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Tag Archives: historical-fiction

Top Ten Tuesday: Auto-Buy Authors

This is a “Top Ten Tuesday” exercise…

By ‘Auto-Buy’, I assume TTT means authors we would automatically buy just because of the author’s name on the cover.  I don’t give authors so much liberty in my world, but there are a few that seem to come up with plots that almost always go on my TBR.  Some of them I haven’t even begun to start reading, yet I consider them almost kindred spirits in way because of the way we tend to love the same sorts of subjects, plots and backdrops.  So here are a few of those KS:

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2019 in Book Shopping, Top Ten Tuesday

 

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Book Review: “The Loved One,” by Catherine Palmer, Peggy Stoks

Genre: novella; contemporary Inspirational

Plot Summary: Meg Chilton is proud of her son who is about to graduate from high school and leave for college.  But as his graduation draws nigh, Taylor announces to his parents his decision to join the military.  Devastated, Meg loses herself in her genealogical research—and learns of family’s courage and sacrifice stemming from great love.

My Book Review: I have a few books by Catherine Palmer on my TBR and this is the first I’ve read of her, co-authored with Peggy Stoks.  Actually, this was more of a novella and I zipped through it pretty quickly.  Published in 2007, it is a little dated but the content and story is still good.

The story has a strong, patriotic bent. But by the time I got to Chapter 2, I could see where the story was going and it was predictable.  However, the book flips back and forth between present day and the story of the Chilton forbears and it is the historical fictions that are the most interesting even if the contemporary scenes were repetitive.  I appreciated that the stories from the Chilton past were not wrapped up with nice little bows at the end.  Rather, the characters sacrificed family, emotional well-being and physical safety in order to do what they knew needed to be done: defend their country.

If you are interested in family history, or are looking for something patriotic to read this season, this short book will probably be just for you!

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2019 in Book Reviews

 

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2018 ATC Seneca Awards

Like audio dramas?  Audio Theatre Central has announced the nominees for the 2018 Seneca Awards, which recognizes the best in the audio drama production industry.  Winners will be announced in July.  As a plus, these are all family friendly stories, so they can be enjoyed on those long summer vacation road trips!  There are so many exciting things happening in the audio world.  I’m really looking forward to The Adventum!  Posts to as many trailers as I can find are below:

Operation Mosul (The Brinkman Adventures)

The Treasure of the Secret Cove (Lamplighter Theatre)

The Adventum, Vol. 1

Black Rock (The Shadow Remake)

Escape from the Eagle’s Nest (Lamplighter Theatre)

Come and See

Heirloom Audio Productions have also come out with St. Bartholomew’s Eve and For the Temple, but unfortunately I could not find trailers for those.  And Lamplighter Theatre’s quality seems to be improving every year!

 

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2019 in Audio/Radio Dramas

 

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Christian Fiction for Summer 2019!

Memorial Day is the traditional start of the summer season here in the US but first we honor our soldiers, especially those who gave their lives for our country.  It may seem odd many choose to do so by going on vacation, but however we choose to celebrate our freedom is a way to honor the sacrifices made.

If you’re in need of a beach read, a country read, a plane or car ride read or just any ol’ summer read, here are the latest I’m eyeing that were featured in the CBD Fiction catalog of Summer 2019 (view entirely here).  I believe there have been more books peaking my interest in this issue than ever before!

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Posted by on May 26, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Book Review: “Tangled Ashes,” by Michele Phoenix

Genre: Christian fiction; historical fiction; mystery; contemporary fiction

Plot Summary: The Chateau de Lamorlaye holds secrets.  That is what historical contractor Marshall Becker finds when he reluctantly agrees to take on the Renaissance-era castle renovation project in Northern France.  But he also finds that some of the people surrounding the castle harbor mysteries of their own, including himself.  Who is disturbing the property at night, obviously looking for something?  Who is the old man who lives on the historical site?  What is it about his employer’s family governess that holds his attention?  And what is the WWII story behind this mysterious old castle, involving a girl named Maria, her friend, and the classified program started by the Nazi occupation?

My Book Review: Anytime a plot summary gives me goosebumps, I’m in.  That’s the way it was with this book and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.  I was hooked right from the prologue, which begins with a flashback to WWII.  That’s the way the story was often told—back and forth from present day to the 1940’s. Who wouldn’t want a good read featuring a mystery that takes place in an ancient chateau?

I’ve got to say that this story gripped me right through. The characters are well fleshed-out and one can tell the author Michele Phoenix writes from the heart.  When I was finished with the book I was intrigued to find that much of the historical setting for the fiction was factual and that the author spent much of her youth at the Chateau in Lamorlaye, France.  That adds a whole, richer dimension to things!  You can see more pictures and videos about it on the author’s website here.  I was pretty excited to see that it was very much like how I pictured it in my mind.  I guess that means Phoenix did an excellent job at descriptive writing!

I knew somewhat about the Nazis’ secret Lebensborn program (I won’t give any more spoilers away; avoid video below if wanting to avoid spoilers), but I was interested to know a little more while reading Tangled Ashes.  That’s always one thing I like when reading a fictional (esp. historical) book—learning about something new.  The story was well crafted in that it was hard to tell where the fiction began.

I’ve read this described as ‘chick lit’, but I disagree here. This isn’t your fluffy romance novel (you’ll be pleased to know if you abhor that genre).  Romance really doesn’t factor much into the story; I would say it’s more about flawed characters who struggle and grow during the course of the book.

I will be keeping an eye out for more books by Michele Phoenix, and have at least one other of her books on my TBR. I burned the midnight oil finishing this one, and I’m sure it’ll be the same for you!

If you liked this book, I also recommend…

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2019 in Book Reviews

 

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Book Review: “Love’s Reckoning,” by Laura Frantz

Genre: Christian Inspirational; romance; historical fiction; 1700’s 

Playlist…

Plot Summary: It is the winter of 1785.  Eden Lee has grown up under her harsh father’s influence and longs to escape to Philadelphia to work among orphaned children.  But things change when a young apprentice joins her father’s blacksmith business.  Liege is determined Silas Ballantyne will marry one of his fair daughters and the eldest Elspeth has her eye set on him.  But Silas doesn’t seem to be fond of either.  As the pressure of circumstances builds around them, how will Silas, Eden, and Elspeth respond? 

My Book Review: I had never read any of Laura Frantz’s books before this one although many of her titles are on my TBR.  I loved the look of this particular cover—the light and shadow and beauty of the heroine’s long tangled fiery hair.  Kudos whenever book art draws me in!  But I wasn’t so sure how I would care for the plot.  It sounded too predictable. 

At first I thought it would run the course of so many cheesy Christian romance novels.  But I stuck it out and things got better and more interesting as it went along.  (So many twists and turns…!)  About two-thirds of the way through it I realized this plot sounded very similar to the Bible story of Jacob and Rachel and Leah.  OH NO!  That means…  Yikes! (If you know how that particular story goes.)  My stomach turned sick and I wasn’t sure I could go on to read what happened next.  

But, of course I did and then all of a sudden a super plot twist turned things around… for the worst!  Nearly covered my eyes I did and gave a heartrending sigh.  I was getting so involved in this; more than I ever expected.  So, by the time the last chapter turned around, I was bawling my eyes out and needed a box of kleenexes.  Yes, it was really that compelling.  Laura Frantz has won me over, and I do not need to tell you I’ll be reading the next and the next after that in the series (The Ballantyne Legacy). 

The settings and descriptions played out much like a movie in my mind.  The candlelight, snow, grime, greenery, a yellow silk gown and the strains of a violin were all so very vivid.  One of my favorite things about the book was that it took place in Pennsylvania, my home state.  Part of the setting is the newborn city of Pittsburgh, which was so interesting during that time period.  I love it when historical novels actually turn out to be historical and well researched. 

I think most lovers of Inspirational fiction will enjoy this one, especially those who do not appreciate cliché, preachy novels.  It wasn’t just entertainment for me, but affected my heart on a deeper level.  Well done, Laura Frantz!

I also recommend…

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2019 in Book Reviews

 

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More Audio Dramas- Last of the Mohicans!

There’s more free audio drama immersion to be had right now on BBC Radio 4 with James Fenimoore Cooper’s “The Last of the Mohicans”!  I’m looking forward to hitting play on this one.  Reading the book can be a struggle, and the movie is very much changed from the book.  But the story is such an evocative tale set in the early days of American history and an exciting one to boot!.  Plan to enjoy listening soon because this is only available for a limited time.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2019 in Audio/Radio Dramas

 

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