Monday, March 14, 2022

Celebrate Lit Blog Tour: Arms of Freedom by Kathleen Neeley

Book: Arms of Freedom

Author: Kathleen Neely

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release date: October 6, 2021

With each page of the age-old journals, Annie discovers all that unites her with a woman who once lived in her farmhouse. One lived with wealth and one with poverty, but both knew captivity. Both longed to be free.

Miriam yearns to escape her life as a super model. She drops the pseudonym and uses the name she gave up years ago—Annie Gentry. Then she alters her appearance and moves to rural South Carolina to care for her grandmother. Can she live a simple life without recognition? Can she hide a net worth valued in the millions? Love is nowhere in her plans until she meets a man who wants nothing more than Annie Gentry and the simple life he lives.

Charlotte lived in the same farmhouse in the tumultuous 1860’s. The Civil War was over, but for a bi-racial girl, freedom remained elusive. She coveted a life where she wouldn’t bring shame to her family. A life where she could make a difference. As she experiences hope, will it be wrested from her?

The journals stop abruptly with a climactic event, leaving Annie to search for information. What happened to Charlotte? Did her life make a difference?  Did she ever find freedom?


Click here to get your copy!

Kathleen Neely has become one of my favorite Authors. Arms of Freedom is her newest release and I was excited to read it. 

Annie Gentry is a former Super Model. She was not happy with the life of a Super Model Miriam, so she has left the business. Annie packs everything up and moves to South Carolina to be with her Grandmother. She wants to live a simple life and be of assistance to her Grandmother. She has changed her appearance in hopes of not being recognized as "Miriam the Supermodel".  Annie starts cleaning the Farmhouse that her Grandmother has given to her. She discovers a trunk full of old Journals from the 1860's from a girl named Charlotte.  Annie begins reading the journals and these journals really have a Story to tell. Charlotte was a Bi-Racial Girl who was seclued in the Farmhouse for most of her life. She was "hidden" because her mother was white and raped by a Black Man. Charlotte was not treated kindly by her mother's family. Charlotte dreamed of being able to escape the Farmhouse and do something good for herself and the world. Annie is disappointed when the journals end without knowing what happened to Charlotte as she grew up and left the Farmhouse. Will Annie ever find out what happened to Charlotte? Will Annie be able to live a simple life in South Carolina? 

I have to say this is a tear jerker of a book, have your box of Kleenex ready. Kathleen Neely really researched the time period well and the characters and the happenings in this book really tell a story. My heart broke reading Charlotte's life and struggles. The book is written in a Time-Slip style, going between the Historical 1860's for Charlotte's story and then back to the current times and Annie's story. I have come to really enjoy Time Slip books and this one was probably my favorite. I normally have an issue with staying the course between switiching the times, but this one I was able to stay focused and read through. I also think the author did a good job with the Faith based part of the book. I shed tears reading this book and it tugged at my heart, but I would definetly read this book again. FANTASTIC BOOK! 

Kathleen Neely is a retired elementary principal, and enjoys time with family, visiting her two grandsons, traveling, and reading.

She is the author of The Street Singer, Beauty for Ashes, The Least of These, Arms of Freedom, and In Search of True North. Kathleen won second place in a short story contest through ACFW-VA for her short story “The Missing Piece” and an honorable mention for her story “The Dance”. Both were published in a Christmas anthology. Her novel, The Least of These, was awarded first place in the 2015 Fresh Voices contest through Almost an Author. She has numerous devotions published through Christian Devotions.

Kathleen continues to speak to students about writing and publication processes. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.


More from Kathleen

I’d like to introduce myself and then share a little bit about my book, Arms of Freedom. I am a retired educator having taught preschool, fourth grade, and then moving into administration as an elementary principal. When I retired, I pursued my desire to write. My first novel, The Least of These, won first place in a contest titled Fresh Voices. That honor renewed my confidence, and since then, I’ve written five novels. Arms of Freedom is my first timeslip (dual timeline) novel.

Arms of Freedom was birthed during a time of racial tension in our nation; a time when social injustice and protests were forefront in the news. Many publishers safely avoided manuscripts with any mention of racial issues—perhaps a wise decision from a business perspective.

However, failure to look at our past denies us the opportunity to learn from history. Our fear of offending can push major historical offenses into a dark closet. I chose to illuminate those offenses by launching this book. Following the Civil War, the period of twelve years known as Reconstruction was perhaps the most brutal period of racial terrorism. The contents may be hard to read. I confess that I often wrote through tears.

In the end, I hope your takeaway is this: Regardless of race and ethnicity, all people are created in the image of God, a one-of-a-kind miracle, loved by Him, and created for a purpose. We are called to unity, to be perfectly one (John 17:23). May we join together in raising our arms of freedom to the Savior who released us from the captivity of sin.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. — John 8:36 NIV

I hope you enjoy Annie’s story as the life of this contemporary character intersects with Charlotte’s story from 150 years earlier. Both experience a coming-of-age change as they seek to escape from what holds them captive.

Texas Book-aholic, March 3

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 4

The Avid Reader, March 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 5

Inklings and notions, March 6

For Him and My Family, March 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 8

Miriam Jacob, March 8

deb’s Book Review, March 9

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 11

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 12

Bizwings Blog, March 13

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 14 (Spotlight)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 14

Simple Harvest Reads, March 15 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 16

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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marisela zuniga said... Best Blogger Tips

This sounds like an amazing book to read

Bea LaRocca said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you for sharing your review of Arms of Freedom, it sounds like an amazing read

Caryl Kane said... Best Blogger Tips

Kendra, Thank you for sharing your excellent review!

Stormy Vixen said... Best Blogger Tips

Arms of Freedom sounds like an excellent read for me and I like the cover! Thanks for sharing it with me! Thanks, Happily Managing a Household of Boys, for sharing your thoughts! Have a great day!

slehan said... Best Blogger Tips

My brother would like this book.
Thanks for the contest.

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