Friday, December 28, 2012

The Ride of Her Life (Lake Manawa Summer Series #3)

Lorna Seilstad does it again. With the third, and final, installment of the Lake Manawa series, we discover that Lily Hart has become a widow and is raising her 6 year old son by herself.  Her station in life has changed dramatically yet again. I can relate to this book in a personal way, being a widow myself. I am not, however, a mother so we do face some different challenges.

This book gripped my heart from the beginning, watching Lily struggle to maintain her control of her life, because she feels like God has abandoned her. She went from a servant, to the wife of a respected lawyer, to a widow who's inlaws see her as an unfit mother to her son Levi.

Enter Nick Perrin. He, of course, is immediately intrigued by the beautiful Lilly because of her stubbornness and fierce loyalty to her son. He works on rollar coasters, and his life has been like a rollar coaster as well.  He is a bit cocky, and of course he has his flaws as well.

The epigraph for this book is 1 Corinthians 2:5, "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." Both characters have to learn that man does not know everything there is to know, and that your faith should not be put in men or ourselves, it should be put in God, the almighty. There were a couple of quotes that stood out to me and I will share them here:

"We're so busy managing our lives for ourselves, we forget that it is God who is in control. His plans for you may include some storms, but He will be with you through them. Have faith. Trust the Lord to still the storms either in the world or in your heart."

"Faith entrusts oneself and one's children to God in the midst of danger."

These quotes perfectly describe every feeling, thought, and trial Lilly had to face in this book (and many of which we've all faced). I this this was my favorite book out of the whole series because it reminded me of God's power and that He is in control of my life, even when the storms come and times get so hard I can't see the way out. He's never left me and He never will. It's a great reminder of that promise.

A Great Catch (Lake Manawa Summers Series #2)

This book is a "great catch" (pun intended)! The author, Lorna Seilstad, does a great job in this second installment of the Lake Manawa series. Unfortunately, my Nook went on the fritz and I had to get a new one, so I lost all my notes and highlights made about this book. I do, however, remember the point and that it is a wonderful story.

The overview provided on Barnes and Noble's website sums the book up nicely.
She wants to change the world.
He wants to change her mind.

When Emily Graham returns to Lake Manawa for the summer, all she wants to do is her work for the suffragette movement.  She is having a hard enough time keeping up with all she has to do and keeping certain members of the suffragist group from taking over her leadership role. Her meddlesome aunts, however, have other plans for her. Emily is clumsily endearing and a genuine character. I feel for her at times because I can relate to the clumsiness and the shock and embarrassment that can accompany it sometimes. She also struggles with letting God take control of her life, just like I do.

Carter Stockton is a dreamer. He is a dreamer because he wants nothing more than to play baseball, while his father wants nothing more than for him to join the family business. So, his last hurrah is playing for a baseball team this summer. He meets Emily Stockton, who happens to be his friend's little sister, and sparks fly. He is immediately intrigued by her honesty, unconventionality, and determination to do what she wants despite society's dictates. The romance that blossoms between them is sweet and endearing.

In the beginning of the book, it quotes Proverbs 3:5, "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Both characters struggle with letting God have control of their lives and acknowledging Him in their everyday actions. Emily is frequently putting God on the back burner, so to speak, and we see that she struggles because of it.

The story is good, the characters are lovable, and the plot is great. I do, however, wish the ending would have been a little different. I won't give away any plot spoilers, but I was a little disappointed with the conclusion of the problems, right before the happy ending. It still doesn't change my mind about this book, it's simply a great, easy read!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Change of Fortune

A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano

This is the first book I have read by this author, and it was delightful.

Lady Eliza Sumner has travelled to America under the guise of a governess to recover what is rightfully hers.  Agatha Watson's matchmaking mama arranged a dinner party from which Agatha was strangely "ill" and Eliza was forced to step in. Enter Mr. Hamilton Beckett, the handsome man Agatha's mother has decided would suit her daughter, and his brother Mr. Zayne Beckett. Sparks fly the first time Eliza meets Hamilton and things just get crazier and crazier as the story progresses.

The dialogue is fast paced and exciting. There is never a dull moment with Eliza and Agatha.  The character development is wonderful. Jen Turano creates characters you can relate to in a personal way.  You sympathize with Eliza and Hamilton once you hear their stories and you pray and wish the best for both of them because you feel they deserve the best. The plot, while a little unbelievable, is still interesting and the romance between Hamilton and Eliza is sweet, but not overdone.

The theme that runs throughout the story is trust.  Learning to trust yourself, others, and most importantly, learning to trust that God has a purpose for everything and is in control of your life whether you realize it at the time or not.  Both Eliza and Hamilton have been placed in situations where much like we would do, they questioned God's wisdom and authority in their lives.  They have taken the reins from God, so to speak.  The story is about learning to relinquish that control and letting God do what He intended for your life.

Thank you Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book. It is excellent and I look forward to reading more by this author in the future.

Check it out:

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Home In Drayton Valley

"For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." Romans 8:24

Joss and Mary Brubacher, their two children, and Mary's friend Tarsie Raines are determined to leave the destitution and oppression of 1880 New York behind and head for the "promised land" of Drayton Valley, Kansas.  When tragedy strikes their little group, Tarsie makes a promise to care for Joss and the children and Joss sets up a "marriage" as Mary wished.  Can Tarsie show Joss the love that Mary so wished for him to know? Can she love him the way God loves all of His children? Can Joss put aside his past and accept the love that Tarsie, his children, and ultimately God want for him to share?

A Home in Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a story that touches my heart deeply.  I can relate to it in a extremely personal way.  The characters are well-developed and you can relate to them.  Tarsie, from the beginning of the book, is a spit fire who stands up for what she believes in no matter the cost.  Joss is hard-hearted, yet tender enough that you don't hate him, and his struggles are very human.  The story is a message of learning to trust God and believe in his promises.  It's a story about how God allows things to happen in our lives that we don't understand, but we have to learn to trust that God knows what he's doing.  Tarsie, already being a Christian, understands this concept and we see her struggle to maintain her faith in the face of adversity.  Joss, not yet accepting Christ and his love, doesn't fully understand this concept, and we see him struggle to overcome his past prejudices and finally accept what God has been trying to tell him all along through the witness of several characters in the book.

Overall, this is not an action packed, comedic story.  It is a soft story of God's love and acceptance that will leave your heart full and your spirit light. I would definitely recommend it.

**I received this copy free from Bethany House Publishers.**

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Making Waves (Lake Manawa Summer series #1)

This is the first book I've read by Lorna Seilstad. The first in the Lake Manawa Summers series, this book was delightful and had a great message expertly weaved into the story.

Marguerite Westing is an adventurous, kind, fiercely loyal daughter of Camille and Edward Westing. She especially chafes at the social constructs she is bound to. Anything she is told she can't do, she becomes determined to do it. That is no different when she decides she wants to learn to sail.

Trip Andrews, Phillip Sutton Andrews the Third, is the handsome sailing instructor. After his initial meeting with Marguerite, when she fell into the lake and he heroically jumped in to rescue her, he never expected to see her again. When her little brother Mark comes to take sailing lessons, he never expects who the real student is.

To avoid giving away too much of the plot, I'll summarize here. Through a series of events, Marguerite learns that lies, even the "little white" kind, can have major consequences. With the help of Trip and Lilly, her maid, Marguerite learns to trust God in all aspects of her life, and that God hates lying.

This book was fantastic. I devoured it in one day. You'll want to laugh, cry, and get angry with Marguerite and Trip as they embark on their adventure and find themselves immersed in God's love and love for each other. I can't wait to read the next 2 books in the series!

Check it out here:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Hi everyone!

My name is Shannah McClamrock. I love, love, love to read. Reading became a big part of my life 3 years ago when my husband joined the military and went off to bootcamp. What's a girl to do with all that free time?! Then, it became my escape when the unthinkable happened and I became a 23 year old widow. Reading was my outlet, my escape from reality. Now, reading is my adventure. I try to transport myself into the book so I can see what the characters are seeing and feel what they are feeling!

I decided to start this blog because a lot of people ask me about books that I've read and would recommend. I am going to start reviewing them and posting my reviews for everyone to read! I will be honest and objective about my opinions of the books. I am open to any suggestions on books to read as well. I hope you all find this interesting and I hope it gives you some ideas as to what to read!

My goal in writing this blog is not to become a professional book reviewer. Unfortunately, I don't have the time or the talent for that. Being a full time student and a full-time employee does not give me the opportunity to read books as much as I would like. As much as I would LOVE to review more books, it's not feasable at this time. I would, however, like to improve my blogging skills. If any of you faithful blog readers have any suggestions for me, I welcome them!

Thank you for stopping by, and I really hope you enjoy my blog!