Far Side of the Sea - Kate Breslin

Thursday, March 28, 2019

My Rating
★★★★★ - You have bewitched me, body and soul. (More Info)

About the Book

In 1918 England, Lieutenant Colin Mabry spends his days decoding messages for MI8 after suffering injuries at the front. When he receives an urgent summons by carrier pigeon from Jewel Reyer--a woman who saved his life and whom he believed to be dead--he can only hope he'll regain the courage he lost on the front lines as he's driven back into war-torn France. 

But Jewel isn't the one waiting for him in Paris. Instead, it is a stranger who claims to be her half sister, Johanna, who works at a dovecote for French Army Intelligence. She found Jewel's diary and believes her sister is alive and in the custody of a German agent. With spies everywhere, Colin is at first skeptical of Johanna, but as they travel across France and Spain, a tentative trust grows.

That trust is quickly put to the test, however, when their pursuit leads them straight into the midst of a treacherous plot and their search for answers quickly turns into a battle for their lives. (From Bethany House

My Thoughts
As I read this book, one thought kept coming to the forefront, "I don't want this story to end!" Alas, I turned the last page and closed the book yesterday. And ever since, have been trying to come up with adequate words to portray my feelings and the emotions that this story stirs. So, I'll give it my best shot...

Lt. Colin Mabry has had his fair share of tragedy, trauma, heartache, and war. While we met him briefly in Not by Sight, I was so excited to get to know Colin. A war hero that has to deal with permanent repercussions, both physically and mentally. In WWI, PTSD was better known as "Shell-Shock". And unfortunately, they didn't have the resources and understanding that we have today. My heart ached for Colin. I honestly don't know how anyone can make it through a situation like that withOUT God. His peace, His comfort, guiding and supporting me is the only way I made it through any of the traumatic events in my life.

Johanna has had quite an interesting life. Between the circumstances of her birth, not knowing she had a sister, her mother's lifestyle...Oh boy! But one of the things that I admire about Jo, is her passion. Her passion for family, life, and love. When she sets her mind to something, anything, she will MAKE it happen. She is independent and strong. But she recognizes her need for help, family, and eventually, God.

Kate Breslin has captivated me yet again with a beautiful and thrilling story of faith, family, and love in the midst of war. A tale that will leave you on the edge of your seat, Far Side of the Sea is a must read for any lover of The Great War era and espionage.  

I received a complimentary copy of Far Side of the Sea from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author

A Florida girl who migrated to the Pacific Northwest, Kate Breslin was a bookseller for many years. She is a Carol Award winner and a RITA and Christy Award finalist and lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington. Find her online at

More Books by Kate Breslin on Bookworm Mama

Castle on the Rise - Kristy Cambron

Friday, March 8, 2019

My Rating
★★★★★ - You have bewitched me, body and soul. (More Info)

About the Book

A storied castle. A band of rebels.
A nation chasing a centuries-old dream of freedom.
And three women who rise above it all . . .

When Laine Forrester travels overseas to attend her best friend’s vineyard wedding, she expects to find the bride on the brink of a fairy-tale life. But after a series of unforeseen setbacks, it seems the storybook lives they’d imagined are suddenly ripping apart.

With hopes of resurrecting a happy ending, Laine agrees to accompany the newlyweds to the groom’s home in Ireland—never expecting she’d be the one drawn in by its wide-open moors, backroads bordering the Irish Sea, and a mysterious castle that dares to keep its secrets hidden.

From the storied streets of Dublin to the shores of the Emerald Isle, Laine is drawn in to the land and its rich history. The castle ruins whisper stories of Issy—a photojournalist battling through the 1916 Easter Rising, and Maeve—the castle’s lady of legend, fighting for survival through the 1798 rebellion that started it all.

Spanning more than two centuries, Castle on the Rise unites the legacy of three women who must risk mending the broken places within for life, love, and the belief that even through the depths of our pain, a masterpiece of a story can emerge.

My Thoughts

Kristy Cambron's books are always bursting with so many emotions. Castle on the Rise is no different. While in the same series as The Lost Castle, with some of the same characters reappearing, there is a decidedly different tone to this story. With the focus of the historical threads around Irish uprisings and their fight for independence, there are several aspects of the present day thread that cause all the feels. (There are some things that could be triggers as well.)

Traveling through the different eras can seem a bit quick, but it definitely made me want to keep reading. Getting to know Laine on a deeper level and learning more about the history of Ireland was simply a fantastic combination. The hope and love and rebellion woven throughout this story captures the heart and imagination in a very real way. Cambron's ability to write raw, tangible faith has always blown me away.

Even though the setting is different from book one, I highly recommend starting this series with The Lost Castle. There is background information that I would consider crucial to the storyline in this book. And don't miss book three, The Painted Castle, arriving on shelves October 2019.

I received a complimentary copy of Castle on the Rise from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author

KRISTY CAMBRON is an award-winning author of historical fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping series. She's a Women's Ministry Leader at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, and a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10Library Journal Reviews' Best BooksRT Reviewers' Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation, working with such companies as the Disney Institute, IBM/Kenexa, and Gallup. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

More Books by Kristy Cambron on Bookworm Mama

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