Tag Archives: Thomas Nelson

Child of the River by Irma Joubert

joubert-irma-child-of-the-riverPublication Date: October 2016

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Copy from The Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson      


“It’s hard to be a woman, child.”

                                    -Ma Pieterse

Irma Joubert once again weaves an intricate tale of life in South Africa amid the political turmoil of the apartheid and WWII. Pérsomi Pieterse, a thin young girl raised on a dirt poor sharecropper’s farm in the veld of South Africa, values her education and her big brother, Gerbrand, above all else.

Pérsomi’s story unfolds as her beloved brother goes off to war, and she struggles to be able to continue her education. Before departing, Gerbrand discloses the fact that Pérsomi’s father is not really the father she has been raised to believe, much to her relief. This fact makes a fundamental difference in the outcome of Pérsomi’s education and life choices.

Follow Pérsomi’s journey to adulthood and her success as an attorney as she strives to lead a life that does not always conform to the beliefs of those around her. A woman of strong values and character, Pérsomi sets a fine example as a strong female role model during a time period when women were dominated by men.

The historical detail adds depth to the novel, and the incorporation of the politics of the apartheid offers an interesting intensity.  The religious and ethnic prejudices encountered in this book are reminiscent of our own history in the United States at different times.

A very intriguing novel! This is not a light read, but the book is excellent for readers of historic fiction and anyone with a specific interest in South Africa.

This copy was received from Thomas Nelson’s Fiction Guild in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.


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Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction

The Hideaway by Lauren Denton

Coming in April! New Author!


Publication Date: April 2017

Thomas Nelson

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Thomas Nelson, division of Harper Collins Christian Publishing


“I’d sit along the edge of the water and imagine what it would have been like if things had turned out differently.”       

Narrated with the alternating stories of Sara, an aggressive young business owner living in New Orleans, and Mags, her 72 year old grandmother living and running The Hideaway, a backwater bed and breakfast in Sweet Bay, Alabama that is home to an eccentric group of older folks. Margaret Van Buren, Mags, to her friends wandered into the unusual bed and breakfast in 1960 and took it over after the owner left the area a few months later. Mags’ life had its complications over the years and as a result, she displayed a quirkiness that greatly embarrassed her granddaughter Sara.

The tale unfolds with the death of Mags and the inheritance by Sara of The Hideaway. The back story of Mags’ life is pieced together by Sara as she begins to make decisions about her inheritance. Sara’s life takes on greater meaning as she discovers a grandmother she never really knew.

The cast of characters in this story is entertaining and enlightening. I enjoyed the book and the lessons learned along the way by Sara. The moral of the story to me was that everything happens for a reason. We do not have to always understand the why. The novel has some mystery to it in the back story, some romance for all ages, and just a good story of family and all the love and difficulties that come with it.

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



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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Clean, Contemporary

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin

martin-charles-long-way-gonePublication Date: 2016

Thomas Nelson, division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc.

Copy from The Fiction Guild  and Thomas Nelson


Excerpt:  One of the mysteries of music is that two can achieve together what one never could do alone. The effect is exponential. It’s also the only activity on Planet Earth that can transport those who hear it from place A to place B in about two beats. It can shift a mood from laughter to tears to I-can-conquer-the-world to what-if and hope. It’s the original time machine.”

Cooper O’Connor is the epic prodigal son in this amazing novel that loosely retells the parable. Taking many things that did not belong to him, he heads out to Nashville to make it big in the music business. Along the way, life interferes.  

The story unfolds as Cooper meets Daley Cross, a rising young star while he is working at the Ryman Auditorium one night. The two have an immediate connection, both musically and emotionally. However, Cooper runs into an obstacle that is tougher than he ever imagined and willing to do about anything to get what he wants.  

Fast forward twenty years, fate steps in and brings Daley Cross back into Cooper’s life. Much has changed for both of them in the past twenty years and not much turned out the way they imagined.  This story is filled with emotion, pain, and faith unlike any book I have read in a long while.

 I very much enjoyed the haunting emotional story and language. I did not want to put this book down and I certainly did not want it to end. The novel has a great deal of faith, some romance, and mindfulness about gratitude. This is definitely not a light read, but a story that will stay with you long after you turn the last page!

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

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

To Love a Stranger by Colleen Coble

Coble, Colleen  To Love a Stranger


Publication Date: July 2016

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

ARC from Thomas Nelson and Netgalley.com



It is always amazing how much trouble one’s siblings can get one into without actually trying. Bessie Randall finds herself married to Jasper Mendenhall and on her way to Fort Bridger in the Utah Territory all without saying “I do.” How does something this crazy happen to a serious young woman from a good family in Boston?

The real story of Bessie Randall and Jasper Mendenhall begins with Bessie’s arrival at Fort Bridger on the stage. Looking nothing like the picture sent to Jasper, Bessie steps off the stagecoach and finds herself headed to the wilds of Fort Bowie, Arizona Territory before she can begin to know the man she married.

The novel brings to life the difficulties of mail-order brides and grooms, life on the Western frontier, and the struggles of the military on the Western front during the later 1800’s. The story is an interesting read that balances a faith based plot nicely with historical fiction. Read this captivating tale of life on the frontier for a quick, satisfying read!

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



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Filed under American Frontier, Book Reviews, Historical Fiction

Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E. Ladd

Ladd, Sarah  Dawn at Emberwilde

Series: A Treasures of Surrey novel

Publication Date: May 2016

Publisher: Thomas Nelson and Netgalley.com

ARC copy



  “There is nothing quite so lovely as dawn at Emberwilde.”

                     –Burns, ladies maid to Isabel Creston

Moving from life as a student to life as a teacher at the Fellsworth School changed very little in Isabel Creston’s life. The uniforms were a bit more drab and your hair had to be constantly tidy, but the same rigid regulations remained. Isabel is a beautiful young woman who likes to daydream and push the rules to the limits most days.

Nothing prepares Isabel, an orphan who serves as guardian to her younger half sister, for the arrival of the tall, handsome stranger that has been sent to escort her to Emberwilde to meet family that she never knew existed.

The novel gains momentum quickly with an intriguing plot that encompasses ghosts in the forest, smuggling, and mysterious events that occur without explanation. To further complicate the story, Isabel quickly learns that love often wears many faces. Nothing is quite as it seems at Emberwilde Hall.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The hint of romance appealed to me and the mysteries throughout the book kept my attention. The characters are reminiscent of Jane Austen’s characters and the setting and dark mysteries offer a bit of Charlotte Bronte. Read Dawn at Emberwilde to find out what mysteries are lurking in the forest!  Great book for readers of historical, Regency, and inspirational fiction!

Sarah Ladd’s website

Facebook: Sarah Ladd

Sarah Ladd at Goodreads.com

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Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Mystery/Suspense, Regency

A Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah E. Ladd

A Lady at Willowgrove Hall

Series: Book 3, Whispers on the Moor

Publication Date: October 2014

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

ARC copy from Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Publishers


Once again author Sarah Ladd takes us to Regency England in her latest novel. The year is 1814 and the setting is the moors of Aradelle Park where young Cecily Faire is about to have her life changed forever. Several miles away that same year, Nathaniel Stanton is forced to listen to his dying father’s confession and have his life irrevocably changed as well. Five years later, these two challenged souls will find their paths cross and each tries to help the other expose the secrets which torment them.

The novel examines the question of identity. Cecily and Nathaniel both struggle with their identity. Cecily strives to deal with the loss of her family, and Nathaniel’s battle concerns his parentage. Cecily’s job change takes her from the halls of Rosemere, the girls’ school from book two, The Headmistress of Rosmere, to Willowgrove Hall, where she crosses paths with Nathaniel for the first time.

This book is a pleasant, enjoyable read that works well as a standalone from the series. I thoroughly enjoy reading Ms. Ladd’s work and this third book in the series blends well with the first two. A bit of mystique, romance, and redemption all wrapped up together!

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


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Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction, Romance

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

butterfly and the violin

Series: Hidden Masterpiece, Book 1

Publication Date: July 2014

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Thomas Nelson


“. . . the stark coldness of the shaved head, showing a young beauty that had been shorn of her crown and glory . . . the tattooed numbers, shouting out from the left forearm that cradled a violin.”

A beautiful and amazing story set in two very different time periods! The novel runs two storylines parallel with a thread that ties both stories together. A compelling painting of a stunningly beautiful girl touches the lives of those who see it in the desolate WWII prison camp of Auschwitz; as well, the painting also affects the present day lives of Sera James in New York and William Hanover in California.

Sera and William are both searching for the work of art depicting the mysterious bald headed girl with a violin. Their reasons are quite different, but both have a tremendous interest in locating the painting. The story of their search for the artwork unfolds the story of Adele Von Bron, the daughter of a high-ranking member of the Third Reich and extraordinary violinist, and Vladimir Nicolai, a cellist and the son of a poor shopkeeper.

The novel is a wonderful mix of mystery, history, romance, and faith. The historical detail is extremely interesting. The thread of faith shared by Adele and Sera will touch the reader’s heart. Each woman’s faith is tested, but ultimately they find their strength. I felt compelled to do a little research on my own after reading this book. Terrific job, Kristy Cambron!

Read this fascinating book to find out what ultimately happens to Adele and Vladimir and Sera and William. Each couple has their own story and each couple had choices to make to get to their ending.

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





Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction