Author of Sweet Hope and Happy Endings

Tag: Christian fiction (Page 1 of 7)

BOOK REVIEW: ALL THAT WE CARRIED

BOOK BY: Erin Bartels

The author has a special talent in pulling the reader into the setting of the story. Almost the entirety of the novel takes place in the Porcupine Mountains where characters are hiking, camping and trying to work through issues they’ve ignored for the past decade. This story is very much character driven, with internal struggles causing much of the friction between sisters – Olivia and Melanie. I appreciated the beautiful and polished narrative.

If you are used to reading Christian fiction with a strong faith thread, you will get that here but unlike what a Bible-believing reader has come to expect in the Christian Fiction market. Religious faith, New Age faith, agnosticism and everything in between is discussed as characters grapple with their internal struggles. When Melanie and Olivia started discussing Tarot cards and what they meant and believing in reincarnation, the enjoyment of reading completely left. The question of the existence of God continues throughout the novel, with minor characters feeding into the discussion (who by all appearances believe in the existence of God). The dialogue doesn’t resolve the questions satisfactorily – and sometimes is left completely unfinished, an abrupt change in conversation – and invokes more questions than answers. At the end of the novel, neither sister has resolved their issues with faith – or have they? The reader is left wondering.

As well, a sort of friend/love triangle happens which causes more friction between sisters. That kind of trope isn’t my cup of tea, though other readers will love it. It is handled relatively well – but again, it’s just not my thing.

The biggest disappointment for this reader was the faith thread. If this book had been marketed for the general fiction market, I likely would have enjoyed it more. But with the expectation that this is marketed as Christian Fiction, it is lacking in the essentials. Hope and pointing readers to Truth.

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

Top Reads of 2020

Despite the global pandemic, not all of 2020 was bad.

When looking back through my book list of books read, I’m surprised at how many are on my list. My goal of reading 24 books through the year was shattered. It’s a new record for me and probably one I likely won’t repeat as the world opens up again.

2020 was a special year for me. My debut novel, Snowbound in Winterberry Falls released on November 6. If you haven’t read it, you should try it (of course, I’m not biased… wink).

But all joking aside, here are the books, in no particular order that I enjoyed and would put in my TBRA pile – To Be Read Again.

Contemporary

Suspense/Procedural

Historical/Regency

Christmas

Worth Mentioning

These books were interesting reads, but didn’t quite make it in my I’ll definitely read these again category (but there’s also a good possibility I will). They were totally worth the investment of time I made reading them.

I have a bunch more books on my bookshelf to read that released in 2020, but I didn’t have time to get to them. I hope to read them as time permits and will post reviews either on my blog or at least a starred review on GoodReads.

How about you? Are any of these books on your list?

BOOK REVIEW: THE DRESS SHOP ON KING STREET

BOOK BY: Ashley Clark

The Dress Shop on King Street is a story that brings together the unified dreams of a young girl and her mentor.

I had heard so much about this book, I finally decided to request a copy to read and I’m happy I did. This time slip novel (weaving the past with a contemporary story) is an interesting survey of living in the South during the 40s and 50s, up to present day. The heroine is of African and Caucasian heritage in a place where she has already lost a father due to hatred. Her father was murdered because he had a child with an African woman. Millie is faced with a choice her entire life – hide one of her heritages and speak to no one of where she comes from.

The sensitivity to which the author tackles this issue is commendable. It takes the reader back to a time when hatred was left unpunished and people of mixed heritage were forced to choose which one to embrace. If one chose unwisely, s/he would suffer what no one should go through. The author brings the inner struggle of Millie to light, which begs the reader to ask themselves a simple question. What would I have done in Millie’s place?

She is able to hide her heritage until she gives birth to fraternal twins – one who is white, and the other who is darker skinned. Millie and her husband make a desperate choice which takes her to the end of the story to find redemption.

The contemporary story sees a much older Millie mentoring a design protégé who reminds Millie of herself. Harper’s story will be intricately woven with Millie’s by the end.

It was a challenging read in the sense of the issues tackled in this book. It was an enjoyable read for the ability of the author to bring the reader into Millie’s world.

I’m glad I listened to the recommendations of others and look forward to reading more from this author.

I received an ecopy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

BOOK REVIEW: NORTHERN PROTECTOR (HEROES OF THE TUNDRA #2)

BOOK BY: Laurie Wood

As always, Laurie Wood delivers a compelling story.

The story takes us back to Churchill, MB an isolated but perfect setting for a page-turning police procedural to take place. With vivid descriptions and hair raising scenes, readers will be treated to an experience one soon won’t forget.

Injured RCMP officer Ben Roper returns to Churchill, MB a mere nine months after his run-in with a mama polar bear. No amount of plastic surgery, physio therapy or counselling sessions could prepare Ben for life back north. The scars of his past are more than skin-deep.

Nurse Joy Gallagher is happy to see Ben back at work, but her medical eye is quick to see his pain is causing a formed dependency on pain-killers and that he’s not as well as he claims to be.

When the town experiences a murder of a young woman, the scene is eerily familiar to Joy and her family. And one that Ben will stop at nothing to solve.

I quite enjoyed this read, especially the faith journey the characters go through as they face some pretty harsh situations.

The author does a tremendous job in showing sensitivity and weaving a message of hope in a terrible situation.

Sensitive topics covered: PTSD, drug addiction, abuse.

RELEASE DAY! SNOWBOUND IN WINTERBERRY FALLS

Snowbound in Winterberry Falls

It’s finally here! Snowbound in Winterberry Falls is out in the world and you can grab your copy now.

Paperback link

Amazon Canada

Amazon US

I’m excited to celebrate the release of my debut novel. It really is the work of my heart and I can’t wait for you to read it. If you happen to grab your own copy, I welcome any reviews on my GoodReads author page. If you’re an author, I’d welcome reviews on my BookBub page (US feature only at the moment).

Thanks for joining me on this journey!

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