Be Still My Soul {Review and Giveaway}

by Trish

Be Still My Soul is the debut novel by Joanne Bischof, and the first in what will be her Cadence of Grace series. As the book opens, we meet Lonnie Sawyer, an almost-eighteen year old girl living with her family in the hills of Appalachia a little over a century ago. Although she does not have a boyfriend, she is forced into marriage by her father after Gideon O’Riley, a bluegrass musician and the local ladies’ man, steals a kiss one evening.

Lonnie finds herself an unwelcome addition to the O’Riley household, and it’s not long before Gideon decides they will strike out on their own to find a future somewhere else. The long journey goes from difficult to perilous, culminating in a providential encounter with an older couple who offer them not only food and shelter, but also a place to find their footing as man and wife.

This book is a story of journeys, both physical and spiritual. As Lonnie leaves her parent’s house and then even her home in Rocky Knob, she is also moving from being a girl to a woman, as well as a wife and mother. Gideon has a parallel journey, although it is filled with more twists and turns as he fights against his situation in life as well as against the call of God to surrender to His plan.

I truly enjoyed this sweet story. The Appalachian setting and dialogue rang very true, and the combination of plot action and character development seemed well-balanced. It was heartwarming to see how this older couple was put in the younger couple’s life and made up for the lack of warmth and caring from their earlier lives.

Joanne Bischof is a fresh voice in the world of inspirational, historical fiction, and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys this genre of books. You can learn more about Joanne and even read the first chapter of the book at her website.

We have one copy of Be Still My Soul to share with one of you. To enter, please use the rafflecopter below to enter. We’ll announce the winner here in our book column on October 15. US residents only.

The winner of Love Anthony is Susan Pertierra, and you still have another week to enter to win Bilingual is Better.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Email Author    |    Website About Trish

Trish is a mom with Asperger's raising an amazing son with autism. When she's not cheerleading, advocating, or chauffeuring for her son, you can usually find her with her nose in a book! She joined the 5 Minutes for Books review team in late 2011 and blogs about autism, books, and daily life at In So Many Words.

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{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

1 PinkyPlatz September 30, 2012 at 8:25 pm

I like the idea that the plot includes an older couple in addition to a romantic younger couple. Thanks for the giveaway!

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2 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:16 pm

I’m really glad that stood out to you! I had hoped to showcase the value of relationships that span generations :) Glad you entered the giveaway!
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3 angie September 30, 2012 at 8:48 pm

love books like this makes for a wonderful read
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4 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:17 pm

I’m so glad you think so, Angie!! If you get the chance to read Be Still My Soul, I hope you enjoy it!
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5 chelsea September 30, 2012 at 10:27 pm

I love Christian romance books and the historical setting of this book seems really interesting

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6 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Chelsea, something we very much have in common :) I’m so glad the setting interested you!
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7 Linda Stewart October 1, 2012 at 9:02 am

Their journey excites me. I’m anxious to read about their trials along the way.

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8 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Linda, your comment is so touching. I hope a copy of Be Still My Soul makes its way into your sweet hands!
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9 Ellie W October 1, 2012 at 10:38 am

The Appalachian setting really interests me.

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10 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Elli, thrilled that the Appalachian setting resonated with you! It’s a special place. :)
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11 Roberta Horn October 1, 2012 at 11:57 am

This book sounds interesting and I think my BFF would love it!!!

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12 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Roberta, you are so sweet to think of your BFF. What a friend you are. :) Glad you stopped in for the giveaway!
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13 Sarah Hall October 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia so I am interested because of the locale.

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14 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Sarah, what I wouldn’t give to see the view from your front porch or hear the stories you have to tell. :) So nice to cross paths with you here!
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15 Jenny October 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm

The journey and independence interests me. I also like the historical setting.

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16 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:25 pm

It’s neat to see what interests everyone and I love what you’ve mentioned, Jenny!
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17 LisaB October 1, 2012 at 2:06 pm

I live in North Carolina and always enjoy stories set in the Appalachians.

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18 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Waving at you in NC, Lisa! So nice to meet you here!
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19 Merry October 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Be Still My Soul sounds different than the usual shotgun marriage stories. I like the young couple having caring mentors to teach them about life and love.

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20 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Merry, it brings a smile to my face to hear that the story sounds a little different than other shotgun wedding stories. That’s my hope! Also, with the mentors in Lonnie and Gideon’s life…I really wanted to show that we can rarely do it on our own. :) Blessings!
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21 Jessica To October 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I like that it is a romance, but doesn’t sound like it goes down the same trite path.

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22 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Jessica, thrilled to hear that the romance has a fresh take to it for you. If you get a chance to read it, I so hope you enjoy it!
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23 Barbara H. October 1, 2012 at 4:34 pm

This sounds lovely. I’d love to read it.
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24 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Thank you Barbara, for stopping in for the giveaway!
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25 Beth C October 1, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I like the Appalacihan setting.

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26 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:29 pm

So glad, Beth!! It’s near and dear to my heart. :)
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27 Daniel M October 1, 2012 at 10:40 pm

like reading about life in past here, lots of era’s i’m glad i wasn’t in

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28 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:30 pm

LOL, Daniel :) You have a good point here. Life had many a challenges in the olden days, didn’t it?
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29 Cindy B October 1, 2012 at 10:58 pm

I like the story of the relationships between the characters.

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30 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Glad to hear it, Cindy! Thanks so much for reading the interview and I’m glad you’re entered for the giveaway!
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31 Joanne Bischof October 2, 2012 at 12:27 am

Trish,

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review “Be Still My Soul”! I absolutely enjoyed reading your thoughts as well as all of the comments from this great group! It’s such a pleasure.

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32 ellie October 2, 2012 at 9:37 am

The storyline and the characters sound compelling and interesting.

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33 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Wonderful, Ellie! That means so much to hear. Nice to see you here!
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34 Angie PreciselyMine October 2, 2012 at 11:02 am

I love that the story is about something that very well might have happened during that time in Appalachia.
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35 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Angie, so glad you think so too! I really wanted to showcase the entanglement of heartache and hope that touches on the region of those days. I hope Be Still My Soul does it the justice it deserves. “)
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36 Cindi October 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm

The time period, the main characters and that this
wonderful book is the first in a series…
Many thanks, Cindi

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37 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Just wonderful, Cindi! Yes, I’m excited that there will be 3 books in all and that each book will follow Lonnie and Gideon’s story. Lovely meeting you here!
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38 Beth Essex October 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm

I love historical fiction, especially when it is written with good values.

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39 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Beth, I couldn’t agree more. It’s a wonderful balance, the historical fiction with a moral to the story that I truly hope encourages people. Blessings!
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40 chris October 2, 2012 at 10:16 pm

I’m currently reading a book set in small towns in Kentucky/Indiana during the first half of the 20th century. I love this genre!

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41 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Ooh, sounds like a great book, Chris! I love this genre too :) Glad for the opportunity to meet you here!
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42 TINA HARWOOD October 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm

I WOULD LOVE TO READ THIS BOOK.

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43 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Yay, Tina! I’m so glad!
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44 Corrina October 4, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I love these kinds of books :)
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45 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Glad to hear it, Corrina!! :D
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46 april yedinak October 5, 2012 at 12:55 pm

I like that it is historical fiction.

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47 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm

There’s something special about historical fiction, isn’t there, April. Always nice to meet another fan of the genre! :)
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48 jackie s October 5, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Would love to read this

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49 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Thank you so much, Jackie. I hope you get the chance!
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50 Maryann October 5, 2012 at 5:47 pm

I like the setting and time in history and would also be interested in reading how the older couple mentors and is an example to this younger couple

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51 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Maryann, it’s such a pleasure to hear what has you interested. The mentor relationship in the story was really something I wanted to bring forward and hope it encourages readers of all ages. :)
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52 Carolyn Ann Colley (Griffith, Smith) October 5, 2012 at 6:53 pm

the first thing that caught my eye was that this is about a girl from Appalachia, I’m an Appalachian myself. Sounds like a great book.

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53 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Carolyn, it’s such pleasure to meet an Appalachian girl. Oh the stories, I bet you can tell :) I hope that Lonnie and Gideon’s story do honor and justice to this special region, especially to someone who grew up there.
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54 Carolyn Ann Colley (Griffith, Smith) October 12, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Thanks Joanne, most people laugh at the way we talk around here, but that what we grew up in. You are right, with the stories from around here and most of them are true.

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55 Anita Yancey October 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm

The fact that the book takes place in Appalachia really interests me. I am orginally from that area myself. Thanks for having this giveaway.

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56 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Anita, another Appalachia girl!! What I wouldn’t give to sit down with the lot of you and have tea and chat. :) So glad to meet you here!
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57 Amy Campbell October 7, 2012 at 8:24 am

That it’s historical and is set during time and place of my grandpa grew up.

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58 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Amy, it’s always fun to see you! I bet your grandpa was quite a man.
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59 Laura Lane October 7, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Simple and old fashioned life

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60 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:49 pm

You and me both, Laura :) There’s just something special about the good old days.
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61 Melissa Belle October 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm

That it’s a christian book.

sweetmelbelle31 at yahoo dot com

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62 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Melissa, wonderful to meet a fan of Christian fiction! If the book lands in your hands, I very much hope you enjoy Lonnie and Gideon’s story!
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63 Jamie October 12, 2012 at 12:31 pm

I like that it will probably be really clean as it is a Christian book.

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64 Joanne Bischof October 12, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Hi Jamie! Yes, my hope is that the book would be a good read for readers of love clean romance. Blessings!
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65 jessica October 12, 2012 at 11:27 pm

I love historical christian fiction.

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66 Wendy M October 13, 2012 at 11:31 am

The setting is one of my favorites. I also love the title. “Be Still My Soul” is one of my favorite songs.

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67 andrea October 13, 2012 at 10:43 pm

I love to read fiction books

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