Tag Archives: Kim Vogel Sawyer

The Librarian of Boone’s Hollow by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Kim Vogel Sawyer’s newest book The Librarian of Boone’s Hollow, portrays the juxtaposition of the depression era timeframe and the despair of the deep South in so very haunting a way. I was intrigued and fascinated with learning about this period of time in our nation’s history. Her writing pulls you into the story in a way that leaves you feeling as if you were there, too, experiencing everything the cast of characters experiences.

I have read many of Kim Vogel Sawyer’s books, but I think this is my favorite. The people are easy to love, and having lived the largest part of my life in the South, I can attest to the superstitions and old wives’ tales that used to run rampant (and in some areas still do) through its annals.  Sawyer has done a wonderful job of capturing the desolation and isolation in the hills of Kentucky, and her superlative research shines throughout the story.

The Christian element runs compellingly through the book in the female protagonist, Addie Cowherd, who exemplifies her faith in steadfast, infallible ways. And, even though she is not accepted as she hoped she would be, she carries on, nonetheless. Sawyer’s ability to interweave convincing and effective scriptural truths without beating one over the head with it is much needed and refreshing.

I hated to leave Boone’s Hollow as each character became as real to me as possible. I would love to see a sequel to The Librarian of Boone’s Hollow.

I received The Librarian of Boone’s Hollow from Waterbrook through NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

A traveling librarian ventures into the mining towns of Kentucky on horseback—and learns to trust the One who truly pens her story—in this powerful novel from the best-selling author of A Silken Thread.

During the Great Depression, city-dweller Addie Cowherd dreams of becoming a novelist and offering readers the escape that books had given her during her tragic childhood. When her father loses his job, she is forced to take the only employment she can find—delivering books on horseback to poor coal-mining families in the hills of Kentucky.

But turning a new page will be nearly impossible in Boone’s Hollow, where residents are steeped in superstitions and deeply suspicious of outsiders. Even local Emmett Tharp feels the sting of rejection after returning to the tiny mountain hamlet as the first in his family to graduate college. And as the crippled economy leaves many men jobless, he fears his degree won’t be worth much in a place where most men either work the coal mine or run moonshine.

As Addie also struggles to find her place, she’ll unearth the truth about a decades-old rivalry. But when someone sets out to sabotage the town’s library program, will the culprit chase Addie away or straight into the arms of the only person who can help her put a broken community back together?

Unveiling the Past by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Kim Vogel Sawyer’s newest book, Unveiling the Past, is a multi-layered, multifaceted book. However, even though there is more than one story woven throughout the pages, it is not overly complex or complicated.

I’ve never read a mystery/suspense storyline by Sawyer and did not realize this was a sequel. I still enjoyed it very much.

The protagonists are determined to get to the bottom of the mysteries surrounding their own lives and the lives of those who need their help. Their persistence is admirable.

Sawyer also introduces a spiritual element that is hard to resist. She doesn’t browbeat you or use hellfire and brimstone to get her message across. She just gently introduces it as a vital element in the lives of the main characters, then lets their lives speak for their faith. The degree to which she weaves it seamlessly and effortlessly into the story is creditable.

Unveiling the Past has a few unsettling scenes for anyone who has difficulty reading such occurrences or events. (I have PTSD and a few scenes were slightly disturbing to me, but I was able to read the entire book.)

I am now looking forward to purchasing and reading the first book in the series, Bringing Maggie Home.

I received the book from Waterbrook. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

(Releases today!!)

#Waterbrook

Publisher’s Summary

Mysteries, family secrets, and the love of a true Father are found at the heart of this gripping novel from the bestselling author of Bringing Maggie Home

Newlyweds Sean Eagle and Meghan DeFord are no strangers to pain and loss. As cold-case detectives, they know intimately the anguish family members endure after the murder or disappearance of a loved one. But when a new case hits too close to home, it threatens to pull loose the fragile cords of their young marriage.

Sheila Menke was just a girl when her father left for work and never returned. An investigation revealed he had embezzled enough to start a new life elsewhere, but Sheila could never accept the court’s criminalization of her father. Meghan reluctantly takes the case, secretly fearing it will stir up buried feelings about her own biological father. And while Sean investigates the mysterious death of two young brothers, he longs to start a family. But Meghan worries that with a negligent mother and an absentee father as her parenting examples, she might never be fit for motherhood.

As they delve deeper into the past, both Meghan and Sheila must choose to either stumble along the road of bitterness and resentment or walk the difficult path toward forgiveness and healing. When the cases begin to break wide open, these young women are poised to discover that while earthly fathers may fail, there is one in heaven who is a father to the fatherless.

Ours for a Season by Kim Vogel Sawyer

My Review

Kim Vogel Sawyer’s newest novel, Ours for a Season, is an atypical Mennonite story.

Marty and Anthony Hirschler, unable to have children, are floundering in their marriage. Neither knows how to cross the ever-widening chasm that is growing.

Marty’s best friend since childhood contacts her wanting to hire Anthony, who is a general contractor, to rebuild a “ghost” town, thus offering them a change of scenery and pace.

I felt a myriad of emotions during the reading of Ours for a Season. My heart ached for the Hirschler’s and their inability to have children, along with growing antipathy toward each other. The story also deals with some weighty issues, from teenage runaways to sex trafficking, infertility and cancer.

I took a little time to warm up to Marty. I felt she was a little harsh with her husband. I also felt Anthony wasn’t as sympathetic and understanding as he could have been. However, as the story progressed, I came to care for both of them, along with the other characters who are introduced.

The story flows well, from one situation to the next without your feeling as if you’re on a roller coaster ride.  There is a lot of insight and spiritual profundity in the story, which will leave you thinking about it for a long while after reading it.

I received this book from WaterBrook Publisher’s, NetGalley and the author. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

An Old Order Mennonite couple’s vows and beliefs are challenged in this stirring contemporary novel for fans of Cindy Woodsmall or Shelley Shepherd Gray.

Anthony and Marty Hirschler are part of an Old Order Mennonite community in Pine Hill, Indiana. The couple has grown apart since a doctor confirmed they would never have children. Marty longs to escape the tight-knit area where large families are valued, and the opportunity to do so arises when her childhood friend, Brooke Spalding, resurfaces with the wild idea of rebuilding a ghost town into a resort community. Brooke hires Anthony to help with the construction, drawing the Hirschlers away from Indiana and into her plan, and then finds herself diagnosed with cancer. Moral complications with Brooke’s vision for a casino as part of the resort and the discovery of a runaway teenager hiding on the property open up a world neither the Hirschlers nor Brooke had considered before. Will they be able to overcome their challenges and differences to help the ones among them hurting the most?

The Matchmaker Brides Collection by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, Amanda Cabot, Lisa Carter, Ramona K. Cecil, Lynn A. Coleman, Susanne Dietze, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Connie Stevens, Liz Tolsma

My Review

Imagine being a matchmaker and not being able to find your own match, well, that’s exactly what happens in The Matchmaker Brides Collection, a compilation of nine novellas.

Every one of the ladies and a couple of the men have been somewhat successful at finding matches for others. However, they aren’t very good at finding their own match, even when those matches are right under their noses.

The stories cover different cities in America from 1876 to 1895. The settings are in real places, and it was fun to get to know more about the history of the small towns chosen, along with the time period, too.

The tales are short, so they are quick to read and make for a wonderful opportunity to curl up and absorb them individually or all at one time.

The Matchmaker Brides Collection also resonates with inspirational themes in the narratives, highlighting the need for faith, hope and sometimes forgiveness.

If you enjoy historical fiction, with an element of romance, you are sure to love these nine novellas written by nine Christian authors.

I received a copy of The Matchmaker Brides Collection from NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Nine Meddling Matchmakers Find Love When They Least Expect It

Meet nine women of the late 1800s who have found themselves in the role of matchmaker. They think they have mastered the art of recognizing romantic potential in others, but when it comes to their own lives they have been unlucky in love. In small communities from Tennessee to Colorado, Wyoming to Indiana, love unexpectedly enters the women’s lives with men they never imagined marrying. But what will it take to get these ladies to say “I do”?

Home Grown Bride by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer
1876–Lebanon, Illinois
Emmie Mueller thinks the only way to leave Illinois and join her family in Kansas is to play matchmaker to the boarders who stand in the way of her grandmother selling her house. But tables are turned when the boarders attempt to match her with the newest man in town, Landon Knipp.

The Unmatched Bride by Amanda Cabot
1886–Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory
When a confirmed spinster matchmaker accepts an unusual assignment and helps a wealthy widower choose the right mate for his daughter, more than one couple finds true love.

Playing Possum by Lisa Carter
1895–Possum Trot, WY
Hoping to outplay, outwit, and outlast the Possum Trot matchmakers during the harvest festival, Cage Cooper proposes a pretend engagement to suffragette Theodosia Holland. Trouble is—in playing possum, they both may have gotten far more than they bargained for.

Hog Trough Bride by Ramona K. Cecil
1882–Honeytown, Indiana
Hoping to save her older sister from the humiliation of having to dance in the hog trough—a local custom when a younger sister beats her older sister to the altar—an aspiring bride engages in multiple matchmaking attempts with chaotic and surprising results.

The Tinman’s Match by Lynn A. Coleman
1880–On the road from Virginia to Tennessee
Josephine Woodley is surprised to find Xander Russell, a matchmaker, is an honorable man. Can she soften his tin heart enough for him to consider a match of his own?

Miss Matched by Susanne Dietze
1879–Emerald, Colorado
Brainy Grace Perkins applies scientific principles to play matchmaker for the singles in her small town. However, her hypothesis leaves out God’s role and matters of the heart, creating tangled results.

The Backfired Bride by Kim Vogel Sawyer
1889–Friendly, Kansas
Can a pair of single, inexperienced but well-meaning young people convince an older man and woman that marriage is better than remaining alone?

Sing of the Mercy by Connie Stevens
1876–Black Hills of Dakota Territory
A newly-elected mayor teams up with a hash house cook to turn a mining camp into a brand new town. Will they be able to transform the rough-edged miners into gentlemen, persuading prospective brides to consider matrimony?

A Match Made in Heaven by Liz Tolsma
1885–Detwiler, Iowa
Pastor Len Montgomery receives an unusual letter that turns him into the matchmaker he never wanted to be. But the match he most wants to make, the one with the town’s sweet and charming postmistress, may be out of his reach.

Friday’s Fiction

When Love Returns

When Love Returns (The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy)

by Kim Vogel Sawyer.

About Book

Riddled with doubt and lingering regrets, will Suzanne and Paul find strength in God to explore a second chance at love?

It wasn’t easy to move back to the Old Order Mennonite community from which quiet, responsible Suzanne Zimmerman was shamefully sent away as a pregnant teen. Returning twenty years later to take care of her mother, Suzanne and Alexa—the daughter she raised as her own—have spent months rebuilding relationships with her family.

Now with the upcoming wedding of their biological daughter, Suzanne and Paul find themselves drawn to one another once again—but with new challenges to face. They have been single parents with painful pasts. Can Paul and Suzanne find the strength to rebuild the loving relationship that was torn apart by their teen pregnancy so long ago?

Suzanne must also let go of Alexa as she heads back to Indianapolis to visit friends–and as her chance to find her birth parents. Leaving the bed-and-breakfast in Suzanne’s apprehensive hands, Alexa embarks on a journey that will certainly change her life completely. Can mother and daughter trust God to restore all things in His timing?

My Thoughts

Kim Vogel Sawyer does a marvelous job of ending The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy with a very satisfying conclusion in When Love Returns.

Suzanne Zimmerman has returned to her home, not an easy task considering being sent away as a pregnant teenager, shamed and afraid, over twenty years earlier. She has returned with her daughter Alexa to help take care of her mother. In addition, Alexa has started a bed and breakfast in the family home.

Against all odds, Suzanne finds herself drawn to Paul Aldrich, the father of the baby she was forced to give up when she was sent away. Paul is becoming overwhelmed with being a widower raising his son alone. Can they put the past behind them?

As Suzanne and Paul wrestle with their feelings, Alexa is facing her own battles. She has an opportunity to meet her birth mother, but can she? What would she say? Moreover, is it really worth it?

Miss Sawyer tells the story from the point of view of the major characters, giving us, the readers, way more insight into each individual’s thoughts and feelings. As you read, you begin to feel as if the people are and could easily be your friends.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Friday’s Fiction

When Grace Sings

When Grace Sings: A Novel (The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy Book 2) by Kim Vogel Sawyer begins with a discussion between reporter Briley Forrester and his boss, Len. After reading a local newspaper article about Amish-Mennonite living and the joy the inhabitants of the community expressed, Briley is challenged by his boss to go to the community and find some “dirt” on its residents. Briley, in a quest to prove his worth, to both new and old acquaintances, takes up the gauntlet and heads from Chicago to Arborville, Kansas.

Alexa Zimmerman recently returned to Arborville to aid her invalid grandmother. As part of her assistance, Alexa has started a Bed and Breakfast, Grace Notes B&B, hoping to add income to her and her grandmother’s meager funds. Alexa is not part of the Amish-Mennonite community, but dresses plain as a sign of respect to her family and community.

Anna-Grace Braun and her fiancé, Steven Brungardt, from near-by Sommerfield, Kansas, are engaged to be married. Steven’s family kindly gifted them an old family farmstead in Arborville, but there are an immense number of repairs to be completed before they can move in.  Ana-Grace receives permission to visit with Alexa and Alexa’s grandmother (who are distant relatives of hers) at the B&B in order to assist Steven in getting the home ready to move into after their marriage. However, as time goes on Anna-Grace gets the impression Steven doesn’t want the farm and Alexa isn’t happy that she is visiting.

All the undercurrents cause Briley’s reporter instincts to kick into high gear after he arrives in Arborville. He observes that things aren’t all they seem on the surface. Will he be able to get the “dirt” he seeks?

When Grace Sings is book two of the series, and in some minor details, you are left wondering. However, as you continue the book, Kim Sawyer does a great job of filling in the details.

I really enjoyed getting to know the characters. The author does an impressive job of describing each character’s thoughts and feelings, thus drawing you into the story and individual’s life. I am genuinely looking forward to the third in the series, When Love Returns(The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy Book 3). I am also going to read the first one, When Mercy Rains (The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy Book 1).

For more information on Kim Sawyer Vogel, visit here:  http://kimvogelsawyer.com/

For more information on her books, visit here:  http://kimvogelsawyer.com/books/

To purchase When Grace Sings, visit here: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?work=221710

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Grace Notes B and B