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Amazing Grace (Hymns of the West) (Volume 3) Paperback – May 7, 2015
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About the Author
At the suggestion of a friend, I entered my first book into the Women of Faith contest. A Mighty Fortress was a semi-finalist for the 2013 contest and after praying about the opportunity WestBow Press gave me to publish at a discounted price, I decided to publish the book independently on my own. Shortly after making this decision and sending my manuscript to a few beta readers, one of my beta readers asked what the sequel was going to be about. I hadn’t even thought about a sequel, but once the idea was planted in my brain, I came up with ideas for at least six books in the Hymns of the West series. I love to read Historical Fiction, especially Westerns. My goal is to create clean, fun, and challenging Western stories for the whole family. That being said, I don’t gloss over the hard issues, either. When I’m not writing, you can probably find me reading, crafting, playing piano, playing games with my family, or petting a cat (sometimes while doing one of the other things). I live with my family in the Northern Midwest on a hobby farm where I sometimes have to do some goat wrestling or feeding goat kids in the early morning because I’m the only one who wakes up that early. There are many ways to connect with me online. All of them can be found in one convenient place: www.FaithBlum.com. On my website, you can find me on various social media sites as well as my blog. Would you please consider leaving a review of my book on Amazon, Goodreads, or your blog? Reviews help authors get more exposure in various places. Thank you for reading Amazing Grace!
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However, on the downside, Blum characters and plot were not developed beyond a surfacey narration. I was disappointed that this story's perspective was written from that of an outside observer, rather than from the personal perspectives of the individuals who make up this story. This made it hard to become attached to her characters, and made the tale drone on in a disinterested fashion at times.
There was something that disappointed me even more about Blum’s story. I was happy that she did not gloss over the difficult, painful realities of this sin-filled planet, but, at the same time, I found it ironic that she described these violent events in such detail, while quickly skimming over more important events. Obviously, these descriptions were in no way gruesome, but they did make me wince, especially her description of Jeb's fight with his father. Younger readers may find this disturbing.
Then, on the flip side, Blum portrays the lives of the Christian characters in such an extreme light of perfection that I found it very difficult to relate to them. While I firmly believe that believers can and should overcome sin by the power of the Spirit, the reality is that intense struggles with temptation and often failure are part of this process. Unfortunately, Blum's story overlooks this struggle, except to include it in the most surfacey manner, and thus her opportunity to reach out to readers who are going through such struggles is lost.
It is my hope that in her future works, Blum will develop her potential-filled plotlines and characters, and incorporate real-life struggles and successful battles for the victory in deeper, more powerful ways than she did in Amazing Grace.
~Sarah E. Brown
Author & Educator