Book Review: Court of Swans

Court of Swans by Melanie Dickerson is the first in a series of fairytale retellings, set in medieval England.

After her father’s passing, Delia’s seven brothers—the youngest only 10 years old—are taken by the king’s guards and wrongly accused of treason. Delia suspects her step-mother of accusing them, and sets out alone to try to free them. Sir Geoffrey, the guard who arrested them, is suspicious of her, but even he can see the injustice of accusing children.

Based off The Wild Swans fairy tale by the Grimm Brothers, this book is as an entertaining read. It wasn’t my favorite of Melanie Dickerson’s fairytales because not many things happened in the plot. However, I still enjoyed it and have continued the series.

Delia is a sweet, if foolish, young woman who I had the pleasure of watching grow in wisdom and strength throughout the novel. She asks God the same questions we all feel in very hard times—why does He allow the suffering and unjust treatment? I appreciated watching her struggle through the question and see that God is still faithful.

Rating: PG

I enjoyed this novel and recommend it to fans of fairytale retellings and clean historical romances.

I received a complementary copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for sharing them.


Book Review: To Treasure an Heiress

To Treasure an Heiress is a delightful Christian historical mystery/romance by Roseanna M White. 5 stars, PG.

I thoroughly enjoyed this second book in The Secrets of the Isles series. Set in the early 1900s, it follows Beth T while she continues to search for pirate treasure. But the pesky Lord Sheridan is also searching, and while she blames him for all of the danger they faced previously, the real enemy hasn’t given up the hunt.

What could be more fun than a hunt for pirate treasure? This one takes place on the Isles of Scilly, located off the coast the British Isles, and the real stories of pirates visiting those Isles inspired this series.

I loved the characters most. Lord Sheridan, in particular, was a favorite. He spent the entire book trying to win Beth over, but she was dead-set against being even friends. In his mind, he kept calculating how long it would take before he could propose—up to 10 years! He and the other characters were a little over-the-top in their personalities, but it added color and fun to an otherwise tense tale.

A theme in the story is forgiveness and redemption. Beth had to learn to forgive Sheridan and to see that she was misunderstanding his part in the danger they had faced. Meanwhile, in a secondary love story among Beth and Sheridan’s friends, the sweet woman was learning that she was still lovable, forgivable, and redeemable in spite of an awful choice she had made. Her part of the story was my favorite because it reminded me that no mistake or sin is too big for God.

I highly recommend this fun tale to those who enjoyed “Wings of the Morning” by Lori Wick.

I received a complementary copy of this book from NetGalley, I received no compensation, and my review is entirely honest.


Book Review: Twilight at Moorington Cross

Twilight at Moorington Cross by Abigail Williams grabbed my attention from the first page.

After living at a mesmeric hospital and growing close to the doctor, Amelia was informed that she would inherit the entirety of the hospital—if she married one of the men stipulated in the will. The next morning, the doctor died in mysterious circumstances, and Amelia must grapple with her grief, her suitors, and a clues to a possible murder.

I have enjoyed all of Abigail Williams’ books this far, and this one is no exception. I love the mystery and intrigue, and the regency period is one of my favorite settings. The characters were entertaining and well-developed, though, perhaps, a little extreme. The forbidden romance kept me guessing as to how the characters would come together in the end.

I tried to unravel the mystery, but I couldn’t guess all of it. It reminded me of Agatha Christie’s novels.

I would rate the book around PG to PG-13 for cleanness. There were no intimate scenes beyond kissing, but it was clear that characters other than the main ones had been immoral “off screen.” The murder happened off screen as well, and the body was not described in much detail. The focus of the novel was the romance and the mystery, not the gore.

I enjoyed this book very much and recommend it to fans of Agatha Christie and Julie Klassen.

I received a complementary copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for sharing them.


Devotional: Mountain Climbing

Photo by Yente Van Eynde on Unsplash

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~ James 1:2-4

Additional References: Romans 5:3-5, Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 37:23-24, Psalm 139:1-5

As I was walking through life, I looked up and saw a mountain looming before me. Jagged cliffs were as far as I could see, and the peak was disguised by clouds. How was I going to climb it? I gulped in fear but plunged ahead because there was no way around it.

God was beside me. I asked for help, and He offered me climbing gear, a path, and protection if I should fall. I didn’t look at His offering. I had asked Him to help, but I really wanted to do it myself.

I chose what looked like the easiest path, but not far into it, I found that it was much more difficult than I had hoped. I was scaling a vertical cliff with nothing to hold me up but my fingers and toes grasping the edges of the rocks.

“Lord, help!” I cried, when I was slipping to my death. I wasn’t strong enough.

My fall stopped. I found that He had slipped a harness around me when I wasn’t looking, and it caught me in midair.

“I would never let you fall,” He said. “But I need you to trust Me.”

“But I want to be in control!” I cried. “How do I know You know the way? What if You take me somewhere terrible and hard? What if You let me fall? How can I trust You?”

“Do you know the way, daughter?”


“I do. Have I ever let You fall?”

“No, Lord, but You’ve taken me to some really scary places!”

“Are you sure it was Me who took you to those places, or you?”

“Hmm. Both, I think.”

“I was there for you either way.”

“Yes, You were. I remember now. We climbed other mountains before. It’s just that, this one seems steeper than any we’ve climbed yet, and I wasn’t sure You knew the way.”

“Daughter, I love you. I would never lead you wrong. And you know Me—I know everything, and I know the path up this mountain. I am all-powerful and will protect you from falling. Whenever you are in control, you lead yourself into disaster. But I know all the hidden dangers and would only lead you into one if it’s the best way for you to grow. I need you to trust Me.”

My shoulders slumped in defeat. I knew He was right, but I didn’t want to surrender my control. He had led me correctly, protected me, and loved me for years. But somehow, I still didn’t feel as though I could trust anyone but myself with my life, even Him.

I thought ahead: if I kept leading the path up this mountain, I would lead myself into disaster again. But if I let Him lead… in my mind’s eye, I saw Him pointing out each safe step to take, gently nudging me another way, smilingly encouraging me and laughing with me, and catching me when I slipped. He would take me up hard paths sometimes, but He would be with me all the way. And we would make it to the top of the mountain together, and I would be a stronger climber—and better at trusting—because of Him.

“Okay, Lord. I’ll trust You. Thank You for Your help and love. I love You too.”

He laughed in joy and hugged me. Then we turned and faced the mountain together.

Photo by Charlotte Karlsen on Unsplash



My name is Emily Kopf, as you’ve probably guessed.

A few things to know about me – I love Jesus, learning, stories, most art forms, people, travel, culture, and being outside. On this website you can expect to see blog posts about all of those things, with an emphasis in Jesus and books, including the one I hope to publish.

If you want to learn more about me and this blog, head over to the About page.