Tag Archives: new books

Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

 Publication Date: August 2017

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers

ARC copy from Author and Waterbrook Multnomah

 

“A busted wagon, a vanished son, a brush shelter in the wilderness, a stranger to midwife—none of that would have figured into those plans.”

 Complex and rich with historic detail, this story engages the reader from the first page. The year is 1774 and Clare Inglesby, a young and very pregnant mother of one finds herself once again on the move. Her husband, Philip, has single handedly decided that it would be to their benefit to depart rural Virginia for the wilds of the settlement of Kentucky.

As the journey progresses, Clare battles through one conflict after another. Jeremiah Ring, a frontiersman and adopted Shawnee, arrives in Clare’s life at a time when she most needs help. Through the disappearance of her husband and son, Jacob, to surviving life in an Indian village, Clare looks to find someone in whom she can place her trust. As Clare continually struggles to force her will, she will eventually remember how to trust and who to trust. 

The book touched this reader deeply. The emotions are raw.  I wanted to cry and to pray for this woman Clare many time during the book. The characters have a depth of spirit and strength that embodies the true spirit of early Americans and many Native Americans. Read the novel to discover how Clare finds the patience to realize that our time is not always God’s time and how she resolves the issue of her missing son.

I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah and the author. 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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So Pure a Heart by Amber Lynn Perry

Series: Daughters of His Kingdom Series, Book 4

Publication Date:  July 2016

Publisher: Liberty Publishing

ARC copy from author

 

And you will surely be protected, my dear. For God cannot but shelter one with so pure a heart.

  -Willis Plains, Patriot

In this fourth novel in the series, Amber Lynn Perry continues her captivating tales set during the Revolutionary War. The war is under way in Plymouth, Massachusetts and weapons are in short supply for both sides thus making Ensign Young’s foundry a desirable place for the Patriots and Loyalists. Hannah Young, Ensign’s niece, is a lovely young woman who lives with her Uncle and late aunt as a result of a difficult home life.

The book follows the story of Hannah and Joseph Wythe, a young blacksmith, as they meet again for the first time in many years. Thrown together in a complex situation, Hannah and Joseph engage in a serious and deadly game of spying for the Patriots. Intrigue, politics, war, family relationships, and the cost of honesty are explored in this tale.

Many of my favorite characters have appeared again in this fourth novel, Nathaniel and Kitty from book two, as well as Anna and Henry from the last book. Their wonderful Patriot spirits shine through once again.

The historical detail in Ms. Perry’s novels always draws me deep into the time period. The accounts of Patriot spying are true to life and based on historical facts, even though the actual story is fiction. Faith, love, and a dedication to freedom are the pillars of the story set once again during a complex time in history.

A wonderful read for lovers of historical fiction, inspirational fiction, and romance! And if you are like me and are looking forward to the next one, So Bright a Hope, Book Five, appears to be in the works already.

I received this book free from Liberty Publishing and the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The above thoughts and opinions I have expressed are wholly my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Life After by Katie Ganshert

Publication Date: April 2017

Waterbrook Multnomah

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Waterbrook Multnomah

 

“Bad things happen all the time, all over the world. And we believe in God’s goodness. We believe He is good. We say He is good. Until the bad things turn personal. That’s when we start to question.”

-Grandma Ally, the Sunday after 9/11, on our way home from church         

Autumn Manning lives in a world of her own since the accident. She struggles perpetually with the question of why. Why did she get on that particular train? Why did she survive? Why did her life get intertwined with that of Vivian Elliott? Even a year later the whys are endless in Autumn’s mind.

This deeply emotional and poignant tale shares the story of Autumn’s recovery and her involvement with the Elliott family. As Reese Elliott, the twelve-year-old daughter of Vivian and Paul Elliott, struggles to find a way to grieve the death of her mother. Her path to recovery from the traumatic loss of her mom leads her to inadvertently draw Autumn into the family’s personal turmoil.

A haunting and emotional story! The characters have depth and personality, each unique and slightly broken in their own way. The book draws the reader in from the beginning and it’s hard to put down. This is a serious read that deals with deep subjects such as why bad things happen to some people and not others and how God comforts us in different ways and in his own time. I very much enjoyed the book. The ending leaves the reader with a feeling of possibility and hopefulness. I would definitely recommend the book to readers of Christian fiction and contemporary fiction.

I received this book free from Netgalley and Waterbrook Multnomah. I was not required to write a positive review. The above thoughts and opinions I have expressed are wholly my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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The Confessions of X by Suzanne M. Wolfe

 

Wolfe, Suzanne M.  The Confessions of X.jpgPublication Date: January 2016

Publisher: Thomas Nelson  

ARC copy from Thomas Nelson and TNZ Fiction Guild

 

“Over the years, as the trees grew from seedlings to saplings to mature trees, as lambs and goats and dogs and calves and foals were born and grew and engendered their own young, this and a thousand, thousand other things of country life, endlessly ripening, dying, renewing, rubbed away the sharp edges of my grief like waves on rock until only the weight of it remained.”

-Thoughts from X

X, the anonymous and forgotten concubine of Augustine of Hippo, has a story of love, family, Christianity, despair, and grief to share. The novel is slow to get started as it begins with a rambling narration by an old woman. The story gains momentum as it unfolds with the telling of the old woman’s life from childhood. She is called by many names throughout her life, Little Bird, Naiad, Mother, and Domina; however, her real name remains a mystery.

The great love of her life is Augustine of Hippo, the son of a wealthy family who very honestly tells her he can never marry her when they are young. She has no apprehensions about being his concubine so great was her love for him. During that time period concubinage often bespoke of a monogamous relationship between two people who could not marry for legal reasons. Although her heart and soul are truly committed to Augustine, eventually, in my opinion, it is really Nebridius, her old childhood friend and close friend of Augustine, who shows her true care and love.

The novel is an eclectic mix of history, faith, and life’s struggles. X pulls deep strength from the people and the world around her.  As a woman living in a very limited world, I believe she made the best of her circumstances. The book offers an interesting look at the world during a time when Rome dominated the civilized world, even as far away as Africa, where the story begins.

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

Information: Author and Book

 

 

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Flirtation Walk by Siri Mitchell

Mitchell, Siri  Flirtation Walk

Publication Date: March 2016

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ARC copy from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley.com

 

 

In August of 1855, Miss Lucinda Pennyworth finds herself enroute to Buttermilk Falls, New York hoping to turn herself into a respectable young woman in search of her long lost relations. Lucinda’s sketchy past has left her wishing for family and respectability and now that she has been left on her own, she is going to do her best to make that wish come true.

After arriving at her relations’ home in Buttermilk Falls outside the famed West Point Academy, Lucinda finds that she must work to prove herself. The longer she stays with her aunt and uncle, the more she grows attached to her family and her life of respectability. Along with the family, she meets the young men of West Point who vie for her attention. As she begins to fall for Seth Westcott, an upstanding young West Point cadet, he undergoes some very personal trauma that changes the course of his career as a soldier.

The cast of characters is broad in this novel.  They are an interesting group, as well as having a few quirky ones thrown in to lighten the mix. The storyline certainly has some twists and unexpected turns. The historical detail is very interesting, based on West Point and the small town that is located outside its gates. The author has a very good set of historical notes at the end of the book regarding military life at West Point.

Definitely an enjoyable read! This novel will be interesting for readers of historical fiction, inspirational fiction, and romance. The story is well paced and keeps the reader’s interest engaged.

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

****/5

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Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund

Hedlund, Jody Undaunted Hope

Publication Date: January 2016

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Bethany House Publishers

 

“He wanted to pull out his money and outbid his brother.”

-Alex Bjorklund

Tessa Taylor certainly complicates the lives of bachelor brothers, Alex and Michael Bjorklund, when she lands in Eagle Harbor, Michigan on a September day in 1871. Tessa, a beautiful young woman, hired to be the local schoolteacher finds herself in all kinds of trouble after being hired by Percival Updegraff, superintendent of the local mining operation, because he thought she was a man.

The novel follows the drama of life in a mining town which is controlled by a dishonest, scheming man who thinks nothing of destroying anyone who dares to dispute his word. The tale unfolds as Tessa begins teaching and gradually finds herself enmeshed in the lives of the Bjorklund brothers, who run the local lighthouse.

Some of the characters in the story are based on real people and events which were detailed in diary entries. The detailing of life in a mining town during the most brutal time of the year is both interesting and sad at the same time.  The book is centered on themes of overcoming fear by facing it with faith and the fact that goodness and faith triumph over evil even in the darkest of times.

Personal Thoughts:

The characters in this novel were not as appealing as in the previous books in the series. The story did not move at a very fast pace. I had to push myself to get through a couple of slower spots. I have read all of Jody Hedlund’s books; and to me, this particular book was not as engaging as her others.

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

 3/5

Links to author websites:

Jody Hedlund

 

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Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelley Gray

Gray, Shelley  Whispers in the Reading Room.jpg

Publication Date: November 2015

Publisher: Zondervan

Copy from publisher as a “Fiction Guild Team Challenge” book

 

“If life has taught me anything, if that World’s Fair in the middle of our fair city has shown me anything, it’s that everyone, no matter what their circumstances or bearings or hopes, deserves to be around other people.”

                                                                                    -Sebastian Marks

Sebastian Marks, a handsome, aloof, and formidable young man from the wrong end of town, likes to hang out in the library reading some most respectable works of literature. His presence in the library reading room has intrigued Miss Lydia Bancroft, the upright and serious young librarian who manages the front desk at the library.

The story begins in 1894 shortly after the World’s Fair has closed in Chicago. The historical detail on the seedy end of Chicago and the violent crime occurring at the time lend a different approach to the story that centers around the lives of four people who are drawn together as a result of a poor decision of Lydia’s late one night. A bit of mystery and intrigue creep through the story, as well as a healthy dose of romance.

The four main characters are interesting and dynamic. They all come to the realization by the end of the novel that solving their individual problems is not a task to be handled by them alone. Each finds the need for faith in order to turn their lives in a more positive direction.

I felt the book was relatively predictable. The mystery added a bit of intrigue to the overall tale, but at the same time, the clues were easily read. I enjoyed the story, but the book was not a complicated read. I thoroughly enjoyed the setting being in the library and Sebastian and Lydia’s love of literature and books.

This ARC copy was received from Thomas Nelson Zondervan as part of the Fiction Guild Team Challenge in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 ***/5

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