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Desert Moon by Susan Page Davis

cover104637-mediumDesert Moon by Susan Page Davis is a wonderful historical fiction. The story takes place in Arizona. There is a sweet romance throughout the story with a little bit of danger and mystery added. The story begins fast with a stage coach robbery and then blames of the crime are made and with evidence.

The main character, Julia Newman, is a young lady that makes the difficult decisions. Julia receives double bad news in a short amount of time. First she learns of her mother’s death, then she learns that her brother is accused of robbing a stagecoach and the person who informed her is the man that Julie has always love, Deputy Adam Scott.

Julie left home to go to school to become a teacher because she could not stand to be near the man she loved, Deputy Adam Scott.  On her way home, Julie learns that the stagecoach she is riding in has been robbed. Deputy accused Julie’s brother of the crime, which frustrates her. Julie tries to convince Deputy Adam Scott of her brother’s innocence but then finds out that her brother has gone mission.  During this exchange, Julie discovers that her feelings for Deputy Adam Scott has not gone away as she hoped would happen when she went away to school.

 

Thank you to NetGalley and Barbour Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: book review, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, historical fiction, history, NetGalley, Review, romance, Women's Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Heart Belonds in the Superstition: Carmela’s Quandry by Susan Page Davis

30838280My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela’s Quandry by Susan Page Davis is the second book in the My Heart Belongs series. Carmela’s Quandry is a Christian Western with a touch of romance. It is set in 1866 in the Arizona Territory. The story has lots of detail which allows for the reader to feel that they are there in the middle of the story. A wonderful story that allows the reader to see the inner beauty in people.

Carmela lost her parents on the trail to California at a young age and since that point her uncle has been exploiting her for years. At first Carmela was cared for by friends until her uncle could arrive. Her parents owed money that Carmela’s uncle was now responsible for paying. Since the uncle didn’t have the money he guilted and punished Carmela by forcing her to tell a fake story that the uncle invented. The story is that she has been a victim of an Indian attack, later the uncle forces her to tour the country telling the story he invented. He even drew tattoos on her face because that mimicked what tribes often did to captives. Carmela is now twenty and is almost of age to be able to break away from her Uncle and stop speaking to crowds of people and telling them something that are lies.

Freeman McKay is a lawman who is transporting a dangerous prisoner by stage. He is riding along with a prisoner he is transporting when the stagecoach they are on is robbed. The bad guys leave Carmela and Freeland handcuffed together in the desert and ride off with their loot. Freeman is unconscious from the attack. Several hours go by and Carmela is brought water by a mysterious Indian warrior. That water saved their lives. Freeman and Carmela have to make their way to Prescott so that she can settle and be safe. Carmela and Freeman develop a relationship of trust. Carmela tells Freeman of the secret that she has been forced by her uncle to lie to crowds of people for money.

I liked that Carmela was able to find true happiness. The story is captivating. It’s a story of faith and the healing virtue of friendship and love.

I received an ARC from NetGalley via Barbour Publishing, Inc. in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Barbour Books, Barbour Publishing, book review, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, historical fiction, history, NetGalley | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson

cover104765-mediumTreasured Grace by Tracie Peterson is a historical novel set during the 1800’s. The author has done her research well and really showed the hearts of the native Americans who were feeling anger and frustration of being forced off of their land by white people who gave no thought to ask first about how they could live together and instead just swooped in and took. This all comes to a head of course in a most horrifying account of an attack on the mission in which our main character resides with her two sisters Hope and Mercy.

Treasured Grace is well-written and has good characters. My attention was captured and held throughout the book. I found it to have a good pace which made it easy to read. There is extreme violence in the book which is historically accurate, but I found it upsetting. Prayer and faith are prevalent themes throughout the book. It emphasizes how important it is to have faith that God is there for you in the bad times and the good. I give Treasured Grace 4 out of 5 stars. It is a lovely yet heartbreaking story. It does have a sweet ending once you get past the serious parts (which are sad, heartbreaking and slightly depressing). There is the requisite romance, but I did enjoy the character of Alex. Tracie Peterson did a great job with her research. Her writing brought history to life. I have read the majority of Ms. Peterson’s novels (I still have a couple in my TBR pile), and I will continue to read her stories in the future.

I received an ARC copy of this book by Bethany House via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Categories: book review, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, fiction, historical fiction, history, NetGalley, Review, romance | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Super Women: Six Scientists Who Changed the World

32080177Super Women: Six Scientists Who Changed the World shares biographies of six female scientists, whose discoveries have had an immeasurable impact on the world, but due to their gender, have been forgotten by history.  This book includes biographies about Shark expert Eugenie Clark, Medical researcher Gertrude Elion and NASA ‘computer’ Katherine Coleman Johnson. This is an important book that needed to be written and read. It tells the story of six little known women pioneers in science. It’s important that their stories are told and that girls are actively encouraged to pursue STEM careers.

Each mini-biography is written with an interesting introductory scene of their most important achievement then gives a brief explanation of their lives. This is a longer read, but the women and fields of study are captivating. It’s incredible to think of how many women were able to move into scientific fields only because of WWII and the “Rosy the Riveter” era of letting women into the work force. I almost wish that this book would have focused in a little bit more on some of that background history. Also, the vocabulary is rather elevated with very few context clues or explanations, so if a younger student was reading this, they would need a lot of help.

I received this ARC copy from Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC and Holiday House via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: ARC, biographical, biography, book review, children, Children's literature, Children's Nonfiction, history, Middle grade, NetGalley, nonfiction, Science, STEM, women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Different It Was: Canadians at the Time of Confederation

31252292How Different It Was: Canadians at the Time of Confederation is a wonderful book that focuses on the who, the why, and the how as it pertains to the Confederation in Canadian history. The book gives the reader a glimpse into Canadian confederation life.

How Different It Was focuses on how people lived, interacted, their interests, how they entertained, how they treated one another, and how animals were treated. The author does an excellent job of outlining an overview of the many peoples who came to Canada to settle, and demonstrates how it’s distinctively rural life differed both from British and American models over the years. The author focuses on troubling aspects of Canadian history such as treatment of First Nation peoples, and how long it took to begin to redress the mistreatment.

I received an ARC copy from Dundurn and A J. Patrick Boyer Book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: A J. Patrick Boyer Book, ARC, book review, books, Canada, children, Children's literature, Children's Nonfiction, culture, Dundurn, education, history, NetGalley | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

That Burning Summer by Lydia Syson

28695904That burning summer is a really interesting story of a romance that develops between a British girl and a Polish pilot who she finds honest her home after he is forced out of his plane by parachute. I really enjoyed watching their relationship develop and seeing the world through their eyes particularly in the way he worried about being treated by others.

It is set in rural England during the Second World War. We are introduced to Peggy, a sixteen year old, who one day, during her daily chores, stumbles across someone who she does not expect to meet – a young Polish pilot named Henryk. Neither are sure whether or not to trust each other, but they do begin to bond until Ernest, Peggy’s younger brother, finds Henryk and becomes suspicious. Not only are there obvious difficulties with knowing who to trust or not during a war, we also sometimes have to wonder whether one family member can trust the family member as there are is also an interesting subplot regarding Peggy and Ernest’s father. I believe that the main focus of the story is intended to be the gradual building relationship between Peggy and Henryk, but there felt like there was a lot more to think about or to consider if you weren’t actually interested in ‘romance’.

I enjoyed the historical information about WWII that Syson included in the story and the experiences of the characters. Rather than feeling like the book merely took place during WWII, it felt like the characters were actually experiencing and living through the events.

I received this ARC from Skyhorse Publishing and Sky Pony Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: ARC, book review, books, historical fiction, history, romance, Sky Pony Press, Skyhorse Publishing, WWII, YA, young adult | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Children of the Past: Archaeology and the Lives of Kids by Lois Miner Huey

cover107828-mediumChildren of the Past: Archaeology and the Lives of Kids by Lois Miner Huey is a nonfiction children’s book that introduces young readers to both the methods of archaeologists and to the lives of children throughout Western history, focusing specifically on:
• Western Europe 18,000 B.C.E.
• Hunter-Gatherers Europe 6000 B.C.E.
• Iroquois North America 1000 C.E.
• Jamestown Colony Virginia 1600s
• Free African-American settlement of Fort Mose Florida 1700s

There are not many books that focus on archaeology for kids. Huey uses graphics throughout.  Each section begins with a map to place the location in context and the book is filled with color photographs of cave art, digs, stone tools, pots, and other artifacts.

The book covers the basics of life in the time periods, focusing on what archaeology reveals was the role of children in their respective societies. For example, how scientists have proven that much cave art was produced by children or the possible training children went through to learn how to make stone tools or clay pots.  Huey does a nice job in beginning with each section with a brief second person narrative.

The book is not long but it is heavy information.

I received this ARC from Lerner Publishing Group and Hillbrook Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: book review, books, children, Children's literature, Children's Nonfiction, Hillbrook Press, history, Lerner Publishing Group, NetGalley, Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Little Miss Liberty by Chris Robertson

cover109862-mediumLittle Miss Liberty by Chris Robertson is is fictional story with wonderful illustrations how Lady Liberty came to live in New York Harbor.

From the moment Little Miss Liberty comes into the world, it’s apparent that she is special. As a young girl in Paris, she realizes she is different from her classmates. For one thing she’s green and she grows in leaps and bounds towering over her friends. She is also kindhearted to all those she meets. Eventually, she outgrows pretty much everything and sets out on an adventure to find the place she has always known she was meant to be.

Even though this is obviously a story of fiction, it is a wonderful and creative way to introduce little ones to The Statue of Liberty and all that she symbolizes. As with his other stories, Chris Robertson’s talent as an illustrated shines through. His choice of simple drawings and cool colors are the perfect mix for this charming story.

I received this book from Xist Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: book review, books, children, Children's Fiction, Children's literature, france, friendships, historical fiction, history, NetGalley, Statue of Liberty, Xist Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wildflower Harvest by Colleen L. Reece

cover97776-mediumWildflower Harvest by Colleen L. Reece is a Christian novel set in the 1800’s. Thomas and Sadie Brown’s farm, Red Cedars, is nestled in the Allegheny Mountain’s in what has become West Virginia. It escaped detection by both Yankee and Rebel troops during the Civil War. Their twin daughters, Mountain Laurel and Ivy Ann, are very different from each other. Laurel is very quiet and reserved while Ivy is outgoing and flirty. They have recently turned twenty. A week later they are blessed to have the new doctor, Adam Birchfield, arrive.

The story is about two twin sisters Laurel and Ivy Ann who lives with their parents in West Virginian. They meet a handsome doctor, Adam Birchfield who seems to like both of the sisters. There is a rift between the sisters which makes one choose to do something unexpected. Adam leaves West Virginian to joins his older brother Nat in Wyoming who is a preacher. Laurel decides leave and go to Wyoming too.

The Birchfield’s have always made their home in Massachusetts until oldest son, Nathaniel, refuses to fight in the war he doesn’t believe in and leaves home. When he finishes school, Adam also leaves his family home in order to practice medicine where he is desperately needed and to try to find his brother.

The lives of these two families become entwined in some very unexpected ways over the years. I really enjoyed this book and the characters though at times I wanted to yell at them when they made silly decisions. There is always some competition going on between Laurel and Ivy, some expected and some seem silly for adult women. The girls are both strong and adventurous when need be. When their lives take unexpected turns they focus on prayer to see them through. Adam finds Nathaniel is now a preacher in the vast Wyoming where the need for a doctor is great. Adam prayerfully considers whether God is calling him to join his brother.

There are many unexpected turns which kept me very engaged and reading to learn what would happen next. The main characters are all Christians but only share their faith through actions. I recommend this book to all who enjoy a good, Christian based romance novel with some mysteries included.

I received an advance copy of this book from Barbour Publishing, through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review.

Categories: Adventure, Barbour Books, Barbour Publishing, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, family, fiction, historical fiction, history, NetGalley, Relationships, Review, romance | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hedy’s Journey by Michelle Bisson

cover109383-mediumHedy’s Journey by Michelle Bisson is a horrific, true story about a Hungarian Jewish girl named Hedy who had to travel through Germany during the Holocaust in search of safety. She takes a portion of the journey to America alone, as she is required to separate from her parents.

She and her family suffered through trials and tribulations on the unpredictable journey. Plans often changed, and she had no choice but to be brave. Follow along in the story to learn there destination and future.

The author, Michelle Bisson, is Hedy’s daughter. She tells the story of Hedy’s (Hungarian Jewish) journey to safety, from the Nazis to the US. The story is sort of passing of the baton. Someone has to continue to tell their stories, history in its worst manifestation, and I appreciated the effort of this daughter. The story is told with extreme delicacy and the designs convey this emotion. I truly appreciate that she has taken the story about her mother’s experience and offered it to others so that they can retain this piece of history that is so essential to children’s education. In addition, I appreciated the author mentioning that it wasn’t just Jews who were persecuted.

The book also contains lots of photographs of Hedy and her family as well as a timeline of events. This book is one I believe should be integral to children’s curriculums and should be in every library.

I received this ARC book from Capstone and Capstone Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: book review, books, Capstone, capstone press, Children's literature, Children's Nonfiction, family, Germany, hero, history, Holocaust, Middle grade, Nazi, NetGalley, war, WWII | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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