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text 2019-12-08 20:44
Reading progress update: I've read 44%.
The Christmas Egg - Mary Kelly,Martin Edwards

Just to say, I am still really enjoying this one. 

 

No silly red herrings or super-intelligent detectives following up incredible clues, no weird chases or witnesses who decide that not telling the police all they know and turning to detection themselves is a better option than....you know...telling the police.

 

Yes, I am rather enjoying this for its simplicity...and for the characters. I like Brett, he reminds me of Tey's Inspector Grant for some reason. Maybe it's because his wife is involved in the arts (she's an opera singer) much like Grant's closest friend, Marta, is an actress.

 

Anyway... onwards.

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review 2019-12-08 18:20
From Cradle to Grave
In the Cradle Lies - Newport, Olivia

Sequels are a tricky business. They can enhance their predecessor or they can weaken it, especially if the first book was strong. Ideally, they demonstrate an improvement from prior books and offer more details about the characters and themes, depending on how the series is connected. This is one reason why I enjoy being able to begin a series at its inception and keep up with it as it grows. “The Inn at Hidden Run” opened the Tree of Life series and introduced readers to small-town Canyon Mines, Colorado, where Jillian and her father Nolan combine their professional talents to assimilate past and present.

 Olivia Newport’s “In the Cradle Lies” intensifies some of the elements from the first book in the series, making this a commendable sequel. Even so, this book could be read as a stand-alone, although I would recommend reading the series in order to better understand the characters’ backgrounds. In spite of the cozy milieu, “In the Cradle Lies” reads much like a suspense novel, and I found it difficult to put down. The mystery is more ominous in this book, and the winter setting augments this. Jillian and Nolan remain the main protagonists, but I was glad to meet different secondary characters this time around in Jillian’s best friend, Kris, and the mysterious vacationer, Tucker. For quite a while I was not sure what to make of Tucker, who is tight-lipped about his life and who is obviously hiding something, yet is incredibly generous, his savoir-faire attitude blending with his strange reserve. As he learns, you can’t outrun your past. However, for those who have accepted Christ, the past is just that—the past—and we can trust in the One who knows us, loves us, and breaks the chains that enslave us. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).

Intertwining the past and the present with her dual-timeline narrative, Newport demonstrates once again the substantial impact that our histories can have even decades later. Titling this series Tree of Life echoes with layers of meaning, particularly in this sequel. Aside from the obvious genealogical connection, I’m reminded of the eponymous tree in the Garden of Eden and how Adam and Eve’s disobedience led to their being denied its fruit yet also paved the way for the Savior. Also, cross-pollination serves as a metaphor in the narrative, alluding to the combination of the past and the present to form a stronger future and also to the subject of black-market baby snatching, taking a child from its original parents and transplanting them into another family. Although the faith element is very light, reconciliation is a solid subject, along with the realization that you cannot outrun either your past or God. Nolan observes that “[h]e couldn’t go back and change what he thought was right at a different point in time. But he could choose differently now.” The same is true for all of us, and because of Jesus’ sacrificial death and subsequent resurrection, no matter where we are in life’s journey or where we’ve come from, when we accept Jesus as Lord, He makes us new!

Recommended for those interested in genealogy, skiing, small-town life, father-daughter duos, and the criminal exploits of Georgia Tann, as well as fans of Liz Tolsma’s “The Pink Bonnet.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and CelebrateLit and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions are my own.

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text 2019-12-08 15:14
Reading progress update: I've read 4%.
The Christmas Egg - Mary Kelly,Martin Edwards

Princess Olga Karukhin was lying on her back in her bed, a narrow iron contraption with a hard mattress. The khaki greatcoat and blankets which served for covers were scarcely raised by her bony old body. Her grey head rested on a greyer pillow, across which a sluggish winter fly crawled by stops and starts, attracted by the greasiness of the shawl wrapped round her shoulders. Princess Karukhina once had been used to lying in a carved bed inlaid with mother-of-pearl, between silk sheets changed daily, covered with down quilts and white furs. The walls of her lofty bedroom, sprayed constantly with rosewater, had been set with Wedgwood jasper plaques. Whole pelts of Polar bears had lain like ice floes on the glassy floor. The dark cramped room where she now lay was both sleeping and living room. The walls were shoulder-rubbed, the single rug curled at the corners, there was a pervasive smell of biscuits gone soft. The door of a wardrobe hung askew above the wedge of newspaper that had held it shut; in its mirror a tilted reflection of window and sky was dimming to a London dusk.

In the midst of this squalor the Princess lay still, absolutely still. Even when the inquisitive fly crept into her ear she did not stir. She did not feel it, for she was dead.

Ok, this is a strong start to the book, but it is only the opening paragraph and I'll need to see if the book delivers what the start promises. 

 

I have no idea what the story will be about but the hint at a Russian princess make me expect Faberge eggs. 

 

Oh, and it may just be that this could work for the Russian Mothers' Day book task.

We'll see.

 

**EDIT**

The Book does work for the task - Princess Olga Karukhin, whose story this is, was a mother.

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review 2019-12-08 15:08
Five, Six, Grab Your Crucifix by Willow Rose
Five, Six ... Grab your crucifix - Willow Rose

Another great read!!
To be honest, when I started this one, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. I am not a fan of demonic possessions and religious things along that nature, so I wasn't falling into the story at first. 
Then the story changed. So did my interest.
After that, I was reading a thrilling and scary story! I was rapt!
The thing is, something like this could actually happen. Maybe even has happened before in some weird way. I do remember a former Russian spy having the same fate once....
Anyway, read this series! Rebekka Frank is a take-no-nonsense character that you will really enjoy!
I do wish there was more focus on the cult aspect to it all though. My only gripe, I guess, other than the slow beginning.

 

 

Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2019/12/five-six-grab-your-crucifix-by-willow.html
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review 2019-12-08 10:00
In the Cradle Lies Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book:  In the Cradle Lies

Author: Olivia Newport

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release Date: November, 2019

Book 2 in the Tree of Life Series: A Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Faith Journeys on Family Trees

On a solo ski vacation in Canyon Mines, Colorado, Tucker has a love-hate relationship with his wealth, spending indiscriminately while skiing fearlessly and preparing to conquer the overgrown slope of Hidden Run, a dangerous run not attempted in decades. As genealogist Jillian tries to uncover enough of Tucker’s family tree to understand his charming nature but reckless resolve, Jillian’s equally charming father, Nolan, cajoles Tucker into giving him ski lessons to get him talking about the suspicious circumstances surrounding his grandfather’s life in St. Louis in the 1930s.

On the surface, Tucker’s family’s history seems too perfect. The secret may lie in the sealed envelope Tucker carries with him at all times—even on the ski slope. When no one can find Tucker to tell him the fiancée he never mentioned turned up in Canyon Mines, they realize he must be off attempting to ski Hidden Run alone in a snowstorm. And they may be too late.

In the Cradle Lies is the second book in the Tree of Life series by Olivia Newport. You’ll want to return to the lovely Colorado mountain town of Canyon Mines again and again to explore and celebrate unforgettable family stories that will inspire you to connect with your own family histories and unique faith journeys.



Click HERE to get your copy!  
 

About the Author

 


Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twenty something children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of Pikes Peak.  

More from Olivia

 

True confession. I live in Colorado and don’t ski.
 
In the Cradle Lies includes several references to “How can you live in the Colorado mountains and not ski?” Jillian, a main character in the Tree of Life series, has lived in the mountain town of Canyon Mines since she was two, and by the time she was eight she knew she didn’t want to ski.
 
I grew up in Illinois, and while my high school had a ski club and somehow found places to ski (I’m not sure where; um, not exactly mountain territory), I was sure I would break something. Arriving in Colorado in my forties did not persuade me to take up skiing at that age. I live at the base of Pikes Peak, not in the mountains like Jillian. I do love the views!
 
But one of the fun things about being a writer is learning a lot about things you know little about. Enter Google and YouTube. And more YouTube. And … you get the drift. Some quick facts about Colorado skiing to help get you in the mood for In the Cradle Lies:

  • Colorado typically leads the country in “skier days”—days of skiing purchased in ski areas.
  • Actually, most people in the state don’t ski. By a large margin. Like 90 percent. (So I feel better and so does Jillian.)
  • People visiting the state to ski or snowboard are important to our economy. (So thank you!)
  • Colorado has hosted about 175 ski areas since it became a state in 1876. Today, we have only about 30 operating resorts—so there are lots of dormant, lost, and hidden runs like the one in my story.

I hope you’ll check out In the Cradle Lies—and find out why Tucker came from St. Louis to Canyon Mines to ski an abandoned run that put his life at risk.
 

My Review

 

Sequels are a tricky business. They can enhance their predecessor or they can weaken it, especially if the first book was strong. Ideally, they demonstrate an improvement from prior books and offer more details about the characters and themes, depending on how the series is connected. This is one reason why I enjoy being able to begin a series at its inception and keep up with it as it grows. “The Inn at Hidden Run” opened the Tree of Life series and introduced readers to small-town Canyon Mines, Colorado, where Jillian and her father Nolan combine their professional talents to assimilate past and present.

 Olivia Newport’s “In the Cradle Lies” intensifies some of the elements from the first book in the series, making this a commendable sequel. Even so, this book could be read as a stand-alone, although I would recommend reading the series in order to better understand the characters’ backgrounds. In spite of the cozy milieu, “In the Cradle Lies” reads much like a suspense novel, and I found it difficult to put down. The mystery is more ominous in this book, and the winter setting augments this. Jillian and Nolan remain the main protagonists, but I was glad to meet different secondary characters this time around in Jillian’s best friend, Kris, and the mysterious vacationer, Tucker. For quite a while I was not sure what to make of Tucker, who is tight-lipped about his life and who is obviously hiding something, yet is incredibly generous, his savoir-faire attitude blending with his strange reserve. As he learns, you can’t outrun your past. However, for those who have accepted Christ, the past is just that—the past—and we can trust in the One who knows us, loves us, and breaks the chains that enslave us. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).

Intertwining the past and the present with her dual-timeline narrative, Newport demonstrates once again the substantial impact that our histories can have even decades later. Titling this series Tree of Life echoes with layers of meaning, particularly in this sequel. Aside from the obvious genealogical connection, I’m reminded of the eponymous tree in the Garden of Eden and how Adam and Eve’s disobedience led to their being denied its fruit yet also paved the way for the Savior. Also, cross-pollination serves as a metaphor in the narrative, alluding to the combination of the past and the present to form a stronger future and also to the subject of black-market baby snatching, taking a child from its original parents and transplanting them into another family. Although the faith element is very light, reconciliation is a solid subject, along with the realization that you cannot outrun either your past or God. Nolan observes that “[h]e couldn’t go back and change what he thought was right at a different point in time. But he could choose differently now.” The same is true for all of us, and because of Jesus’ sacrificial death and subsequent resurrection, no matter where we are in life’s journey or where we’ve come from, when we accept Jesus as Lord, He makes us new!

Recommended for those interested in genealogy, skiing, small-town life, father-daughter duos, and the criminal exploits of Georgia Tann, as well as fans of Liz Tolsma’s “The Pink Bonnet.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and CelebrateLit and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions are my own.


Blog Stops

 

Through the Fire Blogs, December 3

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 3

Inklings and notions, December 4

Daysong Reflections, December 4

Genesis 5020, December 5

Godly Book Reviews, December 5

Just the Write Escape, December 6

Pause for Tales, December 7

For Him and My Family, December 7

For the Love of Literature, December 8

Mary Hake, December 8

Betti Mace, December 9

Bigreadersite, December 9

A Baker’s Perspective, December 10

Hallie Reads, December 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 11

Spoken from the Heart, December 11

Older & Smarter?, December 12

Texas Book-aholic , December 13

Blogging With Carol, December 13

janicesbookreviews, December 14

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 15

A Reader’s Brain, December 16

With a Joyful Noise, December 16

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a free copy of In the Cradle Lies!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

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