Posted in Author Interview, blog tour, Book reviews, Books, character introduction

Author Interview! A.M. Heath (Blog Tour/Book Review)

Blog tour

 

Good morning, readers! For September’s interview, it’s a little different – it is apart of the blog tour for “If Only It Were Yesterday”! So there is a lot of extra fun going on here, including a giveaway, facebook party, and my review. So let us get on with this fun-filled post, shall we?

 

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The Book:

If Only It were Yesterday (A Season Passed, #1)

 

Liz Cooke has two problems in life: Her social media is filled with brewing political conflict and her idea of a perfect man seems to have gone extinct a century ago. Inspired by the contents of an antique trunk, Liz dreams she time-travels to 1885. As she sets out to enjoy the Victorian era in all its glory, armed with knowledge gleaned through historical novels and period dramas, will she find the past to be all that she thought? And does the right man for her exist only in her dreams or has he been in her life all along?
Loosely inspired by Alice in Wonderland, A.M. Heath brings you a fun read chock-full of humor and whimsy with a special message for the avid reader in all of us.

 

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My Review:

*Happy sigh* This was a perfectly delightful read! The first I’ve read by this author, but it most certainly won’t be my last!

I read this as an e-copy, but I made quick work of securing a print copy for myself, because it was that enjoyable and I wouldn’t hesitate to read it again.

Main character Liz Cooke was real and quirky and lovely, and also very relatable. Starting in present day, we get to know Liz and see how she struggles with believing that times past would be a better place to live instead of this trial-torn present day world. Owning an antique store, she comes across a very special trunk that throws her back in time…

There were so many pleasant nods to Alice in Wonderland, and I love the quotes scattered throughout. The Bible verses at the beginning of the chapters was a joy as well, and it was fun seeing how they were interwoven into the chapters.

“If Only It Were Yesterday” portrayed the historical timeline in a realistic way, showing the beauty as well as struggles that we find today too. I loved the encouraging faith message in this book, and the reminder that God is in control and has placed us in the time period He knows is right for us. Being content where we’re at, and serving Him here.

I was just thoroughly impressed with this novel, and eagerly anticipate the following books in the series! Such a good read <3

(And on a bit of a fangirl note…I loved Scott. He was the best ‘best friend’, and he was adorable. I want to see more of him…XD)

 

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AI AM Heath

 

Welcome to my “Peculiar” Blog! I’m so happy to have you here :)  Would you please introduce yourself and the genre that you write:

 

Thanks so much for having me! My name is Anita and I write under A.M. Heath. I write Christian Fiction. Most of what I pen is historical or historical romance. But I have some Contemporary/contemporary Romance under my sleeves as well. ;) But all my stories carry a message for the soul and a bit of clean romance.  

 

 

What inspired “If Only It Were Yesterday”?

 

Me. Lol I inspired the novel. Seriously though, I had to learn the hard lesson about the trap of idolizing history and/or fiction. Once I saw reality a little more clearly, I couldn’t help but notice how many avid readers had fallen into the same trap. I wanted to reach out to them. I wanted to remind them that most of what we see in fiction is an illusion. While there ARE elements of reality, there are also a great deal of unrealistic elements. It blessed me abundantly to hear back from the early readers who admitted to being a little too much like Liz. But it’s an easy trap to fall into, especially when there’s so much around us that makes us discontent. From there, it’s only a matter of longing for that contentment elsewhere … never realizing that it doesn’t exist in our settings but ind Christ.

 

 

Of your characters, is there one that you relate to more than the others? And if so, why?

 

Definitely Liz. I basically just allowed her to become me in many ways. Her natural curiosity. Her need to know what really happened. Her fixation on history and all things Austen. All of this comes from me. And because of that, this was probably the most natural story/character to write. She is her own person in other ways,  but she also a great dose of myself.

 

 

Do you have a special process for how you choose your character’s names?

 

Lol I’m probably the most laid back person you’ll talk to about naming characters. It seems that everyone has a system except for me. I literally just start tossing around ideas, just whatever pops in my head. I also thumb through a list of era-appropriate names and jot down whatever jumps out at me. At that point, it’s just a matter of calling out names until the character answers to one of them.
LOL Okay, I’m aware that this explanation makes me sound a bit crazy. But if you’ve seen The Man Who Invented Christmas, you’d understand. Dickens’ method in the movie actually IS my method. It’s worked well for me so far! And the characters really do come to life when you stumble upon the right name.

 

 

I have heard that many authors have their own interesting writing quirk – do you have one?  If so, would you mind sharing?

 

I have a specific playlist that I like to play while I’m writing. I’ve found that most songs outside of that list tend to annoy me and distract me from my writing.

Oh! Here’s another that I never knew was odd, but the more I talk to other authors, the more I find that it’s rare. When a new book idea is conceived (we’ll have to call it the plotting process because it’s typically the only real plotting I do) I tend to work with the last things first. Almost immediately, I’m hashing out title ideas, naming main characters, and visualizing my cover options. Once these things are established and I have a basic sense of my plot, I’m ready to start writing. And I don’t go far before I’m writing the clincher and ending scenes. I think for me, the most vital part of the plotting process, is to be able to visual the final product. To see those characters in their most crucial scenes and to have a solid idea of a the cover and title gives me a sense of direction that a detailed outline gives to a seasoned planner. I’ve tried several times to formally outline a story, but I can’t seem to do it. I use that finished imagine in my head to guide me. Knowing the title helps point me toward my goal and purpose for the story. I typically know the starting point and the end result, so I just wing it from there.

 

 

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

 

Typically, it energizes me. I actually get weighed down if I don’t get to write for long periods of time. Editing and formatting drains me to no small degree, so I keep another draft in the writing process, so I can slip away and refuel with some creative time.

 

 

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

 

SLOW DOWN! So many new self-published authors rush to finish their first book that it suffers as a result. I was one of those. I ended up revising my first book and re-releasing it the following year because I wasn’t completely satisfied with the outcome as the reviews started rolling in. With a traditional publisher, an author doesn’t have a choice except to wait until they’re picked up. But with self-publisher, the author is in charge of everything and it’s all too easy to let your eagerness put something out when you and the story isn’t quite ready.  

 

 

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

 

There’s a great network of authors who have helped me in various ways, some of which I’m just beginning to get to know. But Alicia G. Ruggieri, Amanda Tero, and Krista Noorman have worked alongside of me for several years. They’re always there to encourage me as well as help critique and line edit my work. I highly value their lovingly honest opinions. They, along with others on my team, push me to craft a better story. And there’s no substitute for talking shop with someone who knows what you’re going through.  

 

 

How important to you is the faith-element in your writing? Is it central to the theme or more of a sideline plot?

 

Normally, when I craft the plot, the spiritual theme is in clear view and a central part of the story. There have been a couple of times when the faith element was hidden and had to be layered on in order to bring it into focus properly. But, for me, it really is the heart of the story and the reason I’m penning one at all.

 

 

What does your family think of your writing?

 

They’re very proud. Some of the women in my family read my books. And my kids are always thrilled to see Mommy’s books in print. Lol My husband isn’t a reader so I think the whole tedious process baffles him. He’s told me multiple times that he doesn’t see how I sit in front of the computer as long as I do. Lol But I love it.

 

 

And lastly, would you recommend a book that my readers might like if they’ve read, or plan on reading, your latest, “If Only it Were Yesterday”?

 

I’ve given this a lot of thought. The character, Liz, is such a fan of Jane Austen, so I don’t think you could go wrong by picking up one of her novels or any classic. But another would be Lynn Austin’s Wonderland Creek. The fact that it has Wonderland in the title is a fun coincidence. But I would recommend it because they’re both written in the first person and both main characters have an unfortunate addiction to fiction which leads them astray and brings them to some tough lessons.

 

 

Thank you for the wonderful interview, Anita! I so enjoyed your answers, and you’ve been a joy to get to know!!

 

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Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.

 

You can visit me online on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and my blog. *Note: I’m most active on Facebook and my blog.

Whether you’re on social media or not, you can ensure that you never miss one of my sales, giveaways, or new releases by signing up for my newsletter. I’ll send you a direct link to your email anytime something big happens. http://eepurl.com/dDbVNz

 

 

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Facebook party! Click on the graphic below to join!


Liz Party

And don’t miss out on the give-away!! Click on the graphic below to go to the giveaway and enter!

Grand Prize

Also, catch up on the other stops of this blog tour!

Release Day Spotlights: 
Sept 4: 
Amanda Tero @ With a Joyful Noise
Becky Dempsey @ Blossoms and Blessings 
Alicia G. Ruggieri @ A Brighter Destiny

Reviews for If Only It Were Yesterday:

Sept. 5:
Laura Wilson @ Blue Eye Books

Sept. 6:
Alicia G. Ruggieri @ A Brighter Destiny

Sept. 10: 
Karen Hadley @ Karen Sue Hadley

Sept. 11:
Becky Dempsey @ Blossoms and Blessings

Sept. 12: 
Virginia Winfield @ Bigreadersite

Sept. 13:
Heather G. @ Blue Jeans and Teacups

Sept. 17:
Raechel Lenore @ God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae

 

**I also did a Character Introduction post featuring Liz Cooke from “If Only It were Yesterday” – you can check that out here!

CI Liz Cooke

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Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“A Rumored Fortune” by Joanna Davidson Politano ~ Book Review!

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“A Rumored Fortune” by Joanna Davidson Politano

Stand-alone novel

Review copy through the publisher

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the book:

Tressa Harlowe’s father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn’t take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they’re really up to. She’ll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father’s fortune–before someone else finds it first. 

Award-winning author Joanna Davidson Politano welcomes readers to Trevelyan Castle, home of the poorest heiress in Victorian England, for a treasure hunt they’ll not soon forget.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

I have been eagerly anticipating this author’s second novel, and I was so excited to dive into this gem. And what a gem it is! I thoroughly enjoyed “A Rumored Fortune”, being swept away between its pages and taken on quite the journey. So much beauty, and heart.  Main characters Tressa Harlowe and Donegan Vance were spectacular. I loved how Tressa’s portion (the majority of the novel) was in first person – it really flowed so nicely and bonded me even more to her. Third-person for Donegan’s portions was fantastic, too; the differences transitioned well, and you were never left with a feeling that it was incomplete or anything.
These characters complimented each other so well. Unlike Tressa, I fell for Donegan from his first words to her. ;)
I did really love their relationship, though! Sometimes her…resistance of him could get slightly frustrating, but I still understood her side of things –  her hesitancy to enter into ANY sort of relationship with anyone.
The plot-line of this novel was so superb. And I loved the vineyard aspect of it. Just so much. Each time I read parts about the vineyard and its care, I could see so much significance and resemblance to how God cares for us, including the pruning seasons. It was just really beautiful and remarkable! I should have taken a photo of my copy from the side, because I had marked so many pages that had just the best quotes! I will share some in my blog post with this review, but even so, there are so many worthy ones. A must-read book. <3
Just like in her debut novel, author Joanna Politano’s writing is superb, and absolutely captivating.
“A Rumored Fortune” is one you are going to want to savor, for certain. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait for the next!!
Quotes:
I had sooo many! And not enough time to make graphics for each, unfortunately. But below are the graphics I did make, and then the quotes that I still loved but didn’t get the time to graphic-ize. :)

 

 

A Rumored Fortune 6

 

“Sometimes being in your own company fulfulled you more than sharing space with someone who intensified your aloneness with every word.”

 

“The only perfect father is the one in heaven. Never forget that.”

 

“The best fruit arises from a hostile environment – harsh winters, dry soil, and unrelenting heat from the sun deepen a grape’s flavor and heighten its sweetness. Bearable conditions bring only mediocre fruit.” – Notebook of a viticulturist

 

“It would serve everyone far better if you spoke plainly. Once the sting of truth is dealt, it can being to heal, but an unspoken truth festers for a long time.”

 

“No, He’s bringing you to life. It takes a harsh summer to yield abundance in the vineyards. Perhaps this is your summer.”
She pulled back to look up at him. “What am I to do then? How do I endure it?”
“When you feel you’re dying in the heat of summer, all a branch needs to do is to hold on.”  He gripped her elbows and looked into her eyes to convey the importance of the truth he now uttered, for it was all he could offer her. “Cling with all its might to the vine. That’s all, simply hold on.”
I am, He seemed to say to my pleas. I Am all those things you want. A statement directly personally, to my wrung-out fatherless heart. My Father, who art in heaven.”
“God had a way of pruning off anything that came between Himself and His children, it seemed. I’d experienced it too and somehow I was grateful for it.”
A Rumored Fortune 7
Posted in Book reviews, Booklook Review

“The Solace of Water” by Elizabeth Byler Younts ~ Book Review

“The Solace of Water” by Elizabeth Byler Younts

 

Review copy through BookLook Bloggers

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the book:

In a time of grief and heartache, an unlikely friendship provides strength and solace.

After leaving her son’s grave behind in Montgomery, Alabama, Delilah Evans has little faith that moving to her husband’s hometown in Pennsylvania will bring a fresh start. Enveloped by grief and doubt, the last thing Delilah imagines is becoming friends with her reclusive Amish neighbor, Emma Mullet—yet the secrets that keep Emma isolated from her own community bond her to Delilah in delicate and unexpected ways.

Delilah’s eldest daughter, Sparrow, bears the brunt of her mother’s pain, never allowed for a moment to forget she is responsible for her brother’s death. When tensions at home become unbearable for her, she seeks peace at Emma’s house and becomes the daughter Emma has always wanted. Sparrow, however, is hiding secrets of her own—secrets that could devastate them all.

With the white, black, and Amish communities of Sinking Creek at their most divided, there seems to be little hope for reconciliation. But long-buried hurts have their way of surfacing, and Delilah and Emma find themselves facing their own self-deceptions. Together they must learn how to face the future through the healing power of forgiveness.

 

 

My Thoughts:

I feel a bit lost for words at how to review this one. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but I found this to be in a good way.  

Every page was filled with tragidy, really. It was a heart-wrenching book. There was so much sorrow and so much brokenness between all of the characters, and yet the relationships formed  were beautiful in their shared brokenness.

Sparrow was my favorite character. My heart went out to each of the characters, but it was she for whom my heart hurt the most. I can’t say that one character over the other had more pain, because each dealt with a great deal of grief, but for some reason I just hurt for her the most.

As I read, I wanted to hug away the hurt from each character. They did find solace in the end, though I admit I was expecting a bit more of the healing focus to be from Jesus. Sparrow’s was and that was lovely – I would’ve liked to explore that more.

It was written in such an easy to read style that it was hard to put down and yet hard to intake all at once too because of the content. It was definitely unique. :)

Recommended for ages 16+

Posted in blog tour, Book reviews, Books

“When Beauty Blooms” by Victoria Lynn ~Blogtour/Review

When Beauty Blooms Blog Tour Header.jpg

Hello!

Today I am pleased to share about this little novelette titled “When Beauty Blooms” by Victoria Lynn! The cover is truly lovely, and the story inside is even better. There’s also a very nice giveaway included, so don’t miss that either!

 

 

 

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Revolutionary War Era England

Marjorie Kirk is a woman with no fortune, no prospects, no family, and no skills. Or so she thinks. She is awkward, shy, and the farthest thing from any semblance of a society lady.

The new minister keeps turning up in the most awkward of places and she can’t help but feel that her life is doomed to one of embarrassment. But will her flaws actually be the thing that others find the most attractive?

A story of a young woman with social anxiety and how she learned to bloom.

 

 

 

 

My Review:

 

What a lovely short story! The dedication at the beginning was beautiful too.
Easy to read in just a couple of sittings (might’ve been one if life had allowed ;)), “When Beauty Blooms” is a beautiful reminder that our beauty is not defined by our looks or what we think we should be. We are beautiful because of how God made us. I loved main character Marjorie right away. She was endearing and relatable. The story was well written, and I found it very encouraging.
While short, this novelette was lovely and I’d highly recommend it!
*I received a complimentary ecopy from the author; I was not required to write a positive review.

 

 

About the Author:

Victoria Lynn is in her 20s and if she’s not writing, she is probably sewing, singing, playing the piano, washing dishes, creating something with her hands, or learning something new. She has a passion for serving her Creator, encouraging others and being creative. She blogs at www.rufflesandgrace.com about writing, fashion, modesty, her walk with God and life. She lives in Michigan with her parents and 8 siblings.

Add it on Goodreads

 

Amazon Link:

Paperback

Kindle

Author Links:

Website

Facebook

Goodreads

Instagram

Amazon

 

GIVEAWAY!

 

When Beauty Blooms Giveaway final

 

 

Victoria Lynn is generously offering a signed copy of her book and a $10 Amazon giftcard to one blessed winner! Click on the image above to enter! :)

 

 

 

Tour Schedule:

Aug. 6

Michaela Bush // Spotlight //

tangledupinwriting.blogspot.com

Ashley Spies // Spotlight

Creatingpreciousmoments.blogspot.com

Aug. 7

Gabriellyn Gidman // Spotlight //

https://pageturnersweb.wordpress.com/

Aug. 8

Liv K. Fisher // Review //

https://the-book-sprite.blogspot.com/

Medomfo //Review //

www.writingsfromagodgirl.wordpress.com

Aug. 9

Kaylee // Review //

kayleeskindofwrites.blogspot.com/

Giana // Interview //

Giannaandgemini.wordpress.com

Aug. 10

Gracelyn Buckner //Review //

gracelynbuckner.wordpress.com

Aug. 11

Angela Watts // Spotlight //

Thepeculiarmessenger.wordpress.com

Aug. 12

Allison Tebo // Interview //

www.allisonswell.com

Aug. 13

Jana Tenbrook // Review //

Reviewsfromthestacks.wordpress.com

Lilly Shyree // Review/Interview

Alillyingodsgarden.blogspot.com

Aug. 14

Hosanna Emily // Guest Post //

HavingaHeartLikeHis.blogspot.com

Aug. 15

Laura Grace // Review // Interview

www.unicornquester.com

Lydia // Review //

https://spoonfulofsurprises.com

Allyson Kennedy // Interview/Review //

https://authoringarrowheads.wordpress.com/#content

Aug. 16

Madison Guy //Spotlight //

Alittlesoutherngrace.com

Aug. 17

Tammy Lash // Guest Post/Spotlight

https://tammylash.wordpress.com/

Aug. 18

Laura Guenot // Review //

https://www.beautifulthingsbylaura.com/

Aug. 19

Grace Maples // Review //

https://proclaiminghisexcellencies2910.wordpress.com/

Aug. 20

Sunny Houk // Interview //

https://thatowlnerd.wordpress.com

Aug. 21

Rebekah Morris // Review //

http://www.readanotherpage.com

Aug. 22

Abigail Mckenna //Review //

Novelsdragonsandwardrobedoors.blogspot.com

Raechel Lenore // Review //

Godspeculiartreasurerae.wordpress.com

Aug. 23

Sarah // Review

http://smylinggirl.blogspot.com/

Aug. 24

Kaitlyn Smith // Interview/Review //

https://www.maidensformodesty.com

Aug. 25

Faith Potts // Review //

chosenbythePotter.blogspot.com

Posted in Book reviews

“Escape and Endurance” by Sarah Holman ~ Book Review

Escape and Endurance

“Escape and Endurance” by Sarah Holman

Tales of Taelis #5

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Edna believes herself to be a worthless servant.
Sir Andrew knows himself to be the most respected and valuable knight.
One event will cause both to discover where their value truly lies.

When Princess Gail is on her way to visit friends, some men kidnap the princess to demand a ransom. They don’t realize that they’ve made a mistake and who they have is not the pampered princess, but her faithful servant, Edna. Carried far from home, Edna knows that no matter what she does, she won’t survive.

Sir Andrew sets off to rescue the princess, taking no time to assess what has truly happened or to allow his men to help him. What should have been a quick and heroic mission turns into a long journey that is full of dangers, obstacles, and trials. Will he be forced to turn back or will he be able to make it to the tower where the princess is being held?

 

My Thoughts:

 

I love the Tales of Taelis series. Truly, it is one of my favourites. They are all enjoyable books with godly foundation and encouraging lessons, as well as always being extremely enjoyable.
E&E was no exception! All of those words fit this book perfectly. Main female character Edna doesn’t know her worth and sees herself as foolish, ignorant, and worthless because that is what she’s been told for so long. It made me sad. She was such a sweetheart of a character, I rejoiced with her to see her discover the truth! Main male character Andrew was harder to love at first because of his arrogance and pride, *however* as he grew, he became much more likeable and relatable too, because we do all struggle with pride to varying degrees. His was a humbling lesson and a good reminder!
I personally was extremely touched by the lesson of being content where God puts us and serving Him there wherever that is – even if it is in a tower prison. Exactly what I needed to be reminded of. And of course, thankfully I am not in a tower prison, but the lesson is still a good one, to remember to do all things as unto God.
The whole message of our worth in Christ was beautiful too, and another thing I love so much about this series is how there are always Bible verses being pivotal to the story, and they are woven in so well.
I love the “simplicity” and innocence of this series, knowing I can hand them to my younger sister without any concern – and still enjoy them myself!!
And E&E just might be my favourite so far, but that’s a hard decision to make. ;)
I definitely recommend this series. :)
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*I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews

“A Defense of Honor” by Kristi Ann Hunter – Book Review

A Defense of Honor (Haven Manor, #1)

“A Defense of Honor” by Kristi Ann Hunter

Haven Manor Book #1

Review copy through publishers

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the book:

When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend’s missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can’t matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and to raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. But as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, the risk of revealing the truth may come at too high a price for those she loves.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

 

This was such a good book! On one hand, I’m sad it took me so long to read (due to life…), but on the other hand, that meant I was able to stay in its pages that much longer! And while I knew I had to eventually move on to another book, I was reluctant to leave the story.
The plotline was superb, and the characters just full of depth and charm and yes, I loved them. I loved how complex they were, and how we got to see their motives and thought process behind things.
At first I thought it was going to be a good read with Christian hints and mentions, but towards the end – wow! I was so pleasantly surprised because it was so much more. There was such a powerful message given, and I was thoroughly impressed. And convicted ride alongside one of the characters as I had felt what she was feeling and probably would’ve done the same thing and justified as she did.
So the godly message was beautiful and meaningful and oh so poignant.
The children in this book were so endearing, as well as each character really! I loved them all. The way they handled life was lovely, and yes, this was just such a good book! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and cannot wait to read the next books as they come out. I’m certainly not ready to leave Haven Manor!
Quotes:
I had actually marked quite a few quotes in this book but haven’t had time to make any graphics of them, sadly. But I will still share the quotes here, for they are good ones!
“There was something cathartic about throwing knife after knife into a tree.”
“What else had he missed in life because he was too focused on where he was going?”
“Good. Every child should grow up with books.”
“Perhaps if she let life follow its course, tried to enjoy the little moments along the way, it would be better.”
“Favorite book?”  Her bark of laughter chased the shadows away and made him feel like a conquering hero. “You can’t ask a book lover such a question. It’s like asking a mother who her favorite child is.”
He waggled his eyebrows at her. “Who’s your favorite child?”
“Grace doesn’t work like that, Kit. I know my life’s been pretty easy, and my list of sins wouldn’t make anyone blush, but I’m not perfect and I’ve read the Bible enough to know that grace doesn’t come because of anything you can do. Jesus didn’t die and rise again so you could crucify yourself with guilt.”
“But recently someone pointed out to me that God doesn’t always work in ways we can foresee. That’s why He asks us to trust.”
“The past would always be there, its scars a part of her, but at this moment, with this man, she felt beautiful and knew that God could bring something beautiful from her pain.”
“The most precious gems are forged from pressure. God brings beauty from adversity, when you let Him.”
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Posted in Book reviews

“By The Waters of Babylon” by Mesu Andrews ~ Book Review

By the Waters of Babylon (Psalm #2)

 

“By The Waters of Babylon” by Mesu Andrews

Book #2 in the Psalm Series

Biblical Fiction

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

 

When Babylon destroys Jerusalem, as Yahweh warned through his prophets, the captives’ bitterness and grief pours out in the Captives’ Psalm:

“[By the rivers of Babylon] we sat as exiles, mourning our captivity, and wept with great love for Zion. Our music and mirth were no longer heard, only sadness. We hung up our harps on the willow trees.” (Psalm 137:1-2, The Passion Translation)

A young Israelite woman is among them, captured by a mercenary Scythian prince. Driven toward Babylon by both hatred and hope, she endures captivity to reunite with her husband.

But will he be there when she reaches Babylon? Will the prince risk the Scythian throne–and his life–to believe in the Hebrew God? Can they both find what they seek when they meet the prophet Ezekial. . . by the rivers of Babylon?

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

This is the second book in the Psalm Series (each one by a different author). I love the idea behind this series, and am most assuredly enjoying them! They give lovely insight and story behind the Psalms they represent.
While BtWoB is a shorter story, it is not a light one. There is a lot of depth and Biblical history that I have grown to expect from Mesu Andrews. She writes so well and makes it so easy to fall into the stories, which I love.
Merari’s story was one of more seriousness and hardship from the life she lived as a captive. But there was still hope. The latter half of the book surprised me a bit, but I was happy with the direction it took.
One thing I would caution about is some fairly descriptive shocking scenes regarding bloodshed/cannibalism. It might not be the best for sensitive readers, and especially for anyone under 16. I myself am not a fan of reading about such things, but I know everyone has a different level of “tolerance” and sensitivity, so this may not bother other readers at all. Just wanted to mention it for anyone who might be like me. :)
I liked Idan a  lot, and sometimes disliked him for his stubborn behaviour. I wouldn’t mind reading more about him though and seeing his story continue! Being reunited with his wife and child…I would’ve loved to have read about that. ^.^
In summation, I enjoyed this book very much, the writing style was engaging and the history extremely well written. There were a few parts that weren’t my favourite, but not enough to turn me away from the book. And as always, I look forward to more by Mesu Andrews!
And am excited for the next book in this Psalm series. :)
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Quotes:
“Perhaps Yahweh has revealed Himself to you – spared you – so you can share Him with your people”
“Your gods were created by men, Idan. My God created men.”
“People and courage may fail, but Yahweh is a Fortress whose mercies are new every morning.”
“You will always have your memories, but your hands must be empty to embrace new treasure.”
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.