balsamic-glazed pork medallions and bacon-kissed Brussels sprouts to Fourth of July buttermilk-brined fried chicken, potato salad, and pudding parfaits to her New Year’s Day Open House menu of roast oysters, home-cured gravlax, grits 'n’ greens casserole, and lemon-cream cheese pound cake, this cookbook will supply ideas for menus and recipes designed to put you in a permanently carefree, coastal state of mind all year long.” (St. Martin’s Press)


I decided to impress the family with MKA’s carrot cake recipe which we enjoyed!   I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!  In fact you can download a copy of this very recipe here.  Enjoy!

Make sure to get your  copy of the cookbook here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

MARY KAY ANDREWS is the New York Times bestselling author of 24 novels, including The Weekenders, Beach Town, Save the Date, Ladies' Night, Spring Fever, Summer Rental, The Fixer Upper, Deep Dish, Blue Christmas, Savannah Breeze, Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies, and Savannah Blues. A former features writer for The Atlanta Journal Constitution, she finds an outlet for her passion for cooking, entertaining, and decorating with vintage finds at the homes she shares in Atlanta and Tybee Island, Georgia, with her husband, Tom, and their two grown children, Katie and Andy, as well as grandchildren Molly and Griffin. THE BEACH HOUSE COOKBOOK is her first cookbook.




Friday, April 21, 2017

What Would Does it Take To Believe in Change?

Tracie Peterson is one of my favorite authors. The Alaskan Quest is series is an older series of hers. The first book in the series is Summer of the Midnight Sun. It is the sequel to the Yukon Quest series which is an absolute must read! Jacob and Leah are the characters that carry over from that series. Karen and Adrik’s story also takes place there. Are you ready for a thrill ride?

Synopsis:

Leah has had one desire for ten years which is to marry, but can she forgive the one man who broke her heart? Jayce Kincaid thinking Leah a child at that time rejected her. Now Leah is seeking new purpose especially after ten years of waiting for someone else to come along. Jayce comes back into her life and offers her brother Jacob an opportunity of a life time. A quest to the north pole. As Jacob starts preparing and helping Jayce an accident occurs and Leah is called to help him. 

Meanwhile on the other side of the country in Washington D.C.; Stanley a Pinkerton agent gives instructions to his sister Helaina about capturing the criminal Jayce Kincaid.  As she prepares to join this quest; will she find her man? Will Leah be able to Forgive Jayce and move on?

My Thoughts:

I loved this book! It is an easy read! The characters are compelling and interesting. The author does a great job of creating complex characters that grow over the arc of the novel. This story is set against the back drop of primitive Alaska. I thought that the dialogue was wonderful too! Jacob is a very direct character and one of my favorites. He will tell it like it is. He had a conversation with Jayce about Leah and her feelings. These characters are also used to communicate a faith track throughout the book. Tracie Peterson is a master!

TraciePeterson continues to create awesome characters and great stories please check out her Beloved Hope a Heart’s of the Frontier Novel. 

Rating: 5/5


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Daisy Goodwin is Reigning Supreme in Victoria

Thank you for St. Martin’s Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for this review. 

How many of you saw Victoria on PBS? For the many who watched how many set their dvrs not to miss an episode? Today we will be reviewing the companion book Victoria by @DaisyGoodwin, which was mentioned the airing of the television episodes.

Synopsis:

Victoria has always been under the thumb of her mother and Sir John. They brought her up in the Kensington way. When her uncle the King dies Victoria becomes his successor. She has her independence from her mother and Sir John. How will she break free? She first moves the household to Buckingham Palace. It is more central to London. Her tutor as she progresses in her reign is Lord Melbourne. He helps her navigate the rough path of her enemies. Victoria is enjoying her friend but does it come with a price? Will she marry? What changes may come as her reign progresses?

My Thoughts:

Did I love the book as much as the television show? Yes, for me it is Daisy’s best work yet. This book shows great growth as a writer. In the past I would have said that her pacing in her book is slow in the middle, but not with Victoria. I also read it while show was on the air. Daisy mentions in her thanks to the actor’s portraying the roles for helping her to write the book. I thank them as well because I could definitely visualize these characters as I read the book. The story is enticing from the beginning! Who could not identify with a teenager battling for independence from her parents?


London is a beautiful setting for the story of Victoria. I hope to visit one day. The only negative for me is that I have to wait for the next season and Daisy’s next book.  Daisy is busy working on the second season of Victoria.  She is also writing a book focusing on Victoria’s later years.

 Rating: 5/5