Tag Archives: bethany house publishers

Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes

Publication Date: 30 June 2020

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

 Rating: 5 out of 5

 

 

 “The world is dark, so dark we sometimes forget the stars. But they are always there—we need only fight to see these places of brilliant light, these echoes of the truest story.”

                                     –Simon Claremont, watchmaker & storykeeper

A magical story spun full of hope and wonder, love and loss, and so much more! Candlewick Commons in London is home to Simon Claremont, a watchmaker by day and a marvelous storyteller by night, and his small family consisting of Penny, his wife, and Lucy, his young daughter, and their honorary member, Dashel Greene, a young boy befriended by Lucy. The children grow up inspired by the rich stories told each evening and the imaginations that are nurtured with love and ideas without boundaries.

Lucy grows into her occupation as a maritime archaeologist and keeper of the watch shop. Dash, moved by his aunt to the States while in his teens, becomes a forensic astronomer with an amazing career. When the two young adults cross paths, their careers and lives intersect over an amazing story from their shared past about the mysterious disappearance of the ship, the HMS Jubilee.

The story spins and weaves its magic while detailing another extraordinary story set back in time beginning in 1802 in East Sussex, England. A young boy by the name of Frederick Hanford set in course the motion of a life that would brand him a traitor and bring about his disappearance along with that of the Jubilee.

A beautifully told complex story that moves through two time periods drawing the reader into the lives of Lucy and Dash, as well as that of Frederick and Juliette. The historical part of the story was spellbinding.  I loved the elements of the story that kept me grounded in reality while also stretching my imagination with that hint of mystical realism. An absolutely sublime, summer read! Don’t miss this book to find out if Dash and Lucy can uncover what really happened to mysterious Frederick Hanford.

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

#SetTheStarsAlight  #NetGalley

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A Gilded Lady by Elizabeth Camden

Series:  Hope and Glory, Book 2

Publication Date: 02 June 2020

Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

ARC copy from Bethany House and Netgalley.com

Rating: 5 out of 5

Beautiful, feisty Caroline Delacroix works day and night as personal secretary to the president’s wife, Ida McKinley. What a job the young woman has! Ida McKinley is certainly not the easiest person to work for and requires an undue amount of attention. Caroline does her job flying by the seat of her pants and breaking whatever rules are necessary to get things accomplished. The stakes are high for Caroline as she desperately needs a pardon from the President for her wayward brother Luke.

Nathaniel Trask, treasury agent and investigator extraordinaire, gets assigned to head the new security task for President McKinley. Nathaniel has some issues of his own with which he struggles, but there is no one better at details and plans for security. He is a handsome, serious fellow that believes firmly in following the rules and guidelines.

 As Caroline and Nathaniel bump heads over jobs and rules, they find value in many of each other’s distinctive traits. Each of them tries to do the best job possible, but each follows a distinctly different set of rules. Caroline’s brother Luke adds another layer of complication to their blossoming friendship.

The historical data is excellent in this novel. The details regarding Ida McKinley’s illnesses and personality issues, President McKinley’s reelection and his assassination, as well as the information about the formation and changing work of the Secret Service provide an interesting backdrop to an excellent story. As always with Elizabeth Camden’s work, the historical notes add depth to the book.

An excellent read! The first book in the series definitely adds background depth to the story so I would highly recommend reading The Spice King first. Readers of historical fiction and historical Christian fiction will enjoy this book! Book Three is coming in 2021!

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

#AGildedLady #NetGalley

 

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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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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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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

 

 

 

 

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Echoes Among the Stones by Jamie Jo Wright

Publication Date: 04 December 2019

Publisher: Bethany House

ARC from Bethany House and Netgalley

 

 

Skeletons, bones, unmarked graves, and crime scene investigation set the background in this fascinating tale of murder and the aftermath of grief that follows it. Melding past and present, author Jamie Jo Wright spins a tale encompassing the Grayson family and the community of Mill Creek, Wisconsin where they have resided for many decades.

Present day,  Imogene “Mumsie” Grayson Hayward, a feisty 92 year old, continues to live in the past with a multitude of unanswered questions and a lifetime of grief. Aggie Dunkirk, Imogene’s estranged granddaughter, returns to Mill Creek to try and resolve her own grief issues after the loss of her high end real estate career. The two women are drawn into solving a 70 year old mystery that continues to haunt Mumsie. Adding character to the story is Collin O’Shaughnessy, a dashing archeologist, filled with theories of his own and a caring soul.

The mystery is intriguing and not easily figured out. Darker undertones creep through the story, but they intertwine with the inspirational undercurrents well. An intriguing tale for readers who enjoy mysteries and for anyone struggling with grief! Well worth the read!

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

Rated: 4 out of 5

#EchoesAmongTheStones   #NetGalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Mystery/Suspense

The Bridge to Belle Island by Julie Klassen

Publication Date: December 2019

Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

ARC Copy from Netgalley.com and Bethany House

A quaint, rather remote island in the Thames River sets the stage for Julie Klassen’s latest Regency tale!  Suspense, intrigue, and romance add to the essence of this captivating story. After getting rather publicly humiliated during a trial, Benjamin Booker gladly accepts the challenge of going to the country and investigating Ms. Isabelle Wilder, purported to be a possible suspect in the death of her guardian, Mr. Norris, the senior partner at Mr. Booker’s law firm.

Benjamin finds himself drawn into life on the island, making his investigation a bit more challenging than he planned. As the story unfolds and more details come to light, the suspect list develops as do the motives. The main characters each have their own distinct issues to deal with adding to the complexity of the story. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot twists that added depth to the intrigue. There were definitely a couple of things I didn’t see coming!

A great read that will draw you in at the beginning and keep your interest all the way through. An intriguing little mystery that will surprise you, followed by a delightful ending filled with family, faith, and romance.

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

#TheBridgetoBelleIsland  #NetGalley

4/5

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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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Aiming for Love, Book 1 by Mary Connealy

Series: Brides of Hope Mountain

Publication Date:  1 Oct 2019

Publisher: ARC from Netgalley.com and Bethany House Publishers

 

“Kissing you is the most thrilling thing that’s ever happened to me, and I once killed a grizzly bear with six arrows and a dull knife, so that’s saying something.”

                                                            –Jo Nordegren

In typical Mary Connealy style, this western is filled with dry humor, interesting characters, vivid descriptions, and a tall tale befitting the western frontier. This first novel in her new series introduces us to the Nordegren girls. The storyline centers around Josephine “Jo”, the middle sister, a curious, yet naïve, blue-eyed blonde who dresses in a most unusual manner and runs wild in the woods with a bow and arrows which she most certainly knows how to use. Her older sister, Ursula, an extremely isolated, anti-social young woman rules the household, and her younger sister, Ilsa, swings from branches all over the woods and runs fairly wild gathering medicinal herbs. These unique young women have no contact with civilization until David Warden shows up in their valley high on Hope Mountain.

The story centers on the themes of helping others because it is the right thing to do, accepting people as they are, and believing that family is what you make it. The secondary characters involved in the story, Dave’s parents and brother, his cowhands, and even the bad guys, add an element of depth to the story. A unique storyline filled with family drama, a bit of romance, and some sadness as well make up this intriguing read from Mary Connealy. Bring your imagination to the table when you read this one!

Readers of inspirational historical fiction and western fiction will enjoy this distinctive story. I am personally looking forward to book two in the series to see what further adventures Mary Connealy has for us.

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

 4 out of 5

 

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The Spice King by Elizabeth Camden

Publication Date: 03 Sept 2019

Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

ARC copy from Bethany House and Netgalley.com

Rating: 5 /5

Elizabeth Camden tells a captivating story about Annabelle Larkin, an enterprising young woman fresh from the farm in Kansas who moves to Washington, D.C. to take a temporary job with the Smithsonian Institution. In a move to try and prolong her job in Washington, Annabelle takes on the challenge of Gray Delacroix and his exotic plant collection.

As Annabelle and Gray find themselves struggling with a mutual attraction, outside forces step in to complicate their relationship. Annabelle finds that she must make some very difficult choices and in doing so jeopardizes her relationship with Gray.

The story revolves around the conflict of doing what is right for your country and its people and doing what your heart wants you to do. The conflicts are complex when the choices Annabelle makes and has to live with impact her life in major ways. Not only does Annabelle learn some difficult lessons, but Gray also learns valuable lessons about important priorities in one’s life.

Filled with historical data that is very interesting, this book will hold the reader’s attention from start to finish. I learned some amazing facts about food and the food industry during the late 1800’s. Don’t miss the author’s notes at the end of this book. A wonderful read for people who enjoy strong female characters and good historical fiction!

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

#TheSpiceKing #NetGalley

 

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