Celebrate Lit Tour, Christian Romance, Giveaways, Historical Christian Fiction, Inspirational

Shadow Among Sheaves (2019) — A Celebrate Lit Tour: A Guest Post, My Thoughts, and a Giveaway

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About the Book

Shadow amonght SheavesBook: Shadow Among Sheaves

Author: Naomi Stephens

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release Date: April, 2019

A Timeless, Beautiful Allegory of the Biblical Love Story of Ruth and Boaz

The Great Rebellion of 1857 was a remarkably bloody business. At a time when Britain’s imperial influence in India was sparking brutal clashes on both sides, no one could have expected Rena, an Indian woman, to marry a British officer—nor do they understand her decision to follow her mother-in-law to England after her husband’s tragic death.

Once the two widows are in Abbotsville, the stern yet compassionate Lord Barric attempts to help them despite his better judgment. Soon he is torn between the demands of reputation and his increasing desire to capture Rena’s heart for his own.

Click HERE to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Naomi Stephens

Naomi Stephens is a bookworm turned teacher turned writer. She received a M.A. in English from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and now lives in Ohio with her husband, her two children, and a rascal of a dog named Sherlock.

More from Naomi

A Timeless, Beautiful Allegory of the Biblical Love Story of Ruth and Boaz

The Great Rebellion of 1857 was a remarkably bloody business. At a time when Britain’s imperial influence in India was sparking brutal clashes on both sides, no one could have expected Rena, an Indian woman, to marry a British officer—nor do they understand her decision to follow her mother-in-law to England after her husband’s tragic death.

Once the two widows are in Abbotsville, the stern yet compassionate Lord Barric attempts to help them despite his better judgment. Soon he is torn between the demands of reputation and his increasing desire to capture Rena’s heart for his own. Which will he choose? Find out in Shadow Among Sheaves by Naomi Stephens.

Read an Exclusive Excerpt from Shadow Among Sheaves:

She smiled, stepping closer and placing her hand on the horse’s wet snout. Samson was a pretty beast with wide, ponderous eyes and a few splotches of gray around his nose. The soft puff of air Samson snorted into her palm brought a delighted smile to her lips, and she gasped as he bowed his neck to nuzzle his nose against her stomach. She felt her smile leap into a grin. It was a delightful change, to feel joy so deep it finally showed.

Barric circled around Samson to stand beside her, his hands never leaving the reins. “He’s fond of you,” he remarked as Samson dropped his snout against her hip.

“Unsurprising, I suppose. Though he could also be searching you for a carrot.”

Surprised to hear Lord Barric speak so teasingly, and pleased by the gentle light she found in his otherwise tired eyes, Rena laughed her faint agreement. “That will teach me to come empty-handed, won’t it?”

Their smiles both dropped as a young, lanky stable hand came rushing out to take Samson, and Barric relinquished his hold on the reins, nodding his silent thanks.

As soon as the stable boy had disappeared with Samson, Bar¬ric glanced back at Rena. “Are you going home?” he asked, nodding toward the dusty road looping down the hill to William’s house.

She stepped back, realizing she had dawdled longer than she’d first intended. “Yes,” she answered. “I often come this way to avoid the other workers.”

“Might I walk with you?” He turned to hang his whip on a peg. “Just a short stretch of the road?”

Stunned by his request, and a bit suspicious of his motive, she nonetheless nodded. “Yes, of course.”

Barric drew up beside her, his even strides betraying no unease, though he was silent for some time as they made their way down the golden-colored hill.

“You have seemed tired these past few days,” he observed. Rena did not bother to deny it. She’d been working hard to keep up with the others, as Barric had told her she must, and felt wearier for it. She had tried to split her days in half, the mornings spent binding sheaves with the women and the afternoons spent picking for her own stores, but the work was backbreaking, and, as he had already pointed out once before, she was not used to hard labor. “I realize I haven’t really asked you how you are settling in,” he went on.

“Perhaps you’ve been too busy provoking me,” she answered before she could stop herself.

Barric’s eyebrow inched up as he slanted an approving smirk down at her. “Perhaps.”

Rena cursed her honest tongue. She must have been more tired than she thought, to speak so freely to a man of title. “I have been well,” she tried again, a bit more diplomatically. “The house suits us, if that is what you are asking.”

“The people here do not speak to you unkindly?”

“The people do not speak to me at all.” She had meant to sound casual, unaffected, but heard the hurt in her own voice she hadn’t been able to weed out. As Barric’s expression tightened, she hastened to amend, “Except for you, my lord. Of course. And the Wilmots.”

“They are good people,” he agreed quietly. “And will you be coming with them to the festival this evening?”

She hesitated. According to Alice, harvest home was a yearly tra¬dition, a night of raucous drinking and dancing to celebrate the close of the harvest. All of Abbotsville would be there—landowners, stew-ards, even tenant farmers and common laborers. But Rena was none of those things, and she and Barric both knew it.

“Come,” Barric teased, “do not tell me you are afraid to go. I would never have thought it of you.”

“I am not afraid,” she insisted. “I just had not thought about it.”

At her defensive tone, he smiled—a true smile—one that pinched the corners of his eyes and pressed grooves along the outer edges of his mouth. “You ought to come,” he decided. “Everyone in Abbotsville is welcome, and many are the men who would feel lucky to dance with you.”

But, of course, Lord Barric knew this was not true. The men in his fields regarded her mostly with contempt and made no secret of it— they would not count themselves at all lucky to dance with her. Was Lord Barric trying to offer her words of comfort? Or was he trying to convey a message?

Did he want to dance with her?

This was hardly a safe question, and so she asked another. “Do you dance, Lord Barric?”

When he met her gaze, so direct, she was all the more glad she had not stammered in her reply. The man walked a dangerous line whenever he deigned to speak to her. Far too close, she’d think, and then stern enough to cool her blood with a word.

He surprised her with another smile, this one a faint twist at the corner of his lips. “Perhaps you would have to come to find out.”

My Thoughts

I very much enjoyed Shadow Among Sheaves. I was hooked from page one and struggled to put the book down. I found the characters to be uniquely endearing and realistic. My favorite aspect of this novel is the realism: the depiction of 1850’s British class systems and social hierarchies, the palpable tension created between the hero and heroine due to societal constructs at the time, the illustration of the backbreaking, tedious work communities did in order to bring in a harvest, and the loyalty exhibited between two widows desperately trying to survive after the deaths of loved ones proves Shadow Among Sheaves is a well-researched, highly captivating story, one I will not soon forget.

My number one, most favorite moment in this story occurs when Rena accepts Jesus as her Lord and Savior. I promise not to spill the beans on how or why this moment happens. Instead, I want to share a story. I have four brothers — Clint, Chris, Joey, and Vinnie — and one sister — Conni. We were all raised in the same fashion — to love, honor, respect, and follow God. I have been a follower of Jesus since I was six years old. Three of my siblings share my beliefs in God, one never talks about God, and another proclaims to be agnostic (which breaks my heart). Belief in God matters on SO many levels, but it really matters where death is concerned. Losing my dad unexpectedly was one of the most difficult ordeals of my life. It’s still hard to handle. BUT I know where my dad is. He is with Jesus in Heaven. Roughly three weeks after my dad died, my sister and I were talking on the phone. She had noticed that our one brother was not handling dad’s death very well. I explained to her that this brother is agnostic — she didn’t know this — and so it makes sense he’s struggling because to him death is final. You could have knocked my sister over with a feather she was so shocked. My sister, rightly so, was devastated for our brother. There is no hope without Jesus Christ. Death is permanent when one chooses not to believe in God. When we believe in God, we still hurt when a loved one dies, but we know our loved one is still alive with Jesus. We know we will see him/her again, and this brings comfort. Without Jesus, there is no real comfort available when a loved one dies.

For 98% of this novel my heart hurt so badly for Rena. Not having been raised with Jesus as her Lord and Savior meant that when her husband died, for her, Edric became nothing. Death, for Rena, was so permanent. When you don’t know that Jesus defeated Death, life on this earth can be so ugly, so dark, and so pitiful. I am always so happy when people come to believe in God. Believing in God is freeing, wholesome, and the right path to walk. But, I am most happy because believing in God allows for actual, true HOPE — hope here on earth and after in Heaven. I cried happy tears when Rena accepts Jesus into her life because it means she knows the Truth: Jesus saves, and He’s got our loved ones (who have passed) right by His side. The peace this knowledge brings is priceless, and I was so relieved that Rena understood this life-changing information.

I could talk about this novel all day. It is jam packed with so much goodness! But I won’t continue because I do not want to ruin any part of this excellent story. Suffice to say, I HIGHLY recommend Shadow Among Sheaves. Purchase a copy immediately. You will not be disappointed.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via Celebrate Lit. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


GIVEAWAY

Shadow Among Sheaves giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Naomi is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a finished paperback copy of Shadow Among Sheaves!!

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/deb9/shadow-among-sheaves-celebration-tour-giveaway


BLOG STOPS

Godly Book Reviews, April 30

Mary Hake, April 30

Worthy2Read, April 30

Back Porch Reads, May 1

Inspirationally Ever After, May 1

Fiction Aficionado, May 2

Splashes of Joy, May 2

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, May 2

Bigreadersite, May 3

Inklings and notions , May 3

Blossoms and Blessings, May 3

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 4

janicesbookreviews, May 4

Just the Write Escape, May 5

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, May 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 6

For Him and My Family, May 6

Kat’s Corner Books, May 7

Pause for Tales, May 7

Aryn The Libraryan, May 8

Faery Tales Are Real, May 8

Hallie Reads, May 8

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 9

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 9

Through the Fire Blogs, May 10

The Becca Files, May 10

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 11

Older & Smarter?, May 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 11

Texas Book-aholic, May 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 12

A Reader’s Brain, May 13

For the Love of Literature, May 13

14 thoughts on “Shadow Among Sheaves (2019) — A Celebrate Lit Tour: A Guest Post, My Thoughts, and a Giveaway”

  1. Thank you for your great review on “Shadow Among Sheaves” by Naomi Stephens and for being part of the Celebrate Lit book tour.

    After your review and reading the excerpt I’d very much love the opportunity to read this book which is now on my TBR list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your review! I love how different aspects can stick with us the most individually. I agree with you about Rena’s past and how she comes to know Jesus. This was such a powerful and thought-provoking read. Praying for your brother ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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