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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      Life has given Penelope Drayton very little hope. After years of preparations, 1806 is the year that she is determined to create her own hope. The successful execution of her plan would grant her independence, but failure would certainly be her ruination. Just when her plan begins to meet with difficulty, she finds a faithful ally in Miss Violet Wyndham.Viol […]
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      Is there a story behind your book Penelope’s Hope?As I was developing the storyline for Penelope, I was struggling personally with living in a new place and having a different schedule (working outside the home) while managing the household and our four children, all while living very far away from the place I grew up. Some days, hope seemed a long way off. […]
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      Welcome back to the Book Loft, Susan. Is there a story behind your book Renew-7 Days to a More Positive Outlook? There certainly is. Many hospice patients have shaped my life, and I wanted to share their stories. Believe me, it’s not sad or depressing. Their stories are inspirational. They have taught me to live more freely and lightly while savoring the gif […]
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      Happy Birthday, COTT! We're half a decade old!To celebrate FIVE YEARS of Clash of the Titles, we're GIVING AWAY some fun gifts. You can win books by Gail Pallotta and Lisa Lickel, or even a KINDLE FIRE!!Raffle opens right now!Closes Monday, November 30.There are several ways to enter the drawing outlined in the RaffleCopter below. Winners will be d […]
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      Congratulations toA Noble Masqueradeby Kristi Ann Hunter!Book Blurb:Lady Miranda Hawthorne may long to break free of her ladylike expectations as he approaches spinsterhood, but finding herself intrigued by her brother's new valet is more rebellion than she planned. When she accidentally begins exchanging letters with a long-lost duke, things become eve […]
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      Welcome back to our arena! We have six authors stepping onto our sands, ready to wield their mighty pens. Please look at each of their covers and descriptions and choose which one looks most appealing to you. Which would go on the top of your to-be-read pile? Be sure to make your choice in the actual survey, as those in the comments section alone won't […]
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      Hi again,It's been a long time again since I posted. Haven't done a ton of writing but I did start a new novel or novelette or series of novelettes at the beginning of the month. November is National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to start a novel and write 50,000 words during the month. November isn't over yet but I know I'm not going […]
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      As I stated last week, November is NANOWRIMO. I'm working on the next Stones Creek novel. It's the story of Chloe, Noah Preston's sister. She comes to Stones Creek with her two children. If you would like to read her pre-story simply subscribe to Sophie's Special Emails. No more than twice a month will you receive an email with special co […]
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      When Pat Taylor wed Tom Allanson he had no way of knowing it would destroy his life in just a matter of weeksIn fact, Pat destroyed a lot of people’s lives. The attractive Southern belle was spoiled by her mother and she expected to live a lavish lifestyle at any cost. Nobody crosses Pat who was fascinated with Scarlett O’Hara. Pat could pour on the charm, b […]

    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; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, 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, 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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