First Line Friday–All Things Bright and Strange

Welcome to First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books.


If I tell you that I declared James Markert’s previous novel, The Angels’ Share, to be one of my favorite reads of 2017 then you won’t be too surprised that I am extremely excited to read his newly released post-World War I novel All Things Bright and Strange.  Here is chapter one’s first line:   Continue reading


His Forgotten Fiancee by Evelyn M. Hill (review)

hisforgottenfiancee_hill_harlequinIt’s 1851 and Liza Fitzpatrick hasn’t heard a word from the man she became engaged to on the Oregon Trail over a year ago, and many in Oregon City doubt his very existence, until Matthew Dean stumbles in the door with the words “Who am I?”

This story had a few things going for it before I even began to read, with the amnesia storyline and Oregon Territory setting, and after reading reviews of it and learning that the author lives locally I was happy to give this debut novel a try.  What I found was a little bit of a mixed bag. Continue reading

Party of One: Truth, Longing, and the Subtle Art of Singleness by Joy Beth Smith

partyofone_smith_thnelsonI read so many books about single Christian life in my twenties that just weren’t applicable to my life, so now that I’m quite a bit older I had to wonder – can the twenty-something author of Party of One have anything to offer when I’ve been “walking in my singleness” since before she was born?  From the first page, that answer was yes. Continue reading

His Kind of Cowgirl by Karen Rock (review)

hiskindofcowgirl_rock_harlequinheartwarmingThis is one of those book (and there are quite a few) that have been sitting on my shelf waiting to be read as part of what I call “Mount Must Read.”  Turns out, reading an ebook of it from the library was the perfect way to spend this particular Sunday evening.

Single parenting.  Ten times harder than it looked, a hundred times more difficult than Claire had imagined.  She was so busy she felt like twins. (p.12)

His Kind of Cowgirl is a great example of taking different familiar elements, adding a few new bits in, and mixing them in such a way to produce a story that is at once interesting, engaging, and touching.   Continue reading

First Line Friday–The Love Knot by Karen Witemeyer

Welcome to First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today’s quote is from a review copy, courtesy of Bethany House Publishers.


It’s a special edition First Line Friday with the theme of little stories for the littlest month.  This week I’m featuring The Love Knot by Karen Witemeyer, the first novella in Hearts Entwined and the final installment in a favorite series, the Ladies of Harper Station.  Here’s the first line (okay, the first two sentences because I couldn’t resist):   Continue reading

A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz (review)

amoonbownight_frantz_revellWith A Moonbow Night, Laura Frantz has created such a clear feeling of being on the cusp of danger and discovery.  More than just using dialect in the dialogue, the very narration itself seems rooted in time and place.  It was that immersive sense of being in 1777 Kentucky, along with the characters and plotlines, that had me reading late into the night.  How is this only my second book by this author?

Sion had never seen such a wilderness.  Such wildness…this vast, unbroken forest was a force to be reckoned with but never tamed. Never counted a friend.  Never trusted. (p.28)

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Imagine…The Ten Plagues by Matt Koceich (review)

thetenplagues_koceich_barbourI requested approval to read an e-galley of The Ten Plagues after enjoying the first of Matt Koceich’s new Imagine series for ages 8-12, The Great Flood (review).  I was interested to see how Moses and the plagues would be experienced through a young girl who time-travels to the past.

The Ten Plagues opens, as did the first adventure, in the middle of an action scene with our young heroine, Kai, in grave peril just short of the climax of the story.  We’re then taken to her present day life and the circumstances that lead up to her time-travel adventure.  An underlying theme is quickly revealed when a classmate bullies Kai.

Continue reading