Thursday, February 12, 2015

Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma

Can Irene and Rand stave off starvation until the American troops bring freedom?
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 black out 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.

“New York Times” best-selling author Liz Tolsma is the author of “Daisies are Forever,” “Snow on the Tulips,” and the contributing author of “A Log Cabin Christmas.” When not busy putting words to paper, Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and children, all adopted internationally.

My take: 

This is the second book I have read by Liz Tolsma and all I can say is WOW.  I LOVE how Tolsma makes even war a very personal thing.  Unfortunately, I HATED history class.  I didn't learn much because it was all about dates and facts and it was just plain boring to me.  I wish Liza had been my teacher-- she makes the time and the people come to life.  

Remember the Lilies takes the reader to an internment camp during WWII and shows us how life was being detained there at Santo Tomas Prison Camp in the Philippines.  There we find Rand, an American who lives in the Philippines as a successful business owner, and Irene, an orphaned, young, missionary who lives and works with her aging and blind aunt -- two people from two totally different worlds.  What will happen when their worlds collide?  Will skeletons from their closets keep them apart?  

Tolsma has written, not only a wonderfully descriptive historical fiction that is very factually based, but she has written a beautiful story of love and hope and what is truly important.  

I would definitely recommend this book!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Rasmus and the Vagabond by Astrid Lindgren

Did you have a favorite book as a child?  I did.  Pippi Longstocking.  She was my hero!!  The adventures she went on... she was also so kind and fun and I wanted to BE her!  I read all of the books about her: Pippi Longstocking, Pippi in the South Seas and  Pippi Goes on Board.  Honestly, back then I knew nothing about authors and finding out what other books were written by authors... I just knew that I loved Pippi.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that there was a "new" adventure by the amazing author that had written my favorite book as a child!!  I couldn't wait to check it out and share this author with my 8 yo daughter.  The book was actually written in 1956, but it was definitely a new book to me (as I said, I didn't know she had even written other books!).  

about the book:

After running away from an orphanage, nine-year-old Rasmus finds the world a cold and unfriendly place until he befriends an extraordinary tramp called Paradise Oscar. Together they meet more adventure than they ever imagined, solve a mystery, and catch the culprits. Reassume dreams of finding a family and a home someday. But when he does, will he be able to part with his new friend and life on the road?

about the author: 

Astrid Lindgren, the creator of Pippi Longstocking, Emil, and dozens of other world-famous characters, has thrilled three generations of children with her storytelling. She is the only children’s author with a literary prize, a theme park, a museum, a satellite, and a minor planet named in her honor. (After this last honor, she suggested changing her name to “Asteroid Lindgren.”) A jury appointed by Swedish Radio’s Culture Department to elect the “Author of the Millennium” voted Astrid Lindgren second after William Shakespeare. She was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal and heaps of other awards and honors.

my take on the book:

I sat down one night to start reading this book to my 8 yo daughter.  The next thing I knew, my 12 yo son was sitting at my feet and my 14 yo son had moved to a table closer to me to "do his homework." These two "big" boys wanted to hear the story too.  Yes.  That is how good this story is!!  It is definitely a family read-aloud book that will draw everyone in and begging for "one more chapter!"  This book gets two thumbs WAY up from me.  And I am just THRILLED to have more from Astrid Lindgren to read...

For more information on the book, please click here: Rasmus and the Vagabond by Astrid Lindgren

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.