The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy Higley

I really enjoy Tracy Higley's novels.  You can find a list of her books here.  I have read a number of them and have a couple more in my to read pile.  I love reading historical fiction set in Biblical times.  I find these books extremely interesting.

In The Queen's Handmaid, Lydia, an orphan, is a handmaiden for Cleopatra.  When secrets arise, her mentor, Daniel, gives her an important mission and she must leave the only home she has ever known to now serve King Herod's wife, Queen Mariamme.  In the midst of all the transitions in her life, she must deliver the secret scrolls before time runs out.

Like Higley's other novels, the history and setting is well-researched and vividly-detailed.  It is educational and entertaining.  The pacing of the story is a little up and down, and I wanted a little more from Lydia.  Overall, this was an enjoyable read, and if you haven't read Higley's works, I would recommend you try one!


The Thief

Stephanie Landsem's The Living Water Series brings Biblical stories to life. The Thief is the second book in this series and is in the time of Jesus's crucifixtion.  It centers around Nissa, a Jewish woman with a secret; her brother Cedron, a man born blind; and Longinus a Roman Centurian. These three individuals are each effected by the life and death of Jesus.
I enjoy Biblical fiction, especially when it helps me imagine what life was like at that time. The Thief added to my vision of Biblical Times. The setting and characters were well developed. My only complaint is there were a couple of points that contradicted the Bible. A fiction writer is entitled to certain liberties, and readers need to understand that it is a work of fiction; however, when working with Bible stories, there needs to be even more caution. I did enjoy the book.  The story flowed smoothly and had a strong message.  I would recommend it.


William Sirls’ THE SINNERS’ GARDEN iPad Mini Giveaway!

Meet William Sirls: Once a senior vice president in a large investment firm, he was incarcerated in 2007 for wire fraud and money laundering. Life lessons involving faith, grace, and forgiveness are evident in his writing. The Sinners’ Garden is his second novel.

William Sirls writes unique works of fiction.  I read The Reason last year and was very excited about The Sinners' Garden.  It includes another original plot, great characters, interesting backstory, and a strong theme.  Centered around a small family and their close friends in a little town of Lake Erie.  The story explores relationships, miracles, and mysteries.  It is an interesting and enjoyable read.  

William is celebrating the book's release with an iPad giveaway.


One winner will receive:

  • A brand new iPad Mini

  • The Sinners' Garden by William Sirls

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 1st. Winner will be announced March 3rd on William Sirls' blog.


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by William’s blog on the 3rd to see if you won.


Julie Klassen’s “The Dancing Master” giveaway and “All Things Jane” webcast 1/23!

Best-selling author Julie Klassen will be hosting a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a live webcast event (1/23) to celebrate the release of her latest novel, The Dancing Master. Enter and RSVP today!

  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on January 23rd. Winner will be announced at the "All Things Jane (from Austen to Eyre)" Live Webcast Event on January 23rd. Connect with Julie for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Julie will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, Jane Austen DVDs, fun "Jane" merchandise, and gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of The Dancing Master and join Julie and friends on the evening of January 23rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

I have read the book and loved it!  Alec Valcourt, the title character, moves his mother and sister to the small town of Beaworthy after difficult circumstances force them to leave London.  Unfortunately, there is no dancing in Beaworthy, due to a decree by Lady Amelia Midwinter years ago.  Julia Midwinter does not appreciate Lady Amelia's strictness or her watchful eye and is thrilled at the new family in town.  It seems that the Valcourts are hiding something about their past, but apparently so is Lady Amelia.  In Julia's quest for the truth, all of her relationships are challenged and she comes away a different person.  I really enjoyed the character development in this one.  The plot is interesting and moves quickly.  The characters and relationships are authentic.  I would definitely recommend this one!

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 23rd!