The Captured Bride: Daughters of the Mayflower – Book 3 by Michelle Griep

My Review

I so enjoy historical fiction, and Michelle Griep’s book, The Captured Bride, captured my attention and didn’t let go!

Mercy Lytton is a scout and tracker for the government when she is tasked with ensuring she gets a traitor, Elias DuBois, to a nearby fort. Against her better judgment, she agrees to pose as his wife.

As I read the story, I was so engrossed in it, I didn’t even realize I had read through the night (granted I didn’t start until a little after midnight, but still…!)!!

As Matthew, a ranger and fellow scout, and Mercy set out on the journey to deliver Elias, I became completely engrossed in the setting. The journey, fraught with peril, left me breathless at times, and calmer at other times.

Many times, as Mercy sets out on her scouting expeditions, I could feel the ground beneath her feet, the wind stirring the tree limbs and the birds calling to each other as she listened intently in order to separate normal sounds from those made by man.

Exhilarating, alacrifying and at times breath-taking, The Captured Bride, is a must-read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction!

The Captured Bride is the third book in the Daughters of the Mayflower. However, it stands-alone as I didn’t even realize it was a sequel until I was writing the review.

The story also captured my imagination because I have Native American heritage, and cousins with the last name of DuBois.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

***********************Caution*********************

There are some scenes of violence.

Publisher’s Review

Mercy Lytton, a scout with keen eyesight raised among the Mohawks, and Elias Dubois, a condemned traitor working both sides of the conflict, must join together to get a shipment of gold safely into British hands.
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees. 

A War-Torn Countryside Is No Place for a Lady
Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause. . .to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart.  Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he is offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he is the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.   Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?

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My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York: Adele’s Journey by Amanda Barratt

My Review

My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York is written by Amanda Barratt, a new to me author. The book is also her first full-length novel, as she’s only written novellas in the past.

I enjoyed learning about funambulism through Drew Dawson, a main character. I also liked Drew’s character and his devotion to his invalid sister, Hope, whom I also liked. I was pulling for them to be able to make a better life for themselves as I read the story.

I didn’t care much for Adele Linley, an English aristocrat looking for a wealthy husband in America to save her family’s home and land. She tended to rush into things headlong, heedless of the consequences. Her tendency to do this created a major catastrophe.

I didn’t care for most of the other characters in the novel. They were rude, snobby, self-centered and cared little for each other, even though many of them were related. I never grew to like Adele, either. Right about the time I may have started liking her, she did something so genuinely terrible, heart-breaking and life-changing for other characters that even though it worked out in the end, I still cared very little for her.

One minor character I really liked was the butler, Delany, who was from Texas. I liked how he stayed true to himself and to the Dawsons in their times of need (and I’m partial to anyone from Texas!).

One sign of a good book, I have heard said, is it brings out strong emotions within you. If this is true, then My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York, fits the bill.

One note of caution. However, there are a few scenes of semi-graphic violence.

I received this book from NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Journey now to Niagara Falls, New York, of 1870 where…
She avoids danger at all costs. He makes his living by rushing headlong into it.

Outwardly, Adele Linley’s trip to visit her American cousins is nothing more than a summer vacation. In reality, she’s the daughter of an English aristocrat with barely a penny to her name seeking a rich American husband.

Having grown up in an overcrowded orphanage, Drew Dawson is determined to make a name for himself. He’ll take any honest job to provide for his sister—even crossing Niagara Falls by tightrope.

On a sightseeing trip to the Falls, Adele meets several eligible suitors. Incredibly wealthy and pompous, Franklin Conway takes an immediate fancy to her. But Adele would truly like to marry for love.  When she encounters the mysterious Drew in the garden, Adele is confused by her feelings for someone who is everything she is NOT looking for. Will they both stay the course they have chosen for themselves?

Minding the Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

ABOUT the BOOK

Book Title: Minding the Light

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: July 3, 2018

Six long years ago, Captain Reynolds Macy sailed away from his bride, looking forward to the day when he would return to Nantucket Island with a ship’s hold full of whale oil. But when that momentous day finally arrives, Ren soon discovers that everything has changed in his absence. Everything. “Is nothing on this island as it appears to be?” he whispers in despair.

Unlike most islanders, bold and spirited Daphne Coffin doesn’t defer to Ren as an authoritative whalemaster, but sees through his aloofness to the aching heart beneath. She encourages him to return to his Quaker roots and “mind the Light,” finding solace in God and community. As Ren becomes the man she believes him to be–honorable, wise, faithful–she finds herself falling in love with him.

But how can she, when her heart is spoken for? Tristram Macy is Ren’s business partner, cousin, and best friend–and Daphne’s fiancé. Love always comes at a cost, but when is the price too high?

Suzanne Woods Fisher welcomes readers back to the Quaker community on Nantucket Island for this riveting love story, full of unexpected moments.

Click here to purchase your copy!

MY THOUGHTS

Suzanne Woods Fisher’s novel, Minding the Light, is full of history and tidbits of folklore about Nantucket. Although it is the second book in the Nantucket Legacy series, it can easily be read as a standalone as it is about a different generation of the founding families.

I was fascinated to learn of the history of the early founders of Nantucket. Almost everyone on the island was a Quaker, so I learned a lot of the history of the Quaker religion, too.

There were many heavy, sad details in the story. Surprisingly, some of the details were quite unexpected, such as drug abuse (and possibly addiction), whereas others, such as slavery and bigotry, weren’t as surprising but were still sad.

A captivating and enthralling novel of life in a whaling community, fraught with danger and excitement… Minding the Light is a gripping, authentic representation of life in the 19th Century, further enhanced by the glossary of terms, resources and discussion questions included in the book.

I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher through Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

ABOUT the AUTHOR

Carol-award winner Suzanne Woods Fisher writes untold stories about inspiring  people. With over one million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction, ranging from Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World to the historical novel Anna’s Crossing.

GUEST POST from SUZANNE

8 Curious Facts You Probably Didn’t Know about Nantucket Island

This beautiful island, thirty miles off Cape Cod, is steeped in history. Here are just a few interesting reasons to add a visit to Nantucket to your bucket list.

1) During the first half of the nineteenth century, Nantucket was considered to be the wealthiest port in the world…all because of whale oil.

2) Petticoat Row is a 19th-century nickname for a portion of Centre Street between Main Street and Broad Street. Many shops on Nantucket were run by women while the men were off to sea in whaling ships for years at a time. Quakerism, with its emphasis on equality, provided working women with community respect, value and esteem. The next time you’re visiting Nantucket, be sure to stop by the Petticoat Row Bakery for a morning glory muffin.

3) The use of laudanum (opium) was described by a visiting French as prevalent among the women of Nantucket. Loyal Nantucketers vehemently denied his claim. However, in the 1980s, construction workers digging to Nantucket’s sewer lines found heaps of opium bottles buried in the ground.

For centuries, laudanum was considered to be not only harmless but beneficial. Its very name in Latin is landare, which means to praise. Other names for it: Mother’s Helper (to sedate children), Sea Calm (for seasickness). It was used for all kinds of ailments, from sleeplessness to menstrual cramps to treatment of chronic pain, and available without prescription up until the twentieth century, when it was found to be highly addictive.

4) Nantucket Cent Schools were a carryover from England and the cost was exactly what the name implied. In New England, they were kept by refined, thrifty women who often taught their own or their neighbors’ children until they were old enough to enter schools of a higher grade. I came across a story of a boy whose mother stuck a penny in his mouth each day so that he would remember to pay the teacher.

5) Moby Dick, written by Herman Melville in 1851, was based on a true-life event that occurred in 1820 to the Nantucket whaleship Essex and her crew. You can find out more about this ill-fated voyage if you visit Nantucket’s awesome whaling museum.

6) Speaking of…the whaling museum on Nantucket Island is called the Peter Foulger Whaling Museum. Peter Foulger was one of the early settlers to the island and could be considered a Renaissance Man: inventor, surveyor, teacher, missionary to the Wampanoag Indians. And his grandson was none other than Benjamin Franklin.

7) Nantucketers were, for the most part, related to each other in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The prosperous island was settled by a small group of families, with less than a dozen surnames: Coffin, Macy, Starbuck, Bunker, Hussey, Gardner, Mayhew, Swain, Barnard, Coleman, Worth, Mitchell. Those names are still common on the island.

8) There’s a good reason those surnames sound familiar to you—many of those early settlers had descendants who started business empires. Recognize these? Macy (retailer) and Folger (coffee).

BLOG STOPS

Carpe Diem, July 3

Livin Lit, July 3

midnightbookaholic, July 3

The Avid Reader, July 4

Margaret Kazmierczak, July 4

The Power of Words, July 4

A Baker’s Perspective, July 5

Blossoms and Blessings, July 5

A Reader’s Brain, July 5

Just the Write Escape, July 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 6

Bibliophile Reviews, July 7

Mary Hake, July 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 7

Texas Book-aholic, July 8

Simple Harvest Reads, July 8 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Janices book reviews, July 9

Captive Dreams Window, July 9

Book by Book, July 9

Back Porch Reads, July 10

Reading Is My SuperPower, July 10

Splashes of Joy, July 10

The Morning Chapter, July 11

Vicky Sluiter, July 11

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 11

Among the Reads, July 12

proud to be an autism mom, July 12

Two Points of Interest, July 12

Abbas Prayer Warrior Princess, July 13

Tell Tale Book Reviews, July 13

Blogging With Carol, July 13

Truth and Grace Writing and Life Coaching, July 14

Maureen’s Musings, July 14

Southern Gal Loves to Read, July 14

Godly Book Reviews, July 15

Inklings and notions, July 15

Bigreadersite, July 15

Connie’s History Classroom , July 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 16

Pause for Tales, July 16

Have A Wonderful Day, July 16

GIVEAWAY

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card to five winners!!

Be sure to leave a comment on one of the blog stops for 9 extra entries into the giveaway. Click link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d1c4/minding-the-light-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Spotlight-The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck-Celebrate Lit Tour

About the Book

Title: The Love Letter

Author: Rachel Hauck

Release Date: June 12, 2018

Genre: Contemporary

Tour Dates: June 21 – July 4

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a story of long-lost love and its redemption in future generations.

Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.

When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.

Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times. She is a double RITA finalist, a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Rachel sits on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, and is the comical sidekick to Susan May Warren at the amazing My Book Therapy. She is a worship leader and speaker.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel is a devoted Ohio State football fan. She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

Guest Post from Rachel Hauck

I’m always looking for story ideas. My husband does a standard disclaimer when I start drilling into a conversation with questions like:

”Really? So why did you do that?”

”Have you sought help?”

”Was it love at first sight?”

Hubster says, “Warning, anything you say can end up in a book.”

Of course, stories abound! Interesting people abound!

Then again, sometimes ideas just hit out of the blue. A few years ago I had the idea of a young, contemporary couple meeting by “accident” only to learn that their great grandparents were in love but time, life, family, war, or society made their love impossible.

I suppose there are a hundred ways to tell such a story but when it came time to write The Love Letter, I was slightly infatuated with the Poldark series on PBS.

Set in 18th century Cornwall, the story and the characters were so dynamic I had to write my own version of Poldark.

But could I write a split time with a 240 year difference? I mean, they didn’t have electricity or phones in 1780! They didn’t even have a postal system. Letters were carried by traveling friends or family.

What possible conflicts could my historical characters face? What event could be so dark and tragic to keep them apart?

The Revolutionary War created a perfect backdrop for my young lovers.

I set the story in upcountry South Carolina not realizing the battle I chose for the back drop, the Battle of Cowpens, was the inspiration for the movie The Patriot. (A fav movie of mine!)

For the contemporary story, I started with shoes. I mean, doesn’t every thing start with shoes?

”Nice outfit but what shoes are you wearing?”

”You’re going on a date? You need new shoes.”

What we “walk in” can either empower or defeat us. There’s a spiritual metaphor I’ll mediate on for awhile.

However, the shoe angle didn’t quite work so the contemporary story ended up in Hollywood with an actor/screenwriter and an actress.

Both worlds—1780 upcountry South Carolina and contemporary Hollywood—were a bit out of my southern bailiwick.

I did a lot of research on the war and the colonial south. Where I couldn’t find details, I filled in with my imagination.

As for Hollywood, I talked with a screenwriter friend, read books, watched interviews, and then, you know, made the rest up. Don’t you know I eventually ended up on a movie set—Once Upon A Prince—four days after I finished reading the galley proofs for The Love Letter!

One of the hardest parts of the story was the actual love letter. What did it say? Who wrote it and why? Was there more than one? No, only one. But why only one?

I must have written and rewritten the letter five different ways to Sunday before I settled on the magical one.

During the course of the book, I realized I’d never written a love letter. Have you?

I’ve written sentiments to my husband on an anniversary or birthday card. I speak my love and affection out loud all the time. But a bonafide love letter?

A love letter is it’s own art form. They range from sickly sweet with a lot of “darlings” and “sweethearts” to Shakespearean sonnets.

There’s a vulnerability that comes with writing a love letter. Putting one’s heart on the page creates a new level of commitment with your affections.

Will the reader receive your words? Will the reader respond in kind?

It’s fascinating to consider the purpose of a love letter. Have we lost something intrinsic to the human heart with our instant texting and email society.

Can you imagine Romeo texting to Juliet in 2018?

Saw you at your window. You looked hot.

Doesn’t quite have the same ring as: “But soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun.”

Scripture is a continuous love letter. “For God so loved the world—”

Whether you write love letters or poems, or quick texts, or put XO’s on cards to loved ones, write a love letter this month.

Write one to yourself, to Jesus, a spouse, child, parent, friend, foe—

See how it will bless your heart! Off to write my love letter…

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, June 21

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 21

The Avid Reader, June 21

Genesis 5020, June 21

ansel book blog, June 22

Blogging With Carol, June 22

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, June 22

Cover to Cover and Everything in Between, June 23

The Power of Words, June 23

Luv’N Lambert Life, June 23

Janices book reviews, June 23

C Jane Read, June 24

Kristin’s Book Reviews, June 24

Reflections From My Bookshelves, June 25

Faithfully Bookish, June 25

By The Book, June 25

Reading Is My SuperPower, June 25

Kat’s Corner Books, June 26

Maureen’s Musings, June 26

Ladybug Chronicles, June 26

Carpe Diem, June 26

Moments Dipped in Ink, June 27

Mommynificent , June 27

Godly Book Reviews, June 27

God’s Little Bookworm, June 28

Radiant Light, June 28

All-of-a-kind Mom, June 28

Have A Wonderful Day, June 28

Novels corner, June 29

Blossoms and Blessings, June 29

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 29

Bigreadersite, June 29

Pause for Tales, June 30

Bibliophile Reviews, June 30

Splashes of Joy, June 30

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 1

Simple Harvest Reads, July 1

The Christian Fiction Girl, July 1

A Baker’s Perspective, July 1

Remembrancy, July 2

amandainpa, July 2

To Everything A Season, July 2

proud to be an autism mom, July 3

Texas Book-aholic, July 3

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, July 3

Fiction, Faith, and Fun, July 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away

Grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7
Semi-Grand prize of a book basket
2nd – 4th place prize of a copy of The Love Letter!!

Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d071/the-love-letter-celebration-tour-giveaway

My Heart Belongs in Glenwood Springs, Colorado: Millie’s Resolve by Rebecca Jepson

Quote

My Review

Millie Cooper is a stronger, more admirable person than I am. There is no way, especially after six years, that I would become the nurse for the mother and brother who broke up my engagement with their son and brother. I wouldn’t have the willingness or grace, particularly after learning their reason was-I was beneath them socially as the child of a fisherman’s family! Then, add that to the fact that her beloved needs her to care for his pregnant wife…NO WAY, NO HOW! However, if we indeed accept God’s grace, we can do anything. In this way, Millie is truly a strong, admirable person.

Rebecca Jepson is a new author to me, but she won’t stay that way long. Her story resonates with Biblical truths, insights and wisdom. She crafts a unique story that leaves you guessing until the end. The last few pages toward the end produce a desire to be able to read even faster! Inevitably, it can’t end the way you fear, or can it? The suspense is exciting, causing you to hold your breath hoping for, and receiving, a satisfying conclusion.

I am so enjoying the My Heart Belongs Series! I especially like that I am discovering new authors like Rebecca Jepson and that each book is a stand-alone story.

I received this book from Barbour Publishing, Inc. through NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Journey now to healing spa town of Glenwood Springs, Colorado in 1888

Where the past and present collide, and a woman is on the precipice of unexpected love.

Millie Cooper, fisherman’s-daughter-turned-nurse, flees a painful entanglement with the wealthy Drexel family who summered near her childhood home in Nantucket, only to encounter them again six years later in Glenwood Springs. The serenity of her mountain hideaway in a town with healing springs is disrupted when she faces caring for the elderly mother and the expectant wife of Stephen Drexel, the man she’d once loved—at the request of his brother John, the man who’d kept them apart. Will Millie forgive the wrongs she feels were done to her, or will she come to see them as a blessing in disguise that leads her to greater joys?

More Books in The Series

My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss: Priscilla’s Reveille by Erica Vetsch (January 2017)
My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmella’s Quandary by Susan Page Davis (March 2017)
My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca’s Plight by Susanne Dietze (May 2017)
My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily’s Dilemma by Andrea Boeshaar (September 2017)
My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah: Leanna’s Choice by Angie Dicken(November 2017)
My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York: Adele’s Journey by Amanda Barratt (January 2018)

Return to Bella Terra (The Italian Chronicles Book 3) by MaryAnn Diorio

My Review

Return to Bella Terra opens in America, specifically Brooklyn, New York, in the early 1900s. MaryAnn Diorio depicts the plight of the Italian immigrants to the United States in vivid detail. My heart ached for the Tonetta family, indeed all the families struggling to eke out a living while facing extreme racism and poverty. Couple their dire straits with the harsh winter, and I was moved to tears.

Maria Tonetta returns to Sicily with her oldest child, Nico, after receiving a telegram letting her know her mother is in her final days on earth. Diorio painted such a contrast between the weather in New York and Maria’s home in Italy that you not only felt you were there in the lush fields and countryside, but you also wanted to be there. However, Sicily’s economic crisis, the reason the Tonetta’s left for America, was still evident.

I enjoyed being able to catch up with the people of The Italian Chronicles. I especially appreciated the perspicuous and plentiful references to the characters’ faith, forgiveness and redemption even amidst their failings and frailties. There were some aspects of the story where I felt one or two of the people were more judgmental than was necessary for the circumstances, but overall the narrative felt true to life and representative of human nature.

Return to Bella Terra is book three, and the last, of The Italian Chronicles series. Because the story is a continuation, it would be better to read all three in order.

I received this book from BookCrash. However, I was under no obligation to post a review, nor was a positive review required.

You may purchase this book on Amazon or from a local retailer. (Not an affiliate link.)

Publisher’s Summary

A mother, her son, and the man who threatens to come between them . . .

When Maria Landro Tonetta receives word that Mama is terminally ill, Maria travels to her Sicilian homeland with her son Nico. She finds herself yearning for the life she once knew as a child on Bella Terra, the family farm, now on the verge of bankruptcy.

Caught between two worlds, Maria dreams of moving back to Sicily with her husband and children to save the farm.
When, however, Nico’s biological father unexpectedly appears at Mama’s funeral, Maria faces a new enemy to her dream.

But is there an even greater enemy within her own soul?

Hope Reborn (Texas Romance Series Book 3) by Caryl McAdoo

About the Book

Historical Christian ‘Western Adventure’ Romance Novel Hope Reborn is Book 3 in Caryl McAdoo’s Texas Romance series and debuted December 20, 2014.

Set in 1850, it tells the story of May Meriwether, a successful New York dime novelist thinking life is slipping away unfulfilled. She’s bored with the same old heroes and heroines and stories and Uptown social circles. Then she spots an interesting article in the Tribune. Texas Ranger Levi Baylor and his Captain Wallace Rusk have captured the Comanche War Chief Bold Eagle.

The wheels start turning. Throwing caution to the wind, she charges her companion, Chester, to arrange passage to Texas for the both of them. The Rangers will be wonderful hero models for some fresh stories wrought with adventure and intrigue. May couldn’t know the troubles she’d find in Texas and what she could lose there in the new wild west state.

Hope Reborn follows Book 1 Vow Unbroken set in 1832 and released by Simon and Schuster’s Howard Books March 4th, 2014 wherein Levi is the orphaned nephew of Susannah Baylor, a gritty young widow scratching out a living from the untamed Tejas prairie.

And Book 2 Hearts Stolen that debuted September 5th, 2014 indie published by Ron and Caryl McAdoo. Twelve years have passed, and young Levi Baylor is now twenty-six and making quite a name for himself as the Ranger who always gets his man.

Dispatched to the peace camp of Comanche Chief Bold Eagle to pick up the stolen white woman bargained for in Sam Houston’s treaty, But the beautiful redhead he spots Sassy Fogelsong, a girl from back home he happens to notice, but her name isn’t on his list.

My Review

I must confess I have a weakness for stories about Texas. I lived in the D/FW area for many years, and it still holds a huge piece of my heart.

Caryl McAdoo writes a delightful story about Patrick “Henry” Buckmeyer, Texas Ranger extraordinaire and his family, and about an author of dime novels, May Meriwether. However, May has many secrets. Secrets she’d rather stay that way, but a certain Texas Ranger may “tickle” the truth out of her.

One of my favorite characters was May’s friend Chester. Chester acts as chaperone, helper and friend to May.  He also helps guide her through life, something she needs as a single woman in the 18800s. But the thing I enjoy most about Chester…he knows May better than she knows herself and can get in those little zingers that only someone who really knows and cares about you could or would be allowed to do.

Hope Reborn has a very distinct and constant theme of Christianity and makes no apologies for it, either. Part of the storyline deals with the strong faith of many of the characters and the lack of faith on the part of an individual essential to the narrative. I appreciate McAdoo’s handling of the situation and its resolution.

I enjoyed reading Hope Reborn and getting reacquainted with the Buckmeyers, Baylors and Wheelers. I have always relished reading stories that follow a family, or in this case families, and continue throughout several books.

Caryl McAdoo wrote this story several years ago. I read it at the time, then read the others in the series. I had the chance to reread it and review it, so I jumped at the opportunity.

I received a free copy of this book/eBook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Publisher’s Summary

New York dime novelist May Meriwether decides a heroic Texas Ranger will make a great love interest for her new heroine. Bored to tears and loving adventure, she sets out to the Lone Star State with her constant companion and confidant Chester in tow.

Dreams for a husband and children are relegated to the recesses of her heart, the self-confessed old maid deems it too late. But the near-perfect widower resurrects a smidgen of hope. Only his impenetrable, superstitious religious beliefs stand in the path to her falling head over heels, those and his love for his dead wife. Would there ever be room for her in his heart? And would he give up his fanaticism for God?

An unexpected romance surprises both. Hope is reborn in God’s unfailing love and grace. Can a life built on lies find the Way to confession, forgiveness, and true joy? In a day when the church offers the only stability on the 1850 Texas prairie, these unlikely players find one another and fall in love. But will it be enough?

Author Bio

In April 2012, Caryl met Mary Sue Seymour at NETWO’s Spring Conference and wrote her first historical Christian romance set in the 1800s especially for the agent. (Whose maiden name was remarkably ‘McAdoo’!) Mary Sue offered representation in August, and VOW UNBROKEN sold in October to Howard Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. It debuts on March 4, 2014.

Six months later, book two in the Texas Romance series debuted, HEARTS STOLEN set in 1839-1844, Then two months later a new Biblical fiction series The Generations was born with volume one A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS, the story of Adam and Eve, Cain and Sheriah, and Abel in Paradise with a kindly old cherub named Namrel!

Caryl, also known as Grami, has fourteen grandsugars (one more than she has books now) and enjoys painting and gardening. A proclaimed psalmist, she’s dedicated to serving God, loving praise and worship and that He frequently gives her new songs. Caryl believes all good things are from Him and prays her new books will minister His love, mercy, and grace to her readers.

Contact Information

Website: http://carylmcadoo.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/caryl.mcadoo/author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarylMcAdoo
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/pub/caryl-mcadoo/23/623/5
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+CarylMcAdoo/posts
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/181587.Caryl_McAdoo?from_search=true
Amazon link:http://www.amazon.com/Hope-Reborn-Caryl-McAdoo/dp/1502817047/ref=la_B00E963CFG_1_6_title_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420728398&sr=1-6

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Red Sky Over America (Ladies of Oberlin Book 1) by Tamera Lynn Kraft

My Review

Tamera Lynn Kraft’s book Red Sky Over America (a great play on words, btw!) has many characters integral to the story. However, the main characters are America (Merry) Leighton and William Woods, both students, though from very different parts of the country, at Oberlin College.

Merry grew up in Kentucky, the daughter of a slave owner, but she begins to realize just how wrong it is to be a part of slave ownership.

William is a student at Oberlin and an abolitionist preacher who spends his winter break in Kentucky preaching against slavery.

Kraft doesn’t shy away from writing about some very harrowing situations that were challenging for me to read. The book deals with the treatment of slaves in a very gritty way. The imagery is grim and incomprehensible in some cases; the life portrayed of some slaves was grueling. However, I believe, as inconceivable, unfathomable and beyond understanding that the cruelty some circumstances were, they only touched on the tip of the iceberg.

I appreciated the attention to details and to the reality of life in 1850’s South, even as I cringed and felt sick to my stomach reading about it. Kraft’s extensive research resonates throughout the story, and her words stir up graphic and powerful mental imagery of the time.

I was surprised, but fascinated, by how the novel, tagged as a romance, addresses the interaction between the two love interests almost as an afterthought. Instead, we become acquainted with them as individuals. Each separately carries out the plans they feel God has called them to do. At the same time, they are learning the lessons necessary to trust Him in their walk with Him and to bring them together if it is His will.

Red Sky Over America is a profoundly moving book that features a large cast of characters in a myriad of situations, but it flows smoothly and effortlessly.  I am looking forward to reading the other novels in the series as soon as they become available.

I received an advance copy of the book from the author. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

William and America confront evil, but will it cost them everything?

In 1857, America, the daughter of a slave owner, is an abolitionist and a student at Oberlin College, a school known for its radical ideas. America goes home to Kentucky during school break to confront her father about freeing his slaves.

America’s classmate, William, goes to Kentucky to preach abolition to churches that condone slavery. America and William find themselves in the center of the approaching storm sweeping the nation and may not make it home to Ohio or live through the struggle.

The Innkeeper’s Daughter by Michelle Griep

About the Book

Title: The Innkeeper’s Daughter

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Release Date: March 1, 2018

A London officer goes undercover to expose a plot against the Crown
Dover, England, 1808: Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the king—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue. . .until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.

All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.

Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

MichelleGriep

Michelle Griep has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog “Writer off the Leash” or visit www.michellegriep.com.

My Review

Michelle Griep’s book, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, is filled with mystery, intrigue, (swoon-worthy) romance plus a man that dresses very strangely and lets his puppet talk for him more than he does himself.

I started reading The Innkeeper’s Daughter  late one evening. I should have known from having read Griep’s novella, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, Book 1 in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas by Michelle Griep (my review), that I wouldn’t be able to put the book down! I was right; I couldn’t!

The writing is incredibly descriptive. For example, you can feel every pothole the wagons go over, see the neglect of the inn due to lack of funds and smell the stench from the wharves. In addition, you feel the emotions of the characters’, be it love, loathing, fear or the gluttonous, insatiable need for control and to harm.

The story is well researched with interesting tidbits of history during the Regency Era, to include some historical notes at the end of the book. There are some scenes of violence, threats of violence and other insinuations of harm that may be intense for some readers.

I received this book (in print or e-book form) from Celebrate Lit, Barbour Publishing and NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Guest Post from Michelle Griep

Celebrating Oak Apple Day

Spring is just around the corner, or maybe it’s in full bloom in your neck of the woods. Regardless, by this time of year, everyone is ready to celebrate. . .and nothing new is under the sun. For centuries people have been eager to welcome budding greenery and warmth.

In my recent release, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, I incorporated a spring holiday that’s been around for over 500 years in England, one you may never heard of.

Oak Apple Day.

This ancient celebration dates back to the year 1651. At the time, Charles II escaped the Roundhead army by taking cover in an oak tree. Everyone loved ol’ Charlie and was glad he lived, so in his honor, a new national holiday was born—one that in some parts of England is still celebrated today.

Another name for this annual event is Royal Oak Day and the festivities occur every May 29th. Celebration traditions vary from parades to the ringing of bells, but one thing that is standard is that it’s a day to pin an oak leaf on your lapel. If you fail to wear one, you could end up getting pinched.

The hero in my latest release is kind enough to remind the heroine that she forgot to pin on her leaf, thus saving her from untoward pinches. Interested in hearing more about this gallant fellow and the forgetful miss? Here’s a blurb about The Innkeeper’s Daughter

Tension is high with the threat of a Napoleonic attack in Regency England, but risk from abroad means nothing when there’s danger at home.

Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the crown—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue . . . until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.

All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.

Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.

It’s a race against time for them both.

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, March 15

Fiction Aficionado, March 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 15

The Morning Chapter, March 15

Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 16

Reading Is My SuperPower, March 16

Mommynificent, March 16

Blogging With Carol, March 16

Among the Reads, March 17

Connie’s History Classroom, March 17

Mary Hake, March 17

Blossoms and Blessings, March 17

Karen Sue Hadley, March 18

The Power of Words, March 18

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, March 18

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 18

Kathleen Denly, March 19

Faithfully Bookish, March 19

Captive Dreams Window, March 19

Red Headed Book Lady, March 19

The Fizzy Pop Collection, March 20

Remembrancy, March 20

Inklings and notions, March 20

Book by Book, March 20

Moments Dipped in Ink, March 21

Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, March 21

Singing Librarian Books, March 21

To Everything a Season, March 21

Bookworm Mama, March 22

Two Points of Interest, March 22

Vicky Sluiter, March 22

Carpe Diem, March 22

Pause for Tales, March 23

Have A Wonderful Day, March 23

A Baker’s Perspective, March 23

margaret kazmierczak, March 23 (Interview)

proud to be an autism mom, March 24

Bibliophile Reviews, March 24

A Greater Yes, March 24

Texas Book-aholic, March 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 25

Janices book reviews, March 25

A Reader’s Brain, March 26

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 26

Simple Harvest Reads, March 26 (Mindy Houng Guest Post)

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, March 27

My Writer’s Life, March 27

Pursuing Stacie, March 27

Bigreadersite, March 27

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 28

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, March 28

Pink Granny’s Journey, March 28

The PhD Mamma, March 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of The Innkeeper’s Daughter and a $25 gift card from Barnes & Noble!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cb72