Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Beneath The Bending Skies By Jane Kirkpatrick

Beneath the Bending Skies
by Jane Kirkpatrick
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 9780800736125

This is the first Jane Kirkpatrick book I've read in years. And the cover, isn't it absolutely stunning? I received my book for review from Revell. 

Summary:

Bound by duty--loosed by destiny

Mollie Sheehan has spent much of her life striving to be a dutiful daughter and honor her father's wishes, even when doing so has led to one heartbreak after another. After all, what options does she truly have in 1860s Montana? But providing for her stepfamily during her father's long absences doesn't keep her from wishing for more. 

When romance blooms between her and Peter Ronan, Mollie finally allows herself to hope for a brighter future--until her father voices his disapproval of the match and moves her to California to ensure the breakup. Still, time and providence are at work, even when circumstances are at their bleakest. Mollie may soon find that someone far greater than her father is in control of the course of her life--and that even the command to "honor thy father" has its limits.


My Review:

Initially when I started Beneath the Bending Skies, I didn't realize it was going to read like a diary. It actually took me a long time to get into it because I thought the author was setting us up for the story. I'm conflicted by my thoughts on the book. If I were able to separate out the "story" part from the "telling/info" part, I think I might've really enjoyed it more. I also think the separated chunks of writing in each chapter just didn't flow well for me.

The story is a very heavy, oftentimes depressing story. We initially meet Mollie who is a young girl, whose father is domineering and inconsiderate. He is constantly moving her around and springs a new mother & sibling on her after being separated from her for almost a year. His overbearing & controlling ways with Mollie is creepy and possessive. And I don't mean in the "doting father" kind of way. He never has a nice thing to say to her or his wife it seems. Kind of funny since he's never around, but demands they do as he says.

When she finally meets Peter, who is kind, loving, and her father's friend they fall in love, but because of her father's controlling ways, he forbids it and moves them away again. One of my issues with this story is how negatively Scripture is used to force Mollie to be obedient to her father. And it's not just from him, it's from their priest as well. I didn't get a faith message in this story other than it being wielded as a weapon.

Mollie moves so often we never really get a chance to know many of the secondary characters who pop up throughout the story. When Mollie and Peter finally settle in, we're able to get to know a handful of people. Mollie is a likable character who my heart goes out to from beginning to end. Peter is wonderful and patient. Together, they're a force to be reckoned with. Once Mollie has charted her course with her own family I feel a sense of rightness for her. I was certainly able to enjoy the story more once she was out from under her father's thumb.

This is based on a true story so for lovers of American history, specifically during those gold rush years, I think this will appeal to you. If you like first person, diary style writing, then this will be right up your alley! While this story wasn't for me, I have no doubt it will be enjoyed by other readers of this genre!

About the Author:

Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling and award-winning author of forty books, including Something Worth DoingOne More River to CrossEverything She Didn't SayAll Together in One PlaceA Light in the WildernessThe Memory WeaverThis Road We Traveled, and A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. Her works have won the WILLA Literary Award, the Carol Award for Historical Fiction, and the 2016 Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award. And been short-listed for the Christy, Spur, and Oregon Book Awards. Jane divides her time between Central Oregon and California with her husband, Jerry, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Caesar. Learn more at www.jkbooks.com.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

A Gem Of Truth By Kimberley Woodhouse

A Gem of Truth
by Kimberley Woodhouse
Publisher: Bethany House
Series: Secrets of the Canyon
ISBN: 9780764238017

I'm grateful that Kimberley allowed me to be on her launch team for book two! I was glad to be able to follow up book one with Julia's story. I'm already looking forward to book three! She sent me her book for this book launch.


Summary:

Escaping her shattered past is much more difficult than she imagined.

Julia Schultz has a reputation for being a storyteller, or as others see it, a liar. But with her dark and painful past, stories are all that have kept her company throughout her life. Longing for a fresh start and a second chance to earn real trust, Julia takes a job as a Harvey Girl at the El Tovar Hotel, where she's challenged to be her true self.

Learning the trade of a master jeweler is hard work, but Christopher Miller takes pride in running his family's small shop and earning the respect of the people around him. But when he discovers that he has six weeks to buy his building from his landlord before it is sold, he must find a way to save his grandfather's legacy.

United by the discovery of a legendary treasure, Chris and Julia find hope in each other. But when Julia's past catches up with her, doubt creeps into Chris's heart. Can he really trust her and her stories?

My Review:

I've become a big fan of Harvey Girl stories and A Gem of Truth carries on their tradition. Julia was such a sweet character, but it was easy to understand how her stories created a barrier between her and the other girls. We all have different ways of protecting ourselves, and Julia's stories did that for her. I really loved that the women who were in charge actually showed her love by speaking truth to her. 

I also liked that even in a new Harvey House, the head waitress, Ruth, played a big part in reaching Julia's heart. She was also a delightful character and I'm happy that she will get her own book. It was also fun to revisit with Emma and Ray, although more so Emma in the story. She's the catalyst for Julia's adventure.

Then, of course, there's Chris Miller, the jeweler. I could just imagine his workshop, his store (inherited from his grandpa), and his designs. It was fortuitous that he met Julia at just the right time. Let's just say, getting connected in El Tovar is more than he bargains for!

There was a sweet faith thread that ran through the whole story as several ladies try to show Christ to Julia. I appreciated that they extended grace and mercy, but also were just in how they handled things like Florence's behavior. Ooooo she's a stinker of a character.

Speaking of which, there were a couple of bad guys in the story, but they seemed more like the Two Stooges than very threatening. Seriously, nothing could go right for them, which was clearly a good thing!

I look forward to reading Ruth's story next!

About the Author:

Kimberley Woodhouse (www.kimberleywoodhouse.com) is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 25 fiction and nonfiction books. Kim and her incredible husband of 30-plus years live in the Poconos, where they play golf together, spend time with their kids and grandbaby, and research all the history around them.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Bring Her Home By Hannah Currie

Bring Her Home
by Hannah Currie
Publisher: WhiteCrown Publishing
Series: Crown of Promise
ASIN: B0B5Y24GZD

First of all, this cover is gorgeous. Second, the storyline grabbed my attention! And third, I received the ebook ARC for this review.

Summary:

Since the morning he woke to find his precious daughter gone with only the remains of their latest argument left behind, King Lior has been praying she’d come home. For four years now, he’s prayed and searched, sending his best knights to find Evangeline, only to hear nothing. Until the day their missive arrives with three words: we’ve found her. He sends one right back with orders to bring her home.

But that order isn’t easily achieved. Evangeline, now a lowly servant, has no plans to return. Though the knights claim her father still loves her, she knows the truth: he’d cast her aside as quickly as everyone else if he knew how far she’d truly fallen. She can’t go home. Not with her scars. Or her failures. Or her son.

Only, the knights won’t leave without her. And just as she starts to wonder if maybe they might be right, the choice is taken from her altogether.

Sir Darrek thought the hardest part of his quest would be finding Evangeline. He had no idea how difficult it would be to get her home.

My Review:

What an incredibly powerful story! I was very surprised at the depth that the author covered in this story and it spoke to my heart.

We meet Evangeline, who left home as an early teen in defiance of her father. Darrek, one of her father's knights has spent the past four years with other knights looking for her. When we meet them, Eva, as she goes by that now, is a servant for a tyrant of a ruler in his kingdom. Darrek and his fellow knights have found her, but have to figure out how to help her escape.

Eva has been broken over the years and the way the author explains it, is heart wrenching. I appreciate that the author understands what young adults are going through and does an incredible job of giving readers an insight to self-harm and the ramifications that can come from it that the person probably struggles with. Not an easy topic, but I'm thankful the author weaves it into her story.

Darrek is a man of faith, but we can see his struggles as well. He's lost a lot in his young life and while he's very hopeful to rescue Eva, he knows that God doesn't always answer the way we hope. His encouragement and caretaking of Eva is beautiful and tremendous example of how God loves us, oftentimes in spite of what we've done.

There's also a hint of the prodigal son in this story through Eva, but also through the sibling who stayed, which I already can't wait to read Rose's story! Whew! How is God going to work though that daughter of the king? 

About the Author:

Australian author, Hannah Currie, loves God, family, people (in small numbers, let’s not go crazy here!) and writing. A book nerd from birth, she knows firsthand the difference a good book can make in a person’s life. Even, and especially, fiction. Her dream as a writer is to make people laugh, cry and maybe even swoon a little but mostly to remind them that no matter how dark life may get at times, because of God, there is always hope. 

She and her husband live with their three adorable kids in sunny Queensland, where it really is beautiful one day and perfect the next. Except, maybe, during heatwaves. They’re not so fun. 

She loves to connect with readers. Come visit her at www.hannahcurrie.com

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Forged By Sara Davison + GIVEAWAY

Forged JustRead Blog + Review Tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Forged by Sara Davison, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I received the ebook for review. The review below is my honest opinion.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Forged Title: Forged 
Series: The Night Guardians Series #4 
Author: Sara Davison 
Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink 
Release Date: September 5, 2022 
Genre: Christian, Romantic Suspense

The one missing person he can’t find

is the one who matters the most. 

Private Investigator Jax Rodriguez has been searching for his brother, Diego, for twenty years. When he stumbles upon another lead, he makes an agonizing decision—he will follow this last trail until it grows cold, and then he will marry the woman he loves and abandon his quest once and for all. 

Artist Mikayla Grant is terrified of losing another person close to her, but she has to let Jax go after his brother. Given the secrecy surrounding Diego’s disappearance, clearly Jax is heading into danger. When all contact with him is abruptly cut off, can Mikayla trust that God’s promise to never leave or forsake Jax will be enough to bring him safely home, or does she need to take matters into her own hands? 

As Jax attempts to survive the dangerous streets of Caracus, Venezuela and then face the myriad of unknown threats in the El Yunque Rainforest in Puerto Rico, he is not the only one following his brother’s trail. 

A ruthless drug lord bent on revenge is using all his resources to discover the truth about what happened to Diego. If Jax can't stay one step ahead of his pursuer, then he, like his brother, could disappear and never be heard from again.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | BookBub


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara Davison

Sara Davison is the author of four romantic suspense series—The Seven Trilogy, The Night Guardians, The Rose Tattoo Trilogy, and two sparrows for a penny, as well as the standalone, The Watcher. A finalist for more than a dozen national writing awards, she is a Word, Cascade, and Carol Award winner. She currently resides in Ontario with her husband, Michael, and their three mostly grown kids. Like every good Canadian, she loves coffee, hockey, poutine, and apologizing for no particular reason.

Connect with Sara by visiting saradavison.org to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

My review:

Once again I've enjoyed another, and the last, book in this series! There is a LOT that happens in this story and having just finished it, I'm trying to collect my thoughts.

First, let's talk about the faith that is woven throughout this entire story. Thank you, Sara. Thank you for making faith such a vital part of this story. None of it felt forced, and it had such deep meaning to the characters!

It took me a little bit to reacquaint myself with the characters and their previous stories. It was action packed from the get-go. From being nearly run over to running for their lives, Jax and Mikayla will do what they have to to find answers.

I really enjoyed the Spanish filtered throughout the story. While most I didn't understand, maybe a word or phrase here and there, the author does a great job of either explaining via conversation what was said, through the character's response, or in a natural way as part of the story. 

While I loved Jax and Mikayla's tenacity and determination, I kept wanting to yell to them to STOP! But it was easy enough to put myself in their shoes knowing I'd make the same choices. lol There were some surprises that I wasn't expecting, but really enjoyed.

The ending actually surprised me and gave me quite the contented sigh. I'm going to miss this group of people, but I still need to go back and read Guarded, which I bought about a year ago. So, I'm not quite finished with them yet. Just out of order.


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(2) winners will receive a paperback copy of Forged and $25 Amazon gift card.

Forged JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight September 12, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on September 19, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Worthy of Legend By Roseanna M. White

Worthy of Legend
by Roseanna M. White
Publisher: Bethany House
Series: The Secret of the Isles
ISBN: 9780764237201

I was so thrilled to once again be on Roseanna's launch team. This entire series has been an absolute delight! She sent me her book for being part of her launch team and to help facilitate this review.

Summary:

1906  

After a summer of successful pirate-treasure hunting, Lady Emily Scofield and her friends must hide the unprecedented discoveries they've made, thanks to the betrayal of her own family. Horrified by her brother, who will stop at nothing to prove himself to their greedy father, Emily is forced to take a stand against her family--even if it means being cut off entirely.

Bram Sinclair, Earl of Telford, is fascinated with tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table--an interest he's kept mostly hidden for the last decade. But when a diary is unearthed on the islands that could lead to a secret artifact, Bram is the only one able to piece the legends together.

As Bram and Emily seek out the whereabouts of the hidden artifact, they must dodge her family and a team of archaeologists. In a race against time, it is up to them to decide what makes a hero worthy of legend. Is it fighting valiantly to claim the treasure . . . or sacrificing everything in the name of selfless love?

My Review:

I'll be honest here... I was really sad to end this series. This merry band of friends really endeared themselves to me. They each had their quirks and admirable traits, which when blended together makes the reader want to be one of them!

I enjoyed getting to know Emily better in Worth of Legend. Unfortunately, in the previous story we learn that her father and bother aren't the greatest of people and let me just say, they continue on in this story as well. If you like when authors create characters you love to hate, you'll definitely feel that way about those two.

BUT what I loved was that the author did an EXCELLENT job of, through Emily, showing us how God would want us to love, to show mercy, to reflect Him to those who are hardest of heart.

Then there's Bram. Not an easy-to-like fellow in the previous book, but I liked him much better this go round! How can one not like a man who loves all things King Arthur? He certainly takes some cues from the knights when it comes to chivalry! It was wonderful watching him grow in faith through this story as they hunt for a treasure.

There's also a side story of Tommie (Emily's maid) and Enyon. What Tommie has dealt with at the hands of Nigel may be hard for some readers. We're never given details, we just know inherently what transpired.

The way the author uses the men in Emily and Tommie's lives is a beautiful reminder of the fact that we're all loved by God and created in His image. Others may treat us poorly, but that doesn't have to define us. There were just so many good lessons throughout this story.

Once again, one of my favorite characters is Mamm-wynn! I could've easily used more of her in this story. The sage characters tend to be some of my favorites.

I'm going to miss this band of merry friends, but I'll happily revisit the Scillies!

About the Author:

(www.roseannamwhite.com) is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. She pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of numerous novels, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to Edwardian British series. Roseanna lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at www.roseannamwhite.com.

 
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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.