Monday, August 11, 2008

The Jewel of Gresham Green by Lawana Blackwell

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Jewel of Gresham Green

(Bethany House - August 1, 2008)


Lawana Blackwell

A full-time author, Lawana Blackwell's books include her beloved Gresham Chronicles and Tales of London series.

"I had told myself long ago that three books in a series are enough for my attention span, and so after The Dowry of Miss Lydia Clark, I devoted myself to the trio of books in the Tales of London series, then wrote A Table By the Window, my contemporary novel. All along, I received letters from readers asking me to continue the Gresham series. Many, many wrote that the dairying village of Gresham and its people sent them back to a more peaceful time in the midst of their busy days.

"Prayerfully, I decided to return to Gresham, setting the story fifteen years after Julia Hollis and her children first left London for abandoned coaching inn which became Larkspur Inn. I believe readers would like to see how the children—Philip, Aleda and Grace, Elizabeth and Laurel—turn out as adults. But I like to inject fresh faces into every book, hence Jewel Libby and her daughter Becky find Gresham a haven from a bad man. Writing the book was like coming home, visiting old friends."

Blackwell lives in Louisiana with her husband, Buddy, a supervisor at an oil refinery. They are empty nesters who love to visit their three grown sons, Joseph, Matthew, and Andrew, and three lovely daughters-in-law, Kristine, Penny and Heather, granddaughter Madelyn, and grandson Chandler.

Her other interests include visiting her parents and siblings in Mississippi, vegetarian cooking, and naturally, reading.

To protect her precious daughter from the danger nipping at their heels, Jewel Libby must flee the only home she's ever known. Caring friends direct her to the vicarage in the peaceful dairy village of Gresham, but she arrives there to find Vicar Andrew Phelps and his wife immersed in troubles of their own.

The children of Vicar Andrew Phelps and Julia Hollis from the popular Gresham Chronicles series have grown up and are dealing with their own challenges. Philip Hollis, now a successful London surgeon, has a controlling wife who resents his close family ties.

Aleda Hollis lives in a cottage on the outskirts of Gresham, where she enjoys her privacy and a writing career. When Andrew becomes ill and in need of Philip's skills, and Aleda's quest for privacy unwittingly advances an evil man's schemes, it's Jewel Libby, a newcomer to Gresham, who becomes an unexpected support and source of strength to the family. An unlikely romance adds to the intrigue of this jewel in their midst.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Jewel of Gresham Green, go HERE

The small village of Gresham Green is tucked away in the rolling hills of England. London and the entertaining activities of its many suburbs lies but a train ride away. The year is 1884, and Jewel Libby and her daughter Becky find themselves struggling hand to mouth, as any widower and their child would have been forced to do at such at time, in one of the many grimy factories that dotted the city landscape. Danger lurks in the shadows of their lives even as they try to make the very best of their dark situation. It is this danger that eventually sends them to Gresham Green.

The small town of Gresham Green is host to a number of characters previously introduced in Lawana Blackwell’s other Gresham Chronicles books. The vicar, Andrew, and his wife Julia struggle with their own problems as they try to care for the people in their flock. Meanwhile, the vicar’s grown children are each trying to find their way in the world, and Julia and Andrew lovingly pray them through their trials. Jewel Libby is a character naturally introduced and accepted into this intimate, small-town setting, and she soon finds her life turning in a miraculous direction that only God could design.

If you enjoy a warm, beautiful historical novel with plenty of plot twists, then I highly encourage you to enter Lawana Blackwell’s world of Gresham Green! The characters will draw you in and carry you through a number of unexpected situations! I really enjoyed this story a great deal, and I look forward to the next installment of this terrific series! Purchase your copy here today!

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