Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Soul’s Prisoner (Portraits of Grace#2)


Title:  Soul’s Prisoner (Portraits of Grace#2)
Author:  Cara Luecht
Pages:  300
Year:  2015
Publisher:  White Fire
My rating is 5+ stars.
The author really writes unique stories that really are beyond describing for me!  The first book in the series is titled, Soul’s Painter where a woman living in her own world away from other people paints their future.  The characters you meet capture your heart along with blood-pumping tension, then throw in a little romance and become involved in a mystery and what more could you ask for?  In order to read Soul’s Prisoner, it is beneficial to read the first book as the story builds in book two.
The main female painter is named Miriam.  Her painting gift described in the first novel has changed and it worries her; frankly she is scared.  Her paintings are of things and faces she has never seen before.  It concerns her so deeply Miriam can’t but wonder if she is losing control of her grip on reality. The asylum which is in need of donations from people is where Miriam and her eclectic friends attempt to obtain contracts to provide clothing at minimal cost.
Writing this review is hard because I want to share some of the wonderful aspects of the story, but I am concerned I would ruin it for readers who haven’t enjoyed her books yet.  The characters are deeply concerned and care for each other and always open to bring another soul that once was in a bad place into the safety of their “family”.  They show love, grace, care, concern as well as not being afraid to state truth to each other if they see one of their friends not being honest either with themselves or someone else.
Each character has beauty that shines from the inside and the story isn’t focused on beautifying the body, but more so drawing out the soul within.  The gifts each woman brings are unique and complementary to the others which is a picture of what family, friendships or the Body of Christ should be.  There isn’t tension in the family due to competition, but in dealing with the hard life each woman has lived through and come out from.
I hope the author writes another fictional work with these characters and soon.  It just touches my soul as I read the books.  I hope you will really consider reading Cara’s other novels.  One is a standalone titled, Gathered Waters.  Both Portraits of Grace books include the element of mystery so be prepared to be pulled along the path to solving what piques your interest as soon as you start turning the pages!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Soul's Prisoner
(WhiteFire Publishing (December 15, 2015))
by
Cara Luecht


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A Word from the Author:I never planned to be a writer. In fact, it took me a while to finish college. But I did, and here I am. And I now I can’t imagine not being a writer. By day, I am an English Instructor for a local college, mother to four amazing children, and wife to an eternally patient and supportive husband. In the evening, when I can squirrel away some quiet time, I read and write historical fiction. I have a B.A. in English Lit. from UW Whitewater and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ. If you have a question for me, or if you are local and would like me to stop by your book club or writer’s group, please drop me a line via the “Ask the Author” tab. I always love the opportunity to meet with others who share my love of books.





ABOUT THE BOOK

She'll fight for her future...but can she escape her past?
Chicago, Winter, 1891
Rachel is in danger. She s seen too much.
She creeps along the cement walls through the dank underbelly of the asylum. She d never planned to leave her quiet farm life, never thought she d find a place in the city, never imagined she d be in the kind of danger that would have her cowering in Dunning s cold, labyrinthine basement.
Jenny has finally found her place. After a childhood of abuse, she has friends, a real job, and her only wish is to give her adopted son the kind of life she never had.
A life of stability, without the risk and uncertainty of a father.
But when Jeremy, Rachel s brother, stumbles into their warehouse, asking for help to find his missing sister, Jenny s carefully constructed life begins to crumble.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Soul's Prisoner, go HERE.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Mermaid Moon (Sunset Cove #2)


Title:  Mermaid Moon (Sunset Cove #2)
Author:  Colleen Coble
Pages:  337
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
I just love the setting for this series on the coastline of Maine!  The author’s vivid descriptions make me want to visit this part of the country.  This is a story that could be read as a standalone.  There are some characters from the first book that make an appearance in this story, but are not really relevant to the plot of this second book.
Kevin O’Connor is a game warden for the state of Maine.  He is divorced with an 8-year-old daughter, who has custody of as her mother wanted nothing to do with her.  He had the love of his life, Mallory Davis, break his heart be leaving town after a traumatic event in her life.  His parents always wanted him to be a doctor, but Kevin always wanted to be a game warden.  His parents think Mallory Davis is the reason he didn’t become a doctor, but he knows she is the one who gave him the courage to follow his dream.  After fifteen years, Mallory is back in town and calling him for help.  Kevin’s already strained relationship with his parents gets downright nasty once they learn Mallory is back in town.  He guards his heart to keep from making the same choice of fifteen years ago, but he feels wonderful when he is with her.
Mallory Davis is a widow with an almost 15-year-old daughter, trying to make ends meet by making jewelry.  She receives a phone call from her father, telling her of his love and to find her mother.  Then the call ends abruptly.  She and her father have a strained relationship and don’t talk to each other often, but how can she find her mother when her mother has been dead for fifteen years?  She calls her former boyfriend, Kevin, and asks him to check on her father.  What he finds brings Mallory back to town.  While there she discovers what her heart has always known…she still loves Kevin.  However, more questions arise and more threats are leveled at Mallory.  Who is out to hurt her?
The story has easy dialogue to follow, short chapters, clues to follow and tension to ramp up to the exciting ending!  Of course, there is romance thrown in as well as faith and wanting to do things right the second time around.  Second chances and forgiveness are seen as well.  I just loved how Kevin put Mallory’s safety and needs before his own, even when she had hurt his heart so much in the past.  He still put her first because that is what God would want him to do.  I also thought it was a cool touch to have Gwen Marcey make an appearance in this story.  I’ve read and really enjoyed both books in that series as well.  Book three, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, is being released in September 2016.
My rating is 4 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, February 8, 2016

Beyond the Silence by Authors:Tracie Peterson & Kimberley Woodhouse


Title:  Beyond the Silence
Author:  Tracie Peterson & Kimberley Woodhouse
Pages:  352
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Bethany
My rating is 5 stars.
The story starts out in the year 1890 in California where a young woman is being attacked and her young son hears her screams and comes upon the scene.  Then, readers are taken to another scene a year later but in a different home where a young woman is saying goodbye to her grandfather.  The young woman is Lillian Porter who was raised by her grandparents after the death of her parents.  However, after the death of her grandmother, her grandfather has become mean and won’t allow Lillian any freedoms.  Yet, Lillian knows she is doing the right thing by leaving the home she was raised in to travel to California to become a nanny.
Woody is the father of a young boy Jimmy.  Jimmy is the young boy who witnessed the crime against his mother.  Since that day, Jimmy hasn’t spoken one word and his father is at a loss as to what to do.  Woody is ostracized by the town; the gossip about him is vicious.  It is in to this type of animosity that Lillian is surrounded by the moment she steps foot off the stagecoach.
From this point forward, I believe other readers like me are going to enjoy the relationship that develops between Lillian, Jimmy and the housekeeper.  I enjoyed reading the wrestling of the heart and soul of the characters while learning how to forgive, move forward and forgiving the wagging tongues.  There is also a man who is not treated kindly by the town because he is simple-minded and the sweetest kind of man that befriends Jimmy.
The various problems that Woody and his household endure will either deepen their faith or not.  I loved how the adults at night would gather around the table to have a Bible study and how Lillian just loved to have her many questions voiced possibly answered during their time around the table.  Lillian lived with a grandfather whose heart appeared to have become so hardened after the loss of his wife.  I enjoyed too how Lillian kept reaching out to her grandfather though he stated he wanted nothing more to do with her or read her letters.
Beyond the Silence is a very heart-touching, adventurous story and truly an entertaining novel!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”