Book giveaway, Here Burns My Candle (Liz Curtis Higgs)
When I discovered Liz Curtis Higgs’ books—Thorn in My Heart, Fair is the Rose, Whence Came a Prince and Grace in Thine Eyes—I was blown away by her ingenious ideas and talented writing as she “modernized” these age-old stories. Picture it ... familiar biblical characters transported from the late 1700’s BC to the late 1700’s AD; from ancient Canaan to the Lowlands of Scotland.
I’ve still to find and read her fifth historical novel, but over 2000 pages of literary intrigue, author’s notes, reader’s guides and Scottish glossaries in the first four books kept me captivated for weeks. Liz’s writing is sheer brilliance!
You may wonder why she chose Scotland for her characters. Liz explains, “It is simply the most beautiful place on earth. My first visit there in 1996 convinced me that the Scottish books I had been reading and the lovely calendars hanging on my walls only hinted at the green glory of Scotland. Soon I found the people—with their love for history, wry sense of humor, and gentle, honest manner—even more delightful. With each visit that followed, the truth became apparent: Scotland had stolen my heart forever.”
Being of Scottish decent and having visited the country twice, biased or not, I have to agree with Liz.
You will be astounded to learn what has equipped Liz to pen these stories:
• A BA degree in English Literature
• A passion for centuries past
• Twelve detailed historical research trips to the UK
• A personal library of eight hundred books on Scotland’s history and culture
• The study of fourteen translations of the biblical accounts and more than one hundred nonfiction books and commentaries on Genesis and Ruth
• A member of the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society and the Dumfries & Galloway Family History Society
• She supports Historic Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland, and the National Museums of Scotland
Liz Curtis Higgs is definitely an expert to write her stories in this chosen setting.
I can’t resist giving you a taste of what to expect, so indulge me as I take you on a whirlwind tour of her six historical novels.
THORN IN MY HEART
Jamie and Evan McKie both want their father Alec's flocks and lands, yet only one brother will inherit Glentrool. Leana and Rose McBride both yearn to catch the eye of the same handsome lad, yet only one sister will be his bride.
A thorny love triangle emerges, plagued by lies and deception, jealousy and desire, betrayal and broken promises.
FAIR IS THE ROSE
A year has come and gone since Jamie McKie fled for his life and arrived at Auchengray in search of sanctuary and a bonny wife. Young Rose McBride, as fair as any lass in Scotland, dearly loves her handsome cousin, Jamie McKie—but so does her older sister, Leana.
Desperate to have Jamie all to herself, Rose is unwittingly aided by Lillias Brown, a wise woman—a wutch, some say—still keen on the old ways. Leana cherishes her newborn son and clings to her hard-won sense of peace by a slender thread of faith. Jamie, meanwhile, longs to return home to Glentrool, yet is thwarted at every turn by his uncle Lachlan’s deceitful ways.
All three points of this thorny triangle soon grow as sharp as a Scottish dirk. Och, such heartache! And yet, amid the conflicts, hope burns bright.
WHENCE CAME A PRINCE (2006 Christy Award for Best Historical Fiction)
A prodigal hero returns ... Jamie McKie's long-awaited return to his ancestral home of Glentrool tests the depth of his courage, the strength of his sword, and the tenacity of his vow to honor the Almighty, no matter the cost.
To claim his inheritance, Jamie must first outwit his devious uncle, Lachlan, then confront the two men he fears most: Evan, the brother whose blessing he stole, and Alec, the father he once deceived.
Jamie faces a perilous journey of the heart as well: The two women in his life, Leana and Rose McBride, each stake a tender claim on his affections. Quiet, gentle Leana is the mother of his firstborn, Ian. And Rose, her spirited younger sister, is expecting his second child. Honor and duty prevail but not without heartache.
GRACE IN THINE EYES (a stand-alone novel, Christy Award finalist)
Davina McKie is a bonny lass of seventeen, mute since childhood and fiercely guarded by her belligerent twin brothers, Will and Sandy. When the lads are forced to depart the glen, Jamie McKie escorts Davina to the Isle of Arran, where her lively cousins, Catherine and Abigail, make her welcome at the manse.
One moonless eve, Davina blithely entertains the gentry of Arran with her grandfather’s fiddle, unaware of the dramatic turn her life is about to take.
A story of passion and revenge, of lost innocence and shattered dreams, Grace in Thine Eyes explores the sorrow of unspeakable shame and the gift of immeasurable grace.
HERE BURNS MY CANDLE
A mother who cannot face her future. A daughter who cannot escape her past.
Reeling from the aftermath of bonny Prince Charlie’s disastrous bid to reclaim the British throne, Marjory Kerr and her daughter-in-law, Elisabeth, have lost everything they hold dear. But they have not lost hope.
Just as Naomi and Ruth once traveled from Moab to Judah, Marjory and Elisabeth move from the crowded streets of Edinburgh to the countryside of the Scottish Borderland for Mine Is the Night.
Marjory Kerr is a widow undone, having buried her husband, her sons, and any hope of grandsons. Her title, property, and fortune are gone as well, yet it's her family alone that matters. When a glimmer of hope appears on the horizon, her faith in God’s loving-kindness is slowly restored, and a new Marjory emerges.
Elisabeth Kerr has also suffered crushing losses in her life. Instead of giving in to melancholy, she places her future firmly in the hands of Almighty God and spends her days helping others, never imagining where her compassionate acts of service will lead her: straight into the arms of her redeemer.
All this talk of historical novels has reminded me that I can’t wait for Nanowrimo. I’ve been busy plotting and researching my first historical Christian novel. Maybe one day I’ll be privileged to have you read my rendition of David, Bathsheba and Uriah as Irish beauty Breanna Kelly and her betrothed, Uilliam O’Hea, become the innocent pawns in the hands of their powerful landlord, Devan Barrington-Jones.
During the two years we lived in Ireland, my husband and I had our favorite spot up in the Wicklow mountains overlooking Lough Tay. I have chosen this breathtaking area as the backdrop for this tragic tale of lust, betrayal, collusion and secrecy set during the Great Irish Famine.
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