Christian fiction, Christian historical, Christian romance, Historical, historical christian fiction, Historical Fiction

Book & Cover Review of "Moonlight Masquerade" by Ruth Axtell

MoonlightMasqueradeBookCover Back Cover of Moonlight MasqueradeBook Review

The author does a great job of leaving the reader guessing from page one. Though I will admit that at first I found it to be a problem. It took me a little while before I was completely sucked into this novel (though I eventually was). I feel this happened because I wasn’t sure which character I should be rooting for? I didn’t know if I wanted Reese — the butler who is really an English spy — to discover Lady Wexham was a French spy … or not.

Once I knew the two characters better (a few chapters in) I was more solidly into the story … and I truly began to enjoy the historical Regency era backdrop. I’m glad I stuck with it and read to the end. It was a wonderfully written story, full of misdirect and intrigue. I had not previously read a spy novel from the Regency-era and thoroughly enjoyed this one. Though there is a strong male character in this story, I do feel female readers would enjoy “Moonlight Masquerade” more then men. There are too many details about dresses and socialite expectations of the era for me to feel it is written to appeal to both sexes equally.

This book was provided by the Publisher for review, with no guarantee of a positive review.

Book Cover Review

Wealth. Beauty. Power. These three elements are all present in the story, and also reflected well in this cover. The cover model looks down at the hem of her dress in a semblance of demurity. However, the elegance of her surroundings, and her dress, betray that she is a woman of great means. This woman knows how to direct your attention where she wants it. If she wants you to notice how well she is dressed, she knows all the moves. The blue color of her dress are the perfect compliment to the golden tones of her surroundings. She knew exactly which dress to where to this event to make herself appear as though she belongs here … yet still have her beauty stand out. A perfect spy? You’ll have to read the book to know!

Available March 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Moonlight Masquerade

By Ruth Axtell

In this new Regency Romance, Ruth Axtell deftly creates a world where black and white burst into a confusion of colors and no one is who they seem.  Axtell’s expert storytelling and attention to historical detail bring the Regency era alive with  intrigue and romance.

Lady Celine Wexham seems the model British subject. French by birth but enjoying life in 1813 as a widowed English countess, she is in the unique position of being able to help those in need–or to spy for the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte. When Rees Phillips of the British Foreign Office is sent to pose as the countess’s butler and discover where her true loyalties lie, he is confident he will uncover the truth. But the longer he is in her fashionable townhouse in London’s West End, the more his staunch loyalty to the Crown begins to waver as he falls under Lady Wexham’s spell.

Ruth Axtell is the author of thirteen novels, including Wild Rose, one of Booklist‘s Top Ten in Christian Fiction. Currently a resident of Downeast Maine, Axtell has lived in the Canary Islands, Miami, and the Netherlands.

Endorsements for Moonlight Masquerade

 

 “Intrigue, romance, a clandestine kiss . . . all cast in a Regency setting so magnificently detailed I could see the fabrics and feel the glow of another era. Secrets and past disappointments keep Céline and Rees apart, not to mention the largest chasm of all—class. A wonderfully romantic and memorable read!”—Maureen Lang, author of Bees in the Butterfly Garden

“The first paragraph drew me into the story, and the next twist held me there to the end.”—Laurie Alice Eakes, author of A Flight of Fancy

Moonlight Masquerade is a wonderful romance, graced with expert detail of the Regency period, as well as with Ruth Axtell’s usual flair for intensely romantic situations between characters so real I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Moonlight Masquerade is an exciting romantic adventure of spies, forbidden love, and happily-ever-after that I thoroughly enjoyed.”—Melanie Dickerson, two-time Christy Award finalist and author of The Healer’s Apprentice and The Merchant’s Daughter

WWII historical novel, YA Christian fiction, YA fiction

Book & Cover Review of "How Huge the Night" by Heather & Lydia Munn

How Huge the Night: A Novel
Book Review
Other than reading the Harry Potter series a few years ago I have to admit that I haven’t been reading a lot of what would be considered YA (Young Adult) fiction for several years. Because of this, the immediate angst of the teenage protagonist, Julien Losier, in How Huge the Night: A Novel was a little jolting at first. However, within a few pages I found myself able to see beyond the angst – to understand the triggers that were setting it off, and felt myself being swept easily into this young man’s world.

There are actually several teenagers featured in this book, some of them facing the typical struggles all teens face, but all of them additionally facing the hardships of a war-torn country filled with pockets of racial hatred and loyalty suspicions. I enjoyed this story a great deal, and would recommend it be given to any teen you love. Especially if they have any curiously about what it was like to be a teen in another time and place. As an adult I still found this book to be very engaging. The authors definitely did their homework about the time period, and the stories seemed at times all too real. This book would make a great addition to home studies about WWII for teen students.

Cover Review
I think that the dark and foreboding image of the aging bridge in an approaching storm on a moonlit night is … a great start. Unfortunately, by the cover alone, at first glance I can tell nothing of what the actual story is about. I would have no idea it was YA, no idea it was a WWII novel, no idea it was about a French village helping Jewish refugees … I would only know that it appeared to be dark, a bit creepy, and in an older, probably Europeon village. 

I was attracted to this story by the back cover copy. The copywriter has done an admirable job of matching the tone of the story within and writing intriguing text to pull a reader in. Though this cover photo is interesting … I don’t think the cover will quite grab the attention of the intended audience unless they read the text. Without reading the text, however, … I’d imagine this would get picked up for review by those seeking a supernatural or horror novel rather than a WWII YA historical.

* This book was provided for review by the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance (CFBA). Additional resources for the book, provided by the CFBA, can be found below.

This week, the  Christian Fiction Blog Alliance  is introducing  How Huge the Night  Kregel Publications (March 9, 2011)  by  Heather Munn and Lydia Munn   

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: 

Heather Munn was born in Northern Ireland of American parents and grew up in the south of France. She decided to be a writer at the age of five when her mother read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books aloud, but worried that she couldn’t write about her childhood since she didn’t remember it. When she was young, her favorite time of day was after supper when the family would gather and her father would read a chapter from a novel. Heather went to French school until her teens, and grew up hearing the story of Le Chambonsur-Lignon, only an hour’s drive away. She now lives in rural Illinois with her husband, Paul, where they offer free spiritual retreats to people coming out of homelessness and addiction. She enjoys wandering in the woods, gardening, writing, and splitting wood.

Lydia Munn was homeschooled for five years because there was no school where her family served as missionaries in the savannahs of northern Brazil. There was no public library either, but Lydia read every book she could get her hands on. This led naturally to her choice of an English major at Wheaton College. Her original plan to teach high school English gradually transitioned into a lifelong love of teaching the Bible to both adults and young people as a missionary in France. She and her husband, Jim, have two children: their son, Robin, and their daughter, Heather.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Fifteen-year-old Julien Losier just wants to fit in. But after his family moves to a small village in central France in hopes of outrunning the Nazis, he is suddenly faced with bigger challenges than the taunting of local teens.

Nina Krenkel left her country to obey her father’s dying command: Take your brother and leave Austria. Burn your papers. Tell no one you are Jews. Alone and on the run, she arrives in Tanieux, France, dangerously ill and in despair.

Thrown together by the chaos of war, Julien begins to feel the terrible weight of the looming conflict and Nina fights to survive. As France falls to the Nazis, Julien struggles with doing what is right, even if it is not enough-and wonders whether or not he really can save Nina from almost certain death.

Based on the true story of the town of Le Chambon-the only French town honored by Israel for rescuing Jews from the Holocaust-How Huge the Night is a compelling, coming-of-age drama that will keep teens turning the pages as it teaches them about a fascinating period of history and inspires them to think more
deeply about their everyday choices.

Endorsements

“The Munns have written an engrossing historical novel that is faithful to the actual events of World War II in western Europe during the tumultuous year 1940. But How Huge the Night is more than good history; it is particularly refreshing because the reader sees the conflict through the lives of teenagers who are forced to grapple with their honest questions about the existence and goodness of God in the midst of community, family, and ethnic tensions in war-ravaged France.”—Lyle W. Dorsett, Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

“Seldom have the horrors of war upon adolescents—or the heroism of which they are capable—been so clearly portrayed. I loved this coming-of-age story.”—Patricia Sprinkle, author of Hold Up the Sky

“The book expertly weaves together the lives of its characters at a frightening moment in conflicted times. As we read of their moral dilemmas and of their choices, we too wonder, Would I do has these in the story have done?”—Karen Mains, Director, Hungry Souls

If you would like to read an excerpt from How Huge the Night, go HERE

Watch the book video: