Christian - Romance - Contemporary
532 Pages
Reviewed on 07/25/2022
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

This book is dedicated to my grandmother, Sarah Anne (Annie) Moore. She was the inspiration for the main character and the writing of this novel. She taught me everything I know about hard work, pride in a job well done, the spirit of adventure, and how to be a kind person in a cruel world. She modeled strength of character and courage in hard times. C.D. Phillips

C. D. (Dianne) Phillips, is a professor of Science and Mathematics at Northwest Arkansas Community College, in Bentonville, Arkansas, where for sixteen years she has been teaching undergraduate courses in Geology, Astronomy, and Physical Science. Before that, she was an adjunct professor and lecturer in Physics and Geology at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and Fort Smith, AR.

Her life experience, including her roles as wife, mother, grandmother, scientist, field geologist, science communicator, mentor, and educator has provided the knowledge base for her writing of this novel.

A very important factor reflected in this book is her involvement in the community where she promotes social justice, women's issues, and awareness of needed educational reform for equal status of other women in the Sciences. Her strong belief system and well-developed survival skills are expressed in the adventures and experiences of the characters in her book. Stillwater is a story of self-actualization, geology field adventures, and redemption.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Stillwater is a work of fiction in the realistic drama, science and nature, and romantic adventure subgenres. The work is best suited to mature adult readers owing to its explicit sexual content and was penned by author Capitola D Phillips under the name of her grandmother, Sarah Anne Moore. The author’s grandmother is the primary inspiration for the novel’s central protagonist, Annie, a passionate geologist and professor who grapples with her career, family, faith, and love. Her relationship with Sean, her true love, is a focal point, as they share a deep connection with each other and their shared love of volcanoes. However, the story explores the boundaries imposed by societal and religious norms of the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

Author Capitola D Phillips has crafted a heartfelt and deeply emotionally resonant novel that weaves Annie's experiences into the wider context of society and culture to offer some really poignant messages. Annie's battles with systemic sexism in geology and academia are relatable for readers from any kind of non-majority background, and the attention to detail in her character sets her up as an inspirational trailblazer for women in her field. The fact that the work is based on Annie’s real history makes this all the more impressive. On a thematic level, the work delves into the complexities of love and faith, educates in a varied and interesting way about geology and natural science, and also sheds light on the unique challenges faced by women in male-dominated fields. This social justice narrative unfolds in a way that makes readers reflect on their own beliefs, values, and boundaries, all while immersed in the enthralling worlds of science, geology, and personal connection with some really riveting romance and plot twists. Overall, Stillwater offers everything you could want in an immersive literary work, and I would certainly recommend it as a high-quality read.

Alex Ndirangu

When modesty is the norm, how can you assert yourself differently in society? Sarah Anne Moore's book Stillwater addresses this concern through a well-crafted narrative. It follows a young woman named Annie as she gains confidence and learns to overcome challenges in a world where institutionalized sexism in the geology profession threatens to undermine everything she has worked for. With a compelling fusion of science, endearing emotions, and romance flavored with Christian faith, the author takes us on an enthralling trip through Annie's inspirational journey.
Stillwater quickly piqued my interest by providing a unique plot and an exciting experience. It was also intriguing to see how Sarah Anne Moore created the characters and then expertly brought them to life. I liked the fact that Sarah provided footnotes at the end of each chapter. This infused the book with an artistic beauty that I believe will appeal to everyone. I also want to emphasize how wonderfully the author brings life and authenticity to her work. She employs rich descriptive language to stimulate the reader's imagination, allowing them to be part of the story as it progressed. My favorite element of this book is the many inspiring geological facts that are included, which made me appreciate how magnificent our planet is.

Grant Leishman

Stillwater by Sarah Anne Moore and Capitola Dianne Phillips is a love story that takes place amongst the grandeur of America’s great wild outdoors. Annie is a rare breed, a successful female professor in the field of geology. It seems she has it all, a wealthy husband, two beautiful children, and a fulfilling career guiding young minds in her passion for earth science in the field of geology. Only Annie knows something is missing; her seemingly perfect marriage is not so perfect, with her husband being a domineering, controlling narcissist. Deeply religious, Annie is torn between the desire to leave her abusive relationship and the vows they made to God on their wedding day. One of Annie’s joys is the semi-annual field trips she takes her students on each year to familiarize them with the reality of the study of geology outside the classroom. On one of these field trips, she meets Sean, a New Zealander, also leading a group of students to study his field of expertise in volcanology. The attraction between the pair is instant and undeniable, but technically, Annie is still married, even if the couple are estranged but for Sean, it is worse; he still loves his wife. So how can the pair deny the instant sexual attraction between them, and should they even try?

One of the joys of reading fiction is that one learns so much. Stillwater is a novel that explores aspects of faith, love, friendship, and lust and the more esoteric elements of rocks, volcanoes, and geology in general. Sarah Anne Moore and Capitola Dianne Phillips use the story to educate their audience on all aspects of rock formation, volcanology, and the study of geology. Because one of the main characters is from New Zealand, my home, much of the spoken language will seem indecipherable to many readers with its colloquialisms and unique local phrasings. The authors have provided extensive footnotes to explain these linguistic oddities and demonstrate technical geological and scientific terms that will aid readers immensely. The romance between Sean and Annie is well-written, with the lovemaking scenes erotic and exciting rather than crude and vulgar. I particularly enjoyed Annie’s consternation at the “mate-ship” rituals between Sean and his university buddy Jim. The clash of cultures and languages makes for an exciting story. I appreciated Annie’s deep and unmovable faith and her being seen as a trailblazer for women in what has traditionally been a male-oriented field. This is a gentle, fun read that I can recommend.

Emma Megan

Stillwater is an interesting novel about two skilled field geologists and gifted teachers. It is the first installment of a new series by Sarah Anne Moore. Anna Moore and Sean Michael Anderson have many things in common. They're both academics, married with kids, field geologists, and love volcanoes, astronomy, and music. When they first met, they both felt a strong attraction and connection to each other—physical, intellectual, and spiritual. Anna married young and began a family, as society and her religion expected. When she met Sean, she was still married to her husband, Robert, but what she experienced because of Sean made her wonder what God's plan was for this experience. Could Sean be her chance to experience true love and happiness, or should she continue bearing the cross of her loveless, abusive marriage?

Stillwater by Sarah Anne Moore is an engrossing story with heart, grace, and hope. The most amazing aspect of this book, which I enjoyed, was the character growth. Anna's story inspires female readers to stand up for themselves, forgive themselves for their failures, accept responsibility for their happiness and security, and not waste their lives trying to please others. This story contains excellent lessons about life, marriage, kids, careers, faith, and love. It has funny, dangerous, exciting, sexy, and relevant geology field experiences and adventures. It captures the struggles of engaging in extramarital affairs and the sexism, misogyny, and sexual harassment women experience in geology and academia. This riveting novel will hold the interest of geology fans and romance readers.

Divine Zape

Stillwater by Sarah Anne Moore is a realistic novel with genuinely flawed, lovable, and relatable characters. Annie, a passionate geologist and professor, is entangled in an extramarital relationship with the man she has always loved, Sean. She struggles to reconcile her passions with the cultural boundaries of the era. While Annie's love affair is challenged by the social restrictions of her time, she must rethink her core beliefs, and seek balance between her career, her growing romance with Sean, and the path of her personal growth.

There is so much to enjoy in this riveting novel brimming with humor. Sarah Anne Moore skillfully depicts the social setting of the 1950s, '60s, and '70s, and how cultural elements affect the characters. Annie is an intriguing character, passionate about her work and driven. She has suffered sexism in her career and comes across as someone who challenges social conventions. She makes a wonderful pair with Sean, a man with whom she shares many loves. This novel offers a lot of adventure — geology, field mappings, sex, spirituality, and intense romance. The engaging dialogues are intelligent, at times snappy, yet always seasoned with humor. The story has both psychological and emotional depth, and Annie's internal struggles add to her already intriguing personality. In the heart of the narrative is the question: Do we always end up with the person we have loved most deeply? While readers will enjoy the laughter and the drama, they will be forced to reflect on their choices as they follow these characters. Stillwater is well-plotted and infused with realism.

Bernadette Longu

In Stillwater, author Sarah Anne Moore, a professor of geology, has taken her experiences as a student, trainee, mentor, and teacher and turned them into a wonderful heart-warming romance, faith in God, and sharing of information about her favorite and heartfelt subjects: geology and her friendship with God. Stillwater is a campsite that students are taken to for map surveying and to understand and recognize rock formations, their purpose, and how they were formed. The reader sees the world through the eyes of professors, mentors, and students and comes to realize how beautiful, peaceful, and calming it can be if you take the time to stop and commune with nature and God.

The author has a unique way of numbering words and paragraphs that may not make sense to the reader unfamiliar with geology but, at the end of each chapter, is an explanation of the new words that appear as well as geological terms and this helps readers to understand. Sarah Anne Moore has taken her experiences and notes in journals and memories and written a most intriguing, inspirational, and heartwarming story about everyday people and how society can ruin lives and destroy good people if we allow it. The author encourages the reader to walk to the beat of their own drum but to always have God as an ever-present person and friend in their lives. This is one of the most profound books I have ever read, and I will definitely be reading it again. This is a book that is well worth more than one read. It made me realize that there is always hope if you keep the faith and walk with God.

Alma Boucher

The story of Annie in Sarah Anne Moore's novel Stillwater demonstrates the triumphs over institutionalized sexism in the geological field and Annie's journey toward self-actualization. Geology professor Annie is an accomplished woman in her field. With a prosperous spouse, two stunning kids, and a successful career, Annie appears to have it all, but only she notices a missing piece. When Annie and Sean (also a geology professor) first meet while teaching a summer field methods course, their attraction is evident and immediate. Beyond their physical closeness, Annie and Sean appear to know one another well and are able to identify one another right away. But Sean is still in love with his wife, and Annie remains married despite her estrangement from her husband. Annie questioned God's purpose for her life after everything she went through because of Sean.

I was taken on a journey through science, emotions, romance, and Christian faith with Sarah Anne Moore's inspiring book Stillwater. Themes of faith, love, friendship, and lust were discussed. I have learned about many facets of geology, including volcanology and rock formation. The intriguing storyline and the character's thrilling encounters captivated me. I enjoyed the footnotes at the end of each chapter; they described the characters and events in detail. Annie's steadfast and deep faith, together with the fact that she was regarded as a trailblazer for women in a traditionally male-dominated field, deeply touched me. She advocated for herself and expressed self-forgiveness for her mistakes. Lessons on love, marriage, faith, and love can be found in this humorous, melancholic, and thrilling story.