BOOK REVIEW: THE LADY’S MINE BY FRANCINE RIVERS.

Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers

Publication Date: February 22, 2022

Book Blurb

A delightful new western romance from the New York Times bestselling author of Redeeming Love

New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers returns to the California frontier in this sweeping, romantic tale of a displaced New England suffragette, a former Union soldier disinherited by his Southern family, and the town they join forces to save.

1875. When Kathryn Walsh arrives in tiny Calvada, a mining town nestled in the Sierra Nevadas, falling in love is the farthest thing from her mind. Banished from Boston by her wealthy stepfather, she has come to claim an inheritance from the uncle she never knew: a defunct newspaper office on a main street overflowing with brothels and saloons, and a seemingly worthless mine. Moved by the oppression of the local miners and their families, Kathryn decides to relaunch her uncle’s newspaper―and then finds herself in the middle of a maelstrom, pitted against Calvada’s most powerful men. But Kathryn intends to continue to say―and publish―whatever she pleases, especially when she knows she’s right.

Matthias Beck, owner of a local saloon and hotel, has a special interest in the new lady in town. He instantly recognizes C. T. Walsh’s same tenacity in the beautiful and outspoken redhead―and knows all too well how dangerous that family trait can be. While Kathryn may be right about Calvada’s problems, her righteousness could also get her killed. But when the handsome hotelier keeps finding himself on the same side of the issues as the opinionated Miss Walsh, Matthias’s restless search for purpose becomes all about answering the call of his heart.

Everyone may be looking to strike it rich in this lawless boomtown, but it’s a love more precious than gold that will ultimately save them all.

Book Review

The Lady’s Mine by Francine Rivers.

I enjoyed this book. I followed the adventures of Kathryn in Calvada and her hero Matthias.

This book really gave me an edge of the seat feeling and I was pleased with the ending.

The themes of love, kindness and forgiveness were well addressed in the plot.

I waited almost a year to get a copy of this book and I am pleased I wasn’t disappointed.

I reviewed a personal copy of this book gotten by me. Opinions expressed in this review are mine.

About the author

New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers continues to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her numerous bestsellers include Redeeming Love, A Voice in the Wind, and Bridge to Haven, and her work has been translated into more than thirty different languages. She is a member of Romance Writers of America’s coveted Hall of Fame as well as a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Visit Francine online at http://www.francinerivers.com and connect with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FrancineRivers) and Twitter (@FrancineRivers).

BOOK REVIEW: A VILLAGE SCANDAL BY DILLY COURT

Genre: Historical Romance/Sagas

Series: The Village Secrets, Book 2

Publication Date: August 11, 2020

Publisher: Harper Collins

Book can be purchased online.

Book Description

It was her wedding day… the roses and bluebells were blooming and their sweet-scent was filling the air, so why did Daisy feel the cold fingers of fear run down her spine?
 
Spring in the village, April 1869
 
It’s spring in Little Creek and wedding bells are ringing. After their hasty marriage the Christmas before, Daisy is overjoyed to be finally marrying dashing Jay properly, in front of the whole village.
 
But then, on the evening of their wedding, amid the festivities, Jay disappears. Daisy doesn’t know if Jay is dead or alive, if she’s his wife or his widow. And what’s more, without her husband, she has no means of supporting herself or her household.
 
Refusing to give up hope, Daisy must draw on all her strength and courage – after all, she has people who depend on her. But the secret of Jay’s disappearance is more scandalous that she could have ever imagined…

Book Review

A Village Scandal by Dilly Court.

Dilly Court has been one of my favorite authors for all books historical fiction. Her heroines are brave women and this particular book was indeed Dilly’s style.

In this book, the book plot and themes synced together. The female protagonist, Daisy displayed so much wisdom and bravery for someone so young.

There are lots of characters to choose from. My favourite are Ivy, Jack, Marius, Judy and Mary. You cannot help loving them.

I highly recommend this book. The book cover is beautiful too.

I voluntarily reviewed this book. Opinions expressed in this review are mine.

Author’s Bio

Dilly Court grew up in North East London and began her career in commercial television, writing scripts for commercials. She is married with two grown up children, and now lives in Dorset on the beautiful Jurassic Coast with her husband and large, yellow Labrador. 
 

BOOK REVIEW: MOSSY THE MANATEE +AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

Genre: Children’s Books/ Fiction

Publication Date: April 1, 2022

Publisher: Independently Published

Pages: 39

Book can be purchased on Amazon

Book Blurb

Mossy, a Florida manatee who is unusually more green than gray, only has one wish- to feel the snow on Cape Cod. But because manatees can’t stand such cold weather, Mossy must do the impossible and find a way to make the journey. With the help of his mom and dear friend, Mossy learns that when he embraces what makes him unique, even his wildest dreams can come true!

This book is suitable for ages 5-8.

Book Review

Mossy the Manatee.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This is a delightful book for young children and can double up as a bedtime storybook.

Reading through the book reminded me of my childhood where I found joy going on adventures with animals as the main characters. In this case, Mossy the Manatee has lots of themes to glean from his life.

In a world where everybody is alike, Mossy the Manatee teaches us to be unique and follow our dreams.

I must commend the author for her great imagination and choice of words. They are easy to understand for preschoolers and toddlers alike.

The book cover is beautiful and the illustrations in each page held my attention.

Overall, I am rating this cute book five bright stars for capturing my attention.

I reviewed this book and opinions expressed in this review are mine.

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

1. Welcome to the Book Chic Blog, please do introduce yourself to our wonderful readers.

Hi, there! My name is Nika Tomljenovic. I’m an author, playwright, scriptwriter and video game writer. I live in Croatia with my boyfriend and Bernedoodle, Jole, who is very fluffy and enjoys swimming in the sea. I am originally from Toronto, Canada and have had my plays produced throughout North America, and a short film I wrote in a London Film Festival. Since the pandemic, I have found myself writing for children’s literature and the GameFi space. 


2. What is an interesting thing about your book?

Mossy the Manatee was originally an idea for a script of a short animated film. 

3. How many other books have you written?

I am currently writing a chapter book that is being released in segments to a growing crypto community. The book is associated with the token’s video game.

 
4. What inspired you into writing this book and writing in general?

The inspiration behind Mossy the Manatee stemmed from my childhood fascination with manatees. Because I always knew odd facts about them, when I decided to include a manatee as the central character, a simple, cohesive storyline came together quickly and naturally. 

And with writing in general, I found playwriting through drama and acting which was the world I always grew up thinking I would end up in, that is, until I discovered creative writing. Through playwriting I delved into other mediums like books, films, games…pretty much anything that incorporates storytelling. 

5. Who is your favourite character in this book?

Mossy, of course! I feel Melissa (the illustrator) did an outstanding job making him full of life and his own personality. I also can’t help but root for the little guy! We all have a dream we want to see fulfilled, making him the most relatable character. 


6. When did you first consider yourself an author?

Funny question, I still don’t consider myself an author as I never imagined I would get into book writing. But I surprised myself and absolutely love it, so here I am! But regardless, I’m more of the type of playwright/ scriptwriter/ game writer/ author who thinks of herself as a creative writer above all else. I think it’s a hard time to keep working as a writer if you’re too rigid. 


7. Tell us about your most recent work?

Aside from Mossy, I write for a blockchain game that is in the works. This includes game characters, items, locations, tools, a chapter book and creative lore entries. This material is continuously released, in phases. Currently we are in two of eight. 

8. Do you have favourite authors and books?


The Catcher in the Rye 

9. What is next for you?

Definitely more children’s books- I have plenty of ideas and really enjoyed this process! There has also been a potential book (creative non-fiction) deal in the pipeline, though I can’t say much about that, yet! 
If not, with the return of theatre, I hope to get a longtime idea I’ve had for a play up on its feet. 


10. Any words for your readers and where can they contact you?


I hope you all enjoy Mossy the Manatee as much as I did writing it, and that its message resonates with all! Thank you so much for reading! I can always be contacted at nika.tomljenovic@yahoo.ca 

Book Review: Moonlight and Ashes by Rosie Goodwin

Genre: Historical Saga

Publication Date: 28 June, 2021

Publisher: Headline

Book Blurb

Despite being trapped in an abusive marriage, Maggie still feels blessed with her eight-year-old twins, Danny and Lizzie, and baby girl, Lucy. But when the Second World War begins it seems that her blessings may have run out.

Although the war lets her escape her husband when he’s sent to the front, she must also lose the twins, as they’re evacuated to North Wales. Lizzie seems to be in the perfect family, while Danny is left with a man who seems to resent his presence. But appearances can be deceptive, and while Maggie struggles to survive the bombings at home, her children face danger of a different kind.

Book Review


Moonlight and Ashes by Rosie Goodwin

I must confess, Rosie had my full attention with this particular book. From the first pages to the last pages, I was hooked to the plot.

Maggie, Danny, Lizzie, Eric, Soho Gus and Sparky were loveable characters I watched out for.

Of course, the effects of war on people leaves them traumatized and clinging to hope of being alive. From the themes in the book, love and life won against all odds.

I could relate with Maggie and Jo when they had to make hard decisions for their lives.

Overall, this book is a fantastic read but grab some tissues because you will definitely get emotional at some scenes.

I voluntarily reviewed this book. Opinions expressed in this review are mine.

About the Author

Rosie Goodwin’s first book, The Bad Apple, was published in 2004 by Headline. Since then she has gone on to write many more classic and contemporary sagas. She is also the first author in the world to be allowed to follow three of Catherine Cookson’s trilogies with her own sequels. Before becoming a published author, Rosie worked in Social Services. She is now amongst the top 100 most borrowed UK authors and her books regularly appear in the Heetseekers charts. Rosie has children and lives in Warwickshire with her husband and her four Shihtzu’s.
 

BOOK REVIEW: THE SMUGGLER’S GIRL BY JENNIE FELTON.

Genre: General Fiction/ Historical Fiction

Publication Date: 6th January, 2022

Publisher: Headline Publisher

Book Blurb

She always knew a piece of her heart was missing…

Cecile has been raised to a life of privilege at Polruan House, by her widowed father and aunt. Now she’s of age, they are determined that she make a proper match, but Cecile’s heart belongs to their coachman, Sam – most definitely not suitable marriage material.

When Sam turns to his friend, smuggler Zach Carver, for help eloping with Cecile, Zach tells of a recent encounter with Lise, a beautiful but poor girl in St Ives, who is the mirror image of Cecile.

And so a daring plan is born to briefly swap the girls. But bringing Cecile and Lise together will uncover an astonishing family secret of a bold escape from a loveless marriage, a treacherous shipwreck and a sister thought lost to the sea long ago…

Book Review

The Smuggler’s Girl by Jennie Fenton

What a delightful and adventurous book.

The characters were attention grabbing and the flow of the plot was perfect.

I enjoyed the book as it is the first book by the author I am reading.

I am rating it five golden stars as the book worth them.

I love Cecile, Lise, Zach, Sam and the Moxey’s brothers. You cannot help falling in love with the characters.

The title and book cover perfectly fits the storyline.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are mine.

Author’s Bio

Jennie Felton grew up in Somerset and now lives in Bristol. She has written numerous short stories for magazines as well as a number of novels under a pseudonym. Her Families of Fairley Terrace Sagas series is about the lives and loves of the residents of a Somerset village in the late-nineteenth century, and started with All The Dark Secrets.

Visit Jennie on Facebook www.facebook.com/JennieFeltonAuthor and follow her on Twitter @Jennie_Felton for all her latest news.

Book Review: Jewel of the Nile by Tessa Afshar

Genre: Biblical Fiction

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers

Publication Date: June 1, 2021

Book Blurb

Whispered secrets about her parents’ past take on new urgency for Chariline as she pays one last visit to the land of her forefathers, the ancient kingdom of Cush.
Raised as an orphan by her aunt, Chariline has only been told a few pieces of her parents’ tragic love story. Her beautiful dark skin is proof that her father was Cushite, but she knows nothing else. While visiting her grandfather before his retirement as the Roman official in the queen’s court, Chariline overhears that her father is still alive, and discovering his identity becomes her obsession. Both her grandfather and the queen have reasons for keeping this secret, however, and forbid her quest. So when her only clues lead to Rome, Chariline sneaks on the ship of a merchant trusted by friends.

Theo is shocked to discover a stowaway on board his vessel and determines to be rid of her as soon as possible. But drawn in by Chariline’s story, he feels honor-bound to see her safely to shore, especially when it appears someone may be willing to kill for the truth she seeks.

In this transformative tale of historical fiction, bestselling author Tessa Afshar brings to life the kingdom of Cush and the Roman Empire, introducing readers to a fascinating world filled with gripping adventure, touching romance, and a host of lovable characters—including some they may recognize from the biblical book of Acts.

Book Review


Jewel of the Nile by Tessa Afshar

What a mesmerising and fascinating book! I thoroughly enjoyed this book by the skillful Tessa Afshar.

Jewel of the Nile is a book that describes how Jesus loves us regardless of our scars and imperfections.

There are characters I made friends with in the plot. The scriptures above each chapter rightly matched with the scenes and themes.

I highly recommend this book if you seek for an adventure to Bible days.

I voluntarily reviewed this book. Opinions expressed in this review are mine.

Author’s Bio

TESSA AFSHAR is the Publishers Weekly best-selling author of biblical and inspirational historical fiction, including Harvest of Gold which won a Christy Award and Land of Silence, which won an INSPY. The Way Home: God’s Invitation to New Beginnings is Afshar’s critically acclaimed Bible study based on the book of Ruth, which won the ECPA Christian Book of the Year Award, 2021 in the Bible Study Category. Born in the Middle East, Tessa spent her teen years in England and later moved to the United States. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life. She holds a Master of Divinity from Yale, where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship for a year. Having served in women and prayer ministry for twenty years, Tessa became a full-time writer several years ago. Contact Tessa at tessaafshar.com or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTessaAfshar/

Book Review: The Convict’s Wife By Libby Ashworth.

Genre: Saga

Publication Date: 20th January, 2022

Publisher: Canelo Saga

Series: Book 1 (Lancashire Girls)

Book can be purchased online.

Book Blurb

Can she keep her family together?

When Molly Holden’s husband, Thomas, is convicted in 1812 of being a Luddite on the word of a secret informer, he is sentenced to be transported to Australia. Left with their baby daughter, Molly must find work to survive.

But the man who informed on Thomas is a former suitor of Molly’s, and Isaac believes that with Thomas out of the way she will return to him…

Yet Molly is determined to join her husband and find a way to pay for passage, all the while trying to stay one step ahead of Isaac’s nefarious interferences. But will it be enough to cross the ocean and be reunited with her beloved Thomas?

Based on real events, this is an inspiring Lancashire saga of one woman’s journey of love, family and survival. Perfect for fans of Dilly Court, Kitty Neale and June Francis.

Book Review


The Convict’s Wife by Libby Ashworth

What a delightful and suspense filled book! Libby did it again with this book.

I went on adventures to England and South Wales. I made new friends in the person of Molly, Ellen and Thomas!

I could relate with this book on a realistic level. I felt every emotion the author wove with her words.

The Convict’s Wife is a well written book, I must remark.

I highly recommend this book if you’re seeking for an adventure between the pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are mine.

Author’s Bio

Libby Ashworth (Elizabeth) has been a published writer since she sold her first short story to Pony Annual as a teenager.

Her debut saga, The Cotton Spinner (Arrow, April 2020), the first in the Mill Town Lasses trilogy, is set against the backdrop of 19th Century industrialisation. When Jennet and Titus Eastwood are forced to move from their idyllic cottage into the centre of Blackburn to find work in the cotton mills, their lives are changed in ways they could never have imagined.

Elizabeth was born and raised in Lancashire, where she can trace her family back to the Middle Ages. It was while researching her family history that she realised there were so many stories about ordinary working people that she wanted to tell. She has previously written historical novels – The de Lacy Inheritance (Myrmidon Books) and By Loyalty Bound (Pen and Sword) – as well as local history books for Countryside Books and Sigma Press.

She currently lives in Lancashire with her son.

BOOK REVIEW: JEANNIE’S WAR BY CAROL MACLEAN.

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Women’s Fiction/ WW2 Saga

Publisher: Hera Books

Publication Date: 24 March, 2022

Series: Kiltie Street Girls Series. ( Can be read as a Standalone).

Book can be purchased online.

Book Blurb

War changed her country, but it couldn’t change her spirit

Glasgow, 1939

Despite being shy and reserved, Jeannie Dougal finds herself newly engaged to handsome soldier, Arthur Dunn, the day war is announced. Jeannie accepts, even if she is unsure if a girl from the tenements will fit in with Arthur’s comfortable, middle-class background. But as WW2 takes its toll on the world, her wedding must wait…

As she sets off to work at a munitions factory she meets Eileen, Janet and Annie. As her new friends bond together in war work, sharing their stories of romance, Jeannie is grateful to be settled with Arthur, even if he is set in his ways.

Until she meets charming Canadian soldier, Bill, and realises she has found a spark she was always missing. But how can Jeannie tell Arthur? And is she strong enough to fight her own battle, with the country already at war…?

An emotional and romantic family saga set in WW2 Scotland and the start of a captivating new series. Fans of Call the Midwife and Katie Flynn won’t be able to put this down.

My Review

Jeannie’s War is an amazing book I read in a sitting and so late into the early hours of the morning.

I am pleased with the twists and turns of the plot. The characterization is so great, the suspense was well controlled and the plot had that page turning effect.

Jeannie is a remarkable character and a loveable one. You cannot help following her story and that of other characters especially Kathy! I love that character and I almost thought she was real.

The book title and cover were what drew my attention and I am pleased I read this amazing book that took me on an adventure to the WW2. I am grateful for modern times like this and warm food to eat.

The author wrote the plot in a realistic way with human empathy.

I am rating this great book 5 stars because I just love it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hera Publishers through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are mine.

Author’s Bio

Carol MacLean lives in the Glasgow area. She began by writing pocket novels, having 18 published before deciding to write historical saga. She enjoys weaving social history into fiction and imagining how life must have been for ordinary people living through different times.

When she’s not writing, Carol can be found visiting museums or walking around the city looking for traces of old Glasgow to inspire her next novel.

THE PRINCE AND THE PRODIGAL BY JILL EILEEN SMITH.

Genre: Christian/Biblical Fiction/ Historical Romance

Publisher: Revell

Publication Date: February 1, 2022

Book can be purchased online.

Book Blurb

Joseph is the pampered favorite son of the patriarch Jacob. His older brothers, deeply resentful of his status in the family, take advantage of the chance to get rid of him, selling him to slave traders and deceiving their father about his fate. It seems like their troubles are over. But for Joseph and older brother Judah, they are just beginning.

While Joseph is accused of rape and imprisoned, Judah attempts to flee the memory of his complicity in the betrayal of his younger brother. After decades apart, the brothers will come face-to-face in a stunning role reversal that sees Joseph in a position of great power while Judah begs for mercy. Will forgiveness or vengeance win the day?

Bestselling and award-winning author Jill Eileen Smith brings her considerable research and imaginative skills to bear in this vivid retelling of one of the most popular stories found in Scripture–a story of jealousy, betrayal, and a reconciliation that only God could bring about.

My Review

The Prince and the Prodigal by Jill Eileen Smith is a biblical fiction retelling on the character Joseph.

The author uses fiction to elaborate on the lives of Jacob and his twelve sons. It was fun reading through the author’s eyes as she expertly takes her readers to biblical times.

Joseph and Judah had central places in this book. I love how she did her best to stick to biblical facts despite the fictional segments of each character.

Overall, the title for this book is a perfect fit. The author did a great job.

I am rating the book five stars. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are mine.

Author’s Bio

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling and award-winning author of the biblical fiction series The Wives of King David, Wives of the Patriarchs, and Daughters of the Promised Land, as well as The Heart of a KingStar of Persia: Esther’s Story, and Miriam’s Song. She is also the author of the nonfiction books When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams and She Walked Before Us. Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan. Learn more at http://www.jilleileensmith.com.

BOOK REVIEW: POLLY’S WAR BY FREDA LIGHTFOOT.

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Saga

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication Date: September 1, 2000

Book Blurb

World War II may be over, but Polly Pride feels as though the fighting has moved to her own home. Polly knows that she risks losing everything, but refuses to go back to Ancoats and a life of grinding poverty. And she won’t stand by and watch her family tear itself to pieces.

Book Review

Polly’s War by Freda Lightfoot

What an amazing book! Freda did it again with her unique style of writing.

I was glued from the first page to the last page.

Every character was essential to the plot.

My favourites were Lucy, Benny, Michael, Polly and of course, Minnie!

So many themes to learn but a family that sticks together, stays together.

I highly recommend this book if you are looking for something entertaining and full of action.

I voluntarily reviewed this book. Opinions expressed in this review are mine.

Author’s Bio

Freda Lightfoot was born and brought up in the mill towns of Lancashire. She has been a teacher, bookseller and smallholder but began her writing career by publishing over forty short stories and articles and five historical romances under a different name. Having lived for many years in the Lake District and also in Cornwall, she now tries to divide her time between the two.