About the Book
Book: Sing in the Sunlight
Author: Kathleen Denly
Genre: Christian historical fiction
Release date: March 2, 2021
Richard Stevens isn’t who he thinks he is. Neither is the woman who now claims his last name.
Disfiguring scars stole Clarinda Humphrey’s singing career, her home, and her family, but she refuses to let her appearance steal her future. While attending The Young Ladies Seminary in 1858 Benicia, California, she finds a man who promises to love and cherish her. Instead he betrays her, leaving her with child, and Clarinda must take drastic measures to ensure her child doesn’t suffer for her foolishness.
Richard Stevens’s life hasn’t turned out as he expected, and when a shocking letter turns even his past into a mystery, he travels to San Francisco in search of guidance. On the way, he encounters a mysterious young woman hiding beneath a veil. That night he experiences a dream that sends him on a quest to find the bride God has chosen for him. He never imagines she’s already told everyone they’re married.
Unwilling to lie, nor accept a marriage of mere convenience, Richard wants the real thing. Yet Clarinda’s not interested in love, only a chance to save her child. Can he help her rise above the pain that runs deeper than her scars to accept a love worth every risk?
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About the Author
Kathleen Denly lives in sunny Southern California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.
More from Kathleen
Hiding our Flaws
We all have things we’d like to change about our physical appearance. Personally, I’ve yet to lose the weight I gained with my last pregnancy and sitting behind a desk all day hasn’t helped things any. Despite this, I know that my husband, kids, family, friends, and most importantly, God, loves me just as much now as when I was my healthiest self. I want to lose the weight not because I need to earn someone’s approval but because I know I’ll feel better and be able to do more without tiring as quickly if I do. In the meantime, I’m okay with where I am because it’s the best I’ve been able to do so far.
This level of self-acceptance has come with maturity and the love of a godly man. When I was younger, I’d spend hours in front of the mirror trying to disguise my flaws beneath layers of makeup and stomach smoothers. In fact, one of the most memorable moments of my courtship with my now husband was the day I returned from a women’s retreat. I hadn’t gotten much sleep all weekend and we’d had to pack up and leave early, so I’d made the unusual decision to skip my makeup that morning. I was going to carpool back to the church, grab my car, and head home for a nap. What was the point in painting my face when the only people who’d see it were the women who’d seen me wake up bare-faced that morning anyway? Well, it turns out my now husband had missed me. So he was waiting in the church parking lot when we arrived, just to say hi before I went home. Sweet, right? Um yeah. At the time, part of me thought it was sweet, but more of me wanted to melt into the floor’s carpet and vanish from sight. I had ZERO makeup on, people! And I had bags under my eyes! *gasp* *shudder*
Needless to say, after almost nineteen years of marriage, he’s seen me a few times without my makeup on. Actually, these days, I only wear makeup for videos, photographs I intend to share online, special events, and (if the kids are nice to me that morning) church. Not that I don’t have my insecure moments or those photographs that friends share but I really wish they wouldn’t. (You know who you are.) But overall, I am okay with how I look because I know that I am loved and accepted.
However, in Sing in the Sunlight, my character, Clarinda, feels unloved, and unwanted by those closest to her. She describes parts of herself with words like hideous. She uses long sleeves, high necks, gloves, and veils to hide herself from a world that has rejected her. And she keeps almost everyone at arm’s length—especially God. So when she finally lets someone in, only to be betrayed, it sets off a series of desperate decisions that tangle her in a web from which she cannot find an escape. It’s my prayer that her story will touch readers’ hearts and show them how much they are loved—flaws and all.
This story has so many wonderful messages tucked in among the pages. Clarinda is easy to relate to because so many of us feel like we aren’t good enough. Her scar on her face has kept her afraid to go out in public. I know exactly how it feels to feel shame. You think no one will ever want you and you are destined to be alone forever. It was heartbreaking to read how a man took advantage of Clarinda and then abandoned her when she needed him most.
Richard is such a great character because he sees past Clarinda’s scars and see the beauty within her. He is determined to come to her aide and I loved how faith filled he was. His belief that God sent him to rescue Clarinda is similar to the story of Mary and Joseph. God told Joseph to be with Mary and raise the child as his own. Richard hears the same from God about Clarinda and obeys Him.
The story has danger as well as a reminder that our scars are, “a symbol of courage and survival.” Some of us have physical scars while others have emotional scars. God doesn’t want to be ashamed. He wants us to hold our head up high and know that we are over-comers. Clarinda is a great example of letting down the veils she hid behind and having confidence in herself. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Her husband showed her unconditional love and made her feel beautiful inside and out. We aren’t meant to hide in the shadows. God says we were “meant to sing in the sunlight.”
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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Simple Harvest Reads, March 2 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Texas Book-aholic, March 3
lakesidelivingsite, March 3
Inklings and notions, March 4
Genesis 5020, March 4
For Him and My Family, March 5
A Novel Pursuit, March 5
Betti Mace, March 6
deb’s Book Review, March 6
Locks, Hooks and Books, March 7
Labor Not in Vain, March 7
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 8
Connie’s History Classroom, March 9
The Meaderings of a Bookworm, March 9
Older & Smarter?, March 10
Adventures Of a Travelers Wife, March 11
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 11
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 12
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 12 (Author Interview)
KarenSueHadley, March 13
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 13
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 14
Blossoms and Blessings, March 14
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 15
To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a Kindle Paperwhite, one bookish scarf, one pair of bookish socks, one bookish necklace, one Chaparral Hearts Pen, and one custom bookmark made and signed by Kathleen Denly!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.