Thursday, September 29, 2016

Another winner from Clark & Gould: "My Sister's Prayer" (Cousins of the Dove Series)

about the book....

Virginia, 1705

Celeste Talbot is usually such a sensible young woman—until she falls for an English soldier reassigned to the Colonies. Leaving her Huguenot family behind, she sets sail for America, only to realize that her younger sister Berta has been kidnapped and forced on board the very same ship. Whom can Celeste trust? The dashing soldier? Or the vigilant carpenter who remains by their side in the perilous New World?

Virginia, present day

Madeline "Maddee" Talbot has her hands full when she agrees to take in her younger sister Nicole following a serious car accident. The young women grew apart when Nicole fell into drug addiction, and Maddee prays this will be the start of a better life for her sister. But as they investigate a trauma from their childhood, Maddee must keep a diligent eye on Nicole—and the shadowy figure watching them from afar.

my review....

Once again, Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould have co-written a winning novel that expertly moves between past and present in a way that is thoroughly enjoyable. It would be hard to say which plot I enjoyed following more, that of modern sisters Maddee and Nicole, or their ancestors Celeste and Berta as they brave the journey to the New World. Maddee and Celeste each tell their stories from their points of view, and I quite admired the way that the authors fleshed out the characters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Each story complemented and built on the other, and showed that while time and place may change, there seems to be nothing new under the sun! The characters experienced similar struggles of betrayal and loss, love and forgiveness, and of course a dash of romance as well. Each story moves along at a good pace, and there were some unexpected moments for all of the characters that kept me glued to the pages as I was eager to find out how things would resolve. And, although in general I was quite satisfied with the ending, I was left wanting to see how things would ultimately resolve regarding the ongoing mystery of who the modern cousins found murdered in the cabin, a plot point that is carried over from the first book in the series and appears set to come to a conclusion by the end of the third. I only wish I didn't have to wait so long for the final book in the series to see where things are going to go from here!

Each book in this series just gets better and better, and readers will find much to enjoy in the pages of "My Sister's Prayer". Fans of stories that expertly blend history and contemporary plots with wonderful spiritual elements are going to love this one. I award this novel 5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Harvest House. Available at your favourite bookseller!

 about the authors....

Mindy Starns Clark
Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of more than 20 books, both fiction and nonfiction (more than 800,000 sold) including coauthoring the Christy Award–winning The Amish Midwife. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live in Pennsylvania. 

Leslie Gould
Leslie Gould, a former magazine editor, is the author of numerous novels, including Beyond the Blue and Garden of Dreams. She received her master of fine arts degree from Portland State University and lives in Oregon with her husband, Peter, and their four children. 

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Another thought-provoking read from Rubart: "The Long Journey to Jake Palmer"


Jake Palmer is at the top of his game, a sought-after corporate trainer with the ability to stir up within people a new understanding of who they are and what their potential is. But a horrific accident causes him to question everything he believes about himself and his own purpose in life. All hope seems lost until his friends convince him to attend an annual vacation with them, even though that's the last thing he wants to do. His reluctance soon runs up against a local legend of Willow Lake about a hidden corridor at the end of which is a place where your desperate desires will be fulfilled. As Jake begins his search, he comes to realize nothing is as it seems.

The vivid imagination of James L. Rubart has again resulted in an entertaining, thought-provoking novel in "The Long Journey to Jake Palmer". The book is filled with vibrant spiritual imagery, and it would be impossible to read this book and not be left contemplating the state of your own soul. The characters are interesting and unique, and you will wish that you had such intriguing friends as Jake does in this novel (although perhaps a friend like Camille would take extra patience). Jake is my favourite character with his complex past and deep brokenness, and I think any reader will be able to relate to some of the struggles that he deals with. The truth and healing that spills from the pages of this book are beautiful to behold! Rubart throws plenty of unexpected moments and twists into the book that kept me turning through the pages, not only in terms of what the corridor beholds but regarding the future of Jake's friendships and potential love interests. Consequently, I read through the book in short order, having thoroughly enjoyed myself along the way, and feeling a bit let down that I had to walk away from these characters so soon.

Fans of James L. Rubart are no doubt going to devour this latest addition to his growing collection of stellar novels. It is easy to see why his books win awards - and this one will no doubt win similar accolades! 5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Thomas Nelson, and the Booklook program, for the purposes of this unbiased review.

about the author...

James L. RubartJames L. Rubart is a 28 year old trapped in an older man's body, who loves to water ski and dirt bike with his two grown sons. He's the bestselling, award winning author of seven novels, including his latest, The Five Times I Met Myself. He lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington.

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