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The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

The Lacemaker by Laura


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.


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?


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

The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas


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.


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.


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

Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano


I always look forward to Jen Turano’s latest book. I know I can expect to laugh a lot, usually quietly, but I sometimes get some puzzled looks from my husband. But aside from all the merriment her books provide, I know I can always count on a thoughtful and encouraging spiritual thread as well as a delicious romance or two and probably a bit of action, perhaps a little danger too.

“Out of the Ordinary” totally met all my expections. The characters were perfectly quirky yet somehow normal. Not sure exactly how the author manages that! I love the outrageous names she comes up with for those characters. Imagine being saddled with a name like Gertrude Cadwalader! Now Harrison Sinclair seems to be a very proper and dignified name but oh, his sense of fashion leaves something to be desired. I decided that the man might be color blind considering his color choices but he took eccentric fashion to a new level. In real life at a much younger age, I probably would have avoided the man even if he was considered a prime catch – just too weird for me. But I loved Harrison in this book because the author painted him with such a sympathetic brush. And Gertrude had the eyes to see the real Harrison and loved him all the more for his unique fashion sense. How long would it take him to wake up and smell the coffee?

“Out of the Ordinary” was another perfectly charming novel by Jen Turano. I loved reading about all her characters and not only enjoying their antics but watching them mature spiritually as well as find healing for old emotional wounds. What a great book! I look forward to the next installment!

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Bethany House and the author. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.


Rollicking New Release from Humorous Historical Romance Author Jen Turano

Miss Gertrude Cadwalader hoped her position as the paid companion to Mrs. Davenport would be easy. But as she becomes acquainted with her employer, she realizes the wealthy Mrs. Davenport has a strange tendency to be a bit light-fingered with other people’s trinkets. Gertrude is relieved when Mrs. Davenport decides to have a quiet summer away from the social scene–until the woman changes her mind in order to help a young socialite launch into society.

When Gertrude is caught in the act of trying to return one of the trinkets by Mrs. Sinclair, the mother of shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair, the woman jumps to an unfortunate conclusion. Harrison is determined to mend fences with Miss Cadwalader, but he’s unprepared for the escapades a friendship with her will entail.


Jen Turano, author of nine books and two novellas, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at


Mail Order Deception by Heather Blanton


Heather Blanton has become a new favorite author of mine because of her down-to-earth western romances that have just the right amount of mystery and suspense and are often sprinkled with  witty dialogue and situations that keep me laughing. In no way does that detract from her great stories and romance.

“Mail Order Deception” has a brilliant plot of mistaken identities. Reporter Ellie Blair accepts an assignment in which she must pose as a mail order bride, hoping to make a name for herself. Little does she know that her “husband” is not who he claims to be either. Despite their suspicions, Ellie and Jim West find themselves more and more attracted to each other but will true love win when all their secrets are revealed?

This was such a fun book with plenty of action, danger, humor, and romance to keep me turning those pages. I loved Jim and Ellie’s characters and their determination to see justice done. Even though as an avid reader, I pretty much knew how things would turn out, Blanton managed to keep me wondering a few times along the way.

If you have not read any books by Heather Blanton, do yourself a favor and try one or three. “Mail Order Deception” might just be a good place to start.

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


Secret identities lead to stolen hearts. Can love survive the truth? Intrepid reporter Ellie Blair wants a story–the one story–that will make her name bigger than Nellie Bly’s. She’ll do anything to get it. Lie, masquerade as someone else … even walk away from a man she could love. Treasury Agent Jim West has to break the back of the Irish Mob and will do anything to make it happen–lie, masquerade as someone else, even sacrifice his heart to see justice done. Blinded by ambition, these two stumble into each other on a Wyoming ranch…so what will it take for them to see past the masks they’re wearing and discover true love?


A former journalist, Heather is an avid researcher and skillfully weaves truth in among fictional story lines. She loves exploring the American West, especially ghost towns and museums. She has walked parts of the Oregon Trail, ridden horses through the Rockies, climbed to the top of Independence Rock, and even held an outlaw’s note in her hand. You can learn more about her and her work at or Sign up for Heather’s email newsletter to receive the latest book release updates, as well as info about contests and giveaways (

Heather is the independent bestselling author of several Christian Westerns, including the Romance in the Rockies series, which has sold over 40,000 copies. Intrigued by the concept of three good sisters stranded in a lawless Colorado mining town, a few notable Hollywood producers have requested the script for her first book in that series, A Lady in Defiance. Heather’s writing is gritty and realistic. In fact, her books have been compared to AMC’s Hell on Wheels series, as well as the legendary Francine Rivers book, Redeeming Love.

She writes Westerns because she grew up on a steady diet of Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and John Wayne movies. Her most fond childhood memory is of sitting next to her father, munching on popcorn, and watching Lucas McCain unload that Winchester!

She can be reached several different ways:

Christian Westerns is the genre that lets her write about strong pioneer women and men who struggle to find God and then live out their faith in real ways. Romance is always a strong element in her stories because it is such a beautiful gift from God, and a perfect reflection of how he loves His children: sacrificially and lavishly. Heather’s stories aren’t preachy or cheesy, but she hopes they are heart-warming, realistic, illuminating, and glorifying to God. Like good old fashioned Westerns, there is always justice, a moral message, American values, lots of high adventure, unexpected plot twists, and more than a touch of suspense.

“I believe Christian fiction should be messy and gritty, because the human condition is … and God loves us anyway.” — Heather Blanton


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