Posted in First-Line Fridays, Weekly Themed Posts

First-Line Friday #208

A Heart Adrift

by Laura Frantz

Virginia Coast, April 1745

With his back to the coastal wind, Henri Lennox settled his arms around Esmee Shaw, guiding her soft, pale hands with his tanned, callused fingers as they let the long silken line out.


NOW IT’S YOUR TURN!

GRAB THE BOOK YOU ARE CURRENTLY READING, OPEN TO CHAPTER ONE, AND POST A SENTENCE OR TWO IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

THEN HEAD ON OVER TO READING IS MY SUPERPOWER TO SEE ALL OF THE FLF PAGES THIS WEEK (JUST CLICK ON THE RIMSP BUTTON BELOW).

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Posted in Thursday Encouragement, Weekly Themed Posts

His Encouragement #166

Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.


Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place — the Most High, who is my refuge — no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.

Psalm 91:9-10 (ESV)

I have been struggling HARD lately.

You see, plague has come near my tent. And this has rocked my world.

I have been sharing Psalm 91 with anyone who will listen. I’ve been breaking it down here on my blog for months all with the intent to encourage others, to keep people focused on Jesus and not the EVIL that is everywhere on earth. And I’ve done it to keep blinders on my eyes, so I only look up to Jesus. I was SO sure that I was doing my part of Psalm 91. But now I don’t know anything. I don’t know what God wants from me. Why did He allow sickness into my family? What did I do wrong?

God’s promises all over the Bible — Psalm 91 is not the only place where God gives direct promises IF — are so definitive. If a believer does X, God will make Y happen. The text says so. Look at the verses for today — IF you make God your refuge, NO evil will befall you, NO plague will come near your home. So, what if you do X with your whole heart, but Y doesn’t happen? Does this mean you are a fraud? Does this mean you are delusional and only think you did X with your whole heart? I mean, Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that our hearts are the most deceitful of things. Maybe I am deeply fooling myself?

But maybe I am defining plague wrong?

In my modern way of thinking, a plague is disease. But maybe that is the wrong definition. According to the dictionary, a plague is a disease, but that’s the #2 definition. That’s the definition we are all accustomed to today. The #1 definition of plague is a disastrous evil or affliction, a calamity. A plague then is what happened to Job and his family. Well, that definitely changes how I see Psalm 91.

I read Psalm 91 MY way with my modern definitions and then got majorly hurt feelings when MY way didn’t pan out. But when I think back on the insane years of COVID, I can actually say that no evil has yet befallen on me and my family. The threats are everywhere and constant, but God HAS protected me and my family from evil. And, if I go by the #1 definition for plague, He has also protected me and my family from that as well.

Are you struggling today, dear reader, with a Promise from God that just doesn’t seem to be panning out? Are you worried that maybe you are a fraud? That your faith is not as strong as you thought it was? Maybe, just maybe, your definitions are wrong. Maybe you need your perspective shifted to God’s actual meanings and away from what YOU think is God’s meaning.

My advice to you, dear reader, is the same to me: pray without ceasing. If you are struggling, bring your burdens to God. He wants them. And, who knows, perhaps today’s prayer will be the right prayer and He will shift your perspective and grant you the peace that only He can!


NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN!

WHAT BIBLICAL VERSE IS ENCOURAGING YOU TODAY?

Posted in Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Historical Christian Fiction, Inspirational

A Heart Adrift (2022)

About the Book

Book: A Heart Adrift

Author: Laura Frantz

Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Release Date: January 4, 2022

It is 1755, and the threat of war with France looms over colonial York, Virginia. Chocolatier Esmee Shaw is fighting her own battle of the heart. Having reached her twenty-eighth birthday, she is reconciled to life alone after a decade-old, failed love affair from which she’s never quite recovered. But she longs to find something worthwhile to do with her life.

Captain Henri Lennox has returned to port after a lengthy absence, intent on completing the lighthouse in the dangerous Chesapeake Bay, a dream he once shared with Esmee. But when the colonial government asks him to lead a secret naval expedition against the French, his future is plunged into uncertainty.

Will a war and a cache of regrets keep them apart, or can their shared vision and dedication to the colonial cause heal the wounds of the past? Bestselling and award-winning author Laura Frantz whisks you away to a time fraught with peril–on the sea and in the heart–in this redemptive, romantic story.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I genuinely am at a loss for words. If you know me, you know that rarely happens. But I find myself, after having read the final page of A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz, completely unsure how to write this review. This story is masterful … absolutely masterful. At one point, I looked at my husband and told him, “I would read her [Mrs. Frantz’s] grocery list.” He laughed at me, but I’m serious. Frantz is such a stellar writer that I would pay money to read her grocery list. Every time Frantz picks up a pen, magic happens. God has surely gifted her as an elite storyteller, and this may be the most evident in her recent stunning novel. There is not one single thing I could critique except for the fact that the story ends. And I so did not want it to end!

I love when a book touches on a topic that is super relevant to the reader in the moment. It makes the book feel like a personal conversation between the author and reader. That’s how I feel about A Heart Adrift. Two topics — grief and idolatry — jumped off the pages and forced me to take a good, long look at myself. You wouldn’t think the two topics go together, but they do. Over the past few years, I have dealt with an insane amount of death and grief. I miss people who are dear to me every single day. And, yes, while the hurt and the pain changes every day, it never quite goes away. Over the past few years, I have learned that one aspect to grief is realizing that love can veer into idolatry if you are not SUPER careful. There is a moment in A Heart Adrift where Esmee and a chaplain discuss this idea of idolatry, and Esmee is a bit dumbstruck. She asks herself if it is possible to make a loved one, a human, an idol. I wouldn’t have understood it either before we lost a beloved member of my immediate family. As I watched my family go through their various grieving processes, I have witnessed firsthand that we humans can 100% turn our loved ones into idols. I have learned that just as love is a choice we make each day, so, too, is making God #1 in our lives. Every day we wake up, we have to choose to put God first — before ourselves, our spouses, our children, our friends. If we don’t, we could fall into the trap of putting a beloved family member before God. It is interesting how death and grief become mirrors and show us if we are in correct alignment with God or not.

There is no way to do A Heart Adrift justice in a single review. This book would make a wonderful book club selection as the discussions could be so varied and many. Suffice to say, A Heart Adrift is a story I will never forget. This is a book that touches the heart and sears the soul. I highly, highly recommend this novel. I implore you to purchase a copy immediately. You will not regret the purchase!

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author, Laura Frantz, via NetGalley. I also received a paperback copy of this novel from the publisher, Revell, in order to read and review. And I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on January 4, 2022, in order to review. In no way has any of this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Contemporary Christian Fiction, Giveaways, Spotlight

Love Under Construction: A Book Spotlight + Giveaway

About the Book

Title: Love Under Construction

Author: Penny Zeller

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction

Length: 257 pages

Publisher: Maplebrook Publishing

Release Date: November 30, 2021

She builds websites. He builds houses. Together, can they build a family for two orphans?

Irelynn agreed two years ago to help raise her best friend’s twins should anything happen. When she is called upon to fulfill that agreement, there is only one problem—Irelynn must share the responsibility with the arrogant but handsome Quinton Gregory.

Quinton takes the role of raising his niece and nephew with all seriousness. He will do anything for the twins, even if it means putting up with the beautiful but stubborn Irelynn Brady.

When forced to be in each other’s presence far more often than is comfortable, things slowly begin to change. Will the unexpected attraction between Irelynn and Quinton become a love under construction?

Amazon 🔨 Barnes and Noble 🏠 Goodreads

About the Author

Penny Zeller is known for her heartfelt stories of faith and her passion to impact lives for Christ through fiction. While she has had a love for writing since childhood, she began her adult writing career penning articles for national and regional publications on a wide variety of topics. Today Penny is a multi-published author of several inspirational books. She is also a homeschool mom and a fitness instructor.

When Penny is not dreaming up new characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, running, cycling, gardening, and playing volleyball.

She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and loves to hear from her readers at her www. pennyzeller.com and her blog, random thoughts from a day in the life of a wife, mom, and author, at http://www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com.

Website 💕 Blog 💕 Facebook 💕 Twitter 💕 Instagram 💕 Pinterest 💕 Amazon Author Central 💕 MeWe

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Love Under Construction, author Penny Zeller is graciously giving away to ONE (1) lucky winner a PDF eBook copy (international or U.S. residents) or paperback copy (continental U.S. residents only) of her novel. This giveaway is open to all U.S. residents AND international entrants as well. This giveaway will run for one (1) week, from January 11-18, 2022. The giveaway opens at 5:00 AM PST on 1-11-22 and closes at midnight PST on 1-18-22. The author will contact the winner via email within seven (7) days of announcement.

Posted in Must-Get Monday, Weekly Themed Posts

Must-Get Monday #66

In Search of a Prince

by Toni Shiloh

58302844
Releases February 1, 2022

Amazon 👑 Goodreads

Isn’t this a gorgeous cover? I absolutely love it. And I really am super excited to read this book. It’s been on my radar for a while now. February 1st can’t come quick enough!

About the Book

Brielle Adebayo is fully content teaching at a New York City public school and taking annual summer vacations with her mother to Martha’s Vineyard. But everything changes when her mom drops the mother of all bombshells–Brielle is a princess in the kingdom of Oloro IlZ, Africa, and she must immediately assume her royal position, since the health of her grandfather, King Tiwa Jimoh Adebayo, is failing.

Distraught by her mother’s betrayal, Brielle is further left spinning when the Oloro IlZ Royal Council brings up an old edict that states she must marry before assuming the throne or the crown will be passed to another. Uncertain who to choose from the council’s list of bachelors, she struggles with the decision along with the weight of her new role in a new country. With her world totally shaken, she must take a chance on love and brave the perils a wrong decision may bring.


Join the Fun!

What’s a book that you can’t wait to get your hands on?

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

Harmony on the Horizon (2022) — A Celebrate Lit Tour: A Guest Post, My Thoughts, and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Harmony on the Horizon

Series: Chaparral Hearts #3

Author: Kathleen Denly

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: January 4, 2022

Her calling to change the world may be his downfall.

On the heels of the Great Rebellion, Margaret Foster, an abolitionist northerner, takes a teaching position in 1865 San Diego—a town dominated by Southern sympathizers. At thirty-seven years of age, Margaret has accepted spinsterhood and embraced her role as teacher. So, when Everett Thompson, the handsomest member of the School Board, reveals his interest in her, it’s a dream come true. Until her passionate ideals drive a wedge between them.

After two decades of hard work, Everett Thompson is on the verge of having everything he’s dreamed of. Even the beautiful new teacher has agreed to his courtship. Then two investments go south and a blackmailer threatens everything Everett has and dreams of.

As Everett scrambles to shore up the crumbling pieces of his life, Margaret unwittingly sets off a scandal that divides the small community and threatens her position as teacher. With the blackmailer still whispering threats, Everett must decide if he’s willing to risk everything for the woman still keeping him at arm’s length.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Kathleen Denly lives in sunny California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.

More from Kathleen

Who Invented Romance?

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but romance novels are sometimes viewed as the black sheep of the fiction industry. For various reasons, some people view romance stories with a disdainful eye. Knowing this, I still choose to write romance stories and some may wonder why.

First and foremost, I’ve had a passion for romance for as long as I can remember. I was absolutely one of those typical little girls who played dress-up in her mother’s clothes (or in my case, her lingerie. Eek! I had no idea. LOL) and planned my future wedding day. For reasons I can’t explain, the idea of a man and woman falling in love and pledging their life to one another has always enthralled me.

Or perhaps I can explain.

You see, I was raised in a Christian family and have always been exposed to the Bible. Have you ever looked at your Bible from a romantic perspective? When you stop to consider it, there is more than enough romance in God’s Word to justify placing it on the Romance Novel shelf in a bookstore. At least there would be if novels weren’t inherently fiction and the Bible wasn’t entirely true. (And aren’t we grateful that the Bible is completely true?)

So, in a way, one could say that God is the first romance author. After all, what is more romantic than a groom sacrificing his life for his bride? It even has the requisite happy ending, because He rose from the dead and will return for His bride.

The thing is, God isn’t just a romance author, He’s the inventor of romance. He was the first to demonstrate what love truly is. He is the one who defines it and describes its fruits so that we can recognize it when we see it. It’s His love that gives us life.

And the thing about romantic love is that it has a unique power to change people, to break down their emotional walls in ways that might not happen otherwise. There is a reason God designed man and woman to be together. Many reasons, in fact. But I am convinced that one of them is His ability to use that beautiful relationship to draw His children closer to His own heart.

So yes, some may look down on romance novels and those who read or write them, but I stand tall and proud, because I know that true romance–the kind God authors–is something to cherish and honor. I am blessed to be able to share God’s truths through the wondrous stories of two hearts joining together as one.

My Thoughts

I have read and enjoyed all of Denly’s novels. She is definitely becoming one of my favorite authors to read. Harmony on the Horizon is another solidly good story that I highly recommend. There is so much to love about this book. First, I really appreciate the pacing. I picked the book up, read for a bit, and before I knew it, I was done. I love quick-paced storylines. And I love being so engaged by a story that I stay up WAY past my bedtime, which I did with Harmony on the Horizon two nights in a row. I just could not put the book down! In addition to the pacing and the engagement, I loved the various settings Denly creates in this book. The reader switches from San Francisco to San Diego during the summer of 1865. Denly does an excellent job of writing historical detail. I felt transported to the California coast during the tumultuous time right after the Civil War. Everything feels so gritty and raw and dark. What’s the most shocking is that people are exactly the same today as they were then. We have literally learned nothing from History. People believe, regardless of their time period, that they have the right to tell others how to live, how to think, and how to love. It’s repugnant, really. There’s this sense of romanticism we modern-era people place over Historical time periods, but Denly does a stellar job of keeping things very real. She sugarcoats nothing in her book, and I feel this makes for a solidly authentic read.

Denly’s characters are excellently crafted. I especially loved Katie and Margaret. Katie is SO good. She is the kind of good I long to be. No matter the hardships she faces, she ALWAYS picks God. Even when an easy way out is provided to her, she refuses to go against God. And she is SO brave and courageous. Katie is an amazing illustration of what it means to be a woman after God’s heart. I found her inspirational, and I want desperately to be like her. And Margaret is wonderful. I relate to her struggle — she is an act first, think later kind of gal. I cringed often at the Margaret parts because she reminds me of myself. I, too, tend to act first, think later. And when I think later, the guilt and shame and embarrassment of my actions overwhelms me. I so get her. Margaret’s heart is ALWAYS in the right place, but she doesn’t look at the big picture to see how all the parts could play out. I love how Denly shows the reader through Margaret that with an impulsive character all is not lost. Yes, we make mistakes — many it seems — but God’s mercies are new every morning and He blesses us with a lot of second chances. Thank you, God, for that!

There is so much more to say about this delightful novel, but I don’t want to accidentally spill the beans. So, I will stop my review here and simply say — purchase a copy of this novel for yourself right now. You will not be sorry that you did. Harmony on the Horizon is a great read, and I will miss my time with these characters.

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


GIVEAWAY

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a Kindle Fire HD8 Plus, a custom Harmony on the Horizon Kindle case, a Harmony on the Horizon altered notebook, a Chaparral Hearts pen, a pair of earrings, a pin, and a scripture keychain!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

Click the link below to enter.


BLOG STOPS

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 6

Bizwings Blog, January 7

Austen’s Angle: Jane Austen’s Influence in Modern America, January 7

Texas Book-aholic, January 8

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 9

The Christian Fiction Girl, January 9

Inklings and notions, January 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 11

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 11

deb’s Book Review, January 12

For Him and My Family, January 13

Mary Hake, January 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 14

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 16

Blossoms and Blessings, January 16

Connie’s History Classroom, January 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 19

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, January 19

Posted in First-Line Fridays, Weekly Themed Posts

First-Line Friday #207

Harmony on the Horizon

Chaparral Hearts #3

by Kathleen Denly

June 30, 1865, San Francisco

A girl’s terrified scream jerked Margaret Foster’s attention from the mathematics formula she’d been rehearsing in her mind.


NOW IT’S YOUR TURN!

GRAB THE BOOK YOU ARE CURRENTLY READING, OPEN TO CHAPTER ONE, AND POST A SENTENCE OR TWO IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

THEN HEAD ON OVER TO READING IS MY SUPERPOWER TO SEE ALL OF THE FLF PAGES THIS WEEK (JUST CLICK ON THE RIMSP BUTTON BELOW).

RimSP button new
Posted in Celebrate Lit Tour, Christian Fiction, Giveaways, Historical Christian Fiction, Inspirational

Elinor (2021) — A Celebrate Lit Tour: A Guest Post, My Thoughts, and a Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Elinor

Author: Shannon McNear

Genre: Christian/Historical/Romance

Release date: December 1, 2021

A Journey Full of Hope…
Escape into a riveting story based on the mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke.

Author Shannon McNear portrays history with vivid authenticity.

In 1587, Elinor White Dare sailed from England heavy with her first child but full of hopes. Her father, a renowned artist and experienced traveler, has convinced her and her bricklayer husband Ananias to make the journey to the New World. Land, they are promised, more goodly and beautiful than they can ever imagine. But nothing goes as planned from landing at the wrong location, to facing starvation, to the endless wait for help to arrive. And, beyond her comprehension, Elinor finds herself utterly alone. . . .
The colony at Roanoke disappeared into the shadows of history. But, what if one survived to leave a lasting legacy?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Transplanted to North Dakota after more than two decades in Charleston, South Carolina, Shannon McNear loves losing herself in local history. She’s a military wife, mom of eight, mother-in-law of three, grammie of two, and a member of ACFW and RWA. Her first novella, Defending Truth in A Pioneer Christmas Collection, was a 2014 RITA® finalist. When she’s not sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies. Connect with her at www.shannonmcnear.com, or on Facebook and Goodreads.

More from Shannon

Why did I write this story? Well, God shoved the opportunity under my nose, and I didn’t want to be guilty of taking the easy way out, by saying no. 

Really, while the concept was fascinating, the execution was daunting, and sometimes terrifying. The Elizabethan Era—before the King James Bible and even before Shakespeare was popular! As a student of the Revolutionary War and surrounding times, I felt very much out of my depth.

Though the research sucked me in, it was also daunting. Sifting through various interpretations of the primary accounts and their own speculations on why they felt things must have gone a certain way. Trying to “find” my story amongst all the theories and opinions. Above all, getting to know my characters and letting them come alive in my own imagination.

And come alive, they did—in full color, with a vividness I did not expect. I hope I was able to translate even a portion of what I envisioned to the page, so that you also can see them!

My Thoughts

Shannon McNear is a writing powerhouse. Every topic she takes on turns to gold. Elinor is no exception. This is a richly deep text where every line feels heavy with historical detail and care. The attention to detail in this novel is magnificent. It is exceptionally clear that Ms. McNear did her homework for this book. As a reader who loves to continue to learn in my older age, I appreciate Elinor because I feel like it is the best kind of history book — the interesting kind! The settings are so beautifully defined and illustrated I felt like I was with Elinor, Ananias, and John the whole time. As far as characters go, Elinor, Ananias, and John are superbly crafted. My heart went out to these characters SO many times during the reading of this story. I also appreciate how well written the Native Americans are, too. I like how McNear illustrates the vast differences between the two peoples, but simultaneously shows how similar we all are regardless of skin color and circumstances. It is a universal truth that most humans regardless of who they are just want the simple things: a place to belong, sustenance, and love and acceptance. As far as adventure goes, Elinor is non-stop. This book is definitely a story the reader won’t want to put down until the final page is read. All in all, Elinor is a must-read Historical Fiction story that you will not want to miss.

As with all her novels, Elinor by Shannon McNear is another homerun. If you are a fan of well-written, well-researched, highly engaging Historical Fiction texts, then Elinor is definitely the book of you. Purchase yourself a copy of this amazing book today. You won’t be disappointed that you did!

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


GIVEAWAY

To celebrate her tour, Shannon is giving away a grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Elinor!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

Click the link below to enter.


Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 4

The Christian Fiction Girl, January 4

Joanna Bair, January 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 5

Rebecca Tews, January 5

For the Love of Literature, January 6

Remembrancy, January 6

Texas Book-aholic, January 7

Betti Mace, January 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 8

Inklings and notions, January 8

For Him and My Family, January 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 9

deb’s Book Review, January 10

Labor Not in Vain, January 10

Blogging With Carol, January 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 11

Connect in Fiction, January 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 12

To Everything There Is A Season, January 12

Mary Hake, January 12

Bizwings Blog, January 13

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 13

Connie’s History Classroom, January 14

Splashes of Joy, January 14

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 15 (Spotlight)

Sodbuster Living, January 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 16

Through the Fire Blogs, January 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 17

Pause for Tales, January 17

Posted in Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Contemporary Christian Fiction, Inspirational, TBR Challenge

A Gift to Cherish (2020)

About the Book

Book: A Gift to Cherish

SeriesRoad to Refuge #2

Author: Victoria Bylin

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction

Release Date: March 3, 2020

When Daisy Riley arrives in Refuge, Wyoming to live with her brother and his family, she intends to stay forever. A victim of violence in Los Angeles, Daisy craves stability, peace of mind, and safety. Her hope comes true when she lands a job as a personal assistant to Miss Joan Prescott, the owner of Cottonwood Acres, a historic ranch that once served as the set for a famous TV show. A retired college professor, Miss Joan has secrets and stories of her own, including a very unusual project that requires Daisy’s skills.

Rafe Donovan, a cop from Cincinnati, is haunted by a recurring nightmare about the death of his high school sweetheart and his failure to save her. Because of the nightmares, Rafe takes leave from the police department and seeks psychological help. He finds shelter in Refuge, where he pounds nails for his brother’s construction business. But he has no desire to stay in Wyoming and plans to return to Ohio as soon as possible.

When he finds Daisy Riley stranded late at night with a flat tire, Rafe is impressed by her courage. Daisy is equally impressed by him. Together they navigate the road to love—one complicated by the arrival of Daisy’s troubled best friend, online dating, and the impossible obstacle of 1,600 miles between her home and his.

AUTHOR NOTE: “This story contains mature subject matter. It’s about our current dating culture, including the risks of online dating. It also looks at the social mores of 1970s and how those values impact today’s women.”

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I struggled to read this book. It made me angry. To be fair, I’ve been angry for a while, but this story fanned the flames of my anger. Before I explain why this story made me angry, I want to be clear — A Gift to Cherish is an excellent Christian Contemporary Romance. I will always love a good, clean Romance that’s replete with substance. I hate fluffy books. This is no fluffy read. I found the plot thoroughly engaging. I enjoyed how Daisy and Rafe’s contemporary love story is interwoven with Miss Joan’s past. I found the juxtaposition of the two love stories compelling and it definitely kept me turning pages well past my bedtime. The characters are well-written. They are some of the most life-like characters I’ve read in a long time. I like how the contemporary characters and Miss Joan fit their time periods, but never feel type-casted. Daisy and Rafe are good, well-meaning characters who want the best for each other, but are Millenials in every sense of that word. They annoyed me at times, but overall, I found them to be super endearing, and I did cheer for their happily ever after. Miss Joan is without a doubt a product of the 1970s feminist movement, but she is also a bit old-world genteel. There is grace and wisdom and nostalgia that surrounds her character. Simply put, she’s lovely and she’s my favorite character in this story. And, if this is not enough to make you want to read this book, I also found the many themes and topics discussed to be thought-provoking and weighty. A Gift to Cherish is definitely a book that will stick with readers long after the final page has been read.

As a woman, I feel betrayed by my own kind. To be specific, I feel betrayed by my mother’s generation. A woman is many things for sure, and a woman should have the right to figure out what those many things are just like any man, but the women of my mother’s generation single-handedly laid the foundation that brought about destruction. I know — harsh words, right? In my opinion, nothing has been more dangerous to the family unit and to women than the Feminism that sprang from the 1970s. I want to be clear — women have the right to be free, independent thinkers and doers. NO ONE has the right to tell a woman what she can and cannot do. However, when women fought to become “equal” to men, they destroyed everything. Men and women are not equal. They never have been and they never will be. Men and women are different and that is OK, that is good. In fact, that is how God wants it to be. Men are capable of doing things women can’t and women absolutely do things men will never be able to. There is power in our differences. But women screamed — “I want the right to kill, I want the right to have equal pay, I want the right to never have a family, I want the right to have sex when I want and how I want it, I want what HE has and I want it now!” All this did was create very dark and very dangerous consequences. It was a Pandora’s Box of evil, and as a woman today I don’t know how to put the evil back in the box. I don’t know how to protect my daughter from the ugly, sinister consequences of her grandmother’s generation. The power they screamed for has come with a truly terrible cost. I am angry because the people who should have been looking out for the future of women didn’t. The Nurturers of my kind turned on us for selfish pleasure and gain. They were like King Hezekiah from the Bible — when he was told that bad was going to come upon his grandchildren, he didn’t care. In fact, he felt relieved because he was going to get the benefits and be spared from the evil consequences of HIS dumb actions (2 Kings 20:16-19). A Gift to Cherish made me angry, but I LOVE that Miss Joan wrestles with everything I am angry about. She recognizes how damaging her fight for “equality” was to future generations and to her own self. Because of her feminism, her fight for her SELF, she is the last in her family. There will never be another Prescott from her family line ever again. How sad is that? I wish people would stop and think more about others and less about themselves. We’d live in a much better world for sure if people did.

A Gift to Cherish is a good book. It’s a book that will get readers to wrestle with a lot of tough topics. It’s a book that gets readers to think. I love that, and because of that, I think this book is an absolute must-read.

I borrowed a copy of this novel in eBook form from my Kindle Unlimited subscription on March 8, 2020, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in First-Line Fridays, Weekly Themed Posts

First-Line Friday #206

Elinor

Daughters of the Lost Colony

by Shannon McNear


“In the beginning was the sea,” she murmured.


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