From Amazon Product Description
Survival. A Hebrew girl first tasted it when she escaped death nearly seventy years ago as the Babylonians ransacked Jerusalem and took their finest as captives. She thought she'd perfected in the many years amongst the Magoi and the idol worshippers, pretending with all the others in King Nebuchadnezzar's court. Now, as Daniel's wife and a septuagenarian matriarch, Belili thinks she's safe and she can live out her days in Babylon without fear--until the night Daniel is escorted to Belshazzar's palace to interpret mysterious handwriting on a wall. The Persian Army invades, and Bellili's tightly-wound secrets unfurl with the arrival of the conquering army. What will the reign of Darius mean for Daniel, a man who prays to Yahweh alone?
Ultimately, Yahweh's sovereign hand guides Jerusalem's captives, and the frightened Hebrew girl is transformed into a confident woman, who realizes her need of the God who conquers both fire and lions.
What a book! Well researched, written, and historically recreated, Of Fire and Lions by Mesu Andrews deserves the awards it garnered. The story line follows a captive Judean girl and four boys taken to Babylon to serve as slaves in the court of the pagan king throughout a period of seventy years. While telling the story through their eyes and experience, the author transports the reader to a setting and an era totally foreign to most modern American readers. Unless the reader has served in the U.S. armed forces stationed in the middle east, the reader can scarcely imagine what life must have been like for those captured children...so Mesu Andrews has recreated that life for our imaginations. That these five children not only survived, but thrived, bears witness to God's awesome protective power. Of Fire and Lions, by Mesu Andrews is a book well worth reading.
Isaiah's Daughter is another gripping story from the pen of Mesu Andrews set during the days of Isaiah and the ancient Kings of Judah. Seen through the eyes of a young orphaned girl, Ishma, we follow her as she becomes a woman in politically troubled times when one misstep, one alliance gone wrong, or one misspoken word could mean a horrible death. She grows up loving young Hezi, who later becomes King Hezekiah, but when he ascends the throne, she despairs that he will return her affections fearing he will make a different politically advantageous alliance. Throughout all the ups and downs of her life, we ache as she aches, and hope we she hopes, but rejoice when she does. In Isaiah's Daughter, Mesu Andrews crafts a tale to keep us reading. Filled with believable characters and plausible plots while remaining faithful to the Biblical record, this reader absolutely loved Isaiah's Daughter!
Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.
But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant’s daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.
With only her father’s secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances—along with her father’s precious dye—help her become one of the city’s preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert. Still, Lydia can’t outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stand firm and trust in her fledgling faith or succumb to the fear that has ruled her life.
What an excellent book this is! This imaginative retelling of the story of the Biblical Lydia, plunks the reader right back into the first century Roman ruled world. The reader follows the main character throughout her life right up to and including the familiar Biblical account. Historically accurate in minutest detail (except those noted by the author herself), this book takes the reader on a journey back in time that is both intriguing and satisfying. The reader doesn't even need to be sympathetic with things religious or spiritual to identify with the heroine or enjoy this tale.
In the book, Bread of Angels, Tessa Afshar leads the reader into an era that placed stringent limits on what a woman could learn and do. This was a time which relegated women to providing offspring, primarily male heirs, and otherwise saw them as useless burdens. Thus Lydia finds her dreams severely limited, but in Macedonia she finds a flicker of hope. An extraordinary woman, Lydia not only establishes her own business as a seller of purple dyes, but her compassionate heart helps others less fortunate than herself, although not without facing challenges to be overcome. Among them is a pathological character who attempts to make her life hell on earth. Needless to say, she rises to the challenge. Of course we all love a book that ends well and this one does that admirably. All things considered, Bread of Angels, is an impressive read. Loved it!
Leaving Texas by Caryl McAdoo follows Charity Grace O’Neal’s journey west from Texas to join Eberhart de Vecchi, aka Hart, the man she believes still waits as passionately for her as she does him. However to make the trip, she engages the services of wheelwright, Morgan Lowell, to drive and otherwise assist her. She has no compunction about asking him to do what needs to be done, but he exceeds her expectations. Throughout the journey, in spite of Morgan’s kindnesses, she continues to fantasize about what the ideal life she will have with her old beau, Hart. Charity can hardly wait to see him. She’s so obsessed that she can’t see the treasure of a man she has in Morgan who is right in front of her. But when she reaches Hart, will he be as eager to have her join him as she was to journey across the country to be with him? This reviewer will never tell. You’ll have to buy the book to find out when it’s released on January 13, 2020.
Leaving Texas by Caryl McAdoo is a delightful, historical romance set in the 1850’s during the years of western expansion in the United States of America. The author’s use of local dialect, attention to the historical details of life back in the day; the accurate depiction of human emotions and reactions; as well as the humor that salts the story, keeps the reader scrolling through the e-book to see what happens in this very enjoyable story.
From Amazon~Meg and Sylvie Townsend manage the family bookshop and care for their father, Stephen, a veteran still suffering in mind and spirit from his time as a POW during the Civil War. But when the Great Fire sweeps through Chicago's business district, they lose much more than just their store.
The sisters become separated from their father and make a harrowing escape from the flames with the help of Chicago Tribune reporter Nate Pierce. Once the smoke clears away, they reunite with Stephen, only to learn soon after that their family friend was murdered on the night of the fire. Even more shocking, Stephen is charged with the crime and committed to the Cook County Insane Asylum.
Though homeless and suddenly unemployed, Meg must not only gather the pieces of her shattered life, but prove her father's innocence before the asylum truly drives him mad.
My Comments~Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green focuses upon the lives of Union Civil War veteran, Stephen Townsend, and his daughters, Meg and Sylvie. He suffers from “soldier’s heart”, now called PTSD, which has a profound effect upon his family. The reaction of his daughters to his illness, who work in his book store, rings with hope, love and acceptance. When their father’s troubles overwhelm, they rise to the challenge especially when those in authority inflict the unthinkable upon their father. After interviewing Stephen for a series that reporter Nate Pierce is writing, his heartfelt empathy for this hurting family during their time of crisis, causes him to get involved. Then when Jasper Davenport moves next door, life gets complicated. Sylvie takes a shining to this handsome man, but how much does she really know about him? Quite a few points in this story ring true from this reviewers experience, but an added bonus is that in places the writing sings with high prose. Although this book is not a romance in the classic sense, since it is based upon actual people and events, it falls into the category of an historical novel with romantic elements within the storyline. Without doubt, Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green is a captivating, exquisite story to be savored. This reviewer highly recommends this book. It’s an awesome five star read.
Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia but finds the same dangers lurking in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers threaten the life of a young boy left in her care, who some suspect to be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement, Azilum, offer permanent refuge?
Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate the land of his hard-won farm near Azilum, but soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they will be drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.
I absolutely loved this book. Listed as general fiction, A Refuge Assured takes place in the 1790s. It's a novel for the Christian market, but is never boring or scrubbed of violence. After all, civil wars, uprisings, and historical rebellions tended to be as bloody during the French Revolution compelling Vivienne to flee the country she loved. This novel isn't for the faint of heart, or those with impressionable minds. Nevertheless, A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green is a great read for any year.
From Amazon~A Story of Love, Desperation, and Hope During a Great Biblical Epoch
Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.
To save her older brother and escape the bonds of slavery, Kiya flees with the Hebrews during the Great Exodus. She finds herself utterly dependent on a fearsome God she's only just beginning to learn about, and in love with a man who despises her people. With everything she's ever known swept away, will Kiya turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?
My Comments~ Biblical Fiction Well Done!
Compelling retelling of the Exodus story from the viewpoint of a pagan slave who is enamored by an Israelite slave. Will his faith lead her to the One true God and true freedom? Or will a brutal rival force her to remain a slave and be his concubine? Told from the perspective of a pagan female slave who sees all gods as fickle beings to be wooed and placated to obtain favors, this account examines the Hebrew people, their faith in the One True God, and their exodus from Egypt to freedom. Compellingly told, this story held me enthralled up to the very last word. Well written, well crafted, well told, Biblically and historically accurate story. What a riveting story!
From Amazon~The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.
Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a City of Refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood and chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.
As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Will they break free from the shackles of the past in time to uncover the betrayal and save their lives and the lives of those they love?
My Comments~This book, Shelter of the Most High, by Connilyn Cossette, grabs the reader from the get go and never loses its grip. Set in the obscure times between the first settlement of the land of Israel when the Patriarch Joshua still lived and before all the former occupants had been conquered, this story throws the reader into that uncertain era when nothing was assured. Compellingly told and amazingly accurate to Scripture and archeological evidence, Shelter of the Most High, is not a book to be missed. Loved it!
From Amazon~Seven years ago, Moriyah was taken captive in Jericho and branded with the mark of the Canaanite gods. Now the Israelites are experiencing peace in their new land, but Moriyah has yet to find her own peace. Because of the shameful mark on her face, she hides behind her veil at all times and the disdain of the townspeople keeps her from socializing. And marriage prospects were out of the question . . . until now.
Her father has found someone to marry her, and she hopes to use her love of cooking to impress the man and his motherless sons. But when things go horribly wrong, Moriyah is forced to flee. Seeking safety at one of the newly-established Levitical cities of refuge, she is wildly unprepared for the dangers she will face, and the enemies--and unexpected allies--she will encounter on her way.
My Comments~ A Light on the Hill by Connilyn Cossette is no light read but well worth the time. Biblically and historically accurate and grounded in extensive research, this novel brings the troubles and trials of a mixed race woman to life. Moriyah's Egyptian and Hebrew ancestry makes her an outcast to some, but her character makes her a heroine to others. Her horrifically scarred face significantly complicates her life causing her to hide her disfigurement behind a veil. A horrible cooking accident sends her fleeing for her life. When the hero of this tale finds her, Derek (Sp?) is supposed to take her captive to satiate his brother's vengeance. As she is shepherded across hostile territory, she reveals that she isn't the woman Derek's blood thirsty brother claims she is. As their love unfolds, the reader is drawn into their lives and times through the vivid writing and imagery woven by Connilyn Cossette. What a great story!
From Amazon~The first book in the Grace Pointe Cozy Mystery Series!
“Fiction is a waste of time.”
The heated comment made by a church library ministry team member shocks MacKenzie Baker, but it quickly becomes the least of her worries.
MacKenzie Baker is an impetuous, eavesdropping small-town librarian who lives in the apartment above the parsonage garage and refuses to be defined as the pastor’s single sister. She thought she was happy for years re-shelving books and helping patrons find their next great read, but as she turns forty, she suddenly struggles to figure out what more to do with her life. Solving murders in her small town of Grace Pointe wasn’t a part of her plan...until she and her brother find a local judge who had come to Pastor Baker for counseling murdered in his chambers, hit over the head with a massive volume of the Indiana Code.
Now, to clear the name of a family friend, she begins to work with the handsome criminal justice professor Ian Canter. Even though the detective with the chocolate brown eyes tells her to stick with making casseroles for the church pitch-in, she soon discovers the Judge’s scheming wife, his rebellious teen daughter, a network of lawyers in Grace Point who were disgruntled with the Judge, and even secrets that lurk among the library ministry team. But with the help of her new kitten Mr. Darcy, her best friend Callie, and her always-pastoring brother, MacKenzie debates the pros and cons of attending law school mid-life while she searches out a killer.
Welcome to Grace Pointe… where most of the people are friendly, the church is to die for, and the sleuthing is as strong as the coffee.
This cozy mystery is a clean read and does not contain foul language, sex, gore, or graphic scenes of any kind.
My Comments~MacKenzie Baker simply doesn't have it in her to ignore the impulse to meddle. When she and her Pastor brother find a Judge murdered in his chambers, she simply can't let the experience go. Told by her brother and everyone else except her best friend Callie to let the police solve the mysterious murder, she ignores all warnings. As she and her best friend Callie investigate, things spiral out of her control and she finds her life and her friend's life threatened. Will these two friends solve the mystery before the murderer murders them? I'll never tell. You'll have to buy the book Murder at the Courthouse by Meghan Carver to find out. Four Stars!