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Saturday, September 3, 2022
About the Book
Book: Redemption’s Hope
Author: Kathleen D. Bailey
Genre: Christian fiction
Release date: July 22, 2022
Two distinct sets of villains. Two orphaned children. A man without a country and a woman with too much past…All in a rambunctious young country where anything goes, especially in the West. Seriously. What can go wrong?
In this latest installment of the best-selling series, “Western Dreams”, join Jenny and White Bear as they cross the historic West in an epic story peppered with grit, guns, and glory that award-winning author Kelly Goshorn calls “a sweeping tale of faith, dedication, and perseverance set in the American west.”
Kathleen D. Bailey was a child in the 50s, a teen in the 60s, a young adult in the 70s, and a young mom in the 80s. It’s been a turbulent, colorful time to grow up, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and written about most of it.
More from Kathleen
The “Western Dreams” series
The Oregon Trail was one of the premier events in American history, with people giving up everything to see what waited on the other side of the continent. Some had nothing to give up, and they joined a wagon train simply to survive. That was the case with Caroline Pierce O’Leary, a gently-bred widow whose young husband died before they could make a go of their farm. What would happen, I mused, if Caroline took the skimpy proceeds from selling her farm, signed on as a cook for a wagon master, and worked her way West? And what would happen if the scout on that particular wagon train was the man who had betrayed her years before, and they had to work together to cross the prairie? What if, what if, what if?
Everyone who hopped on a wagon for the Western Migration had a story, and I knew I’d found mine. As Caroline and Michael Moriarty struggled to rebuild their relationship, a host of other characters formed around them like a snowball. The loving Harkness family, who befriended Caroline on the way down from Ohio. Pious matrons who looked down on her and their harried husbands. Jenny Thatcher, the saloon girl who breaks from that life to save Michael’s. And Pace Williams, the wagon master, a man who had seen too much of life before he even took to the trail. The first book in the Western Dreams series, “Westward Hope,” debuted in September 2019.
I fell in love with Jenny and I fell in love with Pace. Jenny followed her new friends to the muddy Oregon hamlet where they settled, and Pace gave up the trail to make a life in the Oregon woods. But I wasn’t done with either of them – they had their own stories to tell. Pace battled his own demons and his love for Michael’s sister Oona, and it was enough to give them their own book, “Settlers Hope,” published in July 2020. I also spun off two novellas, “The Logger’s Christmas Bride” and “The Widow’s Christmas Miracle,” from the bigger books, and these were published with Pelican Book Group’s Christmas Extravaganza.
Jenny Thatcher demanded her own book, and she had a lot to offer. Saloon girl, wagon train scout, hotel cook and maid, horse breeder. Jenny could do anything, and she’d already proved it in the first two books. But Jenny had some unfinished business – the handsome Indian brave who’d saved her life, early in the westward journey. She’d never forgotten him, and White Bear had never forgotten her. What if she left the horse farm, and all she’d achieved in Oregon, to take to the trail again and find him? And what if he had the same idea? What if they crisscrossed the known world, picking up strays and meeting historical figures before coming together in New Orleans? (Honestly, what better place to reconnect with a lost love?) And what if the forces of evil split them up again, so they had to keep searching?
Though Jenny accepted Christ as her Savior sometime in the second book, her past continues to haunt her, and she wonders if she can ever be good enough for God. She’s physically given up the saloon life, but her inner doubts remain. White Bear struggles with a different facet of their union: can he sentence her to the criticism and censure of the white world if they marry?
The epic journey of two larger-than-life people formed the basis for the third Western Dreams book, “Redemption’s Hope,” out July 22, 2022. Like Caroline and Michael, Pace and Oona, Jenny and White Bear find their answers in the Risen Christ.
Am I done with the West? Not likely. While I’m working on new novels set in other time periods, the West and my personal Western Dreams keep tugging at me. What happened to the Harkness family, Caroline’s friends, when they went to California? What happened to the ragged Smith children Caroline befriended? What happened to Jenny’s traveling companion, the would-be miner Noonday? And how can I give this up when I haven’t written a cattle drive or a barroom brawl?
I am so excited to join Jenny and White Bear on their adventure. The first few pages show how determined Jenny is to reconnect with White Bear. Her courage to fight off a beast was impressive and I loved how her new relationship with God gives her strength and hope. The author paints a picture of the rugged terrain both main characters faced and it makes you feel like you are part of the story.
White Bear comes upon the settlement where his family was suppose to be. The remains of a fire could be seen as the smoke drifted into the sky. His loved ones were now nothing more than ashes as he surveyed the scene. The sight was devastating yet there was hope of a survivor. The vivid details made me weep as many lives were lost in a cruel way. Will White Bear be able to rebuild what was destroyed?
Jenny is on a journey to take a young boy to his family when she finds him in a dangerous situation while traveling. I enjoyed following them as they trudged through land to survive. She has learned a lot being on the road alone for awhile and her skills will come in handy hunting for food and keeping the little boy safe. Now she must focus on getting the boy back to his relatives while also searching for White Bear.
White Bear has his own agenda as he searches for the person responsible for killing his family and others who were at the camp. He has an idea of who it was but he reminds himself that he needs to trust God on his journey. He has turned away from his old life of revenge and will use his faith and wisdom to bring justice to his people without more blood shed.
I loved the historical facts that the author blends into the story. Cholera was devastating to many as Jenny and White Bear faced this on their journey. The patients that Jenny helped were so ill I don’t think they were aware of their surroundings. White Bear comes upon a tribe that is almost gone from the disease and I could feel his heart breaking. It is a part of history that took many lives. The reference to The Alamo was emotional as I remembered the men and women who died there fighting for freedom.
This book has danger, sickness, revenge, and two people who trust God to get them through hard times. The road they travel is met with challenges and I loved how the author inserted faith and teaches us to never give up.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Set against the backdrop of the sport of freerunning, Kia must decide whether she will continue running or face her past abuser in order to save another child.
Night is Kia’s favorite time, when she freeruns to outdistance the memories of abuse she suffered as a young child. But when former reality television star Terrence Jones arrives at their school as the new head track coach, things begin to change in unpredictable ways. Kia tries out for the team to fit in, but just as she’s gaining a new sense of normal, her abuser steps back into her life. Not only that, but being on the track team causes even more turmoil. Why does the assistant coach, Cassandra Clark, dislike Terrence Jones so much, and even more troubling, why does Coach Clark dislike her so much? As the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together, Kia realizes she has to choose between running from her past or saving a child from the same sort of abuse she suffered. But will she have the courage to do so?
Kathy Cassel is author of more a dozen fiction and non-fiction titles for preteens and teens, including 2021 Selah Award finalist Freerunnerand the iParenting award winner Christian Girls Guide series. Kathy has lived on three different continents with her USAF husband, has eight children, five adopted from Haiti and the United States, and six grandchildren. To better relate to her characters, she enjoys learning their skills such as whitewater rafting, scuba diving, and riding a motorcycle, but draws the line at sky diving.
More from Kathy
For many years I wrote devotion books for preteens and early teens. I tried to make the devotions both fun and interesting. I wanted preteens and early teens to see that the Bible is relevant to them today. But I realized that the readers I most wanted to reach weren’t likely to pick up the Bible or a daily devotion book. But they might read a story. These are the teens who are hurting inside. Those who have been abused, neglected, bullied, abandoned, or who face challenges. Those who may have lost hope and who need healing. Those who need to realize that God still has a plan for them no matter what has happened.
So I turned to writing faith-based, issue-based young adult books. It hasn’t been easy. There are a multitude of issue based books in the general market, but these can be graphic and offer little hope or healing, yet they are snatched off the shelves and are some of the most popular books. Mine are not graphic and mention God throughout the book. They are not likely to reach library shelves. So the challenge is to get them into the hands of the readers who most need them.
Freeerunner is about a 15-year-old girl who is sexually molested/abused (I never give details so readers can interpret what happened based on their own knowledge and experiences) by a family member when she is only six. She doesn’t get help. No one talks about it. So when the abuser walks back into her life now that she’s 15, she has a lot of unresolved feelings. For adults reading this book, the story may trigger negative feelings or bring up a painful past. But don’t let that turn you away from the book because it may be a powerful resource for those experiencing what Kia did. For teens, the book gives them a character they can relate to. The story lets them know they are not alone and don’t need to suffer in isolation. Like Kia they may find the courage to finally speak out and get help. And they may come to realize that God has an amazing plan for them no matter their past.
So for some the book may simply be an entertaining sports story, while for others it can be a springboard to talk about their own problems. I am hoping this book will become a resource for parents, counselors, pastors, youth leaders, Sunday School teachers, and librarians to share with teen readers.
And above all, I hope the story is a source of hope and healing to those who need it.
This has been one of the hardest books I have ever had to read. It triggered anxiety in me and brought back my painful childhood. To say that I can relate to Kia is sad. I have to face the fact that her story and mine are very similar. We both suffered trauma from family members. I was so angry as I read how she endured what her grandfather had done to her. I understand how she felt like no one would believe her.
The author has written a story that hits the mark on a subject that many have lived through. Why is it so hard for people to believe a child when they say they have been abused by someone? I had so much anger towards her grandfather that I could have hit him. His arrogance is horrible and what he does to children is inexcusable. Now comes the hard part for Kia when her best friend tries to share Jesus with her. She feels abandoned by God and doesn’t understand why He allowed things to happen to her. Like me, she never had a childhood. I grieve with her for the lost little girl in both of us.
I do think the author has done an excellent job at writing a book about a subject that gives readers an understanding of what abusers do. Kia is strong and determined to make sure her grandfather doesn’t hurt another child. I won’t say much of what happens in the story but I will say that the hardest part for me and others is to forgive the people who hurt us.
The term “free running” is new to me. I did like learning more about it. I ran and jumped with Kiana and felt free as she conquered tricks. Her best friend Thorn is a bright light in her life. He listens to Kia, supports her and believes in her. I don’t want to overlook how important he is in the story. He listened and encouraged Kia to act on her suspicions. I’m glad she had someone grounded in the word to show her that God does have a plan for her life. He deals with some tough family issues as well and it was compelling to read how he trusted God to show him what to do.
Kia’s mother is someone I was upset with throughout the entire story. She allowed her father to dictate her life and should have stood up and protected her own daughter. Why does she allow him to move in with her and Kia knowing what he has done? I can’t explain it because my mother turned her back on me as well. I have to say that although this book triggered me, I appreciate a writer who is not afraid to share the truth about a subject that needs to be addressed more. Let’s not turn our back on someone when they cry out for help. Thank you for a book that opens doors to forgiveness and shedding light on the darkness that surrounds those who are afraid to speak up.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Time is running out. Cities are being engulfed in the Mist and humanity is on the brink of extinction. Theo believes he has found a way to stop mankind from Turning, but he doesn’t know how to alter Cass’s unique blood into a cure. Or if it can even be done.
Meanwhile, Cass struggles with the idea that she is possibly the savior of the world—a world she is not sure is worth saving.
From the Winchester manse to the steel city of Decadenn, there is something more chasing Cass than the House of Lords or the masked man who can walk in the Mist. Soon she must decide if she will use her blood to save mankind or let those who only care about themselves perish.
Morgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series, The Soul Chronicles, and The Ravenwood Saga. She is a three-time Christy Award finalist and winner of both the INSPY and the Carol Award for best in Christian speculative fiction. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel.
More from Morgan
A lot of stories involve the hero saving the world. But is that realistic if you consider what the hero has been through? What if saving the world means saving the villain? Or that bully who made the hero’s life terrible back in high school? Or the person who lied and it cost the hero his or her job, home, or even their first love?
When I started writing Blood Secrets, it hit me (and therefore Cass as I was writing her story), that if she saved her world—all the people who were forced to live on mountaintops, airships, and sky islands because of the deadly Mist that covered everything else—she would be saving the people who saw her as lesser than. The people who forced everyone else off the mountains to die in the Mist, including her parents. The same people who would never think of saving someone like her.
As I wrote her story, I felt Cass’s resentment and anger towards the “echelons”—those at the top of society and literally the world. She was fine with saving others like her. But the thought of saving the people who ordered the purges that killed so many made her feel sick. In her mind, they didn’t deserve her sacrifice.
Honestly, I had never thought about it before. The hero saves the world. It’s what a hero does. But this was the first time I really thought about what that meant, and who it meant saving. It made me look at myself. Would I be willing to save everyone? Even those who have hurt me? Who have cost me so much in my life? Ugh. That’s a hard thought.
People love heroes, and sometimes even want to be one themselves. But the reality is being a hero is really hard. It’s not just saving the world; it’s saving those who live in the world. The good and the bad. Those deserving and those not so much. That’s what a real hero does.
I won’t share what decision Cass made because that is part of her story. But I am glad I was able to write her story because it made me think more about how I would react in her situation. And about God, who ultimately gave all to save a world that did not want Him.
I have been waiting for this book because the first book in this series left me with some unanswered questions. I loved the steampunk theme with gliding flying machines and the Mist that was mysterious and powerful. Cass is back in this story with a big adventure as we see if her and Theo can survive the danger that lingers near by.
Cass is still a fighter and I admired her strength to continue her mission at any cost. She finds herself at Theo’s family home so she can recover from her illness. His sister is quite nice but very curious as to what her brother has been up to. I was stunned at the lie Cass discovers about Theo. Will this change her decision to work with him? Can she trust him or does he have an agenda she doesn’t know about?
Once again we see that power is very important in this story and as long as the Mist is in control people are not free. Theo faces off against people he thought could be trusted but soon discovers he is in danger, I loved the tension in the story and how the author keeps us guessing as to if the Mist can be stopped. The action draws us into the story as we follow Cass and Theo on a mission that is riddled with suspense and an enemy that will try to keep from losing their control.
As the battle to save the people from the Mist continues, Cass says “Here I am. Use me.” That made me think of when we call out to God and tell Him, “I’m ready Lord. I want to be used by You.” Cass is prepared to do whatever she can to save people. The ending builds up to an epic battle. Will Theo and Cass be able to save everyone and defeat the Mist? Get ready for a test of faith, trust and making the right decisions in this masterfully written story.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
What is my purpose? Why do I exist? A sense of self and belonging are two questions many of us struggle to answer.
And what if you are a foreigner in another land?
How does one adjust to a new culture? Discover their place in a new society?
For Mabel Ninan, born and raised in India and an immigrant in America shortly after marriage, the search for those answers sent her on a journey that led to an unexpected and exciting discovery.
God revealed she was not only an earthly immigrant but also a spiritual one, created with a unique calling to impact His kingdom. Mabel’s renewed perspective imbued her with joy and hope, urging her to share the message with others.
Drawing from her personal experiences and by examining the lives of biblical heroes, Mabel sheds light on what it means to live as a citizen of Heaven on earth. Far from Home will inspire you to:
Embrace your identity as a foreigner on earth.
Make your home with God.
Find community and common purpose with fellow sojourners.
Explore the intersection between culture, identity, and faith in this new release from an earthly immigrant who gained a spiritual perspective.
Born and raised in the minority Christian community in India, Mabel moved to the US in 2008 shortly after getting married. In nearly thirteen years of her marriage, her family has called ten different places across two continents and seven cities home. The challenges Mabel faced as an immigrant on the move led to a spiritual crisis that drew her nearer to God’s side where she learned valuable lessons about how to live as a citizen of heaven. Her mission is to inspire believers to embrace their pilgrim journey on earth and boldly pursue their heavenly calling.
A contributor to Guideposts’ All God’s Creatures: Daily Devotions for Animal Lovers 2022, Mabel’s writings have appeared in The Upper Room, CBN.com, Leading Hearts Magazine, and (in)courage.me. She hosts a YouTube podcast called Immigrant Faith Stories where she shares testimonies of immigrants, refugees, missionaries, and cross-cultural ministry leaders. She has been serving in various roles in women’s ministry for almost a decade.
Mabel enjoys reading, traveling, and dancing, but nothing gives her more joy than having conversations about the Bible.
Mabel is pursuing M.A. in Theological Studies from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She lives with her husband, son, and Maltese pup in Northern California.
More from Mabel
When the idea of this book was birthed in 2018, I wanted to publish a collection of letters to my son. I wanted to keep a record of God’s faithfulness to me in a foreign country. How He became my all in all when I had nobody to call my own. How He gave me His all when I was empty. I hoped my stories and learnings would strengthen not only my son’s faith but also other immigrants like me. But God had a different plan for this book.
By 2019, the book underwent a complete change in its content and organization. It also targeted a different group of readers. I wrote for those who were coping with changes, those who wanted a deeper walk with God, those who found it difficult to belong or cling to hope in the midst of suffering, and those who were tired of going through the motions. My agent and I replaced the title of the book from This is not Home to Far from Home.
After facing rejecting from almost eight publishers, Far from Home found its home in Harambee Press, an imprint of Iron Stream Media that publishes ethnic writers. I was thrilled!
Far from Home is a nonfiction book but it is also part memoir. I’ve described what life was like growing up in India and I also recount a few experiences as an immigrant in the U.S. What makes Far from Home unique is also that the book introduces the reader to another culture, the Indian/South Asian culture. Some parts of the book read like a devotional while others are rich in biblical character studies and teaching.
Overall, I feel the book reflects who I am—an Indian, an America, an Indian-American, a storyteller, an immigrant, and a Bible teacher—though that was not my aim. I find it fascinating that I could be myself and tell my stories and use all aspects of my identity to declare the goodness and greatness of God.
There is a need for more diversity in our stories. I’m not saying this because diversity is the new buzz world these days. We need diverse voices and ways of worship because they reveal God’s power, beauty, and creativity. Testimonies from other cultures can open our eyes to a new way of experiencing God and His Word. They engage our brains and touch our hearts in a unique way. Reading books by diverse authors can enlarge our capacity for empathy, push back our defenses, and even turn our fear of the unknown into appreciation.
I hope my writing helps you see God from a different lens, a different angle. I hope it makes you want to read books by authors from varied cultures, races, and ethnicities.
And my desire, more than anything else, is that Far from Home convinces you that you’re never really far from home. In the triune God, you always have a home here on earth while you await a better one in heaven. A home that will be shared with people from all nations, tongues, and tribes.
I like the honest and openness of the author as she journals her experience coming from India to the United States. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to have this sense of not belonging as you step off into a foreign world. Everything you once felt secure around has changed and you suddenly feel alone in a crowd. The uneasiness of being taken from what you have always known to a life where rules, culture and atmosphere are different can be fearful at times. The author intrigued me and I was anxious to see how she would maneuver her new home.
I think one of the hardest things to adjust to for the author was not being surrounded by family. They had big dinners, celebrated holidays together and could count on each other during times of illness. Now alone in a little apartment with only her husband she feels lonely. Looking for a way to belong in the new place she has moved to, her identity felt lost. Who was she and how would she fit in? The author opens my eyes to the struggle of moving to a foreign place where you are considered minority. There are times throughout her journey when facing simple things we take for granted become difficult.
I learned how easy we take things for granted as I read this book. We don’t realize how blessed we are to be able to get a driver’s license or even apply for a job without little effort. Trying to do things on her own, the author experienced this emptiness inside. Where was her relationship with God? Why wasn’t she turning to Him inside of running away from Him?
I loved the Biblical stories she shared such as Job. Job is a great illustration of having everything taken away yet he still praised God. What do we do when we are facing change or a trial? I admire Joseph as he was wrongly accused of something, God was there with him. As Joseph continued to stand firm, God made his life whole again. The author uses these references to show how she endured her battle of change, loneliness and to be content with her new life.
I like the questions and prayer at the end of each chapter. Getting to know the Indian culture was interesting and shows how important faith and family is to the author. It was easy to relate to the author as we all have faced being judged by our looks, personality or religion. It is hard to overcome the hateful words or the bullying that some may face, but if we keep out focus on God He will calm us.
Finding and connecting with people who are like mined helped the author to start to feel like she accepted. Through her journey her faith grew stronger . She does give details about finding a church where she and her husband felt comfortable. Even within her own culture she found those that didn’t accept her. I love how she perseveres and is able to tell her story. The story is encouraging, emotional and gives hope to those who struggle with feeling welcomed.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
To celebrate her tour, Mabel is giving away the grand prize package of a Paperback copy of book, customized notepad and bookmark (these eco-friendly products made by rural artisans in India help sustain endangered art forms and secure livelihoods), access to digital resources (recipe booklet, teaching videos, and audio prayers), and a $30 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.