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Phew! There’s a few cobwebs and dust around here!  I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything in quite so long. Yeah, there’s been a lot going on and there was summer and such things. I’ve even considered quitting blogging altogether but then…

Nope, I’ve got a lot to say and I’m pretty sure I need to start talking again!

So what’s happened since….March? Yeah, March is the last time I opened up this blog. You might think I’ve been having an identity crisis but the truth would be this…I just haven’t been writing.

Summer was busy as usual, bookended by seeding and now we’re in harvest-time.

God has been cracking me open. We started this thing called Freedom Session. The best way to describe it is intensive discipleship. The tagline they use is ‘re-writing your story with a God-inspired ending.’ It’s great stuff, but really hard work. It’s pretty much taken up my whole brain, but it’s so good.

In this class we’re taking a good, hard look at all the things we do and why we do them and why that messes up our relationships. Apparently, we’re going to get to a part about how to heal all that and walk in a different way but we’re not to that part yet, but there’s hope and light.

The other thing I’ve cracked open are some books. I should apologize in a huge way to the Nuts About Books program, they send me books and I’m supposed to write reviews and every once in awhile I get waaaayyyy behind on writing those reviews, these three were sent to me in March! One of them I only got around to reading this summer but here they are, three books graciously supplied by Bethany House and Revell, divisions of Baker Publishing Group and provided to me by Graf-Martin Communications.

All three of these books are vastly different from each other, two I quite enjoyed, one, not as much.

Beneath the Surface – Dive Team Investigations is the first in a series by Lynn H. Blackburn. This one was a page-turner! Leigh Weston is a nurse practitioner who has moved back home to get away from a harrowing experience only to find herself the target of more terrifying attacks. Will she ever feel safe again?

Ryan, an old friend and a member of the local Sheriff’s office is hoping he can help Leigh feel safe. As part of the volunteer underwater investigation team he and his buddy turn up a dead body. The body happens to be near Leigh’s part of the lake and so the investigation plants itself right on her dock.

Blackburn keeps the plotline going in this thriller/murder mystery. You won’t guess who the actual murderer is until the author lets you know who it is. I like my mysteries that way so this book was right up my alley!! I am looking forward to more from this author.

Normally, I am a huge Tracie Peterson fan, I’ve enjoyed many of her books but I can’t say that this one was in my ‘read-again’ pile.

Camri is a young women in early 1900’s San Fransisco looking for her missing brother. She lands herself in the middle of a sinister plot, has a lot of feminist views that aren’t taken kindly to and is, of course, headstrong and brave. Patrick Murdock is uneducated but hard-working, hard done by and honorable. He wants to help Camri find her brother as Caleb was helpful to him in a snag he had in court.

I found the plot a little too predictable and thin and the characters unbelievable.

Keturah was an unexpected delight. Set in the 1700s Keturah and her sisters find themselves in need of providing for themselves by sailing to the West Indies to salvage what’s left of their heritage and inheritance when their father passes away.

The sisters eyes are opened to a whole new way of life and living that is far from their comfortable estate life back in England. They find themselves up against convention, harsh nature and an unfamiliar world. They are in for some big surprises and challenges as they attempt to make their way in a very patriarchal society.

Gray Covington is also heading to the West Indies to try and make a go of plantation life. He wants to provide a friend an ally for Lady Keturah Tomlinson, a childhood friend, but she is rather prickly after her unfortunate marriage.

With great patience and diligence Gray slowly but surely wins Keturah’s trust and friendship. Together they take on the island of Nevis and the growing of sugar cane. Keturah needs all the strength and encouragement she can get as she uncovers uncomfortable secrets their father kept from them, faces down hostile neighbours and the wild weather of the West Indies.

Bergren employs excellent storytelling and character development in an interesting environment. She addresses the effects of physical abuse, in that time frame, abuse would most likely have been widely accepted but definitely not talked about. Bergren gently brings her heroine to a place of healing from the tragedies she’s suffered and helps her to try again. Keturah’s sisters are interesting characters that are waiting to be explored. Since this was book one of The Sugar Baron’s Daughters I’m guessing the other sisters will have their stories to tell!