Maiden America by Jeannette DiLouie

Maiden America (Founding America Book 1) by [DiLouie, Jeannette]

The year is 1776 and the fate of the brand new United States of America is in extreme peril. The British and their Hessian help invade the homes of people in New Jersey.

Seventeen-year-old Abigail Carpenter is caught in the middle. She and her sister-in-law are forced to house and care for five boarding officers. Things get more dangerous as a wounded patriot spy ends up on their doorstep with nowhere else to turn and Abigail finds herself deeply embroiled in the patriot cause, and an unexpected friendship has Abigail searching for answers as to what she is willing to sacrifice if she is faced with a difficult choice.

This historical fiction novel by Jeannette DiLouie is filled with wonderful historical facts about a time that was detrimental to the birth and success of our nation.

Jeannette DiLouie wrote this novel in first person, which as a writer, I find very difficult to do well. Ms. DiLouie did a fine job of it, although I did feel like there were places where Abigail became more of a narrator “telling” some of the story. I didn’t feel there was enough live action and dialogue. However, that’s my personal opinion, which could very well stem from the fact that I don’t read many novels that are written in first person. In any event, it didn’t keep me from liking the story line and the characters.

Ms. DiLouie is very good at creating characters that capture the reader’s interest and make the reader care about them. In combination with Abigail and one or two other characters in the story, the story line also kept my attention as I love history. These are the two things that kept me turning the pages.

I would like to see Ms. DiLouie write at least a novella as a follow-up because I would really like to know more about a particular relationship in the story.

If you like American history and strong, interesting female characters, I think you’d like Maiden America by Jeannette DiLouie.

Erin’s Hero (Poem)

Today’s poem is a glimpse into the novel I am working on, and the poems I will post for the next two Fridays will offer more hints as to what my novel is about.

Erin’s Hero

by Kelly F. Barr

Rugged and rough around the edges;
Can be cool and smooth.
Love and faithfulness to me, he pledges.
My temper, nerves, and worries, he soothes.

Protection, in his arms, I find.
From him I will never roam.
He is one of a kind,
And with him, I am home.

The Adulteress by Jeannette DiLouie

Back Cover Blurb:

Living in 1st Century Jerusalem, Keziah considers herself to be a Law-abiding Jew, devoted to appearances and propriety. When her parents announce her betrothel to an older priest who cares nothing for her, however, her worldview crumbles and she decides to create her own rules. But her new focus on the immediate over the eternal leads her into further trouble until the day she comes face to face with a universal story too inspiring to ignore.

Loyal to Rome but ruing his decision to join the legions, Demetrius is sure he hates absolutely everything about Judea. That is until the day he meets Keziah. Drawn to her from the start, he ends up fixating on her as some sort of salvation he has to have. Yet while he desperately wants to protect her from her abusive husband, he only ends up putting her in extreme danger; and himself down a precarious path he never could have predicted.

My Review:

First of all, I found this cover very intriguing, and though I’m not one who reads a book based on the front cover, I will say that the front cover of The Adulteress definitely drew me to the book. The blurb on the back cover cinched the deal and I was hooked.

I will admit that even though both front cover and back cover blurb grabbed my interest, I still approached the book with some caution and skepticism because I was well aware that it is a self-published book, and I have read many books that have been self-published or published by vanity presses that are of very poor quality and could have used a good editor’s eye to help the writer whip them into shape before publication.

So imagine my surprise when, from the beginning of the very first page of The Adulteress, Jeannette DiLouie captured my interest and held it captive until the very last sentence on the very last page.

I rarely give a book a five star rating because, as a writer, I believe it is important to continue learning and improving with each book, but once in a while I read a book that I believe the author has done a top-notch job on and couldn’t have done much, if anything, to improve it, and this is one of those books. Therefore, The Adulteress by Jeannette DiLouie has earned a 5 star rating from me.

I highly commend Jeannette DiLouie for producing a top quality book in the self-publishing market; for taking the time to have one or more than one other person/editor read her book and help her to be sure her writing had no glaring mistakes or typos that drive people like me crazy because those things always distract me from the story.

Ms. DiLouie did an excellent job of placing me in the setting of this story. I was drawn into Jerusalem and as Keziah’s story unfolded I found myself experiencing strong emotions: anger, frustration, and bewilderment with her parents; sympathy, fear and concern for Keziah; and the emotions continued throughout the story as Keziah’s life intertwined with the life of Demetrius and other important characters.

My concern for Keziah, and later, Demetrius, kept me turning pages as I hoped that by the end of the story, each would have their problems resolved and find some happiness or contentment in place of their pain and suffering.

Ms. DiLouis also created a situation in Keziah’s story that, though very familiar with the Bible, I didn’t see coming because I was so caught up in Keziah’s emotions. It made for a surprise followed by the thought “How come I didn’t see that coming?” This made the book even more enjoyable.

Jeannette DiLouie did a wonderful job with making Jerusalem real, bringing the 1st Century to life and describing scenes in such a vivid way that I was there, in Jerusalem, witnessing all of these happenings, and some made me chuckle, some made me want to give certain characters a good talking to, and others brought tears slipping down my cheeks.

This is one of those books whose characters and story will stay with me for a long time to come. It’s the kind of book I enjoy so thoroughly and love so much that I hate to see it end, and yet am relieved to reach the last page so that I won’t have to stay up late for one more night.

The Adulteress is filled with living, breathing characters set in a time of Biblical history and truth that reaches to your very soul as you read.

I was astounded to find that this is Ms. DiLouie’s first published book, and the fact that it is self-published was also surprising. It is definitely the best written self-published book I have read to date, and I highly recommend it. It is a story of abuse, romance, bad choices, pain and regret, suffering, real love and true forgiveness.


The Allure of the Mountains (Poem)

Since I finished my short story, Forbidden Love, I have decided to share some poetry for a few weeks. Today’s poem is a Sense Poem.

The Allure of the Mountains
by Kelly F. Barr

Snow-capped mountain peaks
Christmas scent of pine trees
Cry of the majestic eagle
Refreshed, renewed, alive
Clear sweet water from mountain spring
Most heavenly place on earth