Book Review: Emerald Fields (Pegg Thomas)

Emerald Fields (Pegg Thomas)

Oh my, I loved this book so much. If it’s not my favorite of Pegg Thomas’ books, then it’s right up there. From the first page I was invested and had the worst trouble putting it down.

The characters are endearing yet complex, and the relationship progresses in a way that doesn’t feel forced or conventional. The setting is great, and Thomas does an excellent job employing all the senses to convey the differences between the big city and small country town.

Even though this classifies as historical romance, it touches on some difficult topics (PTSD, war wounds, death of close friends and family). Thomas handles each one well and with sensitivity, but I still found myself getting emotional. And I rarely get emotional over books.

Bonuses: Anyone who has read “Embattled Hearts” will be in for a pleasant surprise. Anyone who appreciates classical music and hymns will find a few gems offered. I love discovering new music! I’m looking forward to more in this series.

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I received an advanced copy of this book but was not required to leave a positive review. All comments are my own.

Wading Into Summer

Spring weather stayed a good long while this year. Uncharacteristically wet and cool, we enjoyed 60s and 70s temps clear through most of June! Even these days we don’t get much above 90, but that’s predicted to change over the next couple weeks. But enough about the weather!

Playing catch up with pictures again, because life has dealt me a very busy year with almost no time for writing. I miss it. There’s so much I want to say, so many stories I want to tell. Even the paper journal is clueless to most of them. One of these days the pen will swing back ’round, but for now I have a whole bunch of cuties to love. They make me laugh and remind me daily that the path I’ve chosen (motherhood) is where I’m meant to be. Thanks be to God!

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Book Review: The Rhise of Hope, Darkness Overcome Book #2 (Max Sternberg)

The Rhise Of Hope: Book Two in the Darkness Overcome Series by Max B. Sternberg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The light definitely shines in Book 2 of the Darkness Overcome series.

Max Sternberg continues the story of Leon and his friends with the same intensity and fast-paced action as the first book. In the second installment, Leon’s faith jumps to the next level and the conflict rhises with him (haha…see what I did there), creating a story arc that connects to the previous one but stands alone in its own way.

Like the first book, The Rhise of Hope is full of vivid descriptions and touches on many biblical concepts. Some of it feels a little more drawn out to me, but I get that Leon is supposed to be growing in his faith and his conversations about spirituality reflect that.

The end battle, oh my. It’s a solid writer who can pen an epic battle sequence and get me (generally a non-fantasy reader) to read every. Single. Word. But how could I not with important questions hanging over me like “What more can that metal possibly do?” and “WHY is Duame crying?”

This was a very enjoyable read, and I’m looking forward to the conclusion of the series immensely. 4.5 Stars

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Book Review: Legacy Redeemed, The Legacy #4 (Robin Patchen)

Legacy Redeemed by Robin Patchen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Robin Patchen was recommended to me as “The Queen of Suspense” so I picked this up with no prior knowledge of her or her writing.

What an introduction. Patchen has some of the strongest writing I’ve seen in an long time, and I experienced a wide range of emotions and reactions reading this book. I fell in love with the characters immediately and worried right along with Nadia as she navigated her fears and past as a victim of human trafficking. The subject is difficult, but I felt it was presented well. Intense and heartbreaking, but not nitty gritty.

Patchen gives a fantastic ride with a clear and rewarding redemption message. A most satisfactory read!

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Book Review: Last Light, Restoration #1 (Terri Blackstock)

Last Light by Terri Blackstock

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My recent research suggested Terri Blackstock is on the A list for Christian suspense novels, so I had pretty high expectations when I picked up this book. The writing grabbed me from the first page and held my attention, and the premise intrigued me greatly.

I did find the 21 year old daughter frustrating and annoying (as did most the other characters around her), and I caught myself skipping dialogue that involved her. Sometimes a character is supposed to be frustrating and annoying, but too much is…too much!

Overall this is a great what-if story, and I’ll definitely be reading the rest of the trilogy.

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Seats, Ships, and Scooters

LK is, for lack of a better phrase, growing up. It hit me last week that he’s traded mini cars for lawn mowers, dinosaurs for a hammer and nails, and blocks for a multi-tool. He still gets on the floors with the cars on occasion to play with Arc or Indy, and I imagine he will always want to create with Legos, but he’s beginning to put childish things behind him. Oh time, stand still!

Building battleships out of stakes and scrap lumber gave way to building replica rifles, and then he found a free chair at a yard sale. It was a metal chair, solid in frame but busted in seat. LK saw potential, as did The Dearliest, who encouraged him to bring it home.

Thusly LK learned to use a number of shop tools and spent a fair number of hours building a wooden seat for his chair. I gotta say the contoured result was quite comfortable. He thinks so too, and is most pleased with his chair.

About this time his whittling began to take on shapes, and he discovered wood carving in its basic form. Armed with a pocketknife, he made a couple sailing ships. He has plans to make them water worthy, but for now they sit in dry dock until the ballast issues get ironed out.

Some days later the kids were helping with yard cleanup, and LK noticed an old electric stand-on scooter in the dump trailer. The Dearliest had already pulled off the components he wanted, so LK asked if he could remove what was left of the engine and convert it into a kick scooter. He got permission, and it was a Very Exciting Day.

He spent all his spare time over the next few days on his scooter, figuring out how to take things apart, take things off, and how to reattach the brakes. Using what he learned from the chair project, he measured and made himself a wooden platform to ride on.

Some tweaking after that, he had a working kick scooter. Now when we go for walks he’s proud to bring his wheels, and I’m sure the satisfaction of a good long coast is high.

Shades of Spring (Update, Picture Heavy)

We’re entering into my favorite time of year here. For two beautiful months, Idaho reminds me of Oregon and Northern California in its colors, its temperatures, and its rain. The daffodils and violets are strutting their stuff, and so many more green shoots everywhere promise an upcoming stunning show.

My new irises are doing pretty well! I received them just before a frost last fall and the rhizomes were tiny, so I stuck them in a barrel in the greenhouse for the winter. Not everything made it, but I’m rather surprised how many did.

The patch is growing inches a day it seems, and all the transplants from last year seem to have taken. I’m quite excited for the new colors I should see this year! Thanking God I was able to clean out the beds before they really took off. Nothing worse than bending down to pull a weed only to snap a bud. One of these years I must widen the space between the rows.

The kids are also shooting up, as evidenced by realizing when I’m in bare feet and LK is in boots, we’re just about eye-to-eye. What. He has some pretty neat projects going on, but I’ll make another post about them. Really. I will. 😀

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Tuesday Review: Maggie’s Strength (Pegg Thomas)

Maggie’s Strength by Pegg Thomas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Pegg Thomas brings us another intense look at a lesser-known time in history in “Maggie’s Strength.” It’s a very different perspective than “Sarah’s Choice,” and I was amazed at how skillfully Thomas created a completely new feel with the same backdrop (Pontiac’s rebellion). Packed with vivid descriptions, relatable characters, and tidbits of true history, “Maggie’s Strength” kept me thinking about the book long after I closed it.

As much as I was rooting for Maggie and Baptiste, the relationship between Baptiste and Walking Fire Stick was one of my favorite aspects. As the war tested their friendship and loyalty, I felt right there with them. A very satisfying ending all the way around, I daresay.

Also, yay for Cully cameos!

Looking forward now to “Abigail’s Peace.”

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Site Changes and Maintenance

Having recently upgraded my blog, I’m learning some new things and making some changes. The biggest element is merging the writing blog with this one, so kindly bear with me while I figure out how this all works!

For now, please enjoy the first flower of spring in my yard–dwarf iris reticulata “Cantab.”