A Piece of the Moon

Author: Chris Fabry

Publisher: Tyndale House

Release Date: April 6, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Fabry never fails to give readers a story that will be enjoyable with flawed characters that readers are easily able to bond with.

Gideon Quidley has achieved great wealth throughout his life and when he receives a divine vision telling him to hide his treasure based on bible verses, he sets out to do just that.  When people find out what he has done, treasure hunters search high and low based on the clues.  It becomes an obsession for some people.  For others, it’s become more of a joking matter.  In the small town of Emmaus, West Virginia, mooring radio talk show hosts Waite Evers and TD Lovett, tend to joke about the matter weekly.  But when one of TD’s estranged friends goes missing, he is suddenly pulled into the hunt for his friend over the treasure.  As TD dives into the clues, he begins to discover his own real treasure that isn’t just of this earth.

Leave it to Chris Fabry to set up an incredibly interesting tale that takes readers back to 1981.  I’ve never been disappointed in one of Fabry’s novels and this one kept me intrigued all the way through.  His characters are all incredibly flawed, just like real life, and have the ability to easily connect with readers.  Waite was just one of many, but he saw the good in everybody but himself.  TD felt he could never be more than he was and didn’t know what the point of trying was.  With plenty of supporting characters, readers will easily find someone to resonate with and cheer for throughout the book.  Fabry’s years of experience on the radio show with the technical knowledge included in this book!

The story centers around an earthly treasure of riches, but has a theme of discovering the treasure of ourselves with our heavenly father.  I love the way that this book ended.  I’m not going to say more than that, but I think all readers will enjoy the final wrap up!

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Miriam’s Song

Author: Jill Eileen Smith

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: March 2, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Fans of Smith will likely enjoy her adaption of the story of Miriam.

Miriam and her family have been living during the Israelite oppression in Egypt.  While they have been praying for deliverance, it has been quiet.  When the Pharaoh becomes threatened and decrees that all male Hebrew babies shall be killed, she knows that her mother’s new baby is likely to die soon.  Fortunately, Pharaoh’s daughter finds him and raises him as her own.  Miriam’s little brother, Moses, will change the world for the Israelite people.

I have always enjoyed Smith’s ability to tell a well-known biblical story from a different perspective.  I enjoyed her previous book with the story of King Herod told from his sister’s perspective and felt that this one would be interesting as well.  I was able to get into the story pretty easily having well known characters, but it took a little while for me to get through it.  I’ve done a lot of research on the books of law and had to go back to double check some events based on this book.  I know that fiction is subjective and can be interpreted differently.  I’ve read past authors that have even moved actual events to different timelines to support their stories. With this story, there were some things that didn’t seem to sit correctly, which took time to research and understand her point of view.  Fans of hers will likely still enjoy this book, but I’m hoping the next one turns out to her usual standards.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Dreams Rekindled

Author: Amanda Cabot

Series: Mesquite Springs #2

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: March 2, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Come back to the quaint western town of Mesquite Springs, TX and read Dorothy’s story!

Dorothy Clark has always resigned herself that she will never marry.  After her father died, her mother fell into deep depression, and Dorothy doesn’t want to allow an event to do that to her.  Since her brother got married, she is helping run her sister-in-law’s restaurant, Polly’s Place in their absence.  She has always dreamed of being a writer, but never really had an opportunity.  When a newspaper man relocates to Mesquite Springs to start up a paper, Dorothy feels that she might have finally found her chance for her writing.  But will he stir up more than just words in her?

Mesquite Springs is such a fun town to visit in a book, but do the townsfolk sure get divided easily.  In the first book it was the mayoral race that did it and in this book its about the local pastor.  Readers will have a great time trying to figure out what is going to happen with all the different shady characters that show up in town. 

I liked seeing Dorothy grow more in this book.  She had a little bit of growth as a supporting character previously and really blossomed into this book.  She wasn’t shallow, she is actually very intelligent and good hearted.  I can’t wait to see what is in store for the final book of the trilogy.  I think I know who the main characters will be and am excited to see how it is going to play out!

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

The English Wife

Author: Adrienne Chinn

Publisher: One More Chapter

Release Date: June 23, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Two stories full of secrets that can finally bring out the truth!

Ellie Burgess has kept her life in order with the way she wants it to be in London with the threat of war.  She is studying art and engaged to her lifelong friend George.  But after the war begins and her best friend is killed in a bombing, she feels that she must do her part and join the fire service.  Her predictable love life also takes a turn when she meets a Newfoundlander named Thomas Parsons.  She realizes that she loves George but has never been in love with him as she is with Thomas.  She makes a decision that compromises every relationship within in her family and elopes with Thomas before he is sent off to war.  After almost of year of no correspondence after he is taken a POW, Ellie has all but decided that Thomas has perished until she finally receives a letter from him back in Newfoundland.  She packs up her belongings with their newborn son and heads across the Atlantic in a course that will forever change her life.

Sophie Parry is on a flight from London to New York for an interview with a prestigious architecture firm on September 11, 2001.  When her plan is diverted to Gander, Newfoundland and she realizes that she is not getting to New York anytime soon, she decides to call on her Aunt Ellie that she has never known.  Her mother hated her aunt and she never knew why.  Could it be fate that brought them together now?

I love a book that manages to come full circle from beginning to end.  There were quite a lot of little twists towards the end of the book, several of which were quite surprising.  I loved reading both stories, and it took having Ellie’s backstory to really understand Sophie.  I really felt for Ellie with all that she had to go through, but she was a trooper.  I also enjoyed watching Sophie’s character get developed and grow with an understanding of what to live for instead of how she was living.  There is so much going on in this novel that it would take a long time to unpack, but I feel that the reader should enjoy the gift that this book really is.  There is a lot of Newfoundland slang throughout the book that is pretty easy to pick up on.  This is the first book that I’ve read set there, but it seems like it would be a beautiful place to visit. 

There is a little bit of foul language throughout the book, but it doesn’t overpower the story.  Even so, I recommend this book for mature readers.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

A Dance in Donegal

Author: Jennifer Deibel

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: February 2, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Lovers of Ireland will absolutely love this book set in the Emerald Isle!

After her mother dies, Moira Doherty feels that she should leave her life in Boston behind and move to the village of Donegal in Ireland where her mother lived.  Unfortunately, her mother’s past left behind an unwarm welcome.  Will Moira be able to unravel the secrets and be accepted by the town?

It’s hard to believe that this is a debut novel.  The setting and descriptions of Ireland could only be written by someone who has personally experienced them.  Ireland is one of my favorite countries and favorite settings, especially since my heritage is mostly Irish.  It was easy to hear the accent from the natives in the book with the way that the language was written and the Gaelic names of the characters.  The story flowed well and the theme of trust was imminent throughout.  Fair play tcha, Jennifer Diebel!

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

The Paris Dressmaker

Author: Kristy Cambron

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: February 16, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Cambron shines with her new well researched release of the Women of Paris!

Germans have occupied France and Paris life is changing.  Madison Chanel has been closed and many of the dressmakers employed there are now without a job, including Lila de Laurent.  She finds a job with Nina Ricci and is summoned one day to the Ritz hotel where she meets her past friend and fellow seamstress from Chanel’s, Amelie.  Amelie is destined to climb the social ladder and has taken up with the Nazi soldiers to elevate her status and offers Lila the opportunity to develop her own dresses for the girls staying at the hotel.  Lila is drawn to the possibility of working there for the resistance as she can access documents left in the hotel rooms, especially if she can find information on her lost love Rene Touliard.  When one of her operations goes wrong, she must flee if she wants to live.

Sandrine Paquet has been ordered to work for the Nazi regime categorizing art pieces stolen from their Jewish owners.  She does what she can for her young son and mother-in-law, but hates being viewed as a collaborator when she has no choice.  With her husband unaccounted for at war, she finds an opportunity to work quietly in the resistance to keep records of where the art is being shipped so that it can one day be returned.  When she is called in to look at a dress, a Chanel gown no less, she discovers a message hidden within the seam hastily placed there by a dressmaker who had vanished from the social elite of the Ritz hotel.

As always, Cambron delivers a stunning work of historical fiction set within occupied France during the second world war.  This is a bit of a deviation from her typical time slip novels, but still had two terrific stories that were interwoven together and destined to collide.  She does such a great job of bringing little known history (at least in America) to life with her characters that makes readers go research the actual events for themselves.  With intrigue, mystery, loss, sympathy, and action throughout, readers can’t help but be engaged throughout the entire story. 

If you’ve never read a book by Cambron, this is a fantastic one to start with.  Grab a copy and pull up by the fire because you won’t want to get up until you’ve finished! I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

When Twilight Breaks

Author: Sarah Sundin

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: February 2, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Another great historical romance by Sundin!

Stashed away in Munich in 1938, foreign correspondent Evelyn Brand is frustrated about missing all the action in Berlin.  If she was a man, she wouldn’t have to deal with this treatment or have her articles reviewed and edited to keep her name on a byline.  But as the Nazi tyranny continues to grow, Evelyn keeps reporting the truth, even if it means she gets expelled from the country.  Someone must wake the United States up to the truth about what is happening in Europe.

Harvard doctoral student Peter Lang is teaching abroad in Munich to develop his thesis dissertation in improving language communication between English and German.  He loves Germany now compared to six years ago when the communists caused riots in the streets.  However, the longer he is in Germany, the clearer it becomes when the Nazi party is doing, and Peter is frustrated that he allowed himself to become disillusioned because of the past.  When the German brass get wind of Peter’s capabilities to teach Germans to speak English with impeccable accents, they plan to keep him there to advance their agenda.  But Peter needs to get new information that he has learned back to America at any cost.

The last three books that Sundin has released all centered around the events of D-Day, so this was a nice surprise to see her research and writing focused of the rise of the Nazi party.  She did a great job researching key events including rallies and Kristallnacht to keep readers engaged and maybe have them do a little research on their own.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching Evelyn and Peter’s story play out.  It wasn’t quick and easy, in fact is was painful and messy to watch at times, but their love for each other finally won out.  It’s great to see how this can happen in both real life and in a book.  I’m always look forward to Sundin’s books and this one is no exception.  This will make it to the top of the list for the year!

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

High Treason at the Grand Hotel

Author: Kelly Oliver

Series: Fiona Figg Mystery #2

Publisher: Level Best Books

Release Date: January 5, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Fiona Figg returns in another mystery that may be her last!

After the success of her first mystery in getting close with Frederick Fredericks, Fiona is again dispatched by Room 40 on another mission, this time to Paris.  At least this time she gets to be herself.  Upon arriving in Paris, she finds that her passport has been stolen but manages to get passed off as a Captain’s wife.  She then realizes that her contact is nowhere to be found and takes a room at the Grand Hotel where Frederick Fredericks is staying.  Even though she is supposed to be herself, she brings plenty of disguise with her and transforms herself into Harold the bell boy.  Now able to move throughout the hotel inner workings with ease, she finds roadblocks with the hotel staff, but manages to get on serving duty at a local party.  When she is discovered with a bloody knife over the body of a dead countess (yet again) she quickly finds out that her spying days may be over!

If you thought Betrayal at Ravenswick was a hoot, wait till you read High Treason at the Grand Hotel.  I wasn’t sure that Fiona could get herself into more trouble, but she proved me wrong.  This new cozy mystery was laced with misfortune, but she ultimately prevailed at a high price.  As with the first, there was still plenty of humor, but it took quite a bit of serious tone as the story went.  Fiona gets mixed up in a serial killer’s ring of murders, which she thankfully helps solve, but not before some of the characters meet their unfortunate fate.  She also witnesses a firing squad execution.  Again, this book has many historical characters from the time that make it worth the read and the research if you’re interested.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Betrayal at Ravenswick

Author: Kelly Oliver

Series: Fiona Figg Mystery #1

Publisher: Level Best Books

Release Date: March 10, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A new cozy mystery series has captured my attention!

Fiona Figg’s life has begun to crumble apart.  After four years of happy marriage, she decides to surprise her husband at work one day and finds him in the arms of another woman.  With little other course, she gets a divorce and decides to focus on her work in Room 40 at the War Office in London.  She wishes that she could get out of London to avoid running into her ex-husband and his new wife and she soon gets her wish.  She is offered the chance to retreat to Ravenswick Abbey to spy on a South African war correspondent named Frederick Fredericks.  After arriving at Ravenswick, she is quickly caught up in a domestic dispute that delves into the murder of a countess.  Fiona must maintain her cover and assist in the murder case to appease all parties.  Be careful what you wish for!

Sometimes you just need a cozy mystery to forget about your day and that is exactly what readers will find with Betrayal at Ravenswick.  This book was equal parts serious and humorous as Fiona bumbles around undercover as a male doctor.  It is easy to find an emotional connection with Fiona on her losses but also find yourself telling her that it’s not a good idea to go through with what she has planned.  It’s easy to become her friend as you read the story.  I’ve always enjoyed this genre and having in set during World War I was an even better reason to read it.  That book is based on some historical characters, so if you know much about Room 40, it makes it that much more fun to read.  This book is suited for an older audience, but I believe many will enjoy it.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Tidewater Bride

Author: Laura Frantz

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: January 5, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Frantz always does her research and it shines through in Tidewater Bride.

Selah Hopewell thoroughly enjoys matching other people up, especially the tobacco brides that arrive into the new colonies.  Unfortunately, there are more men than there are available women, which she has no intent to marry as she is taking care of her family’s shop.  When she meets Xander Renick, who is married to his business, can she find him a mate?  Or will she find what has been missing in her life?

Laura Frantz never ceases to amaze me in the amount of research that she puts in for each of her novels.  Tidewater Bride is no exception.  From the true era language to the description of scenery and activity, it all rang true.  I love how she makes me do my own research to determine the accuracy of hers, which has always showed to be true.  I also love that the book doesn’t center on romance but has action to move the story along.  Readers of early frontier colonial era stories will love this one as well!

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.