Christy and Laurel’s Dream: Guest Post with Pepper Basham

I have a special treat for you today! Pepper Basham has stopped by to share with us a little bit about her latest book, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream and how it connects with Christy by Catherine Marshall. CLICK HERE to check out my review.

Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Pepper Basham

A little over a year ago, my husband and I went on a close-to-home adventure. We drove the two-hour road trip to the real location of Catherine Marshall’s Christy. In the novel, Christy shows up in Cutter Gap, but the place where the real story took place is called Chapel Hollow/Ebenezer Mission and the real Christy gets off the train in Del Rio, TN.

If you’ve never heard of this New York Times bestselling historical novel, here’s a little blurb about it:

christyThe train taking nineteen-year-old teacher Christy Huddleston from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, might as well be transporting her to another world. The Smoky Mountain community of Cutter Gap feels suspended in time, trapped by poverty, superstitions, and century-old traditions.

But as Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home, some see her–and her one-room school–as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged, and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove.

Yearning to make a difference, will Christy’s determination and devotion be enough?

The audiobook read by Kellie Martin (who plays the heroine in the T.V. adaptation of the book). It’s FABULOUS! (here’s a little article about fact vs fiction in Christy. Also to see some photos of the REAL Christy and mission house, check this out.)

What I love best about this book is how true-to-life it is to the culture of Appalachia, and as my husband and I took the narrow, rain-washed, gravel/mud road up the hillside to a place we ‘hoped’ would bring us to ‘Cutter Gap’, the reality of just how isolated most communities in Appalachia were rung true. To give you a clue, we were out of any phone reception for over two hours. I mean…NONE.

Another interesting discovery on this trip was the miscellaneous gravestones at the church (which is the same church the real David Grantland held service in). Hand carved names, words misspelled, dates etched with simple tools showed a culture who valued their people in death in the best way they could.

Visiting this site on which one of the most-loved stories of Appalachia evolved was a wonderful way to kick-off the development of My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge. It gave a frame, a mental image, for the tales my Granny told me of her parents, grandparents, great grandparents…and beyond.

Here are a few photos from our visit to Christy territory. Of course, it can’t do the story justice, but it gives a little hint to a world so far removed from the one we know today – a world I hope I can introduce readers to through My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge (and any other Blue Ridge stories that follow)

About the Book

MHBI.TheBlueRidge.LaurelsDreamJourney into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christian Book | Goodreads

  My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream

About the Author

pepperbarnsmileAs a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Pepper Basham enjoys sprinkling her Appalachian into her fiction writing. She is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and a lover of Jesus and chocolate. She resides in Asheville, North Carolina with her family.

Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | Website

 

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First Line Fridays: My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge

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

Today I’m excited to be featuring My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream by Pepper Basham. Pepper Basham eloquently captured the very essence of the Blue Ridge Mountains and warmly welcomed me home within the pages of this fantastic book. I loved this story and I seriously didn’t want it to end. CLICK HERE to see my full review!

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September 1918

          “He’s bringing nothin’ but trouble, Caroline McAdams. Make no bones about it.”

 

Hmmm… Seems to me like someone is trying to stir up some trouble. You won’t want to miss out on this fantastic story! Pre-order your copy today!

  My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream

 

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

 

MyHeartIsInTheBlueRidge

My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream by Pepper Basham

Synopsis:

Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?

  My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream

My Thoughts:

Pepper Basham eloquently captured the very essence of the Blue Ridge Mountains and warmly welcomed me home within the pages of this fantastic book. I loved this story and I seriously didn’t want it to end. The closer I got to the end of the book, the slower I read, savoring each word, each phrase! Opening the pages of this story and diving in, was like going home! I grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains and while I may not live there now, it is still home to me.

I’d love to sit down for a chat or get the chance to cook with Laurel McAdams. She is a strong young woman, filled with grace and courage. Her kindness to outsiders and her helpful nature is sure to draw you in. Laurel is open to new ideas and not afraid to stand up for what is right, even in the face of many who would choose to fiercely cling to tradition and superstition. She has big dreams and determination to see her way to fulfill those dreams!

Teacher, Jonathan Taylor comes to the Blue Ridge Mountains to escape the heavy-handed expectations of his father and to prove himself capable and worthy. But will his reasons to leave behind all he knew and immerse himself in a culture that is highly suspicious of anything new be enough to keep him teaching in the Blue Ridge Mountains?

I fell in love with these dynamic, engaging characters! I appreciated their growth in the story as well as the wisdom of the secondary characters that provided a welcome insight and encouragement.

There is plenty of excitement to enjoy. From a mountain lion encounter, a brutal snowstorm, a couple of disgruntled mountain men, larceny, saving a child with a severe allergic reaction, and much more! You are sure to find an exciting plot-line, delightful characters, all set in a beautiful setting. I give this story 5-enthusiastic stars and encourage you to pick up a copy to enjoy!

(I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

MyHeartIsInTheBlueRidge2

About the Author:

pepperbarnsmile  Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes historical and contemporary romance novels with grace, humor, and culture clashes. She’s a Blue Ridge Mountain native and an anglophile who enjoys combining her two loves to create memorable stories of hope. You can connect with Pepper over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, her website, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.

 

  My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream

 

 

 

My Heart Belongs in San Francisco, California (Abby’s Prospects) by: Janice Thompson

Journey now to San Francisco, California, of 1853 where…
An English socialite finds more treasure than expected on her trip to the American West.

 Synopsis:

When Abby Effingham becomes stranded in the middle of the California gold rush, her money depletes quickly even while her prospects for marriage increase daily. But Abby is on a mission to find her mother—not romance. Will a ridiculous scandal keep her from traveling on, or will it wake up an aloof innkeeper to the treasure right under his roof?

Samuel Harris runs a moderately priced hotel where Abby and her family’s elderly butler find shelter. He is looking forward to when she—and her parade of suitors—move on, though he concedes to let her work in his restaurant. When the sassy socialite is in trouble, will Samuel come to her rescue or find himself alone?

My Thoughts:

When socialite Abby Effingham left the comforts of Philadelphia in late April 1853 to trek across the country to the Oregon territory to find her mother, she didn’t even begin to imagine that she’d end up in the rough and tumble gold mining town of San Fransisco. As Abby is learning to stand on her own two feet, will she remember to always lean on, and trust her heavenly Father?

I struggled a few times with trying to like the heroine of this story. Abby is somewhat tempestuous and tends to run ahead of good judgment and the sage advice given to her by her guardian and friends. She is like a steam train speeding head-long into disaster. I can understand maybe doing this once or twice, but time after time and not seem to learn from previous mistakes, nor admit she made a bad choice… it started to wear a bit thin. However, as the story progressed I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel for Abby. Her exuberance and zeal while still there is tempered with a dose of caution after she learns her lesson the hard way. Sometimes we all find ourselves learning the hard way.

This story with it’s eccentric cast of  characters and a bustling gold mining town equals a page turning adventure. Filled with the Gospel truth this story is one to warm your heart and remind no matter how much dirt we have, God still see’s us as His precious children. Overall I did enjoy reading this story and give it 3.5 stars.

(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:

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About the Author:

JaniceThompson Award-winning author Janice Thompson also writes under the pseudonym Janice Hanna. She got her start in the industry writing screenplays and musical comedies for the stage. Janice has published over 100 books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historicals, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, children’s books and more. She particularly enjoys writing light-hearted, comedic tales because she enjoys making readers laugh.

Janice was named the 2008 Mentor of the year for ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). She currently serves as president of her local ACFW chapter (Writers on the Storm), where she regularly teaches on the craft of writing.

Janice is passionate about her faith and does all she can to share the joy of the Lord with others, which is why she particularly enjoys writing. Her tagline, “Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever Afters!” sums up her take on life.

She lives in Spring, Texas, where she leads a rich life with her family, a host of writing friends, and two mischievous dachshunds. When she’s not busy writing or playing with her eight grandchildren, Janice can be found in the kitchen, baking specialty cakes and cookies for friends and loved ones. No matter what she’s cooking up—books, cakes, cookies or mischief—she does her best to keep the Lord at the center of it all.

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

  My Heart Belongs in San Francisco, California

 

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Author Interview with Amanda Barratt

Welcome reader friends! I’m super excited to have Amanda Barratt here visiting with us today and sharing about her new book My Heart Belongs In Niagara Falls, NY.

AmandaBarratt  ECPA bestselling author Amanda Barratt, fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story – a spinoff of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes inspirational historical romance, penning stories that transport readers to a variety of locales – from the sweeping coastline of Newport, Rhode Island, to the rugged landscape of Central Texas. Her novella, The Truest Heart, was a finalist in the 2017 FHL Reader’s Choice Awards.

 

A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she lives in the woods of Michigan with her fabulous family, who kindly put up with the invisible people she calls characters.

 

These days, Amanda can be found reading way too many books, watching an eclectic mix of BBC dramas and romantic chick flicks, and trying to figure out a way to get on the first possible flight to England. Connect with Amanda at the following locations

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

Now, let’s take a little glimpse at My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York

MHBinNiagraFallsNYJourney to Niagara Falls, New York, 1870

She avoids danger at all costs. He makes his living by rushing headlong into it.

Outwardly, Adele Linley’s trip to visit her American cousins is nothing more than a summer vacation. In reality, she’s the daughter of an English aristocrat with barely a penny to her name seeking a rich American husband.

Having grown up in an overcrowded orphanage, Drew Dawson is determined to make a name for himself. He’ll take any honest job to provide for his sister—even crossing Niagara Falls by tightrope.

On a sightseeing trip to the Falls, Adele meets several eligible suitors. Incredibly wealthy and pompous, Franklin Conway takes an immediate fancy to her. But Adele would truly like to marry for love. When she encounters the mysterious Drew in the garden, Adele is confused by her feelings for someone who is everything she is NOT looking for. Will they both stay the course they have chosen for themselves.

 My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York

Join me in giving a warm welcome to Amanda Barratt! I’m thrilled to have you visiting with us today, Amanda. Let’s get started with some fun questions!

Thank you so much for letting me hang out with you all today! This is super exciting!

Q:   What is your favorite season, and why?

Amanda:   Autumn, hands down! In northern Michigan, we’re privileged to have a beautiful array of fall colors. There’s nothing better than walking down a secluded country lane, your boots crunching against fallen leaves, and then coming inside for a cup of hot apple cider. 🙂 Christmastime is probably a close second though, as I love the season of celebration and giving!

Trisha:    Fall in Michigan is beautiful. Here in the south west corner of Michigan I especially enjoy the scent of the grapes ready for harvest.

Q:    What is the best part of your day?

Amanda:   This is a tossup between morning and evening, since I love both for different reasons. Mornings are great, because I spend some time doing devotions, then get to dive into my writing for the day, which I always look forward to! But evenings are when I read, have meaningful conversations with family, and catch up on my latest period drama obsession. 🙂

Trisha:  Such a great way to bookend your day!

Q:   What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

Amanda:   I actually just read one that was published in the late 80s. Vienna Prelude by Bodie and Brock Thoene. This book was magnificent—full of so much drama and emotion and characters to love and root for. It was my first time reading it, and I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of the series. Redeeming Love is another one that I return to over and over again.

Trisha:  Yes, I too enjoyed reading the books by Brodie & Brock Thoene. Absolutely, can’t forget about Redeeming Love!

Q:   If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

Amanda:   An odd mixture! LOL Along with some Christmas music, I’ve been listening to Celtic Thunder, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and the soundtrack from the show Victoria.

Trisha:   I often listen to Celtic music when I am writing, and I too enjoy listening to Ella Fitzgerald & Frank Sinatra. I haven’t yet listened to the soundtrack from Victoria, I enjoyed watching that series.

Q:   Did the plotline or the characters come first?

Amanda:   Both came pretty much at the same time. We’d planned a family vacation to Niagara Falls. Before the trip, I was reading up on the history of the area, because that’s just what history nerds do. 🙂 I’d read quite a bit about the stunts and daredevils, and as I was walking along, looking at the Falls, the idea of a daredevil falling in love with a woman who feared risk, came to me. When Barbour put the word out that they were looking for authors to submit to a destination romance line, my sister suggested I do Niagara Falls and make the hero a tightrope walker. Sisters always know best! 🙂

Trisha:   Niagara Falls is a place on my list that I want to visit! I’m so glad your sister encouraged you to write this wonderful story!

Q:   Which character took you by surprise?

Amanda:   Delany, definitely. I was writing the scene where my heroine arrives at the home of her relatives, and lo and behold, the butler at the door is far from your ordinary staff member. It was one of those unexpected bursts of inspiration that I had a ton of fun building on.

Trisha:   It is fun when characters surprise us!

Q:   What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Amanda:   I never stayed up late working on this story. I probably laid awake at night thinking about it sometimes, but I’m a morning person, and around 8 PM my brain checks out for the night. 🙂

Trisha:  I’m not much of a night owl myself, but occasionally I will be so wrapped up in a story, that time gets away from me and I end up staying up well past my usual bed time.

Q:   What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Amanda:   I generally add more than I delete. So while my first draft looks different than the final one, it’s because of addition, rather than subtraction. I ended up omitting some analogies that I thought were rather clever when I wrote them, but made me cringe when I read them a second time.

Trisha:   Thank you, Amanda for visiting with us today. It was fun getting to know you better and getting a behind the scenes peek at the story.

We’d love to hear from you:

Do you have any questions for Amanda?

First Line Fridays: My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York by Amanda Barratt

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

Before we start the First Line Festivities, I’d like to give you a personal invitation to follow my site, and or visit again on January 1st. I will be unveiling my logo for Joy of Reading and giving away a book. Be sure to stop back in!

This week I’m featuring My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York by Amanda Barratt. This fantastic, page-turning story releases January 1, 2018 (soon my friends)!  Click here to read my review, and learn more about this book.

 

MHBinNiagraFallsNY

Derbyshire, England April 1870

          As the coachman loaded her trunk onto the carriage, nausea churned inside Adele’s stomach.

 

Where is Adele going? Sounds like where ever it is, that she is quite nervous about making the trip!

 

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
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My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York (Adele’s Journey) by: Amanda Barratt

Journey now to Niagara Falls, New York, of 1870 where…
She avoids danger at all costs. He makes his living by rushing headlong into it.

Synopsis:

Outwardly, Adele Linley’s trip to visit her American cousins is nothing more than a summer vacation. In reality, she’s the daughter of an English aristocrat with barely a penny to her name seeking a rich American husband.

Having grown up in an overcrowded orphanage, Drew Dawson is determined to make a name for himself. He’ll take any honest job to provide for his sister—even crossing Niagara Falls by tightrope.

On a sightseeing trip to the Falls, Adele meets several eligible suitors. Incredibly wealthy and pompous, Franklin Conway takes an immediate fancy to her. But Adele would truly like to marry for love.  When she encounters the mysterious Drew in the garden, Adele is confused by her feelings for someone who is everything she is NOT looking for. Will they both stay the course they have chosen for themselves?

My Thoughts:

With a spectacular setting and lively characters, you just can’t go wrong with this engaging story. A story of heartache, and triumph. Amanda Barratt has penned a story that will linger in your mind long after you’ve read the final words.

Adele is a character that many can easily identify with. She’s independent and strong. However, she is in need of a strength much greater than herself. She puts on a front of strength, yet inwardly she is broken. We could all say we’ve at least felt that way at one time or another.

At first glance Drew is a man on a singular mission, to risk life and limb to make a fortune and a name for himself. However, upon closer inspection, we find that he has a big heart and is trying to make life better for his sister.

The characters became so real that I honestly got quite upset with Adele at one point, and found myself almost talking to the book to give her a piece of my mind. This story doesn’t gloss over the difficult situations and reminds us all that there are always repercussions to decisions made.

I give this story 4.5 stars and I’m eagerly looking forward to reading more stories by Amanda Barrett.

(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:

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About the Author:

AmandaBarratt  Amanda Barratt is a historical romance author with two novellas releasing in 2015 with Barbour Publishing. She fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story – a spinoff of Jane Eyre. Since then, she’s penned novels set in Regency and Victorian England, and the Gilded Age.

A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she lives in the woods of Michigan with her fabulous family, who kindly put up with the invisible people she calls characters. Connect with Amanda at the following locations

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

 My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York

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My Heart Belongs In Castle Gate, Utah (Leanna’s Choice) by Angie Dicken

Journey now to Castle Gate, Utah of 1910 where…
Forbidden Love Tries to Survive Old World Expectations

Schoolteacher Leanna McKee plans on leaving the coal mining town of Castle Gate, Utah, and never looking back. Good riddance to coal dust, rugged men, and the fatal mine that took her husband’s life.

Until the widow meets a widower who awakens her heart…and she finds herself inexplicably falling for miner Alex Pappas which stirs up a whole heap of trouble.

Alex’s Greek parents have arranged a more traditional match for him.  When the schoolteacher’s association with the Greek family begins to anger the American miners, they threaten Alex and his family. Leanna has received an offer to teach elsewhere and feels she has no choice but to leave Castle Rock. . .though she will be leaving her heart behind.

My Thoughts:

With characters that take a hold of your heart and don’t let go, and a rich story with multifaceted points of interest, like a beautiful crystal sparkling rainbows across the window of your imagination. There is so much to love about this book!

Leanna McKee wanted more from life than to be a living doll in a fancy parlor, smiling, pouring tea, and sharing gossip with the other ladies of fashionable Boston. She left all that behind to follow her heart. But after losing her husband in a mining accident and finding herself alone in a rugged mining town full of prejudice, she is more than ready to leave it behind for culture & civilization.

Alex Pappas has a huge heart, he may feel defeated by the prejudice of those around him, but he doesn’t allow that to stop him from showing kindness to others. He helped bring his parents & his brother and family to America. Together they are trying to survive in a country that doesn’t seem to want them.

I enjoyed my time in Castle Rock with Leanna & Alex and his exuberant Greek family. I learned more about the Greek culture, and about early mining towns of the west. I fell in love with these characters and didn’t want this story to end. I give this book 5 stars and would encourage you to be sure to pick-up a copy of this book to enjoy!

(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:

CastleGate3

About the Author:

AngieDickenAngie Dicken is a third generation Greek American, the granddaughter of strong men and women who endured hardship to grow American roots. My Heart Belongs In Castle Gate, Utah is set near the birthplace of her grandfather, a Greek coal miner’s son, and published 100 years after his birth. Angie is a contributor to The Writer’s Alley blog and an ACFW member since 2010. She lives with her husband and four children in the Midwest where she enjoys exploring eclectic new restaurants and chatting with friends over coffee.

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

  My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah

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First Line Friday’s – My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah

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

I’m excited to share with you today a book I’m just starting, and I can say that I’m already pulled in and captivated. My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah by Angie Dicken is schedule to hit the shelves on November 1st. You won’t want to miss this delightful story!

Journey now to Castle Gate, Utah of 1910 where…
Forbidden Love Tries to Survive Old World Expectations

MyHeartBelongsIn CastleGate,UT

Schoolteacher Leanna McKee plans on leaving the coal mining town of Castle Gate, Utah, and never looking back. Good riddance to coal dust, rugged men, and the fatal mine that took her husband’s life.

Until the widow meets a widower who awakens her heart…and she finds herself inexplicably falling for miner Alex Pappas which stirs up a whole heap of trouble.

Alex’s Greek parents have arranged a more traditional match for him.  When the schoolteacher’s association with the Greek family begins to anger the American miners, they threaten Alex and his family. Leanna has received an offer to teach elsewhere and feels she has no choice but to leave Castle Gate. . .though she will be leaving her heart behind.

Castle Gate, Utah 1910

Leanna McKee pushed her hat by its brim, hiding her face as best she could. She would not let him see her.

 

Who is Leanna trying to avoid?
I have to admit, after that line I had to read the first chapter, which lead to the next chapter, and… well you get the idea. Watch for my review to come soon!

 

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

My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley (Lily’s Dilemma) by: Andrea Boeshaar

Journey into the Shenandoah Valley of 1816 where…
With Nothing Left, Lily May be Forced into a Loveless Marriage.

Synopsis:

Captain McAlister “Mac” Albright has purchased land in the Shenandoah Valley. However, the land belongs to Lillyanna Laughlin—or so she erroneously thinks. Mac sets her straight about current laws, and despite a poor start, the two are becoming friends.

Then, while Mac is away on business, Lily is faced with the impossible decision of marrying a man twice her age or she and her brothers becoming homeless, as her late father gambled away their home and acreage. But with debts being called in, will Lily be forced to choose a loveless marriage just when she is discovering what true love could be?  What can she possibly do? Will Mac return in time to spare Lily a lifetime of unhappiness?

My Review:

IMG_1073I enjoyed reading Lily’s story, it is the perfect mix of tart and sweet, it kept me engaged and turning pages to find out what would happen next. Andrea Boeshaar has penned a story abundant with historical detail, and characters so rich with emotion and descriptive detail you feel as if you were right there living the story along with Lily and Mac.

This sweeping story takes place in 1816, Virginia. The Virginia colony was dominated primarily by rich planters.  But what do you do when your father dies and your younger brothers are too young to shoulder the heavy lifting?

Lillyanna Laughlin had good reason to feel discouraged and angry, but she didn’t. She was kindness and graciousness all wrapped in one. Her father died, leaving her responsible for her two younger brothers. She struggles to do her best to bring in the harvest and keep food on their table. Then a court appointed guardian, one who is supposed to be her father’s closest friend, sells a majority of the property claiming that her father left them “penniless”.  I appreciated the strong faith in God that is evident in Lily. Even when things look bleak, she continues to have faith.

Captain McAlister “Mac” arrives in the Shenandoah valley looking for a quiet life on the farm, with hard work and the solid earth beneath his boots instead of the rolling sea. He is determined to start fresh in this new town and leave behind the baggage of old. However, baggage seems to have a habit of not getting lost when we want it, and old issues left un-resolved creep back demanding attention. Can Mac let go of his need for control and give it all to God?

If you enjoy reading historical stories with richly developed characters and a story full of emotion, you won’t want to miss out on this book.

(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:

“Her heavenly Father owned the cattle on a thousand hills. If she trusted Him, she’d want for nothing –”

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About the Author:

AndreaBAndrea Kuhn Boeshaar has been married for more than 30 years. She and her husband, Daniel, have three adult sons, daughters-in-law, and two precious grandchildren. Andrea’s educational background includes the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, where she studied in English, and Alverno College where she studied in Professional Communications and Business Management.

Andrea has been writing stories and poems since she was a little girl; however, it wasn’t until 1984 that she started submitting her work for publication. Eight years after that, she was convicted about writing for the Christian market. She read books in her genre (Inspirational Romance & Women’s Fiction), studied the market, and worked hard to hone her craft.

Web Page // Goodreads // Twitter // Pinterest //

 My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley (Lily’s Dilemma)

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