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Friday, October 9, 2015

The Sweetest Rain - Giveaway and Review

For me, historical novels don't have to be a perfect match to something that has happened in history. I am not one of those fact checkers who are more concerned with the accuracy of the novel that the story itself. For me, if I can get so lost in the novel that I forget about time or that I feel like I can really see this happening in my mind, for me, that is a successful author and novel. In this case, that honor goes to Myra Johnson in her novel The Sweetest Rain. I am so thrilled I got the opportunity to review this one because as I have read in my history books quite a bit about the Great Depression but also the Dust Bowl. Living in California and suffering under some of the effects of the drought, it made me really want to know what a family might endure in the 1930's dealing with the effects of both of these issues.

In The Sweetest Rain, the first in the Flowers of Eden Series, we meet Bryony Linwood, who is struggling to help her grandfather and two younger sisters, Rose and Larkspur, to bring in what remains of their cotton crop. Like most tenant farmers, they are responsible to pay for the right to farm the land with a portion or share of their crops to the plantation owners, in this case, the Heath family. After another horrible year with dealing with the drought in Eden, Arkansas, it looks as if they will have to find another source of income if they want to keep food on the table. Bryony insists in pleading her case before Mr. Heath in hopes that he might give them more time to pay their rent. But another opportunity presents itself, when the plantation has need for another maid and if Bryony is obliged to work for the Heath's, he will deduct her earnings from what her grandfather owes him.

She just didn't expect to find love within the confines of the Heath plantation. Michael Heath is still recovering from the effects of mustard gas he was exposed to while fighting in the war as well as PTSD, or shell shock as it was known then. He finds solace in the botanical sketches he has been doing in his sketchbook and shares them with his mother, who is suffering from the early onset of Alzheimer's. It's the caring concern that Bryony shows for his mother by reading to her from one of the many books in the home, to taking walks in the garden that helps ease some of her symptoms but one thing is certain, that the love that is developing between the two is one thing his father will not tolerate or stand for. He has already cast out his daughter when she fell in love with the hired help and wound up pregnant. There is nothing Mr. Heath will not let stand in his way, even if it means doing the same to Bryony and her family as well.

I received The Sweetest Rain by Myra Johnson compliments of Franciscan Media for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review, aside from a free copy of the book, the opinions contained here are strictly my own personal ones. I love how well this message of redemption and hope comes across in this novel. It highlights how some families would have to band together in tough times to make ends meet. It also shows what keeps families together and what drives them apart as well as what each of them has to do to survive during the most difficult of circumstances. I can't wait to read more about this amazing and resilient Linwood family in the very near future. For me, this one rates a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about The Sweetest Rain, Myra Johnson or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Myra Johnson on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Sweetest Rain, please visit Franciscan Media's website.

Now for the amazing part. Thanks to the generosity of Franciscan Media, they are offering a giveaway copy of this novel to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here are your guidelines for entering:

1.  "Like" my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart. 

2. Not a Facebook user, no problem, make sure you are a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart.

3. Be a resident of the U.S. No P. O. Boxes please.

4. Leave me a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of this novel. Don't forget to include your email address so I can contact you if you're the lucky winner. You can even use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

I will notify the winner of the giveaway by email once it ends on October 16th, so be sure to enter. You can enter as many times as you want.


  1. I SO want to read this book. It sounds so good and I am loving this cover.
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

    1. Thank you for your interest, Amy! I was just so pleased with what Franciscan Media did with my cover. They captured my image of Bryony perfectly!

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  2. Thank you so much for your kind words about my novel, and I'm so grateful for your participation in the blog tour!

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  5. First of all, I am SO glad I discovered this blog by following the blog tour of Myra's book! This is a place I could quite happily settle in and read everything there is to read on it! I'm especially loving the cozy living room picture & can see myself sitting there reading or simply watching the waves outside my window. Such a peaceful setting :-) Nice to have another Christian blog to follow!
    Secondly, I love your review of "The Sweetest Rain" It gave me a little more depth to the story than some of the other reviews. Not that they weren't good,mind you, but yours has a little more "meat" to it. Get's down to the nitty gritty about the family dynamics. That alone would keep me interested in the story! I love character depth & especially if it's about a family & all it's inner workings. I've read my share of family book series (or single novels too!) and I really enjoy when an author makes you feel a part of their lives! I think the other aspect of the story, is learning more about the depression period. I couldn't even imagine how it would be for families struggling to just put food on the the middle of a drought none the less! I'm intrigued already and anxious to know the rest of the story (as Paul Harvey so famously quoted).
    Myra, this book sounds more and more appealing as I continue along the blog tour. Sounds like an exceptional read! Thank you both for the chance to win a copy of "The Sweetest Rain"! I'd be thrilled to own it :-)

    1. Trixi, thank you so much for following along on the tour! It's been a fun week, and I'm so thankful for everyone's participation--not to mention all the touching reviews the book has received! I do hope you get a chance to read it soon and will continue with the next books in the series!

  6. Opps....I was suppose to include my email and I big!!

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

  7. Such a cozy scene on your blog - thank you for your review of 'The Sweetest Rain'. I am a follower of your Facebook page and blog. Such an inspiring profile!!

    I recently read/reviewed a novella Myra wrote on the Great Depression, enjoyed it so much and would love to read her novel about it. I love the story line and cover, and have enjoyed other books Myra has written. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!!

    I have shared this post.


  8. This sounds like an excellent historical novel. I read one of the author's contemporary novels and enjoyed it. I especially appreciate novels with the themes of redemption and hope, and historical fiction of the Civil War era up through the end of the 1800's. Would just really like to read it for all those components. jeaniedannheim ( at ) ymail ( dot ) com

  9. Myra!!! Not only am I chomping at the bit to read your new book, but I absolutely LOVE the title AND the cover, my friend -- gorgeous, both!

    Heart to heart -- great review and beautiful blog!


  10. Hi I'm back because I re-read my comment I left earlier and it made no sense and I apologize for that. I loved The Sweetest Rain. It was an extraordinarily beautiful book, Myra. Loved the blog post here.

  11. I'm always on the lookout for good books for my nieces birthdays and other occasions, this book looks perfect. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    I liked your Facebook page: Carl Scott, and I have a U.S, mailing address. Thanks again! crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  12. Thanks Heart2Heart! I stumbled upon your blog searching for new book suggestions. This is great. I really appreciate the suggestion! Your review has swayed. I’ll have to check out The Sweetest Rain. Thanks!

    I wanted to pass along one my pastor recommended to me. It’s the #1 bestseller on religious fiction, so maybe you’ve already heard of it. But I can’t stop thinking about. It’s a fantastic collection of short stories. It’s called Pieces Like Pottery. I really can’t recommend it enough. I would love to see your review of it at some point!


Please share with me your comments. I love to know what touched you about this post or how it has blessed you in any way.