icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: February 2018

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Book Review and Author Giveaway~Keturah

About the Book: 
Keturah (The Sugar Baron’s Daughters) (Bethany House, February 2018)
In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father’s estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.
Although it flies against all the conventions, they’re determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, conventions are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined–and that’s just the start of what their eyes are opened to in this harsh and unfamiliar world.
Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.
To keep her family together and save the plantation that is her last chance at providing for them, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?

About the Author: 
Lisa T. Bergren has published more than 40 books with more than 3 million books sold combined. She's the author of the Christy Award-winning "Waterfall," RITA®-finalist "Firestorm," bestselling "God Gave Us You," and popular historical series like Homeward, Grand Tour, and more. She's also a recipient of the RT Lifetime Achievement Award. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and three teen-and-older children. Visit her website http://lisatawnbergren.com
What I Thought: 
Keturah is the first book in author Lisa T. Bergren's new series, The Sugar Baron's Daughters. I absolutely loved this book and could not put it down. I enjoy reading historical fiction, especially when the main character is a strong woman who is willing to do whatever she needs to do, even if it doesn't fit society's view of women for the time period. 
The settings of the story were exciting-first the long, grueling trip on the ship, and then the lush, tropical islands. I could not imagine being a woman wearing all the long skirts and petticoats in that tropical humidity! I was both fascinated and saddened by the treatment of the slaves, and how women were disregarded and disrespected. 
Keturah was determined to provide for her sisters and not lose what their father had worked for, but she also struggled with letting down her walls to let God lead her path. This is a lesson many of us can learn from. Having suffered an abusive marriage, she also must learn to open her heart to love again. 
At the back of the book are Historical Notes, which I found very interesting. When reading a Historical Fiction story, I'm always amazed at the amount of research that the author must do to write the book. I strongly recommend reading Keturah, and I cannot wait for the next book in the series!
You can learn more and purchase your own copy of Keturah at the author's website.  More reviews of this book are available at Litfuse.
Author Giveaway
Enter to win a copy of Keturah. Five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced March 13 on the Litfuse blog! .

* I received a copy of this book free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Review~Out of the Ashes

Book Description: 
After the death of their father, Collette and Jean-Michel Langelier are no longer tied to post-war France. While his sister dreams of adventure, Jean-Michel is hoping to finally escape reminders of the horrors he faced in the Great Syrian Revolt of 1925. When an unexpected invitation for them to visit Alaska and the Curry Hotel arrives, it seems like the perfect opportunity.

Young widow Katherine Demarchis is also travelling to the foot of Mt. Denali with her grandmother-a last trip before she retreats into a quiet and solitary life, finally free of the dangerous husband she was forced to marry. Yet when she encounters there a Frenchman from her past, her plans for the future are thrown into question. 

Both haunted by the violence of their pasts, can Katherine and Jean-Michel rediscover the bond they once had? Or, when Jean-Michel's nightmares return with terrifying consequences, will it be impossible to heal what's been broken for so long?

My Review: 
Out of the Ashes is the second book in the Heart of Alaska series by authors Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse. Although I had not read the first book in the series, In the Shadow of Denali, I was told this book was able to be read by itself. I definitely agree with that, but now having thoroughly enjoyed Out of the Ashes, I want to read the first book to get more background on the characters and the hotel.

I enjoy historical fiction, and have read a few books by Tracie Peterson, and loved her writing style. I had not read anything by Kimberley Woodhouse before this book. I've never been to Alaska, but I'm fascinated by it and hope to visit someday, so Out of the Ashes was very intriguing to me.

Out of the Ashes captivated me from start to finish. I felt like I personally knew the characters and was travelling alongside them as they experienced Alaska. My heart hurt for Katherine and Jean-Michel, both with such good hearts but broken by past experience. As a Christian, I appreciated the focus on God and the use of scripture in the story. In both A Note from the Authors at the front of the book, and Dear Reader at the end, the authors explain much of their journey researching for this series. They also open up their hearts and share difficult times they encountered during the writing of Out of the Ashes. 

I highly recommend Out of the Ashes, and I look forward to reading the other books in the series, as well as more books from the authors!

*I received a copy of this book free from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.