BLOG, NetGalley, Revell

A Reluctant Belle, Daughtry House, #2 by Beth White

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About the Book

Author: Beth White

Title: A Reluctant Belle

Series: Daughtry House

Publisher: Revell

Released: June 2019

With the Civil War over, Mississippi Belle Joelle Daughtry wants to establish a school to teach freed slaves. But she might have to form an alliance with her childhood nemesis and reveal her deepest secret to make changes in her world and her heart.

Get your copy here.

My Review

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Beth White produces vivid descriptions of anarchy in post-Civil War times in The Reluctant Belle, Daughtry House #2. Reconstruction was a very slow, painful process. Some championed it, some quietly supported it, and some outright spoke against it. Others secretly opposed it with an infectious hatred that developed into the KKK. This terror might start in an area slowly, like a glowing ember, then quite quickly fan into a ferocious, deadly flame that was meant to undo the liberation of the slaves. Author White brings the era to exciting, fearful life for a heart-stopping, engaging read.
So many themes presented here. We learn that God sees us all as we are. We see, if we choose, comparisons for racial issues in our own times.

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I really was impressed by how God used each character, especially the main characters, despite their flaws, using the talents He HAD given them.
I saw more than a historical romance. I saw an example of what I want to be for my husband-what Joelle represents to Schuyler. Am I a refuge for my husband, anchoring him the way Joelle anchors Schuyler?
Great quotes, true for today.
“ If you admitted that you loved, you put yourself in danger of rejection.”
“The only way they got through that year had been laying their bruised souls at the feet of Jesus.”
“People who had a lot to lose, he’d noticed, took more time to pray. They relied on each other, trusted one another, became vulnerable as brothers and sisters.”
The author’s notes at the end are interesting and essential for history buffs. Grab this one for yourself and start following Beth White. This book can stand alone, but I enjoyed it, even more, knowing the background of book one.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. This in no way affects my opinions which I am for which I am solely responsible.

My Rating

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About the Author

Beth White teaches music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. Her hobbies include playing flute and pennywhistle and painting, but her real passion is 7129454writing historical romance with a Southern drawl.

A native Mississippian, she is a pastor’s wife, mother of two, and grandmother of two–so far.

Also published as Elizabeth White, her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award.

 

 

 

BLOG, Favorite, NetGalley, Revell

The Refuge by Ann H. Gabhart

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About the Book

Title: The Refuge

Author: Ann H. Gabhart

Publisher: Revell

Released: April 2019

When Darcie and Walter Goodwin hear of a new cholera epidemic sweeping the area, they join the Shakers whose villages seem immune to the disease. It’s meant to be a temporary stay, but Walter is killed in a riverboat accident. With no family and no money, Darcie has little choice but to stay with the Shakers. To complicate matters, she is expecting a baby conceived before she and her husband came to the Shaker village. Marital relationships are considered sinful in this celibate community, putting Darcie in a unique–and lonely–position. Can the arrival of widower Flynn Keller and his headstrong daughter offer Darcie the hope of happiness . . . and family?

Ann H. Gabhart returns to the enigmatic world of the Shakers in this emotional exploration of the power of love and the bond of family.

Get your copy here.

My Review

An author who can grab your attention in the first sentence usually is skilled enough to keep it. I found this especially true of Ann H. Gabhart in The Refuge, her latest about a young widow, Darcie, in a Shaker village. ”You can’t cheat death.” Immediately, the reader wants to know why the narrator, Darcie, feels like this. While life in a Shaker village could be monotonous and dreary, devoid of family and marital relations, Gabhart managed to keep me eagerly reading to see what would befall
anxious Darcie. Her experiences in Harmony Hill as Gabhart recounts them are far from boring. 
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For the founders of communes such as this (and we had one similar in our community, set up in 1930 by a woman, where marriage was “wrong”), the Bible speaks plainly against this type of community. First, the Bible is clear that marriage is to be revered, sacred, and ENJOYED. Secondly, God clearly states that one should not add to His Word. Both in the case of the Shakers and our local commune, the leader’s ideas were considered equal, if not above, God’s Word. Of course, this community also died out.
Gabhart has a great cast of three-dimensional characters. Flynn struggles with how to raise his daughter, Leatrice. Silas struggles with how to help Flynn. The answers they choose have far-reaching consequences. I wished we could have seen more of wise Granny Hatchell.
“A body shouldn’t be trying to change other folks just to make things more convenient for her.”
Overarching themes I saw are learning to trust God day by day and not borrow tomorrow’s troubles; taking that step of faith as we see God leading; learning from others and living peaceably with them even not being in total agreement. How much richer Darcie’s life was for her time with Sisters Genna, Ellie, Helene, and even Eldress Maria.The Refuge... marriage quote.png
For those who will feel the ending was rushed: I believe circumstances in times like those often made it so. We need to stay true to history over having a “more satisfying ending” like we would plan.
Quotes:
“Marriage causes stressful living and not the peace and unity we seek here in our village.”
~ Mother Ann- founder of Shakers 

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“You prayed when my heart was too discouraged to hope.” ~Genna on answered prayer, showing the power of intercessory prayer for others. May this be said of me!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. This did not affect my opinions, which are solely my own. 

 My Rating

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About the Author

Ann H. Gabhart grew up on a farm in Kentucky. By the time she was ten she knew she wanted to be a writer. She’s published over twenty novels. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. She still lives on a farm not far from where she grew up. She loves playing with her grandkids, walking with her dog, reading and, of course, writing. Her Shaker books, set in her fictional Shaker village of Harmony Hill in the 1800’s, are popular with readers. The Outsider was a Christian Fiction Book Award Finalist in 2009. Her Heart of Hollyhill books are Small Town, America books set in the 1960’s. Angel Sister, a Rosey Corner book set during the Great Depression, will be followed by Small Town Girl. Visit Ann’s website http://annhgabhart.com or her two blogs, One Writer’s Journal, www.annhgabhart.blogspot.com, and the Hollyhill Book of the Strange, www.hollyhillbookofthestrange.blogspo…. Giveaways several times a year.

Bethany House, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, NetGalley

The Number of Love,#1 the Codebreakers, by Roseanna M. White and a Giveaway

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About the Book

The Toughest Puzzle She’ll Have to Solve    42075376

Might be the Wishes of Her Own Heart

Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network—field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, she discovers for the first time in her life that numbers aren’t enough.

Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy who just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the intelligent Margot, but soon the dangers of the war draw ever closer. Margot and Drake will have to work together to save themselves from the very secrets that brought them together.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

I am always amazed that authors can write stories about war that people like me will want to read. Yet Roseanna M. White has done just that, and admirably so, in The Number of Love. First, in The Codebreakers series, we are introduced to Margot de Wilde, a mathematical whiz who actually thinks and perceives all of life around her in numbers. I struggled some with this. First, it was way beyond my comfort zone. I can learn and even teach a bit of math, but I much prefer words. So even just reading that much about numbers was a little bit of a struggle, but thank goodness God gives everybody different strengths. What an interesting look into the battlefield that was played, not on land, but in minds, in ‘room 40’ in London. I also struggled with someone who saw herself as one of the most intelligent people on earth, next to God. Yes, God gave Margot and the other codebreakers an unusual gift, but I like to think others also have/had very unusual gifts, too. So I guess I felt like she thought a little highly of herself, which, coincidently, I would say, she was on her way to putting things back into perspective by the end of the book.
What I loved about the book was plentiful. There was lots of action. The reader gets to vicariously travel a bit. There are many different storylines going at once, giving a healthy vigor and breadth to the novel. Faith and kindness play huge roles in The Number of Love and actually lead to a remarkable ending.
What I really loved, though, was that Ms. White allowed her character to question God. She asked the tough questions. But it was the answer that she arrived at that I have either never heard, or it hit me afresh. So wonderful! I would suggest reading this book just to find out what her answer from God is. The romances are sweet; I enjoyed the tie-ins to characters from other books; the suspense was palpable; but the answers for life, we can use. Thank you, Ms. White.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher and Celebrate Lit through NetGalley. I was in no way influenced by this fact, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

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About the Author

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long Roseanna-2018-218x300 claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

 

More from Roseanna

When I told my best friend and critique partner what book I was pitching next to my publisher, her response was something along the lines of, “That sounds awesome. Also, you’re crazy, and I do not envy you writing that one.”

I laughed…and knew exactly what she meant. Because I was setting out to write a heroine who was a mathematician—which I am definitely not. A heroine who was utterly indifferent to love and marriage—which makes for a difficult story when one writes romance. A character who had an unshakeable faith—which has to be shaken at least a bit in order to make for growth throughout the story. And more, a character who has “issues,” let’s call it, that those familiar with such things will recognize…and which those who aren’t will probably think are quirks.

I was setting out to write a story that would be challenging for me, every step of the way. And the result is a book I’m incredibly in love with and so happy to share with the world.

The Number of Love is all about Margot, who thinks and even prays in numbers. Born and raised in Belgium, she and her family fled to England in 1914 when the Germans invaded her homeland. Thanks to her remarkable abilities with numbers and patterns, she’s now employed at Room 40, the Admiralty’s secret codebreaking branch. But as I was contemplating what sort of man could ever win Margot’s heart, I knew he had to be very different… someone active where she’s still. Someone outgoing where she turns inward. Someone who sees in her what she never can, and who believes she can grasp the dreams that society tells her are unbefitting a woman. This is how Drake was born—a field agent employed by Room 40.

I can honestly say this is the only book I’ve ever written that required me to borrow my daughter’s algebra book while I was writing it, LOL. And though every single scene was a challenge, it was one I thoroughly enjoyed. I hope you’ll join me on the journey that Margot and Drake are on, which answer the question my husband cheekily asked more than once as I was writing it: what is the number of love?

 

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, June 17

Moments, June 17

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 17

Girls Living For God’s Glory, June 17

Back Porch Reads, June 18

The Avid Reader, June 18

Stories By Gina, June 18

janicesbookreviews, June 18

Reflections From My Bookshelves, June 19

Inspired by Fiction, June 19

Worthy2Read, June 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 19

As He Leads is Joy, June 20

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 20

Blossoms and Blessings, June 20

Real World Bible Study, June 21

Multifarious, June 21

Emily Yager, June 21

A Reader’s Brain, June 21

Bigreadersite, June 22

For the Love of Literature, June 22

Simple Harvest Reads, June 22 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

She Lives to Read, June 23

The Christian Fiction Girl, June 23

Just the Write Escape, June 23

Genesis 5020, June 24

For Him and My Family, June 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 24

Inklings and notions, June 24

Life of Literature, June 25

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, June 25

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, June 25

Texas Book-aholic, June 25

Just Your Average reviews, June 26

Blogging With Carol, June 26

The Becca Files, June 26

Splashes of Joy, June 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of winner’s choice of TWO signed books, Fruit and Floral Flavors Sugar Shapes, and some Roseanna M. White swag!!

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/de86/the-number-of-love-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Barbour, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, NetGalley

Shadow Among Sheaves by Naomi Stephens

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About the Book

 

Book: Shadow Among Sheaves

Author: Naomi Stephens                                          Shadow-amonght-Sheaves-195x300

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release Date: April 2019

A Timeless, Beautiful Allegory of the Biblical Love Story of Ruth and Boaz

The Great Rebellion of 1857 was a remarkably bloody business. At a time when Britain’s imperial influence in India was sparking brutal clashes on both sides, no one could have expected Rena, an Indian woman, to marry a British officer—nor do they understand her decision to follow her mother-in-law to England after her husband’s tragic death.

Once the two widows are in Abbotsville, the stern yet compassionate Lord Barric attempts to help them despite his better judgment. Soon he is torn between the demands of reputation and his increasing desire to capture Rena’s heart for his own.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

“The Sun was the same, but that was all.” I was intrigued by the first sentence, sure that I had discovered another jewel in Shadow Among Sheaves by Naomi Stephens. The novel takes place in England in 1861. Touted to be a modern recounting of the Old Testament story of Ruth and Boaz, I was disappointed. Stephens does a great job describing India; its revolt against Britain; the hatred of the one people for the other. She also shows us how much Rena loved Edric, but I felt like so many details of the story that Scripture spoke to, were ignored and the circumstances changed for the sake of the story.
We don’t know a lot about Boaz, but again, I felt the character representing him was not as honorable and respected as the one shown in Scripture. The author uses a couple of swear words a few times over. In both cases, it was a few times too much for my taste. I am not a prude, but I don’t expect to have to read those words in Christian books.
In summary, I thought this was a great book to explain the resulting relations between the British and Indian peoples following the Indian revolt against British rule. It was not, however, a great representation of the Biblical Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz. This is only my opinion. I would encourage you to read other reviews and judge carefully for yourself.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own responsibility and no positive review was required.

My Rating

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About the Author

Naomi Stephens is a bookworm turned teacher turned writer. She received a M.A. in Naomi-Stephens-200x300English from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and now lives in Ohio with her husband, her two children, and a rascal of a dog named Sherlock.

More from Naomi

A Timeless, Beautiful Allegory of the Biblical Love Story of Ruth and Boaz

The Great Rebellion of 1857 was a remarkably bloody business. At a time when Britain’s imperial influence in India was sparking brutal clashes on both sides, no one could have expected Rena, an Indian woman, to marry a British officer—nor do they understand her decision to follow her mother-in-law to England after her husband’s tragic death.

Once the two widows are in Abbotsville, the stern yet compassionate Lord Barric attempts to help them despite his better judgment. Soon he is torn between the demands of reputation and his increasing desire to capture Rena’s heart for his own. Which will he choose? Find out in Shadow Among Sheaves by Naomi Stephens.

Read an Exclusive Excerpt from Shadow Among Sheaves:

She smiled, stepping closer and placing her hand on the horse’s wet snout. Samson was a pretty beast with wide, ponderous eyes and a few splotches of gray around his nose. The soft puff of air Samson snorted into her palm brought a delighted smile to her lips, and she gasped as he bowed his neck to nuzzle his nose against her stomach. She felt her smile leap into a grin. It was a delightful change, to feel joy so deep it finally showed.

Barric circled around Samson to stand beside her, his hands never leaving the reins. “He’s fond of you,” he remarked as Samson dropped his snout against her hip.

“Unsurprising, I suppose. Though he could also be searching you for a carrot.”

Surprised to hear Lord Barric speak so teasingly, and pleased by the gentle light she found in his otherwise tired eyes, Rena laughed her faint agreement. “That will teach me to come empty-handed, won’t it?”

Their smiles both dropped as a young, lanky stable hand came rushing out to take Samson, and Barric relinquished his hold on the reins, nodding his silent thanks.

As soon as the stable boy had disappeared with Samson, Bar¬ric glanced back at Rena. “Are you going home?” he asked, nodding toward the dusty road looping down the hill to William’s house.

She stepped back, realizing she had dawdled longer than she’d first intended. “Yes,” she answered. “I often come this way to avoid the other workers.”

“Might I walk with you?” He turned to hang his whip on a peg. “Just a short stretch of the road?”

Stunned by his request, and a bit suspicious of his motive, she nonetheless nodded. “Yes, of course.”

Barric drew up beside her, his even strides betraying no unease, though he was silent for some time as they made their way down the golden-colored hill.

“You have seemed tired these past few days,” he observed. Rena did not bother to deny it. She’d been working hard to keep up with the others, as Barric had told her she must, and felt wearier for it. She had tried to split her days in half, the mornings spent binding sheaves with the women and the afternoons spent picking for her own stores, but the work was backbreaking, and, as he had already pointed out once before, she was not used to hard labor. “I realize I haven’t really asked you how you are settling in,” he went on.

“Perhaps you’ve been too busy provoking me,” she answered before she could stop herself.

Barric’s eyebrow inched up as he slanted an approving smirk down at her. “Perhaps.”

Rena cursed her honest tongue. She must have been more tired than she thought, to speak so freely to a man of title. “I have been well,” she tried again, a bit more diplomatically. “The house suits us if that is what you are asking.”

“The people here do not speak to you unkindly?”

“The people do not speak to me at all.” She had meant to sound casual, unaffected, but heard the hurt in her own voice she hadn’t been able to weed out. As Barric’s expression tightened, she hastened to amend, “Except for you, my lord. Of course. And the Wilmots.”

“They are good people,” he agreed quietly. “And will you be coming with them to the festival this evening?”

She hesitated. According to Alice, harvest home was a yearly tradition, a night of raucous drinking and dancing to celebrate the close of the harvest. All of Abbotsville would be there—landowners, stewards, even tenant farmers, and common laborers. But Rena was none of those things, and she and Barric both knew it.

“Come,” Barric teased, “do not tell me you are afraid to go. I would never have thought it of you.”

“I am not afraid,” she insisted. “I just had not thought about it.”

At her defensive tone, he smiled—a true smile—one that pinched the corners of his eyes and pressed grooves along the outer edges of his mouth. “You ought to come,” he decided. “Everyone in Abbotsville is welcome, and many are the men who would feel lucky to dance with you.”

But, of course, Lord Barric knew this was not true. The men in his fields regarded her mostly with contempt and made no secret of it— they would not count themselves at all lucky to dance with her. Was Lord Barric trying to offer her words of comfort? Or was he trying to convey a message?

Did he want to dance with her?

This was hardly a safe question, and so she asked another. “Do you dance, Lord Barric?”

When he met her gaze, so direct, she was all the more glad she had not stammered in her reply. The man walked a dangerous line whenever he deigned to speak to her. Far too close, she’d think, and then stern enough to cool her blood with a word.

He surprised her with another smile, this one a faint twist at the corner of his lips. “Perhaps you would have to come to find out.”

 

Blog Stops

Godly Book Reviews, April 30

Mary Hake, April 30

Worthy2Read, April 30

Back Porch Reads, May 1

Inspirationally Ever After, May 1

Fiction Aficionado, May 2

Splashes of Joy, May 2

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, May 2

Bigreadersite, May 3

Inklings and notions , May 3

Blossoms and Blessings, May 3

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 4

janicesbookreviews, May 4

Just the Write Escape, May 5

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, May 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 6

For Him and My Family, May 6

Kat’s Corner Books, May 7

Pause for Tales, May 7

Aryn The Libraryan, May 8

Faery Tales Are Real, May 8

Hallie Reads, May 8

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 9

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 9

Through the Fire Blogs, May 10

The Becca Files, May 10

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 11

Older & Smarter?, May 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 11

Texas Book-aholic, May 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 12

A Reader’s Brain, May 13

For the Love of Literature, May 13

Giveaway 

 

To celebrate her tour, Naomi is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a finished paperback copy of Shadow Among Sheaves!!

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/deb9/shadow-among-sheaves-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour

Hannah Claire’s Wilderness, Bk #2 The Revivalist Trilogy, by Caryl McAdoo

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About the Book

Book: Hannah Claire’s Wilderness

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction

Right after she marries in 1970, love carries Hannah Claire to Nigeria, following her husband David to the mission field—for only two years, she thinks. Miracle upon miracle 43704864brings five-year-old African orphan Adaolisa into the young wife’s life and she becomes a mother. Can the love for a child keep her where she doesn’t want to be? The children of wickedness threaten to make her a widow; they threaten everything, and danger abounds! Only by obedience can Hannah and her revivalist husband survive and prosper in a land torn by violence.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

MY REVIEW

Surprise! Having read another of the author’s novels, I really expected this to be a historical romance, as in the 1800s or so. What Caryl McAdoo serves up in Hannah Claire’s Wilderness couldn’t have been further from my expectations. A very young, freshly married couple heads to Nigeria to preach the gospel. Reflecting the Jesus movement popular in the 1970s, David and Hannah praise loudly and often; expect unbelievable miracles as if ordinary; and also expect God’s financial blessings. While some of this makes me slightly uncomfortable, McAdoo also tackles gritty life problems including human trafficking, martyrdom, adultery, and honesty. Trusting God, obeying Him, praising Him and overcoming fear with meditation and Scripture are key themes, as is forgiveness. I must say, the themes are so relevant to today that I applaud the book much more than I anticipated when I started. McAdoo has given me much to chew on for some time to come. 
Favorite quotes: 
“That’s between you and God though, I can’t be your Holy Spirit.” 
“…either God was on the throne in control or He wasn’t. She had nothing to worry about.” 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required and all opinions are my own. 

 

MY RATING

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About the Author

Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory which is what she lives to do. Her award-winning, best-selling novels enjoy a lion’s share of 5-Star ratings from Christian readers around the world. With forty titles, it’s obvious she loves writing almost as much as caryl-mcadoo-1-216x300singing the new songs the Lord gives her—listen to a few at YouTube. She and high school sweetheart Ron celebrated fifty years of marriage June 22, 2018, and share four children and eighteen grandsugars. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.

 

Guest Post from Caryl

Have you ever thought you heard from God, and acted on that in obedience—oft at great sacrifice—only to doubt that you heard Him at all when things don’t go as you’d planned? Actually, everything almost goes just the opposite, and your world is turned upside down.

Did you really hear Him?

That’s what my heroine Hannah Claire faces, when a two-year stint looks like it’s turning into a lifetime commitment. Though I’ve never been abroad to the mission field, I’ve faced much the same thing as Hannah, believing I heard Him and then nothing happening as expected!

Personally, I’ve been waiting over thirty years, but have found great peace in that waiting and trusting God—knowing that He is on the throne and in control. I will never doubt that the vision He’s given, the call He’s placed on mine and Ron’s lives WILL come to pass, just as it did for Abraham.

Hannah doesn’t have to wait that long, but her experience takes her to the depths of fear and depression before she comes to know her Heavenly Father is altogether trustworthy. The Shepherd walks her through the valley of the shadow of death and makes her to lie down in green pastures. He stills the raging waters and leads her beside them.

Book three, King David’s Tabernacle, coming sometime in 2020, will bring the reward and give you glory bumps every step of the way as God makes Himself known in a mighty way, but first . . . there’s the refining. Gold is passed through the fire seven times to be purified.

Silver as well, until the smith can see his reflection. Followers of Christ are all being made into the image of God’s Beloved Son, and we can rest in the fact that He who began that good work in us at salvation will be faithful to complete it until His coming again.

I pray you will enjoy your journey through Hannah Claire’s Wilderness.

 

Blog Stops

The Becca Files, March 21

Inklings and notions, March 21

Through the Fire Blogs, March 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 23

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 25

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, March 26

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 28

Texas Book-aholic, March 29

janicesbookreviews, March 30

Bigreadersite, March 31

A Reader’s Brain, April 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 2

Real World Bible Study, April 3

Giveaway

 

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To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away

Grand Prize – $50 Gift Amazon Card

1st Prize – Signed, Paperback copy of CHOICE of all my books

2nd Prize – Signed copy of Hannah Claire’s Wilderness

3rd Prize – eBook copy of Hannah Claire’s Wilderness

4th Prize – eBook copy of CHOICE of all my books

5th Prize $5 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/dcad/hannah-claire-s-wilderness-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour

A Love to Behold, #3 Forever Freedom by Sharlene McLaren

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About the Book

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Title: A Love to Behold

Author: Sharlene MacLaren

Genre: Christian romance, historical

Release date: January 8, 2019

Publisher: Whitaker House

Two years after the Civil War, Lydia Albright, 27, is an established teacher in Boston when she senses God’s call to leave the comfort and security of her job and go south. She accepts a position to teach in a school for former slaves in Charleston, South Carolina. A church there that’s affiliated with the American Missionary Association offers support, along with room and board at the parsonage.

The Ku Klux men are hell-bent on seeing that the new school fails. Lydia’s life is threatened, and the parsonage, church, and school are vandalized.

But they haven’t contended with a strong, determined woman like Lydia before. It also helps that she has a couple potential suitors on her side.

A Love to Behold is a tale of people who grow strong in the face of adversity and a church that learns love, compassion, and acceptance, even in the face of cruelty and hatred.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review:

Sharlene McLaren’s A Love to Behold is a beautiful, thought-provoking story about the Reconstructionist South. A time of the country being deeply divided, neighbors hating neighbors, and people not recognizing the worth of others made in God’s image. Although it sounds like it could be a tale of today, it is in reality, a tale of over one hundred fifty years ago.
I loved the spunk and spirit of Lydia. She has a mission and nothing can dissuade her. She is a “Steel Magnolia” from the North, determined to help the oppressed. I enjoyed the love triangle that develops. Of course, I always wonder why the characters let it go on as long as they do.
What added life and breadth to the novel was the colloquialisms that McLaren uses that were native to the area. Examples are “ fine as sifted flour,” “ heap of tired,” and, “I don’t give a skunk’s ear!”The best part of the book, though, is that the protagonists base their character upon Scriptural principles and pray about their problems.

There is plenty of suspense, mystery, action, and a bit of romance to keep the reader flipping pages to see how God (and McLaren)allow things to level out.

Favorite quote?
“But if the current generation wishes to stop the hatred, they can do it, one step at a time, one person at a time. We all have to work together, and then, with God’s help, we can achieve peace. God is love and He commands us to love one another. In fact, loving God and others is the greatest, most important commandment of all.”
Second?
“They calls her a half-breed, but she ain’t half t’ God, is she? She be whole t’ Him.”

I highly recommend this book, possibly in light of today’s animosity in our country. I never realized this was part of a series as I was reading it, so it stands on its own quite well.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own, and no positive review was required.

I also apologize to the author and other readers who looked for my review earlier.  Due to a mistake on my part, it did not appear on time on my blog.  Totally my fault and I ask your forgiveness.

My Rating:

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About the Authorsharlene-maclaren-214x300

Born and raised in west Michigan, Sharlene MacLaren attended Spring Arbor University. Upon graduating in 1971 with an education degree, she taught second grade for two years, then accepted an invitation to travel internationally with a singing ensemble for one year. In 1975, she came home, returned to her teaching job, and married her childhood sweetheart. Together, they raised two lovely daughters, both of whom are now happily married and enjoying families of their own. Retired in 2003 after thirty-one years of teaching, “Shar” loves to read, sing, travel, and spend time with her family—in particular, her adorable grandchildren!
A Christian for over fifty years, and a lover of the English language, Shar always enjoyed dabbling in writing. She remembers well the short stories she wrote in high school and watching them circulate from girl to girl during government and civics classes. “Psst,” someone would whisper from two rows over, always when the teacher’s back was turned, “pass me the next page.”
In the early 2000s, Shar felt God’s call upon her heart to take her writing pleasures a step further, and in 2006, she signed a contract for her first faith-based novel, Through Every Storm, thereby launching her writing career. With eighteen published novels now gracing store shelves and being sold online, she daily gives God all the glory. She dedicated her last novel, Their Daring Hearts, to Jesus.
Shar has done numerous countrywide book signings and made several television appearances and radio interviews. She loves speaking for community organizations, libraries, church groups, and women’s conferences. In her church, she is active in women’s ministries, regularly facilitating Bible studies and other events. She and her husband, Cecil, live in Spring Lake, Michigan, with their beautiful white collie, Peyton, and their ragdoll cat, Blue.
Shar loves hearing from her readers. If you wish to contact her as a potential speaker for a church function or would simply like to chat with her, please feel free to send her an e-mail at sharlenemaclaren@yahoo.com. She will do her best to answer in a timely manner. You may also find her on Facebook.

 

Guest Post from Sharlene

My dear readers,

It has indeed been my great privilege and pleasure to write this series set in Civil War times. What a thought-provoking, amazing, and heart-wrenching era in American history.

If you read all three books in the “Forever Freedom” series—Summer on Sunset Ridge, Their Daring Hearts, and A Love to Behold—you will have gotten some history lessons regarding the Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers; Abolition; the Underground Railroad, which the Quakers were instrumental in launching; life as a Union soldier in the Civil War; the Freedmen’s Bureau; and Reconstruction, that period following the war when the south had fallen into great disrepair. Also prevalent in this third book is a bit of history regarding the origin of the Ku Klux Klan, a hate group that formed during the Reconstruction period.

Although I did not appreciate history as a young girl, as an older adult, I’m quite fascinated by it. History itself is a great teacher. Learning about it can be everything from exhilarating to depressing, challenging and yet exciting. It is my prayer that as you read my books, you’ll not only find them entertaining, but also inspiring and uplifting. I aim to encourage, not discourage. Much of history—if we dwell on it—can be disheartening, but focusing our hearts and minds on Christ gives us courage and confidence. Let us learn from history, but let us look to the future with hope in our hearts.

With love and a prayer for God’s best blessings,

Shar

 

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, January 22

Maureen’s Musings, January 22

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 23

Genesis 5020, January 23

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, January 24

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 24

Splashes of Joy, January 25

Blossoms and Blessings, January 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 26

Mary Hake, January 26

Godly Book Reviews, January 27

Daysong Reflections, January 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 28

Robin is Bookish, January 28

My Devotional Thoughts, January 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 29

The Becca Files, January 30

For the Love of Literature, January 30

Texas Book-aholic, January 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 31

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 1

Janices book reviews, February 1

A Baker’s Perspective, February 2

Bibliophile Reviews, February 3

Carpe Diem, February 4

Bigreadersite, February 4

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Sharlene is giving away a grand prize of a $20 Starbucks 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/d8d2/a-love-to-behold-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

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The Cumberland Bride,#5 Daughters of the Mayflower by Shannon McNear

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About the Book:

Title: The Cumberland Bride, #5 Daughters of the Mayflower

Paperback, 256 pages
Expected publication: October 1st, 2018 by Barbour Books
ISBN
1683226917 (ISBN13: 9781683226918)
Thomas Bledsoe and Kate Gruener are traveling the Wilderness Road when conflicts between natives and settlers reach a peak that will require each of them to tap into a well of courage.
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Love and Adventure Are Discovered on the Wilderness Road
In 1794, when Kate Gruener’s father is ready to move the family farther west into the wilderness to farm untouched land, Kate is eager to live out her own story of adventure like he did during the War for Independence and to see untamed lands. And she sets her sights on learning more about their scout, Thomas Bledsoe. Thomas’s job is to get settlers safely across the Kentucky Wilderness Road to their destination while keeping an ear open for news of Shawnee unrest. But naïve Kate’s inquisitive nature could put them both in the middle of a rising tide of conflict. Is there more to Thomas’s story than he is willing to tell? Is there an untapped courage in Kate that can thwart a coming disaster?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear.

MY REVIEW:

Are you a sucker for the lore of the Kentucke wilderness around the time of Daniel Boone? Do you love the style of Laura Frantz or Michelle Griep? Shannon McNear has been added to my list of names who can paint that period so well, you can feel the splash of the river as the horses ford it, sense the cold and wet of the mountain dressed with thick fog. Be overtaken by the fear for safety as you vicariously travel the Cumberland Gap.

What an intriguing supposition McNear starts out her narrative with. A Hessian siding with the Americans. The real question I saw, over and over throughout the book, is where does one end viewing another as an enemy? How does the forgiveness offered by one affect others around him? Or will an attempt at reconciliation between obvious enemies bring shame, betrayal, and untold danger?

How I loved these characters. Some followed their upbringing, some followed their hearts, and all followed dangerous trails. Who will have the strength of character to survive a time and place given to unrest and danger?

Worthy quotes:

“It always seemed the more willing a body was to share their story, the more likely that story wasn’t worth hearing.”

“God could protect them…And if they could not put their hope in Him, then—what else was there?”

My heart is full after reading this ARC of The Cumberland Bride. May we all learn to view conflicts from angles other than our own. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. This in no way affects my opinions. I am not required to leave a positive review. I DID, however, pre-order my own copy for my keeper shelf.

 

About the Author:

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Shannon McNear

Shannon has been writing one thing or another since third grade and finished her first novel at age fifteen—but waited more than thirty years for her first book contract. In the meantime, she graduated from high school, attended college, met and married her husband, birthed nine children, lost one, taught five to drive, revised that first story innumerable times, and completed six others.

Her first published novella, Defending Truth, in A Pioneer Christmas Collection (Barbour, 2013 & 2015), was a 2014 RITA nominee. She writes regularly for Colonial Quills, is a member of ACFW and RWA, and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.

Transplanted to North Dakota after more than two decades in Charleston, South Carolina, she loves losing herself in local history. When this homeschooling mom isn’t sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies