Book Review: Miriam

15 Mar

The Hebrews call me prophetess, the Egyptians a seer.
But I am neither. I am simply a watcher of Israel
and the messenger of El Shaddai.
When He speaks to me in dreams, I interpret. When He whispers a melody, I sing.

At eighty-six, Miriam had devoted her entire life to loving El Shaddai and serving His people as both midwife and messenger. Yet when her brother Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he brings a disruptive message. God has a new name – Yahweh – and has declared a radical deliverance for the Israelites.
 
 Miriam and her beloved family face an impossible choice: cling to familiar bondage or embrace uncharted freedom at an unimaginable cost. Even if the Hebrews survive the plagues set to turn the Nile to blood and unleash a maelstrom of frogs and locusts, can they weather the resulting fury of the Pharaoh?
 
Enter an exotic land where a cruel Pharaoh reigns, pagan priests wield black arts, and the Israelites cry out to a God they only think they know.

Mesu Andrews grew up with a variegated Christian heritage. With grandparents from the Pilgrim Holiness, Nazarene, and Wesleyan Churches, her dad was a Quaker and mom charismatic. As you might imagine, God was a central figure in most family discussions, but theology was a battlefield and Scripture the weapon. As a rebellious teenager, Mesu rejected God and His Word, but discovered Jesus as a life-transforming Savior through the changed life of an old friend.

The desire for God’s Word exploded with her new commitment, but devotional time was scarce due to the demands of a young wife and mother. So Mesu scoured the only two theology books available — children’s Bible stories and her Bible. The stories she read to her daughters at night pointed her to the Bible passages she studied all day. She became an avid student of God’s Word, searching historical and cultural settings as well as ancient texts and original languages.

Mesu and her husband Roy have raised those two daughters and now enjoy a tribe of grandkids, who get to hear those same Bible stories. Mesu’s love for God’s Word has never waned. She now writes biblical novels, rich with spiritual insight learned through fascinating discoveries in deep historical research.

Her first novel, Love Amid the Ashes (Revell) — the story of Job and the women who loved him — won the 2012 ECPA Book of the Year in the Debut Author Category. Her subsequent novels have released with high praise, shedding light on some of the shadowy women of Scripture. Love’s Sacred Song (Revell, 2012) tells the story of the beloved shepherdess in King Solomon’s Song of Solomon. Love in a Broken Vessel (Revell, 2013) tells the story of Hosea and Gomer and is the final stand-alone novel in the Treasures of His Love Series. Her fourth novel, In the Shadow of Jezebel (Revell, 2014) tells the fascinating story of Queen Athaliah and the courageous Princess Jehosheba.

The Treasures of the Nile series (Waterbrook/Multnomah, 2015-16) included The Pharaoh’s Daughter and Miriam and spanned Moses’ life from birth to the Exodus. Her 2017 release, Isaiah’s Daughter (Waterbrook/Multnomah), explores the life and ministry of the prophet Isaiah and the tumultuous days of Judah under the reigns of Ahaz and Hezekiah but focuses on the woman Hephzibah — a fascinating character in Jewish legends.

Mesu writes in their log cabin tucked away in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. Her best friend is an American Staffordshire Terrier named Zeke, who keeps her company on long writing days. Zeke also enjoys watching movies, long walks in the woods, and sitting by the fireplace on rainy days.

 

My Impressions:

I chose Miriam by Mesu Andrews as a complimentary resource for my Bible study group, Faith And Fiction. A fictionalized account of a particular Bible story or figure is a great way to see the cultural context and to foster a more in-depth reading of scripture.  My group looked at all three accounts of Miriam in the Bible — her childhood encounter with Pharaoh’s daughter, her song of deliverance following the crossing of the Red Sea, and her grumbling against Moses’ leadership. The novel Miriam covers less than Biblical narrative — the time of Moses’ return to Egypt following 40 years of self-imposed exile, the plagues imposed by God on the Egyptians, and the deliverance of the Hebrew nation from the Egyptians. It was an interesting what-if that made our group think about what life was really like for the enslaved Hebrews and the impact the plagues had on their lives. Also included in the book are the interactions between Miriam, Aaron, and Moses. Andrews sets the stage of Miriam’s jealousy documented in the book of Numbers. There are also a number of characters, some mentioned in scripture and others purely fictional, that add color and depth to the narrative. While the book is not my favorite from Andrews, it does have wonderful spiritual messages which resonated with me — the urgency of telling people about God, the need to trust even when we don’t understand, and the powerful work of God through His people and nature.

I had a slow start with Miriam, but as the story unfolded (especially during the plagues) I became much more engaged. It definitely is an intriguing look at a well-known Bible story that will make you look at scripture a little closer.

Recommended for fans of Biblical fiction.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(I purchased Miriam from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review (+Giveaway!): The Watch on The Fencepost

14 Mar

About the Book

The watch on the fencepost

Book: The Watch on the Fencepost

Author: Kay DiBianca

Genre: Christian Mystery / Suspense/ Romance

A WATCH THAT REVEALS MORE THAN JUST THE TIME . . .

A mysterious gold watch propels 27-year-old Kathryn Frasier into a quest to prove her parents’ recent deaths were not an accident. Following a trail of cryptic clues, she encounters a remarkable cast of characters, including an actress with a talent for disguises, a politician with a dark secret, and a handsome businessman who shows a sudden romantic interest in Kathryn. Can she solve the mystery before she becomes the next victim?

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

About the Author

Kay DiBiancaKay DiBianca holds an MS degree in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked in the IT departments of several major organizations, including IBM, UNC Chapel Hill, International Paper, and FedEx. She has an instrument rating in single-engine aircraft and competes in the Senior Olympics track events. She is a U.S. representative for Bridges for Peace, an international organization whose mission is to serve the people of Israel. She and her husband, Frank, live in Memphis, Tennessee. For more information, visit kaydibianca.com.

 

Guest post from Kay

WHY I WROTE THE WATCH ON THE FENCEPOST

I’m a runner. I spend a lot of time on the treadmill, at a local track, or running in a park near my home. When I’m outdoors, I usually listen to podcasts or audio books to keep my mind occupied.

Several years ago, I was listening to a mystery novel while running on a trail, and I began to put together a story in my own mind. Over the following weeks and months, I had created the characters of Kathryn and Cece, and I could see them in my mind’s eye.

On another long run, I passed an old fence post and a plot began to form itself. Other characters seemed to materialize out of nowhere, and soon I had the basic outline of the book in my head. Before long I was ignoring the audio book voices coming through my earbuds and just adding to my own story. That’s when I decided to write it down.

In the next few months, my story grew from a general outline to a narrative that stretched to over 60,000 words, and I loved the little surprises that popped up along the way. Although I had intended the book to be a straight mystery, I found some of the characters writing their own scenes, and soon there was romance!

As I chiseled away the extraneous parts and added detail and nuance, the important story elements of love, faith, and family rose to the surface. I delighted in Kathryn’s discovering more about herself and Cece’s unfailing wisdom and humor.

I spent over a year working with an editor to revise and strengthen the book. With every change in a word or addition of a plot twist, the story got better. It’s been three years since that first run in the park that got me thinking about the story. Now Kathryn, Cece, Phil, Mike, Tommy, and all the others are ready to tell their stories to the world.

I think I’ll go for a run tomorrow to see what Kathryn and Cece are going to be up to next.

 

My Impressions:

Kay DiBianca’s debut novel, The Watch on The Fencepost, will appeal to readers who like clue-based mysteries. Main character, Kate, is adrift following the untimely deaths of her parents in an auto accident. Running has become her outlet, and it is on one of her training runs that she finds a mysterious writstwatch. From that beginning, Kate finds herself investigating a number of puzzles involving family secrets, political campaigns, and high tech projects. Not everyone is as they seem. The author kept me guessing as Kate and her friends uncovered clues to what her parents’ deaths may indicate. Although faith and prayer are mentioned and several of the characters have a deep relationship with God, the book never comes off as preachy. I did find the characters to be a little flat and the dialogue a bit stiff, but I still enjoyed the twisting route Kate takes to get to the truth.

A quick read, The Watch on The Fencepost resolves the main mystery, but the ending leaves open more from Kate and her friends.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 2

Through the Fire Blogs, March 2

Blogging With Carol, March 3

Godly Book Reviews, March 3

Josephine’s Bookshelf, March 4

Mary Hake, March 4

Girls Living For God’s Glory, March 5

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, March 5

For Him and My Family, March 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 6

Maureen’s Musings, March 7

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 7

Emily Yager, March 8

Andrea Christenson, March 8

Pause for Tales, March 9

Ashley’s Bookshelf, March 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 10

Texas Book-aholic, March 10

janicesbookreviews, March 11

A Reader’s Brain, March 11

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 12

Inklings and notions, March 12

Real World Bible Study, March 13

Older & Smarter?, March 14

By The Book, March 14

Bigreadersite, March 15

The Becca Files, March 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kay is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/dcb1/the-watch-on-the-fencepost-celebration-tour-giveaway

Reading Road Trip — Mississippi!

13 Mar

The next stop on my reading road trip is Mississippi! This state holds a special place in my heart. I attended 4 years of college and 2 years of graduate school there. I had my first real adult job there. I met my husband of 33 years there. My daughter-in-love hails from there. And I have many friends and family that live in this fine state. While Mississippi has been the site of heartache and heartbreak in the past, it has come a long way! It is a warm and welcoming place to come home to.

There are some great novels that feature Mississippi, past and present. My list includes several genres, settings, and time periods — hope you find one to enjoy!

A Rebel Heart by Beth White

Five years after the final shot was fired in the War Between the States, Selah Daughtry can barely manage to keep herself, her two younger sisters, and their spinster cousin fed and clothed. With their family’s Mississippi plantation swamped by debt and the Big House falling down around them, the only option seems to be giving up their ancestral land.

Pinkerton agent and former Union cavalryman Levi Riggins is investigating a series of robberies and sabotage linked to the impoverished Daughtry plantation. Posing as a hotel management agent for the railroad, he tells Selah he’ll help her save her home, but only if it is converted into a hotel. With Selah otherwise engaged with renovations, Levi moves onto the property to “supervise” while he actually attends to his real assignment right under her nose.

Selah isn’t sure she entirely trusts the handsome Yankee, but she’d do almost anything to save her home. What she never expected to encounter was his assault on her heart.

Into The Free by Julie Cantrell

Just a girl. The only one strong enough to break the cycle.

In Depression-era Mississippi, Millie Reynolds longs to escape the madness that marks her world. With an abusive father and a “nothing mama,” she struggles to find a place where she really belongs.

For answers, Millie turns to the Gypsies who caravan through town each spring. The travelers lead Millie to a key that unlocks generations of shocking family secrets. When tragedy strikes, the mysterious contents of the box give Millie the tools she needs to break her family’s longstanding cycle of madness and abuse.

Through it all, Millie experiences the thrill of first love while fighting to trust the God she believes has abandoned her. With the power of forgiveness, can Millie finally make her way into the free?

The Color of Justice by Ace Collins

1964

Justice, Mississippi, is a town divided. White and black. Rich and poor. Rule makers and rule breakers. Right or wrong, everyone assumes their place behind a fragile façade that is about to crumble. When attorney Coop Lindsay agrees to defend a black man accused of murdering a white teenager, the bribes and death threats don’t intimidate him. As he prepares for the case of a lifetime, the young lawyer knows it’s the verdict that poses the real threat—innocent or guilty, because of his stand Coop is no longer welcome in Justice. As he follows his conscience, he wonders just how far some people will go to make sure he doesn’t finish his job?

2014

To some, the result of the trial still feels like a fresh wound even fifty years later, when Coop’s grandson arrives in Justice seeking answers to the questions unresolved by the trial that changed his family’s legacy. When a new case is presented, again pitting white against black, this third generation Lindsay may have the opportunity he needs to right the wrongs of the past.

But hate destroys everything it touches, and the Lindsay family will not escape unscathed.

High Cotton by Debby Mayne

Some families are filled with so much love they can’t help but drive each other crazy.

Shay Henke has mixed feelings about going to her family’s next reunion. On the one hand, she’ll get to see everyone in her mama’s family – folks she loves unconditionally. On the other hand, she knows there’ll be more drama than you can shake a stick at.

The days leading up to the event bring one surprise after another. First Shay must deal with her sister-in-law’s deep, dark secret. Then she has to contend with the childish ways of her business-mogul twin cousins. And when her high school crush wants to be her date to the reunions . . . well, it may have been a dream come true for Shay’s teen self, but the woman she’s become doesn’t know what to make of this.

Shay’s contentment is challenged, and she’s determined to shake things up a bit. But will she find the excitement she’s looking for, or will Shay realize she prefers her quiet predictable life? One thing is certain: Life in the Bucklin family is never boring.

Shadows of The Past by Patricia Bradley

Psychology professor and criminal profiler Taylor Martin prides herself on being able to solve any crime, except the one she wants most desperately to solve – the disappearance of her father twenty years ago. When she finally has a lead on his whereabouts, Taylor returns home to Logan Point, Mississippi, to investigate. But as she is stalking the truth about the past, someone is stalking her.

Nick Sinclair pens mystery novels for a living, but the biggest mystery to him is how he can ever get over the death of his wife – a tragedy he believes he could have prevented. With his estranged brother the only family he has left, Nick sets out to find him. But when he crosses paths with Taylor, all he seems to find is trouble.

 

Book Review (+Giveaway!): Becoming Mrs. Lewis

12 Mar

Banner_BecomingMrsLewis_BlogJR

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan with JustRead Publicity Tours! We continue the Becoming Mrs. Lewis celebration on social media starting March 14.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Becoming Mrs. LewisTitle: Becoming Mrs. Lewis
Author: Patti Callahan
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: October 2, 2018

From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.”

When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Christian Book | iTunes


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

callahanp

Patti Callahan (who also writes as Patti Callahan Henry) is a New York Times bestselling author. Patti was a finalist in the Townsend Prize for Fiction, has been an Indie Next Pick, twice an OKRA pick, and a multiple nominee for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Novel of the Year. Her work has also been included in short story collections, anthologies, magazines, and blogs. Patti attended Auburn University for her undergraduate work and Georgia State University for her graduate degree. Once a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, she now writes full time. The mother of three children, she lives in both Mountain Brook, Alabama, and Bluffton, South Carolina, with her husband.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR: website | facebook | twitter | instagram

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

MY IMPRESSIONS:

Becoming Mrs. Lewis is billed as historical fiction, as it details the life of Joy Davidman and her relationship with C.S. Lewis. It is indeed historical in nature, how could it not be, but I would describe it as biographical fiction, since it is told in the first person voice of Joy Davidman. While this was very effective in relating to her character, I had to remind myself over and over that this book is fiction. The emotions portrayed and the scenes depicted are so realistic, that the book can easily be believed as coming directly from Davidman’s own private journals. Yet as the author states in the Afterword, no correspondence between Davidman and Lewis exists. Callahan did a commendable job in distilling the articles and books written about the pair, as well as transcripts of others’ recollections and letters, and speeches given by the two. She uses the published works of both Davidman and Lewis to piece together what their life looked like. And this intimate novel does just that.

The story that emerges is a fascinating journey of faith and love. Davidman’s relationship with Lewis is at the forefront, but the most moving scenes of this book are her encounters with God. Her life was messy and sorrow-filled, yet touched with the grace of God. But if you are fan of traditional Christian fiction, you may be surprised or even offended by Becoming Mrs. Lewis. I was not. Too often the christian life is viewed as a one time salvation experience that instantly changes one from sinful to holy. And yes, when saved by Jesus, we take on His righteousness — His being the operative word. Unfortunately for most, if not all of us, we struggle with the same old sin nature, the desires of our flesh, and the influence of our world and experiences. Joy wrestled with that, for which I am thankful to the author. Here was a woman who was influential in Christian circles in her own right, but also was a large influence on the later writings of Lewis. But she continued to be flawed and falling, yet ever loved by God. That is how I would describe Joy Davidman, and how I would describe myself.

There is a lot of drinking in the book — some casual/social and some to excess and abuse. There is talk of sex and affairs and fleshly desires. And that might not appeal to all readers of CF, but it is a realistic portrayal of a life that strived to live for God. I recommend Becoming Mrs. Lewis wholeheartedly.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased the Kindle version of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 


bml blog giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(2) winners will each win a hardcover release copy of Becoming Mrs. Lewis.

Be sure to check out each stop on the Blog and Takeover tours for more chances to win. Full tour schedule on this tour shown below. Giveaway began at midnight March 12, 2019 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 19, 2019. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Due to shipping cost, only US mailing addresses valid. For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

AND

Be sure to stop at the following tours for more chances to win!

Banner_BecomingMrsLewis_TakeJR

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

JustRead Logo

Top 10 Tuesday — Please, Can I Have Some More?!

12 Mar

Today’s Top 10 Tuesday challenge is to list standalone books that need a sequel. Yes!! I definitely want more from some of the books I read; books that ended much too soon. The authors don’t have to write full-length sequels to satisfy my longings, though. Just a very thorough prologue with pertinent details, like where the characters are (including kids and grandkids), say, 50 years later. 😉

Some of the books on my list fit the criteria, but I have tweaked it a bit to add books that were part of a series that I was sorry ended. To find out which books that other bloggers want more of, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.


Top Books I Want More Of

Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green

Chosen People by Robert Whitlow

Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof

How The Light Gets In by Jolina Petersheim

Lead Me Home by Amy Sorrells

Miles from Where We Started by Cynthia Ruchti

Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

A Song of Home by Susie Finkbeiner

Water from My Heart by Charles Martin

 

Book Review (+Giveaway!): Daughters of Northern Shores

11 Mar


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Daughters of Northern Shores
(Blackbird Mountain #2)
By Joanne Bischof
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
March 12th 2019 by Thomas Nelson

“The Norgaard brothers and their families will steal your heart.” —Catherine West, author of Where Hope Begins

Heartache and regret, boldness and sacrifice. What will restoration cost the beloved Norgaard family?

Aven Norgaard understands courage. Orphaned within an Irish workhouse, then widowed at just nineteen, she voyaged to America where she was wooed and wed by Thor Norgaard, a Deaf man in rural Appalachia. That the Lord saw her along the winding journey and that Aven now carries Thor’s child are blessings beyond measure. Yet while Thor holds her heart, it is his younger brother and rival who haunts her memories. Haakon—whose selfish choices shattered her trust in him.

Having fled the farm after trying to take Aven as his own, Haakon sails on the North Atlantic ice trade where his soul is plagued with regrets that distance cannot heal. Not even the beautiful Norwegian woman he’s pursued can ease the torment. When the winds bear him home after four years away, Haakon finds the family on the brink of tragedy. A decades-old feud with the neighboring farm has wrenched them into the fiercest confrontation on Blackbird Mountain since the Civil War. Haakon’s cunning and strength hold the power to seal many fates, including Thor’s which is already at stake through a grave illness brought to him as the first prick of warfare.

Now Haakon faces the hardest choice of his life. One that shapes a battlefield where pride must be broken enough to be restored, and where a prodigal son may finally know the healing peace of surrender and the boundless gift of forgiveness. And when it comes to the woman he left behind in Norway, he just might discover that while his heart belongs to a daughter of the north, she’s been awaiting him on shores more distant than the land he’s fighting for.

From Christy Award–winning author Joanne Bischof comes Daughters of Northern Shores: the highly anticipated sequel to her moving novel Sons of Blackbird Mountain.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleChristianBookTNZ Fiction

Other Books in the Series

Sons of Blackbird Mountain
(Blackbird Mountain #1)
By Joanne Bischof
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 339 Pages
July 3rd 2018 by Thomas Nelson

From the bestselling award-winning author of The Lady and the Lionheart

“Beloved author Joanne Bischof doesn’t disappoint with her latest beautifully written, heartrending tale . . . a quick favorite for historical romance readers.” —Elizabeth Byler Younts, author of The Solace of Water

A Tale of Family, Brotherhood, and the Healing Power of Love

After the tragic death of her husband, Aven Norgaard is beckoned to give up her life in Norway to become a housekeeper in the rugged hills of Nineteenth-Century Appalachia. Upon arrival, she finds herself in the home of her late husband’s cousins—three brothers who make a living by brewing hard cider on their three-hundred acre farm. Yet even as a stranger in a foreign land, Aven has hope to build a new life in this tight-knit family.

But her unassuming beauty disrupts the bond between the brothers. The youngest two both desire her hand, and Aven is caught in the middle, unsure where—and whether—to offer her affection. While Haakon is bold and passionate, it is Thor who casts the greatest spell upon her. Though Deaf, mute, and dependent on hard drink to cope with his silent pain, Thor possesses a sobering strength.

As autumn ushers in the apple harvest, the rift between Thor and Haakon deepens and Aven faces a choice that risks hearts. Will two brothers’ longing for her quiet spirit tear apart a family? Can she find a tender belonging in this remote, rugged, and unfamiliar world?

A haunting tale of struggle and redemption, Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a portrait of grace in a world where the broken may find new life through the healing mercy of love.

Praise for Sons of Blackbird Mountain:

“Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a quiet gem of a historical romance. Refreshingly real and honest in its depiction of flawed but lovable individuals, it introduces characters readers will want to meet again.” – CBA Market

“. . . the novel provides an interesting glimpse of the time period and some complex social issues among neighbors in an area still recovering from the Civil War.” – Historical Novels Review

“VERDICT Christy- and Carol Award-winning author Bischof (The Lady and the Lionheart) creates endearing characters and a heartwarming story line in this unforgettable novel about the power of family, love, and the true meaning of home. Fans of Kristy Cambron, Julie Klassen, and Susan Meissner will love this one.” – Library Journal

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleChristianBookTNZ Fiction

About The Author


Picture courtesy of https://joannebischof.com.

Joanne Bischof is an ACFW Carol Award and ECPA Christy Award-winning author. She writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the heartstrings. She was honored to receive the San Diego Christian Writers Guild Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon conference. Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from RT Book Reviews, among other critical acclaim. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterestYouTubeInstagram

 

My Impressions:

Fans of Joanne Bischof’s Sons of Blackbird Mountain will not be disappointed in the return visit to the Norgaard family farm in Daughters of Northern Shores. The first book in the 2-volume series left us with Thor and Aven married, the Sorrel family on the run, and Haakon, the youngest Norgaard brother, hopping a ship to destinations unknown. Don’t worry, there is much, much more of the story left to told, and as always, Bischof does it with beautiful prose that sets the scene and reveals the fears, sorrows, hopes, and dreams of her characters. This book is another winner!

Bischof is an accomplished storyteller. Readers can almost smell and taste the world she creates. They certainly can see the vivid settings of ship and land, especially the Appalachian apple farm worked by the Norgaards. I loved the historical elements that spoke of authenticity and diligent research on the part of the author. Four years have passed between the two books and much has changed, but the author fills in the gaps so naturally that the reader gets caught up with the lives of favorite characters right away. And those characters . . . . I loved Aven and Thor from book 1, but I was immediately drawn to Haakon in Daughters of Northern Shores. His 4 years of travel, hard work, and contemplation do much to develop this prodigal son from selfish young man to one who is ready to ask forgiveness and face the consequences of his actions. Lost trust leads to lost relationships, and this novel highlights how much one person’s actions can affect others. But this is also a story of forgiveness and restoration.

Daughters of Northern Shores is a wonderful conclusion to the series. I was sorry to leave the Norgaards when the final page was turned. Please be aware that you must read this series in order, otherwise you will miss out on the full reading pleasure. I promise you will not be sorry!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Prism Book Tours for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a print copy of DAUGHTERS OF NORTHERN SHORES and a Thomas Nelson/Zondervan custom tote bag (book and bag shown are examples, not actual prize)
US only
Ends March 20, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grab Our Button!

First Line Friday — Daughters of Northern Shores

8 Mar

Happy Friday everyone! It turned cold here in the Sunny South, so I have been snuggled up with a good book — Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof. I have to say that while I had the fireplace going, my first glimpse of Norway through the eyes of Haakon Norgaard did nothing to warm me up. Brrr! But I am loving the return visit to Blackbird Mountain, Virginia!

Please leave a comment with the first sentence of the book closest to hand and then head over to Hoarding Books for more fabulous first lines!

Aven Norgaard understands courage. Orphaned within an Irish workhouse, then widowed at just nineteen, she voyaged to America where she was wooed and wed by Thor Norgaard, a Deaf man in rural Appalachia. That the Lord saw her along the winding journey and that Aven now carries Thor’s child are blessings beyond measure. Yet while Thor holds her heart, it is his younger brother and rival who haunts her memories. Haakon–whose selfish choices shattered her trust in him.

Having fled the Norgaard orchard after trying to take Aven as his own, Haakon sails on the North Atlantic ice trade, where his soul is plagued with regrets that distance cannot heal. Not even the beautiful Norwegian woman he’s pursued can ease the torment. When the winds bear him home after four years away, Haakon finds the family on the brink of tragedy. A decades-old feud with the neighboring farm has wrenched them into the fiercest confrontation on Blackbird Mountain since the Civil War. Haakon’s cunning and strength hold the power to seal many fates, including Thor’s–which is already imperiled due to a grave illness brought to him at the first prick of warfare.

Now Haakon faces the hardest choice of his life. One that shapes a battlefield where pride must be broken enough to be restored, and where a prodigal son may finally know the healing peace of surrender and the boundless gift of forgiveness. And when it comes to the woman he left behind in Norway, he just might discover that while his heart belongs to a daughter of the north, she’s been awaiting him on shores more distant than the land he’s fighting for.

A Christy and Carol Award winner, Joanne Bischof writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children.

http://www.joannebischof.com
INSTAGRAM @joannebischof
FACEBOOK Author, Joanne Bischof