Beyond the Tides by Liz Johnson

Liz Johnson has a new series! The first book has been released and it is set on Prince Edward Island! It is her second series set in this location. It is a modern day story. It is Christian fiction with a spiritual message. It takes place toward the end of summer into the fall. I enjoyed the first PEI series very much and am glad she is writing in this setting again. This one is the PEI Shores series and the first book is entitled Beyond the Tides. It is a great read for me for this time of year as we were sweltering in the southwestern United States. LOL

We get an inside look at the lobster fishing industry in this story. Our protagonist, Meg Whitaker,has come home to help her father care for her mother and has been working in the local school system. Her father is a fisherman who owns a boat and a license but has decided to step down and sell the business to one of his crew members. Meg is livid as she realizes that the family business will be sold to, as the story describes him, Meg’s “arch nemesis.” She makes the choice to step down from her teaching job to learn about this industry to try to keep the business in the family and prevent Oliver (the arch nemesis) from getting his hands on it.

Oliver Ross is one of three brothers raised by a single mother. His father deserted their family when they were in their teen years. He has worked for Meg’s father for the last 5 years and has proven himself reliable and hardworking. Some people in the community still cast judgment on him and his family based on his father’s horrible reputation but the family has survived despite those judgments.

Meg’s protests to her father brought her father to the conclusion that Meg and Oliver would have to work together for the current fishing season. Mr. Whitaker would decide at the end of the season who would take over the business. Meg begrudgingly accepts this and despite her severe sea sickness and utter contempt for early mornings she shows up day after day to learn the business and work with someone she dislikes. The questions she would face ahead would determine her future… Can Meg and Oliver actually work together for 8 weeks? Would they be able to work past the obstacles to give her father a successful fishing season? Would Meg make her father proud and prove she is worthy of running this business? How in the world would God work all of this out?

What I Thought…

I enjoyed this book very much! I learned things about the fishing business I did not know and enjoyed the beautiful descriptions of the area. Liz Johnson has a way of laying out a scene that makes you feel like you are there. Her characters are realistic and flawed and that is part of the charm of her stories. We are given the chance to relate to the struggles and triumphs of her characters. There is, of course, always romance and the characters encounter God in some way that deepens their faith in these stories. This is another success for Johnson in my opinion.

The coming books in the series will tell more of the story of the three brothers. We met Oliver in this one and we will begin to understand more about his family and the lives of the other two young men overcoming the struggle of a father who walked out on them. I cannot wait for book 2!

Learn more about Liz Johnson on her website

Some books by Liz Johnson that I reviewed

The Red Door Inn (PEI)

Where Two Hearts Meet (PEI)

On Love’s Gentle Shore (PEI)

A Glitter of Gold (Georgia Coast Series)

A Dazzle of Diamonds (Georgia Coast Series)

I had the privilege of serving on the Book Tour Team from Revell Publishers for this lovely read. I was sent the book at no cost to me but was asked to read and give my COMPLETELY HONEST opinion on my experience with it. I really loved this page turner and look forward to more in this series soon.

In the short stack for July

Hey Friends!

I hope all my American readers had a lovely Independence Day. We had lots of fireworks scattered throughout our area and we could enjoy some of them from the front porch before bedtime. We also got a bit of a lightning show from God and we loved that His always far outweighs the others.

How is the summer reading coming along? Some of you shared a few books you were tackling this summer. Feel free to give me an update or share your recommendations in the comments below. I posted my summer reading challenge at the beginning of June if you are interested in seeing that.

I have a few books in the stack right now. True to form I am reading mostly nonfiction again. I can’t help it. LOL I tend to be a research minded human and love learning. I also love diving into a topic when it hits my radar and learning everything I can about something. I am not a halfway person by any stretch of the imagination. I need to know ALL THE THINGS. With that in mind here are the next books up in my stack… some are already in progress.

I have a rather large collection of Elisabeth Elliot books. Her stories keep me grounded. I can’t wallow in self pity when I read about her life and experiences.
I have a few money books in my stack this year and it was just time for this one. I actually started it in June but have not gotten very far, yet. I am looking for some contentment and minimalism inspiration. This is where I landed.
I have been reading the book of Psalms every month… all the way through each month and the Proverbs. I recently went to a used bookstore and picked this up because who doesn’t love a good C. S. Lewis read, right?
This is a book I promised my youngest son I would read while he is at camp this summer. He likes to read books and discuss them with me and he read this one earlier this year. It happens to be free on Audible with a membership so I am listening as I read the book, too. Visual plus Auditory input is the best! I also recently finished Deep Work by Cal Newport so we could chat about that one, too. My boy chooses great books!
My one fiction book right now… LOL and it’s a MURDER MYSTERY! Christie is kind of like comfort food for me. This is from the Colonel Race series she wrote. I believe there are four in that series. There is just something really satisfying about her books because the bad guy always gets it in the end. I need to be reminded of that right now. 😉

It is also the beginning of the second half of 2021. I know… hard to fathom but we are there. I am doing a revamp after evaluating goals and such for the next 6 months. My word for this year has been abide… it is still extremely relevant so I will stick with that.

Thanks for stopping by!

~Leann

Rustic Plum Pie

I have been offline for the month of June and am still plugging away until the middle of July, except for blog reading and writing. I have taken several breaks from social media this year. I have deleted my Facebook and Twitter accounts completely and am toying with the idea of walking away from Instagram still. It is looking more and more like I will leave a shadow account to point here to the blog and keep my list of friends there to check in with once a week or so.

With the time offline I have done some serious clearing of stuff. I sent 5 boxes of books out as well as about 10 bags and boxes of stuff we no longer need. I feel lighter with each thing that leaves. It has been good for me to dive into this project.

God has also been doing some things in our lives here that have us really clinging to Him right now, too. I don’t feel like sharing yet but our lives are changing and God is doing a new thing with us.

One of the things I am doing more of is diving into a few cooking shows I have had in my queue for a long time. Rachel Allen is a culinary instructor and chef in Ireland. She has several shows up on Amazon Prime and BritBox. This Rustic Plum Pie is one I made the other day after watching one of her episodes. I happened to have plums in the refrigerator and I don’t need much incentive to eat pie. It is super quick and tasty with a side of whipped cream or ice cream.

I suspect you could substitute other fruit in this recipe. I might try one with peaches or apples soon. I encourage you to check out Rachel’s shows if you have those streaming options. She is a great teacher. Every time I watch an episode I want to get on a plane and head to Ireland. She shares the food and beauty of the country in every episode. I have tried several of her recipes and have not been disappointed. Check out her recipes and her cookbooks.

The Sound the Sun Makes by Buck Storm

This is the second book in a series and I am sad to say I have not read the first one yet. It seems to be a stand alone novel in some regards but does allude to a character from the first one sometimes. That does not seem to hinder the story at all.

We open this story with the main character, Early Pines. He is a detective in the little southwestern town of Paradise. He has just been suspended from duty following an altercation with a citizen of that town. He is still angry about the death of a friend (from the first novel) and fighting the urges to “self medicate” to cope. He has a friend who talks him into a road trip to Old Mexico to distract him from his current woes. This road trip is barely underway when they are stranded in a little town to have his truck repaired. He encounters a local bar owner, Calico, who shares that her brother, who had moved to Los Angeles, CA, now seems to be missing. This piques his interest and he commits to help her find out what has happened to him. This begins a road trip to California and an adventure he never dreamed was ahead for him and his new road trip buddy, Calico.

I have been privy to several different authors and stories over the years because of my marriage to my husband. He is an avid Louis L’Amour fan. He is also a reader of Tony Hillerman (Jim Chee character) and Robert B. Parker stories (Jesse Stone character). He has exposed me to these stories over the years and I have loved them almost as much as he has. We have watched the movies made from these novels together, as well. This story has elements that remind me very much of the stories from these authors. It is a modern day Southwestern US mystery/adventure story. The writing style is very engaging and drew me in from the first chapter. It was hard to put this novel down and I really enjoyed it from start to finish.

This is my first encounter with Buck Storm’s work. I can say with certainty that it will not be my last. This is a different book than I typically review here. It is from a Christian publishing company but it is not the standard romantic fare that most of those publishers produce. I think this is a great change of pace if you are looking for something a little more intriguing and edgy without all the edgy language and explicit descriptions. It may also have a bit of romance along the way but that is not the ultimate purpose of the story. If you are a Christian fiction reader (and even if you are not) who is looking for something a little different, I highly recommend this series and other books written by Buck Storm to you.

This book was sent to me free of charge from Kregel Publishing. I was asked to read it and give an honest review for you. My most honest opinion on this one is that I wish I had found this author sooner. It was fantastic! I will be going back to read the first book in this series.

My Personal Summer Reading Challenge

I started reading on June 1st for summer but have been remiss at getting this post up sooner. I shared two review books with you recently and am currently reading the third one from that stack. I have not taken any more currently so that I can focus on a few other things this summer that are more pressing. We have our youngest finishing up his junior year by the 15th and then we start the year long process of senior year. First of all, I am in total shock that we have reached this place. Secondly, I have determined to take memory snapshots all the way through this process. It has been a joy to have him to ourselves for the last 3 years as our other children have not been permanent residents here outside of a few coronavirus months. He has been in an “only child” mode and we have enjoyed our time with him as the “baby” of the family. That being said, I am also off social media a whole lot more these days and am currently reading a few books that might push me to take the leap to be off completely except for this blog. The Four books in progress are…

Current Review Books

The stacks I have set aside for the rest of the summer are here but I reserve the right to change or add to at any time. LOL Which I tend to do but as of today, June 6, 2021 (D-Day) this is my story and I’m sticking to it!

What are you reading this summer? I would love to know. Drop me a comment below with your list or share your blog link if you have a post on summer reading. Thanks for stopping by!

~Leann

Dusk’s Darkest Shores by Carolyn Miller

Isn’t that cover lovely? This is the second story from Carolyn Miller that I have enjoyed. She writes Christian fiction and, in particular, novels set in the Regency Era. She was part of the Regency Christmas collection I shared with you all at Christmas. I do enjoy a good Regency novel these days. This one is the first in a trilogy to be released in the coming months. The series is called Regency Wallflowers but I guarantee the young lady in this story is a lovely woman with great focus on her calling. This Heroine is not what most people mean when they call someone a wallflower in modern times. If you want to find out more about Carolyn Miller and her other books you can head over to her website. You can also sign up for her newsletter to stay on top of the coming books in this series.

Mary Bloomfield is the daughter of a physician. She has poured herself into being his assistant and has let marriage age pass her by. Those around her continue to remind her that her stubborn and forthright spirit seems to be running men off. She seems to have little concern for what they have to say. She has faced some hard situations in her work and seen many things most people never encounter. She has found a life with which she can find contentment and is not really looking for companionship among the male population of her community.

A friend of her family, a woman named Emily, is waiting for her fiancé, Adam Edgerton, to return from the war. She got word that he would be arriving solo ahead of his troop. Both his family and her family find themselves concerned to hear this news and await his arrival with trepidation. Once he arrives the community realizes that he is not the man who left. With his medical needs Mary is forced to come alongside him in a battle for his life and future. Both Adam and Mary find challenges ahead they never dreamed they would face in their lifetime. The only thing that would sustain them is the God that would bring peace in the midst of the worst that life can throw at them.

This story has no shortage of drama and adventure. Carolyn Miller’s writing kept me quickly turning pages. She has a great talent for descriptive writing and for crafting a beautiful narrative. I was enthralled with this tale. I loved the life of Mary and her compassion and sensitivity toward those she worked with even in the darkest and hardest of situations. She had a real gift for comforting and encouraging those she treated. It is a beautiful story!

I truly enjoyed being a part of this blog tour team. I received a copy of the book for free from Kregel Publishing. I was only asked to read it and give an honest review to share with my readers. I am delighted to recommend this novel and look forward to the next two in the series. If you love regency era novels and hardship forged love stories this is a perfect fit for you. Check out the link below to enter a giveaway for this book and a great collection of goodies to go with it.

Head over to this link to register for the giveaway and join in the fun!