Sunday, September 28, 2014

Land of Dust & Tears by Vikki Kestell - Review of the Prequel of A Prairie Heritage series

(as taken from for this e-book)
Brothers Jan (Yahn) and Karl Thoresen have left their native land of Norway and braved many perils and hardships to bring their families to America--the land of freedom and hope. Like thousands of others, Jan and his wife Elli long for the opportunity of a better life and a future for their children.

After enduring an ocean crossing and the arduous journey west, they encounter a land so vast and wide that it defies mastery. Jan finds that his struggles are not only with the land, but with a restless and unmanageable heart. Will Jan find a way to overcome this wild land or will the prarie master him?

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Land of Dust and Tears is also published as Part 1 of Wild Heart on the Prairie, Book 2 of the series, A Prairie Heritage. Land of Dust and Tears is priced to introduce you to this beautiful saga. Read the conclusion of Land of Dust and Tears in Part 2 of Wild Heart on the Prairie.

The author suggests that you follow your read of Land of Dust and Tears with A Rose Blooms Twice, Book 1 of A Prairie Heritage, followed by Wild Heart on the Prairie, which includes Land of Dust and Tears and concludes the story in Part 2.

Vikki pulls you into this book and has you enjoying seeing America, mainly Iowa and Nebraska. I was right there with them in their happy times and crying with them during the toughest of times. She also shares the strength they have to survive it all and the strong faith they have in The Lord. I am so looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series, I will start on "A Rose Blooms Twice" tomorrow then will have to purchase the other four that are already published and watch for the sixth in the series to come out this October.

I HIGHLY recommend this book! I don't recall ever seeing the name Vikki Kestell but she has gained me as a follower of her books. I will admit that I am partial to books about Norwegian Immigrants as I am half Norwegian, I am also partial to the area most of the book takes place as I was born and raised where the three states of Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota meet and also lived in Missouri and Kansas during some of my adult life.

Friday, September 26, 2014

White River Brides by Frances Devine - Revoew

Jack Sullivan is willing to give up his beloved riverboat and enter a marriage of convenience with Lexie in order to adopt the twin girls he adores. But when hope for something more awakens his heart, will Lexie return his love?

Abigail "Tuck" Sullivan relishes her time with her best friend Rafe Collins. But there can be nothing more than fiddles, fishing and friendship with Rafe. Tuck is not the type to ever marry, and anything more with Rafe would ruin their relationship. . .wouldn't it?

Addy Sullivan feels called to teach the children of her community and won't let marriage interfere with that responsibility. Yet she can't deny she longs for travel and adventure. . .and just maybe love. Must she always squelch her dreams to do the good work that compels her? Or will she trust that God sometimes asks us to give up the good to bless us with something even better?

I got this book because it took place around Branson, MO a nice area that I have visited and enjoyed. Frances drew me into the story with twin eight year old girls hiding out in an abandoned home after their father had died. There are three stories in this book but to me it was actually one story with three long chapters and many sub-chapters, my way of looking at it. I really enjoyed all of the 'chapters' and following the girls' lives. I don't think I've read anything by Frances but will probably look for some more of her books. I would recommend this to other's that enjoy this time period.

The Buggy News by Sadie Palmer - Review

When Samantha Schuster and Steven Mueller were courting, she loved the fact that they worked at the same restaurant because it meant they'd get to see each other more often. But ever since Steven broke her heart, having to run into him every day at work is like pouring salt into her wound. She knows she has to make a change as soon as possible.

That's when she stumbles on a job listing at the local Amish newspaper "The Buggy News." Immediately she thinks this could be her chance to start over. What she doesn't realize until after she gets the job is that the newspaper will test her strength and heart like never before. Does she have the faith to persevere and succeed, or has she just made the biggest mistake of her like?

NOTE:  This is a spin-off stand alone series featuring Isaac and Rebecca Schuster's daughter from "Amish Love Of A Lifetime."

I found this short story very interesting as I never thought an Amish girl could be a reporter, yet alone run a newspaper. Sadie brings you into Samantha's life and takes you through her thoughts quite nicely. I don't think I could even think about flirting with someone I was going to be working with after the experience she went through with Steven. You would have thought she'd learned her lesson so it was to her benefit that the object of her flirtation didn't choose to 'connect' with her. But did she really learn her lesson?

I was given this e-book so I could write an honest review if I wanted to. These thoughts are my honest feelings.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

First Impressions by Sarah Price - Review of the first book in the Amish Classics series

Will Pride and Prejudice keep the Blank sisters from finding love?
With five daughters and no sons, Daed and Maem Blank are anxious to find their girls suitors who might eventually take over their family farm. When news arrives that Charles Beachey, the son of a prominent Amish farmer, will be returning from Ohio with his cousin Frederick, they are hopeful that the young men might be good matches for their daughters.

The oldest daughter, Jane, starts courting Charles, a well-mannered and very respectful young man, but her younger sister Lizzie is not interested in either courtship or Frederick. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him, finding him full of pride and disdain for her family's way of life. But in a community and culture where pride is scorned, Lizzie must learn that first impressions can be dangerous and people are not always who they seem to be.

The Amish retelling of the popular Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice is a beautiful take on the power of love to overcome class boundaries and prejudices that will win your heart.

I must say that this was a wonderful story and the way Sarah tells it is really amazing. You will feel as if you are right there with the Blank family. Sarah made me stop and think about how many times I have had to change my opinion of someone after a first impression. As I get older I like to think that I have changed and try to give a person a chance before forming my opinion. Keep in mind that it works both ways on forming opinions, it isn't always thinking bad about someone and having to change your mind but beware of people you think will be trustworthy but turn out to be just the opposite.

I would recommend "First Impressions" to anyone that likes Amish stories, stories of faith and if you liked "Pride and Prejudice". The second book in the series, "The Matchmaker" will be out February, 3, 2015 and I'm anxiously waiting for it.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

All the Blue of Heaven by Virginia Carmichael - Review of the first book in the Colors of Faith series

Eight years ago, Allie Hathaway scandalized the wealthy elite of Chicago when she ran away to San Francisco. Now a world-renowned portrait painter, her life is filled with laughter and friendship, including being a mother to her orphaned niece. Life is perfect, so why can't she forget her first love? Thomas Bradford has come a long way from being the Hathaway family's carriage boy. A veterinary degree, ambition and hard work have made him one of Chicago's most sought-after bachelors. If only he could forget those stolen moments with Allie, Thomas might be able to enjoy his success.

The Great Quake of 1906 stuns the nation and Allie's art studio burns to the ground, destroying years of valuable work. She's forced to return to Chicago with little Janey, the only spark of hope in a life reduced to ashes. Her faith is crushed by her tragic reversal of fortune.

Thomas knows better than to fall for the beautiful young painter again, but he's never been very wise around Allie Hathaway. The carriage man's son is all grown up and Allie doesn't expect a second chance at a love that was refused eight years ago. Her life is in shambles and she has a child to support, so why won't her heart accept the truth? Once their love was torn apart by circumstance, but Thomas and Allie must decide whether to forge a future of hope together.

I found this book to be a slow starter but it did gain my interest. The characters have some emotional baggage to deal with from their past,so with that and over indulging mothers pushing them in opposite directions, they have to try to forge ahead with their future, be it separate or together. If you like to see faith return to a person once they seem to have lost it this would be a good book for you.

Tried & True by Mary Connealy - Review of the first book in the Wild at Heart series

Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister--and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It's a risk--they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as "boys"--but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.

Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?

Kylie and her sisters, through their father pushing them, have lived a lie for many years, in a time when it is almost considered a crime for women to wear britches. As the youngest and most feminine Kylie finds her family frowning upon the life she wants to live. Can she really become the woman she wants to be or will she find herself continuing to live her fathers dream?

Mary is still on her pedestal as a writer as far as I'm concerned. She has turned out yet another entertaining book for me, which means I'm looking forward to the rest of the series, "Now & Forever" and "Fire & Ice" both due out in 2015. I think I have read almost every one of her books and never been disappointed.

His Chosen Bride by Rhonda Gibson - Review

This Texan Had No Intention of Becoming a Groom. . .
Until he found out he had a year to find a bride--or risk losing the family ranch. Any of the four mail-order brides recently arrived in Granite, Texas, would make a good wife. So why can't Levi Westland stop thinking about the one who refuses to have him? The marriage of convenience Levi offers isn't enough to persuade Millie Hamilton. Truth is, it's no longer enough for Levi, either. . . .

Millie just needed a place to escape to. Now that she's paid Levi back his traveling expenses, she can forge her own way. If he knew the truth about her past, Levi's admiration would vanish. But the only thing harder than risking her heart may be watching Levi marry anyone but her.

Oh yes, another book for you to run out and get, you won't be disappointed. Rhonda has done a wonderful job on this 'non-series' of books. Yes, I think these four books should be considered a series and not stand alone novels, lol, just my opinion. If you look at my three previous reviews you will see the titles that go along with this one. I hope you enjoy the books as much as I have. I'm also looking forward to reading Rhonda's new book, "A Pony Express Christmas", due out November 4, 2014.