Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Barbour Publishing Books

Mary Connealy Book List has moved
Kelly Eileen Hake

Tall, Dark, and Determined by Kelly Eileen Hake
Husbands for Hire Series Book 2
If you enjoy series books I would highly recommend that you start with book 1 in this series, Rugged and Relentless. The books are stand alone but there are many details from the first book to add to the enjoyment of the second one. The series is based on four women who have bought up land in Hope Falls. Lacy Lyman's brother, Braden, owned a mine there, when it collapsed it left many dead and Braden injured. The women, led by Lacey are building a sawmill and a town. Since women can not own land at this time they put an advertisement out for three husbands. Cora, is already engaged to Braden.

This story is focused on Lacey Lyman and Chase Dunstan. Chase is wanting to find what was behind the mine collapse. He don't believe it to be an accident and he is sure the advertisement for husbands is some type of code for some other nefarious deed. His brother-in-law was killed in the accident and his sister was left destitute. He is determined to get to the bottom of this for his sister Laura's sake. When he gets to town he finds an old friend there, Jake Granger. Jake is engaged to one of the women already. Chase gets a job as a hunter, to keep fresh meat coming into the camp for the meals. He will snoop around when he can to find his answers. He believes the spoiled socialite, Lacey, has it in her to get whatever she wants, even to the point of destroying the mind so she could buy the town.

Lacey is pretty stubborn, as the reader I wanted to wallop her a few times myself! She wants to hold onto her prim and proper ways and yet she wants the freedom to do more things that men are allowed to do. She is afraid of failure and that fear causes her to be a bit sharp with Chase, and it starts their relationship off on poor footing. She wants Chase gone but is outvoted by the other women. Cora, Evie & Naomi see a man who may help Lacey. And so goes the story as these two battle each others stubborn wills.

Decoy is a unique character. Chase's well trained Irish Wolfhound stands a good 4 foot high and 6 foot long. He was able to get into Lacey's good graces even though his master could not. I also enjoy the way Kelly lets other characters put their views into the stories. We see things through several different eyes not just the two main characters.
**Book received through NetGalley for review
Book 3: Strong and Stubborn
Naomi Higgins lost her beau, Harry Blinman to her sister Charlotte. After a irreversible misunderstanding her family sends her away to help her cousin Lacey Lyman. Five years later Naomi finds herself in Hope Falls, Colorado Territory. Along with three other women they are living the unconventional life of running a town full of men. Men who are there because they answered an ad the women put out that they were looking for husbands for hire. Naomi is the last woman standing and it’s coming down to her making a choice from the men who are vying for her attentions. Only she wants the one man who is not in her wooing line.

Michael Strode had to escape his in-laws. After his wife passed away they wanted to take his ten year old son, Luke, from him. He’d rather leave everything he knew and keep Luke. So he did. A friend suggested he go see a Mr. Lawson in Hope Falls for a job. It was perfect and so was Naomi. If only he felt worthy to court such a beauty.

Two people afraid of moving into their futures freely because of past mistakes. Carrying their burdens instead of allowing God’s forgiveness to remove those yokes. This book also brings back all the characters from the first two books in this series; Rugged and Relentless and Tall, Dark, and Determined. Braden Lyman & Cora Thompson who’s story is continued through each book, Jake Granger and Evie Thompson & Chase Dunstan and Lacey Lyman along with the lumberjacks and other residents of Hope Falls. Love, adventure, suspense and surprises fill the pages of this book. A really good series.
**Received through NetGalley for review

 Christmas Traps and Trimmings by Kelly Eileen Hake
Mina Montrose has to full her solicitor into giving her enough money to escape to America with her nurse Mrs. Banks. After her fathers death and her father's solicitor passing away the new man and her cousin conspired to get her wealth. Either she marry Elton or he would have her put away as being crazy.
She gets to American and they find Samuel Carver. Sam is happy in his Kentucky cabin. He has been doing well getting furs to sell and wants to get out of debt and stand on his own feet, without his brothers help back in England.
He tries to turn away the two women brought to him but loses that battle and many more. Sam quickly sees the strength in this young woman who is his ward. She may be a Lady from England but she was brave and strong.
A very heartwarming story.
The Bartered Bride Collection
Joie De Vivre © 2006 by Lynette Sowell
1819 Louisiana
Edouard LeBlanc had lost much in the war. A scarred face, a bad leg and the loss of his one true love. He lived in a cabin on the Bayou and stayed away from people as much as he could. And then his father went and betrothed him to the lovely Josee.

Josee Broussard was taken into the LeBlanc family when she was orphaned at age six. Now she was eighteen and if she had to marry she hoped it would be her fun-loving friend, Jacques LeBlanc. Instead, it was his older brother Edouard who was always dark and brooding. Josee resigned herself to a loveless marriage. Or did God have bigger plans?

Button Strong Bride © 2001 by Cathy Marie Hake
Widower Ethan Cole is traveling to Oregon with his two children. His sister started out with him but when she had the chance to turn tail and run, she did. When the opportunity comes to help a young woman who lost both parents on the trail and in return she can help him Ethan takes on Charity Davis. As feelings for the young woman grow he realizes that she’s a wealthy lady and he’s a simple carpenter. Worlds apart. Can God cross that divide?

The Wedding Wagon © 2002 by Cathy Marie Hake
Dr. Joshua Rogers quickly fell for Bethany Handley after she spent a Christmas with them. He was pleased that she agreed to marry and go on the Oregon Trail with him. Joshua was quickly falling in love with her but did the beautiful orphan marry him only because of her close friendship with his sister Penny? And was it because with Papa and Penny she had a family? And would the secret Bethany kept from her husband, for fear that he wouldn’t want to marry her, damage their relationship as well?

The next four stories are all connected. Originally part of the Barbour Novella, Bride for a Bit

From Halter to Altar © 2003 by Cathy Marie Hake
Ellis Stack had four sister-in-laws to get off his hands. When he reads a notice for a man wanting a bridle order he misunderstands it as bridal and sends Matilda, Corrine, Bess and Bertie Craig off to James Collingswood in Lickwind. When Jim meets the train to get his bridles he instead has four women. What is he to do with them now?

From Carriage to Marriage © 2003 by Janelle Burnham Schneider
This is the continued story from Halter to Altar. Luke Collingswood was pulled towards Corrie Craig from the start. The young widow who was already in the family way seemed so fragile and something in him felt the need to protect her. He’d like that responsibility for good but would the young widow ever learn to love a second time or forever mourn her late husband?

From Pride to Bride © 2003 by JoAnne A. Grote
This is the third story in the continuing sage with the four brides instead of bridles that arrived in Lickwind, Wyoming. Bess Craig is considered bossy and very independent. Gideon Riker is the local saloon owner but is there more to him than meets the eye? This unusual team join forces when he offers to rent his brand new house to Bess and Bertie to start a business out of.

From Alarming to Charming © 2003 by Pamela Kaye Tracy
The fourth and final book of the Craig sisters and Lickwind, Wyoming. Thomas Hardin is returning to Lickwind after seven long years. At age fifteen his father and him were chased out of town. His dad was labeled a cattle rustler. He knew returning wouldn’t be easy. And it wasn’t.

Bertie Craig found that for the first time in her life she wanted to be noticed as a female. She didn’t understand why she felt different around Thomas but she did know his ranch was the first time she felt like she was home in many a year. If only he didn’t think of her as nothing more than a squirt.

A Vow Unbroken © 2000 by Amy Rognlie
James Parrish was so excited, his future wife was to arrive on the train. God had answered his prayers and he would have a wife to love and share his life with. When Abby Cantrell arrived James thought her to be absolutely beautiful. And then his world shattered. She was not the same woman he expected and this one carried several burdens. Would God bring her into his life to torture him or was there hope for a real marriage?

Finishing Touches © 2007 by Kelly Eileen Hake
Captain Gregory Royce was looking forward to wedding the love of his life….until she ran off with another and he was left with her spinster sister, Libby Collier. The happiest day of his life became the worse day. Unlike Libby who had a secret longing to be loved by the handsome Captain but knew he loved her sister. How can anything good come from this?
**Received through NetGalley for review
Sally Laity Amazon Page
Dianna Crawford Amazon Page

Mariah’s Quest 
Daughters of Harwood House Book Two
Three young women arrive by ship from Bath, England to the shores of Baltimore, Maryland in 1753. To save their father from debtors prison, the eldest agreed to sell herself as an indentured servant. Her two sisters agreed to come along. Lily because she only knew Rose as her mother figure and Mariah had visions of a wealthy husband. It was agreed they would all be sold together….funny how things don’t turn out as you imagine. The greedy ship captain sells them separately. This is the story of Mariah Harwood.

Colin Barclay happened past the auction block when the most beautiful woman was being auctioned off, how could he not buy her? And he did. He brings her to his parents plantation and his mother seems pleased until she finds out that the beautiful girl is not a local belle but a bond servant. She is convinced to take Mariah in as a tutoress for his three sisters under the condition that Colin is to stay away from her, she only wants her children marrying well.

Mariah is on the vain side and not surprised the handsome man has chosen her. She is not strong in the faith like her sisters and for all her outward beauty, Mariah is lacking in inward beauty. Through some tough life lessons and humbling situations will she finally sink low enough to look up to God?

This was a really good read. You get to ride to war with a young George Washington and deal with slavery. At times it’s an emotional ride between Mariah’s shallowness, Mistress Barclay’s uppityness and the war. But it was all brought together for an ending that had me wiping my eyes while trying to read the last few chapters. Book one in the series is called Rose’s Pledge. As there are three sisters, there will most likely be a third book in the series as well.
**Received through NetGalley for review.
Betsy St. Amant
Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK
Amazon      B&N    CBD
Addison is almost seventeen. She lives with her father, who is a pastor, her mother died when she was five. Oh and her father is quite a bit on the overprotective side! For the past four months Addison has been trying to ignore her feelings for the new guy in town, Wes Keegan. He was a leather jacket, motorcycle riding, bad boy. At school she had to fend off Austin. One of the school jocks who wanted to add her to his list of conquests, the more she ignored him...the bigger challenge she became. Her friend Claire would have loved Austin's attention. Then Luke came along like a white knight to rescue her time and time again but she could only think of the black knight, Wes. And there are even more things happening to Addison, such as who her dad starts dating.

Marta is an exchange student from Germany and they become friends. Marta quietly tries to show Addison what is missing in her life. Addison has to see why she believes what she does. Why she chooses to keep her virtue. She has to separate her ideas of who she is as a PK and someone who is in the pattern of going to church to who she truly is in Christ. A really good book and thought provoking as well. Sometimes when we are brought up in church and for some us, Christian schools, you assume that is what makes you a Christian instead of stepping out and making the choice to follow Christ.
**Book received through NetGalley for review.

A Stranger's Gift by Anna Schmidt
Book 1 – The Women of Pinecraft
John Steiner was a loner. He had left his Amish community in Indiana after his mother's death and bought property in Florida. As Hurricane Hester is building up in the area a few people try to get John to leave but he refuses to go to a shelter and leave the home he has spent so much time and money fixing up. After the hurricane hits and his property is in dire need of help, he refuses the Mennonite disaster crews and anyone else who offers help. The young woman who tried to get him to leave before the hurricane and has returned once again is rightly named Hester. She seems as strong and stubborn as the same named hurricane. John has changed his clothing style but otherwise he has stayed with his Amish upbringing. And yet he feels unbalanced and unsure where he truly belongs. He had started this journey a few years back after reading Walden: Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau. A story of a man who goes away from civilization as well.

Hester Detweiler is busy doing for everyone she can. As she helps run the disaster group her father started and working with others in the County. She went to a non-church school to become a nurse and some in her community feel that the Pastor's daughter works too much with the outside world. To Hester it is helping people. She has trouble containing her anger when she has to “babysit” a stubborn man who did not leave his home and now needs help as he recovers, just because his aunt is a Congresswoman! John does not want help or appreciate it and yet she is forced to help him. She also has Samuel, a man who came from Pennsylvania and works building furniture with her father. She knows the intention was for the two of them to marry but she does not feel romantic towards him.

These two characters seem to lose all their peaceful heritage traits when they are anywhere in the same vicinity. At one point John does see the need to start helping those who stuck with him and helped him, he sees how selfish he has been. There are many unique characters such as Margery Barker- she runs boat charters and treats John as a son, Zeke who is homeless but from a wealthy family, the local crabby lady Olive Crowder who is always negative to Hester. This book also gave a view of all the workings before and after a hurricane and the different disaster organizations.
**Book received through NetGalley for review.
Gilbert Morris Amazon Page
Book 2: The Last Cavaliers Series - The Sword
James Ewell Brown Stuart went by the name of Jeb or Beauty. This book is based on many real battles and people. Each section focused on different people or situations. It keeps the reader looking for what will happen next. It also hits the emotions. At one part a young soldier sees his friend die and thinks to himself how he needs to be home and take care of his ma, and next minuted he dies as well. It makes war and death real – and they are.
Part 1 -Flora & Jeb 1861
Flora Cooke lives at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas with her father, the Colonel. She had attended boarding school in Detroit and was planning on going into society in Philadelphia. That was before she met Jeb Stuart at a ball. He believed God created one special woman for him and Flora was her. After a short courtship they became engaged. He would go out a few weeks at a time watching for the Indians who were raiding. He had been shot and was not able to come home for a long while but he did make it before their first daughter was born. After he was shot it became a reality to Flora that she married a man in the army who might leave and not come back. She loved Jeb dearly and accepted that. When the civil war was starting Jeb decided to join and moved his family to Virginia. They now had a small son as well. Before he left for the war he found Chantel, a seventeen old girl who also new nursing. Flora was ill and needed help with the children and herself.
Part 2 - Chantel & Jacob 1859-1861
Chantel Fortier lived in the Bayou. When her mother died she had to leave as her step-father was an evil man and always tried to have her. She was fifteen when she left the only home she ever knew. She has to be careful as she travels through small towns as the men always try and approach her. Finally she finds Jacob Steiner. An older man in a wagon who is very ill. She stops and helps him and begins traveling with him, saying he is her grandfather. This was two years before meeting Flora. They find Clay Tremayne shot along the road and help him. Clay goes with them to Richmond where he joins the war under Jeb Stuart.
Part 3- Clay and the General 1861-1862
Jeb Stuart becomes a General and he has no fear in leading his men. Clay is at his side.
Chantel and Jacob follow the men selling their goods as part of the army and helping the men in the hospitals. The war claims many lives.
Part 4- Chantel & Clay 1862-1865
Clay is injured in the war. Chantel and Clay still struggle to understand God and salvation, but through the faith of others they finally do. This chapter had me in tears both joyful and sad ones.
*Received book from NetGalley for review.
Kim O'Brien Homepage
Amazon Page
A Wedding Blunder in the Black Hills
Deer Park, South Dakota is too far away from Hollywood to please Millie Hogan. She as a dream to get out of this place and make something of her life, if only she could leave her mom. At thirty-one years old Millie's mom constantly set her up on dates and hinted about grandchildren. The latest is to dater her mother's dentist, David Denvers. Men never stayed. Her grandfather and father had left wives.
David, a widower and father of an eleven year old, has returned to Deer Park after his dad retired. David took over his dental practice and inherited his mom as a receptionist. His mom was determined to see him marry Cynthia now that she returned after her divorce. Cynthia was stalking him. He went on a ski date with Millie and Cynthia followed him all over there. Millie assumed the beautiful woman was his girlfriend and figured this would be their only date. And she had made her mom promise to not ever set her up again.
David and Millie decided to undate. They would convince everyone they were dating so that Cynthia would stop stalking him and Eva, Millie's mom, would leave her alone.
Meet Tank the English bulldog, Cynthia the stalker, Aris the cyber patrol nanny, a school bully, the “aunts” who hang out in Eva's cafe and each has her own uniqueness. Great story.
*Book received from NetGalley for review
Love Finds A Home by Wanda E. Brunstetter
This book contains three stories.
Daddy's Girl- 
Glenna Moore & David Green meet on a trail. Glenna and her father are heading to Granger, Wyoming. They have been kicked out of another town and it was leave or let her father get shot. He was a gambler. He cheated others and drank too much. Glenna herself lied and cheated to cover for her father. Ever since her mother died in childbirth they had been moving from town to town. 
David is heading to Idaho City to become a pastor at a church there. He notices the beautiful dark haired girl and wonders how the drunken older man is related to her. 

Glenna gets up to get some air while her father is gambling and David follows her. When her father comes down to them he looks angry. He had told David to stay away. Instead her father jumps over the rail of the train. Thinking he must have died and left her alone in the world, David offers marriage. It seems his church thinks he has a wife. David also tells Glenna about Christ and salvation. 
David has a past of his own to tell Glenna about. Good story. 

Dear Teacher- 
This is such a heart warming story. 
Ernie Snyder has a boat and works bringing coal on his boat along the canal. He is raising is children on his own being his wife died. 
Judith King is the new schoolmarm. When she meets Ernie and his children in the general store she finds out that his children will start school in a month or so when the weather is too cold for them to be using the canal. 
Ernie is attracted to the teacher but feels she could never care for someone like him who only finished the 4th grade. Judith feels unattractive. She is taller then most women and she has one blue and one brown eye. 
We see Ernie struggling through the book to even talk to the "purty" teacher and is shyness is endearing. 
Twice Loved- 
Dan's wife Darcy died of leukemia two years ago. Bev's husband died while at war four years ago. They bumped into each other at Bev's work while he was there. He noticed the woman had been crying. 
Bev has just lost her job to a returning soldier who held the position before her. She sees a help wanted in the paper for Twice Loved. Darcy had started the store for the children during the war. They gave away toys and helped the families. When Bev applies it takes them a bit to recognize each other from their quick meeting. 
Dan is taken with Bev's six year old daughter, Amy. Darcy and him had never had children. As the two of them grow closer they keep trying to put distance between them as the memories of their late spouses are still there. 
Another great story and wonderful characters.

**Received book from NetGalley for review
Barbour Collections

A Log Cabin Christmas Collection
Amazon     B&N      CBD
Nine different stories and authors make this book well worth reading. They all involve a log cabin, whether it be a honeymoon cabin or a mercantile store built out of logs they all come together for heart warming stories.

©2011 Snow Angel by Margaret Brownley
Maddie Parker is the new schoolteacher in Maverick, Texas. She is complained about daily to Sheriff Donovan. He was against hiring a city born teacher in the first place.
Now the school board was back telling him how she kept the kids after school for the Christmas program practice and it was snowing. Being there had been a fire in town the school was in a cabin out a ways.
Maddie is stranded with Jimmy, Sophie and Brandon. Jimmy can't sit still and constantly fights with Sophie. Sophie is continually reading every rule and letting everyone know if they have broken one. Brandon don't speak. His father died in the fire and he quit speaking. Sheriff Donovan lost his family around Christmas and don't celebrate. He goes off to search for the missing teacher and kids and ends up stranded with them in the schoolhouse. Two days that changes all their lives. Excellent story!

©2011 The Christmas Secret by Wanda E. Brunstetter
Have Kleenex nearby as you read David and Elizabeth's story. Elizabeth was preparing the small cabin that they would live in when they married on Christmas Eve, her birthday. Her mother's father had built the cabin and her parents started their marriage in it as well. When her mother died when she was eight her father moved them to town as he the memories in the cabin were too much for him.
While cleaning Elizabeth finds her Aunt Lovina's journal. She never met her aunt and no one knew where she was. In the journal a secret is revealed that changes Elizabeth's life. She goes home and packs, leaves David a note saying she can't marry him and tells her best friend Helen she is leaving and why.
David does not give up on finding why she has left and how to resolve it. Great story but it does bring on the tears.

©2011 Christmas Traps and Trimmings by Kelly Eileen Hake
Mina Montrose has to full her solicitor into giving her enough money to escape to America with her nurse Mrs. Banks. After her fathers death and her father's solicitor passing away the new man and her cousin conspired to get her wealth. Either she marry Elton or he would have her put away as being crazy.
She gets to American and they find Samuel Carver. Sam is happy in his Kentucky cabin. He has been doing well getting furs to sell and wants to get out of debt and stand on his own feet, without his brothers help back in England.
He tries to turn away the two women brought to him but loses that battle and many more. Sam quickly sees the strength in this young woman who is his ward. She may be a Lady from England but she was brave and strong.
A very heartwarming story.

©2011 A Star in the Night by Liz Johnson
Cora Sinclair lives with her grandfather. She has just returned from helping with the injured soldiers and trying to keep the nightmares of what she witnessed at bay. As she stops by a tree and lets her emotions out she notices some gold and then sees she is looking at a Union soldier who is injured. She gets papa and they bring the man to their home.
Jed Harrington had been shot and needed to be on his way back to Washington with his information. He was hoping he could trust these folks not to turn him in. He tried to leave once but ended up back at their home, he was too weak to travel.
Jed promised Cora to stay until Christmas in two weeks. Gaining strength and helping repair the cabin in the meantime and trying not to fall for each other. Jed was determined to be a lifetime soldier. When he left there were no promises of return.  Another great story in this novella.

©2011 The Courting Quilt by Jane Kirkpatrick
I enjoyed Jane's characters in this story. We have Mary Bishop who is a widow and running the store she built with her husband, a log cabin. Mary was hit by lightening when she was 12 and has white hair so people assume she is older then her thirty years. Richard Taylor comes to sell Mary thread and she talks him into a partnership where he goes by cart to the houses to sell her store items as it was in her plans and now that two bigger stores have moved into the area she needs to do something different. Richard seems like a cute and charming boyish personality. All the women he sells too have assumed he is going to marry them by his innocent encouragement. He also two different colored eyes. Laird Lawson is wife hunting and has Mary in his sights. You feel for him and his loneliness but he is not the man for Mary. Great story!

©2011 Under His Wings by Liz Tolsma
Adie travels to the lumber camps with her dad. Since her mother's death 7 years ago her dad can't settle down. This camp has a man who keeps bothering her but her day and Cookie protect her from Derek Owens.
At one meal Preacher Man defended her.
As Noah and Quinn, Adie's father, cut down a tree it goes wrong and Quinn don't get out of the way quick enough. His dying words are for Noah to take care of Adie. After Owen attacks her Adie finally agrees to marry Noah in name only. It still don't stop Owens from threatening both of them.
For Christmas Adie
All the stories in this book so far have been really good. Each with their own twist involving a log cabin.

©2011 The Dogtrot Christmas by Michelle Ule
Luis comes home from war with a hardened heart. His land has been sold to Anglos. The beautiful woman is married to the anglos on his land and he don't trust his brother in law who has sold his land while he was fighting the war.
Molly is beginning a new life with her brother and nephew in Texas. They have lost all their family, including Jamie's wife. She is intrigued by Luis.
It is a story of different cultures but one God. About forgiveness and love. About getting through the tough times and starting new again.
Another great story.

©2011 A Grand County Christmas by Debra Ullrick
You may want to keep a box of kleenex handy for this one. What a great story. Awnya is about to shoot a deer, she is starving. Her father died 7 weeks ago, all their meat was taken by supposedly a wild animal although she did not believe that. She was not sure her father's death was natural either. Before she can shoot a hand covers hers and stops her.
Amadeus takes Awnya to his home with his mother and three children. He prays to God that this woman could be his Christmas gift. The boys take to her but his daughter is mean to her and clearly dislikes her. Because of the snow storm she ends up in his home longer then expected. She can't help but notice the gun above the fireplace that is so much like her fathers that had gone missing. When she sees his initials in it she has to wonder if this man murdered her father.
A wonderful story of losing everything and trying to hang on to faith anyways.

©2011 Christmas Service by Erica Vetsch
Beth's family had a long line of Pastor's. If she would have been a male she would have been. Her mother always told her she was destined to be a Pastor's wife. So when Todd the blacksmith asked her grandpa if he could court her, Beth told her grandpa no.
Todd believed Beth was the one God chose for him. When she declined him to court her he prayed God would change her heart or his. He was having a hard time not loving her.
Beth put together a Christmas program so she could prove what a could wife she would be for a preacher. She took control of everything and did not delegate well. When disaster hit just hours before the program she lost it. A mere sheep helped make life clearer then anything.
A cute and heart warming story and many good lessons in it as well.
*Received book from NetGalley for review
Brides of the Empire by Darlene Mindrup
Three stories from early AD
The Eagle and the Lamb-
Sara, a Christian Jew, was in her hiding place contemplating when two Roman soldiers came into view. As she watched them suddenly everything went black.
Antonius, a Centurion,  could not believe it when a human scream came after he shot his arrow at what he believed was a deer. They brought the young Jew to the village to her family. She survived.
A few weeks later Sara and her family were being taken away. Her brother had gambled and they came to collect. Antonius, who had come to check on Sara's recovery, arrived and bought everything. Sending her brother Dathan to the galleys and taking her as a slave. She became a friend for his ill sister, Diana.
A story of two young Christians in a pagan household making a difference. By loving Diana and doing her best to serve God, even while under the status of a slave, Sara lives an example.
Three stories from early AD.

Edge of Destiny:
Decimus was a former slave in the the home of Antonius. He and Diana had been the same age and spent the last seven years more like siblings. When Sara had been brought into the home as a slave Antonius freed Decimus, mostly out of jealousy. Decimus and Sara both had shared the Christian faith. Antonius gave him his freedom and a pouch of coins.  Five years later brings us to where Decimus is still trying to find a way out of Rome since the persecution of Christians has increased. He still had much of the money given him but he dressed poorly to avoid being robbed. He stopped to watch a slave auction and the young girl looked at him with pleading eyes. She reminded him of Sara and he also seen the men bidding on her would lead her to a bad life. At the last moment he bought her.
Sara had been sold by her step-brother after her mother died. She was a Christian and glad to find herself among others of the faith. A Roman soldier was going to take them to Brittania where Christians could live safer and Galla and Decimus had once had family.
A long journey and many sad happenings later they arrive. They find Nero has died. He had tried to conquer these Druid areas and could not but the message of Christ has been brought by the many Christians fleeing Rome. In God's time and His ways.
My Enemy, My Love:
Barak is a Jew among Jews. He has come to the temple to sacrifice his lamb for passover. He is disgusted how the non-Jews can also use their temple for pagan sacrifices. He notices a girl across the street but as soon as he sees her eyes he is disgusted, a Samaritan.
Anna feels something toward the handsome Jew immediately but she sees the moment he realizes what she is, disdain and hatred fill his eyes.
She saves a child from a wild chariot and Barak saves her. As much as he tries to dislike her she stays in his mind.
Anna's father wants to betroth her to Amman the Arab but she knows he only wants her fathers money. And he scares her. Barak's uncle is trying to betroth him to his best friends daughter. Miriam is very forward for a Jewish girl. Barak knows his best friend loves her and he keeps putting off a betrothal.
Through many incidences Barak helps Anna. He not only saved her from the chariot but he overheard Amman's plan to kidnap her to get money from her father. Even though it is passover Barak ends up taking Anna to the hated land of Samaria. Anna knows she needs to tell Barak of the Christ knowing the Jews hate Christians as much as Samaritans, perhaps more.
This story is told while the Apostle Paul still walks the earth teaching, where men have seen Jesus heal and rise from the dead.
It is told in such a unique way that you feel you are walking through the Holy Land with the characters. Darlene even has it that the woman at the well in Samaria was Anna's aunt.
Where Barak knew he could not love a Samaritan or Christian, Anna knew she could never marry a non-believer either. Great story.
Historical Fiction for girls ages 8-12

American Challenge Novella 
Historical Fiction 1770-1819 For 8-12 year old girls
All these stories are unique and filled with great historical facts. Each story has many situations of how to live to please God, such as not getting revenge. The stories may be aimed at young girls but the lessons are great for all ages. The last pages help understand more of what was mentioned in the books. Time lines of historical events, description of words used in the stories, explaining historical events such as the Stamp Act and others mentioned in the story. The stories are told in such a way they give both viewpoints without swaying the reader to one certain opinion.
American Dreams covers 1620-1765.

Lydia the Patriot by Susan Martins Miller 2004 The Boston Massacre (1770)
The story of the Boston Massacre is told through the eyes of a ten year old, Stephen Lankfort. He sees his relatives being torn between the Loyalists and the Patriots. His older brother William is running with the Sons of Liberty as a Patriot and his sister Lydia believes everything William does in a radical way. Stephen struggles to find out what is right. He loves both his brother and Uncle who are both Christians and yet have opposing political views. Stephen is quiet and loving and just wants peace in his family. And each has an opinion on the night that a crowd gathered around the soldiers and 4 men died, later a 5Th. Loyalists called it self-defense for the British and Patriots called it murder.

Kate and the Spies by JoAnn A. Grote 2004 The American Revolution (1775)
This story told through the eyes of an eleven year old girl named Kate. Kate & Colin, her cousin, had watched as about 100 young men dressed as Indians during the Boston Tea Party. After that the British closed the harbor and many in Boston lost jobs. Colonies started sending food and supplies over land. The British sealed the Neck up (only way out of Boston) as well. Kate is torn between feeling like a Loyalist when with her parents and a Patriot when she is with her cousin, Colin, and his family. Kate & Colin become Observers. They would pass on any information they heard that would help the Patriots. When returning to Boston after Kate's father, a Dr., has operated on a farmer they end up in the front seat of fighting. We see children having to grow up much faster then they should by seeing war first hand. Along with the fighting between families and friends over which side they take.

Betsy's River Adventure by Veda Boyd Jones 2004 The Journey Westward (1808)
This story is told through the eyes of thirteen year old Betsy Miller. Her family was moving from Boston to Ohio. They were traveling with her Uncle & Aunt and cousin George. George always teased her and embarrassed her. George liked being the center of attention and Betsy was shy and did not like it all, she was 5 foot 9 inches though so it was hard to hide. George had his dog with, Jefferson, and Betsy hated the dog. Her family had their horse, Silverstreak, and George seemed afraid of her. They had all types of adventures on their journey. Every time Betsy tried to find a way to embarrass George so he knew how she felt, it backfired.

Grace and the Bully by Norma Jean Lutz 2006 Drought on the Frontier (1819)
As seen through the eyes of ten year old Grace Morgan from Cincinnati, Ohio. Grace's cousin Drew Ramsey also has his viewpoint in the story. Drew is Grace's cousin. After his folks died from yellow fever he came down from Boston to live with his older brother. We go from where Grace's father has a lucrative business to the town being in disarray from the drought and the waterways shut down. Where all Grace could think about was getting her piano turned into getting enough food each day.
Book received through NetGalley for review
American Dream 
There are many famous names entwined into the stories. The children may be fiction but other people are real. The tales in these books are enjoyable while teaching the history of America as well.

Sarah’s New World © 2004 by Colleen L. Reece
Twelve year old John Smythe is ready for his Adventure. They are going to leave Holland and go to the New World, America. We follow the adventures of John and his sister Sarah as they are one ship that proves not seaworthy so they move unto the Mayflower. Between storms, food shortages and sea sickness they persevere.
Their parents had left England twelve years prior when they could not worship as they wished. Once again they fear events that could change how they would be allowed to worship and that is what sends them on their voyage.

Rebekah in Danger © 2004 by Colleen L. Reece Then New World 1620
Rebekah Cunningham is eleven and coming to the New World aboard the Mayflower. Her parents had come from England to Holland but as Separatist’s they feared their children were becoming to much like the Dutch.
These children seen much sorrow on the ship and in the new land. The faced the cold of winter, fires, sickness and death. Even children had to work hard and do their part to build the new community, which also bonded the people together.

Maggie’s Dare © 2005 by Norma Jean Lutz
Maggie Baldwin has just turned thirteen. It is the 1740. Maggie's father is a doctor and they had been left a nice home by her grandfather. Her new friends are upper class and Maggie is unsure how she feels about the slaves her friends own. They are also very much against the Revivalists who listen to such preachers as Jonathan Edwards. Maggie and her friends have been baptized and go to church- that makes them Christians, right? This story clearly shows how we can end up following our peers instead of our conscience.

Lizzie and the Redcoat © 2006 by Susan Martins Miller
Lizzie Murray lives in Boston, she is almost twelve. This takes place about 12 years before the Revolutionary War, around 1765. Neighbors and even family members takes sides for or against the crown. When a British soldier is injured Lizzie sees how ill fed he is and how worn his clothing. She can compare him to her brother Joshua who is just a few years younger. Her heart goes out to his parents across the ocean. People either see people or they don't see past their hatred of a red coat. These children had to grow up quickly in some cases. The happenings around them were so strong they could not ignore them. Young boys quickly became men. And choices were not always easy.
Book received from NetGalley for review
The following authors have their own pages on 
Just Judy's Jumbles. 
Just click on their name to be brought to their new page:
Erica Vetsch
Jennifer Rogers Spinola
Susan Page Davis
Mary Connealy

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