When the authors of Literary Cafe asked if I would be interested in exchanging guest posts, I jumped at the chance. I'd never guest-posted before, but it just sounds like fun. *grins* And I'm always willing to talk books for hours on end, so… Let's get on with this. :)
For this post, I chose five of my favorite books. I can't say they're my top five favorite books (I'm probably forgetting something), but I do love each of them dearly and could read them again and again. When someone asks me what my favorite book is, these books (the first three in particular) are what I think of. ;)
Will a chance meeting in a time of war change her life forever? Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval - even marry a man she doesn't love. While Allie has nearly resigned herself to that fate, Lt. Walter Novak - fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women - takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas. Walt and Allie meet and begin a correspondence that will change their lives. As letters fly between Walt's muddy bomber base in England and Allie's mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart? Book 1 in the Wings of Glory series, A Distant Melody is an exciting and tender story of love, courage, and sacrifice during World War II.
I stumbled across this book after reading the second book (backwards, I know). But when I first discovered the Wings of Glory series, the synopsis of A Distant Melody did not appeal to me. Just another sappy, war-time romance — blah, blah, blah.
But...I was wrong. After being introduced to Walt and Allie in A Memory Between Us, the second book, I was intrigued to read the rest of their story. Back to the library I went to find A Distant Melody. And I was not disappointed. I love this book. So much. :)
A Distant Melody is one of those books that I could read over and over again and a) never get tired of it. And b) discover something new every time. Mrs. Sundin's writing is so vivid, fresh, and detailed. I could snuggle with this book and just soak up the historical accuracies for hours. When you can learn something history-wise from a fiction book, it's a good fiction book.
A Cousins Promise by Wanda E. Brunstetter
Love is a promise — for better or worse.
When a group of eight cousins and friends leave their Indiana Amish community for a weekend getaway, a horrific accident brings them home forever changed.
Permanently disabled by the accident, Wayne Lambright struggles to take care of himself. He can't imagine being able to be the kind of husband his fiancée, Loraine Miller, needs. Determined to sacrifice his happiness to give her a better life, he breaks their engagement.
Loraine refuses to believe Wayne doesn't love her anymore. But when her old boyfriend Jake Beechy returns from exploring the English world, Wayne does everything in his power to help Jake regain Loraine's love.
For better or worse, Loraine wants to be Wayne's wife, but if he won't agree, should she promise her love to Jake? How will God work to bring Loraine the true desires of her heart?
I was probably eleven or twelve when I began reading Amish fiction. I was so intrigued by their plain way of life and simple dress and customs, I read many books set in Amish communities. As time wore on (as it has such a nasty habit of doing), I took a fascination to other genres. And, though I still love Amish fiction, I don't read it as much as I used to.
But when I think of my favorite Amish story, it's A Cousins Promise that comes to my mind. Wanda Brunstetter is my favorite Amish fiction author and has written oodles of fabulous books (most of which I've read), but this one is my favorite.
I got this book for Christmas one year and had started the journey through its pages before the night was over. Though I now have the big three-in-one book of the Indiana Cousins trilogy, I refuse to get rid of the individual book. All that to say, A Cousins Promise will always hold a special place in my heart.
The war for Acktar has begun. With his betrayal revealed, former Blade Leith Torren flees into the Sheered Rock Hills, pursued by King Respen’s vengeful Blades. Left behind at Nalgar Castle, Renna Faythe tries to find her purpose, yet that purpose isn’t what she expected. Brandi Faythe has been torn from her sister, and that isn’t all right. If Leith can’t rescue Renna, Brandi will take matters into her own hands. War demands sacrifice. Courage falters. Who will find the strength to defy King Respen? Acktar rests on one hope: The Leader is ready.
Up until the beginning of 2016 I had read little to no fantasy of any kind. It just never appealed to me. But then I discovered The Blades of Acktar series and everything changed. I snagged Dare (book one) because it sounded like something I would enjoy and trying something new sounded like fun. Long story short, I read Dare in less than 48 hours and wholeheartedly fell in love with the characters, the story world, the plot...literally everything.
Then, about four months later, I read both Deny (book two) and Defy (book three) in about five days. :D (I'm not going to talk in-depth about Dare and Deny, because we're already going to be here for days and we don't want that to stretch into weeks. XD)
Ms. Mingerink has created an intriguing, heart-rending, tear-jerking series of stories that will always maintain a spot among my favorite books. Whenever I read of Leith, Renna, Brandi, Shad, and all the others – of their adventures through the ups and downs of living through the often dark days of Acktar – my heart is warmed by their constant faith in God and their sincere boldness to follow His leading.
The Blades of Acktar is beautiful, magic-less fantasy. I can't recommend these amazing books enough. :)
A heritage so different from her own, but one profound connection…
Ariana loves her life — her parents, her little town, her job as the town’s schoolteacher, her students. But one evening after classes are done and she prepares to hurry home before a blizzard hits, her whole life changes in an instant.
The two rough-looking men who abduct her and take her far from home and family make no response to her frantic questions — “Why me? What are you going to do? Where are you taking me?” Held hostage in a camp of bandits, Ariana's emotions swing between terror and boredom as days stretch into weeks.
And then the boss’ son appears in the doorway of her cabin. Does this mean she will never see her mother and father again, the two who had so lovingly adopted her as an infant and raised her as their own? Will she ever wear the wedding dress so carefully saved for her — her one link with her birth parents, now long dead?
Of the six books I chose, A Gown of Spanish Lace is closest to what I would call an adventurous western. Filled with all the bandits, stolen gold, and well-kept secrets that make up a good western-like story, you won't want to miss this heart-warming tale.
This was only the second book I had read by Janette Oke, so though I enjoyed the first (Another Homecoming), I wasn't sure what to expect from this one.
I was so pleased to realize that, not only did I enjoy this book, but it was immediately added to my favorites list. Mrs. Oke’s writing is so sweet and whimsical, and brings to mind authors like L.M. Montgomery and Laura Ingalls Wilder. So vividly detailed, yet such simplicity. :)
Following Ariana and Laramie through various ups and downs was such a joy. I laughed, I cried, and my heart was warmed. The lovely theme of finding completion and healing in Christ made me smile and cheer.
I look forward to reading many more books by this dear author. *smiles*
My name is Piper. This is my story…
One fateful day in December of 1941, Piper Davis awaits news of her brother, a soldier on the battleship Arizona stationed in Pearl Harbor. Explosions rule the earth and sky, and Piper wonders what will become of her brother, and of her life in Seattle, as rationing and blackouts take hold. Soon, Piper is greeted by another grim reality — the incarceration of her Japanese neighbors.
Piper’s father, a pastor for a Japanese Baptist church, decides to follow his congregants when they are sent to an incarceration camp, bringing Piper along with him. She resents being uprooted, but as she learns about the harsh ans heartbreaking realities of war, Piper begins to understand that she has the power to make a difference.
As you may have guessed by now, I've became rather infatuated by historical fiction set during WWII. Since last spring when I started writing my current WIP, a novel set in the US in the early 1940s, I have read about anything and everything WWII that I could get my hands on. I've read nonfiction, but I like fiction the best. That's where the stories lie. That's where we can discover on a more intimate level the amazing stories of people who lived in previous eras. Biographies are great as well, but unless they're very well-written I don't usually enjoy them as much as good, wholesome fiction.
The Fences Between Us is told from the first-person point-of-view of young teen, Piper Davis. A preacher's daughter coming of age in tumultuous times, Piper and I hit it off right away. When I learned that Mr. Davis was a pastor it was like...boom. I knew I would enjoy this book.
And I did enjoy it. Correction, I loved it! I don't know what it is about books written in diary or letter form, but they just appeal to me. Maybe it's because they're more personal and I can ‘get into the characters head’ easier.
Whatever it is, I love it immensely. I will certainly be reading more of the Dear America books and other stories written in similar style in the future. :D
What're your favorite books? I'd love to hear!
Please visit and comment around on Faith's wonderful blog: (http://fireflysstoryspace.blogspot.com/)
Literary Cafe's guest post on Faith's blog will be up shortly, and we'll post the link here when it's out! Be sure to check back.