My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas, by Erica Vetsch

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

Journey now to Fort Bliss in West Texas of 1874, where…
A Battle Is About to be Waged Between Two Hearts.

Fashion artist Priscilla Hutchens has a grudge against the army that has ruined her family and taken the people she holds most dear. When her twin niece and nephew are left orphaned at Fort Bliss, Texas, she swoops down on Fort Bliss to gain custody of them immediately.

There is just one thing standing in the way—Post surgeon Major Elliot Ryder, who is also the twins uncle, also claims the children and thinks he knows what is best for them.

Priscilla and Elliot will cross swords, but each will have to lay down arms if they are to find a lasting peace on which to form the family both are longing for.  Who will win the battle? Or will a truce be called for the sake of love and family?

First Thoughts:

Sometimes, I just want to get lost in an historical romance…

My Take:

Barbour Publishing has started a new line of historical romance fiction called My Heart Belongs focusing on different locations in the USA.  In January, it started with Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla’s Reveille by Erica Vetsch. Priscilla is the ‘fish out of water’ stylish city woman who is completely unprepared for life on the frontier. She has one plan: to get to Fort Bliss, gain custody of her family, and then immediately take them home to civilization. The children might be loved at Fort Bliss but, as far as Priscilla is concerned, a military environment is no place for a child. Her plan takes a slight detour, however, when she’s attracted to the Major in the Military Corps who happens to be the children’s uncle.

My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas is a cute story that’s easy to read. While it’s mostly light, there are serious times such as interactions with local Indian populations and the spread of disease throughout the fort. The physical descriptions were so good I could visualize everything. During the course of the novel, Priscilla must continuously step out of her comfort zone and, as she does so, she gradually comes to realize that home really is where the heart is.

Thank you to Barbour Publishing for my complimentary electronic copy of My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas, which I downloaded from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Have you read My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Excerpt

Publisher: Barbour Publishing

Publication Date: 01 January 2017

Page Count: 256

Read more on:   Erica Vetsch’s Website   Barbour Publishing’s Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million   Christianbook.com

The Pattern Artist, by Nancy Moser

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

Born into a life of hard work, English housemaid Annie Wood arrives in New York City in 1911 with her wealthy mistress. Wide-eyed with the possibilities America has to offer, Annie wonders if there’s more for her than a life of service.

Annie chooses to risk everything, taps into courage she never knew she had, and goes off on her own, finding employment in the sewing department at Macy’s. While at Macy’s Annie catches the eye of a salesman at the Butterick Pattern Company. Through determination, hard work, and God’s leading, Annie discovers a hidden gift: she is a talented fashion designer—a pattern artist of the highest degree.

As she runs from ghosts of the past and focuses on the future, Annie enters a creative world that takes her to the fashion houses of Paris and into a life of adventure, purpose, and love.

First Thoughts:

I’ve enjoyed every historical novel by Nancy Moser that I’ve read. It’s great to have the opportunity to review her newest title.

My Take:

Nineteen year old Annie Wood arrives in New York on the trip of a lifetime. Although she’s a lowly housemaid who has to answer to other servants, her sewing skills have necessitated her inclusion and she’s determined to make the most of it. But after disillusionment sets in and she makes an enemy in her temporary household, Annie decides to go after the American dream. What follows is a fast paced story which, while it does comes across as improbable at times, is highly entertaining.

It’s easy to like Annie. She isn’t perfect, but she’s eager to learn and has a positive attitude. She surrounds herself with good people from various backgrounds and some, such as Maude, are interesting enough that I’d like to read more about them. Annie’s story isn’t all sunshine and flowers, however, and there are some sad moments. I waited for the proverbial shoe to drop as the narrative moved towards April 1912 in Paris, and drop it does.

The Pattern Artist is a story about God’s nudging and how He has grand plans for each of us. It actually ties in well with a Bible study I’m currently doing. Even when Annie’s life is touched by tragedy, we see how He can bring about something positive from it. It’s also an enjoyable historical romance that I couldn’t put down and consequently stayed up very late to finish.

Thank you to Barbour Publishing for my complimentary copy of The Pattern Artist, which I received in exchange for my honest review.

Do you plan to read The Pattern Artist? Let me know your thoughts.

Excerpt

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (an imprint of Barbour Publishing)

Publication Date: 01 December 2016

Page Count: 320

Read more on:   Nancy Moser’s Website   Barbour Publishing’s Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million   Christianbook.com

Slender Reeds: Jochebed’s Hope, by Texie Susan Gregory

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

Trapped beneath 400 years of Egypt’s injustices, the Hebrew people await deliverance from generations of Egyptian slavery. But while it is still dark, God is at work. Young Jochebed is unaware the Master Weaver is preparing her to mother three formidable leaders: Miriam, Aaron, and Moses. Shiphrah, the half-Egyptian midwife tasked to kill Hebrew male newborns, remembers childhood stories of a merciful God and cannot resist His call on her life.

Two women, each following the dangerous path God has set before them—this is their story

First Thoughts:

I’ve not come across a novel about Moses’ mother before, although she has appeared in other novels about him. This is Texie Susan Gregory’s debut novel. I have no idea what to expect from it.

My Take:

This debut novel imagines the life of Moses’ mother up until she surrendered her son to the reeds of the River Nile. Who was she? How did she meet her husband? What made her decide on her course of action? According to Gregory, Jochebed was a fatherless adolescent whose relatives decided she should marry the widower, Amram. A passage in Exodus describes Jochebed as “his father’s sister.” This relationship isn’t highlighted in Slender Reeds, but she is very young when she marries and I calculated that she was 13 when she gave birth to Miriam. Although life in Egypt is difficult, Jochebed still finds time for her friendships with a cousin, Lili, and an abused girl named Shiphrah who comes to live with her family. Pharaoh’s decree impacts these relationships with devastating results.

There were times when I honestly didn’t enjoy reading Slender Reeds because of its violence. Shiphrah is abused by a parent, the slaves are whipped for the slightest infraction, and Pharaoh kills with impunity. There’s a horrible scene where Jochebed witnesses babies ripped from their mothers’ arms and murdered. Pharaoh Ramses is a complex figure: he’s pure evil towards the Hebrews and his enemies, but is portrayed as extremely loving to Queen Nefertari and also shown as insecure about his place in history. I’m also not sure about Shiphrah having an Egyptian background. The scene where Jochebed walks away from baby Moses is heartbreaking and the book ends on a depressing note. I don’t know if Jochebed lived to see her son lead her people to freedom, but I would have loved to seen this written. An epilogue led me to think there might be a sequel but it doesn’t look like there will be one.

Thank you to Barbour Publishing for my complimentary copy of Slender Reeds: Jochebed’s Hope.

Do you plan to read Slender Reeds: Jochebed’s Hope? Let me know your thoughts.

Excerpt

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (an imprint of Barbour Publishing)

Publication Date: 01 November 2016

Page Count: 320

Read more on:   Texie Susan Gregory’s Website   Barbour Publishing’s Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million   Christianbook.com