Pursuing Gold by Cynthia L. Simmons


Pursuing Gold is a novel based during the Civil War written by Cynthia L. Simmons. When Peter’s father past away, Peter took over his part of the banking business. Peter’s partner is ill and when banking papers are delivered to him with errors on them, his daughter, Mary Beth starts going to the bank to help Peter. Together they find out Mr. Sadler has been changing the deposits and embezzling money. One morning when they get to the bank, they find Mr. Sadler dead.

Mary Beth also runs a hotel and in the cash, she finds counterfeit bills with Peter’s signature. Together she and Peter try to find out who made the counterfeit bills and try to get as many as possible. Peter and Mary Beth were childhood friends until Mary Beth dated another man. They both have chosen to pursue God.

This is a good book with suspense and romance through out the story. This is a great story to curl up and read on a lazy day.  I enjoyed it a lot. The story also shows the strength and love that Mary Beth has with caring for her father as well as the hotel, the bank and caring for injured soldiers. We also see what a parent will do to help her children.

The book contains questions for thought and discussion at the end that are very good. This would make a great book for book groups.  Anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction stories based on US history will enjoy this book.

I received a copy of this book from the author and Book Club Network. I have chosen to write this honest review.

378 pages

ISBN: 9781944430764

Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.

To learn more about the author and books she has written go to: http://clsimmons.com/

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Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke


Promise Me Something, by Cathy Gohlke, is a historical fiction set at the time of the sinking of the Titanic and World War 1.  With the passing of their parents, Owen and Annie Allen are on their own.  Annie is living with her spinster aunt.  Owen comes to get Annie away from their aunt and take her to Southampton, England to go to school.  Their father was a gardener and Owen is now working as a gardener and has plans to go to America.  Their aunt and uncle have a nursery in America.  Owen has saved seeds and clipping of plants that he plans to take to America.

While working in England, Owen meets a young boy, Michael, who is also an orphan and living with a mean relative.  Owen befriends the young boy.  Michael decides to stow away on the Titanic.  When Owen finds out Michael is a stow away on the ship, he shares his bed and meal ticket with him. Owen teaches Michael about gardening, seeds and plants.  One day they find out Owen roommate has search his things.  Owen sews the seeds and plants into his jacket.  When the Titanic is sinking, Owen is not allowed on a life boat as they are for women and children only. He forces Michael to take his jacket and get on a life boat.  He tells Michael to go to his Aunt and Uncle’s and to focus on bringing Annie to America.

The money for Annie’s time at Southampton runs out and Annie is forced to go back to her spinster aunt.  When the aunt takes ill, the family solicitor, Mr. Sprague, tells Annie about the family history and the circumstances around her aunt’s health.  Mr Sprague cautions Annie to not take on the bitter, spiteful character of her aunt.  Annie goes to live with the Sprague’s until she is called back to her aunt’s home.  Her aunt has threatened her and her friends if she does not move back.  At this time, the war is going on and Anne disappears.  The Spragues and Michael no longer hear from her.  Michael takes on a civilian position with the War to try to find Annie.

This is a very awesome book to read.  Being set in a very important time in world history, this story takes on some hard topics.  We are shown the fear and struggles the families of passengers on the Titanic go through.  At a time when communication is not immediate, they are forced to wait.  We see the strength Michael has to follow through on a promise to Owen.  The work he devotes to Owen’s family and dream as well as the work he goes through to make money to bring Anne to America.  We also see how the wealthy have power to control people lives and not always for the better.  This story is historical fiction but contains mystery and romance as well.  I really enjoyed reading this book and I think anyone who enjoys reading about this time in history will also enjoy it.

402 pages

ISBN: 9781414353074

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishing

To learn more about the author and books she has published go to:


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The Lady Fugitive by Ada Brownell

the lady fugitive

The Lady Fugitive is a Christian Western Fiction written by Ada Brownell.  The story takes place in 1908.   When Jennifer Louise Parks’ father died, he left her uncle, Judge Danforth Schuster, in charge of his family and ranch.  The Judge is to care for Jennifer and her brother until they turn 21 to inherit the farm.  Jennifer’s brother has already fled to get away from him.  Now Jennifer is dressing as a boy and trying to get away.  The Judge is desperate to keep her and has wanted posters with a reward for her return.  While Jennifer is trying to get away, she runs into a peddler, William O’Casey, who gives her help and advice.

William is a peddler who travels around selling household items and showing a motion picture “The Life and passion of Jesus Christ”.  While traveling, William is also searching for his brother Ben.  Their father is not well and wants Ben to come home.  Their father is also concerned about Ben’s spiritual life.

Jennifer gets to Yucca Blossom, Colorado and hides out in cellar.  When the owner comes home, Jennifer finds out the owner’s husband was killed and the owner blames a neighbor who wants the farm.  The owner does not want the farm anymore and sells it to Jennifer with the warning to not sell to the neighbor.

William arrives at the farm to find out his friend has died and the wife has sold the farm to Jennifer.  When William finds out there is a reward for Jennifer, he notifies the Judge to stop the bounty hunters. He plans to marry Jennifer to keep her safe, but he does not ask Jennifer.

This is a fun book to read.  It is an easy to read book that shows the heart of the people that Jennifer comes in contact with.  Some of these people are caring and generous while others are self-centered only caring about what they want and not others.  There are a lot of characters in the story, however, they are slowly and carefully introduced so easy to follow.  While the story is fiction, there is also mystery and romance woven within the story.  The part of the story I enjoy the most is when Jennifer takes over the farm.  I enjoyed reading of the strength she shows with caring for the animals and trying to work on the damaged home. I also enjoyed reading about the caring people in Yucca Blossom.

I also like the fact that the book contains larger than normal spacing, with double spacing between paragraphs.  This makes it easier to read.

I received a copy of this book from the author and BookClub network.  I have chosen to write this honest review.

350 pages

ISBN: 9781942513025

Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing

To learn more about the author and books she has written go to: https://www.amazon.com/Ada-Brownell/e/B001KJ2C06

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Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson


Treasured Grace is the first book in Tracie Peterson’s Heart of the Frontier Series. Grace Martindale has buried her husband on the Oregon Trail. She continues on the trail with her two younger sisters, Mercy and Hope. They are traveling to Oregon City to be with their Uncle after the death of their parents. Grace has decided they would stop at the Whitman Mission and stay until spring instead of traveling on. The Whitman Mission is run by Dr. Marcus Whitman.

Shortly after arriving at the Mission, there is an outbreak of measles. Grace is a healer and can help, Dr. Whitman does not allow her to. Even though Dr. Whitman has been helping the nearby Cayuse Indian camp, the measles is taking the life of some of their people. Grace travels to the camp with Alex Armistead, a fur trapper and his friend, Sam. She finds the camp filthy and attempts to treat the ill but it is too late in some cases.

Grace is called to help a friend who is ill. Her sisters do not want to go with her. While she is away with Alex and Sam caring for her friend, the Cayuse attack the Mission killing the doctor, his wife and many others. Those that are left are taken hostage and the women are abused. The hostages are eventually taken to Fort Nez Perce and traded back to the white people. The women and children are so traumatized they did not want to be with others. Rumors of the Cayuse coming back for the hostages caused them to be taken by boat to Oregon City.

Grace was in a loveless marriage and since the day her husband was buried, Nigel Roberson has been proposing to her. After arriving in Oregon City she realizes she can not support herself and sisters on her healing. She feels she has no option to care for her sisters and herself than to marry him, even though it is Alex that she loves.

This is a good but very hard story to read. The author has spend much time researching to make the story as real as possible. The story brings to life the situations with the early settlers moving into Indian territory and how the Indians feel threatened by them. The story does an awesome job of explaining this.

I found this book very hard to put down. I appreciated the importance of Faith that is written through out the story. I also appreciate the importance of having love in a marriage that was brought out many times. The story is a very violent one, it gives glimpses into the fears the early settlers had and the hardships they endured. The topics within the story could be bothersome to readers, but they were true events of the time. I think people who enjoy reading stories based on the Oregon Trail and early settlers will enjoy this story.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I have chosen to write this honest review.

Series: Heart of the Frontier (Book 1)

320 pages

ISBN: 9780764213274

Publisher: Bethany House

You can read about the author and books she has written at: http://traciepetersonbooks.com/

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A Stolen Heart by Amanda Cabot

A Stolen Heart, written by Amanda Cabot, is book one in the Cimarron Creek Trilogy.
Lydia Crawford is engaged to Edgar Ellis.  She has left her home and job in Syracuse, New York and traveled Cimarron Creek, Texas to start a new life with him.  When she gets there, she finds out he has married some one else and they have a child on the way.  But Edgar has mysteriously gone missing.
Sheriff Travis Whitfield is waiting for his father to return on the coach.  What he find though is Lydia.  When he finds out that she has no place to go, he takes her to his Aunt Bertha’s.  Lydia and Betha become very good friends and business partners.
Strange things are happening in Cimarron Creek.  Shops are stolen from.  Animals are poisoned. People are hurt.  The citizens of Cimarron Creek  are now thinking Travis is not the person who should be sheriff.  Travis need to find out who is committing these crimes. Mix that with friends who are arguing over who gets to court Lydia.  It seems like there is always something happening in Cimarron Creek.
This is a great Historical Fiction story.  Perfect to curl up with and get lost in.  I like the “who done it” parts of the story.  I also enjoy the focus of family and friendship.  But the parts that stand out the most to me are the ones that show us things happen for a reason.  Aunt Bertha tells Lydia she always loved the verse Romans 8:28,  “God does have a plan for us, and he does bring something good out of even the worst times in our lives.”  The story does a great job of bringing this out, even with all that is happening.  The story also has a touch of romance written within it.  This story would be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys Christian Historical stories, especially is they like mystery and romance.
I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing.  I have chosen to write this honest review.
Series: Cimarron Creek Trilogy (Book 1)
352 pages
ISBN: 9780800727567
Publisher: Revell Publishing
To learn more about the author and books she has written go to: http://www.amandacabot.com
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The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller

9780825444500The Elusive Miss

Ellison, written by Carolyn Miller, is book one in the Regency Brides A Legacy of Grace series. The story is set in Gloucestershire England in 1813.

Lavinia Ellison is the only child of the local minister. She lost her mother to a terrible accident when she was a little girl. Her mother’s sister came to live with them and helped raise her. She spends much of her time helping out the local poor families. She takes them food and helps them when they are in need. She also tends to her own gardens and does not rely on servants to do her work.

Nicholas has just become the new Earl of Hawkesbury and has come to check on his property. He suspects something is wrong with the accounting of the property and find out the person in charge has not been caring for the homes of the workers as he should. The homes have been left to deteriorate resulting in many of the families becoming ill.

Lavinia holds many things against Nicholas. She blames him for the poor conditions of the worker’s homes and hold her mother’s death against him. When she gets sick, it is Nicholas who finds her and takes her to his home to help her get better. While she is staying there, his mother comes to visit. She notices the feeling Nicholas and Lavinia have for each other and does not approve. Nicholas must friend a wife that has a background similar to his.

After Nicholas returns to London, Lavinia’s aunt takes her to meet her mother’s family. Lavinia’s mother was banned from her family when she married Lavinia’s father and Lavinia has never know the truth of who she is.

The is a wonderful quick little story to read. The perfect story to curl up with and forget the world around you. It is a Historical Christian Romance but has suspense written within it as well. The author has used easy to understand words to bring the story to life. The story is a reminder to us of how the working class of that time was looked down upon. As well as the expectations of the upper class and what happened when they did not follow them. I enjoyed reading of Lavinia’s love and generosity. I look forward to reading more books in this series.

I received a copy of this book from the author through Book Club Network. I have written an honest review.

301 pages

ISBN: 9780825444500

Publisher: Kregel Publications

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A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander


A Note Yet Unsung is book 3 in A Belmont Mansion Novel series written by Tamera Alexander.

Rebekah Carrington moved to Vienna shortly after her father’s death. While living there she was there she worked for a musician, often transcribing his music. She also learned how to play several music instruments. Her grandmother has past away and she is has returned to Nashville. Now wanting to live with her mother and step father, she allies for jobs the day she arrives.

Rebekah manages to get an interview with the maestro of the Nashville Philharmonic orchestra. She does not get the job of his assistant but one of his co-workers gives her the names of Adelicia Cheatham, mistress of Belmont Mansion to apply for a job. Rebekah gets a job working Adelicia’s daughter’s violin teacher. Adelicia hires members of the Nashville orchestra to play music for one of her events. The musicians end early and Rebekah takes it upon herself to play more music. The orchestra maestro, Nathaniel hears her and goes in search of who is playing.

Situations bring Rebekah and Nathaniel together and Rebekah eventually starts working for him. Nathaniel is very hard o n the musicians he is working with. He accuses them of not playing the music properly, but he is actually losing his hearing. Rebekah hides the truth of her background from Nathaniel as women are not allowed in orchestras. With Rebekah’s help, Nathaniel is trying to finish his symphony for the opening of the new opera hall.

This is a wonderful book. The story is so well written that it easy to hear the music while reading the story. At 422 pages this is not a quick read book, but it is very enjoyable and full of history. This story shows the life as it was for a woman. To be consider a weaker person than a man. It also brings out that people considered where you grew up as to what you could do as an adult. It has some mystery and suspense as well as romance in the story.

The parts of the book that really impressed me where when Rebekah visited Nathaniel’s family and when Nathaniel’s could not play his father’s favorite song, Rebekah did. She knew her secret about her music ability would come out, but her feeling for Nathaniel’s and his family were more important. I also thought that Nathaniel was very fortunate to be allowed to go to school and develop his talents but he loved his family so much he returned to them very often and helped them out financially.

The books in the series are stand alone stories. But characters from the first stories can carry forward, so reading the books in order is encouraged. The book is about a real mansion in Nashville, Tennessee. And the author has done research to keep the story true to history. The author has also set up a web site that allows you to look at photos of the mansion and listen to music at www.tameraalexander.com

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing. I have written an honest review.

422 pages

ISBN: 9780764206245

Bethany House Publishing

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My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss Texas: Priscilla’s Reveille by Erica Vetsch


Written by Erica Vetsch, My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla’s Reveille, takes place in West Texas in 1874.

After hearing of her brother and sister-in-laws deaths, Priscilla Hutchens takes a leave from her job. She goes to Fort Bliss, Texas to get her twin niece and nephew. She doesn’t know what she will find when she gets there. She has no idea who is caring for the children. She just knows the military is not a place for them. After losing her military father and seeing what that did to her mother, she does not want anything to do with military life.

When Priscilla gets to Fort Bliss, she finds the children are in the care of their uncle. Their uncle, Major Elliot Ryder, is the fort’s doctor. His sister, the children’s mother,  asked him to care for the children. He is the only other family the twins have known. He has been caring for the twins, with help from other members of the fort, sometimes treating them like soldiers. There is no way he is going to let Priscilla take the children.

Elliot is forced to leave his home so Priscilla can stay there with the children. One day while watching Priscilla and the children he finds out that she is an artist. He asks her to draw pictures of the different plants that he uses in his medical practice. Priscilla also helps with assisting in the fort hospital.

This is an awesome story. This is the perfect book to curl up with and just get lost in. It is a quick read that is very hard to put down. I really enjoy reading Early American historical Christian fiction. I like how the author used the personality traits of some of the characters to bring about a good story of caring for others. I like how the author used Mrs. Bracken and Fern to show that you can be happy in any living situation is you want to.  But I was saddened to see how the bitterness that stayed with Mrs. after tragedy affected how she treated those around her. I like that even through the story had many characters, the author developed just a few as the main characters that are followed through the whole story.

The author uses different aspects of the military life at that time for the background of the story. The parts in the story about the twins are so cute. I was left wondering what kind of trouble they were going to get into next. But I was also a little disappointed that with the threat of Indians and nature, the children were allowed to run around so freely at such a young age.

I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing. I have chosen to write this honest review.

256 pages

ISBN: 9781634099301

Publisher: Barbour Publishing

You can read more about the author at: http://www.ericavetsch.com/

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Grace and the Preacher by Kim Vogel Sawyer


Grace and the Preacher is a novel written by Kim Vogel Sawyer. Grace Cristler’s uncle is retiring from his pastoral position and he has picked a new pastor to replace him. Grace has been exchanging letters with Reverend Rufus Dille. Grace and Rufus have developed feeling for each other through their letters. Rufus has given Grace and her uncle a date that he will arrive in town. The date has arrived and Rufus has not arrived.

Ten years earlier Theo Garrison was suppose to bring horses for his cousins to get away from a robbery and he did not. They were sent to prison and vowed to come after him when they were released. He has just found out they are coming home. He decides to leave town and go back to where he lived with his Grandmother. One day while he comes across a Rufus in distress and takes him to a doctor. Rufus dies and leaves all his belonging to Theo. And asked that Theo takes the news of his death to Grace.

While on his way to see Grace, Theo stops at a bridge to cross a river and is not allowed to pass that night. When he wakes up the next morning he finds the wagon and horses given to him are missing along with most of his belongs. He arrives in Fairland while the town is giving Grace’s uncle a party. It is the day before Rufus is suppose to start his new position. Theo is not really given the chance to give the information of Rufus’s death and end up taking on Rufus’s name and position.

When Theo’s brother is looking for Theo, he comes across a person selling items and finds Theo’s grandmother’s Bible and finds out where Theo is.

This is a good Christian Historical Fiction story set in 1882. It has action, suspense and romance. The story is easy to read and quick moving. I likes how the author used Theo’s memories of his Grandmother and the importance of her Bible to help Theo return to Faith. As well as how the people his brother met along his search for Theo to soften his heart. Just as Grace is thinking love will never come her way, she find love in Rufus. When she finds out the truth, she finds it hard to forgive Theo and once again wonders if love will be in her future. I enjoy reading stories based in the pioneer days and any one who likes reading about this time will enjoy this book.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books. I have freely written an honest review.

352 pages

ISBN: 9780307731418

Publisher: WaterBrook

You can read more about the author and download the first chapter of this book at:http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/221714/grace-and-the-preacher-by-kim-vogel-sawyer/

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In The Shadow of Denali by Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse


John Ivanoff, an Alaskan mountain guide, took two men on a climb to the top of Mount McKinley. Shortly after reaching the top, a storm arrives and Henry does not make it down. His body just disappeared. Now Henry’s son, Allan, has arrived and is working as an apprentice under John. Henry’s partner, who was also on the climb, has blamed John all this time for Henry’s death. Allan needs to know the truth. He blames John. As he gets to know John he questions if John is to blame.

While Allan is in Alaska, the partner is secretly trying to take over the company. And has come to Alaska and orders another climb with John and Allan.

Cassidy, John’s daughter, works as an assistant to the cook at the Curry Hotel. The staff is busy with upcoming celebrations. The President is coming and the new national park is being dedicated. The cook is known for her strong personality and as she and Cassidy work together, she begins to soften.

One of kitchen helpers keeps having accidents and Cassidy is there to help him. When the Cook cannot have him in the kitchen anymore, John takes him on. Cassidy is John’s only child. Her mother past away shortly after Cassidy was born. Cassidy’s grandparents have had no contact with them and now they are in town wanting to build a relationship with Cassidy.

This book is the first in The Heart of Alaska Series. It is a Christian historical fiction that takes place in 1923 in Curry, Alaska. It is a really good book that carries a theme of loving, caring and forgiving. I enjoy the caring that Cassidy and John give to the kitchen helper. I enjoy how Cassidy spends time with him helping him understand the Bible teaching. This story has adventure, mystery and a little romance. It gives us a look into the remoteness of Alaska at the beginning of the century. However they do have the railroad for supplies and travel and telegraph for communications. This story would be enjoyed by anyone who is interested in American history.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House. This is my honest review.

Series: The Heart of Alaska (Book 1)

320 pages

ISBN: 9780764219238

Publisher: Bethany House

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