Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Muir House by Mary DeMuth

Book Description: 'You'll find home one day. Sure as sweet tea on a hot afternoon.' Words from Willa Muir's sketchy childhood haunt her dreams and color her days with longing, regret, and fear. What do the words mean? Willa is far from sure. When Hale Landon places a ring on her finger, Willa panics, feeling she can't possibly say yes when so much in her past is a mystery. Bent on sorting out her history, Willa returns to Rockwall, Texas, to the Muir House Bed and Breakfast, a former funeral home. But the old place holds her empty memory close to itself. Willa's mother utters unintelligible clues from her deathbed, and the caretaker of the house keeps coveted answers carefully protected. Throw in an old flame, and Willa careens farther away from ever knowing the truth. Set in a growing suburb of Texas, The Muir House explores trauma, healing, love new and old, and the life-changing choices people make to keep their reputations intact.

My Review:  I enjoy reading books that take place close to home.  The story seems "more real" and I know what the author is talking about as the descriptions of the roads, temperature and local culture are described.  The Muir House by Mary DeMuth takes place in a thriving Texas town about three hours from my home.  We've been shopping at Rockwall and so with this said . . . The Muir House "jumped out of the pages" for me.
The story that Mary creates is realistic and wonderful!  At first, when Willa Muir keeps "hearing" the words "You'll find home one day",  it seems that Willa has a mystery on her hands.  What do those words mean?  and what is the ring she keeps seeing in her memory?  
Willa remembers "things" about her past clearly and precisely but yet she has virtually no memory of her four-year old year.  This bothers her immensely!
As life would have it~Willa is "forced" to return to her home in Rockwall, Texas and to her mother.  The way Mary writes about the mother/daughter relationship is so defining and true.
I truly loved Hale, Willa's boyfriend.  Hale is one of those people who is strong enough to let Willa go and find out the truth without feeling threatened in his relationship with her.  Hale is a true man and hero!
The page before chapter one begins has the verse, "It takes wisdom to build a house, and understanding to set it on a firm foundation;  It takes knowledge to furnish its rooms with fine furniture and beautiful draperies."  Proverbs 24: 3-4 (The Message).  This story is about a house but yet what does a house offer unless it reigns as a home?  
Willa has a longing to find her real place in life . . . her home!  
This is a fantastic read!  I simply couldn't put this book down.  Willa, her mom, Hale, Mrs. Skye (aka.  Genie), Speck, and Rebbie are all well rounded characters!  
"Walking" with Willa through her home and her turmoil is summed up best on page 20, chapter 3, "They say a woman's wealth, her true identity, rests in the richness of relationships, but "they" have it all wrong.  What a woman really needs, what truly defines her, is four solid walls.  A house with good bones, a yard sprinkled in the summertime, a creaking porch swing, overflowing window boxes.  Castled there, she safeguards her secrets, particularly if those mysteries lie concealed in cardboard boxes in the attic." 
I loved this read!  If you enjoy home decorating integrated with family relationships, romance and friends then don't miss this fantastic read!
*This book was provided for review by Zondervan and the author*
About the author:

I'm a freelance writer and novelist living in Texas with my husband of nineteen years and my three wonderful children.
I have been writing since 1992, first as a newsletter editor, then as a freelance writer, followed by a fiction and nonfiction author. My articles have appeared in Marriage Partnership, In Touch, HomeLife, Discipleship Journal, Pray!, Bon Appetit, Kindred Spirit, The Writer, and Writer's Digest. For two years I penned a lifestyle column for Star Community Newspapers in Dallas (circulation 100,000). My books include Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God (Harvest House, 2005), Building the Christian Family You Never Had (WaterBrook, 2006), Watching the Tree Limbs, Wishing on Dandelions (NavPress, both novels releasing in 2006), Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture (Harvest House, 2006), Daisy Chain, A Slow Burn (Zondervan 2009), Life in Defiance (Zondervan 2010), Thin Places: A Memoir (Zondervan 2010), 150 Quick Questions to Get Your Kids Talking (Harvest House 2011), You Can Raise Confident and Courageous Kids (Harvest House, 2001) and The Muir House (Zondervan 2011).
I'm more than my books. I love to cook, try my hand (body!) at triathlons, have a nose ring, and am passionate about singing.
I love to help people overcome a difficult past and blog about it five times a week at http://www.marydemuth.com. My facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/authormarydemuth and you can follow me on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/marydemuth

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

{WOW...Warm Oven Wednesday} Too Cute Taste of Home Flag Cookies for July 4th

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Decorating icing and/or colored sugars


Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and extracts. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until easy to handle.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2- to 3-in. cookie cutters. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle with colored sugars as desired.
  • Bake at 350° for 9-11 minutes or until set. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Decorate with icing and additional sugars if desired. Yield: 10 dozen. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

COTT: Clash Of The Titles....So Many Places To Go!

Guest post by Gail Pallotta
How relaxing to sit on a beach and watch the waves roll onto shore. No, maybe to plop down in a rocking chair and overlook distant mountains. 
 How about a day shopping in Paris? Oh yeah, that’d be nice. It might be fun to browse at an open market on a Caribbean Island or go to a Luau in Hawaii. What about walking where our ancestors walked? Find out more about ourselves. Or better yet, walk where Jesus walked. 
Even the most seasoned traveler can find new places to go. Thanks to all the writers who transport us to sites we’ve never seen or show us something different at the ones we have. We hear so much about a book’s plot and characters and rightly so, but the characters need to live in interesting surroundings.
 If a writer’s plotting a scuba diving expedition, the diver needs to see clear water, coral reefs and exotic fish and know all about boats and dive equipment. If a character is in the kitchen cooking grits while looking out a window at blue tinted mountains, that person’s in the south in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A character walking on a crowded street surrounded by high rise buildings with Times Square in the distance is in New York City. The setting also can make characters seem real when they smell newly mowed grass, watch a sunset, listen to the wind howl or feel the onset of a sudden shower.
It’s fun to sit back in a favorite easy chair or curl up on the sofa with a cup of coffee or tea with visions of new places to go and read until the heart’s content. If the character in the novel sees something the reader’s never seen, that’s traveling by book.
Do you have a favorite setting for a novel? The Civil War? The beach? Paris? Do share!
Gail’s husband, Rick, says she’s the only person he knows who can go in the grocery for a loaf of bread and come out with someone’s life story. That’s probably because she inherited her mother’s love of people and enjoys talking to them. Working as an editor and freelance writer, Gail published a couple hundred articles. While some of them are in anthologies, two ended up in museums. In 2004, the American Christian Writers Association named Gail a regional writer of the year. She recently published her first romance, Love Turns the Tide. When she isn’t writing she likes reading, swimming, and getting together with friends and family. Gail wants to write books of faith that show God’s love. She and Rick live in Georgia.
Contact Gail at pallotta[at]gailpallotta[dot]com. Visit her Web site at http://www.gailpallotta.com or her blog at http://www.gailpallotta.blogspot.com
***


For His glory,
Michelle Massaro, COTT Assistant Editor
Adventures In Writing
Clash of the Titles

Monday, June 27, 2011

{Glass Road Blog Tour} forever after A Hanover Falls Novel by Deborah Raney

Book Description:  A fire killed his best friend and his lifelong dream of being a firefighter. The same fire killed her husband and hopes for a family. Can new dreams replace old?
Lucas Vermontez was a proud firefighter like his father. Now, not only has he lost his father and his best friend, Zach, in the fire at the Grove Street homeless shelter, but the devoted rookie can no longer do the work he loves after being crippled in the tragic event. When friendship with his buddy’s beautiful widow turns into more, he wonders, what could he possibly offer Jenna? Jenna Morgan is trying to grieve her husband’s death like a proper widow, but the truth is, she never really loved Zach. His death feels more like a relief to her. But that relief is short-lived when she loses her home and the financial support of her in-laws. Now the secrets of her past threaten to destroy her future.
Can the two forget the painful past and discover new reasons to live and love?

My Review:  Deborah Raney is an author I've heard about, but for some unknown reason, never have read a book written by her.  To be honest I thought this book looked like a great read because of the cover and because it was about firemen.  With all the fires that have been raging in our country this is a timely read!
On the very first page right after the acknowledgement page in beautiful script is the verse from Matthew 6:25-26 that seems to "set the tone" for this whole read....I love these verses because the promise is that we'll never be alone when we know and trust the Lord.
Since there are no firemen in our family I was intrigued by the dangerous jobs that Lucas, Zach and their team were called upon to do.  But at the same time Deborah gives Jenna's heartbreaking side of being a fireman's wife.  But there are hidden secrets too.  Secrets that Jenna must face as she continues her life.  Also, the sweet romance that seems all so real!
This is an incredible read with emotion that runs deep . . . I found my heart racing with the fire, I shed tears with the emotion of loss,  and at times had to smile with the life.side.of living. . . "Jenna was shocked-both at Emily's admission and by the fact that the pretty sweater had come from a discount store.  Clarissa would have died before she'd shop for clothing at Walmart."(pg. 236)  *insert smile*
This is simply a great read!  If you love a read that captures the moment and leaves you with a sense of God is in control then this is the read for you!
*This read was provided for review by Glass Road PR*
BUY BOOK HERE!
About the Author:

I went from full-time stay-at-home mom for 20 years to pretty much full-time author. My passion is my family-my husband and I have been married for 36 years and have four kids, two darling grandsons and one on the way! But since, if a mom does her job right, she eventually puts herself OUT of a job, I'm delighted to have the privilege of working as a novelist. I absolutely love the writing life.
I've had a couple of non-fiction books published and contributed to some anthologies, as well as writing magazine articles. But my first love is fiction. I am at work on my 20th novel, the third in a new series for Howard/Simon & Schuster. A typical writing day begins early-often before 6 a.m.-with the business part of things: answering e-mail and reader mail, updating my Web site, reading for research. When the rest of the household wakes up, I take a break to make breakfast, feed the cats, start the laundry and read the Bible and pray with my husband. Then my writing day begins. I have a routine that sets the stage, starting with lighting scented candles, choosing mood music on Pandora, and brewing a pot of coffee (lately I've been enjoying coffee our son brought me from Seattle-Rainy Day Roast...the name alone is delicious!) I have a cozy office that looks out over our front yard where I can watch for the UPS man and the mailman. But since I write on a laptop, I often take my computer to the kitchen counter or a chair by the fireplace, or, if the weather is nice, out on the deck where my feline friends keep me company. I try to wrap up the day's words (usually 1000-1500 a day) by dinnertime.
Believe it or not, my first choice of activities for the evening is READING-a great novel, of course! As much as I enjoy the actual process of writing, I am an extrovert by nature, and doubt I'd last long in this business were it not for the company of several wonderful online writers' groups, the joy of connecting with other authors at retreats and conventions, and meeting aspiring writers when I teach at conferences around the country.
Probably the most exciting event in my writing life so far was when my first novel was made into a film by World Wide Pictures. Certainly a dream come true! I believe writing is a calling from God on my life-one I've felt since I was a twelve-year-old girl-and I feel blessed beyond words to have answered that call.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hostage In Havana . . .The Cuban Trilogy by Noel Hynd

Book Description:  When Alexandra LaDuca illegally enters Cuba on the trail of an unsolved mystery, she gets more than she imagined. The stakes? Her life … plus a decades-old mystery to be solved, a pile of cash, and an unlikely defector. Espionage and unexpected romance smolder together in this exciting thriller set in Cuba’s isolated capital.

My Review:  Noel Hynd brings another great read in Hostage In Havana the first book in the Cuban Trilogy!  
Fiesty U.S. Treasury agent, Alexander LaDuca (Alex for short) has found out that "The Dosi family is planning a counterattack....They've been hired to kill you." (p. 72) In the next few pages the action, the adventure and the romance are all spell bounding!
Alex has two missions that she must accomplish:  First, she must meet up
with Roland Violette, an exiled agent, who has traded names of undercover spies around the world for money, and bring him back to the United States. Secondly, she'll pose as Paul Guarneri's wife so that he can relocate hundreds of thousands of dollars that were hidden somewhere in Cuba by his father before the family escaped  "The Regime."
Then there's that assassin who uses the "a new bullet that was a head of the glass technology used by Mercedes Benz . . . Quite an efficient bit of shooting from a about four hundred meters at a fast-movingcar." (p. 73)
This read is a wonderful mix of smooth talking agents and rough cohorts that creates quite a spicy adventure!
If you've read the Russian Trilogy then you'll be familiar with Alex and the people she met that helped her with her spiritual journey.  If you haven't read the Russian Trilogy you won't be lost when you read this book.
This is one of those GREAT suspense novels that is a must read for summer!
*This book was provided for review by Zondervan*
The Russian Trilogy:

BUY BOOK HERE!
About the Author:
Noel Hynd lives in Culver City, California. He has over four million books in print throughout the world and is the bestselling author of the highly acclaimed novels The Enemy Within, Flowers from Berlin, and Cemetery of Angels, and the previous titles in the Russian Trilogy, Conspiracy in Kiev, Midnight in Madrid, and Countdown in Cairo.




Write to Zondervan authors or their estates in care of Zondervan. Your mail will be forwarded as soon as possible, but please note that the author might not be able to respond personally. Email zauthor@zondervan.com or send postal mail to:
Noel Hynd
c/o Zondervan
ATTN: Author Care
5300 Patterson SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49530

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Lady of Bolton Hill A Novel by Elizabeth Camden

Book Description: Female journalists are rare in 1879, but American-born Clara Endicott has finally made a name for herself with her provocative articles championing London's poor. When the backlash from her work forces a return home to Baltimore, Clara finds herself face-to-face with a childhood sweetheart who is no longer the impoverished factory worker she once knew. In her absence, Daniel Tremain has become a powerful industry giant and Clara finds him as enigmatic as ever. However, Daniel's success is fueled by resentment from past wounds and Clara's deeply-held beliefs about God's grace force Daniel to confront his own motives. When Clara's very life is endangered by one of Daniel's adversaries, they must face a reckoning neither of them ever could have foreseen.

My Review:  The story begins with Daniel and his knowledge of boilers...he tries to save his dad from certain death. . .  And then the unthinkable happens the boiler explodes....Daniel is hurt! Dad is dead! 
Clara is beautiful.  She and Daniel have a "history together."  However, Daniel feels that the accident has made him ugly and underserving of Clara. 
Clara doesn't know what the future holds for them but she does "know one thing for certain:  Daniel Tremain was the best friend she ever had, and no distance or circumstance would ever tear them apart."
Then twelve years later Clara finds herself in a jail cell with two other women waiting for her verdict to come.  
Insurmountable odds, two people, two stories but just one great novel!  The interaction of the characters, their feelings, and their hope all make for an "almost true to life" story.
I loved this story!  The story of pride, redemption and true love!  Drama that would seem trivial in another novel is well worded and is well developed in this grand read!  
Oh! And I just love the cover of this book for it brings out the "picture" of this time period.
*This book was provided for review by Bethany House Publishers*
  About the Author:

A research librarian and associate professor, Elizabeth Camden has a master’s in history from the University of Virginia and a master’s in library science from Indiana University. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband in central Florida.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pieces of Light by Julie Cave

About the Book:  CAN REDEMPTION OVERCOME HIS RAGE? Washington D.C. is gripped with fear at the hands of a deadly serial bomber. Religious icons and buildings are being targeted at an alarming rate, and lives are being lost. Former FBI agent Dinah Harris begins consulting on the case, sorting through both clues and unexpected challenges, professionally and personally, determined to find the key to solving this crisis.
The past impacts the present as a troubled family and a marriage fall slowly apart from the burdens of guilt and the pain of domestic violence. Confronting doubt and troubling questions of faith, Dinah will struggle to triumph in a story that highlights the redemptive grace of Christ to change even the most broken or evil life.
Through the painstaking investigation, it becomes clear that the bomber is angry at God and on a twisted mission as an avenging ‘angel of justice.’ Dinah focuses on the bombers disturbingly humanistic motives, while authorities race to stop the violence. Will the bomber complete his deadly goal or can Dinah save the next victim - and herself - before time runs out?
The final chapter is this thrilling fiction trilogy!

My Review:  Having read Deadly Disclosures and The Shadowed Mind I eagerly awaited the third and final book in this series, Pieces of Light by Julie Cave.  I enjoyed ALL of the books but, in my opinion, Julie has come "into her own" with this third book.
The characters in Pieces of Light are quite realistic.  At times I had to remind myself that this is a fiction piece of art.  
Having been reared in a loving christian home where every child is valued and allowed to respectfully speak from the heart, my mind had a hard time grasping the "awful hell" that an abused child must endure at the hand of a demented and angry parent.  As I read this story I cried, I smiled and I cheered because God cares so much for each of us.  But the chilling fact on page 276, "Did you know that two-thirds of young people who were brought up in the Church are walking away because they begin to doubt the Bible?" made me re-think about the seriousness being the only bible that most people will ever read. 
In the first two books, Dinah Harris, is trying to come to grips with her own life, losses and loves.  But in this last book, Dinah, is a stronger christian, a more lovable lady and a seems to truly care more for those around her.  Her life values are not so introverted now because, it seems, that she has come to a life response that God truly and completely forgave her and she is getting on with her life.
The storyline is believable and practically jumps at the reader like a newspaper headline. But Julie goes beyond the headline and lets the reader "inside" the head and heart of the characters.  The issue of cutting one's self was wonderfully illustrated by the written word.
The mystery of the bomber, the suspense of Senator Winter's life and the romance in Dinah's life....along with the churches response to helping (or hindering) our youthful parishioners was SO interesting that I simply could NOT put this book down.  
I loved the ending!
This is a wonderful, fantastic read!  If you've read the previous two titles then this a must read for you!  This  read can easily be a stand alone read BUT reading all three in order is simply the better storyline!

*This book was provided for review by MasterBooks/New Leaf Publishing*
About the Author:
Julie Cave credits her parents for introducing her to books at a young age, which fostered an enduring passion for reading and writing. As a child, her favourite authors were Enid Blyton and C.S. Lewis and it wasn't long before she began copying them, writing short stories for anyone who would read them. At fifteen, two things happened which would shape her future: she heard a creation science speaker at her church which cemented her faith in God; and she finished her second novel-length story and realised she had fallen in love with writing novels. After school, she completed a health science degree, got married, and worked in banking and finance. All the while she wondered how she could combine her love of writing and her strong passion for Christian apologetics and evangelism. One weekend at a church camp, a friend asked, 'What if the guy in charge of the Smithsonian Institution went missing?' The result - and the answer to that question - is Julie's maiden published novel, Deadly Disclosures. Julie has one daughter and lives in Brisbane, Australia with her family. She divides her time between being a wife, a mother and an author.
You can visit her at www.juliecave.com







Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/julieacave
Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/julieacave
Buy book(s) HERE!


WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} A Healthier Low Fat Chocolate Chip Cookie





Wonderfully sweet and low fat!
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips
Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars together 
with an electric mixer until creamy. Add egg white 
and vanilla and mix until well blended.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, 
salt and cocoa powder. Gradually add flour mixture
 to egg and sugar. Use a wooden spoon to work 
the dough together. Don’t worry if the dough seems
 a little crumbly at first. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop cookie dough by the teaspoonful on to 
a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a
 silicone mat if you have one.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on cookie
 sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 30 cookies.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

COTT: Clash Of The Titles....

-guest post by April W Gardner


Rosslyn Elliot--Winner of th
Best Protagonist Clash

Fairer Than Morning was voted as having the best protagonist description by Clash of the Titles readers. Her worthy competitor was Pamela Thibodeaux's Tempered Hearts.

A snapshot of her winning excerpt:
Will groaned. His eyes still would not focus, though the barn’s spinning was slowing.

The barn door rattled as Master Good left. Will raised his fingers to the side of his head, where he could feel a huge lump already forming. A sharp sting revealed a break in the skin. His fingers were slick and red when he held them up close enough to focus on them.

He would live. Tom’s head had bled worse than this, when the master hit him with the poker two weeks ago. He thought vaguely that he would have to wash the blood off before dinner, or he would get another thrashing. Read full blurb here

A couple reader comments:
  • Tom's scene gave vivid picture of the protagonist was, and the dream of who he might become. I wonder what angel of mercy found him in such a state...
  • Taking on slavery from a historic and spiritual perspective seems really important and challenging. I liked the way you allow your protagonist to experience fear.

Rosslyn says:
For me, a good protagonist is admirable but also real, which means he must have sympathetic traits and also flaws. I find the most sympathetic traits to be courage, compassion, faith, sincerity, and loyalty. I want the protagonist’s weakness to be a significant problem, not just a cosmetic story device. Read full interview here:

Want to get in on the voting action? Head over to Clash of the Titles now and cast your ballot for this week's Clash!

PLEASE CHECK 
OUT OUR EXCITING NEW VENTURE:
Join us in June as we premier COTT's book club! Karen Witemeyer and her COTT winning novel, A Tailor-Made Bride is up as our first read . More details and to vote for July's book, CLICK HERE

--April W Gardner is the senior editor at the literary site,
 Clash of the Titles. She is also the award-winning author of Wounded Spirits.





For His glory,
Michelle Massaro, COTT Assistant Editor
Adventures In Writing
Clash of the Titles

Monday, June 20, 2011

{Kregel Blog Tour} How Huge the Night by Heather Munn & Lydia Munn

Book Description:  Fifteen-year-old Julien Losier just wants to fit in. But after his family moves to a small village in central France in hopes of outrunning the Nazis, he is suddenly faced with bigger challenges than the taunting of local teens.
Nina Krenkel left her country to obey her father's dying command: Take your brother and leave Austria. Burn your papers. Tell no one you are Jews. Alone and on the run, she arrives in Tanieux, France, dangerously ill and in despair.
Thrown together by the chaos of war, Julien begins to feel the terrible weight of the looming conflict and Nina fights to survive. As France falls to the Nazis, Julien struggles with doing what is right, even if it is not enough-and wonders whether or not he really can save Nina from almost certain death.
Based on the true story of the town of Le Chambon-the only French town honored by Israel for rescuing Jews from the Holocaust-How Huge the Night is a compelling, coming-of-age drama that will keep teens turning the pages as it teaches them about a fascinating period of history and inspires them to think more deeply about their everyday choices.

My Review:  I enjoy books that deal with WWII and especially books that tell a story of Jews who escaped Hitler and his death trap.
Not only was I enticed by the cover of this book but the title "grabbed" me.  How Huge the Night seems to aptly describe how most people must have felt during this terrible time in history ~ like the night would never end!
Julien was quite "real" to me....maybe because I remember being 15 and all the changes that came into my life at that age.  But mostly, I think, because he is "real."  His sentiments, his feelings about the war and his "misunderstandings" about his family are heart tuggers.
Of course, Julien isn't the only "likable or livable" character in this read ..... there's Nina (oh, Nina's story is quite stirring!) and then there's Benjamin!  And Gustav!  Oh, and I truly loved Julien's grandpa.  A sweet, kindhearted, true blue gentlemen. Well, I could go on and on....but I don't want to give away spoilers!
Julien's parents feel that they MUST move their family to the small village of Tanieux, France.  Julien's frustrations with attending a new, small school where he is the new kid and feels most  unwelcome until one of his classmates strikes up a conversations and learns that Julien isn't truly a "foreigner."  When his classmate, Roland, finds out that Julien's grandfather is a local and that Julien lives with him.  He gives Julien some great advice on how to fit in as a local and with his classmates.  After Julien learns "the ropes" his life begins to change.  
Then one Sunday as Julien is sitting in church listening to the pastor's sermon the pastor booms, "Love your enemies!"  Julien finds himself listening and thinking....the pastor continues his thought provoking sermon on loving your enemies.  At the end the pastor states, "The weapons of love, Fearless love."  Julien feels that he wants to do something/will do something as a solider would with fearless love.  
This is 5 star GREAT-Tastic story!  I simply loved this read even though it is classified as teen fiction I feel that adults will love this read too!  
**Don't forget to read the very end of the book, Historical Note, by Heather Munn .
About the Authors:
Heather and Lydia Munn have done and outstanding job of capturing the emotions and history of this time period which they based on actual events!

*This book was provided for review by Kregel Publications*


Read an excerpt of the book HERE!