Posts Tagged ‘book reviews’

Marcia Lee Laycock

Marcia Lee Laycock

Marcia Lee Laycock, interviewed in last week’s blogpost, writes in various genres.

For many years Marcia wrote a column called “The Spur” for local newspapers. 41kNxY+SJCL._AA160_Her articles look at daily events in her not-so-ordinary life, meditations that draw the reader to God. She later compiled these inspirational articles into a book titled Spur of the Moment. This volume won an Award of Merit in the God Uses Ink Christian writing conference in 2003.

In 2006, Marcia won the Best New Canadian Author Award from Write! Canada’s Canadian Christian Writing Awards with her first novel, One Smooth Stone, subsequently published by Castle Quay Books.

One Smooth StoneThis novel follows Alex Donnelly, a young man trying to disappear into the vastness of the Yukon after a life of abandonment and abuse. When an unexpected inheritance draws him back to civilization, Alex discovers more about his past than he bargained for. Yet, through all his painful experiences, Christian people show him love and understanding and the father-heart of God.

Laycock tells this story with literary skill and a caring heart. The characters become real on the page, the plot twists to engage the reader, and the writing flows smoothly and swiftly to a satisfying ending.

A Tumbled StoneLaycock has also written a sequel, A Tumbled Stone, the story of Andrea Calvert, a young woman in trouble, who takes circumstances into her own hands and runs away to protect her family from shame. Little does she know that God is waiting for her at every turn, and cares for her through Evie, an unlikely angel who understands more than Andrea guesses. There are many forces at work in Andrea’s life, and as she is buffeted on every side by decisions and unexpected situations, the Lord surrounds her with love and protection.

Again, the author has created a believable world of good and evil, of forgiveness and fear. The characters move through the intricate plot to arrive at surprising conclusions. Well worth the read.

Besides fiction, Marcia Lee Laycock writes blogs, book reviews, short stories and poetry. Her work has appeared in the compilations Hot Apple Cider, A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider and InScribed.

Marcia is also a popular speaker. For more information on Marcia and her writing, check out her website at: http://marcialeelaycock.com.

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My blog plan is to interview an author the second Tuesday of each month, then review one of his or her books on the following Tuesday. Last week I posted an interview with Murray Pura, and since he has quite a few publishing credits, I decided to post brief reviews on several instead of just one.

Murray Pura

Murray Pura


To see Murray’s complete list of published works, visit http://www.murraypura.com/library.htm.


The White Birds of Morning, PuraThe first book I read by Murray Pura was The White Birds of Morning (not to be confused with The Wings of Morning, which is another of his titles). White Birds is a fat novel of almost 600 pages with a most intriguing cover.

Summary: Andrew Chornavka is required by the Vatican to once again open up his past from the WWII years and to examine his and his family’s role in war and peace from 1939-1943. See full review on amazon.com/ca

I found this story, told by the lead character in first person, to be intense and haunting. It’s not an easy read to follow Andrew’s memories and the vast cast of characters involved in this riveting saga. The writing is stellar, the characters so real we mourn with/for them, the settings devastatingly authentic. In short, this epic work imprinted on my mind and left me wanting to read the sequel. I see by the book list that there is a previous book called Zo, which I must read. More to follow in future too.


Rose of Lancaster CountryMurray’s writing covers many genres, one being Amish fiction. Today I’ll feature The Rose of Lancaster County series. This story was originally released in installments or “volumes,” of which there are ten. It is now available as a complete digital or print book.

This series takes place in 1720s Pennsylvania with Rose Lantz, a quiet, dedicated young woman of the Amish community who is accused of witchcraft. Is her faith strong enough to carry her through this nightmare while her future hangs in the balance?


Ashton ParkOne of Murray’s most popular historical fiction series is the Danforths of Lancashire, the first of which is Ashton Park. Written in the style of Downton Abbey, these books offer a host of colorful characters, unique settings and a convincing plot line.

So far there are two sequels to this series: Beneath the Dover Sky and London Dawn. Set in the momentous times from midway through the first world war (1916) to the late 1930s, these stories are as epic as the era they encompass.

The Night of the HawkLet’s switch genres once again. One of my current favorites is The Night of the Hawk, which is also being released in installments. Three volumes are out at present.

A young man of unknown origin and hidden giftings has been called to an adventure that takes him from Skyrl into a world of evil and supernatural conflict.   With the disarmingly beautiful Skaytha at his side, Hawk ventures out to face his destiny, achieve his goal and turn darkness into light.


Blue Heaven Romance-1Besides more series, Murray has penned some stand alones and is also “hosting” a series titled Blue Heaven Romance. This is a story scenario he came up with and then recruited other authors to each write a part of the whole. The first volume is pictured at left: Emalyn’s Treasure by Joy Ross Davis.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I hope you broaden your reading horizons by picking up a few of Murray Pura’s books. Whatever your favorite genre, it’s bound to be in his booklist.

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