Friday, November 7, 2014

MY REVIEW

of

THE PROMISE

by

BETH WISEMAN

About the book: 

Mallory's search for happiness leads her to a faraway place. There she finds heartache, betrayal---and danger.

Mallory Hammond is determined that no one will stand in the way of her goal---to save a life. She had that chance years ago, and she failed to take it, leaving her adrift and in search of the real meaning of her life. Finally, she meets a man online from a volatile corner of the world who offers her the chance to find that purpose. But she will have to leave everyone she loves behind in order to take it.

Tate Webber has loved Mallory for many years. He understands that Mallory will never be happy with him until her deepest heart's desire is satisfied. When Mallory decides to travel across the world to fulfill her dreams, Tate begs her not to go but tries to give her the space she needs. Mallory embarks on her dangerous journey only to discover how swiftly and easily promises can be broken. And Mallory can only pray that she will make it out alive.

Inspired by actual events, The Promise is a riveting love story that asks the question: how far will we go for love?

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/CP8sr 



.......MY REVIEW.......
5 STARS

RIVETING!!  Reading this book left me angry with those that make choices without God.  This is a compassionately written story concerning a true interaction of events that occurred to a friend of Beth Wiseman.  I admire Beth’s trust in God and bravery to write this story.  She is to be congratulated.  Without a doubt – it would not have been published in a country different from America – our home.

Our protagonist, Mallory Hammond was blinded to the truth that she was making bad choices for herself at the exclusion of what those that loved her felt.  At the age of seventeen, she desperately wanted to donate a kidney to her teenage cousin, but did not understand her parents would not allow it out of love and concern for her.  Mallory still mourned the death of her cousin and her desire to help someone – anyone – became obsessive. Now in her thirties, she worked for Dr. Ismail Farim, a Muslim.  He was engaged to Soroya, Mallory’s best friend also a Muslim who came from a wealthy family in Pakistan.   With Dr. Farim’s help, Mallory enrolled in a kidney exchange program – in my thoughts, a sub-conscious rebellious action toward her parents.

Mallory did not have a good Christian foundation to support her hearts’ desire of saving a life in proper perspective.  She wanted to be known for something – even if that something took her around the world under false pretenses.   Her boyfriend, Tate Weber, was a Christian with a Catholic background.  To my thinking, Mallory’s selfishness about her obsession tainted her life as she began to doubt the seriousness of her relationship with Tate – a piano teacher who had a chance to take a new job with the Chicago Academy for the Arts.

GRIPPING !!!  Sinister forces began to work in Mallory’s life.  Dr. Farim’s father  was tyrannical in insisting Ismail find an American wife for his nephew Abdul, whose daughter Majida had cancer and because of several obstacles In Pakistan – an American wife would be able to bring the girl to the United States for treatment.  Mallory empathized with her boss and began to Skype with Abdul.  Mallory was mesmerized into becoming attracted to Abdul and agreed to a marriage in name only and travelled to Peshaway, Pakistan only to be caught up in a disastrous web of deceit – a real mess!

Tate is struggling over his own problems, having a ten year old orphan Verdell dumped on his doorstep and abandoned by his aunt.  Life becomes all about survival for Mallory.  Realistically, certain references toward human frailties such as sex, and a curse word bothered me – however it was necessary to the truth of the story.

Beth Wiseman did an extraordinary job authoring this entire book. She conveyed the truth of Christian beliefs versus the Muslim law.  Clearly, we do not worship the same God.  Beth Wiseman has taken a true example of how life can fool us and wrote a blaring example that should be read by many – having faith or not.  Particularly worthy of note and mind-blowing is the part at the back of the book entitled “Group Guide – A Letter from the Author.”  I highly recommend Beth Wiseman’s “The Promise” be placed at the top of your reading list.  Find out how God proves his promises again and again.  Thank you Beth Wiseman for your incredible job with a tough subject.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

PROMISE VIDEO



AUTHOR BETH WISEMAN
About the author:   Beth Wiseman is the best-selling author of the Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan series. Having sold over 1.3 million books, her novels have held spots on the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) Bestseller List and the CBA (Christian Book Association) Bestseller List. She was the recipient of the prestigious Carol Award in 2011 and 2013. She is a three-time winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and an INSPY Award winner. In 2013 she took home the coveted Holt Medallion. Her first book in the Land of Canaan series—Seek Me With All Your Heart—was selected as the 2011 Women of Faith Book of the Year. Beth is contracted with HarperCollins Christian Publishing into the year 2018, and she has published twelve novels and nine novellas to date.

As a former newspaper reporter, Beth was honored by her peers with eleven journalism awards, including first place news writing for The Texas Press Association. She has been a humor columnist for The 1960 Sun in Houston and published articles in various publications. However, writing novels is where her heart is. She left her job as a journalist in 2008 to write novels fulltime.

Beth has a deep affection for the Amish and their simpler way of life, and while she plans to continue writing Amish love stories, she is also branching out into other areas. Her first non-Amish, contemporary—Need You Now—released in April 2012 and landed on the CBA Bestseller List. She enjoyed writing the story based in a town near where she lives, and she chose another small Texas town for her next non-Amish contemporary—The House that Love Built—which is based in Smithville, the same quaint town where movies such as Hope Floats and Tree of Life were filmed.

In a daring new novel, Beth jumps way outside the box. The Promise takes readers far away from Amish Country and small Texas towns to a dangerous place on the other side of the world. Inspired by actual events, Beth believes this is the book she’s been working toward for a long time.

Beth and her husband are empty nesters enjoying the country life in Texas with three dogs, two cats, and two potbellied pigs. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, paint, and enjoy time with friends and family. You can find Beth at Fans of Beth Wiseman on Facebook where she interacts with readers or visitbethwiseman.com to learn more about Beth and her books.
Find Beth online: website, Facebook, Twitter


Thursday, October 23, 2014

MY REVIEW OF 

"A MATTER OF HEART" 

BY TRACIE PETERSON

(Lone Star Brides Series)

5 STARS

Texas born and raised Jessica Atherton is a wealthy young woman whose heart was broken when the man she intended to marry wedded another. But her world is upended when two men come into her life and both manage to stir her heart. Harrison Gable is a rich young lawyer who intends to travel the world and live a life of opulence. His ambitions match Jessica's dreams, but her heart has begun to change.

Austin Todd, former Secret Service agent, enjoys working now as a Texas Ranger cattle inspector. But learning of forged gold certificates and missing printing plates, he's drawn back into the world of intrigue and agrees to help solve the case. Austin is well-thought-of and admired in the community. Jessica is drawn to his kind nature and the unspoken pain she sees in his eyes. Will Jessica choose financial security or follow her heart?




.......MY REVIEW.......


It came as a delightful surprise when I remembered that I had already read the first book in this Lone Star Brides Series, “A Sensible Arrangement.” Now, having read the third book of this series, I definitely want to read the second book, “Moment in Time.” Tracie’s well-honed prose that mixes mystery, romance, and humor during the late 1800’s creates a fascinating read.

Jessica Atherton seems to be left behind when all her friends have married and having babies. Jessica had imagined herself married to a wealthy handsome man and living a life of luxury in a large city. She feels the sting of rejection from the man she had planned to marry, Robert Barnett, who married another. She ponders why and decides the reason might be her own behavior toward others. She realizes she is tactless, hurtful to others, spoiled and selfish and begins to work on changing herself. The first of Tracie’s story is a bit slow until Jessica decides a change is in order and things begin to happen.

Jessica feels she is being pitied during a gathering of friends and family at her parent’s home in Texas. She could barely handle Robert Barnett arriving with his wife Alice and new baby. She thought to herself “that baby should be mine.” Inadequate is how she felt when she overheard comments being made. Her own mother had urged her to draw closer to God and forget about her beauty. She thought her mother simply did not understand – no one did. It wasn’t as though she had not had suitors; she had turned down several proposals.

We meet widower Austin Todd in the middle of a reoccurring nightmare. He feels responsible for the deaths of his wife Grace, his stillborn baby, and his brother. He sees them all in his dream plus the disapproving and accusing eyes of his mother and father. He was a cattle inspector for the Texas Rangers and had formerly worked in Washington D.C. for the Treasury Department’s Secret Service. Ironically, Robert Barnett was the first to visit him with an invitation to a gathering on the Barnett Ranch. Robert’s father had plans to build a railroad spur and a new town and wanted Austin Todd to be the Marshall. The Barnett gathering is where Jessica and Austin meet for the first time – pleasantly aware of each other, but afterward Austin kept his distance.

Another newcomer to this large cattle area is handsome attorney Harrison Gable. He immediately is attracted to Jessica, but there is something about him that seemed untrustworthy. Jessica is drawn to Harrison, but really cares for Austin. Now everything begins to get a bit messy – a lot of iniquitous and mysterious happenings need Austin to investigate.

Some characters and situations have been carried through both novels in this series that I have read. A Matter of Heart brings them altogether through this gifted author’s pen. Ms. Peterson concludes this series cleverly and artfully. You will enjoy the warm feelings tendered and watch a young woman face challenges that will renew her faith and maturity. It is almost impossible for me to conceive the numerous books Tracie Peterson has composed…..she is definitely creating a reputation for herself! (Notice the pun…..Jessica certainly made a new reputation for herself) Now, go buy the series and see for yourself how Ms. Peterson can entertain you.


I was provided this book by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing for my honest review. I have not received any compensation.




MEET TRACIE PETERSON.......


Tracie Peterson is an award-winning, best-selling author of over 100 books. Having given her heart to Jesus at the young age of six, Tracie has always felt called to some form of ministry, and writing fulfills that mission field.

Tracie received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.

In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers. She has co-written with a variety of authors including Judith Pella, Judith Miller, James Scott Bell, Kimberley Woodhouse and her daughter Jennifer.

Throughout her writing career Tracie has found time to speak at writer's conferences where she has a special heart for new authors. She is often joined by her husband Jim, whose background in history offers new authors insight into research. Besides teaching at conferences, Tracie also at one time managed Barbour Publishing's Heartsong Presents book line - overseeing the production of 52 books a year. Tracie teaches at women's conferences around the country and shares her testimony and insight for Christian living through the eyes of an author passionately in love with her Heavenly Father.

Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers. Her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests, including USA "Best Books 2011" Awards, best Religious Fiction for Embers of Love!

Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max..

For information on having Tracie speak at your event - contact Noelle Buss at Bethany Publishers/Baker Books.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Favorite Verse

Joshua 1:9 (NIV) - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Tracies Website:  http://www.traciepeterson.com








Saturday, September 27, 2014

MY REVIEW OF

A LIGHT IN THE WILDERNESS

by

JANE KIRKPATRICK

AUTHOR JANE KIRKPATRICK

Letitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave. They may not cause white folks to treat her like a human being, but at least they show she is free. 
5 STARS





She trusts in those words she cannot read--as she is beginning to trust in Davey Carson, an Irish immigrant cattleman who wants her to come west with him.


Nancy Hawkins is loathe to leave her settled life for the treacherous journey by wagon train, but she is so deeply in love with her husband that she knows she will follow him anywhere--even when the trek exacts a terrible cost.


Betsy is a Kalapuya Indian, the last remnant of a once proud tribe in the Willamette Valley in Oregon territory. She spends her time trying to impart the wisdom and ways of her people to her grandson. But she will soon have another person to care for.


As season turns to season, suspicion turns to friendship, and fear turns to courage, three spirited women will discover what it means to be truly free in a land that makes promises it cannot fulfill. This multilayered story from bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick will grip readers' hearts and minds as they travel with Letitia on the dusty and dangerous Oregon trail into the boundless American West.


MY REVIEW

Jane Kirkpatrick is a phenomenal writer to pen such fiction from truth into a beautiful work of art.  This “truth is stranger than fiction” novel takes place during the 1800’s, following a harrowing wagon train venture from Missouri to Oregon.  A personal note here – I am well acquainted with the areas of Oregon Ms. Kirkpatrick wrote about, which brought visual enjoyment during my reading. Letitia is a strong black woman, full of wisdom and dreams.  Her dream of freedom from the buckles of slavery is ongoing, even though she received her papers of freedom in Kentucky.  Frankly, prejudice against the color of one’s skin is abhorrent to me – I’ve never understood slavery.  Letitia will not be stopped!  The reader will discover immediately that this courageous young woman turns the other cheek to adversity and faces life with everything within her.

 Recently, I read in an interview with Jane Kirkpatrick that the wedding scene between Letitia (Tish) and Davey Carson, an Irish immigrant, had to be discreet and meaningful considering they were breaking the law.  The wedding was sweet and joyful, even a bit of humorous relief when a Jewish peddler happened upon the scene, including stomping on the glass as is done in Jewish weddings.  This is one of my favorite scenes.  Davey was kind to Tish, although he was of a male mind of that time period.  Soon after, a thorn begins in Tish’s side when Davey’s grown son appears in the picture, jealous, hateful, and prejudiced.  He does not stick around long when he decides to take another route to Oregon.  Another constant thorn in her side is Greenberry Smith, mean spirited and murderous, intent on making Tish’s life miserable.  Tish wants Davey to draw up a paper willing his property to her and her children should he become deceased.  He is reluctant because he does not know how to read and write, a fact he keeps to himself.  He finally comes up with something that appeases Tish for the time being.

 Among the characters is the dearly loved milking cow Charity that Tish owns, in whom she can safely confide, and does so many times.  Tish is pregnant when the trek to Oregon begins. She is mid-wife to many, but alone when her baby daughter Martha is born.  The children love her as she entertains them with great stories.  Her closest friend is Nancy Hawkins, a quilter who treasures the loom made for her by her husband.  The determination and inner strength of the women on the wagon train amazes me…I can scarcely comprehend their depth.

 It is difficult to be succinct about this beautiful story.  One of the impractical events that occurred was when Davey inadvertently lost Tish’s freedom papers and his document.  Tish had hidden them in a flour barrel that Davey exchanged for a full barrel.  But Tish was to find out within time that the document Davey made up was of no value – which she felt a betrayal on his part.

 Finally, Tish made it to Oregon City alone.  Davey met her there after helping with other matters regarding the wagon train.  Davey did not stay around much, as he got gold rush fever and headed to California several times.  Settling in Oregon reveals much more – Tish found joy in meeting a Kalapuya Indian woman named Betsy and her grandson.  Davey and Tish had a baby son, Adam born around 1853.  Davey, Jr. enters the picture again in Oregon, causing her frustration.  Hardship is a daily word, but Letitia’s trust and faith in God were chiefly imperative to getting through each day.  Letitia’s valor brought her through a lawsuit with a white man over her property.  She was known as one of the first free black slaves to enter Oregon.  I enjoyed Ms. Kirkpatrick’s novel because of the history and culture of the 1800’s.  This free child of God is definitely the Light in the Wilderness.
   
Thank you to Revell for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

A VIDEO FOR A LIGHT IN THE WILDERNESS

AUTHORS INSIGHT.......


This is the first book I've written with much of the research completed before the story was brought to me. Thirty years previous, two former Oregon state university students Janet Meranda and Dr Bob Zybach discovered the court records and never forgot Letitia's story. They brought it to me believing a novel would tell it best. Their research and progress on a nonfiction book about her and Davey's life can be followed at Friends of Letitia Carson.


A Brief Biography
Carson, Letitia





Birth Year : 1814
Death Year : 1888
Letitia Carson was a free African American woman who was born in Kentucky. She was one of the early African Americans to be listed in the U.S. Federal Census as living in Oregon.
Letitia's husband was an Irishman named David Carson (1800-1854). The pioneering couple and their two children lived in Benton, Oregon Territory, according to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. The couple had come to Oregon in 1845, and their daughter Martha was born along the way, their son Adam around 1853.
When David Carson died, Letitia and her children were left out of his estate settlement, and Letitia filed suit against the estate for her children's benefit. She won the lawsuit and settled on land she had purchased near South Myrtle Creek,today known as Letitia Creek. She is buried near her property now on private land.
Letitia Carson was a well known mid-wife in the county. The Letitia Carson Pioneer Apple Tree was named in her honor; it is thought that Letitia planted the tree, and researchers named the tree while completing a cultural resource inventory of the property owned by Oregon State University.





Letitia's Homestead Deed                                                                            Why This Story?



"Letitia's story of one of the first black women to cross the Oregon Trail in 1845, give birth along the way, and have a Missouri man impact her life here in Oregon after the death of her common law white husband is a compelling story of courage and commitment . . .How could I not pursue that story?" Jane Kirkpatrick


Jane Kirkpatrick is a writer, speaker, teacher...
Jane is inter-nationally recognized for her lively presentations and well-researched stories that encourage and inspire.  Her works have appeared in more than 50 publications including  Decision, Private Pilot and Daily Guideposts.  Jane is the author of over 25 books including historical novels. Many of her titles are based on the lives of real people or incidents set authentically in the American West.  Her first novel, A Sweetness to the Soul, won the coveted Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center.  Her works have been finalists for the Christy, Spur, Oregon Book Award, WILLA Literary Award and Reader’s Choice awards.  Several of her titles have been Book of the Month and Literary Guild selections.  Follow this link to see other awards that Jane has won.

Early Years
Jane grew up near Mondovi, Wisconsin, a little town not far from the Mississippi River. Her older sister Judy (now deceased) and younger brother Craig helped on the family dairy farm. Dozens of cousins lived within 50 miles providing the privilege of extended family memories. Most of the "Rutschow" clan remained in the Wisconsin-Minnesota area. Jane moved to Oregon in 1974 after completing her master's degree in social work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She worked in the disabilities field and became the director of the mental health program in Deschutes County and the first female president of the Oregon Community Mental Health Director's Association.

Homesteading & Family
Eventually, Jane "retired" to homestead and begin a new adventure in writing, working on the Warm Springs Indian reservation, growing watermelons, and attempting to grow grapes, alfalfa and cattle. The Kirkpatrick's new life included "clearing sagebrush and wrestling wind and rattlesnakes" while "homesteading" land on the John Day River in a remote part of Oregon known locally as Starvation Point.  "It was our 'rural 7-Eleven' since our home sat seven miles from the mailbox and eleven miles from the pavement" notes the author. Additionally, she worked for seventeen years as a mental health and educational consultant on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Central Oregon with both Native American and non-Indian communities, a position she left in 2002.  Jane has two step-children.  Kathleen lives in Florida with her family and youngest granddaughter, Madison.  Matt lives in Wasco and works on the ranch full time when not looking after his family including his and Melissa's daughter, Mariah.
In the fall of 2010, after twenty-six years on the homestead, Jane and Jerry, her husband of 35 years, made another life change moving back to Central Oregon near Bend. "There is a season for everything," Jane notes.  Their seasons on the ranch changed their lives and they leave with no regrets looking forward to new adventures in writing and life.

Speaker & Philosophy
A lively and humorous speaker, Kirkpatrick is a frequent keynote presenter for conferences, women's retreats,fund-raisers and workshops.  In addition to her historical fiction which dramatizes pioneer life, Homestead relates, with love and laughter, her own family's modern-day struggle to catch a dream in the Oregon Territory.
Jane believes that our lives are the stories that others read first and she encourages groups to discover the power of their own stories to divinely heal and transform. Visit her blog for more information about her current projects and the privilege of following one's passion wherever the dreams may lead. 

A Light in the Wilderness by Jane Kirkpatrick

Thursday, September 11, 2014

MY REVIEW OF

HOME TO 

CHICORY LANE

by

DEBORAH RANEY

In Home to Chicory Lane, Grant and Audrey Whitman have sunk most of their retirement funds into Audrey's dream of renovating the home built by her grandparents over a hundred years ago. After raising their five children, the empty-nesters have turned the stately Missouri home into an elegant bed-and-breakfast. 


What they didn't count on was that even as their open house is in progress, their children begin returning to the nest.



Each book of the Chicory Inn series will focus on one of Grant and Audrey's children, but you'll get to know the whole family, including Huckleberry, the Whitman's beloved-but-ornery chocolate Lab, in the first novel, and follow them through heartache, romance, trials, and triumphs as the series unfolds.


MY REVIEW

Empty nesters Audrey and Grant Whitman have raised their five children in a stately home just a mile outside of Langhorne, Missouri.  Each book in the Chicory Inn Series will focus on one of their children – the first being Landyn Whitman Spencer, the baby of the family.  This heartwarming story begins with the excitement and tension of opening weekend of the Chicory Inn.  It was Audrey’s dream of renovating the home built by her grandparents over a hundred years ago into a bed and breakfast.  Her husband Grant, now retired, had been a bit averse to sinking most of his retirement into the project, but did so without grumbling much… because after all….Audrey had grown up in this house…and he lovingly gave Audrey her way.

The Inn was completely filled by reservations and Audrey was having opening day jitters.  It did not help that Corrine arrived toting fussy baby Simone.   Simone was teething, and Corrine did not want daddy Jesse to deal with that.   Corrine cut in that her dad could watch Simone if need be.   Her excuse was irritating to Audrey and she pushed down her resentment, even when Simone wiped her nose on Audrey’s apple green jacket and Corrine laughed saying  “Well, at least it matches. “   Corrine then dabbed Simone’s nose with a tissue which made her screech like a banshee – causing the dog Huckleberry to come running and barking.   Deborah Raney’s prose is transparent and humorous initiating my attention to be held captive from the first page.

Little do Audrey and Grant suspect their stress level has only begun.  Daughter Landyn Whitman Chase is pulling a U-Haul trailer from New York City arriving home at an ill-timed moment with no explanation.  She does have valid reason – to herself anyway – as to why she has come home.  Landyn and Chase have been married a mere six months and Chase made a rash decision – without discussing it with her – no less.  He had let their apartment on the Upper West Side be sublet, rented a fleabag studio apartment in Brooklyn because God was leading him in this way to further his art career.  This made no sense to Landyn…she had much to think about – including a bit of information she was withholding from Chase.  I had better stop right here and let you read the story for yourself. 

Deborah Raney’s plot was well rounded with heartaches to joys.  I could identify easily with Audrey as a mother.  As I read through the book I could relate to each side of conflicts.  If you are ready to laugh and cry, then read this lovely story about family life based on Godly principles.  Ms. Raney writes realistic drama with deep feeling and wisdom.  This is the first book by Deborah Raney I have read…and it will not be the last.  I don’t want to hurry a great writer….she needs time to develop her stories with aplomb and eloquence.  I will be patient and wait…keeping my ears and eyes open for the next novel about the Whitman family.  Who will be in trouble next?

"I received this book from Litfuse for free in exchange for an honest review."


INTERESTING NOTES FROM THE AUTHOR.......

I've always been a very visual writer, referring to photographs of my characters and setting. Below are some of the images that inspired me as I wrote the Chicory Inn novels. The first two books are finished and with my editor. And I'm having a blast as I work on the third book, making notes fast and furious for the final two books in the series as I go.

Grant & Audrey Whitman

Home to Chicory Lane tells Landyn's story. The somewhat spoiled baby of the Whitman family, Landyn thought she was living the dream with her new husband in New York City. But after only six months, she is homesick and disillusioned with marriage. In desperation, she returns home to Chicory Lane to try to sort out her life and decide if her marriage can be salvaged.
LANDYN WHITMAN SPENCER



CHASE SPENCER


Where the Whitman's enjoy Tuesday Family Nights.


HUCKLEBERRY















ABOUT THE AUTHOR.........

DEBORAH RANEY dreamed of writing a book since the summer she read Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books and discovered that a Kansas farm girl could, indeed, grow up to be a writer. Her more than 25 books have garnered multiple industry awards including the RITA Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers' Choice Award, Carol Award, Silver Angel from Excellence in Media, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, shed light on the ravages of Alzheimer's disease. The novel inspired the highly acclaimed World Wide Pictures film of the same title and continues to be a tool for Alzheimer's families and caregivers. Deborah is on faculty for several national writers' conferences and serves on the executive board of the 2700-member American Christian Fiction Writers organization. She and her husband, Ken Raney, recently traded small-town life in Kansas––the setting of many of Deb's novels––for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita. They have four children and five precious grandchildren who all live much too far away.


Deborah Raney is probably best known for her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, which was the inspiration for the award-winning film of the same title from World Wide Pictures. Her Hanover Falls Novels series and Clayburn Novels series are published by Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. Her newest series, The Chicory Inn Novels, will release from Abingdon Press beginning August 2014. Deb has written more than 25 novels and is thoroughly enjoying her career as a writer. However, her first and most cherished calling is wife to Ken, her husband of almost 40 years, and mother to their four children. Ken and Deb love small-town life in Kansas and being "Papa and Mimi" to five precious grandchildren who all live much too far away.

Visit Deb on the Web at www.deborahraney.com


Hi Friends, 
Doesn't her book sound marvelous?!  It really is.  I enjoyed this book even more when I realized that Deborah and I both hail from the same home state of Kansas, went to the same college...different eras of course....and are both pure sunflowers in our hearts.  It has indeed been a pleasure to  know her and give a review on this book.  So, tune in again....a bit sooner than it has been lately....and may your life be blessed.
Hugs,
Barb




.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


MY REVIEW OF 

THE BUTTERFLY & THE VIOLIN

(Hidden Masterpiece Book One)
BY

KRISTY CAMBRON


5 Stars


AUTHOR KRISTY CAMBRON

A mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest
corners of Auschwitz—and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.

Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the
altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. 

Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl--a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.

In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William 
Hanover, the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul, who may be the 
key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together, Sera and William slowly 
unravel the story behind the painting's subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von 
Bron.
A darling of the Austrian aristocracy, talented violinist, and 

daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything 
when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of 
prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.

As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds 
beauty in the most unlikely of places: in the grim camps of Auschwitz and in 
the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.


". . . impossible to put down." —RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 Stars, TOP PICK!

"In her historical series debut, Cambron expertly weaves together multiple plotlines, time lines, and perspectives to produce a poignant tale of the power of love and faith in difficult circumstances. Those interested in stories of survival and the Holocaust, such as Eli Weisel’sNight, will want to read." —Library Journal, starred review

". . . debut novelist Cambron vividly recounts interwoven sagas of heartache and recovery through courage, love, art, and faith." —Publishers Weekly



MY REVIEW

Kristy Cambron’s story keeps echoing obstinately in my mind.  The double layering of two stories at once is done with artistic brush strokes of description that challenges other fine writers with her expertise and talent.  This is Ms. Cambron’s debut novel, excellently done is a contemporary and a historical romance dealing with two women with two very different stories involving one lost painting.


 

Manhattan art dealer, Sera James, excitedly enters the gallery she owns with great anticipation that the painting that just arrived is THE ONE she has been searching for – the one that haunted her since a child of eight seeing it in a Paris art gallery.  Her assistant Penny explains that an instant response to her ad had been made by a mysterious businessman – a financier in real estate named William Hanover III who was liquidating his late grandfather’s estate.  HOWEVER - he won’t sell the painting, but will pay an exorbitant fee to hire Sera and her gallery to help him look for the original painting.  Sera is soon flying to San Francisco at Mr. Hanover’s expense.


 

December 1942, Vienna, Austria.  Adele Von Bron, daughter of a high-ranking member of the Third Reich and whose mother is a concert pianist; is currently known as “Austria’s Sweetheart” as a violinist with Vienna’s Philharmonic.  Vladimir Nicolai, Adele’s romantic interest is a cellist with the Philharmonic, involved secretly in smuggling Jews to Switzerland.   Adele has enmeshed herself for the first time in the rescue of The Haurbech family, which failed tragically.  All of the Haurbech family except Sophie were shot and killed.  Adele is presently in her family doctor’s office in shock because her hands were badly cut by glass she had fallen on when she and Vladimir scattered.  Not knowing Vladimir’s or Sophie’s whereabouts, she told the doctor about the rescue attempt and shuddered over what might have happened if they were discovered by the Gestapo.   “This is not Austria, you know.  What we’ve become? This is not God’s path.”  The doctor replied.  Danger lurked everywhere.  Adele was scheduled for a solo performance the next evening and was concerned about being able to perform with her injured hands.  The doctor bandaged them and kept her safe that night.


 

Sera stood looking at the large estate and noticed a large white tent being constructed and a van sat to the side where workers were unloading candelabras and flowers, preparing for a big event.  She questioned aloud “Just what in the world do you do, Mr.Hanover?”  “He was in real estate.” replied a man that walked up behind her – who she assumed was the gardener.  She learned that a wedding was to take place.  Sera had been left at the alter three years before and still had not recovered from the emotional scars. Thereafter she met William Hanover the Third; only to find out he was the gardener.  He was not prepared to discuss the painting until his sister’s wedding was over.  Sera decided that a small nervous breakdown was in the making for her, but finally resolved that issue when William Hanover displayed kindness and interest in her during the wedding reception.  Oh, and he called Sera “Manhattan” – his endearing name for her.


 

The only thing our four protagonists had in common is their Christianity.  Each agonized from complex issues of their own.  In 1942 I was only 4 years old, but I can relate to the reality in some ways that others might not.  Kristy Cambron delved into WW II history and brought out the unbelievable ugliness of what Adele suffered in Auschwitz.  How can any one of us relate to being branded traitors by the Gestapo?  Vladimir’s soft and lovely nickname for Adele “Butterfly” suggests how he saw her.  Omara painted her as she knew her in the concentration camp.  Adele’s only saving grace was her talent as a violinist in the Auschwitz orchestra that played for the SS Officers.  Although Sera’s story was important to Adele’s – I would have read this book on Adele’s nightmarish story as a stand-alone.    It seemed an interruption when the chapters changed from modern day to WW II unbearable Holocaust.  Ms. Cambron’s research revealed more than 1600 pieces of art discovered in the ruins of Auschwitz and brought to my mind the recent movie of The Monument Men.  Music and art cannot be erased from world culture – although some will try.  It is part of our will to survive.


 

There is so much more that could be said about this incredible book.  Your questions will be answered in the coming revealing chapters.  But I have taken liberties already and must save the uniqueness of what Ms. Cambron has accomplished for your own discovery.  Seventy-five  reviews alone have been published on Amazon, and I am sure that will not be the last of them.  So, I leave it to you – go get this book for yourself….NOW!  You will recognize this book by its beautiful cover.  Respectful congratulations, Ms. Kristy Cambron.  We look forward to your next publication.  God most certainly plans something special for your exceptional talent.


 

In exchange for my review, I received a free copy of the book through Litfuse Publicity Group.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR......KRISTY CAMBRON.......

I’ve been taken with the WWII Era since I was a young girl.My grandfather was a B-17 co-pilot in the war and I remember the stories he’d so often tell. Years later, I came across the lost art of Auschwitz while studying for my undergraduate degree in Art History. I didn’t know if then, but more than a decade later, God would remind me of the heart of this book. In the wee hours of the morning in early 2013, it came alive once again.


I write WWII and Regency Era Christian fiction titles, placing first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations and 2012 FCRW Beacon contests (Inspirational Categories)! One of those stories (which I hope will make it to bookstore shelves one day!) also became a Finalist in the 2013 Laurie contest. I’ve been a contributing author on RegencyReflections.com since 2012, and still post there with my Regency friends from time to time.

A SPARROW IN TEREZIN (Hidden Masterpiece #2) will release in April, 2015.


Kristy's Website http://www.kristycambron.com/


Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Butterfly-Violin-Hidden-Masterpiece-Novel-ebook/dp/B00I5QX61Q/ref=la_B00GRA12G8_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407351880&sr=1-1