by Brenda Casto | 2/18/2014
" Dr.Drew Anderson and his wife Hannah, lived a pretty comfortable life in Cincinnati Ohio, good friends and a thriving practice is everything they hoped for.When Drew's brother commits an act that turns the community against the them, their friends stop speaking to them, and Drew's patients stop coming to the clinic, Drew and Hannah know they are going to have to do something. When Drew notices an ad in the paper stating that doctors are needed out west he decides that the answer is to move west and start over where no one knows about his brother. Hannah knows they need to move, but doesn't want to move to Arizona. As the couple starts out on their wagon train journey, things are difficult for Drew, while a very competent doctor,he feels less than adequate when it comes to handling a wagon or managing the oxen, he doesn't even know how to shoot a gun. The tension between him and Hannah makes him continue to second guess whether he actually made the right decision, but from the start he felt as if God was leading them, and prays that once they reach their destination things will work out!
Will Colter grew up on his father's ranch in Texas,but knew that as the youngest son someday the ranch would belong to his brother. After the untimely death of his father, his brother Reuben gives him two weeks to leave the ranch. Even though Will had received half of the livestock and financial holdings, the ranch belonged to Reuben, giving Will no choice but to strike out on his own. The only regret is that he will have to leave his young sister Julia behind, but the will also stated that Reuben was to be her guardian, leaving Will no choice. After finding some documents belonging to his father about the Arizona territory Will believes God is leading him to Arizona, and while he knows it wont be an easy trip, his faith and the hope of establishing his own ranch propel him forward!
This story starts out as a story about the Anderson's, but also a story about Will Colter. Each story has its own issues, but each story has one thing in common, each character is facing a monumental move, striking out on the westward journey hoping for a new life. The trip west isn't easy by any means, and while we pick up a few new characters along the way, my heart also broke when one didn't make it, but honestly I imagine that is how the real move west was. The one thing that kept them going was their faith in God and the promise of a new beginning. The author does a seamless job of moving between the two stories, allowing the reader two views of a journey that culminates in the same destination. I loved the characters in this story, their emotions are so heartfelt, and their faith so strong, it literally jumps off the page. Even though this is a work of fiction, you feel as if your getting a bit of a history lesson as well,because some of the events that take place in the book actually happened.
For fans of inspirational fiction the author weaves a heart grabbing story of faith and love as well as loss and new beginnings. While it is an inspirational story it would easily appeal to anyone who enjoys reading the trials and triumphs of the westward journey. Even though the author wrapped the ending up quite nicely I hope she gives us a sequel, because several of the secondary characters seemed to be begging to tell their own story! "
by Wendy | 2/15/2014
" Hannah and Drew Anderson were upstanding citizens in Cincinnati, Ohio. Drew was a doctor and had all the patients he needed to make a good living for him and his wife and hopefully children the would have. Hannah loved being Drew's wife and could hardly wait to become a Mother. Until that time she kept busy helping her husband out in his practice whenever needed, even if it meant ruining meals and having to start over at the drop of a hat. They had many good friends and thought they would always be at home in Cincinnati. That is until Drew's brother caused problems, he and his brother had not spoken in a long time but when his brother and two other men robbed the bank in town and shot the banker things drastically changed. Drew takes care of the banker but when the town finds out that his brother was one of the robbers, they turn against Drew and Hannah. Their closest friends, who are supposed to join them for dinner after church, won't sit by them, they notice everyone in the congregation is sitting on the opposite side of the church, they are all alone.
Drew and Hannah each have their own thoughts about possibly moving since Drew no longer has any patients and knows he can't make a living staying there. The problem is they each have different ideas of where to go, but Drew goes ahead and starts making plans to go west to Arizona without talking about it until things are set in motion. Hannah is upset and grudgingly goes along with his plans, but with hard feelings, making for a long trip. Drew has never driven a wagon or shot a gun, both of which you need to know how to do to travel in a wagon train, Hannah has, but Drew won't let her help. Needless to say, things are pretty quiet between them on that trip west. During the long trip they can't seem to talk about their problems even though they still love each other
Will Coulter is happy with his life until his Father dies and his older brother basically kicks him off of their family property. The property is left to Reuben, they have to divide the cattle and horses along with some cash, and his sister Julia is left in Reuben's care. Reuben never cared about the ranch and Will knows he will just run it in the ground. Will worries about Julia because Reuben only cares about himself, not his wife, kids or Julia. He's afraid Reuben will 'sell' Julia into a marriage to a man not worthy of her, but there's nothing he can do. Will hires his dad's ranch foreman Ben, along with some ranch hands to travel to Arizona, but not nearly as many as he feels he needs. He picked Arizona after finding some papers in his Father's things after he died.
There are two storylines to follow and you wonder how they go together besides heading to the same state. They are headed for different towns and Karen did a good job of keeping you interested to where you don't want to put the 'Kindle' down. The wagon train and Will and his crew and stock all reach Arizona, but you will have to read the book to find out how it all 'pans' out.
I definitely recommend this book and look forward to reading the other three in the series, A Heart Renewed and A Heart Restored are already out, and A Hope Revealed is coming soon. "
by Brenda Rupp | 1/28/2014
" I really enjoyed this book. It was a break from the books I have been reading lately. I have always had a soft spot for either books with cowboys or books that have people in covered wagons traveling to a land unknown to them other than the recomendation they might read in a newspaper by someone who was supposed to have made the trip there and knew the land. It is always a situation where the people who decide to pick up and move, in this case Hannah has to go with her husband, as that is what they did, to the new land and it is never as easy or as quick a trip as is outlined in the paper. They always find themselves unprepared for Indians, drought, food shortages, wood shortages for starting fires to cook with, etc. They have to make do, and make it through. That is where the story is always interesting. These are the people who built up the lad across the United States, and how they did it is always a good read for me. Especially when the author is so well prepared to write such a book as this author was. She did her homework and knew what the people traveling would need to take, leave, purchase, what they would run into on their trip, etc. When a book is written this well it is always interesting to me. I really enjoyed this book. It is in inspirationg tone to the book, if reading books that have quotes from the bible, and have a story that is to inspire you to believe also is not your bag than this book is not for you. I just think it is refreshing.
Here is the description from the back of the book:
The promise of a new life and a chance to start overâ€¦ Hannah Anderson had the life she always wanted, married to the man of her dreams. When her husbandâ€™s brother gets in trouble with the law, the town turns against them, shattering her perfect life. Now they are left with only one choiceâ€”to head west to the Arizona Territory in the hopes of creating a new life. Will the journey be worth the cost? Will Colter, after burying his father, is forced to leave the ranch he has called home for nearly thirty years. The journey is dangerous, challenging him and his men. Will he find the new life he was hoping for? Or, is there a new dream quietly unfolding before their eyes? PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: This Christian Historical Romance Fiction novel follows the journey of a couple, Drew and Hannah Anderson, as they travel from Cincinnati, Ohio to the newly created Arizona Territory in 1863. In their search for a new life, they encounter many dangers and joys along the way. They meet the governor of the territory and travel with his party, witnessing several historical events. The story also follows Will Colterâ€™s journey from Texas to the Arizona Territory when he is forced to leave his home. As this rancher drives his cattle across the wilderness, he and his men run into life-threatening situations. Throughout the move his dreams for his new ranch solidify. Once the main characters arrive in the Arizona Territory, they must learn to adapt to wilderness living. Things are not exactly what they thought. Each character is challenged to rely on God to face dangers in a new, wild territory. "
by Chasy | 1/23/2014
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" This book is responsible for getting me hooked on historical fiction! And it struck a personal note with me, in its exploration of the age-old question, "How can a loving God allow terrible things to happen, *especially* to His children?" It was a good read, intellectually and spiritually. "