Heirlooms is a touching, multifaceted tale of family and friends that crosses the generations. I loved this wonderful story that focused primarily on two widows who shared a home and became more than friends. It was a delightful yet sometimes poignant read laced with many of my favorite things such as flowers, cooking, and sewing.
As the story transpired, it brought so many memories of my own family to the forefront and I recognized the wealth of heirlooms that surrounds me every day including a number of plants and flowers that have been passed down from my mother and grandmothers as well as my husband’s mother and grandmother.
The plot is dual time and tells the story of Helen and Eunhee alternately with present time narrative of granddaughters Cassidy and Grace Kim. Secrets of the past come to light as Cassidy and Grace Kim go through Helen’s belongings after her death. What they find is a friendship stronger than blood and a heritage of faith and strength.
Heirlooms is a not to be missed book. Please do yourself a favor and pick up your own copy as soon as possible.
I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Answering a woman’s desperate call for help, young Navy widow Helen Devries opens her Whidbey Island home as a refuge to Choi Eunhee. As they bond over common losses and a delicate, potentially devastating secret, their friendship spans the remainder of their lives.
After losing her mother, Cassidy Quinn spent her childhood summers with her gran, Helen, at her farmhouse. Nourished by her grandmother’s love and encouragement, Cassidy discovers a passion that she hopes will bloom into a career. But after Helen passes, Cassidy learns that her home and garden have fallen into serious disrepair. Worse, a looming tax debt threatens her inheritance. Facing the loss of her legacy and in need of allies and ideas, Cassidy reaches out to Nick, her former love, despite the complicated emotions brought by having him back in her life.
Cassidy inherits not only the family home but a task, spoken with her grandmother’s final breaths: ask Grace Kim—Eunhee’s granddaughter—to help sort through the contents of the locked hope chest in the attic. As she and Grace dig into the past, they unearth their grandmothers’ long-held secret and more. Each startling revelation reshapes their understanding of their grandmothers and ultimately inspires the courage to take risks and make changes to own their lives.
Set in both modern-day and midcentury Whidbey Island, Washington, this dual-narrative story of four women—grandmothers and granddaughters—intertwines across generations to explore the secrets we keep, the love we pass down, and the heirlooms we inherit from a well-lived life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sandra Byrd has published four dozen books in the fiction and nonfiction markets, including her two historical series with Howard Books. For nearly two decades, Sandra has shared her secrets with the many writers she edits, mentors, and coaches. She lives in the Seattle, Washington area.
Oh how I hate to see this series end! I have thoroughly spending time in the mountain town of Canyon Mines, Colorado with Jillian Parisi and her opera loving (and singing) father as well as their delightful friends and neighbors. I loved the homey small town atmosphere where everyone knew their neighbors and were all prepared to support their needs.
In this final installment of the series, Jillian has found a cousin from her late mother’s mostly unknown relatives. As excited as she is to have a cousin near her age, Jillian is afraid that Cate may want more from her than she is prepared to give. Nevertheless, in her true style, Jillian finds herself in the middle of Cate’s problems and as they research Cate’s project, they find family history no one knew and also some unexpected connections between them and others in their lives.
Now That I Know You was a joy to read and I especially enjoyed learning a few interesting yet tragic historical facts from Colorado history. I find the genealogical aspect of this series to be of special interest and would love to read more books of this type.
Characters are quite realistic and I would love to know most of them. The romantic element is perfect and occupies just the right amount of the story. Faith is an important factor that also blends into the plot unobtrusively.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book as well as the entire series. It could be read on its on but I suggest reading each book in order to get the most from the series.
I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
Cate Butler is the distant cousin genealogist Jillian was so certain she wanted to find—and the only connection she has to her deceased mother’s Parisi family tree. So why does she wish Cate would stop pestering her? And why can’t Jillian find a paper trail proving Cate is who she says she is?
Cate wants something for her own career that Jillian can’t give, but she also holds the key to family history Jillian can’t bring herself to walk away from. Nolan, Jillian’s father, steps in when Cate’s chronic career chaos requires legal rescue. Drew, the man who holds Jillian’s heart, has a surprising past with Cate. The truths Jillian, Cate, and Drew find while untangling these knotted threads tie them back together in remarkable ways none of them ever would have imagined.
Now That I Know You is Book 5 in the Tree of Life series, exploring and celebrating unforgettable family stories in Canyon Mines, the mountain town that invites you back again and again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Olivia Newport’s novels blend the truth of how our pasts carry us into where we find ourselves now. Curiosity about history seems to creep into everything she does. Her books include Amish, historical, and contemporary stories that span the centuries from before the Revolutionary War right up to the present moment.
I’ve wanted to write Now That I Know You for nearly 20 years—at least the historical story part of this split-time novel.
When my son was a freshman in high school, he joined the mock trial team, and my husband and I entered the league of parents who watched versions of the same competition over and over. he state bar association selects a case and provides every team with the same documents to study as the basis of preparing both prosecution and defense. Team members play roles of attorneys and witnesses.
That first year, the case was trying a particular individual in connection with his role in events that culminated in the 1914 “Ludlow Massacre,” which is featured in Now That I Know You. My son played a witness for the prosecution. My proudest moment was when one of the scoring judges—who are actual court judges—singled him out for his skill in recognizing and dodging the opposing counsel’s interrogation strategy. Somebody hold me in my chair, because you really are not supposed to jump and cheer at mock trial!
Since I heard the case several times, the history wormed its way into my heart and mind. The injustice and tragedy of the story weighed heavy, but so did the legacy of the events and their eventual impact on history that affects us even today. People often ask where book ideas come from. Sometimes they germinate inside me for a long time before the moment is ripe to put them on the page in the lives of characters who have grown around them. This is one of those stories.
The Dress Shop on King Street is one of those books with all the feels. Its primary focus is on Millie Middleton as it highlights different stages of her life. Harper Dupree also plays a strong role in the story as does a young man named Peter. As the tale passes back and forth between characters and time, the reader slowly begins to get a glimpse of how their lives have somehow been woven together over the years without their knowledge.
Sometimes difficult to read and at times heartbreaking, the story relates the struggles of a mixed race woman who appears to be white during an era when such things could be dangerous. It is a tale filled with love, dreams deferred, difficult choices, faith through it all, and eventually forgiveness and reconciliation.
I loved the relationship between Harper and Millie, especially the fact that they both had similar dreams. A surprise or two along the way were perfect touches in this beautiful narrative that left me with ample things to ponder when I closed its covers.
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:
?Harper Dupree has pinned all her hopes on a future in fashion design. But when it comes crashing down around her, she returns home to Fairhope, Alabama, and to Millie, the woman who first taught her how to sew. As Harper rethinks her own future, long-hidden secrets about Millie’s past are brought to light.
In 1946, Millie Middleton–the daughter of an Italian man and a Black woman–boarded a train and left Charleston to keep half of her heritage hidden. She carried with her two heirloom buttons and the dream of owning a dress store. She never expected to meet a charming train jumper who changed her life forever . . . and led her yet again to a heartbreaking choice about which heritage would define her future.
Now, together, Harper and Millie return to Charleston to find the man who may hold the answers they seek . . . and a chance at the dress shop they’ve both dreamed of. But it’s not until all appears lost that they see the unexpected ways to mend what frayed between the seams.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ashley Clark (www.ashleyclarkbooks.com) writes romantic women’s fiction set in the South. With a master’s degree in creative writing, Ashley teaches literature and writing courses at the University of West Florida. Ashley has been an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers for almost a decade. She lives with her husband, son, and two rescued Cocker Spaniels off Florida’s Gulf Coast. When she’s not writing, she’s rescuing stray animals, dreaming of Charleston, and drinking all the English breakfast tea she can get her hands on.
I had been looking forward to reading The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus with increasing anticipation as I saw more and more publicity and reviews of the book prior to publication. Was it everything I expected and did it live up to the hype? Perhaps not but I did thoroughly enjoy the story and was definitely not disappointed by it.
Jaime Jo Wright has a marvelous way with words as evidenced by the opening page of the novel. It immediately sets the tone for the entire story. I tend to love the Gothic type atmosphere of her novels. This split time tale alternates between 1928 and present time and features the historic mystery of a serial murderer known as the Watchman. Readers are allowed to experience with Pippa as the tale plays out in real time and nearly a century later as Chandler’s life is affected by it.
I loved this mysterious tale with its meandering trails that do not always lead where expected. In fact, more than one mystery is woven into a tangled thread that often makes it a bit difficult to discern exactly what is what. But that is part of what makes the story such fun to read. Just a touch of romance for both Pippa and Chandler adds another layer to the story but not enough to interfere with the main plot.
If I seem a bit vague about The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus it is because it is so difficult to avoid spoilers. If you are a lover of Gothic or split time mysteries, this book should probably be added too your To Be Read stack but be sure to place it at the very top.
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:
Welcome to Bonaventure Circus, where misfits go to hide.
In 1928, the Bonaventure Circus has become a refuge for many, but Pippa Ripley was rejected from its inner circle as a baby and is no longer content to leave the reason for that rejection unquestioned. When she receives mysterious messages from someone called the “Watchman,” she is determined to find him and the connection to her birth. As Pippa’s search leads her to a man seeking justice for his murdered sister and evidence that a serial killer has been haunting the circus train, she must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of the killer.
Decades later, an old circus train depot’s future hangs in the balance–it will either be torn down or preserved for historical importance, and its fate rests on Realtor Chandler Faulk’s shoulders. As she dives deep into the depot’s history, she’s also balancing a newly diagnosed disease and the pressures of single motherhood. When she discovers clues to unsolved murders of the past, Chandler is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than even an abandoned train depot could portend.
Jaime Jo Wright (www.jaimewrightbooks.com) is the author of five novels, including Christy Award winner The House on Foster Hill and Carol Award winner The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond. She’s also the Publishers Weekly and ECPA bestselling author of two novellas. Jaime lives in Wisconsin with her cat named Foo; her husband, Cap’n Hook; and their littles, Peter Pan and CoCo. To learn more, visit www.jaimewrightbooks.com.
From its gorgeous cover to the final page, The Edge of Belonging took me through the entire range of emotions before it was done with me. This beautifully crafted split time tale takes the reader on an incredible journey of what a family can be, even one not formed in the usual way.
Precious characters were a delight to get to know, especially Harvey with his tender heart and determination to take care of the abandoned baby despite his own lack of finances.
This story filled with love and compassion illustrates the difference that can be made in another person’s life if one can look past the outer appearances and get to know the true soul within.
Amanda Cox is a new author to me but I was so impressed by The Edge of Belonging that I will most certainly be on the lookout for her next book. I would definitely recommend it to all.
I voluntarily reviewed a digital 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:
When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee her late grandmother’s estate sale, she soon discovers that the woman left behind more than trinkets and photo frames–she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy’s adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing.
Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he’s ever loved.
In this dual-timeline story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truth–both the search for it and the desire to keep it from others–takes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.
Amanda Cox is a blogger and a curriculum developer for a national nonprofit youth leadership organization, but her first love is communicating through story. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible and theology and a master’s degree in professional counseling. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers. Amanda lives in Tennessee with her husband and their three children.
The third installment of Hatcher’s Legacy of Faith series, How Sweet It Is, continues the split time series that connects the historic story of Andrew Henning through his Bible to the current story of one of his descendants. In this case, great-grandson Jed is featured along with Holly Stanford who just happens to own the house Andrew and Helen lived in during the early days of their marriage.
As can be expected, How Sweet It Is uses Andrew’s bible to once again bring a family member back to their walk of faith. Andrew and Helen’s story is one that is filled with both love and tragedy but it vividly illustrates how the Lord stands strong through all the storms of life. Jed and Holly each have challenges in their lives that only God can help them overcome. It was encouraging to read about how seeming coincidences actually became evident as the obvious leading of the Lord.
A sweet romance, How Sweet It Is was easy to read and enjoyable. Although filled with scripture references, the faith element was not intrusive and did not detract from the story.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Prism Book Tours. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
How Sweet It Is (Legacy of Faith, #3) By Robin Lee Hatcher Christian Contemporary Romance Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 304 Pages
July 14th 2020 by Thomas Nelson
He lost his brother. She lost her dream. Together, they might find what they’re really looking for.
Holly Stanford is doing the best she can with the restaurant she inherited from her late uncle. But after her fiancé abandons her and the business, Holly regrets having given up her dream of becoming a pastry chef. Now a few bad financial decisions might cost her everything, including her hope for the future.
Jed Henning has done well with his new company despite his prodigal brother’s behavior. When Jed‘s father, the controlling member of the board of directors, temporarily suspends operations until his sons work out their differences, Jed resentfully chases his brother, Chris, to Boise. There Jed rents a basement apartment from Holly and hopes to convince Chris to get his act together before their company collapses.
Unaware that Holly is the one person who can help him get through to Chris, Jed starts the tough work of reconciliation armed with little more than a few family photographs, a stack of old letters, and a Bible that belonged to his great-grandfather, Andrew Henning. And as romance blossoms between Holly and Jed, the story of Jed’s great-grandfather highlights the power of God across the generations and the legacy of a family’s courageous faith.
Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 80 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Her numerous awards include the RITA Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. Robin is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. Robin makes her home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.