Category Archives: Inspirational Fiction

Unyielding Hope by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan

Series: When Hope Calls, Book 1

Publication Date: 5 May 2020

Publisher: Bethany House

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

This heartwarming story set in Canada introduces us to sisters, Lillian and Grace, orphaned and separated at a young age.  Lillian raised in a wealthy family, lives a pleasant life with her loving father while Grace, on the other hand, grew up in orphanages. The two sisters finally meet and their story unfolds as they move with a group of foster children from the British Children’s Home Society to Lillian’s comfortable home.

Lillian’s charmed life is greatly changed as a result of her sister and the children and Grace finds herself challenged in caring for multiple children and living in someone else’s home. Love, challenges, and adventures carry the sisters and their young wards through this enjoyable tale as they struggle to get to know each other, live together, and find a path to their future.

A great book to curl up with in your comfortable chair and enjoy! A delightful tale of two sisters, their young charges, and their enterprising scheme to find families for them! A thoroughly enjoyable read! Readers of Janet Oke and Laurel Oke will be delighted with this new spin off of the Canadian West, When Calls the Heart, series.

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

#UnyieldingHope #NetGalley

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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.

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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

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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

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The Rebel Bride by Shannon McNear

Series: Daughters of the Mayflower, Book 10

Publication Date: 1 December 2019

Publisher: Barbour Books

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Barbour Books

 

Walk back through history with the Daughters of the Mayflower series. Book 10 takes us back to the Civil War era to Tennessee and the Battle of Chickamauga, one of the deadliest battles of the war. This story reinforces the fact all southerners did not believe in slavery and all northerners were not hard core abolitionists. People often do not fit the stereotypes placed upon them by society.

The war forces Pearl McFarlane, a young Southern woman struggling to hold what remains of her family together, to care for Yankee soldiers from the very army that has taken three of her older brothers. Pearl’s Christian spirit is sorely tested as she is called upon to nurse and provide for the wounded soldiers. As she works to heal Sergeant Joshua Wheeler of the First Ohio and prisoner of the Army of Tennessee, she begins to look at the man behind the uniform. As Josh heals and makes himself helpful with the other men, Pearl comes to appreciate the man behind the uniform.

A very good story detailing the everyday struggles of life for many people living near the battlefield during the Civil War! The characters have spiritual and moral depth and add to the genuine sense of faith, forgiveness, and trust in the book. Rich in historical detail, this story shows a more unusual side of the war than what one generally reads in Civil War fiction. Read this captivating story of Pearl and Joshua to see if they can find a way past being just a northerner and a southerner at odds with one another.

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

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Hope’s Highest Mountain by Misty M. Beller

Publication Date: 1 Oct 2019

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Series: Hearts of Montana, Book 1

ARC from Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley

 

 

 

“I learned long ago trusting God to help never makes things better. It only makes me weaker.”

                                                                                                -Micah Bradley

 “Relying on God fills me with an inner strength much greater than I could possess on my own.”

                                                                                                   -Ingrid Chastain

The conflict begins. Set in the mountains of Montana in the year 1866, this latest novel from Misty Beller takes the reader on a perilous journey with two amazing people each with differing views on life and faith. The novel centers around the story of Ingrid Chastain, a brave, very determined young woman from Boston who works in the medical field with her father, and Micah Bradley, a reclusive doctor from the mountains who hasn’t practiced in five years.

Ingrid Chastain sets out on a trip with her father, a prominent doctor from Boston, to deliver smallpox vaccine to a colleague in dire need in the wilds of Montana Territory. In addition to Ingrid and her father, they are accompanied by their maid and a guide. As misfortune hits them along the way, Ingrid is left injured and alone in the mountains until Micah comes along to rescue her.

Vivid descriptions of their dangerous journey to finish delivering the vaccine will have you shivering and shaking as you relive the rugged winter they must endure to survive. Filled with adventure and drama, this book holds the reader’s attention from the very beginning. Ingrid, a young woman filled with faith and trust in the Lord, steadfastly refuses to give up as Micah, a haunted man who lost his trust and faith struggles to find healing and God’s will. Can these two people possibly have a future if they can survive the rigors of their trip?

I highly recommend the book to fans of historical inspirational fiction. This novel is the first I have read by the author and I intend to do some catching up on her past works. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Great read!

I received this copy from Bethany House and NetGalley. The opinions and statements above are my own.

4 out of 5

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The Bright Unknown by Elizabeth Byler Younts

Publication Date: 22 Oct 2019

ARC from Thomas Nelson Publishers and Netgalley.com

“My driveway reminds me of the freedom I have to come and go as I please. Things were not always this way.”

                                                  -Brighton Friedrich

This is a story of contrasts; dark and light, hope and despair, isolation and freedom. Born in an asylum for the mentally ill in 1923, Brighton Friedrich’s life revolves around her extremely unstable mother, the care she receives from a loving nurse, and her friendship with a lonely albino child named Angel, who is a patient in the children’s ward.

Trapped in a life over which she has no control and no hope of changing, Brighton meets Grace Douglass, a young woman sent to the institution by her parents for behavioral issues. Grace introduces Brighton to the outside world through her stories and her love of photography. Filled with despair and faced with the loss of her friends, Brighton struggles to find a way to save herself and her friends as they slip deeper into the life of the asylum.

Having no exposure to the outside world, Brighton and Angel are naïve and ill-equipped to deal with the real world. Relying on the God’s guidance and protection and basic human kindness, Brighton and Angel find a way out. Their poignant, courageous story is told in an evocative, emotional manner that will leave the reader haunted by their story long after the last page is closed.

This novel is filled with historical detail regarding the institutionalizing of people during the 1930’s and their care. Frightening details bring to life the treatments such as hydrotherapy, insulin shock, sterilization, and lobotomy, the patients underwent in the name of medical care. The book shows the true courage and strength it took to survive in one of these facilities for someone who had no mental health issues. I highly recommend this amazingly, unique story of Brighton and Angel and their journey to find a life and peace.

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

5 out of 5

#TheBrightUnknown  #NetGalley

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