Category Archives: Inspirational Fiction

Yours Truly, Thomas by Rachel Fordham

Publication Date: July 2019

Publisher: Revell

ARC Copy from 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




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 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 The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.


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

It’s Release Day: The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton

Publication Date: June 2019

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers

ARC copy from Author and Waterbrook

“In every ending,” Alex said, “there’s also a beginning. That’s a thing I’ve learned.”

–Alex MacKinnon


Impeccably written and well developed, The King’s Mercy is complex and filled with descriptive detail. I loved the book’s depth and voice and the way the story stays in my head.  This sixth novel from author Lori Benton brings together an unlikely pair; Alex MacKinnon, a bitter young man exiled from his native Scotland and sold into indenture and Joanna Carey, a hard working young woman  dedicated to doing the right things in life while living amidst slavery at her stepfather’s plantation in North Carolina.

The book begins in 1747, a complex and changing time during our nation’s history.  The story offers a vivid portrayal of early life in the Piedmont of North Carolina. The setting brings the reader right into the working world of the plantation alongside the characters and eventually travels to the Native American world of the Cherokee as well.  The primary characters are sincere, strong, and memorable, and in addition, the secondary characters have depth and add much to the story.

The book does not hesitate to tackle some deep issues like child abuse, slavery, the loss of personal freedoms, and the struggle of faith during difficult times.  Explore the themes of grace and mercy woven through this book as Alex and Joanna show resiliency and ingenuity to overcome their difficulties and move on to a different way of life.

I highly recommend this book to readers of historical fiction and inspirational fiction.  The book is truly an amazing read.

I received this book from Waterbrook and the author. The above thoughts and opinions I have expressed are wholly my own.

#TheKingsMercy  #NetGalley

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The Golden Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

Series: Daughters of the Mayflower, Book 8

Publication Date: April 2019

Publisher: Barbour Books

ARC Copy from and Barbour Books

            “It all boiled down to the fact that God wasn’t done with any of them yet. He was a God of second chances.”

The Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with book eight written by Kimberley Woodhouse. The lineage of the Lytton family whom we met in book one of the series continues across the country in the year 1849 during the California gold rush.

San Francisco was a filthy, crime ridden city filled with the worst of humanity all striving to strike it rich. Olivia Brighton, a resilient young woman, finds herself widowed outside San Francisco and on her own only six weeks after a hurried marriage to a strange man. In order to find her older brother, Daniel, she must get herself into the city of San Francisco and locate his thriving restaurant.

In the midst of beginning a new life with her brother, a decent man who feels compelled to do good for his fellow man, Olivia meets Joseph Sawyer, her brother’s best friend and another man of faith and personal integrity who works with him to bring some much needed stability and faith to San Francisco.  Olivia and the two men encounter criminals, prostitution, and a variety of other vices in their challenge to help stabilize the new city. Read this interesting, faith filled adventure to see what surprises life has in store for Olivia, Joseph, and Daniel.

The book contains some very interesting historical notes at the end and includes real historical figures sprinkled through the story. I love the history woven through this story as well as the very satisfying epilogue that draws the book to a close. Readers of historical fiction and inspirational historical fiction will enjoy this story very much!

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

#TheGoldenBride #NetGalley


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

Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof

Series: Blackbird Mountain, Book 2

Publication Date: March 12, 2019

ARC from Thomas Nelson Publishers and

 “Sorry’s for something you didn’t mean to do, he added.” “For breakin’ something that’s on accident. But my behavior that day wasn’t an accident, so I know it’ll take more than a word to make it right.”

                                                                            –Haakon Norgaard 

Driven away for four years by his own rash behavior, bad decisions, and regret, Haakon Norgaard, the youngest of the Norgaard brothers, returns home to Blackbird Mountain to try and make amends to those he cares about. While timely, his arrival leaves many of the residents of the Mountain uneasy and apprehensive.

Sharing the family homestead are Jorgan and his wife, Fay, and their two children as well as Thor and his very pregnant wife, Aden. The Sorrel clan once again brings turmoil and violence to Blackbird Mountain in their quest for revenge. Harlan Sorrel knows no boundaries when it comes to battle. He steps over the line this time. With Haakon’s assistance, the Norgaard men work to bring peace to the Mountain.  As Haakon works toward forgiveness and peace for his soul, he is haunted by a page from the Bible, a drawing from a young Norwegian boy, and a pair of deep blue eyes.

During this time of unrest on Blackbird Mountain, a young widow named Kjersti Jönsson and her children remember a young fisherman who helped them out on her farm while his ship docked in southern Norway. As memories fade and hopes die away, the harsh reality of the coming winter in Norway gives way to an unexpected visitor.

Once again Joanne Bischof touches my heart with this beautiful story of forgiveness, hope, faith, family and looking to the future. Well written and deeply moving! If you have not read book one in the series, I highly recommend reading Sons of Blackbird Mountain first. Come to Blackbird Mountain and discover the Norgaard family.

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

#DaughtersOfNorthernShores  #NetGalley #Norway  #historicalfiction  #christianfiction  #amreading



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A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz

Publication Date: January 1, 201

Publisher: Revell

ARC Copy from and Revell

“She was like her name—openhearted and brimming with life and spirit.  And beloved.”

Hope, faith, grace, second chances, and the enduring power of love tie this beautifully written novel together as one journeys from the lush green shores of the Isle of Kerrera in Scotland to the hot, humid shores of colonial Virginia and on to the lush, dangerous plantation life of Jamaica. Filled with historical detail of the mid-1700’s, A Bound Heart tackles the social injustices of the time as well as weaving a bit of past history from the Jacobite rebellion into the story.

Magnus MacLeish, laird of Kerrera Castle, is an honorable man living a life grounded in faith. Married to a high strung city woman, his life is complex balancing his time in the city of Edinburgh and his responsibilities as Laird on the Isle. Lark MacDougall, beekeeper and mistress of the stillroom, is a lovely young woman of 25, born and raised on Kerrera. Schooled together, Magnus and Lark have been steadfast friends since early days although the friendship has become more formal over the years as they matured.

Read this captivating tale of a peaceful life devastated by lies and injustices. Can Lark and Magnus overcome the changes brought on by circumstances beyond their control? I loved the story, the history, and the characters. A wonderful novel for readers of historical fiction, inspirational fiction, and romance! Captivating from the very beginning, don’t miss A Bound Heart!

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

#ABoundHeart #NetGalley #amreading

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