With This Pledge

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Alexander, Tamera. With This Pledge: The Carnton Series- Book 1. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing. 2019.

SUMMARY:
As a governess to the MacGovock’s young children, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Clouston is very capable of handling difficult situations. Yet, when faced with the daunting, heart-rendering job of overseeing wounded soldiers who have overtaken the MacGovock’s home, Lizzie is tested to the limits of her inner strength and feels quite helpless. Set during the Civil War, With This Pledge also follows Captain Roland Jones’s journey as he attempts to save both his limbs while strongly sharing his beliefs. Author Tamera Alexander writes an emotionally intense, historically grounded, and undeniably romantic story in the first book of her new series…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Beautifully portrayed while heartbreakingly experienced, With This Pledge is perfectly told in true Tamera Alexander style.  With full characters, an interesting storyline, and an intended message, I had trouble putting this book down once I started it. Already a fan of this author, I wasn’t disappointed in her newest novel and am glad it is the beginning of a series. With the Civil War full of immense casualties, the backdrop for this story flowed through the characters as they found the necessary strength while exploring and standing behind individual beliefs, creating the heart-tugs this author is known for. Well-written and definitely enjoyed, I will continue to seek out this author in the future.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of With This Pledge from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

We Hope for Better Things

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Bartels, Erin.  We Hope for Better Things.  Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing.  2019.

SUMMARY:
Taking place in three different time periods, with three very different characters, and three exceedingly different points of view, We Hope for Better Things intertwines all of these while tackling social issues, cultures, politics, generations, and beliefs. Meeting Mary during the 1860s, Nora from the 1960s, and Elizabeth in the present, through research and history, a common thread emerges. Heartbreaking yet inspirational, togetherness yet loneliness, unique yet brilliant, author Erin Bartels makes a dramatic entrance with her debut novel.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Wow. Filled with emotional baggage, We Hope for Better Things provides a journey across a vast timeline. Able to control that timeline effectively, as well as create well-developed characters with a deeper message within, debut author Erin Bartels does an excellent job with her first novel. As a photographer and artist, her work carries over into her writing as she paints the story. (She even reads with a spastic Chihuahua-mix on her lap…we have one of those, too!) Truly a book I enjoyed reading and an author I look forward to reading more of; so very well done!

RATING:
4.75 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of We Hope for Better Things from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

Christmas at Carnton

Alexander, Tamera. Christmas at Carnton. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Set in the mid 1800’s during the time of the Civil War, Christmas at Carnton deals with the casualties, harshness, bareness and heartache of that period. With a small child in tow and another one ready to be born, Mrs. Warren Prescott (Aletta) needs a way to support her growing family without her husband. Jake Winston, a wounded Captain in the battle, must serve the Women’s Relief Society in their upcoming event while his wounds heal. When Aletta and Jake both find themselves employed at Carnton Plantation at Christmas time, perhaps flurries will be predicted for more than just the weather outside…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As a longer novella for the new series surrounding Carnton Plantation set to release in fall of 2018, author Tamera Alexander does an outstanding job of setting the scenery and storyline for the next three books. Loving the period in history as well as her writing, I thoroughly enjoyed this shorter novel, sad when it had to end. Absolutely an author I adore, there is no question I will read the full series. I definitely recommend this novella (with such a gorgeous cover)!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Christmas at Carnton from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Faith

Cote, Lyn. Faith: Quaker Brides- Book 3. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers. 2016.

faith

SUMMARY:
Set during the Civil War, injury, slavery, battle and beliefs come into conflict. Caught in the turbulence of war, nurse and Quakeress Faith Cathwell realizes she must tend to the injured yet fight for her personal beliefs as well. Enlisting the help of Colonel Devlin Knight, a career war soldier, enemy lines are crossed, lives are lost, positions are tested and hearts are torn. With trepidation, skill and faith, each must make his/her own decisions regarding professional and personal choices…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Drawn to this book by the cover as well as the tag-line…Strong Women, Brave Stories…I found this novel to be quite interesting. Dealing with the many aspects of war, author Lyn Cote successfully concluded the Quaker Brides series. As a stand alone yet intertwined with the previous books in the series, Faith was definitely worth the time. Well-written and quite engrossing, I enjoyed this novel enough to eagerly await her next series. (The Quaker Bride covers are some of my favorites!)

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Faith-Quaker Brides from Tyndale House Publishing for my honest review*

The Quaker And The Rebel

Ellis, Mary. The Quaker And The Rebel: Civil War Heroines Series. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. 2014.

SUMMARY:
Quaker Working as a governess in Virginia at the time of the Civil War, Emily Harrison decides to continue her parents’ work in the Underground Railroad. Her employer’s dashing nephew though has other ideas due to his loyalty to the Confederacy as well as his alias, the Gray Wraith. Will two totally different worlds ever find success and happiness in love, beliefs and life?

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
I found this book to be very well written, especially within the time period of the Civil War. Mystery, suspense, romance, thievery, faith and cultural beliefs all are a part of this dramatic novel. Mary Ellis did a thorough job of colliding opposite realms in an intriguing style. Through a love of history and involvement in a local historical society and Civil War Roundtable, the author apparently is well educated in the Civil War which shines through in her story. Definitely a series I will continue to read, I look forward to The Lady And The Officer as the next selection.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5)

*I received a complimentary copy of The Quaker And The Rebel from Harvest House Publishers for my honest review*

The Journal

Harlow, Beth. The Journal. CrossLink Publishing. 2013.

SUMMARY:
journalThe journal is just that…a journal that starts in 1861 as Mary’s fiance heads off to war. The little notebook is written in throughout the next 4 years spanning several of the battles within the Civil War. The memoir changes possession many times – even crossing rivalry lines. The soldiers share their thoughts, feelings, facts and personal situations about life, the battles and God as the journal continues to progress between hands.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
The actual book even reminded me of a journal…it was thinner in size and only contained 62 pages. The set-up of the book appeared as if a real journal organized by dates with entries following. Though the visual assembly was inviting and the premise was very intriguing, I found myself drifting as I continued to browse the dated accounts. I found the transitions of the journal writers to be a bit confusing as I it took a bit to grasp the style. Although difficult to follow, I discovered and appreciated the relationships (friend and/ or foe) between the contributors. Short and long musings about the battles and faith helped the book to move albeit some of the longer entries seemed a bit unrealistic and uncohesive.

RATING:
3.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Journal from BookCrash and CrossLink Publishing for my honest review*