Tag Archives: historical fiction

Book Review (+ Giveaway): The Light Before Day

15 Nov

The Light Before Day FB Banner_edited-1

About the Book

Book: The Light Before Day

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: October 2, 2018

The Light Before Day-Book Cover“Henry, this . . . fortune, this sudden wealth . . . I fear it will change our lives. And I don’t want my life to change.”

After three years on a whaling voyage, Henry Macy returns to Nantucket to news that his grandmother has passed, bequeathing her vast fortune to him and his sister, Hitty. And it was truly vast. But Lillian Coffin was no fool. The inheritance comes with a steep cost, including when each should marry and whom — a Quaker in good standing, of course. But if they relinquish the inheritance, it all goes to Tristram Macy, their father’s thieving business partner.

As Hitty and Henry seek a way to satisfy the will’s conditions, they’ll be faced with obstacles on every side—and it may be that Lillian Coffin will have the last word after all.

 


 

The light of day buy 1 get 1

Find out more about this amazing deal at http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com/thelightbeforeday

About the Author

suzanne woods fisherSuzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Phoebe’s Light and Minding the Light, as well as the Amish Beginnings, The Bishop’s Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series. She has also written several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. Fisher lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow her on Twitter @suzannewfisher and Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor.

 

Guest Post from Suzanne

The Mortgage Button

In each story of the ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series, there’s a reference to a mortgage button in the newel post of a stairway. Phoebe Starbuck, the main character in Phoebe’s Light, made a point to notice it in the captain’s house on Orange Street, the famous residences of sea captains. In Minding the Light, Daphne Coffin touched the mortgage button on the newel post of her horrible mother’s grand house each and every morning. Hitty and Henry Macy were well aware of the absence of their childhood home’s mortgage button—and all that its absence symbolized—in The Light Before Day.

Mortgage buttons meant something to each of those characters. It made a statement to anyone who walked into a house.

Have you ever seen a mortgage button? It’s a very Nantucket-y tradition. In fact, some say the mortgage button originated on Nantucket Island, thirty miles out to sea.

Supposedly, when a house’s mortgage was fully paid and there were no liens against the property, the homeowner drilled a hole in the newel post of the main staircase, rolled up the mortgage document, put it inside, and capped the hole with a decorative plug of scrimshaw.

Scrimshaw is a term for an American folk art developed during the 18th and 19th centuries. Whaling in New England was an industry that lifted Nantucket Island to become the world’s wealthiest port. After a whale’s oil was rendered, the ship’s captain would give his crew the sperm whale’s teeth or bones to carve during long tedious hours at sea. Whaling had its exciting moments, but they were far and few between. As a pastime, sailors carved all kinds of useful gifts to bring home to their loved ones: needles, combs, games, clothespins, busks…and mortgage buttons.

But let’s jump back to the mortgage button. Some legends say that the actual mortgage papers were ceremoniously burned and the ashes stashed inside the drilled hole before sealed with the button. However, as appealing a thought as that might be, it is most likely a myth. There’s never been any evidence of ashes or even hidden mortgages found in salvaged newel posts. Still, mortgage buttons are common among Nantucket homes, and the tradition has spread to other parts of the country. In southern states, for example, they’re called brag buttons. Whether myth or truth, today it’s more a matter of a charming nostalgic custom than a nod to your healthy (or…not so healthy) net worth.

 

My Impressions:

Change is inevitable, though not always welcome. It’s our attitude that counts. While The Light Before Day may be an historical novel dating hundreds of years in the past, Suzanne Woods Fisher has made this message relevant for modern day. That is one of the strengths of her writing, whether historical or Amish fiction — making the unfamiliar feel real to her audience. In the third book of the Nantucket Legacy series Great Mary’s journal continues to provide insight into the founding of Nantucket Island and wisdom for her descendants (and the reader 🙂 ). In the 1840s, change is coming to Nantucket and the country as a whole. Society’s view on the rights of man are developing as the whaling industry suffers from over-fishing. Against this backdrop comes the stories of Henry and Hitty Macy, twins who have inherited an overwhelming and unwanted inheritance from their domineering grandmother. The two struggle with controlling the terms of the will while maintaining their own conscience and desires. I found both Henry and Hitty to be engaging characters. Secondary characters such as their grandfather Jeremiah, young but wise secretary Marie-Claire, and 5-year old Bitsy added depth and a bit of fun to the novel. As always the journal of Great Mary was a joy to read as she offers her views on her neighbors, family, and her growing faith in God. There’s a bit of lurking danger and two sweet, sweet romances in The Light Before Day that kept this reader turning the pages. There are also beginnings and endings in the two storylines that compliment each other. And the message of relationship with Jesus and being a light for others is inspiring. I don’t agree with all the tenets of the Quaker faith, but The Light Before Day gave me greater understanding of the Society of Friends.

The Light Before Day can be read as a standalone. I had read book 1, but missed book 2 and had no trouble jumping into the lives of the characters. But I do feel like I have missed a treat and am determined to read Minding The Light. So my recommendation is to begin at the beginning of this series for lots of wonderful reading.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

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

 

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, November 4

Just the Write Escape, November 4

Texas Book-aholic, November 5

Godly Book Reviews, November 5

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 6

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 7

Among the Reads, November 8

Blossoms and Blessings, November 8

Blogging With Carol, November 9

A Baker’s Perspective, November 9

Mary Hake, November 10

Connies history classroom, November 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 11

Carpe Diem, November 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 12

Simple Harvest Reads, November 12

Inspiration Clothesline, November 13

Janices book reviews, November 13

Captive Dreams, November 14

Bigreadersite, November 14

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 15

By The Book, November 15

Pause for Tales, November 16

Book by Book, November 16

Have A Wonderful Day, November 17

Bibliophile Reviews, November 17

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a $50 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/d773/the-light-before-day-celebration-tour-giveaway

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Top 10 Tuesday — Backlist Books

6 Nov

The lure of new shiny books is so, so real. They whisper of wonderful characters, exotic locales, and stories to get lost in. But what about all those books that I have missed? My TBR pile grows ever larger as new books are released and as the ones I have missed by favorite authors demand to be read too. Today, Top Ten Tuesday is all about the backlist — books that we just haven’t gotten to — yet. 😉 I’m featuring favorite authors’ books that I need to read! All of the books on my list are from authors I love and include historical and contemporary, romance and suspense genres. They were released a few (or a lot) of years ago and are still hanging out on my shelves or Kindle. Have you read them? Let me know what you thought.

Head over to That Artsy Reader Girl to discover more books and authors. Your TBR will love you!

Top Backlist Books I Need to Read!

 

Dangerous Mercy by Kathy Herman

Five Brides by Eva Marie Everson

Junebug by Chris Fabry

 

Leaving Yesterday by Kathryn Cushman

Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund

The Queen by Steven James

Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist

 

Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey

When The Smoke Clears by Lynette Eason

 

What backlist book do you need to read?

Top 10 Tuesday — Halloween Randomness

30 Oct

As a blogger/reviewer of Inspirational and Clean Fiction it is a challenge to come up with a Halloween theme each year. I’ve racked my brain this year and have come up with not much of anything. I have already done Halloween Cozies, Spooky Christian Fiction, and even Reformation Reading. Yes I was reaching with that one. 😉 So this year I am opting for Halloween Randomness — covers that remind me of October days, covers that are ominous, and some good old fashioned supernatural fiction. I have read a few of these books; others are at the top of my TBR. I hope you find one you will love!

Be sure to head over to That Artsy Reader Girl where I am sure you will find some Halloween fun much more clever than mine!

Halloween Randomness

 

Fall-ish Covers

The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear

The Light Before Day by Suzanne Woods Fisher

When The Heart Sings by Liz Tolsma

 

Ominous Covers

Hidden Peril by Irene Hannon

Lethal Target by Janice Cantore

Mind Games by Nancy Mehl

 

Good Old Fashioned Supernatural Thrillers

The Windy Ridge Legal Thriller Series by Rachel Dylan

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Bookish Bookshops

16 Oct

Ok, I know that the title of my Top Ten Tuesday post is a bit redundant, but I have a reason for this somewhat silly title. Today, bloggers are supposed to share the bookstores and/or libraries they would love to visit. A very bookish bucket list. 😉 There are a number of real life bookstores that I would absolutely love to visit. Powell’s in Portland comes to mind. But those destinations will have to wait. So I thought I would share the bookstores I have already visited, however fictionally. Yes, my list consists of bookstores that reside in books, hence bookish bookshops. Some of the books are cozies in which bookstore owners double as mystery solvers, while others share stories beyond the covers of books and walls of stores.  Have you visited any on my list? I’d love to know what you thought.

Be sure to head over to That Artsy Reader Girl to find out just where other bloggers want to visit.

 

Top Bookish Bookstores

 

Bay Books — Camino Island by John Grisham

The Book Depot — Strangled Prose by Joan Hess

Charming Books — Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower

Death on Demand Bookstore — Death on Demand by Carolyn Hart

Island Books — The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Magic Balloon Bookshop — Hidden Among The Stars by Melanie Dobson

Oak Tree Bookstore — The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

 

What bookish location do you want to visit?

 

Top 10 Tuesday — The Long of It

9 Oct

I used to be a big fan of chunksters — big, fat books that would take me a very long time to read. Back in my school years I was especially fond of James Michener books for that very reason. It was wonderful to immerse myself in the sagas that took me to another time and place. Alas, today I rarely indulge in books over 400 pages, let alone those that approach the 1000 page mark. Today on Top 10 Tuesday, bloggers are sharing the longest books they have read (be sure to head over there to see what is on their lists). While I rarely kept a page count back in the day, my list includes books I enjoyed and that are long enough to take you away for a good long time. There are a couple you may be unwilling to try 😉 , but I bet you’ll find at least one to intrigue you.

 Big Fat Books I Loved

Bleak House by Charles Dickens 

Byzantium by Stephen Lawhead

Centennial by James Michener

Hawaii by James Michener

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville 

The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas

Ruska by Edward Rutherford

Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd

 

How about you, do you like big books? Don’t lie!

Lady of A Thousand Treasures Blitz Tour + Giveaway!

4 Oct

LadyTT_Blitz

Welcome to the blog blitz & giveaway for Lady of A Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

lady of a thousand treasuresTitle: Lady of A Thousand Treasures
Author: Sandra Byrd
Publisher: Tyndale House
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Genre: Historical/Gothic Romance

To purchase, click HERE.

Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured.

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository

 

EXCERPT

SEPTEMBER 1866

WATCHFIELD HOUSE, OXFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND

A threading of voices spooled throughout the expansive chamber wherein we waited, voices so decently quiet as to be murmurs. All present quickened as lightning pierced the ground just outside the wide panel of windows, like a fin-ger pointing deep within the earth. Perhaps it was the good Lord’s way of informing us exactly where the soul of the recently departed had found its final resting place. 

I did not believe Lord Lydney had ascended.

And yet Lydney had been my father’s friend, patron, and benefactor. Many spoke admiringly of him. Truth be told, he had on occasion been charitable to me. I had once believed he would be my father-in-law.

That notion had passed.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

pic_FULLb_Byrd_Sandra

After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published fifty books.

Sandra’s delighted to kick off her new historical romance series with Tyndale House Publishers, Victorian Ladies, with Lady of a Thousand Treasures. The three-book Victorian Ladies series follows her historically sound Gothic romances, Daughters of Hampshire, launched with the bestselling Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor’s Choice award from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, was published in 2017. Check out her contemporary adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, which was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2011, and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012.

Sandra has published dozens of books for kids, tweens, and teens, including the bestselling The One Year Be-Tween You and God Devotions for Girls. She continued her work as a devotionalist, with The One Year Home and Garden Devotions, and The One Year Experiencing God’s Love Devotional.

Please visit www.sandrabyrd.com to learn more or to invite Sandra to your book club via Skype.

CONTACT: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram


Lady of a Thousand Treasures blitz giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive:

  • a copy of Lady of a Thousand Treasures (print to US addresses OR ebook to intl), and
  • $25 Starbucks London Gift Card – works anywhere in the world at standalone Starbucks stores.

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 1, 2018 and lasts through 11:59pm October 8, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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

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Audiobook Mini Review: The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn

27 Sep

Frontier dangers cannot hold a candle to the risks one woman takes by falling in love.
 
In an act of brave defiance, Tamsen Littlejohn escapes the life her harsh stepfather has forced upon her. Forsaking security and an arranged marriage, she enlists frontiersman Jesse Bird to guide her to the Watauga settlement in western North Carolina. But shedding her old life doesn’t come without cost. As the two cross a vast mountain wilderness, Tamsen faces hardships that test the limits of her faith and endurance. 
 
Convinced that Tamsen has been kidnapped, wealthy suitor Ambrose Kincaid follows after her, in company with her equally determined stepfather. With trouble in pursuit, Tamsen and Jesse find themselves thrust into the conflict of a divided community of Overmountain settlers. The State of Franklin has been declared, but many remain loyal to North Carolina. With one life left behind and chaos on the horizon, Tamsen struggles to adapt to a life for which she was never prepared. But could this challenging frontier life be what her soul has longed for, what God has been leading her toward? As pursuit draws ever nearer, will her faith see her through the greatest danger of all—loving a man who has risked everything for her?

Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God’s transforming grace.

Lori’s debut novel, Burning Sky, earned the 2014 Christy Award for First Novel, Historical, and Book of the Year.

 

My Impressions:

The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn is another great novel by Lori Benton. Set in the years following the American Revolution, the new nation is feeling its growing pains and settlers clash with Native Americans and newcomers to the frontier fight for independence again. Against the backdrop of hostilities among many factions comes a more personal story of independence for a young woman reeling from the death of her mother and running from the plots of her stepfather. Abetting her on her escape is Jesse Bird, a young man orphaned as a child and raised by the Shawnee. Tamsen and Jesse are compelling characters with complex stories. The setting of the State of Franklin in western North Carolina/eastern Tennessee provided an interesting historical context. The story itself is complex and develops slowly, but that was okay with me. I loved the storytelling, characterization, and the developing spiritual journey for Tamsen in particular. For fans of historical fiction set in the early years of the United States, this one is a must-read. And fans of romance with a little meat will love it as well. I listened to the audiobook and quickly fell into the story. The narrator’s voice faded into the background as Tamsen and Jesse’s story unfolded. Overall, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn was a great read that I highly recommend.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE. (If you have the Audible Romance package, the audiobook is currently FREE!)

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