Back Cover Blurb~
Princess Jehosheba wants nothing more than to please the harsh and demanding Queen Athaliah, daughter of the notorious Queen Jezebel. Her work as a priestess in the temple of Baal seems to do the trick. But when a mysterious letter from the dead prophet Elijah predicts doom for the royal household, Jehosheba realizes that the dark arts she practices reach beyond the realm of earthly governments. To further Athaliah and Jezebel's strategies, she is forced to marry Yahweh's high priest and enters the unfamiliar world of Yahweh's temple. Can her new husband show her the truth and love she craves? And can Jehosheba overcome her fear and save the family--and the nation--she loves?
With deft skill, Mesu Andrews brings Old Testament passages to life, revealing a fascinating story of the power of unconditional love.
Without a shadow of doubt, "In The Shadow of Jezebel" by Mesu Andrews kept this reviewer reading straight to the very last page. A compelling story retelling a pivotal time in ancient Judah's history, the author grabs the reader's attention from the very first pages. Based upon the Biblical account of the era of the Kings recorded in the Bible, Mesu Andrews has faithfully reconstructed the historical setting and era with inspired insight. She carries the reader into a time while different from modernity still pulsates with many issues common to today. Political intrigue, clashing national interests, greed, scheming, desperate people acting expediently in desperate times...while honorable people love, protect, and sacrifice to save and preserve life and faith. All this, in one awesome book. Just in case there's any doubt, this reader loved "In The Shadow of Jezebel" by Mesu Andrews.
Sarah Sundin is one of my favorite authors. She writes historical books with romantic and suspense elements.
In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the US Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers' betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for--fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.
Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family--the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.
After Clay saves Leah's life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay's recurring dream comes true?
Yes there were trenches, rat-a-tat-tat machine guns, huge bombs digging equally huge craters in the soil of France at Pointe du Hoc, but this WWII novel by Sarah Sundin is way more than a war story. It's also about family, forgiveness, undeserved mercy, and liberally dispensed grace...all without being the least bit preachy. The character arcs of the hero and heroine immediately grab the sympathies of the reader... as does the story line. While I own most of Sarah Sundin's books, and have loved them, this reviewer believes The Land Beneath Us (Sunrise at Normandy Book #3) far and away surpasses her other books. This is an exquisitely written book about an incredibly difficult time in modern history. This reviewer wholeheartedly recommends The Land Beneath Us.
From Amazon ~
A woman with a devastating secret. A man bent on proving his worth. A chance encounter that catapults them into the heart of history.
When the daughter of a prominent Roman general meets a disinherited Jewish immigrant, neither one can dream of God’s plan to transform them into the most influential couple of the early church. Nor can they anticipate the mountains that will threaten to bury them. Their courtship unwittingly shadowed by murder and betrayal, Priscilla and Aquila slowly work to build a community of believers, while their lives grow increasingly complicated thanks to a shaggy dog, a mysterious runaway, and a ruthless foe desperate for love. But when they’re banished from their home by a capricious emperor, they must join forces with an unusual rabbi named Paul and fight to turn treachery into redemption.
With impeccable research and vivid detail, Daughter of Rome is both an emotive love story and an immersive journey through first-century Rome and Corinth, reminding readers once again why Debbie Macomber has said that “no one brings the Bible to life like Tessa Afshar.”
Daughter of Rome by Tessa Afshar grabs the reader from the very first page and holds so well that this book draws the reader back time and again when life interrupts reading. Although fictional, this novel supplies hours of captivating historical reading and information while never intruding upon the storyline, but rather, enhances it. This reviewer found many points of identification with Priscilla, the heroine, and likewise empathy for Marcus, her ward, while providing admiration for Aquila, as well as sympathy for Antonia in spite of her failings. Tessa Afshar's knowledge of middle-eastern life and culture provided a depth of insight not usually found in American novels. Her historical research plumbed oceans of data to provide the reader with accurate, relevant content without intruding upon the flow. All in all, Daughter of Rome by Tessa Afshar earns every accolade! What a terrific story! In case you missed the point, this reader loves Daughter of Rome!
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.
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.