The American Conquest ~ Window to the Heart Saga by Jenna Brandt (A Book Review)

THE AMERICAN CONQUESTAbout the Book

After enduring immense hardships, will Lady Margaret finally be free from her past, allowing her to embrace her soul mate? Extremely tender and magnificently exhilarating, The American Conquest examines the journey between healing a broken heart and making room for rebirth.

The American Conquest (Book 3) Running from a past scandal, Lady Margaret must leave Europe forever and escape across the ocean to America. The plan: to brave the Oregon Trail to reach the Colorado territory where her family’s future awaits. While facing adversities in the new frontier, Margaret must trust God to keep their family safe. Attacked by Indians, the group is saved by Cortland Westcott, a rancher and devoted Christian. Margaret and Cort have an instant connection through their faith, but devastating secrets threaten to cripple the budding relationship. Both Margaret and Cort must confront the past that haunts them to finally be able to make a new life together. Will Margaret finally come to terms with what happened to her, or will she let her past destroy her future?

Window to the Heart Saga: a recount of the epic journey of Lady Margaret, a young English noblewoman, who through many trials, obstacles, and tragedies, discovers her own inner strength, the sustaining force of faith in God, and the power of family and friends. In this three-part series, experience new places and cultures as the heroine travels from England to France and completes her adventures in America. The series has compelling themes of love, loss, faith and hope with an exceptionally gratifying conclusion.

MY THOUGHTSBeing the third book in The Window to the Heart Series, I was so contented to finally get my happy ending. But is it the end? Maybe there is more of Margaret’s story to be told. If I had to choose a favourite book so far, in this series, I would be hard pressed. Beginning Margaret’s journey in England, continuing with adventures, trials, and tribulations in France, to finally settle in the harsh Americas was truly intriguing. Nothing could have prepared Margaret or the reader for the macabre atrocities that awaited her gentle spirit in America. After all the pain, humiliation, and hardships Margaret had already suffered in her short life, one would think things just couldn’t get any worse. It is little wonder that her faith was pushed to breaking point. After all, as is Margaret, we are mere humans, whose powers of reasoning are based upon human emotions and reactions. Why would God put us through all these horrific trials … we may ask. But quite simply, I would reply “Why not?”

 It is often said that God would never give us more than we can handle. However, this is not true. He does indeed give us much more than we can handle alone. Why would He do this if He truly loves us?

Yes, He loves us unconditionally, just as He loved Margaret. But He needs us to realise that fact, and in doing so, learn to lean on Him completely. If we have complete faith, we know that He is in control of everything, past, present, and future. However, it is not until we are pushed to the brink, that we are prepared to relinquish our perceived control over our lives.

Right throughout this series, so far, Ms. Brandt has portrayed this human failing exceedingly well, but it is most evident in this third book. It is so difficult to remain in faith when everything is going so terribly wrong.

All three of Jenna’s books in this series contain a good balance of love and betrayal, action and adventure, hope and despair, but the need for blind faith, love and forgiveness was truly cemented in this third book.

We have a satisfying conclusion, but what lies ahead for Margaret? Will Jenna Brandt give us some more? I hope so.

I do hope you enjoy reading the stories Jenna writes as much as I enjoy reading and reviewing them.

The author kindly provided me with a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

You may purchase this lovely book here

Jenna BrandtAbout the Author:

Jenna Brandt is an ongoing contributor for The Mighty website and had her blog published on YahooParenting as well as being featured on the ABC News, The Grief Toolbox and Good Morning America websites. Jenna started writing stories as a little girl and has been published in several newspapers and magazines as well as edited for multiple papers. She graduated with her BA in English from Bethany College and was Editor-in-Chief of her college paper. Writing is her passion but she also enjoys reading, cooking, social media, being active in her local church including leading a grief support group and spending time with her three young daughters and husband. Discover more about Jenna and her lovely books right here

 

 

 

 

Life After E.L.E. by J.C. Morrows

My Review:

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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book!

I’ve just discovered another favourite author, there are quite a few on my bookshelf and on my Kindle.

Life After E.L.E. is a young adult, post-apocalyptic, dystopian story, but anyone from sixteen to one hundred and sixteen would enjoy reading it. Thirty years after a rogue moon had crashed into the earth, leaving a frozen world in its wake, we learn about how the human race had only just escaped extinction, and how they had to revert to living as cave people, the harsh systems that had been put into place by an unrelenting government, and the many secrets and conspiracies that would make daily life extremely difficult and dangerous.

The story reeled me in from the get-go. From page one I was hooked on every word, wanting to know what would happen next. About one-third of the way through reading this book, the mystery and suspense had built to such an extent that I just couldn’t put the book down. Not bad for someone who didn’t previously enjoy fantasy/Sci-Fi or Speculative Fiction. Just as Eve was starting to become more suspicious and paranoid about the circumstances surrounding her father’s death … so was I.

… and the young people who had been executed, what had they done to deserve such a harsh punishment?  What secrets had Eve’s father entrusted to her before his untimely death? I found myself wishing she would divulge those secrets, because I wanted to have some answers too, and the suspense was killing me … but in a good way.

Life, it seemed, wasn’t too dissimilar to how it would have been thousands of years ago, after all, they had to start from scratch and rebuild their world, such as it was. Celebrations were rare in the caves, within the compound. Families had even been restricted to having two children. Times were tough, however, what seemed to make things worse was the fact that as only thirty years had passed since E.L.E., many had fond memories of how life on earth used to be.

downloadSome good Christian values were subtly introduced. There were regrets. Just as Eve was angry with her father for ‘not trying harder to survive’, her mother regretted being angry with her husband the last time she’d seen him. ‘The last words I spoke to your father were in anger. I’m not going to do that to you.’  Gently reminding us of the importance of forgiveness, love and understanding, no matter what.

Although the kissing scenes may have been a little overdone for strict Christian taste, I loved them. Why? Because it meant that these poor people were just as human as anyone else. Under such difficult and confusing circumstances … life after the event, and with the new, cold, and harsh world they now found themselves in, love could and would still blossom. It had to I guess, for life to continue.

Even now after E.L.E., it would seem that human beings had learnt nothing from their past. There were the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’, and the ‘haves’ were just as greedy, jealous, suspicious and malicious as their fore-bearers had been. Life was survival of the fittest, although in the animal kingdom more decorum would have been displayed. Very little if anything had changed.

Rules around what couples could/couldn’t do in public unless they were ‘bound’ were similar to the strict cultural laws of various countries in the old world. Great emphasis was put upon how our actions in any situation, would affect not just ourselves, but all of those around us. Eve’s compassion and caring nature towards others, even when she was in pain, was extraordinary. What a world we’d have if everyone’s heart was like Eve’s.

‘If only the people on the moon base had survived … If the government had gone on the way it was supposed to after that rogue moon had hit earth …’

Many wonderful things will happen in life, but there will always be equal devastation. Our lives seem to be full of “what if’s” … but isn’t hindsight a glorious thing?

I love how Morrows describes the world by the use of dialogue, both spoken and in thought. I felt my mind connect with some of the characters, and it was as though their thoughts were my own.

My only real complaint about this book was the enormous cliff-hanger of an ending … darn it JC! Now I just have to wait with baited breath for the next instalment.

One of the discussion questions for book club readers intrigued me.

‘If you found yourself in a post-apocalyptic world, how do you think that would affect your faith? Would you hold on tighter to God – or would you maybe begin to question His plan?’

cI gave this question some thought, and I don’t believe it would make much difference. Our current world is made up of believers and non-believers, and even those who either believe something entirely different, or nothing at all. Often we hang on to our faith out of sheer fear of what might happen if we don’t … a kind of insurance if you will. What do you think? How might you answer this question?

What a riveting, enthralling adventure reading this book was. JC I love your work!

A little about the author:  JC Morrows, author of the bestselling young adult dystopian series: Order of the MoonStone and the new Frozen Earth series (Post-Apocalyptic with a Dystopian edge), spends her days writing, arguing with her evil computer, juggling two kids, and wishing someone would invent a coffee IV.

A storyteller in the truest sense of the word, JC has been telling stories in one form or another her entire life, and once her mother convinced her to write them down, she simply couldn’t stop.
And . . . as a true believer, she gives God all of the glory for her talent and ability!
“And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” Habakkuk 2:2

Giveaway: To celebrate her tour, JC Morrows is giving away a themed basket including the book and swag and some specially chosen surprises!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b0fd.

Link to purchase this book: Life After E.L.E. JC Morrows Amazon

I was generously provided with a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

A Review of Imogen’s Chance by Paula Vince

My Review

download“A regretful past, a hopeful future.”

Imogen Browne desperately wants things to be okay in her world, but also that of others. An unfortunate accident of fifteen years ago has left in its wake, far too many consequences for friends and loved ones.

All of the characters in this beautiful story are believable and sincere. They pretty much react the way I would expect myself to react under similar circumstances.

‘People who are told they are going to die, always tell the truth.’

Paula tackles more than one important and sensitive issue within this book, and she does it flawlessly. She includes lots of different emotions, conflict, romance, and more than adequate suspense to keep you intrigued until the end. Paula’s characters are skilfully developed and rounded. She uses the technique of ‘showing rather than telling’ very well.

Paula’s talent addresses the topic of Christian healing, both spiritual and physical in such a way that it is easy to comprehend. The themes of repentance, forgiveness, and healing flowed superbly throughout. The story of Imogen and Asher is not over the top, or too preachy. All Biblical references are accurate and appropriately used. Also, our human inability to recognise some of the most important gifts that God has bestowed upon us, and misinterpret them as flaws, was approached with wisdom.

I fell in love with Imogen from the beginning. Every time I thought I had it all sorted in my mind, there was another surprise, another revelation. Imogen’s secret is so enormous that it holds the keys to many sub-plots within the book.

‘With every step they took, she was stomping over the painful, regretful memories, and replacing them with something new and wonderfully special.’

These elements of suspense and surprise are what was required to keep me turning the pages, and bring this book to a delightful finish.

This was the second time that I read ‘Imogen’s Chance’. I enjoyed this read even more than the first. I didn’t think that would be possible.

‘A rock solid base of truth gripped onto by unwavering faith, made the building blocks for an unshakeable reality.’  ~ Paula Vince

Imogen’s Chance is a delightful book, which would be enjoyed by everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike. Another of Paula’s books that I would highly recommend is Best Forgotten  My review will follow soon.

Originally posted at

https://josephineannegriffiths.blogspot.com.au/

October 2016