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The Widow’s Plight, #1 The Quilting Circle by Mary Davis

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About the Book:

Paperback, 311 pages
Published July 1st, 2018 by Mountain Brook Ink
Original Title
The Widow’s Plight
ISBN13: 9781943959389
Genre: Historical Fiction

Washington State 1893

When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?

Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first, but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.

Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

MY REVIEW:

This Christian western takes on an enemy bigger than a gunslinger. Mary Davis, in The Widow’s Plight, shows the reader the tragedy and human ruin caused by domestic abuse. Ms. Davis doesn’t just tackle the most obvious, the physical abuse, but also shows the emotional abuse.

I, personally, had a difficult time reading this as I worked through the ramifications of the two kinds of abuses. Both were perpetrated on children (although the one also involved the heroine), and I wanted to enter the pages of the story to somehow help the victims recover faster.

I loved the characters and their portrayal of loyalty, forgiveness, and support of those who needed their help. I think I really fell in love with the children: Toby, Estella, and Nancy; and their resilience more than even the hero and heroine!

A terrifically sad statement, caused by continual abuse, is made of Lily, after the stampede: “She had succeeded in not feeling what she felt.”

Why is this such a great novel? How does it affect us today? Aunt Henny and Edric never gave up loving Lily and Toby. Those who truly love others CAN bring about healing in broken people, with God’s help, but that love may have to be extended again and again until it is accepted and healing starts.

I gratefully received a copy of this book from the publisher. This in no way affected my opinions, which are solely my own. I was not required to leave a positive review.

 

About the Author:

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Mary Davis

Born and raised in Washington State, Mary now resides in Colorado with her husband of over twenty-seven years, three twenty-something kids, and four pets. She earned her college degree in elementary education and has taken an advanced course from the Institute of Children’s Literature. Mary leads two critique groups, one in the local Colorado area as well as an on-line critique group. She regularly attends the ACFW conference as well as her local writing chapter in the Springs, and she has spearheaded a writing contest for youth for several years. Cascades is her fourteenth book, which contains three previously released novels.

Mary enjoys writing contemporary and historical inspirational romance. She loves reading romance, fiction, mystery, and fantasy books, as well as playing with her cat, Buffy.

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A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano

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About the Book:

Title: A Rumored Fortune

Paperback, 416 pages
Published July 31st,2018 by Fleming H. Revell Company (first published July 2018)

Tressa Harlowe’s father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn’t take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they’re really up to. She’ll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father’s fortune–before someone else finds it first.

Award-winning author Joanna Davidson Politano welcomes readers to Trevelyan Castle, home of the poorest heiress in Victorian England, for a treasure hunt they’ll not soon forget.

MY REVIEW:

Powerful!! A Rumored Fortune, only the second book written by Joanna Davidson Politano, is on my list of top ten for 2018. More importantly, though, this novel will be in the running for top honors among book awards. This is my prediction for a novel of such high-caliber.

Tressa Harlowe’s odd vineyard-keeping father has disappeared from their mid-1800’s castle. Sadly, the search begins not so much for him, but for the treasure rumored to have been behind.

I should mention the narrative switches between first person, the rich heiress, Tressa; and third person, Donegan, the vinedresser in a class beneath her. Considering the societal differences so important at that time, this is extremely
clever of Politano.

This book grasped my attention from the start and held on, like the sea and mist that surround the castle and rarely loosen their clutches on it or its land.

Sadly, no matter what time period, people change very little. There are those who hear of someone else’s fortune and justify it should be theirs instead; schemers descend like vultures determined to get their share of the grand meal.

Obviously, Politano is an anglophobe and describes the area, life, and characters with a poetic prose that makes them “a wonder to behold.” She is a romantic in the linguistic sense of the word.

Fortunately, Politano is quite the romantic in the more common sense of the word. We see several possible romances, involving more than just the main characters. Which will thrive, and which will die, because there was no real connection?

Speaking of connections, Tressa has three main interests: her father, (and the vineyard because that was his obsession); relationships, and the fortune. Politano weaves them all together in an unforgettable story of agricultural lessons for life, including the spirit, romance, and intrigue that will leave you amazed at the experience you have just sojourned.

Hard to pick just a few quotes, but here are some faves:
“Strength comes to the branch through connection, and that’s what I’m offering.” How Tressa needs connections in more ways than one!

“It takes a harsh summer to yield abundance in the vineyards…When you feel you’re dying in the summer, all a branch needs to do is hang on.” So timely for anybody going through a rough patch!

“…isn’t the sort of man I would imagine knowing much Scripture.” ‘No, …he simply lives it out.’” We all need to live out our faith like that unnamed character!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. (I also bought my own copy.) This did not affect my opinions in any way, nor was I required to leave a positive review.

About the Author:

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Joanna Davidson Politano

Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her at www.jdpstories.com.

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More Than Meets the Eye,#1 PatchWork Family by Karen Witemeyer

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About the book:

Paperback, 347 pages
Published June 5th, 2018 by Bethany House Publishers (first published June 2018)
ISBN
0764212834 (ISBN13: 9780764212833)
Edition Language
English
Series  Patchwork Family #1

Seeking justice against the man who destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront the person responsible. But his quest is derailed when, instead of a hardened criminal, he finds an ordinary man with a sister named Evangeline–an unusual beauty with mismatched eyes and a sweet spirit that he finds utterly captivating.

 

MY REVIEW:

This fantastic Christian historical fiction story by Karen Witemeyer is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. More Than Meets the Eye will pull on your heartstrings as you realize the pain Evie goes through all her life because of her miss-matched eyes. People can be so cruel, not just back then, but even now, when others are different from themselves, in a way they don’t understand.

I loved the way the orphans joined together to form a formidable, unshakable bond they considered family. They learned how to deal with each others’ needs in order to create the strongest possibility for each to survive.

Both Logan and Zach need to learn that the future is not theirs to shape, no matter how desperate they are they retain their tenuous hold on the future. “…control was an illusion. No man controlled fate. God alone claimed that honor.”

Healing from brokenness is a big theme in the book. At first reading, it seems obvious who has the biggest holes in their hearts and who may have transgressed the most. However, broken people heal best when they and those who may stand in judgment all realize that we are all broken somewhere. “People might try to hide their broken places and pretend to be whole, but the truth is that we all have failings. That is why we need each other.” We all need to work together to forgive and forge a new path.

I highly recommend this book. I both bought a copy and received a complimentary copy from Bethany House. This in no way affected my opinions, which are freely given and for which I am solely responsible.

About the Author:

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Karen Witemeyer

Born

in The United States

Website

 

Genre


For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. A transplant from California, Karen came to Texas for college, met a cowboy disguised as a computer nerd, married him, and never left the state that had become home.

Winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, and a finalist for both the RITA and Christy Awards, Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She also loves to reward her readers. Every month she gives away two inspirational historical novels to someone from her newsletter list and offers substantial bonus content on her website. To learn more about Karen and her books, or to join her subscriber list, please visit www.karenwitemeyer.com.