Friday, October 13, 2017

Hymns Through History - I'll Fly Away

Hello All and welcome back to HTH! You may have noticed that I skipped a week . . . and that was because I was too busy preparing for Five Fall Favorites  to get a post up. Plus, I was getting ready to visit a dear friend, so I kinda let it slide.
But this week, I'm back! I've had a wonderful week in the beautiful NC mountains, and I can't beelive it's only four more days till I have to go home. Time flies a lot faster then I would like. ;)

Anyway, enough of my talking. Here's the next installment in the Hymns Through History blog series!

I'll Fly Away

Ahh, yes. One of my very favorite songs ever. Not onlly are the words so amazing, the tune is upbeat and joyful. It's one of the few songs that makes me think of warm summer days driving down a dirt road with the window open. (Because . . . yeah, I do that when I listen to the song.)

After deciding to have a theme song for A Question of Honor, I knew I wanted one in the next book as well.  
But how did this particular song make its way into A Question of Courage?  Well, Rafe is a pilot. And he's one of those kinds of people that never seems to slow down. He can put a smile on everyone's face, and he brightens even the dreariest of days. Though no one would readily admit it, he's the kind of person they all want around. So it only seemed right that he would be whistling a gospel tune, right?

Yup. That was one of the reasons that I chose this song for the book. Not only is he a pilot whistling about flying (which he thinks is great) . . . he also loves the song because of the promise of eternity that it brings. And that's all I'm gonna say on that accont because I dont want to give away any spoilers. 

To be honest, to date I think this is one of the favorite books I've ever written. In ways it's different they my other books, but at the same time, I leanred a lot while writing it.  And, like Rafe Sullivan, I'll Fly Away will always hold a special place in my heart. 

About the Song 
(Information taken from Wikipedia) 

Albert E. Brumley has been described as the "pre-eminent gospel songwriter" of the 20th century with over 600 published songs. Other titles of his include "Jesus, Hold My Hand", "Turn Your Radio On", "I'll Meet You in the Morning", and "This World Is Not My Home". 

According to interviews, Brumley came up with the idea for the song while picking cotton on his father's farm in Rock Island, Oklahoma. Brumley says that as he worked he was "humming the old ballad that went like this: 'If I had the wings of an angel, over these prison walls I would fly,' and suddenly it dawned on me that I could use this plot for a gospel-type song.” 

It was an additional three years later until Brumley worked out the rest of the song, paraphrasing one line from the secular ballad to read, "Like a bird from prison bars has flown" using prison as an analogy for earthly life. Brumley has stated, "When I wrote it, I had no idea that it would become so universally popular

Some glad morning when this life is o'er, 

I'll fly away; 
To a home on God's celestial shore, 
I'll fly away (I'll fly away). 

I'll fly away, Oh Glory 
I'll fly away; (in the morning) 
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by, 
I'll fly away (I'll fly away).

When the shadows of this life have gone,
I'll fly away;
Like a bird from prison bars has flown,
I'll fly away (I'll fly away)

Just a few more weary days and then,
I'll fly away;
To a land where joy shall never end,
I'll fly away (I'll fly away) 

And that's all for today! Do you love this song as much as I do? ;) What's a favorite gospel song of yours? 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

As in Olden Days Release Day

Hello all! I'm just jumping in today to let you know that "As in Olden Days", the short prequel to "A Question of Honor", released today! You can find it here on Amazon.

The paperback isn't available quite yet,  but I'm working on It!

If you read it, be sure to let me know what you think!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Five Fall Favorites — Day 6 — Animals

Welcome back for the last day, y'all! Can you believe it's already over?!

Today I'm the bike room, and I actually have some non WWI books for you today! Can you believe it? Honest, I didn't intend for all my other books to be mainly WWII, but as I was listing my favorites, I realized that's pretty much all I read. So hopefully all you WWII fans had an enjoyable time and found some good books on the non-official "WWII" room". xP

And doesn't this bike look so vintag-y? So WWII-ish? It's so cute! Hop on one and you can fill the basket with more books!

Circle C Adventures series

Welcome to the Circle C Adventures site, home to Andi Carter, her family, and friends. Living on the Circle C ranch in 1880s California--the heyday of the Old West--provides Andi with more than her fair share of adventures. Whether nearly trampling her schoolmaster with her palomino horse, Taffy, or outwitting an escaped convict, Andi's life is never boring. Her hair-raising escapades always end up teaching her valuable lessons about family, faith, and friends. 

I just adore this series. And meeting the author online was what got me into writing, sooo... ;) Andi is just so typical, and was super easy to relate to. All her struggles and triumphs are real things that we all face, and seeing her grow in the Lord and in her relationships with her family was just really sweet. And the adventures Andi faces are pretty great, too. Taffy, her horse, is a huge part of each book. And while I'm not one for animal/human relationships ('cause I'm not a huge animal person) Andi and Taffy's relationship was precious. 

War Horse 

A powerful tale of war, redemption and a hero's journey.

In 1914, Joey, a beautiful bay-red foal with a distinctive cross on his nose, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges toward the enemy, witnessing the horror of the battles in France. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey's courage touches the soldiers around him and he is able to find warmth and hope. But his heart aches for Albert, the farmer's son he left behind. Will he ever see his true master again?

Sooo . . . I haven't actually read this book completely. I skimmed it and enjoyed it, but it was told by a horse. And y'all, horse stories aren't my fave. But the movie . . . <3 <3 <3 It was a completely clean war movie with no cussing or any objectionable content of any kind. It was amazing. Everyone can watch it. So go do it. And if you enjoy books like Black Beauty, read the book. ;) 

The Little Woodchopper 

One morning soon after his father's death, William awakes in the middle of the forest to find himself completely deserted by his five older brothers. Left alone in strange surroundings, William turns to God for help. After two narrow escapes, he and his faithful dog Caesar find a lone cottage on the edge of the woods where they make a remarkable discovery.

This book, guys. *hugs it* I grew up listening to this read aloud, and I never got tired of it. To this day it's a very treasured addition to my bookshelf. The timeless story is just so clear in the message, and the dog, Ceaser, is the sweetest thing ever. I want him. 

Golden Filly series

pic found online; not my pic
Sixteen-year-old Tricia Evanston and her father share something very special: their love of horses.
With Tricia as jockey and her father as trainer, the two have big dreams of winning the Triple Crown.
Tricia has other pressures, too, like declining grades, a strained relationship with her mother, and the constant worry about her father's failing health.
But Tricia's faith in God always gives her the strength to push her limits.

I read this series a month after my dad was diagnosed with cancer. And Trish's dad also had cancer. Because of that, these will forever be some of my favorite books. The struggles and spiritual lessons woven in throughout the books are pretty deep, but handled so well. Trish's relationship with the horses was also so sweet to read about. Definitely a series I'd recommend. 

Disaster on Windy Hill

When someone tries to steal Windsong, Kate is determined to find the would-be thief -- but at what cost to her family?

So, I kinda recommended this was the series on Wednesday, but this book deserves to stand alone. ;) Windsong and Breeze are my favorite horses of fiction. Ever. And also, their names... <3 I loved the wrap up to the series, and seeing how it all ended was so beautiful.

Anndddd . . . that wraps up the Five Fall Favorites blog series! Did you enjoy it? What are some of your favorite animal books? 

Also, A Question of Honor and Beyond the Horizon are $0.99 today! Be sure to pick up your copy! And visit Rebekah's blog for a wrap up of the event. :) 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Five Fall Favorites — Day 5 — Indie-published

Y'all. Today has been the day I've been waiting for all week. Why? Because . . . it's time for INDIE PUBLISHED BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS! 

*clears throat* Yes, I'm excited for this. Because I love Indie published books. (Maybe because I'm indie published myself? xD SO lets get on with it. I'm to excited to keep talking any longer. Grab a nice warm blanket, take a seat by the hearth. We have a nice fire blazing there. And get ready for me to shove some books into your hands! ;) 

War Tears: Faith Potts 

No image yet because it's not published. xD

The Carnathan’s and the Anderson’s are two families leading ordinary lives in the small town of Cana, Virginia. But all is not as it seems. Overseas, Europe is engaged in a struggle for survival and every day the pressure is increased for America to enter the war on the allies’ side. When Pearl Harbor is bombed and the nation is thrust into the middle of World War Two, the men are called up to serve their country and both are immediately shipped overseas. Back home the wives are doing their part, but though they don't know it yet, their lives are about to be forever changed. When tragic news reaches the home front, they must rely on their faith in God to see them through the difficult days ahead as the world becomes engulfed in the horrific struggle. 

Y'all, my critique partner wrote this. And it's amazing. Seriously, one of my favorite WWII fiction books ever. And no, I'm not biased. xP The faith that was interwoven through the story, the beautiful truths from the Bible, the down to life characters. . . yeah. It was beautiful. I only have one problem with it. It's not published yet. *hint hint* Can I make myself anymore clear, Faith, dear? ;) You need to publish it. 

Home Fires of the Great War: Rebekah Morris 

Thirteen-year-old Maria Mitchell, known to all as Ria, and her friend Lydia have been assigned to write a report on a hero or heroine of the Great War (World War I) for a school project. Instead of picking some well known figure, the two friends decide to search for someone forgotten or unknown. When asked to help, Emma Mitchell, Ria's Mom, brings out old letters she and a cousin wrote during the war. The girls are sure the letters hold the key to their success of finding a forgotten hero! But will they? It that all that these letters bring to light? Join Ria and Lydia, Mrs. Mitchell, an old neighbor called Corporal, and others as they re-live the years of home life during the war.

This was so different then all the other WWI fiction that I've ever read and it made me want to read more! It was told between letters from two girls, instead of being told by men or nurses on the front lines. I loved the new look at it, and it was a sweet look at the war the rocked the world. The characters were so relatable, and I loved seeing all the different aspects of their lives. 
Recommended for anyone. 

The Lady of the Vineyard: Kellyn Roth 

Since her divorce, Adele Collier has pursued her own pleasure at the expense of her daughter. When her ex-husband suddenly reappears in their lives, Adele allows him to take Judy to France with him for the summer. The time apart leads her to realize her daughter is the light of her world, yet she's still not sure she's ready to give up her lifestyle.
Six-year-old Judy is more than happy to trade her mother's neglect for her father's adoring care. She loves his vineyard and wishes she could stay there forever ... but someday she must return to England and her mother. However, Judy isn't sure she can ever trust her mother again.
A novella set in pre-WW2 Europe, this sweet story is sure to delight lovers of light-hearted historical fiction.

First off, isn't that cover amazing?! I love it so much and need in in paperback. *adds to Christmas list* People buy all my books for me now, folks. Okay, not really. xD
This book  was a delightful read, and all the scenes were described so, so well! Literally, Kellyn knows how to write descriptions that make you feel as if you're standing there with the characters. Which makes the book all the more enjoyable! And it was historical fic, sooo . . . ;) I loved the characters, and the father-daughter talks were adorable! Recommended for all ages. ;) 

Ain't we got Fun: Emily Ann Putzke and Emily Chapman 

It was never much of an issue for Bess: living contentedly on her family's farm, despite the Depression which loomed around them. But when her older sister Georgiana takes off to New York City to make a fortune and help Papa out, feelings of adventure and wanderlust strike Bess at home. Through their lively letter correspondence, the sisters recount to one another their adventures, surprises, and heartaches, leaving little room for depression. For in a world of such wonder, ain't we got fun?

Y'all. It was set in Kansas. I had no choice but to love it. It was just an adorable, sweet summer read, with some deeper things woven into it. I loved the historical backdrop, and it was perfect for the book! Speaking of which.. I need a re-read of it. ;) The letters were perfect, and I loved how each girl had her own voice through the story! And the sister relationships were spot on. Just . . . adorable! 

Sweet Remembrance: Emily Ann Putzke  

In the despair of the Warsaw Ghetto, a young Jewish woman fights the Nazis with the only thing she has left—her memories.

Would you like to read a heartbreaking, beautiful tragedy that hurts you just as you realize how precious it is? Then read this. This is the kind of story that breaks you heart in two, yet at the same time, it holds a beautiful, precious hope. I'm really not sure how else to describe it. This dealt with a harsh subject. There's mot any way to get around that fact. Yet, there were small sparks that shone through the darkness of the ghetto. Because hope can be found, even if the darkest places. (One outright misuse of God's name by a German soldier) Recommended for ages 15+ 

Bonus: Martin Hospitality: Abigayle Claire 

Gemma Ebworthy is eighteen, pregnant, and alone. Now that she's been evicted, she finds herself sleeping in a barn, never dreaming that tomorrow could bring kindness of a life-changing magnitude. 
The Martins aren't a typical family—even for rural Kansas. With more kids than can be counted on one hand and a full-time farm, Gemma must make a lot of adjustments to fit in. But despite their many differences, Gemma finds herself drawn to this family and their radical Christian faith. 
When Gemma's past collides with her yet again, she must begin revealing her colorful history. With every detail Gemma concedes, she fears she will lose the Martins' trust and the stable environment she desires for herself and her unborn child. Just how far can the Martins' love and God's forgiveness go?

Another book set in Kansas! Want to make me instantly love a book? Set it in Kansas. xD
The characters were just as amazing as the setting! I really loved seeing Gemma grow throughout the course of the book. She was totally different at the end than she was at the beginning. Her journey was beautiful! And Farris! *squeals* He was adorable, 'kay? Like, he was the perfect little baby and I just wanted to hold and cuddle him! So yes. Recommended to pretty much everyone. ;)

Yes, these are all indi published. Yes, they are all favorites of mine. Yes, you need to go read them right now. ;) Tell me, have you read any of them? What is one of your favorite Indie-published books? Be sure and check out Rebekah's blog for another amazing post and more books! ;) And yes, I had six books again. *winces* Y'all don't mind, do you? 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Five Fall Favorites — Day 4 — Missionary

Hello all and welcome back? Wanna guess what room I am today?

That's right, the books room! And what's better then free books? ;) So I have a short story free for y'all today! Go here to pick up a free kindle copy of A Place Called Lonesome. 

And today the category is missionaries! Lots of good books today, so lets get started, shall we?

Return to the Hiding Place

Hans Poley 

Unspeakable faith in the face of Nazi persecution didn't come easily for 18-year-old Dutch student Hans Poley. But after months in hiding at Corrie ten Boom's home, Poley found an inner peace and freedom that defied even the Nazi peril. Composed of his wartime journals and letters, the book also includes exclusive photos documenting Poley's life in hiding.

Y'all. Y'all. So, we've all heard of "The Hiding Place", right? That was such a good book, but I didn't really understand a lot of it. Or at least, when I read it several years back I couldn't. But this book . . . wow. It was amazing. I loved it so, so much. It was so inspiring to see how someone my age was used by God to make such a difference at such a pivotal time in history. The courage, conviction and determination these young people had was unlike anything I'd heard of or seen before. And it was so challenging. This rates super high on my shelf as a favorite, and the movie is every bit as fascinating.  Recommended to everyone! 

Evidence not Seen: A Woman's Miraculous Faith in the jungles of WWII 

Darlene Deibler Rose

This is the true story of a young American missionary woman's courage and triumph of faith in the jungles of New Guinea and her four years in a notorious Japanese prison camp. Never to see her husband again, she was forced to sign a confession to a crime she did not commit and face the executioner's sword, only to be miraculously spared.

This book was one of the first ever that made me realize the horrors of WWII. And it was also one of the very first to ever make me cry. The raw emotion and depth in this story is simply amazing. The faith this women had, even when everything around her was falling apart, is unlike anything I'd ever seen.  I'd recommend it to anyone 13+ because there are torture scenes that get pretty intense.

Nate Saint: On a Wing and a Prayer 

"Seven-year-old Nate Saint peered wide-eyed over the cockpit of his older brother Sam's Challenger biplane. The eastern Pennsylvania countryside was spread out neatly below him like a fine tablecloth. Nate was determined to remember every moment of this first high-flying adventure."

Flying soon captured Nate's heart. His air service ministry to isolated missionaries put him on a path of destiny that would ultimately end with a final airplane flight with 4 missionary friends to the "Palm Beach" landing strip in the jungles of Ecuador.
The men's lives given that day not only opened a door to the gospel for the unreached "Acucas"; it has been said that possibly no single event of the twentieth century awakened more hearts to God's call to serve in missions.

Anything flying-related grabs my attention. It's also not too much of a secret that pilots, on a general scale, rate a bit higher on my 'good looking guys' list then anyone else. Buuuttttt . . . that's not why I read this book. ;) The story of the five missionaries has never failed to grab me in a way I don't fully understand. Maybe it was their sacrifice, or maybe it was their heart to share the gospel. They're inspiring. And this book was no different. Seeing how Nate grew up, what his goals were in life . . . sometimes it seems like such a waste that he died when he did. But praise God the story doesn't end with his death! If nothing else, this story is a reminder that God truly has a plan, even when we can't see it. And He brings beauty from what we can only see as disaster.

Detrich Bonehoffer: In the midst of Wickedness 

Born into a loving family, Dietrich Bonhoeffer pursued a life as a pastor, teacher, theologian -- and spy. He spoke out about the trouble in Germany when Adolph Hitler came to power, urging the Christian church to rescue disparaged people groups and resist Hitler's evil empire. 
Accused of being a troublemaker, Dietrich continued on fearlessly in the midst of wickedness. His work as a spy in the German resistance and participation in a plot to assassinate Hitler led to imprisonment and eventual execution. But the lesson of his life story remains: "Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."

Yet another story of someone who gave their life for a cause higher then anything we can see. Dietrich will always be a hero of mine. The way he took s stand in the midst of wickedness is nothing short of inspiring. Yes, the end is sad. But ya know, when we get to eternity it's gonna be amazing to talk to these people and see how God had everything working as a part of His grand design.

Betty Greene: Wings to Serve

Betty Greene coaxed her Grumman seaplane to two thousand feet..... Suddenly, silence--total silence. The plane engine had stopped! Her passengers gasped, but Betty knew she must remain calm. They had only a slim chance for survival: the twisting jungle river below them.

As a young girl growing up on the shores of Lake Washington Betty Greene had two passions: a love for Christ and a love of flying. As a young World War ll WASP pilot, Betty dreamed of combining her two passions by using wings to serve God. Betty's dream became reality when she helped found the Mission Aviation Fellowship. Her faith-filled adventures and faithful service helped create what is today a global ministry that operates over eighty aircraft in nineteen countries.

I'm so overdue for a re-read of this. It was super interesting to read about a woman aviator, in a time when they weren't the norm. Betty was inspiring because, in so many ways, I could relate to her. She wanted to do something for God, but it took hard work and dedication to get there. Yet, the legacy she left behind . . . yeah, she's one of my heroines of the christian faith.

Hitler's Cross: The Revealing Story of How the Cross of Christ was Used as a symbol of the Nazi Agenda

Six million Jews...dead. The monstrosity of Adolph Hitler's 'Third Reich' remains a stunning chapter in the pages of history. Although the power by which he hypnotized an entire nation is legendary, one question in particular begs an answer: Where was the church of Christ? Seduced by the Satanic majesty of The Fuhrer, church leaders throughout Germany allowed the Swastika a prominent place alongside the Christian cross in their sanctuaries. Nationalistic pride replaced the call of God to purity, and with few exceptions, the German church looked away while Adolph Hitler implemented his 'Final Solution' to his Jewish problem. How did this happen? In Hitler's Cross, Erwin W. Lutzer examines the lessons that may be learned from studying the deception of the church: the dangers of confusing &quote;church and state,&quote; how the church lost its focus, the role of God in human tragedy, the parameters of Satan's freedom, the truth behind Hitler's hatred of the Jews, the faithfulness of God to His people who suffer for Him, the comparisons between Hitler's rise and the coming reign of the Antichrist, and America's hidden cross-her dangerous trends. Hitler's Cross is the story of a nation whose church forgot its primary call and discovered its failure too late.

One of the things I love about Pastor Lutzer's preaching and his writing is that he does not shy away from the truth. He doesn't mince words or try to make something easier to read, he says it how it is. It was fascinating and horrifying to see yet another side of Hitler and his Third Reich, yet the stories included of those who stood up against the Nazi regemine, as few as they may have been, was inspiring.  The chapters on suffering for Christ were convicting. In this day and age no one likes to talk about that. Yet, as Christians, we are called to "take up our cross and follow Him." The cross is suffering! It's enduring shame for His name. And if we back down, we are not worthy of the name of Christ. 
 If we become content to simply live our lives and not preach the gospel and be willing to suffer for it, the freedoms we have will be taken away till we have nothing left. The cross of Christ is the only thing that can lead to salvation; to revival. And it is worth suffering for!

One of my favorite quotes was; "Remember, God isn't interested in saving America. He's interested in saving Americans." 

Yes . . . if you counted correctly, that was six. I couldn't figure out which one to cut, so you got an extra. xP Have you read any of these, or any other books on these people? Which missionary is a favorite of yours? 

Be sure and pick up the free book for today, and go and check out Rebekah's blog for the giveaway and to get the links for the other posts!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Five Fall Favorites — Day 3 — Book Series

Welcome back for day three! 

Today we're going to go picking! We've got our bushel baskets all ready, so what do you say you grab one and follow me? There's some apple trees to the left, and a few plum trees have just started to ripen. Take your pick and we can enjoy some fruit while we discuss book series!

Adventures of the Northwoods: Lois Walfrid Johnson 

Not my image, found online. 
Best-selling novels set in the early 1900’s in Minnesota, northwest Wisconsin, and Michigan, these compelling, historically accurate stories attract reluctant, average, and gifted readers. Both boys and girls identify with characters who face danger and mystery while learning to deal with peer pressure, family relationships, and the need for unconditional love and forgiveness.

I can't remember a time when I hadn't read this series. I grew up with it, and I love it to pieces. Yes, some of the boy/girl attraction was a bit... laughable? xD But otherwise it was so good! It reminded me of Little House on the Prairie, with its own unique flavor. Also, Erik . . . yeah, he's still my favorite character and I love him to pieces. Anders is a close second. Those two are the best. I LOVE their friendship!

Recommended to everyone

Circle C Milestones: Susan Marlow 

Andrea Carter is back in a new series for ages 12 and up. More exciting adventures with an older, teen Andi, who is growing up in 1880s California. Will she realize her dream of helping run the Circle C ranch? Or does God have other plans for this plucky young woman? 

Follow Andi from age 14 to 18, as she gradually discovers that breaking wild horses is far easier than growing up . . . and falling in love.

This series holds a special place in my heart because it's the only one where I was the same age as the character in each book. As Andi went through different struggles, I was, too. Because of that, these books will always bring back fond memories of years gone by. (Wow, that's making me sound old. I'm only 19, promise!) Andi will forever be one of my favorite characters of fiction. Also, the last book . .  no spoilers for those who haven't read it, but it's my favorite the end ending was just... <3 <3

Songs in the Night: Jack Cavanough 

I don't like this pic... but I can't find another. xP
How much evil can one generation endure?
GERMANY, 1933-1989. Less than the span of a single lifetime. Yet during that time Christians in Germany faced the rise of Hitler, the repercussions of the unholy blitzkrieg of World War II, and Communism behind the Berlin Wall. Why didn’t they speak out? Many of them did. Arrests, labor camps, and executions drove them underground. Songs in the Night is their story.

When I first discovered these in our church library, I was a bit hesitant. Books written by guy authors seem to be a bit more edgy then I prefer. However, this was not the case with these books. It deals with Germany before, during, and after WWII started. I was biting my nails for so many chapters, and that theirs book, at one point, had me throwing it across the room. Does this author know how to put you in suspense! It's well worth everything he puts you through, though. If you like edge-of-your-seat books and WWII , definitely try these.

Recommended to anyone 15+ because these deal with subject such as racial purity (in the third Reich), murder, etc. All during WWII.

Secret of the Rose: Micheal Philips 

This series follows the heroine from the dark days as Germany enters WWII, through the cold war, all the way until the collapse of the iron curtain. 

This series didn't have a summery and so I wrote that up. It's awful, I know. Don't laugh. xD Anyway, these books. They were the series that really got me interested in WWII. I never would have picked them up had I not won one in a giveaway that a friend hosted. Well, they got me hooked and I've never looked back. ;)
Mr. Philips does have a lot more description then most war authors, so it can be slow at times. But it's well worth it to see how the story ends. He blends fact and fiction so well together that it makes it a treat to read again and again.

Recommended to anyone 13+

Hidden Masterpiece: Kristy Cambron

The Butterfly and the Violin
A mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz—and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.

A Sparrow in Terezin
Bound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection through one survivor’s story of hope in the darkest days of a war-torn world.

Wow. This series did something I hadn't seen before; it blended WWII and present day in a duel timeline. I enjoyed the WWII sections more then the present-day storyline, but it was beautifully done! The characters leaped off the page and made the story really come alive. The one main thing I remember about this series is the vividness of the word pictures. Mrs. Cambron takes you into the story. It does have more romance then any of the series' I've listed so far, so take that into consideration when you read it. ;)

And . . . those are my Five Fall Favorites for today! Have you read any of these series? What's a favorite series of yours? One that makes you think of your childhood? Anyone seeing a reoccurring theme in each post for far? xD

And . . . here's the giveaway for today! As well as the button to Rebekah's blog. Be sure and check out the other posts! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Fall Five Favorites — Day 2 — Clean Christian Romance

Anddd . . . it's day #2 of the five fall favorites party! So glad to see y'all back here!

Welcome to the fire! It's a bit chilly out, but that's okay. There's plenty of hot chocolate for everyone! How about you all take a mug and sit down and we'll look at some more books. Are you excited? I am! 

A Secret Courage: Tricia Goyer 

A Mystery Brought Them Together.
Will Secrets Destroy Their Love?

Dive into WWII history in this well-researched story of international intrigue, heartwarming romance, and profound courage.

American Emma Hanson is one of a dozen women sent to work in London as a cryptographer—decoding German secrets at the height of World War II. Her job as a member of the Women's Army Corps gives her a way to fight back against those who killed her brother. The only distraction she needs is a good book for the long nights of bombing that threaten her fragile peace.

Englishman William Brandt's mind is full of the secrets he knows and the spies he must keep tabs on to ensure the safety of the people and nation he loves. But there might just be room in his heart for a pretty WAC worker with a sweet spirit—and a curiosity that could threaten all his plans.

Emma's and William's paths cross in the aisle of a London bookstore as they reach for the same Agatha Christie novel. But such an innocent beginning could have deadly consequences...

This book was just a sweet, clean romance mystery. I super enjoyed it, and it was what I'd call a comfortable read. I sat down and read through it, savoring every moment. It did go a bit slow, but I think it fit the book perfectly!

Recommended to everyone (though girls would enjoy it more) There was a bit of romance . . . but it was all super sweet and clean. 

Left to Die: Ivy Rose

Left to Die

Lindy Greene’s life is perfect. Too perfect. But living as a missionary nurse, serving in a rural hospital in China, soon brings the disaster she fearfully anticipates. All of her well-thought-out plans for the future disintegrate after pulling a fatally ill, disfigured, abandoned child from a pile of trash. She doesn’t even like babies.

Nathan Thomas can’t find balance. College suited him just fine until his cash ran out, forcing him to the Chinese mission field with his parents. The chaotic atmosphere in China does little to relax his agitated mind, and the pretty blonde nurse at the clinic does nothing to help him focus.

The Chinese mission field isn’t for the faint of heart. Nathan wonders how he can survive his remaining time there, while Lindy struggles to help everyone she can. With different ideals pulling them in separate directions, there is one thing drawing them together: a tiny, sickly, crippled orphan who relies on them to stay alive.

Yes, I know this isn't "technically" a romance. But see, I wanted it somewhere during this week and this was the only place I could find open for it. and it does have one of the sweetest, cutest romance ever! I just loved this story of learning to trust God and taking the next right step in front of you -- even if you can't see any further ahead. 

Recommended for 12+, because it deals with child abandonment. 

The Methuselah Project: Rick Barry 

The Methuselah Project

Nazi scientists started many experiments. One never ended. 

Roger Greene is a war hero. Raised in an orphanage, the only birthright he knows is the feeling that he was born to fly. Flying against the Axis Powers in World War II is everything he always dreamed--until the day he's shot down and lands in the hands of the enemy. 

When Allied bombs destroy both his prison and the mad genius experimenting on POWs, Roger survives. Within hours, his wounds miraculously heal, thanks to those experiments. The Methuselah Project is a success--but this ace is still not free. Seventy years later, Roger hasn't aged a day, but he has nearly gone insane. This isn't Captain America--just a lousy existence only made passable by a newfound faith. The Bible provides the only reliable anchor for Roger's sanity and his soul. When he finally escapes, there's no angelic promise or personal prophecy of deliverance, just confusion. It's 2015--and the world has become an unrecognizable place. 

Katherine Mueller--crack shot, genius, and real Southern Belle--offers to help him find his way home. Can he convince her of the truth of his crazy story? Can he continue to trust her when he finds out she works for the very organization he's trying to flee? 

Well, this was a wild adventure! The main theme of this wasn't romance, but it did have a romance thread woven through it. I mean, this had WWII, present day, and a terrorist plot. Did I say wild ride? xD It was cute and sweet and innocent, and the plot never slowed down a moment. Only caution I would have is there was one kiss that didn't really make any sense to me . . . in our copy it's been fixed with white out. ;)

Recommended for ages 13+ because of thematic elements and romance

Wildflowers of Terezin: Robert Elmer 

Wildflowers of Terezin

In Denmark's darkest days, is it duty, faith...or love?

A Danish Lutheran pastor’s complacent faith is stretched to the breaking point during World War II when he meets a young Jewish nurse Hanne Abrahamsen and becomes deeply involved in Resistance efforts to save Denmark’s Jews from the Nazi prison camp at Terezin, Czechoslovakia—also known as Theresienstadt.

Challenged by his evangelical brother and swayed by his own attraction to Hanne, Pastor Steffen abandons his formerly quiet, uninvolved life and hesitantly volunteers to help smuggle Denmark’s Jews out of the country before a Nazi roundup. Steffen finds that helping his Jewish neighbors is the most decent, spiritual thing he has ever done. As he actually does God’s work, rather than just talking about it, Steffen’s faith deepens and he takes greater risks in his sermons.

When things go terribly wrong and Hanne is sent to Terezin, Steffen finds his heart fully engaged. He undertakes protests and rescues that are more and more dangerous, never imagining where it will lead him, or the ultimate cost of his decision to get directly involved. 

Oh, I need a re-read of this! It was a super sweet, innocent romance, with nothing I would caution anyone about. Woven in throughout the story were timeless truths and a heartbreaking story from the Holocuast. 

Recommended to everyone. You all must read it, 'kay?

Interrupted: Rachel Coker 

Interrupted: Life Beyond Words

Can love really heal all things? If Sam Carroll hadn't shown up, she might have been able to get to her mother in time. Instead, Allie Everly finds herself at a funeral, mourning the loss of her beloved mother. She is dealt another blow when, a few hours later, she is sent from Tennessee to Maine to become the daughter of Miss Beatrice Lovell, a prim woman with a faith Allie cannot accept. Poetry and letters written to her mother become the only things keeping Allie's heart from hardening completely. But then Sam arrives for the summer, and with him comes many confusing emotions, both toward him and the people around her. As World War II looms, Allie will be forced to decide whether hanging on to the past is worth losing her chance to be loved. 

This was just a sweet, cute, light read, that had some rather heavy themes. It took place with WWII in the backdrop, but it wasn't a huge part of the story. The romance was adorable, and completely clean and innocent. And beautiful. Reading this book was like coming home after being away for a long time. It's timeless.

Recommended to everyone

And that's it for today! Be sure and enter the giveaway, and check out Rebekah's post with allll the links. ;) Tell me, what are some of your favorite Romance books? Have you read any of these?

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Fall Five Favorites Party — Day 1 — Historical Fiction

*waves* Hello bookish friends! And welcome to the party! For those of you who may not know quite what this is . . . it's a party done by a whole bunch of bloggers, and hosted by the amazing Rebekah at Read Another Page. Each day we'll be talking about our favorite books in a certain genre, so come on in and join the fun!

You've stepped into the benches part of the park, which is just one of many places to be today! Come on and take a seat. Both benches sit just under some beautiful maple trees, and the leaves have started turning color. Doesn't it look like just the most beautiful place to sit with a good book?

The topic for today was biblical fiction . . . But I really hadn't read any. So I decided to do historical fiction instead! And seriously, y'all. Historical fiction takes up 95% of my reading.  Do you have any idea how hard it was to pick five favorites?!  I did my best . . . though one of them is a series. So y'all get two bonus books. ;)

Waves of Freedom series: Sarah Sundin 

During World War II, the Avery family finds adventure on the high seas, intrigue on the Home Front, and love where least expected. 

Ahh, yes. The series. The books that I discovered earlier this year . . . and ones that I hold very close to my heart. Yes, they are romance. And as many of you may know, I'm not a fan of romance. But these were so well done, and they focused on so much more then just the "romance" aspect of it. There were sibling relationships, personal struggles, and powerful christian truths woven throughout each book. One thing I loved was the it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, where everything came out right in the end. They had to live with their choices, and Mrs. Sundin did a beautiful job of showing how Christ can use even our mistakes to bring forth beauty. Plus, there was an added element of mystery to this series, that made them all the more enjoyable. ;) 

I'd recommend these books to girls 16+

Sea of Glory: Ken Wales 

Sea of Glory: A Novel

In 1943, the U.S.A.T. Dorchester was torpedoed by a German submarine en route to a top-secret radar installation in Greenland. The four Army chaplains on board were quite different from each other: a Methodist pastor, Jewish rabbi, Dutch Reformed minister, and Catholic priest. Yet in the terror following the attack by deadly U-boats, the chaplains united in a final sacrifice that transformed every survivor who saw it-and inspired one man to trade the bitterness of the past for the promise of the future.

I finished this book Saturday night, amid a vain effort to blink back the tears. A couple chapter from the end, I stopped trying. Why was it so powerful? Because this is a true story. It really happened. It was very interesting to see all the different backgrounds of faith each chaplain had, and how it effected their work. For all the minor theological differences they had, I truly believe all of them were born again Christians. The kind of strength they had . . . it was incredible. Honestly, I try not to write completely biased reviews, because I like to keep a balanced view on each book I read. However, on this book, there really wasn't any content warnings, and there was nothing I didn't like. So go read it. Right away. And then make everyone else around you read it, too. 

Just be sure you have the tissues handy.
Recommended for everyone

Resist: Emily Ann Putzke 

Munich, Germany 1942—Hans Scholl never intended to get his younger sister involved in an underground resistance. When Sophie Scholl finds out, she insists on joining Hans and his close friends in writing and distributing anti-Nazi leaflets entitled, The White Rose. The young university students call out to the German people, begging them to not allow their consciences to become dormant, but to resist their tyrannical leader and corrupt government. Hans knows the consequences for their actions—execution for committing high treason—but firm in his convictions, he’s prepared to lose his life for a righteous cause. Based on a true story, Hans, Sophie and all the members of The White Rose resistance will forever inspire and challenge us to do what is right in the midst of overwhelming evil.

This book is really good. This story really happened. These people really lived, and they were actually really treated this way. They believed in this cause, and they believed in it so strongly that they were willing to even give their lives if it came to that.
Reading this made me stop and think. What if we stood up for what we believe in, just as the characters in this book did? I mean, really. This book made me stop and take a look at my own life. Do I just ignore what is happening around me? Do I try to just blend in and not be seen? Do I cringe at the fact of being looked at as different? Am I willing to take a stand for what I believe in?
If you read this book, prepare to never look at the world in quite the same light again.

Recommended to anyone 15+ because of brief language

Brothers-in-Arms: Jack Lewis Baillot

Franz Kappel and Japhet Buchanan never expected their friendship to be tested by the Third Reich. Friends from early childhood, the boys form an inseparable, brotherly bond. Growing up in a little German village, they escape most of the struggles of war until the day Japhet is banished from school for being a Jew, and later has a rib broken when other village boys beat him up. Franz learns he is putting himself in danger for spending so much time with Japhet but continues to stand up for his Jewish friend even at the risk to himself. Th en one day their lives are shattered when they see first-hand that the price of being a Jew is dangerously high. 
With the war now on their doorsteps, Franz and Japhet come up with a desperate plan to save their families and get them out of Germany alive. Leaving behind the lives they've always known, they move into Berlin with nothing to protect them but forged papers and each other. Convinced their friendship can keep them going, the boys try and make a new life for themselves while trying to keep their true identities and Japhet's heritage a secret. Taking his best friend's safety upon himself, Franz joins the Nazis in an attempt to get valuable information. At the same time, Japhet joins the Jewish Resistance, neither friend telling the other of their new occupations.
With everyone in their world telling them a Nazi and a Jew can't be friends, it is only a matter of time before they believe all the lies themselves, until neither is certain if they are fighting against a race of people or fighting for their homeland. Somehow they have to survive the horrors of World War II, even when all of Germany seems to be against them.

This was a beautiful book that was oh, so sad. It showed the horrors and reality of war, and how it touched even the smallest places in Nazi Germany. Yet, it still had a thread of hope that comes only from knowing Christ.
Also, it was a beautiful story without any romance . . . and it had two brother-figure characters. Does it get any better then that?!

Recommended for ages 12/13+ because of a rather detailed torture scene

Blue Skies Tomorrow: Sarah Sundin 

Blue Skies Tomorrow (Wings of Glory, #3)

When her husband becomes a casualty of the war in the Pacific, Helen Carlisle throws herself into volunteering for the war effort to conceal her feelings. But keeping up appearances as the grieving widow of a hometown hero is taking its toll. Soon something is going to give.

Lt. Raymond Novak prefers the pulpit to the cockpit. His stateside job training B-17 pilots allows him the luxury of a personal life--and a convenient excuse to ignore his deepest fear. When the beautiful Helen catches his eye and captures his heart, he is determined to win her hand.

But when Ray and Helen are called upon to step out in faith and put their reputations and their lives on the line, can they meet the challenges that face them? And can their young love survive until blue skies return?

This book was so sweet! I loved Ray and Helen, and the WWII backdrop was so well done! I loved Ray's story and journey so much. He was my favorite of the Novak brothers, so I was hoping his story would be good. It was. I never should have doubted Mrs. Sundin. Once again, she brought some pretty weighty subjects to the table, but she pulled them off with amazing realism. I love how she makes God a central theme of her stories. It adds so much to the enjoyment. 

Recommended to ages 16+ because of romance and elements of abuse 

Anddd . .  there you have it! My five favorite historical fiction books! Have you read any of them? 

Oh, and did I mention there's a giveaway? Because there is! Below is a place where you can enter it! And this is the grand prize... isn't it beautiful?! It includes . . .

• Signed copy of Dylan’s Story by Rebekah A. Morris
• Signed copy of Dandelion Dust by Faith Potts
• Signed copy of Kate’s Innocence by Sarah Holman
• Signed copy of The Twin Arrows by Kate Willis
• Signed copy of Journey to Love by Amanda Tero
• Coffee Nut M & M’s
• Packets of Apple Cider
• Cute Fall Mug
 Be sure to check out Rebekah's blog and then tour some of the other stops in the party. I look forward to seeing you all back here tomorrow!