Through Waters Deep

Through Waters Deep met all of my requirements for a perfect read.

Combine history (well-researched, and really well-detailed), suspense, intrigue, and romance, and I’m a happy reader.  This book had all of it.

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges–and dangers–await them.

Unfortunately, this book also had some awkward relationship struggles in the middle, which I found I grew tired of by the end, but they resolved well and I was really pleased with how the book ended (which, don’t worry, I won’t spoil!).

The character development, which for me is always something I’m very picky about, was excellent!  The historical details were well-explained, and lent really well to a strong military plot line.  I’m fascinated by war history, especially naval history, and this book hit it right on the head.

Jim and Mary found their way into my heart quite quickly, and by the end I could not put the book down.  What a great read!  There were many times that I was just right at the edge of my seat, not able to stop, because if I stopped it would be hours before I knew how a conflict would resolve!  And we can’t have that!

Sarah Sundin is an excellent writer, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for other books of hers as well.  If this one is any indication, I’d love to read them all.  The end of the book had some advertising pictures for other series she’s written.,204,203,200_.jpg

I received this book free from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review, in association with Graf-Martin Communications.


You set the stars in the sky and You know them by name… (not a book review!)

… You are amazing, God.

That Chris Tomlin song (Indescribable) can’t help but get stuck in my head during a week like this.  At the Camp where I spend my summer, we had a series of big nature events this week that when you watch them, I don’t know how anyone could not see the hand of God.

We started on Wednesday with an absolutely perfectly clear sky that let us all star gaze and see the Perseid Meteor Shower ~ free of the light pollution of the cities and built-up areas most of us live in.  My Mom and I laid on the dock that’s in her backyard (that hasn’t made it to the lake yet) with pillows and blankets, and we marveled at the Milky Way, the expanse of the sky, how many stars they were, how bright they were, and then with every passing meteor…. how amazing it is to be able to live under this sky.  Nothing in the South can hold a candle to the clarity of a Northern Ontario night sky.  We ooh’d and aah’d as if we were watching the best fireworks show ever.  And we really were, because it’s fireworks put on by God.

What struck me, and I know I’m not the only one, is that I love and serve a God who put each one of those stars in the sky, who named them, who delighted in His creation and said it was good…. but then realized quickly that it wasn’t enough and He wanted to have relationships with people, so He made people.  You and I are some of those people.  He created such vast beauty, and yet it wasn’t perfect until we came along.  We’re more beautiful to Him than the stars in the sky and the incredible sunsets because He created us in His image?  Amazing.  He knows the name of every star in our universe and in the rest of them… and yet He also knows how many hairs there are on my head.

And if that weren’t enough this week, a meteor shower where on the night there were the most meteors, the sky was crisp and clear…. yesterday we had an epic thunder storm that had many of us just staring at the sky.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a camera powerful enough to have captured the meteor shower, but I did get lots of stormy weather shots yesterday.

We started the day sunny and warm, and the clouds rolled in as we continued.  We saw lighting at about 3:45 and closed the waterfront down.  We weren’t sure if anything was actually going to get to us, because the radar looked like we were right on the edge of the system (and if that were really true, I’m glad we weren’t in the middle)!

At around 4:30 the thunder started, and just before dinner the sky opened right up.  The rain poured down, and we had to move the chicken wing making station for Friday night Ribs ‘n Wings onto the covered lodge porch!  It eventually did let up though, and the sun came back out around 7:30, which led to both a spectacular rainbow and a gorgeous sunset.  God’s promises were all around us yesterday, and His beauty was on display for all to see.  What a wonderful way to end Week 3 of Family Camp!

Check out some of these pictures!

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Hope Harbor

Do you like books about sweet romance, fresh starts, second chances, and healing?  If so, then Hope Harbor is for you.,204,203,200_.jpg

I’ll be honest, I was really really excited to read this book.  It was on back order for a bit so I didn’t get it until about 5 weeks after I ordered it, and let me tell you, the excitement built during the time that I waited.

Here’s what the back of the book jacket had to say:

Tracy Campbell never wanted to leave Hope Harbor, Oregon, or the idyllic three-generation cranberry farm where she grew up. But life–and love–altered her plans. When tragedy strikes and changes her plans yet again, she finds herself back in her hometown with a floundering farm to run and a heartbreaking secret. Romance is not on her agenda. Nor is it on Michael Hunter’s. The visitor from Chicago has daunting secrets of his own. But when Tracy recruits him to help save a struggling charitable organization, the winds of change begin to sweep through Hope Harbor, bringing healing, hope, and love to countless lives–including their own.

Though I found the book rather slow to start, and didn’t like that we weren’t getting all the details about each of the characters’ stories up front, I quickly realized that the point of the slow reveal was to leave me as the reader wondering why Tracy and Michael needed healing and what had hurt them so badly.  I think if all that information had been front-end-loaded like I found myself wishing it had been, I’d have been disappointed because there’d have been no element of surprise to it.

Once the book got going, I loved the character development, and found that I couldn’t wait to keep reading… I did devour this book quite quickly, actually.  I loved Anna, and I loooooved Charley.  What great characters!  Irene Hannon did an excellent job of drawing me in with lovable and relate-able personalities.  I understand why she’s won awards, as the front cover says she has.

Anyway, in the end I do recommend this book.  It’s very sweet, and I loved how it all resolved in the end.

I received this book free from Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review, in association with Graf-Martin Communications.