Unwrapping Hope ~ Sandra Ardoin

I am privileged to be on Sandra Ardoin’s launch team for her latest release, Unwrapping Hope. Squee! I’m sure you’re going to love this one. Let’s get started!

Book Description

Phoebe Crain, an accomplished pianist, lives in near poverty to protect her five-year-old daughter from scandal. When Phoebe receives a handcrafted cigar box by mistake, her desperation to give the child something special for Christmas drives her to suggest a trade with Spence Newland, a man she views as no more principled than her daughter’s late father. But the more time she spends with the department store heir, the more Phoebe struggles to keep up her guard against him.

Spence believes the cigar box will help him gain a reclusive investor’s financial support for his proposed five-and-ten-cent stores, demonstrating his ability to manage the family fortunes. Yet he hesitates to bargain with a widow who mistrusts him for no apparent reason…until he meets a charming little girl at the train station who awaits the arrival of a prince.

Will a betrayal in Phoebe’s past and Spence’s unraveling plans derail their hope for happiness and keep a child’s fairy tale from coming true?

My thoughts

Novellas have been the perfect read for me this year. Even better were the historical Christian fiction stories. And Sandra Ardoin’s Unwrapping Hope didn’t disappoint. I loved her stories and her characters. All of them!

Ardoin drew me in with breadcrumbs bursting with promises and led me to the perfect ending. Along the way, I empathized with Phoebe as she struggled with the answers to her problems. I cheered for Spence as he chased his dreams. And in the middle of all this book love, I fell for a little sprite waiting at the train station.

Unwrapping Hope is a refreshing story of love, forgiveness, and mercy that you will not want to miss!

I received a copy from the author, but I pre-ordered my own Kindle edition. All opinions are my own.

5 Stars

Here’s that link:

Unwrapping Hope by @SandraArdoin is a refreshing story of love, forgiveness, and mercy! 5 stars #bookreview #newreleases

Lady of a Thousand Treasures ~ Sandra Byrd

I was done striving and trying to earn the approval of others. I, too, must be on the outside who I was on the inside. ~ Eleanor Sheffield, Lady of a Thousand Treasures

Sandra Byrd's Book ImageMiss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured.

 

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My Thoughts

In her latest series, Sandra Byrd unveils a veritable feast and bids her reader come and dine Layered with nuggets of truth, intrigue, history, and romance, Lady of a Thousand Treasures is a full-course meal meant to be savored until the last delectable bite.

As an unmarried woman, Eleanor Sheffield knows her place in society but not her worth. She is smart, resilient, and daring. As an evaluator of antiquities, she knows “It is only by testing, or being tested, that we understand whether the substance or the person is as it appears to be or is merely masquerading.”

Sandra Byrd QuoteWhen Eleanor faces her season of tests, she questions her resolve—and her ability to make the right decision. Does she have what it takes? Can she trust her heart or must she listen to her head? As she works through her problems to untangle the web of deceit surrounding Lord Lydney’s treasures, we see her character shine forth as gold.

I loved Eleanor’s resilience, stories, and willingness to help others. Her outlook on life is seen through her response to losing. “Sometimes starting anew is the best way to move forward. Even if it seems like you’ve lost.” See what I mean? She is a heroine I could cheer for as she eliminated the fake to find the treasure. She passed this reader’s test, and she will forever be one of my favorite characters—along with Harry, of course!

“You have your Maker’s design all over you. His mark is stamped in your loyalty. Your kindness. The way you put others before yourself.” Lady of a Thousand Treasures ~ Sandra Byrd

Rich with folklore and mystery, Sandra Byrd did an outstanding job bringing Victorian England to life. Anyone who loves Dickens, Austen, and Brontë will find Lady of a Thousand Treasures a delightful read. I give it 5 stars!

I want to thank Tyndale House Publishers and Sandra Byrd for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to post a positive review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Click to Tweet: “I was done striving and trying to earn the approval of others. I, too, must be on the outside who I was on the inside.” ~ Eleanor Sheffield, Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd  @GailJohnson87 #newrelease


headshot-2018Bestselling author Sandra Byrd has published more than fifty books over her editing and writing career. Her traditionally published books include titles by Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, Tyndale House Publishers, WaterBrook Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, and Bethany House. She’s also an independent author.

Sandra’s series of historically sound Gothic romances launched with the best-selling Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor’s Choice award from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, published in 2017 and was named by the American Library Association’s Booklist as one of the Top Ten Inspirational Fiction books of the year.

Her contemporary adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2011, and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012.

Sandra has published dozens of books for kids, tweens, and teens, including the bestselling The One Year Be-Tween You and God Devotions for Girls. She continued her work as a nonfiction author with The One Year Home and Garden Devotions. The One Year Experiencing God’s Love Devotional was named by Called Magazine, the #1 magazine for Christian Women, as among their favorite, must-read books for Fall, 2017.

Sandra is passionate about helping writers develop their talents and their work through content coaching and line editing, and has mentored hundreds of writers. For testimonials about her editing and coaching, please visit novelcoaching.com.

Connect with Sandra through any of these social media platforms:

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Messina: Book 1, The Casa Bella Chronicles ~ Liz Galvano

 

Messina, Book 1 The Casa Bella Chronicles

Messina, Sicily December 28th, 1908.

 

Seventy thousand people never woke up. Of the first sixty days after the catastrophe, it rained forty-five, making rescue extremely hazardous for the doctors, nurses and rescue crews. When all was said and done, the death toll estimate stood at two-hundred thousand people. Some details in regard to the earthquake have been changed to help the flow of this story. The overall account of this tragedy, however, remains intact. This is a fictional tale based on historical events, yet by no means represents all that happened in Messina.

This book is dedicated to the men and women who sacrificed themselves willingly to help during this great tragedy, and to those who were lost that fateful night.

My Thoughts

Encouraged to follow her heart, Lucy James studied hard and became a doctor—a surgeon, in fact—only to be looked upon as inferior in 1908 society. But being ostracized didn’t bother Lucy. She never desired to be a member of the boy’s club. All she ever wanted was to heal the sick and hurting.

When Messina is devastated by an earthquake, Lucy quickly volunteers to help in the makeshift hospital. A fact that raises Dr. Giovanni Castello’s blood pressure. Will he permit her to stay long enough to prove her medical expertise?

Giovanni lives in Messina and chooses to stay and help the people. Working in the horrific conditions, he and the new lady doctor does whatever they can to aid the injured, hungry, and homeless. Giovanni questions Lucy’s presence and safety in Messina’s current condition. He needs men capable of taking care of themselves in a world thrown into chaos, not this woman.

Heart-breaking? Gruesome? Riveting? Yes. Yes. Yes.

Thankfully, Galvano doesn’t leave her characters amid the horrors of devastation but sweeps them to the family home of Giovanni’s ancestors where he and Lucy become better acquainted and find hope for the future. But when they think they’ve found happiness, tragedy strikes again.

Galvano has done an excellent job describing the devastation during this historical event. Her characters are well-rounded and likable. I enjoyed the way she allowed their friendship to evolve through the day-to-day triumphs and heartaches.

I confess, Messina was a pleasant surprise. It’s not your ordinary book. So if your reading time has stalled and you’re looking for an out-of-the-box experience, I recommend Messina.

I was given a copy of this book by the author but not required to write a review.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Liz Galvano AuthorLiz Galvano has been writing since she was a little girl. Her stories combine old style adventure and romance with a dash of humor. She loves family, food, animals, and all things Italian. Liz lives with her husband Jeff, two rambunctious dogs, two entitled cats, and a horse who thinks she’s a princess.

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