The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin

Series: Sunrise at Normandy, Book #3

Publication Date: 4 February 2020

Publisher: Revell

ARC copy from Bethany House and Netgalley.com

Rate: 5 out of 5

What motivates Clay Paxton, a handsome young man from Texas, to risk his life and change his future? The reasons are actually more complex than they seem on the surface. A powerful, recurring dream of his death influences Clay to join the U.S. Army Rangers in 1943. While doing his Ranger training at Camp Forrest in Tennessee, Clay meets a lovely young woman, Leah Jones, a new librarian on the base.

Clay struggles with his inclination to heal and a strong interest in medicine with his need to fulfill his mysterious dream. Leah, raised in an orphanage, fights a battle of self-worth and personal identity and works continually on an ongoing search for her twin sisters from whom she was separated at a very young age. A traumatic event conspires to bring about a marriage of convenience for Clay and Leah before he leaves for Europe. Can the friendship they had and the shared letters and hopes they share during the war bring them into a lasting relationship?

The Land Beneath Us is an outstanding historical fiction story interspersed with real people and events from this dramatic time during the war. The author’s detail of the war and the specific battles she details is impressive. She gives personality and depth to the characters bestowing them with a very real, unique presence in the story. The themes of unrelenting courage, forgiveness and reconciliation, the meaning of family, faith, hope, love, and friendship all play strong roles in this story. The book is an excellent read for people who enjoy inspirational historical fiction or any reader of historical fiction.

This ARC copy was received from Revell and Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction

Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green

Series: The Windy City Saga

Publication Date:  February 4, 2020

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ARC Copy from Netgalley.com and Bethany House Publishers

Rating: 5/5

 

“There is beauty in the imperfect too. You are a God who uses broken vessels. You are not afraid of human limitations or scars.”

-Ruth

Filled with authentic historical detail and interspersed with literary references, this compelling novel explores the Great Fire of Chicago in a very personal and emotional way. The story combines the tragedy of the Great Fire with a very emotional element dealing with the traumatic after effects created by the Civil War for many people. Jocelyn Green is excellent at weaving the intricate story lines of each character into a beautiful story that explores each character as an individual as well as a part of a larger whole.

Step into this story and meet the Townsend family; Stephen, the father and a Civil War veteran; Sylvie, twenty-one with quite a good head for business; and Meg, twenty-three and the artistic one of the family. Keeping their book shop, Corner Books and More, open fills their days until the Great Fire. Prior to the fire each of the Townsends struggled with their own unique issues. After the fire they must contend with a changed way of life and all that it entails.

The Great Fire brings to light the many contrasts of life in a city filled with turmoil; the rich and the poor, the devastated ruins and the promise of reconstruction, as well as beauty and unsightliness. Stephen, Sylvie, and Meg must come to terms with an acceptance of life the way it is.

A well written historically detailed novel, this book will touch your emotions as well as keep you engaged from the beginning to the end. I learned some fascinating facts about the fire and its aftermath. The author’s notes are not to be missed at the end. They are a great follow up to the story providing additional information. Readers of historical fiction will not want to miss this book. This is book one of The Windy City Saga and I am already anxious to read book two.

This ARC copy was received from the author, Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#VeiledInSmoke  #NetGalley @AuthorJocelynGreen

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction

You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley

Publication Date:  7 January 2020

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Berkley

Secular Fiction

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

This emotional, unpredictable story requires the reader to suspend disbelief for a while as it delves into the world of dreams and premonitions. Delving in to the world of dream interpretation, shared dreams, and the metaphysical, the novel explores the shared world of Mia, a young woman suffering from multiple miscarriages and some mental instability and Oliver, a free-spirited soul who works on organic farms around the world. Mia’s everyday life at home with her husband, Dr. Harrison Graydon, changes significantly after their recent move from the city to a much smaller town. As she struggles to adjust to the changes and the miscarriages, she fails to see the reality of her husband’s struggles as well.

The tale takes some complex turns at times and keeps the reader guessing as to where these compound paths will lead. Read this interesting book to find out the how and why of Mia and Oliver’s shared dreams and the shattering aftermath when their premonitions begin to unfold. Share their dark dreams and enticing dreams as they work through this strange phenomenon. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. This is my first novel by Colleen Oakley and definitely will not be my last.

This ARC copy was received from Berkley and Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#YouWereThereToo  #NetGalley

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary

The Thief of Lanwyn Manor by Sarah E. Ladd

Publication Date: 07 January 2020

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

ARC copy from Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Publishers

Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Christian Romance

Excerpt:  Every single lady of marriageable age was eager for security. It was the ultimate goal, whether she chose to acknowledge it or not.”

 With the distinctive flair of Jane Austen and a setting befitting Poldark, The Thief of Lanwyn Manor brings us the story of Julia Twethewey, niece of the well-off Lambourne family. When William Lambourne inherits Lanwyn Manor and its accompanying mine, Bal Tressa, the family relocates to Cornwall and Julia journeys to serve as her cousin Jane’s companion when her adventures begin.

A bold, brave gentleman by the name of  Isaac Blake steps up to rescue Julia, but little does she know how deep into his family drama she will be drawn. Julia quickly meets Matthew Blake, the elder twin brother of Isaac, and the competitive nature of love is challenged. The story shines a light on societal issues of the time; the plight of the working man in the mining industry, the issues of status and rank, and the turmoil of being a young, single woman with minimal resources.

A wonderful Regency novel! The characters, the language, the romance and the mystery are a delight to explore in this tale.

This ARC copy was received from Thomas Nelson and Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#TheThiefOfLanwynManor  #NetGalley

5/5 stars

 

1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Historical Fiction, Regency, Romance

An Uncommon Woman by Laura Frantz

Publication Date:  January 7, 2020

Publisher: Revell

ARC Copy from Netgalley.com and Revell

 

“Everyone had a chair that sat empty, a place unoccupied. Who would be next?”

 Twenty-four year old Tessa Swan, a distinct, resolute young woman of courage, undaunted strength, and faith, well understands life on the Virginia frontier in the rugged year of 1770. If the harsh and demanding life doesn’t kill you, the Indians very well may. Such is Tessa’s day-to-day existence.

Tessa’s life holds no time for men outside the five brothers she cooks and cleans for on a never ending basis until Clay Tygart rides into her life returning her old friend, Keturah. Colonel Tygart is an arresting looking man with a very interesting past. As their lives become enmeshed while trying to survive frontier life, difficult choices must be made by each of them testing their faith, dedication to family, and hope for better life.

This beautiful story focuses on the enduring power of friendship, persistence in the face of crushing loss, and a depth of faith that doesn’t give up. The historical detail in the book highlights life on the Virginia frontier and encompasses the struggles of survival, the reality of the encroachment of the frontier into Indian territories, and the very real difficulties of assimilating the captured back into their past lives.

This book is a must read for fans of frontier historical fiction or historical fiction with a bit of romance. I loved this book and highly encourage you to read this captivating story of Tessa and Clay and life on the Virginia Frontier.

This ARC copy was received from Revell and NetGalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

5/5

#AnUncommonWoman #NetGalley

Leave a comment

Filed under American Frontier, Book Reviews, christian fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction

Westering Women by Sandra Dallas

Coming Soon!!!

Publication Date: 7 January 2020

Publisher: St Martin’s Press

Copy from Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press

 

The adventure begins in the city of Chicago in 1852; and in California, the gold rush is in full swing. Two ministers from Chicago post an advertisement looking for women interested in traveling to the gold fields of California in order to be married. Forty-four women sign on and depart for California on a journey unlike anything they had imagined.  The diverse backgrounds and varying skills the women bring along on this 2000 mile venture help them survive snowstorms through the mountains, scorching heat in the deserts, and the death and other hardships they must endure along the way.

Maggie, a young seamstress with a child, and Mary, her older, more capable friend are the core of the group of women who leave their pasts behind and move forward in this extremely unique tale that highlights the pioneering spirit of women in the West. With resilience, courage, ingenuity, and heart, the women manage the journey and discover the bonds of sisterhood are unlike any other they’ve experienced.

The story is a heartwarming and at the same time, sorrowful, tale of the power of friendship, trust, and family. A wonderful read for lovers of historical fiction! I absolutely loved this book; the characters, the sense of camaraderie and adventure, and the unity of the women. Take this perilous trip to the California goldfields with this group of 44 women.

 I received this copy from St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley. The opinions and statements above are my own.

5/5

#WesteringWomen #NetGalley

 

2 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, western

Favorite Reads of 2019

2019 was a stellar year for reading. I exceeded my reading goal and hope you did as well. These books were a few of my favorites for the year. I have a tendency to favor the historical fiction and historical christian fiction genre so the list is heavy in those areas. If you haven’t read these, it’s definitely not too late. Add them to your To Be Read list for 2020! The new year is right around the corner with new books from my favorite authors and a few new authors as well. Wishing you a Happy Holiday and safe New Year!

The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton

Published by Waterbrook

Review

 

 

A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz

Published by Revell

Review

 

 

Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green

Published by Bethany House

Review

 

 

The Noble Guardian by Michelle Griep

Published by Shiloh Run Press

Review

 

 

Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

Published by Bethany House

Review

 

 

Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof

Published by Thomas Nelson

Review

 

 

How the Light Gets In by Jolina Petersheim

Published by Tyndale

 

 

 

The Bright Unknown by Elizabeth Byler Younts

Published by Thomas Nelson

Review

 

 

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michelle Richardson

Published by Sourcebooks Landmark

Review

 

 

The Bridge to Belle Island by Julie Klassen

Published by Bethany House

Review

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews