The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep

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The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep is a Christian Historical Romance, but it is so much more. It is a look into the lives of early settlers taking place in 1770 in the back country of Carolina.

After rejecting the advances of her employer, Eleanor is forced to leave London. Duchess Brougham is all to familiar with her husband and knows Eleanor will not work in England again, so she tells Eleanor to pack her things and board a ship to the Colonies. The duchess sends along with Eleanor money and a letter to work for her cousin, taking care of his children.

While on the ship, the money and letter go missing and Eleanor’s future is unsure. The duchess’s cousin does not come for Eleanor. After a week and half, a man enters the ship to pay the passage of three women. Eleanor and her two roommates are taken to Newcastle.

After the death of his wife, Samuel has turned his life around. He has stopped drinking and has found the Lord. Samuel is part Native American but wants his daughter to grow up knowing the English world. After his home in Newcastle burned down, he moved out into the wild country near his family.

Eleanor is forced to marry Samuel Heath and move out to his cabin and care for his young daughter, Grace. Eleanor agrees to the marriage as long as it is not a physical marriage. While Samuel is gone hunting and trapping, Eleanor is to care for Grace in the country where wild animal run. Grace is a little girl full of energy and mischief. Grace has a way of getting her and Eleanor into situations that are not safe.

This is a very good story, it just pulls you in right from the beginning. The characters are so well introduced that they feel like friends from the start. The description of the ship’s conditions made me feel sorry for the passengers and the poor living conditions they were forced to live in.

I wanted so badly for the story to tell us how good Eleanor was at cooking and caring for the small family, but that is not the case. Eleanor does not know how to cook the type of meals that are expected of her. Her one attempt at starting a garden was not successful as Samuel told her so much grew wild. When she does attempt to make the small cabin a home, she is faced with frustration from Samuel.

I received a copy of the book from Barbour Publishing for an honest review.

320 pages

ISBN-10: 1634097831

ISBN-13: 978-1634097833

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

This Road We Traveled by Jane Kirkpatrick

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The Road We Traveled is a Christian historical story written by Jan Kirkpatrick. The story starts in 1845 with Orus Brown returning to St. Charles, Missouri from spending time in Oregon. He has come back with stories and the news that he is taking the Brown family to Oregon but he does not intend for his mother, Tabitha, to go with. He tries to convince her that he is only thinking of what is best for her. He tells her that the trip will be long and hard and added to that her age and lameness, he does not intend to take her with. He thinks she should stay behind with her other son,Manthano, while Orus and her daughter, Phernie and their families make the move to Oregon country.

Tabitha can not be stopped she sets out to try to find a way to make the trip. She teams up with her late husband’s brother to get a wagon and hire someone to take them on the trip with her family. Together with Orus and Phernie and their families, Tabitha join a wagon train group and head to Oregon. They endure illness, hardship and eventually run out of food and have to leave many belongings behind without know for sure that they will make it to Oregon.

This is a wonderful story of the trials that the wagon trains had to go through, as well as the emotional and physical challenges the people faced during the journey. I really enjoyed reading this book. It shows the strength that Tabitha had and how she managed to find ways to support her self even when she had nothing. It also showed the generosity that Tabitha showed towards others. I did wonder about Orus though. That he would talk his extended family into making this trip, but he went off with his wife and children ahead of the rest. He did not stick with the wagon train to help out. He was not there to help them decide which route to take when they were faced with two different options.

I especially like that the author shares with us at the end of the book, that this story is based on true people and true events.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing for an honest review.

352 pages

ISBN-10: 0800722337

ISBN-13: 978-0800722333

Publisher: Revell

Deadly Encounter by DiAnn Mills

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Deadly Encounter, written by DiAnn Mills, is book one in the FBI Task Force series. Veterinarian and volunteer airport ranger, Stacy Broussard, breaks the rules and takes her normal Saturday morning ride around the perimeter of Houston’s airport alone when her other riding partners cannot make it. On her ride, she comes across a murder victim with an injured dog and an armed laser drone that was stolen from the military.

The FBI is called in to help. Agent Alex LeBlanc is suspicious of everyone, including Stacy. As other events start to happen in the community Stacy lives in, he starts taking a deeper interest into her life. Stacy is a devote Christian and is always giving of herself, so much to the point she has taken in a young boy who has been neglected by his parents to avoid having him go into the foster care system.

This is a very good, fast paced story. It is full of mystery and action with a touch of romance and is very hard to put down. I also like how the story focuses on Stacy and the young boy she has taken in, not just all the negative things happening around her. This is a good, clean police story that does not go into all the gory details to get the story across. I especially like that Stacy has decided to get more involved with her parents after so many years and that her parents were there for her when she got sick. I would recommend this story to anyone who likes to read Christian suspense stories.

I received a copy of this book from Book Club Network and the publisher for an honest review.

 

Series: FBI Task Force (Book 1)

400 pages

ISBN-10: 1496410971

ISBN-13: 978-1496410979

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Mary: Chosen by God by Diana Wallis Taylor

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Mary Chose by God, written by Diana Wallis Taylor will pull at your heart.

Mary is an ordinary girl from Nazareth. She helps her mother with household chores and at night she lies on the roof and contemplates the stars.

But one evening, a heavenly visitor comes with unexpected news – and her life is changed forever.

This is a historical story based on the Bible accounting’s of Mary, Joseph and Jesus. The story is told from Mary’s point of view. It shows how she puts her trust in God, “Adonai”, to help her through the times when she is hurting. The author takes a lot of liberty with this story by including children that Mary and Joseph may have had, their names and birth order. She does use biblical accounting’s to some point. But she gets Mary’s story through to us very well.

Can you imagine being 14 and being told you are going to have a child, God’s son. You are not married and will be looked down upon by everyone, and you will bring shame to your family. This is exactly what happened to Mary and Joseph. They were honored to be chosen by God to raise His son. They also acknowledged the people and dreams God sent to them and they followed them to keep Jesus safe until they could return home.

As a mother, I hurt for Mary. I cannot begin to understand what she went through. She knew Jesus would be special but she did not understand what that meant. And when her other children turn against Jesus, she is not able to tell them the truth. She must hold this to herself. According to this story, Mary also watches Jesus die on the cross for our sins.

The story also gives us a look into how the people lived at that time. The author includes the different food and spices that were used in cooking. She also describes the traditions and homes of that time. This is a very good book that I would recommend to everyone.

I received a copy of this book from Book Club Network in exchange for an honest review.

320 pages

ISBN-10: 162911748X

ISBN-13: 978-1629117485

Publisher: Whitaker House

Eden Hill by Bill Higgs

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Eden Hill by Bill Higgs is a wonderful book set in the 1960’s. Eden Hill Kentucky is the normal small town of that era. The businesses are owned by the local people. The women have Friday afternoon appointments at the beauty shop where they catch up on what is happening in the community and women’s issues. The men get together on Thursday nights for hair cuts and visiting.

Virgil Osgood is happily running the service station his father stated after returning home from WWII. His family life has also been a happy one, until one day when Mavine gets quiet and asks Virgil to read a magazine article.

One day Cornelius and Jo Ann Alexander are driving around and notice the vacant lot across from Virgil’s station that is for sale. Cornelius buys the lot and sets up a Zipco station in hope of becoming a successful business man and being able to provide a good lifestyle for Jo Ann and their future children.

Virgil and Mavine feel threatened by the new Zipco station. There soon begins a gas price war and opening specials. The service station is remodeled and Mavine has Virgil wear a uniform.

In an effort to bring Virgil and Cornelius together, Reverend Eugene Caudill, puts them together working on the same projects and invites them to go fishing with him. Reverend Caudill also makes special visits to the Carnelius’s to help them in their Christian walk.

This is one of the best books I have read this year! I enjoyed reading the story and remember some of the products that were mentioned in the book. I felt so bad for Virgil when he was trying to read the magazine article and didn’t know what it meant.

The story also showed the feelings of the time with Madeline Crutcher refusing to acknowledge her background and her son, who is black. But it also showed the generosity of community with how Anna Bell and Grove put baby food in the Cornelius’s baby bag to help the young couple out. This is a great story of Christian love and fellowship and how we can sometimes lets every day life put road blocks in our walk with God.

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing and Bookfun.org for an honest review.

400 pages

ISBN-10: 1496410831

ISBN-13: 978-1496410832

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Guide me Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer

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Guide Me Home is a novel written by Kim Vogel Sawyer. Andy Hardin, the only son of Festus and Nell Hardin, wondered into the Mammoth Cave and was carried out days later by Tolly Sandford. Nell Hardin has been sad every since and says she will not be able to return to her old self until Andy’s grave had a headstone. Hearing this, Rebekah, the oldest daughter, sets out to get a job so she can buy her mother a headstone. The only job open is a guide at the cave and those jobs are typically given to men. Rebekah dresses up like a man and applies for the job. Tolly is not fooled, he knows she is a girl and hires her anyways. He still feels bad that he was not able to rescue Andy alive.

Rebekah, known as Reb, teams up with Tolly and their summer duties are to work with college student, Devlin Bale, showing him the cave and surrounding area. Devlin is making a map of the cave as part of his college studies and also in an attempt to help his father win a political election.

Cassy, the second oldest child of Festus and Nell, is upset that Rebekah gets to go away and work. Cassy is not happy with her life, she wants to go away to a big city and have nice things. She manages to get a job at the resort as well and meets a young man. When their relationship is dying she tells him she can take him into the cave and show him things that the tour doesn’t. They get lost in the cave and the Hardin family once again is waiting outside the cave waiting for a child to be rescued.

This is a very good story. I appreciate the authors notes at the end of the book with the real history of the cave. The author has written a story that somewhat follow the true story of the cave.

I enjoyed reading the story and seeing the difference between Rebekah and Cassy. Rebekah is the helpful daughter, wanting to help and take care of others, while Cassy is the sister that does not like to follow orders and help out. The part that sticks out to me the most is when Rebekah asks Devin is he is heaven bound. Devin feels he is because he follows the laws of men and doesn’t feel he breaks any commandments. But Preacher Hayne’s comments “ Hell’s depths’ll be filled with good folks who never took the time to meet Jesus”.

To read more about the book and download the first chapter go to http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/221713/guide-me-home-by-kim-vogel-sawyer/

To read about the author and take sneak peaks at her other books go to

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/authors/162648/kim-vogel-sawyer/

I was given a copy of this book from Blogging for Books for an honest review.

352 pages

ISBN-10: 0307731391

ISBN-13: 978-0307731395

Publisher: WaterBrook

A Love Transformed by Tracie Peterson

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A Love Transformed is book 3 in the Sapphire Brides series written by Tracie Peterson. Even though it is part of a series, this is also a stand alone story. The characters and location of the story are different than in the last story.

The story stars with Clara Vesper finding out her husband, Adolph, was murder. Clara’s mother forced her to marry Adolph and Clara has not love for him. At the funeral, instead of feeling grief, she feels relief.

Adolph and his brother Otto owned a company that made sapphire jewelry. Clara was the secret designer and had lived a lavish lifestyle. She had anything she wanted, but love. Her brother in law, Otto, informs her that Adolph was not good with his money and that everything Clara thought they owned was actually Otto’s. With little money, she decides to go to live with her aunt and uncle in Montana. When she goes to the bank to clear out her account, she finds out Adolph had a deposit box, which held money and journals.

After arriving in Montana, Clara finds out the only man she ever loved, Curtis, is staying with her aunt and uncle while he recovers from a mine accident. And her children love living in Montana, where people are happy and they can be normal children.

After losing Clara years earlier, Curtis’s life went into a downward spiral and he did many things he wishes he can undo. He struggles with accepting that God has forgiven him for what he has done and that he can now start anew.

I really liked this story. It is based in the early 1900’s at the beginning of the war. Clara is a very strong person and the staff at her and Adolph’s home support and respect her. The story contains suspense and romance and moves rather quickly. With the help of her aunt and the local pastor, Clara realizes the key was in four simple things. Seeking God, knowing God, obeying God and trusting God. With all the unexpected things that happen in the story it is easy to see God’s hand in everything.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Series: Sapphire Brides (Book 3)

336 pages

ISBN-10: 0764213261

ISBN-13: 978-0764213267

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; Reprint edition

To read about the author and view her other books visit: http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/authors/tracie-peterson/688

Sins of the Mothers by Caryl McAdoo

8959111Sins of the Mothers is book 4 in A Texas Romance series written by Caryl McAdoo. Mary Rachel informs her father that she cannot go to Europe as she cannot be away from Caleb for seven months. After her family leaves for their trip, she takes money from her father’s safe and meets up with Caleb. They get married and she uses the money to purchase items for the mercantile that Caleb and his cousin John own.

Caleb is using Mary to get what he wants, but he claims to truly love his cousin Lanelle. Mary and Lanelle become pregnant by Caleb and he chooses to stay with Mary. When Lanelle’s baby is born, she is not able to care for him and turns to Mary.

After Caleb’s death, men in the area seek out Mary. She questions God, “Men! Why did You make them so pigheaded and hard to deal with? And why do women want to be loved by one so desperately?”

This is a very good historical fiction based in San Francisco in the gold rush days of the 1850’s. We see Mary’s strength to take care of the store as well and others. We see her forgiveness when she cares for Caleb and Lanelle’s child. But we also see her struggles as she wonders if she is repeating the mistakes her mother made as well as when she does not hear from her family.

Not everyone who enjoys historical fiction will enjoy this book. The subject of cousins have a relationship could be troubling for some. The story also contains a lot of character that are not well introduced but many of them only appear in the story for a short time. The story shows the struggles the characters go through as well as their happiness. I especially enjoyed the character of Francy, she speaks what is on her mind.

To learn more about Caryl McAdoo visit her website at http://carylmcadoo.com/

I received a free copy of this Ebook 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.

Series: Texas Romance

E-book – 286 pages

ISBN-10: 1503197549

ISBN-13: 9781503197541

Publisher: CreateSpace

This book can be purchased at

https://www.amazon.com/Sins-Mothers-Texas-Romances-4/dp/1503197549/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1437280633&sr=8-1&keywords=sins+of+the+mothers+caryl+mcadoo

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sins-of-the-mothers-caryl-mcadoo/1121863161?ean=9781503197541#

Faith – Joseph’s Story by Sandra Lea Hardage

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Faith – Joseph’s Story is a book and bible study written by Sandra Lea Hardage.  In the first 67 pages of the book, Joseph tells us his story.  He takes us from his early life living with his father and brothers though being sold to slave owners then to Potiphar.  He continues his story with his time in prison and being given the gift of understanding dreams and eventually being second  in charge of Egypt, where he is reconnected with his family.

The rest of the book is made up of the bible study, which focuses a lot on the book of Genesis and includes a leaders guide..  The bible study explains the ancestors of Joseph, as well as the spiritual beliefs.

Joseph tells us “I was now thirty yeas old. My abilities and my faith had grown along with my knowledge that YHWY is the giver of all things.  In one day. I had gone from being a prisoner/slave to being second in command of Egypt.  I had been a shepherd, a slave, a convict, and now a ruler.  I also learned not to feel too proud of myself because God gives everything – and takes it away.

I love this little story!  It is the perfect length to read to refresh the memory of Joseph’s life.  I like that the book also includes a bible study that goes along with the story.  I also appreciate the author including the steps to becoming a Christian.

The part in the story that stands out the most to me, is that Joseph never gave up.  He accepted the things that happened to him and allowed them to make him a stronger person.He trusted God, no matter what situation he was in.

This is a great book/bible study that could be used for a group study as well as for an individual study from high school age and adults.  The study is divided into 15 individual studies based on the story as well as Jacobs ancestors. There are many bible verses to reference as well.  This study is one that will not only help you learn more about Joseph, but will also help you strengthen your faith in God as well.

Sandra Hardage is from Arkansas.  She is an educator, Bible teacher and founder of the only ministry, My Journey of Faith.  To learn more about her  visit: http://sandrahardage.com/meet-sandra-hardage/

I received a free copy of this book 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.

206 page

ISBN-10: 1462727832

ISBN-13: 978-1462727834

Publisher: CrossBooks

 

 

 

 

Priceless: She’s Worth Fighting For by Joel and Luke Smallbone

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Priceless, by Joel and Luke Smallbone, is a novelization of the motion picture. James Stevens and his wife are on a weekend get away when they are involved in a traffic accident and his wife is killed. James is left alone to care for their daughter, Emmy, and is not handling life well at all. In just a short time he is being faced with bills he can not pay. In an effort to make the money he needs, he turns to dealing drugs and gets caught by the police. After being released from prison, his friend, who connected him with the drug dealer, buys him an old vehicle, gets him an apartment and a job. Emmy is living with his mother and he does not get to see her often. But to get his daughter back he has to have a proper home, income of $3000 a month and six times that in the bank for emergencies. So his friend hooks him up with a semi driving job, that turns out to be linked to sex trafficking. But James finds out what is really happening to Antonia and her sister Maria, he stays and does what needs to be done to save them.

This is a very good and very powerful story. The story is very realistic and shows what James would do to get Emmy back. The story is a sad story that also shows the compassion in James. Not everyone will enjoy this story, as human trafficking is a tragic topic. But the story is well written and I wanted to just keep reading it to see what James would do. The story is full of action and is suspenseful with a touch of romance.

I received a copy of this book from Worthy Publishing and First Look Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review.

288 pages

ISBN: 1617957305
ISBN-13: 9781617957307

Publisher: Worthy Publishing