Tag: Catherine West

First Line Friday

First Line Friday | Week 105 | As the Light Fades by Catherine West

It’s First Line Friday! That means it’s time to pick up the nearest book and quote the first line. Today I’m sharing from As the Light Fades by Catherine West—her first self-published title, which releases next month (and I’m lucky enough to have an advance review copy). Here’s the first line of Chapter One:

Liz Carlisle never imagined she'd be back in this place.

What’s the book nearest you, and what’s the first line?

About As the Light Fades

Sometimes we’re placed in the strangest of circumstances for the most important reasons.

After her carefully constructed life crumbles, Liz Carlisle finds herself back on Nantucket, picking up the pieces. With the family estate under renovations, the solitude she craves seems out of reach.

Matthew Stone intends to steer clear of his new tenant. She’s carrying a load of baggage, but as long as she pays the rent, he’ll let her be. He’s got enough to deal with caring for his wayward niece, Mia.

Liz doesn’t have time for teenagers and her track record with men is abysmal, but an unlikely friendship forms between the three.

When her former boyfriend is charged with assault, Liz is called to testify against him. But he knows the darkest secrets of her life—secrets she’d hoped to keep buried forever, and he’s ready to reveal them. Telling the truth is the right thing to do, but it may cost her everything she’s worked so hard for, and all she’s come to love.

You can find As the Light Fades online at:

Amazon | Goodreads

Click the button to check out what my fabulous fellow FirstLineFriday bloggers are sharing today:

You can then click the link which will take you to the master page of all this week’s #FirstLineFriday posts.

And you can click here to check out my previous FirstLineFriday posts.

Share your first line in the comments, and happy reading!

And don’t forget to click here to check out my Amazon shop for my top picks in Christian fiction!

Quote: Do I believe miracles can happen? Sure. But we have to step aside and let them.

#ThrowbackThursday | Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m resharing my review of Where Hope Begins, a powerful novel by women’s fiction queen Catherine West. If you’re looking for a Christian novel that goes deep into a broken marriage, I recommend Where Hope Begins.

About Where Hope Begins

Sometimes we’re allowed to glimpse the beauty within the brokenness . . .

Savannah Barrington has always found solace at her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, and it’s the place that she runs to when her husband of over twenty years leaves her. Though her world is shaken, and the future uncertain, she finds hope through an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, and a man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove to Savannah that she is worthy of love.

But soon Savannah is given a challenge she can’t run away from: Forgiving the unforgivable. Amidst the ancient gardens and musty bookstores of the small town she’s sought refuge in, she must reconcile with the grief that haunts her, the God pursuing her, and the wounds of the past that might be healed after all.

Where Hope Begins is the story of grace in the midst of brokenness, pointing us to the miracles that await when we look beyond our own expectations.

My Thoughts

Savannah’s husband of twenty years is leaving her for the other woman. Now the house is empty—their three children are at boarding school, college, and in a grave. Broken, Savannah goes to stay in her parent’s holiday home, where she meets the neighbours: an old woman, her nephew, and his daughter.

A daughter who is the spitting image of Savannah’s dead daughter.

Yes, Where Hope Begins has lots of angst. As the story progresses we find out more about how Shelby died, about how Savannah is convinced Shelby’s death was her fault, and convinced husband Kevin blames her, even though he says he doesn’t. We also see how this tragedy shaped their marriage, and paved the way for it’s destruction.

At the lake house, we see Savannah’s developing relationship with Brock, the bestselling author who is her new next-door neighbour. Her very attractive next-door neighbour. Why not? Her husband has left her for another woman and wants a divorce. That presents Savannah with a dilemma … and us as the reader. We’re convinced we don’t like Kevin, but does that justify Savannah’s growing relationship with Brock?

The intricacies of the relationships are compounded by Savannah’s Christian faith, a faith her husband supposedly shared. As Christians, we have clear views on adultery, but when is a marriage over? When is the wronged spouse allowed to move on?

Where Hope Begins is an intelligent, thought-provoking, and emotional read in a situation where there are lots of hard questions and no right answers.

The writing is excellent, as I’ve come to expect from Catherine West. The characters are well-developed, the plot complex but not convoluted, and the Christian elements threaded through but not overwhelming. Oh, and I cried. It’s been a long time since a novel made me cry.

Recommended for anyone looking for Christian fiction that addresses some of the hard issues of life.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Catherine West

Author Photo: Catherine WestCatherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband have two grown children and one beautiful granddaughter. Catherine is the winner of the 2015 Grace Award (Bridge of Faith) and the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award (The Things We Knew).

You can find Catherine West online at:

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

Find Where Hope Begins online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

You can read the introduction to Where Hope Begins below:

Quote: It's not something you ever get over, losing a child. But it is something you have to learn to live with. Years later, I still don't know how.

Book Review | Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

Savannah’s husband of twenty years is leaving her for the other woman. Now the house is empty—their three children are at boarding school, college, and in a grave. Broken, Savannah goes to stay in her parent’s holiday home, where she meets the neighbours: an old woman, her nephew, and his daughter.

A daughter who is the spitting image of Savannah’s dead daughter.

Yes, Where Hope Begins has lots of angst. As the story progresses we find out more about how Shelby died, about how Savannah is convinced Shelby’s death was her fault, and convinced husband Kevin blames her, even though he says he doesn’t. We also see how this tragedy shaped their marriage, and paved the way for it’s destruction.

At the lake house, we see Savannah’s developing relationship with Brock, the bestselling author who is her new next-door neighbour. Her very attractive next-door neighbour. Why not? Her husband has left her for another woman and wants a divorce. That presents Savannah with a dilemma … and us as the reader. We’re convinced we don’t like Kevin, but does that justify Savannah’s growing relationship with Brock?

The intricacies of the relationships are compounded by Savannah’s Christian faith, a faith her husband supposedly shared. As Christians, we have clear views on adultery, but when is a marriage over? When is the wronged spouse allowed to move on?

Where Hope Begins is an intelligent, thought-provoking, and emotional read in a situation where there are lots of hard questions and no right answers.

The writing is excellent, as I’ve come to expect from Catherine West. The characters are well-developed, the plot complex but not convoluted, and the Christian elements threaded through but not overwhelming. Oh, and I cried. It’s been a long time since a novel made me cry.

Recommended for anyone looking for Christian fiction that addresses some of the hard issues of life.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Catherine West

Author Photo: Catherine WestCatherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband have two grown children and one beautiful granddaughter. Catherine is the winner of the 2015 Grace Award (Bridge of Faith) and the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award (The Things We Knew). Her most recent novel, The Memory of You, released March 2017 and Where Hope Begins releases in May 2018.

You can find Catherine West online at:

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

About Where Hope Begins

Sometimes we’re allowed to glimpse the beauty within the brokenness . . .

Savannah Barrington has always found solace at her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, and it’s the place that she runs to when her husband of over twenty years leaves her. Though her world is shaken, and the future uncertain, she finds hope through an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, and a man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove to Savannah that she is worthy of love.

But soon Savannah is given a challenge she can’t run away from: Forgiving the unforgivable. Amidst the ancient gardens and musty bookstores of the small town she’s sought refuge in, she must reconcile with the grief that haunts her, the God pursuing her, and the wounds of the past that might be healed after all.

Where Hope Begins is the story of grace in the midst of brokenness, pointing us to the miracles that await when we look beyond our own expectations.

Find Where Hope Begins online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Have you read any novels by Catherine West? What did you think?

Quote: Do I believe miracles can happen? Sure. But we have to step aside and let them.

First Line Friday

First Line Friday | Week 39 | Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

It’s First Line Friday, which means it’s time to open the book nearest you and share the first line. Today I’m sharing from Where Hope Begins by Catherine West:

First Line from Where Hope Begins by Catherine West: My husband is leaving me. The thought, the reality, presses against my throat as I stand outside and take in the view from the back patio of our home.

This does a great job of introducing the plot. I love Catherine West’s writing, so I’m looking forward to reading this!

About Where Hope Begins

Sometimes we’re allowed to glimpse the beauty within the brokenness . . .

Savannah Barrington has always found solace at her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, and it’s the place that she runs to when her husband of over twenty years leaves her. Though her world is shaken, and the future uncertain, she finds hope through an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, and a man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove to Savannah that she is worthy of love.

But soon Savannah is given a challenge she can’t run away from: Forgiving the unforgivable. Amidst the ancient gardens and musty bookstores of the small town she’s sought refuge in, she must reconcile with the grief that haunts her, the God pursuing her, and the wounds of the past that might be healed after all.

Where Hope Begins is the story of grace in the midst of brokenness, pointing us to the miracles that await when we look beyond our own expectations.

You can find Where Hope Begins online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Click the button to check out what my fabulous fellow FirstLineFriday bloggers are sharing today:

You can then click the link which will take you to the master page of all this week’s #FirstLineFriday posts.

And you can click here to check out my previous FirstLineFriday posts.

Share your first line in the comments, and happy reading!

Book Recommendations for March/April 2017

Book Recommendations: March/April 2017

The best books I read and reviewed in March and April 2017. Definitely recommended!

The Memory of You by Catherine West

Catherine West is known for her thought-provoking women’s fiction. The Memory of You is certainly thought-provoking, but it had a lot more of a romance thread than I’d expected. Hey, that’s a good thing!

Click here to read my review, and click here to find out more about Catherine West.

A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti

I’m not usually a fan of the unlikable “hero”, but Joseph grew on me … once he grew a brain. It’s amazing how fast otherwise intelligent me can jump to wrong conclusions. Cynthia Ruchti is to be congratulated for a compelling novel examining love and hope.

Click here to read my review, and click here to find out more about Cynthia Ruchti.

If I’m Found by Terri Blackstock

This thriller is the sequel to If I Run, and the novels should definitely be read in order. Each story is complete in itself, but there is an overarching plot across the series.

But if you’re one of those people who can’t stand the wait for the next novel, you might want to put off reading this until the next in the series is published.

Click here to read my review, and click here to find out more about Terri Blackstock.

Catch of a Lifetime by Candee Fick

This is an older book, but new to me (and the first time I’ve read anything by Candee Fick as well. It’s Christian New Adult, set in a college football environment, and I loved the way the author wove faith and football together. She also avoided stupid or vapid characters—something that seems all too common in other books I’ve read in this genre.

Click here to read my review, and click here to find out more about Candee Fick.

What Christian fiction have you read recently that you recommend?

What Did You Read in July 2016?

It’s been a busy month. I’ve managed to produce almost 40,000 words of the first draft of my first novella (being the first in the series, not the first I’ve written). And I’ve read a few books …

Favourite Reads - July 2016

The best books I read in July 2016 were:

Missing by Lisa Harris, the newest thriller from this award-winning author (you can read my review here)

Deep Shadows by Vanetta Chapman, a thought-provoking near-future dystopian novel set in Texas (you can read my review here)

When Mountains Move by Julie Cantrell, the second novel from an author who took Christian fiction by storm with her debut (you can read my review here)

The Things We Knew by Catherine West, a poignant look at family and love (you can read my review here)