About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Embers in the London Sky by Sarah Sundin

Embers in the London Sky

As the German army invades the Netherlands in 1940, Aleida van der Zee Martens escapes to London to wait out the Occupation. Separated from her three-year-old son, Theo, in the process, the young widow desperately searches for her little boy even as she works for an agency responsible for evacuating children to the countryside.

When German bombs set London ablaze, BBC radio correspondent Hugh Collingwood reports on the Blitz, eager to boost morale while walking the fine line between truth and censorship. But the Germans are not the only ones Londoners have to fear as a series of murders flame up amid the ashes.

The deaths hit close to home for Hugh, and Aleida needs his help to locate her missing son. As they work together, they grow closer and closer, both to each other and the answers they seek. But with bombs falling and continued killings, they may be running out of time.


She'd found her son, only to have him ripped from her arms again.
Once. Twice. Thrice

As I read this heartbreaking story, I couldn't help wondering how I would have survived the trauma of being separated from my child, but even worse, losing him during wartime. Would I have been as determined as Aleida or would I have spent my life grieving for the three-year-old who was taken from me? Author Sarah Sundin shares Aleida's emotional journey, beginning in The Netherlands in 1940, and leading her to London as she frantically searches for her little boy Theo. The dangers of WWII are always present, and the heartache never subsides, but Embers in the London Sky has so much more. Friendship, romance, and faith renewed; questions, murder, and the atrocities suffered during this war!

I can always count on the historical gems and the faith nuggets that Sundin weaves into her books. I wasn't aware of the huge number of children who were separated from their families in World War II, and Sundin reminds us that refugees have always been met with resistance! Embers in the London Sky is a soul-searching combination of history, mystery, and faith; and I highly recommend this engrossing story to all who enjoy historical Christian romance.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via Revell Reads. There was no obligation for a positive review.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the bestselling author of The Sound of Light ((2023), Until Leaves Fall in Paris (2022), When Twilight Breaks (2021), The Land Beneath Us (February 2020), The Sky Above Us (2019) and The Sea Before Us (2018), as well as the Waves of Freedom, Wings of the Nightingale series, and Wings of Glory series. Her novel The Sea Before Us received the 2019 Reader's Choice Award from Faith, Hope, and Love, Through Waters Deep and When Tides Turn were named to Booklist's "101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years," and Through Waters Deep won the 2016 INSPY Award and was a Carol Award finalist.

A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California and teaches Sunday school and women's Bible studies. She enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers' groups. Sarah serves as the Program Director for West Coast Christian Writers Conference.

Learn more about Sarah and her books here. 

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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The Rhythm of Fractured Grace (Sedgwick County Chronicles, 3) by Amanda Wen

The Rhythm of Fractured Grace

Is Siobhan too far gone to respond to the song of a God who's calling her back to him?

When a new customer brings a badly damaged violin into Siobhan Walsh's shop, it is exactly the sort of challenge she craves. The man who brought it in is not. He's too close to the painful past that left her heart and her faith in shambles.

Matt Buchanan has had a rough start as the new worship pastor. A car accident on his way into town left him with a nearly totaled truck, and an heirloom violin in pieces. When he takes it to a repair shop, he's fascinated with the restoration process--and with the edgy, closed-off woman doing the work.
As their friendship deepens and turns into more, they both discover secrets that force them to face past wounds. And the history of the violin reveals more about their current problems than they could have ever expected.

On the nineteenth-century frontier, a gruesome tomahawk attack wiped out most of Deborah Caldwell's family. Her greatest solace after the tragedy is the music from her father's prized violin. Given her horrendous scars, she'd resigned herself to a spinster's life. But Levi Martinson's gentle love starts to chip away at her hardened heart, until devastating details about the attack are revealed, putting their love--and Deborah's shaky faith--to the ultimate test.

Full of forgiveness and the message that no one is too damaged for God's healing touch, the final book in the split-time Sedgwick County Chronicles will thrill fans of Rachel Hauck, Lisa Wingate, and Kristy Cambron.


This story! How can I find the words to describe my thoughts and emotions? Author Amanda Wen shares a stunning depiction of people who've been wounded by someone that they trust, and the steps they take to overcome the hurt and deception. The Rhythm of Fractured Grace is told as a dual-timeline story. One is current day and the other is set in the 1800s, but the common thread that ties them together is a violin. As the contemporary story progresses we learn that Siobhan and Matt have both been deceived by a person they trusted and respected. Will their new friendship be the first step to recovery?

Both timelines in The Rhythm of Fractured Grace are filled with hurt and betrayal, with many of the characters struggling to fully trust again. I found myself turning the pages to see if these hurting people would find healing, peace, and finally, the amazing grace of forgiveness!

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler Contest, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions Contest, among others. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist.

Amanda is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She also frequently interviews authors for her blog, and is a regular contributor to the God Is Love blog. Her debut novel, Roots of Wood and Stone, releases from Kregel Publications on January 26, 2021.

In addition to her writing, Amanda is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team, as well as serving as a choral accompanist. She’s also been spotted onstage with the worship band at ACFW conferences. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Amanda currently lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat.

Learn more at www.amandawen.com, and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. 


The Rhythm of Fractured Grace