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Book Review: Letters Across the Sea by Genevieve Graham

I fell in love with Genevieve Graham's writing when I read THE FORGOTTEN HOME CHILD. I was so excited when she shared little tidbits along her journey of writing and publishing LETTERS ACROSS THE SEA. I had high expectations for this book and it did not disappoint.  Graham's characters are always so carefully crafted. I so enjoyed watching Molly and Max grow up in this novel. They were both so intelligent and driven and yet still flawed enough to gain my sympathy.  Maybe my favorite thing about reading Genevieve Graham's books is that I learn so much. She's a Canadian author and so Canadian history is pretty unfamiliar to me anyway, but I know that she digs into little-known historical events and makes them come to life. Her writing is so rich in details and cultural significance!  This book contained something for everyone- romance, war, family drama, cultural clashes, and loads of historical information. I give it a hearty 5 stars and anxiously await the next masterpi
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Review: Denise Hunter's Bookshop by the Sea

Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson, I was given a free copy of Denise Hunter's newest release, Bookshop by the Sea, in exchange for my honest opinion. What a delightful book! Denise Hunter is a new-to-me author, so my expectations were wide open, although the gorgeous cover and sweet title promised a story that would be right up my alley. I started it one night before bed and ended up completely sucked into the story! I read until I couldn't hold my eyes open then anxiously finished it the next day! I loved the character development in the protagonist Sophie. Without sharing any spoilers, she matured in her faith and grew into a self-possessed woman with an open heart after surviving being stranded with the man who had broken her heart. Thank God for the hurricane and sprained ankle that forced these two to spend time together!!! I also loved the characters in Piper's Cove and can see the opportunity for several spin-off novels set in this perfect little beach town! Th

Review: Pepper Basham's Hope Between the Pages

“Any story that begins with a library is bound to be an excellent tale.” With that opening line, Pepper Basham hooked me immediately. Add to that the setting of Asheville, North Carolina- one of my favorite places on earth, and I was an absolute goner for  Hope Between the Pages . This book was a masterpiece!  I honestly can’t think of another book I have enjoyed as thoroughly as I did this one. I loved that the timeline was split between 1915 and today. Merging the story of modern-day book store owner Clara with her somewhat mysterious great-grandmother Sadie and integrating romance, mystery, and so many literary allusions makes me admire Basham’s skill as an author. This book has sweet, tender moments along with witty banter and intrigue. Clara’s quest to find the deed to her family’s bookstore leads her on a journey where she finds so much more than she ever expected.  This book exceeded my expectations and has earned a special place in my heart. I give it five big gold stars! Thank
The Paris Dressmaker by Kristy Cambron My rating: 5 of 5 stars This book received so much hype from early readers, I worried it wouldn't live up to my expectations. As it turns out, all the hype was well deserved. This book was a masterpiece. Incredibly well researched and impeccably crafted, this story highlights the contribution of women in the French resistance during World War II. I learned so much about what Parisians endured during the German occupation and was able to experience the war from a different point of view. The stories of Sandrine, who was charged with cataloging stolen art, and Lila, a talented designer on a mission to reclaim lost treasures, flow through the book and ultimately merge into one action-packed emotionally intense climax. This book has something for everyone- history buffs, action lovers, and romantics. This was my first book by Kristy Cambron, but it will not be my last! I think I have found my new favorite author! I enjoyed her writing style so
Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly Three very different narrators telling three very compelling stories gave this book a unique flair. I enjoyed watching the three women's lives intersect and each of them changed by the others. Jemma is a bright and compassionate slave owned by self-centered, cruel Anne-May. Reading about the hurts Jemma and her family endured at the hands of Anne-May and her overseer was difficult for me. I rooted for Jemma throughout the story and was so pleased with the way her story ended. For me though, the most compelling character was independent, brilliant Georgy. She was someone I would want to be friends with in real life. It pleased me to read the author's notes and realize that Georgy was a real person! Overall, I enjoyed the mix of history, romance, adventure, and social justice. The first half of the book was extremely slow, however, which leads me to give Sunflower Sisters four out of five stars. View all my reviews

Book Review of The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher

 I was so excited to get the ARC of Suzanne Woods Fisher’s newest book for several reasons. Of course, I LOVE her Amish romances. But more than that, I was thrilled to see that it featured a significant figure in Appalachian history: educator and founder of the Moonlight Schools, Cora Wilson Stewart.  I grew up in Morgan County, Kentucky, just one county over from Cora Wilson Stewart’s home county, Rowan. I graduated from Morehead State University, where Stewart had attended about one hundred years before me. I’ve seen the historical marker that tells her story, located in downtown Morehead beside the well-preserved one-room school. I vividly remember a woman who traveled to elementary schools dressed as Stewart, telling the story of how she brought literacy to the men and women of Eastern Kentucky, and later the nation.  Fisher’s book maintains the basics of Cora Wilson Stewart’s life and work but infuses a fictional account of a cousin, Lucy, who witnessed the birth of the Moonlight

What one thing will never be the same after 2020?

Every month on the 10th, one of my favorite podcasters/bloggers/authors/inspirers, Laura Tremaine asks her followers to respond to a prompt, usually with a list of ten things. This month, she changed it up and just wants us to answer one BIG question- which might be harder!!! She asked us to consider what will never be the same after this year.  Coming up with a list of 10 things that have been permanently altered by 2020 would be an easy task. However, boiling it down to ONE thing that really matters is TOUGH!!!! After all, nothing has been untouched by the events of 2020. From shopping and vacations to work and school, we are doing everything differently now. If I have to choose one thing that will never be the same, though, I would have to say that my priorities are most permanently changed. Between a world-wide pandemic and my mom’s cancer diagnosis and treatment, my values and preferences have shifted tremendously this year.  Family has always mattered a great deal to me, but afte