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.
Mitch, a contractor and house-flipper, is restoring a beautiful old house in an idyllic Midwestern neighborhood. Angela, a woman filled with regrets and recently transplanted to his area, is anything but idyllic. She’s almost his worst nightmare, and she’s also working on restoring something—herself.
As he struggles to keep his business afloat and she works to overcome mistakes of her past, these two unlikely friends soon discover they have something unexpected in common—a young mom who is fighting to give her children a better life after her husband’s incarceration. While both Mitch and Angela are drawn to help this young mother survive, they also find themselves drawn to each other.
Will a lifetime of regrets hold them back or unite them and bring redemption along with true love?
Jennifer has done it again, written another heart-gripping book. Her books are different because there is a spiritual depth to them that is often missing in other books.
The characters are well-developed, dealing with their own pasts and current situation. Jennifer slowly unveils each character’s story with perfect timing to keep the reader hanging on to see what is going to happen next.
I highly recommend any of Jennifer’s book if you are looking for something to really grab you where you are at.
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.
Lord Trent Hawthorne couldn’t be happier he is not the duke in the family. Free to manage his small estate and take his time discovering the life he wants to lead, he has grand plans of someday wooing and falling in love with the woman of his choice. When he finds himself honor bound to marry a woman he barely knows, his dream of a loving marriage like his parents’ seems lost forever. Life for Lady Adelaide Bell was easier when she hid in her older sister’s shadow–which worked until her sister got married. But even with her socially ambitious mother’s focus entirely on her, the last thing she expected was a marriage of convenience before she’s been introduced to society.
With nothing going as expected, can Trent and Adelaide’s marriage of obligation survive their own missteps and the pressures of London society to grow into a true meeting of hearts and minds?
My thoughts and giveaway:
Kristi is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. She is extremely talented and knows how to write a story that will capture your heart and mind.
I have read the first two books in this series and loved them both. It was wonderful to get into Trent’s life since he was present in the other books but we didn’t really get to know him.
This book starts with Adelaide and Trent’s wedding day. The distance between them is real and you can feel that. They really don’t know who to handle this new situation and what the rules are.
I read some other reviews that complained about the role of sex on this book. But they are a married couple, sex should play a role in a healthy married. Nothing was inappropriate and overly described. It was a real struggle they both had as they figured out this marriage thing.
Kristi developed each character and the growing relationship wonderfully. Even though this is a series I think you could easily read this as a stand-alone, but the first two are outstanding so why would you??
A timely prophetic Word to receive restoration and provision in 2017.Releasing the Angels of Abundant Harvest will empower you in your everyday life by bringing prophetic insight into topics such as:Avoiding angelic deceptions rising in 2017. Understanding and activating God’s angelsOperating in the laws of the harvest for maximum increase. Understanding demonic obstacles to seeing an abundant harvest. How to partner with angels to see God’s will come to pass
I was really excited to get my hands on this book and read it. I always find the subject of angels interesting. And Jennifer’s word about angels this year really intrigued me.
I appreciate Jennifer acknowledging that she has struggled with how to handle angels, meaning we never want to elevate them higher than Jesus but they do have their place.
She talked about a lot a great things that will empower you and she expounds upon harvesting what we sow and what does that look like in our everyday lives.
With that being said I didn’t love this book, it was just okay for me, unfortunately. I didn’t walk away feeling all fired up like I was hoping I would. It was a good but it just didn’t live up to what I hoped it would be for me.
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).
Life in This New World Requires More Strength Than She Ever Imagined
After the death of her client, midwife Julianne Chevalier is imprisoned and branded, marking her as a criminal beyond redemption. Hoping to reunite with her brother, a soldier, she trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling French colony of Louisiana. The price of her transport, however, is a forced marriage to a fellow convict.
New Orleans is nothing like Julianne expects. The settlement is steeped in mud and mosquitoes, and there is no news of her brother, Benjamin. When tragedy strikes, she turns to military officer Marc-Paul Girard for help, but does he know more about her brother than he will admit?
With her dreams shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous land, where only grace–and love–can overcome the stigma of the king’s mark upon her shoulder.
I had missed Jocelyn’s writing. I so adored her Civil War series and was anxious to see what she would come up with next. I was not disappointed.
This book every bit as good as her previous but tackling a different time and place. It’s obvious that Jocelyn has done her research when it comes to this time in history.
We are quickly endeared to Julianne. The opening scene still haunts me and the tragedy that insured.
I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with Julianne marrying Simon, at first he didn’t seem that bad, I thought they might fall in love. But then Marc-Paul is introduced and I wasn’t sure where the story might go and had to keep reading to see.
There are many interesting characters introduced in this book that add to the depth of the story.
Jocelyn has hit another one out of the park with this newest release and I highly recommend this book. I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next.