Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli (Review)

Freedoms Ring Heidi Chiavaroli

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Boston, 2015
Two years after nearly losing her life in the Boston Marathon bombing, Annie David is still far from “Boston strong.” Instead she remains isolated and defeated―plagued by guilt over her niece, crippled in the blast, and by an antique ring alongside a hazy hero’s face. But when she learns the identity of her rescuer, will he be the hero she’s imagined? And can the long-past history of the woman behind the ring set her free from the guilt and fears of the present?

Boston, 1770
As a woman alone in a rebellious town, Liberty Caldwell finds herself in a dangerous predicament. When a British lieutenant, Alexander Smythe, comes to her rescue and offers her employment, Liberty accepts. As months go by, Alexander not only begins to share his love of poetry with her, but protects Liberty from the advances of a lecherous captain living in the officers’ house where she works.

Mounting tensions explode in the Boston Massacre, and Liberty’s world is shattered as her brother, with whom she has just reunited, is killed in the fray. Desperate and alone, she returns home, only to be assaulted by the captain. Afraid and furious toward redcoats, Liberty leaves the officers’ home, taking with her a ring that belonged to Alexander.

Two women, separated by centuries, must learn to face their fears. And when they feel they must be strong, they learn that sometimes true strength is found in surrender.

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Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh (Reveiw with a Giveaway)

This was one of those books that once I started, I could not put down. In fact, I started reading it one evening after work and finished in the wee hours of the next day.

In part because I could empathize in a way with Lane Kelley. While I’m not estranged from my family, I do live 2500 miles away and often feel out of the loop when I get together with them. And none of them betrayed me the way a member of Lane’s family did hers. There’s so much pain and hurt to Lane’s story, I couldn’t help but feel for her.

 

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Review: Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson

What happened to Brigitte Berthold?

That question has haunted Daniel Knight since he was thirteen, when he and ten-year-old Brigitte escaped the Gestapo agents who arrested both their parents. They survived a harrowing journey from Germany to England, only to be separated upon their arrival. Daniel vowed to find Brigitte after the war, a promise he has fought to fulfill for more than seventy years.

Now a wealthy old man, Daniel’s final hope in finding Brigitte rests with Quenby Vaughn, an American journalist working in London. He believes Quenby’s tenacity to find missing people and her personal investment in a related WWII espionage story will help her succeed where previous investigators have failed. Though Quenby is wrestling her own demons—and wary at the idea of teaming up with Daniel’s lawyer, Lucas Hough—the lure of Brigitte’s story is too much to resist. Together, Quenby and Lucas delve deep into the past, following a trail of deception, sacrifice, and healing that could change all of their futures.

 

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The Returning by Rachelle Dekker

About The Returning by Rachelle Dekker

Twenty years have passed since Carrington and Remko Brant’s baby, Elise, was kidnapped and they were forced to leave her captive in the Authority City. Though they fled with the Seers far from Authority reach, they’ve never given up hope of rescuing their daughter from the man who betrayed them. Now Authority President, he’s ushered the city into a new era of “peace”–one where the Scientist Roth Reynard’s Genesis Serum has eradicated all memory of emotion or rebellion.

But the mysterious Aaron and his Seers are once again on the move, threatening the illusion the Authority has worked so hard to build. As the Seers send seven chosen warriors to rescue Elise and bring restoration to the Authority City, the lines are drawn for a final battle between light and darkness. The key to ultimate victory may rest within the strangely powerful girl who has felt forgotten but was never abandoned–a truth she’ll need to wage war against the powerful forces of evil.

 

 

My thoughts

First, I loved that the third and final Seer novel begins with Carrington and Remko Brandt. Too often books just jump into new characters and I feel like I need a refresher from what happened in the last book that I read over a year ago. This wasn’t at all the case with The Returning. In fact, the first chapter is both a reminder of what happened in The Calling but also an introduction to the story that is about to play out.

Shame. Fear. Doubt. Emotions that draw us away from God, away from the light. In the finale of Rachelle Dekker’s Seer trilogy, readers are reminded of this fact over and over again. As each character in the books goes through their own journey, much as each of us does, they are reminded that the light has always been with them. That they are not alone. That the light within is greater than anything that comes against them.

A story that clearly draws the lines between good and evil, God’s love and Satan’s lies, the light and the dark, and the choice that each person must make. Fast paced with scenes built in to let the reader breathe, The Returning is the perfect conclusion to a trilogy that started with a young woman who was not chosen with a future of servitude in front of her and ends with more than she could have ever imagined. God not only changes lives, he changes futures and gives us identity and purpose.

 

 

About the Author

 

The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker, Rachelle Dekker was inspired early on to discover truth through the avenue of storytelling. She graduated with a degree in communications and spent several years in marketing and corporate recruiting before making the transition to write full-time. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Daniel, and their diva cat, Blair. Visit her at www.rachelledekker.com

 

 

 

More about the book (in the words of Rachelle Dekker)

 

The Returning focuses on Carrington and Remko’s daughter Elise. Tell us more about Elise’s character and her growth throughout the book.

Elise starts the book in a pretty dark place. She grew up without parents, believing she was abandoned, only to discover there’s an entire world that has been kept from her. Her journey can be divided into two parts, in my opinion: first, learning who she really is; and second, learning how to live that out. It’s the same journey we all take, and I believe that makes her pretty relatable.

The theme of identity is explored in all three Seer books. How does forgiveness relate to identity?

For me, forgiveness is more about the one who feels wronged than the one who committed the wrong. What if, for a moment, you believed that nothing could harm you? That you, as a believer, are seated at the Father’s table and standing with him? Can anything harm the Father? If you believe no, then can anything harm you—the true you, the true spirited self? So then, forgiveness becomes more about letting go of false belief and stepping into the true identity that the Father gave to you. I know it’s radical, but belief like that could change the world, don’t you think?

How do you hope this book will resonate with your readers?

I hope, as with both of the other books, that the reader sees themselves in the characters and that the story causes them to look inward. To ask hard questions like, Who am I? What am I capable of? Do I see myself the way the Father does? Can I? I hope it challenges their idea of identity and then gives them hope to see themselves and others more clearly. Because that’s how these stories have impacted me, and we are all really just the same.

 

 


Disclosure statement:
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. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Catching Heat by Janice Cantore

In the third and final installment of the Cold Case Justice series by Janice Cantore, readers get to catch up with Detective Abby Hart and PI Luke Murphy as they embark on their first case together on a special task force.

In the third and final installment of the Cold Case Justice series by Janice Cantore, readers get to catch up with Detective Abby Hart and PI Luke Murphy as they embark on their first case together on a special task force.

catching heat cover

Their case brings the two of them near the town where the mastermind behind Abby’s parents deaths, and she is desperate to do a little digging while in the area. Even if Luke doubts the plausibility of her proof.

As both Abby and Luke deal with their growing attraction to each other, they also have to learn to trust each other, to open up. When they are handed one more case to look into, one that they all believe will lead to only dead ends, things get interesting…and dangerous.

While more series authors tend to write stand-alone stories these days, it’s nice to come across one like Cantore’s every once in a while. I enjoyed following Luke and Abby through all three books (Drawing Fire, Burning Proof, and Catching Heat), gives the readers more insight into these two characters. By the end, I was not only wanting the happy ending for Abby and Luke, for Abby to find the answers she so desired, but also felt like I really knew these two characters. Of course, this means that if you haven’t read the first two books in this series, you may as well just purchase them right now.

Cantore offers a book that keeps the action moving along (I didn’t want to put it down) while including her expertise and knowledge of police procedures. Who better to write such a thrilling page-turner than an experienced ex-law enforcement officer.

***Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book via the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.