Friday, February 24, 2017

First Line Fridays

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone had a lovely week.  How is the weather where you live?  Are you facing a tropical heatwave?  The weather where I live has been crazy.  Technically, it is still supposed to be winter; however, spring seems to have sprung early.  I love the warmer weather, but it would have been nice to wear sweaters and boots a bit longer.  What season do you prefer--winter or summer?

It's time for another first line, and this week I chose to look at the novel An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund.  This is the first book I have read by this author, and I chose it because it takes place during the Medieval Period--a time when lords, ladies, and knights abounded in the land.  These types of books are so interesting to read, because you can literally travel back to another place in history.  There is so much learn about these centuries, and I love learning more about the people who lived there through the eyes of various characters.  As always, please be sure to check out the book lines from these other amazing bloggers too:   

Sydney from Singing Librarian
Rachel from Bookworm Mama
Andie from Radiant Light
Katie from Fiction Aficionado
Kathleen from Kathleen Denly
Lauraine from Lauraine's Notes 

 And I want to welcome Amanda to the First Line Fridays fun! 

  Amanda from With a Joyful Noise

 Click the links above to be taken to their posts and...
If you would like to join us, send Carrie a message and let her know!

​Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line!

Today I am going to post a line from:

An Uncertain Choice 
by Jody Hedlund 

And the first line is...

Montfort Castle, Ashby 
In the year of our Lord 1390

"My slippered feet slapped the dirt road, and my heart hammered aginst my chest like a battering ram." 

Happy reading and Happy Friday!

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Mark of the King - My Review

Jocelyn Green's novel The Mark of the King is set during the early 1700's in the new province of New Orleans.  After being wrongly accused in Paris, Julianne Chevalier is shipped to a new continent in order to start over and to procreate the new land in the name of France.  This new direction is not something Julianne saw for her life nor was it one she particularly chose.  Yet she finds herself embarking on a new chapter with a stranger by her side.  What will this new life look like, and will she ever find happiness?  Throughout the twists and bends in the journey, Julianne beings to wonder if her life has been cursed, because sorrow seems to surround every part of her existence.  And she wonders if peace will every come. 

Julianne's one goal for her life was to become a midwife.  And even though she believes her skills are good, there is still regret that taunts her.  Past mistakes hit her at the most inconvenient times, which causes others to mistrust her abilities.  People even go so far as to mock her and belittle her role in life.  Eventually, she will meet women who will come to depend upon her and who will help her to see how precious she is in the Lord's eyes.  No matter what men may think of her, Julianne must press on and prevail in this new wilderness home of hers. 

As a soldier in the king's army, Marc-Paul Girard knows how to handle his men.  He wants to do what is right regarding this new territory; however, there are many individuals who are only concerned about their own personal gain.  When it comes to treating others with respect, there are so few who actually step up to the task of being honorable.  And there are even some who play both sides.  How can one ever decipher the truth behind a man's heart?  Marc-Paul must make some very serious decisions when it comes to the men who serve beside him, the Indians he must trust with his life, and the woman he comes to love.  How can he serve all of them faithfully?  Does he have what it takes? 

This book was wonderful and quite a long story, which is great if enjoy thicker books like myself.  Even though the characters had stretches of struggles, I was happy that the author also took the time to write about the joys each character felt or encountered.  Sometimes books tend to stay on the negative aspects of a person's life, and the character never gets a chance to breathe.  In turn, the reader never gets to breathe either and begins to wonder if hope and redemption will ever occur for that character. 

I am happy to report that is not the case with this novel.  Even though there are definite bits of heartache that touch each individual, it is truly a tale of the human spirit.  Life is not perfect, and Julianne and Marc-Paul definitely experience the truth of this statement as they try to live out their days in the rugged landscape of New Orleans.  They must learn who they can trust, and they must deal with those who abandon certain morals.  As a reader, shocking events do come, and it interesting to see how the characters deal with the aftermath.  I highly recommend reading about Julianne in order to see where her path takes her in life.  It shows that whatever turmoil you may face in life, God is always by your side, and He will rescue you from the places that seem to be too far from His reach.  As you remember, that nothing is too great or too small for Him to handle.    

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for my copy. 

About The Book 
*After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict. 

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne's brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on? 

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king's mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

About The Author 

Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning author of ten books to date, including "Wedded to War," a Christy Award finalist in 2013; "Widow of Gettysburg"; "Yankee in Atlanta"; and "The 5 Love Languages Military Edition," which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. A former military wife herself, her passion for military families informs all of her writing as well as her numerous speaking opportunities. Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University with a BA in English and now lives with her husband and two children in Iowa. 

Visit her at 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Check Out My New Post!

Check out my new post on the Daily Megaphone and learn about some wonderful classic literature that focuses on the literary theme of love.  As always, happy reading!  

Literary Love 
by Heather Snyder  

Saturday, February 18, 2017

New Books from Love Inspired Historical - February Releases

*When a riding accident strands socialite Caroline Turner overnight with the new stable manager, she gets the one thing she never wanted—a husband! Marrying the infuriatingly stubborn Duncan McKenna wouldn't have been her first choice, but with her reputation damaged, it's her only option. Still, there's something about the brash, rugged Scotsman that fascinates Caroline.

If Duncan wanted to wed a society girl, he would have stayed in Boston with his family and his fortune. He expects Caroline to balk at her new modest lifestyle, but instead the strong-willed beauty seems determined to prove him wrong, making her all the more irksome…and irresistible. The marriage of convenience isn't what Caroline and Duncan planned, but could they be a perfect match? 

*When Gemma Lyfeld inadvertently interrupts a dangerous smuggling operation in her English village, she's rescued by a mysterious Scottish spy. Now with criminals after her and her hopes for an expected marriage proposal recently dashed, she will make her society debut in London. But not without the man tasked with protecting her…

Covert government agent Tavin Knox must keep Gemma safe from the criminals who think she can identify them—a mission he never wanted. But as he escorts her and her rascally nephews around London, the lovely English lass proves braver than he ever imagined. Suddenly, the spy who works alone has one Season to become the family man he never dreamed he'd be. 

*Bounty hunter Thomas Beaufort has no problem handling outlaws, but when he's left with a criminal's baby to care for, he's in over his head. And the only person he can think of to ask for help is Esther Jensen, the woman whose heart he broke when he left town. But can he convince her to put aside the past until he tracks down the baby's outlaw father?

Esther is ready to run Thomas off her Texas ranch—until she spies the abandoned newborn in his arms. Soon, working together to care for the precious babe stirs old hopes of a family. With trouble heading to their door, they could overcome it together—if she'll entrust her wary heart to this sweet, second-chance family… 

*Getting taken hostage by a gang of train robbers wasn't in dime novelist Essie Vanderfair's plans, but interviewing these men could make her career soar. Especially since the gang includes legendary outlaw Tex Beckett, better known as the Texas Titan. Tex is famed for his protection of women and children, so she'll be fine…right?

Keeping the gang in line was hard enough before a stubborn, beautiful writer interfered. Now Tex is scrambling to keep Essie safe, to gather evidence against the gang and most of all to hide his dangerous secrets. First, that he's a detective working undercover. And second, that he's not the Texas Titan at all, but Tex's twin brother, Tate Beckett. 

*Each synopsis is from the back cover of each novel.

New Books from Bethany House Publishers

*A master violinist trained in Vienna, Rebekah Carrington manages to wheedle her way into an audition with the maestro at the newly formed Nashville Philharmonic. But women are "far too fragile and frail" for the rigors of an orchestra, and Rebekah's hopes are swiftly dashed because the conductor--determined to leave his mark on the world of classical music--bows to public opinion. To make matters worse, Adelicia Acklen Cheatham, mistress of Belmont Mansion and Rebekah's new employer, agrees with him.

Nationally acclaimed conductor Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb is Nashville's new orchestra leader. And despite a reluctant muse--and a strange buzzing and recurring pain in his head--he must finish composing his symphony before the grand opening of the city's new opera hall. But far more pressing, he must finish it for the one who first inspired his love of music--his father, who is dying. As Tate's ailment worsens, he believes Rebekah can help him finish his symphony. But how do you win back a woman's trust when you've robbed her of her dream?

As music moves us to tears yet makes our hearts soar, A Note Yet Unsung captures the splendor of classical music at a time when women's hard-won strides in cultural issues changed not only world history--but the hearts of men.

*Blacklisted in the photography business over a controversial shot, Avery Tate answered an ad for a crime-scene photographer. She expected to be laughed at, but crime-scene analyst Parker Mitchell hired her outright--and changed her life. But six months ago, when her feelings for Parker became too strong, she left his employ to sort out her heart.

Now, for the first time, Avery is facing the world that rejected her to attend the gallery opening of a photography exhibit for which her friend modeled. But the only image of her friend is a chilling photo of her posing as if dead--and the photographer insists he didn't take the shot. Worse, her friend can't be found, and so Avery immediately calls Parker for help.

As Avery, Parker, and their friends in law enforcement dig into the mystery, they find themselves face-to-face with a relentless and deadly threat.

*At the urgent request of an old school friend, Drew and Madeline Farthering come to Bloodworth Park Lodge in the midst of the Yorkshire moors, a place as moody and mysterious as a Brontë hero. There have been several worrisome incidents around those lonesome rolling hills--property desecrated, fires started, sheep and cattle scattered. Worst of all, the vicar has been found dead on the steps of the church, a crime for which Drew can discern no motive at all.

Few in the town of Bunting's Nest seem like suspects, and Drew can't keep his suspicions from falling on his friend's new bride. Do her affections lie more with her husband's money and estate, while her romantic interests stray to their fiery Welsh gamekeeper? As the danger grows ever closer, it's up to Drew to look past his own prejudices, determine what's really going on, and find the killer before it's too late.

*The Five Realms have been destroyed. The remnants of the population who escaped now find themselves confined only to several hundred ships adrift at sea. Guided by hope, rumor, and a promise, they sail north into the unknown, desperate to find land that might become their new home.

As the king's illness worsens, Sâr Wilek takes authority over the expedition and struggles to rule the disjointed people, while assassination attempts, vicious serpents, dangerous storms, and dark magic endanger his life and the survival of his people.

One prophecy has come to pass, but another looms dauntingly in the future. Who is this promised Deliverer? And if the Magonians have him, what might that mean for the realm of Armania?

*Each synopsis is from the back cover of each novel.