If you have yet to read Warm My Heart, an inspirational romance and the first book of the Hearts in Africa series, complimentary copies are available for download through Amazon until Thursday (9/28/17). Here is a recap of the storyline:
Sarah finds herself heading into the bush of East Africa as a short-term missionary to the Maasai, a trip she initially took in an attempt to get over a broken engagement. Her trust in men forever marred, she is challenged when she serves under her team’s magnetic leader, Mitch.
Mitch finds a home in Africa, but is driven to serve God out of a guilt-ridden past. Hiding from wasted years spent carousing and chasing women, running from his weaknesses, he is stopped in his tracks when he meets the beautiful “Miss Sarah.”
Forced to serve together, they struggle through their crippling issues of trust and guilt. In the process, their faith is challenged. Together, in a harsh and often dangerous environment—including tribal skirmishes—they examine themselves, and learn that it takes more to survive than just a profession of faith. It takes the abandoned day-by-day trust in a living God. Sarah and Mitch become a sweet solace for each other and reach an understanding. They believe they belong together. But when the hindering issues of the past resurface stronger than ever, with a secret rising up to stand in their way, they find it difficult to carry on. Can they retain the power of love between them when they have so much to overcome?
The nature of book reviews is akin to human nature. We scrutinize, develop opinions, find faults, and praise. All of what are expressions articulated in varying facets and levels about the literature we read. Some would suggest that if you don’t have anything positive to say then don’t say anything at all. Is this because it might hurt the author's feelings?
No doubt, it can smart to be on the receiving end of criticism on something you’ve worked so hard. But the longer a writer is in the business those kinds of censures have a way of stinging less. We make our friends and are challenged by our detractors, our social and media circles are diverse and our audiences fluctuate. We can’t please everybody all of the time. Some are going to love our work, gifting us with those oh-so-good golden moments. Some aren’t. There’s wisdom in paying attention to matters that might need addressed, changed, or developed in our craft, but all in all, we still have to do what we do and, hopefully, find joy and fulfillment in doing it.
As an author, I’ve received my share of both good and bad reviews. As a reader, I can dish out the same miscellany about the books I digest. In the past, I’ve pondered if I should post a review or rating that is far less than exemplary. Then again, I’ve actually chosen books to read based on bad reviews. That’s the crazy curiosity alive in me. I want to see what others see. Like a twisted treasure hunt. Funny thing, I come to my own conclusion each time and what others have stated doesn’t sway my vote one way or the other. Therefore, honesty is I think the best policy because reviews are
relative. They’re definitely interesting…but they’re also conditional and
Having the following in mind keeps things rosier: “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”—Aristotle
One of the most darling stories from my reading
list, now, this one. I had the opportunity to read Keturah and Lord Death during the past week, and wow—the magic took my breath away.
This is a story I wish I had written, nevertheless I cherish this masterful fairytale spun by another. I’m anxious to explore more work by the author, Martine Leavitt, because this particular piece made such an impression.
Dark yet inspiring, intensely romantic, and burning with symbolism on mortality, loss, life, love, meaning, sweetness…this story carries all of the elements that impel me to categorize it as one of my most treasured reads, ever. How my library survived without it up until now, I wonder.
Keturah, renowned for her storytelling, follows a legendary hart deep into the forest, where she becomes hopelessly lost. Her strength diminishes until, finally, she realizes that death is near—and learns then that death is a young lord, melancholy and stern. She is able to charm Lord Death with a story and gain a reprieve, but he grants her only a day, and within that day she must find true love. A mesmerizing love story, interweaving elements of classic fantasy and high romance.
Following in the fashion of Spinal Tap’s own Nigel Tufnel’s words, “Eleven is one louder than 10” —I’d give this book six stars.
Remarkable is the work of Brazilian-born German author, Lya Luft. By grasping the concept of death, she bestows greater appreciation for life. In aging, she compels us to embrace every season of our span. At 40, 60, 80, she urges us to defy the pressures of society, which suggest that happiness, love, passion, joy, fulfillment belong only to the young.
The depth of perspective and wisdom is mindboggling in her Losses and Gains volume subtitled, “Reflections on a life.” Her novel, The Island of the
Dead, proves painfully introspective as does The Red House.
Inspiring are the author’s inflections to progress through life’s throes; allow not our psyches get swept this way or that, cracking, shifting, folding to the superficial forces in which we don’t wish to bow. It’s our perspective that counts (for me, with God’s help), the stabilizer of any event—tragic or blessed.
We cannot predict nor control life. Whether we like it or not it ever changes, circumstances alter. We age. Our days are filled with losses and gains. That’s a haunting yet reaching truth. That is the profound work of Lya Luft.