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Category Archives: Reviews of Christian fiction

Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson

Hope Flanagan has seen complete horrors that no one should ever witness. In this novel by Tracie Peterson, Beloved Hope, you see the continuation of her new series, Heart of the Frontier. In this book the focus is on Hope and the horrific ordeal she went through in the first novel. It begins by letting you know that those responsible for the rapes and murders have been arrested and are now standing trial for their crimes.

Hope is terrified that she will need to testify against Tomahas because she has worked very hard to bury those memories by raising her sheep and developing a cliental for her hand spun yarn and now all those memories are resurfacing. Lieutenant Lance Kenner is ready to leave his military service and begin a new life back in Louisiana, however before his service is up, he is ordered to take care of the Indian prisoners during the trial to make sure that they are treated humanely.

During the trial Hope decides to take justice into her own hands and this is where she and Lance meet, in the jail cell with Hope pointing a gun at Tomahas. The story then starts with their friendship and grows into love. Tracie does a good job of growing the characters from the first novel. She also expertly handles the tension between the Indians and the new settlers very well and covers this difficult time in American history fairly.

I like the book, though there are some rough subject matters but they are covered in a very proper way with no over the top violence needed. There is a strong message of restoring faith and reconnecting to God.


This book was given to me by Netgalley for my honest opinion.

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The Pattern Artist is an American Dream Story

If you were born in England in the early 1900’s your station in life was already predetermined. However, Annie Wood has it in her mind that she can raise to the level of lady’s maid from her current position of house maid. Annie is a very talented seamstress and is sure that with this talent it will propel her upward in statue. However, shortly after arriving in America she meets two friends that have decided that they will no longer be trapped in the social standings of the Old World, they are in America now and they intend on making their own American dreams come true.

Annie is devastated when she learns that the current lady’s maids are taking credit for sewing talent there by ending her hope of ever rising from her current position and she decides she is ready to leave with her new friends and when a nasty exchange between her and the foot man, Grasston, escalates they decide to make their escape immediately.  

This story follows Annie’s journey as she begins working at Macy’s and then finds her way to Butterick designing clothing patterns. Here she catches the attention of Mrs. Sampson who wants Annie to go into business with her and create their own line of clothing. Then there is the relationship with Sean, will she decided to marry?

This is a nicely done story; there is a good Christian theme and true historical details woven into the story line. My only critique of the story is there were times when Annie could get on my nerves however; this always seemed to be a growing experience in her faith.


This book was given to me in EBook format from NetGalley for my honest review.

 

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The Cedar Cove Chronicles –Book Two; Clyde and Wanda

Cynthia Ulmer’s second book in her Cedar Cove Chronicles is continuation of the story; however the main characters in this volume are Clyde and his wife Wanda. Clyde is now married with a child of his own and is a successful business man. Wanda, his wife, has had a very odd and hurtful childhood and as the story unfolds you find out that there have been many lies told and secrets kept throughout her life.

I enjoyed the journey of learning the truth of Wanda’s childhood and I liked how her family was brought together, I thought that some of it was a bit simplistic but it was a nice story line. This novel is well done and your favorite characters and villains all make an appearance. However, you must read the first novel if you want to understand the underlying history and understand each character’s way of thinking and motivations.

I really enjoy the way Cynthia develops the plot to her novels. They are well thought out and fit well within the time period of the book. I would say that my only disappointment in this book was the story line about Clyde becoming a deacon for the church. I felt that I never really understood his reaction and I thought there was going to be an introduction of two more characters, but that never really seemed too develop.

With that being said, if you loved the first book like I did, you will really enjoy the continuation of the story. You will see justice; you will see forgiveness and a strong Christian message throughout the book. I am excited to begin the third book in the series, so look for that review shortly.


This book was given to me by the author, Cynthia Ulmer for my honest opinion.

 

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Todd-Great First Book in the Cedar Cove Chronicles

Cynthia Ulmer is now on my list of “must read” authors. I had the opportunity to review the first book in her, Cedar Cove Chronicles, Todd. The setting for the book is in rural North Carolina and set during World War II. The narration is done in first person by the lead character of this book Todd Jansan who is a fifth-grade boy.

The book has a strong Christian message of hope, trust, forgiveness and redemption. Since this is the first book in a series Cynthia did a fantastic job of developing each character. Even her secondary characters such as Grandma Cal (who is my favorite) are expertly development. You will love the characters you should, and loathe the ones you should.

Some of the subject matter is a bit rough and there is some violence but there is nothing obscene or overly graphic but it is not a read for younger kids. The story line is true to both the time period and the setting it is set in. The Jansan family own a tobacco farmer and they are hard working, God fearing family. The neighbor, Horace Hammond is not. He is a loud mouth drunkard bully that terrorizes his wife, children and the entire community of Cedar Cove.

In this story you will see what happens when a good man and an evil man path’s collided in a way that neither can nor will back down from. The history between the two is long and the way the each of them handle the conflict could not be more different. You will see this conflict from Todd’s perspective and you will see grace, forgiveness, true friendship and how God will work things out even when during your trials it may not look or feel like He’s even listening.

This book was given to me by the Author, Cynthia Ulmer, for my honest opinion.

 

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Mountian Christmas Brides-Not My Favorite Collection

3.5 stars out of 5

If you are looking for an easy, light read that is Christian based then this collection of short stories is a good choice for you. The stories begin in 1880’s and finish through the early 1900’s and they give you great insight into the traditions and customs from this era. The stories build off of each other, adding new characters or taking a supporting character from the previous story and making them the lead in the next one.

This was not my favorite collection from Barbour Publishing but the stories are well done, however, they are what I refer to as Christian light. Meaning that they do refer to God, but the redemptive message of salvation is a bit lacking. I thought that each author did a good job with their characters and story lines but there was a bit too much of “this one loves that one, that one loves this one, but they don’t know they love each other” kind of theme throughout the book.

So this may not have been my favorite type of collection but the character development was well done. All the authors did a good job of furthering the story and developing the next characters. It is an easy read and the time period is one of my favorites in American history.

This book was given to me by Barbour Publishing for my honest review.

 

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The California Gold Rush

The gold rush years in America were an interesting time. Our country was young and growing and the west coast had an influx of people from all over the world. This collection from Barbour Books is centralized around this fascinating period of history. Most of the novels in this collection center around women and what a difficult yet opportunistic time it was for females during the gold rush.

All of the novels in this collection are well done with good story lines and really good character development. They do vary in their depth of a Christian based message, some have a very strong Christian messages and some have a positive message overall but what I would call Christian light, and one (Love is a Puzzle) doesn’t really mention God or Jesus at all.

My personal favorite is Civilizing Clementine by Dianne Christner it is funny, well-written and an easy read. It also has a great salvation and redemption message. Dianne did a really good job of incorporating a strong Christina message without it becoming at all preachy and I just loved her supporting characters, they are really well developed. Overall I think you will enjoy The California Gold Rush Romance Collection by Barbour Publishing the stories are all well done and you will learn about this time period in America.

 

I was given this book by Barbour Publishing for my honest opinion.

 

 

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Love Endures All Things

Bo Garrett and Elly Sullivan are two teenagers crazy in love. They can hardly wait until Bo is 17 and they can marry. Elly has their lives planned for them, Bo will work in the cranberry business just both of their fathers and they will have lot of babies. When proclaiming their love one day they have an open conversation about Elly’s wavering belief in God, the preacher they have is the “hell, fire and brimstone” type and has made Elly actually afraid of God. During this declaration of love Elly makes Bo promise her that he will never become a preacher, ever.

When Bo turns 17 he leaves to go explore the world and literally falls off the face of the Earth. Elly does not hear a single word from him in seven years until one day she runs into him at the local mercantile. The story proceeds from here as they begin a long a difficult journey to healing, forgiveness and reestablishing trust. There are also a few obstacles, Gideon who Elly doesn’t truly love but is engage to be married and the fact that Bo returns as a preacher.

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Over 80% Reviewer Ratings

The Preacher’s Lady by Lori Copeland is really well written and the characters are well developed with a good strong message of forgiveness and salvation. I love watching Elly’s transformation and salvation. You learn to love how Bo is so patient with Elly letting her grieve her original dreams, venting her anger, and slowly building a trustful friendship. He even goes as far as helping shovel a present of cow manure from her new beau, clearly a rancher and not a cranberry farmer, love endures all things.

I was given this book by Netgalley for my honest opinion.

 

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