Monday, September 15, 2014

Tower of Tears~ Rhoda D'Ettore~ Book Tour


Publication Date: May 25, 2014
CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Formats: eBook, Paperback, Audio Book

Genre: Historical Fiction
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Betrayal. Despair. Murder. Mystery. Romance. Blackmail. “If God be good, Mr. Landon will burn in the eternal flames of hell. If God be bad, he will suffer much worse.” In 1820, a young woman and her son leave Ireland for a better life in America. She soon suffers heartache and tragedy, while residing with family whom she has never met. Unbeknownst to her, the family had already set her up with employment in a factory–a factory run by a lecherous man. This is the first book in a series that will follow the McClusky family while they become Americanized while face with the Potato Famine, the US Civil War, and the Industrial Revolution.

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My take on this book:
I always enjoy reading well drawn historical fiction sagas where the character decides to leave their home country and come to America hoping for a better life. That's just what I found within the pages of Tower of Tears by Rhoda D'Ettore.Gripping from the beginning pages, when the McClusky family longs for a better life than what they  have in Ireland and decide to travel to America, specifically Philadelphia, because they have relatives there. Thing is there isn't money for the entire family to come so Jane and her young son embark on the journey while her husband stays in Ireland hoping to make enough money to join her later. What sort of life awaits her in America?
Ms. D'Ettore writes with a realism that allowed me to easily connect with the characters in the story. Jane was such a brave woman to leave her husband behind to come to America to live with people she didn't know. What she found once she arrived wasn't what she hoped for at all. My heart ached for her on more than one occasion, I kept hoping that things would work out for her.  A story filled with heartache, but also hope, a family saga that I couldn't put down once I started reading it, because of the many twists and turns the author weaves into the plot. Overall a must read for anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction that provides a realistic look at Irish Immigrants coming to America.

National Military Family Association

$1 per sale will be donated, regardless of what format is purchased—ebook, print, audiobook & regardless of site purchased—will be donated to the National Military Family Association. This organization helps families reconnect when the parents return from deployments, as well as helping families with other transitions and keeping the children active while the parents are deployed.

About the Author

Rhoda D’Ettore was born in Woodbury, New Jersey, into a family of 5 siblings–which has provided her with plenty of comical material. She began working at the United States Postal Service at 25 years old, and over the past 15 years has accumulated many humorous stories about situations that the public never gets to know about. Her first ebook, “Goin’ Postal: True Stories of a U.S. Postal Worker” was so popular that readers requested it in paperback. Recently, she published the humorous “Goin’ Postal” in paperback along with another story entitled, “The Creek: Where Stories of the Past Come Alive”. Combining these two into one book may seem strange, as one is humorous and the other is a heart wrenching historical fiction, however, doing so proves to the reader Rhoda D’Ettore’s versatility.
Rhoda D’Ettore received her degree in Human & Social Services while working at USPS, has travelled extensively, and loves history. Over the years she has volunteered for several community service organizations, including fostering abused and neglected dogs for a Dalmatian rescue.
For more information please visit Rhoda’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Tower of Tears Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 25
Spotlight & Giveaway at What Is That Book About
Tuesday, August 26
Spotlight & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Wednesday, August 27
Guest Post at Mythical Books
Friday, August 29
Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Monday, September 1
Guest Post at Book Babe
Tuesday, September 2
Review at Closed the Cover
Thursday, September 4
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Monday, September 8
Interview & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection
Tuesday, September 9
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Thursday, September 11
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Friday, September 12
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Monday, September 15
Review at WV Stitcher
Tuesday, September 16
Review & Giveaway at Beth’s Book Reviews
Friday, September 19
Review at Unshelfish
Review & Giveaway at Brooke Blogs


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Demon Dictionary Volume 2 by Kimberly Daniels


  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Charisma House (July 8, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621365565
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621365563



This book is also available as an ebook.




Shine the light of God’s truth into the darkness
Your ultimate guide to symbols and practices of the occult

The word occult means “secret.” God commands us not to be ignorant of the wiles of the enemy and how he works. After twenty years of teaching about spiritual warfare and demonology, Kimberly Daniels brings you the secrets of the enemy’s camp in this comprehensive study.

The Demon Dictionary, Volume Two unveils common demonic symbols that are used in the occult, demonstrating how Satan has deceived us with these deviations from biblical truth. With boldness and clarity Daniels defines the origin of various cultural beliefs, shows how these beliefs have filtered into our society, and helps you recognize the impact they are having on the current generation, including:

·           European folklore and Wiccan beliefs
·           American cults and secret societies
·           African, Hispanic, and Native American folklore
·           Astrology, the paranormal, and more!

Drawing from hundreds of verses from the Bible, The Demon Dictionary will build your spiritual vocabulary, equip you with ammunition and weapons for spiritual warfare, and bring light to areas of your life that the enemy wants to remain dark.

My take on this book:
After reading The Demon Dictionary Volume 1 I couldn't wait to continue reading more from Kimberly Daniels. With the Demon Dictionary Volume 2 she provides information on topics such as symbols that relate to the occult, religious spirits along with Greek and Roman mythology to name a few. One of my favorite chapters, and I had a few was titled Occult Symbolism and actually shows the many different symbols used not only in the occult but also several that are freemasonry symbols. I also found the appendix labeled Demons of The Night to be eye opening, the author shares many different names of demons and what they do. Instead of reading this book cover to cover I found myself turning to the chapters that grabbed my attention. This book is filled with definitions of many terms that are associated with the occult and demons,some are very simplistic but others are quite eye opening.The author often provides scripture verses that tie into the topic she is discussing.  Kimberly Daniels sheds light on how Satan has gained a foothold by using symbols and various practices that are totally acceptable in today's society. Anyone interested in spiritual warfare will find both volumes of The Demon Dictionary to be informative and eye opening.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.



Monday, September 8, 2014

A Light In The Wilderness~ Jane Kirkpatrick


  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 2, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800722310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800722319




Letitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave. They may not cause white folks to treat her like a human being, but at least they show she is free. She trusts in those words she cannot read--as she is beginning to trust in Davey Carson, an Irish immigrant cattleman who wants her to come west with him.

Nancy Hawkins is loathe to leave her settled life for the treacherous journey by wagon train, but she is so deeply in love with her husband that she knows she will follow him anywhere--even when the trek exacts a terrible cost.

Betsy is a Kalapuya Indian, the last remnant of a once proud tribe in the Willamette Valley in Oregon territory. She spends her time trying to impart the wisdom and ways of her people to her grandson. But she will soon have another person to care for.

As season turns to season, suspicion turns to friendship, and fear turns to courage, three spirited women will discover what it means to be truly free in a land that makes promises it cannot fulfill. This multilayered story from bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick will grip readers' hearts and minds as they travel with Letitia on the dusty and dangerous Oregon trail into the boundless American West.


My take on this book:
Three very different women each one headed west, each one with hopes and dreams of what is to come. It will take faith and perseverance along with an unlikely friendship between the three to see them thru.

I love historical fiction and when it is based on a true story that makes it so much better. Ms. Kirkpatrick weaves together fact and fiction to create a story that allowed me to feel as if I had stepped back in time. The author breaths life into the characters which made them feel very real. While each character was compelling it was Letitia's story that grabbed my heart. A former slave whose freedom is written on a piece of paper that she can't even read.She isn't treated kindly, so she finds it difficult to trust. I really wanted the best for her. Anyone who enjoys fiction that provides a real history lesson as the story unfolds will enjoy this one. I know I did.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days ~ Holly Gerth

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 2, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800722884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800722883


This book is also available as an ebook.





In this uplifting book, Holley Gerth invites readers to sit down with her to be filled with the strength, peace, and joy that come from God's promises to us. Each of the 52 devotions based on the Psalms will help weary women remember that God is good and we're all in this together. Whether it's a bad hair day or a broken heart, Holley offers hope and encouragement to get us through whatever life brings.

Women need that kind of encouragement because we all have hard days--days that make us want to give up, retreat inside ourselves, and drown our sorrows in a pint of ice cream. And while we may crave all sorts of things to ease the pain we feel in our hearts, what we really need is truth. We need to be confident in God's character and his promises. We need to remember--and celebrate--who he made us to be. And we need exactly the kind of encouragement Holley Gerth loves to offer.

My take on this book:
The one book in the Bible I always turn to whenever I need a little comfort is the book of Psalms so I was excited to find a book of devotions based on the book. In today's world it seems there are plenty of hard days, whether you're a stay at home mother or work outside the home. From the bad news that one is bombarded with daily on the evening news or trying to juggle the never ending list that I always seem to need to do , there are plenty of hard days to muddle thru. What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days not only encourages, but also speaks to the heart providing a needed boost while also reminding that we are never alone! First I want to say I love the size, I would consider it a pocket book, one that will easily slip into a purse or briefcase. The bright cheerful colors used on the cover captures the eye making me want to explore what is inside. Each devotion starts with a scripture from the book of Psalms, then an devotion which touches on different issues that are easy to relate to, It wraps up with a prayer and a place for writing the users own thoughts, something that I find very useful. I love that there is a table of contents so that I can skip to the devotion that I feel I might need to read for the day. Whether you have time to do this as a daily or weekly devotional is up to you, but if you need encouragement and uplifting your going to find it within the pages of this cute little book. 

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

The Corpse Who Walked In The Door ~ Jackie King


B  Paperback: 206 pages

  • Publisher: Deadly Niche Press (June 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620161125
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620161128


This book is also available as an ebook.



Synopsis:

Former society wife Grace Cassidy is learning to live on the minimum wage she earns as a bed & breakfast inn-sitter. Grace finds her cat’s bloody paw prints leading away from a bathtub and wants to run for her life. But she can’t. Her 19-year-old son is accused of pushing his pregnant girlfriend down a flight of concrete steps and she won’t abandon him.


My take on this book: 
Jackie King mixes the perfect blend for a page turning cozy mystery in The Corpse Who Walked in the Door. I will say I love a good cozy and this one fit the bill in spades. Even though I didn't read the first book in the series the author provided enough background information allowing me to totally dive right into the story. The character of Grace Cassidy is oh so easy to relate too. I loved seeing the story unfold thru Grace's  eyes, what with her sharp wit and vivid descriptions, along with the fast pace of the story it was like watching a movie. There are several secondary characters, including Trouble the cat that kept the plot zipping along as I tried to figure out who dun it! While this book reads well as a stand alone, it left me wanting to read the first book in the series because of the fantastic characters. Overall anyone who enjoys a fast paced, sometimes laugh out loud funny cozy mystery is in for a treat with The Corpse Who Walked in the Door! 

Read an excerpt:

Blood colored paw prints trailed from the white tile bathroom onto the faux Oriental rug in the bedroom where Grace stood. The cat-feet marks immobilized Grace. She closed her eyes and prayed that she had been claimed by stress-induced insanity, that there were no dark-red blots before her eyes, but a hallucination. A nice long rest in a mental hospital didn’t sound too bad. Anything except another dead body in this inn where she worked.

Author Bio:

Jackie King loves books, writing tall tales, and murdering the people she dislikes on paper. Her latest mystery The Corpse Who Walked in the Door is available in ebook format. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Oklahoma Writers Federation, and Tulsa NightWriters.

Catch Up With Jackie:
  




Follow along on the tour to read what others are saying about The Corpse Who Walked In The Door.


    
  

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tyndale Teen Slimline Holy Bible NLT

    NLT Teen Slimline Bible by Tyndale Psalm 91 Charcoal (LeatherLike) BRAND NEW
  • Imitation Leather: 1104 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; Lea edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141436329X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414363295





The slimline New Living Translation text Bible is the perfect size for busy teens to carry with them wherever they go—now available in new trendy TuTone designs. Classic reference features include a dictionary/concordance, end-of-Bible helps, full-color maps, a ribbon marker, presentation page, and gilded page edges.

The New Living Translation is an authoritative Bible translation, rendered faithfully into today's English from the ancient texts by 90 leading Bible scholars. The NLT's scholarship and clarity breathe life into even the most difficult-to-understand Bible passages—but even more powerful are stories of how people's lives are changing as the words speak directly to their hearts. That's why we call it “The Truth Made Clear.”

My take on this Bible:
As a fan of black and gray the cover of the NLT Teen Slimline  really caught my eye because it is charcoal gray with black lettering that really stands out. What really made this Bible different from any that I own though is  the imprinting along the outer edges of the pages which is the many names of Jesus. Along with this there is a black ribbon marker.  I love the small size of this Bible, it's lightweight, and the print while a bit small for my taste is very readable. I also like that the New Testament has God's words in red. Another neat feature is the footnotes that are included. Several colorful maps, a presentation page, a 365 day reading plan, along with a concordance and dictionary round this Bible out very nicely. The size of this Bible makes it perfect for carrying to church, or slipping into a purse. Overall a Bible geared toward teens that is perfect for any age group. 

NIV College Devotional Bible

  • Hardcover: 1408 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Special edition (February 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310442575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310442578


This Bible is also available as an ebook.


Your college years are different from any other time in your life. You get a demanding new schedule – and it’s yours to manage 100% on your own. You make new, lifelong friendships as you spend time with other people on a similar path in the journey. You face unique challenges as you begin to see the world differently, including what your impact on the world might be.
This special time in your life is also an opportunity for you to deepen your relationship with Jesus. The NIV College Devotional Bible will help you strengthen your walk with God as you find your own way in life. It’s filled with stories that connect Scripture with the struggles, questions, and decisions every college student faces. In fact, it’s the same approach that Jesus used in his parables—taking stories from everyday life to illustrate eternal truths.
Features:
  • 222 school-year devotions with daily insights and applications on relevant topics
  • Devotions use a unique storytelling approach to connect God’s Word with your real-life questions, struggles, and decisions as a student
  • A practical reading plan that helps you stay connected to God during the 9 months of school each year
  • Quick-start guide shows you how to get the most out of reading the Bible
  • Subject index for looking up topics of interest
  • Complete text of the clear, accessible NIV Bible

My take on this Bible:
College is a major step on the road to adulthood, so what better roadmap is there than to provide a Bible that will help the college student on that path. The NIV College Devotional Bible is a lightweight easy to use Bible that fits this purpose perfectly. Lightweight, and an easy to handle size the NIV translation is easy to read and understand, and the 222 devotions are very relatable not only to college students but to everyone. There is a go to  page message at the end of each devotion that makes it easy to navigate. A few other useful features of the Bible is a subject index that allows the user to find devotions based on certain topics. There are also a few different reading plans one will get you thru the Bible in a year, while another provides a 60 day overview. In addition to these two plans there are also eleven topical reading plans such as 30 days for beginning your walk with Christ, 30 days with Jesus and one of my favorites 30 days of promises. There are also a few blank pages perfect for jotting down thoughts. Overall, this Bible is geared toward the college student and would make a wonderful gift. With so many specialty Bibles on the shelf this one really stands out because of the devotions that can honestly be used by anyone and the topical reading plans really are an added bonus. 

A complimentary copy of this Bible was provided for review.

Monday, September 1, 2014

NIV Streams In The Desert Bible

  • Hardcover: 1536 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (March 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310441846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310441847







Are you in a desert experience? Let your thirsty soul be restored and refreshed through the daily devotions in the NIV Streams in the Desert Bible.
At some point in our lives, we encounter the trials and deep mysteries of the Christian faith. And when we do become like a thirsty traveler, what we most desire is for hope, comfort, and encouragement to burst forth like a sparkling, clear river.
The hopeful daily readings in this Bible promise to revive and refresh you—one of today’s generation of faithful sojourners—by providing daily devotions in modern, easy-to-understand language that beautifully captures the timeless essence of the original. These devotionals are presented alongside Scripture using the popular New International Version of the Bible.
While the devotions in this Bible were originally written by L. B. Cowman—a pioneer missionary in Japan and China from 1901 to 1917—this devotional Bible has been edited by James Reimann. It maintains the beauty of the original Cowman writings while making the devotionals more accessible for the readers of today.
Features:
• Complete text of the clear, accessible NIV Bible
• 365 daily readings of strength and encouragement from L. B. Cowman
• Foreword by Jim Reimann

My take on this Bible:
Streams In The Desert Bible  blends devotions from the updated version of Streams In The Desert together with the easy to read NIV text of the Bible to provide 365 daily readings. The devotions are paired together with scripture verses that illuminate the devotional thought. Because it is arranged in 365 daily readings the combination is perfect for use as a daily devotional read. There is even a go to line at the bottom of each devotional that makes it super easy to find the next devotional. Included in this Bible is a subject index that makes it easy to find topical issues that may be of interest.There are also several blank pages for jotting down notes. One issue I have with this Bible is that the font is a bit small. Overall I found this Bible to  be straightforward and simple, which makes it easy to use. The devotionals are easy to navigate and because they are paired with the scripture that they relate to I found myself reading those as well as the devotional. I did miss the presentation page and the introductions to each book of the Bible. That said I still think this Bible is great for what it is, and I wouldn't hesitate to give it as a gift.

A complimentary copy of this Bible was provided for review. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Cat's Got His Tongue ~ Jane McBride


  • Series: Ann and Henry
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 14, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1492730033
  • ISBN-13: 978-1492730033


This book is also available as an ebook.



Kyle Mendez never wanted any attention from anyone, but after he nearly kills a would-be child abductor in a mall with his bare hands, he gets plenty of it. His vigilante actions quickly elevate him to hero status once his mug shot and the mall security video hit the news, but even worse, his dormant PTSD has been awakened, affecting his marriage and the lives of everyone around him. His ultimate solution is a spiritual journey that leads him to some extraordinary people who will change everything.

My take on this book:
Cat's Got His Tongue by Jane McBride takes readers on an emotional journey from the beginning pages. Everything in Kyle and Ann's life changes in a split second when something happens at the mall that puts their daughter in jeopardy. Instead of drawing the couple together Kyle becomes distant as he tries to deal with what happened, and soon learns that he can't do it alone. He finds himself back in therapy but realizes the true answer to finding peace is forgiving the person who changed their life, but in order to do that Kyle feels he must take a trip to see him. The journey he embarks on allows him to make a few new friends,but will it allow him to find the peace he longs for?

I have had the privilege of reading all four books in the Ann and Henry series and Cat's Got His Tongue was by far the most stirring, emotionally charged story yet! I found myself drawn in from the very beginning, when a simple day at the mall turns into a scene that no parent even wants to imagine. Ann immediately reacts, but it is what Kyle does that elevates him to hero in so many peoples eyes, but for him he struggles with what he did. He questions not only his faith, but the way that he reacted makes him realize that he isn't always in control of his anger.  I found myself questioning what was right according to the law versus doing what needs to be done in order to protect family. The emotions of the characters was tangible, I immediately felt hate for the perpetrator, but then the author gave glimpses of a hurting soul that I wound up feeling empathy for.  I felt like I was on an emotional journey myself as Cat's Got His Tongue unfolded. From the dramatic beginning Ms. McBride doesn't allow the plot to drag, from the waiting room of Kyle's therapist where we meet men who are dealing with PTSD, to the characters Kyle meets while taking his trip, each character provides an interesting, sometimes heart touching look at life. While we meet several new characters, including Daisy the cat but my heart was very heavy when a few characters didn't make it. Jane McBride has created memorable characters that truly feel like family. She allows me to share their ups and downs, but also allows me to share their hope and faith.Cat's Got His Tongue grabbed my heart from the beginning pages taking me on an emotional journey that provided a few laughs but also allowed me to get real glimpses of faith, family and love. Easily one of my favorite series, and one I highly recommend. 

Reviewed for Readersfavorite.com

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Miranda Warning (A Murder in the Mountains Book 1)~ Heather Day Gilbert


  • Series: A Murder in the Mountains Novel
  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (May 27, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1499154879
  • ISBN-13: 978-1499154870

This book is also available as an ebook.



Child of the Appalachian mountains, Tess Spencer has experienced more than her share of heartache. The Glock-wielding, knife-carrying housewife knows how to survive whatever life throws at her. But when an anonymous warning note shows up in her best friend Miranda’s mailbox—a note written in a dead woman’s handwriting—Tess quickly discovers that ghosts are alive and well in Buckneck, West Virginia. Hot on a cold trail, she must use limited clues and her keen insight into human nature to unmask the killer...or the next victim might be Tess herself. Tinged with the supernatural and overshadowed by the mountains' lush, protective presence, this twisting psychological mystery is the first in A Murder in the Mountains series.

My take on this book:
Miranda Warning by Heather Day Gilbert provides more twists and turns than the winding country roads of West Virginia which is the setting for this suspense filled, page turning mystery. Several of the residents of the tiny town of Buckneck, WV hold more than a few secrets. A suicide that happened forty years ago is a story in itself, but when Tess Spencer's best friend Miranda gets a letter from the deceased woman one can't help but wonder what is going on! Miranda is dating the deceased woman's husband and plans to marry him. Tess isn't going to let any harm come to her friend and decides to check into a few things, soon though she finds herself in the middle of a forty year old mystery, that someone wants left buried!  It doesn't take long for the action to rev up and Tess finds herself on the bad end of a few threats herself. Tess wants to get to the bottom of the decades old lies that surround the mystery she is trying to solve. But the more clues she uncovers the more questions she has. As the web of deceit starts to unravel Tess finds her own life on the line!


Miranda Warning is a captivating read that grabs you by the hand and jerks you along for a suspense filled page turner that provides more questions than answers as the plot unfolds!  Heather Day Gilbert weaves a story that shifts from past to present, and honestly had me wondering a few times whether the past story was being shared by a ghost or a  person. It was so well done that I found myself believing the web of deceit that the character wanted everyone to believe. An intricately woven plot kept revealing bits of the puzzle while continuing to build the suspense and danger . On more than one occasion I would think I knew what might be coming next only to be totally blindsided as the author headed in another direction. As all of the pieces of the mystery fall together Ms. Gilbert provides one final shocker at the end that felt right even though it was the last thing I expected. Along with a page turning plot I found the characters to be very well fleshed, it was interesting to learn about Tess and where she came from. Thomas and Tess were perfect for each other, the author certainly captured the realism of marriage, the good and bad, pregnancy hormones and all! I found myself laughing at them on more than one occasion  but honestly it was endearing to see how the entire Spencer family interacted. More than a few interesting secondary characters kept the plot from lagging. It's always a joy to read a book that takes place in my home state, it was fun to recognize some of the places that she mentioned in her story. The spiritual threads that are woven into the story had some of the characters questioning their faith,while others find their way back to what they believe. Miranda Warning was a page turner for me, and I can only hope Heather Day Gilbert is working on the next installment in the Murder in the Mountains Series!

Reviewed for Readersfavorite.com

Willow Springs ~ Carolyn Steele




  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc. (August 12, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1462114571
  • ISBN-13: 978-1462114573



This book is also available as an ebook.






 August 10, 2014

Husbands. Crissa had to suppress a shudder at the thought. If I had wanted a husband, I would have stayed in Boston. Indeed, Crissa considered Willow Springs to be the nearest thing to her idea of purgatory. She certainly did not plan to stay here long.

Swedish immigrant Crissa Engleson fled Boston hoping to start a new life, unknown and unencumbered, on the American frontier. The quiet gold mining town of Willow Springs in the Utah desert seemed the perfect spot—until the intrigue of her past and rivalries of the town’s leading families enveloped her.

Unaware that a relentless bounty hunter is pursuing her, Crissa falls in love with Drake Adams, a handsome Pony Express rider and the son of an influential mine owner. While Drake returns Crissa’s interest, their courtship is thwarted by the pursuit of one of Drake’s rivals, who may be motivated more by malice than by love.

To realize her dreams, Crissa must confront her painful past and fight for her future head-on.

My take on this book:
The cover of Willow Springs certainly captured my eye, it's beautiful, and the historical setting had me anxious to read Willow Springs. Well I will say I was pleasantly surprised by the caliber of this book. The writing was very descriptive, creating strong characters, some good others bad, and some were a bit of both if that makes sense. The  plot grabbed me from the beginning with plenty of twists, a bit of suspense and while I knew there would be a romance, I will say the story was far from  predictable. I really found myself liking the character of Crissa. Instead of learning about her past in the beginning it is slowly revealed which kept me riveted  but also made me want everything to work out for her. The relationship that I hoped would develop with Drake kept me guessing, and of course with another man interested in her added another layer to the story.
Well drawn  characters and a fast paced plot with plenty of twists along with a great blending of  suspense and tension made this a book that I couldn't put down once I started reading it. I will say the author touches on a few tough subjects such as rape and prostitution but handles them very well, while maintaining a good clean read. Anyone who enjoys historical romance really should give Willow Springs a try. 

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.


CarolynSteele_AuthorAbout the author: 
Born and raised in Utah, Carolyn Steele was introduced to western novels at a very young age by her grandfather, the son of a gold miner. She has been writing technical and marketing communications for most of her adult life. Her nonfiction articles have appeared in numerous national magazines. She earned her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Utah. Married and living in Salt Lake City, Utah, Carolyn loves researching obscure history then weaving it into stories. She also enjoys family dinners with her children and grandchildren, photography, travel, golf, reading, and all forms of needlework.  
Visit Ms. Steele at her website: http://www.carolyn-steele.com/ Facebook/ Twitter/ 


Follow along on the Cedar Fort Tour to read what others are saying about Willow Springs.