historical fiction

Book Review and Blog Tour: Cheyenne Sunrise

This is something new and I’m super excited about it. Instead of a normal review, today I get to be part of the 2018 Romantic Reads Blog Tour.  What is a blog tour you ask? It’s like a progressive dinner, except with books and you don’t have to find parking for each stop. Now onto the introduction. (Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom for the giveaway)

Hello Reader! Thank you for joining Homemade Mythology on Mountain Brook Ink’s “Romantic Reads Blog Tour.” Follow the tour schedule below from February 23 – March 2 for opportunities to win free e-books, Amazon gift cards, and the grand prize, a Kindle Fire HD.

Comment on this post and join the conversation for an opportunity to win a free e-book from Janalyn Voigt.

To enter for the Kindle Fire or a giftcard, enter the rafflecopter form below. We hope you’ll discover a new favorite author and make some new friends!

Review:

I turned on my Kindle and settled into reading this book and about five pages in I went, “oh…this book isn’t messing around.” And that assessment carried through until the end of the book. Each time I thought I had it figured that I knew where Janalyn Voigt was going with the story, that thread was resolved and I’m looking at the bottom of my Kindle and seeing I still have over half a book left. With about 100 pages left I finally just acknowledged to myself I wasn’t going to figure it out and went along for the story.

Bry Brennan’s life so far has been marked by trials. Escaping the slums only to enter an abusive marriage, when her brother suddenly appears in her life and asks her to join him out west, it can only mean things go up from there, right? Nick Laramie is also no stranger to trials, being of two worlds and not really belonging to either of them. The wagon train to the Montana Territory brings their stories together, but the world isn’t going to make it easy for them.

This is what I expected. They get thrown together and grow closer due to both experiencing racism against them (her Irish and him half-Cheyenne) and have to convince their loved ones of the merit of the other. There is so much more going on in this book.

Historical fiction is not my go to genre because often times it feels to me like it is romanticizing a “simpler time”. I’m sorry but I’m really fond of running water, women’s rights, and I don’t care how husky the guys voice is your life would have been very hard and you both probably would have died young. This book does not make light of the hardships of that time but it also shows the beauty. I loved how steeped in history it felt, it seemed like a window into another time, not making a declaration of value, simply look at what people did in a different time of history.

I loved this book, I would recommend it in heartbeat. Janalyn addresses loss, abuse, racism, and love with a masterful hand and is an excellent storyteller. I learned more about that time in history and look forward to reading the last book in the series.

Back Cover Blurb:

Can a woman with no faith in men learn to trust the half-Cheyenne trail guide determined to protect her?

Young Irish widow Bry Brennan doesn’t want another husband to break her spirit. When she and her brother Con join a wagon train headed to Montana Territory, Bry ignores her fascination with Nick Laramie, the handsome trail guide.

Nick lives in an uneasy truce between the settlers and his mother’s tribe without fully fitting in among either. With no intention of dragging a woman into his troubles, he stifles his attraction for Bry.

The perilous journey throws the two together, leaving Bry no choice but to trust Nick with her life. Can she also trust him with her heart? Answering that riddle forces Bry to confront her unresolved questions about God’s love.

Based on actual historical events during a time of unrest in America, Cheyenne Sunrise explores faith, love, and courage in the wild west.

About Janalyn Voigt:

Janalyn Voigt’s lifelong love of storytelling began in childhood when she dreamed up her own bedtime stories. She grew into a precocious reader, a pastime she credits with teaching her to write. Janalyn trained formally with Christian Writers Guild. Today she is a multi-genre author and literary judge. Janalyn is represented by Wordserve Literary.

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Blog Tour Schedule:

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Book Review: Dreaming on Daisies

The fourth book in Miralee Ferrell’s Love Blossoms in Oregon series and the story swings back to a character touched on in the first book. Leah Carlson basically runs her family ranch while her father’s drinking spirals out of control. She desperately needs help and goes to the bank to ask for a loan, which is declined.

Steven Harding finds himself in a situation where he needs a place to stay. And he also would like to help Leah with her situation, so he presents an idea. Let him live in the ranch bunkhouse and he will help around the ranch. Everyone wins. While Leah is certain he won’t be cut out for the work, she is convicted to come let him try, and he is her friend’s brother after all.

I enjoyed that this book fleshed out a few of the sides characters from the previous stories and again presented a character who you would think would be the irredeemable one. But the greatest strength to this series is no one is irredeemable. This wasn’t my favorite book in the series, but I still enjoyed it. Both Leah and Steven learn how crucial forgiveness is, and how you can’t really move forward in your life until you no longer hold tight to that hurt.

Note: I received this book as a reviewer. 

Book Review: Wishing on Buttercups

Beth Roberts has secrets. Secrets that have defined her life and the parameters she is living by. She couldn’t dream that someone could see past her forgotten past.

Jeffrey Tucker is an aspiring writer who is just getting his feet under him when he realizes the inspiration living alongside him in the boardinghouse he calls home. And when he tries to get to know her better, wonders what he is doing wrong to get her to keep putting her walls up.

In this second book in Miralee Ferrell’s Love Blossoms in Oregon series, I figured out what I liked so much about this series. Each of our heroines aren’t just biding their time to be swept off their feet. They’re busy. They have businesses to run, careers to grow. And when they meet someone special? That person encourages them in their goals and builds them up. They don’t cast aside their personal goals and dreams just because they now have a significant other.

There is a secondary character in this book who completely out of the blue gets her happily ever after and I haven’t been that pleasantly surprised in a story in a while. I loved that little plot twist. I enjoyed this book and as of writing this have already started the last book.

Note: I received this book as a reviewer. 

Book Review: Blowing on Dandelions

Katherine Galloway is a widow in the 1880s who had her hands full running a boarding house and raising two girls before her mother moved in. Her mother, Frances Cooper, is a controlling, domineering woman who has zero respect for how her youngest daughter runs her business, or her family. Enter Micah Jacobs, a widower himself, and his son who move into the boarding house after their home and business burn down and tensions are near a boiling point.

Reading this book was dipping back into adventures into genres I don’t normally read. Blowing on Dandelions  is a historical romance novel, and a fine one at that. But it wasn’t the romance between Katherine and Micah that grabbed me, it was how Miralee Ferrell doesn’t take the easy way out. It would have been so easy to have Frances as only a source of tension and not seen as a person. But instead we get to see things from her perspective. Each of us are the hero in our own story, and this bitter old gradmother is no different. She honestly, truly, believes she is doing no wrong to those around her and watching her reason how she responds to the world made me want to read just one more page.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be reading more in this series.

Note: I received this book as a reviewer. 

Book Review- No Greater Gift

NoGreaterGift

My reaction to finishing this book was similar to when you see an excellent live performance and you stand and quietly applause. You know you just saw an exceptional display of talent and were fortunate to have this experience.

Grace Ryan is recently divorced and returning to her hometown to go through her grandmother’s journals. As her beloved grandmother passes away, she begs Grace to find out the truth about a decades old secret. And with this, bestows upon her an inheritance which fractures her already tenuous family relationships. Grace is not left alone with digging into this mystery, she has boxes of journals and records– and a new friend in her grandmother’s neighbor, Erik Petersson.

Erik Petersson has just gone through a divorce, and is picking up the pieces of his life after having been accused (unjustly) of infidelity and having his ex-wife turn his kids against him. He works for Grace’s father and is a physicist who can decipher the more scientific of Grace’s grandfather’s papers.

If I were just to read the above description I just wrote? This is the last kind of book I would read. While I’ve been broadening my reading lately, straight up romance novels are still not my thing.

This is a romance novel that expands from modern times, back to the heart of WWII. It is also the best use I’ve seen of expressing your faith in a contemporary novel I have ever seen. Most of the time when I pick up a Contemporary Christian Fiction Novel, it feels like the author had a story, and then overlaid the message they wanted to preach on top of it. It feels forced, or weakens the story, or sometimes even manipulative. Teresa H Morgan does not do this, she masterly weaves her characters faith into the story, and in doing so, gives us a glimpse of both someone who has had faith most of their life and what they do when life is just unfair and people are cruel and someone who has just come to faith and the strength they have gathered from this new found faith. This would be enough for me to give this book a glowing review, but she goes a step farther to show how some people will use someone’s desire to do the right thing to manipulate. And how to stand strong through that and cutting through the ‘noise’ to rely on God, even when people try to manipulate His word.

My only criticism is I found Erik a bit hard to buy into at the beginning of the book. His interest in Grace is so quick, that I was left wondering what drew him to her. As you get to know both characters better the relationship make sense, and is well developed, it just happens more quickly than I would have expected.

This is an excellent novel and I look forward to further stories from this author.

Note: I received this book as an advance pre-reader copy.