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Saturday, June 11, 2022
About the Book
Author: Caryl McAdoo
Genre: Historical Christian Romance
Release date: May 3, 2022
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your path! An evil tragedy upends Jo’s young life. Sickness propels the young lady and her grandfather from the thick, moisture-laden air of the Mississippi to drier desert land at the end of the Santa Fe Trail. Her life-long beau professes his love from the banks of the muddy river, but Papa is her whole life, and she’s determined to keep him alive. Along the way, suitors and adventures are aplenty. How is a stubborn girl who always knows what’s best supposed to choose when the one she likes best is constantly rubbing her the wrong way? Could things be any more difficult? Has she made a huge mistake?
Award-winning author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and her best-selling novels—over fifty published—delight Christian readers around the world. The prolific writer also enjoys singing the new songs the Lord gives her—listen to a few at YouTube. Sharing four children and eighteen grandsugars with Ron, her high-school-sweetheart-husband of over fifty years, she lives in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas. The McAdoos wait expectantly for God to open the next door.
More from Caryl
Writing Jo had a special meaning to me as Ron and I reared four of our grandsons. Right off the bat in Chapter One of JO, tragedy befalls her family when she was only six years old. The incident results in her being raised by her grandfather, and she adores him!
So many grandparents today are called on to rear their grandsugars—and even great-grandsugars—that I believed if would afford the opportunity for a really great and different story. Though it didn’t happen nearly as often back then, it did happen. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. 1 Timothy 5:8
Several years ago, a poll was taken in one of the groups I belong to. It asked readers what kind of western historical romance they wanted to read about, and covered wagon stories won the day, so I organized the multi-author project and called it the Prairie Roses Collection. That was back in 2018—and that inaugural collection launched in early May of 2019 in time for Mothers’ Day! Each year we have new authors—and some returning ones—and new standalone stories with the covered wagon conmnection. We have a Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PrairieRosesCollection
This year, the Fourth Annual Prairie Roses Collection, we have twelve authors offering a wagon train story of a strong and brave ‘prairie rose’ making an arduous journey in a covered wagon. I’m so excited to have so many great authors writing a wagon train story for 2022!
Back in the day, Ron and I drove the Oregon/California Trail for some awesome research. All my other roses took that route, but this year, we traveled the Santa Fe Trail! It was great fin seeing the new landscape and going to the hot dry air of New Mexico’s desert.
Jo convinced her grandfather to go for his health’s sake, not realizing how hard it would be on him to start over. She keeps goats and is a calligrapher of some renown, creating beautiful legal documents on parchment made from the goat skins. I once had a herd of 80 dwarf Nigerian goats, so knew all about the critters!
I love the era for novels and how once written, a historical never goes out-of-date! Contemporary romance will be outdated almost as soon as it’s written these days due to all the amazing technology. I love the time when people knew their neighbors, life was slower, families ate together at the table, and women were modest and considered treasures.
I don’t know if any generation has seen such advances as my own. My parents watched the first televisions, but that can’t begin to compare with computers in every home. I believe we truly are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation—a peculiar people who will show forth the praises of Him Who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light!
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord with me and be blessed! This Texas author hopes readers will love Lilah as I always am, “Praying my story gives God glory!”
I love when this author writes stories that take us on a journey complete with wagons, danger and wonderful characters. I was completely mesmerized by the lay of the land and how hard it was to travel over rough terrain. Having to look for water and keep everyone safe was a full time job. I remember my dad watching westerns every Saturday and thinking how boring they were. Now I can’t get enough of reading books just like this one. There is something about this time period that fascinates me and I enjoyed every minute of the trip back to the days where traveling by wagon or horse was the only transportation available. It also reminds me how blessed we are to live in an era where things are easier for us. We don’t have to walk for days in the heat, when a car is available. Thank the Lord for air conditioning as well.
Jo is such a great character with her devotion to her grandfather. Making sure he gets better they travel to a place where the air is better for him. With this decision made they set off with a group to travel to Santa Fe Trail. Jo can be a bit stubborn and her jealousy does get in the way at times. I loved how she kept trying to convince herself that she had no interest in the handsome Keegan.
Keegan joins the wagon train to help out Jo’s grandfather and help care for the goats as well as whatever else is needed. I must say he is a charmer and is able to go toe to toe with Jo when she gets her stubborn streak going. He does have a gentleman quality about him which I loved. It is obvious that there is an attraction between Jo and Keegan but I’m not sure which one is holding back from letting the other know how they feel.
The author creates a beautiful story with realistic emotions that had me crying. Jo suffers great loss and I think it broke her. Seems the people she loves die and now she is afraid to love again. Her heart is shattered and this is the moment that will change her forever. I really started praying that she would find comfort and trust God to heal her. Keegan never gives up and I loved how he came to Jo with scripture to show her that the thoughts she has been having is not from God. What a wonderful ending the author gives us with a feeling of hope and a new beginning . As always after reading a book by this author I grow closer to God and find new scriptures that help me with things I struggle with.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Suddenly unemployed, Allie Masterson returns home to Cary, North Carolina where she caddies for her father on the PGA Seniors Tour. There, she encounters a man who possesses an alluring gift of reading the contours of the green. Fascinated with his uncanny ability, Allie is excited to meet the Green Whisperer—until she discovers that the easygoing caddy is actually Shoo Leonard, the boy who teased her relentlessly when they were kids. Despite Allie’s reservations, she agrees to use her sport science degree to become his trainer when Shoo sustains a hand injury—and then she falls for him. Shoo Leonard is grateful to Allie for her singular determination to get him ready for the PGA tour, but he isn’t ready for anything more. Still raw from a broken engagement and focused on his career, he’s content to be her fist-pumping buddy until the chemistry is undeniable. What seems like a happily-ever-after on the horizon takes a turn when Allie decides she’s become a distraction to Shoo’s career. Is it time for her to step away or can The Putting Green Whisperer find the right words to make her stay?
Zoe M. McCarthy, a full-time writer and speaker, was pegged an expressive analytic in a personality test. Isn’t that an oxymoron? But it’s true. Zoe couldn’t survive without expressing her creative imaginings. Yet this retired actuary and introvert receives her energy from being alone in her home office overlooking the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains.
More from Zoe
The Putting Green Whisperer came about when my sister and I sat under a shade tree near a green at the PGA Senior’s Tour golf tournament. As we watched senior pro golfers and their caddies come through to putt, two young caddies standing just of the green with their backs toward us caught my eye. They talked quietly while their pros prepared to putt. He was tall and she was petite with her long blonde pony tailing protruding from the back of her pink ball cap. I day-dreamed how a romance might begin between the two caddies. I turned to my sister and pointed at the couple. “My next book will be about those two caddies.” My reviews of the book tell me readers who don’t care for golf enjoyed the romance and readers that love golf said I got the golf right.
It is not a usual thing for me to pick up a book about golf. In fact I don’t care for it at all. My middle son loves it and plays whenever he can and watches it on TV often. Picking up this book I was not sure how entertained I would be . The author proved me wrong and not only do I find golf more interesting I also learned more about the sport. It is not all glamour and fun, but hard work and many days away from home.
Allie was a good character and I liked how she came back home to do something with her father that they had enjoyed when she was younger. Being a caddy for her dad introduced her to a man who would soon become intriguing with his gift as a green whisperer. The back story of how Allie and Shoo knew each other was not an easy thing to read but Allie never knew the whole truth until they finally sat down to talk after many years had passed. The pain she endured left an emotional scar on her and I liked how Shoo was able to explain what happened that she never knew about that day. It reminds me how kids can be cruel at times but sometimes they don’t realize the scars they leave on the person they bullied.
Shoo has a lot of proving to do to have Allie finally realize that he is not the mean person she always thought he was. Their love for golf will help them reconnect and allow Shoo to show how how much his faith means to him. I admired Shoo for his desire to be an example to the youth and show them they should not give up on their dreams. He does have a few issues about playing pro golf which made the story a journey of trusting God.
The story also gives us a look at Allie and Shoo as they take jobs as caddie’s on a golf tournament. Shoo desires to be on the PGA tour next year but he really needs to work long hours and let his hand heal. Allie does a great job of helping Shoo get in shape and I liked how they were able to overcome their past and start new. The author takes their relationship slow and allows for Allie to deal with her mother’s death. I loved how Allie began to let God heal her heart and you could feel her emotions as she discovered a real relationship with God. As for her and Shoo I will let readers discover if they become closer or just stay friends. I loved how the author put faith in the story with a lesson on finding closure, healing from loss and finding out that God has a plan for each of us.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Who knew concealing one’s true identity could be so disastrous?
Who knew asserting one’s independence would cause such embarrassment? If only Almira “Emilie” Crawford Wheeler hadn’t insisted upon carrying her own stack of parcels, she wouldn’t have landed in an unladylike heap on the boardwalk. And what about the half-truth she told the handsome stranger who came to her aid? The stranger she never expected to see again?
Thad Alexander Evanson should have been paying closer attention to the boardwalk, rather than the newfangled automobile motoring down the street. Had he been more astute, a collision with the beautiful parcel-laden stranger might never have happened. And if it never had happened, he wouldn’t have told a partial-truth he figured wouldn’t matter.
Before long, Emilie and Thad are arranging to meet for a noonday meal each weekend in Missoula under the guise of different names. But what happens when their true identities are revealed? When half-truths are exposed? Could God have a plan even in the midst of a tangled web of lies?
Penny Zeller is known for her heartfelt stories of faith and her passion to impact lives for Christ through fiction. While she has had a love for writing since childhood, she began her adult writing career penning articles for national and regional publications on a wide variety of topics.
Today Penny is a multi-published author of several inspirational books. She is also a homeschool mom and a fitness instructor.
When Penny is not dreaming up new characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, running, cycling, gardening, and playing volleyball.
She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and loves to hear from her readers at her website www.pennyzeller.com and her blog, random thoughts from a day in the life of a wife, mom, and author, at www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com.
More from Penny
In Love in Disguise, the two main characters, Emilie and Thad, are both fond of pie a la mode. It plays a prominent part in the book, especially during Emilie and Thad’s courtship. My inspiration behind the dessert? My aunt’s famous, old-fashioned pie a la mode recipe, which is a family favorite.
If you are looking for a fun read about two people who each have a secret this is the perfect story to read. I found the book to be funny at times with Emile and Thad both hiding their identities from each other. The way they meet is awkward but made me laugh. Trying to not fall down when bumped goes astray and Emilie finds herself in quite an embarrassing situation. It was only fitting that Thad replace her hat after it was ruined by him. What an uncomfortable time he had in the store trying to replace it. Not many men would find themselves in this particular store and the ladies who worked there seemed a little dramatic about his presence. The ladies do judge him in a rude way and I wanted to tell them to mind their own business, My how the ladies gossiped while he was in the store. Where did this story come from about him being married and it being a special day for him? The author does create a great illustration of how gossip starts and causes undue accusations that get out of hand.
Emilie is a woman who misses her husband who has passed. Meeting Thad brought a new spark to her eyes. When she finds out he is a Christian she is a little uncomfortable. She has wandered away from God and maybe Thad inviting her to church will open her heart to a renewed relationship with God. I loved how she was invested in the service and appreciated the pastors words.
I had a feeling I knew who the pesky cows belonged to who kept coming on her land and couldn’t wait to see how the author would handle this little dilemma. As Thad and Emilie begin to see each other more, the secret that they are hiding from each other is sure to cause a problem. Will they learn a valuable lesson about not telling the truth? They each try to convince themselves they are doing it to protect themselves from unwanted suitors who only are interested in their wealth.
I did like that the author included sone historical facts that made me feel like I was back in the early 1900s. How exciting it was to experience the characters driving their motor cars and the cost they paid for them. Wouldn’t it be nice to pay only nine hundred-fifty dollars for a brand new car? The author touches on women’s suffrage and how important it was for women to be able to vote. The town is the perfect setting for this western themed story with stores that are quaint and the beautiful landscape that surrounds it.
The book has a mix of misunderstandings, jealousy greed and secrets. I liked how the author used faith as a great illustration of how God loves each of us and forgives us of our sins. Thad and Emilie find that secrets can destroy a relationship and need to take responsibility for their lies. As the story concludes readers will find out what happens when you follow God’s direction and not allow pride to hinder you from making amends.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Amateur inventor Kester Barrington prefers the peace and quiet of his estate to the bustle of Society. But when his tightknit group of friends, the Gents, descends on Livingsley Hall for their annual gathering, he stoically joins in their activities. It all seems exhausting—until an unexpected addition to the party catches his eye: his new neighbor, the lovely Violet.
Violet Ridley longs to make friends in this new corner of the country, but her family’s fortune was made through investments rather than inheritance, and Society can be fickle. So when tragedy forces her family to shelter at neighboring Livingsley Hall, Violet is delighted to receive a warm welcome from the Gents. In particular, Violet finds herself inexplicably drawn to Kester. The pair is a study in contrasts: Violet, with her sunny disposition, and Kester, with his prickly facade. Their connection is impossible to deny, but both Kester and Violet harbor heavy constraints. As their association becomes increasingly tangled and confused, their only hope of pursuing a life together is to trust one another with the very truths that could tear them apart.
Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today best-selling author of witty and charming historical romances, including 2020’s Foreword Reviews INDIE Awards Gold Winner for Romance, Forget Me Not, and 2020 Holt Medallion finalist, Healing Hearts. She is a two-time “Best of State” Gold Medal winner for fiction and a three-time Whitney Award winner. Combining her obsession with history and her affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting deep characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library.
More from Sarah
esearch is one of my favorite aspects of writing. Lily of the Valley offered ample opportunities for researching incredibly interesting topics. One main character is an amateur inventor, which tossed me deep into the realm of innovations of the 1780s and 1790s. The other main character has an interest in engineering and mechanics, allowing me to delve into what was known and understood in these fields at the end of the 18th Century. Amongst the supporting cast are a variety of interests, strengths, and passions, all of which saw me pouring over everything I could find from this era on those topics.
A particularly fun area of research I tossed myself into was parlor games played in late 18th Century England. Among my favorites I learned about:
The Three Kingdoms, a game very much like modern-day “Twenty Questions.” The guesser has up to six questions to gain clues about what the others in the group have decided among themselves is the thing the guesser is trying to discover. One twist: the first question is always “To which Kingdom does the item thought of belong? (meaning animal, vegetable, or mineral)
Short Answers, a game of wits and creativity. The group sits in a circle and one at a time, ask the person to their right a question which that person has to answer in only one word. However, the word cannot be repeated during that round. Once someone has answered a question “Yes” no one else can answer with that word until the round is over. A round ends when someone cannot think of a one-word answer to the question they have been asked and is, subsequently, eliminated.
A centuries-old version of musical chairs
A game that involved determining which fabricated crime the various players would pretend to have committed.
Plenty of games involving forfeits of kisses or handkerchiefs or other shows of affection that the very staid rules of Society would have otherwise looked down on.
Discovering more about the historical context of this book was intriguing and delightful. I hope readers will enjoy learning more of this bit of the past, lose themselves in romance, enjoy the delightful friendship between the characters, and perhaps even find a few new games to try.
This has been an enjoyable story to read. I loved being introduced to the Gents with all their charm and harmless pranks. It was refreshing to find how open they are to everyone and welcome people with grace and charm. They seem to bring out the best in each other and their laughter is contagious. My oh my did I like Kes. He is very kind yet distant at times. He enjoys company but only to a certain extent. His intelligence is quite impressive and it does add a bit of attractiveness about him. The strong silent type is what I think of when mentioning his name. What he lacks in social settings he makes up by his generous spirit. He is always willing to help others even if it may be uncomfortable to him.
When I was introduced to Violet I could sense she would be a good character. She is gentle, always sees the good in things, intelligent and determined to accomplish an invention that will help her greatly. She hides her prosthetic arm very well, but Kes picks up on it. I loved how they decided to work together to improve Violet’s movement with her prosthetic arm. The author does a good job of describing Violet’s discomfort of her arm and helps readers understand what Violet has endured.
As Violet and Kes decide to work together I wondered if this would help Kes feel more confident and be able to open up to Violet. It seems like they would work well together and I was excited to see where this relationship would go. We learn that Kes has been dealing with grief for awhile and perhaps that has taken a toll on him. He is not one to share his thoughts or feelings so opening up to Violet is a big step for him. When she said, “Finding purpose in the midst of grief can be healing,” helps Kes start to heal. There is a very tender moment in the story about grief that I thought the author did well. Several characters continue to grieve and these words are very meaningful to them. “Having been sad, we can appreciate even more those times when we are happy.” I love how expressive the author is and makes her characters realistic.
I adored The Gents and how willing they were to make Violet feel comfortable at the big event where her family would be introduced to others. I love how they are always there for each other and couldn’t wait to see how the event would turn out. Violet is worried that they will not be accepted and is a little uneasy as she enters. She must now find confidence and realize that she is valued by many. The event was fun to read about and it became apparent that Violet was now part of a special group.
I like how the author slowly developed the relationship between Kes and Violet. It was sweet and carefully written with emotions that spilled across the pages. They both found that they could share anything with each other and finally be free to be theirselves. The ending is nice and illustrates how important it is to share with others when you are hurting. It is not easy to open up to someone but when you do the burden is lighter.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion?