Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Those Stupid Charming Smiles of His

End of the Trail 

      by: Vickie McDonough

He enters a poker game and wins a new life
She loses the only home she has ever known
Two hostile adversaries must work together

     It didn't take long for Brooks Morgan to make a name for himself in Shoofly. A high stakes poker game ends with Brooks holding the deed to his new friend Will's ranch, a vague promise to "take care of Keri," and Will's mysterious demise.

     When Brooks finally rides to the Raven Creek Ranch, he is greeted by a rifle pointed straight at his chest. This is the "Keri" he promised to take care of- Will's niece- who believes Raven Creek is promised to her. Keri and Brooks have only one thing in common, they both want to save the ranch. Will their differences make that impossible?

Doubt meets hope, and fear gives way to faith in the Morgan family. 

   End of the Trail starts out with a prologue that begins ten years before the start of the book. Brooks Morgan is cocky and spoiled. At sixteen he doesn't want to do any work, and when pressure is applied to do his part, he bolts. The book picks up Brooks Morgans story ten years later, when he has become a drifter. During this period of time you would expect that Brooks would have matured, as drifting is such a hard life, but you find that he didn't really change. I was slightly disappointed in the lack of change, because I feel that you would expect changes to happen over ten years, instead of the few months over which the book took place.

    The book is completely appropriate, not mentioning any untoward things. The book also incorporates well weaved verses into their complete turn around. I loved how the book showed how God can mend all things, if you will just give him the reins. The book is totally worth the reading. 

     It was a quick read, that left you guessing at most every new plot twist. I didn't have to guess, as I picked it up and read it in one sitting. I was also impressed at the author's switching point of views. Sometimes you find that when author's switch the point of view as often as every other chapter, you find yourself lost or having to repeat scenes. However, in this book it was done so beautifully that there was no confusion during the transition at all. 

     I didn't read the other books in the series. I was surprised by how easy it was to get into the flow of the book without having to read the others first.  I was so wowed by this story and the author's style that I think the other books are definitely worth checking out. 

     I was given a copy of this book by Moody Publishers in exchange for a review, either good or bad. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

An Unfortunate Detour

A cowboy who wants to be a preacher. An outlaw's daughter who wants to change his mind.

On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can't believe it when he's forced off the train by an outlaw and presented to the man's daughter as the preacher she requested for her birthday. He's determined to escape--which would be much easier if he could stop thinking about Joanna Robbins and her unexpected request.

For months, Joanna had prayed for a minister. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. But just when it seems her prayers have been answered, it turns out the parson is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett he ended up right where he was supposed to be?

      Stealing the Preacher is a continuation of Karen Witemeyer's last book Short Straw Bride. Crockett the second oldest, has finally struck out and is becoming a preacher. In Short Straw Bride, Crockett has moved from the farm and gotten a mentor who has secured him an interview with a parish. In the first book, we only get a peek at who Crockett is. We see a little winking and teasing and talking out of turn, but that is about it.

     In Stealing the Preacher we see a hardworking cowboy turned into a minister, and the incredulity that comes when people realize he is a minister. This really puts the oddness of his position into perspective for us. We don't think anything of a minister answering his calling, no matter what his background. Cowboys in Texas did not become ministers, and Crockett's transformation from cowboy to minister is exceptionally portrayed.

     Karen Witemeyer dangles the blooming romance in front of our faces until we have no choice but to positively groan in desperation. I loved the way she tied in the most horrid woman in all the realms into the happy plot line.

     This book in particular, my girl-friend and I both felt Silas' character maturity deeply. (Silas is Joanna's ex-outlaw father- who stole Crockett). We were absolutely touched at how Karen weaved in the reality of the struggle that people face. We could relate to it personally. As someone who reads books in such a short time, it is really hard to emotionally connect with anyone, but Silas just spoke to me. I could see so many qualities in him that I could see in my own father (the over protectiveness) I almost wept. Which really is hard for me. This book definitely sent me into tears. However, I was also sent into peals of laughter. This book is really an amazing find, and I absolutely cannot wait for the next one (hopefully soon!)

Have an absolutely amazing day, and enjoy your book!

     P.S. Bethany House & Karen made a book trailer. I generally think them irrelevant, but this one was just so cute, so you can see it here:

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Gathering of Western Writers

Hello Readers!

I want to welcome you to a gathering of western christian writers that all come together to publish a blog called Writes of Passage.

You can locate them at http://writespassage.blogspot.com/2013/07/welcome-to-my-writing-space_9.html.

Most of the books I review are by some of these authors, and the ones that I have read are really very good. I have recently started following them, and I love reading it! Karen Witemeyer is also a part of a few other blogs, which you can find the names of on her website.

When I was on the blog not just this past week, I found a few books for free as e-books for only a few months longer. They are called A Daughter's Inheritance and In the Company of Secrets.

I hope you enjoy these books as much as I hope to. Until next time.