First Line Friday: Ever Faithful

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I am excited to be featuring Ever Faithful by Karen Barnett. This fun and engaging story has something for everyone. The perfect book for your dream vacation or even your stay-cation! CLICK HERE to read my full review.

EverFaithful

April 1933
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

          Elsie closed her eyes for a moment and breathed in the steamy air, imagining she stood beside Grand Prismatic Spring instead of the massive laundry boiler in the back of the Mammoth Hot Springs Lodge.

 

  Ever Faithful (Vintage National Parks #3)

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Ever Faithful (Vintage National Parks #3) by Karen Barnett

Synopsis:

Vibrant historic Yellowstone National Park comes to life in this romantic mystery about a man hiding the truth, braving the west to become something more–and the woman who must confront his deception.

A man who can’t read will never amount to anything–or so Nate Webber believes. But he takes a chance to help his family by signing up for the new Civilian Conservation Corps, skirting the truth about certain “requirements.” Nate exchanges the harsh Brooklyn streets for the wilds of Yellowstone National Park, curious if the Eden-like wonderland can transform him as well.
Elsie Brookes was proud to grow up as a ranger’s daughter, but she longs for a future of her own. After four years serving as a maid in the park’s hotels, she still hasn’t saved enough money for her college tuition. A second job, teaching a crowd of rowdy men in the CCC camp, might be the answer, but when Elsie discovers Nate’s secret, it puts his job as camp foreman in jeopardy. Tutoring leads to friendship and romance until a string of suspicious fires casts a dark shadow over their relationship. Can they find answers before all of their dreams go up in smoke?

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed traveling to Yellowstone National Park with Karen Barnett within the pages of Ever Faithful. Seeing the geysers and spectacular wildlife of Yellowstone has been on my bucket list for many years. And while I have not physically visited the park and left my bootprints there, this story is so vivid and realistic, I felt like I traveled to 1950’s Yellowstone.

The dynamic characters of this story drew me in and had me eagerly turning pages to see what would happen next. Would Elsie be able to see her life-long dream of attending College become a reality? Would Nate Webber let down his guard and admit he needs help learning to read?

With vivid secondary characters, a mysterious arson, and unfolding drama there is much to keep you engaged and involved in the happenings unfolding within the story.

I especially appreciated the historical details and not just about the park, but also connecting to what was happening in the county as a whole during this time. While it took a couple of chapters to get hooked into this story, once I was hooked, I couldn’t put it down!

This fun and engaging story has something for everyone. The perfect book for your dream vacation or even your stay-cation!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

KarenBarnett Fueled by a passion for research and learning, and a secret desire to travel in time, author Karen Barnett creates historical romances that draw readers deep into a story. She’s fascinated that even though human history is constantly changing, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). The point where those two facts collide forms the basis for her writing–finding those moments when an ordinary person brushes up against the eternal.

A graduate of Valparaiso University and Oregon State University, Barnett’s debut novel, Mistaken, was released in 2013 and earned her the Oregon Christian Writers “Writer of Promise” award and a Cascade Award for best historical fiction. She also won the coveted “Writer of the Year” title from the prestigious Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in 2016.

Karen spent several years working in outdoor education as a park ranger and naturalist for Mount Rainier National Park and Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park before becoming a stay-at-home mom and professional writer. She spends her free time hiking, taking photographs, dragging her kids through dusty history museums, and decorating crazy birthday cakes.

Karen lives in western Oregon with her husband, two teenagers, and three mischievous dachshunds.

Web Page// Facebook // Twitter// Goodreads //

 

PICK-UP YOUR COPY TODAY!

  Ever Faithful (Vintage National Parks #3)

 Where the Fire Falls (Vintage National Parks #2)

  The Road to Paradise (Vintage National Parks #1)

June 2018 – Month in Review

There have been some wonderful stories that I’ve enjoyed reading this past month! Join me as we take a look back at the bookish fun we enjoyed in June.

Clicking on the link will take you to the blog post for that book, interview or reveal.

Books Reviewed:

TheOrphansWish  The Orphans Wish by Melanie Dickerson

WhereTheFireFalls  Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

AmongThePoppies  Among the Poppies by J’nell Ciesielski

TheLoveLetter  The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

ADaringEscape  A Daring Escape by Tricia Goyer

MoreThanMeetsTheEye  More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer

TheHopeOfAzureSpringsThe Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

EnduringLove  Enduring Love by Toni Shiloh

 

Author Interviews:

InterviewKarenWitemeyerKaren Witemeyer

InterviewTaraJohnson  Tara Johnson

 

Cover Reveals:

BetweenTwoShoresBetween Two Shores by Jocelyn Green

 

I’d love to hear from you:

Have you read any of the books I reviewed this month? If so, did you have a favorite?
What book(s) are you looking forward to reading in July?

 

Where the Fire Falls (Shadows of the Wilderness #2) by Karen Barnett

Synopsis:

Stunning Yosemite National Park sets the stage for this late 1920s historical romance with mystery, adventure, heart, and a sense of the place John Muir described as “pervaded with divine light.”

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford fashioned her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region’s wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty.

After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he’s faced with the choice of becoming a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling?

As Clark helps open Olivia’s eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park’s story as its vistas– a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.

My Thoughts:

This sweeping, panoramic story is a feast for the eyes and the imagination! Karen’s writing is dynamic and colorful and effortlessly transported me right into the heart of Yosemite Valley. It took me a few chapters to get into the story and really get to know the characters and feel for them. The story really picks up speed as you get deeper in and before I knew it, I could hardly turn the pages fast enough for wanting to know what would happen next.

Clark is somewhat of a lone-wolf. He keeps most people at a distance. He seems to be most at ease out on the trail, with nature as his companion. Once you get to know this strapping mountain man, he will charm you for sure!

Olivia hides behind her carefully constructed artist persona, but who is the real Olivia? She longs to have a meaningful relationship, however, she has to learn how to be her true self and let down the walls that she hides behind before that can happen.

Can two people so set on hiding find a way to let go of the past that is holding them back from finding true happiness? A heartfelt story that reminds us the importance of knowing who we are in God and allowing that truth to settle in our hearts!

Take a summer vacation to Yosemite in the pages of this is a great stand-alone novel. You won’t want to miss out on this latest book from Karen Barnett!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

IMG_0560

About the Author:

KarenBarnett Fueled by a passion for research and learning, and a secret desire to travel in time, author Karen Barnett creates historical romances that draw readers deep into a story. She’s fascinated that even though human history is constantly changing, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). The point where those two facts collide forms the basis for her writing–finding those moments when an ordinary person brushes up against the eternal.

A graduate of Valparaiso University and Oregon State University, Barnett’s debut novel, Mistaken, was released in 2013 and earned her the Oregon Christian Writers “Writer of Promise” award and a Cascade Award for best historical fiction. She also won the coveted “Writer of the Year” title from the prestigious Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in 2016.

Karen spent several years working in outdoor education as a park ranger and naturalist for Mount Rainier National Park and Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park before becoming a stay-at-home mom and professional writer. She spends her free time hiking, taking photographs, dragging her kids through dusty history museums, and decorating crazy birthday cakes.

Karen lives in western Oregon with her husband, two teenagers, and three mischievous dachshunds.

Web Page// Facebook // Twitter// Goodreads //

Pick-up your copy today!

 Where the Fire Falls (Shadow of the Wilderness #2)

  The Road to Paradise (Shadow of the Wilderness #1)

 

 

My Favorites (January-July) 2017

The hot-topic question of July that I have seen floating around is:

“What is your favorite book (or series) that you have read this year?”

Now, I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t possibly pick only one favorite when I’ve read so many amazing books. Thus far I have read 57 books. Now, I know for at least one or two of my awesome blogging friends, this is not a jaw-dropping number. However, as I have been told, “It’s not the number that’s important.” (Major props to my friend Carrie who is well on her way to reading 300 this year)

With that said, I will share with you, my loyal reading friends, the books I have read so far this year that has continued to stick with me long past my finishing of the story. I’ve enjoyed reading others, but these seem to stick with me the longest. Without further adieu, and in no particular order…

Many Sparrows by: Lori Benton
All of You  by: Sarah Monzon
Just the Way You Are by: Pepper Basham
 A Moonbow Night by: Laura Frantz
 In His Eyes by: Stephenia H. McGee
 My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho by: Susanne Dietze
 The Butterfly and the Violin by: Kristy Cambron
  Name Unknown  by: Roseanna M. White
 The Road to Paradise by: Karen Barnett
 So Pure A Heart  by: Amber Lynn Perry

Clicking on the title of the book will take you to Amazon where you can read more about the book. Clicking on the name of the author will take you to the author web page.

I would love to hear from you.

What are a few of your favorite books so far this year? Do you have any that have lingered with you weeks/months after you have read the last page?

Make sure to click on the “Follow” button to the right to follow my blog!
Feel free to also find me on Goodreads or on Facebook!

The Road To Paradise (Shadows of the Wilderness #1) By: Karen Barnett

Synopsis:

In 1927, Margie Lane, an avid naturalist, convinces her Senator father to procure her a position at the fledgling Mount Rainier National Park. Since Ranger Ford Brannon lost his father in a climbing accident, he doubts his ability to protect the park and its many visitors. He certainly doesn’t relish the job of watching over an idealistic and privileged young woman with no practical survival skills.

When Margie’s former fiance sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, Margie and Ford will have to work together to preserve the beauty and simplicity of this mountain hideaway, but the developer’s plans might put more than just the park in danger.”

 

My Review:

This is the first book I read from Karen Barnett, I was not sure what to expect. Let me just tell you I was not disappointed. It is always fun finding a new favorite author, and I believe I have found one!

To start with the setting for this book is amazing. From the very first page, I felt like I was there on Mount Rainier (A place I’ve never visited, but dearly want to now). But Karen’s fantastic writing goes beyond her writing of the perfect setting. You’ll quickly get lost in the pages of this story.

Margie may have used her senator father’s connections to get the job working with the National Park Rangers on Mount Rainier, but she takes her role seriously.  Margie has a strong faith, and she delights in spending time in nature and seeing God’s handiwork, and in studying His creation.

Ranger Ford Brannon expected a spoiled, pampered young woman, not the book-wise nature enthusiast. Ford was raised by a God-fearing father, but when a tragic accident took his father’s life, Ford blamed God for his loss. Ford is taken back at Margie’s strong faith and trust in God and has some soul wrestling of his own to do.

I love the thread of faith woven seamlessly thru the story. The reminders of our great Creator, and His amazing, fathomless love for us, the crowning jewel of His creation.

Karen writes such fantastic, multifaceted, realistic characters. I enjoyed the character progression and growth in this story with both Margie and Ford. I felt like I was right there with them, in their thoughts and involved in their daily lives. Hiking the trails, cautiously crossing the moss covered log bridge over the raging, river (all the while holding my breath). Of course let’s not even talk about how I nearly chewed my fingernails off (I thought I had broken that bad habit) during the mountain climbing chapters. This is one of those books that after you finish, you sit there in a happy reader’s fog, wishing there were more pages left to read.

(I received a complimentary books for review from the author/publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

 

Favorite Quote:

“Sometimes a fragile appearance masks deep strength”

 

About the Author:

KarenBarnettFueled by a passion for research and learning, and a secret desire to travel in time, author Karen Barnett creates historical romances that draw readers deep into a story. She’s fascinated that even though human history is constantly changing, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). The point where those two facts collide forms the basis for her writing–finding those moments when an ordinary person brushes up against the eternal.

A graduate of Valparaiso University and Oregon State University, Barnett’s debut novel, Mistaken, was released in 2013 and earned her the Oregon Christian Writers “Writer of Promise” award and a Cascade Award for best historical fiction. She also won the coveted “Writer of the Year” title from the prestigious Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in 2016.

Karen spent several years working in outdoor education as a park ranger and naturalist for Mount Rainier National Park and Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park before becoming a stay-at-home mom and professional writer. She spends her free time hiking, taking photographs, dragging her kids through dusty history museums, and decorating crazy birthday cakes.

Karen lives in western Oregon with her husband, two teenagers, and three mischievous dachshunds.

To connect with Karen follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

She also enjoys public speaking and has addressed women’s groups, church organizations, book clubs, libraries, and writing conferences. Check out her speaking page if you are interested in learning more.

 

Road-to-Paradise_Feat_900x900Friends, I have good news! The Road to Paradise releases today! Do yourself a favor, go out and buy a copy of this fantastic book. After all, you deserve to treat yourself once in awhile! CLICK HERE to purchase from the publisher (Waterbrook & Multnomah), or you may choose to purchase the book from your favorite book seller. (amazon link below)

If you do in fact buy the book (and honestly, why wouldn’t you), do the author a little favor and make sure to write a review. It doesn’t have to be a long review, just a sentence or two. It means so much and makes a world of difference.

  The Road to Paradise

 

I’d love to hear from you:

Do you enjoy visiting the National Forests?

I grew-up in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina. I have many fond memories of visiting the Pisgah National Forest, The Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smokey Mountains National Forest (just to name a few).

Which ones have you visited? Do you have a favorite?