My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah: Leanna’s Choice by Angie Dicken

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This story takes place in 1910 in a small mining town. Greek immigrants have come to the area to earn money to help their families. These miners have to pay a fee to have the job and their chance for promotion is limited. There also is a belief that they do not interact with Americans. When Penelope Pappas become bedridden during her pregnancy her brother-in-law, Alex, asks a young widow to walk his niece and nephew to school and back.
Leanna McKee turned her back on her family and way of life when she married Jack. When Jack gambled their money away, they were forced to leave Boston. They settled in Castle Gate and Jack worked in the mines. Jack lost his life during a mining accident and Leanna turns to teaching to survive. When Alex asks her to help with the children, she sees it as a way to earn money to move on.
When Alex and Leanna’s feelings for each other start to show, they get opposition from Americans and the Pappas. Alex’s father strongly feels that Alex is to only marry a Greek, so he contacts a friend in Greece to arrange a marriage for the friend’s daughter and Alex.
This is a really good story. The author shows us the struggles the Greeks have with fitting into society and the prejudices against them. We also see the strong Greek heritage and pride that keep them from following their hearts. The part in the story that stands out to me is when Alex helped an elderly lady to church and she told him “There are neither Greek nor Jew …: for ye are all one in Christ.’ So the Good Book says.” Another part that stands out is the guilt Leanna has regarding how she treated and felt about her husband before his death.
I think anyone who enjoys reading historical romance stories will enjoy this story. There is romance but there also is suspense and family issues to make this a great story.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Series: My Heart Belongs
253 pages
Publisher: Barbour
To learn more about the author and books she has written go to: https://angiedicken.com/
Some places to buy this book are:
http://www.barbourbooks.com/product/My-Heart-Belongs-in-Castle-Gate-Utah,14824.aspx?Tab=Books&sj=171
http://www.deepershopping.com/item/dicken-angie/my-heart-belongs-in-castle-gate-utah/7055946.html
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-heart-belongs-in-castle-gate-utah-angie-dicken/1125902269?ean=9781683223757#/
https://www.christianbook.com/heart-belongs-castle-utah-leannas-choice/angie-dicken/9781683223757/pd/223754?event=GOOGORG

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An Unexpected Role by Leslea Wahl

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Josie’s mother is a famous author who uses incidents in Josie’s life as inspiration for her book. Her fellow students picked on her about the latest book and Josie felt she needed to get away. She went to visit her Aunt in South Carolina. Josie’s dream of getting away from home and the book vanished when she met a young girl on the island who is her mother’s greatest fan. She also found out one of the students, Ryan, from her school was in the area to play ball for the summer. When Ryan wanted to spend time with Josie, she felt he was just trying to get information that he could send back home about her.

While she was with her Aunt, her mother sent her post cards with Bible verses on them. Those together with the sermons Josie heard at her aunt’s church helped Josie realize she needed to turn toward God in prayer and she needed to have faith that God will help her be who He wants her to be.

An Unexpected Role by Leslea Wahl is a really good book written for teens. This book is full of adventure with the break ins that happened on the island. The “who done it” factor holds the readers attention to the very end. The book also has a little romance. This is a good clean story with great life lesson, I would recommend it for teen girls, but it will be enjoyed by adults as well.

 I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product 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.

250 pages

ISBN: 9781632133045

Publisher: eLectio Publishing

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

This book can be purchased from:

https://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-Role-Leslea-Wahl/dp/1632133040/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-unexpected-role-leslea-wahl/1124807868?ean=9781632133045

The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas

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The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas takes place in West Virginia and South Carolina in 1954. Judd was a mine worker in West Virginia when a cave in took his brother and injured his leg. Not wanting to go back to the mines, he traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. During his travel he met a man who helped get him a job with Waccamaw Timber Company. He advanced in his job quickly. Shortly after he arrived in Myrtle Beach a hurricane came and destroyed a lot of the area. He often thinks he is living the life his brother wanted and can’t.

Larkin is the daughter of the timber company owner. But her heart is in helping others. Her brother moved to the Appalachia to help others and minister to them. She wants to join her brother on his ministry. But her father wants her at home. Since his son will not take over the company, he wants Larkin to marry the man who will.

This is such a good book. This is a story of relationships, family and caring for others. The story shows that we should turn to God before going forward with what we want to do. The descriptions are so clear it is easy to imagine the fear of cave ins, the heat, and the winds and rains of the hurricane. The parts in the story that stand out to me are the care Judd gives to his injured co-worker, even when he is caught between his co-worker and his employer. As well as the forgiveness Larkin’s father has toward this worker who was out to get his family property back.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian historical fiction. This story as has suspense as well as romance written in it. A perfect blend for those who like a good clean story.

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

336 pages

ISBN: 9780764219610

Publisher: Bethany House

To learn more about the author and stories she has written go to: https://sarahloudinthomas.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Rain-Sarah-Loudin-Thomas/dp/0764219618

https://www.christianbook.com/the-sound-of-rain/sarah-thomas/9780764219610/pd/219610

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-sound-of-rain-sarah-loudin-thomas/1125516143?ean=9780764219610#/

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/thomas-sarah-l/the-sound-of-rain/7042978.html

Beneath a Prairie Moon by Kim Vogel Sawyer

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Beneath A Prairie Moon, written by Kim Vogel Sawyer, is the best book I have read this year. It is so good, I feel it should be made into a movie. The story is so well written I felt like I was there watching everything take place.

Abigail Brantley was raised in wealth, educated at the finest school and was taught the manners of society by her mother. When her father was accused of illegal dealings, her engagement was called off. Shortly after her mother past away. With no where else to turn, she went to Helena Bingham to become a mail order bride. But the men she was sent to would not accept her.

Helena received orders from 16 men from Spiveyville, Kansas. Helena believes the men are lacking in social skills. She takes Abigail to Spiveyville to educate the men as well as the community on manners and morals as well as eating and dancing skills.

Mack Cleveland is about the only man in Spiveyville not ordering a bride. He feels that since God is the one who meant for man and woman to be together that God is the best one to bring Mack his wife. Abigail invites the whole community to her classes. When she teaches the classes, the sheriff, the pastor and Mack take turns watching over Abigail. As time moves on, the few men who did not order a bride, start to wonder if they should have.

This is a really good Christian Historical Fiction novel. There is humor, suspense and romance. I feel anyone who enjoys historical fiction, especially romance will really enjoy this story.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books. This is my honest review.

352 pages

ISBN: 9780735290051

Publisher: Waterbrook

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

This book is due to be released on March 20, 2018. Some places to pre-order this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Beneath-Prairie-Moon-Vogel-Sawyer/dp/0735290059

https://www.christianbook.com/beneath-a-prairie-moon/kim-sawyer/9780735290051/pd/290051

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beneath-a-prairie-moon-kim-vogel-sawyer/1126911730?ean=9780735290051

Lady Jane Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano

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Lady Jane Disappears is Joanna Davidson Politano’s first novel and what a great story it is. I believe we are seeing just the beginning of what the author is yet to bring us. This story has such a well written plot that it takes you away to England in 1861.

Aurelie Harcourt was raised in debtor’s prison by her father who was a popular writter and went by the name Nathaniel Droll. When he dies he leaves Aurelie an unfinished story to write.

Aurelie is taken away to live with her father’s family at their estate, the estate that her father has make famous though his writings. As Aurelie finishes her fathers story, she tries to dig deeper in to her mother, Lady Jane, disappearance.

This is such a great story. It is written so well you can feel the tension building as the family reads about themselves in the story. This is a good clean story with so much mystery and suspense it kept me reading. This story has just enough romance to please those who enjoy romance novels but not enough to turn off those who don’t. This story will be well liked by those who enjoy historical Christian stories, Aurelie’s strength and faith are very evident through out the whole story.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing. This is my honest review.

Pages 388

ISBN: 9780800728755

Publisher: Revell

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

Some places to buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Jayne-Disappears-Joanna-Davidson-Politano/dp/0800728750

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/lady-jayne-disappears/385831

https://www.christianbook.com/lady-jayne-disappears-joanna-politano/9780800728755/pd/728753

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lady-jayne-disappears-joanna-davidson-politano/1125516124?ean=9780800728755

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/davidson-politano/lady-jayne-disappears/7043018.html

All That Glitters by Lisa J. Flickinger

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All That Glitters, by Lisa J. Flickinger, takes place during the Klondike Gold Rush period.

When Mr. Connor becomes ill, he moves his family to their Aunt Margaret’s home. Ginny Connor has met Logan Harris who leads her to believe they would get married and travel to Carson City, build a hotel and make it rich. Vivian Connor has gone to speak with the doctor to find out what her parents are not telling her. While walking there she gets hurt. Ben McCormack is in town, checking for a letter from his intended and sees her. He lends her a hand while going to the doctor. When Vivian gets home, she finds out Ginny is gone. Vivian lets her foot heal a few days and then takes the train to find Ginny. At the same time, Ben is taking the train to go to his intended.

This is a good story. The author has written this in such detail that it is easy to envision Ginny spending her time in her room on the train and to feel the pain she suffers from Logan. And it is easy to imagine how Ben must have felt when he found out who is intended really is. This is a great story of love, forgiveness and redemption.

I received a copy of this book from the BookCrash book review program. This is my honest review.

255 pages

ISBN: 9781620205488

Publisher: A E Books

Lisa Flickinger lives near the Canadian Rockies with her husband and dog, Zeke. This is her first novel.

Some places you can buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/All-That-Glitters-Lisa-Flickinger/dp/1620205483

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/all-that-glitters-lisa-j-flickinger/1123119358?ean=9781620205488

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/lisa-flickinger/all-that-glitters/6759598.html

The Beloved Christmas Quilt by Wanda, Jean and Richelle Brunstetter

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The Beloved Christmas Quilt is a collection of three novellas that followed an Amish family through three generations of women.

Luella’s Promise by Wanda E. Brunstetter is the story of Luella. Luella was caring for Dena Zook and her family. Dena knew her life was coming to an end and gave Luella a quilt that her mother made her.

Karen’s Gift by Jean Brunstetter is the story of Karen, Luella’s daughter. Karen and her husband moved away from their families. Karen struggled with not having her family near her and turned to the Bible verse on the back of the quilt her mother past on to her.

Roseanna’s Groom by Richelle Brunstetter is the story of Roseanna, Karen’s daughter. Roseanna was ready to be married when her groom ran away from the wedding and from the area. Her old boyfriend came back to town and she struggled with her feelings for the two men. She went to stay with her grandparents. Her grandmother Luella shared a bible verse with her. “For thou are my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me” – Psalm 31.3

This is a very good book that follows three generations and shows us the faith and love they each have. While marriage and the gifting of the quilt are the main themes in this story, this is also a great story of family and the struggles they each go through and how they cling to their faith. I enjoyed how the stories flowed together. Knowing the stories were written by three different authors, I was able to pick up on the slight writing difference they have. I have enjoyed Wanda’s and Jean’s writings for years and hope this is just the beginning of Richelle’s writing career.

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

397 pages

ISBN: 9781683222255

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

Wanda E. Brunstetter is an award winning author of over 90 books. Her books are researched and written to accurately show the Amish way of life.

Jean Brunstetter is Wanda’s daughter-in-law became interested in the Amish way of life after visiting her father-in-law’s family. She likes to include some of the Amish simple traditions into her life.

Richelle Brunstetter is Jean’s daughter. She became interested in writing when she took a creative writing class in high school.

Some places you can buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Beloved-Christmas-Quilt-Stories-Romance/dp/1683222253

https://www.christianbook.com/the-beloved-christmas-quilt/wanda-brunstetter/9781683222255/pd/3222255

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/brunstetter-brunst/the-beloved-christmas-quilt/7038791.html

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-beloved-christmas-quilt-wanda-e-brunstetter/1125461100?ean=9781683222255

Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky

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Across the Blue, by Carrie Turansky, takes place in 1909 in England. Charles Grayson owns three prestigious London newspapers. He has just purchased an estate in the country from Sir Richard and moved his family there. Sir Richard has left furniture and decorations behind and it gives the appearance the Graysons come from old money. My Grayson has offered a substantial amount of money as a prize for the first person that crosses the English Channel. The oldest daughter, Isabella, dreams of being a writer for the newspaper. She makes an agreement with her parents that she will write articles under a different name.

James Drake was born to a single mother who was turned away from her family. She went to live with a friend and when she died in an accident when he was four months old, the friend raised him. This person dies young and her brother, the Professor, raised James. James has no knowledge of who is family is.

James and the Professor are working on their plane near the Grayson’s estate. James takes the plane out for a trial flight and ends up landing it on Grayson’s property. He and Isabella develop a friendship and one day while visiting the Grayson’s estate he sees a photo on the wall of three girls, one of them is his mother.

I really enjoyed reading this story. It contains many issues, aviation, business and family, that make a well rounded story. I like that even though Isabella’s family does not attend church, she is open to attending church with James. There is also suspense with who is James’ family and will their plane make it across the channel. This is a Christian Historical Romance novel. I feel those who enjoy historical romance will enjoy this story.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Blogging for Books. This is my honest review.

320 pages

ISBN: 9781601429421

Publisher: Multnomah

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

This book does not come out until February of 2018. You can preorder this book at:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/across-the-blue-carrie-turansky/1126435060?ean=9781601429421

https://www.christianbook.com/across-the-blue-carrie-turansky/9781601429421/pd/429433?product_redirect=1&Ntt=429433&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP

https://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/539235/across-the-blue-by-carrie-turansky/

https://www.amazon.com/Across-Blue-Novel-Carrie-Turansky/dp/1601429428

Love Held Captive by Shelley Shepard Gray

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Love Held Captive, by Shelley Shepard Gray, is book three in A Lone Star Hero’s Love Story series. This story takes place after the Civil War. Soldiers often raided homes and left the owners with nothing. Lizabeth was one of these owners. She was forced to turn to her cousin for employment. She is a maid at a hotel when she is cleaning Adam’s room, he comes and and makes advances at her. This is the man that raided her homes first and left her injured. She ran from his room, thinking Major Ethan Kelly’s rooms were vacant she ran to those to hide. When her cousin finds out, she is fired. When Ethan finds out what happened, he fears for Lizabeth’s safety and moves her to a home of a friend of his.

During the war Julianne met Adam, thinking he was single and about to propose, she had a relationship with him. She was caring for her grandmother who was very ill and both were starving. She became Adams mistress to provide for her and her grandmother. After the war, he ended the relationship to return to his wife. He returned to visit Julianne and Captain Devin Monroe is also showing an interest in Julianne. He shots Devin in the back as he rides home from visiting Julianne. Devin’s horse takes him to the hotel where Ethan is staying.

As Devin heals from his injury, Lizabeth and Julianne confess their pasts with Adam. Ethan and Devin call in a couple friends from their war years and together the men go after Adam.

This is a good story. The characters are well introduced and a lot of back ground information was given. It was very easy to follow along, however it felt like it also made the story move to slow. The story bounces between 1865 and 1867 to give additional background as the story moves on. The story is one of brotherhood that is formed between the soldiers that were held as prisoners. The story also shows us how Lizabeth and Julianne were forced to do things they didn’t want, as a way to survive, and the guilt they carried with them because of it. It also shows us how while Lizabeth was working just to survive, she as not able to get past the pain of hat happened to her and move on with her life.

Once I got into the story I really enjoyed it. I think anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction that contains romance as well as some suspense will enjoy this book. Even though it is part of a series, this is also a stand alone book.

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers, this is my honest review.

Series: A Lone Star Hero’s Love Story book 3

320 pages

Publisher: Zondervan

To lean more about the author go to: http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Held-Captive-Heros-Story/dp/0310345472

https://www.christianbook.com/love-held-captive-3/shelley-gray/9780310345473/pd/345473

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-held-captive-shelley-shepard-gray/1125895554?ean=9780310345473#/

Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander

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Christmas at Carnton is a novella written by Tamera Alexander that takes place in Franklin, Tennessee during the Civil War. Aletta Prescott’s husband was recently killed in the war and she is left to take care of herself, her six year old son and her unborn child. She lost her job and has been notified the bank is taking her house. She has just two weeks to find someplace to live. She takes a job at Carnton Plantation to work for the Women’s Relief Society.

Captain Jake Winston is shot in the shoulder and suffers a head injury that affects his vision. He wants to return to the war but cannot focus to do his job as a sharpshooter. Jake has been ordered to go to Carnton Plantation to represent the soldiers at the Women Relief Society auction. Jake also assists Aletta with making the nativity for the event.

This is a wonderful story. The story is based on a real plantation and the cook is based on the real life cook at the plantation. The story also focuses on the Women’s Relief Society that was active during the Civil War. I really enjoyed reading about the work the women were doing to help the soldiers. This story is a reminder to us of how lives were changed with the Civil War. Part of the story that I really likes was when Jake realized that even though the women were not out fighting the was, the war was changing their lives. Many soldiers lost their lives and their wives were left behind to support themselves and their families. This is a story of hope and faith that God will provide when there is a need. Another thing I really enjoy about this book is the author shares the recipes of items mentioned in the book and also shares with us her plans for upcoming books based on characters from this book.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers. This is my honest review.

224 pages

ISBN: 9780310293248

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

To learn more about the author and books she has written as well as sign up for her newsletter go to:
http://tameraalexander.com/

Some place you can purchase this book are:

http://www.thomasnelson.com/christmas-at-carnton

https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-at-Carnton-Tamera-Alexander/dp/0310293243/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507513442&sr=8-1&keywords=9780310293248

https://www.christianbook.com/christmas-at-carnton-tamera-alexander/9780310293248/pd/293248?event=GOOGORG

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/alexander-tamera/christmas-at-carnton/7055507.html