Becky's Latest Books...

Apr. 17, 2018

***** 5 stars

Heart-wrenching Struggle Between Hannah and Peninnah...

What an incredible book! Scriptures leap to life as they are fleshed out with the daily “might-have-beens” in A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith. I’m not sure what I expected, but what I found was a novel rich in Biblical truth; accurate in Israeli history; strong in Jewish tradition.

Hannah and Elkanah and other characters are very well drawn. I quickly felt myself part of the turmoil that was Shiloh with her arrogant, deceitful, and lustful priests. My heart twisted with those of Elkanah and Hannah as they consider the trip to the temple with anticipation, fear, and longing.

Smith’s protagonists ask the hard questions: where is God when His temple and offerings are being desecrated, the young women ruined and families threatened by the priests?

Lots to love here. I greatly appreciate the spiritual foundation that Elkanah and Hannah’s marriage is based upon. I loved the inside look at Peninnah and her marriage to Elkanah. I was certainly struck by the fact that while the situation was less than ideal, one wife chose to honor God and make the best of it, while the other chose to curse and complain. Their happiness did not lie in their circumstance, but in their response to it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. No positive review is required and all opinions are solely my own.

 

 
 
Apr. 13, 2018

**** 4 stars

Great for Foodies and Animal Lovers...

Friends Angie Turner and Felicia Williams have decided to start their second joint venture in the sedate little town of River Vista where Angie grew up under her grandmother’s influence. Planning a farm-to-fork restaurant, the freshest commodity they discover is the murder of the local goat farm curmudgeon.

Big kudos to Lynn Cahoon, author of a new Farm-to-Fork Mysteries series beginning with Who Moved My Goat Cheese? A clean book, and one in which I was pleased to not encounter any bad language. Although this is a rule of cozies, it is one that is increasingly broken.

There were some good red herrings and twists and turns, with just the right amount of what the reader may also want... enough clues to feel the author’s villain makes sense, a hint of romance, and maybe even a possible love triangle to come in future books? 

Cahoon includes some special touches, one that I consider a “good” cozy requirement and some others that just brought a grin to my face. The “requirement”? The cozy sleuth needs to spend as much time at her business working as she does sleuthing. Check. One special touch? The mention of Nona’s junk drawer. The second special touch is the goat being tied up outside at one point. I imagine I am not the only one whose memory of John Thompson piano lessons immediately kicks into high gear and starts hearing in my head, “Bill Gordon’s Goat...”

A fun cozy and a great start to a new series. I am grateful to NetGalley and the publisher for a complimentary copy. A positive review was not required. All opinions are solely my responsibility.

Mar. 28, 2018

***** 5 stars

Enthralling Second Installment to Daughters of the Mayflower series... 

Swashbuckling pirate adventures aplenty, endearing characters, plot twists, and faith. A keeper!

Maribel Cordoba loves to read... especially a certain book about pirates. When her much-absent father spirits her away on the sea, they are discovered by none other than the Ghost Ship. So the thrilling times begin.

I just loved this book about a forbidden love. Maribel is such a sweet tomboy, fiercely independent, and determined to prove she can hold her own.

Conflicting times cause confusion in roles, self-identity, and safety. With twists and turns like the rolling sea, I wasn’t ever sure exactly on which shore many of the characters would land...literally and figuratively.

Notes are reserved for the end of the book, thank you. Highly recommended imagination of history. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. No positive review is required and all opinions expressed are solely my own responsibility.

Mar. 27, 2018

***** 5 stars

Hilarious Look at Life and Unexpected Problems...

 

Everyone I know likes green beans. Just not me. And obviously, not Lincee Ray. 
Why I Hate Green Beans is a fun compilation of many experiences in Lincee’s adult life, shared in a down-to-earth, refreshing style.

Having laughed my way through much of the book, I had just told my husband that this book was not very much about God. Wow, was I wrong!! Lincee was just arriving at her crisis point. All of the sudden, I was crying and aching with Lincee, hoping she would find God to be sufficient. (She does.)

This book was very timely for me. It can be helpful for anyone struggling with how to handle hard times. As Lincee says, 
“In the middle of a time when I had no idea what I was going to do, I decided to focus on what I did know. God is good... Trials will come...He’s got this...”

I highly recommend this book. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and NetGalley and was in no way required to leave a positive review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

 

 

Mar. 18, 2018

***** 5 stars

Terrifying, Romantic Look at History

 

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green, is a wonderful, terrible, haunting story of orphans, guarded hearts, and an unusual view of the French Revolution. I have never actually heard of the French Revolution in which case there is any sympathy for Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Green takes the time to straighten out a few misconceptions and share a recent finding I’d never heard.

Sadness ruled inside me as I read about the savagery of the French Revolution. Green well portrays the beauty of nature, Paris, and eventually, America. Yet she also conveys the fear that is begotten in the streets of Paris and meant for the king and his courtiers. I connected very well with Vivienne and felt the fear of The Age of Reason, a fear as strong as an inescapable skunk odor. This fear can be felt, tasted, and smelled before the tragedy actually descends.

Transversing the ocean brings temporary relief, but as in real life, Vivienne’s fears and enemies catch up with her. While there is not yet any guillotine in America, there are the Jacobins, ready to turn in any who might be loyal to the French crown. Two men are like leeches to Vivienne. Does either have her best at heart? What of Liam, the Irishman?

“Hold your friends close, and your enemies closer.” Perhaps that would be one piece of advice I would give both Liam and Vivienne. Who can be trusted? This question permeates the book. Finally, both Liam and Vivienne find the greatest One in Whom to put their faiths.

Green does a masterful work as she shows that those who don’t know and understand history are doomed to repeat it. In America, with the Revolutionary War just over,  new unrest has started over a whiskey tax. Americans are ready to revolt, following the example of the French in their revolution, who followed, to some degree, the case of the Americans’ rebellion against England.

I will read this book over many times. It is worth it. Highly recommended. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. No positive review is required, and all opinions are solely my own.