Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in the United States and I would like to take this time to express my thanks to you, my wonderful readers. I am so grateful for your continued interest and support, for your kind comments on social media, and thoughtful personal e-mails. Your words, whether they are few or many, have brought more joy than you may realize. This holiday season, I encourage each of you to continue to spread messages of hope wherever you can. Write an encouraging note to a friend (perhaps even through snail mail), call a family member who you aren’t able to speak to very often, or maybe even send an anonymous gift asking nothing in return. The media is quick to focus on the anger and division in our world, but it is gratitude, kindness, and faith that unifies us. As always I continue to pray for each of you.
The Broken Lines Virtual Book Tour was the first tour I’ve run and I’m pleased to say it was a great success. It’s always exciting (and a little nerve-wracking) to hear what readers think, and I was pleased to read all the wonderful reviews combined with so many lovely photographs. All the reviewers really made the cover of Broken Lines shine with autumn colors! If you missed any stops on the tour, it’s not too late. Giveaways have ended, but you can still check out the reviews and author interviews. Don’t forget, there are still two stops remaining!
If you’re on Facebook or Goodreads, next month I will be doing a takeover on the American Historical Novels group. Each day from December 13-18, I will be posting some special behind the scenes tidbits related to Broken Lines. As newsletter subscribers, some of the details you will have heard, but others are new. I will also be hosting a paperback giveaway with every comment another chance to win.
And last, but never least, progress continues to go well for Unsettled Shores. I have taken my first pass at editing the first half and plan to finish drafting the rest by the end of December. Fingers crossed that I can get a draft to my beta readers by March 1!
Some Through the Fire by Jennifer Q. Hunt
Being a writer of World War 1 fiction, I’m always interested to read a book during this time period, especially when it’s written by a fellow indie author. Some Through the Fire is far more than a standard Great War story though. Jennifer Q. Hunt manages to pack a lot into only 274 pages taking us from 1917 to 1920 in wonderful fashion. We follow our main character, Violet, over these years as she comes to terms with her family’s life being upended again and again and wondering if there will ever truly be a time of peace or a future with the husband she longs for.
The story begins with the Atlanta Fire of 1917, a historical event I had never heard of and found very interesting to learn about, especially after reading Jocelyn Green’s Veiled in Smoke earlier this year which focused on the Chicago Fire of 1871. Some Through the Fire takes the reader through the devastation of that event then quickly transitions into the horrors of the first world war, showing detail from the trenches to the home front while incorporating a wealth of research without feeling like an information dump. Next we experience the devastation of the Spanish Influenza followed by a quick romp through the early jazz age and a look at the Boston police strike of 1919, another event of which I was not aware. Given the current events of our world, I found the influenza and police strike riots to be timely, thought-provoking and well-written.
Although the book is ultimately focused on Violet’s journey, Jennifer Hunt makes us deeply invested in the side characters’ stories as well. Each one seemed completely relatable, even when I hadn’t experienced exactly what the character was going through. I think we can all relate to the concepts of loss, grief, physical pain, as much as joy, excitement, and love. At its heart, this is very much a Christian-centered novel where the characters are unashamed to discuss their beliefs, or lack thereof. There is even one atheist character who constantly challenges Violet’s firm Christian convictions, ultimately making her even stronger in her faith. I also loved that the author was able to incorporate humor throughout such an otherwise dismal time in these characters’ lives with many witty lines including one continuing joke about a pair of foo cats found in their uncle’s library. Watching these characters grow (either in good or bad ways) kept me flipping all 274 pages in a single weekend.
Also, this month only, Jennifer Q. Hunt is providing an opportunity to win one e-book and one paperback copy of Some Through the Fire. To enter, simply complete the entry form at the link below by December 18. Full giveaway rules are listed on the giveaway page.
For more information on Jennifer Q. Hunt’s books, visit: http://www.jenniferqhunt.com
Second Chances by Valerie Howard
Second Chances continues Valerie Howard’s inspirational style of immersive characters and relatable family situations. Even though I read a beta reader version (aka: not completely polished), I still loved this story from beginning to end. The story follows Kate Wilson, a mom who according to her blog, has a picture perfect life when in reality she is barely managing to tread waters. Even though she’s lost her kids’ respect and her husband’s love, she continues to believe that she can somehow blog her way to a happy ending. It’s a familiar story in today’s world when many people choose to share a fake internet life with their 500 “friends” than risk vulnerability with a few loyal ones. As Second Chances demonstrates though, vulnerability is the only true way to develop real relationships, ones that depend on face-to-face communications and no technology to succeed. As a mother and wife, I think this story would be relatable to any parent who has ever felt less than, wondered if they could ever measure up to the world’s expectations, and perhaps most importantly doubted if their past could ever make them worthy of God’s love. It’s a powerful story of redemption, faith, and family and one that I highly recommend.
Second Chances is the fifth book in Valerie Howard’s New England Inspirations series, but only the second of hers that I have read, with the first being Saving Faith. Although these books are part of a series, each contains unique characters and can be read on its own.
Also, this month only we have two giveaway opportunities! Valerie Howard is also providing an opportunity to win one e-book copy of Second Chances. To enter, simply complete the entry form at the link below by December 18. Full giveaway rules are listed on the giveaway page.
For more information on Valerie Howard’s books, visit: https://valeriehowardbooks.wordpress.com
Disclaimer: I did receive a free copy of Second Chances from the author; however, a positive review was not solicited or required. All opinions expressed are my own.
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