Monthly Archives: March 2018

Audiobook Review: A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren

Title: A Matter of Trust
Author: Susan May Warren
Print Publisher: Revell
Audio Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrator: Cynthia Farrell
Published: July 2017
Series: Montana Rescue, Book 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christian Fiction
Length: 10 hours, 22 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

It’s those we love who have the power to hurt us most . . .

Champion backcountry snowboarder Gage Watson has left the limelight behind after the death of one of his fans. After being sued for negligence and stripped of his sponsorships, he’s remade his life as a ski patrol in Montana’s rugged mountains, as well as serving on the PEAK Rescue team. But he can’t seem to find his footing–or forget the woman who betrayed him.

Senator and former attorney Ella Blair spends much of her time in the public eye as one of the youngest senators in the country. But she has a secret–one that cost Gage his career. More than anything, she wants to atone for her betrayal of him in the courtroom and find a way to help him put his career back on track.

When Ella’s brother goes missing on one of Glacier National Park’s most dangerous peaks, Gage and his team are called in for the rescue. But Gage isn’t so sure he wants to help the woman who destroyed his life. More, when she insists on joining the search, he’ll have to keep her safe while finding her reckless brother–a recipe for disaster when a snowstorm hits the mountain.

My Thoughts on the Book:

This is Book 3 in the Montana Rescue series, a series which I’m enjoying a great deal. I particularly love how each book gives backstory and layered dimension, not just to the hero and heroine of that story, but also to secondary characters who will be making more prominent appearances in future stories. For this reason, this is definitely a series you’ll want to read in order, even if you could probably read any individual title as a standalone without confusion. Check out my review of Wild Montana Skies and its prequel novella If Ever I Would Leave You for a starting point.

In A Matter of Trust, Ella and Gage have a past history that makes them seem unlikely candidates for romance. And yet, the development and progression of their relationship as they work together in a dangerous and difficult situation, feels quite natural. And the lessons about trust they learn and apply to their lives in the process give their story deeper meaning than just a fun romance. Speaking of fun… the snowboarding theme is fun too. I haven’t been skiing in years, and have never been snowboarding, but I enjoyed the vivid and scenic descriptions throughout Ella and Gage’s adventure. Meanwhile, Ty meets Brette, Pete and Jess have some misunderstandings cleared up and secrets revealed, and Ian and Sierra share some important story moments. Precursors of things to come? Let’s just say I can’t wait for the next amazing read in this series.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

I enjoyed Cynthia Farrell’s narration in Rescue Me (Book 2 of this series), so I was happy to hear more from this narrator in this title. The character voices and accents are excellent, and the story is told with feeling. The pacing and enunciation is also well done. I’m looking forward to another excellent performance in Troubled Waters the next audiobook in this series.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library. I was not expected to write a review, but wanted to share how much I enjoyed the book.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | About the Series | Audio Sample | Author’s Site | Narrator’s Site

Book Review: A Trail of Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner

Title: A Trail of Crumbs
Author: Susie Finkbeiner
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Published: March 2017
Series: Pearl Spence, Book 2
Genre: Historical Fiction

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

“I believed it would have been a sin to stay inside when God had sent us such fine weather. According to Pastor Ezra Anderson, sin was the reason we’d got in the dusty mess we were in. The way I saw it, that day was God’s way of letting us know He wasn’t mad at us anymore. Just maybe He’d seen fit to forgive us.”

Pearl Spence has been through more in her young life than most folks could handle. But through it all, her family has been by her side. They may not be perfect, but they love her and they all love each other, come what may. That’s one thing Pearl no longer questions.

But the end of her beautiful day signals the beginning of the end of her secure life.

Now her family is fleeing their Oklahoma wasteland. Pearl isn’t sure she’ll ever see home or happiness again. Are there any crumbs powerful enough to guide her back to the dependable life she once knew?

The strong narrative voice of Finkbeiner’s young protagonist from A Cup of Dust returns in this gritty yet hopeful sequel, sure to please her many fans.

My Thoughts:

Pearl Spence is an adorable young heroine with a distinctive voice, and a fascinating story to tell. Her tale began in A Cup of Dust: A Novel of the Dust Bowl, and continues with A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression. She’s a little older and wiser in this book, but with the same healthy dose of spunk and unexpected insights.

Pearl’s situation improves in some ways over the course of this novel, but at the same time, she’s put through the emotional wringer on several fronts. I feel for her and want more for this character. That’s why I can’t wait to continue reading her tale in A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era.

Once again, author Susie Finkbeiner has incorporated vivid historical details, and both primary and secondary characters with character to spare. Highly recommended to fans of historical fiction and coming of age stories with a literary flair.

I purchased the electronic edition of this book, and was not expected to write a review, but I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

Quick Links: About the Book | About the Series | Author’s Site

Christian Fiction Book Club Connection, March 2018

Book Club Connection

Welcome to the March 2018 edition of the Christian Fiction Book Club Connection. Thanks for stopping by! Whether you’re a pastor or ministry leader thinking of forming a book discussion group at your church, a current member of a book club, or simply a fan of Christian fiction hoping to connect with other readers, you’re in the right place. Please consider subscribing to my blog so you won’t miss future posts.

Today I’m providing information on Christian fiction discussions scheduled to take place around the web this month. I’m also featuring a handful of recently released Christian fiction titles for which a discussion guide is available, either included in the book itself or on the author’s or publisher’s web site.

Online Discussions Coming Up This Month

The ACFW Book Club‘s March selection is Life on the Porcelain Edge by C.E. Hilbert. You can subscribe to the group’s e-mail list now, by following the instructions on their Web site, to be sure not to miss any announcements or discussion questions.

By the Book is an in-person book discussion club that has introduced an online Facebook-based discussion option. To join in online, like the By the Book Facebook page, and be sure to check back there periodically for any discussion that may not have made it into your news feed. March’s selection is The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright.

For March, the Christian Fiction Devourers group on Goodreads is discussing Ring of Secrets by Roseanna M. White AND My Heart Remembers by Kim Vogel Sawyer. Grab your copies and head on over to the discussion forum to check in with others who are in the midst of reading these books.

The Fans of Amish Fiction Goodreads group discusses one Amish fiction title per month. The selection for March is Gabriel’s Bride by Amy Lillard. To join in, visit the group’s online discussion board.

Recent Christian Fiction Releases Featuring Discussion Guides

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander (Zondervan, August 2017, Historical Fiction)

Many Sparrows by Lori Benton (WaterBrook, August 2017, Historical Romance)

The Promise of a Letter by Kathleen Fuller (Thomas Nelson, August 2017, Amish Romance)

The Promise of Breeze Hill by Pam Hillman (Tyndale House, August 2017, Historical Romance)

So, friends, what have you been reading lately? Any titles you’d recommend for book club discussions?