Tag Archives: Historical Christian Fiction

When the Meadow Blooms by Ann Gabhart

Publisher’s Description

If any place on God’s earth was designed to help one heal, it is Meadowland. Surely here, at her brother-in-law’s Kentucky farm, Rose and her daughters can recover from the events of the recent past–the loss of her husband during the 1918 influenza epidemic, her struggle with tuberculosis that required a stay at a sanatorium, and her girls’ experience in an orphanage during her illness. At Meadowland, hope blooms as their past troubles become rich soil in which their faith can grow.

Dirk Meadows may have opened his home to his late brother’s widow and her girls, but he keeps his heart tightly closed. The roots of his pain run deep, and the evidence of it is written across his face. Badly scarred by a fire and abandoned by the woman he loved, Dirk fiercely guards his heart from being hurt again. But it may be that his visitors will bring light back into his world and unlock the secret to true healing.

Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart explores the tender places within the human heart in this character-driven story of trusting God to turn our burdens into something beautiful.

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: Ann Gabhart has an amazing ability to write across multiple genres, and When the Meadow Blooms is no exception. She also has an incredible, uncanny capacity to immerse you in a story, making you feel as if you’re a part of the narrative.

When I read When the Meadow Blooms, I felt a wide range of emotions that ran the gamut, from deep despair, fear and loneliness, to relief, redemption and freedom, to mention just a few. I was quickly invested in the people and personalities.

I grew to care so deeply about the main characters that I dreaded the book’s conclusion. Gabhart has written in such a true to life way that one feels as if they know Rose and her daughters, Calla and Sienna, as well as Dirk, the girls’ uncle.

The crows, in particular, were a fantastic touch to the drama and one I especially liked. I had read about crows making friends with humans, and this wonderful addition beautifully demonstrated that.

When the Meadow Blooms is a novel you don’t want to miss because it is both heartbreakingly brilliant and breathtakingly uplifting and optimistic.

I received an advanced review copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

A Rose for the Resistance by Angela K Couch on tour with Celebrate Lit, Giveaway Included

A Rose for the REsistance

About the Book

Book: A Rose for the Resistance

Author: Angela K. Couch

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Christian

Release date: April, 2022

9781636092072 (4)

A French Woman and German Soldier Create a Truce

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

With her father in a German POW camp and her home in Ste Mere Eglise, France, under Nazi occupation, Rosalie Barrieau will do anything to keep her younger brother safe. . .even from his desire to join the French resistance. Until she falls into the debt of a German solder—one who delivers a wounded British pilot to her door. Though not sure what to make of her German ally, Rosalie is thrust deep into the heart of the local underground. As tensions build toward the allied invasion of Normandy, she must decide how much she is willing to risk for freedom.

Click here to get your copy!

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres (I’d have a hard time picking a favorite among several) and World War II has long piqued my interest. A novel about WWII, particularly from the perspective of another country, in this case France, near Normandy and Ste Mere Eglise, was a must-read for me.

With its blend of intrigue, peril, danger and romance, the plot is quite captivating. Couch does a marvelous job of drawing you in and keeping you there. The characters are believable and understandable. Their battles with right and wrong, as well as their questions about God and faith, may be relatable to anyone.

For WW II aficionados, the novel is a sine qua non. The book could be finished in a single day. I find that to be both a blessing and a bane because I love to savor books, but at the same time, I want to know what happened!

Angela K. Couch’s A Rose for the Resistance is the fifth (5) installment of the “Heroines of WW II” series. However, it can easily be read as a standalone.

I received a review copy of this book from Celebrate Lit through  NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

About the Author

AngelaCouch

To keep from freezing in the great white north, Angela K Couch cuddles under quilts with her laptop. Winning short story contests, being a semi-finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, and a finalist in the 2016 International Digital Awards also helped warm her up. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in as well. When not writing, she stays fit (and toasty warm) by chasing after four munchkins.

More from Angela

The story of A Rose for the Resistance has been in the making for a while. Rosalie and Franz came to life for me in the first novel I started writing as a teenager… (not even going to mention how long ago that was). Though much of that early work will never see the light of day, I am glad I can finally share them with you.

Every November 11th since I was a child, I would sit with my dad and watch WWII documentaries and movies like A Bridge too Far, or The Longest Day which featured Sainte-Mère-Église during the D-day landings. So many of those stories beg to be remembered and I tried to include as much as I could in this novel, even in passing. Stories such as John Steele of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment who dropped into the warzone of Sainte-Mère-Église that night and his chute caught on the spire of the church. He hung limply for hours, pretending to be dead, before the Germans took him prisoner. John later escaped and rejoined his division. Or, Henry Langrehr who landed five miles from his drop zone, crashing through a greenhouse on the way down. He was unharmed from the fall, but was later wounded and captured. He lived into his nineties to tell the tale.

Many of the events and deeds of The Resistance in the novel are also pulled from history. The French citizen’s willingness to risk their lives to transport weapons and information, and to staunchly resist the brutal German occupation. It is estimated that approximately 90,000 men women – and children – were killed, tortured, or deported by the Germans for their efforts.

Though many of the characters in this story are fictional, there are so many men and women who truly did live through the horrors of the War in Europe, and more importantly risked or sacrificed their all for the freedom and lives of others.

I pray we never forget.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 29

Books, Books, and More Books, April 29

The Write Escape, April 30

Remembrancy, April 30

Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 1

Rachael’s Inkwell, May 1

Texas Book-aholic, May 1

Genesis 5020, May 2

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, May 2

Inklings and notions, May 2

She Lives To Read, May 3

lakesidelivingsite, May 3

Betti Mace, May 4

For Him and My Family, May 4

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 4

Sodbuster Living, May 5

deb’s Book Review, May 5

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, May 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 6

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 6

Vicarious Living, May 6

Older & Smarter?, May 7

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 7

Sylvan Musings, May 7

Connie’s History Classroom, May 8

Blossoms and Blessings, May 8

Mary Hake, May 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 9

Splashes of Joy, May 9

Through the Fire Blogs, May 9

Bizwings Blog, May 10

Pause for Tales, May 10

Labor Not in Vain, May 10

Bigreadersite, May 11

Where Faith and Books Meet, May 11

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, May 11

CarpeDiem, May 12

Lights in a Dark World, May 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and 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/1d3bb/a-rose-for-the-resistance-celebration-tour-giveaway

Along a Storied Trail by Ann H. Gabhart

About the Book

Kentucky packhorse librarian Tansy Calhoun doesn’t mind the rough trails and long hours as she serves her Appalachian Mountain community during the Great Depression. Yet she longs to find love like the heroines in her books. When a charming writer comes to town, she thinks she might have found it–or is the perfect man actually closer than she thinks?

Perdita Sweet has called these mountains home for so long she’s nearly as rocky as the soil around her small cabin. Long ago she thought she could love, but when the object of her affection up and married someone else, she stopped giving too much of herself away to others.
               
As is so often the case, it’s easier to see what’s best for others than to see what’s best for oneself, and Perdita knows who Tansy should choose. But why would anyone listen to the romantic advice of an old spinster?

Saddle up for a heartfelt story of love–love of family, love of place, and the love of a lifetime–from bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart.

I have always been ensorcelled and captivated by stories about packhorse librarians, and Ann Gabhart’s book, Along a Storied Trail, is no exception.

Tansy Calhoun, a packhorse librarian during the Great Depression, not only tenderly cares for the books she carries, but also for the people to whom she distributes.

Public Domain

Several people make up the story’s cast of characters. One of my favorite characters is “Aunt” Perdita. Her aunt title is honorary, as she appears to be the honorary aunt to everyone, despite the fact that she’s seemingly not a true aunt to anyone.

I was thrilled to read and learn about the Federal Writers’ Project and the Civilian Conservation Corps, which were both New Deal projects during the Great Depression. Look into the programs and the packhorse librarians if you have the opportunity. It’s an intriguing period in American history.

Public Domain

Gabhart’s books are consistently enjoyable to read. I appreciate her research and commixture of faith with scriptural truths. She has a rare talent of being able to write across multiple genres, and each book is unique and gratifying to read.

Along a Storied Trail is a wonderful story of faith, community and friendship.

I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I am voluntarily leaving this review.
       

Slashed Canvas by Liz Tolsma with a Giveaway On Tour with Celebrate Lit

Slashed Canvas

About the Book

Book: Slashed Canvas

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale

Release date: February 1, 2022

7-Slashed-Canvas-663x1024

Held prisoner by all she’s lost, Katarina’s about to lose all she has.

Grand Duchess Katarina Volstova barely escaped the Russian revolution, arriving in Paris just before the birth of her twin daughters. With her heart still captive in her homeland, she haunts the Louvre each day, spending hours gazing at one painting, lost in her pain.

Not the man he once was, Timothy Smythe never returned home to England after the Great War. Instead, he hides himself away doing maintenance in the Louvre and watching the beautiful woman whose pain seems riveted on one painting.

When Katarina returns home to find her daughters and their nanny missing, the loss opens her eyes to all she has to lose now.

Frantic to find her girls, her distress causes Timothy to offer his assistance. Together they put together clues to a puzzle they must complete before the kidnapper ensures Katarina and her daughters are never reunited.

Slashed Canvas offers a retelling of The Lost Princess that mingles self-centered grief, spoiled little girls, and proof that nothing will stop a mother from saving her children.

Click here to get your copy!

Slashed Canvas, by Liz Tolsma, is a one-of-a-kind and distinctive reiteration of The Lost Princess. It’s also the eighth installment of the “Ever After Mysteries.” It may, however, easily be read as a stand-alone novel.

After the death of her husband in the Russian revolution and just before the birth of her twins, Grand Duchess Katarina Volstova fled to Paris, France. She never felt at ease among the strangers and does very little to try and fit in. However, she goes to the Louvre daily, spending many hours in quiet reflection.

Every day, Georges Velvey, a disabled military veteran, works at the Louvre and sees Katarina there every day. Naturally, his curiosity is piqued when it comes to this lovely and mysterious woman.

From the start, the plot is engrossing and intriguing. The story is interesting, but for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on, it didn’t quite click with me. This is the only Tolsma story I’ve read that wasn’t part of an historical or romance anthology.  Nonetheless, if I had been more interested in murder mysteries and intrigue, I would have appreciated and enjoyed the tale more. Don’t let my reservations stop you from reading Slashed Canvas. I believe I went into the novel expecting one thing and receiving another, which is entirely my mistake and not the author’s.

Slashed Canvas is an absorbing book to spend an afternoon or evening perusing.

I received this book from Celebrate Lit. However, my review is voluntary, and all opinions are my own.

About the Author

LizTolsma-682x1024

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at http://www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

More from Liz

How Slashed Canvas Came to Be

It was the last evening of the SoCal Christian Writer’s Conference three years ago. A group of us decided that frozen yogurt sounded good, so we walked the few blocks from the university where the conference was being held to the local fro-yo shop.

On the way back, I was walking alongside fellow author Chautona Havig. We were chatting about various projects we had underway, and she mentioned that she and Sandy Barela from Celebrate Lit had come up with an idea for a boxed set. This involved taking a fairy-tale and turning it into a 1920s mystery. Would I be interested?

You don’t have to ask me twice if I’d like to be in a set with Chautona that’s put out by Sandy. Before I knew what was happening, I was agreeing to it. Then we got talking about what fairy tales I might use. As soon as she said The Lost Princess, an idea sparked in my brain. It really was that instant. 1920s. Princess. Russia. Exile.

This might come as a surprise to both Chautona and Sandy, but I really didn’t know the story of The Lost Princess. Not at all. When I was working up the idea, I had to read the story and figure out how to make my idea mesh with the fairy tale. Thankfully, the story did work well with what I intended to do with Slashed Canvas.

And that title? Well, that was quite difficult. At the time, my niece was staying with us and interning for me. One night, we sat and ran through idea after idea until we came up with “Something” Canvas. I wanted a strong adjective and we offered and rejected many until we came up with Slashed Canvas. I hadn’t written a word of the book, but I managed to work a slashed canvas into the story.

And what about the painting in Slashed Canvas? I knew I wanted it to be by a Russian artist and hang in the Louvre, but there weren’t (and aren’t) many paintings like that in the Louvre. Russia has been loath to allow any of its art to leave the country. So what was I going to do? I really was going crazy.

Then I spoke on the phone to Kristy Cambron. Not only is she a fabulous author, but she also has a degree in art history. It was her idea to make up my own painting. That way, I could make it work however I needed it to for the story. What a relief. I did just that, and the story flowed from there.

And the clues to the mystery? Those were my dad’s ideas. I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil anything!

So that’s how Slashed Canvas came to be. It was the work of so many different people. Authors, much as we hide behind our computers, never work in a vacuum. Very often, there are many fingers in the pie to make the finished product.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 7

Texas Book-aholic, March 8

For the Love of Literature, March 8

Inklings and notions, March 9

Christian Bookaholic, March 9

For Him and My Family, March 10

Elly Gilbert, March 10

deb’s Book Review, March 11

By the Book, March 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 12

Blossoms and Blessings, March 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 13

Paula’s Persuasion, March 13

Connie’s History Classroom, March 14

Genesis 5020, March 14

Babbling Becky L’ s Book Impressions, March 15

Older & Smarter?, March 15

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 16 (Spotlight)

Blogging With Carol, March 16

Simple Harvest Reads, March 16 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 17

Maureen’s Musings, March 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 18

Connect in Fiction, March 18

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 19 (Author Interview)

Back Porch Reads, March 19

Mary Hake, March 19

Through the Fire Blogs, March 20

The Book Club Network, March 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and 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/1b4c3/slashed-canvas-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Debutante’s Code by Erica Vetsch

Publisher Summary

Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes in this new Regency mystery series. Newly returned from finishing school, Lady Juliette Thorndike is ready to debut in London society. Due to her years away, she hasn’t spent much time with her parents, and sees them only as the flighty, dilettante couple the other nobles love. But when they disappear, she discovers she never really knew them at all. They’ve been living double lives as government spies–and they’re only the latest in a long history of espionage that is the family’s legacy. Now Lady Juliette is determined to continue their work. Mentored by her uncle, she plunges into the dangerous world of spies. From the glittering ballrooms of London to the fox hunts, regattas, and soirees of country high society, she must chase down hidden clues, solve the mysterious code her parents left behind, and stay out of danger. All the while, she has to keep her endeavors a secret from her best friend and her suitors–not to mention the nosy, irritatingly handsome Bow Street runner, who suspects her of a daring theft. Can Lady Juliette outwit her enemies and complete her parents’ last mission? Best-selling author Erica Vetsch is back with a rollicking, exciting new series destined to be a hit with Regency readers who enjoy a touch of mystery in their love stories. Fans of Julie Klassen, Sarah Ladd, and Anne Perry will love the wit, action, and romance.

My Review

Erica Vetsch’s The Debutante’s Code is everything one has come to expect from her books. The characters are well-developed, the plot is well-written and the historical details are accurate and factual.

The Debutante’s Code begins with problems for Lady Juliette Thorndike, first in her attempts to return home, and subsequently, when her parents are unable to assist her with her social debut due to their extended absence. Left puzzled and a little angry, she attempts to make the best of a sad and startling situation.

Daniel Swann, from the Bow Street Magistrate’s Office, notices Lady Juliette instantly at her first ball. Due to her ensuing appearance at each occasions when suspicious circumstances are discovered, he begins to wonder if she is indeed who she claims to be.

The mystery and intrigue drew me in quickly. Vetsch does a wonderful job of describing and developing Lady Juliette, who needed to grow up quickly, as an endearingly strong but vulnerable person, learning a new phase of life against all odds.

The novel maintains tension throughout, with numerous developments and twists to explain and enhance the plot.

The sequels to The Debutante’s Code promise to be as enjoyable as the novel itself.

I received a review copy of this book from Kregel Publications. All opinions are my own and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

Song of the Rockies by Angela Breidenbach on Tour with Celebrate Lit with Giveaway

Song of the Rockies

About the Book

Book: Song of the Rockies

Author: Angela Breidenbach

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release date: October 1, 2021

Song-of-the-Rockies-Generic

1890, Helena MT Song of the Rockies is the story of a sweet music teacher and eleven boys given one chance or else! Evan Russell lost everything—his ranch, his wife, and now, after trusting relatives with his young son, even the little boy is missing. How can a beautiful symphony of the heart come from such chaos?

Mirielle Sheehan, a music teacher at an exclusive boys’ school, believes scholarships for disadvantaged boys will solve the plight of hopeless homeless children. Mirielle’s challenge is to turn eleven street ruffians of various ages into stellar, disciplined boys with a future. Most think guttersnipes like this should be sold into indenture to learn a trade or pressed into the military. Get those miscreants off the streets!

Evan Russell, new mining millionaire, lost everything in the disastrous winter of 1886. Then his wife died leaving him with a son. Relatives in Helena offer a safe home for the child while Evan must find work in the mines. When he returns, he’s devastated to learn the entire family perished in a fire, and his son has never been found. Though he gained a fortune, he’s lost everything he valued! Romantic, sweet adventure set in picturesque Helena, Montana written by a bestselling author who is also a professional genealogist.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

What is there to say about Angela Breidenbach’s Song of the Rockies? It’s such a wonderful, heartwarming story! However, not everything in life is happy.

I had no idea this was the second book in a series, but I didn’t feel like I had lost anything by not having read the first book.

Almost from the start, I was smitten by eleven small street ruffians. Their ingenuity, resourcefulness, devotion and concern for one another are qualities that all people should strive towards.

Learning about Montana in the years leading up to statehood was both educational and exciting. Montana is the quintessential “Old West” state, with a fascinating story to tell.

Mirielle Sheehan, the music teacher, and Evan Russell, a new millionaire, have their hands and hearts full taking care of the sweet, young orphan boys.

Song of the Rockies is an uplifting, poignant narrative that will tug at the reader’s emotions and make them happy for having read it.

I received this book from Celebrate Lit. However, my review is voluntary, and all opinions are my own.

About the Author

AngelaBreidenbach-headshot (1)

Angela Breidenbach is a professional genealogist, media personality, bestselling author, and screenwriter. She’s also the Christian Authors Network president. Angie lives in Montana with her hubby and Muse, a trained fe-lion, who shakes hands, rolls over, and jumps through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angie can also. Catch her show and podcast, Genealogy Publishing Coach!

http://AngelaBreidenbach.com

More from Angela

Song of the Rockies idea came from the need to continue deepen the experience from Queen of the Rockies to share more about the orphaned children on the streets of Helena MT in the late 1800s. A lot of readers asked a lot of questions that kept me fired up and involved in the story. That led to the full six-book series because I just couldn’t stop once the first book sparked all the curiosity.

The people of Montana are very civic-minded, committed to volunteerism, and helping those who can’t help themselves. And that’s the modern society. But that kind of a “personality” of a place doesn’t come from a void. The people of Montana have a reputation of being intensely independent. But the heart of the people isn’t about independence, that’s just the way we are because life here is spread out and requires a lot of individual effort to survive and thrive. The result of such a spread-out population is the opposite of intense independence—devout and loyal support of one another. So, though Montanans are independent, we’re also fiercely supportive.

An ironic history tidbit I ran into on my research for this series, but couldn’t use, was the famous Thomas Meagher who was originally from Ireland. We have a massive, gorgeous statue of him on his horse in front of the Montana State Capital Building in Helena because of his contributions toward Montana becoming a state. He was educated in Ireland by the Jesuits and then in England. He spent time in France as well. His last name is pronounced like the planet, “Mar”. The irony is that Thomas Meagher escaped from imprisonment in Australia, banished there by the British for crime of sedition. He believed in Irish independence. Thomas was a hero to the Irish independent movement, a Civil War hero who flipped from supporting the Confederate South to the Union when the Catholic Church put their support behind the North, and after a successful military career he moved to Montana. Evidently, he put all those skills to good use as Montana became a state. But he was also a well-known scoundrel whose stories didn’t always add up. He met his end in a murky manner, well that’s what they say… Thomas was purportedly drinking and playing cards on a paddle boat up the Missouri River near Fort Benton. Somehow, though he was supposedly a good swimmer, he managed to fall overboard and drowned. Was he drunk? Was he cheating and murdered? Did he run into those he’d flipped on during the war? Was he pushed over? He did have a bad knee… No one knows. His body was never found. Hmm… We have a bar/pub in Missoula called the The Meagher Bar that serves delicious Irish fare. So, if you visit Montana, please don’t ask for the “Meeger” Bar, not a soul will understand what you’re looking for. But now, you know how to pronounce his name.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, February 18

Bizwings Blog, February 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 19

For Him and My Family, February 20

Mary Hake, February 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 21

Lighthouse Academy Blog, February 21 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Betti Mace, February 22

Inklings and notions, February 22

deb’s Book Review, February 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 25

Blogging With Carol, February 25

Connie’s History Classroom, February 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 27

Blossoms and Blessings, February 27

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 1

Austen’s Angle, March 1

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 3

Pause for Tales, March 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the grand prize 20-minute genealogy consultation to a winner via Zoom!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click here to enter.

Freedom’s Song by Kim Vogel Sawyer

About the Book

Indentured servant Fanny Beck has been forced to sing for riverboat passengers since she was a girl. All she wants is to live a quiet, humble life with her family as soon as her seven-year contract is over. So when she discovers that the captain has no intention of releasing her, she seizes a sudden opportunity to escape—an impulse that leads Fanny to a group of enslaved people who are on their own dangerous quest for liberty. . . .

Widower Walter Kuhn is overwhelmed by his responsibilities to his farm and young daughter, and now his mail-order bride hasn’t arrived. Could a beautiful stranger seeking work be the answer to his prayers? . . .

After the star performer of the River Peacock is presumed drowned, Sloan Kirkpatrick, the riverboat’s captain, sets off to find her replacement. However, his journey will bring him face to face with his own past—and a deeper understanding of what it truly means to be free. . . . 

Uplifting, inspiring, and grounded in biblical truth, Freedom’s Song is a story for every reader who has longed for physical, emotional, or spiritual delivery.

Freedom’s Song, by Kim Vogel Sawyer, takes you on a journey through mid-America in the 1860s. Sawyer’s Christian historical fiction tackles a variety of topics with a unique approach, beginning with a near-drowning and ending with freedom for many.

Fanche “Fanny Beck,” a riverboat songstress and indentured servant, is providentially supplied by the Lord with a means of release from indenture. Traveling across several states, by rail and on foot, while trying to reach her home in New York, Fanny stumbles upon a farm and hears a baby weeping.

Walter Kuhn is a widower attempting to care for his farm, earn a living and provide for his little one. He arrives home one day to discover Fanny caring for his baby, whom he had left asleep in a “pen” he had built.

On many levels, Freedom’s Song pulls together spiritual, emotional, and physical freedoms. I value how Sawyer entwines those freedoms together and shows how God is the only One who gives us genuine freedom.

The story is well-written, with well-developed characters and historical accuracy. An underlying theme of suspense and romantic element runs throughout the story.

I always appreciate and enjoy Kim Vogel Sawyer’s works, and this is perhaps my favorite so far because of its topic and spiritual elements.

I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley and Waterbrook Multnomah. All opinions are my own and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

To Disguise the Truth (The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency #3) by Jen Turano 

Publisher’s Summary

When a man arrives at the Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency, anxious to hire them to find a missing heiress, Eunice Holbrooke realizes her past has finally caught up with her . . . and that she may no longer be able to hide under the disguise that has kept her safe for so long.

Arthur Livingston’s goal in life is to make his mark on the world as a mining industrialist, but after the man who could help him achieve his goal is murdered, Arthur feels compelled to seek justice for the family—but he’s left with more questions than answers after the eccentric Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency refuses to take on his case.

Desperate to conceal her real identity and avoid the irritatingly handsome Arthur, Eunice takes on a different case that requires her to go deep undercover and entangles her in one troublesome situation after another. When other secrets come to light, Eunice has no choice but to confront her past, hopeful that it will set her free but knowing it could very well place her life—and the lives of those she loves—in jeopardy. 

Jen Turano has outdone herself again! Another of her books has captured my heart.

Turano has penned yet one more delightfully charming mystery and suspense novel that will keep you on tenterhooks through the majority of the plot. The novel captures your attention from the very first sentence and does not let go until the very last page.

To Disguise the Truth is book three of “The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency” series. (However, you could read it as a standalone.) You would, however, miss out on the genius that is Jen Turano, which, in my opinion, would be a tragedy.

The female prime mover in this iteration, Eunice Holbrooke, is droll, sharp and extremely entertaining. 

Her nemesis, Arthur Livingston, is the perfect foil for her. They are both knowledgeable enough to keep each other on their toes. In addition, their pointed and quick-witted comebacks made for a delightful read.

I enjoyed getting to know Eunice’s back-story as she’s always been an enigmatic, inexplicably mysterious person with a lot to discover. Turano clarified Eunice’s history in an adroit way, thus satisfactorily answering all my questions.

I received an advanced review copy of this book from NetGalley and Bethany House.  All opinions are my own and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

Coercion at the Cow Palace by Caryl McAdoo on Tour with Celebrate Lit (Includes Giveaway!)

Coercion at the Cow Palace

About the Book

Book: Coercion at the Cow Palace

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Historical Romantic Mystery

Release date: January 12, 2022

Cross Timbers Mysteries Coercion, At The Cow Palace Ebook Cover-Small

There’s more than a hundred witnesses in the room, but no one sees who shot the newspaper reporter. If not for an offhanded bet, Morgan and Charity would never have gotten involved; he’s not one to let a friend down. The truth of who and why DeeDee’s big engagement is wrecked might never be known if they hadn’t, and it still may not be if the Lowells can’t get the right man elected governor of Texas. Crooked civil servants and politicians who think they’re above the law thwart their every effort. It’s a historic mystery wrapped in redemption, love, politics, and coercion at the Cow Palace.

Click here to get your copy!

Caryl McAdoo’s latest book, Coercion at the Cow Palace, is the result of her foray into mystery and suspense historical fiction. The book is the third in the “Cross Timbers Mystery” series, but it may also be read as a standalone.

McAdoo’s book releases are something I always look forward to and enjoy. I know I can trust them to be clean and to deliver a faith-based message. Coercion at the Cow Palace is no exception. (I’m also partial to this series, especially, because it is about a state I love and a city I miss – Dallas, Texas.)

I enjoy Charity and Morgan Lowell’s antics, especially their conversations when Charity is attempting to persuade Morgan to write another mystery novel based on real events. They’re so cute.

The plot is entertaining and keeps you guessing about how it will conclude. You’ll feel as though you’re in the courtroom because the scenes are so real and lifelike. And it all comes together nicely at the end. It’s now just a matter of me waiting for the next one!

I received Coercion at the Cow Palace from Celebrate Lit. However, my review is voluntary, and all opinions are my own.

About the Author

GramiinFlowers

Award-winning author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and her best-selling stories—over sixty published—delight Christian readers around the world. The prolific writer also enjoys singing the new songs the Lord gives her; you may listen at YouTube. Sharing four children and twenty-one grandsugars (three are greats), Caryl and Ron, her high-school-sweetheart-husband of fifty-three years, live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas. The McAdoos wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

More from Caryl

I have so enjoyed writing these mystery stories with Morgan and Charity Lowell—from several books, but primarily LEAVING TEXAS, book four in the “Cross Timbers Romance Family Saga—as the wise and apt investigators! Of course, I have to throw in a little romance. I just can’t help it!

In COERCION at The Cow Palace, we take a little jaunt from Dallas over to Fort Worth and its Hell’s Half Acre. The city was incorporated in 1873, the year COERCION is set, but already acted as a hub for all the cattle drives coming north through Ft. Worth to the Kansas Railways.

I grew up in Dallas and really hadn’t known that much of Fort Worth’s history, so the research proved so exhilarating! Army General William Worth proposed a string of forts to protect Texas’ new settlers but died with cholera before seeing this come to fruition. His successor named the fort for him thirty years before our story.

It had a booming population of over five thousand—plus almost another thousand slaves—before the Civil War. Afterwards, during the reconstruction, its citizenship dwindled to less than two hundred in the 1860s, but the following decade with the arrival of the railroad in 1976 firmly established “Cowtown, ” Fort Worth’s famous nickname.

I loved setting these characters in this famous Texas town. It’s been said that  Fort Worth was where the West began! I say, “Let the fun begin as we figure out along with the Lowells who done it!”

Blessings, y’all!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 4

For Him and My Family, February 5

Texas Book-aholic, February 6

Through the Fire Blogs, February 7 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 7

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 8

Inklings and notions, February 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 10

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, February 10 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, February 11

Connie’s History Classroom, February 12

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 13 (Spotlight)

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 14

A Baker’s Perspective, February 15 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 16

Pause for Tales, February 17

Giveaway

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Enter here.

To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!

The Regency Brides Collection by Amanda Barratt, Angela Bell, Susanne Dietze, Michelle Griep, Nancy Moser, MaryLu Tyndall and Erica Vetsch

About the Book

Romance is a delicate dance bound by rules and expectations in Regency England…
Seven couples must navigate society’s gauntlet to secure the hand of true love….

*  Charity and Luke are strangers who were forced to marry three years ago.
*  Adelaide and Walter share a love of music and disdain for elitism.
*  Caroline and Henry are thrown together by three orphans.
*  Helen and Isaac harbor his unlikely secret.
*  Esther is empowered to choose between old love and new.
*  Sophia is determined not to choose a man like Nash.
*  Jamie and William face a daunting London season together.

Will their faith grow and love prevail in a time when both were considered luxuries the elite could not afford?

I had a feeling that Amanda Barratt, Angela Bell, Susanne Dietze, Michelle Griep, Nancy Moser, MaryLu Tyndall and Erica Vetsch’s The Regency Brides Collection would be a winner. I wasn’t disappointed! Except for Angela Bell, I was familiar with all of the authors and thoroughly enjoy their works.

The novellas are set in England during the Regency period, which spans the early nineteenth century. The cast of characters, ranging from members of the nobility to a wounded soldier, is united by their desire for love. Faith and forgiveness are themes in each story, artfully and subtly woven into the plots.

This type of book collection is fantastic! If I want, I can read the entire book in a few hours, or I can take small breaks and read one or two stories at a time. I appreciate that Barbour Publishing prints these charming sets.

I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I am voluntarily leaving this review.