Category Archives: Historical Fiction

Out of the Ashes by Tracie Peterson

Series: Heart of Alaska

Publication Date: January 2018

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ARC Copy from and Bethany House Publishers


“Sometimes answers aren’t what we want them to be. But I suppose that is when we need to rely on God for direction—for understanding of how it all works out to be His plan for us…”

–Jean-Michel Langelier

Jean Michel Langelier and Katherine DeMarchis are at the center of this novel set predominantly at the Curry Hotel in the wilds of Alaska. These two people who once meant so much to each other have been separated for over five years by war and an abusive marriage. Jean Michel, suffering in his own private world, and Katherine, tormented by her own demons, meet once again at the Curry Hotel. Can two such damaged people hope for any kind of future?

The book packs outdoor adventure, unexpected explosions and illness, and the historical details of everyday life at the Curry into its pages. The themes of faith and hope dominate much of the novel as well. Along with our primary characters, the novel offers a varied cast of secondary players such as Collette, Jean Michel’s very spoiled sister, Cassidy, the hotel’s cook, Mrs. Johnson, John, Allan, and Thomas, workers at the hotel along with Katherine’s very upright grandmother who orchestrated the entire trip. An interesting read for anyone with an interest in historical Alaska and those encouraged by inspirational fiction! And we have book three to look forward to!

This ARC copy was received from Bethany House and in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.


Leave a comment

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

Winter Sisters by Robin Oliveira

Publication Date: February 27, 2018

Publisher: Viking

ARC Copy from and Viking


“It’s either hide forever or see forever. He wanted to say, You need to choose. He wanted to say, Follow me, I’ll show you.”

                                                            –Thoughts from Dr. William Stipp 

Winter Sisters is the poignant story of two young girls and their struggle to survive after being caught in a snow storm and disappearing. In March of 1879 a raging blizzard hit Albany, New York leaving Emma and Claire O’Donnell stranded outside their school. The young girls, seven and ten years old, were picked up by a stranger offering to help them make it home. Little did the girls know that they were not headed home nor would they ever see their parents again.

The O’Donnell sisters’ story sadly unfolds as Mary Sutter Stipp and her husband, William, begin their search for the lost girls. The story of their kidnapping and subsequent time in captivity is one of absolute horror for any parent to imagine. The details are disclosed as the novel tells the tale of the girl’s release and their life following these difficult events. Three families’ lives are entwined in this novel; the Sutter-Stipps, the Van der Veers, and the O’Donnells.  The weaving of their stories and the complexities engages the reader from the very beginning of the novel.

This book will appeal to readers of historical fiction. It is a very deep and not very happy story.  The historical detail is interesting and the characters are extremely complex. I enjoyed meeting characters from Ms. Oliveira’s previous novel, My Name is Mary Sutter.  In spite of the subject, the novel is an excellent, well told story. The subject is handled with honesty and dignity. I highly recommend the book.

This ARC copy was received from Viking and in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.


Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction

The Innkeeper’s Daughter by Michelle Griep

Publication Date: March 01, 2018

Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.

ARC from and Barbour Publishing

Excerpt: Now that her worst fear had come to pass, surprisingly she wasn’t as crushed as she’d imagined. The sun still shone, the wind still blew, and God yet reigned in the heavens.

The story begins in Dover, England in the year 1808. The book is filled with adventure, espionage, and romance. What a delicious combination of elements for a Regency novel!

Meet Alexander Moore, alias Alexander Morton, a Bow Street runner on a secret assignment and Miss Johanna Langley, co-proprietor of the Blue Hedge Inn. These two strong-willed characters both have their own missions to accomplish. On the surface Alex appears to be a distinguished gentlemen working for his father by day and gambling in high stakes games at night. Johanna is exactly what she appears to be, a hard working innkeeper struggling to keep her family out of the poor house.

How do two such mismatched people fall in love? Read this intriguing novel to find out if and how Alex and Johanna’s romance survives the turmoil of treason, smuggling, and the poor house. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and definitely recommend it. This book is an engaging read for lovers of historical fiction, Regency fiction, and Christian fiction.

This ARC copy was received from and Barbour Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.


Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction

The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron

Publication Date: 6 February 2018

Series: The Lost Castle

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Copy from Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Publishers

“I think all along, it’s what she was trying to tell me. That the story we’re writing in this life, day by day, it’s a gift from God and we can’t afford to waste a moment of it.”                                                                                                                                                                  -Ellie

The meshing of three stories, each in a unique time period, into one book is a work of art in this latest novel by Kristy Cambron. In the year 1789 we meet Aveline Saint-Moreau, wealthy and beautiful young aristocrat, engaged to be married to Philippe, the Duc et Vivay’s heir; followed by Viola Hart, a Resistance fighter in France during WWII in the year 1944; and last is Ellie Carver, a young woman in the present day struggling with her grandmother Viola’s fading health.  All three young women are connected through history in a very unique manner.

As Ellie works to resolve a mysterious photo, a castle called The Sleeping Beauty, a brooch, and a mysterious marriage proposal, she meets Quinn Foley, slightly rebellious grandson of Titus Vivay and her life becomes linked with his in ways she could not have predicted.

Kristy Cambron helps us to realize the importance of awakening to the gifts around us as she weaves this intriguing tale of love, war, sickness and health, as well as faith and inspiration. The two historical storylines were very strong and appealed to me the most, but the present day telling of Quinn and Ellie’s story adds to the overall book.

She does an excellent job of combining historical people and places in with her fiction. If you love historical fiction or romance, this book will definitely appeal to you on so many levels. Wonderful read!

Five Stars!

This copy was received from Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

Connect with Kristy




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

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner

Publication Date: 6 February 2018
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Copy from and Berkley



“Life is wonderful and beautiful but oh, how hard it can be.”


The year of 1918 is a year that will stand out in history for a long time to come. Reading this novel brings many of those vivid historical elements to the forefront of our minds. The story encompasses the Spanish Flu epidemic, WWI, and prohibition.
The story begins in January of 1918 in rural Pennsylvania and quickly shifts to the city of Philadelphia when the Bright family makes a life changing move. Thomas, Pauline, and their three daughters, Evie, Maggie, and Willa move in with Uncle Fred and begin to rearrange their lives to accommodate city living.

This first year in the city brings unbelievable change to the family. Thomas changes occupations from tobacco farmer to undertaker. Every member of the Bright family is impacted in a major way as a result of the move, the flu epidemic, and the war. The book follows the family through the difficult year of 1918 and the following seven years narrated by various members of the family, most frequently the girls.

This is a very compelling story narrated beautifully from differing points of view. The book weaves loss, love, and the ethics of right and wrong in difficult situations throughout its pages. A well written deep novel that definitely pulled this reader right into the story! I definitely recommend this book for lovers of historical fiction.

I received this book free from Berkley and Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The above thoughts and opinions I have expressed are wholly my own.

Susan Meissner

Susan’s Facebook Page

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

Publication Date:  February 6, 2018

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ARC Copy from and Bethany House Publishers



“God is the creator, is He not?” she had said. “So when we create, even if it is a mere length of lace and not the stars in the heavens, we honor Him. We bear His likeness when we work.”

                                                                             –Tante Rose

Jocelyn Green once again stuns us with a riveting tale of two people from very different backgrounds striving to make a new life for themselves. Vivienne Rivard, a strong, courageous young lacemaker from the courts of Paris escapes Revolutionary France just in time to save herself while Liam Delaney, a young Irish American who fought during the Revolutionary War, struggles with a changing young America.

The story moves at a rapid pace through Revolutionary France to the shores of Philadelphia where Vivienne lands in the spring of 1794.  As their paths intersect in Philadelphia, both characters have their core values and morals tested. Vivienne grapples with a lack of self-esteem due to her parentage and the frightening effects of the Revolution on her personal life. Liam battles with an overwhelming sense of  responsibility for family and a conflicted conscience regarding independence and a need for laws and taxes in the new government.

Once again I enjoyed Ms. Green’s use of historical detail about an obscure place in American history, French Azilum, Pennsylvania. The settlement was very real and existed along the banks of the Susquehanna River. Her many historical particulars included are the Whiskey rebellion, French Azilum, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Marie Antoinette.

Morals and integrity are displayed throughout the story which also leaves the reader with a comforting sense of inspiration and faith. The themes of family, home, belonging, and responsibility stand strong all through the novel. Read this intriguing tale of the post Revolutionary War America to find out how Vivienne and Liam find a way to move on with their lives during a complex time in history. I loved this book and hope you will too! A truly inspiring read for fans of historical fiction, inspirational fiction, and romance!

This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.


Leave a comment

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

The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

Publication Date:  January 2, 2018

Publisher: Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

ARC Copy from and Baker Publishing

“To have God’s blessing is to have everything, indeed.”


Step back once again in American history to the early years of the American Revolution; the year is 1775 and the town is Colonial Williamsburg. The setting showcases the story beautifully with rich historical detail during a turbulent time at the beginning of the war. Elizabeth Anne Lawson, pampered daughter of the lieutenant governor of the Virginia Colony and a rather fiery, rebellious mother, is engaged to Miles Cullen Roth, one of the most eligible bachelors in Williamsburg.

Elizabeth’s life will change rapidly as upheaval and political turmoil arrive in Williamsburg on her own front doorstep. Her life will be forever altered because of her father’s politics and choices. As part of her life changes, she becomes Liberty Lawson, lace maker of Williamsburg. Another complexity that enters her life is Noble Rynallt, a gentleman of Welsh descent and owner of Ty Mawr as well as cousin to Miles Roth. Liberty and Noble find their lives entwined very unexpectedly. The tension of their relationship and their politics plays a key role in keeping the story moving at a good pace.

This novel will please readers of historical fiction. The detail and the presence of historical figures such as Patrick Henry and George Rogers Clark add depth to the novel as well. The romance and references to faith make the book a marvelous read. I thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully written novel that takes us back in time.

This ARC copy was received from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing and in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.


1 Comment

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