Category Historical Fiction

The Valley of Decision

Product DetailsThe Valley of Decision
By Lynne Gentry
Howard Books
Retail Price:  $14.99
Amazon Price: $12.62

Book Description:   Every choice has a consequence in the explosive conclusion to the Carthage Chronicles as Lisbeth returns to third-century Carthage for a thrilling final adventure.

Thirteen years ago, Lisbeth made an impossible decision—leave third-century Carthage and her husband Cyprian behind for good. She knew it was to protect her daughter Maggie, so Lisbeth gathered the strength to move on with her life.

All these years, Lisbeth has thrown herself into her work and raising her headstrong daughter, all to live up to the promise she made to Cyprian. But Maggie is sick of being protected. In an act of teenage rebellion Maggie decides to do what her mother can’t—secretly returning to the third century on a quest to bring her father back, leaving Lisbeth no choice but to follow.

With Maggie’s surprise arrival in Carthage, chaos ensues. She finds her grandmother on trial for murder and attempts to save her, but instead the diversion sparks a riot that nearly destroys the plagued city. Only one thing will appease the wrath of the new proconsul of Carthage: the death of the instigator.

Will Lisbeth arrive in time to save her daughter from the clutches of Rome? How can God possibly redeem such a slew of unwise decisions and deep regrets? Filled with heart-wrenching twists and riveting action, Valley of Decision brings the romantic adventure epic, The Carthage Chronicles, to an electrifying conclusion.

Review

The Carthage Chronicles is an exciting series that combines time travel and romance and it produces adventures that you won’t likely forget.  Though this book does stand alone, I highly recommend that readers to read the first two books to get a sense of the characters. This has not been my favorite series, but I do love time travel and I like fiction that is based in the early years of Christianity. Gentry is a fabulous author. She knows how to mold and sculpt language to make her stories feel like they are breathing. (I know that sounds weird, but for me as a reader I feel like this book is so full of life how can it not feel like that when I’m reading it?)

 

Valley of Decision is the third and final installment of this series.  Though this book does stand alone, I highly recommend that readers to read the first two books to get a sense of the characters.  The plot is exciting with many twists and turns that will keep you on your toes and turning the pages, making the book hard to put down.   Gentry wraps things up nicely, leaving you with a surprising, yet satisfying ending.  I highly recommend this book and the entire series!

~Reviewed by Allie B.

 

Please Share!

    Return to Exile

    Product DetailsReturn to Exile
    By Lynne Gentry
    Howard Books
    Retail Price:  $14.98
    Amazon Price: $12.55

    Book Description:  How far would you go to save the ones you love?

    Six years ago, impossible circumstances forced Dr. Lisbeth Hastings to leave behind the love of her life, not just in another country, but in another time. Her work as a top-notch epidemiologist and parenting her little girl helps alleviate the pain, but at night when her exhausted head hits the pillow, images of her beloved Cyprian haunt her sleep.

    Cyprian Thascius returns from political exile a broken man. He’s lost his faith, the love of his life, and his purpose. He attempts to move on, to face the danger that is looming over Carthage, but when Cyprian’s true love suddenly reappears, his heart becomes as imperiled as the fledgling church he seeks to save.

    Have the years that kept Lisbeth and Cyprian apart created too wide a chasm to bridge? In the midst of a new epidemic and rising oppression, will their love be the most costly fatality? Filled with gripping action and raw emotion, this spellbinding adventure of star-crossed lovers captivates with every turn of the page in this electric continuation of The Carthage Chronicles.

    Review

    Let me start by saying that this is the second book in The Carthage Chronicles and I highly recommend reading Book 1 before you move on to this one.  But even if you don’t, you will still find this an exciting, compelling read.  This book takes you back in time with Dr. Lisbeth Hastings to 3rd century Rome, an era where it cost something to be a Christian.  Since the author writes in a true-to-life style, some of the descriptions are a bit hard to absorb, but they do make you grateful for living in this time when we are free to express our faith.  This exciting book uniquely pairs time travel and an inspirational love story to create an adventure well worth taking.  It is a very intriguing and emotional read.

    ~Reviewed by Allie B.

    Please Share!

      Guardians of the Heart

      Product DetailsGuardians of the Heart
      By Loree Lough
      Whitaker House
      Retail Price: $13.99
      Amazon Price: $10.98

      Book Description:  Nell Holstrom wanted no part of her grandfather’s barren gold mine that had taken the lives of her mother, father, and younger brother; even if there may still be hidden wealth inside. Instead, she went to Denver and took a job as housekeeper at the old Stone Hill Inn. Asa Stone was barely more than a boy when his father dragged him and his brothers to fight with Colonel John Chivington. But Asa refused to participate in the raid on the peaceful Cheyenne and Arapahoe; and when the smoke cleared, his father and brother lay among the slaughtered. Besieged by guilt, Asa wandered the West for years before returning to Denver to rebuild the old inn he’d inherited. Together, Nell and Asa work hard to restore Stone Hill. But when disaster hits the inn, Asa retreats into despair and Nell is forced to return to her family’s mine. Asa faces the hard fact: He’ll never be the man Nell deserves. Can he overcome the dark secrets of his past? And will Nell still love him when she learns the truth?

      Review

      Loree Lough is one of my favorite Christian authors.  Her books are always “real” and scripturally sound and I can always trust recommending her to my friends knowing they will find a great faith-based read.  In her new book
      Guardians of the Heart
      , we will find an historical novel filled with action, intrigue, romance, and redemption.  The characters are very likable and you come away feeling like you are fast friends.  You will experience  highs and lows along with them as they travel their path to healing and wholeness.  It was a fantastic read.

      ~Reviewed by Allie B.

      Please Share!

        The Friend’s of Jesus

        Product DetailsThe Friends of Jesus
        By Karen Kingsbury
        Howard Books
        Retail Price: $19.99
        Amazon Price: $14.02

        Book Description:  America’s favorite inspirational novelist and #1 New York Times bestselling author offers a richly told tale about six of Jesus’ closest friends and companions, bringing biblical truths to life in this captivating continuation of her Life-Changing Bible Study series.

        In our everyday lives, friends are the people whom we spend the most time with, go through struggles with at times, and who know us best. Each of Jesus’ friends—Peter, John, Matthew, Judas, Mary Magdalene, and Lazarus—traveled with Jesus and were part of His daily ministry, and each has a compelling story to tell. There were some who would question or doubt Him…and one would even betray Him. Kingsbury brings these fascinating personalities to life in ways that will not only help bring you closer to the truths found in Scripture, but also to Christ.

        By combining valuable, instructive Bible study with compelling, insightful character sketches of Jesus’ companions, Kingsbury provides you with a deeper understanding of the scriptural teachings featuring these fascinating people. Emotionally powerful, thought-provoking, and soulful, The Friends of Jesus will help you to appreciate the Bible and understand how it applies to your relationships with the most important people in your life.

        Review

        This was an awesome book giving you a look inside at the friends of Jesus and what they might have been thinking and feeling as the life of Jesus unfolds in the Bible.  This book follows six people whom Jesus loved, Peter, John, Matthew, Judas, Mary Magdalene, and Lazarus and tells the story from their own unique perspective.  While we have no way of knowing what they were actually thinking and feeling, it helps me to grasp the Bible Truths more fully as I see things from a different perspective.  I am a fan of Kingsbury’s novels and while I am not a big historical fiction fan, I found this book to be an enjoyable, enlightening read.

        ~Reviewed by Rosie B.

        Please Share!

          A.D. 30

          A.D. 30: A Novel

          by Ted Dekker
          Center Street
          Retail Price $25.00
          Amazon Price: $25.00

          Book Description: 

          A sweeping epic set in the harsh deserts of Arabia and ancient Palestine.

          A war that rages between kingdoms on the earth and in the heart.

          The harrowing journey of the woman at the center of it all.

          Step back in time to the year of our Lord…A.D. 30.

          The outcast daughter of one of the most powerful Bedouin sheikhs in Arabia, Maviah is called on to protect the very people who rejected her. When their enemies launch a sudden attack with devastating consequences, Maviah escapes with the help of two of her father’s warriors–Saba who speaks more with is sword than his voice and Judah, a Jew who comes from a tribe that can read the stars. Their journey will be fraught with terrible danger. If they can survive the vast forbidding sands of a desert that is deadly to most, they will reach a brutal world subjugated by kings and emperors. There Maviah must secure an unlikely alliance with King Herod of the Jews.

          But Maviah’s path leads her unexpectedly to another man. An enigmatic teacher who speaks of a way in this life which offers greater power than any kingdom. His name is Yeshua, and his words turn everything known on its head. Though following him may present even greater danger, his may be the only way for Maviah to save her people–and herself.

          Review

          I am going to be honest here.  I am not usually a Ted Dekker fan. Most of his writings tend to give me the creeps.  I just don’t like that sort of thing.  This book is different than what he usually writes.  It is historical fiction set in the year A.D. 30 and the main character faces many struggles, one of them being what she should do with Jesus and His teachings. The book is very exciting and full of action and adventure. Dekker has a way with words and captures the each scene so fully with his words that you feel as though you are right there in the thick of things as Maviah faces her struggles as well as the biggest decision of her life.  I highly recommend it.

          ~Reviewed by Pam R.

           

          Please Share!

            A Stitch and a Prayer

            A Stitch and a Prayer
            By Eva Gibson
            Abingdon
            Retail Price $13.99
            Amazon Price: $11.74

            Book Description: 

            The frontier life isn’t easy—especially when you’re alone and with child. After the Klondike gold rush in 1897, Florence Harms and her young husband, Will, set about building a new life and a new home in the Northwest woods—even though the lingering effects of illness have left Florence weak and vulnerable. When a stranger comes knocking, Florence suddenly senses a restlessness in Will’s spirit that she has never seen before. Then he suddenly departs, leaving only a short note promising to return before their baby’s birth. As worry and doubt claw at Florence’s heart, she finds solace in a Tree of Life quilt. Will her labor of love—and faith in God—sustain her as she waits to see her beloved once again?

            Review

             

            Personally, if my husband had left me alone on the frontier wwith only a short note, I wouldn’t have so forgiving as Florence, especially after realizing I was pregnant!  But, with that said, I really did enjoy this book.  It is set in the late 1800’s in Oregon and the the heroine had many healthy issues that we don’t always hear about in historical novels.  Florence suffers from chronic joint pain which makes living on the frontier a real struggle for her.  Faced with living alone for long periods of time, Florence makes the best of her situation and finds comfort in quilting, which I can totally relate to!  I found this book to be an enjoyable read.

            ~Reviewed by Paula N.

             

            Please Share!

              Thief of Glory

              Thief of Glory
              By Sigmund Brouwer
              Waterbrook
              Retail Price $14.99
              Amazon Price: $11.20

              Book Description: 

              For ten year-old Jeremiah Prins, the life of privilege as the son of a school headmaster in the Dutch East Indies comes crashing to a halt in 1942 after the Japanese Imperialist invasion of the Southeast Pacific. Jeremiah takes on the responsibility of caring for his younger siblings when his father and older stepbrothers are separated from the rest of the family, and he is surprised by what life in the camp reveals about a woman he barely knows—his frail, troubled mother.

              Amidst starvation, brutality, sacrifice and generosity, Jeremiah draws on all of his courage and cunning to fill in the gap for his mother.  Life in the camps is made more tolerable as Jeremiah’s boyhood infatuation with his close friend Laura deepens into a friendship from which they both draw strength.

              When the darkest sides of humanity threaten to overwhelm Jeremiah and Laura, they reach for God’s light and grace, shining through his people. Time and war will test their fortitude and the only thing that will bring them safely to the other side is the most enduring bond of all.

              Review

              This novel is set in WWII and focuses on the life of 10 year old Jeremiah Prin as his life of privilege is taken away in one swift motion as the Japanese invade his country.  It follows him into an internment camp and we get a realistic look  what it was like to live in that environment with all the struggles and heartache.  While there is too much horror revealed to be considered a “feel good” read, the author offers us hope and a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.  The reader will find inspiration to fight through the hard times and to stand strong realizing that God is there, even when the world is ugly.

              ~Reviewed by Rosie B.

              Please Share!

                In the Field of Grace

                In the Field of Grace
                By Tessa Afshar
                River North Fiction
                Retail Price $14.99
                Amazon Price: $12.48

                Book Description: 

                Destitute, grief-stricken, and unwanted by the people of God, Ruth arrives in Israel with nothing to recommend her but Naomi’s, love. Her loftiest hope is to provide enough food to save Naomi and herself from starvation.

                But God has other plans for her life. While everyone considers Ruth an outcast, she is astounded to find one of the most honored men of Judah showing her favor.  Long since a widower and determined to stay that way, Boaz is irresistibly drawn to the foreign woman with the haunted eyes. He tells himself he is only being kind to his Cousin Naomi’s chosen daughter when he goes out of his way to protect her from harm, but his heart knows better.

                Based on the biblical account of Ruth, In the Field of Grace is the story of a love that ultimately changes the course of Israel’s destiny and the future of the whole world.

                Review

                A beautiful retelling of the story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz by author Tessa Afshar. Readers will be encouraged by the truth that God will faithfully provide for His children even when all hope seems lost.  The author paints beautiful word pictures in our minds as we read her work, bringing the story to life. Afshar certainly did her research! Through this story she shares her understanding of biblical culture and customs which more fully explains the impact of Ruth leaving her family to move back to Naomi’s home town. This enlightenment brings even more meaning to the story. It will inspire you to continue on in your life’s journey with a new perspective.

                ~Reviewed by Joan S.

                 

                Please Share!

                  The Family of Jesus

                  The Family of Jesus

                  The Family of Jesus
                  By Karen Kingsbury
                  Howard
                  Retail Price $15.99
                  Amazon Price: $10.11

                  Book Description: 

                  America’s favorite inspirational novelist offers a fictional view of six of the family members of Jesus, all anchored by Scriptural truth, creating a life-changing and unprecedented emotional connection to the Bible.

                  Through The Family of Jesus, readers will develop an emotional connection to the family members of Jesus, learning about their lives and falling in love with Scripture along the way. Bible studies and devotionals abound, and in churches everywhere people gather to seek a deeper understanding of God’s word and its application to their lives. But too often these studies engage only the analytic approach to Bible learning.

                  In The Family of Jesus, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist Karen Kingsbury will make you laugh, cry, and ultimately care more deeply about the Bible by helping you grasp the truths in Scripture not just with your mind, but with your heart. The characters in these short stories were among those closest to Jesus—Mary, Joseph, Jesus’ brother James, John the Baptist, Zechariah, and Elizabeth. Each has a compelling tale to tell. Kingsbury intersperses fictional, emotionally gripping details anchored in Scripture with historical and theological insights and questions that will guide soul-searching and reflection.

                  The Family of Jesus not only provides a deeper understanding of the relatives of our Savior, but also helps readers acquire tools that will draw them closer to Christ, to the Scriptures, and to each other.

                  Review

                  I am a fan of Karen Kingsbury and love her tag line “Life Changing Fiction” because that is what she truly writes.  I was excited see her latest book where she ventures into Biblical fiction and pairs up fictional stories anchored in scripture with a Bible Study section.  Kingsbury brings us a fictional view of six of the family members of Jesus (Mary, Joseph, Jesus’ brother James, John the Baptist, Zechariah, and Elizabeth), all based on Scriptural truth, connected us with the Bible.  While the Bible is sketchy on the details of Jesus’ family life and Kingsbury brings to life the possibilities of what it might have been like. I found the vignettes to be interesting and thought provoking, while the Bible study section for each character kept you grounded.  It is a good mix of fact and fiction!

                  ~Reviewed by Rosie B.

                  Please Share!

                    The Baron’s Honourable Daughter

                    The Baron’s Honourable Daughter
                    By Lynn Morris
                    Faith Words
                    Retail Price $15.00
                    Amazon Price: $13.50

                    Book Description: 

                    A mom, a dad, a baby…and another dad.Laurie and Alan are expecting, again. After two miscarriages, Laurie was afraid they’d never be able to have a child. Now she’s cautiously optimistic — the fertility treatment worked, and things seem to be different this time around. But she doesn’t yet know how different.Jack can’t seem to catch a break — his parents are on his case about graduating from college, he’s somehow dating two girls at once, and he has to find a way to pay back the money he borrowed from his fraternity’s party fund. The only jobs he is qualified for barely pay enough to keep him in beer money, but an ad for the local sperm bank gives Jack an idea.Laurie and Alan’s joy is shattered when their doctor reveals that Laurie was accidentally impregnated by sperm from a donor rather than her husband. Who is Donor 296. And how will their family change now that Donor 296 is inarguably part of it?

                    Review

                    This was a fantastic historical novel.  The author paid attention in great detail  to the historical period and it was obvious that it was well researched.  Her descriptive imagery was done nicely as well.  The plot was intricate and well-developed and the characters were well-defined and interesting.  The romance was believable and very endearing.  This was a good, clean read with a subtle message on forgiveness to give the reader something to ponder after finishing the book.  Excellent!~Reviewed by Rosie B.

                     

                    Please Share!