Barbour, BLOG

The Express Bride, #9 Daughters of the Mayflower by Kimberley Woodhouse

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About the Book

Title: The Express Bride

Series: The Daughters of the Mayflower

Author: Kimberley Woodhouse

Publisher: Barbour

Released: July 2019

The Wilderness Is a Great Place to Hide

Jacqueline Rivers manages a Pony Express station in 1860 Utah territory after her father’s death. There are daily stresses placed on her in this unconventional role—and now a government official is asking her to sniff out counterfeiters. When Elijah Johnson passes through on the stage while on an exhausting quest to find his boss’s heir, he doesn’t want to leave the beguiling station manager. In fact, he may never leave when caught in the crossfire of the territory’s criminal activities. Jackie can’t decide if Elijah is friend or foe. Can she remain strong when secrets of the past and present are finally unearthed?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Express Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse.

More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:
The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)
The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)
The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1836 Texas (February 2019)
The Golden Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1849 San Francisco (April 2019)
The Express Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1860 Utah (July 2019)
The Rebel Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1863 Tennessee (December 2019)
The Blizzard Bride by Susanne Dietze – set 1888 Nebraska (February 2020)
The Chisholm Trail Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – (April 2020)

My Review

The Express Bride, # 9 Daughters of the Mayflower by Kimberley Woodhouse, is yet another slice of life in American history and women’s roles in it. This era, lasting only a year and a half, was nevertheless a very important part of our country’s history.

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Woodhouse incorporates an engrossing story of a millionaire seeking a long- lost family with that of a female express station operator. The story flows smoothly, employing romance, faith, and mystery as it serves a memorable history lesson on this time long past. I especially loved the mystery thread.
Well- done, Ms. Woodhouse!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley. This in no way affects my opinion for which I am solely responsible.

My Rating

5 Stars – Superior – Hits My Reading Sweet Spot

About the Author

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Kimberley Woodhouse is the best-selling author of more than twenty books who loves the JOY of story. A lover of history and research, she often gets sucked into the past and then her husband has to lure her out with chocolate. She’s spoken to more than 800,000 people at more than 2,000 venues and has taught the craft of writing around the country. Married to the love of her life for twenty-five plus years, she makes her home in Montana. You can connect with Kimberley at: www.kimberleywoodhouse.com www.facebook.com/KimberleyWoodhouseAu…

Bethany House, BLOG, Favorite, NetGalley

More Than Words Can Say, #2 A Patchwork Family Novel by Karen Witemeyer

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ABOUT THE BOOK

TITLE: More Than Words Can Say

SERIES: A Patchwork Family Novel (#2)

AUTHOR: Karen Witemeyer

PUBLISHER: Bethany Publishing House

RELEASED: June 2019

After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free to live life on his own terms. No opportunities to disappoint those he cares about, just the quiet bachelor existence he’s always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away once again when the baker of his favorite breakfast treat is railroaded by the city council. As hard as he tries to avoid getting involved, he can’t turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples.

Abigail Kemp needs a man’s name on her bakery’s deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. Not the stoic lumberman who oozes confidence without saying a word whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can’t even control her pulse when she’s around him.

Once vows are spoken, Abigail’s troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. As trust grows between Zach and Abby, she finds she wants more than his rescue. She wants her heart.

MY REVIEW:

More Than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer is a wonderful, zany, historical romance that includes faith at its core. While it is helpful to read the preceding book in the series, it is not required to enjoy More Than Words Can Say.

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Abigail Kemp and Zacharias Hamilton are well-developed, lovable characters that I quickly found myself rooting for. Witemeyer provides likable secondary characters and a villain who, the more I knew, the more I actually hoped for redemption.
It was nice to read about a heroine who was somewhat less than thin. Unfortunately, the picture on the front of the book does not accurately portray the Abby presented inside.
Secrets and shame, guilt from past hold both Abby and Zach back. I feel shades of Les Mis in my mind when Zach cannot release the past, knowing he would repeat the wrong for its benefits. What a conundrum that causes and a stumbling block in his road to total honesty and a relationship with the Father.
Quotables:
“…a wise woman never burned a bridge she might need to cross at a future date.”
”…revenge had a tendency to warp a person’s mind when allowed to fester for a long period of time.”
“These stuffy male councilmen might want to hold her down, but like a well-made bread dough, she planned to rise to the occasion.”
For a fun, faith-filled romance, all well blended, baked, and deliciously served up; I heartily recommend More than Words Can Say. I was gifted a complimentary copy of the book through NetGalley. This in no way influenced my opinions for which I am solely responsible.

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MY RATING:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. A transplant from California, Karen came to Texas for college, met a cowboy disguised as a computer nerd, married him, and never left the state that had become home.

Winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, and a finalist for both the RITA and Christy Awards, Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She also loves to reward her readers. Every month she gives away two inspirational historical novels to someone from her newsletter list and offers substantial bonus content on her website. To learn more about Karen and her books, or to join her subscriber list, please visit www.karenwitemeyer.com.

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour

This Healing Journey by Misty Beller with Guest Post and Giveaway

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About the Book 

Book: This Healing Journey, #7 The Heart of the Mountains Series

Author: Misty M Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance 44599445

Release date: July 18, 2019

The mountain wilderness of her family’s home in the Canadian Rockies is all Hannah Grant has ever known. Now at the age of twenty-four, she’s on a journey to help her father to find the son he gave up for adoption three decades before. This is Hannah’s chance to discover the life she’s missed out on so far—and hopefully find a husband along the way. But she certainly doesn’t plan to fall for the first man she meets.

Years in the Calvary provided Nathaniel Peak with more than his share of violence and adventure. That life behind him, he wants nothing more than to settle down in the beautiful Montana mountains and raise his own stock—in peace. The last thing he expects is the savagely wounded child who shows up in his barn. Nor the woman he comes to rely on for the girl’s care.

Hannah can’t help but fall in love with the brave Indian child who so desperately needs her, but no matter what, she can’t let herself fall for the man whose past choices go against everything she believes in. As the situation grows worse, Hannah and Nathaniel are forced to make a heart-rending decision to save the girl’s life. Little do they imagine, the choice they make could spell disaster for them all.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

I have never read Misty Beller before, but that was not a problem in reading this last book of the Heart of the Mountains Series, This Healing Journey. Well-titled, several people actually find a form of healing in this novel of the 1880s in Montana.
Nathaniel Peak is a former cavalryman with regrets, hoping to leave that life behind to start his own ranch. Neighbors and visitors play heavily into this historical romance, with some visitors more welcome than others.
Who will not lose their heart to sweet, stoic, little Itu, both brave and afraid? I wasn’t really sure how Beller was going to play her cards with little Itu, but I thought Beller did an excellent job of creating some extra love, fear, excitement, and tension with this character.
The point-of-view is always third person, although each chapter starts with a first person thought. We juggle back and forth between several people’s third person pov throughout the story. Since I had not read any books before this, I did have to go back a time or two and see who was whom. However, I felt that was pretty minor for picking up a series at book seven.
“Wasn’t a cow a cow?” Oh, boy!!
At least Nathaniel knew his horses better than that!This Healing Journey
Hannah surprised me. After experiencing her father’s love all her life, she becomes keenly aware that she may be on a path to disappoint him. This, then, leads her to worry that she will lose his love. To be fair, relationships were changing around her, and she had to realize that the most important voice to listen to was God’s.
”When my spirit has this much unrest, it’s usually God guiding me a different way.”
This Healing Journey started slow, and I would have liked to see more dimension to the characters. However, this is a great story of faith, beginning anew, loving enough to forgive, and loving enough to let go. By the end, this had become a very exciting and unnerving story.
A quote of forgiveness:
“I don’t know what our lives would have looked like if you’d decided the other way, but what if’s don’t matter at the end of the day. You made the choice you felt was right, and God worked good from it.”
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit. This in no way affects my opinions which are solely my own.

My Rating

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About the Author

Misty M. Beller writes romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love. Misty-300x271

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and children now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

 

More from Misty

Occasionally I hear readers debate about whether they prefer to read a series of books from an author, or only standalone novels. Personally, I love series—both reading and writing them. There’s something about seeing characters I know and love from past books that makes me warm and happy inside. Can you relate?

One of the first series I wrote, the Mountain Dreams Series, included five books that told the stories of several families intertwined through marriage and God’s connections. Those characters are still so dear to my heart! When book 5 ended, I had so many readers ask for more in the series, I began dreaming of a spin-off series with a very special connection to the hero in book 5. Enter: the Heart of the Mountains Series.

I’ve LOVED every story in this 7-book collection, taking each journey with the characters as I laughed and cried and uncovered their secrets. For the final 7thbook, I’m thrilled to announce that I’m reuniting many of the characters from BOTH series! Simeon Grant (from Heart of the Mountains, book 1) goes on a journey to find the son he gave up for adoption as an infant (the hero in Mountain Dreams, book 5).

This Healing Journey has its own leading lady, Hannah Grant (the baby born at the end of This Treacherous Journey, all grown up and as tough as any lady raised in the Canadian mountain wilderness). And a new character, Nathaniel Peak, who stars as the hero (and who I fell in love with IMMEDIATELY!).

Even if you’ve never read any of my stories, I think you’ll enjoy this one. Especially if you love adventurous mountain stories as much as I do!

 

Blog Stops

Inspiration clothesline, June 18

Reading Is My SuperPower, June 18

Among the Reads, June 19

Connect in Fiction, June 19

Simple Harvest Reads, June 20

Wishful Endings, June 20

Blessed & Bookish, June 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 21

Blossoms and Blessings, June 22

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 22

janicesbookreviews, June 22

CarpeDiem, June 23

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, June 23

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 24

Through the Fire Blogs, June 24

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 25

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 25

Bigreadersite, June 26

Spoken from the Heart, June 26

A Reader’s Brain, June 26

A Baker’s Perspective, June 27

Splashes of Joy, June 27

For Him and My Family, June 28

Mary Hake, June 28

Real World Bible Study, June 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 29

Inklings and notionsJune 29

Pause for Tales, June 30

For the Love of Books, June 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 1

Texas Book-aholic, July 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e50e/this-healing-journey-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Bethany House, BLOG, Favorite, NetGalley

Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

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ABOUT THE BOOK

TITLE: Whose Waves These Are

AUTHOR: Amanda Dykes

PUBLISHER: Bethany House

DATE RELEASED: April 2019

GENRE: Christian Historical Romance

In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper asking readers to send rocks in honor of loved ones to create something life-giving but the building halts when tragedy strikes. Decades later, Annie returns to the coastal Maine town where stone ruins spark her curiosity and her search for answers faces a battle against time.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

“Every wave in that big old blue sea is a story.” With these words, young Annie’s great-uncle finds a way to unlock some of her fears and turn them into something beautiful. But when she returns to Ansel-by-the-Sea as an adult, will she have the key she needs to unlock her adult fears and turn them to confident love and purpose?
Amanda Dykes may be a name I had never heard before, but by penning Whose Waves These Are she is rapidly garnering attention in the Christian fiction world. I predict this novel will win an award for a debut novel in 2019.
A time-slip book, the reader is tossed like the sea between young Annie as she grows up, a mature Annie of the present, and a young Robert Bliss whose twin is drafted in 1944.
Annie is a great heroine. One can’t help but root for her as she returns to look for her great-uncle. Will she grow enough to fit in and find her place in this seashore town? The pieces to this puzzle are more numerous than I expected and definitely include Annie’s parents. A story like this, told chronologically, would have been interesting. By creating a time-slip out of it, and adding the unexpected twists, Dykes produces a work nothing short of amazing!
Some favorite quotes:
The first and most important to me-
“Life is big. And God is bigger.”
“You’re a good man. Let me try to be one, too.”
“He wasn’t the oldest, but they both knew he was the one who had the fury of a nor’easter inside him, a fury he could use to fight.”
“She imagines people as combination locks, each bit of information a tick on the dial as she works to build up their story in her mind, to unlock them.”
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“…if everything around you is broken, it’s time to unbreak something.”
When Annie is trying to figure out her purpose:
“‘The microbes,’ he says, ‘only have a single cell. And they use it to capture sunlight all day— their sole purpose. At night, when danger comes, …they don’t run. They don’t shrivel up or hide. They release the sunlight they’ve been storing up, right into the darkness. They fight it back by lighting up.’”
Expect a small town, big hearts, sweet romances, tragedy, and miracles. Expect a blessing in this book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way affects my opinions, which are solely my own.
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My Rating

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About the Author 517ufoFnplL._US230_

Amanda Dykes is the author of Bespoke: A Tiny Christmas Tale, the critically-acclaimed bicycle story that invited readers together to fund bicycles for missionaries in Asia. A former English teacher, she has a soft spot for classic literature and happy endings. She is a drinker of tea, a dweller of Truth, and a spinner of hope-filled tales, grateful for the grace of a God who loves extravagantly.

 

 

 

 

Barbour, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, NetGalley

The Noble Guardian by Michelle Griep- on Tour with Celebrate Lit and Including a Giveaway!

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About the Book

Book: The Noble Guardian

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: June, 2019

A Cross-Country Trip through Regency England Brings Intrigue, Rogues, and High Adventure

The must-read conclusion to Michelle Griep’s Bow Street Runners Trilogy: Life couldn’t be better for Abigail Gilbert—but it’s been a long time in coming. Having lived with a family who hated her, it’s finally her time for love. Abby sets off on a journey across England to marry one of the most prestigious gentlemen in the land—until highwaymen upset her plans and threaten her life.

Horse patrol captain Samuel Thatcher arrives just in time to save Abby. But she’s simply another victim in a job he’s come to despise. Tired of the dark side of humanity, he intends to buy land and retire.

Abby pleads with him to escort her for the rest of her journey. He refuses—until she offers him something he desperately needs to achieve his goal. . .money. Delivering her safely will give him more than enough to buy property.

So begins an impossible trek for the cynical lawman and the proper lady. Each will be indelibly changed by the time they reach her betrothed, if they don’t kill one another first—or fall in love.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

The Noble Guardian had me at the author’s name, “Michelle Griep.” I admit I sign up for any book she writes, plus I preorder the paperback copy. And if I haven’t read the synopsis first, no harm done. It IS Michelle Griep, read “you’re gonna love it” in my language.
Taking place in England in 1815, The Noble Guardian is, alas, the last of The Bow Street Runners Series. I loved the idea of danger from the dreaded outlaws, in some small way comparable to America’s “wild west.” The idea of a stagecoach being pulled at full gallop over the empty heath, a knowledgeable scout/protector riding ahead, DREAD being the constant companion in every coach on every trip.
Then, mix in the romance, slowly at first, like flour going into a cake, little by little coming to full flavor when all the right ingredients are finally present. (Excuse me while I stop and swoon here, the hero is just perfect for his role! The cover artist helps with that fact, too, giving just the right appearance to Samuel Thatcher. He is a lawman who is bone-weary of the very wickedness he tracks in his job. Thatcher wants only to retire to a nice, safe farm, but fortunately for poor Abby, duty is stronger than the desire for comfort.
This novel kept my attention from start to finish. I smiled to see references to characters from former books of the series. Yet, it is not imperative to read the other books to understand this one.
Griep likes to encourage the reader to build up her old English vocabulary, well-setting the tone. I did find Google to be a good friend as a few words and concepts like “truncheon” and the “putrid throat” got me curious exactly what they might be. Griep does include a glossary at the end to discuss some English historical references for those of us unversed in English history.
Learning to trust God to care for those we love, and to find our ultimate value in God are some of the themes.

“You say you’re on your way to happiness, when all along it’s been right under yer very nose. The truth is, ye are wanted, by the Creator of the stars, no less. Ye don’t have to run across the country to find love .png
Funny quotes, amazingly descriptive quotes, and quotes to live by are all planted within this wonderful book.
Here are a few of my favorites:
“God had provided the captain at just the right time today. Surely he would continue to provide tomorrow.” This is a concept I am currently utilizing to encourage both young children and young adults as well as myself. If we can memorialize God’s past faithfulness, we can have faith the next time as we wait for Him to act.
“…he stockpiled regrets as avidly as some men collected fine paintings.”
“You say you’re on your way to happiness when all along it’s been right under yer very nose. The truth is, ye are wanted, by the Creator of the stars, no less. Ye don’t have to run across the country to find love when every minute of every day it’s being offered to ye in God’s wide, open arms.”

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“Until ye’re fully satisfied with the love God gives ye, freely and without question, ye’ll not be satisfied at all.”
“Houses leaned one against the other, like drunken sailors holding each other upright. If one fell, the rest would lie down and never get up again.”
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. I also bought my own copy. The complimentary copy did not influence my opinions, which
are solely my own.

My Rating

golden-stargolden-stargolden-stargolden-stargolden-star

About the Author

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Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at http://www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 

More from Michelle

Highwaymen Aren’t All Glamorous

Highwaymen are often romanticized in historical romances, but the truth is these fella’s were generally not compassionate thieves at all. They were cutthroat robbers who sometimes killed. Here’s a brief history so that you’re in the know.

The term “highwayman” simply means a thief who steals—usually at gunpoint—from travelers on the road. Not all, but some of those attacks turned deadly, the robbers not wishing to leave anyone behind who could identify them. Others wore masks for the same purpose.

Long, deserted stretches of roads that were main thoroughfares were the particular favorite haunts of these men. Criminals would choose remote highways that supplied regular traffic going to and from major destinations, such as Hounslow Heath, about fifteen miles outside of London.

To combat these villains, in 1805 the Bow Street Horse Patrol was created. There were about sixty men hired to protect travelers on the principal roads within sixty miles of London. Most of the men had served previously in a cavalry regiment. Their most successful achievement was to rid Hounslow Heath of highwaymen.

And that’s where I got the idea for my hero, Samuel Thatcher, in The Noble Guardian. He’s a rough and tumble man who’s tired of life and the wickedness of man. Mostly he’s just biding his time until he retires—that is until he rescues Miss Abigail Gilbert from the clutches of one of the worst offenders of all…Shankhart Robbins.

Sound like an adventure? It is. Settle back with your own copy and see what it’s like to ride the rugged heath in a carriage, bounding along—until you hear the crack of a pistol.

Enjoy!

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, June 8

The Power of Words, June 8

Ashley’s Bookshelf, June 8

Inspiration Clothesline, June 9

With a Joyful Noise, June 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 9

Back Porch Reads, June 10

Among the Reads, June 10

Captive Dreams Window, June 10

Genesis 5020, June 11

Inklings and notions, June 11

Blogging With Carol, June 11

The Christian Fiction Girl, June 12

As He Leads is Joy, June 12

Connie’s History Classroom, June 12

Carpe Diem, June 13

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 13

Abba’s prayer Warrior Princess, June 13

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 14

Wishful Endings, June 14

Stories By Gina, June 14

Through the Fire Blogs, June 15

Just the Write Escape, June 15

Blossoms and Blessings, June 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 16

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, June 16

Texas Book-aholic, June 16

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 17

For Him and My Family, June 17

Hallie Reads, June 17

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, June 18

janicesbookreviews, June 18

Moments, June 18

Bigreadersite, June 19

Godly Book Reviews, June 19

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, June 19

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 20

Remembrancy, June 20

Daysong Reflections, June 20

A Reader’s Brain, June 20

All-of-a-kind Mom, June 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 21

Pause for Tales, June 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize that includes a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Noble Guardian!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e31b/the-noble-guardian-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Barbour, BLOG, Favorite, NetGalley

The Golden Bride, #8 The Daughters of the Mayflower Series by Kimberly Woodhouse

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About the Book 

Title: The Golden Bride (#8 DoM)

Series: The Daughters of the Mayflower

Author: Kimberly Woodhouse

Publisher: Barbour

Released: April 1, 2019

Can Olivia survive the crime and Gold Rush fever of 1849…and the countless marriage proposals?
A series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

The Daughters of the Mayflower series continues when Olivia Brighton finds herself widowed and working her brother’s restaurant in San Francisco during the height of the rush for gold. Even though she receives at least twenty marriage proposals a day, she will never marry a gold miner. Her brother’s friend Joseph Sawyer has gotten caught up in local politics and the plight of Chinese in forced labor. The more Joseph gets pulled into investigating crime in the city, the less Olivia sees of the compassionate man. And just when she thinks she could love again, a fire threatens to steal all hope.

Click here to purchase the book!

My Review

At last! Kimberly Woodhouse strikes gold with this volume. My emotions were greatly moved by The Golden Bride by Woodhouse! A clear picture of the smutty town of San Francisco during the gold rush emerges from the pages of The Golden Bride, # 8 The Daughters of the Mayflower, crafted by Kimberly Woodhouse. This is Ms. Woodhouse’s finest offering to the series yet. While each book stands alone, Ms. Woodhouse ties the other two books of the series she authored to this by some special objects that change Olivia’s attitude towards her life. Also, I was very impressed by the way I was drawn into the narrative while consuming history. This time, the time period presented seamlessly melded with the beauty of the romantic, yet tragic story being revealed.
How many times have we repeated about someone, “He’ll never change”? Yet, The Golden Bride is a great example of less-than-wonderful people who decide to follow God, and who then find themselves walking a different path.
I loved the way Olivia refused to be forced into society’s mold but instead chose to see people through God’s eyes. So often we as Christians are afraid to be different from the world, then we wonder why the world doesn’t want our God.
A reminder we should be careful not to judge each other, but instead be encouragers:
“We’re all sinners, Olivia. All of us. We all struggle. But your brother told me when I first came to town to exhort one another. We’re all going to feel beaten down at some point and we’re all going to lose our confidence. It’s our job to help each other through the muck and mire.”
Evil in San Francisco was like an iceberg; while a great deal was visible, yet a huge, majority of it lay unseen beneath the surface.
A quote as true today as it was in 1849:

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“People are afraid to stick their noses where they don’t belong, and so evil facts face no resistance.”
A great book crafted by Kimberly Woodhouse, I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

golden-stargolden-stargolden-stargolden-stargolden-star

About the Author

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Kimberley Woodhouse is the best-selling author of more than twenty books who loves the JOY of story. A lover of history and research, she often gets sucked into the past and then her husband has to lure her out with chocolate. She’s spoken to more than 800,000 people at more than 2,000 venues and has taught the craft of writing around the country. Married to the love of her life for twenty-five plus years, she makes her home in Montana. You can connect with Kimberley at: www.kimberleywoodhouse.comwww.facebook.com/KimberleyWoodhouseAu…

Favorite, Waterbrook-Multnomah

The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton

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About the Book

Title: The King’s Mercy

Author: Lori Benton

Publisher: Waterbrook-Multnomah

To be Released: June 4, 2019

For readers of Sara Donati and Diana Gabaldon, this epic historical romance tells of fateful love between an indentured Scotsman and a daughter of the 18th-century colonial south.

When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king’s mercy–exile to the Colony of North Carolina–he’s indentured to Englishman Edmund Carey as a blacksmith. Against his will, Alex is drawn into the struggles of Carey’s slaves–and those of his stepdaughter, Joanna Carey. A mistress with a servant’s heart, Joanna is expected to wed her father’s overseer, Phineas Reeves, but finds herself drawn instead to the new blacksmith. As their unlikely relationship deepens, successive tragedies strike the Careys. When blame falls unfairly upon Alex he flees to the distant mountains where he encounters Reverend Pauling, itinerate preacher and friend of the Careys, now a prisoner of the Cherokees. Haunted by his abandoning of Joanna, Alex tries to settle into life with the Cherokees, until circumstances thwart yet another attempt to forge his freedom and he’s faced with the choice that’s long hounded him: continue down his rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no man can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender, and perhaps Alex’s very life.

My Review:

Lori Benton is an unknown author to me before now. Now I know why she is a favorite of many, and her new book, The King’s Mercy, is so greatly anticipated. Scheduled for release on June 4, (2019), I obtained an ARC through Waterbrook-Multnomah, the publisher. 
Ah, Benton had me at the double entendre title. How I love these. Obviously, we are talking about the mercy of two very different kings. Captured at the Scottish battle of Culloden, Alex McKinnon is spared death three times before he receives the true “king’s mercy,” banishment to the colonies as an indentured slave. I was impressed by how scornfully the phrase “the king’s mercy” was uttered by those who were unfortunate enough to receive it. Just a day after I finished this wonderful book, I encountered this telling verse in Proverbs 12:10: “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.” (ESV) 
So we have established there is a lot of emotion-anger. There is also love, confusion, subterfuge, greed, avarice, helplessness, and an intense longing for freedom. As I reminisce about this sweeping saga, I am tempted to divide people into two groups: slave and free. Interestingly enough, the groups are not iron-clad, and it might be surprising who could land in each category. Who is really enslaved, and who is truly free? 
So many characters to like, some to love, others to despise. 
My favorite character is Alex. He is sensitive, humble, and empathetic to the pain of others’, be it Joanna’s loss of a friendship years ago; Elijah’s inability to work the smithy following his accident; or Jemma’s inability to fit in where expected. He still had a few flaws, but wouldn’t we all like to hear this: 
“…I don’t think it right or true that you be defined by a single choice.” 
And the quotes. Benton speaks well to present-day. 
“Ye’ve always had that about ye, a need for a purpose beyond yourself. ‘Tis the Almighty knit ye so.” We are all made in God’s image, with a purpose beyond just living for ourselves. 
When all seemed bad enough to drive one to insanity: “So be the iron. Bend with the heat.” 
“Despite her best intentions, she was playing the part of Martha again when she longed to be Mary, sitting at the preacher’s feet.”  
“If ye draw lines between yourself and folk, the least ye can do is keep to your side of them.” 
“…it was her very life that vexed her, its burdens, its injustices. She wanted freedom as badly as he.” 

 

_Whatever we pour our treasure into will ultimately captivate our hearts. What captivates our hearts we worship. What we worship remakes us-into its image._ (1).png

 

 

 

 

“Whatever we pour our treasure into will ultimately captivate our hearts. What captivates our hearts we worship. What we worship remakes us— into its image.”  
One issue I had is that historicals that mention several real places should always have maps. How frustrating to have locations referred to repeatedly, but have no idea where they really are. I found Cape Fear on a map; other locations I could only wonder. 
Finally, I liked very much the author’s note of explanation concerning the fact the story is loosely based on Biblical characters. Where truth and fiction collided, I found the characters true to Scripture. Well-done, Lori Benton!! 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook-Multnomah. No positive review was required and all opinions are my own. 

My Rating: 

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About the Author:

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Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God’s transforming grace.

When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching 18th-century history, Lori enjoys exploring the mountains with her husband.

Burning Sky, Lori’s debut novel, was a finalist for the ECPA 2014 Christian Book Award, and winner of the 2014 Christy Award for First Novel, Historical, and Book of the Year.