A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz

Synopsis:

Though Magnus MacLeish and Lark MacDougall grew up on the same castle grounds, Magnus is now laird of the great house and the Isle of Kerrera. Lark is but the keeper of his bees and the woman he is hoping will provide a tincture that might help his ailing wife conceive and bear him an heir. But when his wife dies suddenly, Magnus and Lark find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of accusations, expelled from their beloved island, and sold as indentured servants across the Atlantic. Yet even when all hope seems dashed against the rocky coastline of the Virginia colony, it may be that in this New World the two of them could make a new beginning–together.

Laura Frantz’s prose sparkles with authenticity and deep feeling as she digs into her own family history to share this breathless tale of love, exile, and courage in Colonial America.

    A Bound Heart

My Thoughts:

Oh, my heart! This story wove is delicate, threads around my heart and wouldn’t let go! Come along for a journey from the brooding, wind-swept western isles of Scotland to a growing plantation in colonial Virginia. These vibrant characters came alive and strolled through my imagination with such vivid detail that it was as if they were there in person.

I loved the history and the characters. Lark is my current favorite heroine. Lark faces some very difficult choices as well as heart-wrenching separation from all she knows and holds dear. Her strength and poise in the face of unknown hardship and difficulty, along with her faith in God sustain her. Yes, she worries for a time. Yes, she faces internal battles with her fear. But she always turns to God and leans on scripture and prayer. Lark is a shining example of how to face both hardship and the unknown. A gentle reminder that we can trust a known God with our unknown because nothing is unknown to God!

With descriptive beauty and vivid detail, this epic story is one that you will want on your keeper shelf to pull out and enjoy again and again! I give this book 5 enthusiastic stars and encourage you to pick up a copy for yourself as soon as possible!

(I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I am not required to write a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

aboundheart(sweetsuprisequote)

 

About the Author:

laura-frantz-2016  I was born and raised in Kentucky, living first in Ashland, Mammoth Cave, Bowling Green, and then Lexington. But my heart has always been in Berea, Madison County, the place my family has resided since the 18th-century. I came to know Christ there at the age of 12, was baptized, and spent my childhood roaming through the woods and swimming in the rivers of my books.

My earliest memories are of the public library, standing in front of shelves filled with those little biographies of famous historical figures like Daniel Boone and George Washington and Sacajawea. I began scribbling stories at age 7 and thankfully never stopped. My passion then and now is history and all the wonders of past centuries.

I attended college at Denison University in Ohio and also in England, living in a manor/castle and studying the American Revolution from the British perspective. Shakespeare and 18th-century literature form the backbone of my English degree. Strangely enough, I only took one creative writing class.

It was never a desire of mine to be published. I simply love to write for the sheer joy of writing – and that was enough. But as Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

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Snag your copy today!

    A Bound Heart

 

 

 

A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano

Synopsis:

Tressa Harlowe’s father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn’t take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they’re really up to. She’ll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father’s fortune–before someone else finds it first.

Award-winning author Joanna Davidson Politano welcomes readers to Trevelyan Castle, home of the poorest heiress in Victorian England, for a treasure hunt they’ll not soon forget.

My Thoughts:

With deep and thoughtful prose this enthralling story wove its way around my heart. From the very beginning, the characters monopolized my attention and I was along for a beautiful journey on a tapestry of exquisitely crafted words.

Tressa’s story touched my heart with its raw emotion. She grew up longing for her father’s attention and love, and now that he is gone she feels lost. Growing up, Tressa spent many hours in her father’s vineyard and now as she works with the vineyard manager to hold the estate together she will grow closer to her heavenly father and through the very vines growing in her vineyard learn to have a relationship with God.

Woven into this story is an intriguing mystery of a hidden treasure. With the wolves circling, some disguised as sheep, Tressa must decide who to trust and who to keep at arms-length. But will she make the right choice?

I’ll be honest, I struggled to not flip ahead to the end to find out who was behind the mystery. This story is so tightly woven, with lots of layers that you will be left guessing till near the end before you realize the truth! I had several suspicious and found myself talking to the characters on more than one occasion. In the end, I was glad that I prolonged the agony of not knowing and stayed with characters as the truth unfolded.

I really loved reading this book and give it 5-stars! You will want to be sure to carve out some solid blocks of time for enjoying this story, as you won’t want to put it down!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

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Grab your Copy!

A Rumored Fortune

About the Author:

Joanna-Davidson-Politano  Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter //

 

Books by Joanna:

Lady Jayne Disappears

A Rumored Fortune

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The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner

Synopsis:

Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that’s obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she’s made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she’s chosen. She’s still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she’s not sure she can write anymore. She’s beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a “scandalous” book. And the fact that she’s falling in love with her pastor doesn’t make things any easier.

With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn’t afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.

My Thoughts:

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck is written in first person point of view.  The beginning build-up, for me, was a little slow. The part where Sarah decides to be a Christian and give her heart to God in one brief paragraph and was so sudden, I had to go back and read it again, because I glossed over it the first time.

I enjoyed the friendship between Sarah and Piper. Piper is such a level-headed, character, she really adds to the story and gives some stability to Sarah, who at times tends to let her imagination run away with her.

On Sarah’s first visit to the church, she literally runs smack into a man who she feels an instant and surprisingly strong attraction to. She is surprised to find that he is the new pastor of the church, and thus starts the comedy as Sarah struggles to navigate her way through a relationship that she never saw coming.

When it’s all said and done, I enjoyed reading this debut story from Bethany Turner and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

About the Author:

BethanyTurner

Bethany Turner is the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado. A former VP/operations manager of a commercial bank and a three-time cancer survivor (all before she turned 35), Bethany knows that when God has plans for your life, it doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say. Because of that, she’s chosen to follow his call to write. She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight.

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The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

“Making Love Last” by: Laura Taggart

Can a happy marriage really last a lifetime?

Synopsis:

With thirty years of experience as a licensed marriage and family therapist, Laura Taggart understands the unique struggles of newly married couples who find marriage much more difficult than they imagined. Failed expectations, unanticipated conflict, and disagreements about money, sex, children, and more have many young couples assuming they made a mistake, married the wrong person, or just weren’t ready. As a result, one-third of all married couples divorce before their ten-year anniversary.

In this practical and hopeful book, Taggart offers the wisdom and help she would share as a counselor with a couple beginning their marriage. She helps couples examine their true expectations for marriage, provides six action steps for improving the way couples relate, and gives couples a new picture of what it means to enjoy marriage for a lifetime.

Each chapter includes discussion questions for couples or small groups as well as additional questions for personal reflection.

My Review:

As a Social Worker who has worked with families  who have gone through a divorce I can appreciate the need for this book. As a wife who has been married for 13 years, and looking back over the typical highs and lows, I can see where the thoughts shared in this book have a very practical application and can be useful for young married couples.

The coming together of two unique individuals, with their own thoughts, backgrounds and ideas isn’t as smooth and seamless as Hollywood or popular sources would have you believe. Many young people jump into marriage without the benefit of positive role models and without the full knowledge of what it really takes to blend two lives.

I appreciated the positive application of ideas and the thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter. I also appreciated the strong faith application and the reminder that Marriage is God’s gift to us, and the reminder that by drawing closer to God we can draw closer with our spouse and have the marriage that God intended. This book is a wonderful resource for young married couples, and couples struggling to find their way back to each other.

(I received a complimentary digital copy of this book for review from Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

About the Author:

Taggart_LauraLaura Taggart has been a licensed marriage and family therapist for nearly thirty years. As director of marriage and family ministry at Community Presbyterian Church in Danville, California, she founded a highly successful marriage mentoring ministry to help young couples develop a solid foundation for their young and often struggling marriages. A popular speaker at conferences and retreats, she has also taught as an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary.

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   Making Love Last

Cover Reveal – “The Lacemaker” by Laura Frantz

Laura Frantz has a new book coming out and I have been checking daily to find the cover of her newest book The Lacemaker.  The expected publication is January 2, 2018

Laura has shared with me that the gown on the cover is a real historic gown, from a museum collection!

Upon a little research of my own, I discovered that the dress was featured as part of a collection at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, in the “Fashion in Bloom” collection.

fashion-in-bloom-pano250

century-fashion-fashion-vintage

French or English dress, c. 1760, silk damask with silk supplementary weft. Emma Harter Sweester Fund. 81.290ab (photo credit: Indianapolis Museum of Art)

Dress-bodice

The fabric of this gown was patterned in the Rococo style which was prevalent between the 1740s–1770s. Characterized by a retreat from naturalism, these fabrics with their rich colors and meanderings of flowering vines and patterned areas reminiscent of lace or white work were a favorite of predominately upper class women.

This ensemble consists of a floor-length dress that opens in the front to reveal a stomacher at the top and a petticoat below. Wide side hoops were worn under the skirt to create additional width. Gowns made in this style known as sack, where box pleated fabric flows from the nape of the neck to the floor, were fashionable for formal occasions.

Front-of-dress

Those interested can find more photos and information about the dress at: http:collection.imamuseum.org/artwork/78198

“The Lacemaker” (Synopsis):

When colonial Williamsburg explodes like a powder keg on the eve of the American Revolution, Lady Elisabeth “Liberty” Lawson is abandoned by her fiance and suspected of being a spy for the hated British. No one comes to her aid save the Patriot Noble Rynallt, a man with formidable enemies of his own. Liberty is left with a terrible choice. Will the Virginia belle turned lacemaker side with the radical revolutionaries, or stay true to her English roots? And at what cost?

Historical romance favorite Laura Frantz is back with a suspenseful story of love, betrayal, and new beginnings. With her meticulous eye for detail and her knack for creating living, breathing characters, Frantz continues to enchant historical fiction readers who long to feel they are a part of the story.

 

The Reveal:

Ta-Da!

TheLacemaker.cover

Isn’t it lovely?  The detail on the lace and in the fabric of the dress is stunning!
I can’t wait to see the cover in person and hold the book in my hand.

 

About the Author:

laura-frantz-2016I was born and raised in Kentucky, living first in Ashland, Mammoth Cave, Bowling Green, and then Lexington. But my heart has always been in Berea, Madison County, the place my family has resided since the 18th-century. I came to know Christ there at the age of 12, was baptized, and spent my childhood roaming through the woods and swimming in the rivers of my books.

My earliest memories are of the public library, standing in front of shelves filled with those little biographies of famous historical figures like Daniel Boone and George Washington and Sacajawea. I began scribbling stories at age 7 and thankfully never stopped. My passion then and now is history and all the wonders of past centuries.

I attended college at Denison University in Ohio and also in England, living in a manor/castle and studying the American Revolution from the British perspective. Shakespeare and 18th-century literature form the backbone of my English degree. Strangely enough, I only took one creative writing class.

It was never a desire of mine to be published. I simply love to write for the sheer joy of writing – and that was enough. But as Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

You can visit Laura Frantz online at: www.laurafrantz.net

TheLacemaker.cover The Lacemaker is available for pre-order from amazon
(but they don’t have the cover yet)

 

I’d love to hear from you:

What new book(s) are you anxiously anticipating?