Woman of God by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Woman of God by [Patterson, James]

The world is watching as massive crowds gather in Rome, waiting for news of a new pope, one who promises to be unlike any other in history. It’s a turning point that may change the Church forever. Some followers are ecstatic that the movement reinvigorating the Church is about to reach the Vatican, but the leading candidate has made a legion of powerful enemies who aren’t afraid to kill for their cause.

Faith has never come easy for Brigid Fitzgerald. From her difficult childhood with drug-addled parents to her career as a doctor healing the wounded in Sudan to a series of trials that test her beliefs at every turn, Brigid’s convictions and callings have made her the target of all those who fear that the Church has lost its way–dangerous adversaries who abhor challenges to tradition. Locked in a deadly, high-stakes battle with forces determined to undermine everything she believes in, Brigid must convert her enemies to her cause before she loses her faith…and her life.

Spanning the globe–from the drug dens, high-powered law firms, and churches of Boston to the horrific brutality of a civil war in the Sudanese desert to the beauty, violence, and spiritual enlightenment of the Holy Land–Woman of God is an epic, thrilling tale of perseverance, love, trust and nothing less than what it means to live in a fallen world.

Maxine Paetro is one of my favorite co-authors for James Patterson.

Our story begins twenty years prior to the story, a short beginning with everyone waiting in the square to see the smoke when a new Pope is announced.

We follow Brigid from the dangerous Sudan, where she and her fellow doctors do their best to patch up the wounded flocking to their compound, to Rome, and all over the globe. Surrounded by factions that are killing any and everyone. When Brigid is injured and sent home to heal, she has no idea what to do. Her faith is questioned at every turn and at one point she turns away from the church.

A story of faith, struggles, and how the Catholic Church is moving forward into unfamiliar territory. As usual, there are the those on the fringes who are going to advocate violence rather than change the church and Brigid must let her faith in God be her guiding light into the future of the church and in her own tortured life.

How does one keep the faith when all the things you hold dearest are continually being taken away? How much loss is one woman capable of enduring? Will Brigid find her purpose and is that purpose being the next Pope?

You will have to read it and see! I was very happy to see this at my local library when it came in.  My favorite JP books are the ones with Ms. Paetro. The writing flows nicely and there is a female presence that is obvious in the book.

Lovely Book!

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House of Silence by Sarah Barthel

House of Silence

Oak Park, Illinois, 1875. Isabelle Larkin s future like that of every young woman hinges upon her choice of husband. She delights her mother by becoming engaged to Gregory Gallagher, who is charismatic, politically ambitious, and publicly devoted. But Isabelle s visions of a happy, profitable match come to a halt when she witnesses her fiance commit a horrific crime and no one believes her. 

Gregory denies all, and Isabelle s mother insists she marry as planned rather than drag them into scandal. Fearing for her life, Isabelle can think of only one escape: she feigns a mental breakdown that renders her mute, and is brought to Bellevue sanitarium. There she finds a friend in fellow patient Mary Todd Lincoln, committed after her husband s assassination.
In this unlikely refuge, the women become allies, even as Isabelle maintains a veneer of madness for her own protection. But sooner or later, she must reclaim her voice. And if she uses it to expose the truth, Isabelle risks far more than she could ever imagine.
Weaving together a thread of finely tuned suspense with a fascinating setting and real-life figures, Sarah Barthel’s debut is historical fiction at its most evocative and compelling.”

A wonderful look inside Bellevue Sanitarium in the year 1875. Isabelle is marrying Gregory and love has nothing to do with it. She has been raised as most of the women of the era, to either let her family pick a husband for her, or choose someone who could advance both of your stations in life. Her best friend Lucy, is working on running away and marrying the man she truly loves and while she is happy for Lucy and aids her in her attempt, Isabelle isn’t one to rock the boat.

She is however a smart young lady, and when she sees her supposedly loving fiance’ commit an unspeakable act, she does not stay silent. Unfortunately appearances are everything to Isabelle’s mother and neither she or the authorities believe Isabelle.

So she just shuts up. Not a word. Nothing. And that is how she ends up at Bellevue. A game of who can hold out the longest. Isabelle or her mother. As Isabelle meets more women at Bellevue, she sees how easy it is to just lock up a woman on pretty much any trumped up reason. She fears she may never be released and is alone and scared. Until she gets a neighbor. Mary Lincoln, whose son Robert is trying to have her declared insane.

Together she and Isabelle will come up with a plan to rescue them both.

Mary Todd Lincoln was a resident of Bellevue in that year, so there is some fact mixed in with the fiction.  This was a very nice historical fiction read, and I thank the Publisher and Netgalley.

This book will be released December 27, 2016. You can preorder here

The Devil’s Prayer by Luke Gracias

The Devil's Prayer

Explicit Content Warning: “The Devil’s Prayer” is a historical horror thriller that contains brutality, rape, sex, drug abuse and murder. Readers may find its content offensive.

A nun commits suicide in front of thousands in Spain. In Australia, Siobhan Russo recognises that nun as her mother, Denise Russo, who disappeared six years ago. 
In search of answers, Siobhan travels to the isolated convent where her mother once lived. Here she discovers Denise’s final confession, a book that details a heinous betrayal that left her crippled and mute, and Denise’s subsequent deal with the Devil to take revenge. In the desperate bargain Denise made with the Prince of Darkness, she wagered Siobhan’s soul.

As Siobhan discovers the fate of her soul, she learns that hidden within the pages of her mother’s confession is part of The Devil’s Prayer, an ancient text with the power to unleash apocalyptic horrors.

And now her mother’s enemies know Siobhan has it.

Can Siobhan escape an order of extremist monks determined to get the Prayer back? Can she save the world from its own destruction?
REVIEW:

This is a genre I am very familiar with. I can’t tell you how many books I have read this year about the Illuminate, the other secret societies and the Catholic Church. While some have been quite good, this book is beyond that. It is exceptionally well written, blending fact with fiction and with enough twists and turns to make it whiplash worthy!
When a nun commits suicide in front of thousands of people, Siobhan Russo recognizes the woman as her mother, who disappeared six years ago. At a memorial service for her mother, Siobhan is approached by an elderly priest. Father Jakub has something for Siobhan, her mother’s Bible. And then he is gone. As Siobhan begins to read, she finds the book is more of a confession, written for her and also a request to finish what her mother started.

As we bounce back and forth between centuries, we along with Siobhan hear fantastical stories of the Devil and of God. You can’t have one without the other. Did her mother kill herself? What happened in the past that drove her to make a deal with the Devil for Siobhan’s own soul?

This is a brutally raw and ugly look at history and what people have done in the name of religion and what continues to go on. How far would you go to exact revenge for unspeakable acts done to you or your loved ones? For Denise,she made a pact with the Devil. Wagering her own daughter’s soul. And with the Devil is anything really as it seems? What will this deal cost her in the end?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and actually spent 8 straight hours reading it and then looking up all of the historical places and people and events mentioned in it. Fascinating look at history and religion through the ages.

Thank you Netgalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this. I’ll be keeping it.

Crown of Blood:The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey by Nicola Tallis

Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey

“Good people, I am come hither to die, and by a law I am condemned to the same.” These were the heartbreaking words of a seventeen-year-old girl, Lady Jane Grey, as she stood on the scaffold awaiting death on a cold February morning in 1554. Minutes later her head was struck from her body with a single stroke of a heavy axe. Her death for high treason sent shockwaves through the Tudor world, and served as a gruesome reminder to all who aspired to a crown that the axe could fall at any time.

The world of the Tudors is complicated to say the least. And yet Tallis breaks it down to an easily read and very well documented and researched read.

Lady Jane, known as the 9 day Queen, was by all accounts an intelligent and strong willed girl. Educated and piously Protestant, she seems to have been a pawn in the way that so many women of that age were.

We follow her from early childhood to her death at the Tower. I was surprised at the amount of information on her. Tallis gives us a brilliant look at this time in history and brings Lady Jane to life for us.

There was also a lot of information on Princess Mary and her vast following, not only of Catholics but Protestants as well.

Thank you to Netgalley for this book!  Publication is set for December 6, 2016.

About the Author

Nicola Tallis achieved a first-class bachelor’s degree with honors in history from Bath Spa University. She also has an MA in Public History from Royal Holloway College, University of London. Nicola has been passionate about English history all of her life, and has worked as a curator, lecturer, and historical researcher. She is currently the resident historian for Alison Weir Tours. Crown of Blood, her first book, is the result of five years of research on the Grey family.

Giving Thanks For A Special Girl!

On November 23, 2007, I got a phone call that we all had been waiting 9 months for! It was a girl! The Beautiful Evangeline Lea.

vangiebirth-001

 

Born to these two cuties Brad and Meridith. And I couldn’t have been any happier!

Born a Cubs Fan! She is her Daddy’s girl! But tempered with the sweetness and kindness of her Momma. She has turned into a lovely person with a beautiful smile and heart. Although we live very far apart, there isn’t a day I don’t think about her, and her pictures hang in every room of our home.

She is a sports lover, just like Daddy and she got to see the Cubbies win!

vangieou  I’m so sorry you had to wear that my darling girl!

She is getting bigger now, Crushing it wherever she goes and whatever she does!

So today, Happy Birthday, Vangie! Keep being you and always know that you are loved to the moon and back!