A Song of Home by Susie Finkbeiner



MY REVIEW:

“A Song of Home” is the first book I’ve read by Susie Finkbeiner. It is the third book of the Pearl Spence novel series but it contained enough back story that I had no problems understanding what was going on. I plan to read the first two books as soon as I have a chance simply to get the entire story.

Young Pearl Spence is the primary character in this book. She has experienced more than her share of tragedy and heartbreak in her short life and has a tendency to escape through her books as often as she can. She soon discovers a new love – swing dancing and simply cannot get enough of it.

Pearl’s story paints a vivid image of life during the depression that includes flour sack dresses, community dances, and racial tensions. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing this world through Pearl’s eyes as she learned to look beneath the surface to see the true person inside another and her compassion and generosity to those in need despite her own struggles. A sometimes poignant story that also brims with hope, “A Song of Home” is one that will resonate with many readers.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Kregel Publications. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

A Novel of the Swing Era

Pearl Spence has finally settled into a routine in Bliss, Michigan, far from her home in Red River, Oklahoma. Like all the other kids, she goes to school each day, plays in the woods, and does her chores. But there’s one big difference: Mama is still gone, and doesn’t seem to have a thought for the family she’s left behind.

Escaping from her worries is another part of Pearl’s new routine, whether that’s running to Aunt Carrie’s farm, listening to the radio with Ray, or losing herself in a book. In fact, a chair in the stacks, surrounded by books, might be her favorite place on earth–until she discovers swing dancing. The music transports Pearl to a whole other world.

When Mama unexpectedly returns, it isn’t the happy occasion Pearl had imagined. Mama is distant and Pearl can’t figure out how to please her. And the horrible way she treats Daddy is more than Pearl can bear. Seems life would be better if Mama would just stay away.

Finkbeiner’s portrayal of both tragedy and everyday life in times of great change is charged with a raw beauty that will haunt readers. Fans of the two prior Pearl Spence novels won’t be disappointed!

Read an excerpt HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Susie Finkbeiner is a stay-at-home mom, speaker, and author from West Michigan. Her previous books include Paint Chips (2013) and My Mother’s Chamomile (2014). She has served as fiction editor and regular contributor to the Burnside Writers Guild and Unbound magazine. Finkbeiner is an avid blogger (see www.susiefinkbeiner.com), is on the planning committee of the Breathe Christian Writers Conference, and has presented or led groups of other writers at several conferences.

Oath of Honor by Lynette Eason



MY REVIEW:

I don’t particularly like it when a character I’m beginning to like has to die but that happens early in “Oath of Honor”. The fact that he is not a faceless unknown brings the harsh reality to life with much more impact. I already had strong sympathy for law enforcement but getting into their heads in this book made it even more real to me.

I have long been a fan of Lynette Eason’s books since I first read some of her Love Inspired Suspense novels. Her talent has grown over the years and I MUST have every new book she publishes. “Oath of Honor” is a true gem with a brilliant plot that moves along at breakneck speed. Characters are well-rounded and easy to relate to. I’d actually like to know them but might be a bit nervous around them considering what happens to them in this book. The story is a perfect balance of action, danger, suspense, and romance with a touch of humor thrown in for good measure. The theme deals with the choices we make and how they affect our lives and the lives of others.

I enjoyed every minute of this page-turning suspense and cannot wait to see what the next installment will bring.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

A murdered partner. A missing brother. Will Isabelle’s silence protect those she loves . . . or delay justice?

Police officer Isabelle St. John loves her crazy, loud, law-enforcement family. She knows they’ll be there for her when things get tough. Like when her partner is murdered and she barely escapes with her own life.

Izzy is determined to discover exactly what happened, and her investigation sends her headfirst into a criminal organization, possibly with cops on the payroll–including someone from her own family. With her dead partner’s brother Ryan, a handsome homicide detective, shadowing her every move, Izzy’s head is spinning. How can she secure justice for her partner when doing so could mean sending someone she loves to prison? And how will she guard her heart when the man she’s had a secret crush on for years won’t leave her side?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series, the Deadly Reunions series, and the Hidden Identity series, as well as Always Watching, Without Warning, Moving Target, and Chasing Secrets in the Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of two ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award. She has a master’s degree in education from Converse College and lives in South Carolina. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

The Lacemaker by Laura



MY REVIEW:

I have long been a lover of historical fiction, particularly that with details about the early days of our nation. Laura Frantz is at the top of my list when it comes to colonial history and she may have topped my previous favorites with “The Lacemaker”, a story of colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

Noble and “Liberty” are names that perfectly describe the primary characters in this tale that details the volatile atmosphere in Williamsburg as conflict between revolutionaries and the British escalated. Frantz provides enough facts to give the reader an understanding of life during that era but the focus is largely on how Noble and Elisabeth (Liberty) were affected by the events surrounding them.

“The Lacemaker” is a story of loyalty, love, and sacrifice that is filled with action and danger. I loved visiting Noble’s plantation with Elisabeth and learning a bit about Welsh customs and food. It was encouraging to watch these characters grow and walk out their faith as they faced extenuating circumstances. I would recommend “The Lacemaker” to all who enjoy historical fiction. Those who usually steer clear of this genre might just find that they like it too.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

It is the eve of a new age of freedom in the colonies.
But can a proper English lady dare hope for her own independence?

Lady Elisabeth “Liberty” Lawson has nearly everything a lady of her position could want. Daughter of the British lieutenant governor of the Virginia Colony and a darling of fine society in a rugged land, she is anticipating an advantageous marriage. That her betrothed is a rake and love is lacking is of little consequence–or so she tells herself.

Though her own life seems in order, colonial Williamsburg is a powder keg on the verge of exploding, and her fiancé’s cousin Noble Rynallt carries the flame of revolution in his heart. Those with connections to the British nobility are suspected as spies, and Liberty soon finds herself left with a terrible choice. Will she stay true to her English roots? Or side with Noble and the radical revolutionaries?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Laura Frantz is a Christy Award finalist and the ECPA bestselling author of several books, including The Frontiersman’s Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, The Colonel’s Lady, The Mistress of Tall Acre, A Moonbow Night, and The Ballantyne Legacy series. She lives and writes in a log cabin in the heart of Kentucky. Learn more at www.laurafrantz.net.

The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas



MY REVIEW:

I adored the author’s debut series so I was excited to have the chance to read the first book in her latest series. It is somewhat different than her Appalachian Blessings novels but I still found the well-rounded characters and vivid descriptions that captivated me in the first books.

I liked Judd Markley from the start and hoped that he would find the new beginning and success in South Carolina that he desired. It took me a bit longer to like Larkin. It took getting past her spoiled little rich girl exterior and getting to know her true heart for me to care. Once I saw the real Larkin, I could see the light in her that attracted Judd.

“The Sound of Rain” is a story filled with tragedy and triumph, hopes and dreams, and learning to walk the path the Lord has laid out. It was encouraging to see Judd and Larkin find their way down that very path despite the hurdles set before them. It was also gratifying to watch how the Lord used circumstances to soften some very hard hearts and use them to restore lives and relationships.

This wonderful story is further enhanced by the gorgeous cover. I especially liked the three dimensional reflective raindrops on the front. Looking forward to the next book in this series. I hope you will check it out for yourself.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required.All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

In the Dark of the Mine, In the Face of Rising Water,
In the Shadows of the Hills, Faith Will See Them Through

Judd Markley knows he can never set foot underground again. The mine collapse that nearly killed him and claimed his brother’s life means leaving West Virginia forever. Although that hard Appalachian world is all he knows, he puts it behind him and heads for the open sky of the thriving town of 1954 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Larkin Heyward’s life in the beach town is uncomplicated, mostly volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more and being more–maybe moving to the hills and hollers of Kentucky to help the poor children of Appalachia. But she’s never even met someone who’s lived there–until she encounters Judd, the newest employee at her father’s timber company.

Drawn together in the wake of a hurricane that changes Myrtle Beach forever, Judd’s and Larkin’s dreams pull them in divergent directions. It will take a significant sacrifice to keep them together–or maybe, it will take a miracle.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photo Credit: © Kristen Delliveniri

Sarah Loudin Thomas is a fundraiser for a children’s ministry and has written for Mountain Homes Southern Style and Now & Then magazines, as well as The Asheville Citizen-Times. She is the author of Miracle in a Dry Season, Until the Harvest, and A Tapestry of Secrets. She holds a BA in English from Coastal Carolina University. She and her husband reside in Asheville, North Carolina. She can be found online at www.sarahloudinthomas.com.

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