-- Grace Elizabeth --

-- Grace Elizabeth --

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The One True Love of Alice Ann

When you find an author you like, you anticipate their next book.  I fell in love with Eva  Marie Everson's books and was thrilled to get this book to review. This story proved to be another winner in my book.

The setting is rural Georgia in 1941 and chronicles Alice Ann, a sweet sixteen year old who has a huge crush on her brother's friend Mack. There is a five year age difference but that doesn't make  Alice Ann shy away from trying to make Mack fall in love with her. Being set in 1941, there is the attack on Pearl Harbor and all available young men enlist, including Mack. They promise to write and actually correspond for three years then the letters stop.  Of course, Alice Ann fears that he has been killed in action. Alice Ann so wanted to wear her maiden aunt's wedding dress but now there is "no happily ever after" for her. She is convinced Mack is her one true love and will she become a old maid like her aunt?  Alice Ann busies herself with work when Carlton enters the picture. He is her best friends brother that has been wounded in the war. She starts caring for him and as time passes their friendship develops into something more.  A simple phone call changes everything.  What about Mack, since he was to be her one true love or is Carlton ? This advice was given to Alice Ann. "You can't choose who you fall in love with, but you can choose who you marry". Must read the book to find out Alice Ann's choice.

What I love most about Eva Marie Everson's books is how the story line flows with rich history of that time period. I felt myself back in that era and the emotional toil it had on everyone. The characters were alive, interesting and the story kept me turning pages long into the night. I had to know what Alice Ann decided. You will not be disappointed when you pick this book up to read, you will be picking up all of Eva Marie Everson's books to read, just like I have.

Thanks to Tyndale Publishers  for this free book just for my honest opinion.

1. What inspired you to write The One True Love of Alice-Ann? This whole story started with the title. I was working on another project when the title The One True Love of Alice-Ann popped into my head. I thought, “That’s a cool title . . . ,” and I wrote it down. I went back to my project, but I kept looking over at the title. Then, as if inspiration just sprang up, I remembered a story our neighbors (both of whom have been deceased for a while) told my husband and me—their love story from World War II. I took that story, changed it slightly, wrote it down, ran it past my critique partner—she loved it—so I sent it to my editor at Tyndale . . . and then I got back to work! 2. How do you expect this story to resonate with your audience? What are you most excited for your readers to experience through reading this novel? We have all had to make life choices. I heard a line in a movie (just this morning) that went like this: Every time you make a decision, you take a gamble. Maybe it’s the right choice. Maybe it’s not. How do you know? This is Alice-Ann’s dilemma. Does she have one true love . . . or two? We’ve all been there. We’ve all made decisions and then wondered if we made the right one. Sometimes those choices follow us for years. Sometimes we know the answer right away. I’m most excited for readers to experience life in the States during WWII. So often we read of what happened in Europe or in the Pacific, but we don’t usually read about how our citizens who stayed back home sacrificed for the greater good. I’m also excited for them to experience Alice-Ann’s love story and maturity as she grows from a starry-eyed 16-year-old to a grown woman. 3




Monday, July 17, 2017

Before We Were Yours

I fell in love with Lisa Wingate's writing after reading The Prayer Box. Since then I have devoured all her books. When I read what this book was about, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. As I kept reading, my heart was broken by the story, but I kept reading to see just how things will turn out.
There was a point in the book about 50 pages from the end that I couldn't wait to see how she will pull it all together, but I did not want the book to end...it is that good. This book is probably my number two favorite book of all time and I will go back and reread it again just because the story is so intense and I might have missed something.

Lisa is masterful at weaving the past and present stories together with such expertise. This storyline is actually out of our nation's history. There was the Memphis Tennessee Children' Home Society that would actually steal and sell mostly poor but vulnerable children to the highest bidders.  Georgia Tann is a cruel director of the home and what the children went through is horrifying and tragic.
This was 1939 and how this heartbreaking injustice could happen and how parents and kids could be ripped apart and many never reunited with each other. Present day is in Aiken, South Carolina where Avery Stafford is a federal prosecutor and has a wealthy family.  A chance encounter leaves her with questions and sends her on a journey through family history. You will be entrenched in the life of twelve year old river gypsy Rill Foss as she and her brother and sisters are thrown into the Children's home. She struggles to keep her sisters and brother together in this dangerous setting.
This quote from Rill was heartbreaking. "I clench my teeth so hard the pain travels all the way to the top of my head.  I'm glad for it.  It's just a little ache, and I know where it comes from.  I can stop it any time I want.  The one in my heart is way bigger.  I can't fix it no matter how hard I try.  It scares me so much that I can't even breathe".

This is not just a story you read and forget, it is a story that will stay with you. It is a journey that I hope you will take...you will be angry, tearful and you will be left with hope.  Hope that the heart never forgets where we belong.

Weaver's Needle

Weaver's Needle by Robin Caroll is not just good..it is extremely good!!. I have been a fan of Robin for a long time and always eagerly await her newest book.  I know I will not be disappointed in the book. This storyline has it all..a treasure hunt, a murder and eventually a race of survival. That's a lot packed in a book.

Landry Parker is a former Army MP but her credentials are a recovery specialist like her father. Nickolai Baptiste is a former police officer that was wounded in the line of duty and he becomes a recovery specialist and is one of the best. Nickolai and Landry are unaware that a client has hired both of them to find the Dutchman's Lost Gold Mine map that was stolen from her murdered husband. The payday is enormous even if it is dangerous. Starting from New Orleans and heading to Weaver's Needle in Arizona they team up only to discover someone else is after the treasure. Tack on those who want Superstition Mountain and the mine to be hidden forever.

This book had great character development, twists and turns and interesting folk lore about the Apache Indians protection of their Thunder God's mountain. Be prepared to be hooked into the story and not want to put the book down..I did. She is a masterful storyteller and this is another one of her best.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Dark Deception

Dark DeceptionI love Christian suspense books and am always willing to try a new author. Having not read Nancy Mehl before, I thought the book summary and the cover made my decision to try Dark Deception. I was not disappointed in the book even if it was number two in the Defenders of Justice series. This book for me was a page turner and always trying to figure the ending out which I did not.

Kate O'Brien and her twin sister were attacked by an elusive serial killer. Her sister was brutally killed and Kate played dead and survived.  She went into the witness protection program and had been living in Shelter Cove, Arkansas for four years running her own restaurant.
Kate thought she sent the murderer  to prison, but new evidence places a cloud on the convicted killer and she will need to testify in a new trial. During her  first  trial, Tony DeLuca deputy Marshal protected her. Kate refuses to go back to St. Louis unless Tony escorts her.
The serial killer nicknamed the "Blue Eyed Killer" has more unsolved cases than just Kate's sister.
What ties them altogether and who really is the killer. Can they find the killer before Kate is the next target.
So many twists and turns and great character development throughout the story. I found a new suspense author and will be looking for number one in the Defenders of Justice series as well as her other books.  Never be afraid to try a new author..they can become a favorite.

Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for my free copy just for my honest opinion

Kids'Visual Study Bible


When I received this Bible in the mail, not only was I amazed by it, but I wished I was a kid again!
Can grown adults read kids' bibles and not look funny? I could hide it in a bible cover but I am blessed that this Bible will go to my granddaughter and she will think I am really "cool".
The cover is striking and makes you want to pick it up.  On the cover it says..explore the story of the Bible...people, places and history. It has 700 images that are worth the price of the Bible.
The way this Bible is set up reminds me of the Quest Study Bible with the study notes on the sides explaining some of the verses. The chapter introductions explain the who wrote the book, why this book was written, for whom was written, what  happens in this book, who is the key person in this book, where did it happen and what are some of the stories in this book?
This Bible has lots of maps, info graphics along with and index to these. This study Bible is definitely eye popping as it is informative. The text of  this Bible is the New International Version which is  reader friendly.
Now the hard part, do I give this Bible away to my granddaughter and buy one for me or read it first then give it to her?  Decisions, decisions.
Please stop by your Christian bookstore and take a look at this Bible..amazing!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Peace in the Valley

http://images.randomhouse.com/cover/9781601427809?width=125&alt=no_cover_b4b.gifI first read Back in the Saddle by this author and was very impressed by her writing. Home on the Range was her next book and, again, I was very impressed especially by the characters that have been in each book. Now comes the third book and I wondered how I would like this one.  I was not disappointed at all.
All three books have followed the sons of the legendary Sam Stafford and his Double S Ranch.

Peace in the Valley follows Trey Walker Stafford's story.  He was raised by Sam Stafford after his parents were killed. But,  Trey has other ideas.  He left the Double S Ranch to try and have a music career and against Sam's wishes.  He finds out his uncle is very sick and returns home when he finds out he is the best match for a procedure that could save Sam's life. Trey has not had an easy life since he left the ranch.  He did find fame and success but lost his wife in a tragic way. Enter the single mother Lucy Carlton who needs help with her farm and Trey accepts the challenge. Will they as they work together find a common bond? Can Trey let go of the grief he has carried for years and can Lucy let go of the painful history she has carried too?
Can't tell you anymore because you need to read and find out for yourself if they can do it.

There is so much I have loved about this series of three books about the Stafford men. The author writes wonderful cowboy romance stories but also threads in themes of forgiveness, reconciliation and characters that you feel like you have known  forever. Please pick up Ruth Logan Herne's three books and get ready for a new favorite author.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this free copy just for my honest opinion.

 Ruth Logan Herne has more than a million books in print, including eighteen Love Inspired contemporary novels and Back in the Saddle, Book 1 in the Double S Ranch series. Ruth is a founding member of Seekerville, a popular writing-collective blog. A country girl who loves the big city, Ruth and her husband live on a farm in upstate New York.

Love Letters From God

This is, by far, one of the cutest books for girls on the market. These are bible studies for a girl's heart and along with the gorgeous pictures, this book is a keeper.
Very clever concept.  What girl doesn't love to receive mail? Each page has a lift-the-flap picture book designed just for girls. They can open and read their own personal mail from God and learn about stories in the bible. The author has included stories about: Eve, Miriam, Rahab, Deborah, Hannah, Naaman's servant girl, Esther and Mary the mother of Jesus. Also included is the Samaritan woman at the well, the woman caught in sin, Martha, the widow mite woman, Mary that anoints Jesus' feet and Mary Magdalene at the Resurrection.

Here is an excerpt from Esther(one of my favorite stories) and how she was a prayerful girl.  You read the story of Esther 2-8. The page also has a scripture verse called God's wonderful words to you. This one is Psalm 50:15. Call out to me when trouble comes. I will save you. Then you lift the flap to read God's letter which ties in with the biblical story.  Dear_____ I am so glad Queen Esther call out to me when she was worried.  She knew that I was the only one who could save her and her people.  What do you do when trouble comes your way?  I hope you remember to call out to me. Pray, pray, pray, like Queen Esther did.  I am always there, right by your side, ready to listen, ready to bring you hope.  Your Friend, God.

This book is just as much fun for adults to read as little children.  My granddaughter thought it was very special and loved the pictures. I encourage you to find this for the special little girl in your life..she will love it and you for purchasing it.