For Fiction Friday today, I’m posting a duplicate of the review from Readers’ Realm of my romance, Searching for Sara. If you would like to purchase my book, it is still on sale for 99 cents in digital format at all online retailers.
Searching for Sara
by Nona Mae King
Review by Bethany Jean
At the request of Christopher and Carla Lake, Sara Little heads to America. Her trust in the Lord is the only thing keeping her going, but the changes in her life don’t stop with the adjustment in location.
When she alights from the train, Sara finds a brand new and horrible surprise waiting for her.
Through the challenges of becoming a professional artist, Sara is forced to look at her life through different eyes. And through her new life and acquaintanceship with the people responsible for the changes in her life, she’s able to bring about transformation in their lives as well.
The descriptions of the art and the inspirations for it in this book show that the author is a true artist and has experienced the same feelings herself. Nona King’s writing shows a depth of feeling and an extensive knowledge of the history of the period. I love reading about the history before and immediately after the Civil War, and I thoroughly enjoyed the history aspect of this work.
This book drew me in from the get-go. Searching for Sara is a story of poverty and humility, a story of hope from a beginning of hopelessness, and a surprising story of love. The way the author deals with grief and the aftermath of tragedy impressed me. Having read some other books by this author, I was really looking forward to reading Searching For Sara, and Nona King did not disappoint.
Searching for Sara is available at Amazon.
About the Book
Robert Jordan and Camille Durran both find themselves victims of failed relationships. Robert is a studio manager for successful engineering firm and Camille is a young attorney in San Francisco. They both have consuming jobs that leave little time for romantic affairs.
Camille meets Robert in a bar in San Francisco. She is wearing a red evening dress and she attracts Roberts’ attention. They both quickly realize their connection is a fairy tale of love at first sight. They meet the following weekend in Reno, Nevada for lunch, and then find themselves fleeing to Costa Rica from the Russian Mafia thugs who are after Camille. They fall in love, and when they return to the US, they marry, have a child, and begin living an idyllic life in the wine country of California. But the threat of the Russian Mafia never leaves their lives.
Review by nona king
The characters in The Affect of Red are engaging, as is their plight. Their relationship, while sudden, is definitely believable, and I enjoyed the determination to keep their relationship healthy and their communication open. The majority of the storyline kept me turning pages (and kept me up until 1am to see the end). However, I did find myself skimming through some of the dialogue and low points in order to find out what was coming up next.
The one thing I wish is if there had been more details with the investigation into the Russian Mafia. Perhaps some scenes dedicated to stakeouts or something else to that effect. But, overall, I enjoyed the story as a whole – and I was extremely shocked at one particular instance (which I will not reveal here, as it is a major spoiler).
Overall, P.A. Davis has a wonderful voice and writing style, and dedicates enough to the senses to make the reader clearly visualize the setting as well as the poignancy of fear. I look forward to his next book.
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. There was a bit too much dedicated to slow narrative and not enough to the actual conflict. This, of course, is my opinion.
Would I recommend it to others: Yes. The story and characters therein are enjoyable, and the “moral to the story” should be experienced by all.
About the author
P.A. Davis is an award winning Architect currently living in Hawaii on the island of Maui. He studied music and was a song writer and performer from 1969 to 1971. He has been a practicing architect since 1984 and has worked on projects across the U.S. and in foreign countries.
He is a new indie author but not new to writing. After holding his inaugural novel for 20 years, he has completed 2 additional novels in the last 2 years, and has one to be released in 2013.
He and Barbara have three grown daughters, three granddaughters, and a grandson.
Today on The Wordsmith Journal Magazine, the review for Searching for Sara is posted!
Set in 1892, Nona Mae King’s latest offering brings a new twist to the premise of a young woman being swept out of her poverty and obscurity into wealth and eminence. Sara has no idea that her art is anything special and she certainly has never had any formal training. While she is thrilled with the idea of receiving tutelage from [Christopher], she will only allow him to display her work in his gallery anonymously.
[Christopher] is determined to keep his late wife’s promise to help Sara, but he isn’t prepared for the toll it will take on him personally. He hasn’t been able to paint since his wife’s death, and Sara’s art, kindness, and faith stir his senses. Soon it is apparent that Sara is helping Christopher heal as much he is helping her.
King weaves art in many forms throughout this story, from charcoal and watercolors to tatting and crocheting to old pictures from childhood. The resulting kaleidoscope is largely pleasing to the reader’s eye. Some readers will find one darker aspect rather distracting, and that is the use of some language not expected in Christian fiction–specifically, taking God’s name in vain. Other than that, Searching for Sara will delight lovers of art and Christian historic romance.
Bless the Lord!
The WSJM has also posted reviews for Somewhere the Bells Ring by Beth Trissel, and Finding Home by Marianne Evans. I encourage you to navigate there and share the love. They have many great reviews of novels and short stories both.
About the Book
Year 848, Age of Man Everything had been taken from her: her family, her home, and nearly her life. Now, two years later, Maeja is still haunted by what the Empire had done to her. And with betrayal fresh in her mind, she seeks to reclaim a treasure before it falls into enemy hands.
Seeing unjust all around them, brothers Connor and Linkyn decide to take matters into their own hands, raining down bloody justice upon all they consider evil.
The lust for treasure is what drives the pirate Ril and his accomplice Mjrn to the castle. But an unplanned attack causes them to lose their treasure while gaining a new challenge.
A twist of fate leaves these unlikely companions the only defense the Midlands have against an Empire that seeks to resurrect Loki and create another Ragnarok which could plunge all of Midgard into a darkness it isn’t prepared to face…
Review, by Nona King
Falls the Shadow was a delightful change from the contemporary pieces read thus far, especially considering my limited familiarity with the Norse mythos. Melissa weaves an engaging tale, with wonderfully faceted characters and a compelling fantastical world.
Though her descriptive passages sometimes lack a personal connection to the scene’s main character, it clearly set off her in-depth knowledge of the world, its history, and the future yet to be told. At times the quantity of short scenes left me with a feeling of disappointment, but not so much as to distract me from the story’s progression.
There were some misused words sprinkled throughout (i.e. ‘where’ instead of ‘were’, or ‘surely’ instead of ‘surly’), and some places where the narrative could have used some tightening but, again, it wasn’t enough to irritate or distract. My biggest qualm was the sometimes impersonal description, for this really limited the developing relationship between the characters and me as the reader. If she were to weave more of the character’s voice into those narrative bits… gold!
All in all, Falls the Shadow is an intriguing fantastical tale and I am eager to read the next installment.
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5. I wanted to love these characters, but the impersonal narrative kept me at arms length. That is pretty much the only reason I don’t give this story a 4 or 4.5 out of 5.
Would I read it again: Yes, I do believe I would.
Would I recommend it to others: Yes. It is a fascinating mythos.
About the Author
Melissa Sasina was born in Ohio in 1982. Always a lover of fantasy and myth, Melissa began writing short stories when she was in her late years of elementary school. She began writing seriously in high school before finally completing her first set of novels, “The Priestess Trilogy”, in 2008, though they were not officially published til mid 2010.
Melissa still resides in Ohio with her husband and son, and does freelance art as more of a hobby. Her art is viewable at shiovra.deviantart.com and she can be found on Facebook!
About the Book
Wind Over Marshdale is the story of the struggles within a small prairie town when hidden evil and ancient medicine resurface. Caught in the crossfire, new teacher Rachel Bosworth finds herself in love with two men at once. First, there is Thomas Lone Wolf, a Cree man whose blood lines run back to the days of ancient medicine but who has chosen to live as a Christian and faces prejudice from every side as he tries to expose the truth/ Then there is Con McKinley, local farmer who has to face some demons of his own. Add to the mix a wayward minister seeking anonymity in the obscurity of the town; eccentric twin sisters – one heavily involved in the occult and the other a fundamentalist zealot; and a host of other ‘characters’ whose lives weave together unexpectedly for the final climax. This suspenseful story is one of human frailty – prejudice, cowardice, jealousy, and greed – magnified by powerful spiritual forces that have remained hidden for centuries, only to be broken in triumph by grace.
Review, by Nona King
To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when I turned on my nookcolor because I did not read the “back cover copy.” I find I do that most often when I know that I’m going to read the book no matter what it might say. Having read Play it Again by Tracy earlier this year, I knew her characters would engage me, but I had no idea they would be the end all and be all as to why I would stay enthralled.
Their struggles and their passions, their confusions and agonies about loves and losses and faith all spoke to my heart in a different fashion. As per my usual, I was drawn more by the agonies of Thomas and Con than I was of the female character. In fact, I found myself drawn most strongly to Thomas right off the bat, especially since he was the one who more prominently opened the action of the novel and introduced the possible main story conflict.
Tracy has a compelling hand when it comes to weaving faith and family, as well as those heart-pounding passions, into her characters and her story. I adored Whisper especially. The only two things that kept WOM from getting a solid 5 star rating were *spoiler alert*:
- Rachel’s coming to faith. It was simply too sudden. Up until that point it was clear how she regarded the Christian faith as a “load of crap”. Then she suddenly prayed for God to save her and accepted Jesus into her heart as savior? If there could have been weaving in of internal questions and heart tugs, her coming to faith would have been a lot easier to swallow.
- Everything was solved at the end and tidied together into a nice, neat package. Life is not this neat, unfortunately. There were even some items solved that I didn’t even realize needed solving. That is, they were so minor, if they were left alone it would have contributed more to the realism of life in Marshdale than if they were solved.
These two things did not negate my thorough enjoyment of the characters and the story. I look forward to the next novel by Tracy.
Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Would I read it again: Yes!
Would I recommend it to others: Yes!
About the Author
Tracy Krauss is an author, playwright, artist, director, and teacher. She grew up in small town Saskatchewan and received her Bachelor of Education Degree in Saskatoon with majors in Art, English and History. She has lived in many interesting places in northern Canada, many of them north of the 60th parallel. She is currently a full time High School teacher of Art, Drama, English and History. She is currently working on several novels and stage plays, and resides with her husband in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, BC.
About the Book
When a reclusive businessman takes an interest in Haven’s artwork, she knows it’s an answer to prayer. But Jett Cestone is an enigma with a disconcerting connection to the young women in his employ. He’s by far the most unusual man she’s ever met.
Haven is the most interesting woman to ever cross Jett’s path. But she’s too naive and pure to learn what goes on in his home. Too bad he wants her more than he’s wanted anyone or anything in his life.
Review, by Nona King
As with my reading of Dana’s first novel, The Covering, Descended ~ Jett, left me near tears. Enthralled with the characters and their plight, I am floored by the depth of the story and the characters woven tight within it. Their passions are quite real, mirroring what we, as Christians weak against our own nature, battle with each day. I truly believe it is this strength of faith despite our weaknesses which draws me tightly to the characters and therefore the story.
Haven, the female lead of Descended, pulls at my heart especially because of her strained relationship with her father. The craving to have his approval and support for her art is poignant and real, something that all of us can commiserate with, either from personal experience or personal witness. I admire her strength and weakness, her willingness to pour all of her passion into her faith and her art, and her determination to not run away from her feelings for the mysterious and tortured Jett Cestone. It is this compassion which God utilizes to save his soul and teach him about strength in surrender, what some people deem weakness.
As with Gunnar from The Covering, Jett is a wonderfully faceted man of honor and justice with jagged edges of agony and anger. You want to shake him and then hug him, pray for him and curse him for his prideful foolishness. For many of us, it is close to looking at our reflection. Our rebellious nature toward God and all He wants for us. And I loved how Jett came to faith! With research and reflection. It was not an emotional reaction or decision. It was a thoughtful one based entirely on fact.
I applaud Dana, again, for weaving such an engaging and addicting tale of redemption and passion. The hurt and history, the passionate emotional entanglement… it was an enjoyable read and I can hardly wait to read what she has in store for us next!
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I have no idea what she could have done to make it better!
Would I read it again: Are you kidding?! YES!
Would I recommend it to others: DEFINITELY
About the Author
“Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. He is merciful and gracious and loves me beyond all human reason. He loves you the same way. He gave me a passion to write, and I believe if the words I write turn a reader’s heart toward Christ, I am fulfilling my destiny. A lofty goal? Sure. That’s one of many reasons I need God in my life all day, every day. Another is my family. I’ve been married to my sweetheart for 26 years. We live in New Jersey with our three spectacular children, all of whom are destined to make wide and colorful splashes on this planet.
I write Christian Romance. Not the kind with the women buttoned to the neck and the men daring no more than to hold her hand after a long courtship, but the contemporary kind. I don’t write explicit sex scenes but my characters have real desires, struggles and choices to make. A lot of the time they make the wrong ones. No subject is prohibited but good always triumphs.”