Tag Archives: clean fiction

The Shell Collector by Nancy Naigle

Publication Date: 11 May 2021

Publisher: Waterbrook

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Waterbrook

Genre: Christian Fiction, Southern Fiction

Rating: 4 out of 5

“Life is rarely predictable if we’re doing it right.”

-Maeve

When a grieving widow meets a wonderfully, eccentric older woman wandering the beach near her home, the two become fast friends. Moving to Whelk’s Island, North Carolina with her two young children provides Amanda with an opportunity to get her life together and move on past the overwhelming grief she suffers since the loss of her husband two years previously. For Maeve, who is eighty-one and appears extremely agile, roaming the beach and collecting shells is a big part of her life. Meeting Amanda and the children fills a void in her soul unlike anything has in years.

The women have much to teach each other over the course of their summer together. Bonding and sharing their friendship, losses, grief, and healing works magic in their lives. Amanda and the children run into an old and dear friend from the past which helps heal a particularly empty part of Amanda’s heart. As summer gives way to fall, Maeve’s health issues come to light.

These two women come together to realize how precious their friendship is in so many special ways. As they each do for the other, they must learn to utilize the lessons they taught each other over the summer. A beautiful story filled with loss, grief, the healing powers of friendship, and second chances! Don’t forget to keep your eyes open for the sea shells that pop up in the story filled with special messages for the finder. A perfect beach read for the summer!

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

#TheShellCollector#NetGalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, Christian Fiction, Clean, Contemporary

Under the Magnolias by T.I. Lowe

Publication Date: 4 May 2021

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Tyndale

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christian

Rating: 5 out of 5

“There are seasons in a life that one may choose to remember best. A time where the good outweighs the bad enough that the bad is pushed into the foggy crevices of the mind, while the good is crystal clear. ”

Vivid characters, tumultuous family problems, and a rough around the edges South Carolina tobacco farm named Nolia Farms form the heart of this emotional, insightful story woven by T. I. Lowe. The Foster family is held together by the oldest of the siblings, fourteen year old Austin, who inherits this task when her mother dies leaving behind a set of newborn twins to go with the other five children. A daunting task for an adult, nevertheless, Austin makes it her mission in life to hold the family together by raising the children, working  on the farm, keeping her dad’s darkest secret, and attending school in between the chaos.

Through the years Austin manages with the help of their friends Foxy and Jinx, who live on the farm and work, and members of the community who attend their small church. She even figures out a way to have a relationship with Vance Cumberland, the mayor’s son. Through thick and thin, Vance keeps showing up on her doorstep. Join this brave, independent young woman as she raises her siblings, takes care of her father, and tries to figure out life on her terms.

A beautiful story filled with sadness, heartache, family, faith, love, forgiveness, and healing! This is truly one of the best books I’ve read this year. I highly recommend it. From start to finish, you will be captivated by Austin’s story.

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

#UnderTheMagnolias #NetGalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, Christian Fiction, Clean, Contemporary

Cottage by the Sea by Debbie Macomber

Publication Date: July 17, 2018

Ballantine Books

ARC from Ballantine Books and Netgalley.com

 

Excerpt: “Still, the cottage by the sea was the one place she could remember where she’d been completely happy. She didn’t know if she’d ever find that sense of peace again, but Annie was determined to try.”

In search of peace, Annie Marlow packs her bags and moves to the tiny beach town of Oceanside. As a physician’s assistant, Annie could have chosen from a vast array of locations, but she was searching for peace and a place to rebuild her life after a terrible tragedy. Going back to a familiar spot from childhood, Annie moves back into a cottage her family rented for many years.

This novel is all about the characters and their eccentric range of personalities. Seth Keaton, a gentle giant of a man, paints rooms and houses by day and quietly paints beautiful murals around town when no one is looking. Soft spoken, awkward and shy his crush on Annie has lasted for years unbeknownst to her. Melody Johnson, rude, ill-mannered and extremely anti-social, never leaves the old house behind Annie’s cottage. As Annie’s landlord, Melody and Annie have an uncomfortable working relationship which Annie is determined to better. A cast of minor characters play a role in Annie’s life and her battle to find her happy place again at Oceanside.

I enjoyed the quirkiness of the characters as well as the comfortable pace of the story. The book is one to read and enjoy slowly in spite of its rather serious tone and nature. Travel Annie’s journey with her to find her serenity and her happy place. Good beach read for the summer for those who want a little depth to their story!

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

#CottageByTheSea #NetGalley

 

 

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Clean, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Any Dream Will Do by Debbie Macomber

Macomber, Debbie Any Dream Will Do.htm

Publication Date: August 8, 2017

Ballantine Books

ARC from Ballantine Books and Netgalley.com

 

“I decided I could either live my life in fear or I could—simply put—live my life. I refused to look over my shoulder or stop before turning every corner to make sure I was safe. I chose instead to breathe easy, and to put my trust in God. It was either that, or I would soon be afraid of my own shadow.

                                                                                     -Shay

 Debbie Macomber’s latest novel is all about second chances and what we do with them. In this very detailed story of one woman’s opportunity after a lot of bad mistakes, Shay, a quiet young woman, leaves the Washington Correction Center for Women and begins her search for a place to stay. Shay’s life is turned around because of her encounter with Drew Douglas, a pastor who finds a program for women in her circumstance.

The story follows Shay’s path through the Hope Center program and after her release in to civilian life with all its ups and downs. Her opportunities and choices reflect the difficulties involved in making a life for oneself again. The book highlights the attitudes and prejudices ex-convicts are up against once they leave prison, as well as offering some important perspectives on redemption and forgiveness.

The story is a little bit difficult to believe if you try to accept it as a realistic incidence. However, if you take the book as a fictional story as intended, the story is enjoyable and has a nicely tied up ending.

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

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Lingering Echoes by Erica Kiefer

lingering echoes
Publication Date: January 4, 2014

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

ARC Copy from Netgalley.com

 

 

 

How does a young adult just graduating from high school cope with tragedy and love, while trying to learn about forgiveness at the same time? This dilemma is the focal point of the story surrounding Allie and Damien. The novel opens with mysteries surrounding both of the main characters. The plot gradually unfolds as the reader finds that both young adults have something they are hiding and both need to reach some resolution in their lives in order to find forgiveness and move on with their lives.

I particularly liked the way Damien’s mystery creates suspense through the majority of the book. Without spoiling the story, Damien’s mystery is much more intense than Allie’s. The characters both develop throughout the book, with Allie becoming a more mature person who can face family and personal issues without the drama the reader sees in the beginning of the story. Since the story encompasses young adults and their families, the reader sees growth in relationships, as well as individuals. The author has done a nice job in dealing with the dynamics of complex families.

The book is a multifaceted story full of love, sadness, and families. The plot leaves the reader guessing until late in the story. The story stills contains plenty of romance and the tension that goes along with it without being graphic. As one can see from the publisher’s name above, the book is a great read for young adults while keeping to the premise of clean publishing. Erica Kiefer writes with great tension and fine character development. This book was provided by NetGalley and Clean Teen Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Young Adult