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Book Description

Welcome to Hope Beach

Where the sea breeze is fresh, sun sparkles on sand . . . and trouble appears with the force of a hurricane.

Inheriting a beautiful old hotel on the seaward shore of Hope Island could be a dream come true for Libby. The inn cries out for her restorer’s talent and love of history. She’s delighted to learn of family she never knew she had. And the handsome Coast Guard lieutenant she’s met there on the island could definitely be the man of her dreams.

But Libby soon realizes that only way she can afford the upkeep on the inn is to sell it to developers who are stalking the island. The father who willed her the inn has died before she could meet him, and her newfound brothers and sisters are convinced she’s there to steal their birthright. Worst of all, her best friend and business partner has been kidnapped before her eyes, Libby’s under suspicion for the crime, and her handsome lieutenant clearly doubts her innocence. 

Libby’s dream-come-true is becoming a nightmare. Can she find her friend and establish her innocence? Must she sell Tidewater Inn and lose her family again? Or can she find a home for her heart on the beautiful shores of Hope Island?

My Review

If you like mysteries, you’ll like this book. If you enjoy romance, you’ll like this book. If you enjoy family drama and reconciliation, you’ll like this book. Me? I loved this book.

Libby has a lot thrown at her in a short amount of time: an inherited property from an absentee father, complete with new relatives including a sister and a brother who were counting on their inheritance; her best friend and business partner kidnapped before her eyes, which places her under suspicion when in her efforts to save the video of the abduction, it is erased instead; an attraction to the Coast Guard lieutenant who always seem to be in the right place at the right time, just when she needs help; and of course, the inn that she inherited, which, as a professional restoration expert, she knows is going to completely break her piggy bank unless she can unload it.

While there are a lot of things going on all at the same time, it’s not distracting, and none of the sub-plots detract from the overall story. As a rule, multiple story-lines with multiple characters (even with the benefit of a character tree) are not ones I can get into, because it’s too much effort to try to keep up with it all. This author, however, has masterfully woven all the characters and sub plots into a completely cohesive story, within which each part is critically essential to the overall tale.

I’d give this one more than 5 stars if I could. Bravo!

To see all of my BookSneeze reviews, click on the badge on the right hand side of the page!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://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 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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Book Description

Rachel and Jordan’s feelings for each other are hostile at first, but angelic intervention helps the two discover peace . . . and perhaps love. 

The youngest and last unmarried of four sisters, Rachel Hartlzer spends most of her time helping with barn chores. Her role abruptly changes when her father hires Jordan Engles, the son he always wanted.

As Jordan takes on brotherly roles around the house, like escorting Rachel to the youth singing, the enmity between the two grows. Besides, Jordan has one foot in the Englisch world and is determined not to get involved with an Amish girl.

Neither realizes that God has sent an angel, Nathaniel, to help mend their hearts. The angel’s intervention helps them find peace and healing in accepting God’s will for their lives.

 

My Review

I have to say, this title was right up my alley. If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you’ve no doubt figured out that I generally enjoy Amish fiction.

This book is Amish fiction with a twist. 🙂

Rachel is doing just fine helping her daed on the farm. Since her brother James’ death, she’s trying to ease her guilt, all the while staying away from the mundane tasks of cooking and sewing unmarried women of her age are usually afflicted with.

When Jordan unexpectedly enters the picture, Rachel is angry, being replaced by this interloper. He’s not even Amish! And her father is calling him sohn!

At 20 years old, Rachel is pretty sure she’s going to remain unmarried. She can’t cook anything edible, and her stitching and sewing abilities leave the wearer looking lopsided. She would much rather be out in the barn with the animals or out in the fields with her daed.

Jordan’s intrusion into her life leaves her conflicted. He’s not Amish, and not completely Englisch. Either way it doesn’t matter, because he’s not staying.

When tragedy strikes again, Jordan is long gone. Rachel finds herself in a situation she could never have expected, and she’s not sure she wants.

Can they find their true paths in life before it’s too late?

This is a really nice story of love, tragedy, redemption, soul-searching, all amidst a backdrop of the war of good vs. evil. This was the debut effort from this author, and I’m excited to read the other titles that are planned for this series.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. I’ll definitely recommend this to friends I know that are interested in Amish fiction.

To see all of my BookSneeze reviews, click on the badge on the right hand side of the page.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://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    <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides   Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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This is kind of a combination post; book review and additional thoughts. Scroll down past the legal disclaimer to read the rest.

 

Book Description

December 1941 traces, day-by-day, the most important 31 days in the history of America’s participation in WWII, which snuffed out the lives of millions and changed history forever.

From December 1, 1941, until the morning of December 7, 1941, America was at peace and—with the exception of the stubborn and persistent high unemployment of the Great Depression—was a relatively happy country. By the afternoon of the December 7 attack on Pearl Harbor, America was a radically changed country, forever. Its isolationist impulses evaporated, and both major political parties became more or less internationalist. The month also introduced food and gas rationing, Victory Gardens, scrap drives, a military draft, and the conversion of Detroit into an “arsenal of democracy.” From the moment of America’s entry into World War II, people of all kinds, but mostly women looking for work, flooded into the city. Instant apartment buildings sprang up, as did eating and drinking salons, all to the advantage of the massive increase in spending generated by the federal government.

December 1941 is a fascinating and meticulously researched look at the American home front—her people, faith, economy, government, and culture.

“Craig Shirley’s December 1941 is a riveting narrative history of America in the crucible of the Second World War. A real page turner. Highly recommended.” –Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History at Rice University and New York Times bestseller of The Wilderness Warrior.

My Review

This is not the book for people who are short on time or just want an overview of the events of December 1941. To date, this title took me longer to read than any other book I can remember. Ever.

Normally, I’m not keen on books that drag on and on and take significant amounts of time to get through. This was not a title that kept me hanging on the edge of my seat- I assume this is because we already know what happened that horrible month, so there wasn’t a push to stay up and find out what happened next.

In hindsight, I would have really loved having this book as a hard copy. I thought I was making bookmarks on my Kindle, but apparently none of them stuck. And that is really disappointing, because there is some really good stuff in there!

What’s unique about this book is the scope. The author literally took headlines from newspapers and publications from around the world, and infused the them and content exerpt into this book. The result is a comprehensive look at the world at the time; rich with anecdotes, like

“Americans dressed up in suits and ties and dresses to go to the movies. Everyone wore hats, and they always put on their “Sunday best” to go to church, out to dinner, to take a train or an airplane. The whole idea was to make people think better of you as an individual;” 

“FM radio was not unheard of in 1941, just very expensive; an FM radio could cost as much as $390, more than most people’s wages in one month; ”

“Everyone smoked cigarettes in 1941, and everybody smoked cigarettes everywhere. In the movie theaters, in restaurants, on airplanes, in trains, at sporting events, at the office, even in the classrooms, Americans smoked ’em if they had ’em……………The average American in 1940 consumed 2,558 cigarettes, double that of ten years earlier, ”

and

“A cartoon in the Greeley (Co) Daily Tribune women’s page depicted a beat-up young woman, one eye blackened, head bandaged, and sporting a broken arm as she cheerily told three friends, “My boyfriend always starts a little spat just before Christmas.” But dozens of tamer cartoon strips were enjoyed by American parens and children. “Li’l Abner,” about a hayseed in Dog Patch; “Alley Oop,” a cave man in present times; “Blondie,” a ditsy wife and her equally ditsy husband Dagwood; “Prince Valiant,” a knight of the Round Table; and “Bringing up Father,” about Jiggs and Maggie, two socialites seemingly caught up in the time warp of 1922.”

Can you see why I got hooked? I honestly don’t remember the last book I read that I sank so completely into. I can’t imagine the amount of time it took the author to research this, but the end result was well, well worth it.

Some have said that this felt like a sports cast, with a play-by-play being announced. I won’t go that route, but I will say the comprehensive look at what was happening in the US and around the world left me feeling like *I* was in a time warp, and had been transported to that time.

The research that went into this book is simply astounding. Each chapter was a day of the month, and as I was nearing the end of the month, I was still only about 60% of the way through the book. Fully 35% of this title was reference and footnotes. That’s what I’m talking about, when I say this is a comprehensive overview of the world at-large during this month. Astonishing!

Because there were some editing issues, I don’t feel like I can give this book 5 out of 5 stars. I’m going to settle on 4.5 stars, though, because the content is just that good. If you love history like I do and want to be thoroughly immersed and engrossed in a title, this is the book for you. Be sure to pack your rations, though, because you’re going to need them!  🙂

To see all of my BookSneeze reviews, click on the badge on the right hand side of the page.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://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    <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides   Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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As you know by now, I am a somewhat of a history buff.  I firmly believe that knowing history- REALLY knowing it and understanding it- is the key to avoiding repeating the same mistakes over again. History is one of the easier things to manipulate, because as generations pass, it can be re-written and no one is around to remember and complain. (if you think I’m joking about this, open your kids’ history books and read about these events with a critical eye, from an American point of view……)

Folks that were around on 9/11 have a frame of comparison to the attack on Pearl Harbor; December 7, 1941, a “day that will live in infamy.” (FDR)

I am blessed to know a survivor of the USS Arizona. His twin brother, also on the Arizona, died that day.

If you have the opportunity to get to know a WWII veteran, take it. Spend some serious time with him/her, and record the memories. You will not regret it, I promise.

 

This was the first attack on US soil. There were lots of other firsts going on, too. FDR was the first president elected to 3 terms. The US was emerging from the first economic depression.

US war bonds were being issued for the first time, and Daylight Savings was put into effect for the first time, to accommodate a work day punctuated by nightly black-out periods, so the enemy flying overhead couldn’t see cities. Women went to work in factories for the first time, doing more than secretarial duties, mostly because of the draft.

And yet, despite these striking differences in generations and technology, I can’t help but to see the parallels in the government today, with the exception of unity and patriotism.

Read the book. Then come back and leave me your thoughts.  😀

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Book Description

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

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 encountered David Ponder in 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.

My Review

This book was some good reading! While it is a sequel to The Traveler’s Gift which I have not read, overall, I think it wasn’t necessary to have read the first book. There were a few characters that I assume were in the first book that weren’t really needed in this one. Not having read the first title, though, I have to assume that if I had, it would have been nice to visit these folks again.

The concept of travelling is really very interesting. Wouldn’t it be great to have the opportunity to visit with people from history, like Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington Carver (who were also travelers) ? The list of travellers convened for the final summit reads like a who’s who of great people in history.

With the instructions given by the archangel Gabriel, I had an idea of what the answer could be. It’s a good thing they weren’t relying on me, because I, too, was wrong. 🙂 The answers agreed upon and given seemed plausible, and the line of reasoning was sound. I particularly appreciated the information provided by the author at the end of the book, because there were some historical folks mentioned in the book that I was unfamiliar with. To have confirmation that they were real people has left me interested in learning more about them.

That being said, I’m giving this title 4.5 out of 5 stars, because while it was a really good read, it hasn’t left me thinking about the book since reading it. It also didn’t put me in a position where I didn’t want to put it down to find out what happened next. Because I am thinking about the two relatively unknown pivotal people, I’m giving it an extra 1/2 star.

Give this book a go if you want to think! You won’t be disappointed!

To see all of my BookSneeze reviews, click on the badge on the right hand side of the page!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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