GrowingForChrist

Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Book Review: The Pinecraft Pie Shop book 1: Made with Love by Tricia Goyer and Sherry Gore


love_zpskbjceed3 About the Book:

Lovina Miller should be thrilled. Pinecraft, Florida, has everything a young Amish woman could ask for: sun, sand, volleyball games, and evening singings in the park. But Pinecraft lacks the one thing Lovina desperately wants—a pie shop of her own. She longs for a place to gather with the community and serve the treat she loves.

A young carpenter named Noah Yoder strolls into her life and offers a way to make her dream come true. But before Noah and Lovina can build a shop—and a life—together, they must each face heartaches from the past. Is their new love stronger than their regrets?

You can purchase your copy at Harvest House Publishers.

love2_zpsm6hcjcin About Tricia:

Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of six, grandmother of two, and wife to John. A USA Today bestselling author, Tricia has published over 40 books and has written more than 500 articles. She’s well-known for her Big Sky and Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Amish series. For more information visit Tricia at http://www.TriciaGoyer.com. Tricia, along with a group of friends, also runs http://www.NotQuiteAmishLiving.com, sharing ideas about simplifying life.

love3_zpsousbu2xi About Sherry:

Sherry Gore is the author of Simply Delicious Amish Cooking and Me, Myself and Pie and is a weekly scribe for the national edition of the Amish newspaper The Budget. Sherry’s culinary adventures have been seen on NBC Daytime, Today.com, and Mr. Food Test Kitchen. Sherry is a resident of Sarasota, Florida, the vacation paradise of the Plain People. She has three children and is a member of a Beachy Amish Mennonite church.

My Opinion:

I’ve read many of Tricia’s book before, such as Where Treetops Glisten and Mom’s Night Out, among others. I have never read any of Sherry Gore’s other books though and that is something I will be rectifying soon. I used to be obsessed with the Amish culture, so much so, I tried to convince my husband to convert but there were some issues and we couldn’t and he wouldn’t so we stayed English. I didn’t quite connect with Lovina like I wanted to, she was single, still at home and all she wants is to open her own pie shop – I could relate to the dream part but not so much some of her mopey attitude. Enter Noah, who has a bad reputation among the Plain People and well I’m sure the reader can figure out what happens next, or can they?

Full of twists and turns, I had a hard time figuring out what was going to happen next because just when I think I figured it out, I was wrong. I like that, I don’t like boring, predictable books and this was not that. Even though I’m not as obsessed with the Amish as I once was I still enjoy a book about them. That said there is romance, nothing risque, obviously but I’m throwing that out there. Lately, when I read romance novels my heart isn’t in it but this one seemed so real it was hard to not want the ending to be what it was and so I could enjoy it without feeling like my heart was being ripped out. A fantastic book if you’re looking for a quick, summer read.

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(c) 2016, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Litfuse Publicity: The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan


murder_zpsp7rape4f About the book:

In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.

Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.

While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever—if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

To learn more and purchase a copy visit here.

What to read up on Jem and Merinda before reading book one? Check out the e-novella, A Singular and Whimsical Problem.

murder2_zpsdekiylvn About the Author:

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.

You can connect with Rachel on Twitter and on Facebook.

My Opinion:

I’m a huge fan of a certain detective and his side kick so when the description listed this as a female version I knew I had to check it out. I really, really wanted to like this book and I did – the mystery of the three murders of Irish women had me flipping the pages faster than I should have. Set in Canada, it was very reminiscent of the above mentioned male detective – without all the “mind-palaces” and drug use. Merinda and Jem use costumes to access places that women wouldn’t have been allowed access, of course this also puts them into jeopardy with the Morality Squad. I did enjoy learning that the Morality Squad was made up by the author for the book, however she does say at the end that in Toronto women were tried in courts for things such as idleness,dissolution and incorrigibility.

What did drive me slightly crazy while reading this was Merinda’s constant refusal to hear anything about God and her staunch women’s lib mindset. She doesn’t like it all when Jem begins falling in love. Then there is Jem who constantly wonders what she is supposed to do, and disregards her parents advice about what to do with her life, which is specifically to find a husband. I get that not everyone is called to married, and that is fine, but Jem’s blantant, almost seemingly disrespect of her parents, made me a bit testy. However, in light of these issues Jem and Merinda work well together and eventually they solve the crime, however I won’t disclose the intricacies of the crime.

I have to reiterate that I did like the book, it was an enjoyable read even with some of the issues I found in it – I hate to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I admit when I could tell there was a complaining scene or a women’s lib scene I did skip it and move on – not that I’m against women’s lib but I am against the idea that they espoused that being married and having children made a woman somehow not equal or as important as her husband. I’m looking forward to reading the second book in this series to see how Jem and Merinda are faring in their world and to see if they’ve matured any.

To see what other bloggers thought please visit the Litfuse Landing Page.

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Meet best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem, who launch their own Sherlock Holmes-esque consulting detective business in 1910 Toronto in Rachel McMillan’s The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever–if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

Rachel is celebrating the release of The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder with a Murder Mystery Prize Pack giveaway (details below) and an author chat party on April 28!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 4/28. The winner will be announced at The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Rachel and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

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RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!

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Book Review: Road to Bethlehem: A Prelude to The Seeds of Christianity Series by E.G. Lewis


road_zpsc45sab6j About the Book:

Having heard the Christmas story told and retold more times than we can count, it is easy to view Mary and Joseph as nothing more than paper people whom we encounter every year on the Christmas cards that crowd our mantle.

In Road to Bethlehem, a prelude to his popular Seeds of Christianity Series, E. G. Lewis rounds out this flat, two-dimensional view of Mary and Joseph. In his hands they become real flesh and blood people who live, love and interact with the world around them. Relying upon meticulous research and masterful storytelling, he has crafted a wonderfully entertaining, thought-provoking, and deeply informative novel. Through careful attention to detail he immerses the reader into the daily life of the new carpenter in Nazareth and a young woman named Mary who has caught his eye.

There’s a beautiful innocence to Mary and her thoughts. The author has a gentle way with words, explaining just enough to intrigue, leading enough to entice. Wise lessons are threaded into the tale…the power of forgiveness, the gift of mercy, and the healing capacity of love. The God of these pages is ever-present in the characters’ lives, but never intrusive. You’ll come away from this novel with a deep understanding and newfound respect for both Mary and Joseph. Like all of E. G. Lewis’ Seeds of Christianity books, Road to Bethlehem is both historically and Biblically accurate. As always, it includes Author’s Notes full of interesting insights designed to enhance your reading experience.

You can purchase your copy at Amazon.

About the Author:

Author of ten books, writing has always been a major part of E. G Lewis’ life. A former newspaper editor and publisher, his articles have appeared in many national and regional magazines. He also wrote and directed corporate training films. He has a graduate degree in Economics from Ohio State University and worked in management and corporate planning before becoming a full-time novelist. He and his wife, a writer and book editor, live on the Southern Oregon Coast.

My Opinion:

Often thought of as just a Christmas story, the story of Mary and Joseph is much more than that – it is a display of love, faith and sacrifice – and one that should mean much to the Christian year ’round. I’ve always been intrigued by what Joseph and Mary were like, what they did, how they interacted with those around them BEFORE the angel of the Lord came to them. The Bible doesn’t tell us much and I know it’s because it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things but as a watcher of people I like to know these things. E.G. Lewis gives us this glimpse, using historical information he weaves a tale with both accuracy from what is given us in the Bible as well as from facts, like how the Jewish people would have interacted with one another in daily living.

I almost thought the book was going to be dry and boring, but I was proven wrong, E.G. Lewis’ way of writing pulls the reader in and enchants them, pulling them into the world of the characters and making it feel like the reader is really standing in Joseph’s wood shop, inhaling the smell of fresh cut wood, stain. The whole book was masterfully written and is a great read whether in spring time before Easter or at Christmas time as we await Christ’s birth. Also of note is his author’s notes at the end – these are especially interesting to the reader who may wonder how Lewis got some of his details or are interested in more history surrounding the Bible’s account of Mary and Joseph. This is a fantastic read and I cannot wait to find E.G. Lewis’ other books and begin reading them!

 

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Litfuse Publicity: The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck


wedding_zpskc7jrt2f About the Book:

For sixty years, a wedding chapel sat silent, waiting for love. But times have changed and the hour has come when it just might be too late.

Retired hall-of-fame football coach Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook never imagined anything would come of his labor of love—the wedding chapel he built for Collette Greer, the woman he fell for back in ’49. But now an offer has come to turn the chapel into what it was meant to be—a place for love—and Jimmy sees no reason to hang onto his dream any longer.

Photographer Taylor Branson is trying to make a life for herself in New York. Leaving her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, she put a lot of things behind her, including her family’s abysmal marriage rate. But love surprises her when she falls head-over-heels for Jack Forester, a top ad man. Their whirlwind romance results in an elopement, and a mountain of doubt. Jack, while genuine in his love for Taylor, can never seem to overcome his own demons to find the words of his heart.

When Taylor takes an assignment in Heart’s Bend, the job does more than send her back to her hometown, but into a world of family secrets buried beneath the sands of time.

When Taylor’s journey intersects with Coach’s, they rediscover the heartbeat of their dreams and that the love they long to hold is right in front of them. And worth every waiting moment.

You can purchase your own copy at Rachel Hauck.

wedding2_zpsq3102h8a About the Author:

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as The Wedding Dress, Love Starts with Elle, and Once Upon A Prince. She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, Softly and Tenderly, one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets.

Connect with Rachel on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

My Opinion:

This is a beautiful story of long lost love and unrequited romance – set in both the modern world and also in 1948 and caught between Manhattan and Tennessee – there are viewpoints from the characters as they reminiscence and remember things from their past.Thankfully Rachel Hauck made it easy to know which view point was being read at any given moment. I fell in love right away with Jimmy and Collette’s love story – once they find out about letters that were kept away and the misunderstandings that have kept them apart of 60 years – you’ll fall in love too.

Of course, it’s a happily ever after sort of book, but I guess after sixty years of loss and wondering, “what if”, the characters are entitled to a bit of happily ever after. Of course Jimmy and Collette aren’t the only romance in this book there is also the marriage of Taylor and Jack but both are leading very separate lives even though married – how can they become one and renew that love that they first felt when they eloped? It all comes together in this book and it is a fast and enjoyable read.

You can read what other bloggers thought on the Litfuse Landing Page.

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Bethany House Review: The Midwife’s Choice (At Home in Trinity #2) by Delia Parr


midwife_zpsxraytvdq About the Book:

Come Home to Friendship, Family, and Faith in the Town of Trinity

In a time when the traditional ways of medicine are constantly being questioned by new doctors fresh from medical school, midwife Martha Cade tries to balance her life’s calling with the demands of her family. Recently reunited with her estranged seventeen-year-old daughter, Martha finds herself torn between guiding her child and allowing her to be an adult. At the same time, she must decide whether she’ll risk reopening the heart she’d long closed off to love.

Though a small town, Trinity, Pennsylvania, is fraught with secrets, and as a midwife, Martha moves among its people. She knows which homes are filled with light and love, which families have slipped into grief, which wives are unhappy, and which husbands dare to cross lines…As Martha struggles with the conflicts of being a mother, a midwife, and a woman, she learns the greatest lessons of all–that hope can shine even in the darkest hours, and that faith has a way of making the impossible possible.

You can purchase your own copy at Baker Publishing Group.

midwife2_zpsukrju4qr About the Author:

Delia Parr is the author of seventeen historical and inspirational historical romance novels, including The Midwife’s Tale, Hearts Awakening, Love’s First Bloom, and Hidden Affections. The mother of three grown children, she was a longtime high school teacher in southern New Jersey before retiring to Florida’s sunny west coast. In between visits to her grandchildren in several different states, she spends her time writing and volunteering alongside other women who share a bond of sisterhood as sisters of faith.

My Opinion:

I’ve not read any of Delia Parr’s books before and this is the second in the At Home in Trinity series and I have not read the first. While it is number two it is easy to pick up and just read – it could almost stand alone although I got the impression some of the characters were introduced in the first book, but it wasn’t hard to just begin reading – that is a huge make or break for me. I was intrigued by the whole “estranged daughter” in the book’s description but honestly when we are introduced to the estrangement situation it doesn’t sound like any estrangement I’ve witnessed and it seemed more like a misunderstanding between an almost adult daughter and her mom.

There was a hint of mystery in the book which added to the overall romance theme and gave a good climax and had me turning page after page. The characters come to life and are quite believable and as such the reader can envision they are actually in the little village of Trinity. The book is set when midwives are becoming a thing of the past and doctors are becoming all the rage but the book takes the view that both have their places, which is great because they do. Overall, this is a fantastically developed book and I look forward to reading books 1 and 3 when I can.

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Kregel Tour: A Thousand Shall Fall (Shenandoah Valley Saga Book 1) by Andrea Boeshaar


About the Book:

A story of love, hope, and healing set in the midst of the Civil War

Nineteen-year-old Carrie Ann Bell is independent and spirited. The only thing she really fears are the Union soldiers fighting against her Confederate friends. When her youngest sister runs away from home, brave Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back. Disguised as a soldier, she sets off—only to find she’s fallen into the hands of the enemy.

Her childhood friend Confederate Major Joshua Blevins has warned her against these Yankees: they’re all devils, ready to inflict evil on unsuspecting young women. When Colonel Peyton Collier arrests her for her impersonation of an officer, it seems to confirm all her fears.

Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel. He rescued her, protected her, and has been every inch the gentleman. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally—and more than that, someone she could love. But the arrival of Joshua in the Union camp as a spy will test her loyalties. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?

Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, A Thousand Shall Fall is framed around compelling characters and a very romantic setting in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Andrea Boeshaar’s extensive research guarantees historical accuracy and romance genre enthusiasts and Civil War buffs alike will enjoy the Christian perspectives on actual historical events.

You can purchase your copy at Kregel.

About the Author:

Andrea Boeshaar is the cofounder of American Christian Fiction Writers and runs “The Writer’s ER,” a coaching service for writers. She is the author of thirty published works, including Threads of Faith, a finalist in the Inspirational Readers Choice Awards. Andrea is also the author of a popular devotional and regularly blogs on a number of sites.

You can connect with Andrea at her website, Facebook and Twitter.

 

My Opinion:

I am a huge Civil War history buff, visiting the historical sites and reading books set during that time or about that time gets my interest piqued so when I had a chance to read A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar I had to join in the tour. The book takes place in the Shenandoah Valley of West Virginia, which ironically enough is where I’m writing this review at – in a city that is mentioned in the book several times – and others that I’ve actually visited. Carrie is the heroine that most of us like to read about, strong and confident and sure of her ability to save everyone – she dresses as a man in order to go after her runaway sister and in the hopes her mother may finally love her and welcome her back home. Colonel Peyton Collier is a changed man, although the only ones who believe that is his Aunt and her freed slave, Tabitha.

The book kept me turning the pages quickly and even waking up in the middle of the early morning to get more reading in, a source of frustration that there is no down time at work to read or I would have had it read sooner. I was swept up in the tale of the North and South forces as they battle to take town after town and those who are neither side and terrorize the citizens. Carrie’s story feels so real, the romance that forms after a lapse when she sutures the Colonel’s arm and her struggle to be a caring, loving daughter and sister even after the truth of her familial heritage is revealed. I can even ‘see’ some of the landscape, especially Harper’s Ferry that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting – the writing of Andrea Boeshaar is rich with feeling and descriptions that make it a wonderful read.

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Book Review: Cast Me Not Away by Zara Heritage


cast1_zpsapgl4zrs About the Book:

Aktion T4, a largely secret program approved by the Nazis in 1939, was designed to rid the nation of young children deemed unworthy of life. It eventually took the lives of over 200,000 children and laid the groundwork for the destruction of millions of Jews and other perceived enemies of the state. Despite Nazism’s defeat, its wickedness lives on. Today the world wrestles with concepts such as quality of life, meaningful medical benefit, and rationing care for the sick and elderly. Where will it end?

Fast forward to a time and place where the future meets the past and the abortion/euthanasia movement reaches its inevitable conclusion. Family size is strictly regulated, the unborn are routinely aborted, and unwanted children are labeled useless and sent away to be gassed and their bodies incinerated.

In this time of societal darkness, Mira Hastings and Grayson Stevens join a cadre of brave individuals who stand against this juggernaut of evil by putting their lives on the line to rescue ill-fated youngsters from certain death. In a bold attempt to bring down the beast, they publicly expose the greed and corruption that drives the system. Declared enemies of the state, Mira and Gray are forced underground as they flee the wrath of a vengeful government. While on the run they encounter danger at every turn. But, with the aid of a network of supporters, they also encounter hope, joy…and eventually love.

You can purchase a copy on Amazon.

My Opinion:

Since this is Zara’s debut novel I was a bit nervous about how the book would actually be written and I was so pleased by it. The book is well written and the characters well formed and add a dimension of reality to the entire story. Set in the future when family sizes are limited and if you want more than allowed you have to get permission or chose which child to get rid of. Heartbreaking. Thought provoking. This book runs the gamut of emotions from the feeling of justice for an unnecessary murder, to love both the protection kind and the truly agape love of the Bible. As I said the characters come to life on the pages of Cast Me Not Away, from the bad characters to the good, they all come to live with Zara’s vibrant writing.

The scary part about this book is that it’s only a matter of time before these fictional happenings will become reality – in fact with abortion and even letting babies born alive after an abortion attempt die or be killed – is already coming to fruition. The thought of it being allowed by law to kill a child up to age 4 is beyond our comprehension, for those who view children as valuable and as blessings, no matter their abilities levels. What about the family that has “too many” and must make the decision to give their pre-born child away or abort it or give away a child they’re already bonded too? As the saying goes, evil triumphs when good men do nothing, and so Zara’s novel will open many eyes, or at least I pray it does.

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Kregel Tour: The Aleppo Code (Book 3 in The Jerusalem Prophecies series) by Terry Brennan


code_zpsffgtleak About the Book:

The living members of Tom Bohannon’s band of adventurers gather again in Jerusalem–physically battered, emotionally exhausted, spiritually challenged, and in various stages of shock–to examine a copy of the tenth-century Aleppo Code, the oldest complete text of Jewish scripture. What the clues inside reveal could lead to the reuniting of the Ark of the Covenant with its true source of power, a weapon that could lead to victory for this ragged bunch trying to save the world.

Hunted by the relentless assassins of the Prophet’s Guard and caught in the web of an international conspiracy plotting the conquest of Europe, Bohannon’s team searches the ruins of Ancient Babylon. Their search lands them amid the chaos that engulfs western Iraq, but they must press on to accomplish one of the most pivotal pieces of end-times prophecy. This intrepid group will uncover secrets that require them to risk everything for their faith, their country, and the peace of all mankind.

Unfolding against the backdrop of an Israeli/U.S. strike against Iran and the planned economic overthrow of the European Union by the sinister, secret head of the international Muslim Brotherhood, The Aleppo Code is a heart-pounding race. Brennan takes an epic story on a grand scale and tells it primarily through the eyes of one man who is desperately trying to save the world as he follows God’s purpose for his life.

Purchase your own copy at Kregel.

Learn more about the author and his book on his website, Terry Brennan.

My Opinion:

I love a good mystery and weave it together with Biblical history, people and places and well the author might as well know they’ve sucked me in. Such is the case with Terry Brennan’s The Jerusalem Prophecies – all three books pulled me in and kept me reading them till long into the night even when I had to be up at 4:30a.m. to go into work. That said this review is to be mainly focused on the third book, The Aleppo Code, but the first two are an absolute must read before you begin the third book. While The Aleppo Code may be able to be read alone it will be better understood if you start with The Sacred Cipher and then The Brotherhood Conspiracy as each book builds upon the other and the entirety of the story will be better understood by reading the whole trilogy.

As I mentioned above this book picks up where book two left off – Tom Bohannon and his family, friends and colleagues are still being pursued by the Prophet’s Guards and all their lives are still at risk unless they complete the code and take the next steps. Having to struggle with each of their own doubts about their faith each character must examine his or herself to find where they stand when it comes to the Lord. The struggle is real. Trying to decide to step out in faith and put all their trust in the Lord is also real, the characters are well developed and as I read I felt as if I could be right along with them. I could feel the heat of the Middle East, the terror as I’m being pursued by murderers and the thrill and the fear of finding, well, I won’t give away the story.

If you enjoy archaeology, history of any kind but especially Biblical history, twist and turns and a good mystery then look no further than The Aleppo Code because it has it all. Terry Brennan has put a lot of heart and soul in this book and it shows – the details in the book are so real the places almost leap off the pages as I read it. I won’t keep repeating myself about this book and the series in general – this is a must read and I don’t usually say that lightly. While it was a thrilling read and it kept me up late it also took me longer to read than normal because of the detail and not wanting to miss anything. Terry has also kindly included a list of characters, which helped as I read it especially at the beginning to keep them all straight. An excellent read!

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Litfuse Publicity: Wispers in the Reading Room (A Chicago World’s Fair Mystery) by Shelley Gray


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About the Book:

Lydia’s job at the library is her world—until a mysterious patron catches her eye . . . and perhaps her heart.

Just months after the closure of the Chicago World’s Fair, librarian Lydia Bancroft finds herself fascinated by a mysterious dark-haired and dark-eyed patron. He has never given her his name; he actually never speaks to a single person. All she knows about him is that he loves books as much as she does.

Only when he rescues her in the lobby of the Hartman Hotel does she discover that his name is Sebastian Marks. She also discovers that he lives at the top of the prestigious hotel and that most everyone in Chicago is intrigued by him.

Lydia and Sebastian form a fragile friendship, but when she discovers that Mr. Marks isn’t merely a very wealthy gentleman, but also the proprietor of an infamous saloon and gambling club, she is shocked.

Lydia insists on visiting the club one fateful night and suddenly is a suspect to a murder. She must determine who she can trust, who is innocent, and if Sebastian Marks-the man so many people fear-is actually everything her heart believes him to be.

You can purchase your copy here.

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About the Author:

Shelley Gray is the author of The Heart of a Hero series. Her Amish novel (written as Shelley Shepard Gray), The Protector, recently made the New York Times best seller list. A native of Texas, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Colorado and taught school for ten years. She and her husband have two children and live in Southern Ohio.

You can connect with her at her website, on Twitter and Facebook.

My Opinion:

I have to apologize for two items of note, the first being how late I am in getting this review written and the second is that I have not read the other two books and that is a mistake I will be rectifying soon. While there are two books before Whispers in the Reading Room, this book does stand alone and stands alone quite well I might add. Back before huge libraries with multiple branches came about there were reading rooms, quiet, low key affairs and that is where Lydia works and where Sebastian Marks frequents – both notice the other but have not yet been thrown together until now.

Shelley writes superbly and the mystery weaves a tangled web of deceit and also one of reconciliation and ultimately love. Lydia needs everyone to think that she is still quite eligible for a marriage to one of society’s elite but what she finds our about her beau is anything but redeeming. Mr. Marks comes to her aid and there begins the mystery, who is he? Who is she? Then of course what will become of all of them – the maid, his ‘man’ and the jilted ex-beau? Well I’ll let you read to find out – it was a quick read and one that will keep you guessing the who done it well into the early hours of the morning.

Please do note that there is murder but it’s not described in detail until one the main characters is killed and even then it’s not something that I wouldn’t have an issue with my oldest daughter reading. Also there are mentions of women who are plying their trade, also known as prostitution, but the details are not involved and I don’t think the word prostitution is used – if it is I don’t recall it. Overall, though this book was a fantastic work of fiction and I’m looking forward to reading the first two books because I truly enjoy Gray’s writing and this one is no different.

To see what other bloggers thought please visit the Litfuse Landing Page.

 

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Litfuse Publicity: A Thousand Shall Fall (Shenandoah Valley Saga #1) by Andrea Boeshaar


About the Book:

A story of love, hope, and healing set in the midst of the Civil War

Nineteen-year-old Carrie Ann Bell is independent and spirited. The only thing she really fears are the Union soldiers fighting against her Confederate friends. When her youngest sister runs away from home, brave Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back. Disguised as a soldier, she sets off—only to find she’s fallen into the hands of the enemy.

Her childhood friend Confederate Major Joshua Blevins has warned her against these Yankees: they’re all devils, ready to inflict evil on unsuspecting young women. When Colonel Peyton Collier arrests her for her impersonation of an officer, it seems to confirm all her fears.

Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel. He rescued her, protected her, and has been every inch the gentleman. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally—and more than that, someone she could love. But the arrival of Joshua in the Union camp as a spy will test her loyalties. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?

Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, A Thousand Shall Fall is framed around compelling characters and a very romantic setting in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Andrea Boeshaar’s extensive research guarantees historical accuracy and romance genre enthusiasts and Civil War buffs alike will enjoy the Christian perspectives on actual historical events.

Purchase your copy here.

About the Author:

Andrea Boeshaar is the cofounder of American Christian Fiction Writers and runs “The Writer’s ER,” a coaching service for writers. She is the author of thirty published works, including Threads of Faith, a finalist in the Inspirational Readers Choice Awards. Andrea is also the author of a popular devotional and regularly blogs on a number of sites.

You can connect with Andrea on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

My Opinion:

I am a huge Civil War history buff, visiting the historical sites and reading books set during that time or about that time gets my interest piqued so when I had a chance to read A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar I had to join in the tour. The book takes place in the Shenandoah Valley of West Virginia, which ironically enough is where I’m writing this review at – in a city that is mentioned in the book several times – and others that I’ve actually visited. Carrie is the heroine that most of us like to read about, strong and confident and sure of her ability to save everyone – she dresses as a man in order to go after her runaway sister and in the hopes her mother may finally love her and welcome her back home. Colonel Peyton Collier is a changed man, although the only ones who believe that is his Aunt and her freed slave, Tabitha.

The book kept me turning the pages quickly and even waking up in the middle of the early morning to get more reading in, a source of frustration that there is no down time at work to read or I would have had it read sooner. I was swept up in the tale of the North and South forces as they battle to take town after town and those who are neither side and terrorize the citizens. Carrie’s story feels so real, the romance that forms after a lapse when she sutures the Colonel’s arm and her struggle to be a caring, loving daughter and sister even after the truth of her familial heritage is revealed. I can even ‘see’ some of the landscape, especially Harper’s Ferry that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting – the writing of Andrea Boeshaar is rich with feeling and descriptions that make it a wonderful read.

If you’d like to see what other bloggers thought please visit the Litfuse Landing Page.

 

 

The search for her runaway sister goes awry when Carrie finds herself arrested during the Civil War for impersonating an officer in Andrea Boeshaar’s A Thousand Shall Fall. Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel who arrested her. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally—and more than that, someone she could love. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?

Andrea is celebrating the release of A Thousand Shall Fall with a Kindle Fire giveaway!

400 - a thousand shall fall

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of A Thousand Shall Fall
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 10th. The winner will be announced December 11th on Andrea’s blog.

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