Sing in the Sunlight Review, Guest Post and a Giveaway!

Posted by abakersp in Historical, Reviews / Spotlights / 10 Comments

Well I told you about this book on Monday, and I’m back talk about it again. Sing in the Sunlight by Kathleen Denly is an amazing read. Honestly, I’m not just saying that because I know her. 🙂 Now don’t just stop reading after my review, keep reading for Kathleen’s story, her story of adoption. Ya’ll (if you could hear my Yankee accent try to say that word you’d be laughing right now, but I love it so much!), it’ll touch your heart. And then, as if that wasn’t enough, Kathleen’s got a pretty amazing giveaway!!!

Ok, let’s get this post started!

About the Book

Sing in the Sunlight Review, Guest Post and a Giveaway!Sing in the Sunlight
Author Kathleen Denly
on March 2, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Historical, General, Christian, Western
Pages: 404

Richard Stevens isn't who he thinks he is. Neither is the woman who now claims his last name.

Disfiguring scars stole Clarinda Humphrey's singing career, her home, and her family, but she refuses to let her appearance steal her future. While attending The Young Ladies Seminary in 1858 Benicia, California, she finds a man who promises to love and cherish her. Instead he betrays her, leaving her with child, and Clarinda must take drastic measures to ensure her child doesn't suffer for her foolishness.

Richard Stevens's life hasn't turned out as he expected, and when a shocking letter turns even his past into a mystery, he travels to San Francisco in search of guidance. On the way, he encounters a mysterious young woman hiding beneath a veil. That night he experiences a dream that sends him on a quest to find the bride God has chosen for him. He never imagines she's already told everyone they're married.

Unwilling to lie, nor accept a marriage of mere convenience, Richard wants the real thing. Yet Clarinda's not interested in love, only a chance to save her child. Can he help her rise above the pain that runs deeper than her scars to accept a love worth every risk?

My Perspective

Every now and then you read a book that has a character that you cannot peel your eyes off of. A character that you connect with on such a deep level, that the book just moves you, and you kind of find yourself growing right along with the character. That was me with this book. Clarinda is just someone I immediately fell in love with. Kathleen did an amazing job writing her character. You can feel her insecurities, her fears, her growth, and her wins. For me, it was almost like reading about myself and my own insecurities, so I’m a little biased. But in all honesty, I think a lot of readers will be able to connect with her.

Aside from the character gushing, Denly has brought history alive in this book. She has such attention to detail, not just making sure the story is true to the time period, but even the setting and everything about it. I appreciate authors who really take the time to dive in, research like crazy, and bring authenticity to their novels. Denly is one of these authors.

This combined with a wonderfully written hero, Richard. So sweet, compassionate, tender, and more. He does the right thing. No, he’s not perfect, but then no one is. Through the eyes of Richard and Clarinda, Denly not only gives readers a story they will devour, but a story that will inspire, share invaluable lessons, and touch your heart. I highly recommend this beautiful novel.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Kathleen Denly writes historical romance stories to entertain, encourage, and inspire readers toward a better understanding of our amazing God and how He sees us. Award winning author of the Chaparral Hearts series, she also shares history tidbits, thoughts on writing, books reviews and more at

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Guest Post by Kathleen Denly

God Works in Mysterious Ways

As a writer, I’ve learned to be acutely aware of cause and effect. When you’re writing a story, you can’t have a farmer who is in the middle of sowing seeds suddenly drop his plow and go buy a one-way train ticket, unless you’ve provided a very compelling reason for him to do so. Something must cause him to change his priorities.

The same is true in life. Sure, there are people who make seemingly spontaneous decisions, but even they have a cause for every choice they make. It just may take more digging to uncover that reason.

This is because God made us to be creatures of reason. So it makes sense that He would use this aspect of who we are to help lovingly guide us and mold us to be more like Him. It’s also one of the ways He is able to make good from the terrible things that happen in our fallen world.

In my own life there have been times when things seemed to be going terribly wrong. They certainly weren’t going the way I had expected them to and I was not at all happy about the change. But, by looking behind, I can now see how God used those moments to draw me closer to Him, make me better and, ultimately, more joyful. One example of that would be our family’s adoption story.

We began the process to adopt a little girl from Russia in September of 2012. We’d been shown the file and photos of a little girl with a mysterious illness who was just a few months older than our second son and we honestly believed God was calling us to pursue adopting her. By the end of October we’d completed all our interviews, classes, and home inspections. We’d turned in all but one piece of paper. Once we had that, we could submit our paperwork to Russia and purchase our plane tickets to go meet our little girl.

That piece of paper needed to come from my husband’s Human Resources department. Well, the man responsible for getting that paper to us suffered the death of a family member the week we requested it. So there was an understandable delay. Then there was a hurricane in New York. Turns out the HR guy lived in New York. More delays.

Shortly before Christmas, the United States and Russia began popping up in the news as being increasingly hostile toward one another. Praying as often as we were breathing, we hung a stocking for our expected daughter. We purchased a few of the toys and clothes we thought she might need and put them under the tree with the thought that next Christmas she’d be with us to open her own gifts. On December 28, 2012, Russia closed its doors to adoptions by families from the United States. Did I mention my husband and were married on December 28th? Not exactly the anniversary gift we’d been hoping for.

We spent the next few months praying and wondering why God had sent us down this path if He hadn’t meant for us to adopt that little girl. In hindsight, we can see the many lessons God taught us through that experience. It led us to become part of our foster community for several years before turning back to international adoption.

This is the day Kathleen met her daughter for the first time.

We eventually adopted a beautiful little girl from China in 2017 and couldn’t imagine our lives without her. The years between 2012 and 2017 were filled with both blessings and trials. I’m not going to lie. There are still times when I ponder the heartbreak we suffered during those years and wonder why God couldn’t have found a smoother route to get us to our daughter. Did we really need to go through everything we did? But that’s where my faith comes in. Because I know that even though we live in a fallen world, God loves us and knows better than us what we need. I can trust in His choices even when I don’t fully understand them.

That’s what my character, Clarinda, must learn in my novel, Sing in the Sunlight. Inspired by my own daughter, Clarinda suffers a terrible tragedy as a young girl that steals her dreams, her relationship with her family, and her trust in God. It takes a special man sent by God to show her that the terrible things in life aren’t proof of God’s indifference. Though His ways are often mysterious, God uses our trials to guide us toward blessings greater than we could have imagined.


To celebrate the upcoming release of Sing in the Sunlight, the second book in her Chaparral Hearts series, Kathleen is offering a giveaway!

Enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win a digital copy of Waltz in the Wilderness (book 1 in the Chaparral Hearts series), a pair of music note earrings (made by Baker’s Blessed Designs), 1 Chaparral Hearts pen, and 1 bookmark made and signed by Kathleen Denly. Open to U.S. and International winners, void where prohibited. Entries open until midnight on seventh day after this post goes live. Winner will be announced on Kathleen’s Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram accounts and must contact Kathleen with your mailing address within 48 hours of announcement.

Enter here!

What interests you most about this book? The history? The characters? All of the above?

10 responses to “Sing in the Sunlight Review, Guest Post and a Giveaway!

  1. Jeanna Massman

    My cousin was adopted, so I was aware of the concept at a very early age. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Perrianne Askew

    Honestly the beautiful cover and the positive buzz on social media catch my attention and make me want to read this novel.

    • I’m so glad to hear that. As a bookworm myself, I definitely understand the desire to read a book which others are recommending. 🙂

  3. Jan Hall

    My brother sister and I were adopted as teenagers by my stepdad. After his death my parents got back together. They had five wonderful years together before she died.

    • Wow. What a beautiful story. I’m glad you were surrounded by love. My husband’s grandparents have a similar story to your parents’ story of reunion after many decades and other marriages.

  4. Jessica, you write the most beautiful reviews and they’re always so sincere. I love reading your thoughts and am so touched by what you’ve said about Sing in the Sunlight. Thank you!

  5. Sonnetta Jones

    I am interested in the history and how God will make sense of this tragedy.