October 2021 New Releases

October 2021 New Releases

There are a TON of books in the Historical Romance section. Check them out!

October 2021 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website


Contemporary:

Perfectly Arranged
by Liana George — Can Nicki risk letting go of her well-ordered life plans and embrace what God has perfectly arranged? (General Contemporary from Scrivenings Press LLC)


Contemporary Romance:

Tacos for Two
by Bestsy St. Amant — Rory Perez, a food truck owner who can’t cook, is struggling to keep the business she inherited from her aunt out of the red–and an upcoming contest during Modest’s annual food truck festival seems the best way to do it. Then maybe Rory will have enough time to meet the man she’s been talking to via an anonymous online dating site. Complications arise when Rory’s chef gets mono and she realizes she has to cook after all. Then Jude discovers that his stiffest competition is the same woman he’s been falling for online the past month. Will these unlikely chefs sacrifice it all for the sake of love? Or will there only ever be tacos for one? (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)


Riverbend Gap by Denise Hunter — She came in search of the family she’d always wanted—and found the kind of love she’d never dared to imagine. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson and Zondervan))


Worthy of Redemption
by Krystina Renae Rankina — Ten years ago, tragedy sent her running… can friendship and maybe even love prove him worthy of redemption? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)


Home for Christmas
by Cathe Swanson, et. al. — The 6th annual Christmas Lights Collection features active duty and veteran military members. (Contemporary Romance from Havilah Press Publications)


A Harvest Heart by Denise Weimer — Hope Richardson is good at just that—hoping. Problem is, she’s often disappointed—by fathers who die, boyfriends who ghost her, and lack of promotion at her event planning firm. It’s her twin sister, Faith, for whom things work out. When Faith’s fiancé lands an out-of-town job, Hope is called home to plan a wedding in the Georgia foothills … and jumpstart the tea room Faith was supposed to run with their mother. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)


The Billionaire’s Secret by Meghann Whistler — He’s a billionaire hiding a devastating diagnosis. She’ll do whatever it takes to help her sick, matchmaking mom. A freak accident throws them together, but will his big secret tear them apart? Inspired by 2 Corinthians 12:9, The Billionaire’s Secret is a sweet inspirational romance with a swoony hero, LOTS of entertaining banter, and a strong Christian message. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)


Historical Mystery:


Murder at the Empire
by Cathe Swanson — They call him the Emperor. John Starek fills his theater with fine artwork and treasures. He’s particularly pleased to have one of the country’s first female organists – and he thinks Gayle Wells is the bee’s knees. Despite pressure from her social crusader mother, Gayle isn’t interested in changing the world. She just wants a car of her own – and a career playing the organ at the Empire movie palace would be especially ducky. Then the Empire’s treasures start disappearing and employees start dying. Are a few pieces of art really enough motive for the string of murders? Will Gayle be next? (Historical Mystery from Celebrate Lit Publishing)


Historical Romance:
 


To Stand in the Breach
by Danielle Grandinetti — 1933, Wisconsin – Large animal veterinarian Katy Wells takes her patients’ welfare personally, so it’s no surprise when she stands up to angry farmers planning a milk strike or takes in an injured draft horse to save its life. But after a visitor from the past discovers her location and reveals a threat, she must choose between her work and her freedom, and whether to trust a man to keep her safe. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)


The Petticoat Spy
by Elva Cobb Martin — A feisty Southern belle and a blockade runner ignite romance, faith, and fireworks to save Charleston during the American Revolution. (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)


A Family for Hazel
by Linda Shenton Matchett — After the Civil War takes Hazel Markham’s father, and her mother dies of a broken heart, a friend of her parents hires Hazel as a companion. All is well until the woman’s lecherous son takes an interest in his mother’s assistant. When Hazel spurns his advances one too many times, the man frames her for theft, and she is fired. As a last resort she applies to be a mail-order bride, and to her dismay, her groom-to-be is a preacher. Will he believe her claims of innocence or reject her as unacceptable? (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)


In Pieces by Rhonda Ortiz — Boston, 1793—Beautiful and artistic, the only daughter of a prominent merchant, Molly Chase cannot help but attract the notice of Federalist Boston—especially its men. But she carries a painful secret: her father committed suicide and she found his body. Now nightmares plague her day and night, addling her mind and rendering her senseless. Molly needs a home, a nurse, and time to grieve and to find new purpose in life. But when she moves in with her friends the Robbs, spiteful society gossips assume the worst. And when an imprudent decision leads to public scandal, Molly is tempted to take the easy way out: a marriage of convenience. In the wake of tragedy, these longtime friends discover a new intimacy. But slander, confusion, absence, and a wealthy, conniving bully stand between them. And with French spies on the loose, they not only have to rescue their reputations—they have to protect their lives. (Historical Romance from WhiteFire Publishing)


The Wrangler’s Woman by Davalynn Spencer — Corra Jameson doesn’t think of herself as a spinster and is content to spend quiet evenings with her books. Paper beaus, her sister calls them, teasing her about the stories Corra reads. But when a rugged widower asks her to come to his ranch for the summer to help him with his tomboy daughter, she sees opportunity to earn a side of beef for her sister’s family. Besides, she has nothing to lose in the arrangement. Except perhaps her heart. Re-released from the 2016 ECPA bestselling Barbour collection, The Cowboy’s Bride. (Historical Romance from Wilson Creek Publishing)


Christmas Tree Wars
by Delores Topliff — Kris Lundquist, am ambitious New York City financial planner, comes home to Wisconsin for two weeks to help his Swedish-American Christmas tree grower dad meet a financial crisis. While there, he gets re-acquainted with Marcie Halvorsen, the idealistic forestry-major niece of their cranky Norwegian neighbor who is also home to solve a financial shortfall. Both enter contests to provide national Christmas tree to build their businesses and sales. Despite their relationship seeming as star-crossed as Romeo and Juliet’s, they fall in love and help their families and town rediscover the reason for the season. (Historical Romance from Scrivenings Press LLC)


A Heart for the Sailor by Terri Wangard — Working as a Winnie the Welder during World War II, Evelyn builds submarines. She’s good at her job, but men begrudge women taking jobs in heavy industry. She dreams of the day her sailor comes home and the life they’ll have, but does Jerry dream about her? When a typhoon threatens the US Fleet in the Pacific, Jerry and his shipmates aboard the Tabberer rush to the aid of their fellow sailors. The typhoon prompts a greater awareness of what he wants in life. First, though, they have to survive. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)


A Deep Divide by Kimberley Woodhouse — After being kidnapped as a child, heiress Emma Grace McMurray has seen firsthand the devastation that greed causes in the world, and she wants nothing to do with it. When she discovers her father has offered her up as a bargaining chip to expand his empire, she disappears into the night. Determined to stay hidden, even if it means always looking over her shoulder, she finds herself working as a Harvey Girl at the El Tovar Hotel. When the son’s owner, Ray Watkins arrives at the hotel on business, he immediately admires Emma Grace, and though an attraction begins to form, she can’t let go of the deep-rooted fear that he’s just like every other wealthy man she’s known. When suspicious activity follows Emma Grace and Ray to the El Tovar, they are pulled into a mystery that stirs up their worst fears. And as shocking revelations come to light, they are left to question all they thought to be true. (Historical Romance from Bethany House (Baker) Publishing)


Romantic Suspense:


Deadly Connection
by Kathy Harris — After fending off a would-be abductor, 27-year-old singer-songwriter Hannah Cassidy hides behind a car in the half-empty parking lot behind Pancake Pantry in Nashville. From there, she watches in horror as her attacker grabs another woman and pushes her into a nearby car. Within seconds, the vehicle speeds away. TBI Special Agent Jake Matheson may have planned a quiet day off and a date with Shannon―the only name her online profile revealed―for an introductory lunch, but after pulling into a parking space on 21st Avenue South, he hears a scream. He races to the back of the building and finds a frightened young woman bent forward and gasping for breath. Thrown together by uncanny circumstances and driven by the whys and what-ifs of secrets yet to be revealed, Hannah and Jake set out to find the connection between them before it becomes deadly. (Romantic Suspense/Thriller from Iron Stream Fiction (an imprint of Iron Stream Media))


Yuletide Cold Case Cover-Up
by Jessica R. Patch — The mystery of her sister’s death is about to reveal some deadly answers…When her sister’s remains are found just before Christmas, cold case agent Poppy Holliday is determined to solve the years-old murder—even if it turns the killer’s sights on her. But her investigation with her straitlaced partner, Rhett Wallace, is stirring up the town’s old memories—and bitter grudges. And this killer will do anything to keep secrets buried. (Romantic Suspense/Thriller from Love Inspired (Harlequin))


Traces of Virtue by Robin Patchen — From her deathbed, Carly Garcia’s mother asked Carly to look after left her stepfather and her sisters. Carly is doing everything in her power to keep that promise, but now she has a new life to protect, this one innocent and vulnerable. She visits her ex to tell him a truth he doesn’t deserve to know… and witnesses his murder. Now, Carly’s on the run from killers whose faces she never saw. Braden Reilly is building a career in Coventry, New Hampshire, happy to put the drama of his crime-ridden Boston neighborhood behind him. When a woman he’s spent years trying to forget shows up on his doorstep, his first instinct is to turn her away. But the bruises on her arms and the fear in her eyes have him offering her sanctuary. The story she tells him makes his blood curdle. Together, they must discover who’s behind a murder nobody believes occurred before the killers catch up to Carly and her unborn child. (Romantic Suspense/Thriller, Independently Published)


Literary:

A Flicker of Light by Katie Powner — For generations, the Jensens have raised their families in the small Montana town of Moose Creek, where gossip spreads faster than the wind. Yet some secrets need to be told. When twenty-one-year-old Bea discovers she’s pregnant on the heels of her husband losing his job, she’s forced to admit she needs help and asks her dad for a place to stay. But past resentments keep her from telling him all that’s going on. Grandma June is good at spinning stories, but there’s one she’s never told. Now that her mind is starting to fade, her time to tell it is running out. But if she reveals the truth before her memories are gone forever, the Jensen family will never be the same. (Literary from Bethany House (Baker) Publishing)


Mystery:

Memories, Murder and Small Town Money
by KC Hart — When Katy Cross finds one of Skeeterville’s supposedly upstanding citizens dead in the dumpster behind the grocery store, she has to work hard to find the killer before any more of the town’s colorful citizens are harmed. (Cozy Mystery, Independently Published)


Speculative Fiction:

Book Title
by Amanda G. Stevens — Unable for the last century to grow old or succumb to injury, Cady Schuster has lost a lot of people, some more recently than others. She’s trying to find new belonging in Harbor Vale, Michigan, among a welcoming little group of fellow ageless folk. Then she meets Paige, a mortal woman who needs a friend-and might need help.Paige’s husband rules their church with an authority unquestioned by his congregation. When Paige suddenly severs all communication, Cady determines to find her. Churchgoers warn her off, and the behavior of Paige’s husband proves a still bigger warning. Is this friend lost too, or can Cady help her? And how far should an ageless woman involve herself in the conflicts of mortals? (Speculative Fiction, Independently Published)


Thriller/Suspense:


Ice Cold Blue
by Susan Page Davis — Campbell McBride is now working for her father Bill as a private investigator in Murray, Kentucky. Xina Harrison wants them to find out what is going on with her aunt, Katherine Taylor. Katherine is a rich, reclusive author, and she has resisted letting Xina visit her for several years. Xina arrived unannounced, and Katherine was upset and didn’t want to let her in. When Xina did gain entry, she learned Katherine fired her longtime housekeeper. She noticed that a few family heirlooms previously on display have disappeared. (Thriller/Suspense from Scrivenings Press LLC)


Western:

Love on the Range by Mary Connealy — While his brothers and their new wives search for who shot him, Wyatt Hunt is temporarily bedridden and completely miserable. Somehow Molly Garner’s limited skills have made her the most qualified in their circle to care for Wyatt. But by the time he’s healed, she’s fed up with him and the whole ungrateful family. For even worse than his grumpiness were the few unguarded moments when he pulled at her heartstrings, and she has been long determined to never repeat her mother’s mistakes. But when another Pinkerton agent gets shot, they realize Hawkins isn’t the only danger. The Hunt brothers will have to band together to face all the troubles of life and love that suddenly surround them. (Western from Bethany House (Baker) Publishing)

Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:

Ocracoke By Christmas by Cindy M. Amos, The lighthouse shelters a few choice secrets
but never falters in shining a light on true love. (Historical Romance)
The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham, He was never supposed to become an earl. She was never supposed to marry him. (Historical Romance)
Jingle Bell Square by Joi Copeland, He wants healing after losing his father.
She wants to find a love that will last. (Contemporary Romance)
Candy Cane Wishes and Saltwater Dreams by Kathy Fulkerson, et. al., A collection of Christmas beach romance novellas by five multi-published authors. (Contemporary Romance)
Sweet Cranberries by Sherry Kyle, When a handsome electrician and other residents of the island step up to help with the festival, she must discern whether they really have her best interests at heart. (Contemporary Romance)
When Love Trusts by Judythe Morgan, A second chance at first love. (Romance)

A Midnight Dance by Joanna Davidson Politano, Is she dancing ever closer to the edge of her own tragic end? Or will the secrets that are about to come to light offer release from the past? (Historical Romance)

Lucinda’s Defender by Blossom Turner, Life hasn’t turned out at all like Lucinda expected, but neither is the depth of love one man has for her. (Historical Romance)

October Reading Challenge Suggestions

October Reading Challenge Suggestions

Welcome to the tenth month of the Unlocking the Past 2021 Reading Challenge. This month focuses on WWII. I’ve used the Inspirational Historical Fiction Finder to pull together my list of suggestions. I have several on my bookshelves, but we’re starting to reach the eras that I don’t generally read. I’m looking forward to peeking into parts of history I am not as familiar with.

*There have been questions on does it HAVE to take place in the US. The answer is no, but I’d encourage you to try or at least have American characters. All the book suggestions below are tied to US locations.

Add your suggestions in the comments, and/or tell me what you are reading. Have you read any of these below? Which one should I choose for this month? Let me know.

Also, if a title has (read and reviewed), clicking on that takes you to a review I’ve written on that book. Just in case you are interested in learning more.

Monthly Reminders:

*If you read a book for August, don’t forget to go to yesterday’s post (RCR: When Silence Sings) to comment and get your name entered for your chance to win a print copy. (You’ll also earn your entry for the end of the year giveaway.)

*You can also join the Facebook Group. for more interaction and suggestions, or if you’d like a bookmark to remind you of the monthly challenges, fill out this Google Form.


The Lines Between Us by Amy Green

1945 – Washington State/Oregon

A WWII novel of courage and conviction, based on the true experience of the men who fought fires as conscientious objectors and the women who fought prejudice to serve in the Women’s Army Corps.

Since the attack on Pearl Harbor, Gordon Hooper and his buddy Jack Armitage have stuck to their values as conscientious objectors. Much to their families’ and country’s chagrin, they volunteer as smokejumpers rather than enlisting, parachuting into and extinguishing raging wildfires in Oregon. But the number of winter blazes they’re called to seems suspiciously high, and when an accident leaves Jack badly injured, Gordon realizes the facts don’t add up.

A member of the Women’s Army Corps, Dorie Armitage has long been ashamed of her brother’s pacifism, but she’s shocked by news of his accident. Determined to find out why he was harmed, she arrives at the national forest under the guise of conducting an army report . . . and finds herself forced to work with Gordon. He believes it’s wrong to lie; she’s willing to do whatever it takes for justice to be done. As they search for clues, Gordon and Dorie must wrestle with their convictions about war and peace and decide what to do with the troubling secrets they discover.


The Cryptographer’s Dilemma by Johnnie Alexander

1942 – Washington DC

A Code Developer Uncovers a Japanese Spy Ring

FBI cryptographer Eloise Marshall is grieving the death of her brother, who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor, when she is assigned to investigate a seemingly innocent letter about dolls. Agent Phillip Clayton is ready to enlist and head oversees when asked to work one more FBI job. A case of coded defense coordinates related to dolls should be easy, but not so when the Japanese Consulate gets involved, hearts get entangled, and Phillip goes missing. Can Eloise risk loving and losing again?


The Rose Keeper by Jennifer Lamont Leo

1915/1944 – Illinois

July 1944. Chicago nurse Clara Janacek has spent her whole life taking care of other people. Grumpy yet loveable, all she wants now is to live out her life in peace, tending her roses and protecting her heart. But beneath the gruff exterior lies a story, and when new neighbors move in and shake up her quiet world, Clara must grapple with long-buried realities.

July 1915. The picnic across Lake Michigan was to be the highlight of the summer for young nurse Clara—a day filled with laughter, dancing, and budding romance aboard a stately excursion steamer. But when unspeakable tragedy strikes, Clara’s life is changed forever.

By turns funny, tender, and bittersweet, The Rose Keeper celebrates the redemptive hope found in friendship, faith, and the search for belonging.


From Roots to Sky by Amanda Dykes

1945 – Texas

WWII airman Luke Hampstead found comfort in letters from the sister of a lost compatriot. When he visits Texas to thank her, he discovers her constructing a project with surprising ties to his letters. . . and that she herself is even more surprising. While a promising opportunity awaits him elsewhere, will what they’ve shared be enough to give their future flight?

 


Night Bird Calling by Cathy Gohlke

1941 – North Carolina

When Lilliana Swope’s beloved mother dies, Lilliana gathers her last ounce of courage and flees her abusive husband for the home of her only living relative in the foothills of No Creek, North Carolina. Though Hyacinth Belvidere hasn’t seen Lilliana since she was five, she offers her cherished great-niece a safe harbor. Their joyful reunion inspires plans to revive Aunt Hyacinth’s estate and open a public library where everyone is welcome, no matter the color of their skin.

Slowly Lilliana finds revival and friendship in No Creek—with precocious eleven-year-old Celia Percy, with kindhearted Reverend Jesse Willard, and with Ruby Lynne Wishon, a young woman whose secrets could destroy both them and the town. When the plans for the library also incite the wrath of the Klan, the dangers of Lilliana’s past and present threaten to topple her before she’s learned to stand.

With war brewing for the nation and for her newfound community, Lilliana must overcome a hard truth voiced by her young friend Celia: Wishing comes easy. Change don’t.


For the Love of Emma by Starr Ayers

1938 – North Carolina

A rose-covered grave, seventy-nine letters, and a scribbled note unearth buried emotions and the timeless beauty of first love.

When Caroline Myers discovers a box of letters in her deceased mother’s trunk, she’s captivated by the romance that unfolds between her mother, Emma Rose Walsh, a nineteen-year-old waitress, and Noah Anderson, a handsome young soldier.

Determined to read between the lines, Caroline and her sister, Kate, set out on a search that leads them to the North Carolina foothills and the padlocked gate of the Anderson family cemetery. Will the one who holds the key keep them from unearthing long-buried secrets and fulfilling a request their mother tucked inside the box sixty-four years earlier? Will they find closure—or encounter a surprising revelation that plunges them deeper into the past?


Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Green

1944 – Minnesota

Headstrong Johanna Berglund, a linguistics student at the University of Minnesota, has very definite plans for her future . . . plans that do not include returning to her hometown and the secrets and heartaches she left behind there. But the US Army wants her to work as a translator at a nearby camp for German POWs.

Johanna arrives to find the once-sleepy town exploding with hostility. Most patriotic citizens want nothing to do with German soldiers laboring in their fields, and they’re not afraid to criticize those who work at the camp as well. When Johanna describes the trouble to her friend Peter Ito, a language instructor at a school for military intelligence officers, he encourages her to give the town that rejected her a second chance.

As Johanna interacts with the men of the camp and censors their letters home, she begins to see the prisoners in a more sympathetic light. But advocating for better treatment makes her enemies in the community, especially when charismatic German spokesman Stefan Werner begins to show interest in Johanna and her work. The longer Johanna wages her home-front battle, the more the lines between compassion and treason become blurred–and it’s no longer clear whom she can trust.


The Love Coward by Naomi Musch

1947 – Wisconsin

Tulla Johanson waited the entirety of WWII for Burke Delgard to safely return and make her his wife, but her dreams of their life together on the farm crumble, when he walks over her heart and out of the church on their wedding day. Thank heaven for friends like Joan and Walter and now Van.

War buddy and would-be best man Steven “Van” Vandreel has come to town for the wedding, never anticipating he’d have to offer a hankie and a ride home to Burke’s humiliated fiancée. She seems like a real sweet girl, but Van has no intention of getting between Burke and his jilted bride. Having carried his own secrets home from the war, he’s determined to keep them barred inside, even if Tulla might hold the key to unlocking them.

When Burke realizes his mistake and determines to win Tulla back, and even old pal Walter turns friendship to pursuit, Van is forced to face his own growing feelings for the pretty farmer’s daughter. Still, can he commit to her any better than Burke did or give her the kind of dream-come-true Walt offers? Or might keeping his longings at arm’s length prove Van to be just another love coward?


Love at First Flight by Linda Shenton Matchett

1944 – Texas

Can two people emerge from the clouds of past hurt to find a silver lining of love?

Evelyn Reid would rather fly than do anything else, so when war engulfs the U.S., she joins the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron. One of the program’s top pilots, she is tapped for pursuit plane training…the dream of a lifetime until she discovers the instructor is her ex-fiancé, Jasper MacPherson.

Collecting enough points to rotate stateside, fighter pilot Jasper MacPherson is assigned to teach the WAFS how to fly the army way. Bad enough to be training women, but things take a turn for the worse when his former fiancée shows up as one of his students.


A Wing and a Prayer by Julie Lessman

1943 – Texas

She’s dead-set on giving everything to the war overseas …
Even if it means losing everything in a war of the heart.

A street orphan abused and abandoned by an alcoholic father at age five, Gabriella (Gabe) O’Connor has never let a man stand in her way yet. So when a handsome flight officer thwarts her plans to become a WASP — Women Air Force Service Pilot — she’s determined to join the war effort anyway she can. Her chance comes when she “borrows” foreign correspondent credentials from the Boston Herald—where her father is the editor—to stow away on a medical ship to the front.

Lieutenant Alex Kincaid pegs Gabe O’Connor as trouble the moment she steps foot on Avenger Field as a WASP cadet. As the eldest brother of a boy whose jaw Gabe broke in grade school, Alex is familiar with her reputation as both a charismatic ringleader and a headstrong hooligan who’s challenged every male and nun from grade school to college. As her WASP flight instructor, Alex eventually expels Gabe when she pulls a dangerous stunt. But when he is an evacuation pilot in France eight months later, their lives intertwine once again, exposing them to a danger as perilous as the German tanks roaming the Reichswald Forest: a love that neither expects.


For Love and Country by Candace Waters

1941 – Hawaii

When Lottie Palmer runs away the day before her wedding to join the Navy WAVES program, she not only leaves behind a fiancé, but also the privileged lifestyle that she has known as the daughter of one of the most important manufacturers in Detroit’s auto industry. Spurred by a desire to contribute meaningfully to the war effort, Lottie pours all of her focus and determination into becoming the best airplane mechanic in the division, working harder than she’s ever worked before.

Her grit impresses her handsome instructor, Captain Luke Woodward. But when the war ramps up and she is assigned to Pearl Harbor she must fight her growing feelings for Luke and navigate her role as one of the only female mechanics among a group of men, all while finding out what it means to be your own hero.


The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin

thelandbeneathus1943 – Tennessee/England

In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the US Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers’ betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for–fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.

Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family–the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.

After Clay saves Leah’s life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay’s recurring dream comes true?

September RCR: When Silence Sings

September RCR: When Silence Sings

Welcome to the ninth month of the Unlocking the Past 2021 Reading Challenge. This month focused on the the 1920’s to 1930’s. Due to family caregiving needs this month, I got lots of helf from Staci this month, and she read When Silence Sings by Sarah Loudin Thomas. Once you read her review, don’t forget to comment to be entered for your chance to win a copy.

*Want more interaction and/or suggestions each month? Join the Facebook Group. Want a bookmark with the monthly themes? Fill out this Google Form.*

When Silence Sings by Sarah Loudin Thomas

 

This month’s review comes from fellow reading challenge participant, Staci (Goodreads link here) who also runs a Facebook group you might want to check out called Christian Fiction Devourers. Thank you so much, Staci, for making a difficult month easier.


Book Blurb:

Colman Harpe works for the C&O in the Appalachian rail town of Thurmond, West Virginia, but he’d rather be a preacher and lead his own congregation. When a member of the rival McLean clan guns down his cousin and the clan matriarch, Serepta McLean, taunts the Harpes by coming to a tent revival in their territory, Colman chooses peace over seeking revenge with the rest of his family.

Colman, known for an unnaturally keen sense of hearing, is shocked when he hears God tell him to preach to the McLeans. A failed attempt to run away leaves Colman sick and suffering in the last place he wanted to be–McLean territory. Nursed by herbalist Ivy Gordon–a woman whose unusual appearance has made her an outcast–he’s hindered in his calling by Serepta’s iron grip on the region and his uncle’s desire to break that grip. But appearances can be deceiving, and he soon learns that the face of evil doesn’t look like he expected.


Review:

West Virginia 1930

A beautifully written novel set in small Appalachian towns. There are multiple focuses in the novel and they weave together seamlessly to create a symphony of words.

When Silence Sings is partially about a feud between two families, Harpes and McLeans, dating back to 1832. As an example of the sentiment of everyday residents…when one man quotes Romans 12:19: “For it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” is quoted, a second man responds “And this right here (waving hand) is the hand of God”. The feud and being on one side or the other was a way of life.

Colman Harpe didn’t fit this mold. Although he works for the railroad, his life’s ambition is to be a preacher. When he hears a word from God to spread the love of Christ to the McLean family, Colman believes he must have heard that wrong.

“He knew it was a command but couldn’t think why God would send him on such a fool’s errand.”

Think Jonah. Colman goes a different direction, but God continues to work on his heart and mind.

Meanwhile the head of the McLean family, Serepta, leads her businesses and sons with a cold heart and iron will. There are glimpses of kindness and softness, but these are rare.

Colman has his work cut out for him. Along his journey, Colman builds up his faith and learns a lot about himself, God and humanity.

The pages include several charming phrases from the region such as “You turn up as regular as a hungry hound dog”. The characters are well written and there were a couple of surprises. I would have loved to know a bit more about what happened to one individual, but can see the author’s point of view in leaving that to the reader’s imagination. Some of the actions of the two brothers didn’t fully align to what I envisioned.

Overall, it’s a delightful novel.

The author’s note at the end was charming and informative. This novel is highly recommended for fans of historical fiction.


Purchase Links

Amazon   Baker Bookhouse       Barnes & Noble      Books-a-Million      Book Depository      Bookshop.org      Christianbook.com      Indiebound.org


The Giveaway:

Leave a comment below with what you read for this month’s challenge and/or enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for more entries. Entries close October 7th at midnight EST. Drawing will be randomly held on October 8th. The winner will be notified by email, listed on the winner’s section of the Reading Challenge page, and listed here. Open to those legally able. International winners will receive an Amazon gift card for $10 if the book is not available to ship. to you via Book Depository.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

September Reading Challenge Suggestions

September Reading Challenge Suggestions

Welcome to the ninth month of the Unlocking the Past 2021 Reading Challenge. This month focuses on the Roaring 20s and/or Great Depression (1920s to 1941). I’ve used the Inspirational Historical Fiction Finder to pull together my list of suggestions. I have several on my bookshelves, but we’re starting to reach the eras that I don’t generally read. I’m looking forward to peeking into parts of history I am not as familiar with.

Add your suggestions in the comments, and/or tell me what you are reading. Have you read any of these below? Which one should I choose for this month? Let me know.

Also, if a title has (read and reviewed), clicking on that takes you to a review I’ve written on that book. Just in case you are interested in learning more.

Monthly Reminders:

*If you read a book for August, don’t forget to go to yesterday’s post (RCR: Until June) to comment and get your name entered for your chance to win a print copy. (You’ll also earn your entry for the end of the year giveaway.)

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The Last Gasp by Chautona Havig

1920s – California

At the pinnacle of his Hollywood career, Garrison Prince’s reign ends tonight.

As plain old Gary Prinz, he can pursue his Bible education, buy a bungalow in Pasadena, acquire a few chickens, and marry the girl of his dreams. He just never imagined trading the silver screen for a pulpit would wreak such havoc.

A cigarillo girl, Lucinda Ashton spends her days with her boyfriend, Gary, and her evenings selling candy and “gaspers” to the Hollywood elite at the Taj Mahal Theater.

However, when gunshots ring out just as intermission begins, Lucinda finds herself smack-dab in the middle of a brouhaha that leaves three dead, and no one has a clue why.

All the police know is that the evidence points to Lucinda as the killer and Gary as the intended target.

Four new friends, one young orphan, and a potluck of clues that don’t seem to fit anywhere leave the police baffled, Lucinda in fear for her freedom, and Gary ready to trade in his acting shoes for gumshoes if it’ll save his “Cinda.”

The first book in the Ever After Mysteries combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries, The Last Gasp. This Cinderella retelling blends a murder with enough crime and story clues to keep you on the edge of your seat.

On Sugar Hill by Ane Mulligan

1929 – Georgia

To make ends meet, the Fitzgerald women must open their home as a boardinghouse, but will the secrets they uncover prove their undoing?

The day Cora Fitzgerald turned sixteen, she fled Sugar Hill for the bright lights of New York City, leaving behind her senator father’s abuse. But just as her career takes off, she’s summoned home.

The stock market has crashed. The senator is dead. Her mother is delusional, and her mute Aunt Clara pens novels that expose the town’s secrets. Then there’s Boone Robertson, who never knew she was alive back in high school but now manages to be around whenever she needs help.

And the Fitzgerald women need a lot of help, indeed. They are forced to find a way to make ends meet, whether it’s mining for gold or doing what Southern women have done for generations in times of need—turning their home into a boardinghouse.

But will the people of Cora’s past keep her from returning to a brilliant future?

Paint and Nectar by Ashley Clark

1929 – South Carolina

In 1929, a spark forms between Eliza, a talented watercolorist, and William, a charming young man with a secret that could ruin her career. Their families forbid their romance because of a long-standing feud over missing heirloom silver. Still, Eliza and William’s passion grows despite the barriers, causing William to deeply regret the secret he’s keeping . . . but setting things right will come at a cost.

In present-day Charleston, a mysterious benefactor gifts Lucy Legare an old house, along with all the secrets it holds–including enigmatic letters about an antique silver heirloom. Declan Pinckney, whom Lucy’s been avoiding since their disastrous first date, is set on buying her house for his family’s development company. As Lucy uncovers secrets about the house, its garden, and the silver, she becomes more determined than ever to preserve the historic Charleston property, not only for history’s sake but also for her own.

A Sojourner Christmas by Linda Brooks Davis

1923 – Texas

She relinquished her childhood home. Abandoned her former life. And set off for a faraway valley that’s touted as magical. As an aspiring newspaper reporter, Blossom Evans expects to find plenty of material with which to carve out a career. But alarming tales about the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas abound. Barely tamed, rugged brush land. Mexican bandits. Wildcats, rattlesnakes, and tarantulas as big around as dinner plates. Where will she find the courage to face—and overcome—such foes, even for her dream career?The first hint of an answer lies in the sleepy little West Texas town of Winters. An unexpected conflict is brewing, one that could launch a reporter’s career—or crush it before it begins. How will Blossom be lured into the fray? And where will she find the temerity to confront this particular brand of evil? It’s Christmas Eve 1923, and Blossom Evans is about to discover what’s she made of.

The Red Canary by Rachel Scott McDaniel

1928 – Pennsylvania

Music sparks her world, but can love ignite her heart?

In 1928, soot from the local mills and music from speakeasies linger in the Pittsburgh air. When the manager of The Kelly Club is found dead, nightclub singer Vera Pembroke is thrust into peril. As the only witness to the crime, she’s sentenced to hide away in the Allegheny Forest with a stuffy police sergeant as her guardian.

Sergeant Mick Dinelo harbors a burning hatred for Pittsburgh’s underworld after the devastation it left on his life—and heart. He should be out exposing culpable gangsters rather than tending to the impetuous woman who defies his every effort to keep her safe.

Mick and Vera must set aside their differences to solve the murder that someone wants to keep buried beneath the soot of Steel City.

In High Cotton by Ane Mulligan

1929 – Georgia

While the rest of the world has been roaring through the 1920s, times are hardscrabble in rural South Georgia. Widow Maggie Parker is barely surviving while raising her young son alone. Then as banks begin to fail, her father-in-law threatens to take her son and sell off her livelihood—the grocery store her husband left her. Can five Southern women band together, using their wisdom and wiles to stop him and survive the Great Depression?

 

 

Moondrop Miracle by Jennifer Lamont Leo

1928 – Illinois

Pampered socialite Connie Shepherd lives the kind of glossy life other women read about in the society pages. Engaged to a handsome financier, she spends her days and nights in a dizzying social round. When eccentric Aunt Pearl, an amateur chemist, offers her an unusual wedding present—the formula for a home-brewed skin tonic—Connie laughs it off. But when the Great Depression flings her privileged world into chaos and rocks her marriage to the core, will Aunt Pearl’s strange gift provide the key to survival for Connie and her baby?

By turns heartbreaking and hope-filled, Moondrop Miracle tells the story of an extraordinary and unforgettable woman whose determination to succeed changes her life forever.

Off the Ground by Catherine Richmond

offtheground1929 – Nebraska

She wants to race Amelia Earhart. He’s afraid of flying. Will their relationship ever get off the ground?

As the Roaring Twenties come to a close, Mac McFarland falls head over heels for live-wire Corrie Tinley. Now that she’s graduated, they’re allowed to date. But before he can sweep her off the dance floor and into his life, her father gives her a winged death trap—a biplane. Refusing to stick around to see her crash, Mac leaves without saying goodbye. Corrie’s family treats her like a dumb Dora, but her former basketball coach is respectful and attentive. Mac has a noble air like Lindbergh and dark hair waving over his forehead like Gary Cooper. She can’t wait to take him flying in her new biplane, but he’s disappeared. If she can’t find him, is she destined to fly solo the rest of her life?

The Brightest Hope by Naomi Musch

brightesthope1924 – Wisconsin

Five years after the Great War…

Holly Allen is a well-adjusted war widow with a knack for running the family press. She’s over the days of waiting for a white knight to ride in and sweep her away from her cares. Besides, if Hugh Phelps is a knight, he’s certainly a black one—with his prison record, personal demons, and the ghosts of war that haunt him.

When Holly hires Hugh, despite her reservations, it isn’t long before she sees the man he could really be, and as Hugh finds his niche at Allen’s Printing, he finds his lady boss equally appealing. Despite the attraction, however, Holly won’t let herself fall for a faithless man, and Hugh isn’t on gracious terms with God.

Then, just when new beginnings seem possible, old heartaches from the war come calling. Now it might only be in letting go of everything dear that they both discover what real love

Under the Midnight Sun by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse

underthemidnightsun1929 – Alaska

Tayler Hale is ahead of her time as one of the first women naturalists. She has always loved adventure and the great outdoors, and her remote job location also helps keep her away from the clutches of the man to whom she once made a foolish promise. It seems she must keep running, however, and in secret, her boss from Yellowstone arranges for a new job . . . in Alaska.

The popular Curry Hotel continues to thrive in 1929 as more visitors come to Alaska and venture into the massive national park surrounding Denali. Recent graduate Thomas Smith has returned to the hotel and the people he considers family. But when a woman naturalist comes to fill the open position and he must work with her, everything becomes complicated.

The summer brings unexpected guests and trouble to Curry. With his reputation at stake, will Thomas be able to protect Tayler from the danger that follows?

August RCR: Until June by Barbara Britton

August RCR: Until June by Barbara Britton

Welcome to the eighth month of the Unlocking the Past 2021 Reading Challenge. This month focused on the WWI Period, and my choice of story was Until June by Barbara Britton. For this month’s giveaway, I have a special treat. The author provided me with a signed copy to mail one lucky winner. So don’t forget to comment to be entered for your chance to win.

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Until June by Barbara Britton

I received a copy of this book for review purposes last year, and I completely fell in love with the story. It was a unique WWI story plot, and it touched on subjects I’d not really thought about in relation to the War. To be honest, one of my favorite things about the book was the heroine’s determination to help the veteran overcome his pain medicine addiction and find life beyond the pain. This book is definitely one a recommend to others.


Genre: Historical Romance, Alaska, 1918

Plot Overview:

When seventeen-year-old seamstress, Josephine Nimetz, agrees to take care of a WWI amputee in a remote Alaskan lodge, there’s enough friction to melt the Mendenhall Glacier. Her position is only until June, and it pays well enough to overlook the hardship of managing a rustic home and a shell-shocked veteran.

Geoff Chambers makes it clear that he isn’t too fond of the “runt” sent to take care of his needs, nor of her painful mistakes. Dealing with a depressed and addicted veteran pushes Josephine to the brink of leaving, if not for the money her salary brings.

But Josephine is a perfectionist, determined to get Geoff back on his feet—figuratively…Although, sending a rich, handsome veteran back into society may cost Josephine the man she has grown to love.

What I loved: This brought another aspect of the Great War I’d never thought about to life. The injuries of any war or horrific, but knowing what I do of trench warfare, the soldiers of WWI endured far more than I can or want to imagine. Watching a veteran work his way through his injuries, break free of addiction, and find hope again were aspects of the story that have stuck with me from the very first time I read it more than a year ago.

Favorite Character and Why: Josephine really stuck to her guns and helped Geoff to move beyond his injuries to a hopeful future. Her tenacity and loyalty to family were things I could identify with.

Who would like this? Lovers of historical romance, especially stories of homefront heroes, injured veterans, and love that overcomes harsh challenges.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon     Barnes & Noble      Books-a-Million      Book Depository      Bookshop.org      Indiebound.org


BOOK GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment about what book you read here. Leave a comment by midnight on September 7th to be entered to win a signed, print copy of Until June. International winners will receive either an unsigned copy through Book depository or a $10 Amazon gift card.

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