Click Here For Free Blog Backgrounds!!!
Blogaholic Designs

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Melody of the Soul

Best-selling novelist Liz Tolsma is the author of several World War II novels and prairie romance novellas. She also works as a freelance editor. She lives in a semirural area of Wisconsin with her husband and two daughters. Her son serves with the US Marines. All of their chidlren came to them through international adoption. Her other passions include walking, gardening, camping, and reading.
Find out more about Liz at

Anna has one chance for survival-and it lies in the hands of her mortal enemy.

It's 1943 and Anna Zadok, a Jewish Christian living in Prague, has lost nearly everything. Most of her family has been deported, and the Nazi occupation ended her career as a concert violinist. Now Anna is left to care for her grandmother, and she'll do anything to keep her safe-a job that gets much harder when Nazi officer Horst Engel is quartered in the flat below them.

Though musical instruments have been declared illegal, Anna defiantly continues to play the violin. But Horst, dissatisfied with German ideology, enjoys her soothing music. When Anna and her grandmother face deportation, Horst risks everything to protect them.

Anna finds herself falling in love with the handsome officer and his brave heart. But what he reveals might stop the music forever.

melody pin1

My Thoughts:
I discovered Liz Tolsma's writing a couple of years back and have really enjoyed her books.  She has a gift.  The Melody of the Soul transports readers back to 1942, a very dark time in our world's history.  Tolsma's story shines a light on the sanctioning of musical activities by the Nazis.  Tolsma's careful research is evident in the way events of the time period are portrayed in the book.  Her characterization is on point.
What I appreciated the most about The Melody of the Soul was the way Tolsma gave a clear presentation of the gospel throughout the story of Horst and Anna.  And maybe the most endearing character was Babicka (Anna's grandmother).  Her steady faith and encouragement to those around her was a reminder to me of the importance of trusting in Christ alone.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions are my own.

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Missing Isaac

Valerie Fraser Luesse is an Alabama native who has spent most of her life in the Deep South.  She is best known for her work with Southern Living magazine, where she has specialized in stories about unique pockets of Southern culture - those places where the people and their landscape are intricately intertwined - such as the Gulf Coast, the Mississippi Delta, Acadian Louisianna, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  The many years that she spent crisscrossing the South, meeting local people and listening to their stories, have lent her fiction its authentic color.
Luesse is a graduate of Auburn University and Baylor University.
Missing Isaac is her first novel.

Isaac believed in luck.
But from Pete's point of view, Isaac's luck had all run out.

When Pete McLean loses his father in the summer of 1962, his friend Isaac is one of the few people he can lean on.  Though their worlds are as different as black and white, friendship knows no color.  So when Isaac suddenly goes missing, Pete is determined to find out what happened - no matter what it costs him.  His quest will lead him into parts of town that he knows only through rumore=s and introduce him to a girl who will change his life.  What they discover together will change the small Southern town of Glory, Alabama - forever.

My Thoughts:

I know it is very early in the year, but I may have just read the most impactful book of the year for me.  Valerie Fraser Luesse's Missing Isaac, her debut novel, set in 1960's Alabama was a beautiful read that made me mad, made me cry, and most of all made me think deeply about my own personal prejudices.  Luesse expertly captured the era and its challenges with colorful dialogue and deeply developed characters.  And the characters...I felt, while reading this story, as if I were physically in the middle of the story.  I could clearly see in my mind the expressions on the faces of the characters and smell the smells.  Readers won't just sit down to read a few chapters of this one.  You will read page one and soon find your self at page 337.  At so many points in the story, I would read through a scene and just have to stop and breathe and take in what I had just read. Luesse digs deep into the human heart.  Her books will have a place on my keeper shelf.
*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions stated here are my own,

Happy Reading,

Oath of Honor: Blue Justice Series

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series the Deadly Reunions series, and the Hidden Identity series, as well as the Elite Guardians series.  She is the winner of two ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Readers' Choice Award.  She has a master's degree in education from Converse College and lives in South Carolina.
Learn more at

A murdered partner.
A missing brother.
Will Isabelle's silence protect those she loves...or delay justice?

Police officer Isabelle St. John loves her crazy, loud, law-enforcement family.  She knows they'll be there for her when things get tough.  Like when her partner is murdered and she barely escapes with her own life.
Izzy is determined to discover exactly what happened, and her investigation sends her headfirst into a criminal organization, possibly with cops on the payroll - including someone from her own family.  With her dead partner's brother Ryan, a handsome homicide detective, shadowing her every move, Izzy's head is spinning.  How can she secure justice for her partner when doing so could mean sending someone she loves to prison?  And how will she guard her heart when the man she's had a secret crush on for years won't leave her side?

My Thoughts:
Lynette Eason has her new series, Blue Justice, off to an explosively great start with Oath of Honor.  I've learned to take a deep breath and settle in before turning to the first page of an Eason novel.  She drops readers right into the middle of the St. John family and great action.
With genuine characters and fast action, Eason endears readers to this family of law enforcement personnel.  She shines a light on all that is involved in various roles.  Reading Oath of Honor, I gained a new appreciation for those who wear the badge and run toward danger rather than from it.  I especially enjoyed the journey of Ryan and Isabelle through the pain, loss, and danger to the soft place to land they find in each other.
I can't wait to continue this family's journey in the next Blue Justice novel out this Summer...Called to Protect.
*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Happy Reading Ya'll,

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Isaiah's Daughter: A Novel Of Prophets and Kings

Mesu Andrews is the award-winning author of Love Amid the Ashes and numerous other novels, including The Pharoah's Daughter and Miriam.
Her deep understanding of and love for God's Word brings the biblical world alive for readers.  Mesu lives in North Carolina with her husband, Roy, and dog, Zeke.  She enjoys her full tribe of grandchildren and quiet days in the mountains.

You can connect with Mesu through:

Book Synopsis:

Whips cracked.
Soldiers shouted.
My feet blistered in a sunbaked wilderness.
We kept walking, walking, walking...
The Hebrews are a divided nation.  Israel in the north - ten tribes strong - has bowed to pagan worship.  In Judah's two tribes, and evil king mocks Kind David's legacy while a remnant of Yahweh's faithful cling desperately to their one true God.  
Caught in the middle of the warring is an orphaned girl named Ishma - meaning "desolation".  Her short life already mirrors the name.
Yet Yahweh's plan for her has only just begun.
Ishma enters the prophet Isaiah's home as a household servant, but her quick mind and lively spirit gain the friendship of Prince Hezekiah.  When Isaiah sees their relationship mature, he adopts Ishma, giving her a royal pedigree and a new name.  Ishma becomes Hephzibah - "delight of the Lord" - and the desolate captive becomes Judah's queen.
But loving Hezekiah will require more of Hephzibah than she ever imagined.  From Ahaz's terrifying reign to the Assyrian threat and Isaiah's own perplexing prophecies - Ziba remains trapped by fear, facing an uncertain future.  Will palace life lead to freedom from her past?  Or can she trust everything to the only One who gives life and delivers both a captive heart and a desperate nation?

My Thoughts About The Book:
I used to think "biblical fiction" was such an oxymoron and then I read a Mesu Andrew's book.  Every book by Andrews from that point forward has landed on my keeper shelf.  Her newest book, just released today, Isaiah's Daughter, did not disappoint and may be her best yet.
Covering scripture passages from large portions of the book of Isaiah, 2 Chronicles, 1st and 2nd Kings, Mesu takes readers into the world of King Hezekiah and Hephzibah, "delight of the Lord".  Before they were king and queen, they were Hezi and Ishma.  Staying true to the biblical narrative and employing beautiful and appropriate artistic license, Mesu weaves the journey of a little boy and girl that will captivate readers.  Mesu transports readers with descriptive historical details and careful research back in time and highlights spiritual truths that transform.
"Talk with Yahweh, Ishma.  A bond will form, and He'll become familiar, someone you can trust. You'll come to know His voice."
 Reading Isaiah's Daughter will not be just another book you read but an experience; an experience that will draw you to search the scriptures for yourself and draw you closer to a God Who transforms.

*I was given a complimentary Advanced Readers' copy of the book.  All opinions stated here are my own.  This is disclosed in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR.  Part 255 Guidelines concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising.

*You have a chance to win a copy of the book HERE.