The Sound of Distant Thunder by Jan Drexler

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Katie Stucky cannot wait to marry the love of her life, counting down the days until she turns eighteen like her parents wish before she marries.  Jonas Weaver is fascinated with the abolitionist cause as the Civil War begins to heat up.  When Jonas decides to enlist and takes his brother’s place, his decision places a strain on his connection with Katie.  The Civil War is tearing apart a country and families but Katie hopes that it does not tear apart her relationship with Jonas.

This novel explores an interesting part of the Civil War and the history of the Amish’s role and stance during that turbulent time.  I found that portion of the book to be fascinating.  The story was a little slow moving at times, but overall the writing was well done.  It was remarkable how the conflicts among the Amish were realistic and reflected the overall conflict of the country at war.  I had some unanswered questions, but the romance of the story was sweet and concluded well.  I recommend this book to those who love Amish fiction as it gives a unique fictional glimpse into their very real history.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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A Secret to Die For by Lisa Harris

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Psychologist Grace Callahan does not place much stock in her client Stephen Shaw’s paranoia—that is, until he turns up dead and someone breaks into her house demanding that she reveal his secrets.  She finds herself working with Detective Nate Quinn, an old college friend.  As Grace and Quinn race against the clock to stop the murderers from successfully pulling off a bigger scheme, they have to face the demons of their pasts and work together before it is too late.

This story starts with action and it continues until the very end.  The action slowed down at points to allow the reader to get a glimpse into the complex pasts of the main characters and bring some spiritual elements to the storyline.  Parts of the middle were a little slow for me, but overall I enjoyed the story.  The villain ends up as a surprise twist and creates an interesting ending.  I recommend this book to lovers of contemporary suspense!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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Legacy of Mercy!

Hello Readers!

I am so excited to partner with Lynn Austin to promote her newest novel, Legacy of Mercy.  I have recently shared my book review (direct link: https://lifeofliterature.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/legacy-of-mercy-by-lynn-austin/).  Here is a quote from the book that stuck with me!  I have also copied a message from Lynn Austin to readers below.  Seek out this novel when it releases today! You will not be disappointed!

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Dear Readers!

I’m so happy that you decided to join me on what I hope will be a fun adventure. I’m very excited to share my newest novel, “Legacy of Mercy,” with you because it was you—my readers—who inspired me to write it! I received many, many letters asking if there would be a sequel to “Waves of Mercy.” The main character, Anna, is only in her twenties and is a new Christian, so when she decides to return to Chicago and marry her fiancé at the end of “Waves of Mercy,” readers wanted to know what happens next in her life. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to explore what happens next for Anna, too. She has just discovered who her birth mother is, so naturally she’ll wants to learn more about her. She’ll also want to solve the mystery of who her real father is and what became of him. Might he still be alive? Lots of material for a story here!

I really hope you enjoy “Legacy of Mercy.” I believe you’re in for a few surprises along the way!

~Lynn Austin

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Legacy of Mercy by Lynn Austin

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Anna Nicholson returns from her summer trip to Michigan intent on learning more about her birth mother, hiring Pinkerton detectives to help her dig up the past.  As secrets are revealed, however, Anna soon discovers that her past may actually alter her future.  And amidst the craziness of planning for a wedding and maneuvering through society, she realizes that her commitment to seek God daily is not as easy as she had planned.  She finds encouragement in her grandmother, Geesje, who is facing a challenge of her own after she accepts a young, timid girl with a complicated history into her home. As these two women navigate their trials, they find that God’s purpose and forgiveness is the only thing that truly matters.

I absolutely loved the prequel to this novel, Waves of Mercy, so I was thrilled to discover that the author responded to the overwhelming encouragement to continue Anna and Geesje’s story.  Anna faces trials that make her a realistic and relatable character and has a depth to her that allows me as a reader to connect with her and feel her struggles and emotions.  Geesje as well is a compassionate soul with godly wisdom that reaches beyond the pages and encourages me as a reader.  There is mystery surrounding Anna’s story that is unpredictable and the romance becomes complicated, leading to twists and turns unexpected.  I loved the history of the Dutch heritage and the incorporation of many spiritual truths.  I most highly recommend this novel!

I received a copy of this book from Lynn Austin and Bethany House Publishers.

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Everything She Didn’t Say by Jane Kirkpatrick

Everything She Didn_t Say book cover.

Carrie Strahorn marries an adventurer, somewhat expecting but never truly imagining that their lives would be spent exploring a greater part of the West and writing articles to people in the East to encourage them to populate the wilder part of America in the late nineteenth century.  She initially finds the moving about frequently exciting but soon her heart desires something more—a permanent home and family.  Feeling alone in her thoughts, she turns to journaling to express her feelings.  And as she writes, she discovers more about herself.

This book gives readers an interesting and unique perspective into the life of a pioneer lady at the turn of the twentieth century as she explores the Wild West with her husband. It is set up almost like a memoir within a memoir and expresses her deepest desires among the pages.  The novel is an excellent story of history, full of details that are interesting and thought provoking.  I very much liked Carrie and found myself connecting with her. I thought the chapters felt detached from each other.  I did not find an overarching plot or theme but rather felt as if I was reading a historical journal.  However, it is well written and if readers like novels heavy in history, this is for you!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review

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A Christmas by the Sea by Melody Carlson

A Christmas by the Sea book cover

Recently discovering that she had inherited her family’s beachside cottage, Wendy Harper and her son, Jackson, travel to Seaside, Maine, during the Christmas season to fix up the house.  Faced with debts and responsibilities, Wendy plans to sell the cottage in order to pay off medical bills and give her son hope for the future.  What Wendy does not plan for is the pull on her heart from both the enchanting town and one local handsome craftsman.

This short story has a charming setting with its picturesque seaside small town during the Christmas holidays.  The characters face real-life struggles of financial difficulties and costly house renovations as well as pasts of love lost, but there is hope infused throughout the book.  Sprinkled with enchanting cottages, romantic settings, and threads of faith, this book is the perfect afternoon read on a blustery winter evening with your favorite hot beverage. The ending works out a bit too perfectly, but that does not detract from the overall charming theme.  It has lovable and spunky characters and realistic conflict and heartbreak—not to mention a fun furry friend to bring joy at just the right time!  A great short book for the Christmas season.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond book cover

Annalise Forsythe has painful secrets, just like everyone else does in Gossamer Grove.  But when mysterious events and dangerous things begin to happen, she begins the brutal task of unburying secrets, which only serves to uncover more suspicious pasts in Gossamer Grove.  She is not pleased when an old flame arrives in town during this vulnerable point of her life.  As she begins to let God help her forgive and start fresh, she learns that the past can actually help her heal her future.  Her search for answers digs up the unusual story of Libby Sheffield, a young lady at the turn of the century working at her father’s newspaper company during a spiritual revival in the town.  Libby is facing her own demons from her past.  These two ladies, though separated by time, have similar goals to heal and move on.

I very much enjoyed the first novel by Jaime Jo Wright and was looking forward to her next book.  I did not typically like split-time plots, but now this author has turned me around to them by crafting stories that connect is such unique and interesting ways.  I very much liked both of the main protagonists in this book and found the overarching theme of forgiveness and moving on from painful pasts something that any reader can relate to.  The plots are interesting with the twists and turns and I did not anticipate the villains. My favorite part is seeing how all the details fit together at the end.  I very much recommend this book!

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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