Tag Archives: Historical Fiction

Blue Moon (Book 2 of 4: By the Light of the Moon) by Jennifer L Knipfer on Tour with Celebrate Lit + a Giveaway!!

About the Book

Book: Blue Moon

Author: Jenny Knipfer

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: September 27, 2019

BlueMoon-front

By the Light of the Moon series:
Readers who love being trapped in a character’s mind should relish this finely written, gripping series. A must read for fans of historical fiction.”–The Prairies Book Review

A tale of precious things more rare than a blue moon…

The year is 1885 and unwed Vanessa Gulet must surrender her newborn son to her married twin sister, Valerie, to raise. A seed of bitterness grows in Vanessa. When the opportunity arises for her to have what she’s always wanted, Vanessa takes it despite the consequences to her family, getting more than she bargained for.

Meanwhile, Valerie, overcome with loss and grief, faces a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Will she and her husband, Felix, forge through their trials together, or will these upsets cause them to drift apart?

Will Vanessa and Valerie remain at odds, or will they allow the power of forgiveness to heal their strained relationship?

Love seems to bloom in the most unlikely of places in Webaashi Bay for an old friend of Jenay’s and a woman who owns the local dress shop. A parallel tale of love, forgiveness, and reuniting lost things is spun by a local author adding another dimension to the tale of the Gulet twins and their saga.

Fans of historical fiction, Christian historical fiction, clean romance, and literary fiction will enjoy this dramatic read!

Click here to get your copy!

Blue Moon, by Jennifer L Knipfer, has a distinctive and dramatic plotline. The story features identical twins, Vanessa and Valerie, who are able, like many anecdotal tales, to intimately know and intuit each other’s feelings. Also, the historical and medical accuracy of the time and of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) are impressive. I am sorry that Knipfer has first-hand experience with MS, thereby giving her great insight and comprehension of the disease.

I had a hard time, however, getting into the book. Knipfer jumps constantly between different time frames and POVs. This can be a great tool for revealing more about a character or characters. However, when a point of view is introduced, then changes when a character reminisces or time and locations change, then again in the span of a few paragraphs or pages, then the changes become redundant. I know for many readers this probably isn’t a vexation, but for me the story becomes ponderous. I admire the author’s ability to write a novel this way.

Blue Moon works as a standalone, as enough backstory is covered you don’t feel you have missing pieces.

I enjoyed the story overall for its uniqueness and historical accuracy.

Due to a minor amount of adult subject matter, I would not recommend this to those under 13.

I received Blue Moon from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

About the Author

Jenny Knipfer

Jenny lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Ken and their pet Yorkie, Ruby. She is also a mom and loves being a grandma. She enjoys many creative pursuits but finds writing the most fulfilling.

Jenny’s education background stems from psychology, music, and cultural missions. She spent many years as a librarian in a local public library but recently switched to using her skills as a floral designer in a retail flower shop. She is now retired from work due to disability.

She authored and performed a self-published musical CD entitled, Scrapbook of a Closet Poet.

Jenny’s first three books earned five-star reviews from Reader’s Favorite, a book review and award contest company. Their praise: “Ruby Moon is entertaining, fast-paced, and features characters that are real. Blue Moon continues a well-written and highly engaging saga of family ties, betrayals, and heartaches… Silver Moon is a highly recommended read for fans of historical wartime fiction, powerful emotive drama, and excellent atmospheric writing.”

She holds membership in the: Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, Historical Novel Society, Wisconsin Writers Association, Indie Christian Publishing Association, and Independent Book Publishers Association.

Jenny’s favorite place to relax is by the western shore of Lake Superior, where her novel series, By The Light of the Moon, is set. She has self-published the first two books, Ruby Moon and Blue Moon in her four-part series. Two more novels to complete the series are planned for 2020. She is currently writing a new historical fiction series called, Sheltering Trees.

Libraries and retailers may find Jenny’s books on Ingram. Support your local bookstores, and request a copy of Jenny’s books there. Purchase paperbacks retail on Amazon. Ebooks are available through your favorite ebook retailer.

Keep current with Jenny by visiting her website at https://jennyknipfer.com.

More from Jenny

In Blue Moon I play off a minor character from Ruby Moon, Vanessa Gulet. When Ruby Moon ended, I started wondering what Vanessa’s life had been like, rejected by Renault, her old flame who had promised her his devotion.

Vanessa’s story grew along with Valerie’s, her identical twin sister. Asking the question of what could divide twin siblings drew me deep into the drama of the Gulet sisters, and a story of desire and loss sprang from my imagination.

An even richer depth occurred when I brought the main character from Ruby Moon, Jenay, into the thick of the twins’ saga. Vanessa must come to grips with what really happened to Renault and who was involved. Will she forgive the past and the unintentional wrongs committed and embrace the new friend she has made or not?

Also, I wrote from experience in Blue Moon, as Valerie must face the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and how to live with the fear of the unknown shadowing her life. It was therapeutic for me to write some of my own feeling and thoughts through Valerie. Journaling has always been a way for me to manage my emotions, and writing via story form was no different. Chances are you either know someone with MS or know of someone with MS. The disease is very prevalent in the U.S., and through Blue Moon I want to draw some awareness to what I and many people live with every day.

I hope in Blue Moon that the theme of forgiveness will encourage readers through their own struggles and believe that choosing to forgive is always the better choice, often bringing unforeseen blessings.

Thank you for taking the time to read a little about Blue Moon and its origin! I hope you get a chance to read it and the twins’ tale of forgiveness. If you do, please let me know, and please leave a review.

Blessings, J

P.S. Did you know I include a recipe pertaining to the story in most of my books? In Blue Moon, I include an old family favorite: butter tarts. Lily, a daughter of the man Vanessa meets and is drawn to in Webaashi Bay, loves butter tarts. Vanessa and Lily make them together. Following is the recipe.

Lily’s Butter Tart

1 C sugar

¼ C softened butter or butter substitute

2 eggs

juice of half a lemon

½ C golden raisins

½ C sweetened shredded coconut

Your favorite pie crust recipe for one 9” crust

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and lemon juice. Beat well. By hand mix in the raisins and coconut. Line pastry tin with pie crust and fill with mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until set.

I based this recipe from an old one of my grandmother’s from the late 1800’s. NOTE:  You can also cut rounds of pie crust to fill muffin tins to make smaller tarts. (Lily’s style) I make the one dish version because it’s less fuss.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 20

lakesidelivingsite, November 20

Texas Book-aholic, November 21

Inklings and notions, November 22

For Him and My Family, November 23

KarenSueHadley, November 23

Rebecca Tews, November 24

deb’s Book Review, November 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 26

Captive Dreams Window, November 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 27

Artistic Nobody, November 28 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 29

Betti Mace, November 30

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 1

Connie’s History Classroom, December 2

Splashes of Joy, December 3

Bizwings Blog, December 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jenny is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card, a copy of Blue Moon, and a pair of earrings reflecting Blue Moon’s theme!!

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/103ed/blue-moon-celebration-tour-giveaway

Promo Spotlight On Tour with Celebrate Lit-A Very Austen Romance by Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, Chautona Havig, Mandy H. Cook

About the Book

Title: A Very Austen Romance

Authors: Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, Chautona Havig, Mandy H. Cook

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: June, 2020

A Very Austen Romance features a delightful medley of novellas, each set in Jane Austen’s Regency world. Your friends from Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility, enjoy new adventures in this lovely collection of stories by Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, Mandy Cook, and Chautona Havig.

Be treated to prequels, spin-offs, and sequels of Austen’s novels, along with original and supporting characters in starring roles. If historical romance is your preference, you’ll love these well-crafted stories written by beloved authors in the genre.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Authors

Robin Helm

Robin Helm’s books reflect her love of music, as well as her fascination with the paranormal and science fiction.

Previously published works include The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy; the Yours by Design series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours; Understanding Elizabeth; More to Love; and Lawfully Innocent. Ms. Helm also contributed stories to A Very Austen Christmas and A Very Austen Valentine.

She plans to publish Maestro in 2020.

Her life in (usually) sunny, small-town South Carolina is busy, but affords time for writing, reading, teaching piano, and playing games on her phone. (Would you believe she’s an elder in a war game?)

 Laura Hile

Readers are loving Laura Hile’s joyous Regency novels. Her signature style—with intertwined plots, cliffhangers, laugh-out-loud humor, and romance—keeps them coming back for more.

The comedy Laura comes by as a teacher. There’s never a dull moment with teen students!

Laura lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and a collection of antique clocks.

Her fiction is for everyone, even teens.

Wendi Sotis

Wendi Sotis lives on Long Island, NY, with her husband and triplets. While searching for Pride and Prejudice from Darcy’s point of view, she became thoroughly enamored with Jane Austen Fan Fiction or JAFF. In early 2010, she dreamed of an idea for a story and hasn’t stopped writing since: Promises, Dreams and Expectations; All Hallows Eve; The Keys for Love; Safekeeping (with just a dash of Austen); The Gypsy Blessing; Foundation of Love (The Gypsy Blessing 2); and A Lesson Hard Learned.

The Marriage Pact, and some of Wendi’s works-in-progress, have branched away from JAFF to Regency Romance (the Loving an Aldridge Series) and Contemporary Romantic Mysteries (the Implicated series). Wendi will also continue bringing Darcy and Elizabeth together again and again in an unusual manner.

Barbara Cornthwaite

Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling her six children, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.

Mandy Cook

Mandy Cook was an RN for over ten years, half of which she served in the Navy, living in far-flung places, enjoying experiencing the world while following her calling. Just before she and her handsome Marine were both deployed to different places, they married. They now have three children, ages five and younger.

She previously published The Gifted, using her nursing experience to lend accuracy to her story about an ER nurse who is handed a gift that changes her life forever. Adversity, and a long history of secrets, constantly battle against her natural instinct for truth and justice, but will the truth be worth the dare?

Mandy also contributed a story to A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 1.

Chautona Havig

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

Blog Stops

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, the A Very Austen authors are giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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/f5be/a-very-austen-romance-celebration-tour-giveaway

Roll Back the Clouds by Terri Wangard

Terri Wangard interweaves a tale of heart-wrenching sadness, devastating disclosures and earth-shattering secrets masterfully blended in unexpected ways. As the Lusitania passengers embark on journeys of friendship, each person’s life becomes interwoven with the other, in unforeseen and helpful manners.

Historical fiction has always been my choice in fiction books because I love history, but sometimes it is just the cut and dried bare facts and dates, leaving me wanting to know more about the people and the era.

As I read the story, I felt dread because I knew the fateful ending (same reason I am the only person in the world that has not watched the movie Titanic). However, even though I knew about the history surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania, I knew very few details.

Wangard writes about the stunning beauty of the ocean liner, in diagrammatic detail, leaving the reader in breathless awe, and in raw, poignant sadness knowing the future of the fated liner.

Geoff and Rosaleen, along with a multitude of others board the Lusitania, looked forward to enjoying its beauty along with scheduled fun activities and relaxation. But such was not to be.

As a survivor, Rosaleen relives the horrific circumstances repeatedly, and her husband’s injuries add to her distress. Wangard’s details leave the reader feeling Rosaleen’s anguish, suffering and torment, too. I can not even begin to imagine.

Historical fiction fans will want to read Terri Wangard’s newest book, Roll Back the Clouds.

Some scenes are very intense and may be difficult for a few readers; for this reason, I would suggest the book be read by older teens-14+ and adults.

I received this book from the author through Interviews & Reviews.

Publisher’s Summary

A dream-come-true becomes a nightmare.

Geoff and Rosaleen Bonnard embark on a once-in-a-lifetime voyage to England aboard the fabled Lusitania in 1915. Europe is embroiled in war, but everyone insists the conflict shouldn’t affect a passenger liner.

Then, the grand ship is crippled by a German torpedo. Rosaleen makes it into a lifeboat, but Geoff is missing. Convinced he lives, she searches the morgues in Queenstown, heartsick at recognizing so many of her fellow travelers. Geoff is finally located in a Cork hospital, alive but suffering a devastating back injury.

While waiting for him to recover, Rosaleen is thrilled to meet her mother’s family, but a dark cloud hovers over her. The battered faces of dead babies haunt her. She sinks into depression, despairing of Geoff’s new interest in religion. Her once happy life seems out of reach.

Will joy ever be theirs again?

Storing Up Trouble by Jen Turano


Storing Up Trouble is another delightful book by Jen Turano. Her books are always well researched and full of fun!

The escapades of Beatrix Waterbury and Norman Nesbit, along with Norman’s assistant, Theo, will have you smiling and laughing quite frequently. Add in Beatrix’s eccentric and non-conformist Aunt Gladys and her odd companions, not to mention her 20 cats, and you have a recipe for great entertainment, enjoyment and amusement.

Lest you think it’s all fun and games, let me assure you it’s not. There are very real and important issues covered. Turano addresses inequality in the workplace for women, their inability to vote and society’s cruelty to those they consider inferior. Additionally, there is an element of mystery and suspense, too.

Turano included a small “cameo” featuring Mr. Selfridge, pioneer of the modern department store. I saw a fascinating show highlighting his forward and visionary thinking. Now, I have enjoyed seeing another side to him.

Norman, and later Beatrix’s family seemed to change a little too quickly for my tastes. But that is just a feeling on my part, as I like to see the transformation as it progresses, not after it happens.

Storing Up Trouble is book 3 of the American Heiresses series by Jan Turano. However, it can work as a stand-alone. I also read and reviewed book 1, Flights of Fancy.

I received this book from NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to write a review.

#StoringUpTrouble #NetGalley

Publisher’s Summary

When Miss Beatrix Waterbury’s Chicago-bound train ride is interrupted by a heist, Mr. Norman Nesbit, a man of science who believes his research was the target of the heist, comes to her aid. Despite the fact that they immediately butt heads, they join forces to make a quick escape.

Upon her arrival in Chicago, Beatrix is surprised to discover her supposedly querulous Aunt Gladys shares her own suffragette passions. Encouraged by Gladys to leave her sheltered world, Beatrix begins working as a salesclerk at the Marshall Field and Company department store. When she again encounters Norman on a shopping expedition, he is quickly swept up in the havoc she always seems to attract.

But when another attempt is made to part Norman from his research papers, and it becomes clear Beatrix’s safety is also at risk, they soon discover the curious way feelings can grow between two very different people in the midst of chaos.

A Tale of Two Hearts by Michelle Griep

About the Book

Book Title: A Tale of Two Hearts

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: September 1, 2018

Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life. She saves every penny to attend a finishing school, dreaming of the day she’ll become a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.

William is a gentleman’s son, a charming rogue but penniless. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his puritanical cousin. In an effort to secure the inheritance, William gives his uncle the impression he’s married, which works until he’s invited to bring his wife for a visit.

William asks Mina to be his pretend bride, only until his uncle names an heir on Christmas Day. Mina is flattered and frustrated by the offer, for she wants a true relationship with William. Yet, she agrees… then wishes she hadn’t as she comes to love the old man. And when the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost.

Can two hearts survive such a deception?

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

If you love Dickensian stories without the heavy, ponderous themes, then you will love Michelle Griep’s newest book, A Tale of Two Hearts, the second book in her Once Upon A Dickens Christmas series. I enjoyed it as a follow-up to 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, the first book in the series. However, both of these books work very well as a stand-alone book.

Mina Scott decides to accept the offered opportunity to be the pretend bride of her dream husband, William Barlow, to secure William an inheritance and save his uncle. She hopes to capture William’s heart. However, she didn’t count on two devious, scheming cousins, nor did William.

Griep takes us on a fanciful journey through the streets of London and into the countryside, for an enchanting and charming tale of Victorian England. Her different characters vary between beguiling, charming and charismatic to deceitful, false-hearted and callous to the extreme. As you get to know the characters and their motivations, you catch yourself torn between applauding some and booing others.

I couldn’t help caring for Mina, and who can blame me, she loves books almost as much as I do! And I fell in love with Uncle Barlow; he is such a loveable person full of joie de vivre, plus he loves quoting Dickens and reading, too!

The story illustrates God’s love, forgiveness and redemption for all. A Tale of Two Hearts is an enchanting story that can be read at any time but is particularly appropriate for the Christmas season.

I received this book from CelebrateLit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

About the Author

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Guest Post from Michelle

Victorian Christmas Foods

So, it’s September, and you know what that means? It’s back to school. Pumpkin spiced everything is just around the corner. And it’s nearly time for cardigans and colored leaves. But besides all these autumn staples, it’s also time to start thinking about Christmas, because it will be here before you know it. How about this year you plan ahead to serve some traditional Victorian food?

In my newest release, A Tale of Two Hearts, the heroine’s father is known for his annual oyster stew that he serves on Christmas Eve. Here’s a bit of the background on that tasty soup.

Victorian Oyster Stew

Oysters have been savored in Britain since the days of the Romans. By Victorian times, industrialization cheapened oysters to the point of them becoming a staple of the poor man’s diet and were a frequent fare served in public houses. This, however, depleted their abundance, and by the mid-1800’s, the natural oyster beds became exhausted, making it harder to find good oysters. While other foods were served as well on Christmas Eve, oyster stew was as common as goose or turkey.

Another Victorian favorite that goes great on a crisp evening is good ol’ hot chocolate, though, in Dickens’ England, it would’ve been called something else.

Drinking Chocolate

What we now call cocoa or hot chocolate was called drinking chocolate in the mid-1800s. This beverage was a favorite among Victorian ladies. You can find recipes for it even from the Regency era (early 1800s) and here is one for you to make at home.

And last, but not least, who hasn’t heard of Christmas pudding? To our American ears, that sounds like a tasty dish that you’d eat with a spoon and slap a little whipped cream on top. Actually, it’s more like a fruitcake.

Christmas Pudding

Christmas pudding is quite a production, one that begins well before Christmas Day. In fact, it begins on Stir-Up Sunday, the last Sunday before Advent (which is five weeks before Christmas). This is why when Mina, the heroine in A Tale of Two Hearts, returns home from dinner at Uncle Barlow’s, and though it’s not yet Christmas, she sees the pudding moulds on the kitchen table.

If these tastes and the accompanying smells still aren’t quite enough to get you in the Christmas spirit, then snatch yourself up a copy of the second book in the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series. A Tale of Two Hearts is sure to get you in the mood.

Blog Stops

Kat’s Corner Books, October 2

Creating Romance, October 2

Just the Write Escape, October 2

The Avid Reader, October 2

Genesis 5020, October 3

The Power of Words, October 3

Just Commonly, October 3

Baker Kella, October 3

Among the Reads, October 4

Fiction Aficionado, October 4

Godly Book Reviews, October 4

Inklings and Notions , October 4

Captive Dreams Window, October 5

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, October 5

Proud to Be an Autism Mom, October 5

Multifarious, October 6

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 6

The Christian Fiction Girl, October 6

Texas Book-aholic, October 6

Remembrancy, October 7

Splashes of Joy , October 7

Blossoms and Blessings, October 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 7

Back Porch Reads, October 8

A Reader’s Brain, October 8

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, October 8

Janice’s Book Reviews, October 8

Simple Harvest Reads, October 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Mary Hake, October 9

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 9

Carpe Diem, October 9

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, October 10

Britt Reads Fiction, October 10

Luv’N Lambert Life, October 10

A Baker’s Perspective, October 10

By The Book, October 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 11

Book by Book, October 11

Bigreadersite, October 11

More Of Him, October 12

Pause for Tales, October 12

With a Joyful Noise, October 12

Have A Wonderful Day , October 12

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 13

Bibliophile Reviews, October 13

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 13

Vicky Sluiter, October 14

Daysong Reflections , October 14

To Everything A Season, October 14

Henry Happens, October 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, October 15

Reader’s Cozy Corner, October 15

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card!!

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/d4ef/a-tale-of-two-hearts-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Crooked Path by Irma Joubert

My Review

I have read other books by Irma Joubert and am always fascinated by her writing style.  I attribute a lot of her style to being from South Africa and having different authorial mentors and colleagues. She delves deeply into the lives of the people, surroundings and time frame; because of this, her stories are rich in content. The Crooked Path is the same.

**********May Contain Spoilers**********

There are four distinct stories presented.

The first story deals with Lettie, a socially inept, awkward young lady, more interested in academia than “playing games.” Her focus and determination pay off in the form of the title and career as a doctor. She is vested in her patients from day one.

The second story deals with Marco and his childhood love, Rachel.  The story of Marco and Rachel is sad and poignant, dealing with many of the atrocities endured by the Jewish during WWII. This portion of the story is at times difficult and heartbreaking to read.

The third story centers on Marco and Lettie, beginning with Lettie becoming Marco’s doctor. There are many sweet, endearing moments. However, there is much sadness, too.

The fourth story focuses on Lettie’s life after Marco. This portion of the story for me was a little off. There were parts where Lettie’s childhood daydreams seemed to be coming true, yet she put up every roadblock possible, and it just didn’t ring true to me.

************************

Overall, The Crooked Path was a unique book. Poignant and heart-tugging, it will leave a mark on you, leaving you with the question, “Is a crooked path a journey worth taking?”

(Caution-the story is targeted to the over 16 age group.)

I received this book from The Fiction Guild sponsored by Thomas Nelson and Zondervan. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

From the bestselling author of The Girl From the Train, comes another compelling coming of age story of delayed love, loss, and reconciliation in WWII-era South Africa.

Lettie has always felt different from and overshadowed by the women around her– this friend is richer, that friend is more beautiful, those friends are closer. Still, she doesn’t let this hold her back. She works hard to apply her mind, trying to compensate for her perceived lack of beauty with diligent academic work and a successful career as a doctor. She learns to treasure her friendships, but she still wonders if any man will ever return her interest.

Marco’s experience in the second world war has robbed him of love and health. When winters in his native Italy prove dangerous to his health even after the war has ended, he moves to South Africa to be with his brother, husband to one of Lettie’s best friends. Marco is Lettie’s first patient, and their relationship grows as she aids him on the road back to restored health.

In the company of beloved characters from The Child of the River, Marco and Lettie find a happiness that neither of them thought possible. With that joy comes pain and loss, but Lettie learns that life—while perhaps a crooked path—is always a journey worth taking.

The Weaver’s Daughter: A Regency Romance Novel by Sarah E. Ladd

My Review

A betrayal by Kate Dearborne’s best friend, Frederica Pennington, left Kate confused and angry. Twelve years later Henry Stockton seemingly appears from the dead. How can these two seemingly unrelated events be a harbinger of things to come in Yorkshire, England?

Sarah E. Ladd’s book, A Weaver’s Daughter, covers many social issues germane to the English Industrial Revolution, though many are still around nowadays.  For instance, we have child labor and sweatshops in parts of the world today. She vividly portrays the history of the era, specifically how the industrial revolution affected those who were hand weavers at the advent of new machines which could weave much faster.

I was drawn deeply into the story and could see advantages and disadvantages to both types of weaving. I felt the frustrations of the hand weavers and the excitement of the mill owners. I also felt Kate’s frustrations, pain and anger at her father’s betrayal of her and her brother.

A Weaver’s Daughter is a well written, profound book. Although it is written during the Regency era, Ladd focuses on the grittier side of the time period as opposed to the glittery opulence of the Regency balls, clothing and homes.  She realistically portrays the pull of old to new, past to future and customary to visionary. This is not your typical Regency romance, as it doesn’t follow traditional styles for the time period. It is a wholesome, uplifting story that I highly recommend.

I received this book from The Fiction Guild. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Kate’s loyalties bind her to the past. Henry’s loyalties compel him to strive for a better future. In a landscape torn between tradition and vision, can two souls find the strength to overcome their preconceptions? Loyalty has been at the heart of the Dearborne family for as long as Kate can remember, but a war is brewing in their small village, one that has the power to rip families asunder –including her own. As misguided actions are brought to light, she learns how deep her father’s pride and bitterness run, and she begins to wonder if her loyalty is well-placed. Henry Stockton, heir to the Stockton fortune, returns home from three years at war hoping to find a refuge from his haunting memories. Determined to bury the past, he embraces his grandfather’s goals to modernize his family’s wool mill, regardless of the grumblings from the local weavers. When tragedy strikes shortly after his arrival, Henry must sort out the truth from suspicion if he is to protect his family’s livelihood and legacy. Henry has been warned about the Dearborne family. Kate, too, has been advised to stay far away from the Stockton’s, but chance meetings continue to bring her to Henry’s side, blurring the jagged lines between loyalty, justice, and truth. Kate ultimately finds herself with the powerful decision that will forever affect her village’s future. As unlikely adversaries, Henry and Kate must come together to find a way to create peace for their families, and their village, and their souls – even if it means risking their hearts in the process.

More Than Meets the Eye (A Patchwork Family Novel Book #1) by Karen Witemeyer

My Review

The prologue to Karen Witemeyer’s book, More Than Meets the Eye, more than makes you cry as it is so heart-wrenching!  You want to pick the three Hamilton children up, dust them off and bring them home with you to love!

We meet up with the Hamilton children again, after the prologue, 15 years later. They have managed to make a wonderful life for themselves in Pecan Gap, Texas. Zach, the eldest has managed to work hard, save money and provide well for his younger siblings. There are only a couple of problems; Evangeline is an outcast because of a condition called heterochromia, and Seth suffers from severe, sometimes life-threating, asthma. Oh, yea, they also have a stranger camping out right on their property line, too-what’s that all about?

I at once admired and was sometimes frustrated with Evangeline. Nothing seemed to get her down. She was spunky and quirky, but she also took some very foolish and fool-hardy chances.

The novel addresses many Biblical truths and lessons applicable to life. Characters struggled with their thoughts and emotions, causing you to identify with them easily.

I really have no complaints about this story. However, I feel a couple of plot elements were wrapped up a little too quickly and tidily. Overall, though, it was very good-I stayed up all night recently in order to finish it!! I couldn’t wait to see how it ended, and yet, I didn’t want it to end either!

I enjoyed this first book in A Patchwork Family Novel series very much. I was vested in the characters from the beginning. I admired their spunk and hard-working attitudes. I cried, laughed and rejoiced along with them and their friends.

I received the book from Bethany House Publishers and the author. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes–one bright blue, the other dark brown–Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world’s judgments, and Eva has two–Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers.

Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach’s sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?

The Captured Bride: Daughters of the Mayflower – Book 3 by Michelle Griep

My Review

I so enjoy historical fiction, and Michelle Griep’s book, The Captured Bride, captured my attention and didn’t let go!

Mercy Lytton is a scout and tracker for the government when she is tasked with ensuring she gets a traitor, Elias DuBois, to a nearby fort. Against her better judgment, she agrees to pose as his wife.

As I read the story, I was so engrossed in it, I didn’t even realize I had read through the night (granted I didn’t start until a little after midnight, but still…!)!!

As Matthew, a ranger and fellow scout, and Mercy set out on the journey to deliver Elias, I became completely engrossed in the setting. The journey, fraught with peril, left me breathless at times, and calmer at other times.

Many times, as Mercy sets out on her scouting expeditions, I could feel the ground beneath her feet, the wind stirring the tree limbs and the birds calling to each other as she listened intently in order to separate normal sounds from those made by man.

Exhilarating, alacrifying and at times breath-taking, The Captured Bride, is a must-read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction!

The Captured Bride is the third book in the Daughters of the Mayflower. However, it stands-alone as I didn’t even realize it was a sequel until I was writing the review.

The story also captured my imagination because I have Native American heritage, and cousins with the last name of DuBois.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

***********************Caution*********************

There are some scenes of violence.

Publisher’s Review

Mercy Lytton, a scout with keen eyesight raised among the Mohawks, and Elias Dubois, a condemned traitor working both sides of the conflict, must join together to get a shipment of gold safely into British hands.
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees. 

A War-Torn Countryside Is No Place for a Lady
Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause. . .to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart.  Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he is offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he is the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.   Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?

My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York: Adele’s Journey by Amanda Barratt

My Review

My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York is written by Amanda Barratt, a new to me author. The book is also her first full-length novel, as she’s only written novellas in the past.

I enjoyed learning about funambulism through Drew Dawson, a main character. I also liked Drew’s character and his devotion to his invalid sister, Hope, whom I also liked. I was pulling for them to be able to make a better life for themselves as I read the story.

I didn’t care much for Adele Linley, an English aristocrat looking for a wealthy husband in America to save her family’s home and land. She tended to rush into things headlong, heedless of the consequences. Her tendency to do this created a major catastrophe.

I didn’t care for most of the other characters in the novel. They were rude, snobby, self-centered and cared little for each other, even though many of them were related. I never grew to like Adele, either. Right about the time I may have started liking her, she did something so genuinely terrible, heart-breaking and life-changing for other characters that even though it worked out in the end, I still cared very little for her.

One minor character I really liked was the butler, Delany, who was from Texas. I liked how he stayed true to himself and to the Dawsons in their times of need (and I’m partial to anyone from Texas!).

One sign of a good book, I have heard said, is it brings out strong emotions within you. If this is true, then My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York, fits the bill.

One note of caution. However, there are a few scenes of semi-graphic violence.

I received this book from NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Journey now to Niagara Falls, New York, of 1870 where…
She avoids danger at all costs. He makes his living by rushing headlong into it.

Outwardly, Adele Linley’s trip to visit her American cousins is nothing more than a summer vacation. In reality, she’s the daughter of an English aristocrat with barely a penny to her name seeking a rich American husband.

Having grown up in an overcrowded orphanage, Drew Dawson is determined to make a name for himself. He’ll take any honest job to provide for his sister—even crossing Niagara Falls by tightrope.

On a sightseeing trip to the Falls, Adele meets several eligible suitors. Incredibly wealthy and pompous, Franklin Conway takes an immediate fancy to her. But Adele would truly like to marry for love.  When she encounters the mysterious Drew in the garden, Adele is confused by her feelings for someone who is everything she is NOT looking for. Will they both stay the course they have chosen for themselves?