Sunday, November 15, 2015

Another Way Home: Chickory Inn Series Book 3 By Deborah Raney

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:  

Grandchildren are not in short supply for Grant and Audrey Whitman, although their middle daughter, Danae, and her husband, Dallas Brooks, after trying for years, have not been able to contribute to the growing family. Danae is open to adoption, but Dallas will not even discuss it. Her despair over never having a family of her own is so deep, it even causes her to question God’s plan for her life. Knowing she must find something to do to fill her lonely days and energize her life, Danae volunteers to work at a newly opened women’s shelter in town. She was only looking for a way to spend her time, but getting to know the hurting women at the shelter fills her heart and she learns to live a life of gratitude once again. But heart-wrenching events on Thanksgiving weekend threaten to pull the entire Whitman clan into turmoil— and leave them all forever changed



My Thoughts:

Another Way Home is the third book in Deborah Raney's Chickory Inn series and it is the best one so far. I have had the honor of reading and reviewing the first two books in this series and each one is better than the last.  Another Way Home focuses on Danae and Dallas Brooks. They have been trying for many years to have a family, had many fertility treatments, and haven't been able to get pregnant. Danae's sisters have 5 between them and one on the way and each time it kills Danae to not be a part of it and it affects the relationships Danae has with other people especially her sisters and question God's plans.  Danae has been open to adoption but Dallas won't do it or talk about it. Danae decides she needs to find something to fill her days so she volunteers at a women's shelter even though Dallas and her Dad have some major reservations. Danae finds being at the shelter helping these women and children brings her joy she hasn't had in a long time. Danae finds herself filled with purpose and really connecting with one woman and her son especially. Even Dallas comes to the shelter to help and he finds himself connecting with the little boy.  When Dallas and Danae help her out over Thanksgiving and the events that unfold from there throws their lives up in the air and changes them forever.

Another Way Home is FANTASTIC. I am a huge fan of Deborah Raney having read quite a few of her books since I started reading Christian Fiction. Those who read my reviews know that I don't read much in the category of Christian Contemporary fiction but  I have a few authors of Christian Contemporary Fiction that I read and Deborah Raney is at the top of that list. I really feel that Another Way Home is the best book I have read by Deborah Raney.  This is one of those books that after I read it I had to take time to process before I could review it because it is that kind of book. I really had a hard time putting it down at night, this book grabbed me from the start and held on to me until the end, keeping me guessing how it would all work out until the end. I don't know that I will be able to do this book justice in this review because it is just deep and well written but I am doing to try. In this book, Deborah Raney deals with some big topics and she writes with authority on them including adoption, infertility, the effects of infertility on the family, domestic violence, and the effects domestic violence has on adults and children. Another Way  Home really deals with these topics honestly and tastefully. As I read this book, the emotion and levity of this story really hit me. Deborah Raney wrote with such passion that you can feel the emotions in her writing. I really love that she is able to write about these topics cleanly, without having to be graphic. As a reader, I felt the full effects of these things without it having to be vulgar or violent. This book really brought out a range of emotions from laughing out loud to heartbroken and sobbing  for the characters. The characters in this book and this series are well written and relatable to everyone, things don't just work out in the end but how the characters handle them is key.  As someone who has dealt with some of these issues including infertility and domestic violence Deborah Raney captured not just the topics but the heart of these issues and all the emotions that surround them for everyone, not just the main characters but all of those around them and in the situation with them. This book really touched me and it is one of those that will stay with me for awhile. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series, especially after the sneak peek at the end of this book.  I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who reads Contemporary Fiction, it will not disappoint. I give this book 5+ STARS.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Respectable Actress By Dorothy Love

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description: 

When India Hartley is accused of murder, she must uncover the deceptions of others to save herself.
India Hartley, a famous and beautiful actress, is now alone after her father’s death and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South. Her first stop is Savannah’s Southern Palace. On the eve of the second night’s performance, something goes horribly wrong. Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house, and India is arrested and accused of the crime.
A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair, the best—and handsomest—lawyer in Savannah to defend India. A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island. He needs to increase his income from his law practice in order to restore Indigo Point, and hardly anything will bring him more new clients than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge.
Because India can’t go anywhere in town without being mobbed, Philip persuades the judge handling her case to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date. India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia low country and is increasingly drawn to Philip. But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip’s dead wife and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions. Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip, secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom. If only he will believe her.


My Thoughts:  

A Respectable Actress is Dorothy Love's latest novel and it is fantastic. Dorothy Love is one of my favorite authors. She writes Christian Historical Fiction that really keeps you on the edge of your seat and A Respectable Actress is no exception. From the start, this book grabs the reader with mystery and keeps you guessing until the end. This book has a little of everything: mystery, murder, romance, action, and adventure. I found myself unable to put this book down. Dorothy Love does a fantastic job of mixing fact and fiction into this book. The Civil War Era has always been one of my favorite times in history so it was great to learn more about the Reconstruction Era and our justice system at that time in history which is VERY different than today.  I really enjoyed the characters in this book, they all were real people who had messy lives and secrets like the rest of us. Dorothy Love writes with authority about Civil War, Reconstruction of the South, The South and the United States during this time, and the justice system during this time. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction with a little suspense, you will not be disappointed. I look forward to reading more of Dorothy Love's books. I give this book 5 STARS.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Valley of Decision: Carthage Chronicles Book 3 By Lynne Gentry

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

Every choice has a consequence in the explosive conclusion to the Carthage Chronicles as Lisbeth returns to third-century Carthage for a thrilling final adventure.

Thirteen years ago, Lisbeth made an impossible decision---leave third-century Carthage and her husband Cyprian behind for good. She knew it was to protect her daughter Maggie, so Lisbeth gathered the strength to move on with her life.

All these years, Lisbeth has thrown herself into her work and raising her headstrong daughter, all to live up to the promise she made to Cyprian. But Maggie is sick of being protected. In an act of teenage rebellion Maggie decides to do what her mother can't---secretly returning to the third century on a quest to bring her father back, leaving Lisbeth no choice but to follow.

With Maggie's surprise arrival in Carthage, chaos ensues. She finds her grandmother on trial for murder and attempts to save her, but instead the diversion sparks a riot that nearly destroys the plagued city. Only one thing will appease the wrath of the new proconsul of Carthage: the death of the instigator.

Will Lisbeth arrive in time to save her daughter from the clutches of Rome? How can God possibly redeem such a slew of unwise decisions and deep regrets? Filled with heart-wrenching twists and riveting action, Valley of Decision brings the romantic adventure epic, The Carthage Chronicles, to an electrifying conclusion.


My Thoughts:

Valley of Decision is the third and final book in Lynne Gentry's series The Carthage Chronicles and all I can say is OH MY GOODNESS!!!  As a huge fan of Christian Historical Fiction, The Carthage Chronicles series had me hooked. This book and series is a perfect blend of past and future. Lynne Gentry seamlessly transitions between the two worlds and brings them together perfectly. In Valley of Decision it is Thirteen years later and Lisbeth has moved on with her life knowing she can never see Cyprian again. Now their daughter is 18 years old and decides in a hasty decision to go back to the third century to save her father and bring him back to the present.  Lisbeth finds herself heading back to the third century, this time with her father in tow. It is thirteen years later in the present but in the past it has been less than a day. Maggie finds out her grandmother, Magdalena is on trial for her life and Maggie's father is her legal counsel even though he has his own worries for his life. Maggie tries to save her grandmother and her three friends with the help of 2 men who have feelings for Maggie and the diversion they create starts riots and destroys the one thing the new proconsul loves. Now it is in question whether anyone will survive and how they will get back to their own times.

I had the privilege of reading all three books in this series and wow, each one was better than the last. The Valley of Decision brings this series to an explosive, unexpected end.  The story picks up right where the second book ended and so much is in chaos. Lynne Gentry writes with authority on archeology, art from both past and present, our world past and present, and time traveling. Lynne Gentry does what not many authors can and that is flawlessly transition between the past and present, making time traveling seem possible.  This book and series had me on the edge of my seat, guessing until the end. I could not put the books down and could NOT wait for the next one to be published.  I enjoyed all of the characters in this book and series, a great mixture of characters from completely different times brought together.  I enjoy Lynne Gentry's style of writing and really learn a lot from her writing as a craft and through historical facts. She brings together the perfect blend of fact and fiction, I found myself looking up and learning so much about our history especially as Christians and the struggles they faced. I am sad that the series has ended but enjoyed every minute of it. I HIGHLY recommend this book and series to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed. I do recommend reading the books in order. I cannot wait to read what Lynne Gentry comes up with next! I give this book and this series 5+ STARS!!