21 September 2017

Honoring the Unborn by Dana Bridges Stout

Honoring the Unborn
by Dana Bridges Stout

“You want me to what?” I said as my defenses exploded in anger. “No way, no how! I purposely never wanted to do that because I knew it would be too painful, too real.” My Abortion Recovery Bible study facilitator assigned us to name our aborted babies and prepare for a memorial service for the babies represented in our class. I struggled for several days with even the thought of completing this task. Eventually, I prayed for the Lord’s help and began looking at baby name books. Through some tears, I decided on names for the son and daughter I never held.

The memorial service was one of the most holy, reverent and bittersweet services I’ve ever seen. Filled with symbolism of the uniqueness of each mother and child, we gave our babies dignity, recognized their personhood, introduced them to the world and released them to God.  Mothers honored their children in special ways such as singing a song, writing a poem, releasing balloons or reading Scripture. Through the truths of the study, the support of the group and this final sacred moment, I was able to connect to these babies as mother and child. Honoring and remembering my children was crucial to healing my heart from the grievous choice of abortion some ten years prior. I have since walked many women through the same study and presided over many of these services. Each time I am deeply touched to watch the intense struggle for healing come to completion as the mothers timidly but proudly call out their babies’ names, announcing their personhood and lineage to the world.

The second Saturday of September is National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children. September 9, 2017 will be the forth-annual event. It was organized as a service over the grave of 1500 aborted babies and the movement has spread throughout the United States. Pro-Lifers gather to honor the babies with dignity. You can find more information and a service near you at www.abortionmemorials.com.

Perhaps you have chosen abortion and now regret that decision. One step towards healing is honoring your child. And the biggest step is one towards the Lord, allowing Him to heal you through His Word. The wonderful ladies at Abortion Recovery Assistance at www.piedmontwomenscenter.org can help find a recovery program near you.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

(In honor of Joshua Daniel and Delilah Starling.)

About the Author:

Dana Bridges Stout founded Flourishing Life Ministries to minister restoration to women and direct them to truths that help them accept the Flourishing Life that Jesus offers. Dana speaks, leads worship, writes, and teaches live and online Bible studies. Connect with her at www.flourishinglifeministries.com or Flourishing Life Ministries on FB. 

18 September 2017

One Proposal for An Improved Marriage by Lori Lipsky

One Proposal for An Improved Marriage
by Lori Lipsky

For the first time in our marriage, we decided to read a book at the same time so we could discuss it together. Credit for the idea goes to my husband, but I was excited about the plan and in total agreement with our book choice.

My husband had once asked a well-read acquaintance we both respect to recommend several books that had been most influential in his life. One of the authors this man mentioned was Dostoevsky. We decided to choose Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. I’m a bit ashamed to admit what happened next.

I could make excuses, but the quick truth is my husband read the book right away and then patiently waited for years for me to complete it. I started in several times but got bogged down in the early pages by the long Russian names. Prior to this I had read Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and some Chekhov stories so I’m not sure why I struggled. I guess I allowed myself to be distracted by life and by other books, and I put off the Dostoevsky. As I look back, I regret not making The Brothers Karamazov more of a priority. I eventually purchased an audio copy of the book and completed the novel.

After I finished listening to the book, we shared our impressions with one another. Remarkably, my husband remembered details of the book quite well. Since then, we’ve read or listened to dozens of books and discussed them. We have different tastes, but our interests intersect with authors like David McCullough, Louise Penny, and David Baldacci. When it’s time to order another Audible book, we’ll sometimes collaborate to choose a selection we agree on so we can both listen on our own, but then have the book in our shared reading history.

Our book talk is informal and brief, but it’s a treat to talk books with my husband. We’ve found discussing books often sparks interesting conversation. Good books teach me more about who I am, but each new book we share helps me learn more about my spouse, too. We’re learning together as a couple. We discuss dreams and ideas. Books get us talking, and in marriage, communication is a good thing.

About the Author:

Lori Lipsky is a writer and teacher. Her poetry and short fiction pieces have appeared in a variety of literary journals and magazines. She lives in Waunakee, Wisconsin with her husband, where she teaches piano at a private music school. You can find her at lorilipsky.com and on Twitter @LoriSLipsky

14 September 2017

Stuck in the Sweet in the Middle by Robin Steinweg

Stuck in the Sweet in the Middle
by Robin Steinweg

Do you ever feel you’re in that awkward, in-between stage? I sure do!

I recently spent years stuck in a crushing middle. Round and round I turned from the growing needs of aging parents to those of growing sons to those of work. I’d carve hours from sleepless nights to write, compose, or read. More often to pray. My husband accepted leftovers with grace and gratitude. Not just food, but time and energy. He was stuck in his own middle, caring for his dad and doing more for my parents than can be recorded.

Now our parents are gone. I’m living in the middle of grief, rediscovering who I am if no longer a caregiver. Looking to experience—and to pass on—the rich life Jesus came to give us (John 10:10). Know what? God shows me things I can do so He can help me move forward. I’m not stuck here. I get to be here, where it can be sweet in the middle!

If you’re in the midst of circumstances or even past them, it’s never too late to rediscover who you are. Try some of the following:

·         Develop friendships with people who will build you up.
·         Find ways to build others up.
·         Journal what you’re going through as a way to release feelings.
·         Photo journal or doodle journal.
·         Admit if you need help.
·         Get more color in your surroundings/clothing.
·         List your blessings.
·         Express more gratitude.
·         Find ways to expand or share your hobbies.
·         Join a book club.
·         Volunteer to help others.
·         If you have grieving to do, do it whole-heartedly. But don’t stay there.
·         Live fully. Enjoy what God gives you to enjoy.
·         Dream again. Don’t hold back—dream big. What does God have for you next?

These ideas have helped. Yes, I still pick up the phone to call my mom or find jigsaw puzzles for my dad. I still if wonder I could have, should have done more for them. Guilt and remorse creep in.

But I realize that’s the voice of our enemy, the accuser. So I intentionally turn to words of life in God’s Word. I leave my broken heart at Jesus’ feet. I embrace the blessings He sends my way.
I affirm this truth: It is Sweet in the Middle!

About the Author:

Robin Steinweg says life is like a sandwich-cookie. Whatever circumstances close in on us, it can be Sweet in the Middle. Her writings can be found in Today’s Christian Woman, Upper Room, Secret Place and The Christian Pulse. She also writes monthly for Music Teachers Helper blog.

12 September 2017

Herald Press Blog tour Water My Soul by Darla Weaver

Water My Soul
Darla Weaver


How does your spiritual garden grow? What do you do to keep your Christian life flourishing? Darla Weaver explores these ideas as she connects gardening to spiritual growth in a new devotional, Water My Soul: 90 Meditations from an Old Order Mennonite (Herald Press, September 2017).

Touching on themes such as humility, contentment, right living and forgiveness, each meditation includes a daily Scripture reading, poignant prayer, and journal prompt or response idea designed to motivate and strengthen readers.

“As I worked in my ever-expanding gardens, I was amazed how often God used the natural world to open my eyes to new spiritual truths,” Weaver writes.

As an Old Order Mennonite living in southern Ohio, Weaver spends her time gardening, cooking, caring for her family, and living as much as possible off the land. Weaver bares her heart in these 90 devotionals, all drawn from her home-centered life, and encourages readers to root themselves deeply in love of Christ and service to others.

Women especially will relate to these meditations sprinkled with stories from Weaver’s children, marriage, Old Order Mennonite community and wider friends and family.


Darla Weaver’s first book, Many Lighted Windows, was published in 2016, and she has written for Family Life, Ladies Journal, Young Companion, and other magazines for Amish and Old Order Mennonite groups. Before her three children were born she also taught school. Her hobbies are gardening and writing.

$12.99 USD
5.5 x 8.5 in. paperback
ISBN 978-1-5138-0241-1
eBook │ $8.99 │ 978-1-5138-0243-5

Release date: September 5, 2017
Available from Herald PressAmazon, Barnes & Noble and your favorite bookseller.

10 September 2017

Savoring the Not-So-Perfect Life by Michelle Rayburn

Savoring the Not-So-Perfect Life
by Michelle Rayburn

(For September 10 – National TV Dinner Day)

When I was young, my mother cooked most meals from scratch, baked six loaves of bread every week and canned enough vegetables to feed the neighborhood if we ever had to retreat to a bomb shelter. But on occasion, we had TV dinners when she worked the evening shift at the hospital and my dad had to feed us three kids.

September 10 is National TV Dinner Day, and it has me reminiscing about those foil-covered aluminum trays with frozen mystery meat and gravy, blobs of mashed potatoes, corn and chocolate pudding—because who doesn’t cook their pudding in the oven, right?

In those pre-microwave days, we peeled back the foil to reveal the ready-to-eat meal when the oven timer buzzed. The actual contents were always somewhat of a surprise compared with the images on the box. For one thing, the portions were more appropriately toddler-sized, and looking back, this explains why my dad chased his meal with a giant bowl of fudge ripple ice cream.

Nothing looked as appetizing as the box, either. The gravy sort of oozed from the mystery meat over to the corn, and pooled in the pudding.

Isn’t life a little like that sometimes? Before it becomes our reality, the idea of growing up, getting married, establishing a career or becoming parents looks magazine-worthy in the images we build in our minds. And after all the anticipation, we peel back the foil and suddenly it looks a lot messier than expected.

As a recovering perfectionist, I’ve learned some lessons to get me through my TV dinner life:
1.      Savor every bite of happiness. There is goodness there when we look for it. Turns out, even mystery meat can be delicious!
2.      Toss out unrealistic expectations and embrace the imperfection of real life. Accepting what I have instead of longing for a picture on a box has brought me such contentment.
3.      Enjoy the fun of the experience. For me, TV dinners weren’t really about the contents of the box. They were about the fun of doing something different with my dad—maybe even actually eating in front of the TV. Too often, I can miss life’s fun if I let complaining take over.

What’s in your TV dinner life? It’s a great day for a perspective change—and maybe a trip to the frozen food aisle, just for fun.

About the Author:
Michelle Rayburn is a writer and speaker who enjoys repurposing thrift sale finds into creative decorations for home and garden. She also loves finding gems in the trashy stuff of life. She is the author of The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure. www.michellerayburn.com

9 September 2017

book review The Captive Brides Collection

Release date 1 October 2017
Barbour Publishing

Love Brings Freedom in 9 Historical Romances

Journey along as nine historical women are about to make their escape from some of life’s greatest challenges. Can their captive hearts be freed to dream, to dare, to love?

Love’s Labour’s Found by Jennifer AlLee - Montserrat, West Indies, 1655
Temperance Simms only wanted a better life. Instead, she finds herself labeled a criminal and sold as an indentured servant. After a kind man saves her life, can Temperance trust that God will turn her sorrow into something beautiful?

His Indentured Bride by Angela Breidenbach - Pennsylvania, 1770-1775 
Leaving Scotland for a short indenture with her betrothed, Maire Gree’s contract is sold when disaster strikes her kindly owner, and then extended through cruel circumstances. Can Kirk Lachlan’s service in the American Revolution save her or will she lose love and freedom forever?

The Suspect Bride by Susan Page Davis - Oregon, 1890s
Verity Ames cooks at the restaurant where shy lawyer Jack Whitwell eats lunch daily. As Jack works up courage to ask her for a date, the sheriff walks into the restaurant and arrests her for murder.

His Golden Treasure by Darlene Franklin - Barbary Coast, San Francisco, CA, 1873
Goldie Hatfield grows up on in the Barbary Coast until her guardian demands she pay the cost of her upbringing—or work at her brothel. How far will Pastor Joshua Kerr go to set Goldie free?

Through Stormy Waters by Patty Smith Hall - Atlantic Ocean, 1755
Deported to the British colonies for her father’s crimes, Charlotte Singleton helps Captain Andrew Randell when an epidemic breaks out on the ship. Can two battered hearts find love in the midst of a storm?

Moira’s Quest by Cynthia Hickey - New York, 1869
A quest for revenge ends in a marriage of convenience and a feisty Irish lass discovers that not everything is as it seems as family secrets are revealed. An Irish cop, bent on saving the fallen women of Five Points, New York, finds himself thrust into the role of husband with a woman determined to break down a notorious crime boss. Can these two pull together and find a love bigger than they are?

Love’s Escape by Carrie Fancett Pagels - Virginia, 1850
With her life in peril, Lettie seeks escape from slavery. When Nathan offers to “conduct” her North via an unusual segment on the Underground Railroad, will his efforts help or do them both harm?

Waltzing Matilda by Lucy Thompson - Sydney, Australia, 1821
Henry didn’t plan on a runaway convict masquerading as a shepherd. Or on the woman’s baby. Keeping them safe will cost him his freedom—or will it?

A Score to Settle by Gina Welborn - On the Missouri River, 1870
For JoJo the kiss was a means to an end—she wanted his wallet. For Cyrus her kiss changed everything. He vows to help her escape the snake oil salesman she works for, but exposing the man’s lies may mean settling a score at a cost neither JoJo nor Cyrus can pay.

My Review:

Firstly thanks to Netgalley for my review copy.

This book has 9 novellas in it. Each story has a heroine who is a captive in some way. From indentured servant, convict, slave, wrongly convicted, plus a few other scenarios. We also have different locations from the West Indies, Australia to America. Each story is different and most have some danger and tension in the stories. 

While I am not going to review all the stories cos it would make the review to long I will feature a couple.

Through Stormy Waters by Patty Smith Hall - Atlantic Ocean, 1755
I found this story really good, it was different and I loved how even when Charlotte was deported for crimes her father committed she still was able to help in a crisis and held her head up high. The hero Andrew is the captain and has a reputation for being hard on the convicts but has had a change of heart due to circumstances you will read about early in the story. I loved the story and how it plays out.

His Golden Treasure by Darlene Franklin - Barbary Coast, San Francisco, CA, 1873
The story is also interesting and at times the premise of the story is quite sad. Goldie has grown up in a brothel and is being groomed by the madam after her mother passed away. She accidentally bumps into Joshua who is a pastor who has a heart for soiled doves and helping them get out of the business. We see how Goldie really wants a life of her own free of the life her mother had. 

Love’s Escape by Carrie Fancett Pagels - Virginia, 1850
Now this is a story that I love because you don't read as many books involving slaves escaping through the underground railway. Lettie really wants to get away as things have suddenly changed and she is in even more danger. Although if Lettie runs away and is caught she could be in even more danger. Nathan is part of the underground railway and has a plan to get her to safety. I loved how this was planned and how it all worked out. 

The Suspect Bride by Susan Page Davis - Oregon, 1890s
This story was one of my favourites. I was actually in hospital and every time the nurse came to do my ops I was saying I just want this story finished because I want to know what happens. We see Verity arrested for murder and Jack is a lawyer who will represent her. The story takes us through the arrest and why her. I love how Susan keeps the suspense of what will happen next. 

This whole book is a really good read and I would highly recommend it.

7 September 2017

Kick Off Fall with September Self-Improvement Month by Gail Goolsby

Kick Off Fall with September Self-Improvement Month
by Gail Goolsby

Goodbye to lazy days of summer and vacation leisure. Hello to set schedules for kids and adults. Time for school and daily routines. Fall is here.

Freshly sharpened pencils. New clothes and unscuffed shoes. Sports teams with unblemished records. Blank report cards ready to register best grades ever.

Fall presents new opportunities. Make the most of Self-Improvement September by focusing on areas of your life left unattended over the summer or needing a reboot. Here is a brief checklist to get you started.

1.      Take inventory. Identify dissatisfaction with your current life patterns and habits. Ask God what could be working better in your relationships. Physical and emotional health? Career activity? Home tasks? Spiritual growth?
2.      Recognize feelings but focus on actions. Feelings are important and you need to read the signals they send. But, in truth your actions impact your feelings and so behaviors should be assessed with sound reasoning. Feelings change easily and can form a trap and hindrance to life satisfaction. What actions need to be ramped up or altered to feel better about your life?
3.      Check self-talk. Do you constantly criticize or speak negatively to yourself? Do you cheer yourself through hard tasks or easily give up and then berate your poor performance? Taking on new challenges requires a positive attitude and ongoing encouragement. Remember past accomplishments more than recent failures.
4.      Set steps for reaching goals. Once a plan of action is formulated toward self-improvement, smaller, measurable steps are needed at regular intervals. This requires commitment and work, but gives motivation as advancement is documented and you inch closer to your goals.
5.      Utilize resources. Prayer and God’s Word offer powerful inspiration and reminders of Who is always working for your good (and His glory!). Friends, co-workers, life coaches, and family members can be earthly gifts of accountability and encouragement. Let them celebrate with you as they support your efforts (and maybe join you in their own self-improvement goals).
6.      Embrace hope. As you develop new activities, relationships, and daily disciplines, keep your head up and recognize each day signals possibility and hope for better. Look for God helping you in small and big ways. Tell yourself this truth, you can improve.

Kick yourself into gear and make September a trophy month of self-improvement!

About the Author:
Gail Goolsby, MA, MEd is a lifelong educator, including past leadership at an international school in Afghanistan. Gail and her pastor husband of 39 years live where the wind blows over the prairie in south Kansas. She counsels and coaches using God’s Word to help others learn to live well.  Read more at www.gailgoolsby.com.

6 September 2017

ACRBA Blog tour Let the Sea Roar by 10 Authors

4 - 8 September 2017

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance 

Is Introducing 
(By the Light Books January 27, 2016)

(Editor, Author), , , , , , , , more….

Book Description:

With over thirty inspirational short stories by ten authors, Let the Sea Roar explores how women cope with turning points in their lives.

The fictional stories trace women’s journeys through overwhelming challenges and difficulties as they find their way to comfort, direction, and an encounter with God.

These moving stories explore spiritual insights on universal themes such as grief, alcoholism, marriage breakup, domestic violence, teenage pregnancy, poverty and homelessness.

The anthology portrays the human condition from a Christian world-view. Recommended for women of all ages and walks of life.

About the Author:
JEANETTE O’HAGAN first started spinning tales in the world of Nardva at the age of nine. She enjoys writing fiction, poetry, blogging and editing. 

She is writing her Akrad’s Legacy Series—a Young Adult secondary world fantasy fiction with adventure, courtly intrigue and romantic elements. Her short stories and poems are published in a number of anthologies including Glimpses of Light, Another Time Another Place and Like a Girl. She has recently published her short novella, Heart of the Mountain and, in Mixed Blessings: Genrellly Speaking anthology, also a flash fiction 'Space Junk'.

Jeanette has practised medicine, studied communication, history, theology and, more recently, a Master of Arts (writing). She is a member of several writers’ groups. She loves reading, painting, travel, catching up for coffee with friends and pondering the meaning of life.  Jeanette lives in Brisbane with her husband and children.

Sign up to Jeanette O'Hagan's Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bbLJKT

Website: jeanetteohagan.com/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JeanetteOHaganAuthorAndSpeaker

Twitter: @JeanetteOHagan

Instagram: @bythelightof2moons

4 September 2017

Where Does that Grin Come From? by Kathy Carlton Willis

Where Does that Grin Come From?
by Kathy Carlton Willis

I’m often asked, “How can you keep grinning despite the challenges in your life? It has nothing to do with me. It has to do with the God in whom I put my trust. Knowing “He’s got this” helps me carry on (in hope) rather than to carry on (complain)!

Grinning instead of grimacing comes from the discipline of thinking on glorious victorious thoughts outside the current stinky situation.

First I get my imaginary lariat out and wrangle those negative thoughts that attempt to defeat me.

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV)

Once I evict those destructive thoughts, I fill the void with healthful and helpful thoughts. Thoughts that line up with the mind of Christ.

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. ...Then the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8b-9 NLT)

If I practice this passage in Philippians, it might look something like this. I’m going to fix my thoughts on what is:

·         True: I remember the extreme way God answered my prayer to provide for our family.
·         Honorable: I’m blown away by the way that writer stays humble when others try to put her on a pedestal.
·         Right: I respect the decision this politician made to choose an unpopular but godly path.
·         Pure: How precious the gift of life is when I see photos of the much prayed for Lyla.
·         Lovely: How beautiful are the wildflowers dressing up that field.
·         Admirable: I see integrity in the choice Russ made to not malign a wrongdoer.
·         Excellent: I respect how she endures through her weight-training routine.
·         Worthy of praise: God’s faithfulness is something I can count on.

Are you having a hard time grinning this week? What will your fix list look like?

About the Author:

God’s Grin Gal, Kathy Carlton Willis, shines the light on what holds you back so you can grow. She’s a popular speaker and writer’s coach. Read her book, Grin with Grace, or find more information at: http://www.kathycarltonwillis.com/.

2 September 2017

Book Review Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands Romance Collection

Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands Romance Collection
A Newspaper Ad for Husbands Brings a Wave of Men to a Small Kansas Town
Seven women seek husbands to help them rebuild a Kansas town.

Meet seven of Turtle Springs, Kansas’, finest women who are determined to revive their small town after the War Between the States took most of its men. . .and didn’t return them. The ladies decide to advertise for husbands and devise a plan for weeding out the riff raff. But how can they make the best practical choices when their hearts cry out to be loved?

Abigail’s Proposal by Cynthia Hickey
When her father never returned from the war, Abigail Melton stepped into his role as town mayor. The town needs men, and she needs a husband—and she has a big idea how to find both—but her first duty is to hire a sheriff. And drifter Josiah Ingram will do just fine.

My Review. 
This is the first story in the book and sets up the whole book. After the war there are more women than men and rather than let there town die the women decide to find husbands by sending out advert seeking God Fearing men. While Abigail is mayor she has agreed to look for a husband and in the meantime appoints Josiah as Sheriff. Josiah has no intention of getting married but is attracting attention from all the ladies so says he is engaged to Abigail which makes for an interesting time. With some the day of the auditions coming we learn not is always as it seems. We see just how trustworthy Josiah is and how level headed Abigail is also. A good start to the book.

The Kidnapped Groom by Susan Page Davis
Riding through the Flint Hills on his way to Dodge City, cowboy Sam Cayford finds himself the kidnapping victim of two children. When he meets their lovely mother, Maggie Piner—whom the kids insist he should marry—Sam starts to question God’s plans versus his own.

My Review.
This is my favourite story in the book. I could tell Susan had written the story as it is in her style of writing. I love how Sam is kidnapped by two small children who think they are doing right by their mother. They know she needs help and want her protected and also need some the love of a father. Maggie is horrified when she finds out what the children have done and then circumstances come into play. Add a banker who wants her farm and you have an interesting tale. 
A Clean Slate by Susanne Dietze
Schoolmarm Roberta “Birdy” Green won’t marry any of the prospective grooms flocking to town. After losing her fiancĂ© in the war, the only love her broken heart can bear is for her students. But then she takes on a new pupil—Drew Cooper, one of the gentlemen drawn to Kansas by the advertisement for grooms.

My Review
This books is about Birdy who is the schoolmarm who doesn't intend to get married but is out to protect her friend. She lost her fiance in the war and also has issues she needs to comfront. Drew wants to better himself he is estranged from his brother and wants to start a new. Throw into the mix Birdy's friends little girls who tend to be scene steelers. I have to admit I took awhile to warm to Birdy as she is a little controlling and can seem cold but as you learn her story you can understand why she is like she is.

Sunshine of My Heart by Darlene Franklin
Debbie Barker longs to bring beauty to her new home on the prairie, where her family moved after the war, and seeks a husband to help her father run the ranch. Zack Gage returned home from the war to a life in ruins—family dead and business bankrupted. He answers the mail-order husband ad to seek a fresh start. But neither Debbie nor Zeke know what they are doing when it comes to ranching. . .or love.

My Review
This is an fun story. Debbie wants to be married like her sisters. She moved west with her parents and wants to marry someone who will also help with the ranch. Zack came to the auditions because he no longer has anything left in Maine for him. Zack is new to ranching but has taken a real shine to Debbie and will learn for her. I love the way they both have so much in common and try to make a go of it. I got frustrated with Debbie's father at times. Another good read. 

Come What May by Patty Smith Hall
Chardy Stevens is at the end of her rope. Between running her late father’s store and tending to her four younger brothers, she barely has time to breathe, much less look for a husband to help her. The boys scare off most of her prospects and throw Chardy together with her childhood friend Luke, a disabled veteran who seeks her happiness above his own

My Review.

I Have to say Chardy is one of my favourite ladies in these stories. She has her hands full with 4 younger brothers to look after and a store to run as well as a homestead. The boys have been expelled from school. Luke has returned from the war disabled and feels he is inadequate for anyone. Chardy needs help and Luke decides he can help her and in the meantime at least watch over her brothers and maybe help on the homestead. While there he confronts many of his issues. I love the interaction and what both learn about themselves.

Dime Novel Suitor by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Widow Caroline Kane is the proprietor of a restaurant and inn—and responsible for her five teenaged siblings. But she has no plans of finding a mail-order groom. Britisher Barden Granville IV is on a “cowboy holiday” when he finds himself flat broke in Kansas.  When he answers an old “help wanted” ad, Caroline misconstrues Barden is there as a potential husband. Will the beautiful and fiesty widow cause the new vicar to make Kansas his home?

My Review
This is another story I really enjoyed I felt for Caroline as she too has so much she has to do she is responsible for siblings and trying to keep a restaurant and inn going and has an older sister who tends to meddle and not listen to Caroline. What is fun in this story is Barden isn't looking to be a groom, in fact has no idea about what is happening but through a misunderstanding becomes a suitor when he is actually applying for a job. Barden is just what she needs for the restaurant and also is so level headed and I couldn't help liking him. Once again we see Caroline struggle with issues that she needs to deal with to move on. 

Louder than Words by Gina Welborn
After years of writing abolitionist pamphlets and chronicling soldier life during the war, J.R. Lockhart is bored and jumps at the opportunity to investigate an advertisement for husbands for an article in Godey’s Lady’s Book. Jane Ransome would like to help the charming-but-oblivious-to-life-out-West man chronicle the courtships developing in town, but she has her own husband to find—one who will fit perfectly in her picket-fenced Kansas home.

My Review 
This is the last story and deals with a journalist who is moving west and writing stories on the way. He is interested in finding out more about the advert for husbands and why they advertised. He meets Jane who is happy in the town and wants to stay. She has been there for a few years now and wants to make it her home town. While she wants a husband and family of her own she also struggles because she feels she is not fully accepted due to her heritage. She has captivated J.R and I love how he works at trying to win her. 

Thanks to Netgalley for my review copy
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