Reviews, Awards and Readers Comments
The Dwelling Place

Every once in a while, a book comes along that impacts you from start to finish.  Musser displays a rare gift for complex characterization andintricate plotting that starkly reveals flaws as well as beauties in human nature.
~ Romantic Times, April 2005

A companion to The Swan House and a competent mother-daughter tale, this title may have cross- over appeal for readers of Anna Quindlen's One True Thing. A native of Atlanta, Musser now lives in France.
~ Library Journal, April, 2005

In this enjoyable, somewhat complicated sequel to The Swan House, Musser continues the tragedy-scarred story of artist Mary Swan Middleton through the first-person narrative of her troubled daughter, Ellie.
In a lovely piece of wisdom, Ellie muses, "Sometimes the breaking of things is cruel, and sometimes it is necessary, and sometimes it is just an accident." This is the novel's central message, and the faith themes that frame the story ensure that most of the "broken pieces" mend through redemption… Musser handles many symbolic moments well…Musser's solid prose, careful historical details and themes of hope and forgiveness make this an attractive choice for faith fiction readers. 
~ Publisher’s Weekly, April, 2005

The story is an examination of a mother-daughter relationship and how our perceptions of events change as we mature.... Ellie's faith journey is realistic and heartwarming. The Dwelling Place is true-to-life and should appeal to readers.
~ Bookloons, April, 2005

This is one book that you cannot put down.
~ The Romance Readers Connection, April, 2005

The Dwelling Place (is) rich with historical details from the 1960s to the present.
~ Atlanta Intown, June 2005

Elizabeth Musser likes to say she has two part-time jobs. Not only is she an award-winning novelist, but she and her husband serve as missionaries at a small Protestant church in Lyon, France. In both lines of work, she avoids preaching and simplistic answers, choosing instead to portray a God who cares in the midst of life's complexity.  That's what Musser has done in her books, including her latest, The Dwelling Place (Bethany House, Apr.), which continues the story of Mary Swan Middleton, the main character of The Swan House (Bethany House, 2001), and her daughter. Both novels are set in Musser's native Atlanta and are rich with historical details from the 1960s to the present. 
~ Publisher’s Weekly, Author Profile, April, 2005

The (Christian book) industry, (according to publisher Allen Arnold) is seeing “more and more storytellers writing high-quality novels with their Christian worldview intact”…  “It's the blending of storytelling and craft that sets books like his apart," (Bethany House’s Fiction Acquisition Editor David) Long said, including in Bethany's stable of literary writers Lisa Sampson (Tiger Lillie, 2004), Jamie Langston Turner(No Dark Valley, 2004), Elizabeth Musser (The Dwelling Place, Apr.; see InProfile in this issue) and Athol Dickson…Says Long: "Literary authors spend more time on character development than on plot. In our industry especially, the interior lives of characters take time to develop; we sense that they are genuinely three-dimensional people. Books that give time to that development are the ones people are responding to. The characters are a little richer, a little fuller."
~ Publisher’s Weekly, Great Aspirations, by Marcia Ford, April, 2005 
The Swan House

               "This is a beautifully executed story of a young girl coming of age in a year of grief,                       loss and discovery.  Highly recommended.”  Kristine Wilson, CBA Marketplace,                              August 2001

“This beautiful story of a young girl coming of age in the midst of racial turmoil and personal tragedy in 1960s Atlanta convincingly describes how religious faith satisfies the girl’s deepest longings…This creative novel is highly descriptive but not overdone, brimming with touches of humor, factual Atlanta settings, historical incidents and well-developed characters.  A book that stands out in recent Christian fiction for its excellent writing and overall quality.” Publishers Weekly, June 2001 

“The Swan House is a sweet read for ‘old Atlantans’ and a vivid picture of a young girl living through the history of Atlanta in the 1960’s for newcomers.”  Atlanta Magazine, January 2002

“Musser’s tale poignantly confronts the stereotypes and taboos of 1962 from the perspective of a privileged teenager.  It is an excellent portrayal of the era from a unique point of view, evocatively written and nicely paced.” Church Libraries, Winter, 2002

“A rich novel, full of historical fact, full of multi-dimensional characters, full of emotion.” BookBrowser, Maureen O’Connor

“The author excels at depicting the civil rights struggle.” Marcia Matthews, The Historical Novels Review, February, 2002

“The Swan House is equal parts coming of age novel, mystery and Christian fiction. Elizabeth Musser has used facts to create a book full of reconciliation and hope.” Pam Kingsbury, Southern Scribe Review, March, 2002

“Ms. Musser has written a truly remarkable story about self-discovery, devotion, compassion and love, which is sure to touch your heart and emotions.” Thea Candee, The Romance Reader’s Connection, November 2001

“Elizabeth Musser’s elegantly narrated The Swan House takes its young white narrator from the genteel precincts of 1960s Buckhead to her nursemaid’s neighborhood on the other side of Atlanta.” Andy Crouch, Books & Culture, July/August 2002

Amazon Editors’ Choice: Top 15 Christian Books for 2001-Literature & Fiction

Book Sense/SEBA Bestseller List (top 15), February, April, May, June, July 2002 

Book Sense Extended Trade Paperback Bestseller Fiction List (top 50) for all USA, February, April, 2002

Rendezvous Magazine’s pick of the month (August, 2001)

Atlanta Magazine’s best novel about Atlanta for the year 2001

Consistently in the top 10 bestsellers at Atlanta’s Chapter 11 chain bookstores for 2001-2002  

Selected as one of the Top Ten Georgian authored Novels in the past 100 years, right behind Gone with the Wind.  (Georgia BACKROADS, Fall, 2009)
READERS COMMENTS for Two Crosses and Two Testaments

Je suis émerveillée par le talent d’Elizabeth Musser qui lui permet d’écrire (très bien) un gros roman en un temps record et d’assimiler (très bien aussi) une quantité de faits historiques.  J’ai devoré TWO TESTAMENTS avec le même enthousiasme que TWO CROSSES.--Jacqueline Wachs, Professeur de français, Nashville, TN

Une excellente intrigue, servie par un énorme travail de recherche, nous fait revivre les déchirements de l’Algérie.  Les romans d’Elizabeth Musser traitent avec beaucoup de talent de la condition humaine em
portée dans les tourments de l’histoire.  Le lecteur en conserve pourtant un sentiment de paix et de reconciliation. --Valérie Guebourg, institutrice, Montpellier, FRANCE

Quand une lecture vous élève l’esprit et qu’elle vous inspire des sentiments nobles et courageux, ne cherchez pas une autre règle pour juger l’ouvrage:  il est bon et fait de main d’artiste.  C’est ce qui m’est arrivée avec les deux romans d’Elizabeth Musser.--Catherine Schiltz, Montpellier, FRANCE

I loved and appreciated these two books.  What a gift God has given Elizabeth Musser to touch many lives!--Wendy Foskett, Lyons, FRANCE

I refer TWO CROSSES to everyone I can - it's an enjoyable, suspenseful work which illuminates a period of history generally unknown in the U.S.--Jenny Kaspareit, Youth Worker, Grenoble, FRANCE

These two books are very special.  The author’s knowledge of history and geography is fantastic and her understanding of the very complicated political situation is fascinating.  Thank you for a wonderful job.--Margy Haines, Ministry among North Africans, Toulouse, FRANCE

As a church worker in France, I found the historical detail in TWO CROSSES concerning the Algerian War immensely helpful in allowing me to better understand the current tensions between France and Algeria.--Anna Pavey, Homemaker, Grenoble, FRANCE

I thoroughly enjoyed TWO TESTAMENTS.  It was very clever to keep so many strands threading through the story and bring them together in the end.--Rose Pavey, Teacher, ENGLAND

Elizabeth Musser is indeed a gifted writer and TWO TESTAMENTS has a lot of depth.  I trust many will be blessed by it.--Nancy Pavey, Luton, ENGLAND

TWO CROSSES brilliantly blends fact and fiction in a riveting story that reflects the author's love for the French and for God.--David Pavey, Missions Administrator, Luton, ENGLAND

TWO CROSSES is in the literature section of the best bookstore in Nelson.  Elizabeth Musser is impacting New Zealand.--Matt Hawkins, Real Estate, Nelson, NEW ZEALAND

I enjoyed both books.  Learning about God's providence as well as the history of France/Algeria was uplifting and challenged me in my faith and mission.--Jeanine Hirst, Nurse, KAZAKSTAN

I loved reading TWO CROSSES.  Not only was it full of adventure and romance, but it was a wonderful demonstration of how the heroine's Christian faith was acted out in her life situations.  It was also evident that the author was writing from a personal knowledge of the area and culture.  Our copy is worn out from sharing it with other people!  Elizabeth Musser's second novel TWO TESTAMENTS continued with the great mixture of faith, adventure, and romance of the first book.  I and many of my Russian and American friends are eagerly awaiting Musser's next novel!--Shawn Adair Ramsay, KAZAKSTAN

TWO CROSSES is an extremely well written, detailed and gripping story.  Musser writes with such expertise that it is indeed surprising to discover she is a first time author!--Christine Leshuk, Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC

I thoroughly enjoyed the intrigue and suspense in TWO CROSSES.  I just finished reading TWO TESTAMENTS.  I was quite touched (by it).  We have been wrestling with "why we are here in the Czech Republic" among other things.  There is a strong possibility that we will not be able to learn this language adequately for ministry purposes and as such we face some very difficult decisions.  However, I was very encouraged by being reminded again of God's sovereign purposes in all circumstances of life.--Carter Leshuk, Missionary, Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC

The book TWO CROSSES spoke to me in my time of need, a time when I was wondering if waiting for the right person, “God’s choice”, was truly the thing to do.  TWO CROSSES confirmed that I was on the right track!  Confirmation of our decisions based on Christian principles is something we all need from time to time.--Anonymous

I loved TWO CROSSES and TWO TESTAMENTS!  My faith has grown and deepened and widened because of (these) books.--Jody Scott, Homemaker, Brampton, Ontario, CANADA

These books have been a source of encouragement to godly young women who are daily searching for God’s will in their lives and waiting for the young men who God is preparing for them to share their lives with.  We will all be awaiting the next Elizabeth Musser novel.--Anita Lee, Journalist, Atlanta, GA

I had drifted away from my relationship with the Lord—we were just not as close as we had been.  It was Elizabeth Musser’s books that rekindled the fire.  I really do appreciate these books.--Marion Wilson, Richmond, VA

Elizabeth Musser is a wonderful author.  Not only does she deliver a powerful message of faith and God’s love, but also she made me feel as if I were back in France again, strolling through the streets of Montpellier.--Atlanta, GA

Elizabeth Musser’s book, TWO CROSSES, was wonderful.  Praise God for such a great talent.--Chrissie Camp, Nashville, TN

Elizabeth Musser’s two historical fiction novels, TWO CROSSES and TWO TESTAMENTS, are truly great books!  I read the second one as bedtime reading and it caused great sleep disruption because I couldn’t put it down!--Eileen Smith, Bookkeeper, Chicago, IL

Elizabeth Musser is a great story-teller.  I have enjoyed so much these two books on the Huguenots.--Martha Swilley, Atlanta, GA

Elizabeth Musser’s books are the perfect gift—not only the exciting story and the history but also the down-to-earth Christian living.--Merry Long, Jackson, MS

Elizabeth Musser’s books are an effective was to bring others to Jesus and it would be great for the French to able to read them too.--Laura McDaniel, Atlanta, GA

I just finished TWO TESTAMENTS and I almost think it was even better than  TWO TESTAMENTS!  I had to have a box of Kleenex close at hand…Really, it was so very good.--Jan Collier, Atlanta, GA

I have just finished TWO CROSSES and TWO TESTAMENTS and am so excited to find a new author who writes historical Christian fiction.  History from a Christian point of view is wonderful.--Alyce Ard, Mountain Brook, AL

I really enjoyed TWO TESTAMENTS just as much as I enjoyed TWO CROSSES.  The story kept me reading every night, almost to the point where I had to force myself to do my other homework.  I really liked the story, the characters, the descriptions of the setting.  But also I enjoyed a book that dealt with dangerous adventures and love, but also with faith and Christianity.  I can’t wait for the next one.--Kate May, High school student, Chattanooga, TN

I have never been a fan of reading but the pleasure that I got from just knowing the characters and being part of such an amazing work as TWO CROSSES was enough to inspire me to read more often.  I felt a real connection to the main character in the sense that I am a Christian and a strong believer that God has a perfect plan for us and that He does not make mistakes.  Seeing how the main character was used by the Lord to accomplish such great things really sparked an interest in me to be stronger and trust God with all of my heart.--Elizabeth Stefner, High school student, Chattanooga, TN  

Elizabeth Musser has woven a very wonderful group of characters into a great plot.  I am really impressed with her talent.  I look forward to reading the sequel.--Harriet Wilson, Shreveport, LA

TWO CROSSES is absolutely fantastic.  Neither my husband nor I could put it down until we finished it.--Lois Appleby, Stock broker, New York, NY

Reading TWO CROSSES was a real treat for a mystery lover like me.  As a Christian, I have a hard time finding books that are well written and suspenseful but not offensive in language and content.--Molly Blass, Homemaker, Marietta, GA

My sister and I have enjoyed TWO CROSSES so much.  I was up until 2:00 a.m. finishing it because I could not leave it hanging.  I had to know how it ended.  I have put it in my school library because the social studies teacher has his students read historical fiction to make the studies more interesting.  It was a wonderful read.  Elizabeth Musser's newest book, TWO TESTAMENTS, was just as interesting and mind-grabbing.  Again, it too will go on my library shelf for our students to read and enjoy.  We look forward to reading many more books by Elizabeth Musser.  Virginia C. Wright, Library Media Specialist, Mt. Olivet, KY

I was incredibly blessed by Musser's ability in TWO TESTAMENTS to draw me into a confusing historical conflict, show me how it affected others at that time (on different sides), and present issues that I handle today without insulting my intelligence by spoon feeding me the answers.  Deep thoughts on waiting on the Lord, what kind of people we can be when under pressure, what happens when we decide to follow God's way even when the "why" isn't on the horizon, and how love needs time, trust and acceptance, all issues that challenge me in my walk right now.--Tiffany Moore, Homemaker, Gig Harbor, WA

I loved both TWO CROSSES and TWO TESTAMENTS!  As soon as I finished one, I couldn't wait to start the second!--Sumarie Bass, Fund Raising Manager, Atlanta, GA

TWO CROSSES by Elizabeth Musser is great reading for all who appreciate history in the making.  The author captures the feelings, love, and fears of the people she brings into the reader's life. The author’s remarkable literary skills interweave fast-moving events with profound insights into spiritual commitments and character development.  TWO TESTAMENTS, a sequel to Elizabeth Musser's TWO CROSSES, brings readers into the lives of people we learn to love and makes us feel a part of their struggles to survive and to serve God effectively.--Dr. Paul B. Long, Professor of Missions, Dean of Students, Jackson, MS

Elizabeth Musser is a gifted author, weaving history and fiction into a story that is spellbinding from the first page.  You find yourself falling in love with the characters and not wanting the book to end.  TWO CROSSES and TWO TESTAMENTS left me anxiously awaiting Musser's third book.--Robin Parker, Homemaker, Atlanta, GA

Both TWO CROSSES and TWO TESTAMENTS were historically accurate, factual, and taught me a lot about the difficult situation between France and Algeria.  The romance was a small part of an intricate plot of intrigue, terrorism and rescue.--Beth Wren, Client Support Specialist,Bryant, AR

I enjoyed Elizabeth Musser's books so much that I went to Montpellier, France to see a little of what she wrote about.  I've read both TWO CROSSES and TWO TESTAMENTS several times.--Bethany Dunham, College Student, Asbury, KY



The Sweetest Thing

Words Unspoken

Searching for Eternity

The Swan House

The Dwelling Place

The Secrets of the Cross Trilogy:
Two Crosses
Two Testaments
Two Destinies

Among the Fair Magnolias:
Love Beyond Limits
Searching for Eternity

Musser’s competent writing marks her latest lengthy foray into inspirational fiction. The novel spans four decades of the life of Emile de Bonnery, a French-born boy who, at age 13, unexpectedly must leave the only home he’s ever known for Atlanta in the 1960s. Torn between his belief that his father has abandoned him and his mother for another woman and the idea that his father is a spy, Emile’s anger and grief hinder his transition into American life. Then, he meets the odd and strangely attractive Eternity Jones (hence the word play on the title) and is plunged into issues of poverty, racism, alcoholism, faith and abuse. Musser is an excellent writer ... Historical and cultural details enrich the text ...  Although the happily-ever-after ending forgoes any loose ends, Musser keeps the reader guessing about Emile’s father until the final pages. Fans of The Swan House should enjoy this. 
~ Publisher's Weekly, Oct., 2007

Two different settings and time periods (France and America/contemporary times and World War II); warm, conflicted characters; and strong messages of love, hope and forgiveness make this a must-read book.  Subplots move the story along quickly and all the stories are connected by a faith thread. 
~Romantic Times Book Reviews

Searching for Eternity is a unique and complex story... start(ing) out wth a thirteen-year-old French boy as the protagonist, and cover(ing) a mystery and a love story spanning several decades.  I strongly urge you to pick up  a copy.  There were so many things going on at so many levels that I couldn't wait to keep turning the pages.
~ Robin Johns Grant, Queen of Perseverance 

...captivating, full of surprises and set within actually hisorical events...I thoroughly enjoyed Searching for Eternity. It opened my eyes to an element of World War II -- the French Resistance -- that I had heard of only in passing. Its double-edged title had me guessing till the finish. And its ending left me with a sense of hope. If you’re looking for a book to liven up the cold, dull days of winter, Searching for Eternity is an excellent choice.
~Violet Nesdoly, blogcritics.org

Musser does a credible job of this male POV, bringing him from childhood to adulthood emotions without crossing the line of believability. History and mystery are woven throughout this tale of love, of loss, and hard-won forgiveness.  The 60s were a turbulent time in the south, in our nation and the world. Only fifteen to twenty years had passed since the Great War. Musser's pen evokes an ambiance that wraps itself around the reader, drawing them deep into the story and the era. Searching for Eternity receives this reviewer's highest recommendation. 
~ Ane Mulligan, Novel Journey

There are two types of excellent books. One type you enjoy thoroughly and finish with a little regret as you bid the characters farewell. The other type grows on you bit by bit as you read and you close the book with contemplative satisfaction, knowing the characters will live with you forever.  Searching for Eternity is the latter book. 

Emile de Bonnery enters a strange world when his mother drags him from France to America. Plagued by his French father’s disappearance and unfriendly Atlanta peers, the only welcome comes from the grandmother who disowned his mother. And then he meets Eternity. 
Eternity is also the odd one out, and she initially meets Emile’s overtures with coldness, but eventually they strike up a friendship. Together they begin to unravel the secrets behind what happened in France and weather their current struggles. 

Beginning in the 1960s, this novel tumbles into a sea of unrest that amplifies the scars left from World War II – as if Atlanta during the civil rights movement didn’t have enough turmoil of its own! But showy displays of heroism are not to be found. It’s the little things – standing up for truth and speaking out when no one else will – that show how heroic these characters were. Instead of a panorama of history, you experience it through the everyday lives and choices of Musser’s characters. 

The story isn’t compressed into a neat six-month tales, but realistically shows messy, complicated lives and slow change. Yet the pace of the novel doesn’t drag. It’s like a meteor shower – every chapter brings new discoveries and wonder. The graceful prose matches the tale well. Highly recommended. 
~Katie Hart, titletrakk.com

There are some books that you read and enjoy, there are others you read and are relaxed, and then there are the books that become part of your life.  When I finished "Searching for Eternity" by Elizabeth Musser I felt like I lost a friend.

French born Emile de Bonnery is dragged to America by his mother.  His French father has suddenly disappeared, and Emile finds himself in Atlanta trying to adjust to cultural shock.  The only welcome face Emile and his mother had was his maternal granmosthe, who he has never met until that day, at the age of 14.

Emile is faced with unfriendly kids at school and is left to fend for himself until he meets Eternity.  Emile is trying to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance and Eternity is trying to deal with her won secrets.  They strike up friendship and help each other face their past.

This book faces racism and the civil rights movement, but also scare that were left over from World War II.  The common theme of this book is standing up for what is right, even when no one else will.  Choices in life are not always solved in a year's time period, change happens slowly over a lifetime.  It is not light reading material, but a book I highly recommend.
~ Laurel Wreath, Christian Women Online~ In 'Other' Words 


Words Unspoken

Evangelical Christian fiction author Musser (The Swan House) has penned a thoughtful, poignant novel involving, of all arenas, the publishing world. Lissa Randall, a depressed teenager, hears accusatory “words unspoken” every day as she relives the car accident that took her mother's life. Unable to drive by herself because of her paralyzing fear, Lissa enrolls in a driving school, where her elderly instructor, Ev MacAllister, fights similar emotional battles. The two explore their pasts, often with resistance, and both find a convergence of faith and eventual resolution. Musser's story line allows several themes to be subtly woven in: depression is a no-holds-barred victimizer; repercussions from past/present choices do make a difference; and there are no such things as “random occurrences” in this life. Musser somehow pulls her characters—a bevy of quirky personalities—back to a center point, mostly with success, although some of the conclusions read a bit too tidily. Overall, the novelist's work is solid and fans will be pleased.  
~ Publisher's Weekly, March 2009

Musser magically gathers up all the loose ends and ties them neatly together in this tale of hope and overcoming tragedy.  You won't want to miss out on this one! 
~ Romantic Times, April 2009

A top student and award-winning equestrian, Lissa has a bright future ahead of her—until her mother is killed in a freak car accident.  Terrified to get behind the wheel but yearning to visit her beloved horse, Lissa enrolls in a driving school.  Encouraged by the gentle guidance of her instructor, a kind old man struggling with painful memories of his own, Lissa gradually regains her confidence and learns to love herself—and life—again.

Though Lissa is the main character, the story’s told in short snippets from the perspectives of other characters as well.  This multidimensional approach may initially confuse some readers, but the result is a gripping storyline with numerous interconnected subplots.  With masterful writing and intriguing characters, this excellent novel has all the makings of a bestseller.  Highly recommended to female fiction fans.
~Christy Pitney, Christian Retailing, May, 2009

Elizabeth Musser is one of my favorite authors, having penned works like The Swan House, The Dwelling Place and Searching for Eternity.  But she’s outdone even herself. Words Unspoken unfolds like a rose, one layer at a time, revealing the beauty within.  Filled with diverse, memorable characters, you meet one then another, until the cast grows to where you wonder how all these people are connected.  Then, when the first relationship is revealed, it’s an Ah-Ha moment.  I couldn’t put it down.  I had to keep reading to discover the next connection.  And each one was just right—never ‘convenient’ or contrived.  Filled with twists and brilliantly written, Words Unspoken is a must read.  As one of those books whose characters linger in my mind, it receives a five-star recommendation from this reviewer.
~Ane Mulligan, Novel Reviews, May, 2009 

...an intertwining story of heartbreak and redemption.... Words Unspoken is a complex story with a clear message of hope. As Lissa begins to realize that circumstances are not random, the reader is reminded that God is indeed in control and it is His voice that offers peace in heartache. 
~5MinutesforBooks.com, July, 2009

Traumatized by the car accident that killed her mother, Lissa Randall cannot drive. Set in the mountains of Tennessee, the latest novel by the author of The Swan House is a story of courage, tragedy, and the will to go on.
~From School Library Journal


Early Readers' Comments

Musser has crafted a story that will reach every reader on some level. Set mainly in Chattanooga, the novel tackles those voices we all hear in our heads. Those voices that say we aren't good enough, that bad things are always our fault, that we are failures. With deep, complex main characters whose lives are intertwined in ways that keep you guessing throughout the story, Words Unspoken has everything a reader would want.

Musser's descriptive imagery makes the story come alive for readers. You care about the characters and, most importantly, you can see yourself in these very real people -- some characters in this book actually get angry at God, a very real emotion that gets glossed over in so much of today's Christian fiction. You know the type -- fiction that romanticizes what it's like to be a Christian to whom tragedy has struck.

I look forward to more of Musser's work in the future!
~Cheryl

You have outdone yourself, sister!!  Thanks for all your hard work - I know you love what you do but I also know it must exhaust you to 'live' all those characters as you create and write all those months - you are truly blessed and we are blessed because you have been obedient to God to share at the level that you do :)
~Dawn

I think the strength in this book is the plot twists! (That said, I still enjoyed learning about Black Monday.)  This is the first novel I've ever read that was set it in the 80s without having been written in the 80s.   I loved, loved, loved the mix of US, France, Italy and even Eastern Europe and China added in the mix.  - As you know I'm very critical of Christian fiction. Usually it's because of weak, artificial dialogues. I didn't find that in Words Unspoken. Such a welcome change! The way the characters talked to each other, themselves, God - very real, very believable. That's what really sold me on the book and also the multi-dimensional view of the characters! I loved it. (Presenting) the characters from different angles made them deeper, more developed, engaging and real.  The ending gave closure, but without the forced syrupy sweetness that I feel a lot of fiction ends with. It was just enough to feel it was finished, but didn't hammer the coffin shut with ten-penny nails.  I really loved it!
~Kari
Interviews, Articles and Blog Reviews of Searching for Eternity

C'est la Vie
Check out Kari Masson's wonderful blog all about culture shock and living in France.  For the review, scroll down to October 21, but be sure to go back and read the post from Nov. 5, about the French view of 
Obama's election 

Favorite PASTimes 
(week of July 21, 2008)

Blog Critics Magazine

Queen of Perseverance

Novel Journey
The Sweetest Thing

When an author truly enjoys creating the narrative surrounding her characters’ lives, readers definitely notice.  While Musser found her inspiration for The Sweetest Thing in a personal place—her grandmother’s diaries—she seems to relish creating her characters just as much as she did reading those diaries from the 1930s. The result is a fun and quick, yet poignant and stirring, tale that takes readers back to a time when people’s struggles weren’t so different from today’s.  Set against during the aftermath of the Great Depression, The Sweetest Thing chronicles two years in the lives of high schoolers Perri Singleton, a Georgian
debutante who claims to have had 1,000 dates in the past year; and Mary Dobbs Dillard, a financially poor but spiritually rich teenager who has just moved to Atlanta. As the girls’ friendship deepens, they learn hard life lessons about what they value most and how not to give in to the demands of society. This book reminds readers that no matter what their current financial state, there always will be a need to spread the Gospel.
~Lauren Mooney, CBA Retailers


Inspirational fiction is the name given to the broad category of books published by evangelical publishers. It encompasses everything from Amish "bonnet" fiction to modern romance and thrillers. Some of the books include explicit Christian messages and others don't. Over the past decade Christian fiction has matured, with better-written books less likely to be merely vehicles for a heavy-handed message. The following half-dozen recent novels will give you a sense of the variety of books included in this genre. . .
 . . .The Sweetest Thing by Elizabeth Musser (Bethany House) centers on two teenage girls from different backgrounds who become friends in Atlanta during the Great Depression. Their lives intersect when Dobbs, a strange girl from Chicago whose father is a revival preacher, comes to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle. When Perri's banker father commits suicide, Dobbs knows instinctively how to comfort her. She regales her friends at their exclusive girls school with stories of the things she's seen at her father's revival meetings, and they respond. Meanwhile her own faith is tested. Musser's endearing coming-of-age story shows how God does provide, although not always in the ways we want or expect.
~excerpt taken from an article in WORLD magazine; FEATURES | Issue: "2011 Books of the Year" July 02, 2011, 2011 Books Issue | Getting Better: Six new novels show how Christian fiction has matured in recent years | Susan Olasky

Mary “Dobbs” Dillard is the daughter of a dedicated inner-city preacher who’s poorer than the people to whom he ministers. Perri Singleton is the spoiled, pampered daughter of a wealthy man. They meet the same day Perri’s father, realizing that his fortune is gone, commits suicide. Since Dobbs’ pastor dad comes from a wealthy family, and he has sent her to live with his rich aunt so she can attend a good school, Dobbs’ situation improves by leaps and bounds. Perri, on the other hand, is caught up in the inevitable spiral down from luxury to poverty, even though her proud mother struggles to keep up appearances. The
two teens forge an unlikely friendship as they each try to adapt to the extreme changes created by their new lifestyles. Themes of redemption, healing, and crisis of faith shine throughout this emotion-packed story. This is a perfect companion piece to other inspirational Depression-era novels, such as Ann H.Gabhart’s Angel Sister (2011).
~ Shelley Mosley, June 2011, Booklist

This Depression-era novel is filled with romance, tragedy and even some fun. Musser has written a beautiful story about people who are losing not only their way of life but also their faith and hope, and must find where they belong in a changed world.  
Chicago, 1933: Perri Singleton is attending an elite school when tragedy strikes her family. Mary “Dobbs” Dillard is given a chance to move from Chicago’s inner city to attend the same school as Perri, around the same time as Perri’s misfortunes hit. The two form a tight friendship that will carry them through troubled times.
~Romantic Times, June 2011

Novelist Musser (The Swan House) returns with this story of Mary Dobbs Dillard and Perri Singleton, teenage girls in Atlanta during the 1930s who form a close friendship as they deal with tragedy, heartbreak, and the Depression. Musser's historical research and love for her setting show through on every page, and her competent writing provides readers with a tightly plotted story... should please fans of her previous work. (June) 
~Publisher's Weekly

Elizabeth Musser is a master storyteller, who weaves her magic into characters that come alive on the page.  It reminded me so much of my childhood friends that I didn’t want it to end. A perfect summer read.
~Ane Mulligan, editor, Novel Journey

Lyrical, beautiful writing that lifts the heart and makes it long for the story to go on and on.  Images and characters so real that you find yourself thinking about them long after the book is put down and looking forward to knowing them more. A story that grips the heart and keeps it there in steady building momentum to when all is revealed about the sweetest thing and just what that is.  This is another gem from Elizabeth Musser, and in my opinion…one that shouldn’t be missed.
~Apples of Gold, Pam Depoyan

I’ve come to trust any book by Elizabeth Musser as a treasure that sneaks up upon most unsuspecting reader be it friend or stranger.  Elizabeth takes her genre, historical fiction, to a unique and high level of thoughtful, insightful, intelligent, spiritual dialogue on issues that are close to all our hearts.  Such is the case with “The Sweetest Thing” ...  I was carried away to a place where the air is thick and muggy, bellies are empty, and hearts are filled with despair and confusion.  The Depression-era was a “make-it” or “break-it” time for individuals, families and communities.  “The Sweetest Thing” is a tender story of friendship between characters Perri and Dobbs, two young women who were caught up in these historical events and tested and pushed to their limits.  Telling “The Sweetest Thing” story from both their perspectives, Elizabeth pulls her readers into her beloved Atlanta and invites them to stay awhile. Southern hospitality at its best!  Elizabeth creates characters that linger in our imaginations where we can continue their story and integrate their experiences with our own.  This summer read provides for some great poolside entertainment but also creates impressions that don’t splash away with the summer fun: the enduring value of friendships, the life-sustaining hope of faith, and the blessings that abound in a sincerely caring community.  
~The View from Here, Janice Gutierrez

Inspirational author Elizabeth Musser writes beautiful stories that defy traditional labels. She seamlessly combines tragedy, humor, love and more in her sweeping tales. This is never truer than in her newest release The Sweetest Thing. Set during the Depression, it is an emotional tale of two friends facing hardships and finding strength in each other.
~RT Book Reviews, July 2011

​Elizabeth Musser’s eighth novel, set in Atlanta during the Great Depression of the 1930s, is a story of faith, friendship and love. Two young girls become unlikely friends after each suffers tragedy and loss. Perri, a banker’s daughter and debutante, reigns over Atlanta’s belles as the “girl of a thousand dates.” Dobbs, a preacher’s daughter, is determined to free the world from injustice and set souls on fire for Christ. Dobbs decides to begin her mission by reforming the worldly young ladies of the private academy where she and Perri are students. As Dobbs helps Perri to be more spiritual, she finds herself beginning to have serious doubts about her previously unflinching beliefs. As the girls deal with their personal problems, including ups and downs with boys, they are confronted with a mystery which may hold the key to many of the troubles in their community.
With a distinct Southern flavor, the novel is replete with descriptions of stately homes, lavish soirées, gowns and gardens. In spite of its title, there is nothing saccharine about the book, which looks realistically at the bitterness of life, the dark nights of the soul, and the heartbreak and the joy of genuine love.
~Historical Novels Review, Elena Maria Vidal

What Washington Seminary grads (and others) are saying about 
The Sweetest Thing:

Sit in your rocking chair with a tall glass of southern sweet tea and enjoy. This beautifully written novel transports you to the early 30’s. You will want to keep this book in your heart now knowing what the ‘sweetest thing’ really means to you.
~Beverly Mitchell, Graduate of Washington Seminary, Atlanta, GA

Elizabeth Musser's The Sweetest Thing is a blessing. Her fans always admire Musser's sensitivity to the thoughts and feelings of her characters. Here, a deeply interesting, indeed gripping, tale about two quite dissimilar girls is so well-informed that it brings 1930's Atlanta to life. Just read, and you're right there!
~Henry Hope—author, The Poor Houses—A Story of Atlanta’s Almshouses

I have always found Elizabeth Musser's books to have clarity and warmth.  As a Washington Seminary graduate in '37, I'm astonished at the accuracy of her depiction of the period, since her graduation took place some 40 years afterward.
        ~Nan Pendergrast, Graduate of Washington Seminary, Atlanta, GA

The Sweetest Thing is a touching story of friendship and faith. Musser's characters are as real and as unforgettable as the friends I grew up with.
~Lynn Austin, bestselling author of While We’re Far Apart

Elizabeth Musser is a gifted story teller.  The Sweetest Thing is good, clean, old-fashioned fun and a wonderful trip down memory lane's long driveway.  Visiting Atlanta in the early '30s is like coming home again.  I enjoyed the book immensely. 
~John DeBorde, Boys High '44, Emory University '49, Atlanta, GA 

Elizabeth Musser has given us another page turner. My growing up years in Atlanta were those in which the events in this book occur, and I enjoyed reading of familiar happenings and places as I devoured page after page of The Sweetest Thing. I guarantee you'll find it hard to put down once you start.
 ~Patricia Ham, Girls High, 1947, Atlanta, GA

Read my interview on Finding Hope through Fiction
Similar interview on blog: NOVEL ROCKET
The Secrets of the Cross Trilogy

Two Crosses
Two Testaments
Two Destinies


Two Destinies-Finalist for The Christy Award, 2013, for excellence in Christian fiction

One intriguing era in France's history, one unforgettable cast of characters, and one of the best writers in the CBA today all add up to one incredible read! In Two Crosses, Elizabeth Musser has achieved another literary triumph.
~Ann Tatlock, award-winning author of Promises to Keep

A wonderful tale of love, sacrifice, war and courage, written in stunning detail. Elizabeth Musser is an amazing storyteller.
~Susan Meissner, author of A Sound Among the Trees

Elizabeth Musser reminds me of Francine Rivers. The characters are real, the drama is gripping, and the Spirit rises up from the grass roots of the story. You'll love Two Crosses.
  ~Creston Mapes, best-selling author of Nobody

In a novel rich in historical detail, Elizabeth Musser spings an intriguing story of the lives and loves of young people caught up in the Algerian revolution to win independence from France in 1954-1962. It was a costly conflict, and we are invited to see it through the eyes of those living on both sides of the Mediterranean. Christian convictions and patriotic loyalties are put to the test as God works His plans for individuals and nations. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.
  ~Ruth Stewart, AWM missionary for forty years in Algeria and France

Two Testaments untangles the complicated history of Algeria's war for independence from France. You feel as though you know the characters. The surprising twists in the story never stop. As the book comes to an end you are ready to immediately pick up Two CrossesIn this delightful story, the sounds, scents and scenery of France and Algeria come alive. 
   ~Margy Haines, former missionary with over thirty years of missionary experience Algerians and French in North Africa during the end of the war

Musser does an excellent job of showing the senselessness of war....Two Crosses will leave readers wanting more...
~Christian Retailing

...first novelist Musser captures the loneliness one feels in a strange land....interesting!
~Library Journal

Fabulous reading!
~WNIV, Atlanta, GA

Two Testaments is a book with great content and, like the first volume, of exceptional quality. The writer keeps the reader fascinated…
~Radio Goeree Lokaal, Netherlands

I can really recommend Two Testaments
~De Heraut, Netherlands

Elizabeth Musser is able to reflect the hatred between different people groups in a way that draws the reader in…
~Reformatorisch Dagblad, Netherlands

Two Crosses is extraordinarily fascinating…
~Nijenhuis, Netherlands

Great job! I loved it!
~Jill Briscoe, Author and speaker, Brookfield, WI



Early reviews:


It is September 1961, and Gabriella Madison is on a one year Franco-American exchange programme in Castelnau, near Montpelier in France. The programme is headed by Mother Griolet, who Gabrielle herself has met before, as a child of six, even though the nun does not mention the fact. This gives us an early sense of hidden secrets and unsolved mysteries. And Mother Griolet is not the only one with secrets. It appears that the handsome young professor, David Hoffman, has some of his own, and these are about to involve Gabriella. 

David invites Gabriella out socially (obviously student-teacher relationships are not an issue), and she begins to fall for him despite the fact that she is a strong Christian, the daughter of American missionaries in West Africa, and he is a half-Jewish atheist. Ophélie is the six-year-old daughter of Anne-Marie Duchemin, a pied noir, a French woman born and raised in Algeria. Anne-Marie is missing, and Ophélie finds herself in Castelnau, in the orphanage run by Mother Griolet. Like Gabriella, Ophélie wears a Huguenot cross necklace, but doesn’t understand its’ significance.

The background to Two Crosses is the Algerian war for independence from the French. The early chapters therefore have quite a bit of explanation of the historical context, which some readers might find slow or off-putting. Personally, I have always enjoyed history, and one of my personal bugbears is authors who set novels in a particular time and place but get the facts wrong. So while there was quite a bit of information in the opening chapters, I liked the fact that the author knew the time and the area. The story is very well plotted, and the disparate strands come together as the story progresses.

One of the characters says, “The war is over independence, but still religion divides”. Rick Warren recently tweeted that church splits are less often about differences in doctrine than they are about a clash of egos. It seems that the same could be said of many wars. Are they really about religion, or are they a fatal clash of ego? Two Crosses would seem to confirm Rick Warren’s view.

The writing style reminds me of Michael Phillips, particularly his 'Secrets of the Rose' series. Both cover a similar period of history, both feature American protagonists in living Europe, both have characters with a strong Christian faith and both are written with varying third person points of view. I particularly liked the character of Mother Griolet, the wise old nun who provides Gabrielle and others with practical and spiritual guidance. 

Two Crosses is not a light read, nor an easy read. But it is a worthwhile read. While telling a story about the recent past, the stories of the Huguenots’ reflect on the more distant past, and encourage the reader to think of the present and the future. As the old saying goes, those who do not learn the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them. Well worth reading, particularly for those who enjoy solid historical fiction. 

~Iola Goulton, NetGalley Reviews, July 2012


The Art of Steering | 25 August 2012

The trilogy (Two Crosses, Two Testaments and Two Destinies) chronicles the history of several generations of a family with French, American and Algerian connections. Based in Montpellier with brief interludes in Algeria, this story is one of great faith in a God who sometimes seems to lead his people into real danger for the sake of Muslims who don't yet know him. The Midi culture and environs are powerfully drawn: knowing Montpellier quite well, I can almost feel the shimmer of the Mediterranean heat as the story weaves through the Place de la Comedie and the shadowed streets off to its sides.

I came across these books quite by chance at a time when I wanted some fiction to make light relief from my diet of endless how-to books on church, discipleship and leadership. I never expected to review these books as so much of the Christian fiction I'd read was not great. But this trilogy was a complete surprise, being both educational as well as having an engaging storyline. 

~Chloe Lynch, NetGalleys review

In 1961, twenty-one year old Gabriella Madison arrives in Castelnau, France as part of the Franco-American exchange program at the Church of Saint Joseph. Director Mother Griolet welcomes the forty-two young women.

After Mother Griolet dismisses the students, Gabriella and her housemate Stephanie rush over to their first class "Visions of Man, Past and Present" conducted in English and French by M. David Hoffmann. The young ladies try to act mature with him as each assumed she is the perfect debutante for him which amuses the professor. However, he is stunned by his attraction to the red haired pupil wearing the Huguenot Cross as this Gabriella reminds him of a Raphaelite angel who shocks him that she knows Alexander Pope's "Essay on Man." Gabriella is attracted to her literature professor but after offering to help at the orphanage she meets the little children, mostly victims of the Algerian war for independence. She finds herself challenging her Christian beliefs.

The reprint of the first Secrets of the Cross historical Christian thriller is a great opener starring a young woman who begins to question her faith as she learns more about the war and herself. A coming of age tale, readers will relish Gabriella's growth as a woman who cares. With a warm regard to various religions, Elizabeth Musser provides a timely story of faith in the home front during the time of a violent war.
~Midwest Book Review, June 2012

The glittering Huguenot cross she innocently wears leads her deep into the shadows.

Gabriella Madison goes to France in 1961 to complete her education. She is a missionary’s daughter, and out of place among all the rich socialites also attending there. But she also catches the attention of a professor—David Hoffman. 

Suddenly she is drawn into the secretive world behind the Algerian war for independence from France. And the further she delves into the war efforts, the more her faith is challenged. 

People surround her with a whirlwind of transforming forces—with a wise man involved in smuggling, a little girl carrying secret information, and a man with unknown loyalties who catches her heart. But then she discovers a long hidden secret about her past, a secret that has the power to destroy everything. 

Two Crosses is the first book in Ms. Musser’s Secrets of the Cross trilogy. It caught my interest from the very first pages... with a heroine that readers just want to cheer for and a charming little girl who just captures your heart. Plus a host of other characters who are well developed and real. I highly recommend Two Crosses and look forward to reading the second book in the series Two Testaments.
~http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.fr/2012/07/two-crosses.html 

Two Crosses begins the unforgettable story of several characters in a saga that stretches across opposite coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. The racism plaguing Algeria’s people as they fight for independence from France creates a chasm in the early 1960s that spins uncontrollably.

Teacher and student, David and Gabriella meet at a Franco-American exchange program. Mother Griolet manages the operation along with an orphanage, which doubles as the cover of a rescue mission in France. Gabriella helps David with the dangerous operation of transporting orphaned children whose family were victims of the Algerian war. David’s own past reemerges as his daughter Ophélie arrives on Gabby’s doorstep, epitomizing the stolen innocence of the children due to wartime treachery. Gabby and Ophélie bond immediately; they proudly wear their Huguenot crosses close to their hearts, which becomes symbolic and healing even as David tries to reconcile his own questions of faith with the horrors of the war he has witnessed. Gabby’s relationships with the women in the school and the orphanage are also an integral part of the story as she slowly realizes her calling in life.

Book Two seamlessly picks up the story from Two Crosses, as there is no clear divide between them. These books are definitely meant to be read in order, and the characterizations and the consequences of the war are as splendidly portrayed as in the first book.

Two Testaments continues with the aftermath of Algerian independence, as David befriends a Muslim friend and they question their faiths together. Although the war is supposed to be over, people have been forced to split and choose sides. The pieds-noirs were French citizens, unwanted after being forced from Algeria; the Harkis were Muslim soldiers who once fought alongside Arabs but found themselves unwelcome in the newly independent Algeria. Two Testaments tells the story of the pieds-noirs and the Harkis through several characters in a way that evokes tears because of the violence and tragedy. Yet there was always hope, and victory for some, death for others, and insecurity for the rest.

The plot is a well-written composition that teaches a little about life during tragic times, it is moving and emotive as the characters reach for understanding through a higher power. There is a daunting set of names and places at first, but they are threaded together carefully throughout the story. Both of these novels explore deep themes such as prejudice, God, love, sacrifice, and hope, but these words just skim the surface of its potential to touch the reader. Book Three, Two Destinies, picks up the saga of these families 30 years later as war yet again becomes unavoidable.
~Historical Novel Society

ChristianBookPreviews.com
The first two books in Elizabeth Musser's Secrets of the Cross Trilogy, Two Crosses and Two Testaments, introduce readers to a dark spot in France's history. They do not, however, leave readers without a glimmer of hope. By combining a unique cast of characters, compelling dialogue, and an intriguing plot line, Musser teaches her audience about the struggles and uncertainties civilians of 1961 France and Algeria were dealing with in the midst of the French-Algerian war.

The Hugo mission begins in Two Crosses, where a nun, an Algerian harki, an atheist teacher, and a Protestant exchange student, unknowingly at first work together to rescue pied-noir and harki children from a revengeful man in Algeria, with the symbol of the Huguenot cross leading the way. Mother Griolet, the nun who operates a French exchange school in Castelnau as well as an orphanage, is not new to keeping information secret and housing children displaced by war. But when Gabriella Madison arrives as a student, Mother Griolet becomes unsure of what God has in store as she remembers another young woman with a painful past. As Gabriella grows closer to the young and handsome teacher David Hoffman, Mother Griolet's suspicions of the man lead her to feel protective of Gabriella.

After David rescues a small girl named Ophelie Duchemin off the streets of Paris following a riot, Mother Griolet feels a little better about David, but Gabriella is pulled even deeper into danger as she travels to random towns with David and gets to know Ophelie because of the Huguenot cross necklace they both wear. As both David and Gabriella fight with the idea of forgiveness in regard to their pasts, Gabriella tries to hold onto Jesus' promise that, "I am the vine; you are the branches" (John 15:5), but several "accidents" occur and lead to life-or-death situations, threatening the success of the Hugo mission and bringing about an understanding that saves more than one life.

However, as seen in Two Testaments, even with the Hugo mission being mostly successful, the cease-fire and call for independence in Algeria leave thousands of pied-noir and harki families without a place to call home. The French do not want them to steal jobs and space, and those loyal to Algeria see them as traitors and foreigners. When David decides to continue his work in Algeria in order to rescue Anne-Marie Duchemin, a past lover and Ophelie's mother, Gabriella starts to wonder if he will realize he still loves Anne-Marie and forget about his new love for her.

After a couple of deadly weeks in Algeria, David is finally able to get Anne-Marie to a ferry that will take her to France, but when no harkis are allowed on the ferries, David once again prolongs his stay in Algeria in order to save Anne-Marie's friend Moustafa and his family. Luckily, Anne-Marie is not alone on the long journey, for she meets an old friend who holds her father's last testament, which could reveal that nothing is left after the war or change her and Ophelie's lives forever. When Gabriella is left to take care of the children from the St. Joseph orphanage and protect Anne-Marie and Ophelie from an unforeseen threat, she must have faith that God will protect them and see her through all that lies ahead.

Throughout these two books, Musser's style remains consistent, pulling readers along as she introduces them to complex, relatable characters and takes them through the beautiful streets of France and the terrifying alleys of Algeria. Through the use of strong dialogue and the characters' inner thoughts, Musser is not only able to tell an amazing story about courage, love, and forgiveness, but she also informs readers about a piece of history they may not know or remember, showing that minorities, no matter where they are, should not be taken for granted.

I am so glad that the first two books came out together, because it would not have been fun impatiently waiting for the second book to come out months later. With that said, I most certainly recommend reading Elizabeth Musser's Two Crosses and Two Testaments. - Nicole E. Dynes, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

I like history and Elizabeth Musser is doing her best to increase not only my knowledge of history but political and religious freedoms as well. The Algerian war of independence officially ended on July 3 1962, when France’s President Charles de Gaulle formally renounced his nation’s sovereignty over Algeria and proclaimed its independence. However strife seems to be in the air in Algeria and in December of 1991 Civil War broke out between the Algerian government and various Islamist rebel groups. This war would not end until 2002 and it is into this arena that we are introduced to Risléne Namani and Eric Hoffmann. “Two Destinies” is filled with danger, suspense, thrills and romance. Once again Ms. Musser has provided us a gripping adventure with plenty of action and memorable characters that you really care about. If you are looking for history you will find it here. If you are looking for a really good romance you will find it here. I liked this book and am really sorry that this series is over. The good news is there will be more stories from Ms. Musser that we can look forward to.
~VicsMediaRoom

Among the Fair Magnolias


“The era of America’s Civil War has long been fertile ground for memorable stories, and here are four you’ll love. I found myself enchanted by these stories of strong women challenged by hard choices—and the ultimate triumph of love and faith.” 

~ Ann Tatlock, award-winning author of Once Beyond A Time

“Four intriguing novellas rich in historical detail, with unique settings and surprising premises—each filled with romance and heartbreak, pain and redemption. This collection set in the 19th century took me home to times and places in the deep south I’ve visited only in my dreams. An absolute pleasure to read. An absolute must read. I hope there will be more collections from these wonderful authors."

~ Cathy Gohlke, bestselling and Christy Award-winning author of Secrets She Kept and Saving Amelie


“Four talented authors have penned a charming collection of stories that take place in the Deep South. Passions simmer, romance blossoms, and history comes alive. The settings are so real you can almost smell the sweet scent of magnolias on every page. This all adds up to a winning combination that was truly a delight to read.”  

~ Margaret Brownley, bestselling author of The Brides of Last Chance Ranch and Undercover Ladies series

“Grab some sweet tea and find a rocking chair underneath the ceiling fan of a wide front porch. You are in for a treat! Among the Fair Magnolias reminded me of Gone with the Wind mixed in with Gunsmoke. Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, Dorothy Love, and Elizabeth Musser each pin exciting, romantic tales of the Old South and the great state of Texas. Set before and after the Civil War, these four stories speak of genteel ladies and gallant gentlemen, with a few charlatans thrown in for good measure. I loved getting caught up in these hugely romantic tales of love in the time of a changing America. And with recipes from each story to add to the charm, this collection is best read ... under the fair magnolias. I loved it!” 

~ Lenora Worth, author of An April Bride and Lakeside Hero

Love Beyond Limits is a brilliant story that is exceptionally well written; it now tops my list of favorite reads! 

Among Fair Magnolias will sweep you into the past, carrying you into the beauty and battles of the Old South. You will love, laugh, and lament as your heart is opened to embrace life and courage more fully. 

~Cindy Woodsmall, New York Times and CBA best-selling author of Amish fiction

AMONG THE FAIR MAGNOLIAS 
June 2015, Library Journal

“Four touching, well-crafted stories about following one’s heart will find favor with the authors’ fans and serve as a great introduction to these writers for new readers.”
    

Historical Anthology
AMONG THE FAIR MAGNOLIAS
By Tamera Alexander, Shelley Shepherd Gray, Dorothy Love and Elizabeth Musser
****1/2 star review—Fantastic—Keeper
“You don’t have to be a fan of Southern fiction or historical fiction to appreciate and enjoy the fabulous storytelling in this collection. Each story is different and readers will ‘feel all the feels’ as they experience the challenges these characters encounter. Some endings feel rushed but this doesn’t distract from the overall enjoyment of the stories. Recommend this anthology for your book club reading list.”
Chandra McNeil 

CBA Retailers, June 2015
AMONG THE FAIR MAGNOLIAS

Four popular Southern fiction authors come together for a collection of stories filled with Southern charm, faith and romance. Debuting this summer, this title is sure to delight readers with its delightful recipes of homemade desserts blended with the charm, wit and personal quips from the authors. Each novella is approximately 90 p. long—a perfect length to satisfy readers’ thirst for a well-developed plot, especially when coupled with discussion questions after each story.

Among the Fair Magnolias is set at a turning point in Antebellum (South) where the countryside blooms beautifully and challenges between the North and the South remain. Each author brings a unique writing style to tough topics, lessons that teach authentic faith and making the difficult—but right—decision.

Deep characterization and plots characteristic of the South blend with sweet romances that will make readers hard pressed to put this book down.
~Marisa Deshaies