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Book Review: The Captive Heart

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The Captive Heart – By: Dale Cramer

Bestselling author of Paradise Valley, Dale Cramer, has done it again!  I have had the privilege of reading and reviewing another one of his enjoyable works!  If you haven’t read Paradise Valley, I encourage you to do so before reading Cramer’s The Captive Heart, because this 2nd book picks up right where Book 1 leaves off.

Book Description:

Ravaged by disease, preyed upon by ruthless bandits, the Bender family’s second year in Mexico has taken a grievous turn.  Faced with impossible choices, the expatriate Amish discover, more than ever before, what it means to live by faith and not by sight.

But it’s Miriam who must make the hardest choice as her heart takes her on a new and dangerous course.  Domingo.  “He is gentle,” his sister said, “until someone he loves is threatened.”  Is Miriam that someone?

“Cualnezqui,” he often calls her – The Nahuatl word for Beautiful one.  The chiseled native has proven himself a man of principle, grace, and power.  Yet is he the pearl of great price for whom Miriam would sacrifice everything, or is he merely a friend?  Tormented by conflicting emotions, she’s haunted by vivid dreams: Dressed in the coarse cotton pants and shirt of a peasant, she stands on the precipice of a sun-washed ridge searching desperately for Domingo.  Domingo the fierce.  Domingo the protector.

Domingo the forbidden.

This book definitely kept me reading, even more so than Book 1 in the Daughters of Caleb Bender series.  Many suspenseful events occur that keep the story moving and the reader intrigued – illness, a kidnapping, and a rescue in the shadow of a loss of loved ones.  Even though the main story line focuses on the events that involve Miriam and Domingo, Cramer does not forget the perils also faced by Caleb and the rest of the growing Amish community.  His characters are  just as captivating as they were in the first book – each one with their own personality, strength and struggles depicted in ways that forces the reader to want to learn more about them.  Caleb’s faith is pushed harder,  Domingo learns more of the ways of the Amish, and Ada becomes a hero in her own right. This book is another good example of how Faith, Love and Forgiveness can change the lives of others.  There is also the question of whether or not it would be wise to give up the Amish way to follow another way.

If you read this book, let me know how you like it.  I know I am now anxiously waiting to read Book 3!!

Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 2551

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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Book Review: Hermie, a Common Caterpillar

Are you a Max Lucado fan?  Looking for a book that will help your child learn that being “common” is not so bad after all?  Then Hermie, a Common Caterpillar by Max Lucado is a nice book to share with them!

Hermie, a Common Caterpillar

Here is the description I was given to use as part of my review:

“This Max Lucado’s Hermie & Friends® best-selling story now available in easy-to-read format!

Hermie and his friend Wormie have always felt common. They don’t have stripes or dots, they aren’t very strong, and they can’t find anything special about themselves. But every time they pray, God tells them that He loves them all the time just as they are and that He isn’t finished with them yet. When Hermie becomes a beautiful butterfly, he realizes just how special God’s plan is for him!

This classic story has been revised for kids to read and enjoy on their own as a Lever 2 Reader. With fresh new art and a story kids can read themselves, plus a new, low price—this classic story will find a whole new generation of kids who love Hermie and his garden friends!”

 

I read this book to my 3-year-old son to get his feedback on it.  He was drawn immediately to the book’s colorful illustrations.  The story’s vocabulary and simple story line was easy for him to understand, and he even volunteered questions as we read through it.  He told me that his favorite part was “when Hermie turned into a big, big butterfly”.  I enjoyed the fact that my son was able to connect easily to the characters, as well as the lesson that we are all special because God loves us and has a plan and purpose for every one of us.  My son also suggested that we get the other Hermie books, and I couldn’t agree more!

I definitely recommend this book to anyone with small children, or a Sunday school class!  It has such a powerful and important message that all of us can relate to and share!  And remember, God “isn’t done with with you yet!”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in Book Nook

 

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Book Review: The Seraph Seal

“An epic tale of good and evil based on the four horsemen of the Apocalypse found in Revelation.

Using the four horsemen of the Apocalypse to symbolize the four Gospels, four transcendentals, and four forces of the universe (air, water, earth, and fire), Sweet and Wagner weave a fast-paced, end-times tale of good vs. evil and the promise of a new dawn for humanity.

The Seraph Seal

Set in 2048, when planet Earth is suffering from the damaging effects of years of misuse and abuse, cultural history professor Paul Binder receives a mysterious letter that leads him to examine a lost 2nd-century Diatessaron manuscript. Ancient prophecies, cryptic letters, and strange events set him on a course to uncover the missing clues that could lead humanity into a new age. Layered with forgotten symbolism from the ancient, Jewish, and Christian traditions, the novel is a type of engaged fiction in which the main character’s lost journal serves as a guide to the reader in interpreting clues and understanding the novel’s conclusion.”

 

I was very disappointed with this book.  I was hoping it would have been engaging like something from Dan Brown, but unfortunately I found it to be everything but.  The authors of The Seraph Seal, Leonard Sweet and Lori Wagner,  considered their book to be “engaging fiction”.  I found it extremely hard to get into, even as the plot eventually tied together all of the different settings, characters, and such from the beginning of the book.  Sure, there’s a lot of detail involving the clues and such that the characters use to figure out how to “save the world” from the end of times, but I found them to be a bit redundant and drawn out.  If you can get past the beginning of the book with the way it constantly jumps around between characters, plots and settings and you can manage to follow it all until the main story plot ties them all together, then you deserve a medal!!  I usual like books filled with mystery, problem solving, and the like (such as The Da Vinci Code), but this particular book is definitely on my “I’m not going to read this again” list.  

 

If you would like to add this book to your reading list, then by all means I wish you luck and hope you enjoy it.  I, unfortunately, found The Seraph Seal unenjoyable and disappointing.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2011 in Blogging, Book Nook

 

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Book Review: The Final Summit

Even though I have not had the chance to read Andy Andrews’ first book, The Traveler’s Gift, this did not inhibit my ability to enjoy and really get into reading The Final Summit.  Here is a brief summary:

“David Ponder is back. This time the fate of mankind is in his hands.

The Final Summit - by: Andy Andrews

This is mankind’s last chance. Centuries of greed, pride, and hate have sent humanity hurtling toward disaster, and far from its original purpose. There is only one solution that can reset the compass and right the ship, and it consists of only two words. With time running out, it is up to David Ponder and a cast of history’s best and brightest minds to uncover this solution before it is too late. The catch? They are allowed only five tries to discover the answer.

Readers first encounter David Ponder in the New York Times bestseller The Traveler’s Gift. Now, in The Final Summit, Andrews combines a riveting narrative with astounding history in order to show us the one thing we must do when we don’t know what to do.”

There are a few things I enjoyed about this book. First of all, I liked Andrews’ writing style: easy to read, flowing, and captivating.   I also enjoyed his use and portrayal of the historical characters he chose to help David Ponder complete his task.  Andrews did not go into great detail or any over-embellishments when describing each character’s purpose or background, which I found helped the story to move along more quickly — he stuck to the main plot and Ponder’s (and the Summit’s)  job at hand.  Andrews keeps the reader guessing and thinking along with Ponder and the rest of the Summit, as well as thinking about the state of humanity in our world today. 

If you are into problem solving, history, and/or Christian fiction then I recommend this book to you.  It is a quick read (it only took me a few days during my “down time”), and one that will hopefully keep you interested, as it did me.  I know I’ll be adding Andrews’ other books to my “to read” list.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Book Nook

 

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Book Review: Lilly’s Wedding Quilt

Lilly's Wedding Quilt - by Kelly Long

My latest book  to review only confirmed that I have a new favorite genre of fiction to add to my “favorite reads” list!  Lilly’s Wedding Quilt  is an Amish fiction novel written by Kelly Long.  I didn’t realize when selecting this book to review that it was the 2nd book in the Patch of Heaven series, but I assure you I will be going back to read Book 1: Sarah’s Garden as soon as I am able, as well as the next book in the series when it comes out.  In the meantime, let me share more about Lilly’s Wedding Quilt.

The following is a brief description that was given about the book:

She isn’t looking for love. He’s mending a broken heart. It will take divine intervention for these two to get together. Local Amish schoolteacher Lilly Lapp is tired of weddings, afraid of horses, and immersed in caring for her depressed mother. But when Jacob Wyse, a handsome horse breeder from her small community rescues her from a dangerous accident, Lilly discovers a renewed interest in life and the possibility of love.  Yet Jacob has lost the one true love of his life to another man and doesn’t care to expose himself to the vulnerabilities of loving again.

God works to bring this unlikely pair into a sweet romance to produce a pattern of faith, which leads to the creation and comfort of Lilly’s Wedding Quilt.

What I think about it:

I enjoy reading a book that I can get into right away, and Kelly Long’s writing style and storyline helped me to do just that.  I was eager to find out more about each character’s personality and traits as the story unfolded.  Plus it was an added bonus to learn about the little tidbits of Amish living and customs, as well as bits of Pennsylvania Dutch words and phrases that Long slipped into the characters’ thoughts and conversations, making the story all the more “real” and true to its inspiration.  As you read the story, you can easily find yourself sharing in Lilly’s and Jacob’s feelings of frustration when faced with another personal and marital barrier, as well as excitement and accomplishment when they make another step forward in growing together as husband and wife.  I also find it heartwarming and encouraging how they turn to God as new events, both good and unpleasant, pop up along their journey.   It brings to mind that God gives purpose and meaning to things even when we, or in this case Lilly and Jacob, don’t understand why right away.

Would I recommend this book to friends and fellow readers? Absolutely! As I mention before, I plan on reading Sarah’s Garden as soon as I am able and look forward to adding similar Amish fiction books to my to-read list.  Thanks to this book, Kelly Long will be added to my list of favorite Christian authors for sure!!  If you happen to pick up a copy of Lilly’s Wedding Quilt, I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2011 in Book Nook

 

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