What kind of books do you like? There are so many to choose from: self-help, biographies, history ... The list goes on and on. I personally like to read (and write) fiction. I enjoy escaping into another time and place every once in awhile and letting my imagination sore. Even in fiction there are so many choices: contemporary, historical, mystery, suspense, science fiction. I've read and enjoy most types of fiction. What a lot of people don't realize is that there is a whole realm of Christian fiction out there as well. Romance novels that have pure, sweet romance without scenes that make you blush. Suspense without horror, books that don't use vile language to get their meaning across. Christian fiction has made great strides in the last decade and if you're not checking into what's available, you might be missing out.
So I've decided from time to time to give a little info on my blog about various authors that I enjoy reading. Maybe you'd like to take a look at the author's website or browse through the fiction section the next time you're in your local Christian bookstore. Today I'm spotlighting Lawana Blackwell. Lawana writes historical fiction and I first came across her books through the Gresham Chronicles. This is a four-book series set in an eighteenth century English dairy village. Before you yawn and click on another link, let me tell you a little bit about this wonderful series.
The books start out with The Widow of Larkspur Inn. The main character is Julia Hollis, a widow with three children. After her physician husband died of a heart attack, Julia discovers that he had a gambling problem and has left the family practically penniless. So she moves her children from London, to the Larkspur Inn, the only piece of property the family still owns. The story is so enjoyable as you read how Julia and her children adjust to country living while turning the inn, which had been empty for eight years, into a lodging house. At the same time they must deal with the town people who are convinced the Larkspur has a ghost haunting it.
In the second book, The Courtship of the Vicar's Daughter, we become better acquainted with Elizabeth and Laurel, the daughters of the vicar that moved to Gresham in the first book. The family moved to Gresham to get away from a rogue who broke Elizabeth's heart. In this book they must deal with the rogue once again when he follows them to Gresham, claiming to have turned over a new leaf.
The third book in the series is The Dowry of Miss Lydia Clark, and I think it's one of the best of the series. Miss Clark is the school teacher. At the age of thirty-four she is considered to be an old maid because she has never married. She is convinced she is not attractive enough to get a mate and, in a no-nonsense way, is content with teaching and tending to other people's children. All this changes when two men in the village each decide they want to try for her hand in marriage. Both men assume she is desperate and find her dowry more attractive than she is. In the meantime, Miss Clark falls for a shy man who has asked her to tutor him, with the goal of impressing the woman he thinks he loves. She falls for him while helping him woo another woman.
All of the books are written with a gentle humor and dry wit. Trust me, once you visit Gresham in the pages of Lawana's novels, you'll want to stay awhile and enjoy it.
If you would like to find out more about Lawana Blackwell, here is the link to her website. You can also find her books on amazon.com.
Go visit Gresham for a while. If I see you there, I'll give you a wave across the village green.