Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • Bricks of Savannah
      B is for Bricks of SavannahSavannah is a short 2.5-hour drive from home, but it took us five years to make it there. Five years! Unthinkable. The bricks.Savannah has been around since 1773, making it the oldest city in Georgia. History oozes from its varied buildings and twenty-four squares--most of them constructed with bricks and dusted with centuries of s […]
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    • Kentucky Author David Royce
      Welcome to the Book Loft, David! Is there a story behind your book, A Ghost’s Story?After a brief illness, my mother died at age 47, before she really got to know her daughter-in-law or take joy in her grandchildren.  I wanted so desperately to believe in eternal life, to be reassured that someday we would all be together again. A short time later I discover […]
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    • Announcing the 2014 Laurel Award Winner!
      2014 LAUREL AWARD WINNERAuthor Ruth Reid's novel A MIRACLE OF HOPEis the winner of Clash of the Titles's fourth annual Laurel Award.CONGRATULATIONS, RUTH!Ruth will receive the following: a beautiful banner to display on her website; a year-long page on COTT dedicated to the winning book, A Miracle of Hope; a "Heart of the Matter" radio in […]
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      The entries have been read and the scores have been tallied. Our unique panel of judges, comprised strictly of readers, has determined our three finalists. And they are…Ruth Reid's A Miracle of HopeJune Foster's Deliver UsCarole Brown's The Redemption of Caralynne HaymanCongratulations to all three!!(Of special note, this is Ruth's second […]
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      Living in small towns has special challenges and delights. When I say ‘small’ I mean ‘small’. The town I live near has approximately 250 people. The county seat has 3600 and the county has about 16,000. So this is rural America. You might think this county was in the western states where the population is lower and space is not a problem. No, I live in Illin […]
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    • BOOK REVIEW: THE BECKONING BY MICHAEL MINOT
      Michael Minot, a lawyer, is a former atheist who now follows Christ. The Beckoning is not only his story regarding how his beliefs changed but an orderly and methodical account of how the methods he applied to find authentication and proof of God’s validity as he conducted research of the scriptures.While still single, Minot was challenged by a Christian fri […]
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    • Author Interview on Book Goodies
      Book Goodies just notified me that my author interview with them is now live on their site.Here's the link on book goodies if you're interested. I notified them that my newly released second edition of The Treasure Seeker: The Quest to Find God, Faith, and Spiritual Intimacy is now available in Kindle format (just .99 right now) and paperback. Here […]
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    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Book Review, Valeria’s Cross by Kathi Macias and Susan Wales

Posted by April W Gardner on April 25, 2012

In the 3rd century, pampered Roman princess Valeria falls in love with Mauritius, captain of the Theban Legion. She sends him off to battle, where he suffers under the schemes of a notorious pagan general with an ambition for power and a lust for Valeria. In a scene based on true events, the evil Galerius kills Mauritius and his entire legion for their Christian faith. And in a shocking turn of events, the grieving Valeria is forced to become Galerius’ wife against her will. Never has a marriage been set up for such failure. Valeria loathes her new husband, but he seems to undergo a change of heart, adopting a child for her and giving her power and authority, and even love. She struggles with the commitment she knows she must keep, and the love she knows she will never find again.

My Review:

Valeria, the daughter of the great Roman emperor Diocletian, has tons of potential for a full and happy life. But being a Christian with a father who claims to be a god makes life rather tricky. From the luxurious Roman court to exile in Syria, Valeria pursues God’s will for her life, all the while grieving the love that was stolen from her at a young age.

There wasn’t a moment I didn’t root for Valeria to be happy, to have her Happily Ever After. Her life was certainly full—full of disappointment, fear, and the unexpected. But happy? Well, I supposed that depends on your definition of “happy.” Joy in Christ would be a more accurate term for what Valeria learned to possess, because worldly happiness tended to eluded her.

Set in mid-late 200AD and based on actual events and personages, Valeria’s Cross deserves the label “A Novel Every Christian Should Own.” At times it reads like a history book, but the story is worth the occasional stiffness. It’s important that we know what the early Christians bravely suffered for the name of Christ. It might be required of us one day.

Valeria’s Cross reminded me somewhat of Francine River’s “Though None Go With Me” in that it encompasses a large period of time, the character suffers a great deal, and the end leaves the reader with mixed feelings. But my overall impression was, “Wow. Good stuff.”

It’s been a little while since a book grabbed me the way Valeria’s Cross did. The history was palpable, the characters endearing, and the plot nail-biting. Knowing most of it really happened makes the book all the more impacting.

I give Valeria’s Cross four Reflections.

April W Gardner is the author of the historical romance series, Creek Country Saga, and the children’s adventure series, the Channel Islands Resistance

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