REVIEW: The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson

The story begins with Alice-Ann as a 16-year old and the US just entering WWII.  The town in which the story is set sends a significant number of young men into the service on account of the war.  This has impact on everyone in town.  Alice-Ann takes time to make sure her long-time crush, Mack, knows she’ll be waiting for him.

Good letter correspondents at first, Mack’s letters eventually end and there is news of his demise during a fierce battle.  Alice-Ann, whose crush was known only to a few, must endure this quietly.

A friend’s brother, Carlton, returns early from the war due to an injury.  He and Alice-Ann form a new friendship as young adults as they bond through the war time.

Alice-Ann must reshape her vision of “true love” and decide the best path for her future.

Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.

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REVIEW: Chapel Car Bride by Judith McCoy Miller

Chapel cars in the hills of West Virginia were a new piece of history for me. It made some sense that rail cars could travel and stay at the coal mining towns. In Chapel Car Bride, Hope Irvine leaves her aunt’s care in Pittsburgh to join her pastor father on his latest trip in the chapel car. Hope easily finds her place ministering alongside her father. She adds to the mission with her own gifts of music and as a children’s teacher.

Luke Hughes is a coal mining town resident from a line of coal miners. He soaks up the teachings of Pastor Irvine and finds his own way. We also meet the mine owner’s son, Kirby, who has quite a few hang-ups to work through. Read and learn both about the history and the young folks of this story.

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Thanks to Judith McCoy Miller for teaching me about history and thanks to Bethany House for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.

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REVIEW: An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray

Laurel Tracy, matured by the Civil War, sees a diamond in the rough in convict yet soldier Thomas Baker. He has been imprisoned due to a gambling debt and serves on a work gang at Laurel’s house. In need of a regular hired man at her ranch, Laurel frees Thomas from jail and gives him a post-war purpose. Thomas is very loyal and quite taken with Laurel. After the war years, Laurel realizes that societal niceties are much changed and she needs Thomas to help keep her ranch together.

This is a love story and yet a survival story.

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Thanks to Zondervan for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.

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REVIEW: You’ll Think of Me by Robin Lee Hatcher

Brooklyn and her daughter Alycia’s have the chance to move back to Brooklyn’s hometown in Idaho.  Brooklyn’s estranged husband, Chad, has died and left them his family home.  He also asks neighbor Derek Johnson to become a father figure to Alycia.  It’s a heart-warming story, though we never really learn why Chad was estranged.  His story isn’t told.  It was enjoyable, though predictable.
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Thanks to Thomas Nelson for an ARC for a review in my own words.

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REVIEW: In the Shadow of Denali by Tracie Peterson

Curry Hotel is the setting for this story that takes place in the 1920s.  I love that Tracie Peterson set it in a real place, at a real time, for a historical fiction story about something of which I would not otherwise know.  The Curry Hotel was impactful in its time and place.  It is no longer in operation and a couple articles that I read about it describe it now as a ghost town.
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In this first book of a new series, we meet Allan Brennan who has taken a job as a guide for the hotel and new National Park. He finds out right away that his boss, John, was the guide at the time that Allan’s father met an unseemly demise during a Denali summit trip.  Oh, boy.  How is Allan going to resolve these things?
We also meet Cassidy Ivanoff who was born and raised in the Denali foothills.  Her father, John, is the guide mentioned above.  Cassidy is in her early 20s and working on her own plans for the future.  She works at the hotel and has her own back story.
I certainly enjoyed the historical references story of Allan and Cassidy.  I look forward to the next installment that will surely be set in Alaska.
Thanks to Bethany House for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.

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REVIEW: Treasured Grace (Heart of the Frontier #1) by Tracie Peterson

Grace, along with her two younger sisters, open the story with the death of Grace’s husband-by-convenience. They are delivered to the Whitman mission in this westward expansion story. Grace has the gift of healing and provides invaluable help to those in her wagon train, along with others at the mission. Thwarted by Mr. Whitman, Grace does what she can to help the settlers, residents and some of the tribal people. Helped by Alex Armistead, a trapper, Grace finds a new life for herself and her sisters.

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Their ultimate goal is Oregon to find her uncle who can provide for and vouch for the sisters.
Thanks to Bethany House for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.

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REVIEW: The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories by Celeste Fletcher McHale

The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories

Jacey and Colin found themselves stranded on a rooftop during a flood.  Rescued, Jacey along with Lily and her four children experience a second trauma on their way to the emergency center.  It takes Jacey a year to recover and that is where the story begins.  PTSD plagues Jacey as she tries to put back her memory of all the events.  Colin, too, was later rescued.  His experience drew him closer to helping out others, but he ignores the requests of his parents to mend things at home.

Once Jacey’s memory begins to return and sort itself out, she is on a quest to right the sadness of the past year.  Circumstances for Colin explode as well and he needs to set things straight, too.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing me with an ARC for a review in my own words.

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