Baby Blessings

From  Mary Quirindongo

Title:  Baby Blessings

 Author:  Jennifer Johnson

Sabrina is determined to help her sister when she finds out she is pregnant and her parents want nothing to do with it. Mallory decides to keep the baby. Mallory\’s pregnancy counselor Brent is a devoted christian and is falling for Sabrina but realizes that Sabrina has little faith that God will show them the way. Join them on their journey as Sabrina longs to seek understanding from a painful past and seek peace for a wonderful future.

The Last Pope

From Elaine Pasquali

Title:  The Last Pope

Author:  David Osborn

With the passing of a caring and loving pope, cardinals gather to elect a new pope. The two leading contenders are Cardinal Heriot and Cardinal Mancini.  Each represents diametrically opposing visions for the Church:  Heriot, an American reformist; Mancini, an Italian traditionalist.  Heriot is tormented by guilt-ridden nightmares.  Mancini is vindictive and unforgiving.  Thrown into this mix is charismatic Father John Zacharias who wants the Church to return to a church of Christ-like love and mercy.  This is compelling, don’t-miss  read that can be appreciated by Catholics and non Catholics alike.


The Offering

From Wendy Bocian
Title: The Offering
Author: Angela Hunt
A woman and her husband cannot afford to have more children right away so they decide she will become a gestational carrier to earn money. The husband is a soldier and just as the wife is about to give birth to another couple’s baby,the husband is killed while on duty. She gives the baby away, but two years later discovers that she mistakenly and unkowningly gave away her own biological son. She struggles with taking back her child who she does not even know or allowing him to stay with the family who has raised him for two years as their own. This book raises some very interesting and difficult moral issues. I felt slightly disappointed in that after reading the jacket, I was able to predict much of what occured. I would have enjoyed it more had I been completely shocked at the events which took place.

Candle in the Darkness

From  Ginny  Pisciotta
Author:  Lynn Austin
Candle in the Darkness
Caroline Fletcher is the daughter of a wealthy slave owner in Virginia.  Unlike her family and most everyone around her, she has always thought of slaves as people and friends rather than property. Her feelings against slavery grow stronger as she witnesses the horrific injustices  against slaves in both her own city home and on her uncle’s plantation.  After the death of her mother she is sent to live with relatives in Philadelphia where she meets abolitionist  Rev. Nathaniel Greene and becomes convinced she must help the abolitionist cause.

She eventually returns home, falls in love and becomes engaged.  Before she can get married, Virginia secedes from the Union and war breaks out.  Her fiancé, and other loved ones go to fight on the side of the Confederacy.  She does her part to help care for the thousands of injured Confederate soldiers.  When she is contacted by a cousin from Philadelphia who is now a prisoner of war near her home, she visits him. Knowing her feelings about slavery, he asks her to help him and other union soldiers to escape, and also to act as a spy giving the North whatever information she finds out.

Caroline has a difficult and dangerous decision to make.  Should she act as a spy for the north to help bring freedom to the slaves, but betray the man she loves, family and friends?  If caught she would most likely be hung.   People are already suspicious of her because of her views on slavery.

Candle in the Darkness is a riveting novel that asks hard questions, vividly portrays the horrors of slavery and of war, and shows how quickly lives and lifestyles can be irrevocably changed .

This is the first title in the Refiner’s Fire series.  The other 2 are Fire by Night and A Light to My Path.

The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek

From Ginny  Pisciotta
Author:  Jane Myers  Perrine
The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek
The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek is a light-hearted look at small town life.  It focuses on the newly  arrived, newly ordained minister Adam Jordan. As he adjusts to small town life, he must learn to deal with Miss Birdie(who he nicknames “ the pillar”, a kind hearted but pushy and outspoken widow who feels it’s her job to train him in how to be a proper minister.  One of Birdie’s chief jobs as a member of “the widows” is matchmaking.  She takes this role very seriously.  She does not believe ministers, or anyone else of marriageable age for that matter, should be single so Adam must learn to deal with her not so subtle attempts at matchmaking.  Another  of the widows’  pet projects is matching up a marine who lost his leg in Afghanistan and is dealing with post-traumatic stress and depression with a recently divorced physical therapist with 2 sons.

The book maintains a humorous and light-hearted tone, even through sad or serious storylines.  It is similar in substance and style to Phillip Gulley’s Harmony series. You grow to love all the characters, even with their flaws and eccentricities.

The next Butternut Creek novel is titled The Matchmakers of Butternut Creek.

Love in Disguise

From Ginny  Pisciotta
Author:  Carol Cox
Love in Disguise
It’s the 1880’s and would-be actress Ellie has just lost her job as wardrobe mistress and personal assistant to a theatre starlet.  With no money for rent or food, she overhears 2 Pinkerton agents talking about the need for a female operative.  She uses her acting skills and costuming experience to convince them to give her a chance.

She leaves Chicago to head for Arizona.  Along the way she is to meet the more experienced female agent she is to work with.  When the other agent bows out to get married, Ellie continues on alone, hoping to solve the mystery (thefts of silver shipments) before the agency recalls her.

The book gives the reader  a little humor as Ellie plays two very different roles in a western mining town with an  assortment of interesting characters, a little romance as she falls for the owner of one of the silver mines, and a little supense as mysteries always have their villains and danger.  All in all, it’s a pretty good read.

Summer of the Midnight Sun

From Ginny Pisciotta
Author:  Tracie Peterson
Summer of the Midnight Sun 
 The setting for this historical novel is the Alaskan wilderness in 1915. Leah and her brother Jacob have grown to love this harsh land and its people. When Jayce, the man who broke her heart 10 years earlier, returns, Leah must deal with strong but conflicting emotions. Their lives are all further complicated by adventure, mystery and danger in a variety of forms. The themes of forgiveness, mercy, and justice are recurring. If you enjoy this book, be prepared to read the sequels – Under the Northern Lights, and Whispers of Winter.Otherwise, you’ll be left hanging with unresolved issues.

Plain fear : forsaken

From Rosemarie Jerome
Author:  Leanna Ellis
Plain fear : forsaken 
Vampires and the Amish, sounds bizarre and I was skeptical at first but the story slowly lured me in until I was hooked.  It begins with a young man running for his life and evolves into a young Amish woman haunted by her dead boyfriend and an ex-cop from New Orleans hunting for his wife’s killer.  It is a dark story of secrets, love, faith and a battle to save a woman’s life and her immortal soul.

Goodness gracious green

From Ginny Pisciotta
author: Christie, Judy Pace
Goodness gracious green
 The 2nd book in the Green series, Goodness Gracious Green is the story of Lois Barker’s second year as owner of the Green News-Item, a small town paper she inherited in northern Louisiana.  As much as she loves her new life there, she has serious misgivings about her decision to stay after a series of suspicious fires at the paper and her home. With a little romance added to the mix, the book is an enjoyable read.  Like Gone to Green, the first book in the series, the story is somewhat predictable but it holds your attention.  The third book in the series is The Glory of Green.

Gone to Green

From Ginny Pisciotta
author: Christie, Judy
Gone to Green
Lois Barker is an editor for a city newspaper in the Midwest.  She inherits a newspaper in rural Louisiana.  She moves down there hoping to turn the paper around and then sell it so she can return to her corporate lifestyle. She meets an interesting assortment of people, making new friends and enemies as she fights corruption and prejudice, and works to revitalize both the paper and the town.  In the end she must make the choice between her old lifestyle and her new one. Although the plot was somewhat predictable, it was an interesting book that gave me a glimpse into small town life in the south.  I plan on reading the sequel.