Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Mapmaker's Children, A Novel by Sarah McCoy

The Mapmaker’s Children, A Novel written by Sarah Mc Coy

I was so excited to see this book come in the mail! The book was about one of the subjects that I really like to read about, The Under Ground Railroad, the people who traveled it and the people who made it work. This book was to be about Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown. She would draw maps with codes hidden in her map to help slaves get from one point to another. I kept hoping that the story would be more about Sarah and the people who got moved from one point to another all with the slave hunters on their trail.

There was an alternating story about Eden a modern day woman who so wants to conceive a child, and can’t. She moves into a house that was used for one of the points in the Underground Railroad. I didn’t enjoy reading about Eden, her life, she seemed to be all about carrying a child, and how miserable she was, and less and less about finding clues in the house that it was a apart of the UGRR.

The book just didn’t keep my interest as much as I tried I would lie the book down more than I would pick it up. I had to force myself to keep reading. I kept waiting for more details on the part of the story I thought should be there. They never were. I don’t usually write reviews with negative tones, but I can’t seem to help it, I didn’t really enjoy the book. I was disappointed. I checked out other reviews and found I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. I don’t always like books that alternate from one story line to another unless they are really greatly fleshed out, showing how one couldn’t be there without the other. This book didn’t do that for me, I’m sorry to say. There were many who enjoyed the book and wrote positive reviews, if you want to read the b hook, don’t let my review keep you from it. 

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this honest review."

More about the book: From the New York Times bestselling author of The Baker's Daughter, a story of family, love, and courage
When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril. Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance.

Ingeniously plotted to a riveting end, Sarah and Eden’s woven lives connect the past to the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way.


SARAH McCOY is the New York Times bestselling author of the 2012 Goodreads Choice Award Best Historical Fiction nominee The Baker’s Daughter and The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico. She has taught English writing at Old Dominion University and at the University of Texas at El Paso. She calls Virginia home but presently lives with her husband and their dog, Gilbert, in El Paso, Texas.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Treasure Concealed by Tracie Peterson

I absolutely loved this story. Tracie has the talented writing skills she puts you right there in the scene or brings the story off the written page, I'm not sure which but I knew she wrote so well I felt I was there seeing some of 1890's Montana and the gold rush.  Emily Carver lives with her parents, her Mother is ailing she rarely gets out of bed, so Emily feels she must stay.  they stay in the poorest of places so that her father can keep panning for gold so sure he is going to hit the big time for once in his life.  Emily just knows she wants to have a permanent home a real home with the picket fence babies husband everything.  One thing her Mother has is faith and she raises her daughter with that, although Emily is really having problems with that.  Enter a young geologist, Caeden Thibault. He helps her father out with some things and then is invited to have a meal with them, he is summoned to meet Emily's Mother, she talks to Caeden and she tells him, I knew before I died God would send a man that would be my Emily's husband and he would make sure she lived and didn't follow her father for the rest of his life while giving up hers.  Of course Caeden didn't think she knew what she was talking about although he was drawn to Emily, he couldn't see it as he was traveling for a project he was working on for the group in Washington DC., he did his job by traveling Emily wanted to be settled some where permanent.  The story is written so well that you feel as if you are there with them.  I couldn't put it down.  I was drawn to this story. I have read Tracies' books before and I love her writing.
I received this book from Bethany House Publishers through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Here is the review as written here:
Bestselling Author Tracie Peterson Launches Exciting New Series Set in 1890s Montana
Emily Carver wants a home where she can put down roots instead of following her gold-hungry father from one mining camp to another. She also longs for tenderness and love, both of which are missing in her life. Yet when she realizes she's losing her heart to the intriguing new man in camp, she fiercely fights her feelings, afraid that love will only result in disappointment and heartache.
Caeden Thibault, a young geologist, comes to Montana to catalog minerals indigenous to the state. He's a serious and guarded young man trying to escape the pain of his past. He has avoided all romantic entanglements, fearing he might become like his abusive father. But something about Emily Carver has caught his attention, something he never expected. . . .
Will these two broken souls allow God to bring healing and hope to their hurting hearts?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Amish Sweethearts - Neighbors of Lancaster County Book Two - by Leslie Gould

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.   I always enjoy reading about the Amish, taken back in time to the simpler life, simpler but harder as living without the English use if electricity, phone's, etc. is a harder life.  I've read books by the author Leslie Gould, and expected a lot from this book. I did not read book one of this series, although the book stood on it's own pretty well.
Unfortunately I came down with pneumonia since reading the book and I have to do the review rather late, wish I  had gotten it done right after finishing the book.  I know why I didn't write that review immediately upon finishing the book.  I felt really torn as I always like to make sure to give a positive review when I receive books for free, and especially when they are from an author I am sure I have read before and enjoyed.
There was a drag in the story where things didn't come together for a story that flowed so well you felt the characters came off the page and  you couldn't wait to see how their relationships were going to develop by the end of the book.  I know I wasn't feeling well but I looked and there were some other people who were equally feeling something was slowing the story.
Zane Beck and his Amish neighbor Lila Lehman were friends from the time they were children.  No one had a problem with it even though he was English and she was Amish, they were children.  After high school though they had feelings for each other, which they spent a lot of the time in the book avoiding each other and not telling the other about their feelings.  I think that was the drag.  Lila is being courted by the Bishop's son which is what her father wants, she really doesn't have feelings for him.  When she turns her back on Zane he feels she does, that she will be married soon to someone else he takes himself out of the vicinity and joins the service, although he really doesn't have the stomach for fighting, and he is sent to Afghanistan.  The Amish are very much against war, violence and for Lila to have a relationship with someone English who also served in the war, well it really is the entire second half of the book as she fights her feelings and he fights his and he also feels after he is injured but is told to return to service he doesn't want to go back because he really doesn't want anything to do with killing or injuring anyone.  I did like the ending the book did come together and there seemed to be a lot of people who read the book and didn't seem to feel there was a slow start to it.  I would say give the book a chance, you would probably enjoy this book especially if you read the first book.  There were more than enjoyed the book and gave it five stars than those that felt there was something missing, and I was ill in between writing the review and reading the book.. I'm going to give it three stars which kills me because I know Leslie Gould the author is so highly regarded and the other books I have read of hers I truly enjoyed.  So it may just be me.  Give this one a chance.
Description of book as written here: Can These Two Friends from Opposite Worlds Find Love?

They've been best friends for years, but as high school ends, Zane Beck can't help but look at his Amish neighbor, Lila Lehman, with different eyes. Her controlling father sees only one future for Lila, though, and arranges for her to be courted by an upstanding young Amish man. When Zane sees the two together, his plans for the future crumble, and he impulsively enlists in the Army, following in his father's footsteps.

However, the passing of years and the distance between them isn't enough to halt their now hidden feelings for each other. If being together used to be difficult, it's now impossible, especially with the Amish opposed to war. Zane's service takes a dramatic turn when he's sent to Afghanistan. Being on the front line and the reality of taking a life has him questioning whether he can continue to serve or not. But all choices have consequences--both his and hers. With Lila preparing to marry another, will these one-time sweethearts ever find the life together that they both still long for?