Everything She Didn't Say by Jane Kirkpatrick | Historical Fiction Review

Everything She Didn't Say by Jane Kirkpatrick

Historical Fiction

There is more than one way to tell a story . . . 

In 1911, Carrie Strahorn wrote a memoir sharing some of the most exciting events of twenty-five years of shaping the American West with her husband, railroad promoter and writer Robert Strahorn. Nearly ten years later, she's finally ready to reveal the secrets she hadn't told anyone--even herself.

Certain that her writings will be found only after her death, Carrie confronts the pain and disappointment of the pioneering life with startling honesty. She explores the danger a woman faces of losing herself within a relationship with a strong-willed man. She reaches for the courage to accept her own worth. Most of all she wonders, Can she ever feel truly at home in this rootless life?

New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick draws out the emotions of living--the laughter and pain, the love and loss--to give us a window not only into the past but into our own conflicted hearts. Based on a true story.

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My Thoughts

Jane Kirkpatrick has once again found a little known female pioneer and brought her story to us. We've come to expect interesting stories about women that in their own unique ways helped to shape our nation. In Everything She Didn't Say, Ms. Kirkpatrick uses Carrie Strahorn's actual account as the building blocks of the novel then fills in the nuances from her own imagination and historical facts. The result is a fasinating story of one ordinary woman doing extraordinary things.

Carrie Strahorn isn't someone that you would be familiar with unless you happen to be from one of the towns that she helped establish. She grew up in a Chicago suburb as the daughter of a prominent physician. She lived a privileged life that led to her meeting Robert Strahorn. She fell in love and they soon married.

Like most women of that time Carrie imagined settling down and raising a family. She quickly learned that settling down with Robert was not in the cards. Robert was an aspiring railroad promoter and writer. That meant travel, lots of travel. Again the story is fascinating yet heartbreaking at the same time.

Carrie's story is a wonderful example of what dying to self means. Time after time she had to make the decision to put aside her wishes and dreams because of a covenant she made. As a wife and mother I can relate. It's a daily struggle to put aside personal ambitions in order to fulfill someone else's dreams.

The following quote is my favorite from the novel. I think it captures the essence of the story.

"What I hadn't realized then--and that Caldwell helped teach me--is that it's how we respond to the broken tracks that matters, because there will always be brokenness. It's what we do with the punches we take, the heart-stopping moments, those are the knives that carve out who we are. I came to believe that people born with silver spoons in their mouths never get the real nourishment they need to grow to their full height unless the spoon tarnishes or the food drops off now and then and they have to find a way to pick it up themselves. They're really deprived, which may be why we call them "spoiled," like meat left out in the son."

I highly recommend this book to all women. Carrie leads a different life than most of us, but her experiences are riddled with lessons for each of us.

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Jane Kirkpatrick




Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.





Crack Yourself Up Jokes For Kids by Sandy Silverthorne | Children's Book Review

Crack Yourself Up Jokes For Kids by Sandy Silverthorne

Sandy Silverthorne
Children's Book

Why are dogs such bad dancers? They have two left feet.

Knock, knock. Who's there? Alex. Alex who? Alex the questions around here.
What's red and goes up and down? A tomato in an elevator.

Any kid can be a comedian with a little help from Crack Yourself Up Jokes for Kids. This zany collection of one-liners, knock-knock jokes, riddles, puns, funny lists, and hilarious illustrations promises hours of fun. Just be careful. These are the kinds of laughs that make milk come out your nose--so don't drink and read!

Perfect for kids ages 6-12.

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My Thoughts

This cute little book will either delight you or drive you crazy as a parent or perhaps even a little of both. In our family it has been used as a secret weapon. We have a couple of reluctant readers that usually reject all efforts to get them to read. But something about a good joke book draws them in.

Mr. Silverthorne has put together a good mix of jokes, knock-knock jokes, riddles, and silly stories. They are guaranteed to make you laugh, groan, roll your eyes, and shake your head. But it also makes me so happy to have my little one following me around reading out of it to me.

Whether you have a reluctant reader or an avid bibliophile this book is a good choice for your children. The jokes are clean and clever so you don't have to worry about what they are going to come across and repeat.

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Sandy Silverthorne




Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.








A Rebel Heart (The Daughtry House Series #1) by Beth White | Historical Romance Review

A Rebel Heart (The Daughtry House Series #1) by Beth White

The Daughtry House Series #1
Historical Romance

Five years after the final shot was fired in the War Between the States, Selah Daughtry can barely manage to keep herself, her two younger sisters, and their spinster cousin fed and clothed. With their family's Mississippi plantation swamped by debt and the Big House falling down around them, the only option seems to be giving up their ancestral land--until a hotel management agent for the railroad offers her hope for the future.

If she'll turn her home into a hotel, Levi Riggins says, he can all but guarantee it will be saved. Selah isn't sure she entirely trusts the handsome Yankee. Yet what other options does she have? She'll have to stay on her guard . . . but she never expected to have to guard her heart.

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My Thoughts

The Civil War was such an ugly hard thing for our country. Families were divided. The nation was torn in two. A Rebel Heart brings us a tale of  one group of people working to repair and rebuild not only structures but relationships.

Selah Daughtry and her two sisters and cousin are barely eeking out an existance on their family's plantation. The main house is in a deplorable state of disrepair, the slaves have been set free, and all sorces of income have dwindled to nothing. Despite all of the obsticles Selahh is determined to retain her family's estate but her options are quickly narrowing to one. And that isn't the one she was hoping for.

What was intriguing about this book was the reminder that the after effects of war are nothing new. PTSD was a thing even though it wasn't called that. Former enemies had to find a way to make peace to move beyond the conflict. All that we see in our current situations were present then, maybe in a different form due to the time-frame, but present all the same.

I thought that it was easy to connect with Selah and her sisters and cousin. They each found themselves struggling to find their place between the past and the future. Relationships can be hard, but they are always worth investing in.

If you like historical fiction, especially Civil War era then I think you'll enjoy this book. There's a bit of romance to lighten the dire subject matter but it doesn't fluff the story too much. This first book focuses on Selah, but there are more books planned in the series that will focus on the other women in the story. I'm looking forward to reading them all.

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The Pelican Bride
The Creole Princess

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Beth White
Photo Credit: © Wendy Wilson Photography




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I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.




Keturah (The Sugar Baron's Daughters #1) by Lisa T. Bergren | Historical Fiction Review

Keturah (The Sugar Baron's Daughters #1) by Lisa T. Bergren

The Sugar Baron's Daughters #1
Historical Fiction

In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father's estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.

Although it flies against all the conventions, they're determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, conventions are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined--and that's just the start of what their eyes are opened to in this harsh and unfamiliar world.

Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.

To keep her family together and save the plantation that is her last chance at providing for them, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?

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My Thoughts

I'm a devourer of books. When one arrives in my mailbox I just want to dive in. When this book arrived I wound up placing it on the table and leaving it for about a week. I think it was the title that put me off. It just didn't appeal to me. Once I started reading my opinion changed completely. This is a very captivating story.

Keturah is the oldest sister's name but she goes by Ket. She is who the story revolves around. If you like to read about women of strength you're going to enjoy this one. The time frame is the late 1700s and Ket goes completely against convention and advise and sets out with her two sisters for the Carribean island of Nevis.

Ket's bravery and determination in the face of danger and hardship is inspiring. The voyage to the island was precarious enough but it winds up being tame compared with what she faces once she arrives at her late father's estate. To say that she and her sisters are unprepared is an understatement.

There are some adult themes in this story particularly that of slavery. It's actually one of the things that I appreciated the most about the book. Ms. Bergren doesn't shy away from the atrocities that happened during that time in history. It's an ugly thing but it happened. It would be easy to leave it out or sugarcoat it but that isn't what the author chose. I applaud her for that. 

I enjoyed this book and look forward to the rest of the series. It looks like there will be at least two more that focus on the other sisters. If the following books are anything like this one they are going to be worthy reads. I can't wait.

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Lisa T Bergren



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I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.







A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason | Historical Fiction Review

A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason


Historical Fiction

Will Gaining the World Cost Him Everything He Holds Most Dear?

When stable hand Nolan Price learns from his dying mother that he is actually the son of the Earl of Stainsby, his plans for a future with kitchen maid Hannah Burnham are shattered. Once he is officially acknowledged as the earl's heir, Nolan will be forbidden to marry beneath his station.

Unwilling to give up the girl he loves, he devises a plan to elope--believing once their marriage is sanctioned by God that Lord Stainsby will be forced to accept their union. However, as Nolan struggles to learn the ways of the aristocracy, he finds himself caught between his dreams for tomorrow and his father's demanding expectations.

Forces work to keep the couple apart at every turn, and a solution to remain together seems farther and farther away. With Nolan's new life pulling him irrevocably away from Hannah, it seems only a miracle will bring them back together.

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My Thoughts

I adore a good rags to riches story and that's exactly what I got with A Most Noble Heir. Nolan Price has been employed as a stable hand at Stainsby Hall in Derbyshire, England for years. He loves the work and fellow employees, especially the lovely kitchen maid Hannah Burnham.

Nolan has dreams of a farm of his own and making Hannah his wife. He's been saving and planning for years and he's on the cusp of  all that happening when his mother takes ill. Nolan's mom has been keeping something very important from him for his entire life and now that she's dying she must confess. The news is shocking and devastating and changes not only Nolan's life but the lives of all those around him.

I enjoyed reading about the struggle of instant fortune. It's something we all dream about but rarely let ourselves think about the repercussions of what it would really be like. Every aspect of Nolan's life changed and he had to learn to navigate and balance what used to be with what is. 

The learning curve wasn't steep for Nolan alone. It was also hard for Hannah and Nolan's new family. It was equal parts blessing and curse. What I really enjoyed about the story was the suspense of the sinister plot that was going on during this time of transition. 

This is definitely a book for historical romance lovers. The rural manor house setting and all the British complexities make for a delightful read. 

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Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.








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