Heirlooms by Sandra Byrd

MY REVIEW:

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.

When The Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer

MY REVIEW:

When the Day Comes is a somewhat unique book about time travel. In this story, the heroine Libby lives simultaneously in two separate time periods. When she falls asleep in 1774 Colonial Williamsburg, she wake in 1914 New York City. As one can imagine, her life in each time is extremely different. She lives a life of luxury in New York City but her life in Colonial Williamsburg is filled with hard work and impending danger as rumors of war circulate. Knowing that at the age of 21 she will be forced to choose which time period to spend the rest of her life, Libby is torn between the two. Only her mother in Williamsburg knows her secret and attempts to help her with decisions about both lives.

I usually have mixed feelings about time travel in Christian fiction but When the Day Comes was expertly written and I found Libby’s challenge quite intriguing. The tale was handled very well with several twists and surprises as it advanced. It was easy to identify with Libby and how difficult it was to know she had to choose. Her loyalty to her family and the patriot cause as well as her bravery were admirable.

All in all When the Day Comes was an excellent read and I look forward to future books by this author.

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:

How will she choose, knowing all she must sacrifice?

Libby has been given a powerful gift: to live one life in 1774 Colonial Williamsburg and the other in 1914 Gilded Age New York City. When she falls asleep in one life, she wakes up in the other. While she’s the same person at her core in both times, she’s leading two vastly different lives.

In Colonial Williamsburg, Libby is a public printer for the House of Burgesses and the Royal Governor, trying to provide for her family and support the Patriot cause. The man she loves, Henry Montgomery, has his own secrets. As the revolution draws near, both their lives–and any hope of love–are put in jeopardy.

Libby’s life in 1914 New York is filled with wealth, drawing room conversations, and bachelors. But the only work she cares about–women’s suffrage–is discouraged, and her mother is intent on marrying her off to an English marquess. The growing talk of war in Europe only complicates matters.

But Libby knows she’s not destined to live two lives forever. On her twenty-first birthday, she must choose one path and forfeit the other–but how can she choose when she has so much to lose in each life?

Read an excerpt here.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gabrielle Meyer (www.gabriellemeyer.com) has worked for state and local historical societies and loves writing fiction inspired by real people, places, and events. She currently resides along the banks of the Mississippi River in central Minnesota with her husband and four children. By day, she’s a busy homeschool mom, and by night she pens fiction and nonfiction filled with hope.

All That Fills Us by Autumn Lytle

MY REVIEW:

Although I have never been anorexic, I found Mel’s obsession with food and exercise to be disturbing to me personally. In fact I had difficulty forcing myself to finish this book. It was more than uncomfortable to literally find myself within the mind of a person who seemed to be quite mentally disturbed, even if it was only on through the pages in a book. I suppose one could say that might be the indication of a very talented writer and I would not argue that point.

Overall the writing was excellent and the author did an excellent job with characterization and her vivid setting descriptions. I found myself wanting to shake Mel more than once due to the insane choices she made, especially setting off totally unprepared for such a long journey on foot by herself when her health was already precarious.

I was happy with the kind people she encountered along the way who took her under their wings and ministered to her and that she grew stronger and healthier as a result. However, I was uncomfortable with her view of God and was never convinced that she came to a true understanding of the Gospel.

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:

The journey toward healing starts with a single brave step–but it is never walked alone

Mel Ellis knows that her eating disorder is ruining her life. Everyone tells her rehab is her best option, but she can’t bring herself to go. Broke, broken, and empty in more ways than one, Mel launches one last-ditch effort to make hers a story worth telling. She will walk her own road to recovery along the lesser-known trails of the North American wilderness.

Though she is physically and mentally unprepared to face the difficulties that lay ahead, she sets off on foot from Michigan. Her goal? Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State. During the long journey, she meets strangers with their own stories, as well as ghosts from her past who can no longer be ignored. But though the land she travels threatens her success at every turn, it’s her own dark thoughts she’ll have to overcome in order to find peace in the life and the body she has been given.

Read an excerpt here.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Autumn Lytle identifies with a strange group of humans who enjoy running long distances and writing even longer books. Along with being a forever-recovering anorexic and exercise addict, she is a weirdly good checkers player and finder of four-leaf clovers. She spends her days thinking up stories and trying to figure out this whole parenting thing with her son. She can often be found out exploring her hometown of Seattle, Washington, with her family in tow. Learn more at www.autumnlytle.com.

 

Fatal Code by Natalie Walters

MY REVIEW:

Fatal Code is a fast paced, suspense filled novel that moves at breath-taking speed from the beginning to the end as the SNAP team works with aerospace engineer Elinor Mitchell to prevent a major catastrophe before it is too late.

As a suspense lover, I found the plot to be near perfect with enough action, mystery, and suspense to keep me turning those pages. Characterization was wonderful. Kekoa was the perfect mix of handsome hunk, tormented soul, and team clown. He was honorable to a fault and determined to protect Elinor at all costs. Elinor was a delightful nerd, serious about her work but with a self-deprecating sense of humor. She and Kekoa were a great team even if she did not acknowledge it at first. I loved how well the team worked together and the family like ties they shared. I eagerly anticipate the next installment of this excellent series.

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:

In 1964, a group of scientists called the Los Alamos Five came close to finishing a nuclear energy project for the United States government when they were abruptly disbanded. Now the granddaughter of one of those scientists, aerospace engineer Elinor Mitchell, discovers that she has highly sensitive information on the project in her possession–and a target on her back.

SNAP agent and former Navy cryptologist Kekoa Young is tasked with monitoring Elinor. This is both convenient since she’s his neighbor in Washington, DC, and decidedly inconvenient because . . . well, he kind of likes her.

As Elinor follows the clues her grandfather left behind to a top-secret nuclear project, Kekoa has no choice but to step in. And with danger closing in on all sides, Elinor will have to trust the man who has been spying on her to ensure her discoveries stay out of enemy hands–and she stays alive.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Natalie Walters is the author of Lights Out and Fatal Code, as well as the Harbored Secrets series. A military wife, she currently resides in Texas with her soldier husband and is the proud mom of three. She loves traveling, spending time with her family, and connecting with readers on Instagram and Facebook. Learn more at www.nataliewalterswriter.com.