Friday, December 30, 2011
About the book (from zondervan.com):
The abrupt disappearance of young Daisy Chance from a small Texas town in 1973 spins three lives out of control—Jed, whose guilt over not protecting his friend Daisy strangles him; Emory Chance, who blames her own choices for her daughter’s demise; and Ouisie Pepper, who is plagued by headaches while pierced by the shattered pieces of a family in crisis. In this first book in the Defiance, Texas Trilogy, fourteen-year-old Jed Pepper has a sickening secret: He’s convinced it’s his fault his best friend Daisy went missing. Jed’s pain sends him on a quest for answers to mysteries woven through the fabric of his own life and the lives of the families of Defiance, Texas. When he finally confronts the terrible truths he’s been denying all his life, Jed must choose between rebellion and love, anger and freedom. Daisy Chain is an achingly beautiful southern coming-of-age story crafted by a bright new literary talent. It offers a haunting yet hopeful backdrop for human depravity and beauty, for terrible secrets and God’s surprising redemption.
Daisy Chain is book one of the Texas Defiance Trilogy by Mary DeMuth. This is the second book by Mary DeMuth that I have read, the other is The Muir House and she is an author that I enjoy reading and will look forward to reading more from her in the future. Daisy Chain is the type of book that has a fast pace and keeps you interested in it. Though this is the type of book that when you get to the end you will want to go and get book two because this is a true series and each book does not stand alone on its own well. This is a book filled with real life, it is not a happy go lucky, feel good novel without much depth but if you enjoy dealing with real emotions and situations than this book is for you.
*I received this book from Zondervan for the purpose of the review.
About the book (from waterbrookmultnomah.com)
Can Hannah find refuge, redemption, and a fresh beginning after her world is shattered?
When the Heart Cries
Her life among her Amish community brutally interrupted, seventeen-year-old Hannah Lapp faces questions neither family, nor fiancé, nor even faith can easily answer. The first book in the Sisters of the Quilt series, When the Heart Cries will ignite a broader understanding of others’ beliefs and a God-given strength to deal with pain we all experience.
When the Morning Comes
Rejected by those she loves, Hannah Lapp leaves her Amish community and seeks refuge in the world outside, leaving her family and friends to wrestle with the painful truths that emerge in the wake of her disappearance. As she struggles to find her place in the confusing Englischer world, her community deals with the turbulent aftermath of her departure.
When the Soul Mends
Hoping to help her sister, Hannah Lapp reluctantly returns to the Old Order Amish community she fled in disgrace more than two years earlier. When hidden truths are revealed about her former fiancé, she must choose whether to return to the Plain life or to the Englischer man who adores her in this captivating conclusion to the Sisters of the Quilt series.
This three-in-one collection includes the entirety of the best-selling Sisters of the Quilt trilogy now at a new low price!
This trilogy was very enjoyable to read. I really enjoyed being able to read all three books in a row. The only main downside is that the book is rather large to hold but it is such a good value getting them this way. The books are easy to read and the story flows well. The books captured my attention from the very beginning and held it to the end. To me the definition of a good book is one that grabs me from page one and doesn't get slow and boring. These books are not your typical Amish fiction and I found the characters to have more depth to them then others. Also, there is alot more interaction with Englischers and the world outside of the Amish community.
If you are looking for a good trilogy to keep you reading and reading and enjoy books set in the Amish community then this book is for you.
*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review
Thursday, December 29, 2011
10. A Sound Amoung Tree by Susan Meissner
9. The Muir House by Mary Demuth
8. Tour De Force by Elizabeth White
7. Composing Amelia by Alison Strobel
6. The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund
5. House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson
4. Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin
3. The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden
2. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen
....and my number 1 book of the 2011 is.......
A Passion Must Pure by Julie Lessman
*Most books have reviews posted, just look in the archives!
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
What would it be like to go from having your own maids and servants to being a maid? What about if you were in service to two brothers both of which were former suitors? What if you were keeping your identity a secret?
This and more is what Miss Margaret Macy will face in Julie Klassen's newest book The Maid of Fairbourne Hall. Miss Macy finds herself needing to escape from her step fathers demand to marry his nephew and knows if she can make it for one year she will receive a rather large inheritance from her great aunt. The twist in her plan was she never planned to end up a maid in Fairborne Hall.
I loved this book so much that I read it in less than 3 days because I could not put it down. I have read two other books by Julie Klassen (The Apothecary's Daughter and The Girl in the Gatehouse) and this onw by far is my favorite so far. I loved learning about what it was like to be a servent back in 19th century English manor and had fun trying to guess when people would find out who she really was.
This book is full of suspense, adventure, danger and even a little romance this book has something for everyone and will not disappoint. So, if you are new to Julie's books or have read them all make sure you add this excellent novel to your collection.
About the Author (from bethanyhouse.com):
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit www.julieklassen.com
*I received this book from the author and Bethany House publisher in exchange for my honest review, Thank you Julie and Bethany House!
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Let me begin, that I love the cover of this book. That alone would make me want to read this book. Then when I read the back of the book it made me even want to read it more. The great thing is that once I started this book I couldn't put it down, it was that good. Lady of Bolton Hill is Elizabeth Camden's debut book and you would think she is a seasoned author with this book, it really is that good. I will be looking forward to reading her second book, The Rose on Winslow Street which comes out in January 2012. Good thing I do not have to wait long!
Clara Endicott has just returned to her Baltimore home after many years in London. While in London she developed into fine journalist defending the poor and seeking reform. Now that she is back home she is just as determined to defend those that need it most. It is also when she is reunited with her childhood best friend, Daniel Tremain. The only problem is Daniel has a grudge he just won't let go of and this grudge has the potential to both him and Clara in danger. Clara believes that Daniel needs God's grace and forgiveness to be able to move forward. Will Daniel be able to accept God's grace?
This is a great book, full of romance and adventure, you won't regret reading it. So if you are in the mood for a good book that will keep you turning pages well into the middle of the night than this is the book for you. Great job Elizabeth Camden!
*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.
She Makes it Look Easy is not your typical christian fiction book. It deals with real issues and something that every woman can relate to one point or another. If you have ever thought that the grass is greener on the other side then you will relate to this book.
Ariel moves into the neighbor hood of her dream and almost shares a backyard with the neighborhood's queen bee, Justine. Justine takes Ariel under her wing to show her how to have the perfect life. Though is Justine just using Ariel to try to make herself happier or does she truly love the friendship that is developing. Ariel sees Justine as the example of a perfect life (clean house, every day planned and organized and such). As things start coming to light about Justine, Ariel starts wondering if Justine was just using her and that she doesn't have it easy at all.
I found this book to be a quick read, at 309 pages, I finished it just under a day. It is easy to read and the story flows well. While I would not call it a top 10 book that I would re-read over and over, I found it enjoyable and glad I read it. I was not a waste of time by any other means. I am excited to read Mary Beth's first book, The Mailbox, which is a completely different type of story, and other books she writes in the future. Good job on your second book Mary Beth!!!!
* I received this book from the author and the publisher, David C. Cook, in exchange for my honest review.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Mattie thought her childhood sweetheart adored her until he abruptly ended their engagement on Christmas Eve.
Three years later, will learning the truth behind his rejection restore her Christmas joy – or open the door to even deeper heartbreak?
Spend Christmas with the Amish in this story of love, romance, heartache, and restoration.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Open the door to a more intimate relationship with God
Discover the Hebrew names of God within the biblical text Encounter God through prayers, promises, and devotional readings Experience God's character more deeply by studying his names
One of the best ways to get to know God on a deeper level is to know his names and titles as revealed in Scripture. Now the bestselling author of Praying the Names of God and Praying the Names of Jesus uncovers the richness of God's character and love found in his names right within the Bible text.
The Names of God Bible restores more than 10,000 occurrences of specific names of God--like Yahweh, El Shadday, El Elyon, and Adonay--to help readers connect with the Hebrew roots of their Christian faith and experience a deeper understanding of God's character. Perfect for personal study, prayer, and reflection, The Names of God Bible includes these special features:
More than 10,000 names and titles of God restored to their Hebrew equivalent and printed in brown ink to stand out within the biblical text
Names of God reading paths lead readers to the next reference of the name so they can pray and study the names of God throughout Scripture
Name Pages feature
- background information associated with the most important names and titles of God
- key Scripture passages in which the name is revealed
- devotional readings for each of the featured names
- specific Bible promises connected to each of the featured names
Calling God by Name sidebars shed light on the relationship between biblical people and the specific names they called God.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Priscilla White knows she'll never be a wife or mother and feels God's call to the mission field in India. Dr. Eli Ernest is back from Oregon Country only long enough to raise awareness of missions to the natives before heading out West once more. But then Priscilla and Eli both receive news from the mission board: No longer will they send unmarried men and women into the field.
Left scrambling for options, the two realize the other might be the answer to their needs. Priscilla and Eli agree to a partnership, a marriage in name only that will allow them to follow God's leading into the mission field. But as they journey west, this decision will be tested by the hardships of the trip and by the unexpected turnings of their hearts
I loved this book, every single page of it. I found myself drawn into it from the very beginning and kept reading to the end and never stopped loving the story. If you have ever played the Oregon Trail game this book reminded me of my childhood (ok and adulthood) days of playing that game since the story is set during that time of going out west to Oregon.
Jody Hedlund does a great job at telling the story, which she actually based partially on real people and history (which makes the best kind of historical). She made is feel like you were right with the characters. I can not wait to read more from her. Great job, Jody!
* I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. Thank you Bethany House!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
WaterBrook Press (October 4, 2011)
Donita K. Paul is the author of The Dragons of Chiril, Dragons of the Valley, and the bestselling DragonKeeper Chronicles with more than a quarter of a million books in print. She enjoys cooking, beading, stamping, knitting, and her grandsons. Not necessarily in that order.
Visit the author's website.
Trapped in a forgotten city, bound by secrets, Ellie and Bealomondore must enlist the dragons of the watch to find freedom.
Ellie knows exactly where she is going. She just wants to experience the pomp and circumstance of a royal wedding, then settle into a simple life with a country husband.
With too many choices, Bealomondore’s future is a tangle of possibilities. He is respected, well-known, and admired among the elite of Chiril, but Wulder demands he narrow his focus and follow his Creator, one step at a time.
Both Ellie and Bealomondore’s plans are thwarted when they find themselves lost in an isolated city. As they discern the needs of a group of wild children and a very old man, clues began to surface and a bigger picture is revealed. With the help of the dragons of the watch, can the two tumanhofers find the way out—and perhaps discover their connection to something greater than themselves?
List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (October 4, 2011)
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
Ellie sat on her favorite boulder and looked Tak right in the eyes, telling him what was on her mind. “Gramps shouldn’t have taught me to read.”
Tak responded as he usually did when he received Ellie’s confidences. He lowered his head, placing it on her knee for a rub.
Ellie obliged her pet, stroking the white hair between his nubby horns with one hand while digging in the pocket of her homespun pinafore with the other. The mountain breeze toyed with the paper she withdrew. With difficulty, she smoothed the small poster out on her other knee. Dirty and wrinkled, it still made her heart beat a little faster.
Royal Wedding and Coronation
Prince Jayrus, Dragonkeeper and Paladin
All invited to the celebration
“All invited. But Ellicinderpart Clarenbessipawl and her goat Tak can’t come. No chaperone, no travel. Ma and Da aren’t interested. And Gramps just laughs. ‘You’ll see. You’ll see,’ is all he says. He should take me himself.”
Her younger brother’s shrill yell came from the knoll rising out of the river to the east. “Ellie! Ellie!”
He stood on the hill, grinning like a bear with a paw in the honey hive and his face red from running. His stubby tumanhofer body bounced with excitement. He held his fists above his head and whirled them around in circles. Something had set him off.
She stood and hollered back. “You be calling me by my proper name out in the open ’n’ at the top of your lungs, Gustustharinback. Ma will tan yer hide if she’s finding out you disgrace the family with such shabby care of our dignity.”
When he saw her, he cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted, “Yer wanted at home. Itta be good news.”
That information didn’t impress her. Probably a delivery of the bolt of muslin ordered, which meant she’d be cutting and dyeing lengths for making new clothes. Not exciting news at all.
“Can it wait?” She gestured behind her to the scattered goat herd. “I’ll have to gather Tak’s clan if I’m to come home now.”
“I’ll come help you.” Gustus charged down the hill toward the footbridge across the river.
Ellie stared at him for a moment with her mouth hanging open. The good news had nothing to do with cloth. Her brother would never voluntarily help bring in the goats for something as mundane as new clothes. He scurried down the path, slipping some on the loose rocks. But the precarious descent did not slow him a bit. Even in the narrower patches, where exposed roots of arranndon bushes tripped careless hikers, her sturdy brother skidded downward.
Folding the royal celebration notice into a small square, Ellie stuffed it back in her pocket. She turned away from watching her brother’s progress and nudged the goat. “Come on, Tak. You find the nannies, and I’ll find the billies.”
Ellie went one direction and Tak another. In a few minutes, she located the fifteen goats that formed the herd. Mostly young males, these animals preferred the rockier terrain. She suspected it had to do with their perpetual game of I’m-up-highest.
She clicked her tongue and tapped her staff on a rock. Their heads rose as if all attached to the same string, though they didn’t come right away. Each one chewed what was in his mouth and casually left his place one by one. Taking a serene amble down the hillside, they passed her, heading toward the bridge and home.
When the last one clomped by, Ellie rested her staff on her shoulder and followed. Tak already had the nannies plodding along the bank toward the footbridge. Gustustharinback trailed the nannies and carried the smallest of the baby goats in his arms.
He shouted when he caught sight of his sister. “Hurry! Aunt and Uncle Blamenyellomont are at the house. I can’t tell you the surprise, and I’m gonna burst with keeping my tongue from waggin’ and you from knowin’.”
She tapped her staff on the rock beneath her feet. The billies scampered before her, picking up her impatience and gratefully heading for home. Even after eating all day, they appreciated the handfuls of button grain they got from the farmer’s younger children.
With the goat hoofs pounding on the wooden bridge, Ellie couldn’t hear or be heard. So she waited until she’d caught up with her brother on the other side.
“What’s with all the falderal, Gustus?”
She watched as he forced a glare onto his face, erasing the impudent grin he’d been wearing. “You are to call me by my proper name if I have to call you by yours.”
“There’s a difference between shouting ‘Ellie’ and speaking ‘Gustus’ quietly.” She grabbed his arm. “Now tell me, or I’ll toss you into the river.”
He pressed his lips together and gave her his most obstinate glower. The corners of his lips twitched, and she knew he wanted to laugh. She let go. She couldn’t really dunk him while he carried the small kid.
“Why are our aunt and uncle here?”
“Can’t tell you that either. But they’s only stopping, not staying. We’d better hurry.”
Ellie lost Gustustharinback’s help as soon as they came in sight of the pens. He scuttled down the last hill and opened the gate but then ran through the goat barn, across the yard, and into the house.
The herd followed the leader through the opening and took up different places to observe their world. Ellie and Gustus had put many odd things within the goat pen for the animals to climb on. Old wooden benches, barrels, a huge thick branch they had pulled with the donkey’s help, and crates littered the ground. The goats enjoyed scrambling up, over, and around the obstacles.
Tak stayed at Ellie’s side as she put water in the trough and fastened the barn door securely open so the animals could come in if they wanted. He followed her out the door on the other side of the barn and waited patiently while she latched it shut.
Entering the back door so she could wash before meeting their visitors, Ellie noticed that the kitchen showed signs of serving tea. Her mother must have prepared refreshments to carry into the common room. Through the pantry door, she could see empty spots on the shelves, which meant the good china pot and the blue glass dishes were being used.
Warm water sat in a tub in the sink, and she used that to wash her face and hands. She pulled the scarf off her head, gathered her long, curly black locks into a ponytail and used the scarf to tie it in place. Wisps of hair immediately escaped and framed her tanned face. She washed her face again as if she could rid herself of the look of a farm girl. Hopefully Aunt Tiffenbeth wouldn’t make that tired old comment: “Your blue eyes would be more attractive if you scrubbed away some of that mud you use for face cream.”
Voices from the family’s conversation drifted through the partially open door. Aunt Tiffenbeth quarreled with Ellie’s father.
“Brother, you are wrong in this. Ellicinderpart is your eldest child and way past the age to be in the village looking for a husband.”
“If there’s a man good enough for her, he can just come courting here.” Her father’s voice rumbled in the wood-paneled room, and Ellie did not even have to strain to hear him. She stepped closer to the door in order not to miss a single word her aunt spoke.
“You are the most vexing man. That is not going to happen. It isn’t the way of things, and you know it. You’re selfish and your mind is rootbound.”
Only his older sister could get away with talking like that to Ellie’s father. She probably ought to go in before the discussion escalated to verbal warfare. She finished wiping her hands and draped the towel over one of the kitchen chairs around the square table.
“The girl is needed here.”
“The young woman is your unpaid servant.”
Excerpted from Dragons of the Watch by Donita K. Paul Copyright © 2011 by Donita K. Paul. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Together again, the three sisters sift through their recollections of fifteen years ago...of an ill mother, and of their father making a desperate choice. They vowed, as children, to be silent--but one sister believes the truth must now be revealed. Yet can they trust their memories?
Mark Delahunt arrives in the wake of this emotional turmoil. Determined to win Bailee's affection, Mark becomes the strong fortress for her in this time of confusion, and what was once a tentative promise begins to take root and grow. Caught between the past and an uncertain future, can Bailee let God guide her to heal the past and ultimately to embrace love?
Saturday, November 12, 2011
HE HAD EVERYTHING SHE NEEDED.
BUT COULD SHE FIND THE COURAGE TO TRUST HIM?
Stepping from a battered coach on a rainy April eve, newly widowed Elisabeth Kerr must begin again, without husband or title, property or fortune. She is unafraid of work and gifted with a needle, but how will she stitch together the tattered remnants of her life? And who will mend her heart, torn asunder by betrayal and deception?
Then a worthy hero steps forward, rekindling a spark of hope. Will he risk his reputation to defend two women labeled as traitors to the Crown? Or will a wealthy beauty, untainted by scandal, capture his affections?
The heartrending journey of the Kerr women comes to a glorious finish in Mine Is the Night, a sparkling gem of redemption and restoration set in eighteenth-century Scotland.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
About the book:
Let the flour fly! Beginning October 24th, Erin's celebrating the release of her latest page turner, The Baker's Wife, with an outstanding KitchenAid baking prize package giveaway that includes a brand new KitchenAid Mixer, cook books, and all you need to whip up some fabulous bread or sweets! Then and on November 10th she'll be wrapping up the release of The Baker's Wife with an Author Book Chat Party on Facebook! Don't miss a minute of the fun!
(Enter contest graphic –embedded in html post)
One grand prize winner will receive:
- Empire Red 4.5 QT Ultra Power KitchenAid Stand Mixer
- Black & White Kitschy Apron
- Black Silicone Oven Mitt
- Black OXO Rolling Pin
- Wilton 9X5 loaf pan
- At My Grandmother's Knee Cookbook by Faye Porter
- Second Helpings with Johnnie Gabriel Cookbook
- The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 9th. Winner will be announced at The Baker's Wife Author Book Chat Facebook Party. Erin will be wrapping up the The Baker's Wife celebration with a book club chat and giving away a bunch of "sweet treats"! So grab your copy of The Baker's Wife (it's okay if you don't have one yet- you might win one!) and join Erin on the evening of November 10th for a book chat, some "baking" trivia and lots of "sweet" giveaways (books, and Amazon, iTunes & Starbucks gift certificates)!
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends. Hope to see you on the 10th!
*I received this book from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review!
Friday, November 4, 2011
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2011)
Stormie Omartian is the bestselling author (more than 13 million books sold) of The Power of a Praying® series, which includes The Power of Praying® for Your Adult Children, The Power of a Praying® Wife, The Power of a Praying® Husband, and The Power of Prayer™ to Change Your Marriage. Her many other books include Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On, The Prayer That Changes Everything®, The Power of a Praying® Woman, and The Power of Praying® Through the Bible. Stormie and her husband, Michael, have been married more than 37 years and are the parents of two adult children.
Visit the author's website.
New from bestselling author Stormie Omartian is a book close to her own heart—The Power of a Praying® Wife Devotional. Following up on the insights and prayers of The Power of a Praying® Wife (more than 3.5 million books sold) 100 brand-new devotions, prayers, and supporting Scriptures offer a praying wife fresh ways to pray for her husband, herself, and her marriage.
These easy-to-read devotions will increase any wife’s understanding, strength, and peace, as well as provide her with perspective on the situations and challenges she faces. And each prayer will help both husbands and wives be more attuned to the Holy Spirit so they can do what’s right without allowing negative emotions or unclear thinking to get in the way.
A must-have for anyone wanting God’s best for this most important relationship.
List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2011)
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,
in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God in
Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
As a wife, you need the kind of prayer habit that doesn’t give up or allow discouragement to get in the way, but instead persists and keeps on praying and asking.
When God told Abraham He intended to determine if Sodom was deserving of destruction, Abraham then interceded, praying on behalf of however many righteous people might be there. He asked God if He would destroy Sodom if fifty righteous people were found there, and the Lord said He would not. Abraham then asked if He would destroy the city if forty-five righteous people were found there, then forty people, then thirty, then twenty. Each time Abraham asked, God said He would not destroy it for that many people. Finally Abraham said, “Suppose ten should be found there?” And God said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten” (Genesis 18:32). As it turned out, only four righteous people were there, so God destroyed it. But Abraham had stopped asking at ten.
We need the kind of persistence in prayer that causes us to continue asking as Abraham did. Too often we stop short. Perhaps Abraham stopped asking because he couldn’t imagine that there wouldn’t be at least ten righteous people in Sodom. Or perhaps by then God had proved His point and revealed His intentions. God knew the city was wicked enough to destroy, but He saved the four righteous people—which were Lot, his wife, and their two daughters (Genesis 19:29).
Your prayers are powerful to save too. So keep asking and continue seeking, and don’t ask for crumbs when God wants to give you the banquet. When it comes to praying for you and your husband and your marriage, ask God to help you persist in prayer for even what may seem impossible. Ask for your marriage to not only be saved, but to be good. Ask for it to not only be good, but to be great. God doesn’t say “No” to what is His will. If your husband has a strong will that refuses to submit to God’s will, persist in praying that God’s will wins out.
My Prayer to God
Lord, I pray You would help me to be persistent in prayer—to ask and keep asking for what I believe is Your will. I know anything less than love, selflessness, kindness, peace, and generosity of soul is not Your will in my relationship with my husband. Help me to persist in praying for nothing less than the high standard You have for our marriage. Give me a vision of how You want me to pray. Show me the way You want our marriage to be and help me to pray accordingly so that it becomes all that.
I know I cannot force my husband’s will to be anything other than what it is, but You can touch his heart and turn it toward You. I pray You would do that. May he welcome Your Lordship in his life. Help me to pray consistently and passionately, and to persevere no matter what is happening. I thank You in advance for the great things You are going to do in both of us and in our marriage.
In Jesus’ name I pray.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
WhiteFire Publishing (September 1, 2011)
Christine Lindsay writes historical Christian inspirational novels with strong love stories. She doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects such as the themes in her debut novel SHADOWED IN SILK which is set in India during a turbulent era. Christine’s long-time fascination with the British Raj was seeded from stories of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in India. SHADOWED IN SILK won first place in the 2009 ACFW Genesis for Historical under the title Unveiled.
The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home. It’s a special time in her life as she and her husband enjoy the empty nest, but also the noise and fun when the kids and grandkids come home. Like a lot of writers, her cat is her chief editor.
Visit the author's website.
She was invisible to those who should have loved her.
After the Great War, Abby Fraser returns to India with her small son, where her husband is stationed with the British army. She has longed to go home to the land of glittering palaces and veiled women . . . but Nick has become a cruel stranger. It will take more than her American pluck to survive.
Major Geoff Richards, broken over the loss of so many of his men in the trenches of France, returns to his cavalry post in Amritsar. But his faith does little to help him understand the ruthlessness of his British peers toward the Indian people he loves. Nor does it explain how he is to protect Abby Fraser and her child from the husband who mistreats them.
Amid political unrest, inhospitable deserts, and Russian spies, tensions rise in India as the people cry for the freedom espoused by Gandhi. Caught between their own ideals and duty, Geoff and Abby stumble into sinister secrets . . . secrets that will thrust them out of the shadows and straight into the fire of revolution.
List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: WhiteFire Publishing (September 1, 2011)
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
Abby Fraser gripped the railing of the New Delhi and lifted her chin to defy the solitary expanse of sea. She refused to believe a wife needed an invitation to join her husband. The war was over at last. Nick and she were married, and it was about time he remembered that.
One of the Queen Alexandra nurses escorting the Indian troops home stood beside Abby. With a rustle of starched cotton, Laine Harkness leaned over and whispered in her ear. “Why do you look like you’re headed for the Black Hole of Calcutta and not about to have a passionate reunion with the love of your life?”
Abby ran a hand down her linen skirt and watched the blue line of shore draw closer. What could she possibly say? Instead of replying she cuddled her little son, Cam, nearer to her side. In less than an hour he’d meet his father for the first time. Had she been foolish not to wait for an answer from Nick? So few letters from him in four years.
“I know you’re American,” Laine went on, “but I assure you, the only thing to be afraid of in this part of the British Empire is the wife of your husband’s commanding officer.” She shuddered with drama and grinned maliciously. “Once you’re settled in your shady little army cantonment, the old battle-axe will whip you into shape in no time. Then you’ll be quite the proper memsahib. It’s them that run the colony for us Brits. Don’t you think for a minute it’s the Viceroy or our army—it’s the average colonel’s wife.”
Abby crinkled her nose as she smiled. “You win. Is this better?”
“Much better. You were altogether too peaked for meeting your handsome lieutenant.”
The New Delhi sliced her way through the narrows of Kolaba Point, and the familiar scent of Bombay reached out to Abby. Laine was right. No sense worrying. Tucking a strand of hair into her chignon, she savored a tantalizing whiff of overripe fruit, roses, marigolds and cloves, mingled with the acrid smell of dust. She lifted Cam up and snuggled her face into his neck, but he wiggled in her arms. At three years old he was heavy, much too big to be carried.
On the deck below, Indian soldiers stood with their British officers waiting to disembark. Yanking on her arm, Cam laughed and pointed to the tugboat pushing the ship into her berth, and Abby laughed with him. She felt six years old again. Like the troops, she was home. So close. In a few minutes she could touch her birthplace, so much brighter and warmer than Aunt Doreen’s dismal mansion in upstate New York or her father’s retirement manor in the Yorkshire Dales.
As soon as the liner stopped, it was as though an oven door dropped open, and hot air rushed in. On the quay, a kaleidoscope of color and humanity dazzled Abby’s eyes—Hindu women in saris of every hue, hot pinks, ochre yellows, lime greens. Parsee women wore their skirts of equally brilliant shades, their black hair ornamented with lace and gold. People balanced immense bundles on their heads. Bengali clerks rushed here and there, wearing yards of white muslin and Hindu caps, while other men wore turbans or solar topis. On the dock, uniformed soldiers joined the throng. So many people. She’d forgotten that claustrophobic feeling, the teeming press of millions. But she loved it all.
She hugged Cam and scanned the crowds of people on the quayside for Nick’s lean face and startling blue eyes. He’d be down there waiting for her, wouldn’t he? Her gaze stopped.
There he was. Her pulse pounded.
A tall soldier wearing his tan uniform, epaulets at his shoulder, his cap on his head, peered upwards at the passengers lining the ship’s railing. She could barely catch her breath as she waved. Cam, not seeing who she waved at, threw out his small hand, pumped it up and down, and laughed.
Nick looked up and waved. Her wide smile dimmed, and her hand went still. It wasn’t Nick. Someone farther along the ship’s railing sent an answering wave to the stranger on the quay.
Abby steadied her breath and swung her gaze over the crowd. Where was he? In addition to her letter announcing she was coming, she’d telegrammed Nick with her itinerary before she left Southampton. She’d sent another telegram and checked twice with the purser when they stopped at the Port of Aden days ago, and still there’d been no message from him.
“See you soon . . . goodbye . . . Christmas . . . take care of yourself,” the nurses said between hugs as they crowded toward the gangway. But Laine remained at Abby’s side.
“Please, Laine, go with the others. You’ve been wonderful, but Nick will be here.”
“You don’t know that for sure.” Laine’s practiced look was that of a nurse hating to give bad news. “You can’t fool me with that Yankee stoicism of yours. The whole voyage out, you’ve tried to hide your concerns.”
“Oh, all right.” Laine grew gruff as she relented, tucking a dark strand of hair under her nursing veil. “I’m always sticking my nose in where I shouldn’t. Occupational hazard.”
Abby took Laine’s arm and shook it. “Don’t be silly. I don’t know what I’d have done those first days of the voyage if you hadn’t taken pity on me till I got my sea legs. We’ll see each other on the train later anyway.” She gave the nursing matron a firm hug.
Laine joined the nurses, but Abby didn’t watch them leave the ship. She arched her neck to look into the sea of faces below. Sunlight glinted off the tin roofs at the quay and bounced off the ground. She squinted like a cat soaking up its rays and, taking a deep breath, moved toward the gangway.
A half hour later she carried Cam on her hip and walked out of the blistering customs shed. A hired bearer followed with their baggage.
The warm breeze loosened tendrils of hair at the base of her neck, and she blew from the side of her mouth to free a strand clinging to her cheek. Too bad she couldn’t tie it back in a plait like she used to. But as the wife of a British officer the time had come for chignons, silk stockings, and serving tea with cucumber sandwiches in flower-laden gardens. Time at last to be a proper memsahib. Her insides skittered. Time at last to be a wife.
Please, Nick, where are you?
The crowd thinned, and her fixed smile began to slip. She kissed Cam on his grime-streaked cheek. Her little boy made up for everything. He had Nick’s deep blue eyes, the right one slightly more narrow than the left so it always seemed one side of his face grinned in mischief. Without the help of the single photograph she had of her husband she doubted she’d have remembered his features. The echo of his voice faded long ago. Had that happened during the first year of the war? Or the second? But they’d only known each other those few weeks in England before he’d shipped out to India.
Coldness seeped into her veins. Was it possible she’d disappeared from Nick’s thoughts? She roused herself. If that indeed had happened, she’d fight it. She’d win back their brief flash of love and turn it into something to last a lifetime.
“Won’t be long, honey,” she said to Cam, more to bolster herself. Nick would be here. Of course he would.
“I’m thirsty, Mama.” Cam fussed, but she didn’t have the heart to scold him.
Over his complaints came the reed-like notes of a lute, the backdrop to thousands of voices, calling out, bartering, chattering. Overlaying the odor of burning cow dung patties hung the pungency of blossoms. Dust and spices clouded the air. Horns beeped and trolley cars rattled past. Wooden axles on bullock carts squeaked, counterbalanced by the tinkling of bells. It all smelled and sounded like home, except there was no sign of her husband.
“Mrs. Abigail Fraser,” boomed a voice with a Cockney accent. “Paging Mrs. Abigail Fraser.”
Abby whirled around to wave to a burly English sergeant. The soldier presented her with a telegram. “Here you are, madam. May I hold the boy for you?”
Entranced by the soldier’s uniform, Cam went to him willingly while she held the envelope for a long moment before tearing it open to read:
Sorry STOP Away on Business STOP Meet your train in Amritsar STOP Nick STOP
All noise ceased and a buzzing filled her head, leaving her only marginally aware of the sergeant returning Cam to her arms and leaving. She blinked and raised her hand to shield her eyes from the sharp colors and white sunshine.
The last of the passengers moved away, and a swarm of children with extended bellies called out to her, “Maa maa, maa maa,” all stretching out small hands to grab her skirt.
“I’m sorry.” She gave them a few annas from her bag. “I’m sorry I don’t have any more.” She wasn’t sure if the moisture blurring her eyes was for Nick not meeting them or for these poor children as young as Cam begging for their food. Most of the children wandered off when the coins were gone, but a few stayed at her knee gazing up at her. A lump grew in Abby’s throat as she caressed one little girl’s head, but even this tiny one fled when a stench came close, gagging Abby.
A wild-eyed sadhu with three bars of sandalwood paste scoring his forehead strolled toward her. With Cam in her arms and her back to the luggage cart, she had nowhere to turn. Ash covered the sadhu’s emaciated body and long, matted hair. She tried to catch his eye, but his gaze—dead-looking—bore through her as though she weren’t there.
She offered him a few coins, but he swerved and glided past her. She shook her head. For a moment she was back in Albany, unseen by those who were supposed to love her.
Geoff Richards’ throat thickened as he and his risaldar-major Muhammad Khan, mingled with the troops on the quayside. His men stood with their usual spit and polish as the ranks were dismissed. Like him, their joy to be back on Indian soil shone from their eyes, but their smiles couldn’t quite cover the shadows there. Only a fraction of them were coming home. He could still envision every one of his men who used to ride out with him on parade. That was before they left India for European shores. And paid a terrible price for the British Empire. If the Indian people didn’t hate them . . . perhaps they should.
The familiar shaking began in his right hand.
Geoff clenched it into a fish behind his back and stopped to talk to a few soldiers lingering outside the customs shed. “Will any of you chaps from Rawalpindi have a chance this year at the Christmas polo tournament?”
A Sikh jemadar squared his shoulders, his eyes glinting black with his grin. “Yes, sahib, your regiment will not be able to keep up with us in a polo chukka. I can guarantee it.”
“Right. I’ll take that as a warning, Kanvar. We’ll see you at the tournament in Lahore.”
Geoff clapped the young Sikh on the arm.
Dhyan Singh stood on the outskirts of the group. Both he and his brother had served in Geoff’s regiment while in France. Geoff moved toward the soldier, but the memory of Dhyan’s brother, dying in his arms, pulled Geoff back to the nightmare of the trenches. He locked his hands behind his back, clenching his fist in an attempt to still the tremor. Dear God, I failed them . . . brought only one son home to his mother and father.
He managed a smile. “Ah, Jemadar Singh, how many chukkas will you play when you get home? You must be terribly rusty, old man.”
Dhyan grinned. He, too, acted like a man recently come back to life. “Sahib, I am sure I will have no trouble playing at least ten. If my brother, Manjit, were here today, he would say you would be having many, many troubles playing even two or three.”
The men’s laughter roared, and Geoff leaned toward his risaldar-major. “Khan, did you hear that? I think I’ve been advised to stick to cricket. Seems rumors are about, my polo days are on the wane.”
His grin matched that of the men. It was good to talk about something that didn’t mean the choice between life and death. But his laughter stopped.
Cam Fraser and his mother stood not far from him. He’d know the child anywhere, having played marbles and shuffleboard with him a number of times on the voyage. Other than a nod and exchanging the time of day, he’d hardly spoken to Cam’s mother. Why were they still here? According to ship’s gossip, Lieutenant Fraser was to meet them. But here she was, balancing the boy on her hip, and with her free hand brushed her chestnut hair from her face. And no husband in sight. The trace of fear in her eyes was belied by her clamped mouth that silently said I can look after myself. Of course she could.
He’d leave her to it. His own plans were set, and he began to follow his men, but it was too late.
The boy saw him and squirmed free of his mother’s arms, shooting off like a missile to him. Geoff swept the child up, feeling the warm little body and wiry arms and legs wrap around him. Cam rested his head against Geoff’s chest. The sensation of the child’s curls under Geoff’s chin brought a shiver of feeling he’d thought long dead and buried.
Geoff’s voice quavered as he took steps in the direction of the boy’s mother. “Chin up, old man. There’s a good soldier.”
Sunlight blinded Abby. Against its rays the silhouette of a soldier with the lean lines of a cavalry man scooped Cam up. Her little boy wound his arms around the man’s neck, and she put her hand to her mouth. So many nights these past few years she’d urged sleep to come, imagining this scene at the pier.
As the man walked toward her she made out his clean-shaven features under the peaked military cap. Major Richards, who’d befriended Cam on the ship, carried her son back to her. It wasn’t Nick enfolding his son close.
“Mrs. Fraser,” Geoff said when he reached her.
She turned to the major a smile she didn’t feel. “With the two of you such good pals I think it’s about time you called me Abby.” She forced a lighter tone. “I was thinking those suffragettes back home might have something, marching about quite pleased with their self-reliance.”
The major’s stony look melted into puzzlement, then his gray eyes began to dance. “I can imagine you marching about with a placard in your hands. For a good cause, of course.”
“But of course.” In spite of Nick’s absence, her smile deepened. “My husband’s not able to meet us, so I was about to hire a—”
She couldn’t finish her sentence. As the major turned toward the street, the sun set afire the twisted, burgundy scar that traveled from his temple to his cheekbone. She fumbled for the word that escaped her.
“Rickshaw,” he finished for her. “If you’ll allow me, I’ll see you to the train station. Going that way myself. And you’re right, the little CO and I are great friends.”
He sent a pointed glance at Cam.
She laughed. “Oh, I see. I hadn’t realized he’d been given a recent promotion.”
“I’m meeting a friend, Miriam, at Victoria Station. We arranged to meet and travel at least some of the time together. She runs a medical clinic in Amritsar, where you’re going.” His mouth grew tender.
She darted a look up at him. What sort of woman made the ever-so-proper major’s heart flutter? Her own insides did a somersault. Did the same kind of love wait for her from Nick?
Within minutes a driver loaded their luggage onto a tonga. They climbed into a separate rickshaw and joined the hundreds of other tongas, bicycles, carts, trams, and cars. With the pier behind them they headed for the station.
“Unfortunate your husband was unable to meet you,” Geoff said, never taking his eyes from the passing streets. “India’s not safe for a woman and child traveling alone.”
“I’m aware of that, Major. I was born here.”
“But not raised here.”
Abby lifted her chin. “I may be a bit of a mixture—American mother, British father—but India is my home.”
His eyes twinkled as he dipped his head, conceding defeat. “Everyone onboard wondered how you as a civilian got passage with demobilizing troops, until we realized who your father was. I imagine the general’s name pulled strings for you.”
“Maybe,” Abby drew the word out. Her adrenalin surged, remembering the stuffy war department offices in London. “Let’s just say I made a few social calls to friends of my late father.”
“Many would call General Mackenzie Hughes a pillar of the British Raj. You must take after him. Most young woman would have collapsed into tears being stranded at the pier.”
“You forget, Major, I am coming home.”
His chuckle reverberated from deep within him. “I do keep forgetting. You’re an old India hand. How old were you when you left?”
“I was a wise old memsahib of six when I first left these shores.” She tucked a strand of hair under her straw boater hat and, catching his eye, laughed out loud.
“Ah, yes . . . a memsahib. “He sat back, and all amusement left his face. His tone bordered on dryness. “I daresay you’ve forgotten all that entails. No fear, the wife of your husband’s colonel—your burra-memsahib—will be only too pleased to instruct you on the protocols of being a proper memsahib.”
Their shared laughter had disappeared as if snatched by the flock of green parrots swooping over their heads. But as though he remembered his manners, the major lifted Cam onto his knee, his well-oiled Sam Browne belt creaking as he did. The man and the boy immersed themselves in conversation. Interspersed with Cam’s piping voice she caught the hint of a Northumberland burr in Geoff Richards’ speech. His crisp, English school accent must be a learned one, like Nick’s.
She had enough of an ear to recognize her husband had worked hard to gain that polished manner of speaking, but she knew next to nothing of Nick’s youth. Six weeks wasn’t long enough to know a man.
Bombay’s traffic bustled past. Her fingers itched to pull out the telegram she’d folded into her bag at the pier. But there was no need. The words were stamped on her mind. Nick hadn’t said much, but at least he’d acknowledged they were coming. She had to cling to that, to keep believing they’d become a real family, given time. Perhaps have more children. Cam would have brothers and sisters, a houseful of them . . . and love. Not the existence she’d had growing up in Albany under the disinterested eye of her mother’s only sister.
She’d waited four years. The train trip would take three days. Only three more days, and all she longed for would be waiting for her in Amritsar.