About the Book
Simon Harlow is one of an elite corps of American soldiers. Regularly chosen for dangerous covert missions, he is tasked with infiltrating Paris to ascertain the Axis’s defenses. Nearly caught by German forces moments after arriving, he owes his life to the beautiful prostitute who claims she’s been waiting for the Allies to arrive. Her lifestyle goes against everything he believes in, but will she steal his heart during his quest to liberate her city?
Inspired by the biblical story of Rahab, Love’s Rescue is a tale of faith and hope during one of history’s darkest periods.
Love’s Rescue is the first book I’ve read by Linda Shenton Matchett. It’s the second in the Wartime Brides series but works completely fine as a standalone book. Love’s Rescue is set in German occupied Paris, France, near the end of World War II.
Ms. Shenton Matchett has written a great story that explores topics including survival, redemption, and trusting in God.
Rolande is our main character. She is a French woman forced into prostitution and eventually becomes a member of the French Resistance. Rolande is smart and resourceful and though she is aware of what her family and other people think of her, she is unapologetic about what she had to do to survive. She is hesitant to believe that God can use someone like her to do His work, but learns to trust that is true.
Simon is our other main character. He’s an American soldier who is tasked with infiltrating Paris to ascertain the locations of German troops before the Allied invasion of Paris. He’s a nice character who is uneasy about what he’s done in the war and takes an instant liking to Rolande.
Because this is a novella, the romance between Rolande and Simon feels rushed, but we expect that out of these shorter stories. Love’s Rescue felt extremely quick, however, and it spent a lot of time on the set up of the story that could’ve been discarded.
The novella is a very quick and easy read, but Ms. Shenton Matchett creates emotions and depth in the main characters that belies the shortness of the story. Despite the rushed romance, both Rolande and Simon are fully realized characters with motivations and character actions that make sense for their respective plotlines and characters.
I give Love’s Rescue 3/5 stars and can recommend it to anyone looking for a quick, somewhat satisfying read that explores themes of redemption and trust.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from CelebrateLit. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
More from Linda:
Love’s Rescue is a modern retelling of the biblical book of Rahab. I set the story in Paris during the last weeks of the German occupation of France during WWII. While researching the book, I read numerous memoirs and interviews of folks who lived through the occupation. Two aspects discussed time and time again were rationing and the difficulty in getting food. People with any amount of land at all planted produce to supplement the meager supply in the shops. If they were fortunate and an egg was available, it would be fried to a runny consistency and poured over the top of the dish.
Here is a simple recipe for Ratatouille:
1 whole white onion
1 large eggplant
1 large zucchini
1 bell pepper
2 medium tomatoes
2 large cloves garlic
2 sprigs thyme
2 T Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Texas Book-aholic, April 16
Carpe Diem, April 17
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 18
Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 19
Inklings and notions , April 20
A Reader’s Brain, April 21
Genesis 5020, April 22
Books, Books, and More Books., April 22
Carla Loves to Read, April 23
Connie’s History Classroom, April 23
For Him and my Family, April 24
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 24
Maureen’s Musings, April 25
Connect in Fiction, April 26
Through the Fire Blogs, April 26
mpbooks, April 27
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 27
Real World Bible Study, April 28
My Devotional Thoughts , April 28
janicesbookreviews, April 29
The Becca Files, April 29
To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away a grand prize of a French/WWII themed gift basket that includes a WWII Word Find book by Linda Shenton Matchett, Love’s Rescue – Wartime Brides Book 2 by Linda Shenton Matchett, French-milled soap lavender scent, a Fleur-de-lis ribbon book mark, a set of three note pads with French motif, and a set of cocktail napkins with French motif!!
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/de7e/love-s-rescue-celebration-tour-giveaway
Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Book
It is the worst of times . . .
Paris groans with a restlessness that can no longer be contained within its city streets. Hunger and hatred fuel her people. Violence seeps into the ornate halls of Versailles. Even Gagnon’s table in the quiet village of Mouton Blanc bears witness to the rumbles of rebellion, where Marcel Moreau embodies its voice and heart.
It is the story that has never been told.
In one night, the best and worst of fate collide. A chance encounter with a fashionable woman will bring Renée’s sewing skills to light and secure a place in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette. An act of reckless passion will throw Laurette into the arms of the increasingly militant Marcel. And Gagnon, steadfast in his faith in God and country, can only watch as those he loves march straight into the heart of the revolution.
I haven’t read Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities since high school, and so I did not remember the character of the seamstress. However, I love reading stories about the French Revolution, as it is an often overlooked time period in my reading experience, and Allison Pittman has written an excellent novel in The Seamstress.
This is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Pittman, and I was immediately drawn in. She has created a setting and characters so vivid I could immediately see the setting and the characters in my head. The story begins when the main character, Renee, and her cousin, Laurette, are taken in by a neighbor, Gagnon, who lets them sleep in his barn and work on his farm.
Renee is a great character. She loves the farm and raising sheep, though a little too idealistic. It seems weird to say that someone who grew up in poverty and endured the struggles of that upbringing could be idealistic, but once she moved to Paris to work in the royal household, I found her often naïve and hopeful when she should have been more aware of the consequences of the unrest growing in pre-Revolutionary France.
Laurette is the other main character, and I related to her immensely. She was desperate for a place to belong and kept trying to fill it with people and things instead of God. The themes of redemption are strongest in her storyline and I found myself rooting for her as she navigated her way through a life of uncertainties and unwise choices.
The Seamstress is a book that will stick with you. I was rooting for all the characters and the portrayal of the King of France and Marie Antoinette is an interesting one, and one not often seen as they are considered the “villains” of the French Revolution.
I give this book 4/5 stars and recommend it to those wanting to read more about the French Revolution and those who enjoy nuanced takes on polarizing historical figures (in this case, Marie Antoinette). The book is well-written and the themes of redemption, what makes a family a family, and equality in the eyes of the government are given appropriate amounts of page space and conclude the story in a way that is satisfying.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through CelebrateLit. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
Guest Post from Allison
My dream of being an author began by “finishing” other author’s works, fleshing out the stories of neglected characters. When I read the final books in the Little House series, I was far more interested in Cap Garland than I was in Almonzo Wilder, and I imagined all kinds of stories in which he was the hero.
This, The Seamstress, is one of those stories that came to me in a single burst of thought. I was teaching my sophomore English class, discussing through the final scenes in A Tale of Two Cities,when the little seamstress in those final pages reached out to me. She is a nameless character, seemingly more symbolic than anything. Dickens, however, gives her an entire backstory in a single phrase: I have a cousin who lives in the country. How will she ever know what became of me? I remember pausing right then and there in front of my students and saying, “Now, there’s the story I want to write.”
Now, years later, I have.
While every word of every Charles Dickens novel is a master class in writing, what he gave to me for The Seamstress is the kind of stuff that brings life and breath to fiction. I have to convey the fact that any character on my pages—no matter how much story space he or she is allotted—has a life between them. Every man was once a child; every woman a vulnerable young girl.
So, Dickens gave me the bones of the story. A seamstress. A cousin in the country. A country ripped apart; family torn from family. I did my very best to put flesh on those bones, but no writer can ever bring the life and breath. Only a reader can do that.
Fiction Aficionado, February 9
The Lit Addict, February 9
The Power of Words, February 9
Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis & Christ Collide, February 10
Lis Loves Reading, February 10
Maureen’s Musings, February 10
Carpe Diem, February 11
A Baker’s Perspective, February 11
All-of-a-kind Mom, February 12
Emily Yager, February 12
Mary Hake, February 12
Stories By Gina, February 13
Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 13
The Christian Fiction Girl, February 13
Inspired by fiction, February 14
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14
Remembrancy, February 14
Through the Fire Blogs, February 15
Seasonsofopportunities, February 15
Inspiration Clothesline, February 15
Books, Books, and More Books, February 16
Inklings and Notions, February 16
Locks, Hooks and Books, February 16
Bibliophile Reviews, February 17
Texas Book-aholic, February 17
Margaret Kazmierczak, February 18
A Reader’s Brain, February 18
By The Book, February 18
Multifarious, February 19
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 19
Pause for Tales, February 19
Bigreadersite, February 20
Simple Harvest Reads, February 20
Janices book reviews, February 20
For the Love of Books, February 21
Book by Book, February 21
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 21
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 22
To Everything A Season, February 22
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 22
To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card, a hardcover copy of The Seamstress, and this copy of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens!!
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/db0e/the-seamstress-celebration-tour-giveaway
About the Book
Using biblical principles, but not relying on miracles or “name-it-and-claim-it” theology, Dan provides easy-to-follow, practical steps that can be used by anyone to escape financial bondage. Finally, he encourages readers to use their financial freedom to help others and advance God’s kingdom, and to use their newfound fiscal wisdom to store up wealth. Without shaming those who struggle financially, 5 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom is the perfect combination of spiritual wisdom and practical advice for those who desperately need it.
Five Simple Steps to Financial Freedom is the first book I’ve read by Dan Willis. As someone who helps facilitate a budgeting basics class for my own church and being in the middle of my own debt reduction journey, I was excited to read this book by Mr. Willis to see if I might gain some tips or tricks to help the class.
This book is written in a clear, simple to understand manner. I felt like Mr. Willis was speaking directly to me in this book and I appreciated it. It’s always interesting when reading a financial health book because in my experience the authors tend to scold their readers.
Mr. Willis avoids doing that, and he is insistent on promoting the idea that debt is bad for us because it can separate us from God. One of my favorite lines in the book is the following:
“God wants you to be free, but we’re not really convicted about being in debt. Do you realize that being in debt is a spiritual condition, not a financial condition? It is a sign that greed has set in.”
I had never considered that debt could be a sign that we’ve succumbed to the sin of greed and that it is inhibiting our spiritual growth. Debt is just a fact of life for most of us and we are aware that we will never really be free of it. It makes sense though. If we are in debt, especially if we are struggling, we are not going to give as much as we should of either our blessings and talents.
While this book is easy to read and will help those who have never read a financial health book before, the steps themselves are rudimentary and nothing I haven’t read in other financial books. The steps aren’t that detailed, but I think it would make a good book for beginners.
I give Five Steps to Financial Freedom 4/5 stars and can recommend it to those who have never considered what being debt-free can do for your spiritual and financial health. If you are looking for less generalized steps, this book is not for you.
**I received a complimentary copy of the book from CelebrateLit. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
Guest Post from Dan
Not 23 Ways to Money Greatness or 67 Options to Financial Well Being. Just Five Simple Steps to Financial Freedom. Why complicate this? Wipe out debt and create wealth.
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 8
Real World Bible Study, January 9
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 10
Just the Write Escape, January 11
Robin is Bookish, January 11
Books, Books, and More Books, January 12
A Baker’s Perspective, January 13
Janices book reviews, January 13
Remembrancy, January 14
Texas Book-aholic, January 15
Bigreadersite, January 15
Aryn The Libraryan, January 16
Margaret Kazmierczak, January 16
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 17
Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, January 18
Mary Hake, January 18
A Reader’s Brain, January 19
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 20
Captive Dreams Window, January 20
Carpe Diem, January 21
To celebrate his tour, Dan is giving away 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/d8d4/5-simple-steps-to-finical-freedom-celebration-tour-giveaway
About the Book
When Tori and Derek get involved in building a local women’s shelter, the extra time together stirs more than an ember of attraction. Haunted by the fear of exposure, each must wrestle with the chains of their pasts to experience freedom, love, and the full depths of God’s grace.
Unbound by Grace is the first book I’ve read by Michelle Massaro. It is an excellent contemporary Christian romance novella that is well-written and touches on the theme of our pasts and trusting God with His plan for our lives.
Tori Bishop is our main character, and she comes from a wealthy and well-connected family. When the book opens she is between jobs and living with her parents. Tori’s experiences growing up in a rich family makes her wary of people’s intentions. She knows she can never be sure if people like who she is or if they want her connections.
Derek Miller is the opposite of Tori. He grew up in a poor area of town, his mother suffered physical and emotional abuse, and he is an ex-convict. Derek struggles with feeling inadequate because of his upbringing and his time in jail.
Both Tori and Derek are believers when the story begins, and each is struggling with what God is calling them to do. What we want to do is not always what God wants for us, and the disconnect causes us to struggle.
One of the aspects I appreciated the most about Unbound by Grace is that Tori and Derek both struggle with their different upbringings. How each of them were raised and how they lived informs a large part of their current upbringing and it rings true. We are all shaped by our life experiences and Tori and Derek are no different.
Though this book is well-written and Tori and Derek each have distinctive voices, the descriptions and settings are not well-detailed, and it is difficult to get a sense of place in a lot of this novella. The secondary characters are well-developed and have worries and troubles of their own. None of the secondary characters felt shoe-horned in or superfluous to the story.
I give Unbound by Grace 4/5 stars and recommend it to anyone who enjoys a sweet romance and themes of forgiveness and not letting our past experiences cause fear to override our trust in God’s plan.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through CelebrateLit. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
Guest Post from Michelle
When I sit down to write a new story, I tend to gravitate toward some pretty deep emotions. The raw kind we all have known at one point or another. It’s what connects us all as human beings, no matter how different we are on the outside. If we can learn to see ourselves in others I believe that’s where compassion is born, as well as some self-revelation. Like King David hearing the story of the rich man stealing the poor man’s lamb and realizing he was that man!
In Unbound by Grace, I was approaching the story of two super fun characters I had introduced in my first novel, Grace in the Flames. In that book, they were side characters. But I always adored writing their scenes. They were both so entertaining! And the chance to put these two together and give them their own book was just too delicious an idea to pass up.
I got to put them into some interesting surroundings (anyone been to watch a horse race lately?) and take them to some very exposed, vulnerable places as well. Through them I was challenged to get inside someone else’s skin, and understand. Plus, they kept me smiling as well! This story was a blast to write, and I hope you enjoy these fictional friends of mine as much as I do.
It’s such a pleasure to meet new readers. I hope to hear from you soon!
Real World Bible Study, September 20
Godly Book Reviews, September 20
Among the Reads, September 21
The Power of Words, September 21
Bibliophile Reviews, September 22
A Baker’s Perspective, September 23
Fiction Aficionado, September 24
Faithfully Bookish, September 25
Reading Is My SuperPower, September 26
Carpe Diem, September 27
Lis Loves Reading, September 28
proud to be an autism mom, September 28
Simple Harvest Reads, September 29 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Janices book reviews, September 30
The Mimosa Blossom, October 1
Books, Books, and More Books., October 1
Texas Book-aholic, October 2
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 3
Bigreadersite, October 3
To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize package that includes a notebook, a mug, a bookmark, a pen, a signed copy of Grace in the Flames, and an Amazon Gift Card ($40)!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d3a6/unbound-by-grace-celebration-tour-giveaway
About the Book
Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.
To keep her family together and save the plantation that is her last chance at providing for them, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?
“…all God asks of us is to do our best, from morning to night. He does not expect us to that things that only He can accomplish, only what we’ve been given to do, and to trust Him with the rest.”
This summarizes one of the major themes of Keturah, by Lisa T. Bergren and is a large part of why I enjoyed this book.
She has written an excellent work of historical fiction that takes place in Georgian England and the Caribbean with well-developed characters, intriguing themes, and a sweet and believable romance. This is the first book I’ve read Ms. Bergren and is the first book in her new series, The Sugar Baron’s Daughters.
Keturah Banning Tomlinson is the hero, the oldest of the Sugar Baron’s daughters. They receive word that their father has passed away and in an effort to earn money to pay off creditors, Keturah and her sisters decide to move to the sugar plantation her father ran on the island of Nevis and take over the operations. Keturah is a great character. She is a widow and suffered emotional and physical abuse from her first husband. This has understandably made her hesitant to trust in God, reluctant to rely on others, especially men. She’s also headstrong, determined, and just a touch naïve. Keturah’s journey to overcome her past is my favorite arc in the book.
Gray Covington is our other main character, and he is also wonderful. He is a younger son and spent his childhood and early adult years as a flighty character. He is also a childhood friend of Keturah’s. When the book opens, Gray is dedicated to rebuilding his own family’s sugar plantation and has overcome his earlier “indiscretions” of flirting and kissing a lot of women. Gray is definitely changed himself for the better and works hard at being the best person he can be.
Often when a physical journey is involved, the trip itself takes too long and then the “destination” part of the story is resolved too quickly. Luckily Ms. Bergren works out the correct proportion of prior, during, and after the trip from England to Nevis and none of those sections feels unbalanced.
The romance between Keturah and Gray developed at a nice pace and I understood both of their motivations for wanting a relationship and reasons why they were leery of being in one. Hopefully we will get to see more of them in the next books in the series!
Learning to rely on others, God, and overcoming difficult pasts are themes that are handled well in this book. I appreciated that Keturah’s abuse at the hand of her first husband was not glossed over, nor are the lasting effects it has on her. Secondary characters are also well-drawn, and both of Keturah’s sisters are well-developed with motivations and desires of their own.
One minor aspect of this book that I trouble with is it feels like it disregards the fact that Keturah and her sisters are slave owners. We expect slave owners to be portrayed as over the top evil and there are some in the book like that, but we are also supposed to be okay with Keturah and Gray owning slaves. It is historically accurate but I want to make sure other readers are aware of this.
I give Keturah 4/5 stars and recommend it to those interested in learning more about the sugar growing process, the Caribbean, and those who enjoy books about overcoming our pasts.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
About the Book
Red Sky Over America is the first book I’ve read by Tamera Lynn Kraft and is the first book in the Ladies of Oberlin series. And it definitely won’t be the last!
Ms. Kraft has written an excellent story about the years before the American Civil War, seen through the eyes of two young abolitionists: America, the daughter of a slave owner, and William, a minister. I was excited to read this book as it is hard to find stories about the years just prior to the Civil War, and it does not disappoint!
America Leighton is our main character, and she is a great one. She struggles with trusting God, her belief that slavery is wrong, and her love for her father, who sees nothing wrong with slavery. The family dynamics that Ms. Kraft creates are handled well. We often find ourselves not believing the same way as our families and that causes friction, as it does here between America and her father.
William Woods is the other main character, and I will admit I struggled to like him at first. In one of their first scenes together, he is judgmental toward America because she doesn’t behave how he expected when interacting with two of her family’s slaves. Over the course of the book, however, we see William’s deep commitment to abolition, his faith, and his calling as an overseas missionary, and I liked him more as the book continued.
Trying to control his daughter, Colonel Leighton arranges a suitor for her, a local mill owner. America reluctantly agrees to the courtship despite the fact he owns slaves, as he promises he will free them if they are married. This is where she struggles between her overseas missionary calling and her abolitionist views, because she believes him. Needles to say, there is a lot more to Harland than meets the eye and I feel this plotline was settled satisfactorily.
Though the writing is simplistic at times, this story is engaging and well-researched. I was so engrossed in the story I hardly stopped reading to take notes! Red Sky Over America is not an easy book to read, as there are detailed descriptions of beatings and violence against slaves and allusions to rape.
This book has a wonderful balance of romance, suspense, and Christian themes. I appreciated America’s struggle between her faith, her family and what she’d known growing up, and what is morally right. I give Red Sky Over America 4/5 stars and recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about this time frame just before the Civil War.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through CelebrateLit. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist and has written children’s church curriculum. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.
Guest Post from Tamera Lynn Kraft
100 Steps to Freedom
by Tamera Lynn Kraft
Before the Civil War, Ohio had the largest Underground Railroad of any state in the Union. It is believed that every county in Ohio had a route. Many slaves would escape over the Ohio River and through Ohio on their way to Canada. This was a dangerous undertaking because, even though Ohio was a free state, the Fugitive Slave Law made it so anyone helping escaped slaves could be fined and jailed.
One small town, Ripley, Ohio, is believed to have helped more slaves escape than any town in Ohio. Ripley is located on the banks of the Ohio River across from Mason County, Kentucky.
One man who helped slaves escape was a freed black man named John Parker. Parker was educated by his master in Virginia and eventually bought his freedom. He traveled to Ohio and opened a foundry on Front Street facing the Ohio River. He was the first black man to earn a patent for one of the inventions he used in his foundry. At night, he would search the Ohio River looking for escaped slaves and helping them find their way to an Underground Railroad Station.
Rev. John Rankin, a Presbyterian minister, owned a house on top of a hill in Ripley. He built one hundred steps to the house that could be seen on the other side of the river. At night, he would light a lantern and hang it from the porch to signal slaves that it was safe to cross. It is estimated that over 2,000 slaves escaped through the Rankin House. None of them were ever recaptured. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote her famous novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, about the escape of the slave, Eliza, after hearing the story from Rev. Rankin.
Rev. John Rankin’s house is in my novel, Red Sky Over America. John Parker also is introduced as a minor character. The story takes place on the Ohio River in Kentucky across from Ripley where all these exciting events happened.
Oberlin College: A School Ahead of Its Time
My current novel series, Ladies of Oberlin, is about 3 women roommates who graduated from one of the most amazing colleges in American history, Oberlin College. Book 1, Red Sky Over Americafocuses on America, a woman attending Oberlin who is an abolitionist studying to become a missionary. The problem is her father is a slave owner. Here’s a little bit about this amazing college.
Oberlin College, founded in 1833 in Northern Ohio, was a college ahead of its time in many ways. In 1835, it became the first college in the United States to regularly admit African Americans. It’s also the oldest co-educational college in the US. In 1837, it admitted four women, three of whom graduated and earned a college degree. Mary Jane Patterson, another Obeberlin graduate, became the first African American woman in 1862 to earn a Bachelor of Arts college degree.
One of Oberlin’s founders once bragged that “Oberlin is peculiar in that which is good”. Oberlin was peculiar in many ways in advancing the causes of the time. Charles Finney, the second president of the college, helped it earn its controversial reputation. He was the fiery evangelist of the Second Great Awakening, a Christian revivalist movement in the early and mid 1800s.
Oberlin College was the hotbed of abolitionist activity and a stop for the Underground Railroad before the Civil War. It was once called “the town that started the Civil War” because of its participation in the Oberlin Wellington Rescue in 1858. Slave catchers came to Oberlin to capture an escaped slave and return him to Kentucky. Most of the town came to the slave’s aid and rescued him. For their trouble, over twenty were arrested and put on trial for violating the Fugitive Slave Act. During the raid on Harper’s Ferry by John Brown, three men from Oberlin participated.
Oberlin College was also well known for the women who graduated from the college and participated in the suffrage and prohibition movements. Lucy Stone, considered a pioneer for the women’s movement, graduated from Oberlin College in 1847.
Oberlin was also very well known in the missionary movement of the late 1800s. Between 1860 and 1900, 90% of missionaries sent overseas by the American Missionary Society were graduates of Oberlin College. Between 1899 and 1901, thirteen missionaries from Oberlin were martyred during the Boxer Rebellion of China. An arch in Tappan Square at the center of Oberlin pays honor to their sacrifices.
Carpe Diem, May 29
Books, Books, and More Books., May 30
proud to be an autism mom, May 30
Genesis 5020, May 31
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 31
Janices book reviews, June 1
Mary Hake, June 1
proud to be an autism mom, June 2
Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 2
History, Mystery & Faith, June 3
ansel book blog, June 3
Artistic Nobody, June 4 (Spotlight)
Bigreadersite, June 4
Christian Author, J.E.Grace, June 5
Simple Harvest Reads, June 6 (Spotlight)
Reading is my Super Power, June 6 (Interview)
Two Points of interest, June 7
margaret kazmierczak, June 7 (Interview)
A Baker’s Perspective, June 8
Pause for Tales, June 9
Red Headed Book Lady, June 9
Bibliophile Reviews, June 10
Texas Book-aholic, June 11
Have A Wonderful Day, June 11
To celebrate her tour, Tamera is giving away a themed basket with autographed books of Resurrection of Hope, Alice’s Notions, Red Sky Over America, a copy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (the book is mentioned in the novel) and a copy of Then Sings My Soul (stories about the hymns), plus a $10 Amazon Card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cebb/red-sky-over-america-celebration-tour-giveaway
About the Book
But danger lurks where one never expects it.
Can her passion for cooking help Gina survive and thrive in this world of privilege, pleasure and menace?
Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies is the first book I’ve read by Evy Journey, and I’m not sure if I will read another one.
Ms. Journey has written a book that begins with a bang in a prologue where the main character is on a hospital gurney in danger, but the rest of the book doesn’t live up to the excitement of that first scene.
Gina is the main character, and the story is entirely told through first person point of view. This book is written in the present tense, which is difficult for a novel, and Ms. Journey doesn’t always manage the POV well. Gina is an interesting character. She grew up poor, and worked hard for where she is now, as a chef at a fancy restaurant.
She meets Leon at the restaurant. Leon is a rich businessman, though what type of business is never mentioned. His family is wealthy and he’s expected to take over the entire business once his father decides to retire. He’s also creepy. He sends flowers to Gina at her home (she hadn’t given him the address) and almost immediately declares himself in love with her.
The third part of the love triangle is Brent, a police detective. In comparison to Leon, he is completely normal. He’s nice and works hard. However, he, like Leon, also falls quickly in love with Gina. It felt a little unrealistic!
Ms. Journey has filled this book with a ton of dialogue and introspection, and very little scene setting. This book could really take place anywhere! This book also includes non-explicit sex scenes, so if you do not enjoy that in a story, I would avoid this one!
Themes that are hinted at are classism, snobbery, family expectations/loyalty, but this story could’ve delved deeper into all those themes.
These characters read more like teenagers/college students than grown adults. I probably would’ve liked this book more if it was Young Adult/New Adult fiction. There is also a mystery plot involving Gina that happens quite late and appears out of nowhere, and I was blindsided by it.
I give Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies 3/5 stars. The themes that Ms. Journey touches on, especially classism, family duty, and love, have the potential to form into an interesting story but it is not executed well.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through Loving the Book. All opinions are my own.**
I’m alive. I’m dead. I’m in-between. In that limbo where my vital signs hover just above death. I rise above my body and look down on it, lying on a gurney. Hospital staff are rushing me along the brightly-lit hallway to the operating room. One of them holds an oxygen mask on my face. Another, a bag of intravenous fluid connected to my veins by a tube.
I’m not ready to die yet. These good people anxious to rescue me don’t know that my resolve is the only thing that is keeping me alive. No, I’m not ready to die—I’ve only just begun to live. I have yet to prove to myself, to the world, that I have what it takes to prevail.
My family—now on their way to the hospital—doesn’t know yet exactly what happened to me. And except for one detective, neither do the police. I see him now by the foot of the gurney, keeping pace with the nurses. He’s scowling, his lips pressed into a grim line.
A tall, taut, and solitary man, he has deep-set gray eyes clouded by too many images of violent death and a lower lip that hangs perpetually open in disgust or despair. So much darkness he has already seen in his thirty odd years in this world. He needs to piece together the facts that constitute the attempt on my life, events that may have led to it, and various fragments of my past to understand what brought me to this point.
The first time I met him, I fell in love with him. There was something primal about him, some paternal, animalistic instinct to save hurt or fallen victims. Like me, maybe. It gave him power and it made him irresistible to me.
But fate is fickle. It teases. It entices. One day, something quite ordinary happens to you. Yet, you sense that that ordinary something can change your life. Not necessarily for something better, but for something new. Fate is dangling before you the promise of a world that, before then, was totally out of your reach. How can you not seize it?
Now, of course, I see the end of that promise. And it’s not where I want to be.
It’s tragic, don’t you think, that the end of that promise should be right here on a gurney, with me fighting for my life? It certainly is not what I hoped for.
How could it end this way? I embraced life, took chances, but half-dead on this gurney, I wonder: Am I paying with my life? But, like I said. I’m not ready to die yet
About the Book
Judah’s Wife: A Novel of the Maccabees is the second book in The Silent Years series. I’ve enjoyed previous books by Angela Hunt and was excited to have an opportunity to read more. The Silent Years series are not connected to each other, so you don’t need to read the first one prior to Judah's Wife, though I recommend it as Ms. Hunt writes excellent Biblical Fiction.
Ms. Hunt brings the story of Judah and his wife Leah to life in a well researched and well-written book that anyone who wants to learn more about the Maccabean Revolt will appreciate.
Judah’s Wife alternates first person point of view between Leah and Judah and that can be difficult to pull off, but Ms. Hunt manages it deftly. Leah’s and Judah’s voices are very distinct from each other and it is easy to feel the differences in their characters.
The title character is Leah, who is raised in an abusive household. She has an encounter with Judah where he saves her from harm and is intrigued, as he is so different from her own father. Judah is also intrigued by her and their fathers arrange a marriage. Judah is twenty-four and Leah fourteen when the marriage takes place.
Based on her childhood, Leah’s desire for a safe, pleasant, untroubled life is understandable. Judah’s lack of interest in violence makes her happy and they begin to fall in love. Yet when the Maccabean Revolt begins and Judah believes he is called to fight, she begins to fear he is violent like her father and draws away from him. However, it takes longer than I would have liked for Judah and Leah to talk with each other about this.
Judah struggles with what he feels God is calling him to do (leading the Revolt) and his love for Leah. His characterization is not as deep as Leah’s but I understood his emotions and feelings, and was pleased with this character development. Judah’s chapters spend a lot of time recounting battles and at times they read like a textbook, but Ms. Hunt writes so well that the chapters are enjoyable and propel the story forward.
The themes that Ms. Hunt develops include listening for God’s voice instead of our own. Both both Leah and Judah struggle with their callings and their own ideas about what they want out of life. Ms. Hunt also touches on the conflict between following God and submitting to governments if they are demanding we do not follow God.
One of the things that Leah struggles with regarding her faith is not understanding who God is. She also doesn’t think she is special enough for God to speak to her. That is a point a lot of Christians struggle with.
Judah’s Wife is a well-written, well researched work of Biblical Fiction. Leah and Judah are both great characters and the journeys they undertake together and separately are worth the read. The other characters aren’t fleshed out as well, though none feel superfluous or unimportant to the story.
I will definitely read more books by Ms. Hunt and the other books in this series. I give this book 4/5 stars and recommend it for anyone who enjoys Biblical Fiction.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House, the publisher. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
About the Book
Major Daniel Adams has his hands full at Fort Reno, especially raising two adolescent daughters alone. If this new governess doesn't work out, his mother-in-law insists she'll raise the girls herself--far away from the fort. Miss Bell bears little resemblance to Daniel's notion of a governess--they're not supposed to be so blamed pretty--but he finds himself turning a blind eye to her unconventional methods. Louisa has never faced so important a performance. Can she keep her act together long enough to help her brother and to secure the respectable future she's sought for so long?
Holding the Fort is the first book in the Fort Reno series, and the first work I’ve read by Regina Jennings. It definitely won’t be the last!
Ms. Jennings has written a great book with underlying themes of honesty, grace, and overcoming our pasts. It is unexpectedly humorous as well, but never at the expense of the characters. You are laughing with them and never at them.
Our heroine, Louisa, is a dance hall singer with a unique upbringing. This is generally not an occupation for the protagonist in Christian fiction, and Louisa’s perception of what others think of her job is the main cause of her internal conflict. Louisa is a great character. She’s fun, smart, and resourceful. Louisa does spend most of the book embroiled in deception, though she never feels at ease with it, and that makes her more sympathetic.
Daniel, an Army major, is the hero, and he’s trying to raise two daughters while in charge of Fort Reno, which is in Indian Territory. He’s quick to realize something isn’t quite right with the story that Louisa is telling him, but she is able to connect with his daughters. Because of this, he’s willing to overlook the inconsistencies in Louisa’s story.
Ms. Jennings’ writing brings the characters to life and the setting is perfectly realized. I really did feel I was in the Indian Territory! Holding the Fort’s themes, including overcoming your past through grace, never feel preachy or out of place, and are one of the best parts of this book.
One part of the story that impacted my enjoyment of the book is that Louisa and Daniel make a lot of assumptions about each other in the beginning, and indeed almost to the end. The manner in which the truth about Louisa is revealed to Daniel disappointed me.
Despite the above, I do believe in the HEA and the development of the relationship. I’m hoping that Louisa and Daniel reappear in the other books in the Fort Reno series.
I give this book 4/5 stars and recommend it to readers who enjoy unusual settings, well-developed characters, and a lovely and sweet romance.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
About the Book
Saved in the Jesus Movement of the seventies, Chris DuPré connected with countless Christians across the world. Yet too many of those Christians, Chris discovered, have years later lost the fire and stepped back from living out their faith. Why? Because they got stuck—stuck in rejection by others, stuck in fear of the unknown, stuck in loving a comfortable life, stuck in scores of similar ruts. What can set them free from their internal prisons? And what could Christians accomplish if we all just got unstuck?
Unstuck: Hope for Christians in a Dead-End Job, Dead-End Faith, or Some Similar Soul-Shriveling Rut is the first book I’ve read by Chris Dupré. And what a book it is!
Mr. Dupré has written an excellent book that provides insight and help for those struggling with their place in life. It is full of stories, quotes, and while the conclusions seem simple, they are difficult to solve if we remain “stuck” in our routines. The style is informal, almost as if Mr. Dupré is having a conversation with his readers. It is a quick and meaningful read and one that I will most likely reread over and over.
The chapter on comfort zones was one of my favorites. It is easy for humans to fall into them and are difficult to get out of. Fear is the driving force behind leaving our comfort zones and Mr. Dupré devotes a chapter to fear as well. I will say that reading this book helped solidify a life change I had been praying about for a while and I’m sure I’m not the only one!
The chapter on character demonstrates a profound understanding of human nature. People know when you are not being truthful about who you are. We want people to have integrity and are often disappointed when they prove they do not, and the author delivers his conclusions on character perfectly.
I also appreciated the idea presented that it is usually not one thing in our lives that can make us “stuck” in place. Moments in our lives build on each other and make us who we are, and trying to pin down what caused us to become complacent or fearful of leaving our comfort zones can be disheartening or even create bigger problems in our lives.
The emphasis on listening to God instead of others, even those who love us and want the best for us, is present throughout the entire book. Scriptures used by Mr. Dupré are abundant and relevant to the topic at hand.
I give this book 5/5 stars and recommend it to anyone struggling with feeling “stuck” in their lives. Those wanting an easy to read, informative book that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it should also read this book. You will not be disappointed in Unstuck!
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Whitaker House, through CelebrateLit. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
Originally from Upstate New York, Chris moved to Kansas City to work alongside Mike Bickle in establishing the International House of Prayer. Chris recently served as Associate Pastor at Grace Center Church in Franklin TN, and is now an associate pastor of Life Center in Harrisburg, PA. A pastor, teacher, worship leader, traveling speaker, and spiritual father to many, Chris may be best known for his song “Dance With Me.” He has produced eight albums and published three books, including The Wild Heart of God (Whitaker House, 2016) and The Lost Art of Pure Worship with James Goll. Parents of three daughters and grandparents of four grandchildren, Chris and his wife, Laura, reside in Harrisburg, PA.
Guest Post from Chris Dupre
I grew up in a small town about 30 miles east of Rochester, NY. Winters there could be brutal. One year, I received beautiful new pair of boots which I loved, particularly for the joy with which they enabled me to engage in the marvelous sport of puddle jumping. One day when the ice and snow had begun to melt, I eyed a nice puddle and jumped in the middle sending a freezing splash in all directions. But wait, something was wrong — this was no ordinary puddle! This one was made to capture people, and I was captured! Frantic, I pulled one foot out, but no matter how much I tried, the other foot would not budge. My boot was stuck. I was stuck! I pulled and pulled until finally my foot came free in a soggy sock. My beautiful boot had been left behind, buried beneath the slush. My little mind was faced with a choice. Did I care enough about to do something? It only took a second to act. I loved those boots. I found a stick and began to fish. After what seemed like an eternity, I finally pulled out my boot. That’s the first time I ever went fishing and was glad to catch a boot instead of a fish.
My desire with this book is to address some of those “stuck” moments we all face. I want to provide keys that will hopefully open a door or two that have held you back on the incredible journey of life. I say a door or two, or even three, because it’s almost always more than one thing that gets us stuck. Ah, but God—He is the change factor in all of this and in Him we can break free.
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 28
Mary Hake, December 28
A Reader’s Brain, December 29
Carpe Diem, December 29
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 30
A Baker’s Perspective, December 31
New Horizon Reviews, January 1
proud to be an autism mom, January 2
Books, Books, and More Books., January 3
Kristin’s Book Reviews, January 4
A Greater Yes, January 5
Texas Book-aholic, January 6
Blossoms and Blessings, January 7
Janices book reviews, January 8
Bigreadersite, January 9
Pursuing Stacie, January 10
In honor of the tour, Whitaker House is giving away
Grand Prize: Unstuck: Hope for Christians in a Dead-End Job, Dead-End Faith, or Some Similar Soul-Shriveling Rut by Chris DuPré; The Wild Love of God: A Journey That Heals Life’s Deepest Wounds by Chris DuPré;” Covenant” Pillar Candle scented with ancient biblical fragrances from Abba Jerusalem, and a Whitaker House Grown-Up Coloring Book.
First Place Prize: Unstuck: Hope for Christians in a Dead-End Job, Dead-End Faith, or Some Similar Soul-Shriveling Rut by Chris DuPré; The Wild Love of God: A Journey That Heals Life’s Deepest Wounds by Chris DuPré;” “Man of God” Ceramic Mug, CTAInc.com; and a Whitaker House Grown-Up Coloring Book.
Second Place Prize: Unstuck: Hope for Christians in a Dead-End Job, Dead-End Faith, or Some Similar Soul-Shriveling Rut by Chris DuPré; and The Wild Love of God: A Journey That Heals Life’s Deepest Wounds by Chris DuPré”.
Click the link to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c457
Writer/Editor. Voracious Book Reader. World Traveler. Veteran. Bakery Owner.