March 20, 2014

Ephesians 2:4-10

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."
Ephesians 2:4-10

March 18, 2014

Tide and Tempest Review~

(Photo from
Two years ago, her fiance perished
during their voyage to America.

Now she discovers it may have been murder...

     Dreaming of a better life, Tillie McGrath leaves Ireland behind and, with her beloved fiance by her side, sets sail for America. But when illness robs her of the man she holds dear, she's left alone with only a handful of tattered memories. While forging on proves difficult, Tillie soon finds some new friends at her New York boardinghouse, and begins pursuing a new dream--to open a home for orphaned children.

     Despite two years passing, Captain Keondric Morgan has never forgotten the lass who left his ship so heartbroken. When a crewman's deathbed confession reveals her fiance's demise was the result of murder, the captain knows he must try to contact her. But his attention draws the notice of others as well--dangerous men who believe Tillie has in her possession something that could expose their crimes. And to their way of thinking, the best way to prevent such an outcome is to seize the evidence and then hand Tillie the same fate as her naïve fiancé.
This is the first novel by Elizabeth Ludwig that I have read, and it will not be the last. I immensely enjoyed the plot and the way she wrote her story. Truly, this book was very unique in the way it was written. For the first half of the book, I was trying to figure out the bad guy, and during the second half, I was trying to figure out who Tillie could trust and how she and Captain Morgan would figure out a plan to beat their enemy. However, it wasn't just the plot and Ludwig's sentence-structuring and grammar that I enjoyed, there were many more aspects of her novel that made me eager to read it after work and school.
The characters of the book were truly enjoyable. I loved the fact that Ludwig made the tough guys Tillie's "friends"... or, at least, almost-friends. In the first few chapters, I wasn't enjoying Tillie's character as much as Captain Morgan's, but I grew to understand her and like her the more I read the book. Captain Morgan was such a mystery on the outside, but, oh, all of the feelings he kept inside were so sweet. He cared for Tillie so much, I became so intensely upset that they didn't know the depth of their feelings until the end. Even Ludwig's side characters were enjoyable additions to the book.
Elizabeth Ludwig did a very good job with the romantic tension between the hero and heroine, that I was going crazy when each one assumed their affections were not returned by each other. I also appreciated the sobering reality that she placed in her book with the secret group of the Fenians. I actually felt nervous for Tillie and Captain Morgan the whole time I read the book, but even more so towards the end. Just when I thought the book's story was ending, Ludwig used the last several pages to add more action and suspense. I appreciated how much effort she put into the book to make it worth reading.
On a side note, there were a few negative to the story. I am pretty disappointed in all the mixings between Catholicism and Christianity. I'm not saying someone who attends Mass cannot be a believer, but I do know that the Bible clearly states that Catholicism rituals and beliefs are not in accord with the word of God. I truly couldn't say that Tillie was a Christian and that a true Biblical message was stated in the book. All I got from the story was  that Tillie felt guilty, attended Mass, had a priest, tried to pay off her guilt by working, then forgave herself and all was well.
No Biblical message about redemption or even if she was saved, no true message on the grace of God. I was very disappointed, and not just with Mrs. Ludwig, but with Bethany House, because this is probably the tenth time I've read a book like this.
Overall, this book was written very well. I rate it a 4 out of 5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley and Bethany House for providing me with copies of the book in exchange for an honest review. I hope it was helpful.
Maiden of Emmanuel