The Nature of a Lady by Roseanna M. White

MY REVIEW:

I am a confirmed fan of Roseanna M. White’s novels and must read each of her latest as soon as they are released. The Nature of a Lady has just hit bookstore shelves and I encourage all readers to grab a copy soon, even if the author is unknown to you. Unless I miss my guess, she will soon be a favorite.

Like many other readers I had never heard of the Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall. This book has brought them to my attention and although I will probably never be able to travel there I have already enjoyed browsing through photos of them. What a beautiful place filled with history that includes pirates, smuggling, hidden caves, and all manner of beautiful flowering gardens.

Although this story is not set during a war as so many of White’s books are, it has its share of mystery and suspense woven into a delightfully romantic tale of mistaken identity. What better hero than clergyman Oliver whose gentle touch of one’s elbow tends to make all things right with a person’s world. I like to think that it was the Holy Spirit working through him. And Libby, a pampered daughter pulling at the bit of her parents’ expectations, takes matters into her own hands and escapes for a relaxing summer in a cottage by the sea with her maid where she can sketch native plants to her heart’s content. Secrets abound and Libby finds herself right in the middle of a mystery that includes a missing young woman and even the possibility of hidden treasure.

I absolutely loved this wonderful tale filled with so many quotable passages. A story of finding one’s perfect place in the world and a message of the power of forgiveness, The Nature of a Lady is a keeper and I already want to read it again.

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

ABOUT THE BOOK:

1906
Lady Elizabeth “Libby” Sinclair, with her love of microscopes and nature, isn’t favored in society. She flees to the beautiful Isles of Scilly for the summer and stumbles into the dangerous secrets left behind by her holiday cottage’s former occupant, also named Elizabeth, who mysteriously vanished.
 
Oliver Tremayne–gentleman and clergyman–is determined to discover what happened to his sister, and he’s happy to accept the help of the girl now living in what should have been Beth’s summer cottage . . . especially when he realizes it’s the curious young lady he met briefly two years ago, who shares his love of botany and biology. But the hunt for his sister involves far more than nature walks, and he can’t quite believe all the secrets Beth had been keeping from him.
 
As Libby and Oliver work together, they find ancient legends, pirate wrecks, betrayal, and the most mysterious phenomenon of all: love.
 
 
 
 
 
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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

Bound Heart By Laura Frantz



MY REVIEW:

What an amazing book! I found myself so engrossed in the story that I pretty much neglected everything else.  A Bound Heart is the kind of historical tale that avid readers would love to see acted out on screen – as long as it remained true to the written story. Honestly, this book would make an epic movie filled with lush scenery and a star-crossed narrative that extends from the rugged shores of Scotland across the Atlantic to the New World.

I loved this story of two childhood friends who grew up together on a Scottish island, separated as adults by their stations in life. Despite her soft heart for Magnus, Lark knew her place and endeavored to serve both him and his wife well. Magnus too was circumspect in his dealings with Lark. At the death of Magnus’ wife, Lark found herself accused of her murder and Magnus’ attempt to defend her sent them both to prison and then to Virginia as indentured servants, a situation that could have ended in death for either or both of them.

It was inspiring to read how time and time again, what may have seemed to be coincidence could only have been Divine intervention that showed each of them favor. To say more would reveal more than I would like. Just be assured that if you love Christian historical fiction, you DO NOT want to miss A Bound Heart.

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:

Though Magnus MacLeish and Lark MacDougall grew up on the same castle grounds, Magnus is now laird of the great house and the Isle of Kerrera. Lark is just the keeper of his bees–and the woman who could provide an elixir to help his ailing wife conceive and bear him an heir. But when his wife dies suddenly, Magnus and Lark find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of accusations, expelled from their beloved island, and sold as indentured servants across the Atlantic. Can they make a new beginning in this New World? Or will their hopes be dashed against the rocky coastline of the Virginia colony?

Laura Frantz’s prose sparkles with authenticity as she digs into her own family history to share this breathless tale of love, exile, and courage in colonial America.

“An epic journey of faith and love wrought through hardship.”Julie Klassen, bestselling author

“From start to finish, A Bound Heart is an absorbing, tenderhearted story about the grace of second chances.”–Lori Benton, author of Many Sparrows and the Christy Award-winning Burning Sky

A Bound Heart keeps you riveted until you’ve turned the last page. Highly recommended!”–Michelle Griep, award-winning author of The Captured Bride

“A soaring tale. With her trademark attention to detail and lush imagery, Laura Frantz takes readers on an unforgettable journey certain to stir the soul.”–Jocelyn Green, Christy Award-winning author of Between Two Shores

Purchase a copy HERE.

Read an excerpt HERE.

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, and The Lacemaker. She lives and writes in a log cabin in the heart of Kentucky. Learn more at www.laurafrantz.net.

The Legacy by Michael Phillips

MY REVIEW:

“The Legacy” was a fine conclusion to Michael Phillips’ Secrets of the Shetlands series. This particular volume was lengthy and there was some repetition from the previous two books; however it did serve to catch me up on things I had forgotten during the months between reading them. Although mostly a continuation of Loni and David’s story, readers might just find a bonus romantic tale or two within the pages.

As the story bounces between the present with Loni and David and the past with the story of Brogan and Emily, it can be just a bit slow at times but so many questions are answered by the story of Loni’s great-grandparents that everything finally makes sense. “The Legacy” is not a lightweight book that can be easily read in one sitting but is one with plenty of meat to chew on, especially when it comes to matters of faith and what it means to be centered in God. Theological discussions are scattered throughout so those who do not like that should probably avoid this book. I personally reached the end with much to ponder and am quite happy that I had the opportunity to read the entire series.

I enjoyed spending a few hours with Loni, David, and even Hardy as well as going back in time with Brogan and Emily. It was a satisfying read with a strong theme of forgiveness that I will remember for a long time.

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:

The Dramatic Conclusion to the Secrets of the Shetlands

Loni Ford’s unexpected inheritance of substantial real estate–not to mention a title–in the Shetland Islands has caused more than a stir in the quiet fishing hamlet of Whales Reef. How can life ever be the same with an outsider–and a woman at that–playing such a pivotal role in the life of this traditional community? But it isn’t just the locals who have deep misgivings about the current situation. Loni herself never imagined this in her wildest dreams and wonders whether she’s cut out for it.

Loni would hardly let herself acknowledge that she’s falling in love–with Whales Reef, with its hardy people, and with local chieftain David Tulloch, whose inheritance she has usurped, at least in the eyes of some. Or has she merely been seduced by the simple, peaceful way of life that exists here?

Yet life in Whales Reef is rarely without drama. Deep rifts exist between certain lifelong neighbors, and when a dead body is discovered, suspicion is cast in the direction of the Tulloch family. How Loni and David face up to this challenge will profoundly shape their relationship, as well as the future of the island.

Read an excerpt HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Michael Phillips is a bestselling author who has penned more than seventy books, both fiction and nonfiction. In addition, he has served as editor/redactor of nearly thirty more books. Over the past thirty years, his persistent efforts have helped reawaken interest in the writings of nineteenth century Scotsman George MacDonald. Michael and his wife, Judy, spend time each year in Scotland, but make their home near Sacramento, California. Visit Michael’s website at www.fatheroftheinklings.com.

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The Cottage by Michael Phillips

the-cottage



MY REVIEW:

I just went back and read my review of “The Inheritance”, first book in Secrets of the Shetlands series. I discovered that I, like other viewers, struggled with its lack of dialogue and felt that I was left hanging at its end. I can positively say that “The Cottage” takes up where “The Inheritance” left off but picks up the pace quite well and the characters begin to talk amongst themselves a bit more. Now that I’ve read both books I firmly believe that the first really set the stage for the rest of the series.

One thing I liked about “The Cottage” is how much some of the characters discussed the church and its theology. I’ll admit that I was in agreement with much that was said so I very much enjoyed those discussions.”The Cottage” was also more suspenseful with danger lurking for Loni because her approach as heir to Whale Island was not to someone’s liking. Then there was the potential romance I hoped would develop between Loni and David. Seems that a little progress was made but I’m still waiting for something more definite to happen – hopefully in the final book of the series.

If “The Cottage” has a major theme, it might be that “your sins will find you out”. Hardy, for one, ran his mouth way too much and revealed his plans without knowing it. Another man paid a very high price for his actions.

All in all, I have enjoyed this series very much and do plan to read the final installment, hopefully in the near future. This is a must series for those who love Scotland.

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



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Is the Future of Whales Reef in the Hands of an Outsider?

When Loni Ford is informed that she has inherited property in the Shetland Islands, she laughs. She wants nothing more than to sell it and be done with it. But when she arrives in the North Sea enclave, she is stunned to find that “the Cottage” is not at all what she expected, nor is David Tulloch, the man most of the islanders believe to be the rightful heir.

The locals could hardly be more surprised that the heir is a woman–and an American. Loni, in turn, finds the islanders quaint and a bit behind the times. Expecting David to be as provincial as the rest of his clan, she discovers that there is far more to the man than meets the eye. And there is something about the peaceful atmosphere of the place–and the character of its most prominent citizen–that soon gets under her skin.

Beneath the peaceful surface, however, change is threatening the island of Whales Reef. David’s cousin Hardy Tulloch, whose claim to the inheritance now in Loni’s hands was backed by oil investors, has not been deterred in his aim to control the island. But his co-conspirators have plans of their own, plans that put Loni’s very life in danger. . . .

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

michael-phillips-2Michael Phillips is a bestselling author who has penned more than seventy books, both fiction and nonfiction. In addition, he has served as editor/redactor of nearly thirty more books. Over the past thirty years, his persistent efforts have helped reawaken interest in the writings of nineteenth century Scotsman George MacDonald. Michael and his wife, Judy, spend time each year in Scotland, but make their home near Sacramento, California. Visit Michael’s website at www.fatheroftheinklings.com.

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The Inheritance by Michael Phillips

The Inheritance



MY REVIEW:

I have enjoyed the books of Michael Phillips for a number of years and expected no less than brilliant writing in his latest novel “The Inheritance”. I was not disappointed in the quality of his narrative. At least two of the characters were so well developed and described that I felt like I knew them intimately. The author spent a great deal of time setting the scene with detailed background information on several characters and vivid descriptions of Whale’s Reef, the primary setting of the book. Pertinent historical facts were interspersed throughout that emphasized the importance of a proper heir.

I will admit that I struggled somewhat staying engaged with this lengthy tome because there was little action and very little dialogue. I did persist to the end and just as I thought something might be about to happen, I was left hanging. Of course, by that time I was hooked and will definitely have to read the next installment of the series in order to find out what happens.

A major theme that seems to run throughout the book is foundations which is mentioned repeatedly in both David and Loni’s stories. Loni struggled with knowing who she was due to the loss of her parents as a baby and the fact that she knew almost nothing about her mother’s family. David, on the other hand, knew his family history well and was dedicated to following in his uncle’s footsteps in watching out for the people of the island he loved. It was important for each of them to find and/or build on their family foundation. The book itself seems to have set the foundation for the rest of the series. Now that it has been established, I am in hopes that the rest of the story will move at a faster pace.

A copy of this book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

The death of the clan patriarch has thrown the tiny Shetland Islands community of Whale’s Reef into turmoil.

Everyone assumed MacGregor Tulloch’s heir to be his grand-nephew David, a local favorite, but when it is discovered that MacGregor left no will, David’s grasping cousin Hardy submits his own claim to the inheritance, an estate that controls most of the island’s land. And while Hardy doesn’t enjoy much popular support, he has the backing of a shadowy group of North Sea oil investors. The courts have frozen the estate’s assets while the competing claims are investigated, leaving many of the residents in financial limbo. The future of the island—and its traditional way of life—hangs in the balance.

Loni Ford is enjoying her rising career in a large investment firm in Washington, DC. Yet in spite of her outward success, she is privately plagued by questions of identity. Orphaned as a young child, she was raised by her paternal grandparents, and while she loves them dearly, she feels completely detached from her roots. That is until a mysterious letter arrives from a Scottish solicitor. . . .

Past and present collide in master storyteller Phillips’s dramatic new saga of loss and discovery, of grasping and grace, and of the dreams of men and women everywhere.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Michael PhillipsMichael Phillips is a bestselling author with more than 70 of his own titles. In addition, he has served as editor/redactor of nearly 30 more books. He is known as the man responsible for the reawakened interest in George MacDonald of the last 30 years. In addition to the MacDonald titles adapted/edited for today’s reader, his publishing efforts in bringing back full-length quality facsimile editions also spawned renewed interest in MacDonald’s original work. Michael and his wife, Judy, spend time each year in Scotland but make their home near Sacramento, California.

Find out more about Michael at https://www.facebook.com/michaelphillipschristianauthor.

GIVEAWAY:

What happens when past and present collide in the tiny Shetland Islands community of Whales Reef? Don’t miss master storyteller Michael Phillips’ dramatic new saga of loss and discovery, of grasping and grace: The Inheritance. Everyone assumed Tulloch’s heir to be his much-loved grandnephew David. But when no will is discovered, David’s calculating cousin Hardy submits his own claim to the inheritance. Meanwhile, Loni Ford enjoys a rising career in a large investment firm in Washington, D.C. Orphaned as a young child, she was raised by her grandparents, and while she loves them dearly, she feels completely detached from her roots. That is, until a mysterious letter arrives from a Scottish solicitor. . . .

Enter to win a copy of The Inheritance—five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced May 12 on the Litfuse blog!

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The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford

The Sea House



MY REVIEW:

“The Sea House” is a tale that spans the centuries as it transitions between the modern story of Ruth and her husband Michael and letters from the vicar and his housekeeper who lived in the same house in 1860. It is not a particularly happy story most of the time. Ruth struggles with fear and bouts of panic as an adult as a result of traumatic experiences during her childhood. Alexander and Moira’s letters reveal horrific treatment of early  island residents by the wealthy landowners.

A common thread woven through the entire book is Scottish lore, particularly the legend of the Skelkies, long believed to be part human and part seal. Both Alexander and Ruth had been told that they were descended from Skelkies. A disturbing discovery during the reconstruction of Ruth and Michael’s home tends to lend some credence to the tales. I was fascinated by the legends and found the eventual explanation found by Alexander to make perfect sense.

The plot moved along fairly slowly but was actually a good pace for a book of this sort. The characters were well developed and were not static. Although Ruth had her problems, she was finally able to accept her past and move on with her life.

I enjoyed “The Sea House” and found it quite interesting, however it is not a book for everyone. If you are easily offended by certain language, there is one paragraph that could be offensive. There was only the one incident and in my opinion the use of the word was just indicative of how out of control Ruth felt at that moment. I personally do not care for that word but cannot see discounting the entire book because of one or two sentences. I would have missed a very good tale if I had. I will be passing on my copy to a friend who I know will also enjoy it.

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This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Scotland, 1860.

Reverend Alexander Ferguson, naive and newly-ordained, takes up his new parish, a poor, isolated patch on the Hebridean island of Harris. His time on the island will irrevocably change the course of his life, but the white house on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after Alexander departs. It will be more than a century before the Sea House reluctantly gives up its secrets. Ruth and Michael buy the grand but dilapidated building and begin to turn it into a home for the family they hope to have. Their dreams are marred by a shocking discovery. The tiny bones of a baby are buried beneath the house; the child’s fragile legs are fused together – a mermaid child. Who buried the bones? And why? Ruth needs to solve the mystery of her new home – but the answers to her questions may lie in her own past.

Based on a real nineteenth-century letter to The Times in which a Scottish clergyman claimed to have seen a mermaid, The Sea House is an epic, sweeping tale of loss and love, hope and redemption, and how we heal ourselves with the stories we tell.

Learn more at Elizabeth’s website.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elisabeth GiffordElisabeth Gifford grew up in a vicarage in the industrial Midlands. She studied French literature and world religions at Leeds University. She is the author of “The House of Hope: A Story of God’s Love and Provision for the Abandoned Orphans of China” and has written articles for The Times and the Independent and has a Diploma in Creative Writing from Oxford OUDCE and an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway College. She is married with three children. They live in Kingston on Thames but spend as much time as possible in the Hebrides.

Don’t miss The Sea House, a stunning fiction debut from the UK. Set in a house on the windswept coast of the Outer Hebrides, Elisabeth Gifford‘s haunting tale effortlessly bridges a gap of more than a century. Adeptly interweaving two tales involving residents of the titular house, Gifford sets up an absorbing mystery revolving around local lore and myths about mermaids, selkies, and sealmen. Stretching seamlessly back and forth through time, layers upon layers of secrets are slowly and effectively peeled away in this evocative debut (Booklist).



Celebrate with Elisabeth by entering her Kindle giveaway!

E.Gifford, The Sea House Giveaway

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 19th. Winner will be announced October 20th at Elisabeth’s Blog.

 


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