“The Wedding Chapel” is just another confirmation of why Rachel Hauck has remained among my top ten favorite authors for several years. There is no such thing as missing one of her books. In fact I usually have them on my Amazon wish list far in advance of publication. I am often offered a review copy but if not, I never hesitate to buy a copy as soon as it is released.
This particular novel contains two romances and moves back and forth between four primary characters and also between past and present times. Despite the frequent changes I had no problems keeping up with what was happening. In fact certain facts related in one person’s background helped me to understand a few things about another of the characters. All-in-all, this is a poignant story that involves unrequited love, betrayal, and marriage problems due to inability to communicate.
In her true fashion, Rachel has once again penned a captivating story filled with forgiveness and redemption. I particularly loved the “heartbeat of God” scenes and can well imagine how frightening yet faith building that such supernatural events could be. There were a few surprises along the way and I found the ending to be very satisfying. I can’t wait for Rachel’s next book!
This book was provided for review by the BookLook Blogger Program
of Harper Collins Christian Publishing and The Fiction Guild.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
A lonely wedding chapel built as a tribute to lost love just might hold the long-awaited secret to hope and reconciliation.
For sixty years, the wedding chapel has stood silent and empty. Retired football hall-of-famer Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook built the chapel by hand, stone by stone, for his beautiful and beloved Collette Greer, whom he lost so many years ago. The chapel is a sanctuary for his memories, a monument to true love, and a testament to his survival of the deepest pain and loss.
Photographer Taylor Branson left her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee to make a new life for herself in New York. Taylor had lots to run away from, not least of all a family history of broken promises and broken dreams. Love catches Taylor off guard when she falls for Jack Forester, a successful advertising executive, and their whirlwind romance leads to an elopement – and then to second guesses. Jack, in spite of his very real love for Taylor, is battling his own demons and struggles to show her his true self and the depths of his love for her.
When Taylor takes a photography assignment in Heart’s Bend, she is thrown back into her own past and encounters family secrets buried deep beneath the sands of time. And when Taylor and Coach’s journeys collide, they each rediscover the heartbeat of their own dreams as they learn that the love they long to hold is well worth waiting for.
Download a sample chapter here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rachel Hauck is an award winning, bestselling author. Her book, The Wedding Dress, was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times, and Once Upon A Prince was a Christy Award finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and two pets and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at rachelhauck.com, Facebook: rachelhauck, and Twitter: @RachelHauck.
I loved “Pieces on Earth”! Cathy has a special gift in making her characters come alive. They each have normal human frailties and their circumstances are so true-to-life.
A Christmas novella, the story focues on Liv Tulley, a navy wife who looks forward to having her husband home to celebrate Christmas with their family. His unexpected deployment and her unexpected pregnancy create unwanted stress for Liv and even some resentment toward God. Despite her troubling circumstances, Liv never totally loses her faith and her nightly bedtime routine with her daughter is a wonderfully simplified retelling of the Gospel complete with tender conversations.
I really liked how the author described broken people with Jesus as the “Fixer” who would pick up all the broken pieces. I also liked the redemptive message woven throughout the story and how one of Liv’s broken friends was affected by overhearing the nightly story time between Liv and her daughter.
Since reading “Pieces on Earth” I have suddenly begun to hear songs about brokenness that brought the story back to my mind, particularly one song – Brokenness Aside by All Sons and Daughters. Ellie Holcomb’s album “As Sure as the Sun” also several songs dealing with brokenness. I can’t help but believe that perhaps this theme is one that deserves more of my consideration.
A digital copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for my honest review.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
As the wife of a naval aviator in sunny Pensacola, Florida, Liv Tulley eagerly anticipates the first Christmas in several years with her husband, daughter, and extended family. Then her husband is unexpectedly deployed for an undetermined amount of time, smashing her white Christmas dreams. Can she find God’s peace in the midst of life’s pieces?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Amazon best-selling author Cathy Bryant loves to write heart-stirring stories of God’s life-changing grace, and has done so through six Miller’s Creek novels, two Bible studies, one Christmas novella, and two devotional books written in collaboration with other Christian authors. She’s also written for The Upper Room devotional magazine. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her rummaging through thrift stores, romping in the great outdoors, or up to her elbows in yet another home improvement project in the mountain cabin she shares with her minister husband of over thirty years. You can connect with Cathy in the following online spots, including her website: http://www.CatBryant.com, where you can download a free eBook copy of one of her novels.
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PIECES ON EARTH $200 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway:
In celebration of the release of PIECES ON EARTH, Cathy is giving away a $200 Amazon Gift Card. The contest closes on December 21, 2015. Winner will be announced via social media channels on Cathy’s Reader’s Group Newsletter. Click here to enter: http://www.catbryant.com/win-a-200-amazon-gift-card/
“Amish Christmas at North Star” was a bit different from most Amish books I have read. A collection of four novellas written by four different authors, each story features one of four babies born on the same snowy night almost twenty-five years earlier. Not only does each story contain a romance, but each of them has a unique twist that often is just a bit of mystery.
I loved reading these stories by some of my favorite authors. Strong characters and interesting plots held my interest with no problem. I was particularly blessed by the compelling redemptive message of forgiveness and healing expressed by each of the novellas.
I believe that all readers who enjoy Amish or Christmas fiction would enjoy “Amish Christmas at North Star”. It is the perfect book for a cozy chair next to a blazing fire this Christmas season.
This book was provided for review by Blogging For Books.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
One night four lives entered the world by the hands of an Amish midwife on the edge of North Star, Pennsylvania.
On a cold, snowy night almost twenty-five years ago, Rebekah, an Amish midwife, delivered four babies. Rebekah’s babies, as they are called, are now young adults. In four heartwarming novellas, each young person experiences a journey of discovery, love, and the wonder of Christmas.
Guiding Star by Katie Ganshert
Curiosity gets the best of Englischer Chase Wellington when he investigates the twenty-five-year-old disappearance of an Amish baby. When he finds adventurous Elle McAllister in Iowa, will his discoveries upend her world?
Mourning Star by Amanda Flower
Eden Hochstetler slips from her parents’ shop to investigate the death of her friend Isaac.? Who is guilty? Isaac’s handsome great-nephew Jesse, an angry Englischer, or someone else?
In the Stars by Cindy Woodsmall
Heartbroken Kore Detweiler avoids North Star after Savilla Beiler rejects his love. But when he is unexpectedly called home, he and Savilla must join forces to keep a family together.
Star of Grace by Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark
Andy Danner left North Star to join a new Amish settlement in Mississippi. His little brother devises a scheme to bring Andy home for Christmas, and unwittingly unleashes the power of forgiveness in an old widower’s life.
“Paralyzed” is a heart-pounding suspense that takes the reader right into the experiences of Kennedy Stern. Daughter of missionaries, Kennedy is pretty much on her own in the U.S. while attending college. As a survivor of a recent abduction, Kennedy has returned to her classes but nightmares and flashbacks seem to haunt her when least expected. Is it just her imagination or is someone still determined to eliminate her? If only she can pray enough and make good enough grades, she believes she will be okay.
Alana Terry has such a way with words that I was pulled right into the story and did not want to put the book down until I reached its end. The author vividly describes the frightening life of a person suffering from PTSD and at times I almost felt as if I were experiencing it along with Kennedy. The story deals with some tough subject matter but it is handled very well.
I have not read the previous book in this series but I have it on my Kindle and plan to read the first part of this story asap. I recommend it heartily to those who enjoy a fast-paced suspense. Why don’t you check it out soon? The author is currently offering a free digital copy on her website at http://www.alanaterry.com/free-novel.html
A digital copy of this book was provided for review by the author.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Kennedy Stern has returned to campus after surviving an abduction, but old scars cut deep. Vivid flashbacks and terrifying dreams paralyze her, threatening to ruin her academic career and any chance she has at peace or happiness. This mental anguish, however, constitutes only a small fraction of her post-traumatic nightmare.
A partner in Kennedy’s kidnapping remains at large and will not stop until he has silenced her witness permanently. His violent resolve risks not only her life, but the safety of anyone who tries to help.
Kennedy must engage in a deadly battle of the mind as she struggles to stay alive. While fighting on two fronts — one psychological and one physical — the question isn’t whether she’ll come out of the war stronger in the end.
The question is whether she’ll come out of it at all.
The newest release from inspirational suspense author, Alana Terry, who Christian Fiction has won awards from Women of Faith, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and several others.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
When Alana isn’t writing, it’s likely that she’s on the floor wrestling with her kids. Or playing outside with her kids. Or chauffeuring her kids. Or trying some random science experiment with her kids. But she’s probably not cooking or cleaning.
Alana is a homeschooling mother of three who loves to write, hates to cook, and enjoys reading a good book almost as much as she enjoys writing one.
Alana won the Women of Faith writing contest for “The Beloved Daughter,” her debut inspirational novel.
After reading “Whispers in the Reading Room” as well as the previous two novels in Gray’s Chicago World’s Fair Mystery series, I seriously hope that the author will continue to provide books of this vein. I consider her to be one of the better authors of Amish fiction but I much prefer this series.
As a voracious reader myself, I can certainly identify with Lydia’s love of books and also found the mysterious male book lover who frequented the reading room to be of great interest. I loved both characters and although I knew they would eventually end up together, it was so entertaining to read about their interactions and exploits as Lydia and Sebastian hoped to find the actual person responsible for murder. Sebastian was a true gentleman despite his humble background and his questionable occupation. Despite Lydia’s own negative opinion of herself, I found her to be a strong and very likable heroine. The plot moved along at just the right pace and descriptions of different settings, characters, and society practices brought the story to life.
As always, I enjoyed seeing the true villains get their just comeuppance and an unlikely pair rewarded with true love. Loved this book so I recommend it and the entire series to those who love historical romance with a large dollop of suspense.
Copies of this book were provided for review by LitFuse Publicity and The Fiction Guild.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Lydia’s job at the library is her world—until a mysterious patron catches her eye . . . and perhaps her heart.
Just months after the closure of the Chicago World’s Fair, librarian Lydia Bancroft finds herself fascinated by a mysterious dark-haired and dark-eyed patron. He has never given her his name; he actually never speaks to a single person. All she knows about him is that he loves books as much as she does.
Only when he rescues her in the lobby of the Hartman Hotel does she discover that his name is Sebastian Marks. She also discovers that he lives at the top of the prestigious hotel and that most everyone in Chicago is intrigued by him.
Lydia and Sebastian form a fragile friendship, but when she discovers that Mr. Marks isn’t merely a very wealthy gentleman, but also the proprietor of an infamous saloon and gambling club, she is shocked.
Lydia insists on visiting the club one fateful night and suddenly is a suspect to a murder. She must determine who she can trust, who is innocent, and if Sebastian Marks—the man so many people fear—is actually everything her heart believes him to be.
Learn more and purchase a copy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Shelley Gray is the author of The Heart of a Hero series. Her Amish novel (written as Shelley Shepard Gray), “The Protector,” recently made the New York Times best seller list. A native of Texas, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Colorado and taught school for ten years. She and her husband have two children and live in Southern Ohio.
Find out more about Shelley at http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com.