A Fascinating Story-Within-a-Story from a Debut Author!

“Lady Jayne Disappears” by Joanna Davidson Politano is definitely one of the most unique stories I’ve read in 2017. Published by Revell in November, this fascinating novel also happens to be captivating and compelling, while imparting powerful messages of identity, love, and belonging. All this amounts to quite an accomplishment for a debut novel, wouldn’t you agree? Continue reading

Advertisements

A Mild, Pleasant Amish Story

Every once in a while I enjoy giving a new Amish novel a try, and usually it is the Beverly Lewis titles that catch my eye. “The Proving” is Ms. Lewis’ newest release from Bethany House, and tells the story of Mandy, a young woman who thought she had left her Amish life behind forever. . . Until she receives a letter from her brother, informing her of their mother’s death and the news that the family’s thriving Bed and Breakfast has been left to none other than Mandy herself. Continue reading

A Must-Read Before Christmas!

For many people, Christmas can be a rather controversial topic. It’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year”, filled with reflection on the baby in a manger and quality time with family. While this may be the case to some degree, there’s more to the story for most families. . . In reality, this season is also a time of hectic chaos, heartache that seems to build up from a difficult year, and frustration over what we wish was true but isn’t. In a new book from Baker Publishing, “Loving My Actual Christmas: An Experiment in Relishing the Season”, Alexandra Kuykendall unpacks some great insights into being present AND finding joy in our own actual, imperfect Christmases. Continue reading

The Long-Awaited Conclusion to an Unforgettable Series

For me, and I’m sure for many readers, it is always a bittersweet moment when you reach the final pages of a series that has worked its way deep into your heart and imagination. As one of my favorite authors, many of Michael Phillips’ series are very dear to me; but perhaps none quite so much as his latest work entitled “Secrets of the Shetlands”. Published by Bethany House in the summer of 2017, “The Legacy” is the final installment of the Shetland saga, and masterfully closes a narrative that weaves the past and present into a beautiful and unforgettable tale. Continue reading

Another Series Concludes. . .

Why is it that so many awesome series are drawing to a close this summer? The latest series to reach its conclusion is the “Elite Guardians” Romantic Suspense saga written by Lynette Eason and published by Revell. “Chasing Secrets” tells the gripping story of Haley Callaghan’s secret past and hidden identity, which is all tied to the run for her life she suddenly finds herself entangled in. With numerous appearances from the other characters of the “Elite Guardians” stories, this novel is an epic conclusion to an unforgettable series. Continue reading

The End of a Memorable Saga

I have been waiting a long time to finally discover the conclusion to a strange mystery that stretched over three books. . . With the release of the third “Cousins of the Dove” story, I finally received this closure! “My Daughter’s Legacy” was written by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould, and published by Harvest House in the summer of 2017. Continue reading

Inspirational and Challenging

You aren’t supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but sometimes it just can’t be helped! This was the case for me with Becky Wade’s newest novel from Bethany House Publishers, entitled “True to You”. Although I’d never before read a book by Ms. Wade, I just HAD to give this one a try, especially after reading the unique synopsis. . . To explain it simply: genealogist Nora Bradford and former Navy SEAL John Lawson work together to discover the secrets of a hidden ancestry, and soon begin to realize they make a perfect pair—until a wound from the past resurfaces and threatens to submerge any hope at a future together. As the first installation of the “Bradford Sisters Romance” series, this book did a fantastic job at not only creating John and Nora’s story, but also setting the stage for the other two Bradford sisters and their romances, too! Continue reading

Book #2 of an Unforgettable Series

the-cottage-imageI just finished one of the best books I’ve read in 2016, written by my all-time favorite author Michael Phillips. This story will hold a treasured place on my bookshelf, as well as in my heart, always. What book am I referring to? Well, it is the second in a Bethany House series called the “Secrets of the Shetlands”, which began in May 2016 with “The Inheritance”. The newest installment, which I just finished reading, is called “The Cottage”. Finally, the series will be wrapped up next summer with “The Legacy”. (And I can’t wait!) Each of these books is very closely interwoven, and picks up almost immediately after the previous book comes to a close. Continue reading

A Stunning Conclusion to a Remarkable Series

ladies-of-the-manor-series-imageSigh… I am quite sad. Why? Because one of the most intriguing, compelling and well-written novel series I’ve read in a long time has reached the end. Finished. Over. Forever. Isn’t that tragic? Roseanna M. White’s “Ladies of the Manor” series, published by Bethany House, began a year ago with the release of “The Lost Heiress”, followed this past spring by “The Reluctant Duchess”, and now concluding with “A Lady Unrivaled”. Each of these stories is built upon each other, and the characters, mystery, and basically the entire plot is interwoven very closely. My recommendation is NOT to read these books as stand-alone novels, or out of their proper order, because the full effect of the story will undoubtedly be lost. Continue reading

Starts Out Slow, But Picks Up Speed

Whither Thou Goest I Will Go image“For everything there is a season. A season for joy. A season for sorrow. A season for testing.” With these words written on the back cover of a real-event-based novel, readers can be fairly certain that it will not be a happy, carefree story, but rather one of hardship and overcoming. “Whither Thou Goest I Will Go” was written by Naomi Dathan and published by Kirkdale Press in 2016. As the author explains in a note to her readers, the novel is based on the infamous blizzard of January 12, 1888, that swept across the great plains with no warning. It’s name? The Children’s Blizzard. An estimated 1000 people spent that night lost on the open prairie. Many of them perished. Many were children. Continue reading