Swazi Sunrise by Donna Chapman Gilbert

Title: Swazi Sunrise

Author: Donna Chapman Gilbert

Genre: Christian Nonfiction/Biography (missionaries)

Era: early 1900s (1907 through the early 1920s)

Setting: New York, then Africa

Publisher: Donna Chapman Gilbert

Source: from author (in exchange for honest review)

Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Swazi Sunrise by Donna Chapman Gilbert

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19-year-old Lula is bookish and shy. She longs for a husband and children of her own, but gives up that dream to become a missionary. Lula never imagined the life of hair-raising adventure that awaits her. Nor does she expect to meet the most thrilling adventure of all in the form of a handsome young preacher.

Harmon leaves his home in Ohio with only goal in mind—converting Africans to Christ. No one is going to stand in his way. Not even a little brown-eyed slip of a girl with a sweet smile.

Young Emely lives in fear of the snake spirits and the witchdoctor who summons them. Then she encounters a pale man who tells her she can be free from fear. Will she find the courage to defy the witchdoctor and grab hold of that freedom?

Kosa loses his standing as a Swazi prince due to the conniving of his hateful younger brother. To regain his honor and his father’s respect, he trains hard to become a renowned fighter. But he discovers that fame and fortune do nothing to bring peace to his tortured soul.

Swazi Sunrise is a safari ride into early 20th century Africa. Its vivid depiction of life in Swaziland and the trials and triumphs of pioneer missionaries makes for a highly satisfying read.

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The Show by John A. Heldt

Title: The Show

Author: John A. Heldt

Series: Northwest Passage, #3

Genre: Science Fiction Romance (time travel)

Age-Range: 14+ (young adult/adult)

Era: 1940s (WW2), contemporary, and 1918 (post-WW1)

Setting: London, England

Publisher: John A. Heldt

Source: author (in exchange for an honest review)

Rating: 3/5 stars

Content: 3/5. Some language (just a few times, though). Little/no violence (though mention of wars, etc.). Kisses (somewhat detailed), mentions of pregnancy. There’s a scene on Joel and Grace’s wedding night which I skipped and therefore couldn’t tell you about. So … no idea what went on there. *coughs* And then … Grace kinda gives her mother ‘the talk.’ I skimmed this as well, but I didn’t see anything explicit.

The Show by John A. Heldt

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Seattle, 1941.

Grace Vandenberg, 21, is having a bad day. Minutes after Pearl Harbor is attacked, she learns that her boyfriend is a time traveler from 2000 who has abandoned her for a future he insists they cannot share. Determined to save their love, she follows him into the new century. But just when happiness is within her grasp, she accidentally enters a second time portal and exits in 1918.

Distraught and heartbroken, Grace starts a new life in the age of Woodrow Wilson, silent movies, and the Spanish flu.

She meets her parents as young, single adults and befriends a handsome, wounded Army captain just back from the war. In THE SHOW, the sequel to THE MINE, Grace finds love and friendship in the ashes of tragedy as she endures the trial of her life.

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This was a somewhat disappointing novel, mostly because of Grace’s actions in 1918. I was especially confused by her actions towards the end regarding her parents. I didn’t get how that could be possible until the way time travel works in these books was explained in The Mirror. Now that I understand that, however, I’m able to understand this novel much better.

I must say, I loved Grace’s parents as teens. They were amusing, especially her mother. I had no idea ‘Mrs. Vandenburg’ was such a kick as a kid!

I also found it difficult to believe that Grace got over Joel that quickly. Joel was her everything. Sure, she needed to move on … but she was married to him regardless of differences in time and space. Moving on doesn’t necessarily have to involve another man, okay?

I found the whole idea of the theater interesting. Very cool concept. One of the best things about this story other than seeing Grace and Joel again, hearing Grace’s side of the story, etc.

I’m not going to go on more (because I had rating less than four stars … even though three stars is honestly a decent rating …). I’ll just say that this is a good story, but not quite as good as some of Heldt’s others.

~Kellyn Roth