Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: In the Shadow of Your Wings by J.P. Robinson

In the Shadow of Your WingsThe shadow of the Great War looms over Europe, affecting everyone in its path. 
Leila Durand, an elite German spy charged with infiltrating the home of British icon Thomas Steele, sees the war as a chance to move beyond the pain of her shattered past. But everything changes when she falls in love with Thomas’s son, Malcolm. Is there a way to reconcile her love for Germany and her love for the enemy? 

Thomas Steele sees the war as an opportunity for his profligate son, Malcolm, to find a purpose greater than himself. But when Malcolm rebels, it falls to Thomas to make tough decisions. 

The war’s reach extends to the heart. Eleanor Thompson finds her faith is pushed to the breaking point when her husband disappears on the battlefront and her daughter is killed in a German air raid. Where is God in the midst of her pain? In the Shadow of Your Wings presents inescapable truth that resonates across the past century. Then as now, the struggle for faith is real. Then as now, there is a refuge for all who will come beneath the shadow of God’s wings.

What I Loved: If there’s one thing I’ve come to expect from Robinson is that he has a non-stop ride packed in his novels. When you read so much fiction, you come to expect certain things, but Robinson keeps the surprises coming all the way to the end.
Aside from the plot twists, Robinson has an impressive way of mirroring Biblical truths. There were several times when I had an “ah-ha” moment and even felt ministered to. I wasn’t always on board with some of the images the characters saw in their minds when they were on the verge of dying or being saved, but I found the rest to be equal to my understanding of the Bible’s teachings.
Robinson ties all of this together with great visuals. There is an attention to detail and historical setting. The war violence at times was on the graphic side. I’ve read a lot of war fiction over the years so I’m not as bothered by this, but I can see where others will be. But overall, this is an impressive Christian novel.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving In the Shadow of Your Wings 4.5 stars and recommend it to those who enjoy Christian Historical fiction or Christian WWI fiction. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

~ I received a copy from the publisher. All thoughts are my own. I was not required to give a favorable review or compensated for reviewing. 

Advertisements
Posted in About the Book

Secret Project Revealed!

If you’ve been following me on Facebook you probably caught wind of a secret project that I’ve been working on. For the first time ever, I’m collaborating with 3 other Christian fiction authors to bring a series based on the same small town. And we are so excited to finally reveal what we’ve been working on. 

61805281_1193461317502097_5825443449859473408_o

The work for The Librarians of Willow Hollow began about a year ago. We knew from the start that we were all too busy to publish anything right away. But the concept was too tempting to ignore. So with the promise to have 2 years to complete the novella, we signed on and became a team. 

Willow Hollow is a fictional town in KY. Our four heroines may work for the same library, but they each have their own stories to tell. 

61841614_1193914097456819_5889123169020674048_o

And there you have it. The Librarians of Willow Hollow will be coming your way next year! To stay informed on the latest reveals please follow us online. 

Amanda Tero: Facebook and Website
Faith Blum: Facebook and Website
A.M. Heath: Facebook and Website
Alicia G. Ruggieri: Facebook and Website

Posted in About the Book

Cover and Title Reveal: A Southern Drama by A.M. Heath

Courthouse tease

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably scrolling right past my words so you can see the new cover. Lol But if you can control yourself just a little longer, I’d like to explain some things about this story first.

I grew up hearing about how a riot in the 30s had burnt our county’s courthouse. Even at a young age, the historian in me was drawn to the story and the many unanswered questions. But it wasn’t until I ran across some pictures I had never seen before of the riot that a story idea was born.

I’m using a fictional town, 100% fictional characters, and a 100% fictional crime. However, I want to use the intense climate surrounding the accusation.

Courthouse Final

The making of the cover:
I normally design my front covers, but I knew from the start that this would need more than I was capable of creating. I sent some suggestions and scraps of photos to Krista Noorman and out popped this beauty!

From the beginning, I knew that this story would be different from anything else I’ve written. It’s still a work in progress, so it’s not easy to nail down the specific ways this story differs from my other works but I knew I wanted to strike a cord that I’ve not yet touched. But at the same time, I knew that I always wanted hope and romance to play a role in this. Our first attempt at a cover was darker with a muted yellow/brown backdrop. It was lovely but it just wasn’t right. I thought it was exactly what I wanted but when I saw it, I knew that it was lacking something vital. It needed a stronger presence of hope. And the moment I saw these brighter colors, that’s exactly what it said to me: Hope. And that’s what this story is really about. It doesn’t matter what our current circumstances look like; there is a hope found only in Christ that can never be matched here on earth.

The floating flowers! I had only shown this image to a few select people who were tasked with giving me some feedback during the creation process. I had some mixed results concerning the flowers. But for me, it was a no-brainer. They were the icing on the cake. They were the piece that tied all the other elements on the cover in together like a bow on a present. It was definitely a sort of signature touch for me. As well as the pink font. My heart gushes every time I see it.

The making of a title: God of the Chestnut Flower
I wanted to hit more of the Southern drama elements with this one so I purposely chose a title that would reflect that.
The chestnut flower actually means justice or seeks justice. So the title translates: God of Justice.

Publication Goal:
I’m still writing the first draft. I find it motivating to have the final image in hand, so I look forward to returning to this amazing story. I’d love to get it out sometime in 2020, but only the Lord knows what our futures hold. Stay tuned and I suppose we’ll all find out together. 😉

Courthouse Tagline

 

Posted in About the Book

Cover Reveal: To Love Anew by A.M. Heath

To Love Anew teaserNot long after I began penning Where Can I Flee and In the Shadow of Thy Wings, I had created spin-off stories featuring the next generation. This is one of those projects that weighs on your heart no matter how much time has passed. I’m thrilled to announce that I am currently tip-toeing forward on writing this as well as the last two novels in the series. Here’s the breakdown of the entire series and the year each is set in:

Ancient Words Novels:
Where Can I Flee – 1861, 1862 (now available)
In the Shadow of Thy Wings – 1863, 1864 (now available)
Out of the Ashes – 1865, 1866 with an epilogue set in 1880 (now available)
His Love Endures Forever – 2012, 2013 (150 years later)
Katherines Good News – 2013, 2014

To Love Anew – 1890-1901

10

The Lord had led me to take a detour and publish some other books before coming back to the conclusion of the Ancient Words Series. This has been an interesting break, and, since there’s a gap in the stories themselves, it only heightens the generation gap between the stories.
At the moment, I have a publication goal for all 3 remaining books, but since the stories are in their early stages, it’s way too early to announce a release date. But fans should know that they’re on deck and waiting for me to finish off a few other projects first.

As for the spin-off set, To Love Anew: I’m planning to write these as novellas and publish them together. I am actively writing the first drafts for two of these stories but it’s too early to say when they’ll release or if they’ll release before or after the last two books of the series. Because these novellas feature the next generation, it doesn’t affect the final 2 novels, making me free to publish before or after their release. BUT I had the opportunity to design the cover and I took it! And I must say, it’s been inspiring to see this come together and to finally have an image for the collection.

To Love Anew 1600 x 2400

About the Cover:
You’ll notice the only color featured in the title is red, and it’s a nod to the red font from the Ancient Words Series.
The title has a two-fold purpose. Each of the stories features a character who will learn to love someone in a new way. And this one is written especially for the fans and it gives everyone the chance to fall in love with their favorite characters all over again.
And lastly, the character featured on the cover is Louise Harper.
Are you ready for a closer look at the stories? Here you go!

The Runaway Bride features Frank Harper’s daughter Louise Harper and her most persistent suitor Clifford Alistar.

Seeing Double features one of Ralph Williams’s twin daughters, Robin Williams. Robin causes quite the stir when she pretends to be her sister in order to spend time with the guy she’s interested in.

Something Old, Something New features George Chandler’s oldest adoptive daughter, Hannah and Frank’s oldest son, Rufus Harper. Hannah discovers a family she never knew she had … but is it better than the love she’d always known?

The Friendly Challenge features Rachel (Chandler) Martin’s daughter Leah Martin. Leah accepts the challenge of making friends with her arch enemy … and it’s a challenge that could change more than just her attitude; it could change her understanding of love.

Needless to say, I’m chomping at the bit to take fans back to Maple Grove to revisit the Harpers and their friends. This family is growing more endearing with each visit.
As stated, it’s still an early work in progress. But if you’re eager to have your hands on the stories, I invite you to pray for me and my team as we strive forward.
And if you haven’t read the Ancient Words Novels yet, there’s time to catch up before To Love Anew releases.

Posted in About the Book

Release Day: Dance With Me by A.M. Heath

Dancers Banner with date

It’s FINALLY here! I always spend some time on the morning of release day to reflect on the journey. I don’t think I can sum it up any better than the post I shared on Facebook this morning, so I’ll copy again here. 

I have tried all morning to put into words how I feel on release day. But I have no words; only gratitude.
Dance With Me has been a story that I fell in love with from the very start. I am beyond honored to be allowed to pen this story, and my heart is overflowing to finally be able to send it out into the world.
I’m supposed to give a sales pitch about how and where you can buy your copy, but I think you know by now where to get it. Instead, I only want to say thank you.
Unless you’ve walked the road of publication, you can’t know what goes into each novel. And unless the author publishes Christian Fiction, they can’t know the extra dose of spiritual warfare that goes on behind each story. But through it all, Christ has done what He promised to do. He was my comfort on the hard days. He was the source of my fuel and inspiration on the good days. He enabled me to do something I enjoy, and, more than that, He allowed me to pen my personal favorite story. He equipped me to weave in the powerful message of faith that will glorify Him as He sees fit. I’ll end with the dedication note:
Without You nothing would be possible and everything would be meaningless.

Dancer Christ 2.png

I know in the Facebook post, I mentioned that I wasn’t going to give a sales pitch … 😉 but this post IS a sales pitch, so here we go. 
You can pick up your copy in paperback and ebook on Amazon. You can visit it on Goodreads. But there’s more!

In celebration of the release, there’s a blog tour going on this week and a giveaway. PLUS I have a sale going on for my Civil War novels. Keep scrolling for all the details and links.

Dance 2 FWill a new partnership tear their worlds apart … or will it be the piece they never knew was missing?

In 1959, Arleen Thatcher and Neil Fox are fierce competitors on the dance floor, so they’re the least likely pair to enter a televised competition together. But when rivaling studio owners decide to team up, the two find a partnership they never thought possible. 
Arleen’s reputation around town is reason enough for Neil to keep his distance from his new partner. But as Neil gets to know Arleen, he discovers a side of her few others have seen, one of dark family secrets and carefully-constructed facades.
God’s plan for their partnership may involve more than a single dance; it may be the key to the healing Arleen so desperately needs. 

The Art of Love series is compiled of stand-alone novels where the characters tell their own stories and love means so much more than passion.

Blog tour Dancer

 

Tour Stops: 

Monday April 8th: 
Debbie @ Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
Loretta @ Just Writing
Laura @ Blue Eye Books PLUS an interview

Tuesday April 9th:
Kaylee @ Kaylee’s Kind of Writes
Karen @ KarenSueHadley

Wednesday April 10th: 
Deana @ Texas Book-aholic
Jana @ Review from the Stacks
Becky @ Blossoms and Blessings

Thursday April 11th: 
Bella @ Bella Putt: The Pen and the Pages
Alicia @ A Brighter Destiny

Friday April 12th: 
Esther @ We’ve Got Pockets PLUS an interview
Raechel @ God’s Peculiar Treasure

Grand Prize

Giveaway closes this weekend. I’ll post the winner here on the blog. Follow the link to enter. 

A.W. Sale

And last, but certainly not least, this week marks the anniversary of Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox, Virginia. I was able to incorporate just a glimpse of this moment in my second novel, In the Shadow of Thy Wings. This remains one of my favorite moments in history, which is why I’m celebrating with a Civil War book sale. You snatch up your copies from Amazon and if you’d like to dig into the surrender at Appomattox, I invite you to visit the blog series I hosted during the 150th anniversary. I broke down the moments piece by piece then wrapped it up with 5 photo albums from my trip to Appomattox during the 150th anniversary. 

Posted in Book Reviews

Looking for Reviewers!

Looking for Reviewers! Dance With Me is almost ready. It’s time to collect interested bloggers for the blog tour. If you love Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, or a clean story set in 1959, fill out the form to join the tour!

*If you’re not a blogger but are interested in reviewing the novel, please sign up here

 

Dance 2 F
Full Description:
Will a new partnership tear their worlds apart … or will it be the piece they never knew was missing?

In 1959, Arleen Thatcher and Neil Fox are fierce competitors on the dance floor, so they’re the least likely pair to enter a televised competition together. But when rivaling studio owners decide to team up, the two find a partnership they never thought possible.
Arleen’s reputation around town is reason enough for Neil to keep his distance from his new partner. But as Neil gets to know Arleen, he discovers a side of her few others have seen, one of dark family secrets and carefully-constructed facades.
God’s plan for their partnership may involve more than a single dance; it may be the key to the healing Arleen so desperately needs.

The Art of Love series is compiled of stand-alone novels where the characters tell their own stories and love means so much more than passion.

 

Posted in About the Book

Cover Reveal: Art of Love Book 2 by A.M. Heath

Cover Tease Painter AD

Eeek! It’s finally time to share info about my upcoming novel with you. The Art of Love series is something different from me. Each of the novels in this series are 100% stand-alone, which means there will not be any crossover characters. This will allow readers to pick up the books in any order without conflict.
Art of Love is a series based on a similar theme. Each book will feature a different form of art. They have been so much fun to write. And they’ve been a blast to reread too!
The series kicks off with Dance With Me which releases 4/8/19. I’m currently working on revisions for the 2nd book in the series which is projected to release in fall of 2019. So … are you ready to learn more about this one?

Painted PNG

Official Description:

Getting over Grady was the hardest thing Olivia Jernigan ever had to do. Now, three years after his death and on the verge of marrying another, her plans come to a screeching halt when she receives a shocking wedding gift from her great aunt that may change everything—a picture painted by her deceased fiancé. Bent on discovering the truth, Olivia flees home to learn what really happened to the man she thought loved her, a man who was supposed to have died in the Korean War.

Grady Barnes woke up in a hospital room three years ago with no knowledge of his identity. The only memory to resurface was the image of a woman. A woman he can’t stop painting. Will these paintings be the key to helping him find his way home, and how can the woman in the painting affect the direction of his life?

Olivia and Grady have a history, but do they still have a future?
Or is their romance just a painted memory?

The Art of Love is a series compiled of stand-alone novels where the characters tell their own stories and love means so much more than passion.

Painter Banner

I’ll be honest. I don’t know whether to sigh in awe or scream for joy. Lol Olivia and Grady share a beautiful love story like nothing I’ve ever written before. There is something so … pure here. I’ve said that about each of the books in this series. I think that’s one of the things they all have in common. And it’s why I’ve used that phrasing in the description and advertisements for the series: love means so much more than passion. Each of the stories involves a love that is so much deeper than your common whirl-wind romance. It’s deeper than the lustful expression of love that we commonly see today. I find myself standing back with readers on this one, just breathing in a sigh of awe at the devotion these characters show toward one another.
There is a third book planned in the series and it features an actress, but I’m not currently working on it so there will be a long gap before the series is closed. But that’s one of the perks to writing a stand-alone series! 🙂 Here are some more details on the series:

You can mark Dance With Me on Goodreads. Painted Memories is now available on Goodreads as well.
The pre-order links are not available yet, but you can be sure not to miss the release of either novel by signing up for my newsletter. I’ll send you a link directly into your inbox the morning of the release, as well as an early preview of each novel two weeks before they release.

Coming 2019 plus one

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Backlist Titles August and September

I’ve been enjoying some of the books on my backlist this year. Here are the two novels that I’ve read during August and September.
*Both links will take you to Goodreads.

7

Tired of pining for handsome sheriff Ward Gleason, seamstress Hazel Andrews plans to head East for a fresh start—until Ward finds an abandoned child. Hazel can’t turn down his request that she watch the little girl while he investigates a spate of crimes. But spending time with Ward is sending local gossips—and Hazel’s heart—into turmoil. 

Nothing in Ward’s world is the same since he took charge of orphaned Meg…and that includes his growing feelings for Hazel. A fake engagement will allow them to care for the child together until Hazel moves away and finds someone more worthy. But with little Meg convinced she’s already found her forever family, can Ward and Hazel dare to make her dreams come true, along with their own?

Tailor-Made Husband

My Review: This was an enjoyable read. Romantic. Sweet. With an interesting mystery to keep your mind engaged. This is perfect for those looking for a light western.
I’m giving it 4.5 stars.

93Grace McCaffery hopes that the bustling streets of New York hold all the promise that the lush hills of Ireland did not. As her efforts to earn enough money to bring her mother to America fail, she wonders if her new Brownie camera could be the answer. But a casual stroll through a beautiful New York City park turns into a hostile run-in with local gangsters, who are convinced her camera holds the first and only photos of their elusive leader. A policeman with a personal commitment to help those less fortunate finds Grace attractive and longs to help her, but Grace believes such men cannot be trusted. Spread thin between her quest to rescue her mother, do well in a new nanny job, and avoid the gang intent on intimidating her. Grace must put her faith in unlikely sources to learn the true meaning of courage and forgiveness.

 Grace’s Pictures

My Review: I waited so long to finally get to this one and I enjoyed it. There was natural setting, one that didn’t make you feel like were visiting a fictional world but a real one. While there were areas where I felt that the main characters were inconsistent, the spiritual threads of redemption, trusting God, and finding your worth in Christ really shined here.
I’m giving it 4 stars.

Posted in About the Book, History

Researching the South during the Gilded Age

In this post, I want to do two things: I want to share with you some of the research that went into my novel, If Only It Were Yesterday, and I also want to review and recommend one of my key research books.

Whether you’re a historical fiction fan or history buff, you’re likely to notice that our focus shifts from region to region based on what’s going on during that time. It’s not hard to find books (fiction or non-fiction) based on life in the South during the Civil War or even the years leading up to or shortly after the war. However, the last three decades of the nineteenth century shifts our focus either to the west during the western expansion or to the north during the Industrial Revolution. But what was life like in the South during those years?

I’m not saying you won’t find ANY information, but it is a lot harder to come by. Because the focus in our nation shifts, there’s a gaping hole in our common knowledge of the period where the South is concerned. As a historical fiction fan, when I think of books during the Gilded Era, I think of stories in the North featuring either wealthy families or poor immigrant families. Because of what we commonly see, when  I sat down to write If Only It Were Yesterday, I had some questions: The last time we looked at the South, wealthy families had slaves or paid black freedmen. But the average snapshot of America during the Gilded Age shows me that most servants are immigrants. The last time we looked at the South, they were destitute. For the first time, both the rich and the poor, the black and the white, had a great deal in common: they had a great deal of nothing. But the average snapshot of America during the Gilded Age shows that electricity was becoming common, among other advances. So it begged the question: How many of these common understandings of the North were true of the South?

I don’t doubt one of you will take up the challenge and do a quick Google search and find all that it took me months to find. But for me, it was like pulling teeth to find documented proof of what the South looked like during a time that was so focused on the North or the West. Which makes From Morning to Night by Elizabeth L. O’Leary an answer to prayer.

Right there on the cover, it says “Domestic Service in Maymont House and the Gilded Age South.” FINALLY! This was the sort of book that promised to answer my questions. And, boy, did it! It’s one of those books that I highlighted but found myself wanting to highlight nearly the entire page. There was so much information packed in here.

The book features an extremely wealthy family in Richmond. The Dooleys were the exception here in the South, but O’Leary graciously explained what was commonplace for the Dooley’s and how it compared with others around them. It offered insight into the progression of technology within the home during those inventive years. It also weaves in terminology and common practices between servants and the families they served. It offers insight into the lifestyles of the servants and their employers, helping others like myself who wish to know more about the day to day life of those in the South. Since the Dooley’s were among the wealthiest in the South, you are given a look at the best that money could buy as well as how it compared to those who wouldn’t have afforded quite so much.
And in case you were wondering the answers to my questions: servants in the South during that time were primarily black people and very few were immigrants or poorer white Americans. And while electricity was becoming commonplace in the North, it was behind in the South. Wealthy families in larger cities had a better chance of having access to it, but smaller cities or rural areas couldn’t afford to supply it.

I highly recommend From Morning to Night to anyone who wishes to look deeper into the relationship between servant and employer, even if your primary concern isn’t focused on the South. But the book does bring the unique situation of the Gilded Age in the South to light. O’Leary balances what the historical documents reveal about the Dooleys with common experiences throughout the South as well as using quotes from various sources to further prove or explain the information.
I gladly give it 5 stars and a permanent place on my research shelf.

 

337Step off the lush carpet and push through the swinging door of the butler’s pantry to enter the bustling realm of domestic workers at Maymont House from 1893 to 1925. In From Morning to Night, Elizabeth O’Leary takes the reader behind the scenes in the opulent mansion of the Richmond multimillionaire James H. Dooley and his wife, Sallie. Drawing upon personal letters, business and government documents, and numerous oral histories of older Richmonders―both black and white―O’Leary examines the parallel and divergent viewpoints of server and served in this Virginia version of “Upstairs/Downstairs.”

Raised in slave-owning households before the Civil War, the Dooleys experienced the transformation of the master/mistress-slave relationship to that of employer-employee. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, they relied on a full complement of domestic servants to maintain their lavish residences and lifestyle. In turn, numerous men and women―predominantly African American―labored to meet the day-to-day challenges of running an elaborate household. At the same time, they negotiated the era’s increasing Jim Crow restrictions and, during precious hours off-duty, helped support families, churches, and the larger black community.

By examining the formalities and practices of the Dooleys at home and by giving a presence and voice to their “help,” From Morning to Night offers insights into domestic and social systems at work within and beyond the upper-class household in the Gilded Age South.

Buying Options: At the time that I was writing this post, I checked Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Half.com and found both used and new options cheaper at Amazon.

 

Posted in About the Book

Coming Soon: New Christian Fiction by A.M. Heath

I come with exciting news!! I bring to you release dates, book descriptions, Goodreads links, and a pre-order page for THREE of my upcoming releases!! 

Three Book Release Banner

AmazonLiz

Liz Cooke has two problems in life: Her social media is filled with brewing political conflict and her idea of a perfect man seems to have gone extinct a century ago. Inspired by the contents of an antique trunk, Liz dreams she time-travels to 1885. As she sets out to enjoy the Victorian era in all its glory, armed with knowledge gleaned through historical novels and period dramas, will she find the past to be all that she thought? And does the right man for her exist only in her dreams or has he been in her life all along?

Loosely inspired by Alice in Wonderland, A.M. Heath brings you a fun read chock-full of humor and whimsy with a special message for the avid reader in all of us.

If Only It Were Yesterday releases September 4, 2018 or you can pre-order today. Don’t forget to mark it on your TBR list on Goodreads. 

Liz Quote with date


Final 1600x2400
During a snowstorm, Betty Tanner finds herself stuck with her estranged husband. Spending Christmas with Glenn wasn’t what she had in mind, and her thoughts reluctantly travel back three decades to their first Christmas together, when another snowstorm caused her to wreck her car outside the Tanner home … 

1954: Stranded with the Tanners over Christmas, Betty is forced into the company of Glenn, who has spurned her for years. But as the snow falls outside, the walls between Betty and Glenn begin to melt, revealing a side of him she never knew existed. A side she longs to know better.

Pride and bitterness can make a beast out of anyone. And the hardships they face in their relationship are of their own making. But can following Christ’s ways lead Betty and Glenn to the reconciliation they long for?

A.M. Heath invites you to spend Christmas with the Tanners in a dual-timeline novel loosely inspired by Beauty and the Beast. You’re sure to fall in love again and again.

You can now add Yesterday’s Christmas to your TBR list on Goodreads. Releases November 5, 2018. 

Betty Banner with date


Dance 2 F
Will a new partnership tear their worlds apart … or will it be the piece they never knew was missing?

In 1959, Arleen Thatcher and Neil Fox are fierce competitors on the dance floor, so they’re the least likely pair to enter a televised competition together. But when rivaling studio owners decide to team up, the two find a partnership they never thought possible. 
Arleen’s reputation around town is reason enough for Neil to keep his distance from his new partner. But as Neil gets to know Arleen, he discovers a side of her few others have seen, one of dark family secrets and carefully-constructed facades.
God’s plan for their partnership may involve more than a single dance; it may be the key to the healing Arleen so desperately needs. 

The Art of Love series is compiled of stand-alone novels where the characters tell their own stories and love means so much more than passion.

You can now add Dance With Me to your TBR list on Goodreads. Releases April 8, 2019.

Dancers Banner with date