Sara’s Summer Reading List

Anchor in the StormAnchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin (Waves of Freedom #2)
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Revell

What’s it about (back cover summary):
In a time of sacrifice, what price can one put on true love?

Nothing slows Lillian Avery down–not her personal challenges and certainly not America’s entry into World War II. She finally has a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The demands of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg’s attentions only annoy–even if he is her brother’s best friend.
During the darkest days of the war, Arch’s destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves–and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions Lillian has been filling?
As the danger rises on both land and sea, the two must work together to answer that question. But can Arch ever earn Lillian’s trust and affection? 

Comments: I have been looking forward to reading this book ever since I finished the first novel in the Waves of Freedom series by this author last summer. I was so excited at the end of that one to discover that Arch would be one of the main characters of this book. I liked him so much in Through Waters Deep, and I’m really looking forward to reading more about him and about the Navy during World War II. Since I have a background in science and pharmaceuticals, an added bonus is that Anchor in the Storm involves a pharmacist and a mystery surrounding large orders of prescriptions being filled. Anchor in the Storm is definitely on the top of my summer reading list.


Where Hope PrevailsWhere Hope Prevails by Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan (Return to the Canadian West #3)
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Bethany House

What’s it about (back cover summary):
She leans forward for her first glimpse of the little mountain town that has captured her heart, but something has changed.
Elizabeth Thatcher’s highly anticipated return to her beloved Coal Valley after a long summer with her family back east is filled with surprises . . . and not all of them good ones, in her estimation. Maybe the worst one of all relates to her treasured students. Can she adapt and learn to cope with this enormous change?

Her Mountie, Jarrick Thornton, hasn’t yet proposed, but she already knows what her answer will be. His duties take him away from the valley much too often, in her view, but the two of them, with patience and understanding–and one significant misunderstanding–are learning to know each other better.

The dark cloud looming on the horizon in Beth’s mind, though, is filled with questions about where their future might take them. As a member of the RCMP, Jarrick is stationed wherever his superiors send him . . . but what about her teaching position in Coal Valley?

Beth attempts to do her best with each obstacle she faces, but does she rightly assess each situation as it surfaces? Good intentions don’t always lead to good results. . . .

Comments: It’s no secret that Janette Oke was the author who introduced me to Christian fiction so many years ago. So there’s a soft spot in my heart for this series. Book #3 promises to return with Beth to Coal Valley, the place she has grown to love. I am looking forward to seeing how this series wraps up. Will there be a happily-ever-after for Beth and Jerrick? I’m almost certain there will be, but I am excited for the journey.


No Other Will DoNo Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Bethany House

What’s it about (back cover summary):
She Trusts Him For the Job, But Can She Trust Him With Her Heart?

Men are optional. That was the credo Emma Chandler’s suffragette aunts taught her and why she established Harper’s Station, a women’s colony that offers a fresh start to females in need. But when a dangerous and shadowy assailant tries repeatedly to drive the women out, Emma is forced to admit they might need a man after all. One who can fight. And there is only one man she trusts enough to ask.

Malachi Shaw has finally earned the respect he’s always craved by becoming an explosives expert for the railroad. Yet when Emma’s telegram arrives, he rushes back to Texas to repay the girl who once saved his life. Only she’s not a girl any longer. She’s a woman with a mind of her own and a smile that makes a man imagine a future he doesn’t deserve.

As the danger intensifies, Emma, Mal, and the ladies of Harper’s Station must choose between safety or risking everything to fight for their future. 

Comments: Author Karen Witemeyer has become one of my go-to authors in recent years. I like the time period in which she writes, and her books always seem to have that extra spark that makes them interesting and meaningful. No Other Will Do seems to fit right in and it one I am excited to dive into this summer.


From This MomentFrom This Moment by Elizabeth Camden
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Bethany House

What’s it about (back cover summary):
Stella West’s artistic talent made her the toast of London, but when her beloved sister dies under mysterious circumstances she abandons everything and heads for Boston. With single-minded determination she fights to pierce the ring of secrecy surrounding her sister’s death. Upon meeting Romulus White, a publisher with connections into every important power circle in the city, she quickly realizes he could be a valuable ally in navigating Boston society.

Romulus has been pursuing Stella for years to create art for his magazine. Her luminous illustrations are the missing piece he needs to propel his magazine to the forefront of the industry, and he will stop at nothing to get her on board.

Sparks fly the instant they join forces, but Romulus is unsettled by the unwelcome attraction he feels toward Stella, fearing she might be the one woman who could disrupt his hard-won independence. He may have finally met his match in Stella, but is helping her solve the mystery of her sister’s death worth the risk to his publishing empire?

Comments: Elizabeth Camden is an author who writes historical fiction so well. Her attention to the historical details really makes the book and the characters come alive. Usually her romantic interests tend to butt heads at first (or throughout) which can be a more realistic portrayal of how some romances are. The added mystery to this novel makes it one I’m looking forward to reading this summer.


Ohio BridesOhio Brides by Cara Putman
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: Barbour Books

What’s it about (back cover summary):
Three Women Seek Promises of Love during Times of War

World War II has reached Ohio during the 1940s, and three young women wonder where God’s promises for hope, love, and peace can be found.

Josie Miller has finally married her sweetheart, Art, but the challenges of a new marriage, new job, and new city along with relatives seeking refuge from war may pull the couple apart.

Evelyn Happ seeks to escape her past by joining the WAVES and helping the navy’s war efforts, but she is disappointed when the women’s presence is looked down upon by engineers like Mark Miller who only see her as a distraction.

Kat Miller makes the All-American Girls Professional Softball League but struggles to prove her worth to her teammates and embittered reporter Jack Raymond who was physically rejected to serve in the war.

Will new romances become just additional casualties of war, or will they forge promises of lasting love?

Comments: I was able to meet author Cara Putman at a book club meeting this past December (She lives in my hometown), and I picked up this book from her as an autographed copy. One of my book club friends read it and really enjoyed it, so I am thinking this will be a good summer read.


The God PuzzleThe God Puzzle: How the Bible fits together to reveal God as your Greatest Treasure by Valerie Ackerman
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Publisher: HigherLife Publishing

What’s it about (back cover summary):
The God Puzzle is a colorful, easy to use tool to help you communicate to your child the rich truths about God, His ways, His will and His love. The God Puzzle will help you address doctrinal themes of the Christian faith in a kid friendly way, present Bible lessons in an interactive way that will hold the child’s attention, and deliver quality teaching with no preparation needed. Seventy-five percent of children leave the church when they leave home. Something isn’t working. Sunday School isn’t doing it all. Kids need answers, good ones. And they need them from you, the parent. This book enables you to give them simple, clear answers.

Comments: I received this book a few years ago for review, but I wanted to wait until my daughter was a little older before we jumped into it fully. Since she is now 7 and going into 2nd grade in the fall (Where did the time go?!), I thought this would be a good book for us to work through together this summer.


ArmadaArmada by Ernest Cline
Publication Date: April 12, 2016
Publisher: Broadway Books

What’s it about (back cover summary):
Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.
But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.  
No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.

Comments: This is one that my husband wants to read this summer. He really enjoyed Ready Player One by this author, and he is hoping it will be just as good. Some of the early reviews haven’t been stellar which is typical of sophomore offerings. It remains to be seen if my husband will be a fan of this one or not.

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