Book Review: The Plum Blooms In Winter

Happy Friday! Today we’re looking at a debut novel from Mountain Brook Ink that looks at both sides of The Doolittle Raid in 1942 (a US air raid on the Greater Tokyo area during WW2) – the pilots and the victims.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Thompson-1PlumBloomsSMALLA Prostitute Seeks Her Revenge–In 1942, Miyako Matsuura cradled her little brother as he died on the sidewalk, a victim of the first U.S. bombing raid on Japan. By 1948, the war has reduced her to a street-hardened prostitute consumed by her shame.

A WWII Hero Finds His True Mission–Dave Delham makes military aviation history piloting a B-25 in the audacious Doolittle Raid. Forced to bail out over occupied China, he and his crew are captured by the Japanese and survive a harrowing P.O.W. ordeal. In 1948, he returns to Japan as a Christian missionary, determined to showcase Christ’s forgiveness.

Convinced that Delham was responsible for the bomb that snuffed out her brother’s life, Miyako resolves to restore her honor by avenging him–even if it costs her own life. But the huntress soon becomes hunted in Osaka’s treacherous underworld. Miyako must outmaneuver a ruthless brothel owner, outwit gangs with competing plans to profit by her, and overcome betrayal by family and friends–only to confront a decision that will change everything.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

MY THOUGHTS

The Plum Blooms in Winter is the kind of novel that isn’t easy to read because it shines a light on some of the darkest, most evil shadows of humanity. It exposes what fear, desperation, and bitterness will drive people to do to one another. The circumstances in which both Dave and Miyako find themselves, respectively, are brutal and raw and you may be tempted to look away at times to leave them a bit of dignity.

Yet at the same time it celebrates the power of God’s grace to begin the work of redemption and restoration. Hope shines brighter than the darkness – in a thousand little ways and a few really big ones. Though neither Dave nor Miyako acknowledge God right away, His hand is nevertheless obvious to readers who do know Him.

The author mentions at the beginning of the novel that she made the choice to include common derogatory terms of the day toward the Japanese as an accurate representation of the history she was portraying. And while these are difficult to read, they are used as sparingly as possible and do drive home the appalling attitudes of the time period. This disparity – between the debasing words and the God-given high value of the people being spoken of – is seen so clearly as Miyako is first met as a school girl racing to protect her little brother from the air raid and then as a young woman who sacrifices all she has left to afford her father’s medical care yet is still so dearly loved by her Heavenly Father.

Note: I did wince at the author’s choice to write some English words phonetically as the Japanese would have said them. To me, this negated some of the value & honor she had given back to the Japanese citizens (as opposed to military personnel) in her portrayal of them.

Overall though this is an extremely powerful novel of the extremes that war, prejudice, fear, and desperation can lead to. The compelling and emotional story shows that, deep inside, our hearts all beat the same – no matter what our race or ethnicity – and that God’s grace follows us into the deepest pit whether we’ve dug it ourselves or it’s been dug for us.

I VOLUNTARILY REVIEWED A COMPLIMENTARY COPY OF THIS BOOK.
ALL VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE ONLY MY HONEST OPINION.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

linda thompsonLinda Thompson stepped back from a corporate career that spanned continents to write what she loves-stories of unstoppable faith. Her debut novel, The Plum Blooms in Winter, is an A.C.F.W. Genesis award winner. Linda writes from the sun-drenched Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, a third-generation airline pilot who doubles as her Chief Military Research Officer, two mostly-grown-up kids, and a small platoon of housecats. When Linda isn’t writing, you’ll find her rollerblading-yes, that does make her a throwback-taking in a majestic desert moonrise, or dreaming of an upcoming trip. She and her husband recently returned from a tour of Israel and Jordan. Next up: Wales.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

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Book Review: Chances Are…

Happy Friday and last day of November!

If you’re trying to finish your reading goals before the end of the year and need a book suggestion, I’ve got one! Check out Traci Wooden-Carlisle’s Chances Are…


About the Book

It took a 15-second play to bring his career to a halt for the season.
It only took one second for her to bring his heart to a stop.

A bone shattering hit sidelines Antoni Cahill from his top spot as the Scranton Sparrows top-rated kicker, but he is dealt a crushing blow with the news of his grandfather’s passing. To keep his grandmother happy Tony helps her relocate to her childhood town of Chance, VA. His growing suspicion of her true physical health causes him to seek out a nurse/companion for her while he’s away. The woman standing on their doorstep may be exactly what the doctor ordered for his grandmother, but she takes his breath away.

For Meagan Rowe, Sweet Grove has been a place of refuge after the death of her twin brother. For years her decision to become a nurse practitioner was the only one that made sense, both to her heart and the financial preservation of her family. Her budding career and most recent client brings her face-to-face with the extremely handsome yet adorably awkward football star.

It could be a match made in heaven if she wasn’t forced to keep his grandmother’s true health a secret or if his foundation hadn’t failed to help her family in their most desperate time of need.

***Formerly ‘Love’s Bittersweet Beginning’ but with extended alternate ending***

Links: Amazon, Goodreads


My Thoughts

This was my first read of Ms. Wooden-Carlisle and it certainly won’t be my last. I picked this read up for a few reasons.

1) the cover. I’m a cover snob. I admit it and don’t feel any shame for it.
2) The hero is a football player. As an avid Dallas Cowboys fan, I had to know what this tale would be about.
3) I had never read this author before. I like trying new authors because I never know when I’ll find one who will enter my always read list.

I was happy that the cover didn’t fail me and revealed a wonderful story within. And football, yes there were football parts but it was not about that alone. And yes, I’ll be reading this author again.


About the Author

Traci Wooden-Carlisle began writing poetry and short stories as soon as she was able to form words on paper. She used that to create worlds, as well as, to communicate with God. A native of Los Angeles, California, she grew up attending United Methodist Church under the leadership of a pastor whose heart was for youth. Once she finished college at she found herself at a loss. She felt caught in the transition between childhood and adulthood. She surrounded herself with saints and volunteered her services as a graphic artist. Through the early-morning prayer, all night Friday prayer and 3-day shut-ins she started on her journey toward her most desired gift, an intimate relationship with God.

She enjoys writing stories that provoke thought and evoke emotions that draw readers into the lives of her characters. The messages in her books speak to her way before they speak to her readers.

Today, Mrs. Wooden-Carlisle lives in San Diego with her husband, David Carlisle. When she isn’t writing she assists people with their physical fitness, creates graphics and designs jewelry and swag for authors.

Follow: Website, Facebook, Twitter


Post by contributor Toni Shiloh

Book Review: Deck the Shelves

Happy Friday, reader friends!

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK?!? Before we know it, Christmas will be here… which is a great segue into our book review for this week 😉

ABOUT THE BOOK

dtsKendall Jackson is the proud owner of Heartfalls’ bookstore, The Cozy Shelf. Her life is one straight out of the pages, except she’s missing that leading man. Although she has a crush on the handsome auto mechanic, Quinton Hendricks, Kendall wants an old-fashioned type of romance—the stuff swoon-worthy romance books are made of. But Quinton seems to need a little prodding.

Something about Kendall sparks hope in Quinton Hendricks that love could be his again. Only being abandoned by his ex-wife has made him cautious to the point of non-moving.

Can two people hesitant on second chances find love as they Deck the Shelves?

Right now you can find Deck the Shelves in the Comfort and Joy novella collection!

GOODREADS | AMAZON

MY THOUGHTS

If you’re looking for a sweet Christmas romance that celebrates books, this is the novella for you!

Kendall and “Q” are a cute match, and their secret ‘bookish’ notes that they leave each other throughout The Cozy Shelf bookstore simply delighted me. In fact, bookworms will find much to love about Deck the Shelves. From the charming bookstore setting to the literary quotes gracing each chapter – and the secret admirer notes – to the shout outs to various fave authors … this is a book for book nerds 🙂

Shiloh always writes wonderfully diverse and layered characters, and she has done so again in Deck the Shelves. While this is a lighter read with plenty of chuckles and grins, there is nonetheless a deeper spiritual theme woven into the fabric of the plot as well. In order to trust each other’s hearts (based on their past painful relationships), they each will first need to learn to trust God with the relationship.

A cute Christmas romance perfect for Hallmark movie fans and bookworms alike!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

tonishilohToni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian contemporary romance author. Once she understood the powerful saving grace, thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.

You can find her at http://tonishiloh.wordpress.com.

Follow: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram

 


posted by contributor Carrie Schmidt

Book Review: Love, Laughter, and Luminarias

Happy Friday, Reader Friends!

We’re bringing you another book review here on Diversity Between the Pages. This day Toni is sharing her thoughts on Jaycee Weaver’s Love, Laughter, and Luminarias. Have you had a chance to read it yet? If not, add it to your TBR pile!


About the Book

The Blurb: “Surprisingly successful action-suspense author Garrett Wilson is struggling to write a summer novel in December. That is, until he witnesses his best friend, Nina, chase down a shoplifter and realizes that maybe his tough, attractive heroine might not be based solely in fiction.

Geeky-chic Nina Trujillo finds herself contemplating a God she’s never believed in after her brush with danger taking down a thief. That one decision could change the whole course of her life, and quite possibly, her feelings for the one guy she’s never considered more than a friend.

When Nina dives head-first into a series of Christmas projects and ideas for new traditions, she drags Garrett along for the ride. Will her newfound courage and all the extra time together bring their feelings out into the open, or will Nina escape back into the comfort of her fandoms and lose him forever?”

Links: Amazon, Goodreads


My Thoughts

Y’all Jaycee Weaver is quickly becoming one of my must-read authors. I quickly jumped at the opportunity to read Love, Laughter, and Luminarias. First of all, the cover is gorgeous and inviting. Second of all the hero, Garrett, is a writer!

Y’all, I can’t remember how many books I’ve read where the hero is the writer but when it happens, I love the book. Every. Single. Time!

But besides the awesome aspect as a hero writer is the heroine. Nino Trujillo is fierce and I so want her to be my friend. We could talk comic books together and dreamy writer friends.

I loved how Ms. Weaver weaved the Christmas spirit through the book, Latino culture, and a swoony romance that will have your cheeks splitting with happiness. Be sure to pick this read up soon!

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. My review was not required not influenced.


About the Author

Jaycee Weaver lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her amazing husband, three daughters, a crazy shih-tzu, and a dwarf rabbit. When she’s not writing, she’s probably in hot pursuit of her 90 million other hobbies or shuttling the kids around. Jaycee loves to read books in multiple genres, drink too much coffee (honestly, when are they going to make the coffee IV a real thing?!), sing, take landscape and floral photos, sew, cook, bake, and craft nearly anything. She considers herself a recovering perfectionist and sometimes hot mess. She does her best to live her faith in action, being open, honest, and real; letting God be Lord over the good, the bad, and the ugly even when it’s hard.

Follow: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, BookBub

Book Review: The Fate of the Watchman by Chad Pettit

Happy Friday! Today I am going to introduce you to a small yet hard-hitting book by an author I met on Twitter.

About the Book

Fate of the Watchman by Chad Pettit – Book Review, Preview

Lester Sharp is a workaholic, obsessed with the success of his business and oblivious to the world around him. All of that changes when a peculiar stranger comes into his shop asking for food and help. Lester soon finds himself on an impossible journey around the world to bear witness to some of the greatest tragedies a person can know, all frozen in a single moment of time.

In this challenging and gripping novel, debut author Chad Pettit, delivers a supernatural, pulse-pounding adventure in which Lester Sharp is in for the longest second of his life and learns lessons to last a lifetime.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

My Thoughts

The Fate of the Watchman is like looking into a mirror reflecting my soul. Seeing things through Lester’s eyes and knowing that I want to be oblivious to the world around me as he was is a little painful. I know that I’m not as bad as he is in some areas, but not as bad doesn’t mean that I don’t have a long way to go.

The language used is simply beautiful. Having read the author’s bio, I know that he is an English teacher and imagine the continual exposure to the Classics has influenced the way he converts his thoughts into stories. Be sure to take a look at the preview of the book below to get a feel for the way each chapter begins. Wonderful!

This is a challenging book. In a Christmas Carol-ish manner, Lester gets a glimpse of people and events around him. Yet instead of watching with a view of how people perceive him, as happened with Ebenezer Scrooge, he sees the calamities in the world he has shut his eyes against. Things that are hard to look at. Things we all wish we could ignore so they would simply go away.

I like to think of myself as a compassionate person, yet reading this story has me re-evaluating my response to pain and evil around me. Hiding and pretending it doesn’t exist doesn’t make it disappear. I appreciate the way the author showed some ugly things and yet didn’t dwell on them so much to make them impossible for me to read. He handled this with tact and discretion. I was also so thankful for the way I was not left without hope or feeling depressed. I became introspective about my need to be more extrospective. There’s some irony for you!

The Fate of the Watchman shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours to finish. I read it more slowly than some other stories of similar length as I read and re-read passages to absorb what was happening. My recommendation is to find a day you can spend a few hours reading and go through it all at once. Leave some time for contemplation when you are done, then pray and ask the Lord what this means in your life and what, if anything, He would have you to change. This is a great book!

About the Author

Attach5869_20180710_061547.jpg

I was born and raised in Oregon but have lived most of my adult life in Central Texas. I spent ten years in the Army, which included two combat tours to Iraq. I have been everything from a Lab Technician to a Taekwondo Instructor to finally settling down as an English Teacher.

I went back to school when I was thirty-three and earned my Bachelor of Arts in less than three and a half years. Being a writer has been my dream since I was eight years old, so starting that journey back to college was a major step along the way to making that dream come true. I definitely could not have made it without the support of my amazing wife and four boys.

CONNECT: Website | Facebook | Twitter  | Instagram | Amazon

Book Review: Cheyenne Sunrise by Janalyn Voigt

Thank goodness it’s Friday, y’all. Are you looking forward to the weekend?

Well, if you’re looking for a good read to pass the time, check out today’s book review for the second book in the Montana Gold series!

About the Book

cheyenne sunriseCan a woman with no faith in men learn to trust the half-Cheyenne trail guide determined to protect her?

Young Irish widow Bry Brennan doesn’t want another husband to break her spirit. When she and her brother Con join a wagon train headed to Montana Territory, Bry ignores her fascination with Nick Laramie, the handsome trail guide.

Nick lives in an uneasy truce between the settlers and his mother’s tribe without fully fitting in among either. With no intention of dragging a woman into his troubles, he stifles his yearning for Bry.

The perilous journey throws the two together, leaving Bry no choice but to trust Nick with her life. Can she also trust him with her heart? Answering that riddle forces Bry to confront her unresolved questions about God’s love.

Based on actual historical events during a time of unrest in America, Cheyenne Sunrise explores faith, love, and courage in the wild west.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

My Thoughts

“What else can I do but cling to my Savior?”

Voigt is a new author to me, and this book in particular examines our propensity to judge an entire race or people group based on the actions of a few. It also explores intricacies of an abiding faith, even when life is falling apart.

Bry Brennan and her brothers know what it’s like to be lumped into a single group and judged for their heritage. Yet they must wrestle with the same tendencies when they are introduced to Nick Laramie, the trail guide for the wagon train Bry is on with her brother Con. Born to a French father and a Cheyenne mother, Nick is rejected by both worlds.

Nick’s struggle is tough to read about (in a good ‘this is stretching me’ kind of way) because he is a man of character, yet people so easily assume the worst about him. White people and other Native Americans are guilty of making him not welcome in either culture.

What I loved most about this story was that it was so much more than a token “overcoming the barriers and attitudes toward a mixed-culture romance”.  That aspect is certainly an element in their story, no question. But the author takes us on a deeper journey, refusing to romanticize the history of the time and presenting an authentic picture of life as they would have known it, no matter how much we might want to turn away from the reality. Yet, even as she paints a raw portrayal of racism, grief, and tragedy, she also frames it against the backdrop of grace and the perfect love of a Savior who is for all.

About the Author

Janalyn-Irene-Voigt-1-300x300Janalyn Voigt is a writer and professional speaker with a photography habit and a passion for travel. Her unique blend of adventure, romance, suspense, and fantasy creates worlds of beauty and danger for readers. She is represented by Sarah Joy Freese of Wordserve Literary.

An inspirational, motivational, and practical speaker, Janalyn teaches on a variety of topics, including the writing craft, social media management, and branding. She has presented at the Northwest Christian Writers’ Renewal Conference and the Inland Northwest Christian Writers Conference as well as for local writing groups, at book events and libraries.

CONNECT: website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

Book Review: The Butterfly Bride

Happy Friday, Reader Friends!

I pray you’ve had a great week. If you’re wondering what you should read for the weekend, be sure to check our recommendations page and past blog posts. You’re sure to find something worth reading. 🙂

Today, I’m sharing my thoughts on Vanessa Riley’s The Butterfly Bride. It’s book 3 in her series, Advertisements for Love.

Let’s get started!


About the Book

Frederica Burghley wants to be married by Yuletide. Or else her father will set her up with one of his friends. The bonbon-loving illegitimate daughter of the duke wants to choose her own husband. Advertising in the newspaper seems like the way to go. But a sinister response, with threats against her life, leads her to enlist the help of her very handsome, dear friend Jasper Fitzwilliam, Lord Hartwell.

A father and widower, Jasper is not only tasked with keeping Frederica safe but also with helping his vibrant friend choose a suitable husband. The more he tries to keep the ever-surprising woman alive and find her a good match, the more Jasper realizes he cares for her. The two friends risk their lives for each other, so they should be able to risk their feelings for a chance at a deep and true love together. But he’s not looking for marriage and she’s not looking for convenience.

Links: Amazon, B&N, Goodreads


My Thoughts

So I’ve been curious of Fredercia’s story ever since I read book 1 in the series. There was something about her that I found interesting. And in The Butterfly Bride we see the many faces Fredercia must wear because of her parentage and the prejudice against women of color and her background.

Now Lord Hartwell made an interesting hero. He’s a widower with three kids and has seen a lot of heartache. I found his background endeared him to me and I wanted to know if he could overcome his fears and take a risk at love.

There’s also a suspense thread in this book that I found very interesting. I put on my thinking cap trying to figure out who did it. I was happy I was correct and enjoyed following along as all the little pieces lined up.

And another note, as we stated in previous posts, we would introduce clean reads. In my personal opinion, The Butterfly Bride would classify as a clean read and not a CF one. There is mentioning of God but I didn’t see a spiritual arc throughout the read. Also, there are some intimate moments that were a little much for my preference but nothing I feel crosses the line for a clean read. Hope that helps!

*I received a complimentary copy via NetGalley. My review was not influenced nor required.


About the Author

Vanessa Riley worked as an engineer before allowing her passion for historical romance to shine. A Regency era (early 1800s) and Jane Austen enthusiast, she brings the flavor of diverse peoples to her stories. Since she was seventeen, Vanessa has won awards for her writing and is currently working on two series. She lives in Atlanta with her military man hubby and precocious child. You can catch her writing from the comfort of her Southern porch with a cup of Earl Grey tea.

Follow: WebsiteFacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram


Post by contributor Toni Shiloh

Book Review: This Courageous Journey by Misty M. Beller

Happy Fri-nally, friends! Are you as ready for the weekend as I am?!?

Well if you’re looking for a great diverse read for your weekend plans, I’ve got another recommendation for you!

About the Book

this courageous journeyAs the fifth daughter in a family of nine children, Noelle Grant has spent her life working to be unique. Her love of stories helps define her goal—to be known around the country as one of the top news correspondents of her time. And what better way to uncover sensational stories than to travel through the mountain wilderness to visit the brother she hasn’t seen in years? The trip comes together perfectly as she plans to journey with family friends who will be settling in the same area. Her first inkling that things may not be as perfect as planned comes in the form of the mountain man they hire as their guide for the final leg of the journey.

When Daniel Abrams agrees to guide the small group of easterners along his usual journey northward to the Canadian mountains, his gut tells him he’s making the wrong decision. But if he doesn’t take them, who will? The man in charge refuses to consider turning back. As they start out, Daniel can’t help but notice the woman traveling under the care of her friends. Though she appears too genteel to last long in these mountains, she soon reveals a strength that draws him more than he should allow.

As the dangers of this wilderness become more than the group bargained for, Noelle is faced with the choice to delay her journey northward or proceed alone with the man she’s come to trust against all reason. She never imagines her decision will place her—and the man she loves—in a situation more hazardous than any story her imagination could conjure.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | B&N

My Thoughts

Misty Beller has quickly become one of my favorite historical romance authors. While I didn’t start reading her books until this Heart of the Mountains series, I can’t kick myself too much because that just means I have her backlist waiting for me to discover and enjoy next!

In This Courageous Journey, book #4 in the Heart of the Mountains series, we meet Simeon’s little sister Noelle Grant (don’t worry though – you can definitely read this as a stand alone too) and her group’s wilderness guide Daniel Abrams. As in each of these Heart of the Mountains books, the journey through the Canadian Rockies is treacherous and gives me a new appreciation for those who braved the often-fatal terrain to forge a new life. These characters and their courage – knowing that, while Noelle and Daniel are fictional, there were real people who endured these journeys – is so inspiring.

Daniel in particular is a complex character with many dimensions to his backstory. Namely, in his heritage and how he wrestles with the nuances of that history. Beller has framed this character well – with all the various layers that make Daniel uniquely himself. The way he relates to the various people they meet along their journey – and how he guards himself even among people he trusts – is further testament to the cultures and complexities that make up his history.

Tucked away in the adventure and romance is a gentle thread of faith that has a two-fold message. One is that God is with us, even when things seem to be getting worse instead of better. He’s there. He’s good. And He loves us dearly. The other part of the thread is a tender reminder that the way we see ourselves, even the way others see us, is a pale – and often inaccurate – reflection of the strength and worth God sees when He looks at us. And since we are never outside of His watch, our truest self is held there in His heart for us to find as we know Him (and ourselves) better along the journey.

Bottom Line: If you have not yet discovered this edge-of-your-seat, heart-in-your-throat series you are really missing out. I experienced the whole gamut of emotions while reading This Courageous Journey – moments that had me gasping out loud in shock, sighing in (sometimes very short-lived) relief, swooning at the passionate kisses and love, and even nearly praying for their safety. That’s how invested I was in this story and the characters that Beller has so skillfully crafted. Adventure, humor, romance, and faith are all a part of this riveting novel which is not to be missed!

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Review first seen, in part, on ReadingIsMySuperPower.org

About the Author

misty beller.JPGMisty M. Beller writes romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

CONNECT WITH MISTY:  website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

This Courageous Journey is on tour right now with CelebrateLit – follow along HERE for a chance to win a gift card!

Book Review: The Solace of Water

Hello reader friends and Happy Friday! Today I’m reviewing a book that was recently in the spotlight. This is such a fantastic book about friendship, forgiveness, and moving on.


About the Book

The Blurb: “After the loss of her young son, Carver, an African-American preacher’s wife named Delilah Evans moves with her family from Montgomery, Alabama, to Sinking Creek, Pennsylvania, for a fresh start. The last thing she could have imagined was becoming friends with Emma Mullet, a reclusive Amish woman.

Emma is fighting personal battles of her own and feels estranged from her small Amish community. The secrets that have kept her isolated from her own community serve to unite her in an unlikely friendship with Delilah.

Sparrow, Delilah’s eldest daughter, knows she is responsible for the death of her little brother. When tensions at home become unbearable, she seeks solace at Emma’s house, becoming the surrogate daughter Emma has always wanted. Sparrow, however, is hiding secrets of her own, secrets that could sever all ties to her safe refuge.

Life for these three gets harder when church and social issues confront them, causing rifts within Sinking Creek’s three distinct communities: whites, blacks, and Amish. When their carefully protected secrets come to light, there seems to be little hope for friendship, restoration, or even forgiveness. But when the unthinkable happens, Delilah and Emma find themselves looking into the mirror of their own self-deceptions and are forced to make a choice that will set the way of their future. ”

Links: AmazonB&NCBDGoodreads


My Thoughts

This is one of those reviews that is hard to write, because you don’t think you can do the book justice. First of all, I took my time reading this book, which is extremely difficult for me. Not only am I a fast reader, but I often find myself wanting to read and read to get to the end of a book, so I can read another great one. But this book was different. I knew right from the start that it needed to be read at a slower pace. I needed to soak in the words and give the characters the time they deserved. There is so much emotion in this book: highs and lows, laughs and cries, worry and joy. Prepare yourself. You’ll need some tissues nearby, and I would kindly suggest not reading this in public. Or on your lunch break at work surrounded by your coworkers. It makes for awkward conversations.

Although there are some tough topics presented in this beautifully written novel, Elizabeth Byler Younts has found a way to tackle them gracefully and poetically. She writes in such a way that will tug at your heart and make you feel all the emotions right along with the character. I loved having the three POVs in this story. Emma, Delilah and Sparrow each had their own story to tell, yet they fit so perfectly together like a puzzle. Each one had a secret. Each one needed help. And little did they know that the solace they really needed was there all along.

This powerful novel is one that will be on my heart and mind for years. It’s one I know I’ll go back and reread every now and then. It packs a punch friends. It’s that strong cup of coffee that you need to jump-start your day. No, it’s not all frills, roses and romance. Honestly, I’m glad for that. The story wouldn’t have been as powerful and emotional that way. But it is a story of forgiveness. Of moving on. Of trusting in the One who put you on this earth in the first place. Read this book. When you’re done, lend it to a friend and then talk about it. I think you’ll be glad you did.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

 


 

About the Author

Elizabeth Byler Younts gained a worldwide audience through her first book Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl and is a RITA nominated writer. She is also the author of The Promise of Sunrise series. She has consulted on Amish lifestyle and the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect two award-winning television shows. Elizabeth lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, two daughters, and a cockapoo named Fable.

Follow: WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram


Post by Contributor Jessica Baker

Book Review: Unbound by Grace

Hi, reader friends! Today’s review features a book which was spotlighted here a few months ago and I highly recommend it!

About the Book

Tori Bishop has carved out a safe circle of friends who know nothing of her privileged status. But when she’s roped into attending a glitzy fundraiser, she brings along strong and steadfast Derek for support. As long as her secret stays safe, she never has to question his motives.

Derek Miller wants his life to count for something, to make a difference—especially in the life of Tori Bishop, the spunky smart-mouth who loves razzing him. But if his prison record comes to light, she’s sure to take off running.

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.

goodreads | amazon

 

My Thoughts

Michelle Massaro has done it again and this story was worth the wait! Tori and Derek are both believers yet they are deceived by fear and the lies they believe about themselves. Whether we come from poverty or plenty, our past experiences shape us. I loved reading their banter and the way they came to a more accurate understanding of their polar economic circumstances. Exposing our prejudices is the only way we can rectify them.

Unbound by Grace contains some delightfully swoony kisses and yet, my heart was also challenged and encouraged by the faith thread in the story. This novella is an excellent choice, I highly recommend it and I am patiently anticipating more work from this author!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
This review first posted on Faithfully Bookish.

 

About the Author

Michelle Massaro writes contemporary fiction soaked in grace. She makes her home in Southern California with her husband of over two decades and their four children. She’s dabbled in homeschooling, teaching Creation Science, and leading worship.

When she isn’t tinkering with words, Michelle enjoys old Rogers and Hammerstein movies, making kefir, and Sudoku. A new lipstick and a good French roast always make her happy.

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This book is currently touring with Celebrate Lit.
Check out the giveaway on Faithfully Bookish!

Review by Beth Erin