Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Review : What Follows After

I have thoroughly enjoyed several of Dan Walsh’s novels, so I was excited to get my hands on his latest book What Follows After.



This novel takes place in 1962 during the Cuban Missile crisis.  Life in America in 1962 looks nothing like life does today.  This story drops you into life in the south while JFK is staging for a possible WWIII.  Meanwhile, a young couple, Scott and Gina,  is facing a possible divorce and yet hiding it from the public “disapproving” eye.  Two little boys are torn between keeping their parent’s secret of separation or telling their favorite aunt and uncle in the hopes of reconciliation.

When one of the boys is kidnapped, the mother and father are forced to deal with the trauma together. 

I did not jump right into loving this novel, the story line was a bit too real for me, however I kept reading and really loved the truths and the many messages in this story!  While life in 1962 may appear sweet and charming, families back them kept many things behind closed doors.  Couples did not communicate openly or honestly like is common today.  Racism was rampant in the south whether you approved of it or not.

Dan Walsh addresses each of these issues with a sensitive approach and offers a great message as well.  I loved watching Scott and Gina re-evaluate their marriage and make strides towards improving it and increasing communication.  Seeing this family heal and draw closer while dealing with the loss of their son was profound. 

Scott also decides to stand against his parents and reaches out to the woman who really was the mother to him, Mamie Lee, his family’s housekeeper.  Mamie Lee’s love for Scott and his family, as well as her faith in God were inspiring and were clearly what family was really about.

{Spoiler Alert}

So, I admit I started off a little slow with this book, I flew through it once I let myself connect with the characters and the story!  While the subject of a kidnapped child is tough, the story is told well, and it ends well!  The focus of this story is not the kidnapping, instead it is all about how the kidnapping causes everyone to re-evaluate priorities.

NOTE : I was offered a copy of What Follows After by Revell Publishers .

Friday, April 11, 2014

Win a Kindle HDX

Win a Kindle HDX!
The Queen's Handmaid


Check out my review HERE of this great book!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Book Review : The Queen’s Handmaid

Tracy L. Higley has written a wonderful novel titled The Queen’s Handmaid.  I loved reading this book for many reasons, one of which is that we are studying Cleopatra and Antony in our homeschool right now!


I was drawn into this novel from the very beginning!!  I loved the characters, as I immediately connected with the main character Lydia.  I loved her heart and her struggle to figure out just who God is and what she believes.

The historical connects in this novel are great too, I loved seeing it line up with the Bible, but also with our history studies in our home.  I plan to let my son read this book, as it is a very clean, well told story!

The romantic story that takes place is innocent, sweet and inspiring.  I loved seeing Lydia grow closer to Simon as they both were drawn to each other over and over.  Simon had honorable character, and respect for Lydia also.

There is a bit of suspense in this story as well, as we wonder just what the mystery of the scrolls is.  We also watch and hope that Lydia will be able to what she promised her friend as he dies, but will she be able to fulfill the prophesy?

I highly recommend this book, and hope to read other books by her soon!!

From the servant halls of Cleopatra’s Egyptian palace to the courts of Herod the Great, Lydia will serve two queens to see prophecy fulfilled.

Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC

Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra’s palace, working hard to please while keeping everyone at arm’s length. She’s been rejected and left with a broken heart too many times in her short life.

But then her dying mentor entrusts her with secret writings of the prophet Daniel and charges her to deliver this vital information to those watching for the promised King of Israel. Lydia must leave the nearest thing she’s had to family and flee to Jerusalem. Once in the Holy City, she attaches herself to the newly appointed king, Herod the Great, as handmaid to Queen Mariamme.

Trapped among the scheming women of Herod’s political family—his sister, his wife, and their mothers—and forced to serve in the palace to protect her treasure, Lydia must deliver the scrolls before dark forces warring against the truth destroy all hope of the coming Messiah.

NOTE : I was offered a copy of the Queen’s Handmaid in exchange for an honest review, by LitFuse.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Book Review : The Long Awakening

Every now and then I am completely surprised by a book. I know what I like, I try to stick with books that I know will inspire and encourage me. Over the years I have found I prefer fiction to non-fiction, even though I do enjoy an occasional non-fiction book.


I was intrigued by my recent read, The Long Awakening. This is a story about Lindsey O’Connor. The description seemed interesting, but wow! I was pulled in to Lindsey’s true story of spending 47 days in a coma and many more recovering. I had no idea of the recovery - not only physically but emotional and spiritually.

A few years ago I read Running for My Life - that books changed my perspective for ever. This is another of those books. It will forever impact how I “see” others.

Lindsey wrote this book in a narrative non-fiction manner. It reads like a story, but it is real. She writes what she remembers and not just from her perspective - but also her husband’s and daughters at different times in the story. Her story will challenge what you think about a DNR. It will make you think about God and your relationship with him, as well as what you think about afterlife.

To say this book spoke to me is a to put it lightly, this book slammed into my head and still is bouncing around up there. It was so well written that I wanted to keep reading and reading. I still think about Lindsey and wonder how she is doing today - for real, not just from appearances. Her story is raw and real and will leave you wanting more.

March is Brain injury awareness month. I had no idea that there were so many levels of brain injury from mild to severe - many of which you would never recognize. The recovery from such injuries involves the entire family in ways you would never expect.  This experience rocked Lindsey’s world, and I think her story will rock yours. I highly recommend this book, and I plan to share this with my oldest boy and the next oldest too. It was that good!!

Here is an interview (2 parts) with Lindsey to get a bit of her story first hand.


NOTE : I received a copy of The Long Awakening in exchange for an honest review, by Revell.


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