Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Soul's Prisoner Portraits of Grace #2 By Cara Luecht

I received this book from Celebrate Lit Blogger Program and the author for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.
Book Description:  
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.

My Thoughts: 

 Soul's Prisoner is the latest book in Cara Luect's series, Portraits of Grace, and it is a fantastic. As a fan of Christian Historical Fiction this book intrigued me. The cover really drew me to this book. It definitely depicts what is in this book. Added bonus, Cara Luect lives in WI, which is where I live so it's great to support a local author! Cara Luect writes with authority about the way of life in our country especially Chicago during 1891, asylums, mental health, painting, and art. As a Christian Historical Fiction, for me the best part is learning about things and Cara Luect gave me lots of information that made me curious and so it was great to find the info online and learn more. I found Cara Luect's style of writing unique and she seamlessly transitions throughout the book between a few stories with in a story. Her way of writing made me feel like I was there in this story, part of it. The characters are well rounded and well written. I found myself drawn to Jenny. Her selflessness and concern for everyone is inspirational. Her faith is unwavering. Soul's Prisoner is the 2nd book in this series, but is great as a stand alone, I never felt like I was lost through the book. This book is one that will stay with me for a while, it touched me in a way that this story will not be forgotten.   This is the first book by Cara Luect I have had the pleasure of reading and I plan to read more from Cara Luect. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed. I give this book 5 STARS.



 Souls prisoner celebration tour copy

About the Book

Soul's Prisoner front
  

Book Title: Soul’s Prisoner  
Author: Cara Luecht  
Genre: Historical fiction with some suspense and romance  
Release Date: December 15, 2015  
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.
Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

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Award winning author, Cara Luecht, lives in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin with her husband, David, and their children. Cara graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently, Cara is studying for a Masters of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Guest Post from Cara Luecht

The Setting for Soul’s Prisoner: Dunning Asylum for the Insane Dunning Asylum for the Insane was built in the 1850s and housed psychiatric patients until the early 1900s. It has since been demolished, and a small park currently stands as the only remaining testament to the people who lived and died on the grounds. The original plot of land also included a poor farm and a cemetery. A railroad used to connect the grounds to Minneapolis, Chicago, and Milwaukee. It was nicknamed the “Crazy Train”—a phrase that still survives in our language today. Those buried in the cemetery include Civil War Veterans, victims of the Chicago fire of 1871, orphans, paupers, and the residents of the asylum for the insane. Most estimates agree that nearly forty thousand people were buried on the grounds. There is no doubt that mental illness is hard on families, but in the 1800s, having a family member who struggled with mental illness was an embarrassment. With little understanding of mental health in general, and even less compassion for those who suffered, examples of this tragic response to the threat of mental illness can be seen in the numerous inmates who were there simply due to addiction or depression. There are even cases where women were committed because their families were humiliated by their giving birth outside the bonds of marriage. Often times, challenges with mental health were synonymous with the notion of moral failure or vice. Because of this, even many charities looked the other way when corruption or abuse was exposed. Reporters sometimes wrote about the horrors of the institutions, but once the sensational story was out, and the initial outrage worn away, few worried about the people who suffered on a daily basis. And because of the moral implication of mental illness, families commonly turned over their suffering members to the county, and later simply explained to friends that the person had died. And that is exactly what the mentally ill would do in the institution. Live there until they died, forgotten. And that’s how the story played out at Dunning, until late in the 1900s when developers began to dig the roads and foundations for a new neighborhood on the grounds of what was once the Asylum. At that time, Dunning, and the people who had resided there, were still within living memory, so when bones were unearthed, it was no mystery how they ended up on that patch of land. What had slipped from memory was the magnitude of the collective stories of suffering and hardship. For this novel, the people and events are fictitious. However, when examining old news stories from an institution known for corruption, it is not hard to imagine situations like the ones in the novel. The details that are true are the nearly one thousand inmates, no hot water, little to no heat in the winter, bad food, and the general feeling of living ghosts, intentionally forgotten, and doomed to never leave the grounds.

Blog Stops

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of Soul’s Prisoner and sketching art supplies!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
https://promosimple.com/ps/cb74 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Keturah:The Sugar Baron's Daughters Book 1 By Lisa Tawn Bergren

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: 

In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father’s estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.
Although unconventional, they’re determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, conventions are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover sugar plantations are in decline–and that’s just the beginning of their education in this harsh and unfamiliar world.
Keturah never intends to put herself a the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.
To keep her family together and save the plantation that is her last chance at providing for them, can Keturah ever surrender her stubborn and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love that awaits her?

My Thoughts: 

Keturah is the first book in Lisa T. Bergren's latest series, The Sugar Baron's Daughters and it is fantastic. I have read a few of Lisa T. Bergren's books and this one has to be my favorite! As a huge fan of Christian Historical Fiction this book definitely caught my attention. I absolutely fell in love with the cover, really giving life to this book. Lisa T. Bergren writes with authority about our world in 1772 especially England and The Caribbean, sugar plantations, keeping up all aspects of a plantation, and finding a way in a male dominated world.  I absolutely love Lisa T. Bergren's style of writing, she puts her readers right there in the story experiencing life as the other characters are. She writes strong characters that people can relate to. I have to say my favorite character is Keturah. The strength she had to care for her family, to ensure they don't lose everything, and her faith that sees her through all of the hardships. She fought for what was theirs and didn't give up. Very inspiring. I found myself unable to put this book down. From start to finish it kept me on the edge of my seat. I cannot say enough good about this book. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more in this series.
 I give this book 5 STARS.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Across The Blue By Carrie Turansky

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


Book Description: 

Set in Edwardian England and ideal for readers who enjoy Julie Klassen novels, this romance about an English aviation pioneer and the girl who falls in love with him is filled with adventure and faith.

Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don't approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson's new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson's newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella's heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella's faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?



My Thoughts: 

Across The Blue is Carrie Turansky's latest novel and it is outstanding. As a fan of  Christian Historical Fiction, especially from the Edwardian England, Carrie Turansky is one of my favorite authors. Carrie Turansky writes with authority about Edwardian England, the world during this time, hierarchy and society, aviation, and journalism. I love Carrie Turansky's style of writing, her ability to write a story in a story is amazing and the details she gives in this book you can see all of the these characters, the clothes, and everything else in your mind's eye and makes you feel like you are right there.  The cover art of this novel is simply gorgeous and definitely gives a feel to what you find  between the covers. Across The Blue focuses on  the advancements of Aviation in the early 1900's. I live for learning about things from our history and this book definitely taught me a lot about aviation and the newspaper business. The characters in this book are so well written and feel like real people. I have to say my favorite was Isabella(Bella) Grayson. Her excitement for adventure, her determination to stand her ground, and her faith really spoke to me. From the first page until the last one I was hooked. This book kept me guessing and hoping until the end. I cannot do this book justice. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, especially Edwardian England you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more from Carrie Turansky. 
I give the book 5 STARS. 




[Insert Tour Banner Here]

About the Book

Across the Blue FB banner copy
  

Title: Across the Blue  
Author: Carrie Turansky  
Genre: Historical romance  
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Love soars to new heights in this Edwardian romance filled with adventure, faith, and inspiration, but how much will it cost Bella and James to follow their dreams? Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don’t approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to be the first to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson’s new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to win that race across the Channel and gain the prize Mr. Grayson’s newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella’s heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella’s faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Carrie

Carrie Turansky has loved reading since she first visited the library as a young child and checked out a tall stack of picture books. Her love for writing began when she penned her first novel at age twelve. She is now the award-winning author of nineteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. Carrie and her husband, Scott, who is a pastor, author, and speaker, have been married for more than thirty years and make their home in New Jersey. They often travel together on ministry trips and to visit their five adult children and five grandchildren. Carrie leads women’s ministry at her church, and when she is not writing she enjoys spending time working in her flower gardens and cooking healthy meals for friends and family. She loves to connect with reading friends through her website, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Guest Post from Carrie Turansky

Following your Dreams By Carrie Turansky In Across the Blue, Bella Grayson and James Drake both go to great lengths to pursue their dreams. Bella longs to become a journalist and write for one of her father’s newspapers, but in 1909 England, aristocratic young women did not work as journalists. A young woman’s path was set by the unwritten rules of society. At eighteen she was presented at court, and then she took part in the London social season and hoped for a marriage proposal from a young man from a wealthy family, with an estate and title. Marriage, having children, and taking part in social and charitable events was the prescribed course for their lives. But Bella has a different future in mind. She wants to marry for love, and she won’t settle for anything less. She also wants to write articles about the important events of the day that will inform and inspire people. She wants to be a world changer, and that is a very unique role for a woman in England in the Edwardian Era. At that time women didn’t have the right to vote yet and very few pursued any kind of career. James is an aviation pioneer, and his dream is to build an airplane that will allow him to be the first to fly across the English Channel. This is no easy accomplishment, and he faces many challenges as he pursues his dream. Aviation is brand new. Wilbur Wright demonstrated his airplane in France the year before and stunned Europeans with his skill. With the help of his mentor, Professor Steed, James conducts experiments, refines his design, and makes countless test flights. It takes great courage and determination to overcome setbacks and make it through near fatal crash landings, but James has his heart and mind set on perfecting his airplane and reaching his goal. What about you? What hopes and dreams do you have for your future? What goals would you like to accomplish? As you think about your dreams and future plans I hope you’ll gain some insight from James and Bella’s experiences in Across the Blue. When they considered the cost of pursuing their dreams they realized their plans and choices impacted others as well as themselves. James and Bella believed striving for their dreams is important, but they learned it must be balanced with commitments to family and friends, and most of all a commitment to following the Lord on the path He has for them. Following our dreams and working toward accomplishing our goals, especially those the Lord puts on our heart, is important. However, sometimes we may have to put our dreams on hold and wait for the right time and season. We don’t need to be discouraged when this happens. As we listen to the Lord and ask Him to guide and direct us He will show us the right path at the right time to follow it. Just like James and Bella I hope you’ll pursue your dreams but also hold them with an open hand, allowing the Lord to guide and direct you each step of the way. When you do I’m confident you’ll be headed toward seeing your dreams become reality in His time and in His way. “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord; plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 With that wonderful promise in mind, I hope you’ll enjoy reading Across the Blue and joining Bella and James as they they pursue their dreams. You’re in for high-flying adventure, romance, and inspiration, and I can’t wait to share this new story with you. Happy reading to you!

Blog Stops

Bookworm Mama, February 22
Carpe Diem, February 22
Blogging With Carol, February 22
Karen Sue Hadley, February 23
Christian Bookaholic, February 24
Mary Hake, February 24
Among the Reads, February 24
The Power of Words, February 25
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 25
Maureen’s Musings, February 26
Rachel’s Back Talk, February 26
Smiling Book Reviews, February 26
Radiant Light, February 27
Faithfully Bookish, February 27
Bibliophile Reviews, February 28
Remembrancy, February 28
Book by Book, March 1
Bigreadersite, March 1
Pause for Tales, March 2
margaret kazmierczak, March 2 (Interview)
Pursuing Stacie, March 3
Simple Harvest Reads, March 4 (Guest post from Mindy)
Baker Kella, March 5
A Greater Yes, March 6
Henry Happens, March 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away a grand prize of an autographed copy of Shine Like the Dawn and $30 gift card to Christianbooks.com!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
https://promosimple.com/ps/c987