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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Book Review: One more river to cross By: Jane Kirkpatrick

One More River to Cross

About the Book

In 1844, two years before the Donner Party, the Stevens-Murphy company left Missouri to be the first wagons into California through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Mostly Irish Catholics, the party sought religious freedom and education in the mission-dominated land and enjoyed a safe journey--until October, when a heavy snowstorm forced difficult decisions. The first of many for young Mary Sullivan, newlywed Sarah Montgomery, the widow Ellen Murphy, and her pregnant sister-in-law Maolisa.

When the party separates in three directions, each risks losing those they loved and faces the prospect of learning that adversity can destroy or redefine. Two women and four men go overland around Lake Tahoe, three men stay to guard the heaviest wagons--and the rest of the party, including eight women and seventeen children, huddle in a makeshift cabin at the headwaters of the Yuba River waiting for rescue . . . or their deaths.

Award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick plunges you deep into a landscape of challenge where fear and courage go hand in hand for a story of friendship, family, and hope that will remind you of what truly matters in times of trial.

(taken from her website) 

Jane is internationally recognized for her lively presentations and well-researched stories that encourage and inspire.

A New York Times Bestselling author, her works have appeared in more than 50 national publications including The Oregonian, Private Pilot and Daily Guideposts. With more than 1.5 million books in print, her 30 novels and non-fiction titles draw readers from all ages and genders. Most are historical novels based on the lives of actual historical women often about ordinary women who lived extraordinary lives. Her works have won numerous national awards including the WILLA Literary Award, the Carol Award,, Will Roger's Medallion Award and in 1996, her first novel, A Sweetness to the Soul, won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage and National Cowboy Museum. Her novels have also been finalists for the Spur Award, the Oregon Book Award, the Christy, Reader's Choice and the WILLA in both fiction and non-fiction. Several titles have been Literary Guild and Book of the Month choices and been on the bestsellers list for independent bookstores across the country, in the Pacific Northwest and the Christian Booksellers Association. Her books have been translated into German, Dutch, Finnish and Chinese.

My Thoughts
This is based off a true story. Which is one reason that I enjoyed this book. I love when I get a history lesson while reading. The author takes a real life situation and crafts it onto pages to tell the story. There are a lot of characters to remember, but it all pans out. This group of individuals have to deal with hardship, predators, sickness, child birth and so much more. Follow this group along as they trek from the mountains to California. 

I received a copy of this book through Revell Reads, all thoughts are my own. 

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Book Review and Giveaway: A Promise to Break Author: Kathryn Spurgeon On tour with Celebrate LIt

a promise to break FB Banner

Book: A Promise to Break
Author: Kathryn Spurgeon
Genre: Christian Historical
Release Date: July 11, 2016
a promise to break
SIBYL TRIMBLE, the daughter of a wealthy banking family during the Great Depression in Shawnee, Oklahoma, promises her father to be part of a political movement to change the world. By 1932, the timing to fulfill that promise seems right. Her life consists of fashionable clothes, cruising in a Model T, and dancing every weekend at the local speakeasy.
 FREMONT POPE is a handsome, blue-eyed, down-on-his-luck hobo, and Sibyl’s life turns
upside down when she meets him. Her love for him and his Christian family opens her eyes to a different way of life than she has ever known.
 Based on a true story, this historical novel follows Sibyl through some difficult choices. She must dig deep within herself to find strength to face her father and determine which, if any, of her past beliefs can be salvaged. What is more important, love or duty?

Click here to get your copy.

About the Author

Katherine spurgeon
A Christian writer, Biblical counselor, teacher and speaker who offers insight, the author loves connecting to people individually and through retreats and conferences.
Kathryn’s mission is to teach that the passion of godly love knows no boundaries. Whether with prisoners, international students or those needing assistance, her platform strategy is the concept of personal, intimate encounters with Jesus. Her historical novel, “Up Town,” shows the importance of spiritual encounters with Jesus—small encounters that lead to a more mature spiritual life. Kathryn’s Biblical counseling and teaching background lends itself to this message.
She lived in South Korea for two years in her early twenties, spent time in an orphanage and adopted two Korean babies. A single mom for 18 years, she went from welfare to owner and CEO of a multimillion dollar corporation, Integrity Healthy Care. Her company took care of the medical needs of over 4,000 prisoners and during that time she counseled over 200 women.
Kathryn and her husband, Bill, hold Bible studies for international students attending the University of Central Oklahoma. They have had many different students live in their home and try to help students in all areas of their lives.
Kathryn is on the Mission Team at her home church, Henderson Hills Baptist Church, in Edmond, Oklahoma, where she has been a member for over 13 years. While attending her prior church, Country Estates Baptist Church in Midwest City, Oklahoma, she was on the Finance and Long Range Planning Committees, and taught DivorceCare and Financial classes. She is a Crown Money Map coach.
Bill and Kathryn have six children and nine grandchildren at the last count, including some adopted. Their family is internationally diverse. God’s love is enormous and includes all of us.

More from Kathryn

Nostalgic book
Have you ever wished to go back in time and question a relative who is no longer around? Ask what motivated her, discuss her greatest heartaches and how she overcame them, analyze her spiritual journey?
My grandmother’s life was full of upheavals and I wish I could have spent more time with her and studied her thought-processes. My mother did spend more time with her. With a clear mind of that time, Mom (and many others) enthusiastically shared memories and discussed the lessons the once wealthy Sibyl Trimble may have gathered in life.
What a trip it has been! Autobiographies. Publications. Notes in attic boxes containing information about secret love affairs and heart-breaking losses told with spiritual honesty. The more information I uncovered, the more I wanted to get to know Sibyl Trimble, the person. I wanted to know how God worked in her life. I wanted to write her story.
The nostalgic era of the 1930s came alive to me as I travelled to places of lively, boogie-woogie music, old handwritten documents, and tombstones. The amazing, booming town of Shawnee, Oklahoma, was the perfect setting for a Great Depression tale. Some people moved to California during that time. Others stayed in Shawnee. In contrast to “The Grapes of Wrath,” this book relates the experiences of some who remained during one of the worst times in U.S. history. They stayed and thrived.
This book is not a recount of simple facts but examines the essence of a brilliant woman who traversed through life, maneuvering the hardships along with the blessings. I uncovered anecdotes, read newspaper articles, and confirmed family lore that had been passed down through generations.
Many readers agree Sibyl could have been their grandmother, their heritage, and after reading this book series, they will know Sibyl almost as well as I do.
This story is an intimate look at a searching individual during the wistful days of a long-gone era. I expect, after you read “A Promise to Break,” you’ll agree that Sibyl Trimble’s story needed to be told.

My Thoughts

I feel like I do not read enough books set during this time period. I have been trying to expand my reading horizons since I am an American History Nerd. I was excited to read this one. This is a new to me author, and I will be checking out her other books as they are released. The author has done great research and created believeable characters. This is set during the Great Depression in Oklahoma. The author has done a great job balancing the chaos that was of this time period. Her writing style is one that flows. She brings you in and will not let you go as you read. I really enjoyed this book. 

I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging program. All thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Betti Mace, October 4
Older & Smarter?, October 5
Hallie Reads, October 6
Life of Literature, October 6
Genesis 5020, October 7
Moments, October 8
Emily Yager, October 8
She Lives to Read, October 9
Pause for Tales , October 11
Connect in Fiction, October 11
Texas Book-aholic, October 12
Bigreadersite, October 12
janicesbookreviews, October 13
A Reader’s Brain, October 14
Batya’s Bits, October 14


To celebrate her tour, Kathryn is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Book Review and Giveaway: Lessons on Love By: Kathleen L. Maher, Susanne Dietze, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Rita Gerlach,

Hey Guys! Today I am thrilled to bring new friend Kathleen L. Maher to the blog today. We are celebrating the release of: Lessons on Love By: Kathleen Maher, Susanne Dietze, Carrie Fancett Pagels, and Rita Gerlach.

Hi, Connie! Thank you so much for having me, Kathleen L. Maher, on your blog. I’m excited to talk about Lessons on Love, Barbour’s new Schoolteacher historical romance collection. I wanted to give your readers an exclusive look at this brand-new release, with the opportunity to win a signed print copy of their very own!
My novella, “Something Old, Something New”, tells the story of a young Jewish woman Gilda Jacobs, whose father has recently passed away. Her papa, Eliezer Jacobs, was revered in the town for founding his school and maintaining academic excellence. Gilda desires to take his place and teach, but the townspeople, particularly the mayor, has other ideas. He wants his nephew, Joshua Blake, to take over the school. Josh, on the other hand, just wants to preach the gospel, since he was mentored by the great revivalist Charles Finney. Old traditions meet new in this historical tale with many twists, turns and sparks!

Set in 1840, “Something Old, Something New” showcases a unique time in New York state history, with the newly built Erie Canal, the Hudson River still unspoiled by industrialization, and the old Dutch colonists mingling with various influences, including Jewish settlers. This was the era that Washington Irving wrote his classics such as The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip van Winkle. And the Common Schools –the first public schools—were just getting started across the expanding new Republic.
School teachers were a vital resource to our newly independent country. They held communities together and their curriculum brought unity throughout regions to make the next generation not only literate, but good citizens as well. Lady teachers were thought to have the right moral influence on young minds, and strict conditions were placed into their teaching contracts. Women who chose the noble vocation of teaching for these Common schools were forbidden to consort with men other than their brothers or father. They had dress codes, conduct codes, curfews, and even had to agree where to live. 

Four schoolteachers find more than they bargained for in their contracts. Class is in session on the four R’s: reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmatic, and romance!
The other three stories depict charming scenarios of school teachers and their chances at romance from early in America’s history. Here are the descriptions of each:
Love in Any Language  by Susanne Dietze
Kansas, 1870
Mary Clarence teaches English to the children of Swedish immigrants, but when her favorite students’ widowed father, Kristofer Nilsson, is accused of robbery, she’s determined to clear his name.
In Desperate Straits  by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Mackinac Island, Michigan, 1894
Desperate for work, Margaret Hadley dresses as a young man to secure a dray driver’s position. When soldiers at the fort threaten her, Mackinac Island’s newest teacher, Jesse Huntington, intervenes.
A Song in the Night  by Rita Gerlach
Virginia, 1904
Karin Wiles longs to share the uplifting power of music with children. But when she seeks to improve a poorly run school and include orphans, Nathaniel Archer delivers harsh words of opposition from the school board.

CONTEST: I am offering a signed print copy of Lessons on Love to one lucky commenter. To enter, answer this question. Have you ever had a job that demanded you to act or dress in a way that you found challenging? Could you imagine living up to these teacher contracts?
For extra entries, share this blog post on your social media: FB, Twitter, Pinterest, or (the cover of the book) on Instagram, etc. Be creative! The more shares, the more entries. ***US only***

Thank you for having me as your guest on this lovely blog, Connie.  I look forward to interacting with your readers!

Author bio:

"Where every underdog has his day."
Kathleen L. Maher’s first crush was Peter Rabbit, and she’s loved conflicted heroes ever since. She has two novellas in BARBOUR BOOKS' collections: Victorian Christmas Brides and Lessons on Love. Winner 2012 ACFW Genesis Award. Author of Sons of the Shenandoah Series: The Abolitionist's Daughter and The Chaplain's Daughter. 
Kathleen and her husband live in an old farmhouse in upstate NY with their children and a small menagerie.
Connect with me at:
Facebook author page:

Kathleen, Thank You so much for the information! I am thrilled to have been able to have read this wonderful collection. 

My Thoughts on the Book

I am going to concentrate on Kathleen's story. I have read several books by Kathleen and she always writes such wonderful, historical stories. She always does such great and careful research. The author has a way of drawing you in within the first few pages. In this story, we meet Gilda. A Jewish woman who has recently lost her father. Her father was the teacher of the school, and she desires to take over that role after his passing. However, the mayor, has other thoughts. The mayor wants his nephew to come on board. One of the things that I loved about this book is that we see a beautiful blend of cultures. Gilda's Jewish culture, and Joshua's Christian faith. How will this work out? Will the town accept Gilda or will they want Joshua. Will Joshua and Gilda get past their differences? You will have to read to find out. 

I received a copy of this book through the author, all thoughts are my own. 


CONTEST: I am offering a signed print copy of Lessons on Love to one lucky commenter. To enter, answer this question. Have you ever had a job that demanded you to act or dress in a way that you found challenging? Could you imagine living up to these teacher contracts?
For extra entries, share this blog post on your social media: FB, Twitter, Pinterest, or (the cover of the book) on Instagram, etc. Be creative! The more shares, the more entries. ***US only***