The Express Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

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The Express Bride, by Kimberley Woodhouse, is book 9 in The Daughters of the Mayflower series. This is my favorite book in the series so far. Even though this is a series that advances in history, these are stand alone stories that do not require reading previous ones. The characters do not follow through in the series, with the exception of a possible reference to ancestors.

Set in 1860 in Utah territory, Jackie takes over managing her fathers stage coach and Pony Express station after his death. Single handedly she manages the crew and cares for them. She meets every Express rider that comes to her station. When a stage comes with two men seeking answers, they turn to Jackie for help. Mr. Crowell has asked for her help in tracking down forged treasury notes that are being shipped in the Express mail. Elijah has been sent to find his bosses daughter, who was taken away many years earlier by her mother. While Elijah stays at the station, waiting for a response from his boss, he and Jackie develop a friendship and Elijah questions if Jackie could be the one he is looking for.

This is a great story that is hard to put down. The author uses scripture to bring out the message of forgiveness in the story. This story is also one of action and mystery. It is written so well, it captures the readers attention until the very end. It is fun to read a story based on the Pony Express and that time in history, when staying in contact with those far away was not easy.

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

Series: The Daughters of the Mayflower (book 9)

253 pages

ISBN: 9781643520636

To learn more about the author and other books she has written go to: https://kimberleywoodhouse.com/

Some places this book can be purchased are:

https://www.christianbook.com/express-bride-kimberley-woodhouse/9781643520636/pd/520636

https://www.amazon.com/Express-Bride-Daughters-Mayflower/dp/1643520636

https://www.barbourbooks.com/the-express-bride/

Additional information on this series can be found at: http://www.daughtersofthemayflower.com/

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All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner

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All Manner of Things, by Susie Finkbeiner, is an outstanding story that takes place during the Vietnam War. The characters are so well defined it is easy to feel they could be friends or family members. This is an emotionally filled story that focuses on topics such as war, PTSD and family issues.

Annie’s father was not the same man when he returned from the Korean war and left his family without ever contacting them. Now many years later, Annie’s brother, Mike has enlisted in the Vietnam War as a medic. He has asked Annie that if something should happen to him, to contact their father. With the death of their grandfather, Annie contacts their father. He comes home, but is not welcomed by their mother. As a young adult, just out of school, Annie takes on a lot of responsibilities in the family. When Mike is having extreme struggles in Vietnam, she is the one he turns to. When her mother is not able to forgive her father, it is Annie that reaches out to him. And she is the one that is there for the younger brother.

I loved this story and so wish it could have gone on a lot longer. I enjoyed the little things mentioned about the mother’s cooking abilities. The author has blended a little humor into a very serious story. The story is so well written it is easy to get pulled in with the family as they cling to the news broadcasts regarding the war. I received a copy of this book from the Revell Reads Blog Program. This is my honest review.

To learn more about the author, go to: https://susiefinkbeiner.com/

This book can be purchased at:
https://www.amazon.com/All-Manner-Things-Susie-Finkbeiner/dp/0800735692

https://bakerbookhouse.com/products/all-manner-of-things-9780800735692

https://www.christianbook.com/all-manner-of-things/susie-finkbeiner/9780800735692/pd/735691

A Reluctant Bell by Beth White

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A Reluctant Belle is book two in The Daughtry House Series by Beth White. This story takes over where book one ends, so it is best to read them in order. The author gives background information to fill in for those who do not read the first book. The story takes place in Mississippi following the Civil War, during the Reconstruction Era.

Following the death of the Daughtry sister’s father, Schuyler Beaumont invested in the Daughtry House to keep the sister from losing it. The sisters, including Joelle, are responsible for overseeing the renovation that turns the house into a resort hotel. Joelle works on the plantation, and secretly writes politically charged articles for the local paper to support the school for the freed slaves, where she teaches. Joelle and Schuyler have known each other since childhood. After an argument with him, Joelle impulsively accepts a proposal from the local pastor, whom she does not love.

Schuyler’s father was murdered while on the political trail. Schuyler works with a friend and Pinkerton agent to find his father’s murderer. All while the Ku Klux Klan are gaining power and include people who would never be suspected.

This is an good story that was well researched, to be as accurate as possible. There is adventure, suspense, family loyalty and romance within the story. The story is fast paced with only a handful of well defined main characters. I would recommend this story to those who enjoy reading Christian stories based on our country’s history.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads Blog Program. This is my honest review.

Series: The Daughtry House (Book 2)

349 pages

ISBN: 9780800726904

To learn more about the author and other books she has written, go to: https://www.bethwhite.net/

Some places this book can be purchased are:

https://www.christianbook.com/a-reluctant-belle-2/beth-white/9780800726904/pd/726904

https://bakerbookhouse.com/products/a-reluctant-belle-9780800726904

https://www.amazon.com/Reluctant-Belle-Daughtry-House/dp/0800726901/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=9780800726904&qid=1561341048&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Ever Faithful by Karen Barnett

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Ever Faithful is book three in A Vintage National Park series by Karen Barnett. This story is set in Yellowstone National Park in 1933. While being part of a series, these stories are stand alone novels. The author has written an awesome story that shows what the park was like and all the workers that was needed to keep the park going. Her writing is so descriptive, it is easy to envision watching the animals and the environment. I enjoyed the terms of the employees that was used based, on what they did. I also enjoyed the accuracy of how the park was at the time. This story gives great history of the park as well as how the park was affected by the depression.. This is my favorite book in the series so far.

President F. D. Roosevelt’s New Deal is set in place during the Great Depression to give jobs to unemployed young men. Nate tries to take the blame for what his brother did, to keep his brother out of trouble. He is given the chance to work with the Civilian Conservation Crops (CCC). He is quickly chosen for a leadership position, which will help send more money back to his family. To do so he has to keep a secret.

Elsie is the daughter of a Park Ranger. She has worked as a maid in the park’s hotel for years and hopes this year will give her the money she needs to go to school. When jobs are being cut, she takes on a second job teaching the men of the CCC.

I received an uncorrected proof of this story from Waterbrook Multnomah publishing. This is my honest review.

Series: Vintage National Park Series (book 3)

352 pages

ISBN: 9780735289581

Karen Barnett is a former park ranger. She also worked as a ranger naturalist and an outdoor educator.

Some places this book can be purchased are:

https://www.christianbook.com/ever-faithful-3-karen-barnett/9780735289581/pd/289583?event=ESRCN|M

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/545468/ever-faithful-by-karen-barnett/9780735289581

https://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/545468/ever-faithful-by-karen-barnett/

You can read the first two chapters of this book at: https://waterbrookmultnomah.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Sneak-Peek-Ever-Faithful.pdf

The Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma

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The Pink Bonnet, by Liz Tolsma, is the second book in the True Colors series by Barbour Publishing. These stories are based on true crimes that took place in American History. This one is based on Georgia Tann, who ran the Tennessee Children’s Home Society from 1924 until 1950. She kidnapped an estimated 5000 children and sold them to the highest bidders. She stole them from hospitals, from the streets and playgrounds. Children were not safe and Ms. Tann’s black Cadillac was greatly feared. She was able to do this by have a judge and other prominent people involved.

In this story Cecile has left her three-year-old daughter with a neighbor while she looks for a job. The neighbor calls Ms. Tann and the child is taken away. Cecile will stop at nothing to get her daughter back. When trying to confront Ms. Tann, Cecile meets Ms. Tann’s attorney and her actions cause him to rethink what he is helping Ms. Tann do. He helps Cecile search for her young daughter.

This is a fast paced, suspenseful story that kept me reading to find out what happens in the end. The story is well written. The descriptions are so good, the story comes to life while reading it. If I could give this book ore than 5 stars I would. The author has also written a short description of the true crime that actually took place.

This is such a good series. The stories are not connected, so they make great stand alone novels that do not need to be read in order.

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

254 pages

IBSN: 9781643520452

To learn more about the author go to: http://liztolsma.com/about-me/

This book can be purchased at:
https://www.christianbook.com/bonnet-colors-historical-stories-romance-american/liz-tolsma/9781643520452/pd/520455?product_redirect=1&Ntt=9781643520452&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCG

https://www.amazon.com/Pink-Bonnet-Historical-Stories-American/dp/1643520458/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=9781643520452&qid=1559950842&s=gateway&sr=8-1

https://www.barbourbooks.com/the-pink-bonnet/

The Brides of the Big Valley by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter and Richelle Brunstetter

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The Brides of the Big Valley is a compilation of three Amish stories by Wanda, Jean and Richelle Brunstetter. Set in Pennsylvania, the stories cover three different Amish groups. The groups are identified by the colors of their buggies. The white-toppers had sparsely furnished homes, the black-top and yellow-top had more furniture that were cushioned and comfortable. There are slight differences between each group; as well as the English. This book shows just some of those differences and the affects they have on the members. I really enjoyed reading this book. It is easy to read and contains interesting information. The last story, by Richelle, has a different writing style than the others. It took a little while to get into for me. Once I was able to get into the story, is was very good.

Deanna’s Determination, by Wanda E. Brunstetter, is a story of Deanna, a young widow from the plain, white-top community. After the death of her husband, his best friend, Elmer was there to help her when she needed him. Following the death of her mother, Deanna and her son moved in with her father. Deanna and Elmer’s relationship reached the point they are considering marriage when he has an accident while preforming ferrier duties.

Rose Mary’s Resolve, by Jean Brunstetter, is a story of Rose Mary, from the conservative black-top community. She has been dating a young man that is considering leaving the Amish community. She breaks it off when he goes to help his uncle. Shortly after a plane lands in their field and the family befriends the English pilot, Kevin, who is dealing with family issues and is looking for more meaning in his life.

Leila’s Longing, by Richelle Brunstetter, is a story of Leila from the yellow top community. With the illness and then death of her mother, Leila has been left to tend to her mother’s card shop and raise the family. When she hires help for the shop, she hires someone from another community. While at a get-to-gather, she meets Aden from the black-top community. As their friendship builds and she wonders if she will ever have a family of her own, Aden’s father comments he could not handle his children marrying outside of their community.

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

448 pages

ISBN: 9781683228868

Wanda Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish genre. She does much research to accurately portray the Amish faith. You can connect with her at: www.wandabrunstetter.com

Jean Brunstetter is Wanda’s daughter-in-law. She became friends with many Amish after meeting her father-in-law in Pennsylvania. She tries to put some of their practices in her own life. You can connect with her at: www.jeanbrunstetter.com

Richelle Brunstetter is Wanda’s granddaughter. Developed a desire to write after taking a creative writing class in high school. She became a writer after taking college courses.

Some places this book can be purchased are:

https://www.christianbook.com/brides-valley-romances-unique-pennsylvania-community/wanda-brunstetter/9781683228868/pd/228860

https://www.amazon.com/Brides-Big-Valley-Pennsylvania-Community/dp/1683228863/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=9781683228868&qid=1559947296&s=gateway&sr=8-1

https://www.barbourbooks.com/the-brides-of-the-big-valley/

The Noble Guardian by Michelle Griep

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The Noble Guardian is the third and final book in the Bow Street Runners series by Michelle Griep. Even though this is part of a series, it is also a great stand alone book. The story does reference the heros from the previous two stories.

Abby is excited to leave her family to travel to marry a Baron her father promised her to. Her family is not there to send her off nor do they provide a manservant to get her to the Baron safely. She is left all alone to find someone to get her across England to the Baron safely.

Samuel is a Bow Street Runner whose contract is almost up, struggling with what to do to earn the money he needs to buy his own place. He is on the horse patrol that is trying to find the man responsible for killing travelers. After he kills the man’s brother, he finds his life is also in danger. Abby asks him to get her to the Baron for the exact amount he needs. When he seeks help from a friend, he finds himself also responsible for getting his friend’s young daughter to her aunt. Together Samuel and Abby care for the young girl while traveling to the Baron.

This is a fun story to read. It is fast paced, full of adventure and suspense. Samuel and Abby both have family history they are running from that have made them the strong people that they are. I enjoyed reading this story. While Abby is the daughter of a wealthy merchant she has the strength and determination to do what she needs to. Samuel left his family at a very young age, yet he has become a very trust worthy and faithful man of integrity. The story is so well written it is easy to envision what the manor looks like and the areas they travel through.

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

Series: Bow Street Runners (Book 3)

316 pages

ISBN: 9781683227496

To learn more about the author go to : www.michellegriep.com

Some places this book can be purchased are:

https://www.amazon.com/Noble-Guardian-Street-Runners-Trilogy/dp/1683227492

https://www.christianbook.com/noble-guardian-michelle-griep/9781683227496/pd/227495

Indivisible by Travis Thrasher

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Indivisible, by Travis Thrasher, is a novel based on the motion picture by David G. Evans. This story is based on the military life of Army Chaplain Darren Turner and his family. Married and with three children, Darren decides to join the army. He and his family move to Fort Stewart, Georgia. Darren is deployed to Iraq in 2007, where he is to offer assistance and comfort to the members of his troop. His wife, Heather, has joined with her neighbor to be available to offer assistance to the wives and families left behind. Through this separation, both change from their experience and they have to learn how to be a family again.

This is a good book, which shows the struggles military personnel and their families go through for the sake of our country. This particular story shows that of a Chaplain’s responsibilities and the struggles he goes through to witness to the soldiers. Not only do they become very close, but when tragedy happens, he is the one who must bring glory to the fallen soldier’s life and to support those closest to the soldier. I feel this is a good book for anyone who knows someone in the military to read. It helps to open the readers eyes to some of the struggles the soldiers go through, not only in the field, but when they return home to civilian.

This book has a forward by Darren and Heather Turner, photos of those mentioned in the book as well as discussion questions.

I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson publishing BookLook Bloggers Program. This is my honest review.

336 pages

ISBN: 9780785224051

To learn more about the author go to: http://travisthrasher.com/

This book can be purchased from:

https://www.harpercollinschristian.com/9780785224051/indivisible/

https://www.amazon.com/Indivisible-Novelization-Travis-Thrasher/dp/078522405X

https://www.christianbook.com/indivisible-tradepaper/9780785224051/pd/224056

Rise of the Mystics by Ted Dekker

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There is no fear in love. They will know you follow me by your love.”

The Rise of the Mystics is part two in the Beyond the Circle series by Ted Dekker. Taking over where part one ended, this set of books has to be read in order to follow along. Rachelle Matthews, also known as the 49th Mystic, has been taken in by a group of people who are trying to take away her memory and stop her dreaming. When she falls asleep she enters the Other World through her dreams. She has two of the five seals left to find with just a short time to keep the worlds safe. With Steve’s help she escapes after having her memory wiped again. Together they flee and work to conquer Vlad Smith.

This is a suspenseful futuristic thriller. The story bounces between our world and the Other World where there is fighting and killing. This at times, is confusing. The story references the Bible and through the finding of the five seals, teaches a lesson of knowing God, surrendering to Him, and finding True Love. For the readers who enjoy Christian science fiction or futuristic stories, this would be an enjoyable story.

I received a copy of this story from Revell Reads Blog Tour program. This is my honest review.

Series: Beyond the Circle (Book 2)

416 pages

ISBN: 9780800735999

To learn more about the author go to: https://www.teddekker.com/

Some places this book can be purchased are:

https://www.amazon.com/Rise-Mystics-Beyond-Circle-Dekker/dp/0800735994/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=9780800735999&qid=1558118889&s=gateway&sr=8-1

https://bakerbookhouse.com/products/rise-of-the-mystics-9780800735999

https://www.christianbook.com/rise-of-the-mystics-2/ted-dekker/9780800735999/pd/735996

Autumn Frost by M. D. Schlatter

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Autumn Frost, by M. D. Schlatter is book one in the Seasons of the Heart Series. Autumn DeBlue lost her mother. Her father was left to raise her by himself. Thinking he was doing the right thing and teaching her responsibilities, he was actually abusing her. Looking for a way to get away, she becomes a companion for Lady Cannon. She is willing to give up everything, including a future that includes marriage. While Autumn has given up all traces of her life, her experiences have made her the hard working, fast learning person Lady Cannon is looking for.

When her father realizes Autumn has run away, he is left to care for the farm and his home by himself. These were duties he knows nothing about as he had forced them on Autumn. He is very anti-Christian and has nothing to do with Christians. Until he hires someone to do the chores Autumn always did.

This is a very heartwarming story of loss, moving forward and forgiveness. The story moves between Autumn working her new position with Lady Cannon in Michigan and her father in Nebraska. Some of the things that stand out to me in this story is the respect Lady Cannon gives to all she meets. She gives everyone, including her servants, a title honoring them. Autumn’s father was very anti-Christian, yet this did not affect how Autumn felt about Christians. This is the first book by this author I have read. It is very well written with several twists and turns that keep the story moving nicely.

I received a copy of this book through BookCrash. This is my honest review.

Series: Seasons of the Heart (book 1)
370 pages

ISBN: 9781732171169

To learn more about the author go to: https://dotsmicropublishinghouse.com/authors/m-d-schlatter/

Some places this book can be purchased are:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/autumn-frost-md-schlatter/1128345304

https://www.amazon.com/Autumn-Frost-Seasons-Heart-Schlatter/dp/1732171165