Book Review of “In Places Hidden” by Tracie Peterson

n-Hidden-Places-TraciePetersonMy Review of “In Places Hidden” by Tracie Peterson

The first thing I said after finishing “In Places Hidden” by Tracie Peterson was:  “ When is Book 2 Coming Out!”

“In Places Hidden” is Book 1 in the Golden Gate Secrets series and it’s a page turner for sure! Not only is it filled with mystery, intrigue, and surprises, it also has a sweet romance and a reminder of how life was in the early 1900’s in San Francisco.

Camrianne Coulter, the main character in the story, is an independent young women who is highly educated and from a wealthy family in Chicago. She is active in the Woman’s Sufferage Movement and is very out spoken.
She also has a strong faith in God and prayer.
She travels alone to San Francisco to search for her missing brother, Caleb, and meets two other women of different backgrounds on the train. The three soon become friends and all end up staying together in Caleb’s home in San Francisco.
The story winds around the search for Caleb and the people Camrianne and her friends meet in San Francisco.
Faith, prayer, and trust in God are a very prominent part in all of their everyday happenings.

I really enjoyed this book and I do look forward to reading the next book in this series .

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers but was not required to give a positive review.   All opinions are my own.

—Leona J. Atkinson


Review of “Judah’s Wife” by Angela Hunt

Judah's Wife Book Cover
” Judah’s Wife ” by Angela Hunt

This was my first time reading an Angela Hunt book, but it will not be my last! I was totally captured by her very descriptive writing and attention to detail.

“Judah’s Wife” is a story of The Maccabees, who were a group of Jewish warriors living in Judea, which at the time was part of the Seleucid Empire. They strictly adhered to the Jewish religion and expanded the boundaries of Judea by waging war and conquering those under the influence of Hellenism who were trying to take over the Jews and silence their beliefs and worship.

The Books of The Maccabees are not in our Christian Bible today, but are part of the Apocryphal books. These Apocryphal books are included in the Catholic bible and I do remember reading Maccabees years ago when I was raised Catholic.

They are historical books that are about the many wars that were fought by Israel against the ungodly kings and rulers of those days. However, Angela Hunt weaved a wonderful personal story of love, strength and courage throughout her telling of all the wars and fighting.

“Judah’s Wife” focuses on Leah, a girl raised by an abusive father, who becomes the young wife of Judah, who was Judas Maccabaeus. one of the five Maccabaeus brothers, and the leader of the Maccabees. The story goes back and forth showing events from the perspective of Leah and then from Judah. This way of writing, to me, made the book much more interesting.

If you enjoy Biblical History coupled with a sweet love story and the drama of those fighting for freedom to live their beliefs, then you will enjoy this book. It will truly hold your attention from the first page to the last. I found it very hard to put down.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Publisher but was under no obligation to post a positive review.

–Leona J. Atkinson

My Review of “A Passionate Hope” by Jill Eileen Smith

A Passionate HopeAs I read through the pages of “A Passionate Hope” I felt I was in the biblical hill country of Ephraim, interacting with Hannah, the mother of Samuel, and Elkanah, son of Jeroham as they lived their lives as Kohathite’s dedicated to daily worshiping Adonai Tzva’ot, at home and at the tabernacle of Shiloh during the time of Eli the Priest and his two corrupt sons, Hophni and Phinehas.

Though these people lived long ago they have been brought to life through Jill Eileen Smith‘s newest book titled “A Passionate Hope.”

The Bible doesn’t say much about Hannah except what is read in 1 Samuel 1:2 and 2:21. Other than that, she is never mentioned anywhere else in the Bible.

But Jill Eileen Smith took what was said in those few Bible verses and coupled it with biblical history and research to weave an incredibly true to life story of hope and trust that is captivating to read.

“A Passionate Hope” is the story of Hannah, who though married to a man who truly loves her as much or more then she loves him, cannot conceive a child that both of them desperately want.

It is a story of hope that endures through many trials.  It is a story of trust in a God who seems to not hear the prayers prayed day by day, and year by year.

It is a story of heartache and heartbreak as a childless Hannah deals with the unkindness and rejection of family and the evil she sees being carried on in the tabernacle by those who are supposed to be God’s priests. It is a story of a woman whose faith is strong, who chooses to pray and praise instead of murmur and complain.

Many times as I read this book I found myself relating to the situations Hannah and Elkanah faced.

When I read:   “Tears fell in drops as though she were standing in a storm, her heart burning within her. Oh, Adonai. Do You even listen to my prayers? I ask and I ask and beg and I plead, and nothing changes.”  (page 180)

Many times, I like Hannah, prayed and prayed for something for years and years without any results, wondering, as Hannah did, if God actually did see and hear.

“Oh Adonai, why do You not act?  Why do You let the evil go on and on?” (Page 199)

Many times I have also uttered a similar question to God regarding evil works I have seen, just as Elkanah did when he saw the continual evil being done by Eli’s sons.

This book was filled with emotions of frustration, fear, sadness, and anger.  Yet, also of hope, love, forgiveness, kindness, self-sacrifice, hope and trust.

This book shows us that God does see and hear all the circumstances we face but sometimes He seems to be silent because we have  to wait for His timing.  He has a plan for good that can only be fulfilled in His time.

So, we have  to wait, trust and hope, sometimes for what seems like a long, long time.  But, in the end it is always worth the wait.

–Leona J. Atkinson

“The Sound of Rain”–Book Review

   My Review of “The Sound of Rain” by Sarah Loudin Thomas

“The Sound of Rain” has a beautiful cover that is soft to the touch and which holds within a beautiful story filled with adventure, suspense and romance!

There are many things to like in this book “The Sound of Rain” by Sarah Loudin Thomas.

The story revolves around two characters Judd Markley, an Appalachian miner turned timber worker and Larkin Heyward a dissatisfied socialite in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. These two people lead very different lives, with very different dreams, yet they are brought together through two disasters–a mine cave in and a hurricane. How will these disasters cause changes in their life pathways and will it be for good?

As Judd Markley, deals with leaving behind the Appalachian mine tragedy, Larkin Heyward dreams of going to Appalachia to live and work. How could these two people ever come together to be friends or even more?

As the story evolves I see God’s hand at work throughout, leading and guiding in various ways and events that will lead to great changes in Judd and Larkin’s lives. Will those changes bring happiness and fulfillment to both?

The above questions were some that came to mind as I read this truly a beautiful story that held my attention from page 1 to page 331.  I highly recommend it as a great read!

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review and in no way received any monetary compensation.

Visit Sarah Loudin Thomas Website at:

–Leona J. Atkinson

Book Review of “Cherished Mercy” by Tracie Peterson

Tracie-Peterson-Cherished-Mercy-CoverMy Review of “Cherished Mercy” a book by Tracie Peterson published by Bethany House

I recommend this book to those of you who enjoy reading frontier stories filled with faith, values, adventure, historical fact and romance , for it has all that and more.
The setting is in the Oregon Territory in the year 1855.
For those of you who know your US History you will know this was a time of much conflict between the US Army and the Native Americans.

This book tells the story of Mercy Flanagan who had traveled West with her family to find land and build homes.
Mercy, who as a child endured the Massacre at the Whitman Mission as a child, is now grown.  She is a young woman and lives in Oregon City, Oregon with her two sisters who are married with children. Mercy has yet to marry and so is contacted for help by a family friend who lives in the Rogue River Valley at a Mission. The Mission ministers to the Rogue River Indians who live in the area, especially the Tututni tribe.
This family friend is having a difficult pregnancy because her health is poor and she needs help to care for her husband, child and Mission duties.
Mercy is understandably hesitant to go given her previous experience with the events at the Whitman Mission, but as she and her sisters pray about it, she decides it is God’s will that she go.

The first chapter in this book seemed very slow reading as it was describing all the necessary background to what one needed to know in order to grasp what was to come, but Chapters 2 thru 26 are much different!
You will find it hard to stop reading as each chapter will challenge you to find out what is going to happen next!  This book is a very enjoyable read that will touch all of your emotions.

“Cherished Mercy” is Book #3 in the “Heart of the Frontier” series.
Book #1 is “Treasured Grace” Book #2 is “Beloved Hope”

Visit Tracie Peterson’s Website at:

–Leona J. Atkinson


Review of “Seeing the Elephant: Voices from the Oregon Trail”

Seeing the Elephant: Voices from the Oregon TrailSeeing the Elephant: Voices from the Oregon Trail by Joyce Badgley Hunsaker

This book has some very interesting stories of true life happenings on the Oregon Trail.

It contains actual journal entries and stories of Narcissa Whitman (1836), Thomas Jefferson Farnham (1839), Jesse Applegate (1843), Catherine Sager (1844), Abilgail Scott (1852), Ezra Meeker (1852), Helen Stewart (1853), Fincelius G. Burnett (1865), and Mrs. Lucy Alice Ide (1878). All these tell their stories of traveling the Trail to Oregon Country. All the accounts are in the actual words of those named and are most interesting.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in American History, especially the History of the Oregon Trail. It brings to light what truly happened to the people we call pioneers who traveled West in covered wagons to reach the land of their dreams. It is amazing all they went through and the positive determination they had to succeed. It causes one to truly appreciate these emigrants of the early West and all they accomplished.

–Leona Atkinson

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