Monday, October 16

There Are None So Blind ... (by Hutt-Write Voice)

Please check out this great post at the Hutt-Write Voice blog, written by a fantastic Canadian blogger and published author.

There are None So Blind ...

It is a very informative read, and we should all consider being organ donors. It can make such a difference for others!

Thursday, October 12

The Pharaoah's Daughter by Mesu Andrews

Book description:

“Fear is the most fertile ground for faith.”

“You will be called Anippe, daughter of the Nile. Do you like it?” 

Without waiting for a reply, she pulls me into her squishy, round tummy for a hug.

I'm trying not to cry. Pharaoh's daughters don't cry.

When we make our way down the tiled hall, I try to stop at ummi Kiya's chamber. I know her spirit has flown yet I long for one more moment. Amenia pushes me past so I keep walking and don't look back.

Like the waters of the Nile, I will flow.

Anippe has grown up in the shadows of Egypt's good god Pharaoh, aware that Anubis, god of the afterlife, may take her or her siblings at any moment. She watched him snatch her mother and infant brother during childbirth, a moment which awakens in her a terrible dread of ever bearing a child. Now she is to be become the bride of Sebak, a kind but quick-tempered Captain of Pharaoh Tut's army. In order to provide Sebak the heir he deserves and yet protect herself from the underworld gods, Anippe must launch a series of deceptions, even involving the Hebrew midwives—women ordered by Tut to drown the sons of their own people in the Nile.

When she finds a baby floating in a basket on the great river, Anippe believes Egypt's gods have answered her pleas, entrenching her more deeply in deception and placing her and her son Mehy, whom handmaiden Miriam calls Moses, in mortal danger.

As bloodshed and savage politics shift the balance of power in Egypt, the gods reveal their fickle natures and Anippe wonders if her son, a boy of Hebrew blood, could one day become king. Or does the god of her Hebrew servants, the one they call El Shaddai, have a different plan—for them all?

My thoughts:

A mesmerizing story based on Bible characters ... that is one of my very first choices in historical fiction. I loved this story about baby Moses and how the daughter of Pharaoah might have discovered him floating in the basket in the Nile River.

Not much is known about the early years of Moses and his Ummi (Pharaoah's daughter), but this story has brought a new desire to learn as much as I can from historical and Biblical accounts.

Mesu Andrews is an extremely gifted story teller, and I absolutely love this story.  Her accounts of the brutal treatment of the Hebrew slaves was vivid and heart wrenching, and I will never read about Moses again without thinking of the injustice of it all. In spite of this brutality and hardship that spanned many generations, God used the life of this tiny baby to eventually lead His people out of brutal captivity. 

Although The Pharaoah's Daughter was actually published a couple of years ago, I was eager to read and review this first book in the Treasures of the Nile series.  The second book is called Miriam, and it's about the older sister of Moses.  I can't wait to dive into the next book.  

Disclosure: Ebook received through Net Galley courtesy of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden

About the Book:

Page-Turning Romance and Intrigue in Award-Winning Author's Next Historical Novel

Lucy Drake's mastery of Morse code has made her a valuable asset to the American news agencies as a telegrapher. But the sudden arrival of Sir Colin Beckwith at rival British news agency Reuters puts her hard-earned livelihood at risk. Newly arrived from London, Colin is talented, handsome, and insufferably charming.

Despite their rivalry, Lucy realizes Colin's connections could be just what her family needs to turn the tide of their long legal battle over the fortune they were swindled out of forty years ago. When she negotiates an unlikely alliance with him, neither of them realizes how far the web of treachery they're wading into will take them.

My thoughts:

I am a lover of historical fiction, and this story was right up my alley.  I loved following Lucy's life as a telegrapher, and I was intrigued by her "illegal" activities on the job.  The family rivalry was a bitter struggle that spanned many decades and generations, and it's so hard not to cheer for the underdogs.

Sir Colin Beckwith had struggles of his own to deal with.  Haunted by his past, and spurred on to protect his family estate from ruin, he was desperate to find a solution.  His first encounter with Lucy was, at first glance, a very unlikely friendship, but fate determined that they were dragged into each other's lives. 

Overall, this was a very enjoyable story that was filled with intrigue, danger, and a smidgen of romance.  I look forward to reading the next book in this series.

Disclosure: Ebook received through Net Galley courtesy of Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling

About the book:

Beloved Author Lauraine Snelling Launches New Immigrant Series

When Signe, her husband, Rune, and their three boys arrive in Minnesota from Norway to help a relative clear his land of lumber, they dream of owning their own farm and building a life in the New World. But Uncle Einar and Aunt Gird are hard, demanding people, and Signe and her family soon find themselves worked nearly to the bone in order to repay the cost of their voyage. At this rate, they will never have land or a life of their own.

Signe tries to trust God but struggles with anger and bitterness. She has left behind the only life she knew, and while it wasn't an easy life, it wasn't as hard as what she now faces. When a new addition to the family arrives, Signe begins to see how God has been watching over them throughout their ordeal. But after all that has happened, can she still believe in the promise of a bright future? 

My thoughts:

My initial reaction to this book is simply "wow".  I feel like I was transported back to what my Norwegian  ancestors may have experienced when they came from Norway so many years ago.  Life in the US was hard, and I believe that Lauraine Snelling accurately captured the struggles and also the joys of their new life.

Even in the midst of their trials and unimaginable adjustments, Signe and Rune held steadfast onto their faith and their family.  Integrity and respect for others (especially their grumpy and demanding relatives) was very difficult at times, but they persevered. 

I have read many books by Lauraine Snelling, and once again I enjoyed the book from cover to cover.  I look forward to reading the other books in this new series, Under Northern Skies.

Disclosure: Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Wednesday, September 6

Mercy Triumphs by Jana Kelley

About the Book:

Mia, an American Christian, has lived in Sudan so long that persecution, harassment, and danger are commonplace for her. Her tough outer shell threatens to harden her heart while her newly Christian friends, Halimah and Rania, former Muslims, are forced to live in exile outside Sudan. All three quickly discover that escaping danger in one place only means facing even greater challenges elsewhere. As God’s mercy becomes evident in their lives, will they be able to offer mercy to those who don’t deserve it?  

My thoughts:

Mercy Triumphs is the third in a series that follows the lives of Mia and her Sudanese friends Halimah and Rania.

The thing that impressed me the most was how Mia learned the important lesson about "blooming where she was planted".  Maybe she didn't agree with the way things turned out, and it definitely wasn't her personal plan.  However, when she finally accepted that God's plan was better than her own personal agenda, she was able to move on with grace and dignity.

Mercy Triumphs is a real eye-opener of the dangers and persecution that so many are facing because of their beliefs. It makes me so thankful for the blessings and freedom that we often take for granted here in Canada.  Thank you Jana Kelley for this great story.

Disclosure: Ebook received through Net Galley courtesy of New Hope Publishers in exchange for my honest review.