The Silver Shadow: A Celebrate Lit Blogger Review

It has been quite a while since I have popped back onto the review scene and I am excited to have this as the book to get restarted! The Silver Shadow, by Liz Tolsma, was a well-written mystery that keeps the reader guessing all the way to the end.

About the Book

Book:  The Silver Shadow

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense

Release date: May 2021

A Shadowy Figure Is Intent on Harming Denver’s Women

Book 11 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

Denver of 1900 is still a dangerous place to be following the silver crash of 1893. And of out of the dark comes a shadow intent on harming women. Ambitious young Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is searching for the big story that’s going to launch her career. On Friday evening, August 24, 1900, she gets her break when two women are cracked over the head within a two-minute walk of each other. But policeman Edwin Timmer thwarts Polly’s ideas of a serial criminal. . .until the shadowy figure strikes again. Will the reporter and the policeman team up to find the culprit before he strikes too close for comfort?

My Review

The Silver Shadow is a mysterious story taken from an actual historical series of attacks in Denver, CO between August 24, 1900 and April 19, 1901. I very much appreciated the author’s attention to historical detail even while taking some creative liberties. I also really enjoyed reading what historical facts exist in public record about this series of crimes at the end of the novel. While quite the sensational story, the actual culprit was never found historically speaking.

I appreciate Liz Tolsma’s easy style as a writer. The narrative never feels forced or awkward and the dialog between characters is quite natural. Sometimes I did feel like there were awkward jumps between scenes, but I did enjoy the way the characters evolved from start to finish.

Polly Blythe is quite the spitfire of a heroine! I loved her tenacity and spirit as she pushed forward to do what she felt she was created to do. It was certainly not easy for a woman to break into the word of news reporting at the turn of the century, buy she kept pressing on. Her dogged determination did have some deeply personal roots which are revealed as the story progresses endearing her all the more to the reader.

The hero, Edwin Price, was easy to like and root for as he searched for the culprit plaguing the women of the city. His desire to clear his conscience from a regret from childhood drives his passion for justice. I appreciated this character development in particular and enjoyed how this particular individual grew throughout the ordeals he faced.

I also very much appreciated the way faith was handled. I pretty much only read Christian fiction or children’s literature as I try to keep what I read clean. Still, I don’t really appreciate a book that forces the faith aspect of the story. Tolsma did an excellent job of weaving the faith of the main characters seamlessly throughout the story. She kept it believable and relatable, while still bringing the reader closer to the Lord in their own faith journey.

The love story between the two main characters progressed in a sweet way and with much more grace than I sometimes read in novels. I appreciated that Tolsma does not feel the need to focus on intimacy, especially as my own teen daughters are reaching the age to enjoy reading stories with romance. I am excited to recommend this particular title to my 15-year-old who really likes a good mystery.

This is a light read, great for summer vacation. I highly recommend this title and look forward to reading more from Liz Tolsma!

About the Author

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

Disclaimer: I received this title for free as a part of the Celebrate Lit team. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions and statements are my own.

Finding Lady Enderly: A Net Galley Review

I love a good mystery with a bit of humor and romance. This wonderful story had all three and was one of the most creatively written novels I’ve had the privilege to read. The author was new to me and I enjoyed this so much I am already exploring some of her other works. 

The basic premise is a bit of a Cinderella story. A poor young lady is given the opportunity to live a life of opulence for a time as she pretends to be someone she is not. The enticing presentation of a solicitor, who guarantees there is no harm nor illegal act, is too much for her adventurous curiosity. Since she learned of the death at sea of the young man she loved, she has been looking for a way to escape her life and this seems to be the opportunity. Soon, however, she realizes there must be something awry in spite of all the fine promises of the solicitor. 

Two things struck me as I read this novel. The first was the way in which the author presented the story. Current trends lead novelists to write in 3rd person limited fashion with usually two lead characters (one male and one female) giving us insight into their perspectives, but not from the personal perspective of I. In this novel there was a shift in perspective, but one used 1st person (the heroine) and one used 3rd person limited (the hero). I was initially surprised by this style but ended up absolutely loving it! It kept the writing fresh and alive and my attention was completely held from page one. 

The second was the setting. I loved that the mansion our heroine arrives at is actually a abbey which was once used by monks. Its history and beauty shone through the author’s pen and made me want to live there myself! Not because of the opulence, but rather because of the meaningful spiritual context. 

Finally, I loved the complex plot and unexpected twists throughout the narrative. I was continually surprised and ready to learn what would happen next. 

I highly, highly recommend this novel! I can’t wait to read more by the author.
Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

A Song of Joy: A Net Galley Review


Lauraine Snelling has been one of my favorite historical novelists for quite a number of years. I was first introduced to her through the Blessings Series, which I eagerly awaited new titles as soon as I completed one! Dakota Treasures and the Secret Refuge Series were both compelling sets as well. It has been a while since I picked up one of her novels, so I was really excited to start turning the pages in A Song of Joy, the fourth title in Under the Northern Skies. 

As with many of Snelling’s titles the story centers around a Norwegian immigrant. I love the setting and time period for this particular title. Set in 1911 in Minnesota, it is a time of simplicity and new innovations all at the same time. Nilda, originally from Norway and most recently from a small farm near Blackduck, MN, works alongside Mrs. Schoenleber. The older woman completely trusts Nilda, who acts a sort of personal assistant. She is also quite altruistic around town and with those whom she encounters, much to the consternation of her brothers who are more miserly and greedy with funds from the family business. It becomes increasingly apparent that these brothers are conniving. Nilda, meanwhile, is struggling with memories which haunt her of a man who attacked her. He is no longer living, but even in death he makes her life a nightmare.

I love how Snelling weaves truths from Scripture throughout the pages. We see the very real struggle of what it is like to live with the darkness which comes to someone who is attacked. I appreciate her ability to empathize and guide the reader through what the experience is like. I also appreciate the advice given by Nilda’s family and employer to help her through this time. 

I also find the struggle some of the characters have with English a truly beautiful thing! We learn a few Norwegian words along the way, but are reminded that those new to our country may need some help, not to mention patience and understanding, when they come to this country. It is easy to take our native language for granted. 

There are three novels previous to this which I have not yet read. Although I greatly enjoyed the book, I would recommend starting at the beginning of this series in order to fully appreciate the family structure and know the background of the characters. I myself intend to go to the beginning of the series and read them all!

Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

The Captain’s Daughter: A Net Galley Review


New books and new authors are like a treasure to me! I always have authors I love, but finding a new one to admire and enjoy is always a treat! The Captain’s Daughter, by Jennifer Delamere, is definitely one of those treats!

Image result for the captain's daughter jennifer delamere

I’m always a fan of historical fiction and especially of the time period of this novel, the Victorian Era. I was also intrigued by the premise of following one of the residents from George Muller’s orphanage. This was a new spin on this particular setting and I couldn’t wait to settle into the title!

I loved that this particular series would follow a set of three sisters who depart from the orphanage. Being a mother of three girls myself I found it fun to see their various personalities. This first title focuses on the oldest of the three sisters, Rosalyn. 

I found the characters in this story to be intriguing and compelling. I appreciated the personal journey Rosalyn moves through and how she grows as a person. This historical atmosphere and background including George Muller was a wonderful bonus! 

The hero of the novel, Nate, is another enjoyable character. The author effortlessly flows between the two character’s perspectives in a lovely example of 3rd person limited as is used in modern literature. He is a young officer who has earned the respect of his commanders. I appreciate the he was never presented as perfect, but definitely as honorable. 

If you enjoy historical fiction and a good, clean romantic historical story, this is a good one for you! 
Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

A Secret Courage: A NetGalley Review

One of my favorite periods of history to read about is World War 2. My own grandfather served in the war and I’m sure this is what fuels my interest in this period. A Secret Courage is the first fiction title I’ve read from Tricia Goyer. I was very excited to give this novel a try and I was not at all disappointed!

A Secret Courage is set in war-time England and centers around the covert operations of the war. Wars are fought and lost upon the backs of the dedicated men and women willing to risk their lives to uncover the secrets of the enemy. It is hard, often overlooked work because of the need for secrecy. I loved learning about how covert photos were taken and analyzed in secrecy. It was a fascinating side of the war I was unfamiliar with prior to this book While the history fascinates me, I do not enjoy reading fiction books which end up feeling like a history text. The author skillfully weaves in the historical information with accuracy and grace so that I was engaged through every page. 

I also liked the slightly different take on the love-story. As with most historical, romances I had a pretty good idea from the beginning which characters were going to get together, but rather than the usual cat-and-mouse game authors tend to give their readers, these two quickly came together. Now every good love-story needs some challenges to overcome, and they are definitely present, but I won’t tell you about those and spoil the book for you!

I was also surprised by the ending. Again, I do not want to spoil it, but it was anything other than a neatly wrapped-up story. What I can assure you of is you will not be disappointed. It was one of the best historical fiction books of the World War 2 era I have read in a long time.

Disclaimer: I received this title from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other way. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Circle C Stepping Stones: A TOS Review Crew Review

Kregel Publications We are big-time readers in this house. I know the book-shelf conundrum is always an issue for homeschoolers, but it was an issue for me before we started homeschooling! My girls can often be found reading in their spare time and literature is never a struggle. We are always on the lookout for quality, age-appropriate fiction titles. Sadly modern fiction is often lacking the values we wish to instill in our daughters and often crosses into content or language we find inappropriate. I was so very excited to introduce my girls to the Circle C Stepping Stones series by Susan K Marlow from Kregel Publications
 Andi Under the Big TopAndi Saddles UpBeth and Grace read each one of the two books in the series so far, Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top.  They loved both stories and are now swapping books so they can read the other. Andi is growing up in 1880’s in California on her family’s ranch, the Circle C. These sweet chapter books show how Andi deals with friendships, trials, and misconceptions all in a way which is age-appropriate to the audience. There are 6 books planned in this series and I have no doubt we will be collecting all of them.            Beth said her favorite part was the Andi is the same age as her! She is 9 and I think it is great that she has books written to her and about a girl like her. She also liked that Andi lives on a ranch and is about horses. Beth, like most girls, would love to own a horse so I think she enjoyed putting herself into Andi’s place. She also wants to be a veterinarian so her love of animals is reflected as well!Grace says her favorite part was that it was about the circus. She is 7 and so Andi is slightly older than her, but she is the youngest in the family, which Grace can relate to very well! She also thought it was neat that she had her very own horse. She loves chapter books, but being young still appreciates that there were illustrations within the pages.

Another really great feature is that each book has a study guide, coloring pages, and a lap book! The book itself is great, but if you would like to build a unit around it, you can do so easily.

 Grace really liked the vocabulary section as she loves learning new words and exploring the English language in general. Beth really liked creating and naming her own horse. I know they were really engaged in these stories because during their playtime after reading they played ranch with their toys. The best literature always engages creativity and imagination! This new series fits snugly within the other Circle C series which follows Andi from young girlhood through womanhood. The concept for these books is spectacular. There are a lot of books about young girls and growing up, but this is the first series I’ve come across which writes about the same easy-to-love character at appropriate reading levels which reflect her age and take her through all of her growing up years! This is the first of the books I’ve been exposed to. Now I’m very excited to get the next series for my oldest daughter.  You can read more reviews from my Crewmates below!  Andi Series {Kregel Publications and Susan K. Marlow Reviews}Crew Disclaimer