"My ideas flow so rapidly that I have not time to express them -- by which means my letters sometimes convey no ideas at all to my correspondents." - Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Two Book Quotes

"You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me."  - C.S. Lewis

This is one of my all-time favorite quotes about books (and tea!). C.S. Lewis was such an amazing author!

"Never judge a book by its movie." - J.W. Eagan

It's so true! There's some films that no matter how sweet they may end they just give the story a bad reputation. My advice (especially with Jane Austen) is always read the book first before you watch the adaptation! Books are always so much better! 

Very Truly Your's,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Literary Tag

Charity U at Austenitis did this Literary Tag and it sounded like so much fun I decided to do it here too! Thanks for this fun tag Charity!

1. Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to: Margaret Hale in Mrs. Gaskell's North & South. When I first read N&S I connected with her and felt her heart more than any other heroine I've read before. Not just her personality but also her circumstances touched right where I was in my life when I first read N&S. I also love and relate to Anne Elliot of Persuasion and Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility.

2. Share five of your favorite historical novels: Hmm...this is tricky. Defender of the Faith by Charles Ludwig, Mozart's Sister by Nancy Moser, I love all of the Little House books about the Ingalls family. Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess by Carolyn Meyer, Standing in the Light: The Captive Diary of Catharine Carey Logan by Mary Pope Osborne, I also read and enjoyed several books in the Trailblazer Series based on the lives of Christian heroes.

3. Out of those five books, who is your favorite character and why? I always love books about royalty and Queen Victoria is my favorite, she's so fascinating! Defender of the Faith is my favorite book about how the Lord worked to bring Victoria to the throne and bringing a much needed change to the monarchy.

4. What is your favorite time period and culture to read about? Books about or from the 1700's-1800's era are my favorites to read. Most of the books I read are set in England.

5. If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent? Well any of my favorite heroines but probably a Jane Austen character first of all. Probably Catherine Morland or Elinor Dashwood.

6. What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate? I ADORE chocolate! It's a must and is great for indulging while reading! :) I especially like chocolate mixed with something else like peanut butter, nuts, caramel or fruit.

7. Favorite author(s)? Jane Austen and Agatha Christie are my all time favorite authors. I've read and enjoyed almost all of their work. Other favorite authors include: Elizabeth Gaskell, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Louisa May Alcott, Janette Oke, Lori Wick, Grace Livingston Hill, C.S. Lewis and so many more!

8. As a small, imaginative, red-haired damsel might query: would you rather be divinely beautiful, dazzlingly clever, or angelically good? Probably angelically good, then I'd be patient and kind to everyone.

9. In which century were most of the books you read written? In the 19th century, mostly. But early 1900's is a close second.

10. In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is... This is a hard one! I adore Henry Tilney and Mr. Knightley and Captain Wentworth but they probably wouldn't be considered the ultimate hero. I do just adore Austen heroes though, they are

11. Have you ever wanted to change a character's name? Yes! I love names and their relation to history and I can sometimes get very put out when a name is overused or used in the wrong time period. One great thing about Austen and Christie is that they use great names that are time period appropriate.

12. In your opinon, the most dastardly villain in all literature is... Wow! This is tricky! Maybe like Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes or Bill Sykes from Oliver Twist. Both are the worst I can think of. I recently made a list of my favorite villains but those were really my favorites because they're semi-good and interesting in their own way.

13. Three favorite non-fiction books? Besides my Bible the other books that have influenced my life are probably: I Kissed Dating Good-Bye by Joshua Harris, Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot, and The Delicate Power of Modesty by Dannah Gresh.

Now it's your turn! If you're reading this I'm tagging you! Go answer these questions on your blog and if you do let me know about it! This was so much fun!

~Miss Laurie

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Time Will Tell

Time Will Tell by Lauralee Bliss
A Heartsong Presents Romance, 15 Chapters, 170 Pages, Printed 2005

I've read a lot of Christian romance fiction in my time and there are many authors I love. This short book I picked up in October on a trip from New Jersey back to Maine. It made for some fun light reading for the long car ride.

Plot:  "Everyone loves a bargain - but Connie Ortiz gets more than she bargained for when she buys an old cuckoo clock at a yard sale. Suddenly, strange people begin entering her life. An elderly man appears at her doorstep, offering to buy the clock for an exorbitant sum. The older lady in change of the sale urges Connie to keep the clock at all cost. And her handsome boss arrives on the scene to play referee. Truth be told, Lance Adams care less about refereeing than he does about getting to know Connie. He finds her quite intriguing - but so, too, is her fascinations with a clock that everyone seems to want. What is it about this clock that has people in a frenzy - and Connie caught in the middle? Can love resolve this mystery? Only time will tell." - From the back cover

This was a fun light story with a bit of mystery and romance. I love that Christian values are upheld and that friendship is valued above romantic feelings. I've read several books from Heartsong Presents and have enjoyed most of them but they can be very fluffy with not much to them. This was a sweet fun read and I recommend it if you ever get a chance to read it.

Dinah Harris Mysteries


For Christmas my dear daddy gave me two books that are the beginning of the Dinah Harris mysteries from Christian author Julie Cave. It sounds awful but often I don't read books I'm given as gifts mostly because I procrastinate and I'm not a huge reader. As my father said, this time he picked two books that I probably wouldn't have picked up on my own, but I really enjoyed reading these two novels! I procrastinated at getting the review of the first book up, but now I can review both together!


Deadly Disclosures by Julie Cave
21 Chapters, 283 Pages, First printing March 2010

As the first book in this series we are introduced to Dinah Harris, a former FBI detective who, because of problems in her past, is now reduced to teaching new FBI recruits. But when she's asked by her former partner to help him on a high profile case she reluctantly accepts and is swept into the case of the disappearance of Thomas Whitfield, Secretary of the Smithsonian. As they investigate leads and interview Thomas Whitfield's family and associates they come face to face with the spiritual battle of Creation vs. Evolution.    

Author Julie Cave does a good job of revealing enough about Thomas and his captors that the reader is one step ahead of the detectives, while at the same time keeping enough back that I was surprised by the ending and the true identity of the criminals. There is a lot of grit and quite a few crime scenes are described. I could definitely see both books making for great TV crime drama. Julie Cave's attention to detail means that we get to follow the detectives as they enter crime scenes, hear the coroner's detailed reports, and histories of creation, evolution, and many other topics. 

Dinah Harris is a very human character, many flaws but some endearing qualities. She's impatient and brisk and struggles with a huge secret in her past that keeps her self esteem low. When we meet her she's not a Christian, she battles with alcohol addiction and suicidal thoughts. But this case will prove to be life threatening and life changing for Dinah. 

This is probably my favorite of the two books. There's a lot of debate dialog about creation vs. evolution. The gospel is clearly presented at least three times and the changing grace of God can be witnessed in the character's lives. 


The Shadowed Mind by Julie Cave:
21 Chapters, 281 Pages, First printing October 2010

In this second book we see Dinah Harris coping with life after the Smithsonian case. Trying to stay on the right track and learning to trust in her newfound Savior for every problem in life. When Dinah is hired as a private consultant by police detective Samson Cage to investigate a string of similar homicides the pair quickly find themselves on the path of a ruthless serial killer who attacks the weak and helpless choosing who should live and who should die! 

In this book author Julie Cave does a great job at stringing four different story lines that weave in and out of each other and ultimately coming together to form one picture. The reader follows the nameless killer as he chooses his victims and leads them to their death; Dinah and Cage as they investigate the murders and the killer's motives and techniques; Ella Barnett as she struggles with caring for her father with Alzheimer's, wondering if euthanasia is the answer; and a crooked politician who is helping a eugenics group push their agenda forward.

I must say that I pretty much tagged the killer right away but I was still very surprised by every twist and turn. I enjoyed this book very much, I don't know why but the interest of catching a serial killer appeals to me. This book has a lot about the history of eugenics which I didn't always understand but it was interesting and a bit scary to learn about. The gospel is presented very clearly and the message of forgiving and loving others is the ending theme. 

My Recommendation:

I enjoyed both books very much! The mysteries kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Some of the themes were a bit more mature than I thought they would be but Julie Cave deals with these topics very gently and honestly. I'd definitely recommend these books for everyone ages 16+. Fiction is such a great entertaining way to learn about history and current events. I enjoyed the character of Dinah Harris even if I didn't identify with her all the time. Her character isn't that perfect all-knowing detective, she's smart but flawed, serious bit with a dry wit. I can't wait to find out what's going to happen to her next! The third book in this series, Pieces of Light, will be out June 2011. 

Both books and the author Julie Cave have been heavily influenced by Answers In Genesis ministries and are highly recommend by them. Creationist Ken Ham talks about Deadly Disclosures on his blog. Visit JulieCave.com for more information on the author and her books.