Steadfast Heart, a novel by Tracie Peterson, opens in Seattle in 1888. Lenore, a young woman of privilege, will soon learn that an older man whom she does not love wishes to court her. She believes that she should marry for love. Abrianna Cunningham and Lenore are best friends. Abrianna is concerned with other aspects of life. Her focus is on helping the needy in the most dangerous parts of the city much to the chagrin of those who love her. Rightfully so, they are concerned for her safety. On the surface, it appears Lenore and Abrianna may not have much in common, but theirs is a strong friendship. Looking for his runaway sister, attractive Kolbein Booth arrives in Seattle. He hopes to find her at the Madison Bridal School which is where Abrianna resides with her guardians. While he doesn’t find his sister there, he does meet Lenore and finds an ally in Abrianna who tries to help him in his quest.
The author brings to the reader an inviting story with believable characters. There is much to admire and love about Abrianna , but she is a handful. Lenore is a charming young woman with many admirable qualities who does find love with Kolbein. All she has to do is find a way to have him fall in love with her. Both women, together and separately, try to accomplish what they think is best. The secondary characters and the subplots add depth to the novel. Their fictional world becomes very real to the reader. This well told story mixes romance and mystery and leaves the reader wanting to read the next book in the series.
I received this book free of charge from Bethany Publishing and I give this review of my own free will.
A Plague of Unicorns, by Jane Yolen, is a story set in medieval times. There are problems at Cranford Abbey. The place is falling apart and money is needed to make the necessary repairs. The new Abbot is certain he can raise money by using the golden apples from the orchard to produce and market his family’s recipe for golden apple cider. Unfortunately, he is not the only one interested in these apples. The competition comes from a herd of unicorns that insist on eating the golden apples. This is no ordinary group of unicorns as they are resourceful and very good at defending themselves from those who try to get rid of them. Such is the situation young James finds when he arrives at the Abbey for his education. James is both a curious child and a thinker and he offers to call in a hero to deal with the problem. Will his hero succeed?
The author has crafted a delightful and imaginative tale. It is written with wit, thoughtfulness and heart. Characters and setting blend perfectly. Even though the book is suggested for middle readers, I feel it would appeal to readers of all ages. I loved reading it.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.
Zora Hurston And The Strange Case Of Ruby McCollum, by C. Arthur Ellis, Jr. Ph.D., brings to life the story of Ruby McCollum. Ruby was a “wealthy African-American woman” who lived with her husband, Sam, and their children in Live Oak, Florida. Ruby considered herself to be Sam’s equal since she had worked with Sam to acquire their wealth. One fateful evening Sam strikes Ruby in front of his business associates and as a result their lives change. Eventually her life spirals out of control and in 1952 she finds herself on trial for murdering her “white physician and Florida state senator-elect lover”. Supposedly, she killed him because of a dispute over a bill. However, there is much more to this gripping story.
The story is told, in part, in the voice of Zora Hurston who had been sent by a newspaper to cover the trial. This alternates with a history of the troubled times leading up to the murder and the trial.
I found this to be a fascinating story. It is both thought provoking and memorable. From start to finish this book is captivating and I recommend reading it.
I received this book free of charge and I give this review of my own free will.