Be Still My Soul

Be Still My Soul

by Joanne Bischof


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781601424211
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/02/2012
Series: Cadence of Grace Series
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 421,877
Product dimensions: 5.46(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.93(d)

About the Author

Joanne Bischof lives in the mountains of Southern California where she keeps busy making messes with her home-schooled children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, writing, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life. Be Still My Soul is her first novel.

Read an Excerpt

     The night air brushed her arms, and Lonnie prayed autumn’s cool breath could whisper her off—carry her into another life. Lord, help me. She looked up at her pa and forced a tight smile. With his broad back to the moonlit sky, his scruffy face was hidden beneath the shadow of a floppy hat. Chestnut hair swirled against her cheeks, and she blinked, willing the breeze to calm her nerves.
     Joel Sawyer arched a bushy eyebrow. "Don’t see what’s gotten ya so shaken up all a sudden."
     She lifted her chin. "I ain’t shaken." Her eyes dared him to say otherwise. "I just don’t see why…" She bit her tongue at the tremble in her voice. Her thumb traced the fresh bruises on her wrist—each small dent the same size as her pa’s fingers.
     "Because your ma’s got a headache." Her pa’s growl was for her ears alone. His eyes bored into hers, even through the lie. "Can’t go lettin’ Samson down." Sour breath hit her face. "Now get on up there and sing for these people."
     Lonnie swallowed and eyed the crowd that had gathered for an evening of dancing. With the first autumn leaves blanketing the forest floor, it was sure to be the last of the summer. She’d never sung for a crowd before and, at seventeen, felt foolish when her heart pounded in her ears and her skin tingled with fear. If only Samson hadn’t asked that her ma sing this night.
     Her pa had made it clear. No wife of his was gonna snuggle up that close to Samson Brown. Over his dead body, or so he’d said. Lonnie watched her pa descend the steps, shoulders hunched.
     "Sorry about your mama’s headache," Samson whispered. He smiled and his eyes crinkled.
     Lonnie nodded, certain he knew the truth, yet fighting the urge to make a liar out of the man who’d just deposited her at the stage as if she were no more than a pawn.
Lonnie glanced to the sky, and even as night’s chill crept past her faded gingham dress, she prayed for a peace from the One who could help her through this. Her ma was the songbird. Not her. Folks were always going on about how     Maggie Sawyer had the prettiest voice on any Sunday morning.
     A gray spotted dog tipped his ears when Lonnie stepped over him onto the makeshift stage. Her bare feet skirted around a pair of lanterns at the stage edge. Samson Brown, eyes twinkling, raised a banjo onto his lap. Lonnie took her place beside the trio’s mandolin player, Gideon O’Riley, and when their shoulders touched, she stepped sideways, nearly tripping as she did.
     Gideon glanced at her, his expression unreadable until amusement flitted through his green eyes. Lonnie chided herself for blushing so easily. The fiddler tilted his instrument to his chin. The creases in his blacksmith hands were stained dark as coal. He nodded and waited, bow poised. Reluctantly, Lonnie returned the nod.
     The hollow sound of his tapping boot echoed through the cracks of the porch. The bow slid across the strings slower than a cat stretching after a good, long nap. Gideon struck the strings of his mandolin, and Samson’s banjo twanged, rambling as free as a holler. Lonnie watched in awe, bewildered by their confidence.
     She clung to the shadows from the eaves overhead, but when her pa motioned for her to step into the moonlight, she scooted forward. Her bare toes reached the edge of the porch, and she glanced away from her pa’s smug stare. When the fiddle’s strings thickened in harmonies, Lonnie sang out the words. Her heart quickened, stunned by the sound of her own voice belting out a song she’d learned at her ma’s knee. She stared into the blur of faces as feet stomped and calico skirts swirled, revealing dozens of homemade petticoats and faded stockings. She forced her foot to tap in rhythm as men spun their girls around. Those without girls jigged up enough dust to make a body need a good bath.
     About to round into the third verse, the words snagged in her throat. She blinked, her mind suddenly blank. Lonnie, you know this! With his shoulders hunched, Gideon’s hands flew over the fret board, and the fiddler played louder than ever. After clearing her throat, Lonnie readied herself for the last verse.
     But Gideon sped up, leaving the rest of the band behind.
     When the crowd bellowed and cheered, Lonnie bit her lip. Gideon played faster, an impish grin lighting his face. She clapped trembling hands and glanced to the musician beside her. Shaking his head, Samson rose slowly from his chair and, still plucking the strings of his banjo, crossed the porch. He flashed a twisted smile.
Cheers swarmed from the crowd. With slow movements, Samson reached out his boot and kicked Gideon’s stool so hard it flew out from under him. Gideon stumbled but did not fall. His hand fell from the fret board, and after throwing a glare at Samson, he grabbed the stool and sat.
      "C’mon, Gid! Lighten up a bit, would ya?" Samson yelled over the noise.
Gideon rushed in with a few last strums until only his vibrations remained, bouncing through the woods. Folks whistled and cheered so loudly Lonnie could no longer hear the pounding of her heart. Clapping along, she stepped back. Never again would her pa talk her into singing in front of folks. No sir. Her place was in the back of the crowd.
Gideon held his mandolin over his head and bowed. As cocky as he was, Lonnie couldn’t help but smile. He walked toward her and, without hesitation, draped an arm over her shoulders. He smelled of smoke and cedar. Heat grew in the back of her neck and tingled into her cheeks. She needn’t look down to see the flame in her pa’s face as well— she knew it was there.
     When the applause mellowed, she slid away and scurried down the steps, her legs weak and head light with relief. She brushed past a nuzzling couple and ducked under a thick arm that clutched a pint of cider, finally spotting her aunt Sarah beneath a scarlet maple. Enough moonlight danced through the leaves to make the woman’s ginger bun shine. Rushing over, Lonnie clasped her cool hands, the rough skin worn and familiar.
     "Why, you’re tremblin’ som’n awful." Sarah squeezed her hand. "Don’t think for one moment you don’t belong up there. You’da made your ma proud." 
     Lonnie fought to catch her breath. "That was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done in my life."
     She felt a shadow behind her. Lonnie didn’t need to glance over her shoulder when rough fingertips clutched her elbow. "We’ll be leaving now." Her pa’s voice was gruff.
     She glanced at her aunt, then peered up at him. "Mind if I stay a bit longer?" 
     His eyes flinched, but then he sighed. The smell of moonshine hung thick. "Walk home with Oliver. He’s stayin’ too."
     "Yessir. Thank you, Pa." Her words seemed to fall on nothing but the breeze as he strode from the clearing. Lonnie knew her ma would be up waiting, the littlest ones already tucked into bed. With a sigh, she let the last of her worry melt into the cool night air and turned to her aunt, pleased to have her company for at least a little while longer.     
     "So…" Sarah’s whimsical voice nearly sang the single word.
     "Don’t say it." Lonnie wagged a finger with little authority, knowing full well what her aunt was itching to say. Sarah sobered, the lines around her eyes smoothing.
     But Lonnie knew her mother’s sister well. "I blush too easily," she blurted.
     A smile lifted her aunt’s round cheeks. Twice Lonnie’s age and with skin a shade paler, she was as dear a friend as Lonnie had ever had. When Sarah’s gaze moved past her, Lonnie tossed a glance over her shoulder and saw the blacksmith run a cloth over his fiddle. Samson lowered his banjo into a sack. Gideon had moved on. His shoulder was pressed to the bark of a hundred-year-old chestnut, and his arms lay folded over his chest. The girl he was wooing looked more than willing to have his undivided attention.
     "Seems like every girl in Rocky Knob wants to steal that boy’s heart." Sarah shook her head. "Don’t you pay it no never mind."
     Forcing a shrug, Lonnie tugged at a pinch of her faded dress. The fabric, different shades of blue, had seen better days. She suddenly wished she hadn’t been so eager to stay behind.

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Be Still My Soul 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
happyhomeschoolmom More than 1 year ago
After Gideon O'Riley steals a kiss from Lonnie and her abusive father finds out, Lonnie is forced into a marriage to a man she barely knows and who does not want to marry her. Gideon is determined to be his own man and sets off on a mission for the two of them to leave town on foot with little food or money and search for a job. The journey is hard and dangerous and Gideon does not want to accept any kindness from strangers until the point he reaches rock bottom and a kind stranger leaves him no choice. Through all the hardships and trials she faces Lonnie holds on to her faith and trusts in the Lord. Be Still My Soul was a good story. Even through life's difficulties, the Lord provided for Lonnie in a mighty way. Her life and faith had an enormous effect on Gideon throughout the story. Although life isn't always easy, God promises to work all things for good for those who love Him and that definitely showed through this story. I especially enjoyed the characters of Elsie and Jebediah. I wished that the author would've been more in depth with the inside changes that were going on with Gideon instead of just showing the outward changes. Some further background on his family and his life might have given more insight to the reader
Michaela_95 More than 1 year ago
It's been a while since I have read this book but this series is what got me loving Joanne's books I love her writing and won't go without reading her books as soon as one comes out I try to get it!
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
Rarely have I found a book or books that evoked such strong emotions. However, Joanne Bischof masterfully stirred my emotions with every turn of the page. I gave my heart completely to the compelling characters and the vivid beauty of the Appalachians in this first book of The Cadence of Grace series. Beautifully written, Lonnie and Gideon’s story is a poignant tale that you absolutely must read!
SBMC More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with Joanne Bischof’s writing through her newest release, Sons of Blackbird Mountain. So I thought, why not start with her debut novel and work toward the present? Wow, this book did not disappoint. Even in her debut novel, her trademark of beautiful and poignant writing, intricate and heart-grabbing plot, broken and complex souls, and overarching theme of grace and mercy rings clearly through the entire story. Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the story allows us a glimpse into Lonnie and Gideon, two young people starting our life together in a most unconventional way. Lonnie’s faith, gentleness, sweetness, and capacity to love are admirable even as she suffers. Her heartaches are so real and touchable. Gideon starts out as a self-centered, ambitious, slick wanderer but learns through many trials what it means to become a man. His slow but definite change is inspiring. And to think, they have more pain and suffering coming their way?!?! The blurb of the second book in this series is already twisting my heart into a pretzel! I’ve already requested the book from my library and can’t wait to get ahold of it.
sandralb More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a easy light read with lots of fluff, this is not the story for you. If you want a novel that is a historical fiction with lots of unexpected turns, great characters, life issues that are a little deeper than some, this is a great novel. If you read one of Joanne Bischof's books they will stay with you for days. It is hard to move on, to reading the next book on your TBR list. She creates the characters so life like. I found myself wanting to pray for Lonnie, I had to remind myself “she's not real she is just a character in this story.” Joanne tackles some pretty hard subjects like alcoholism, moonshine stills, abuse and premature births. She has a special way of bringing light into the darkness. I love her style of writing and I would recommend this book.
sunshineJB More than 1 year ago
A Story You Won’t Soon Forget! Be Still My Soul is author Joanne Bischof’s first novel.  I would like to tell you that this was an excellent story in so many ways.  She covered it all, hardships that fit the time and setting of this book, sins committed, lessons learned, and faith bigger than a mustard seed.  A road of trial and error, a road filled with disappointments. While I don’t believe any kind of abuse in a relationship is acceptable, I totally felt Gideon’s frustration in the hand he was dealt.  Having said this, please know that he brought a lot of this on himself. I applaud Lonnie for not accepting Gideon’s behavior and treatment of her.  She suffered enough of it from her own father. Lonnie and Gideon grew on me and I soon found that I wanted to see this couple together; to work things out, and to put God first.  Would Gideon grow up and see what he would lose if he didn’t change his ways?  Would he allow God to guide his steps?  Would and could Lonnie ever forgive him? I won book three in this series on LibraryThing and I knew that I needed to buy and read books 1 and 2 before starting book three.  I can’t wait to start on book 2, Though My Heart Is Torn to follow what happens to Lonnie and Gideon.   I highly recommend this book.  It is a 5+ star book in my opinion.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kristie Ingerto for Readers' Favorite Be Still My Soul is an excellent start to Joanne Bischof's The Cadence of Grace Series as it dives right into the story and holds the reader's attention all the way to the end of the book. Lonnie is shy and is shocked when Gid steals a kiss, but she is even more shocked when she is forced to marry him. Not only is Lonnie at a loss, but Gid is as well when suddenly his life changes as he now has a wife. As Lonnie and Gid begin their lives together as a married couple, they not only learn about their new spouse, but themselves as well and learn to look to and lean on God.  Lonnie and Gid are thrust into a marriage that neither is prepared for and both have issues that must be dealt with from their past. Together they learn to trust God and place their hope in Him. Not only are Lonnie and Gid beginning a life with each other, not knowing each other, but also beginning their lives in a new place. This also give them a brand-new, fresh start in their personal lives and with each other and others.  I really enjoyed Joanne Bishchof's novel as it is a well-written love story that is an excellent portrayal of the time period. I really love both Gid and Lonnie as main characters; they are well developed characters, and ones that can be easily empathized with throughout the book. I highly recommend this historical romance novel for all fans of this genre.
mustlovetoread More than 1 year ago
Be Still My Soul By: Joanne Bischof Be Still My Soul is Joanne Bischof’s debut novel. You’d never know it by reading this story! From page one, I was hooked and couldn’t put this book down until I finished it. Lonnie Sawyer and Gideon O’Riley are forced to marry. This is 19th century Appalachia and Gideon did steal a kiss. Even though they don’t love each other and Gideon doesn’t want to be married, Lonnie must learn to trust Gideon and Gideon must learn to love Lonnie. But, can Lonnie’s faith help Gideon come to terms with his new life and added responsibility? Not if Gideon’s old life keeps coming back to haunt him! Just when Lonnie thinks she can trust Gideon, something happens to push Gideon right back where he was. Read this truly amazing tale of two very different people and how they learn to trust in each other, God, and along the way, fall in love. Lonnie must have peace in her soul while Gideon fights his demons; however, Gideon needs peace to realize what he has before he loses it all. But, will it be a happily ever after or a never after? Be Still My Soul continues on in the second book of the series, Though My Heart Is Torn. If you love a great romantic tale of a hastily arranged marriage by the bride’s father that follows all the ups and downs of making that marriage work, you will love this story. You will be captured on page one and not turned lose till you finish. All the surprise twists will have you turning the pages, crying and laughing at the antics of these two characters. This is the love story to equal Scarlett and Rhett in Gone With the Wind. You won’t be disappointed! I cannot wait to read more by this debut author.
Shay14 More than 1 year ago
 WOW! All I can say is WOW! This book is not a light read by any means, but it is fantastic. The description doesn't do the book justice.  It doesn't even come close to describing the emotion that is tinged in every word these two characters speak.  The characters are very well written.  Lonnie, even though she's used to "fading into the background" can be a little sassy and can hold her own when she has to.  Her faith is a "quiet faith" as the description states.  I wish I could have that kind of faith! Her aunt is her source of comfort, so when her father forces her into this hasty marriage and takes her away from everything she's ever known, "His eye is on the sparrow" is all the faith she has left! Gideon surprises me.  At times, he acts like he cares.  At other times, you want to punch him in the face. He is mean and VERY angry at the hand he's been dealt.  Through events in the story, you watch Gideon's faith take shape. I loved that about the story! He wants redemption, peace and slowly but surely, he finds it. I cannot say enough good things about this book and this author! The plot moves along, not quickly, but not slowly enough to deter from the story.  The characters are real.  The author has a way of pulling you into their lives.  Gideon reminds me of the story of the prodigal son.  We all learn the same thing that Gideon did, as Gideon learns it. "Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by name; thou art mine."
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
What an amazing story of forgiveness and love! Lonnie and Gideon find themselves trapped in a loveless, shotgun wedding. After living a life of abuse under her father's hand, sweet Lonnie hopes that Gideon will someday be able to love her. However, Gideon resents being bound to Lonnie and his anger grows and grows. This story has everything. There are highs and lows inside a marriage that binds two people together. There is hurt, anger, grief and despair. And finally, there is forgiveness, hope and love. Watching Gideon's growth throughout the book is captivating. And in watching Lonnie forgive him time and again, God's grace is apparent. The author has a beautiful writing style that truly makes her characters come to life with depth and realism. I loved this book!
Writingsof_Rosie More than 1 year ago
This is the first book since Picture Perfect by Janice Thompson that I just could not put down. Seriously. I read it in two sittings. After all, a girl has to stay hydrated and fed! Be Still My Soul is a remarkable tale about Lonnie and Gideon and their shot gun wedding over a misunderstanding on Lonnie's father's part. I don't want to give too much away in this review, so I'll try to remain as tight-lipped as I can. OK, back to the book... My heart went out to Lonnie as she dealt with her circumstances and her obstacles. Her faith almost never wavered and she never complained- that I can recall. I say I enjoy a lot of different books, and I do! But this one really hit the spot for me and I am eagerly awaiting my review copy for Though My Heart is Torn from Blogging for Books to arrive. Bischof's writing style is easy to read and it hooks you from the first page. Lonnie and Gideon are great examples of characterization and I'm so happy the book ended on a satisfying note. The reason you need to go out and get your own copy is simple. If you are a fan of historical fiction, love really good writing, like characters you can sympathize to, and enjoy a good read then this book might be worth checking into. ;-) My grandmother bought this book for me (thanks, Grandma!), no review required.
moneysavingmommiesX2RG More than 1 year ago
This is a heartfelt novel that draws you in quickly. You give every response when you are supposed to give it! You will laugh and cry, chuckle and tear up. This book is a bout a 17 year old girl in the early 20th century, Lonnie, she is shy and tends to keep to herself, her family is poor and her father abusive. All of these things piled against her and she still managed to hold onto her faith. One night her father catches the local smooth talking ladies' man in the town, Gideon, stealing a kiss and thinking it was much more than that forcing the 2 young adults into a rushed marriage. Gideon has only ever cared about himself and never had to worry about anybody else, being pushed into a marriage with a girl he barely knew triggered rage in Gideon, and the tale takes you on a road you have to follow to believe. It is a common question through all Lonnie endures through the book, will she keep her faith through it all? I know the answer, you will have to read and find out! This was one of the better novels and I can honestly say it kept me intrigued through out the entire storyline. I would like to tell yall more about this book but, I want to give you just enough to pull you in so you will get it and read and enjoy the same way I enjoyed it!! Give this book a chance it is a great one to invest your time in from my point of view.
Teresa_Konopka More than 1 year ago
This book really drew me in.  The story line is creative and unlike any book I've been presented before.  A woman (Lonnie) in the early twentieth century is forced into a "shot gun wedding" by her father after he suspects her purity has been tainted.  The twist is that Lonnie isn't some whore.  She is a young girl (17) who was nearly raped by a smooth-talking mandolin player (Gideon).  When her father catches Gideon all over Lonnie, he runs to get his shotgun.  Yet her father does not see when Lonnie pushes Gideon away.  Convinced that Lonnie and Gideon have been stealing kisses together and even intercourse, Lonnie's father pushes his daughter into a marriage. Fearful of the man she is marrying, Lonnie has twisted emotions.  Matters become worse as Gideon--a ladies' man--is bitter than he is now tied down to one woman.  In his bitterness, he even becomes abusive towards Lonnie and plays with her emotions.  This book is so gripping, and it will pull you in.  It even made me cry at times, which is unusual for me.  The drama is intense yet plausible.  In other words, the reader doesn't often feel the story is "scripted" or that "this would never happen in real life." The story comes to life as the reader gets transplanted to a time long ago where two souls dance a dark dance of marriage. What I also liked was how the book sometimes changed perspective.  In other words, sometimes we'd read from Lonnie's perspective, and other times we'd read from Gideon's perspective.  As the characters morph over time and pages, we see their characters morphing and their psychology progressing.  You literally feel like you are inside their heads, which is not an easy feat for an author to do.  Full of twists and turns, readers will not find this book predictable.  For those that think this book may be too depressing, I will mention that the book ends happily.  However, the suspense is clear as the happy ending is not revealed quite literally until the last few pages of the book.  I won't ruin the story for you by telling you all the details, but rest assured this is a book you don't want to pass up.   Also, I wanted to quickly mention that I had an advanced reading copy to review.  I found no grammatical errors.
Jocelyn_Green More than 1 year ago
Be Still My Soul is an apt title for this debut novel, which had my own heart pounding, stirring, and breaking for the characters. Joanne Bischof shines as a master wordsmith, painting vivid scenes textured with all five senses. This alone, makes it worth the read, but the story will sweep you away as much as its Appalachian setting. Not your run-of-the-mill romance, this one stands out for its realistic, broken characters and the strains of redemption and grace that run throughout the straightforward tale. ~Jocelyn Green, author of Wedded to War
NookloverIL More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this novel very much, and I look forward to the next one of the series for this brand new author. It held my interest all the way through. I recommend it to anyone.
sherrijinga More than 1 year ago
I recently devoured Be Still My Soul. Did I say devour? Well, I did! This story grabbed me from the first page and never let go. Lonnie, the heroine, is someone who is so easy to feel for. You want her to be happy. When things go bad in her life, you want to reach into the book and help her out. But you can’t. Lonnie knows where to go for help though. She leans on the Lord and even when things seem like they will never be right, she still reaches to God in her weakness and doubt. I wanted to slap Gideon, the hero, for quite a while because he was no hero at all. In fact, he treated Lonnie pretty badly. But her quiet nature and gentle spirit won him over in many ways. Still, there was much to be worked on in Gideon’s life before he could ever become a true hero to Lonnie. The story was sweet and filled with angst and kept me turning pages. But the writing is what made me beg for my evening reading time to come quickly. Joanne is a phenomenal writer and I’m thrilled to have read her book. I can’t wait for book two in the sequel! 
wfnren More than 1 year ago
Lonnie & Gideon's story will pull at your heartstrings Shy, innocent and pretty, 17 year old Lonnie Sawyer is just biding her time at home until she turns 18 in a few months so she can go live with her Aunt Sarah, her mother's sister, and make and sell soap. Living high in the Appalachian hills, they are poor and Lonnie suffers from an abusive father. Gideon O'Riley is a ladies man and known in the area for being in trouble all the time. One evening Gideon takes Lonnie's brother up on the idea of walking Lonnie home. They make their way through the hills and when he gets her home tries to steal a kiss. Lonnie refuses, something new for Gideon, no girl has ever refused his advances. Lonnie has a change heart and decides to let him have one kiss. When he tries to go too far, she hits him and runs off to the safety of her house, praying the whole way that her father didn't see. A couple of days later when she returns from her Aunts house she discovers that her father must have seen the kiss because he's accusing her of being soiled and demanding that Gideon marry Lonnie. She tried to tell them that nothing happened, when she asked Gideon why he didn't speak up and tell the truth, he told her that he tried. Gideon fearful of being on the wrong end of her father's gun begrudgingly goes along with the wedding and Lonnie had no choice so they were married the next day. Lonnie moves in with Gideon's family, where the home was already overcrowded, Gideon kicks his two brothers out of his room so they aren't too happy. Gideon's mother hates the Sawyer family but his sister really likes Lonnie. His father doesn't say much as his mother seems to run the household, except when it came to making Gideon marry Lonnie. It appears as if Lonnie may have gone from one abusive home to an unhappy home where she isn't loved or wanted. She begins to wonder if she will be just as bad off as she was at home. After a short time Gideon decides to take off for Stuart to fulfill his dream. They have little to eat, it's cold and it's taking longer than Gideon thought it would when they meet Bert. Bert brews and sells moonshine so he shares some with Gideon and they get drunk, when Bert starts making insinuating remarks about Lonnie, Gideon chases him off. The next morning he awakes with a hangover that's when Jebediah Bennett comes upon them and points his rifle at him, he doesn't know what he's gotten them into now. This was a book that grabbed and held my interest. The farther I got into the story, the less I wanted to put it down. I think this may have been the first book I've read by Joanne and I am looking forward to reading the second one, Though My Heart Is Torn due out in April of 2013. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BloggingforBooks(dot)org book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
RVelasquez More than 1 year ago
A "Can't put it down" Read! I read through this book in two days. Author Joanne Bischof did an amazing job of bring the characters to life and making me feel each and every heartbreak, joy, sorrow, and hope. I found myself so upset with what was going on in the story that I had to read through the next chapter and the next chapter because I couldn't stand not knowing whats going to come of it all. The first chapter is filled with vivid descriptions and lost of similes and metaphors. I found this a bit distracting personally but noticed it smoothed out further into the story. Well, either it smoothed out or I became too engrossed in the story to notice. Guess I'll be rereading it to find out for sure. God felt a good distance away even when the characters were speaking or thinking of Him. Although I suppose it is like that in so many of the novels I have read, Yet I found myself expecting a bit more in this area. Especially towards the end of the book. That said, the grace and mercy of God are clearly portrayed and how forgiveness can change everything. All in all I would recommend this book to you. It is in no way a relaxing read. It will have you holding your breath with wide eyes as you take in the story of Lonnie Sawyer and Gideon O'Riley. ****Thank you Edelweiss, Blogging for Books, and Multnomah Books for the free E-book in exchange for my honest review.****
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Its_Time_Mamaw More than 1 year ago
Appalachian hills. Lonnie Sawyer can't wait to turn eighteen so she can get out from under her father's iron rule. She only has a few months to go hopefully she can deal with his emotional and physical abuse until then. Gideon O'Riely turns all the girls heads he can have his pick of any of them. He is asked to escort Lonnie home after a dance. She is young and pretty why hadn't he noticed her before? He figured it ways because she was so shy. As they neared her house he tried to steal much more than a kiss but she faught him off and ran into her into the house. Unbeknownst to Lonnie and the moonshine drunk Gideon her father saw what he assumed was Lonnie giving herself willingly to Gideon. Lonnie and Gideon are forced to marry to protect Lonnie's reputation if Lonnie ends up with child even though they both told him nothing happened. Her father would not listen to reason. The young couple ended up living with Gideon's family until he decides for them to take off on foot for him to seek employment. Lonnie prays to God to protect her from Gideon's anger at having to slow down because she couldn't keep up with him. Excerpts: "What will it take for Gideon to give up his past, embrace Lonnie's God, and discover hope that can heal their two fractured hearts?" "She willed her heart to harden. To ice over so she wouldn't have to hurt anymore. But when her blurred, she knew it was useless to try." I keep thinking about the way Lonnie and Gideon were raised. Lonnie's father held no love for his family and showed his resentment to everyone in his family. Then there was Gideon who was raised to believe that children were not to love but were no more than another mouth to feed. How could anyone expect for a child in a home like Lonnie's and Gideon's to ever learn the real love of family? The only way of course is faith and trust in God. It was hard to walk away from this book. I wanted to spend more time with Lonnie and Gideon to see how their lives might change. I am anxious for book two. I highly recommend this book. Disclosure I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books/Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.
autumnbluesreviews More than 1 year ago
Be Sill My Soul takes place in the beautiful timeless Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains in the early 19th century, when life is harsh, difficult and mother nature does not discriminate, as every family struggles and hard work is the only way to get by. The main character Lonnie Sawyer is seventeen and living under the roof with her siblings, a demanding alcoholic and abusive father and an enabling mother. Living the hard life on a farm like many families in this era Lonnie doesn't have many friends, so she turns to her aunt Sarah when she needs comfort. But when Lonnie's father Joel Sawyer accuses her of the unthinkable, even aunt Sarah can't help Lonnie. It only takes one night to change the life of Lonnie and her one dream is finally coming true, she will be leaving her parents home for good. Just not in the way she would like. After having no options, Lonnie decided she will try to make the best of her situation which is to marry Gideon O'Riley, just as her father said she will. Gideon O'Riley is a ladies man but his flirting ways are about to come to an end. When Gideon and Lonnie are forced into marriage it made me really sad for Lonnie. Having never experienced true love before one would expect Lonnie to be bitter and angry by her situation. The author however allows the anger and bitterness to brew in Gideon instead. He seems to have a one track mind and his immaturity seems to turn him into a monster when things don't got his way. The characters in this novel are kept to a minimum which makes it and easy read. The relationship between the young couple pulled at my heartstrings many times and I found it difficult to put this book down. From the start of their marriage the author takes the couple throughout many trials and tribulations. In the end it turns out that they only thing keeping them together is their faith in God.