Author Archives: novelgnome

About novelgnome

Retired assistant librarian. Certified Langauage Arts teacher. 15+ years of manufacturing/supply chain management experience.

The Oysterville Sewing Circle by Susan Wiggs

Publication Date: 13 August 2019

Publisher: William Morrow

ARC copy from William Morrow and Netgalley.com

 

 

 

The Oysterville Sewing Circle is a story with depth and emotion that depicts the quote “life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans” perfectly.  Caroline Shelby, a young up and coming New York fashion designer, wakes up one day to find herself with a destroyed career and her best friend’s two children whom she unexpectedly has to raise. With few options left, Caroline heads for home in Oysterville, Washington, a small town perched on the edge of the ocean.

Caroline is not a quitter. With inspiration and drive she begins to put her life back together with the help of family and friends. Not only does she begin to rebuild her new life, she reaches out to help other women who have been victims of harassment, abuse, and violence. Part of the rebuilding process involves dealing with Will Jensen, a close friend from her younger years. Complex and problematical, they work to find what the future will hold for them.

 This novel depicts the themes of courage, survival, and trust. The story also highlights the bonds women build when they stand up and support each other during difficult times, as well as the strength of familial bonds.  The characters are real and dynamic. The book is an excellent read and one of the better books I have read this summer. Don’t miss it!

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

#TheOystervilleSewingCircle  #NetGalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund

Series:  Bride Ships, #1

Publication Date: June 2019

Publisher: Bethany House

“When we’re born we’re put out to sea and can’t always control our fate or destination. We have only to ride out the journey as best we can.”

–Mercy Wilkins

A Reluctant Bride is the beautifully written story of Mercy Wilkins, a compassionate young woman, from the poorest slums of London who agrees to immigrate to Vancouver Island on a bride ship in the year 1862, unknowingly to become a bride to one of the many miners inhabiting the area. Before leaving London, her path crosses with Dr. Joseph Colville, Baron of Wiltshire at a medical clinic and once again, their lives intersect on board the ship.

This young woman with courage, compassion, and heart utilizes everything within her power to break free of the hopeless situation in which she was born. She partners with Dr. Colville, utilizing her minimal nursing skills, to provide care for everyone on the ship regardless of class. Dr. Colville, well known for defying traditional conventions, finds that compassion and a God given courage may be exactly what he has been searching for to help him face the past.

I love the historical detail interspersed through this story based on historical fact woven with fiction. The life lessons in this novel are profound, dealing with concepts such as looking past outward appearances, sacrifices made for love, and the influences of one’s past on our lives. I loved this book and I think you will too!

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

 #AReluctantBride #NetGalley

5/5

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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Historical Fiction

The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins

Series: Dove Pond, #1Preview (opens in a new tab)

Publication Date: 30 Jul 2019

Publisher: Gallery Books

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Gallery Books

****

“Life is made up on moments, good and bad. But while you don’t get to pick all the moments, you do get to pick which ones you cling to.”

–Mama G.

 The Book Charmer must be embraced with light-heartedness and a suspension of reality. The story weaves its magic through the pages of everyday life in Dove Pond, N.C. Sarah Dove, the town librarian, has a gift for hearing books when they talk to her. While many of us feel like our books talk to us through themes and messages, Sarah’s books talk to her.

When Grace Wheeler rolls into town with her niece, Daisy, and her beloved Mama G, Sarah feels certain life is about to change for the entire town. Grace, a strong but emotionally wounded young woman, takes on the task of raising her grieving niece and caring for her much-loved foster mother who is fading away with the onset of Alzheimer’s. As if Grace doesn’t have enough on her plate, Travis Parker, a wild looking, motorcycle riding veteran lives right next door and unsettles her life in a multitude of other ways and Sarah gives her books that she doesn’t really want.

As Sarah and Grace navigate the path to friendship, they each learn some valuable lessons. Grace learns that being independent and successful deals with much more than careers and finances. She learns the true value of family, friends, and community in this heartwarming tale. The quirky secondary characters in the book further enrich the novel making it a fun and enticing read for the summer.

I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful story. Readers of Sarah Allen Addison will absolutely love this book! I personally can’t wait for book two of the series to be published.

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

#TheBookCharmer  #NetGalley  #GalleryBooks

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Romance

Window on the Bay by Debbie Macomber

Publication Date: July 2019

Ballantine Books

ARC from Ballantine Books and Netgalley.com

Excerpt:  “No matter what the weather, my window on the bay never failed to soothe me.”

 

When best friends and single moms, Jenna, an emergency room nurse, and Maureen, a librarian, find themselves with empty nests, the reality of a trip to Paris finally seems like it is on the horizon. As they plot and plan for their trip, life interferes in the most unexpected ways. As the women work their way through the unforeseen events, they each meet a man along the way.

The novel tells the story in alternating chapters of each woman’s struggle with her challenges and the men they meet. Jenna, who has sworn off doctors as a result of her ex-husband, meets a kind, decent man who happens to be a surgeon, and Maureen, a quiet and rather staid librarian at the local library, becomes acquainted with a good looking construction worker who is a bit rough around the edges but has a definite interest in books and life.  Have the two women finally met compatible men after all these years? Can they juggle elderly parents, grown children, and new relationships?

The story is pretty predictable and a bit slow in places. The book makes a nice, easy paced read for those who enjoy a clean story without a lot of excess drama.

This copy was received from Ballantine Books and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 #NetGalley #WindowOnTheBay

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Filed under Book Reviews, Clean, Contemporary

Yours Truly, Thomas by Rachel Fordham

Publication Date: July 2019

Publisher: Revell

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Revell

 “My father firmly believed that if we are here on this earth, then we still have work to do. He believed we have a purpose even when we cannot see it. ”                                                                                                                                 -Penelope Ercanbeck

Welcome back to Azure Springs, Iowa! The year is now 1883 and the town appears to be thriving as Penelope Ercanbeck steps off the train. Penny, as she is known to her friends, quit her job recently at the dead letter office and makes a journey to this quaint frontier town in search of a mysterious letter writing man, Thomas Conner. Sounds intriguing already!

As Penny struggles to find herself and make some life changing decisions, she poses as a potential writer. As she works on her decisions, she meets Thomas and finds that there is more to the man’s story than she realized. She finds that a man’s words on paper are sometimes more complex than one imagines.

Many of the secondary characters in this novel are familiar from Ms. Fordham’s first book and are as endearing and heartwarming as they were in the first novel. The words of wisdom scattered throughout the novel from both Margaret, the boardinghouse proprietor, and Mr. Ercanbeck, Penny’s father, are wise and filled with faith. Read this engaging story of a man who struggles to feel deserving of love and joy and a woman who finds that life and love do not always look like one expects.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and believe you will too! Great read for lovers of historical fiction and Christian fiction alike!

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

Rating: 4/5

#NetGalley #YoursTrulyThomas

 

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

The Express Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

Series: Daughters of the Mayflower, Book 9

Publication Date: July 2019

Publisher: Barbour Books

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Barbour Books

 

Kimberley Woodhouse takes an adventurous piece of history, the Pony Express, and spins her own special story with a unique twist. This intriguing story actually begins back in 1834 in St. Louis when Anna Vines runs for her life with her baby daughter, Jacqueline; however, the core of the story takes place at the Carson Sink Station in Utah Territory in 1860.

Jackie Rivers’s life changes drastically in just a few months as she deals with the loss of her beloved father and takes over running the Pony Express station at their home, along with an inn for the stagecoach stop. At twenty-six Jackie is a lovely, young woman who wears many hats in her life as manager of the Carson Sink Station. The life she leads leaves little opportunity to meet someone and minimal time for romance. Two unexpected visitors show up on the stagecoach one October day both bringing unexpected activity, adventure, and a bit of romance to the Station.

Check out this intriguing tale of a spirited young woman living life on her terms back in the days of the Pony Express. The story is laced with historical fact and embellished with fictional characters and adventures. A great historical fiction read and one that fans of inspirational fiction will also enjoy very much! This is the ninth book in the series, but works perfectly as a standalone.

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

#TheExpressBride #NetGalley

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

No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky

Publication Date: June 2019

Publisher: Waterbrook Multnomah

ARC copy from Netgalley and Waterbrook Multnomah

“Her experiences in the last few months had sealed this truth in her heart; family bonds were not meant to be broken.”

                            –Laura McAlister

Sadness and sorrow overshadow this very interesting historical story interlaced with hope and love as well. The story highlights the sad lack of law and oversight at the time in dealing with children whose families had been beset by illness and/or poverty. The children, most often removed from their homes, were frequently shipped to Canada as farm and domestic laborers. They became known as British Home Children. This very unique story about these children is based on historical facts woven into a fiction story highlighting one family.

Set in 1909 London, the book tells the tale of the McAlister family, a family that includes a mother and four siblings. Laura, the eldest of the McAlister siblings, is twenty-one and working as a ladies maid north of London. Katie and Garth are fourteen, both trying to assist the family finances in one way or another and the youngest, Grace, is seven. The McAlister family falls upon hard times, particularly when Mrs. McAlister falls extremely ill.

Little does she know what lies ahead for her three younger children as they are taken into group homes for poor and destitute children. The home then ships them to Canada without their mother’s knowledge or approval. The prejudice the children endure as a result of being British Home Children is astounding. They were often treated very poorly as a result of the prejudice, misinformation resulting from the disregard and lack of rules in the emigration system and lack of child labor laws.

The book details Laura’s search and journey to find her siblings and return them to their family and home. Her decisions, often made quickly, and her choices, although done for the right reason, are not always well thought out, but her heart is in the right place. How far would you go to try and save your family?  Read this very unique story that tells a tale similar to the orphan trains utilized in the United States during the years 1854-1929.

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

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