** spoiler alert ** My heart complete breaks and repairs through this book. This story is told giving perspWhen the Heart Cries Read in November, 2007
** spoiler alert ** My heart complete breaks and repairs through this book. This story is told giving perspective into many of the characters lives and it makes you look back on your own with perspective. ***SPOILER ALERT*** Imagine leading a plain, normal strict life, yet having a desire for a man you know will not receive approval in the eyes of your family your people and struggling to find a way. Then as everything looks like it will work out just find, you're raped by a stranger and nobody believes you. Then when you finally accept the reality of a pregnancy, you lose that too. Only through the grace of God can life be repaired.
Usually I despise books that leave things wanting, but this book was perfect. It ended at just the right time and I look forward to reading a sequel When The Morning Comes.
TALK ABOUT A CLIFF HANGER! Dudette, you can not just leave me hanging like this, I don't know how I'm suppose to make it to September! Ugh!
This book was really great, better than the first, and I really enjoyed that one. There is real issues that are tough on life and hard, but there is goodness. There are more characters to fall in love with in this book and the personalities are so real and so great, that you do not know who to love more as a reader and feel just as confused as the character and then realize the things that you know that she/he doesn't and your heart breaks for them, but you still do not know which would be better! I could not read this book fast enough to find out what happens and each part is really unexpected and fascinating. I earnestly cannot wait for the next book!
Wow. That is the main thought that I am left with after finishing this magnificent book. Cindy Woodsmall has done an amazing job with her debut series and I cannot wait to read more from this fabulous author. I enjoyed the first book and really was full of emotion for the characters. I cannot tell you how many times throughout the series I was brought to tears or screaming in anger when the characters would not for themselves.
When the Soul Mends is an incredible book about such depth with a vast amount of heart wrenching drama that is so real and so needed to be read. You could read this book alone, but I strongly suggest you start from the beginning, because only after going through When the Heart Cries to the When the Morning Comes can you really appreciate the beauty and fully healing affects of When the Soul Mends. Can you see how perfect these titles are?
I'm practically speechless, but I want to ramble about how great this book is. The characters are so real, as are their troubles and joys. Cindy really brings you into an Amish/Plain/Englisher world and shows the good, as well as the bad in all cases. After falling into their world in the first two novels and screaming for answers with the cliff hangers those two left me in, Cindy has answered everything in more depth and better than I ever could have imagined. I'm completely satisfied with this series and you can bet it is on my keeper shelf. ...more
Petticoat Ranch Historical fiction is my favorite Christian fiction genre I believe. It is how I got started reading Christian fiction, one problem witPetticoat Ranch Historical fiction is my favorite Christian fiction genre I believe. It is how I got started reading Christian fiction, one problem with it, is that some how I seem to have started with the best and often have a hard time finding anything that really meets the par. Things are great and enjoyable, but not quite as exciting as those first Liz Curtis Higgs or Tracie Peterson and even Francine Rivers' Redeeming Love. Well, boy is that not the case with Mary Connealy! Welcome to my favorites' shelf! (Literally I do have a favorites' shelf, if my mom didn't have half my books from it, I'd post a picture). (Ugh, it was a library book... I'll have to get a copy to put on my favorites' shelf....)
Petticoat Ranch is everything that a good historical fiction should be, and I'm glad to have read it. I'm a southern gal through and through, and I'd like to think myself a Southern Belle. I'm really invested in my genealogy, and I have my family tracked for years to the late sixteen century in the Carolinas, and Virginia, and then later Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Texas. I guess one way to put it, is to say that I'm completely biased. I love the bumper sticker that says "North 1 South 0 Half Time". Not that I'm saying "yay to slavery", but I know the stories, and have read journals of my own family members and have seen how cruel some of the North was against them. Not saying the South were angels, but I'm partial to my rebels, as they are my own blood. With that said... It's often hard for me to ever feel much for a story with Norther ties and empathy.
Not at all the case with this book. I so feel for the characters, they are completely real to me, and I'm fully on their side! This book was incredible. I cannot count the times that I giggled, or rolled my eyes. I have no recollection of how many times I scoffed or said, "MEN!". I am quite unsure of how many times I snickered and had a little evil laugh, feeling I'm sure the emotions of Sophie and her girls. In all cases, it was plenty, and I definitely was smiling through out this novel. That is, when I wasn't scowling and wanting revenge for my own self. The sermons were perfect and powerful, and so true to how God works. The reactions of the characters was real, and the men were not overly flowery, but were such "men". (A problem often found with women authors, but not so with this book in my opinion. With that said, usually male authors have problems with their female characters in my mind too.)
Sophie is such a strong woman, struggling to keep it all together, and I just love her personality. The girls are fabulous, and I really giggle and evil giggle with Beth loving what she's up to. I really cannot praise this story enough, now that I think about it. So many different personalities are captured within the different characters, and the main two commandments of Love from Jesus Christ reverberate through the pages. Even the most stubborn of a person can see a little insight into themselves through these pages.
Calico Canyon When I got the background on this book, I was a little apprehensive about reading it since I knew that it was about Miss Grace Calhoun. Upon reading Petticoat Ranch Miss Calhoun was present, but only faintly. She was definitely not my favorite character, especially in comparison to the wonders of Sophie and her girls. But, upon reading the first chapter of Calico Canyon Grace came slightly off her pedestal and I began to have some compassion for her. It was by the beginning of chapter three th ...more When I got the background on this book, I was a little apprehensive about reading it since I knew that it was about Miss Grace Calhoun. Upon reading Petticoat Ranch Miss Calhoun was present, but only faintly. She was definitely not my favorite character, especially in comparison to the wonders of Sophie and her girls. But, upon reading the first chapter of Calico Canyon Grace came slightly off her pedestal and I began to have some compassion for her. It was by the beginning of chapter three that I was enthralled and ready to commit a full friendship, and by the end of chapter five, I was ready to stand behind her and beat off all the bad guys. Grace is a real person, and just one more example of what you should not just a person by their first impression they leave with you. Grace is so much more than what she seemed and I'm so thrilled that I gave her a chance.
But this book is about so much more than just dear Grace. We meet new characters with Tillie and a plausible romance that just makes sense. Tillie and Grace come from completely different backgrounds, but at the same time could not have more in common. Then there is Hannah and the others in Chicago with their own lives of triumph and struggles. This book captures so many real issues and does it in a wonderful fashion and light. Briefly to mention, there is slavery, and child abuse, and death, and love, and do not forget the idea of multiples!
Mary did a great job with this story, and I was not at all let down! As a matter of fact I was nervous, to see what would happen. I am curious and anxious now about Hannah and Libby and I do hope that there will be more stories of their lives coming from our great author Mary Connealy. I strongly urge you to take the time to read Calico Canyon, it will not disappoint.
Gingham Mountain Wow! This is the best from Mary Connealy yet, and quite possibly the best book I have ever read (under 300 pages). You have to understand... This is one of those books that you read when you have some time by yourself. First off is the matter of time, because once you start I promise it is impossible if not painful to put it down. Then, secondly, by yourself because otherwise you are going to be quite embarrassed by the looks that you will earn. I read it with only my two cats nearby and they still looked at me as if I were crazed. *snicker*
Upon starting the story there are a couple little giggles, but shortly there after they turn in to little chuckles, and then every once in a while a snicker. Once, finally it is under hand, then comes the shaking silent laughs that turn to out right snorts. Once you are sure that nothing could make you laugh anymore and you are fully in control of your senses, well then she goes and causes laugh out loud gasping and crying from laughter tears. Covering your mouth and slapping the desk as a reader you are stuck with the amount of pure glee and humor that your body has endured.
With that said, I guess I should not be surprised. Not at all really.
"Petticoat Ranch"(Book #1) was everything that a good historical fiction should be, and I'm glad to have read it. I so feel for the characters, they are completely real to me, and I'm fully on their side! When I first read it, I said this book was incredible. I cannot count the times that I giggled, or rolled my eyes. I am quite unsure of how many times I snickered and had a little evil laugh, feeling I'm sure the emotions of Sophie and her girls. In all cases, it was plenty, and I definitely was smiling through out the novel. As much as I enjoyed book #1, "Calico Canyon" (Book #2) was ever so much better! It started with a character that I was not found of from book one, and by chapter three I was swearing loyalty to her and wishing her well.
So far, everything that I have read by Mary has been a complete success in my mind, and I cannot wait to read more! Not only are her stories a good laugh, but they contain such heart beating romance that you blush and giggle with the emotions going through the characters as they trip over themselves in pure beginning steps of love. The bad guys are horrors, and you are almost screaming aloud for justice to be seen. Hardships of real life are touched on in the stories and lessons and the heart of Christ come through in the characters.
Earnestly, I cannot recommend the books and their stories strongly enough! ...more
The Red Siren Upon starting this novel, I was not completely enthralled with the character of Faith. She is independent, and feminist, and arrogant. AfThe Red Siren Upon starting this novel, I was not completely enthralled with the character of Faith. She is independent, and feminist, and arrogant. After learning her background and coming to understand her plight I was able to allow her into my heart more. My first adventure with MaryLu Tyndall's The Falcon and the Sparrow was able to show me that MaryLu was a fabulous story teller. This book was able to show me that I want more and more and that the story is not long enough. I have not yet read her original pirate series, but now I must, as well as I cannot wait for the next in the Charles Towne Belle Series to come out.
This book brings us three sisters with very different lives, a naval officer with a past but a present and future guided by God, as well as two ex-slaves that are learning more about love and family than they knew in their years before. The author truly brings to life realistic characters that make you smile and make you cringe. From the First Mate who does not know what he wants to the heir or the city who is a pompous fool. There is hope and a light for all people, it just depends on if you are strong enough to look for it.
It took a couple chapters, but once I was sucked in, and curious for more, I could not stop turning the pages until I found out what would happen next. At each turn of events and situation I had no clue as to how anything could possibly work out and I was pleasantly surprised through out the entire journey to be thoroughly entertained and educated in the pirate and naval world of early Charles Towne, Carolina.
I highly recommend this story as well as anything else by MaryLu (M.L.) Tyndall and other related authors as well such as Kathleen Y'Barbo. Go read it. You will not be disappointed!
The Blue Enchantress As the pages turn I can hear the metal clanging of sword and the roar of a wave and smell the sea spray. I can hear gulls cry and picture the fish swimming beneath the aquamarine glass of water. Imagery is fabulously portrayed in this second book of the Charles Towne Belles trilogy following a second sister Hope. In the first book, readers were introduced to Faith, a proper lady of Charles Towne, who also happens to be a red haired pirate known as the Red Siren and her two sisters Hope and Grace. Grace is the pious, yet seemly zealous sister who appears to know all when it comes to God and I look forward to her story in the third novel.
Hope is one of those characters who grates on your nerves. She happens to do the most ignorant things and get into the most compromising situations and you just want to wash your hands of her. This story of the "Blue Enchantress" is the telling of Hope and how she can have a future if she reaches for it. This is one of those stories where a reader can really relate to Hope and her situation. Who among us has not done something in their past that they felt was unforgivable and that they were too terrible for God to really love. Through out the pages of this pirate adventure, many characters are brought together and show the various elements of realistic people. The missionary, the average Christian male, the pompous jerk with an authority position, and the broken woman and more.
It is a reminder and a vivid picture of how each person we come in contact with changes us, as we do to them as well. Some for the good, some for the bad. This is part of a trilogy, but could easily be read as a stand alone novel and enjoyed. Just as the epilogue in the first novel left you thirsting for this one, this epilogue makes you impatient for the third.
Highly recommended. One that makes you smile secretly to yourself as well as almost throw it down with angry emotion - this book is a page turner of adventure.
The Raven Saint MaryLu is an author that I always enjoy. During my move this book disappeared and I did not get to finish it. It was very frustrating, but then while I was reading my latest sea-bound adventure Ransome's Crossing I found the hiding book. So I jumped from one adventurous romance ship-set journey to another in a different part of the ocean.
Each of the Charles Towne Belles novels has given an inside view to a different sister with extremely unique personality. I wish there was a fourth ...more MaryLu is an author that I always enjoy. During my move this book disappeared and I did not get to finish it. It was very frustrating, but then while I was reading my latest sea-bound adventure Ransome's Crossing I found the hiding book. So I jumped from one adventurous romance ship-set journey to another in a different part of the ocean.
Each of the Charles Towne Belles novels has given an inside view to a different sister with extremely unique personality. I wish there was a fourth book about the last sister, yet I will take what I can get. Grace Westcott is the pious sister, and in the past books I did not really like her. Yet as I was able to know her personality and think about her perilous situation of being kidnapped and taken aboard a ship to be sold into slavery to a Spanish Don I was able to grow with her and learned to love her.
How many of us are like the Rich Man or the Pharisee that think we have everything figured out. Learning each day that it is not about us, but about the bigger picture and about Christ is quite the experience. Rafe Dubois is a fabulous character and brought me many smiles to see his inner personality wander the page. Each chapter was exciting and thrilling as I anticipated and could not wait for what would happen next.
Every book with MaryLu is a delight and I cannot wait for more. Especially her new Surrender to Destiny series with it's beautiful covers!...more
I am in complete love with Rachel's Low Country Romance series. These novels are calm yet romantically tense. The characters are real and quirky and tI am in complete love with Rachel's Low Country Romance series. These novels are calm yet romantically tense. The characters are real and quirky and the heroes are heart beating hunks on the page. I thoroughly enjoyed Sweet Caroline, and Love Starts with Elle remains one of my favorite contemporary Christian romances to this day and ending with "Dining with Joy" I'm a content reader.
Beaufort, South Carolina is the place to be. Joy Ballard leads an interesting life as a faux cooking host for a show becoming more and more popular. Watching the relationship start from the first jingle of the diner door to on camera and cross country with Chef Luke Davis is beautiful and fun. Wondering how it will end and which way they will go when big decisions need to be made was tense. Side characters of Lyric, Rosie, and Anne-Rae bring life elements to the page. Plenty of space for discussion and conversation starters this is a great book for many people to enjoy.
I love Rachel's narrative voice in this series and I cannot wait for more romantic journeys from her imagination in the future. Life decisions and following God's will are not always easy, but watching these characters learn to listen is an inspiration for any reader's own life. Reading about Joy Ballard, was truly a joy. ;)
*Thanks to Jeane Wynn of Wynn Wynn Media for providing an ARC for review.*