Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Not By Sight

Not by Sight
Kate Breslin
(Bethany House Publishers)
ISBN: 978-0764211614
July 2015/384 pages/$14.99

"Downton Abbey meets The Scarlet Pimpernel in Kate Breslin's wonderful historical novel set amidst the drama of England's World War I home front."--award-winning author Elizabeth Camden

In the spring of 1917, all of Britain's attention is on the WWI war front and the thousands of young men serving their country on the front lines. Jack Benningham, dashing heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, is young and able-bodied but refuses to enlist despite the contempt of his peers.

A wealthy young suffragette, Grace Mabry will do anything to assist her country's cause. Men like Jack infuriate her when she thinks of her own brother fighting in the trenches of France, so she has no reservations about handing him a white feather of cowardice at a posh masquerade ball.

But Grace could not anticipate the danger and betrayal set into motion by her actions, and soon she and Jack are forced to learn the true meaning of courage when the war raging overseas suddenly strikes much closer to home and their fervent beliefs become a matter of life and death.

Read an excerpt


A Florida girl who migrated to the Pacific Northwest, Kate Breslin was a bookseller for many years. She is the author of For Such a Time and lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington. Find her online at www.katebreslin.com.


I missed Kate Breslin's first novel, but after reading Not by Sight, she is now on my list of authors to watch. Plenty of drama fills this book set in England during World War I, and I was drawn into the story from the opening pages. Wealthy and privileged Grace Mabry and Jack Benningham learn that their backgrounds do not shield them from the realities they face during this tumultuous time. Breslin has created multi-dimensional characters who leap off the page, in addition to brilliant dialogue, as Grace and Jack are each thrust into new and challenging circumstances. Intrigue and the threat of espionage add to this page-turner that kept me up into the wee hours. Don't miss Not by Sight; highly recommended!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a digital copy of this book free from Bethany House Publishing/Baker Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


1. Your first novel, For Such a Time, takes place during WWII. What made you turn the clock backward to WWI when writing Not by Sight?
Can I just say that I love Downton Abbey? I was watching Season 3 at the time I got the story idea for Not by Sight. After I did a bit of research, I realized there was much going on during that war and I was ready to visit new horizons. I also happen to love just about any historical fiction novel set in England.

2. How was writing your second novel distinctly different from writing the first?
For Such a Time was a biblical retelling of the book of Esther and I had prompts in the form of verses from that book to guide me, more or less, in setting up the scenes for the story. With Not by Sight, I was entirely dependent on my imagination. I also had the luxury of time with my debut novel, whereas I had a deadline for the second. I learned how to do research in a hurry! Luckily, the Internet has come a long way since my first book, and finding the facts I needed wasn’t as time-consuming as it had been previously.

3. What do you want readers to come away with after reading Not by Sight?
Aside from simply enjoying the story, it’s my wish they find hope in the pages, a reminder that redemption is always within reach, and that we can’t let what’s happening in the world affect our relationship with God. The earth is full of good people and random acts of kindness; it’s only that the media doesn’t always deem it newsworthy, so we don’t often hear about it. Today, especially, we are all globally connected and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of information being tossed at us. We must remember to live by our faith and our hearts, and not necessarily by what we see (or hear).

I also find it amusing that when I choose a topic to write about, like Grace’s habit of prejudging others, I become acutely aware of my own shortcomings. I would just say that it never hurts to imagine walking in someone else’s shoes before making a decision about them.

4. What does your writing day look like?
I’m usually upstairs in my library loft by 9:30 a.m. After checking email, I resume from whatever point I left off with my story—researching, plotting, or writing pages. Mornings are best for me, when I’m freshest, and I work several hours each day, Monday through Friday, with weekends off unless I’m on deadline. My cat, Coco, usually comes upstairs and stands in front of my computer monitor until I leave the “zone” and drift out of my brain fog to go and feed her. It’s always a good time to take a break anyway, and it beats having to set a timer. In the afternoons, I usually take a two-mile walk near my house, which not only gives my eyes a break, but the exercise is crucial to my sit-down occupation. I find walking is also great for untangling those knots in my plots!

5. What’s up next for you?
Currently, I’m working on my third novel for Bethany House, another historical romance set during WWI. I’ve really found this time period rich with history, and there is so much I still want to explore. I had fun, too, with the intrigue in Not by Sight and plan to continue with more in the next book.


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1 comment:

R Merr said...

This is a tremendous read...highly recommend readers purchase this one. You won't be disappointed!