Abandoned in smalltown Texas in 1898, Mattie McAlister must find a way to survive. Her choices are few: go to the children’s home or make her own way with grit and determination. Opportunities are scarce, especially for a smart girl who struggles to read. She agrees to work for a poor family with seven kids and a depressed mother. Over the next few years, her positive attitude and ability to make do in difficult situations endear her to her new family and the community. And her gift for training horses and skill with a rifle even make her locally famous. Still, her wish is to find a husband and have a home of her own. . . . Then she meets him. . . . Laugh, cry, and experience the triumph of the human spirit in Mattie, a riveting historical narrative that will haunt and inspire you long after you’ve turned the final page.
Mattie is an endearing character. So sweet and going through so much.
At times this book reminded me of Little House on the Prairie. Although the content was more mature.
I struggled with Mattie being ten or eleven in the beginning but somethings she said was so mature. I am sure that was probably done intentionally, so show that Mattie wasn’t your average eleven- year-old girl.
But the way things were worded definitely reminded me that she was younger and her perception on things were different then someone who would be older.
This is a very engaging story about this young girl and her journey into womanhood and even her journey in faith. She clings to a hope her mother instilled in her.
The outpouring of love from the community is wonderful to see and something I think we have lost in this day and age.
Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, or your favorite retailer.
A copy of this book was given to me by the author. All opinions are my own.
Hampton Hall’s new owner has the villagers of St. Hampton Heath all aflutter—all except Lavinia Ellison. The reverend’s daughter cares for those who are poor and sick, and the seventh Earl of Hawkesbury definitely does not meet that criteria. His refusal to take his responsibilities seriously, or even darken the door of the church, leave her convinced he is as arrogant and reckless as his brother—his brother who stole the most important person in Lavinia’s world.
Nicholas Stamford is shadowed by guilt: his own, his brother’s, the legacy of war. A perfunctory visit to this dreary part of Gloucestershire wasn’t supposed to engage his heart, or his mind. Challenged by Miss Ellison’s fascinating blend of Bluestocking opinions, hoydenish behavior, and angelic singing voice, he finds the impossible becoming possible—he begins to care. But Lavinia’s aloof manner, society’s opposition and his ancestral obligations prove most frustrating, until scandal forces them to get along.
Can Lavinia and Nicholas look beyond painful pasts and present prejudice to see their future? And what happens when Lavinia learns a family secret that alters everything she’s ever known?
First, isn’t the cover just beautiful? That alone made me want to read this book.
So, I will be honest, it took me a couple of chapters before I liked this book. The first chapters didn’t grab my mind and I was sure I wasn’t going to enjoy this story. But I kept reading and I am glad I did.
I really did enjoy this story very much. The cast of characters are all unique and the town in which it is set becomes very clear and endearing.
It almost has a Pride and Prejudice kind of feel to it. Both Lavinia and Nicholas are so stubborn. Just when one begins to soften then something happens to make them not be able to stand each other.
The give and take to this book was timed perfectly to push the reader forward and into the lives of these characters. I will be anxious to read the read of this series.
When Kennedy Stern’s childhood pastor asks her to volunteer at his new pregnancy center, she carves time out of her rigorous college schedule to promote the cause of the unborn.
After receiving a disturbing call from someone far too young to carry a child, Kennedy can no longer blindly hide behind the pro-life platitudes she grew up believing. She resolves to locate the unknown girl but winds up entrenched in a mystery that grows more convoluted as it unfolds.
Soon, Kennedy finds herself a pawn in a deadly game of intrigue, at the mercy of those who consider a few innocent lives a small ransom to pay in exchange for personal and political victory.
Alana Terry has won awards from Women of Faith, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Unplanned was a finalist in the Deep River Books writing contest. The ebook version contains discussion questions for personal reflection or group study.
Wow. I really enjoyed this book. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started reading but this book is one that honestly got better and better with each chapter.
The stakes were raised constantly and Kennedy’s involvement in one young girls life got more in-depth. I had my suspicions about things early on, but I was a bit off.
Kennedy’s struggle with her faith and what she has always known is something we can all relate to at one time or another in our lives. I could relate to her thoughts of what is means to be a “good Christian”. All the should do’s that we, many times, believe.
I have all the books in this series and I can’t wait to dive into them and see Kennedy’s journey unfold.
In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible tragedy reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. But Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart and she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.
When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son Nathaniel, who is Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.
Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will their search for the truth about her parents’ death draw them closer or will it leave them both with broken hearts?
About the Author
CARRIE TURANSKY is an award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas. She has been the winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award, and a finalist for the Inspirational Readers Choice Award and the Maggie Award of Excellence. A prolific writer of contemporary and historical romance, women’s fiction, short stories, articles, and devotionals, Carrie lives in central New Jersey with her husband Scott. They have five adult children and four grandchildren.
Guest Post from Carrie Turansky
Hats, Glorious Hats!
By Carrie Turansky
One fun part of my research for Shine Like the Dawn was learning about hat making in the early 1900s. My heroine, Maggie Lounsbury is a milliner who designs women’s hats. She learned this skill from her grandmother who owns a small shop in the village of Heatherton. Maggie has an artistic eye and she enjoys making stylish hats, but she doesn’t like the overdone designs some of their customers request, so that creates some humorous conflict in the story.
Hats in the Edwardian era were large and often covered with feathers, flowers, lace, netting, berries and bows. The “bird nests,” as Coco Chanel called them, were held on with large hat pins stuck through piles of hair on the crown. These hats were called Gainsborough or Picture hats because of the way they framed a lady’s face. They often featured huge dried flower arrangements and sometimes included real leaves and twigs! No doubt the Garden hat was a fitting name.
1907 The Merry Window hat became very popular after the leading lady in the play by that same name wore a hat that was even taller and wider than usual. Some people complained these hats were too big and obtrusive in public places like the theater or picture shows. But English women loved them and wore them to all kinds of events.
The popularity of using large feathers and stuffed birds on hats caused concern for the welfare of birds. Many protective laws took effect and milliners had to use more ribbon and tulle and only large ostrich feathers to decorate hats. Those ostrich feathers came from birds that were raised on farms and their feathers were collected as they fell out naturally.
The movement toward smaller hats began around 1913 when hats still had high crowns but smaller brims. Straw boaters, small top hats, and mini versions of picture hats were very common.
Motion pictures had the greatest influence on Edwardian hat fashion. After the release of The Three Musketeers many ladies wanted to wear tricorne and bicorne shaped hats. They were still very large but now had shapes other than just round. Hat brims were folded up on the side, at an angle, or all around to create drama. Veils disappeared in the early 1900s only to come back again as a long scarf that wrapped over the hat and under the chin for the new sport called motoring.
I’ve had fun dressing Edwardian style for book launch tea parties and other book events. It made me feel very special to wear these lovely hats. What do you think of Edwardian Hats? Would you like to wear one?
Thanks to friends at the Vintage Dancer website for some of this information.
Stop by Carrie’s Facebook author page and view her live videos February 21 – 25, 3:00 pm Eastern. She’ll be talking about the story behind Shine Like the Dawn and giving away a fun prize each day to one person who leaves a comment. Even if you can’t catch the live video you can still enter for 24 hours after it’s posted. She is also hosting a book launch celebration and giveaway on her blog February 25 – March 6.
To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away all 4 books: Shine Like the Dawn, The Governess of Highland Hall, The Daughter of Highland Hall, and A Refuge at Highland Hall.! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b0fb
I have only read one other book by Carrie and I did enjoy it. So was excited to get the chance to read this one.
I think she has gotten better as she has written more books.
This book opens with a scene that will grab you and then keeps you wanting to read to see what will happen. There is mystery woven in that keeps this book exciting as well.
I adored Maggie, she is such a sweet character but I bit stubborn. I wanted to say to her so many times, “hey, give Nate a chance.”
Nate is a wonderful hero who is strong but also sensitive and dealing with the expectations placed on his life.
Faith is woven seamlessly throughout the book, which of course I love.
This was a book I didn’t want to put down. I highly recommend this one to historical romance lovers.
In one week, the wrong man will be executed for murder.
Let the chase for the real killer begin.
Eighteen years ago, TV crime reporter Andi Hollister’s sister was murdered. The convicted killer sits behind bars, his execution date looming. But when a letter surfaces stating that the condemned didn’t do the crime, Detective Will Kincaide of the Memphis Cold Case Unit will stop at nothing to help Andi get to the bottom of it. After all, this case is personal: the man who confessed to the crime is Will’s cousin. Andi and Will must find the real killer before the wrong person is executed. But what can happen in only a week? Uncovering police corruption, running for your life, and, perhaps, falling in love?
With the perfect mixture of intrigue and nail-biting suspense, award-winning author Patricia Bradley invites you to crack the case–if you can–alongside the best Memphis has to offer.
My thoughts and giveaway:
I so enjoyed Patricia’s previous series and I wondered if this new one could be anywhere near as good.
Oh. Yes. It. Can.
Patricia has written a new series that is so good. From the beginning questions are raised and the stakes continue to get higher as the book goes on.
Andi is a brave young woman and someone is out to get her, but who? And she has no idea why.
Will is a great hero that has a natural instinct to protect Andi.
Romance is sprinkled throughout which adds another element to the book.
If you love romantic suspense this is a book you will adore.
Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Entering her fourth Season and approaching spinsterhood in the eyes of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters to her brother’s old school friend, a duke–with no intention of ever sending these private thoughts to a man she’s heard stories about but never met. Meanwhile, she also finds herself intrigued by Marlow, her brother’s new valet, and although she may wish to break free of the strictures that bind her, falling in love with a servant is more of a rebellion than she planned.
When Marlow accidentally discovers and mails one of the letters to her unwitting confidant, Miranda is beyond mortified. And even more shocked when the duke returns her note with one of his own that initiates a courtship-by-mail. Insecurity about her lack of suitors shifts into confusion at her growing feelings for two men–one she’s never met but whose words deeply resonate with her heart, and one she has come to depend on but whose behavior is more and more suspicious. When it becomes apparent state secrets are at risk and Marlow is right in the thick of the conflict, one thing is certain: Miranda’s heart is far from all that’s at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love.
Love! Yes, I loved this book.
I started reading this series with the 2nd book and had to go back and read the first. There is some overlapping and it was so interesting to read this first one knowing what would happen in the second.
Miranda’s struggle with her heart held me captive. I couldn’t wait for her to discover the truth but I was also worried about her reaction, maybe she wouldn’t be happy when she discovered what was really going on.
I adored Marlow, a hero in every way.
Kristi is wonderful author who has written a fabulous series. I can’t wait to read the third (soon).
Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she has never felt good enough—not for her father, not for the man she thought she’d marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she’s willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping Loch Morar and the men who have jeopardized her life.
Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has suddenly found himself in possession of a rare treasure his enemies are prepared to kill for. While Brice has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, the last thing he needs is the distraction of his neighbor, Lady Rowena, who finds herself in a desperate situation. But when the moody Earl of Lochabar tries to trap Brice into marrying Rowena, Brice finds he’s not as opposed to the idea as he expected to be.
Rowena wanted to escape the Highlands, but she’s reluctant to resort to marrying a notorious flirt just to gain his English home. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in some kind of questionable business with a stolen treasure, she fears she’s about to end up directly in the path of everything she was trying to avoid.
This book is amazing. I was hooked from the first page and never wanted to stop reading.
It’s taken me a while to get to this book. I read the first one and then the third one and have finally gotten to this one (it’s the second).
The good news is you can read them all independently of each other and still enjoy each book.
Rowena is a somewhat meek character but yet she isn’t. She does stand up for herself and tries to fight back. But she doesn’t’ think very highly of herself. I think many of us can relate to her. She believes she will never be good enough for anyone.
Brice was a favorite of mine in the first book so I was happy to be able to spend some more time with him in this book. I love his relationship with the Lord and how he hears God’s voice and is sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s nudges. We could all learn a thing or two from him.
The relationship doesn’t start off ideal at all but I couldn’t wait to see how these two very different people would fall in love.
The mystery of the Fire Eyes continues in this book as well, which will keep you turning pages.