13 Dec 2019

First Line Fridays: The Work of Art by Mimi Matthews

Its been over a month since I last did one of these First Line Friday posts. Its less than 2 weeks to Christmas , and today marks the day that the results of our election were announced here in the UK. 

I've read a couple of rather intense novels recently with lots of battle and fighting scenes, so The Work of Art is a return to the relatively light material of a Regency Romance.This has been on my Kindle for a couple of months, since I got it on Netgalley, and I wanted to get it read before Christmas. 

The Work of Art, like Matthews other novels is published by Perfectly Proper Press, but it is technically a general market title and not Inspirational. Though it is plugged as a clean Romance, and I don't think there is much content that an Inspy reader would object to (apart from one semi-detailed scene, so far). 

An Uncommon Beauty...

Hidden away in rural Devonshire, Phyllida Satterthwaite has always been considered more odd than beautiful. But in London, her oddity has made her a sensation. Far worse, it's caught the eye of the sinister Duke of Moreland--a notorious art collector obsessed with acquiring one-of-a-kind treasures. To escape the duke's clutches, she's going to need a little help.

An Unlikely Hero...

Captain Arthur Heywood's days of heroism are long past. Grievously injured in the Peninsular War, he can no longer walk unaided, let alone shoot a pistol. What use can he possibly be to a damsel in distress? He has nothing left to offer except his good name.

Can a marriage of convenience save Philly from the vengeful duke? Or will life with Arthur put her--and her heart--in more danger than ever?

 Now its Your Turn? What are You reading? Comment with your Own First Line 


10 Dec 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Reads of Christmas, Past, Present and Future

You get the title of the post. I know, I thought it was quite clever. Very good for another seasonal post for Top Ten Tuesday hosted by the Artsy Reader Girl blog.

So without further ado, here are my books

Books of Christmas Past 

Books I've Read in the Last Year or So, which have some theme or plot-line relating to Christmas.

 Books of Christmas Present

Seasonal Books that I plan to read very soon. In the next few weeks- I hope. Since two of these are novellas that should be achievable. 

Books of Christmas Future 

You know what this is going to be: yes, Christmas Books I have on my TBR List and Plan to read in future. Though heaven knows when that will be. You can read books set at Christmas all year 'round right? 


9 Dec 2019

The Lady of Kingdoms by Suzannah M. Rowntree Review

Watchers of Outremer #2
November 26th 2019, 569 Pages, Print and Ebook 

Magic Made Her A Warrior.

Justice Will Make Her A Legend
Jerusalem, 1180: A catastrophe destroyed Marta Bessarion's family and whisked her away from everything she once knew. Now, armed with a magic spear and a burning thirst for justice, Marta vows to protect her new home and family, no matter the cost.

But trouble is brewing in the glittering palaces of Jerusalem...

The young Leper King, Baldwin, is dying. Before he goes, Baldwin must choose a successor...but every choice is a bad one. An innocent child, exploited by stronger men? A crafty cousin who has already tried to snatch the crown? Or his brilliant, passionate sister who is determined to rule - even if it triggers a war?

When enemy armies muster on the kingdom's borders, Marta charges into battle. But when Baldwin's choice puts her newfound family at risk, Marta finds herself fighting a new kind of battle - one in which intrigue, deception, and betrayal are the weapons.

To save the kingdom, she’ll need more than a magic spear to destroy its enemies.

She'll need a saint to save its soul.

 My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Watchers of Outremer series continues when teenage Marta Bessarion is catapulted through time from the 7th to the late 12th century.

She lands (quite literally) in the Holy Land just before the 3rd Crusade. The rest of the novel takes the reader on an exciting, thrilling- and sometimes breathtaking right through the Crusader states in the 1180s.

The reader will be immersed in the complex politics of the period, and meet some famous historical figures along the way, including Balian d'Ibelin, Baldwin IV 'The Leper King' of Jerusalem, and his flamboyant sister Sybilla. They stand alongside some fascinating Fictional characters, including a love interest for Marta and Persi, a young woman of business who represents the oft forgotten Christian Kingdoms of Medieval Africa.

Of course, there are some stops along the way to take in the culture and customs of the period.
It may come as a surprise for some to learn that 12th century Jerusalem under Crusader rule was prosperous, tolerant and cultured. They rebuilt cities, gardens, churches and places of worship. The depopulated and ruined city Martha knew is replaced with a beautiful metropolis, wealthy and bustling with different cultures.

The events of the period makes for a plot seething with undercurrents of political intrigue and war . Which leads the character into many dangerous and exciting adventures and escapes as the protagonists are are caught up in battles, sieges, and swept up in the time of political intrigue, whilst she struggling to stay determine what is right and just.

The atmosphere of conflict and tension goes deeper with the fantasy elements of a Magic spear said to make the bearer invincible, an evil sorcerer in Saladin's camp and shape-shifting demon using her influence to corrupt some of the most powerful people in the Kingdom. Yet all of these just -work- in the story, which although meticulously researched wears it very well.

I only had a couple of complaints. I related to Marta only in part, and some other characters more. I think part of if was that she came over as a little too perfect, and at times quite naive to what those who ruled had to do to secure the Kingdom.
There also seemed to be an element of fatalism in the idea that only if everything was done in a certain way would the Kingdom be saved. I understand the idea of following the path of righteousness, but at times I felt this was little more than Marta's rigid ideas and her belief that everything would be OK if people just listened to her.
Almost as if as if everything was foreordained, but not allowing for free will or personal choice.
It puts me in mind of what one of the characters says (roughly paraphrasing) that real life is not like the Courtly Romances, "where the virtuous always end up happy and the wicked always die"'.

There were also a couple of places where the story did not feel complete and I wanted to see more of the characters, but that was a deliberate choice to make room for a sequel (or two).
I found some of the action scene a little hard to follow in a couple of places, but this did not detract from the story.
It was well researched and excellently written story, well recommended for lovers of Historical Fiction and Fantasy with strong female leads.
Finally, isn't the cover just gorgeous? The book releases on the 27th of this month. Preorder your copy from all e-book retailers.

I agreed to be an Early Reader for this title and was sent an ARC by the author. This did not influence my review and all opinions expressed are my own.

6 Dec 2019

Misleading Miss Verity by Carolyn Miller: Kregel Blog Tours

Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley #3
Kregel Publications, November 26th 2019, 352 Pages 
Print and Ebook

 Verity Hatherleigh has a mind of her own—but her actions do not impress her viscount papa. When she gets into one scrape too many, he sends her off to the wilds of Scotland to rethink her headstrong ways.

Anthony Jardine relished his role as curate, but his new duties as laird of Dungally aren’t always to his liking. Though he thought his new inheritance would be a blessing, somehow he’s finding nothing but trouble on these estates. And the intelligent, compassionate, feisty lass who was sent to rusticate in his territory is one of the biggest problems. He’s falling in love with her, but she doesn’t share the faith that’s his foundation—not to mention he’s been lying to her about who he really is. For the truth-loving Verity, that may be unforgivable.

The tangled web these two have woven may spell disaster for their happiness—and for the tenants of Dungally.

My Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐


I enjoyed this final installment in the 'Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley series by Carolyn Miller. It follows Verity, the youngest and arguably the most precocious of the 3 sisters. Verity often clashes with her mother because of her forthright manner and tendency to defy social convention. She lives up to her name, which the Latin for 'truth'.

Most of the story follows Verity's adventures in Scotland, where so goes to visit a school friend with whom she had previously enjoyed many adventures and misadventures. Anthony Jardine arrives back in his homeland only a few weeks before Verity after a sojourn in Australia, where he served as a curate, and meets the intriguing lass (who is staying next door) when she ventures into the grounds of his manor.

Misleading Miss Verity has a lot to offer in terms of witty repartee and the often hilarious capers of the characters, including a sporting event where a character dresses as a man, climbing out a window to attend a masquerade, and even a hint of feuding between rival Scottish clans. Which reminds me that the Scottish countryside features heavily in this story, as well as some people with accents of varying thickness.

Both Verity and Anthony were well drawn characters, but I also liked Helen, Verity's school friend and her large family. Verity's struggle to find love and acceptance provided a realistic edge to the story, making her more human and vulnerable.
Although I didn't agree with all the choices the characters made, or that they were always entirely consistent with their their personalities.

The Romance elements weren't overwhelming in this novel, which is sort of a welcome change, and the reader will be left wanting to find out how everything turns out as it hurtles towards the conclusion. Recommended for Regency readers and lovers of Historical Fiction. 

Thanks to Kregel Blog Tours for sending me a copy of this book: I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

27 Nov 2019

Wind from the Wilderness by Suzannah M. Rowntree Review

Watchers of Outremer #1
422 Pages, October 29th 2018, Print and Ebook

Hunted by demons. Lost in time.

Welcome to the First Crusade.

Syria, 636: As heretic invaders circle Jerusalem, young Lukas Bessarion vows to defend his people. Instead, disaster strikes.

His family is ripped apart. His allies are slaughtered. And Lukas is hurled across the centuries to a future where his worst nightmares have come true...

Constantinople, 1097: Ayla may be a heretic beggar, but she knows one thing for sure: nine months from now, she will die. Before then, she must avenge her father's murder--or risk losing her soul.

Desperate to find their way home, Lukas and Ayla join the seven armies marching east to liberate Jerusalem. If Lukas succeeds in his quest, he'll undo the invasion and change the course of history.

But only if he survives the war.

Only if his enemies from the past don't catch him.

And only as long as Ayla never finds out who he really is.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I rarely finish a book of this length in 2 days (well really a little over 2), but I had the time and inclination. I actually only read it because I agreed to be an early reader on the second book and wanted to catch up

I'm glad I did. Wind From the Wilderness really was a breathtaking, thrilling, rollercoaster of a ride through period of the First Crusade . Readers be prepared: this is not your typical Historical fiction. It has Time Travel, and evil sorcerer alongside the labyrinthine politics of the Medieval Near East.
Throughout it all out hero Lukas Bessarion must survive in a culture and time entirely alien to him, and endure a grueling trek through the mountains and deserts of Asia Minor with the armies of the Baron's Crusade, enduring battles, physical privations and bullying whilst trying to figure out a way to get home. As well as coming to terms with his feelings for the Turkish girl Ayra.

Oh, and he's also being chased by an evil harpy demon in the form of a vulture that brings death and misery in its wake, whilst trying to find out the identify of the mysterious group known as The Vowed, who may be tied up with the fate of his family.

There are battles and fights. The former of which are meticulously researched. Honestly, I think this has some of the best and most accurate descriptions of 11th century French battle tactics I've ever encountered in fiction. What's more it avoids an overly partisan view of the Crusades.
So many authors choose to depict the Franks and Western Christians in a one dimensional way, as greedy and stupid religious fanatics, whilst the Byzantines are long-suffering Saints and the Turks Enlightened humanitarians reluctantly driven to give up their pacifism.

If the complex motives and personalities are anything to go by the Byzantines, Armenians and Turks were truly about as bad as each other.

The only concerns I had were few, and mostly about the theological treatment of different religions (mostly the treatment of Islam and Christianity as essentially the same).
Apart from these though, Wind from the Wilderness is a truly magnificent read. Much recommended. 

11 Nov 2019

Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano Review

American Heiresses #2
Bethany House, September 3rd 2019, 349 Pages
Print, Ebook and Audio 

When Miss Poppy Garrison accepts her grandmother's offer of financial help for her family in exchange for Poppy joining the New York social season, she quickly realizes she is far less equipped to mingle with the New York Four Hundred than even she knew. As she becomes embroiled in one hilarious fiasco after another, becoming the diamond of the first water her grandmother longs her to be looks more impossible by the day.

Reginald Blackburn, second son of a duke, is in New York to help his cousin find an American heiress who can help save his family's estate. But when his very proper British manners lead Poppy's grandmother to request he teach etiquette to Poppy, he quickly finds himself in for much more than he bargained for.

And while they couldn't be more opposite, Reginald and Poppy just might find they have more to teach each other than they ever could have expected.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Diamond in the Rough was not the type of book I normally read. In fact, its my first Jen Turano book. It was great fun, sometimes laugh out loud fun, with the accident prone Poppy and her antics. She always seemed to be getting into trouble: and usually in a funny way. In an early scene she ends up with her top end hanging out of a window.

What with that and her unconventional family situation, she's far from a typical debutante, but she nevertheless catches the eye of Reginald Blackburn. In fact a couple of times he has to catch her physically. And rescue her on a couple of occasions. This is not done in a degrading way, it comes over as charming and its all part of the fiascos she gets into , often because she's trying to help someone herself.

At times, I must admit it was a little hard to keep track of all the characters, but overall I enjoyed this story as a light and fun read set in New York in the late 1860s.

The only thing I felt was a little implausible was that Poppy and even Reginald extreme surprise at the plight of the poor, and the implication they had basically never seen a poor person. There were charitable organization and projects to help the poor in Britain at this time and before, I think Reginald would not have been quite so naive.

Thanks to the Publisher via Netgalley for allowing me to read this book at my request. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

8 Nov 2019

First Line Fridays: An Artful Match by Jennifer Delamere

Its been over a month since I last posted. I know: life happens. I'm going post  to today the First Line from one of the books I'm currently reading. 

The Artful Match by Jennifer Delamare: London Beginnings #3  



This book came out back in April, and I've only just got around to reading the Netgalley book now. Since I've read the first two books in the series set in and around Victorian London, I think its about time I read this one. 

Also, I have three books in my Netgalley library which were published by Bethany Housse in the first part of the year. So yeah, I need to get around to them. 

Today's First Line comes from Chapter One (though I am on Chapter 6). 

 "It was going to be a fine day - no matter what anyone might say about it"

  Click the Meme to see what others are reading, and Comment with your own First Line.


29 Oct 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Chilling Reads, or suited to Chilly Weather

Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday post, from the group hosted by the Artsy Reader Girl blog. 

The official title of today's post is Halloween Freebie, but I don't really do Halloween. I don't have really extreme views on it, its just not something we really did as kids, and all those sweets. Yeah I like candy but- eauch. Too many. 

So instead of Halloween books, I'm going to include some titles that are Mysteries, Thrillers, or spooky (sometimes a combination). These aren't necessarily ghost stories nor about the supernatural or paranormal, but they might send a shiver or two down your spine, or just have you on the edge of your proverbial seat *.

Left at an orphanage as a child, Thea Reed vowed to find her mother someday. Now grown, her search takes her to Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin, in 1908. When clues lead her to a mental asylum, Thea uses her experience as a post-mortem photographer to gain access and uncover the secrets within. However, she never expected her personal quest would reawaken the legend of Misty Wayfair, a murdered woman who allegedly haunts the area and whose appearance portends death.
A century later, Heidi Lane receives a troubling letter from her mother--who is battling dementia--compelling her to travel to Pleasant Valley for answers to her own questions of identity. When she catches sight of a ghostly woman who haunts the asylum ruins in the woods, the long-standing story of Misty Wayfair returns--and with it, Heidi's fear for her own life.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20665064 Abigail Foster fears she will end up a spinster. When financial problems force her family to sell their home, a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll's house left mid-play . . .

The local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem to know something about the manor's past, the only information they offer Abigail is a warning: Beware trespassers who may be drawn by rumors that Pembrooke contains a secret room filled with treasure.

Hoping to improve her family's financial situation, Abigail surreptitiously searches for the hidden room, but the arrival of anonymous letters addressed to her, with clues about the room and the past, bring discoveries even more startling. As secrets come to light, will Abigail
find the treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?

Jessica Neale's faith is lost the day of her husband's death, and with it, her belief in love. In a journey to find peace, she encounters a gentle, green-eyed stranger who leads her to the ruins of the medieval castle, Gallimore. On his way to battle, Colwyn Haukswyrth, knight of Gallimore, comes face to face with a storm the likes of which he's never seen, and a woman in the midst of it who claims to live centuries in the future.

The Lady Jessica of Neale is an irksome, provoking bit of woman to be sure. And she's about to turn his beliefs on end. The product of a family rooted in pain and evil, Colwyn has focused on naught but himself-until Jessica. To a mysterious prophecy stitched on a tapestry, through the invasion of Gallimore itself, Colwyn and Jessica are bound together by a lesson in forgiveness and love-a bond that might be strong enough to survive the grave.

Alan, the beadle of the manor of Bampton, had gone out at dusk to seek those who might violate curfew. When, the following morning, he had stillnot returned home, his young wife Matilda sought out Master Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff of the manor.

Two days later Alan's corpse is discovered in the hedge, at the side of the track to St. Andrew's Chapel. His throat has been torn out, his head half-severed from his body and his face, hands, and forearms lacerated with deep scratches.

Master Hugh, meeting Hubert the coroner at the scene, listens carefully to the coroner surmise that a wolf had caused the great wound. And yet . . . if so, why is there so little blood?

In the autumn of 1140 the Benedictine monastery at Shrewsbury finds its new novice Meriet Aspley a bit disturbing. The younger son of a prominent family, Meriet is meek and biddable by day, but his sleep is rife with nightmares so violent that they earn him the name of "Devil's Novice". 

Shunned by the other monks, Aspley attracts the concern of Brother Cadfael. Then a body appears, that of a young priest last seen at the Aspley estate. Can Meriet be involved in the death? As events take a sinister turn, it falls to Brother Cadfael to detect the truth.


If you want something a little on the Lighter side, I would recommend Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen. Northanger Abbey was actually her first novel, but was not published until after her death. Some have described it as a parody of the Gothic Novels popular in the early 1800s: its certainly about a Young Woman who reads too many novels. 

I'm also going to push the boat out a little bit and include a couple of titles relating to Guy Fawkes Night, or Fireworks Night, the 5th of November. 

Guy Fawkes was originally the bigger deal in England, modern Halloween is more of a modern American import. Of course, it also commemorates a historical event, the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 when a group of Catholic conspirators planned to blow up the Scottish King James I and Parliament gunpowder, stored in a cellar under the Houses of Parliament. 

Traditionally, Guy Fawkes night was commemorated by children making a 'Guy', something like a scarecrow or human effigy, and then take it along the houses in their neighburhood asking for a penny. 
The culmination was the 'Guy' being burned on the seasonal bonfire, usually accompanied by a firework display.  

Some parts of Britain retained- interesting, if controversial traditions in which the Guy might be made to look like an unpopular political figure, and in one city, even burned small figures of the Pope.


Above all guys, have fun responsibly, and remember that our furry friends really don't like fireworks. 

* Content Warning: Gallimore by Michelle Griep does indeed contain some references to the supernatural with a character who practices Black Magic and Necromancy, but this is strictly presented in a religious context.

25 Oct 2019

Waltz in the Wilderness by Kathleen Denly: Cover Reveal and Giveaway

I’m so excited to bring you the cover reveal for Waltz in the Wilderness by Kathleen Denly!

About the Book

Title: Waltz in the Wilderness
Series: Chaparral Hearts
Genre: Historical Christian Romance
Length: 328 pages
Publisher: Wild Heart Books
Release Date: Feb. 4, 2020

She's desperate to find her missing father. His conscience demands he risk all to help.

Eliza Brooks is haunted by her role in her mother's death, so she'll do anything to find her missing pa—even if it means sneaking aboard a southbound ship. When those meant to protect her abandon and betray her instead, a family friend's unexpected assistance is a blessing she can't refuse.

Daniel Clarke came to California to make his fortune, and a stable job as a San Francisco carpenter has earned him more than most have scraped from the local goldfields. But it's been four years since he left Massachusetts and his fiancé is impatient for his return. Bound for home at last, Daniel Clarke finds his heart and plans challenged by a tenacious young woman with haunted eyes. Though every word he utters seems to offend her, he is determined to see her safely returned to her father. Even if that means risking his fragile engagement.

When disaster befalls them in the remote wilderness of the Southern California mountains, true feelings are revealed, and both must face heart-rending decisions. But how to decide when every choice before them leads to someone getting hurt?

Preorder available at:

Amazon | Barnes& Noble | Apple Books | Kobo 

About the Author

Kathleen Denly lives in sunny Southern California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting. 

Waltz in the Wilderness is Kathleen’s debut novel and the first in a series of three stand-alone historical Christian romance novels connected by secondary characters and their beautiful Southern California setting.

Kathleen would love it if you visited her website at KathleenDenly.com. You can also connect with her on social media: 

To see some of the photos that inspired Waltz in the Wilderness, follow her on Pinterest.


Preorder your copy today!  

Amazon | Barnes& Noble | Apple Books | Kobo 

If you preorder Waltz in the Wilderness AND email Kathleen proof of purchase (screenshot) before 12:00am PT January 11, 2020, you will receive a free digital copy of Ribbons and Beaus, a Chaparral Hearts Novella on January 21, 2020! For complete details, click here.

Excerpt from Waltz in the Wilderness

October 1850
California gold fields

They were going to starve to death, if they didn’t freeze to death first. Sure, they had beans for dinner, but Eli had had to trade her spare shirt for them—the one she’d been wearing beneath her everyday shirt to keep the early-October frost from biting her skin. She shivered beside the fire. Not much left to trade for supper, but then, there wasn’t another miner in these diggings that had grub to spare even if she had something worth trading.
She studied each bean, careful not to burn a one. Her hollow stomach cramped as the sweet smell of the simmering meal mixed with the scent of wood smoke filling the air.
A pinch of rosemary would have added flavor. Would Mama have been disappointed Eli’d traded the last of their herbs for Pa’s new coat? She shook her head. If Eli couldn’t coax Pa from the creek, the least she could do was keep his shoulders warm. Mama would have understood.
A shift in the cold wind blew soot into Eli’s eyes as she lifted the pan from the fire. Brushing a grimy strand of hair from her face and blinking away the sting, she turned her back to the smoke and stirred the beans.
Time to get Pa.
She walked to where he squatted in the icy mountain creek.
He wouldn’t be happy she’d traded the spare shirt. He’d wanted it to hide her blossoming womanhood. Of course, he’d have to notice the shirt was gone first.
Standing beside the babbling water, she toed off her boots before yanking her tattered socks off. After stuffing them into a boot, she pulled up her trousers and, with a bracing breath, waded into the chilling water.
“Here, Pa.”
She held the spoon out handle first, but he shrugged her away. Afternoon sunlight bounced off his thin, greasy hair—brown like hers, but darkened by muck. His dirt-encrusted brown eyes continued squinting into the swirling pan of water. The gentle rotation of his wrists never ceased.
“Come on, Pa. You gotta eat.”
He cleared his throat and spat to the side opposite where she stood, never taking his eyes from the water. “I’m fine. You eat.”
Eli lifted the spoon higher. “But, Pa—”
“I’ll eat later.” He shifted in the calf-deep water so that her worried stare landed squarely between his broad shoulder blades.
Her fingers tightened around the spoon as she planted her fist on her hip. The rocks shifted beneath her feet. “That’s what you said this morning.”
“I’m busy, Eli. Now hush and leave me be.”
She stood there a moment longer, taking in the sight of him. That tall, too-thin frame draped in the now too-large, threadbare shirt. She’d mended that thing more times than she could count. The trousers he kept up with a rope at his waist needed mending in the right knee, but she doubted the fabric could endure another stitching. She peered down at her own trousers. The worn threads of the cuffs drifted and tugged with the current.
She frowned at the beans cooling in the pan. A body shouldn’t have to choose between clothes and food. But miners upstream caught any fish in the creek, and hunting around here was pointless. All the digging, rattling, and mining commotion scared the game away.
She’d tried to coax Pa to leave their claim long enough to hunt elsewhere to no avail.
Mama could’ve convinced him.
Mama isn’t here. Eli straightened her shoulders. “Pa, this is the last—”
“Hey, Eli!” The familiar voice cut her off.
She turned in time to see a small rock sail toward her head and managed to duck it, but the move upset her balance. She tipped backward.
The beans!
Contorting herself to right her balance without spilling their dinner, she wobbled back and forth as stones rocked beneath her. She shifted her footing, but the sloped face of a large, moss-covered rock hastened her descent. Holding the pan aloft as she fell backward, her body tilted sideways and she overcorrected—
Sending the beans spilling down her shirt and into the creek.
For a moment she sat still, the chill of the icy mountain runoff failing to cool her blood as gales of boyish laughter drifted toward her from the bank. She erupted from the creek, wielding her now-empty pan above her head. “Morgan Channing, I’m gonna have your hide for this!”
She sloshed three full steps to the edge of the creek before she froze.
The eleven-year-old had stopped laughing and was staring at her, mouth hanging open, eyes wide. “Y-you…! Y-you’re a…a…”

Eli followed his gaze to her chest, where a few beans still clung to her drenched, oversized shirt. She dropped the pan and covered herself. Oh, how brainless of her! Would Pa send her away?

Available now for preorder!  


To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away a “Trust in the Lord” Journal & 80+ Journal Stickers Set, along with a $10 Amazon gift card. Be sure to comment on the blogs listed below for extra entries into the giveaway. 

21 Oct 2019

Sojourner by Janalyn Voigt: Prism Book Tours Post and Review

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

(Tales of Faeraven #3)
By Janalyn Voigt
Fantasy, Christian Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 322 Pages
November 1st 2019 by Pelican Book Group

Mara didn't know her parents were living a lie.

After learning a secret that causes Mara to question her heritage, she runs to Torindan, the High Hold of Faeraven, to seek the truth. What the innkeeper’s daughter doesn't know is that Rand, the mysterious tracker she’s hired to guide her through the wilderness, has been sent on an errand that puts her life at risk.

Helping Mara furthers Rand's purposes, but he doesn't count on his emotions interfering.

With Faeraven on the brink of war, Rand is faced with a life-altering choice, Mara is torn between escape and learning the truth, and the future hangs in the balance.

Will Mara be heir to the Faeraven throne? Can Rand escape the terrors of the dungeon?

As Torindan and Pilaer prepare for battle, anything can happen.

(Affiliate link included.)

Other Books in the Series

My Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sojourner is the third novel in the speculative/fantasy series The Tales of Faeraven. I think that the world-building in this series is second to none, with the culture and customs of this fictional land being solid and credible. I do like it that some of the characters and evens (at least in the early books) are based on actual Medieval European History.

This novel is the long awaited 3rd installment of the series (by which I mean several years) and answers some of the questions left at the end of Wayfarer, such as what happened to Kai, and confirmed something I suspected in the last book, but won't go into any further because it might be a plot spoiler. 

So what did I enjoy about this book? Most of it really. I liked how alongside the political intrigue with a growing threat from an enemy army threatening the heroes, there was a hint of romance between Mara and the mysterious Rand.  It seems as though their love can never be, since they're on different sides, but you can't help rooting for them, and feeling for Mara as she struggles to find acceptance in her new life. 

I also loved 'meeting' some of the characters from the older books again, including Elcon, the ruler of the nation where the heroes live. We remember from the last books that he too struggled to find acceptance with his people, and of course Kai, who still struggles with the loss of Shae, the girl he loved. 

I think Rand's inner turmoil over his divided loyalties were portrayed realistically. He has to make difficult choices, all of which will come at some cost to him, and he's neither a cartoonish villain nor a perfect hero. 
Finally, I think the characters Faith journey is one that readers will find relatable. The religion of Rivenn, Elcon Kai and the others is clearly Christianity, although God comes under a different name. 

On the one hand, they seek the advice of Emmerich, the Christ like figure, but when his advice seems difficult or illogical they choose to ignore it. A choice that could prove disastrous. Their prayers are not always answered, nor is there an explanation for everything that happens, but the character still hold to their faith. 

Of course, I just really want to know what happens to them in the last novel, due to come out next year following the cliffhanger at the end. 

 I received a PDF review copy of this title from the author and/or their representative. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.  

About the Author

Janalyn Voigt is a writer and professional speaker with a photography habit and a passion for travel. Her unique blend of adventure, romance, suspense, and fantasy creates worlds of beauty and danger for readers. Tales of Faeraven, her epic fantasy series beginning with DawnSinger, carries readers into a land only imagined in dreams. She is represented by Sarah Joy Freese of Wordserve Literary.

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive  a Tales of Faeraven bookmark and choice of ONE of the following items (US only):
Ends October 30th, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Grab Our Button!

4 Oct 2019

First Line Friday: The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

Today I am sharing the First Line of a book I purchased a couple of months ago. The Curse of Misty Wayfair is a Thriller cum Dual Timeline novel. Not my usual fare, but I have a soft spot for Thriller/mystery novels. 

Left at an orphanage as a child, Thea Reed vowed to find her mother someday. Now grown, her search takes her to Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin, in 1908. When clues lead her to a mental asylum, Thea uses her experience as a post-mortem photographer to gain access and assist groundskeeper Simeon Coyle in photographing the patients and uncovering the secrets within. However, she never expected her personal quest would reawaken the legend of Misty Wayfair, a murdered woman who allegedly haunts the area and whose appearance portends death.

A century later, Heidi Lane receives a troubling letter from her mother--who is battling dementia--compelling her to travel to Pleasant Valley for answers to her own questions of identity. When she catches sight of a ghostly woman who haunts the asylum ruins in the woods, the long-standing story of Misty Wayfair returns--and with it, Heidi's fear for her own life.

As two women across time seek answers about their identities and heritage, can they overcome the threat of the mysterious curse that has them inextricably intertwined?

My First Line is From Chapter 18 (since I am currently reading the book). 

"The iron gate opened, soundless" 

 What's Your First Line? Don't Forget to click the Meme, and see what others in the group are reading.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...