The Unveiling (Tamara Leigh) – Review

5 stars

~ About the Book ~

12th century England: Two men vie for the throne: King Stephen the usurper and young Duke Henry the rightful heir. Amid civil and private wars, alliances are forged, loyalties are betrayed, families are divided, and marriages are made.

For four years, Lady Annyn Bretanne has trained at arms with one end in mind—to avenge her brother’s murder as God has not deemed it worthy to do. Disguised as a squire, she sets off to exact revenge on a man known only by his surname, Wulfrith. But when she holds his fate in her hands, her will wavers and her heart whispers that her enemy may not be an enemy after all.

Baron Wulfrith, renowned trainer of knights, allows no women within his walls for the distraction they breed. What he never expects is that the impetuous young man sent to train under him is a woman who seeks his death—nor that her unveiling will test his faith and distract the warrior from his purpose. Continue reading

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Weekend Book Buzz!

I’m trying out something new this week, and throwing a spotlight on what’s been happening in the world of Christian fiction this week, as well as looking forward to the coming week. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post, and ideas about what sort of thing you would like to see in future book buzz posts.

~ Book Tours ~

Celebrate Lit currently has two book tours underway. Click on the image below to be taken to the landing page for each tour, which will have information on the book, a list of blogs participating in the tour, give-aways, and more!

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~ Pre Order ~

Two very exciting releases have become available for pre-order this week, and both involve the wonderful Pepper Basham! The first is a collection of romcom novellas, Love at First Laugh, which releases on 6 March 2017 (that’s only just over two weeks away!), and the second is a new full-length novel from Pepper, Just the Way You Arethe first book in her Pleasant Gap Romance series. It’s a beauty, and it releases on 6 April 2017. Click on the images below for more information.

(affiliate links)

            

~ New Releases ~

14 February 2017
 

Read my review for Redeeming Grace.

15 February 2017
 

21 February 2017

~ Giveaways ~

Goodreads doesn’t seem to be my friend when it comes to giveaways. Because I’m in Australia, it doesn’t show me the giveaways open only to US residents. Luckily for me (and you), Carrie over at Reading is my Superpower IS my friend, and she has an excellent post with the giveaways ending this week here.

~ Discussions ~

There’s a great discussion happening over on Diversity Between the Pages about whether authors should only write what they know (or are) when it comes to the ethnic background of their characters. Come and join the conversation!

That’s about it for this week. What information are YOU interested in having in a Book Buzz post? Do you look for giveaways? Do you follow book tours? Let me know!

And if you have some news you would like me to share in my Weekend Book Buzz, send me an email 🙂

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First Line Friday – 17 February 2017 – The Unveiling (Tamara Leigh)

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Welcome to another edition of First Line Friday! I hope you’re not alone in the house right now, because I have a first line that will leave you on the edge of your seat!

I first read this book (and the other four in the series) a few years ago now, but decided to pick them up again because (a) they really are worth a re-read; and (b) THERE’S GOING TO BE A BOOK SIX! If you haven’t read the series before, this won’t mean much to you, but Sir Durand is finally going to get his turn!

Ahem. Back to business. What is this series, you ask? It’s Tamara Leigh’s Age of Faith series, set in Medieval England in the mid 1100s, and my first lines (I’m giving you two today, because I’m generous like that! 😉) come from the book that starts it all: The Unveiling.

Lincolnshire, England, October 1149
A nightmare seized him from sleep, turned around his throat, and filled his mouth so full he could not cry out. Desperate for air, he opened his eyes onto a moonless night that denied him the face of his attacker.

Doesn’t that just give you chills?

On a much less sinister note, we welcome another new member to our First Line Friday family today: Lauraine Henderson. Make yourself at home, Lauraine 🙂

Don’t forget to share your first line in the comments, and then hop on over and find out what the other First Liners have for you today:

Sarah ~ All The Book Blog Names Are Taken //  Bree ~ Bibliophile Reviews //
Rachel ~ Bookworm Mama  //  Heather ~ Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen  //
Beth ~ Faithfully Bookish  //  Kathleen ~ Kathleen Denly  //  Lauraine ~ Lauraine’s Notes  //
Andi ~ Radiant Light  //  Carrie ~ Reading is my Superpower  //  Robin ~ Robin’s Nest  //
Sydney ~ Singing Librarian

If you would like to join us for First Line Friday, contact Carrie at Reading is my Superpower.

~ About the Book ~

12th Century England. Two men vie for the throne: King Stephen the usurper, and young Duke Henry the rightful heir. Amid civil and private wars, alliances are forged, loyalties are betrayed, families are divided, and marriages are made. For four years, Lady Annyn Bretanne has trained at arms with one end in mind—to avenge her brother’s murder as God has not deemed it worthy to do. Disguised as a squire, she sets off to exact revenge on a man known only by his surname, Wulfrith. But when she holds his fate in her hands, her will wavers and her heart whispers that her enemy may not be an enemy after all. Baron Wulfrith, renowned trainer of knights, allows no women within his walls for the distraction they breed. What he never expects is that the impetuous young man sent to train under him is a woman who seeks his death—nor that her unveiling will test his faith and distract the warrior from his purpose.

Amazon US  //  Amazon AU  //  Goodreads

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Redeeming Grace (Jill Eileen Smith) – Review

5 stars

Publisher’s Description
When famine visits Bethlehem, Boaz holds out hope for rain while his relative Elimelech moves his wife Naomi and their sons to Moab. For a while, it appears the Lord is blessing Elimelech’s family, and his sons marry two lovely Moabite women. But calamities strike, one after another, leaving Naomi alone in a foreign land with only her childless daughters-in-law for comfort. When news reaches Naomi that the famine in Bethlehem has lifted, only Ruth will hazard the journey to her mother-in-law’s homeland. Destitute and downhearted, Naomi resigns herself to a life of bitter poverty, but Ruth holds out hope for a better future. And Boaz may be the one God has chosen to provide it.

Combining meticulous research with her endless imagination, Jill Eileen Smith gorgeously renders one of the most beautiful stories in Scripture. Readers will adore this third installment of the inspiring Daughters of the Promised Land series.

~ Excerpt ~

“The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.  Is he the same man you spoke about with Neta, the one whose wife recently passed on?” Ruth flushed at the question, for to mention him reminded her of the strength of his presence.
“Yes, yes. There is only one Boaz in Bethlehem. It is the same man. And may he be blessed by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi said, taking Ruth’s hand. “The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers.”
Ruth tilted her head, not fully understanding. “Redeemer? You mean like the kind of buying back of the chosen ones in Moab so they would not suffer the fate of sacrifice?”
Naomi looked at her with lifted brow, but a moment later she shook her head as though a light had dawned. “No, no. Our kinsman redeemer is nothing at all like Moab’s ‘redeemer’ of the chosen sacrifices. Your redeemers pay corrupt priests in order to save their own lives or the lives of their children. Our kinsman redeemer marries the widow of a childless man in order to raise up offspring for the man, so that his heritage is not lost in Israel.”
Ruth stared at Naomi, her cheeks heating again. “Boaz is a man who could raise up a son for Mahlon? I still don’t quite understand.” How would the child not be Boaz’s son? And wouldn’t that mean Boaz would have to marry her to accomplish such a thing? She shivered at the thought.
“Our law allows protection for our people in many ways, my daughter. But it is too soon to think about such things. The fact that Boaz took notice of you and offered you his protection is enough.”
“He did say to me, ‘You shall keep close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.'” Ruth felt again the awe and embarrassment of that moment when he had spoken to her. “Of course, he did tell me to follow after his young women as we follow his reapers,” she added. The men would not harm the women, and it was fitting that she would stay with women rather than men.
“It is good, my daughter,” Naomi said, intruding on her thoughts, “that you go out with his young women, lest in another field you be assaulted.” Her look matched the concern Ruth had seen in Boaz’s eyes.
“I will do as you say,” she said. But suddenly her heart wondered if her desire to obey was strictly for her safety.

~ Review ~

The story of Ruth is a beautiful one—for a number of reasons—but it’s sometimes easy to gloss over what life had been like for Ruth prior to meeting Boaz, and the humility of spirit she had to possess in order to make the choices that brought her to his attention.  Not so in Jill Eileen Smith’s retelling—although it is as much Naomi’s and Boaz’s stories as it is Ruth’s.

The novel opens in the years immediately prior to Naomi’s husband moving their family to Moab, thus encompassing a period of some twelve or more years over the course of the story. The Biblical narrative is largely silent on the years leading up to Ruth and Naomi returning to Bethlehem, but Jill Eileen Smith has filled in those years with some well-chosen events that not only drive the story forward, but create a contrast that deepens the beauty of Boaz’s actions as kinsman redeemer.

It was also fascinating to watch Ruth on her journey towards learning about the God of Israel, in spite of the adversity she witnessed and encountered, while Naomi and Boaz both struggle in different ways to hold on to their belief in God’s goodness in the midst of their trials. Ruth’s character shines even more brightly when she reaches Bethlehem, where she humbly takes on the role of gleaning each day in order to provide for herself and Naomi in their poverty. And while romantic displays of affection between Ruth and Boaz were restrained on the page, there was an obvious depth to their love that was beautiful to behold—the more so because it was a picture of God’s love and acceptance.

In short, Redeeming Grace is a satisfying read for any lover of Biblical fiction.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review.

Release date:  14 February 2016
Series:  #3 Daughters of the Promised Land (stand alone)
Pages: 368
Publisher:  Revell

Amazon US  //  Amazon AU  //  iBooks  //  Goodreads  //  Koorong

~ Previous Books in Series ~

Read my review for The Prophetess.

~ About the Author ~

jill-eileen-smithJill Eileen Smith is the author of the Daughters of the Promised Land series, the Loves of King Solomon series, the Wives of the Patriarchs series, and the bestselling author of the Wives of King David series. When she isn’t writing, she can often be found reading, biking, traveling, spending time with friends, or snuggling her feline writing buddy, Tiger. She especially enjoys spending time with her family.

Connect with Jill:     Website  //  Facebook  //  Twitter  //  Pinterest

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Word Nerd Wednesday – Nicky Woop Pt II

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It would seem I need to congratulate everyone who commented on last week’s Word Nerd Wednesday post, because you all managed to work out what it means to nicky woop.  For those of you who have suffered sleepless nights this week wondering what the answer is, I’ll now put you out of your misery! 😄

nicky woop (v) – Australian slang meaning ‘go away’

Some of those who commented gave me some other slang terms that mean the same thing: Beat it!  Skidaddle!  And it got me to thinking, how many ways are there to say ‘go away’?  Is there a slang expression that’s popular where you come from?

So this week, I want you to share some other less formal ways to say ‘go away’.  HOWEVER, please do NOT include offensive expressions. I know my regular readers wouldn’t do so, but for the benefit of anyone who happens to stumble across this post in cyberspace, ‘Keep it clean, or it won’t be seen!’ 😊

Until next time!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Favourite ‘Hate-to-Love’ Romances

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Whew! I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to a Top Ten Tuesday post this week. After a week of intensive editing, I’ve got a whole lot of reviews to catch up on (not to mention housework…) But it’s Valentine’s Day, and the topic today from the girls at The Broke and The Bookish is a ‘pick-your-own-romance-trope-and-run-with-it’ kind of day. How could I resist? Continue reading

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First Line Friday – 10th February 2017 – Redeeming Grace (Jill Eileen Smith)

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I don’t know about all my northern hemisphere friends, but here in the Great South Land of Oz it’s a lot more like First Line Fryday! Ouchie Mama! It’s 43ºC here today (that’s about 110ºF!) and the weekend is set to be even hotter! 😳

Luckily for me, blogging takes place from the comfort of my air-conditioned lounge room. 😊

But, moving right along to today’s first line, which comes from Redeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith. This is the Biblical story of Ruth, and it releases on Valentine’s Day:

Naomi lifted the hem of her robe as her feet fairly flew down Bethlehem’s streets toward the outskirts of town.

Before I go, I want to say a big ‘G’day’ to Kathleen Denly, who’s joining the First Line Friday family. 🤗 Let’s all make her feel welcome!

Don’t forget to share your first line in the comments, and then hop on over and find out what the other First Liners have for you today:

Sarah ~ All The Book Blog Names Are Taken //  Bree ~ Bibliophile Reviews //
Rachel ~ Bookworm Mama  //  Heather ~ Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen  //
Beth ~ Faithfully Bookish  //  Kathleen ~ Kathleen Denly  //  Andi ~ Radiant Light  //
Carrie ~ Reading is my Superpower  //  Robin ~ Robin’s Nest  //  Sydney ~ Singing Librarian

If you would like to join us for First Line Friday, contact Carrie at Reading is my Superpower.

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