Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Book Review: The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright is a book full of long held secrets and people who seek retribution for sins committed.   It is actually two stories told from the past and the present that converge as one.  It is a story of wrongs and secrets and the weight of guilt.  It is a story of hope and the undeserved grace of God that covers any sin.

I highly recommend that you visit Gossamer Pond and read this book.  It may be fiction but it is full of truths that can change your life.  The two heroines of this book are strong and brave.  They bear scars from their lives but persevere anyway and live their lives to help others.  I recommend this book to anyone who loves great storytelling and to lovers of mystery.  This book is definitely a thriller.  It will keep you up too late, like it did for me!  I received a copy of this book from the author.  These opinions are entirely my own.

Monday, July 2, 2018

When Your Life Doesn't Turn Out the Way You Planned

Historical Fiction Book Review: Minding the Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I'm a planner.  I've always planned out my life as much as possible. Yes, I seek God's direction, but within that, I have always planned and organized my life carefully. In college, I even had spreadsheets planning out when I would take all of my classes and graduate on schedule.  Well, planning is great, but I've learned that sometimes life doesn't go exactly as you planned.  That's what the two main characters in Minding the Light have learned, too.

Ren is back home in Nantucket after 6 years at sea as the captain of a whaling ship.  He returns to a life he didn't expect and difficult circumstances beyond his control.  Daphne plans to marry a handsome young man.  She's busy helping her sister's family and plans to start her own in time.  Neither of them planned on the lives they have now.  And neither of them planned on finding each other.

Suzanne Woods Fisher's Minding the Light is a fascinating novel.  It deals with significant topics like faith and hypocrisy, slavery and prejudice, substance abuse, and love and justice.  The characters are incredibly realistic and relatable.  I never thought that I would be able to relate so well to a Quaker woman living in nineteenth century Nantucket.  Those who love history will be fascinated with this novel's historical details and will want to read some of the sources that Ms. Fisher includes at the back of her book.  This book can easily be read as a standalone novel.  Minding the Light is well researched and beautifully written with such depth of insight that could be applied to even today's current issues. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves good storytelling and history. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher. A review was not required.  These opinions are entirely my own. 

Book Title: Minding the Light  
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher  
Genre: Historical Romance  
Release date: July 3, 2018

Six long years ago, Captain Reynolds Macy sailed away from his bride, looking forward to the day when he would return to Nantucket Island with a ship’s hold full of whale oil. But when that momentous day finally arrives, Ren soon discovers that everything has changed in his absence. Everything. “Is nothing on this island as it appears to be?” he whispers in despair. Unlike most islanders, bold and spirited Daphne Coffin doesn’t defer to Ren as an authoritative whalemaster, but sees through his aloofness to the aching heart beneath. She encourages him to return to his Quaker roots and “mind the Light,” finding solace in God and community. As Ren becomes the man she believes him to be–honorable, wise, faithful–she finds herself falling in love with him. But how can she, when her heart is spoken for? Tristram Macy is Ren’s business partner, cousin, and best friend–and Daphne’s fiancĂ©. Love always comes at a cost, but when is the price too high? Suzanne Woods Fisher welcomes readers back to the Quaker community on Nantucket Island for this riveting love story, full of unexpected moments.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Carol-award winner Suzanne Woods Fisher writes untold stories about inspiring people. With over one million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction, ranging from Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World to the historical novel Anna’s Crossing.

Guest Post from Suzanne

8 Curious Facts you Probably Didn’t Know about Nantucket Island

This beautiful island, thirty miles off Cape Cod, is steeped in history. Here are just a few interesting reasons to add a visit to Nantucket to your bucket list. 1) During the first half of the nineteenth century, Nantucket was considered to be the wealthiest port in the world…all because of whale oil. 2) Petticoat Row is a 19th century nickname for a portion of Centre Street between Main Street and Broad Street. Many shops on Nantucket were run by women while the men were off to sea in whaling ships for years at a time. Quakerism, with its emphasis on equality, provided working women with community respect, value and esteem. The next time you’re visiting Nantucket, be sure to stop by the Petticoat Row Bakery for a morning glory muffin. 3) The use of laudanum (opium) was described by a visiting French as prevalent among the women of Nantucket. Loyal Nantucketers vehemently denied his claim. However, in the 1980s, construction workers digging to Nantucket’s sewer lines found heaps of opium bottles buried in the ground. For centuries, laudanum was considered to be not only harmless but beneficial. Its very name in Latin is landare, which means to praise. Other names for it: Mother’s Helper (to sedate children), Sea Calm (for seasickness). It was used for all kinds of ailments, from sleeplessness to menstrual cramps to treatment of chronic pain, and available without prescription up until the twentieth century, when it was found to be highly addictive. 4) Nantucket Cent Schools were a carryover from England and the cost was exactly what the name implied. In New England they were kept by refined, thrifty women who often taught their own or their neighbors’ children until they were old enough to enter schools of a higher grade. I came across a story of a boy whose mother stuck a penny in his mouth each day so that he would remember to pay the teacher. 5) Moby Dick, written by Herman Melville in 1851, was based on a true-life event that occurred in 1820 to the Nantucket whaleship Essex and her crew. You can find out more about this ill-fated voyage if you visit Nantucket’s awesome whaling museum. 6) Speaking of…the whaling museum on Nantucket Island is called the Peter Foulger Whaling Museum. Peter Foulger was one of the early settlers to the island, and could be considered a Renaissance Man: inventor, surveyor, teacher, missionary to the Wampanoag Indians. And his grandson was none other than Benjamin Franklin. 7) Nantucketers were, for the most part, related to each other in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The prosperous island was settled by a small group of families, with less than a dozen surnames: Coffin, Macy, Starbuck, Bunker, Hussey, Gardner, Mayhew, Swain, Barnard, Coleman, Worth, Mitchell. Those names are still common on the island. 8) There’s a good reason those surnames sound familiar to you—many of those early settlers had descendants who started business empires. Recognize these? Macy (retailer) and Folger (coffee).

Minding the Light is on tour with Celebrate Lit!

Blog Stops:

Carpe Diem, July 3
Livin Lit, July 3www
Mary Hake, July 7
Simple Harvest Reads, July 8 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Book by Book, July 9
Splashes of Joy, July 10
Vicky Sluiter, July 11
Among the Reads, July 12
Bigreadersite, July 15
Pause for Tales, July 16


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card to five winners!!
Be sure to leave a comment on one of the blog stops for 9 extra entries into the giveaway. Click link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d1c4/minding-the-light-celebration-tour-giveaway

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