Cryptography is not that easy

brothers crownMy Brother’s Crown by Leslie Gould and Mindy Starns Clark; 2015; $14.99; 358 pages; Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon; 978-0-7369-6288-9; sent from the publisher asking for review; 9/14/15-9/16/15

Much like one of my favorite authors, James Rollins, this story takes place in too different time periods.  One story line takes place in the time of kings and their courts, the other is now.  Connecting the two is a pamphlet that helped persecuted Huguenots flee France, only one copy of the pamphlet has survived to the present day.  It has stayed in the family over the centuries and is about to be presented to the Smithsonian.  In the current day one of the descendants has determined that there is a secret message within the pamphlet.  She only has forty eight hours to find the message within the pamphlet before it leaves the family custody.  Also there is a romance in each time period and a murder mystery lurking in the background of the the current time.  Lots of interesting relationships throughout the story, cousins, brothers, sisters, mothers and romantic entanglements.


Did I enjoy it?  Yes, I enjoyed both stories and the connection between the two time periods.  Each character was fully developed and each story was interesting in itself.

What is with the title of the review?  The only impediment to complete enjoyment of the story was how easily two of the characters were able to decipher the message hidden within the pamphlet.


Love will find a way

Amisnewleslieh Promises by Leslie Gould;  2015; $14.99; 361 pages; Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, MN; gift from the author;4/28/15-5/2/15

Why did I read this?  Leslie is a great author who tells an awesome story and she is a friend of ours.

What is the story?  Amish farmer Tim Lehman recently lost his wife and Joel Beck was wounded in Iraq.  Joe, his son and his pregnant wife move to Lancaster, PA next door to Tim and his family.  Tim’s sister Eve has moved in with him to take care of his children.  Joel’s friend, fellow soldier and unit medic, Charlie,  comes from Philadelphia to help with Joel’s rehab.  The action starts right away with Joel hurting himself again and one of Tim’s children getting kicked in the head by a horse.  As time goes on there is conflict between the Amish and the Englisch family, but they come to a understanding.   Meanwhile a romance blossoms between Eve and Charlie, and as they grow closer they are both burdened by their past.


Did I enjoy it?  Yes, Leslie is a great storyteller and she tells a great story of the conflicts and understanding reached between the two families.

What is with the title of the review?  Often love is able to overcome the differences between people.


A-W-E-S-O-M-E spells a great read

Becoming Bea by Leslie Gould; 2014; $14.99; 348 pages; Bethany House, Minneapolis, MN; 978-0-7642-1034-1; fiction; gift from the author and publisher; 9/30/14-10/2/14

Leslie Gould ties together her Courtships of Lancaster County series with Becoming Bea.  Bea Zook is the younger sister of the family, who has decided that she is never going to marry, when her heart was broken earlier in the series.  She and Ben Rupp love each other but are stubborn, hard headed and grudge holding.  Bea has always seemed introverted and until she takes a job helping with some newborns she has seemed standoffish.  She learns how to be a member of community and learning many life lessons.  Love, stalkers, babies, misunderstandings, and more lead to an fun read.


Did I enjoy it?  Yes, I laughed, cried, got angry and got deeply involved in the story.  Leslie continues to amaze me with her talent.  I always look forward to her books.

What is with the title of the review?  The two main characters battled in spelling bees for years, so many of their insults to each other are spelled out.



Leslie only made me cry once

Service, A Navy Seal at War by Marcus Luttrell with James D. Hornfischer; 2012; $27.99; 364 pages; Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY; 978-0-316-18536-3; 958.1047L974s; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Albina; 4/11/14-4/15/14

Marcus Luttrell is the author of Lone Survivor, a Navy Seal who was the Lone Survivor of a SEAL mission in Afghanistan.  He gives more details of the operation he survived and his re-entry into the SEAL community and his deployment back to Iraq.  He details the reasons that he and others serve their countries and tells the stories of other Special Forces and Special Operations teams.  He also talks about what it was like to have the camaraderie of the teams and what it was like to leave the teams.

Did I like it?  As the son of a vet and a vet myself there was much that I could relate to.  Some of the most intense times I have had were when I was in the Navy.  Even though  we weren’t in battle there is a certain feeling among the people you serve with.


What is with the title of the review?  Author and friend, Leslie Gould, in her book Garden of Dreams wrote a story that made me cry for 5 minutes.  However I felt like crying throughout this book and cried several times.

Patriotism is loving your country no matter what and your government when it deserves it.   Mark Twain


Plain and Bossy

Minding Molly by Leslie Gould; 2014; $14.99; 349 pages; Bethany House, Minneapolis, MN; 978-0-7642-1033-4; 978-07642-1033-4; Contemporary Fiction; a gift from the Publisher; 3/11/14-3/13/14

What is the story?  Molly Zook is sent reeling when her Dat dies, she had helped him around the farm and is very organized.  Her organization and adherence to a schedule sometimes rubs others the wrong way.  She becomes even more concerned when her Mamm starts experiencing health issues.  One thing all Christians often teach and talk about is trusting God in everything, which is harder than it seems.  We want to lean on our own understanding and control our destiny and circumstances.  Molly comes up with multiple ways to save the farm as does her mother, not all of which are favorable to Molly.  Her mother thinks she should marry the boy next door, which Molly thinks about until she meets an Amish Cowboy from Montana. In addition the boy next door is loved by Mollys’ best friend.  Much confusion ensues between the couples when people assume things and don’t think before speaking.  When Molly begins trusting God instead of herself things begin to work out for her.


Did I like it?  Mostly yes.  The last chapter felt tacked and rushed to me.  The whole rest of the story was excellent and very engaging.

Why did I pick this up?  Because I read most of what Leslie has written and she is an excellent storyteller.  I look forward to more from her.

What is with the title of the review?  The Amish are sometimes known as the plain people and Molly can be rather bossy in parts of the story.