Monday, July 28, 2014

With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden Book Review

With Every Breath

A Novel

Review Written by Madi
Book Title: With Every Breath
Author: Elizabeth Camden
Source/Sponsor: Bethany House Publishers
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 360
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1174-4
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Year of Publication: 2014
Rating: Five out of Five Stars
Book Description
In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston holds a respectable position as a government statistician when she encounters a rival from her past, the insufferable Trevor McDonough. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and she's bewildered at the way he suddenly seeks her out. Surprising even herself, Kate agrees to Trevor's entirely unexpected and risky proposal to work side-by-side with him in his quest to rid the world of tuberculosis, a contagious and deadly disease.

As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor's past, she realizes there is much more to him than she could have imagined. His hidden depths may fascinate her, but his most closely guarded secrets and a shadowy enemy lurking in the background carry a serious threat to their future.

When the truth of the past comes out, threatening to destroy everything they hold dear, how will Trevor and Kate ever overcome all that stands in their way?
Book Review
Oh my goodness gracious. This book is marvelous. The story was so well written that I felt like I was walking through each triumph and tragedy right along with Kate Livingston and Trevor McDonough. It's so descriptive of the characters emotions and surroundings that I felt like I personally was walking through the hospital halls, speaking with patients and despairing over lost lives. This book took me away from reality to place filled with heartache and sorrow. It's incredible to think that a disease that took the lives of so many in the past can now be cured with a quick round of antibiotics. Medicine has certainly come a long way since the era of this book. I can tell that Elizabeth Camden had to do a substantial amount of research on tuberculosis and it's history before penning this book, and I applaud her for a job well done. One of the many things that I appreciated most in this novel was the in depth view of how doctors treated patients way back when and how they experimented for new cures. I loved reading about Trevor's passion and how he came to realize what his life's work was going to be. I loved the special, yet abnormal relationship that he shared with Kate. I loved Kate's character. She was so easy to relate to. A spitfire of a woman who isn't one to be walked on; that's Kate. I loved watching the relationship between Trevor and Kate grow, struggle, and blossom.

Elizabeth Camden has always been one of my favorite author's, mainly because she creates such vivid characters and original plots. I would recommend any and all of her books to historical fiction lovers, take it from someone who has read every single one of them. I have noticed that a lot of author's that are put under deadline related pressure tend to lower the quality of their writing in order to push out 2+ books a year, but not Camden. She has been as reliable as sunrise (unless you live in Alaska). Please take the time to read this book! You won't be sorry!


D I S C L A I M E R: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion and that is just what I have given. I was not further compensated to review this product and all thoughts/sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Proof By Cheryl Colwell Book Review

The Proof

Review Written By Madi
Book Title: The Proof
Author: Cheryl Colwell
Source/Sponsor: BookCrash Blogger Program
Genre: Fiction/Suspense
Number Of Pages: 334
ISBN: 978-0-9892371-3-0
Publisher: Inspired Fiction Books
Year Of Publication: 2014
My Rating: Five Out Of Five Stars
Book Description
Shrouded in mystery, a precious relic known as Il Testamento, or The Proof, circulated among the early Christians for centuries. Before their deaths, its guardians hid it from their adversaries, leaving only a crude map of its location.

For centuries, it lay in darkness. Until now. Reports of its existence have resurfaced, inciting an ancient rivalry between a ruthless group that seeks to destroy it, and a secret association that lusts for its power.

Summoned to Siena by a grandfather he has never met, Gabriel Dolcini is thrust into a dark maze of danger. And into his divine destiny.
Favorite Quotes From This Book
"There are times when destiny transcends coincidence." -Page 57
"God does not cause the accidents and wickedness. He picks up the pieces and gives us strength to get through." -Page 243
Book Review
 When I ordered this book I had never heard of the author or publisher, so I was hopeful, but I wasn't expecting much. Well, let me tell you, don't underestimate small publishers. This is possibly my favorite book out of all the books that I have ever read. It's so full of mystery and diversity that it kept my attention from beginning to end. I wonder if this author has any other novels? She has definitely caught my attention. Her story was so well written and so thoughtfully pieced together. I can tell that she did quite a bit of research prior to writing this novel, and it certainly paid off. And the characters? So realistic that it feels as if you can reach out and touch them.
Gabe seeks out his long lost grandfather in hopes that his European influence will help further his art career, and instead gets caught in the middle of an all out war between an ancient organization of "Knights" and his very own family. What old mythical relic could be worth killing people over? Unless it's not a myth . . . But that's impossible. That would mean that the historical events proclaimed in the Bible actually happened, and since he doesn't believe in God, that obviously isn't the case. Well, Gabriel gets a rude awakening, to say the least. He not only comes to believe in the coveted relic, 11 Testamento, but also in the God of his grandfather Louis. Along his journey to locate the piece of his grandfather's dreams, he comes across a lot of people, and doesn't know who he can trust. It seems like everyone he encounters is in league with the bad guys, even those that he leans on the heaviest. He learns a lot of lessons, gets a few beatings, confronts his past, and learns to forgive those that hurt him most.
You won't believe what the relic turns out to be. You will be guessing until it is revealed, and then you will be completely shocked. There is no possible way that you could see it coming. It's so cool. I wish an architect would discover something like it today. It would make the most dubious antagonist a believer.  
I cannot recommend this book enough. It is one of those stories that stays with you, even after you finish reading it. It is clean, so if you know a young person that loves reading suspenseful books, then you would be able to share it with them without worry of them reading something that they shouldn't. That being said, I'm sure that adults and children alike would enjoy this book. Maybe make it a family reading book? I can't think of a single person that I know that could have anything against this story. Just read it!
~Madi for The Literary Maidens
D I S C L A I M E R: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book by BookCrash in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not further compensated to review this product, and all thoughts and sentiments expressed above are completely my own an unbiased.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund // Guest Post + Giveaway

Hello friends! Today I'm very excited to have a special guest here on The Literary Maidens, Mrs. Jody Hedlund, author of Captured by Love. I was blessed to be able to review Jody's newest release, Captured by Love, as well as be a part of the blog tour going on to celebrate the release! If you'd like to check out the other blog tour stops, you can view the schedule HERE. You can also read my review of Captured by Love by clicking HERE.

So today Jody is here with us, and will be sharing about the true people and events in Captured by Love. For those who have read Captured by Love already, then you'll know exactly what Jody is talking about when she shares bits of the story, and if not then I hope learning about the true events in the story inspires you to get your hands on a copy a read it for yourself! We hope that you enjoy reading this guest post, and be sure to stick around until the end because we are doing a special giveaway for a copy of Captured by Love!

Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund// Behind the Scenes of 
Captured By Love //

The True People and Events 
in Captured by Love

Most of my readers know by now that I LOVE to write about true people and events. The books in my Hearts of Faith series are inspired by great women from history including Elizabeth Bunyan in The Preacher's Bride, Narcissa Whitman in The Doctor's Lady, Abigail Adams in Rebellious Heart.

My Michigan Brides Collection, Unending Devotion, A Noble Groom, and now Captured by Love, aren't based on big-name historical women like in my other books. But I do add in real people and facts from Michigan history that make the books especially intriguing.

If you've read any of my other books, you'll quickly realize that I explain what's true and what's not in the Author's Note at the end of my books. Captured by Love is no different. So make sure you don't skip my Author's Notes!

So what really happened and what are the wild wanderings of a writer's imagination?

The entire story itself is rooted in authentic Mackinac Island aura, from the wildlife to the scenery descriptions. I tried to stay as true to the historical setting as possible.

But here are some actual historical events and people that made their way into the book:

It's true that after the British took over the island, American men (not women) had to sign the Oath of Allegiance to the British or leave their homes. Many of the islands residents, rather than lose their land and homes, signed the Oath and stayed on the island. In Captured by Love, I had Angelique's fiancé stay loyal to the Americans and refuse to sign the Oath. Then I tried to show how difficult life would have been for the women and family left behind.

It's true that the once the British took over the island, they really had no clue about how to deal with the harsh Michigan winters. They were ill prepared with both clothing and food supplies. The army rationed food to prevent starvation. They had to eat their horses. And they confiscated food from the island residents.

A close-up of the wood palisades that surrounded the fort.

At the start of 1814 (as Captured by Love opens), the war had been ongoing for almost two years. The new captain that arrived on the island, Captain McDouall, required that all the island residents spend three days working on building a new fort (named Fort George after their king). Can you imagine if you were an American woman or child forced to help fortify your enemy's position?

One view of inside of the fort.

(Mild spoiler alert!) Obviously the Americans hoped to win the island back from the British. During the summer of 1814, after much delay, the Americans finally attacked. I tried to retell the battle the way that it really happened including an odd diversion in which the British left the battlefield supposing an attack was happening elsewhere on the island. (Of course, I offer my own fictionalized theory for why that diversion happened!)

I also used the names of real war heroes, captains, and colonels as well as the names of places that exist on the island today. The fort still sits on the bluffs of the island with the original stone officer's quarters, soldier's barracks, and storehouse. In fact, you can even peer down into the infamous Black Hole.

One of the blockhouses that was a part of the wall of the fort and used for keeping watch as well as fighting against invaders.

Essentially the book is centered around that real attack by the Americans and the ensuing events.

Here's what Publisher's Weekly had to say about the book: "Award-winning author Hedlund (The Preacher’s Bride) continues to perfect her craft, combining drama, geography, and military strategy into an engaging historical romance. Superbly written romantic tension comes together with rich historical and scenic detail in this third novel in the Michigan Brides Collection that will leave readers eager for a fourth."

What about you? If you could pick one event or era from history and command an author to write a story set around that event or era, what would it be? (Who knows, maybe you'll spark an idea for a new book!)

Displaying Author Picture.jpg// About Jody Hedlund //

Jody Hedlund is an award-winning historical romance novelist and author of the best-selling books, The Preacher's Bride, Unending Devotion, and A Noble Groom. She received a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin, both in Social Work. Currently she makes her home in Michigan with her husband and five busy children.

Where readers can find me:

I hang out on Facebook here: Author Jody Hedlund
I also love to chat on Twitter: @JodyHedlund
My home base is at my website:
Or you're welcome to email me at:

// Captured by Love Book Giveaway //

In celebration of the release of Captured by Love, Jody is giving away a signed copy of her newest release on each of her blog tour stops, which means that on of you will win a signed copy of Captured by Love to read for yourself or give to a friend. Yay!
To enter this giveaway, please use the Raffle Copter widget below. You can sign in using either your email or Facebook, and from there you can complete certain activities which will give you giveaway entries. The giveaway will take entries until July 25th, 2014 and is only open to U.S. residents due to shipping costs. Once the giveaway has ended, I will use to generate one random winner and they will be emailed with information on redeeming their prize in addition to their name being displayed on the widget. 

I'd like to thank Jody for stopping by and sharing about the real events in Captured by Love, as well as for giving away a a copy of her newest book to one of you readers! Have a blessed day!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Captured By Love By Jody Hedlund Book Review

Captured By Love

Review Written By Madi
Book Title: Captured By Love
Author: Jody Hedlund
Source/Sponsor: Bethany House Publishers
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 364
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1049-5
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Year of Publication: 2014
Rating: Five Out Of Five Stars
Book Description
It is 1814 and the British have taken hold of Mackinac Island and its fort, forcing American residents to swear an oath of loyalty to the British crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a voyageur--a fur trader who left his family home to find freedom and adventure. He's been gone five years and when he returns, his family's farm is at the mercy of the British invaders.
Torn between the life he's grown used to and guilt over leaving his brother and mother, he's drawn back into the loyalist fight against the British--and into a relationship with Angelique Mackenzie, a beautiful local girl who's been befriended by the daughter of the British commander. As tensions mount and the threat of violence increases, both Angelique and Pierre must decide where their loyalties rest, how far they will go to find freedom, and how much they will risk to find love.
Book Review
Oh my. Jody Hedlund is simply wonderful. She has a natural talent for writing gripping stories that grab a readers attention and stir their souls. I always walk away from her books with a new resolve to better myself. I loved Angelique's strong character. She is completely determined to honor her commitment to Jean, even though she knows full well that her heart belongs to Pierre. She faces temptation and trials head-on with courage and strong determination. She helps the mother of the man who broke her heart when she was a child, keeping her warm and fed to the best of her ability while one of the woman's sons in doing his duty in the war effort and the other is off gallivanting around the world. Then one day that heartbreaking, gallivanting son is back home, and her world is instantly turned upside down. Between juggling her responsibilities with Miriam (mother of Jean and Pierre), and dealing with an abusive stepfather and a demanding stepmother, Angelique has little time for pleasure. There are people starving in her camp, therefore the crime rate is up like never before as hungry young men do anything that they can to scrape up a meal. Who keeps Angelique out of trouble? Well Pierre of course. I love how obvious a transformation Pierre undergoes. From a selfish young boy to a responsible man, he notices Angelique in a way he never has before.

The only thing that I didn't really love about this book was that the whole story was based on Angelique's love life. There weren't any sub stories to keep things fresh, and there was nothing going on outside of the whole Pierre/Jean thing. I would have liked the story to have had more emphasis on something else as well, maybe the fact that the two brothers were fighting on "opposite" sides? I don't know. That being said, I still really enjoyed this book! It was suspenseful, captivating, well written, and a great book for me to invest my time in. I encourage you to check out this book as soon as possible (or something else by Jody Hedlund. All her books are phenomenal).


D I S C L A I M E R: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion by Bethany House Publishers, and that is exactly what I have given. I was not further compensated to review this product and all thoughts and sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.


Seagrass Pier By Colleen Coble Book Review

Seagrass Pier

A Hope Beach Novel

Review Written By Madi
Book Title: Seagrass Pier
Series: Hope Beach
Author: Colleen Coble
Source/Sponsor: Litfuse Publicity Group
Genre: Christian Fiction, Suspense
Number of Pages: 311
ISBN: 9781595547842
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Year of Publication: 2014
Rating: Five Out Of Five Stars
Book Description
"Complex characters and a tense plot make this a thrilling tale of romantic suspense. Fans of the other titles in the series will not be disappointed with this gripping installment, and the intricate and eerie story line will entice readers who enjoy books by Ted Dekker, Iris Johansen, and J.D. Robb." --"Library Journal "

In a secluded corner of Hope Beach, one woman must decipher a stranger's memories . . . before they cost her everything.

Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit. A miraculously perfect fit.

But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks--and vivid dreams of being strangled--she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor's murder.

Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked--by a man she's only met in her nightmares.

The police are dubious of her story, but one off-duty FBI agent is eager to help her: Agent Marc Everton, the father of Elin's daughter.

Of course, he doesn't know about that. Yet.

Now, in a remote cottage on Hope Island, Elin and Marc must probe the secrets buried in her borrowed heart. And there's no time to waste. One man is desperate to silence her--before she remembers too much.
Book Review
Oh my word. Colleen Coble has done it again. I finished this book hours ago, and I'm still reeling from the surprise ending. I just don't know what to do with myself. I mean, I have read a lot of books by Colleen Coble, but this one is probably her best. I'm not that in to murder mysteries, mainly because they freak me out and I do most of my reading right before I go to sleep (don't judge), but Coble's books are different. They are clean, they aren't gory, they always have a moral, and the ending is always unpredictable. I LOVE this series! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. I seriously read this novel in less than a day. It's THAT good. I don't know what I should say, I'm afraid that I am going to spoil it for those that plan on reading it. But let me just tell you this: it's worth whatever amount of time it takes you to read it. The characters feel so real, almost touchable. Every action, every emotion, every plot twist felt like it was real life. I got lost in this book. When I finished it I was still playing the story over in my head for the next few hours. How does Coble come up with this stuff? Somehow every single one of her books (that I have read) have an original plot that I could never have thought of. She is a genus, I tell you! She definitely knows how to entertain a reader. The suspense/romance mix was perfect, just enough of each to have me biting my nails in anticipation of what was going to happen next. I liked how the romance level was considerably low, but that depends on a readers personal preference. I have a lot of respect for authors who can write an intriguing story without making it sappy, because I know that can be hard to do. This book is number three in the series, but it is also a stand-alone novel. You don't have to read the first two to read this one (though I definitely recommend it), you won't feel like you're missing something. Colleen Coble is an extraordinary author, and I can't wait to read more from her.
~Madilyn For The Literary Maidens
D I S C L A I M E R: I was provided with a free copy of this book by the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not further compensated to review this product and all thoughts and sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Case for Faith By Lee Strobel Book Review

The Case for Faith (Student Edition)

A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity

Review Written By Madi
Book Title: The Case for Faith
Author: Lee Strobel
Source/ Sponsor: BookLook
Genre: Christian
Number Of Pages: 95
ISBN: 978-0-310-74542-6
Publisher: Zondervan
Year Of Publication: 2001
My Rating: Five Out Of Five Stars
Book Description
Is Faith Possible in Today's World? It's not easy to believe in Christianity when there is pain all around you and issues that defy easy explanation. Unless there are answers to the questions you face. Lee Strobel knows how important it is to find answers that ring true. With his background as an award-winning journalist, asking tough questions has been his business. And while his search for the truth convinced Lee that Jesus is real, it also confronted him with some particularly knotty, gut-level questions about Christianity you've likely asked as well: Why is there suffering? Doesn't science disprove miracles? What about hell---and the millions who've never heard of Jesus? Is God unjust? They're the kinds of conundrums that can block---and have blocked---people's faith. But those questions don't have to block yours. Join Lee in a fascinating journey of discovery. You'll gain powerful insights that will reshape your understanding of the Bible. And you'll read true stories about people whose experiences demonstrate that faith in Jesus not only makes excellent sense, it makes a life-changing difference as well.
Book Review
 A few months ago, my dad handed me a copy of The Case for a Creator By Lee Strobel and insisted that I read it. Well, I did, and let me tell you, it completely changed my perspective. All the answers to how religion and science can mix in one book. So when the opportunity to review The Case for Faith presented itself, I jumped on it. This author isn't afraid to ask the hard questions, and he certainly isn't afraid to travel the country in search of answers to those questions. He is constantly questioning what other people tell him. He refuses to accept someone else's ideology, and instead goes to great pains to form his own opinions based on proven facts. The thing that I liked about getting the student edition of The Case for Faith was that it just got to the point. It's short, but contains enough information for a young person to easily process. The last book of Lee's that I read took me a while to read. Not because it wasn't fantastic (because it was), but because it was so detailed and intricate. Which is good, but I would have to take breaks to process everything. If you have any huge doubts about the topic of one of his books, then I encourage you to read the original version. If you are looking for something that won't take as long to read, but is still jam-packed  with encouragement and God based facts, then the student edition is for you. I personally liked them both and would love to start collecting all of his books for my private collection. The way he starts at the base of a problem/question and works his way up, without skipping over anything, leaves me surer than ever that my God is real, present, and the Creator of everything. If you are a very analytical person, than I think you especially would enjoy Lee Strobel's work.
~Madi For The Literary Maidens
D I S C L A I M E R: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not further compensated to review this product and all thoughts and sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Season Of Change By Lynette Sowell Book Review

A Season Of Change

Review Written By Madi
Book Title: A Season Of Change
Author: Lynette Sowell
Source/Sponsor: The Litfuse Publicity Group
Genre: Christian Fiction
Number Of Pages: 316
ISBN: 978-1-4267-5355-8
Publisher: Abington Press
Year Of Publication: 2014
Rating: Two Out Of Five Stars
Book Description
Amish widower Jacob Miller believes it was a mistake to visit the Amish village of Pinecraft for winter vacation, especially after his daughter is struck by a car. Stranded in Sarasota until his daughter recovers, Jacob grows increasingly wary of events that unfold in his unfamiliar surroundings—including the strange curiosity of Englischer Natalie Bennett.
Natalie never thought her circus career as an aerial silks artist would end with a blown-out knee at the age of 25. She also never knew her late mother had a secret—that she was once Amish.
When Natalie meets the Millers at the Sarasota hospital, she is attracted to their warm hospitality and simple ways—and soon wonders if they can help her find her mother’s family. As Jacob and Natalie fall in love, their worlds collide. Will their differences tear them apart? Or will their love be strong enough to blend their clashing cultures?
Book Review
Well, I ended up ordering this book on accident, so when it arrived I was pleasantly surprised. Books are always a treat, even unexpected ones. I started reading it and I was immediately concerned about whether I would like it or not. The main character in the book is a circus performer, which is not exactly my cup of tea. However, I have learned to not judge a book in the first chapter. Often things that I don't think I will enjoy ending up becoming favorites, so I trudged on. And on. And on. Was this book ever going to end? I have always liked Amish Fiction, but not this. I don't think that the author did a whole lot of research on the Amish culture before writing this book, because she didn't seem to know what she was talking about. I mean, I'm no expert, but I noticed a few flaws in that regard. Also, it was kind of boring. It took me FOREVER to finish it. I'm one of those people that reads a book in a couple of days, not a MONTH. But a month is what it took. I am so backed up on my reading because of this book. One thing that I did like about it though is that it is completely clean and family friendly (not that you're gonna be able to talk your husband and kids to sitting down and listening to this kind of thing, but if you did you wouldn't have to worry about them hearing anything inappropriate). My favorite character was Rebecca. She's such a lovable and strong character. She is so wise for someone so young. I just wanted to give her a hug. Now, just because I didn't like this book doesn't mean that you won't enjoy it. Different Strokes for Different Folks, as they say.
~Madi For The Literary Maidens
D I S C L A I M E R: I was provided a complimentary copy of this novel by The Litfuse  Publicity Group. I was not further compensated to review this product and all thoughts and sentiments expressed above are completely my own an unbiased.

A Match of Wits By Jen Turano Book Review

Ladies of Distinction // Book #4
By Jen Turano
{Review by Bethany}
Source: Review book provided by the publisher
Publisher: Bethany House
Number of Pages: 345
ISBN: 0764211277
Publication Date: July 1st, 2014
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
// Book Synopsis //
{Taken from Good Reads}
"After his departure from New York two years ago to meet up with his almost-fiancee, Zayne Beckett is the last person Agatha Watson wanted to stumble upon in her travels as a reporter with the New York Tribune. Quite pathetically bedraggled, he clearly needs to be taken in hand and sent back East to his family. Although she no longer has feelings for him, Agatha realizes--by hook or by crook--she'll have to be the one to get the obstinate man home.
Zayne has no desire to be taken anywhere and is prepared to drag his heels all the way home . . . until he finds himself slipping back into the familiar banter of his former friendship with Agatha. Once they arrive in New York, Zayne realizes Agatha's determined nose for news has earned her a few enemies, and he hopes to repay her help with some help of his own. When she rebuffs all his attempts to prove himself a knight in shining armor, the lengths to which they'll go to win this battle of wills lead to some memorable antics.
Everyone else may think them a match, but nothing could be further from the truth--until Agatha finds herself in real trouble. Have these two stubborn, too-smart-for-their-own-good people been meant for each other all along?"
// Bethany's Book Review //
Prior to reading A Match of Wits, I had read the first book in the Ladies of Distinction series, A Change of Fortune which I borrowed from the library. I also read her novella Gentleman of Her Dreams (A HUGE favorite!). While I don't think that A Match of Wits was the right book for me, I still enjoyed it as a nice one-time read that was very humorous and light.
 A Match of Wits was a very funny book that had me laughing out loud! It was both funny and witty, and I loved that aspect of Jen's writing style. The opening sentence was very intriguing, and grabbed my attention from the very beginning. However I felt like that attention was short lived. While Jen does have a very humorous writing style, I felt like when there wasn't a "big scene" involving a lot of action, that the rest of it, making for a large majority of the novel, seemed rather shallow. When there was a big scene, the book would grab my attention, but the rest of the book felt slow and stretched out and the story-line at those times felt simple. If it weren't for the witty characters and funny scenes involving the beloved pig Matilda who created several humorous parts, then I probably would have not liked this novel at all.
 Aside from the main portion of the story feeling shallow and stretched out to me, there were a few other things that really disappointed me. The writer would often add aspects to the novel and characters that I felt were border-line inappropriate. While it never did get inappropriate, I felt like it was just about to go over the edge and it really disappointed me to find these things in a professed Christian novel, as it gives the wrong signal to non-believers. 
 For example, often the author would lead the male character's silent thoughts to how he was physically attracted to the female lead, and right as he would be about to admit the physical aspect to the attraction and what he felt when around the female, he'd stop - though still leading your thoughts to finish his. Also, the idea of brothels was brought up often and in a nonchalant way as if it were perfectly normal, and a respectable thing-which is not the case.
 Also, the main female lead was often too spunky for her own good, and the author describes her "hiking up her skirt" several times-so much so that I noticed how often such an action had come up. Just like the brothel being dealt with a nonchalant attitude, the same attitude was adopted with the female lifting up her skirts-it was described in a way that made it sound like a perfectly appropriate thing to do around men, and in public. 
 Finally, there was one scene where the main character was taking a bubble bath when a man walked into the bathroom and made no hurry to leave. I was hoping that scene would be quick and dealt with quickly, but the man lingered and didn't at all act as if she was undressed and that he should leave immediately. I just felt like all these scenes in the story were dealt with in the wrong manner. While I normally don't get annoyed with small bits like this in a novel, I found that this was a very big theme in the book and it kept me from being able to enjoy the story. While nothing was ever explicit, I felt like the manner and attitude shouldn't have been so light in such situations.
Sadly, this just wasn't the book for me. While I did enjoy the witty aspect of the story I felt like it was too light and the only thing that I actually did like in the novel. I think the overall "feel" of the book just wasn't my style. I was really hoping I'd enjoy this novel, but sadly is wasn't for me.
DISCLAIMER: I received a complementary copy of A Match of Wits from the publisher for the sole purpose of this review. I was not paid to write this review, and all thoughts expressed in the review are my own, completely honest and unbiased.

Waiting on Wednesday // 2015 Book Releases

Hello bookish friends! Today I thought I'd share you with a few novels that I've recently learned about, that are scheduled to release in 2015. I don't know about you, but as a book nerd, I always get really excited about upcoming books, and cover reveals. So I thought it'd be fun to share some of them over here, in case you haven't heard of these exciting books to put on your waiting list! Please do share in a comment if you are excited about any upcoming releases, or let me know if maybe I missed any! Have a great day and happy waiting! :)
{All book covers and descriptions taken from GoodReads}
// Return to Exile //
By Lynne Gentry
The Carthage Chronicles // Book #2
Howard // January 6th, 2015
"A twenty-first-century doctor travels back in time to third-century Carthage to rescue her husband, but the arrival of a deadly epidemic forces her to make an impossible choice in this fast-paced second novel in The Carthage Chronicles series.

Dr. Lisbeth Hastings salvaged two things from her accidental trip to the third century: her mother's stethoscope and her child. Making a life for her daughter Maggie back in the present is difficult, but returning to ancient Carthage is impossible. However, when Lisbeth learns her husband is slated to die a martyr's death, she must find a way around the impossible to save him.

Cyprian Thascius returns from political exile a broken man. He's lost his faith, the love of his life, and his purpose. When Ruth, an old friend, proposes he marry her to restore his position and protect his estate, the disgraced nobleman accepts. But when Cyprian's true love suddenly reappears, his heart becomes as imperiled as the fledgling church.

As Lisbeth and Cyprian reunite to battle a new epidemic and save the oppressed community of Christians, the chasm between the two of them seems too wide to bridge. But when Maggie contracts typhoid, Lisbeth must choose: stay and save the man she loves, or return home and save her daughter?

Filled with gripping action and raw emotion, this incredibly compelling adventure of star-crossed lovers will keep you engrossed with every turn of the page."


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Four Weddings and a Kiss Book Review

Four Weddings and a Kiss

A Novella Collection

Review Written By Madi
Book Title: Four Weddings and a Kiss
Author(s): Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy, Robin Lee Hatcher
Source/Sponsor: The Litfuse Publicity Group
Genre: Christian Fiction/Historical Fiction
Number Of Pages: 386
ISBN: 978-1-4016-8854-7
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Year Of Publication: 2014
My Rating: Three Out Of Five Stars
Purchase On Amazon
Book Description
In 1885 five western preachers sit around a campfire talking about unlikely couples they've seen God bring together.

“Spitfire Sweetheart” by Mary Connealy

Maizy Place is an unruly tomboy. When she causes an accident, injuring neighbor Rylan Carstens, she becomes his unlikely caregiver. Rylan has never noticed how pretty his infuriating neighbor is, and he never expected to fall in love.

“Love Letter to the Editor” by Robin Lee Hatcher

Molly Everton is the outspoken daughter of the town newspaper's owner. When her father brings in an outsider to be editor, she tries to drive him out of town. But Jack Ludgrove is not intimidated. He’s resolved to change Molly's mind about him—as an editor and as a man.

“A Cowboy for Katie” by Debra Clopton

Katie Pearl is uninterested in men and love. But she needs help on her ranch and hires Thad Rayburn, a wandering cowboy looking to make a buck. Will Thad change Katie’s mind?

“Saving Grace” by Margaret Brownley

Grace Davenport is either the unluckiest woman alive—or a killer. When her third husband is found dead, Grace is arrested. Attorney Brock Daniels isn't interested in the case—until he meets Grace. Only a miracle will prove her innocence, but the joining of two lonely hearts may be their saving grace.
Book Review
 I was so excited to get this book in the mail. Margaret Brownley, Mary Connealy and Robin Lee Hatcher are all authors that I have read in the past, and I absolutely adore them. Debra Clopton, however, I had never heard of. Turns out, her novella was the one that I enjoyed most! I mean, none of them were . . . bad per say, but I was pretty disappointed. I 've come to expect a lot from this group of authors because I have seen what they are capable of. It seemed to me that most of the novella's in this collection were just thrown together in a hurry in order to meet a deadline. I could even write something like this, and that's saying something. Maybe I'm just not a novella person. Most of them leave me wanting. I have read precious few that really impress me because most authors don't take the time to make a REAL story out of it. Now, all this being said, I didn't absolutely hate it. I'm a sucker for a good country romance, and that's just what this collection is (even if some couples were a bit hasty in my opinion). And there were some really sweet moments with some even sweeter characters. I would have to say that my favorite book in this collection would be "A Cowboy For Katie" by Debra Clopton. It was just a really sweet, lighthearted story. I would recommend this collection to anyone that doesn't have a lot of book related deadlines like I did when I read it, and to someone who is looking for a book to read at intervals (vacation, maybe?). Happy reading!

~Madi For The Literary Maidens

D I S C L A I M E R: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion by the Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not further compensated to review this product and all thoughts and sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.

Spoken For By Robin Jones Gunn & Alyssa Joy Bethke

Spoken For

Review Written By Madi
Book Title: Spoken For
Author(s): Robin Jones Gunn & Alyssa Joy Bethke
Source/Sponsor: Blogging For Books
Genre: Christian/Religion
Number Of Pages: 184
ISBN: 978-1-60142-597-3
Publisher: Multnomah
Year Of Publication: 2014
My Rating: Five Out Of Five Stars
Book Description
Say Yes to the Love Story of Your Life
A great romance was set in motion before you were born. A relentless Lover is pursuing you, and He has made His intentions clear. He wants you to be His forever. How will you respond to the One who longs for you to be His with your whole heart?

In Spoken For, Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke speak to your heart about what it means for you to belong to Christ, who you are because of His love, and how that affects the way you live. Drawing on biblical promises and their personal experiences,   these two friends share what it’s like to live out God’s unfolding love story.

You are not up for grabs. You are spoken for.

Includes questions for group discussion and personal reflection.
Book Review
I love Robin Jones Gunn. When I was younger I read her Christy Miller Books, then the Sierra Jenson series, then last year I read Victim Of Grace. I discovered that I enjoy her non-fictional writing even more than her other stories. She is very plain spoken and open. Her words are always encouraging ones. She shares her story and trials only when necessary. Today my grandfather said to me, " I don't like talking about my past, I just don't. I can't live in the past, I have enough to deal with today. But I will share whatever I have to in order to glorify Jesus." That's how I see Robin's approach to her books. She shares just enough for her readers to know that she's been there, so she knows her stuff. I've never read anything by her co-author, this may actually be her first book. I don't know, but I do know that I will keep my eyes peeled for her name on future book lists. This book caught my eye as soon as I saw who the author was, but when I read the description, I knew that it was gonna be a keeper. It touched on a subject that is so sensitive for a lot of teenage girls, and single females in general. It talked about how our identities should be in Christ, not so much in looking for Mr. Right. He'll get here eventually, and no amount of bartering with God is gonna get him here any faster. It talked about how we should prepare ourselves instead so we are ready when God DOES bring that special someone into our life. It touched on how each of the author's dealt with breakups, relationships and life in general. I would encourage any young lady to read this. It only took me a few hours total and I LOVED it.
~Madilyn For The Literary Maidens
D I S C L A I M E R : I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion by Blogging for Books. I was not further compensated to review this product and all thoughts/sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron Book Review

18850688// The Butterfly and the Violin //
A Hidden Masterpiece Novel

                            By Kristy Cambron

                      {Review Written by Bethany}

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: Review book from the publisher through BookLookBloggers
Number of Pages: 336
Publication Date: July 8th, 2014
My Rating: Five out of five stars

// Book Synopsis //

{Taken from GoodReads
"And then came war . . .

"Today." Sera James spends most of her time arranging auctions for the art world's elite clientele. When her search to uncover an original portrait of an unknown Holocaust victim leads her to William Hanover III, they learn that this painting is much more than it seems.

"Vienna, 1942." Adele Von Bron has always known what was expected of her. As a prodigy of Vienna's vast musical heritage, this concert violinist intends to carry on her family's tradition and play with the Vienna Philharmonic. But when the Nazis learn that she helped smuggle Jews out of the city, Adele is taken from her promising future and thrust into the horrifying world of Auschwitz.

The veil of innocence is lifted to expose a shuddering presence of evil, and Adele realizes that her God-given gift is her only advantage; she must play. Becoming a member of the Women's Orchestra of Auschwitz, she fights for survival. Adele's barbed-wire walls begin to kill her hope as the months drag into nearly two years in the camp. With surprising courage against the backdrop of murder and despair, Adele finally confronts a question that has been tugging at her heart: Even in the midst of evil, can she find hope in worshiping God with her gift?

As Sera and William learn more about the subject of the mysterious portrait--Adele--they are reminded that whatever horrors one might face, God's faithfulness never falters.

// Bethany's Book Review //

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a painting brought forth in trial is worth even more. Fans of heartwarming historical fiction will love this new breathtaking novel from debut author Kristy Cambron. Switching between two different time periods and point of views, this story takes you an unforgettable journey of two women-one during WWII inside a concentration camp, and the other in the present day tracking down art from the concentration camps. 

As a devoted fan of WWII historical fiction, I was very excited to learn of this new book which is set in my favorite time period setting for historical fiction. My very first impression of this book was how breathtaking the cover is. While I knew it held so much beauty even before reading the novel, after reading the poignant story within its pages, I have an even greater love for the cover, and all it represents in the story with the painting that Sera is tracking of Adele. 

This novel completely blew me out of the water. I had a feeling it would be good, but I didn't expect that it would end up on my favorite books read in 2014 list! For a debut novel, I'd have thought that this was not the first book by this author, as the writing style shows experience and a seasoned writing style, making it hard for me to believe it was only this author's first novel! Kristy has been gifted with the ability to take words on a page of paper and turn them into a story, breathing life into the characters and weaving a true masterpiece that moves you just as much as the painting of Adele did for those in the story. This novel has such heart and emotion, and was written in such a way that you can't help but be touched in a positive way. 

Kristy wrote about the horrendously unjust time in history where innocent Jews were killed all for the sake of power. She wrote it in such a poignant way that I just couldn't help but feel as if I were in the concentration camps alongside Adele and the others who were there with her. While lots of Holocaust historical fiction is usually known for producing this emotion, I felt like this experience was different than others I've had with other fiction set during this time. The author just has such a wonderful way with words, and this novel was truly one of the most unique novels I've ever had the pleasure of reading. The way that the power of music and art were woven into the storyline made for such a touching addition to the novel. I loved how the author wove the beauty of life into the story by emphasizing how music can be a form of worship to the Lord, as we saw ultimately displayed in Adele's life. 

Aside from the sheer beauty and radiance of this novel, and the story it tenderly tells, the characters were another part of this story that I loved. This novel was extremely unique, since it switches between two different time periods and point of views, making for an interesting reading experience. In the story we get to know Adele who lived during WWII, and we also meet Sera who is living in the present day, tracking down a portrait of Adele painted long ago. Both women have a touching story in this novel, and the development of both of their characters is such a beautiful thing to see take place on the page, and was done so well. I'd only read one other novel sharing two point of views/time periods before, and really liked how this part of the story added to the storyline and overall theme, adding advantages to the reading experience that I enjoyed greatly. 

Overall, this novel was such a touching one. I got so swept away in the story, and truly felt the characters emotions, and will forever remember Adele's legacy - even more so the because of the real people who's stories of concentration camp life were similar to Adele's fictional one. Even though Adele's story is a work of fiction, I love how it reflects upon to true stories of those who did suffer in the concentration camps. That fact that what Adele went through was based on real events added another dimension to the story, making it a truly beautiful masterpiece. I loved the way music was incorporated into the story as a form of worship to the Lord, and loved how Kristy really drove home the fact that music has the power to move people, and is a wonderful thing when used for the Lord's glory. I feel so blessed to have been able to read this book, and treasure it as a favorite! I would highly recommend this novel to any historical fiction fans, and eagerly await future novels by this author! 

D I S C L A I M E R :: I received a complementary copy of The Butterfly and the Violin from the publisher for the sole purpose of this review. I was not paid to promote this book, and all thoughts expressed in the review are my own, completely honest and unbiased.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund Book Review

// Captured by Love //
Michigan Brides // Book #3
By Jody Hedlund
{Review Written by Bethany}
Publisher: Bethany House
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Genre: Christian Fiction
Number of Pages: 384
ISBN: 0764210491
Publication Date: July 1st, 2014
My Rating: Four out of five stars

Author Website // Author Bio
 Books Written by Jody/Purchase a Copy 
// Book Synopsis //
{Taken from GoodReads}
"It is 1814 and the British have taken hold of Mackinac Island and its fort, forcing American residents to swear an oath of loyalty to the British crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a voyageur--a fur trader who left his family home to find freedom and adventure. He's been gone five years and when he returns, his family's farm is at the mercy of the British invaders.
Torn between the life he's grown used to and guilt over leaving his brother and mother, he's drawn back into the loyalist fight against the British--and into a relationship with Angelique Mackenzie, a beautiful local girl who's been befriended by the daughter of the British commander. As tensions mount and the threat of violence increases, both Angelique and Pierre must decide where their loyalties rest, how far they will go to find freedom, and how much they will risk to find love."
// Book Review //
Ever since I heard that Jody was working on another novel, I knew I wanted to read it! I really enjoyed getting to read this novel and especially loved the last 100 pages. I also loved the main character Angelique's loyal character.
Captured by Love is the third book in the Michigan Brides series. However this series is made up of novels that completely stand alone, and aren't related to each other in any way, other than the place the story is set in. So for those who'd like to read this book but haven't read the other books in the series, it won't hinder the reading experience at all. 
Fans of Jody's lovely writing style full of historical detail will enjoy this novel. However I found that this novel didn't seem to have as many historical bits as previous books by this author did. I felt like all the historical details were in one chunk of the book during one particular scene that involved a lot of historical details, and the rest was just sprinkled details throughout the story. I found that while the book certainly did feature lots of history, it just wasn't to the level I'm used to and loved in Jody's previous books. However I still got a lot of neat historical details in Captured by Love, and enjoyed exploring the time period!
My favorite aspect of this novel was main character Angelique's personality. In the story she is faced with a difficult decision that she must make, as to who she will marry, since she is in very progressed relationships with two men. However, due to circumstances she is not sure which one she should marry. She has to choose between loyalty to the man she pledged herself to long ago, but hasn't seen in a long time, and the man whom she has known and befriended since she was a child. In the course of the story, she must decide if she should still honor her previous pledge to another man who is not present, continuing her loyalty to this man, or if she should follow her heart and marry the man whom she has been friends with since childhood.
This story involves  a very complex love-triangle, making for an interesting story that contains several unexpected twists! I really enjoyed seeing how the main character handled this decision, and really valued her character. She wasn't wishy-washy and didn't just throw away a promise she had made - even if it was promised long ago. Even when her views on someone seemed to have changed or got cloudy, she still maintained her promise and has such a loyal spirit, which really shined through at the end of the story. I just loved her character and though the development was wonderful! Her loyalty was such a refreshing theme in the story, and I really enjoyed that aspect of the novel!
While Captured by Love wasn't my favorite book by this author, I still enjoyed it a lot! But I feel like maybe the reason why it wasn't a favorite was due to several little things I found in the novel that I wasn't completely a fan of. One of those details was the romance and story-line. While both where well-done, I felt like at times the romance was a bit more detailed and descriptive than I'd have preferred, though never inappropriate. Also, the story-line often felt like the main theme was the love story, and I would have liked to see more sub-plots with other characters. While obviously the idea of the romance being the main story is to be expected, I was hoping to get to know some of the other characters better. While there was some other stories involving other characters in the book that were woven into the story, I felt like I would have enjoyed a bit more of that, versus the main attraction being on the main characters without any other themes. However it just depends on whether or not you like a lot of romance in the novels that you read, which will determine if you'd enjoy this book, or not so much.
In all I enjoyed this story. The beginning of the story felt a bit slow to me, however the last 100 pages and the superb ending made up for it! While I wished there were more sub-plots with the other characters, I did enjoy getting to know the main character and loved Angelique's loyalty. The history was very well-researched and involved neat details. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend, and hope you'll try it sometime if you enjoy historical fiction!
D I S C L A I M E R :: I received a free copy of Captured by Love from the publisher through the author, to be a part of the influencer team to promote this novel. I was not paid in any way to promote this book, and all thoughts expressed in the review were my own, completely honest and unbiased.

Special Announcement: Stay tuned for a special Captured by Love blog tour post featuring author Jody Hedlund and a Captured by Love book giveaway right here on The Literary Maidens in July! To check out all the blog tour stops, and view the tour schedule, click HERE.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

June 2014 In Review // Monthly Reflections

Hello bookish friends! It's been a while since we've posted a month in review blog post, sharing the books we read in the previous month. So I thought now would be a good time to get back into sharing our month in books review, since the first days of July are already here! I hope that you will share with us in the comments what you read in June, or let us know if you have read any of the below books yourself, and what you thought of them! We always love hearing what you've been reading, and hope you enjoy seeing what we read this past June!

// Books Bethany Read In June //


6624391 18651927 501960
18988165 11948994
{When applicable, click the blog title to read the book review}
3} Cool Beans by Erynn Mangum // 5* out of 5 stars
4} Latte Daze by Erynn Mangum // 4 out of 5 stars
5} Double Shot by Erynn Mangum // 4 out of 5 stars
6} Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen // 5* out of 5 stars
7} The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen // 4 out of 5 stars
8} Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund // 4 out of 5 stars
9} Miss Match by Erynn Mangum // 4 out of 5 stars
11} First Date by Krista McGee // 4 out of 5 stars
*=  On list of favorite books read in 2014

// Books Madilyn Read in June //

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11870085 18240275
3} Four Weddings & a Kiss novella collection by various authors // 4 out of 5 stars
4} The Fault in our Stars by John Green // 4 out of 5 stars
5} Spoken For by Robin Jones Gunn & Alyssa Joy Bethke // 5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Annie's Stories by Cindy Thomson Book Review

18988165// Annie's Stories //
Ellis Island // Book #2
By Cindy Thomson
{Review by Bethany}
Publisher: Tyndale House
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Genre: Christian Fiction
Number of Pages: 400
ISBN: 1414368453
Publication Date: July 1st, 2014
My Rating: Four out of five stars
// Book Synopsis //
{Taken from GoodReads}
"The year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment—they’re a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House.

But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the friendly postman shows a little too much interest in Annie—and in her father’s unpublished stories. In fact, he suspects these tales may hold a grand secret.

Though the postman’s intentions seem pure, Annie wants to share her father’s stories on her own terms. Determined to prove herself, Annie must forge her own path to aid her friend and create the future she’s always envisioned . . . where dreams really do come true."
// Book Review //
This was the second book that I read by Cindy Thomson, the first being Grace's Pictures, and I really enjoyed continuing the Ellis Island adventure! While I think that Grace's Pictures is my favorite of the two novels, I did enjoyed Annie's Stories and really enjoyed getting to meet Annie as well as see how Grace was doing after her story came to a temporary close in Grace's Pictures.
While there are many similarities between Grace's Pictures and Annie's Stories (book one and two in the Ellis Island series), they are both stand-alone novels that don't have to be read in order. While it's nice to know Grace's background from reading the first book, it's completely optional, and not necessary in order to enjoy Annie's Stories.
The Ellis Island novels focus on Irish immigrants who have recently traveled to Ellis Island in hopes of a better life, and Annie Gallagher is no exception. Following these young women's journey in this new land, it highlights their joys and trials experienced while living in a new place. In Annie's case, there is some "baggage" from her past in Ireland that she has to deal with and heal from, and seeing that journey unfold on the pages was very inspiring. As a woman who unjustly suffered abuse in her past, the healing process is very detailed and tedious, but when she meets a fellow boarder who is going through the same trials, she is able to offer an understanding hand brought up by experience, and is able to make a difference. While there is a bit of sensitive content in this portion of the book, I don't think it ever got inappropriate, and was handled well. However I did wish to mention it so readers are aware of this before diving into the story.
The Wizard of Oz, which was really becoming quite popular during this time that the story takes place, in the early 1900s, had a big role in this story as Annie read it and related with a lot of the themes. I always love books based on characters who also share a love for books, or those that have a thread of books themselves in the novel, and really felt like there was a lot of The Wizard of Oz in this novel, which I loved!
One of the things I love about this author is the writing style that often reminds me of Janette Oke in the simplicity of a slow romance that is very clean and doesn't clog up the story-line. The main story-line focuses on Annie's story in Ellis Island, so her budding romance with the mailman wasn't the main focus. That makes for a good book choice for those who don't like as much romance in their reading material, however on the flip side, it probably wouldn't be the first choice for those who like lots of romance and a suspenseful story. Unlike a lot of novels, this book focuses on Annie and her journey in a new land and her relationships with her friends, versus a romance. But the down side to this is the fact that often times I felt like this novel was slow, and while it never really bothered me all that much, it was still something I noticed. The story-line was very good and interesting but I felt like it was somewhat dragged out at times.
In all, I really enjoyed this heart-felt novel following one Irish immigrant's journey to healing. While sometimes a bit dragged out, it was still a very pleasant read, and is on my bookshelf of novels that I am definitely keeping despite space restrictions. Fans of Grace's Pictures should read this second installment in the Ellis Island novels!
D I S C L A I M E R :: I received a free copy of Annie's Stories through the publisher for the sole purpose of this review. I was not paid to write this review, and all thoughts expressed are my own, completely honest and unbiased.