Beautiful but extremely shy, Kate’s driving motivation is to graduate from college and escape an unhappy family life to make a new home elsewhere for herself and her younger sister. Although unassuming, she soon draws the attention of two young men at the college, both of whom are determined to make her his wife. Unfortunately, the one who speaks to her heart does not meet the approval of her ambitious mother. Kate’s friendship with Ben, Cornelia, and the Hanby family exposes her to some grim realities that make her realize that her problems are insignificant compared to the suffering of others.

“Sweeter Than Birdsong” is a powerful and moving story that clearly illustrates the conflict between the pro-slavery faction and the abolitionists and underground railroad workers – through  descriptions of their thought processes as well as through riveting action scenes that reveal the very real danger experienced by those who chose to risk their lives to save others. Elliott’s narrative truly brings this unsettled era of America’s history to life.

The characters were so very real that it was easy to immerse myself into the story. I could easily identify with Kate’s shyness and fear of public speaking as well as her efforts to overcome her fears. As a child of the South, I was also given some food for thought and wondered which side I would have been on had I been born during that time of our history. I’m thankful that is no longer an issue in our society. I thoroughly enjoyed “Sweeter Than Birdsong’ and hope to see another installment of the Saddler’s Legacy in the near future.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.

Music offers Kate sweet refuge from her troubles . . . but real freedom is sweeter.

In Westerville, Ohio, 1855, Kate Winter’s dreams are almost within reach. As the first woman to graduate from Otterbein College, she’ll be guaranteed her deepest wish: escape from the dark secret haunting her family. But with her mother determined to marry her off to a wealthy man, Kate must face reality. She has to run. Now. And she has the perfect plan. Join the upcoming musical performance—and use it to mask her flight.

Ben Hanby, Otterbein College’s musical genius, sees Kate Winter as an enigmatic creature, notable for her beauty, yet painfully shy. Then he hears her sing—and the glory of her voice moves him as never before. He determines to cast her in his musical and uncover the mystery that is Kate. Still, he must keep his own secret to himself. Not even this intriguing woman can know that his passionate faith is driving him to aid fugitives on the Underground Railroad.

A terrifying accident brings Kate and Ben together, but threatens to shatter both their secrets and their dreams. Kate can no longer deny the need to find her courage—and her voice—if she is to sing a new song for their future.

The first book in the series, Fairer than Morning, gained Rosslyn much acclaim and this release is shaping up to be even better!

Author Elliott (Fairer than Morning) creates a pleasing blend of fact and fiction in this second installment in the Saddler’s Legacy series. Hanby is best known for his song “Up on the Housetop,” and slave rescuer John Parker is a real figure large enough to seem legend. Readers will appreciate the well-told tale as well as its historical basis. — Publishers Weekly

Elliott’s second Saddler’s Legacy book contains remarkable storytelling about the abolitionist movement. The author graces the pages with imaginative accounts of people living during these precarious times. She delves deeply and intimately into the lives of the brave people who risk all for the Underground Railroad. — Romantic Times Book Reviews

Read what other bloggers are saying about “Sweeter Than Birdsong” HERE.

Rosslyn Elliott is the award-winning author of Fairer than Morning, the first in the Saddler’s Legacy series. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and a Ph.D. in English from Emory University. Her study of American literature and history inspired her to pursue writing fiction. Elliott lives in Albuquerque, where she homeschools her daughter and works in children’s ministry.

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In this second in the award-winning Saddler’s Legacy series, Rosslyn Elliott has written a stirring novel of hope and faith inspired by real historical people and events. With Ben Hanby, a genius composer, Kate Winter, one of the first female college graduates in America, and John Parker, an ex-slave who risked his life time and again to help fugitive slaves, Sweeter than Birdsong is full of real heroes to inspire us. “I hope readers will find a renewed sense of strength in their own lives,” says Elliott, “knowing that change is possible, and our efforts matter. I want them to remember these unique, brave people in history who left us a shining example of what it means to live out one’s beliefs with passion and commitment.”

So to celebrate the music in all of us, Rosslyn and Thomas Nelson are hosting this “sweet giveaway”.

One fortunate winner will receive:

  • A Brand new iPod Nano (Winner’s choice of color!)
  • Fairer than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott
  • Sweeter than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on February 28th. Winner will be announced at Sweeter than Birdsong Author Chat Facebook Party on 2/28. Rosslyn will be chatting with guests, sharing a sneak peek of the next book in the series, hosting a trivia contest, and more! She’ll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, Seasons 1 and 2 of Downtown Abbey and a soundtrack DVD, and a book club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club AND a LIVE Author Chat for your group with Rosslyn.)

So grab your copy of Sweeter than Birdsong and join Rosslyn and friends on the evening of the 28th for an evening of fun.

Don’t miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!