A Sparrow in Terezin Review

A Sparrow in Terezin is a 353 page Christian historical fiction novel. It is published by Thomas Nelson Publishers and was released on April 7, 2015. To purchase your copy through Amazon, click here or through Barnes and Nobles, click here.

Overview

Bound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection through one survivor’s story of hope in the darkest days of a war-torn world.

Present Day–With the grand opening of her new art gallery and a fairy tale wedding just around the corner, Sera James feels she’s stumbled into a charmed life–until a brutal legal battle against fiancé William Hanover threatens to destroy the perfectly planned future she’s planned before it even begins. Now, after an eleventh-hour wedding ceremony and a callous arrest, William faces a decade in prison for a crime he never committed, and Sera must battle the scathing accusations that threaten her family and any hope for a future.

1942–Kája Makovsky narrowly escaped occupied Prague in 1939, and was forced to leave her half-Jewish family behind. Now a reporter for the Daily Telegraph in England, Kája discovers the terror has followed her across the Channel in the shadowy form of the London Blitz. When she learns Jews are being exterminated by the thousands on the continent, Kája has no choice but to return to her mother city, risking her life to smuggle her family to freedom and peace.

Connecting across a century through one little girl, a Holocaust survivor with a foot in each world, these two women will discover a kinship that springs even in the darkest of times. In this tale of hope and survival, Sera and Kája must cling to the faith that sustains and fight to protect all they hold dear–even if it means placing their own futures on the line.

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My Two Cents

A Sparrow in Terezin is the second book in the A Hidden Masterpiece collection. This was the first book I have read by Cambron and I was able to follow the storyline easily. Cambron is skilled at interweaving two stories across decades without losing the reader but drawing them into a wonderful and moving story.

The research Cambron has invested is apparent in this novel. She entwines the history into the story where it unfolds through the characters. What makes A Sparrow in Terezin so exceptional is how Cambron shows the reader the history which draws you in instead of telling you which typically makes a story dry to the reader. A Sparrow in Terezin takes you back in time to a piece of history that we should never forget. The sweet story spiced with a bit of mystery makes the reader want to keep reading to the end.

The characters in A Sparrow in Terezin are well developed and authentic.  The American characters are believable and when we cross the ocean to England, Cambron adds characteristics that makes these characters believable as well.  The reader feels the emotions of these characters: Their success, their heartbreak, their love. Add in the imagery Cambron uses and it makes this one of the best historical novels I have read in a long time.

This book deserves every star in a five star rating. If you read historical fiction, than A Sparrow in Terezin is a must read book!

About the Author

Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with the WWII era since hearing her grandfather’s stories of the war. She holds an art history degree from Indiana University and received the Outstanding Art History Student Award. Kristy writes WWII and Regency era fiction and has placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations and 2012 FCRW Beacon contests, and is a 2013 Laurie finalist. Kristy makes her home in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons.

Find Kristy online: website, Facebook, Twitter

Thank you to Netgalley and Litfuse Publicity Group for the complimentary copy of A Sparrow in Terezin in exchange for my honest review. All opinions in this review are my own and no monetary compensation was given for them.

Kristy is celebrating by giving away a basket filled with goodies inspired by her new book!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A set of poppy notecards
  • A poppy pin
  • A copy of I Never Saw Another Butterfly
  • A copy of the Mrs. Miniver DVD
  • Literary tea bags
  • Tumbler
  • A copy of A Sparrow in Terezin
sparrow giveaway bastet



Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 28th. Winner will be announced April 29th on Kristy’s blog.

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To Win Her Favor Review

To Win Her Favor is a 384 page novel in the Christian historical fiction genre. It was published by Zondervan and will be released on May 12, 2015.  To pre-order your copy, click here.

Overview

A gifted rider in a world where ladies never race, Maggie Linden is determined that her horse will become a champion. But the one man who could help her has vowed to stay away from thoroughbred racing forever.

An Irishman far from home, Cullen McGrath left a once prosperous life in England because of a horse racing scandal that nearly ruined him. He’s come to Nashville for a fresh start, hoping to buy land and begin farming, all while determined to stay as far away from thoroughbred racing as possible. But starting over proves harder than he’d wagered, especially when Maggie Linden’s father makes him an offer he shouldn’t accept yet cannot possibly refuse.

Maggie is certain that her mare, Bourbon Belle, can take the top purse in the inaugural Peyton Stakes, the richest race ever run in America. Maggie only needs the chance to prove it. To give her that chance—and to save Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder—Maggie’s father, aging, yet wily as ever, makes a barter. His agreement includes one tiny, troublesome detail—Maggie must marry a man she’s never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.

To Win Her FAvor

My Two Cents

To Win Her Favor is a lovely fast paced novel that has its setting right after the Civil War. The plotline pulled me in right away and Alexander kept me engaged with suspense, romance, and a bit mystery. The research completed for this book is thorough, accurate, and gives the story authenticity. The novel includes difficult historical topics both truthfully and respectfully.  The reader can gain an understanding of how life could be during this time.

The characters of To Win Her Favor have personality, grit and a realness that makes you empathize with them even though we do not live in the same time period. For example, Maggie has worked hard for her dream and it would break her heart to lose it all so she makes a desperate decision. I think many of us can relate to how Maggie feels. Alexander does an incredible job of making a story authentic to the time period, yet relatable to today.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. This amazing romance will sweep you back in time and leave you wanting more when you are finished.

About the Author

Tamera Alexander is a best-selling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in Nashville, Tennessee, along with their two adult children who live near by. And don’t forget Jack, their precious—and precocious—silky terrier.

Find Tamera online: website, Facebook, Twitter

A big thank you to Litfuse chicks and Zondervan for a free copy of To Win Her Favor in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation has been received and all opinions expressed are my own.

Celebrate the release of To Win Her Favor with a Kindle Fire and book giveaway!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
  • A copy of To Win Her Favor

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 10th. Winner will be announced May 11th on Tamera’s blog. Plus stay tuned for more opportunities to win after May 11 with a special Pinterest contest—more details coming soon!

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The Creole Princess Book Review

The Creole Princess by Beth White is a 352 page novel in the historical Christian fiction genre.  It is published by Revell on April 7, 2015.  Click here to purchase from Amazon or here to purchase from Barnes and Noble.

Overview

All along the eastern seaboard, the American struggle for independence rages. In the British-held southern port of Mobile, Alabama, the conflict brewing is quieter–though no less deadly. The lovely Frenchwoman Lyse Lanier is best friends with the daughter of the British commander. Rafael Gonzalez is a charming young Spanish merchant with a secret mission and a shipment of gold to support General Washington. As their paths cross and their destinies become increasingly tangled, Lyse and Rafael must decide where their true loyalties lie–and somehow keep Lyse’s family from being executed as traitors to the British Crown.

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My Two Cents

The Creole Princess is a fast-paced novel that keeps you on your toes. It is very apparent that White did a lot of research on both the history of the time period as well as the setting in which the novel takes place; this shines through in her writing.  There are several cultures represented throughout The Creole Princess and the nuances added to her characters from each culture make them very authentic. Added to all of this, the history represented is not very well known so you learn something new.

There are many solid characters in The Creole Princess; some you love and some you hate. They come to life and give you a small glimpse of what it would have been like to live during this time period. White excels at creating tension through her characters and their situations which makes it hard to put her book down.  You can not wait to see what happens next. The main protagonist, Lyse, illuminates love, grace and forgiveness.  She makes you want to be a better daughter, sibling, wife, and friend.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  It will definitely be one I will read again!

About the Author

Beth White is the award-winning author of The Pelican Bride. A native Mississippian, she teaches music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. Her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers’ Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. Learn more at www.bethwhite.net.

Thank you to Revell and Beth White for a free copy of The Creole Princess in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was received for my opinions expressed in this review.

‘A Sparrow in Terezin’ by Kristy Cambron | New Book Plus a Book-Inspired Giveaway

Bound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection in Kristy Cambron‘s new book, A Sparrow in Terezin. Connecting across a century through one little girl, a Holocaust survivor with a foot in each world, two women will discover a kinship that springs even in the darkest of times. In this tale of hope and survival, Sera and Kája must cling to the faith that sustains and fight to protect all they hold dear—even if it means placing their own futures on the line.

Kristy is celebrating by giving away a basket filled with goodies inspired by her new book!

sparrow terezin - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A set of poppy notecards
  • A poppy pin
  • A copy of I Never Saw Another Butterfly
  • A copy of the Mrs. Miniver DVD
  • Literary tea bags
  • Tumbler
  • A copy of A Sparrow in Terezin
sparrow giveaway bastet 



Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 28th. Winner will be announced April 29th on Kristy’s blog.

sparrow terezin-enterbanner

{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}

Remember the Lilies Review

Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma is a 369 page novel in the Christian historical fiction genre. It was published by Thomas Nelson on February 3, 2015. To purchase your copy from Amazon, click here or from Barnes and Noble, click here.

Overview

Interred by the Japanese, missionary Irene Reynolds comes across a mysterious note while working at the censor’s office. She memorizes the parts she must blackout and delivers it to wealthy nightclub owner Rand Sterling. Before she knows what’s happening, she’s drawn into a web of secrets and danger.

Rand Sterling wants nothing more than to reopen his nightclubs once the war ends. But slimy Frank Covey wants his hand in the till—and has news that could threaten Rand’s reputation if it became public. More importantly, beautiful and intriguing Irene Reynolds cannot discover this information if he expects to persuade her to become his wife.

When Irene is attacked by a sinister Japanese guard and their secrets are exposed, they must learn the true meaning of forgiveness—if they can stave off starvation until the American troops bring freedom.

My Two Cents

Remember the Lilies took me back in time to World War II and dealt with issues experienced by civilians.  I had never heard of internment camps in the Philippines and the story makes you appreciate what you have today. Remember the Lilies also teaches about forgiveness for others and for yourself.

I loved the character of Anita. She is the person I would aspire to be if I was in a difficult situation.  She was an encouragement to others around her and invested in her niece as well as those around her. Her life touched many and I was inspired to be more like her.

It is very important when writing that the author not have inconsistencies in their writing for the story to make sense to the reader.  Unfortunately, there were a few inconsistencies in Remember the Lilies that made some aspects hard to believe. Also, the personality shifts with Rand and Irene were a little hard to swallow.  For example, some of the behavior from Irene did not seem to jive with the mature christian she seemed to portray at the beginning. Even with these few negative aspects, I am glad I read this book and would recommend to anyone who like historical fiction.

I would give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

About the Author

Liz Tolsma has lived in Wisconsin most of her life, and she now resides next to a farm field with her husband, their son, and their two daughters. Add a dog and a cat to that mix and there’s always something going on at their house. She’s spent time teaching second grade, writing advertising for a real estate company, and working as a church secretary, but she always dreamed of becoming an author. When not busy putting words to paper, she enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping with her family. She’d love to have you visit her at www.liztolsma.com or at www.liztolsma.blogspot.com.

A huge thanks to Netgalley and Thomas Nelson publishers for the free copy of Remember the Lilies in exchange for my honest review.

A Harvest of Hope

A Harvest of Hope is a 352 page fiction novel in the Christian fiction genre. It was written by Lauraine Snelling and published by Bethany House Publishers with a release date of March 3, 2015. To order your copy from Amazon, click here or from Barnes and Noble, click here.

Overview

Just a few short weeks into her year-long training at the Blessing Hospital, Miriam Hastings is called home to Chicago, where her mother is gravely ill. With siblings to care for, Miriam pleads to be allowed to finish her training in Chicago. Her nursing supervisor grants her a brief reprieve but extracts a promise that Miriam will return to Blessing and fulfill her one-year commitment.

While in Chicago, Miriam has tried to get Trygve Knutson and Blessing out of her mind, but his letters make that impossible. Trygve is busy building a house, hoping he can convince Miriam to return to North Dakota and marry him. Torn between Trygve’s love and her family’s needs, she doesn’t know what to do.

When Miriam finally returns to Blessing, she buries herself in her work. But no matter how hard she tries to put it off, she has some life-changing decisions to make about her future, her family… and the man who is never far from her thoughts.

What will it take to convince her to stay?

My Two Cents

It is always fun to catch up with characters you are invested in and it was a joy to travel back to Blessing to catch up with Lauraine’s characters in Harvest of Hope. Although the book started out slow, once I was in the book, I could not put it down.  I wanted to see what happened to each of the characters in the town of Blessing.

Hope, loss, love, anger, forgiveness are all themes woven into this heartwarming story.  There is a character you would love to punch, ones you would love to hug, and ones you would love to send an encouraging word too.  It is lovely to see how the town struggles but come together to support each other.  My favorite theme from A Harvest of Hope is trusting in God and knowing He is in control of our future.  This book will encourage you and leave you looking forward to the next installment.

I give this book this book a 5 star review.

About the Author

Lauraine Snelling is the award-winning author of over 70 books, fiction and nonfiction, for adults and young adults. Her books have sold over 2 million copies. Besides writing books and articles, she teaches at writers’ conferences across the country. She and her husband make their home in Tehachapi, California. Learn more at www.laurainesnelling.com.

Thank you to #netgalley for my free copy of A Harvest of Hope in exchange for my honest review.

The Black Count by Tom Reiss Book Review

Book Review of The Black Count

The Black Count, 432 pages,  is a biography written by Tom Reiss and published by Crown Publishing Group. It was published on September 18, 2012 for the purchase price of  $16.00. It is divided into three books.

The Black Count begins with two prologues.  One prologue tells of a young boy whose father is dying.  The other prologue discusses how Reiss arduously researched his book.  Both prologues could be confusing to the reader. Reiss would refer to Alexander Dumas, along with his letters and memoir; however, there are three Alexander Dumas’ discussed in the prologue.  Also, the pages spent on Reiss’ research were many and dry.  Once the reader moves past the prologue, the story develops well.

The first book begins with how Alex Dumas’ father, the Marquis named Antoine Davy de la Pailleterie came to live with his brother on Saint Dominique.  While there, he fathered four children from his mistress that was a black slave he stole from his brother.  Deciding to return to his homeland of France, the Marquis sells his mistress and four children for passage back home.  His favorite son, Alexander Davy de la Pailleterie was sold to the captain of a merchant ship and became free by French law when he set foot on French soil.  His father brought him to live the life of royalty as a Parisian with him just outside of Paris.  He was trained as a swordsmen by the best protege in France, he danced at parties, was admired for his Greek like stature and coveted by all for being an “American” in Paris.  After a dispute with his father, Alexander gave up his title and enlisted in the Queen’s Army.  The book then documents how he was trained and became a soldier noticed by all for his courage, strength  and loyalty.

Book two, the shortest of the three, begins with the revolution in France.  Alexander meets his future wife while stationed as a soldier. The reader learns of his many accomplishments as a soldier, moving from a private to a general due to his heroism.

The third book follows General Dumas to Egypt where he fights alongside Napoleon.  Napoleon sees him for the excellent soldier he is, then becomes suspicious and jealous of Alexander.  Alexander is imprisoned for two years and returns home to find Napoleon has repealed the laws that gave him his freedom.  Due to his race, his marriage was no longer considered legal and he was never given another assignment in the military despite multiple requests.

The Black Count takes the reader on a journey of hope that a mulatto son of a Marquis can conquer, not only his enemy, but racism as well.  As as reader, one might question if  Riess’ use of the novelist Alexander Dumas’ memoirs of his father made the biography more exaggerated than factual. Reiss does note when he used the sons memoirs and if there were other documents to verify the stories.  Overall, Tom Reiss does an excellent job of interweaving historical fact with the story of General Alexander Dumas.  Interesting facts are noted with footnotes and gives readers vast insight into the novelist Alexander Dumas’ inspiration for his stories. The Black Count is a well written biography on a long lost war hero that changed history for generations to come.

Tom Reiss is an author, historian and journalist.  His previous work, The Orientalist, was an international bestseller and was translated into more than 20 languages.  Tom currently lives in New York City. For more information visit www.tomreiss.com.