Isn’t it great when you hate the bad guy?

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Minding the Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Bad characters, bad writing, poor plot – not a bit of it. Minding the Light had me riveted. Read my book review below.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My penny’s worth

I have been eagerly waiting for the 2nd book in the Nantucket Legacy Series, after reading Phoebe’s Light. Would Minding the Light proved to be just as good? Well, my friends, I ate up the pages!

Why?

The bad character

Oh, my word, I disliked Lillian Swain Coffin, she is everything I loathe in a Christian. My heckles began to rise at the mention of her name. I mourned for Jane and Daphne having a mother like Lillian. Yes, I wept. Suzanne Woods Fisher did a commendable job with her bad guy (well woman in this case!). How I wanted to shake her. Now calm down Margaret, she is only a character in a book. I know, I know, but you see how she affected me. And it is great to hate a bad character in a book, it shows powerful writing.

Great Mary

Yes, Great Mary is back with her wisdom, and there is one particular quote from the book that will stay with me. It is referring to the story of Elisha from the Bible. A native Indian is talking to Great Mary, “God has a great and good future for you. Can you not see? God surrounds with his protection, with his presence. (Mary is) Like Elisha. Eyes closed. (If Great Mary opened her eyes…)

“What might shift in my heart if God were to unveil my eyes and show me that despite my fears and uncertainties, I’m surrounded by his powerful protection and presence. This Wampanoag had given me a great blessing. He reminded me not to fear the future, but to embrace it. To welcome whatever will come with open arms. For we are not alone on this journey.”

This is what I needed to hear. I am thankful that God has used Minding the Light to reveal to me what I need to do, just like Mary, I need to open my eyes and embrace the future.

So if it isn’t a bad book what is so great about it?

Let’s just say that within its pages there are secrets, loss, love, guilt, awakenings, transformations, hypocrisy, risk, reconciliation and regrets. Is that enough? Oh and the question of slavery, both religious and actual.

And the writing is just beautiful.

“A frown darkened Patience’s brown eyes, and she gave a nod. Such an economy of words out of this woman, and yet they clattered into the room like stones down a dry well.”

All of the characters are strong and powerful. Do I need to say more?

There are times to ponder.

“Tis all about the keystone, Mary. Think on that.”

And situations that melt your heart. I cried too, oh have I said that already!

Would I recommend Minding the Light.

Just go out and get a copy, is that recommendation enough? But read Phoebe’s Light first.

I have to give this book 5*****

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Remember there is a GIVEAWAY at the bottom of the page, please enter for a chance to win.

If you liked my review let me know in the comments. Many thanks 🙂

#amreading Minding the Light @suzannewfisher #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway Click To Tweet

About the Book

FIsher_MindingtheLight(2)

Book Title: Minding the Light

Author: Suzanne  Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: July 3, 2018

 

Six long years ago, Captain Reynolds Macy sailed away from his bride, looking forward to the day when he would return to Nantucket Island with a ship’s hold full of whale oil. But when that momentous day finally arrives, Ren soon discovers that everything has changed in his absence. Everything. “Is nothing on this island as it appears to be?” he whispers in despair.

Unlike most islanders, bold and spirited Daphne Coffin doesn’t defer to Ren as an authoritative whalemaster, but sees through his aloofness to the aching heart beneath. She encourages him to return to his Quaker roots and “mind the Light,” finding solace in God and community. As Ren becomes the man she believes him to be–honorable, wise, faithful–she finds herself falling in love with him.

But how can she, when her heart is spoken for? Tristram Macy is Ren’s business partner, cousin, and best friend–and Daphne’s fiancé. Love always comes at a cost, but when is the price too high?

Suzanne Woods Fisher welcomes readers back to the Quaker community on Nantucket Island for this riveting love story, full of unexpected moments.

About the Author

suzanne woods fisherCarol-award winner Suzanne Woods Fisher writes untold stories about inspiring people. With over one million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction, ranging from Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World to the historical novel Anna’s Crossing.

Guest Post from Suzanne

Eight Curious Facts You Probably Didn’t Know about Nantucket Island

This beautiful island, thirty miles off Cape Cod, is steeped in history. Here are just a few interesting reasons to add a visit to Nantucket to your bucket list.

One

During the first half of the nineteenth century, Nantucket was considered to be the wealthiest port in the world…all because of whale oil.

Two

Petticoat Row is a 19th century nickname for a portion of Centre Street between Main Street and Broad Street. Many shops on Nantucket were run by women while the men were off to sea in whaling ships for years at a time. Quakerism, with its emphasis on equality, provided working women with community respect, value and esteem. The next time you’re visiting Nantucket, be sure to stop by the Petticoat Row Bakery for a morning glory muffin.

Three

The use of laudanum (opium) was described by a visiting French as prevalent among the women of Nantucket. Loyal Nantucketers vehemently denied his claim. However, in the 1980s, construction workers digging to Nantucket’s sewer lines found heaps of opium bottles buried in the ground.

For centuries, laudanum was considered to be not only harmless but beneficial. Its very name in Latin is landare, which means to praise. Other names for it: Mother’s Helper (to sedate children), Sea Calm (for seasickness). It was used for all kinds of ailments, from sleeplessness to menstrual cramps to treatment of chronic pain, and available without prescription up until the twentieth century, when it was found to be highly addictive.

Four

Nantucket Cent Schools were a carryover from England and the cost was exactly what the name implied. In New England they were kept by refined, thrifty women who often taught their own or their neighbors’ children until they were old enough to enter schools of a higher grade. I came across a story of a boy whose mother stuck a penny in his mouth each day so that he would remember to pay the teacher.

Five

Moby Dick, written by Herman Melville in 1851, was based on a true-life event that occurred in 1820 to the Nantucket whaleship Essex and her crew. You can find out more about this ill-fated voyage if you visit Nantucket’s awesome whaling museum.

Six

Speaking of…the whaling museum on Nantucket Island is called the Peter Foulger Whaling Museum. Peter Foulger was one of the early settlers to the island, and could be considered a Renaissance Man: inventor, surveyor, teacher, missionary to the Wampanoag Indians. And his grandson was none other than Benjamin Franklin.

Seven

Nantucketers were, for the most part, related to each other in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The prosperous island was settled by a small group of families, with less than a dozen surnames: Coffin, Macy, Starbuck, Bunker, Hussey, Gardner, Mayhew, Swain, Barnard, Coleman, Worth, Mitchell. Those names are still common on the island.

Eight

There’s a good reason those surnames sound familiar to you—many of those early settlers had descendants who started business empires. Recognize these? Macy (retailer) and Folger (coffee).

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, July 3

Livin Lit, July 3

midnightbookaholic, July 3

The Avid Reader, July 4

Margaret Kazmierczak, July 4

The Power of Words, July 4

A Baker’s Perspective, July 5

Blossoms and Blessings, July 5

A Reader’s Brain, July 5

Just the Write Escape, July 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 6

Bibliophile Reviews, July 7

Mary Hake, July 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 7

Texas Book-aholic, July 8

Simple Harvest Reads, July 8 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Janices book reviews, July 9

Captive Dreams Window, July 9

Book by Book, July 9

Back Porch Reads, July 10

Reading Is My SuperPower, July 10

Splashes of Joy, July 10

The Morning Chapter, July 11

Vicky Sluiter, July 11

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 11

Among the Reads, July 12

proud to be an autism mom, July 12

Two Points of Interest, July 12

Abbas Prayer Warrior Princess, July 13

Tell Tale Book Reviews, July 13

Blogging With Carol, July 13

Truth and Grace Writing and Life Coaching, July 14

Maureen’s Musings, July 14

Southern Gal Loves to Read, July 14

Godly Book Reviews, July 15

Inklings and notions, July 15

Bigreadersite, July 15

Connie’s History Classroom , July 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 16

Pause for Tales, July 16

Have A Wonderful Day, July 16

Giveaway

cc86deda-3163-43d9-9dd1-41c6c31fdaf7

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card to five winners!!

Be sure to leave a comment on one of the blog stops for 9 extra entries into the giveaway. Click link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d1c4/minding-the-light-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Secrets, love and an old mystery – Phoebe’s light

I love a good mystery, and when looking into my family history, I found quite a few. Imagine my delight when I found some missing ancestors on foreign shores after a clue in a letter written 100 years ago. Who would have thought that a mention of a snake in the garden the vital key?

Pheobes Light FB banner copy

My Penny’s worth

Because of my love of research, I felt drawn to read Phoebe’s Light when I saw the synopsis referring to Great Mary’s journal. Clues from the past, written in a diary alluring to a mystery for the main character to solve. I rubbed my hands in glee and expectation of a good read. Added to this I knew nothing about Quakers so my interest increased.

Strong women

What is it about strong women that men find hard to cope with? Phoebe’s Light certainly has its fill with powerful ladies. Great Mary came through as one trying to live on an island as a pioneer, her tenacity being a driving force in getting matters done, but does her love life suffered for it? Then you have Phoebe’s determination to marry Captain Phineas Foulger and leave her unadventurous life behind causing all sorts of problems for her husband. How does he deal with a headstrong woman? I doubt you will guess the answer to this!

There she blows or does she?

With the tempting lure of adventure and mystery from the blurb, I was surprised that I had to wait until halfway through the book to experience some action. Indeed the slow build up, although introducing the characters and the parts they play in the story, gave me an inkling of what a journey on a whaling ship might have been like. I could understand the crew’s restlessness waiting to sight a whale. I stood in the crow’s nest expectant, but the sea ahead remained devoid of the treasure they sought.

Did I like this book?

I wanted to like this book and continued to read it because I needed to know what the mystery in Great Mary’s journal was. However, at times I found the inclusion of some diary entries superfluous and didn’t always flow in line with the story.

Which character impressed me?

In my opinion, Matthew Mitchell lifted the book with his flawed character, and I enjoyed the honesty that he bought to the storyline about his faith.

Who might like this book?

I think readers who are interested in 17th-century American history might like this book, with its emphasis on Quakers, Nantucket and Whaling.

Thank you, Suzanne Woods Fisher, for writing Phoebe’s Light. I will give it 4 stars.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Suzanne has a great free giveaway, see the end of this post for details.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Book

Phoebe's Light-Book Cover

Title: Phoebe’s Light

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical romance

Release Date: February 6, 2018

 

Odd Gifts

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Mitchell, a man whom she loathes.

The book of secrets

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way—just in time.

In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.

About the Author

Fisher_SuzanneWoodsSuzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s CrossingThe Newcomer, and The Return in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

A Stroll down Petticoat Row

Thirty years ago, I talked my sister into going on a trip to Nantucket Island. It’s one of those places that had always intrigued me. As a girl in the 1930s, my mother’s family vacationed in Nantucket; she even has a lightship basket to show for it. I expected the island to be interesting and beautiful, and it certainly did not disappoint. But something else happened as I walked down Centre Street one morning. This island captured my imagination in a way that’s hard to put into words. At the risk of sounding a tiny bit sun touched, I could practically see 19th century people on the roads, hear the “thee’s and thou’s” in their speech, even smell the strong scents of a bygone century—the musky perfume of rendered whale oil, the burning wood of the blacksmith, all mingled with the bracing sea air.

Nantucket Women

Centre Street has a local nickname: Petticoat Row. It comes from the 1800s, when men were at sea for long periods and women stepped into their shoes to keep businesses going. Nantucket women gained a reputation for being strong and capable. Their competence was encouraged by the Society of Friends (Quakers), the island’s dominant religion, which believed in the equality of men and women in all aspects of life. That hasn’t changed. Today, half of all Nantucket businesses are run by women.

From inspiration to paper

Petticoat Row stuck in my mind, and eventually became the hook to contract a series of historical fiction with Revell Books. The ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series covers the rise and fall of Nantucket’s whaling period, when it became the wealthiest port in the world.

First up is Phoebe’s Light, releasing in February 2018, a novel about a spirited young woman who seeks her fortune only to find out she already had it.

After reading about Phoebe, I hope you’ll consider planning a trip to Nantucket (though try to go off-season. The population swells five times in the summer!). When you go, include a stop at the Petticoat Row Bakery (35 Centre Street)—the very location where Phoebe grew up, albeit a few centuries ago. Don’t leave the island without trying the Morning Glory Muffins, an island favorite. So worth the trip!

Nantucket’s Famous Morning Glory Muffins

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup sugar

2 ¼ cup flour

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup shredded coconut

½ cup raisins

2 cup grated carrots (4 large)

1 apple, shredded

8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained

½ cup pecans or walnuts

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

Sift together sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the fruit, carrots and nuts and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with oil and vanilla. Combine with dry ingredients and blend well.

Spoon batter into cupcake tins lined with muffin papers. Fill each cup to the brim. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. These muffins needs 24 hours to ripen their full flavor. They freeze extremely well.

Recipe courtesy of Pamela A. McKinstry, Sconset Café

Blog Stops

Aryn The LibraryanFebruary 15

A Simply Enchanted Life, February 15

Moments Dipped in Ink, February 15

Kaylee’s Kind of Writes, February 15

Girls in White Dresses Blog, February 16

With a Joyful Noise, February 16

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 16

A Greater Yes, February 16

ASC Book Reviews, February 17

Locks, Hooks and BooksFebruary 17

Book by Book, February 17

Texas Book-aholic, February 18

The Power of Words, February 18

Two Points of Interest, February 18

Splashes of JoyFebruary 18

A Reader’s Brain, February 19

Karen Sue Hadley, February 19

Blossoms and BlessingsFebruary 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 20

The Fizzy Pop Collection, February 20

All of a kind Mom, February 20

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 20

Reading Is My SuperPower, February 21

Baker Kella, February 21

Mommynificent, February 21

Janices book reviews, February 21

Lighthouse Academy, February 22

Readers cozy corner, February 22

Mary Hake, February 22

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 22

Pause for Tales, February 23

Have A Wonderful Day, February 23

Faery Tales Are Real, February 23

Blogging With Carol, February 24

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, February 24

Among the Reads, February 24

Carpe Diem, February 24

Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, February 25

Red Headed Book Lady, February 25

Just the Write Escape, February 25

A Baker’s Perspective, February 25

By The Book, February 26

For The Love of Books, February 26

Margaret Kazmierczak, February 26

Simple Harvest Reads, February 26 (Guest post from Mindy)

Maureen’s Musings, February 27

Connie’s History ClassroomFebruary 27

proud to be an autism mom, February 27

Bigreadersite, February 27

Bibliophile Reviews, February 28

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 28

Pink Granny’s Journey, February 28

Pursuing Stacie, February 28