Friday, January 4, 2019
WE HOPE FOR BETTER THINGS by ERIN BARTELS
This is a very emotional and powerful story that touches your soul and stays there for days after reading it. The author has a poetic way of bringing her characters to life and I felt attached to them. The story is moving and takes us back in time as we hear from several characters. I loved how the author brought them all together and intersected their lives in a way that is memorable and poignant. The beauty of the writing is exceptional and the author has a bright future in the publishing world.
The topic of racism is very prevalent in this story as it touches each character in a different way. Elizabeth was a very interesting character and I liked how she was brought in the story to discover her past. The story unfolds as we travel from the Civil War to to the Underground Railroad to the unforgiving streets of Detroit in the 1960s.
Mary is left alone while her husband goes off to fight in the Civil War. She is scared but when a man comes to her door for help, she opens her home to him. George is a decent man who comes to be very important in Mary’s life. Having George there could get her into trouble but her faith tells her to not turn anyone away who needs help. Mary has a giving heart and welcomes freed slaves into her
home with kindness and compassion.
Nora was probably my favorite character with her loving heart. When she falls in love with William, there are unforeseen consequences. I loved how the author lets readers experience what it is like to be discriminated against and the violence that people are exposed to in a world where the color of your skin dictated how you were treated . People did not accept mixed raced couples and I can only imagine what Nora and William were exposed to. The story definitely shows how judgmental people can be and how hatred spreads through generations. Nora’s discoveries will set the stage for generations with historical facts, secrets and a family that didn’t look at the color of skin, but helped each other out. I loved how the author gave us a historical journey through times and I most appreciated Martin Luther King in the story. His famous speech is one I will never forget.
Elizabeth was a great character and I loved how her instincts lead her to her family history. It is amazing how great this book easily glides from one time period to the next. It made me thing of doing a genealogy search and reading about your ancestors . Another great part of the story is when Nora and Elizabeth meet. To me this is where the gaps in the story started to become clearer and how families were torn apart because of racism. It really opens your eyes to how little we have come in this world when it comes to accepting each other.
I loved this that was said in the story, “ We read the same scriptures , worship the same Lord. We may sing different songs, but I can assure you that we have been faithful to God.”
I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing. The review is my own opinion.
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
FLIGHTS of FANCY by JEN TURANO
There are so many good things to say about this book I'm not sure where to start. First I applaud the author with her delightful way to bring characters to life. She writes with a funny and subtle way that I find myself snickering at some of the characters while falling in love with them.
Let's begin with The Duke of Montrose and his uncanny ego. He is so sure of himself as a prize for any lady that he is shocked when Isadora doesn't jump into his arms and beg to be taken away to be his bride. Isadora has been brought up right and can certainly speak her mind when needed. The duke must be crazy to tell her to stop reading novels. I could hear a gasp as he says, " Novels are only suitable for the simpleminded and you would not care for anyone to believe you're simpleminded, would you?, " Now would be a good time to slap his face and walk away with grace. Isadora definitely puts him in his place with her very proper response. I love this spunky girl and know I am in for an adventure with her. Oh my the dance floor is where Isadora really shows the duke he is not in charge. Such great writing from the author I laughed so hard I cried.
The story is a grand adventure as Isadora has planned to run away and hide from the duke. There are rumors he may be desperate to do anything to have Isadora be his wife. Lets hope Isadora has thought everything out as she ventures off to become hidden from everything she knows. Is the duke dangerous? What horrible rumors of the duke would cause some to think he is capable of a crime? The story is filled with adventure and Isadora will find that " God occasionally throws obstacles our way so that we're forced to grow into the people He wants us to be." Let the journey begin.
Ian is a breath of fresh air compared to the duke. Will Isadora convince Ian to hire her so she can stay away from the dangers at home? As luck would have it, Isadora has found employment but it isn't exactly what she expected. She now has four children to look after, animals that run everywhere including inside the house and an uncle that could be a little strange.
The story is filled with laughter, characters who seek God in what he has planned for their lives, mysterious goings on at Ian's place and a blooming romance to capture the readers with a book that you will not be able to put down. Take a journey with Isadora as she seeks a new life and maybe happiness along the way.
I received a copy of this book from the author and Bethany House. The review is my own opinion.
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
KAPPY KING and the PIE KAPER by
I'm so excited to be back with Kappy and Edie. They are a perfect match for each other as friends. Ok one is English and the other is Amish, but together they make for lots of excitement in their small community.
The big talk around town is about the festival coming up. It is sure to draw a big crowd and lots of things to buy and eat. Someone is taking the pie contest a little too serious when a member of the community is attacked in her home. This woman is know for her delicious pies and now that she is out of the running it may be a slam dunk for someone to win .
I loved the antics Kappy and Edie get into while investigating the crime. They try so hard to act innocent while questioning people, but they don't have everyone fooled. The big question is why and who changed the rules of the pie contest? A pie is just a pie until it becomes the prize is what I say. There is also a celebrity who has come to judge the pie contest this year. That sure gets the attention of Kappy and Edie. Who is trying to sabotage the contest and will do anything to win? It's another home run for the author with this series.
I love visiting this special town and I absolutely adore Jimmy. He is a wonderful character and adds a sparkle to the story. His love for animals is wonderful and he takes great care of them. Jimmy is becoming more independent , but his helicopter sister can't quite let go yet. There is also perhaps a romance starting up between two characters which I am excited about. I'm not going to mention names, but it is fun to read the silly things they do to get each others attention. Don't miss this fun story filled with laughs, mystery and always exceptional writing by the author.
I received a copy of this book from the author. The review is my own opinion.
Monday, December 31, 2018
About the Book
Book: In the Shadow of Croft Towers
Author: Abigail Wilson
Genre: Historical fiction, romantic suspense
Release Date: January 15, 2019
From debut author Abigail Wilson comes a mysterious Regency tale of secrets and spies, love and treachery.
Orphaned Sybil Delafield jumps at the opportunity for a position at the mysterious Croft Towers. She believes she was hired to act as companion to a dying woman, but a highway robbery and a hostile welcome from the Chalcroft family cause her to wonder if she was actually hired to help someone spy for France.
An unsolved murder adds intrigue to this already secretive family, and Sybil recognizes Mrs. Chalcroft’s handsome grandson as one of the infamous highwaymen who robbed her. Sybil must determine if this man’s charming smile and earnest eyes speak the truth or if he is simply using her like others in the house. Everyone seems to have something to hide, and Sybil must decide who to trust while also coming to terms with the truth about her own past.
About the Author
Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A Registered Nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the National Parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children. Connect with Abigail at www.acwilsonbooks.com
Excerpt from the Book
THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE
I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had never learned the truth. I wouldn’t have set off as I did for Croft Towers. I never would have met him.
It’s strange what I remember about the day I left London. The mail coach was late; the weather wretched. The clock had struck midnight long before two strangers and I ducked beneath the postmaster’s outstretched umbrella to board the Royal Mail and rumble across the North Downs.
That difficult journey east marked the beginning of an unseasonably cold autumn. Frigid rain pelted the coach windows. The undercarriage squealed beneath the seats as a metallic scent wound its way between the drafty boards. I gripped the windowsill, wondering if the coachman intended to hit every bump in the road.
“Far to go, miss?”
The woman’s voice startled me. Dressed head to toe in red
satin, she’d endured the last few darkened hours with a handful of smelling salts and a tongue hot for complaints, but she hadn’t spoken to me until now. Not until the first hint of rain-soaked daylight peeked over the horizon.
I lowered my gaze and fiddled with my bonnet ribbons. “Yes, ma’am . . . well, not too much farther, I hope.”
Taken from “In the Shadow of Croft Towers” by Abigail Wilson. Copyright © 2018 by Abigail Wilson. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.
It is not a very good start as Sybil is robbed on the way to her destination. I would be thinking about this time if I made the right decision to leave home. Arriving finally at Croft Towers, Sybil was intimidated by the size of the place . She has been hired to be a companion for to a woman who is in poor health. Sybil will soon question just what she is really there for when she is asked to deliver mysterious secret letters from her employer to someone who hides secret for profit.
I would to explore Croft Towers with all the hidden rooms and spacious land that surrounds it. I loved the relationship between Sybil and Mrs. Chalcroft. The elderly lady is set in her ways but has a fondness for Sybil. Some members in the house seem to not like Sybil and it jealousy or mistrust is involved. There is an array of twists in the story and at times I wasn't sure who could be trusted.
The story is a journey for Sybil as she finds herself with two gentleman wanting her attention. One is very arrogant and not respectful of women. I wanted him to disappear somewhere in the woods and slowly fade away from the story. The other gentleman is somewhat a mystery and Sybil will have to decide if she can trust either one. There is a few surprises in the book that will find Sybil wondering about her past. The book is good but at times I did find myself thinking there were too many characters to keep up with. It did take a while to find out what was really going on with the mysterious letters and the reason Sybil was involved in it. Overall for a first book, the author has written a good story that keeps readers entertained.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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Reflections From My Bookshelves, December 21
seasons of opportunities, December 21
Mary Hake, December 22
Carpe Diem, December 22
Inklings and notions, December 23
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A Baker’s Perspective, December 23
Stories By Gina, December 24
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Madeline Clark, December 25
The Christian Fiction Girl, December 25
For the Love of Literature, December 26
Blossoms and Blessings, December 26
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Godly Book Reviews, December 29
Locks, Hooks and Books, December 29
Bigreadersite, December 29
Inspiration Clothesline, December 30
A Rup Life, December 30
Bibliophile Reviews, December 30
A Reader’s Brain, December 31
Texas Book-aholic, December 31
Just Your Average reviews, January 1
Bookworld Reviews, January 1
Pause for Tales, January 1
Reading Is My SuperPower, January 2
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To celebrate her tour, Abigail is giving away a grand prize of one finished copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d777/in-the-shadow-of-croft-towers-celebration-tour-giveaway