Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Against The Tide by Elizabeth Camden Book Review

From the back cover:

   After a childhood rampant with uncertainty, Lydia Pallas has carved out a perfect life for herself. She spends her days within sight of the bustling Boston Harbor, where her skill with languages has landed her an enviable position as a translator for the U.S. Navy.
   Lydia's talents bring her to the attention of Alexander Banebridge, a mysterious man in need of a translator. Driven by a campaign to end the opium trade, Bane is coolly analytical and relentless in his quest. He cannot afford to fall for Lydia and must fight the bittersweet love growing between them.
   When Bane's enemies gain the upper hand, he is forced to turn to Lydia for help. Determined to prove her worth, Lydia soon discovers that carrying out Bane's mission will test her wits and her courage to the very limits.
   When forces conspire against them from without and within, can their love survive?

My take:

   Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden is a breath of fresh air! It is a very different Christian/Historical Fiction read. Lydia Pallas has had a very unconventional upbringing and has always had a knack for languages, including learning English upon arriving in Boston at the age of nine. 
   We catch up with Lydia several years later as she is working for Admiral Eric Fontaine at the Navy Yard as a translator. Lydia is very content at this point in her life with a good, respectable job, an apartment of her own, and several friends. During her tenure at the Navy Yard working for Admiral Fontaine, Lydia begins to have interactions with Alexander Bainebridge. Over time, Bainebridge turns to Lydia for help with the translation of various, seemingly useless documents. 
   Lydia is prepared to quit translating these documents after she begins to suspect that Bainebridge has feelings for her and is using these random documents as a means with which to see her. Bainebridge offers her a job working for him in his quest to root out the opium trade on the East Coast and across the world. However, this position is short lived as circumstances change suddenly and Lydia's life begins to unravel.
   I found it unusual that this book had illegal activities in it. Although, like it is discussed in the book - "Is it moral?" Against the Tide is a sequel to The Lady of Bolton Hill. While reading Against the Tide, I felt that I had read similar subject matter before and couldn't put my finger on it until I came across The Lady of Bolton Hill in the back of the book. 
   You can check out the book here or at Amazon. I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House Bloggers Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I love Cuptakes!

Hey Guys,

         As you know I have an iPhone, finally, after waiting patiently with what I thought was the best phone/operating system on the planet...the "dearly departed" Samsung Galaxy...Anyway, this isn't an Android bashing post. I wanted to tell you about my favorite accessory for my iPhone, iPad, iMac, and Macbook. The Cuptakes app. This app is so cute!! Each month it is updated with holiday and monthly lock and home screen themes/wallpapers. If you have been looking for a way for your iDevice to stand out from the crowd-this is it! It is a steal at only .99 cents! (The Mac App is $4.99).  I had the Cuptakes app on my old iPhone last year and expanded to all of my iDevices. Cuptakes also makes adorable cases as well for $34.99, which is reasonably priced compared to other highly sought after cases. If I hadn't had my heart set on a customized fleur de lis case, I would have gone with a Cuptakes case.

       Also, they have an amazing customer service. I have contacted them on a couple of occasions and have received a reply the next day! Most recently, I mentioned a design suggestion-branching out into a Cuptakes Planner App., which I would absolutely LOVE for my iPhone and iPad. They mentioned that this is something they are putting thought into. My husband thinks its ridiculous that I spend $ on a planner each year with all of my iDevices, but the planning apps I have come across aren't cute or "bulky" enough for me to give up my paper planner. Once Cuptakes comes out with a Planner App. I will abandon my Paper planner.....

      That reminds me I am on the hunt for the perfect planner for 2013. It is my favorite end of the year/start of the year "tradition" to find the perfect planner. I became hooked on planners when we we're given them in Middle School as a way to track assignments (which we got a grade for). Now I can't imagine my life without a planner. Checking items off my list each day makes me feel accomplished! (That's my type A personality kicking in....).

Be sure to check Cuptakes out! They are also on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter!