Showing posts with label Christian romance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian romance. Show all posts

Thursday, February 21, 2019

His Stubborn Sweet Bride: A Christian Historical Romance Novel Reviewed

An excellent Christian historical romance that transfixes readers with Molly's story of loss, betrayal, survival & desperate decisions. Highly Recommended!
I admit, His Stubborn Sweet Bride (Colorado Reborn Book 1) written by Chloe Carley was a big surprise for me. I loved this book! 

This is the first book by the author, Chloe Carley, that I have ever read, but it won't be the last.  I am beyond thrilled to find a new Christian author who writes unique and original content.  That is what I liked best about this book.  I didn't feel like I had ever read one that was similar in plot or characters.  Plus, I loved the unexpected surprise elements in it.  

The story takes place in 1878 in several early settlement cities in America, including Cheyenne, Wyoming, Denver &  Indian Rock, Colorado, which is beautiful, but rough country.  The depiction of the towns, the battle between the original settlers and the new comers, as well as the harrowing life events of the main character, are all reasons why I was transfixed by this story. 



The Plot of His Stubborn Sweet Bride (Colorado Reborn Book 1)


When a wealthy aristocrat from England, Nate Trowbridge, and his sister, Leonie, inherent their uncles ranch in Colorado, they decide to move to America.  Leonie is young, adventurous, and quite naive, while her older brother, Nate, is steadfast and somewhat boring.  Nate wishes to protect his sister for as long as possible.  He also desires to maintain their good name, respectability and social standing even in the new country.  

Upon arrival, they find the ranch is not exactly in the condition they expected.  Immediate repairs and restoration are necessary.  Because there is little else in Indian Rock other than his Circle T Ranch, Nate has to travel to Denver to hire craftsman, and purchase furnishings and decor.  That also gives him the opportunity to visit with old family friends.


Nate Trowbridge's Story


 His Stubborn Sweet Bride:
A Christian Historical Romance Novel
(Colorado Reborn Book 1)
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Nate believes it will be time for him to get married as soon as the ranch is renovated.  He believes his obvious choice is one of the daughters of old family friends.  Actually, over several generations, the two families have married one another to preserve their wealth and status in society.  The Chiswicks live in Denver, therefore they have already made the necessary transition to America from England.  After visiting with them, he has every reason to believe Emmaline Chiswick is like-minded and would welcome his proposal. 

Once the house repairs are finished, Nate sends a letter of marriage proposal by way of his ranch foreman, Jem, to Denver when he finds out that Jem has to go to the dentist there.  It is necessary for the doctor to give Jem a dose of laudanum so he can preform the dental work needed.  Jem is still under the influence of the laudanum when he searches for the address on the envelope to deliver the letter.  He immediately notes that the woman doesn't appear to be the type of woman he would expect his boss to court and certainly not to marry, but when Molly opens the letter, she accepts Nate's proposal.  Everything gets pretty hazy for Jem and later he awakens to find himself, along with Molly, on a train destined for Indian Rock, Colorado.  


Molly Clanahan's Story


Molly's story is one I had never considered a possibility, but I could easily see how it would happen in 1878.   It made me think of current day human trafficking and how we all want to believe it can't be true and would never happen.

When her father and brothers all died from influenza, Molly was left completely alone.  The bank foreclosed on her family farm and  she had no way to survive.  It seemed becoming a mail order bride would be her best option.  

Molly started corresponding with Jack in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  After she sent him a picture of herself, as requested, the man she believed to be a lonely widower sent her train fare to Wyoming.  When she arrived, she was met by Jack and immediately taken to his business, the local brothel.  She was expected to go to work immediately.  The promise of marriage was just a ploy to get her there.  Jack was abusive, threatening, and downright evil.  Molly felt trapped until she decided to risk her life and get away.  

Even after Molly has escaped the brothel, Jack swore to find her and make her pay for humiliating him.  She knew she was living under the shadow of fear and possible discovery.  She felt fortunate to get a job as a seamstress in Denver, but when Jack found her, she was once again desperate for escape.  That was when the man with the letter containing a marriage proposal showed up at her door. 


My Recommendation of "His Stubborn Sweet Bride"


I have now given you the basic background of the characters and book plot, but you must read this book yourself.  You might even find that you think twice before you jump to conclusions about people and judge their actions.  

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.  While it dips into the dark world of murder, lies, criminals, and pure evil, nothing is too graphic, yet it clearly depicts depravity.  

In addition to the expected romantic love story, the book also aptly depicts the concern and protective nature of an older brother toward his sister.  I enjoyed the way the author developed both types of love throughout the book.

 


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Friday, January 13, 2017

A Shelter of Hope by Tracie Peterson - Book Reviewed

The Christian fiction book, Shelter of Hope is quite detailed as it walks us through Simone's troubled life as she survives an abusive father and finds a shelter of hope in the Harvey House.
There are times in everyone's life when we need a shelter and our home is most often our shelter.  However, in the book A Shelter of Hope, Simone needs a shelter from her home.  She endures regular beatings at her father's hands.  Since she had never known any other environment other than her horrendous home, she doesn't know where or how to find a shelter from the evil. When her mother tried to escape to get help, she was tracked down and murdered.  This knowledge completely trapped Simone.  She knew if she tried to run, she would also be murdered.

The book, A Shelter of Hope, was written by one of my favorite authors.  I doubt I would have stuck with the book beyond the first chapter if I didn't trust the author, Tracie Peterson, to deliver her child character.  A Shelter of Hope is a historical fiction set in the late 1800's in the backwoods, mountain country of Wyoming.  Because of the time period and seclusion of the family, it is easy to believe the horrific details of the book could actually take place.


Synopsis of "A Shelter of Hope"


 A Shelter of Hope (Westward Chronicles, Book 1)Simone Dumas had no hope of ever being rescued from her father's abuse.  Her mother was murdered when Simone was only ten and Simone felt abandoned by her mother, by love itself.  There were few women around and those women were just as powerless as Simone.  The men in the town only leered with lust at the now seventeen year old Simone.  She knew there was no one who was willing to help her escape the monster.  However, even Simone didn't know how very low that man, her father, was capable of going until he sold her, along with their home and property, to a stranger in town.  

Louis Dumas had decided it was time for him to unburden himself.  There were no longer many animals to trap in the area.  Supporting himself, his daughter, Simone, and their home was simply too hard for him now.  He wanted to go where he could take a new wife and earn an easier living.  He certainly wasn't beyond stealing that living either.  When Garvey Davis showed up in town with a lot of money, Louis saw his opportunity to rid himself of everything all at once.  He sold Davis his home, his property and his daughter.  Dumas assured Davis that Simone was a hard worker and would make a wonderful wife for him.  Louis took Davis out to his home, introduced Simone to Garvey and announced that he was leaving.  He told Simone that she had been sold to Garvey along with the rest of his property and would not be going with him.  Simone knew she had once again been abandoned by a parent.

When Davis tried to force his husband rights, Simone grabbed a nearby water pitcher and hit him in the head.  While Davis was unconscious, perhaps dead, Simone quickly gathered her few things, stole his horse and started riding away from the only home she had ever known.

She rode for weeks until she arrived in Laramie where she saw a train for the first time in her life.  When she discovered it could take her a lot further away, a lot faster, she sold Davis' horse and bought a ticket to Chicago.  Once in Chicago, she realized she needed a paying job.  After all, she needed a place to live, food to eat and clothes to wear.  She came across an employment ad to become a Harvey girl in the Harvey chain of restaurants along the railroad line.  She took a bath, bought a new outfit and went for an interview where she realized a name change would be necessary.  Jeffrey O'Donnell hired Simone "Irving" immediately without doing the normal background investigation.  She looked nice and he needed servers for the Harvey House immediately.  She left with him the next morning on a train bound for Topeka, Kansas and training to become a Harvey girl.

Back in Wyoming, Louis Dumas realized he had sold Simone way too cheap.  After all, he could have sold her many times over if he had only kept her.  He decided she could be his goldmine.  All he needed to do was take Simone back from Davis.

When Davis' body is found in the old Dumas home, Deputy Sheriff, Zack Matthews, embarks on a mission to hunt down Simone Dumas who he believed either murdered, or played a part in murdering, Garvey Davis.

Simone knows she is running for her life, but she doesn't realize that she is being chased by her own father and the law.


Conclusion

Please do not think I have given away the entire story in this review.  Because there are so many developed characters, and so much happens in the first part, it was necessary to give more of the plot background in this review then I would normally write.  I assure you, there is a lot more to this book, including a love story.  A Shelter of Hope is quite detailed as it walks us through Simone's troubled life as she, herself, finds a shelter of hope in the Harvey House.

The book also gives us a inside look at the struggle of the young woman to ever trust anyone, including God.  






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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book Review of Tabitha (Girls from the Mountain Book 1)



Tabitha's Story is One of God's Grace


In this Christian novel by Vikki Kestell, young Tabitha had to deal with situations so horrible that it hurt to read about them. Yes, Tabitha did bring it on herself by running away from home with Cray for a more exciting life than she had with her parents in their home near a Texas creek. She was fourteen and bored with her monotonous life. Cray promised riches and adventure.

Book Review of Tabitha (Girls from the Mountain Book 1)
Book Review of Tabitha: Girls from the Mountain Book 1
Image from Pixabay,  and Modified


Tabitha knew her parents did not approve of Cray. They had warned her that he had no sense and that he was a wild dreamer. Still, he was able to persuade Tabitha to run away with him to the Arizona gold fields. Even though Tabitha knew running away wasn't right, Cray's flattery about her beautiful red hair and milky complexion, as well as his promise to marry her in a church wedding as soon as they made their fortune, convinced her to ignore her conscience.

She had learned the difference between right and wrong from her parents. She knew she was rebelling when she left with Cray. What she never dreamed was that he would so completely betray her that only the grace of a God she hadn't met could save her.




Palmer House


Palmer House, a Denver ministry to young women and girls such as Tabitha, rescues them. When we meet Rose Thoresen, the administrator and counselor of Palmer House in 1911, she is 63. Tabatha, who is the oldest of Rose's “girls,” is now thirty. She has nine weeks to go before her new nursing school term begins in Boulder and she wants some project to keep her busy. Rose convinces her to tell her story of her journey to faith in Christ, including the mistakes she made before her rescue and arrival at Palmer House.

Book Review of Tabitha (Girls from the Mountain Book 1)


Rose said she would help by writing down notes as Tabitha told her story. It would then be edited and Tabatha could read it and suggest any changes before it was made into a small book to keep at Palmer House and for the use of other residents who had not yet entered a relationship with Christ. Much of what follows is part of her story. (Image above from Open ClipArt-Vectors on Pixabay, text added on PicMonkey)


Arizona and Beyond


We first see Tabitha in Arizona as she waits in the heat of the desert beside Cray's tent for him to come home for the dinner she has prepared. But he doesn't come. The claim he had paid for in this uninhabitable land had no gold left to find, so Cray had spent all he had in the nearest mining town of Fullman on supplies. They had only a two-week supply of food and water. They had found a patch of land near the only stream and camped there. When we meet Tabitha there, she has been there for two weeks. There are no other humans around. She is in the desert alone.


By this time Tabitha had been with Cray for a few months. He had kept saying he'd find the gold and then go back to Texas and buy land and cattle. Tabitha was the only one who continued to speak of marriage. They often quarreled. Cray was finding no gold, though he went to look for it every morning and returned sullen and distant. On the morning of the fifteenth day on the campsite, Cray seemed happier as he left. He packed his gear on the mule, along with extra water for her. He ate the breakfast Tabitha had prepared, and took the lunch she had packed for him. He even said goodbye to her, which he'd not bothered to do for a while. As he left, he'd told her “Goodbye, Tabitha. You wish me well now.'


Book Review of Tabitha (Girls from the Mountain Book 1)
Book Review of Tabitha
Photo from Morgue File, Modified



Cray did not come home that night. The next morning Tabitha walked to his dig to find his tools and the mule gone. She knew then he would not come back. He had left her alone in the desert. She crouched in her tent for the rest of the day, alternately sobbing and ranting in anger over his desertion. She tried to figure out how to survive. She knew her only hope was to walk back to Fullman, a day's journey. It was not a reputable town. Tabitha thought that maybe she would find Cray there and he would take her back.

Instead, when she thought she had been rescued by another woman, she learned that Cray had sold her into prostitution as payment for new supplies. She also learned that escape only brought beatings and threats of worse punishments. She died inside and at one point was tempted to take her own life.

Rescued by the Grace of God


Although Tabitha had not yet met the Lord, she heard a street preacher while she was being transferred from one brothel to another. She did not know the meaning of what she heard, but the preacher had looked right at her and said that Jesus could save even her. She held onto those words and cried out to this Jesus she did not know for help. One night that help came, and she arrived at Palmer House. While there, as Rose and the other staff loved her and taught her, she finally trusted herself to Jesus and decided to spend the rest of her life following him.


After Palmer House


I don't want to reveal more of the plot here because I don't want to spoil it. Much of the action occurs during World War I. We watch as Tabitha faces enemies during her nursing school education, and as she decides what to do about a very persistent suitor – a rich man who is a benefactor of Palmer House, the nursing school, and an orphanage. Even knowing her background doesn't discourage him. Later they both go overseas separately to serve in the war in different locations.

How Reading Tabitha Affected Me


The book's theme – how the grace of God can overcome evil – was well executed. I found myself thanking God again for the blessing of a normal childhood with parents who loved me and the opportunity to learn about Jesus while still young.

I was outraged to see how young women, still in their early teens, were enslaved as prostitutes with no hope of escape. I'm even more outraged that this still happens today, outside of novels, in our large cities, as pimps befriend runaways and then bully and enslave them. I just read today that in a county where we once lived and still own property detectives just broke up a ring of suspected human traffickers. In this case the victims were Chinese and here on visas.

Daniel Walker, who worked undercover for many nonprofit organizations to rescue today's enslaved prostitutes, has written God in a Brothel to describe his experiences freeing women and children from the sex trade in the United States. You can read it for a nonfiction perspective on how Christians still rescue those who cannot help themselves.

I often found myself in tears as I watched Tabitha's struggle with the consequences of her wrong choice so early in life and as I later watched her grieve the loss of the one she loved.

My Review


Although some may find the style sentimental and Tabitha almost too good to be true in her later life, she does model servant leadership. She is serious about making up for the lost years with her obedience in her later life as a Christian. Toward the end of the book she faces the ultimate test of her faith, but I won't be a spoiler.

The biggest weakness I saw in the book was that many characters seemed unrealistically good or evil. Yet I know that very godly and very wicked people do exist. Tabitha was the most well-developed character, and I found myself wanting her to be successful and eventually marry Carpenter. We don't see enough of Mason Carpenter, her benefactor and love interest, to get to know him very well, since most of the time the two are away from each other. We do see that he's the perfect gentleman, always helping everyone and doing good. I couldn't help but like him, but it was  hard to believe he was so perfect.

The author was very good at tying all the loose ends of the plot together in a satisfying way. I was able to predict some plot elements I was sure would be there, and I was happy that the author agreed with me.

This historical Christian romance reminds Christians of how God reaches out to all of us.  Those who may be searching for meaning in life, who have no hope left because of their past mistakes, may find hope as they read this book. Tabitha illustrates the power of God to cause a person be reborn to a new and living hope.

Vikki Kestell also wrote the A Prairie Heritage Series. It explains some of what occurs before and after the events in Tabatha. You will see some of the same characters' stories unfolding in A Prairie Heritage Series. Tabitha fits between Stolen and Lost Are Found. You might want to pick up the entire series and read Tabitha where it fits best chronologically.







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Friday, June 3, 2016

Book Review of The Hawk and The Eagle - A Gripping Plot

http://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2016/06/the-hawk-and-eagle-macpherson-brides.html
I recently read and reviewed the first book of the series, MacPherson Brides.  I loved The Rose and the Thorn and could hardly wait to read the next books in the series.  The second book, The Scar and The Star, was a good book, but I am going to skip reviewing it and move right on to the third book of the series.

The Hawk and The Eagle had a very unique plot which is always the best reason to review and recommend a book.  You would know by this selected genre to expect a budding romance.   We all expect trials of some sort to develop in the plot and we anticipate the couple ending up together in the end.  What we don't know when we first pick up a book is whether or not the plot will seem believable or if we will like the characters. 

In a series of books, we have often been previously introduced to the characters.  That was the case with Nia and Adam.  Adam Lone Eagle is Thorn's best friend and the tracker who helped Thorn when needed.  Nia is Thorn's sister and it was alluded to in the first book that Nia was in love with Adam so it came as no surprise that their relationship was the foundation for one of the books in the series.  What was a huge surprise was that Nia married someone else.


Synopsis of "The Hawk and The Eagle"


 The Hawk and The Eagle (MacPherson Brides Book 3)Adam was an accepted part of the MacPherson clan.  He was considered a member of the family instead of just Thorn's friend.  As a matter of fact, Thorn MacPherson was more like a brother to him.   Adam had known for several years that he would marry Thorn's sister Nia once she turned 21.  He had already built a house for them that required only the finishing touches.   His business partner, Clay, and Clay's wife, Caitlin, lived in a house on the same property.  They could easily see each other's homes across the yard that separated them.  Caitlin was also Nia's cousin, which is one of the reasons Adam chose Clay as a business partner.  Clay kept the books, while Adam handled the horses.  When Adam was called away on business, he fully expected to return and marry Nia.  Their lives only had to follow the plan, but we all know plans can be interrupted by life.

Caitlin and Clay already had one son, Sam, and Caitlin is close to the delivery date of their second child when she falls and goes into labor.  When Caitlin realizes she is dying, she pleas for a promise from Nia that she will care for her children.  With Clay lying in the next room very close to death himself, Nia doesn't hesitate to make the promise.   She loves Caitlin, Sam and her newly born niece, Lily.

Shortly after Caitlin's death, Nia is called into Clay's room where he begs her to marry him and adopt the children immediately so they are assured a protected life.  That is a difficult decision for Nia.  She loves Adam, but she and the family are certain that Clay is dying.  Acting quickly is a necessity.  She agrees and marries Clay.  This is were life interrupts Nia's plans because Clay does not die.

When Adam returns home, he is devastated to find Nia married to Clay, plus he has to watch from a close distance as his fiance struggles to make her marriage work for the sake of the children. 


My Conclusion & Recommendation  

The Hawk and the Eagle is another excellent book written by Mischelle Creager that takes a close look at a Christian life that is far from perfect.  Just as I said in my review for the first book in this series, the author does not paint a fantastical life around her characters.  She digs much deeper and allows her characters to be human and to make mistakes.  In this particular book, I also appreciate the illustration of how other lives can be drastically impacted by those mistakes, even if the mistakes were made based on good intentions.  This is something we all need to be reminded of on occasion. 


The Hawk and The Eagle (MacPherson Brides) Book Review & Recommendation Written by:
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Friday, May 20, 2016

The Rose and The Thorn (MacPherson Brides) Book Review

The Rose and The Thorn Book Review
I was initially drawn to this book because of the title, The Rose and The Thorn.  I was not familiar with the author, but decided to give the book a chance.   After all, I needed a new book to read and the title piqued my interest.  Since it was in the romantic Christian fiction category, I felt pretty safe. 

As it turns out, I am really glad I took a chance and read this book!  I finished reading it last night and immediately downloaded the next two books from the series.  I never want to be without a book and finding a series I enjoy is always exciting! 

It turns out that the book title was a play on the main characters names, Sarah Rose Greer and Thornton MacPherson.  Unlike many of the Christian fiction books I read, this book delved into some really painful experiences including rape and spousal abuse.   As a rule, I prefer books to be more lighthearted.   I have oft said there is enough sin and pain in the real world, I don't want it in my entertainment.  But, this book was more insightful about the impact of those actions on the victims.  In my opinion, the author struck just the right balance.  Nothing got too graphic to handle and the victims weren't wimpy, whinny little creatures.   They were strong women with real issues that they confronted.


Synopsis of "The Rose and The Thorn"


The book takes place in the 1800's when women were not considered equal to men.  It was also a time of arranged marriages, or at least marriages that were established based on social and economic background.  Marriages that were beneficial to families and not founded on love were much more commonplace.  Such was the marriage that was forced upon Sarah.  

 The Rose and The Thorn (MacPherson Brides Book 1)At 16, Sarah's parents died.  She and her little brother moved in with her wealthy grandfather who immediately made marital arrangements for Sarah with an older man who was deemed a good business partner for her grandfather.  Against her wishes, she married a stranger who turned out to be a real monster behind closed doors.  The inescapable marriage lasted 13 years.  After her husband was murdered by the mother of one of his rape victims, Sarah, her brother and the child she adopted, moved away from her grandfather and Boston.   As the named heir to her husbands wealth, Sarah was able to purchase a home for her little family and start a new life in the small, but growing, mining town of Central City.

Unfortunately, her brother still worked for their grandfather.  Not because he wanted to, but because it was his "duty" to expand their business into Central City.  Even though he was out of his grandfathers home, he was still controlled by him through his grandfather's manager, Stanley.  

Stanley had plans himself for the new wealthy widow.  He knew that if he married Sarah, he would not only control her money, but he would have equal standing with her grandfather, not just his employee.  His scheming backfired on him though and Sarah ended up being forced to marry Thornton, but this time it was a decision she made to protect her reputation and her adopted daughters future.  However, Thornton was just as much a stranger to her as her first husband had been when they "walked the aisle".

The analogy of the rose and the thorn became obvious almost immediately after Mr. and Mrs. MacPherson were united.  Both Sarah and Thornton had survived their previous spouses, but they still struggled with issues from their past.  Those experiences tainted and affected their relationship.   



Conclusion 


As I have previously stated, Christian fiction is my preferred genre, but I am often annoyed by how an author will present life as being easy for Christians.  They want readers to accept that God is going to make everything wonderful in their lives and that everyone will live happily ever after.  Since Christianity is not a fairy tale, neither is the life of a Christian.

I appreciated the fact that this author, Mischelle Creager, did not paint a fantastical life around her characters.  As a reader, I may not want to be bludgeoned with horror and gore, but I also don't wish to be assaulted with stupidity and completely unbelievable characters.  For the most part, this book was realistic without being too real.



The Rose and The Thorn (MacPherson Brides) Book Review & Recommendation Written by:
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Review of Paper Roses by Amanda Cabot

Imagine having to leave the city where you had happiness,  loving parents, wealth, and social standing, to become a mail order bride on a Texas ranch in 1856. It was a long way for Sarah Dobbs to go with her little sister Thea from Philadelphia to San Antonio. Why would she do such a thing?

Her wealthy father’s investments had disintegrated into nothing and he had shot his wife and then himself. All the old friends abandoned Sarah after this disgraceful thing had happened.  The house was gone, the money was gone, and she had no family left except her very young sister Thea, whom she felt responsible to protect and care for.

Review of Paper Roses by Amanda Cabot
Sarah herself was considered not worthy of a good husband because she had fallen off a horse and the fall had mangled her leg. She walked with a limp. Her leg was deformed. When Austin Canfield of the Bar C Ranch in Ladreville, Texas began courting Sarah through his letters, she fell in love with him. Even though she realized the marriage was more of a business arrangement, she knew she loved him. But here she was now, waiting at the station in San Antonio for him to arrive, and he was nowhere to be found. Had he deserted her, too?

When she had about given up hope, she was finally met not by Austin, but by someone else, who turned out to be his brother, Clay. It was Clay’s horrible task to tell Sarah her husband-to-be had just been murdered. His intent was to take Sarah back to the ranch so that she and Thea could recover from their trip, and be ready to make the return trip back home in a week.  As you can probably guess, it didn’t turn out that way.

Paper Roses by Amanda Cabot would be classified as inspirational fiction with a bit of romance. Both Sarah and Clay are dealing with anger over what has happened to their families and a feeling that God didn’t care or he would have prevented it. Austin’s one purpose was to find his brother’s killer, see that he paid, and then go back to his medical practice in Boston.

Sarah’s purpose was to protect Thea from the kind of ostracism she herself had suffered because of her father’s actions. She felt that could best be accomplished in a new setting where no one knew her. She wanted to stay in Texas. She was determined to find a way to make a living to support her and Thea.

Clay allows her to continue living on  the ranch until she can support herself. He is kind to both her and Thea. He had lost his own wife who was pregnant with their first child, and he has not recovered from that. She had died of food poisoning from eating tainted fish chowder, or so everyone had thought.

Thea insists on calling Clay “Papa,” much to his dismay, even though both Sarah and Clay have repeatedly set her straight. But he is very kind to Thea and even teaches her to ride a horse – over the protests of her mother, who was still terrified of horses.

Besides the theme of revenge, there is also the theme of the rivalry between the French and German immigrants in the town who hate each other. There is a thief who has been cutting fences and because no one knows who he is, the thefts and fence cuttings cause the people to blame anyone they don’t like so that the French and Germans hate each other even more.

Sarah is finally hired to work in the mercantile owned by  a French family, Isabelle and her brother, Leon. Neither could speak German, but half the town spoke only German. Sarah could speak German and had demonstrated her usefulness by translating for German customers on her first visit to the store the day Clay brought her to town to get some things she needed. After hiring Sarah, the store’s sales increased, and Isabelle, who was a devout Christian,  became Sarah’s close friend.

That’s all I will tell you. You may be able to guess the end from here, but not all the twists and turns that take you there as both Sarah and Clay try to find Austin’s killer, Sarah tries to unite the town and start a school, Sarah tries to help Clay’s father walk again, and God begins to heal old wounds to the spirits of all involved.

If you enjoy Christian fiction, I recommend Paper Roses. It’s worth the read. I turned out to be right about the murderer. The book’s title comes from the letters Sarah received from Austin during their courtship. She called them paper roses.




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Friday, May 29, 2015

Review of Shadow On The Quilt by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Recommendation for "The Shadow on the Quilt"


When I finished reading "The Shadow on the Quilt" by Stephanie Grace Whitson, I simply had to write a review of the book immediately.

Even though this book is set in the 19th century, some of the difficulties, decisions and emotional crisis this widow faces could easily take place in any time period.  The desire to erase the bad decisions of the deceased and protect the lives of their loved ones is easy to understand.  I even found myself wishing I could protect Juliana, the widow, from the knowledge of her late husband's deceptions.

But, that is only the beginning of this book.  You, too, will want walk this path with Juliana and rejoice as she finds acceptance, contentment and happiness once again.


A Quick Synopsis of the Book 

Written by Cynthia Sylvestermouse

 THE SHADOW ON THE QUILT (The Quilt Chronicles)Juliana's husband was a prominent and respected member of their small town community.  When the local brothel burned to the ground, he was one of the victims of the fire.  The official press story touted him as a hero, stating that he had entered the establishment to help save lives, but there were those who knew the truth.

Cass is the foreman overseeing the construction of the couples mansion and was there when Juliana's husbands body was pulled from the ashes of the brothel.  As an employee, he had also known of the mans infidelity prior to that night and berated himself for never having confronted the man.  Of course, he feared losing his job.

When Juliana is devastated by the death of her husband and by the discovery of his deceptions, Cass has to balance friendship, honestly, and compassion.

This story definitely has a romantic appeal, but I would have to say that Julianna's strength through her bereavement, betrayal and the scandal was what truly give the book backbone and made it worth reading.      


More About the Book and the Book Genre


"Shadow on the Quilt" is actually the second book in "The Quilt Chronicles" series.  Although it is not necessary, you may wish to read the first book in the series, The Key on the Quilt.

This book is a Christian historical fiction.  It appeals to my interest in history, although I am far from a history buff.    I also prefer reading this particular genre because I never have to worry about the language, the descriptions or the story becoming too crude, frightening or violent.   Plus, romance is just that; romance, not eroticism. 



About the Author of "The Shadow on the Quilt",  

Stephanie Grace Whitson


Shephanie Grace Whitson is a best-selling author and two time Christy finalist.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in French with a minor in English and music.

By her own admission, Stephanie enjoyed writing reports and research papers in school, but never expected to be a novelist.  While home-schooling her children, she found she needed a "creative" way to teach her children history.  They visited a small, pioneer cemetery where they began to discover what life was like for the people buried there.  Her first character was born and was introduced to the world in her first published book, "Walks the Fire" in 1995.

Quote directly from Stephanie Grace White:  "Hindsight has shown me why that happened.   God was providing a career for a woman who was going to have to support her family as a widow beginning in 2001."




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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Book Review of Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer

The Journey to the End of Stealing the Preacher Is as Rewarding as Seeing the Ending


I read Stealing the Preacher because it was a free promotional download from Amazon for my Kindle. I didn't know what to expect, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I saw characters who were human and believable, even if the plot was unrealistic. The book is a light historical Christian romance, but I didn’t find it as predictable as most of them are. Yes, you know almost from the beginning how it will end, but the fun in the book is getting to the end, not knowing what the end will be.

The Kidnapping


Pioneer Church
The main character, Crockett Archer, is hoping to land his first job as a real preacher  in Brenham, Texas. We meet him on the train as he travels for his interview with the church elders. He and one other preacher are competing for the job he wants, but he’s sure he’ll get it. He has been an apprentice preacher in his own small town in Texas for three years.

The train suddenly lurches, and he discovers that it is being attacked by bandits. The big surprise for him, though, is that all the bandits want to steal is him. They don’t hurt anyone or take anything else. He is kidnapped and taken to a ranch about ten miles from Deanville, where he discovers he is to be a birthday gift for the rancher’s daughter, Joanna Robbins. She had told her widowed daddy, Silas, that she wanted a preacher for her birthday. He took her quite literally.

Crockett and Joanna


It turns out that Silas is not the least bit interested in church or preaching, but is simply humoring his daughter, who did not approve of his method of obtaining her present. Crockett explains his situation and Joanna frees him to try to keep his appointment. It turns out she had wanted a preacher because the small church for the ranch no longer had a pastor and the church had fallen into disrepair. The pastor had moved to a larger church in Deanville and it was too far for the ranch community to travel every Sunday.

Joanna wanted a preacher in the church because she  was still praying for her daddy’s salvation. She had promised her mother before her death, that she would continue the daily prayers for her father after her mother passed away. Johanna thought having a preacher in the church again would give her the support she needed. Daddy and his ranch hands had formerly been a gang of bandits, but when he married, his wife had made him give it up and they had all been honest men for over sixteen years. They had never hurt or killed anyone.

Crockett Becomes Ranch Hand and Pastor


As it turns out, quite predictably, Crockett doesn’t get the job he was after because he didn’t make his appointment on the right day at the right time.  As you might expect, he takes the job of pastoring the small church for Johanna. She talks her father into hiring him as a hand so he can support himself. He was well-qualified since he was raised on and helped run his fathers ranch with his brothers after his father died young.

That’s all I’m going to tell you. There’s plenty of action between the time Archer arrives at the ranch and the end of the book.  The action reveals much about character of the people who are interacting.  One situation which I expected led to another one which I did not anticipate, and it left me on the edge of my chair holding my breath.  If you like Christian historical fiction, I recommend this book for an entertaining and relaxing read. I will definitely read more by this author if I get the chance. Amazon carries it in every possible format. Just click the picture to purchase and see other reviews. Unfortunately, it is no longer free, since I got my book during a special promotional offer, and it has ended.






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