Shadow Sister – A Review

Shadow Sister by Katherine Scott Jones
Released August 28th, 2018

Working on her father’s vineyard allows Sarah Lanning to bury memories of a lost love and a career that might have been. But then her fractured family receives word that her estranged sister, Jenna, is dead, leaving behind an unexpected request: that Sarah travel to Bolivia to scatter her ashes.

Accompanied by pilot Chase Maddox, Sarah embarks on an Andean journey that tests her devotion to home and exposes Jenna’s secret life. Each staggering discovery creates new mysteries—until the last, which leaves Sarah questioning everything she understood about family loyalty. At a crossroads, she must decide whether truth is worth the cost of forgiveness—and whether she can lay claim to a future of happiness without it.

Bittersweet and bold, Shadow Sister explores the mysteries of the human heart and the bond of unquenchable love.

My Review

Something niggled at the back of my mind after reading this book. The story, despite my struggles with the present tense author voice, did prove to stay interesting enough to keep my attention. The clues to Jenna’s secret did feel a bit put off and contrived, but only a very little. I rather liked Sarah, and the variety of nationalities and personalities among the characters themselves showed through quite well most of the time. While the descriptions felt a little too descriptive for my taste, I consider that preference, and I really was able to picture the vineyards, the slopes, and the Bolivian village with great clarity, thanks to the colorful manner used by the author.

After consideration though, I finally hit upon what bothered me the most about Shadow Sister. For claiming to have a Christian undercurrent – for the majority of the main characters having claimed Christ and mentioning Jesus on multiple occasions, – this book did not have an undercurrent of Christian worldview. One of the characters is touted as almost a saint by the words of several characters, but almost none of her actions are ones that stem directly from a Biblical framework. The book claimed to be centered in an area where women are regarded as property and are presumably ill-used by their husbands, but with one single exception, the “mistreatment” is never shown. Instead, the life of a wife and mother is downplayed, and the need for an education, the ability to hold down a job, and be able to “stand up to” one’s husband are the main things that are pushed for this Bolivian community. While, I won’t ever say one shouldn’t be able to read – it’s a grand thing and reading the Bible should be one of the chief pleasures for an able Christian – none of these things are pushed in the Bible. It’s not a requisite, while honoring one’s husband is, and the tone of the book pushed education above that Biblical mandate.

The ghost of Sarah’s sister passing around in two houses after death also threw me off. No where, do I see a Biblical framework for such a thing, though the book tried to make it link in with the story of Lazarus.

Perhaps my greatest issue with the book though is how the author dealt with the sin of marital infidelity. The Bible places strong emphasis on the importance of staying true to your own husband or wife. Jesus, Paul, the book of Proverbs… While one person mentions in, almost in passing, that “it was wrong” there was very little weight given to the sin. Sure, consequences are shown to an extent, but not really. It was almost excused. One of the people in question, treated with a pity that he in no way deserved. If this had been a secular book, I wouldn’t have been surprised and would have rated the book higher – I wouldn’t have expected a stronger moral compass. However, the claims of Christianity, led me to disappointment and sorrow at the way in which adultery and even fornication were handled. Why the characters fell into this sin doesn’t matter, they did it, and it should be shown as the sin that it is, if it is to be included in the story.

Also, the lying behavior of another character in another topic altogether was excused on account of fear. While I can agree that fear will lead to sin, it does not excuse it. Lying, even by omission, is bearing a false witness and is, therefore, a sin. Exodus 20:16. It should not be justified. Forgiven? Yes. Grace extended? Yes. Absolutely. I agree with the forgiveness shown, but the reasons behind a sin do not mitigate the sin. The lies allowed by this character caused deep wounds in those nearest them, which were shown very well. The writer handled betrayal and rejection well, I thought, up until the moment the reason for the sin seemed to wipe away everything else.

In conclusion, while an interesting story and even a good mystery, I could not recommend Shadow Sister.

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Katherine is giving away a grand prize that includes a personalized signed print copy of the book, a Shadow Sister bookmark, a Frame-able print, Book-lover’s tea, 6 Handcrafted notecards, and a set of vineyard-themed playing cards!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d25f/shadow-sister-celebration-tour-giveaway

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 4

Carpe Diem, September 4

Reflections From My Bookshelves, September 5

The Power of Words, September 5

Among the Reads, September 5

Fiction Aficionado, September 6

The Becca Files, September 6

RebekahsQuill, September 7

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 7

Bigreadersite, September 7

Just the Write Escape, September 8

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, September 8

Bibliophile Reviews, September 9

Living Life Free in Christ, September 9

Inspirationally Ever After, September 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 10

Texas Book-aholic, September 11

Livin Lit, September 11

Janices book reviews, September 12

Remembrancy, September 12

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 13

Inklings and notions, September 13

The Midnight Bookaholic, September 14

Pause for Tales, September 14

The Mimosa Blossom, September 14

Kelly Harrel, September 15

Two Points of Interest, September 15

A Baker’s Perspective, September 16

proud to be an autism mom, September 16

Godly Book Reviews, September 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 17

About the Author

Katherine Scott Jones grew up in cities on every U.S. coast and overseas as her family moved with her father’s Navy career. Seattle became home when she married her husband twenty-eight years ago. After graduating Whitworth University with a degree in communications, she established herself as a freelance writer before turning her hand to fiction. She blogs about books that celebrate beauty at www.katherinescottjones.com. Katherine and her husband have two teenage children. Shadow Sister is her second novel.

To the KING be all glory!

Hearts Entwined – A Review

Hearts Entwined
By Erin Nichole

The only sound Jana could hear was her own breathing. The darkness even spooked her and she rarely feared the night. But this fear was almost crushing. Pain on top of the fear wrapped the Royal’s mind into a frantic state. She curled to her side, wrapping her arms around her knees that pressed tightly against her chest. If only she didn’t feel so alone and terrified. Why did the High King feel so distant? The Scripture she rehearsed in her heart felt cold and she wondered, if her heart too, would soon turn to a stony statue like that of her former trainer’s…

My Review

I am always loth to read a series. I possess a certain, perhaps unfounded and odd, fear that if I like a book, the author will inevitably ruin the story in the following books.

Hearts Entwined is Volume 3 in The Wyvern Tales. It can be read as a standalone from its predecessors, but it certainly builds on their story – and without ruining anything. My favorite characters from The Scarlet Rose are still as noble and lovable as before; and I found several new favorites.

Coen is, possibly, at the top of my favorites list. I certainly related to him the most. Rowan, Wynter, Jana, and Kicster were other new favorites and weren’t terribly far behind. Kicster, indeed, did not have nearly enough page time. He needed several more… chapters. In my opinion, anyhow.

I enjoyed the overall story. The message of friendship, loyalty, and broken trust is a difficult one, but a message that ought to be heard. The mystery behind the past of one character particularly, is well hinted at, but not at all annoying as I have found some books, though intriguing.

Finally, I did approach the book with some trepidation, wondering how the narrator voice might be affected by Morgan Myomoto’s co-authorship with Erin Nichole, who has previously written on her own. I had no need to worry. The story telling fared well in the hands of both authors, living up to the previous works.

Hearts Entwined is currently on sale for .99 for Kindle, so get it while you have a chance!

To the KING be all the glory!

Points Worth – A Review

Points Worth by D.C. Marino

Released on March 30, 2018

For centuries the small port town of Points Worth has been able to communicate with the ocean in its own language. But the water has just gone silent and its last word has shaken those able to translate it. A knowledge of sea-script won’t be enough to mend the broken relationship between man and the deep. Gil, a young nautical linguist, will have to break rules and search the past to discover why the ocean ceased its tides—or had them stolen.

Points Worth is a novelette set in the world of Kingdom of Ruins, and is a prequel to the first book in the series.

My Review

For being so short, I found this story to be surprisingly enjoyable. To be honest, I read it because a friend of mine said she loved it, but I had low expectations. It took me two or three pages to get into the story, but once I did, I found the story fascinating, the author’s voice pleasant, and the main character likable. I’m looking forward to reading the novel that follows!

I would certainly recommend this book!

Giveaway

To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cece/points-worth-celebration-tour-giveaway\

Blog Stops

Blossoms and Blessings, June 14

Multifarious, June 15

A Baker’s Perspective, June 15

Fiction Aficionado, June 16

Remebrancy, June 17

Ashley’s Bookshelf, June 18

RebekahsQuill, June 19

Mommynificent, June 20

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, June 20

proud to be an autism mom, June 21

Bigreadersite, June 21

Texas Book-aholic, June 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 23

Janices book reviews, June 24

Margaret Kazmierczak, June 25

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 26

Carpe Diem, June 27

About the Author

D.C. Marino is a dedicated reader of history books and fantasy novels, both of which occupy an equal amount of space on her bookshelves. But it wasn’t until she realized how one breathed life into the other that she became addicted to finding the intersections of the real world and the fairy story. Still more: what those intersections about us as a creative, curious people. Kingdom of Ruins is her debut novel.

To the KING be all the glory!

~Life of Washington – A Review

In continuance of my reading challenge, I give you my review on a Biography.

Life of Washington by Anna C. Reed
Originally Published in 1842

George Washington led an exemplary life of service to God and his country, from his very boyhood. Raised by godly parents, they instilled in him a sense of honestly and duty, which proved him well in his many roles as son, land surveyor, soldier, husband, General, guardian, land-owner, benefactor, master, state representative, and President of the United States.

Miss Reed tells us about the life of one man, used of the LORD in many diverse ways of many years. Pulling from legends, letters, diary excerpts, personal testimonies, and using engaging narration, she paints a picture of the life of George Washington, as well as the events leading to the start of the country that he helped to found.

This book proved both interesting and well-written, often binging the reader back to the Bible with Scriptures and reminders of God’s promises.

I truly enjoyed reading Life of Washington. It rarely grew dull, and when it did, those sections were short. Much of what I read, I had studied before, but it was good to refresh my memory.

General Washington always has been one of my heroes and this book confirmed that in the best of ways.

To the KING be all the glory!

~Keep a Quiet Heart – A Review

I’m doing a reading challenge this year. The original idea was to read 110 books, in specific categories, this year. It’s May and I haven’t got far exactly, so we’ll see how that pans out. Here, however, is my review for a Book on Christian Living…

Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot
Originally Published in 1995

This book is a collection of articles that Elisabeth Elliot collected and put together from her newsletters over the years. The articles are a combination of encouragement and instruction for following the LORD and keeping a quiet heart, despite what may or may not be going on around you; learning to give over every ounce of our own will and self-preservation to the Almighty.

Mrs. Elliot draws on her own experience, as well as that of others, to build up and encourage her readers, though her focus is especially on women. She quotes extensively from the Bible and hymns, as well as gathering poignant quotes from other men and women of God.

Overall, I found this book a blessing; an encouragement, though sprinkled with areas of that convict. I would certainly recommend this book.

To the KING be all the glory!