Monday, June 25, 2012
Catharine Olsen, from Holland, was willing to be a mail-order bride to start her life over. Peter Andersen, in Wyoming, wanted a mail-order bride because he couldn't find a woman to suit him, even with his mother's unwanted help.
Both parties left parts of their lives out of the letters that they exchanged over several months. Peter sent the money for her voyage, but didn't tell her that his mother, Clara, desperately wanted him to marry Dorothy Miller so he didn't let his mother know that he was even writing to Catharine, yet alone planning on bringing her to America so they could marry. Catharine used the money she had left from her parents shipping business, after they died and left her guardian over her two sisters, to pay for the voyage for Greta and Anna. Peter didn't know anything about her sisters or the fact that she'd been married in her past life.
Peter picks Catharine and the girls up at the hotel and takes them to lunch to discuss things, still not realizing the sisters will live with them, then the problems begin because as they are leaving his mother is arriving, sees him with the 'ladies' and demands to know what's going on. Peter invites his mother to the wedding and she shows up with his grandmothers wedding ring that 'he was going to give to Dorothy' and tries to stop the wedding that way. Catharine doesn't let her get away with it and agrees to marry Peter.
Since Clara's ploy with the ring didn't work, she hires a private investigator to check Catharine out. She thinks Catharine is out to get Peter's money and will prove it, she thinks anyway. The investigator discovers that Catharine was married before but his associate can't find a divorce decree! Clara wastes no time in letting Peter know this piece of information.
Can Peter trust Catharine, why didn't she say anything to him about her previous marriage, she didn't tell him about her sisters coming, what else might she be hiding. Can Catharine believe that Peter loves her, he didn't tell her that he dated Dorothy, he didn't tell his mother that she was coming and he was going to get married, what else might he be hiding? Will this marriage survive all the secrets?
An enjoyable book to read and yet again, another book that shows you should be honest in all things and trust God to lead you in your life. Maggie did a fine job of keeping me interested, so yes, I'm anxiously waiting for the second book in The Blue Willow Brides series, Twice Promised, to come out in September for the Kindle and in October in paperback.
I won this book at www.southernbellewriter.blogspot.com, I was not required to read the book or post a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Rosa and Louise Garner returned to Louise's home in Priarie Lea, Texas. Louise, her husband Eli and son Mack rented their property in Texas and had moved to Ciauhtlaz, Mexico. Rosa's mother encouraged her to help the Americanos and as she grew to know them, so did her interest in their religion and her parents' disapproval. Eli didn't like the way the pagan girl, Netnetl and Mack got along so he suggested Rosa marry Mack. Being without her own family, due to her no longer worshiping Santa Muerte, Saint Death, she accepted the offer to marry Mack, even though she knew that he loved Netnetl. She believed that Mack would learn to love her, but he never did. Eli and Mack worked in the mines and when there was an explosion Mack made it out alive and went straight to Netnetl, not Rosa, then he went back in looking for his father and neither one came back out. She then felt she'd stolen the love that belonged to someone else and this was her punishment, married less than a month and her husband is now dead.
Rosa loved the Garner family and would do anything for her widowed mother-in-law and returned to Prairie Lea with her to try and save the family property. When they arrived in town they went to the courthouse and found out that the tenants hadn't paid the taxes for the four years they lived there and Rosa and Louise would have to come up with $160.00 in three months, by August 15th. Rosa worked day and night trying to earn the money.
Weston Garner, Mack's cousin, lived nearby but was rarely around and quite the loner since his wife had died, he felt like he was to blame for her death. He helped his family as much as he could in any way possible. From the time he and Rosa met they kept their distance. Rosa felt guilt and she didn't deserve any happiness so she was satisfied living with Louise on Garner land. Weston felt the same about himself because he married Cora, a city girl, and brought her to this country and she ended up dying in his care. The problem is they could each feel an attraction for the other but kept pushing it away.
It's August 14th and they don't have enough money, even with selling the chickens Rosa brought with her, so Louise tells Rosa part of the story of Naomi and Ruth and how Ruth went to Boaz. Rosa didn't want to do this but there was no other way, she didn't know the whole story but went to the barn where Weston slept anyway. She slept in the hay but he didn't stay there with her. When she was returning home in the morning filthy Jay Tillerton, a brute that abused his wife, had tried to rape Rosa and threatened her more than once, caught her on the trail. Luckily one of Weston's men was close enough to see Tillerton confront Rosa and sent him packing, but since she was seen leaving Weston's barn, Rosa's protector that day told Weston. Now all he could do was to marry her to save her reputation, even though nothing happened between them, and pay the property off so Tillerton couldn't get his hands on Garner property.
Rosa feeling guilty about what she did very reluctantly married Weston but was determined to pay him back the money he paid in back taxes and then they could divorce. Molly, who thought she was going to get Weston to marry her tried to talk Rosa into filing for an annulment. After thinking about it Rosa thought that would be the best for both parties.
There is so much to this story, I haven't even touched it in this review. So much happens up to this point that I want you to read for yourself, and even a lot more after. I loved this book. It shows how you can be so wrong if you don't let your thoughts be known and what you may lose, your heart and a happy future. Don't be afraid to trust God and listen to what your heart is telling you. Great job Regina!
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Wildflowers from Winter
by Katie Ganshert
Bethany Quinn, now an architect in a Chicago firm, never wanted to go back to Peaks, Iowa, her hometown. Her mother and paternal grandfather still live there and when she left there 10 years ago she never looked back. She did keep in touch but never returned and never planned on returning either.
Ruth, her mother, sent her a message one day to let her know that her best friend's husband died and Robin needed her. She wasn't going to go until she learned that Dan, her grandfather, had a heart attack, so reluctantly she went for what was supposed to be a quick visit. After all who would want to go home to a town that treated her like she was crazy, all because they think she tried to kill herself.
Her father had been injured in a farm accident and that's when Pastor Fenton started tearing her family apart. When her father accidentally drowned in the bath tub, Pastor Fenton got under her skin even more.She blamed him for her mother moving them from the 500 acre farm into town, to a run down trailer in a run down trailer court, drove her to swim to the bottom of the public swimming pool, she was sent for counseling and none of the kids wanted anything to do with her anymore besides the fact that the adults all looked at her funny.
Bethany returns to Chicago and gets a call that Dan had another heart attack but did not survive this one. She returns once again to Peaks for the funeral. At the reading of the will she finds out that her grandfather left the 500 acres of farmland to her but he left the house, and the land it sits on, to Evan Price, who has taken care of the farm for Dan for five years. The two don't get along and Bethany wants to sell her 500 acres but it will be hard to do since Evan is planning on keeping the house.
When she returns to Chicago she finds out that her firm is downsizing and she no longer has a job, not only that she finds out that Dominic, her boy friend of about 3 years, is moving to Florida because he got a job offer there. Bethany returns to Peaks to take care of selling her land and stays with Robin who also happens to be Evan's sister-in-law. Robin is pregnant with her dead husbands baby and is a christian, Bethany does not like God because of Pastor Fenton.
Katie keeps things moving in this book, at first I wasn't too sure about it, but she did draw me in. Be sure you have some tissue handy when you get to the end, you'll need them! I don't normally read this genre, just once in a while, but I did end up really enjoying this book.
Friday, June 8, 2012
Song of My Heart
by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Sadie Wagner excitedly rushed into the house to share the letter she'd received from her cousin Sid, who'd moved from Indiana to Goldtree, Kansas. Sid had found her a job working in a mercantile owned by sisters Melva and Shelva Baxter and she would also be able to fulfill her dream of singing in an Opera House that their brother Asa, Sid's boss, was opening. She didn't know that Sid had ulterior motives in having her come to Goldtree. Sadie really needed a job because her step-father, the only papa she really knew since her father had died when she was very young, got hurt in the mines and was unable to work until his leg healed and there were no jobs in her hometown.
Thad McKane was hired by Goldtree's town council as sheriff when they started hearing that someone in the area had a bootlegging operation. Thad took the job even though he felt his true calling was to preach, as soon as he found the bootlegger he planned on moving on to preaching.
Thad was drawn to Sadie from the time he met her and took her for her first walk through town, when she asked about the opera house, he told her there wasn't one in town, this confused her since Sid had told her there was one opening soon. When she asked Sid about it he showed her where it was, it was a beautiful soundproof room under the mercantile where she was working. Sadie and Thad got closer and were falling in love and Sadie agreed to court him. Sid was not happy with the time they spent together and tried to come between them whenever he could.
Within a couple of weeks she was singing hymns and ballads on Friday and Saturday nights to a full house. Not long after that Asa asked if she would sing for private parties on Tuesday nights and the pay would be $5.00, $2.00 more than she was getting paid per night for Friday and Saturday. It would be three hours and it was by private invitation only and she was to tell no one about the Tuesday nights. When she saw the sheet music for the songs Asa wanted her to sing and the dress he wanted her to wear, she told him that she'd changed her mind. Asa threatened her with firing her completely and firing Sid also. He also told her that she couldn't spend anymore time with Thad, since he was the sheriff Asa was afraid Sadie would slip up and mention the Tuesday night singing. She needed the money to send home even more by this time as her step-father had died and her mother, sister and three brothers had no other income. She sang one night and couldn't do it again.
When Sid returned to town from a delivery he'd been on, she told him about the Tuesday nights. Sid confronted Asa and he threatened him and told Sid that if he went down, Sid and Sadie would go down with him because he would tell the sheriff they were in on the bootlegging operation. Sadie agreed to ride with Sid on a short delivery so they could talk. Thad came upon them and was going to arrest them but Sid asked to talk to him so they went behind a bush and the next thing Sadie heard was a gunshot and Sid was running back to the wagon and taking off. She kept turning around but never saw Thad come out of the bush. Now what was she going to do, her cousin killed the man she loved but had broken up with, she'd sung to men that were drinking and she felt she'd disappointed her papa all because she wanted to help her family and Asa threatened her. Where could she turn now?
Kim had me hooked from the first sentence when Sadie squealed with delight and went bursting through the door yelling because she'd gotten a letter from her cousin, and she kept me hooked throughout the entire book. This story was a wonderful read and I found it hard to put down. You really do need to go get this book and read it, you won't be disappointed.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
When Love Comes My Way
by Lori Copeland
Tess Wakefield is on her way to Michigan in 1873 to close down the Wakefield Timber camp that she inherited from her Grandfather. She left the camp at a very young age with her Mother, a few years later her Mother died and Talbot Wellington-Kent, a family friend, became her guardian until she became of age. Tess was more interested in staying in Philadelphia running her hat shop and opening more, this is with encouragement from Talbot, who is now her fiance, he also agrees that she should sell the timber camp.
After going as far as she could by train she boards a rickety old wagon along with Fedelia Yardley, who is to be the new schoolteacher at the camp, and a few men. On the way the wheel came off of the wagon and everyone was thrown into the icy river, two people managed to survive, Tess and the driver. Jake Lannigan, the camp foreman called Big Say by everyone, knowing the new schoolteacher was to arrive on that wagon, assumed that was the survivor. He did know that Tess was scheduling a trip but didn't know when to expect her. Fedelia was unconscious for a while and lost her memory. The only luggage found was Fedelia's and the woman didn't have an engagement ring on, further assuring Jake that this was Fedelia, although in his mind he really didn't think so, he felt it was Tess. Upon awaking, everyone around her told her she was Fedelia, she knew the name sounded strange, but didn't know anything so she accepted it.
Several days later she was shown her 'tiny' room in the corner of the bunkhouse for the 200 or so jacks. Oh she had privacy, it was enclosed, but it was tiny! Even though she still hadn't regained her memory she started teaching school, but she couldn't figure out why she would become a schoolteacher when some of the kids seemed to know more than she did. Tess spent almost as much time, if not more, studying for her lessons as the children did after she assigned them. And the kids, they were ruffians! Tess didn't give up though, she even learned a lot about the timber business and soon loved where she was in her life, even if she did think she was Fedelia. Not only did she love her life, she was falling in love with Jake and he was falling in love with her.
Will she ever remember who she is and will Jake ever be sure of who she is? If the truth is ever known will she hate Jake for not being honest with her and return to Philadelphia and Talbot? Has Talbot just forgotten her so he can live in comfort with her money or will he go to Wakefield Timber camp looking for her?
Lori did not disappoint, she pulled me in and I had to read late into the night. You will find yourself laughing and loving this book. Highly recommended.