Book Review: Room for Hope

Room for Hope
by
Kim Vogel Sawyer

Neva Shilling is used to being a part-time single mom.  Her husband, Warren, travels every other month in order to buy items to stock the mercantile they own in Buffalo Creek. When Warren suddenly passes away, Neva is in for the shock of her life.  It turns out that Warren was leading a double life, those months he supposedly traveling he was actually living with another wife and children in a nearby town. His dying wish was that Neva raise his other children as their “Aunt Neva”. When a deputy shows up with a wagonload of Warren’s belongings, as well as his three other children, Neva has a choice to make. Can she find a way to love and raise these children as her own or will she send them away to life in an orphanage? Her own children and the residents of Buffalo Creek don’t make her choice easy, but it’s not long before she realizes she might just have room for hope.

Room for Hope is another fantastic novel by Kim Vogel Sawyer.  I really enjoy the way to she’s able to intertwine historical fact with a captivating story. This book is no exception.  Neva’s story is an interesting one and it’s told in a way that draws the reader in. it’s as if you find yourself right there with the characters feeling their emotions and joining in their story. Readers of historical fiction will not regret adding this book to their shelves.

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: On Shifting Sand

On Shifting Sand
by
Allison Pittman

     Set in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl era, On Shifting Sand tells the story of Nola Merrill. After her mother died and left her with a father who withheld love, Nola searched for an escape.  She thought she’d found her escape in Russ, a local pastor, but she was wrong. As the height of the Dust Bowl hits her tiny Oklahoma town, Nola finds that she’s still not satisfied with her life. This comes to a head when Russ’ friend from the past, Jim, makes an appearance at their home. Nola begins to find everything she thought she was missing through a relationship with Jim. When she commits the ultimate betrayal of her marriage vows, she finds herself weighed down in shame.  So weighed down that she eventually winds up in the hospital, barely hanging onto her life. When at last she finally admits her betrayal, she’s life to wonder if her husband’s love will be strong enough to hold them together when everything feels hopeless.

     Though the story told is in this story is one that has been told by multiple authors, what really sets it apart is how Pittman takes to reader right into the middle of the Dust Bowl. This is the third book I’ve read by Pittman and I’m always amazed at how well she researches the time periods her stories are set in, it’s so well written that it seems to use time travel to take the reader right there into the store. I found this book to be even more interesting that some of her others because my family lived through the Dust Bowl, eventually making their way from Oklahoma to California. While I’d heard stories before Pittman took my understand to a much deeper level with her descriptions and insight. I really enjoyed reading Nola’s story, but I was a bit annoyed by the fact that the resolution happens in the last chapter.  I really wished that the story had a chance to develop even further after that point, it almost feels as if there was more story to be told but not enough pages to tell it.

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Exciting Giveaway

A few months ago I was given the opportunity to read and review Kim Vogel Sawyer’s book, Through the Deep Waters. You can read that review here, but to make a long story short it was a really good book and I really enjoyed reading it.

I’ve been given the exciting opportunity to test out a new method of hosting giveaways and one of you lucky readers will receive your very own copy of this fantastic book. All you have to do is follow the link below, enter your name and email and you will be entered.

http://form.jotformpro.com/form/42147582007956

Good luck!

 

PS. The contest starts on July 31, 2014 at 6:00am EST and ends on August 20th, 2014 at 11:59pm. One winner will be chosen at random on August 21st, 2014 and will be alerted by email.

 

Book Review: All for a Sister

All for a Sister
by
Allison Pittman

This book set in the 1920’s tells the story of aspiring actress Celeste DuFrane. After her mother passes away, Celeste discovers that half of the family estate has been left to Dana Lundgren, a woman accused of killing Celeste’s infant sister before Celeste was born.

After spending most of her life in prison for the murder of Celeste’s sister, Dana is shocked to learn that she has been left half of the estate. She wonders why a woman who accused her of murder would do such a thing.

As the two women learn more about each other and read Celeste’s written mother’s confession, they realize that they have more in common than they ever thought possible.

It took me a while to really get into this book, it seemed to start out a bit slow for my taste.  Of course that could be because I was reading 3 other books at the same time.  However, once I delved into the story a bit further it drew me in. Once I got sucked into the story of Celeste and Dana, I couldn’t read it fast enough. The author stayed true to the time period, really making the reader feel like they could just immerse themselves into the story’s settings. I really enjoyed the way she told the character’s stories and the way she intertwined their lives so carefully and creatively.

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: Through the Deep Waters

Through the Deep Waters
by
Kim Vogel Sawyer

I’m a big fan of Kim Vogel Sawyer’s works of historical fiction, I really enjoy the fact that she bases the stories around actual places and events. It makes the story so much more meaningful and interesting. Kim’s latest novel, Through the Deep Waters, is no different.

Born to a prostitute in a Chicago brothel, Dinah Hubley has lived a life full of secrets and shame. Determined to escape her past, Dinah sets her eyes on becoming one of the world famous Harvey girls, waiting tables at a fancy restaurant. When she’s just seventeen, and a bit too young to become a Harvey Girl, Dinah’s mother passes away leaving her to find her own way through life. In an effort to get her foot in the door with the Harvey company, Dinah takes on a job as a chambermaid for the Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas.

Life at the Clifton offers Dinah a life she never expected, full of friends and the prospect of love, but Dinah can’t seem to get over her past so that she can embrace her future. While working at the Clifton, Dinah meets a young man named Amos who takes an interest in her.  Soon after the two begin courting Dinah’s past is thrown right into her face in the form of a sleazy businessman who becomes a customer at the Clifton. Just when she thinks her life is beginning to work out, it all starts spiraling downward. Will Dinah find the forgiveness and restoration she so desperately desires?

I’ve yet to find a book by Kim Vogel Sawyer that I didn’t enjoy reading, but I think this is one of my favorite books by her. I found myself lost in Dinah’s story, cheering for her when it looked like her world was crashing down. The love story of Dinah and Amos is beautifully crafted, despite its ups and downs. If you’re a fan of Christian historical fiction, you need to get your hands on a copy of this book.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own.


Buy the Book 

If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: Echoes of Mercy

Echoes of Mercy
by
Kim Vogel Sawyer

After an incident involving a fellow investigator, Caroline Lang is sent to the Dinsmore Chocolate Factory in Sinclair, Kansas to do some investigation of her own. Undercover as “Carrie”, she takes on a job at the factory in hopes she can uncover the truth about what really happened while at the same time checking on how the factory treats the children that work there. While working she meets Ollie Moore, whose real name is Oliver Dinsmore – heir to the chocolate factory. The two become fast friends while helping three children in need and even start to fall for one another, but things change fast when they discover each other’s secrets.

This book had me at chocolate….haha.  I also really enjoy reading books by Kim Vogel Sawyer; her stories are well written and very entertaining. Not long ago I’d have turned my nose up at historical fiction becauseI found it to be boring and hard to relate to, but authors like Vogel Sawyer and others have changed my mind. This book was very interesting and fun to read.  The characters were easy to relate to and the writing really makes the reader feel like they’re a part of the story.  I found it very easy to craft the town of Sinclair in my imagination given the descriptions and interactions between characters. The only bad thing about this book was the fact that it made me crave chocolate even more than I usually do. 🙂

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own.

Buy the Book 

If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: Shadowed by Grace

This review is part of a blog tour, to see what others are saying about this book click here.

Shadowed by Grace
by
Cara C. Putnam

Rachel’s mother is dying of TB, money has run out so the doctors can no longer provider her treatment. In an effort to help provide for her mother, Rachel takes a job as a photojournalist embedded with the US Army in Italy during World War II. Photographing the war isn’t the only reason she volunteers to go to Italy, she also hopes she’ll be able to find the father she never knew.  Even though she knows little about him, she’s sure that he is her mother’s only hope. If he still holds any love at all in his heart for her mother, perhaps he’ll help pay for her care. This isn’t going to be an easy task, however, since her mother won’t even tell her the name of her father.  All she has to go on is a book of sketches with some initials scribbled on a page or two that her mother brought back after studying art in Italy.

As luck would have it, Rachel gets assigned to work under the protection of Private Scott Lindstrom, an officer in the the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives division – a group of men sent to locate valuable art thought stolen. Not only is he well versed in Italian art, thus helping her search for the owner of the sketchbook, he also captivates her and steals her heart. But can he help her find her father or will he keep what he knows a secret?

Cara Putnam has done an excellent job on this work of historical fiction. She did a wonderful job of incorporating fact into a story that is captivating and intriguing.  The way the characters related to each other was enjoyable and I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times. The settings come alive with Putnam’s descriptions and add an element to the story that really draws the reader in. I really appreciate the research that Cara Putnam put into this book to stay as true to historical fact as possible while crafting a beautiful story.   From what I gather, this is the first book in a series about the Monuments Men of WWII.  I can’t wait to see what other stories the author has up her sleeve.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own.

Buy the Book 

If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.