On the 8th Day of Christmas…Books about England and Scotland
(a.k.a. “Books for Anglophiles”)
Step back into the history of England and Scotland with three books for the book-loving Anglophiles and historical fiction buffs on your Christmas list! Here are gift ideas for the English (or Scottish)-at-heart, for the historical fiction reader, for the Jane Austen buff, for anyone who dreams of taking a trip to the UK, or for your friend who is waiting eagerly for the next season of Downton Abbey to air!
You can buy any of these books now with 20% off and free shipping! Just use the code CHRISTMAS20 at checkout!
(like Downton Abbey crossed with The Sound of Music)
Fans of Downton Abbey or Jane Eyre or the history of Edwardian era will love the romance of The Governess of Highland Hall where the divide between upper and lower class meets the spirit of hope, trust, and a belief in God who works all things together for good can triumph over any obstacle.
Carrie Turansky’s first book in a new series, The Governess of Highland Hall is set in Edwardian-era England where marriage was often relegated to society’s expectations and securing one’s future. So what will happen to the class divide when Sir William Ramsey starts to fall for his new governess Julia Foster?
(a Scottish Christmas with romance in the air)
How can Margaret Campbell bind the wounds that have torn apart her family? And how will Gordon Shaw make amends when the consequences of his past mistakes cannot be erased? A tender story of love and forgiveness, wrapped in a celebration of all things Scottish, all things Victorian, and, especially, all things Christmas.
Liz Curtis Higgs brings Victorian Scotland to life in the holiday novella A Wreath of Snow, spinning a touching Christmas story as warm as a woolen scarf on a cold winter’s eve. Come home for the holidays with Margaret Campbell and Gordon Shaw as they discover why forgiveness is the best gift of all.
(part memoir, part travelogue for Jane Austen fans)
For every woman who’s wished for her own Mr. Darcy or admired the pluck of Elizabeth Bennett, here’s an Austen travelogue with keen insights into a modern woman’s world. Tracing the steps of her literary heroine, in A Walk with Jane Austen Lori Smith explores universal themes of love, heartache, community, independence, creativity, a woman’s place in the world, and the rarely primed subject of Jane’s faith—and Lori’s own.
At thirty-three, dealing with a difficult job and a creeping depression, Lori Smith embarked on a life-changing journey following the life and lore of Jane Austen through England. With humor and spirit, Lori Smith leads readers through landscapes Jane knew and loved–from Bath and Lyme, to London and the Hampshire countryside–and through emotional landscapes in which grace and hope take the place of stagnation and despair. Along the way, Lori explores the small things, both meanness and goodness in relationships, to discover what Austen herself knew: the worth of an ordinary life.
buy this book now (don’t forget the discount code!)
Brought to you by Sara, a Colorado resident who has constantly-updated lists of “Things to Do in London Next Time” and “Things to Do in Scotland Next Time” that she fears will never be finished, no matter how many trips to the UK she manages to make.
Tis the season to ponder your budget in time and money for a blowout, sensational, colossal, I-appreciate-you-more-than-you-can-fathom gift exchange. . . . Or not.
I love shopping for the perfect gift for someone I love. And I have a few tips for getting it right.
My son is a self-proclaimed, academic elitist. And at the other end of the spectrum, a role-playing gamer with a collection of fantasy and science fiction that should be bequeathed to a library in his will. My son-in-law has several hidden talents, and I always look for something to nurture those abilities that lurk under the surface. My daughter wears funky clothes. No problem there. My daughter-in-law likes quirky jewelry.
My advice: Identify the inner interests and cater to those. Or, identify an obvious, surface trait and cater to that.
But there is one gift to give that outshines all the others. The gift of forgiveness. Identify what has hurt, harmed, or laid you low, and forgive the person who hammered your pride with an unintentional slight or a mean twist of a knife. Forgive. This gift given to the tresspasser ends up being a freeing gift given to yourself.
Original Devotion by Donita K. Paul, author of Dragons of the Watch
Daily Reflection: Can you think of someone to forgive this holiday season to give yourself the best present of all?
“I used to think that [adventures] were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten.”
~J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings
Chances are, you have a fantasy fan in your midst this Christmas. You know the type. They have maps of imaginary worlds hanging on their walls. They’re always dreaming of grand adventures far from the ordinary. They will spend hours reading books about dragons, fairies, and wizards.
Fantasy helps us look at our world in different ways. It gives us a fresh perspective on life. It reminds us that humanity is always in a war between good and evil, and that our actions mean something in God’s great story of the world. It gives hope to those who feel as if they might give up. Sometimes, we need to be reminded that we are in the midst of a great adventure. We cannot turn back.
This year, I’d love to recommend some fantasy books all ages can enjoy together. Gather around the fire and let your imagination soar. And be encouraged that you, too, are on an adventure of God’s planning.
DragonSpell by Donita K. Paul
Book One in the DragonKeeper Chronicles
A small band of Paladin’s servants rescue Kale from danger but turn her from her destination: The Hall, where she was to be trained. Feeling afraid and unprepared, Kale embarks on a perilous quest to find the meech dragon egg stolen by the foul Wizard Risto. First, she and her comrades must find Wizard Fenworth. But their journey is threatened when a key member of the party is captured, leaving the remaining companions to find Fenworth, attempt an impossible rescue, and recover the egg whose true value they have not begun to suspect…
Weaving together memorable characters, daring adventure, and a core of eternal truth, Dragonspell is a finely crafted and welcome addition to the corpus of fantasy fiction.
Auralia’s Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet
Book One in the Auralia Thread Series
When thieves find an abandoned child lying in a monster’s footprint, they have no idea that their wilderness discovery will change the course of history.
Cloaked in mystery, Auralia grows up among criminals outside the walls of House Abascar, where vicious beastmen lurk in shadow. There, she discovers an unsettling–and forbidden–talent for crafting colors that enchant all who behold them, including Abascar’s hard-hearted king, an exiled wizard, and a prince who keeps dangerous secrets.
Auralia’s gift opens doors from the palace to the dungeons, setting the stage for violent and miraculous change in the great houses of the Expanse.
Auralia’s Colors weaves literary fantasy together with poetic prose, a suspenseful plot, adrenaline-rush action, and unpredictable characters sure to enthrall ambitious imaginations. – See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?work=125630#sthash.XNJDFepL.dpuf
On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson
Book One in the Wingfeather Saga
Once, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness, there lived three children and their trusty dog Nugget. Janner Igiby, his brother Tink, their crippled sister Leeli are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice and pursue the Igibys who hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.
Don’t forget to use the coupon code CHRISTMAS20 to receive a 20% discount and free shipping when you purchase directly from our site!
Brought to you by…
As I finish this chapter, I am reminded of a Special Olympics event held in Seattle, Washington, a few years back. I especially remember the 100-yard dash, where nine mentally and physically challenged children competed against each other.
With great anticipation the runners lined up and waited for the gun. They were smiling and full of energy, hoping to win but thrilled just to compete.
The starting gun fired and all nine kids ran down the track as fast as they could. Suddenly one of the boys stumbled and rolled over. A gasp spread through the stands. Then, with no prompting, a little girl with Down’s syndrome stopped, turned around, and went to the fallen boy. She knelt beside him and said, “Here, this will make it feel all better.” Then she kissed him on the cheek.
One by one, the other special runners stopped and returned to the spot where the boy lay crumpled. They reached down and helped him up. Then, arm in arm, all nine of those wonderful kids went toward the finish together. They all crossed the line at the same time, so that all nine could win.
Rivers of tears flowed down the faces of the onlookers, who stood to their feet to applaud grace delivered when least expected.
Friend, we are all strugglers together, stumbling toward the finish line. We need each other. We need outstretched arms and kisses, not pointing fingers and hisses. It really is the only way to victory.
Excerpted From More Jesus, Less Religion by Stephen Arterburn and Jack Felton
Daily Reflection: How can you reach out to those who may be stumbling around you?
Do you constantly find yourself wishing that you could travel back in time to a different era? Do you know someone who feels he or she “missed their time period” and reminisces about living in Victorian England, colonial America or the western pioneer days? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, than you are, or know someone who is very likely, a historical fiction fan.
Here are three of my favorite books that scoop up readers into the time machine of its pages and deposit them in adventures and love stories of a different world.
Don’t forget to use the coupon code CHRISTMAS20 to receive a 20% discount and free shipping when you purchase any book directly from our site!
I remember the borders of our land, though I have been gone from them nearly half the moons of my life. But who there will remember me? What I have seen, what I have done, it has changed me.
Abducted by Mohawk Indians at age 14 and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People. At the boundary of her father’s property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path. Feeling obliged to nurse his injuries, the two quickly find much has changed during her 12-year absence—her childhood home is in disrepair, her missing parents are rumored to be Tories, and the young Richard Waring she once admired is now grown into a man twisted by the horrors of war and claiming ownership of the Obenchain land.
When her Mohawk brother arrives and questions her place in the white world, the cultural divide blurs Willa’s vision. Can she follow Tames-His-Horse back to the People now that she is no longer Burning Sky? And what about Neil MacGregor, the kind and loyal botanist who does not fit into in her plan for a solitary life, yet is now helping her revive her farm? In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, strong feelings against “savages” abound in the nearby village of Shiloh, leaving Willa’s safety unsure.
Night’s chill tickled her skin. Lonnie pressed her hands together and glanced up. He was even more handsome up close. Having grown up the shy, awkward daughter of Joel Sawyer, she’d hardly spoken to any boy, let alone the one who had mothers whispering warnings in their daughter’s ears and fathers loading shotguns.
In the first novel of the Cadence of Grace trilogy, pretty Lonnie Sawyer is shy and innocent, used to fading into the background within her family, and among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills. Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith. But when handsome ladies’ man and bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss, that one action seals her fate. Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon—a man she barely knows and does not love. Equally frustrated and confused by his new responsibilities, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob.
Her distant groom can’t seem to surrender his rage at the injustice of the forced matrimony or give Lonnie any claim in his life. What will it take for Gideon to give up his past, embrace Lonnie’s God, and discover a hope that can heal their two fractured hearts?
Anna slid the three bottles into an empty flour sack and set them on the grub box, just outside the back of the wagon. She wrapped a dark shawl about her shoulders, then climbed out of the wagon and looked toward the creek below. She wouldn’t have to sneak around forever. But for now, it was the only way to give Mutter the chance she needed to start fresh. And if it worked, Anna would also have a new beginning.
This first novel in the Hearts Seeking Home historical romance series moves an endearing, ensemble cast from St. Charles, Missouri, into the wagon train life, headed for Sacramento, California. Though it means saying goodbye to the beloved friends and spiritual mentors of her St. Charles quilting circle, Anna Goben is certain that she needs to enlist her family in the Boones Lick Company wagon train. The loss of her beloved brother in the Civil War has paralyzed her mother and grandfather in a malaise of grief and depression and Anna is convinced that only a fresh start in the Promised Land of California can bring her family back to her.
Although the unknown perils of the trail west loom, Anna’s commitment to caring for her loved ones leaves no room for fear—or even loving someone new. During the five-month journey, trail hand Caleb Reger plans to keep a low profile as he watches over the band of travelers. Guarding secrets about his past and avoiding God’s calling on his life, Caleb wants to steer as far from Anna as she does him, but she proves to be just as he assessed her from the beginning— independent, beautiful trouble.
Brought to you by Margaret Clay
One woman’s fight to provide hope for the hopeless…
Seven ex-cons who changed her heart forever…
Click here to download chapter one of Miss Brenda and the Loveladies.
For Brenda Spahn, entrepreneur and businesswoman, wealth was a lifestyle—until a brush with the law threatened to send her to prison. In those dark moments, Brenda made a promise to God. Spared incarceration, a renewed Brenda glimpsed into the lives of women serving time in one of the worst places in America—the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Alabama.
What she saw prompted a God-inspired vision.
On the heels of trauma or during times of difficult transition, anxiety is often exaggerated. Our psychological defenses are weakened by severe or chronic stress, making it more difficult to ward off worries. The unpredictable nature of life seems magnified and keeps us from enjoying the positive aspects of our journey. When we are pooped out, fear screams, “Yesterday was bad, today is horrible, and tomorrow will be even worse.” It can be difficult to believe the best. Ah, but these are also the times when our faith can take quantum leaps forward.
Many of the dilemmas life brings us don’t have easy, tidy answers. But God will have personal answers for us if we risk asking tough questions and then take time to listen. Why not quiet your heart, open the Scriptures, and listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you in the midst of your circumstances?
Excerpted From Espresso for Your Spirit by Pam Vredevelt
Daily Reflection: Do you turn to the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit during difficult times?
Books make a perfect Christmas gift. Right?
We have compiled ideas for even the most challenging person on your list this year… from the adventure seekers to theology buffs, from “non-readers” to fiction addicts. And ALL the books listed are also available in e-book format! Click here for the list!
If still stumped about what to buy those special people…email us at info@WaterBrookMultnomah.com letting us know who you’re shopping for, along with their unique reading interests and we’ll do our best to guide you to that ideal choice. Or visit our Facebook page to see what recommendations we’ve posted for others.