Friday, July 31, 2015

Among the Fair Magnolias

Among the Fair Magnolias

Among the Fair Magnolias 

Novella Collection 

Thomas Nelson 

During the most turbulent decade of our nation's history, four Southern women---their destinies forged by birth and heritage---face nearly impossible choices on their journeys in life . . . and in love.

A Heart So True by Dorothy Love
Abigail Clayton hopes to reconcile with Dr. Wade Bennett and become his wife. But her father insists she marry her distant cousin Charles Kittridge so the plantations of the two families will be joined. With her wedding looming, Abby must choose between duty to her family and the yearnings of her own heart.

My thoughts: This was a sweet story. Abby Clayton knows her heart, and it is true to Dr. Wade Bennett. She is not fond of Charles at all and has had encounters with him that prove she doesn't want to marry him, but her father and Charles are insistent. It would benefit Abby's father's run for governor and ensure Abby is taken care of... Since this story is set five or so years before the start of the Civil War, in South Carolina, and we all know our history... Well, ignorance is bliss, right?  The story was slow, but the writing was stellar. I definitely had my opinions about the two men vying for her attention. If you like sweet historical romances, A HEART SO TRUE is a cute story. It was a good lead story for this collection. 4 stars. 

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander
Savannah Darby would do almost anything to revisit her family home.
So when the new owner Aidan Bedford seeks to redecorate the house for his fiancée, Savannah jumps at the opportunity. But can she find the box her father supposedly hid there during the war before her assignment is completed? And before she sees yet another battle lost on the home front---this time, a battle of the heart.

My thoughts: This is the most adorable story! I absolutely loved TO MEND A DREAM. Savannah and Aidan were both very well developed characters and I cared for both of them deeply. I thought Aidan had known her boyfriend during the Civil War--not exactly the case. I didn't care at all for Aidan's fiancee, but I know Savannah needed the money to take care of her brother and sister. An absolutely wonderful story. I will look for more books by Tamera Alexander. 5 stars. 

Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser
Emily Derracott loves her childhood friend Thomas McGinnis, but she cannot marry a man who doesn't share her strong convictions about the freedmen. Besides, she harbors a secret love for someone else. But the prospect of becoming his wife is not only improbable---it is completely impossible.

My thoughts: This was a rather sad book to read, even this many years later. It is terrible how the KKK treated fellow Americans. I know it was real, and it added for lots of tension, but the story broke my heart multiple times. I did like both of the main characters and even some of the secondary characters, and had to admire Emily's efforts. The story is well written and seemed true to history. A nice addition to this collection, and a sweet ending. 3.5 stars. 

An Outlaw's Heart by Shelley Gray
Seven years ago Russell Champion was betrayed by the two most important women in his life. Now Russell returns home, but is it too late to make amends with his mother and find closure with his true love?

My thoughts:  I love Ms. Gray's Amish romances, but this one not so much. It was well written in Ms. Gray's classic style, but the writing almost seemed amateurish compared to her Amish stories. Russell left home seven years ago because he murdered his step-father for sexually abusing Russell's fiancee. His mom and his fiancee reject him for being a murderer so he leaves and joins a violent gang. But now he's back--for reasons unknown. I couldn't connect with this characters though I did want to. 3 stars. 

Over all thoughts: I love these four in one collections, but this had one story that I truly enjoyed. The others were okay.  If you like historical fiction and are fans of these authors work, you will probably love AMONG THE FAIR MAGNOLIAS.  Its also a good way to get a taste of different author's work.  I did find a new-to-me author I'd like to read more by.  Over all, 3.875 stars. Rounded up to 4. 

Includes Recipes and Discussion Questions

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 Meet the Authors 

Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of numerous books including A Lasting Impression and The Inheritance. Her richly-drawn characters and thought-provoking plots have earned her devoted readers worldwide. Tamera is a two-time Christy Award winner, two-time RITA winner, and a recipient of the prestigious Library Journal Award. Tamera and her husband recently returned to her Southern roots and now make their home in Nashville.

Visit her website Facebook: tamera.alexanderTwitter: @tameraalexander

Shelley Gray is the author of The Heart of a Hero series. Her Amish novel (written as Shelley Shepard Gray), The Protector, recently made the New York Times best seller list. A native of Texas, she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in Colorado and taught school for ten years. She and her husband have two children and live in Southern Ohio.

Visit her website at Facebook:ShelleyShepardGray Twitter: @ShelleySGray

A native of west Tennessee, Dorothy Love makes her home in the Texas hill country with her husband and their golden retriever. An award-winning author of numerous young adult novels, Dorothy made her adult debut with the Hickory Ridge novels.

Visit her online Facebook: dorothylovebooks Twitter:@WriterDorothy

Elizabeth Musser writes 'entertainment with a soul' from her writing chalet-tool shed-outside Lyon, France.  Elizabeth's highly acclaimed, best-selling novel, The Swan House, was named one of Amazon's Top Christian Books of the Year and one of Georgia's Top Ten Novels of the Past 100 Years (Georgia Backroads, 2009).  All of Elizabeth's novels have been translated into multiple languages. Two Destinies, the final novel in The Secrets of the Cross trilogy, was a finalist for the 2013 Christy Award. For over twenty-five years, Elizabeth and her husband, Paul, have been involved in missions work with International Teams.  The Mussers have two sons, a daughter-in-law and three grandchildren.

Visit her website at Facebook:pages/Elizabeth-Musser

 Blog Tour Schedule

Four best-selling novelists bring tales of four Southern women who face near impossible choices on their journeys in life and in love during the most turbulent decade of our nation’s history in Among the Fair MagnoliasDon't miss this collection of stories from Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, Dorothy Love, and Elizabeth Musser.

Join the authors in celebrating the release of Among the Fair Magnolias by entering to win their Southern Hearts Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVPing to their August 13th author chat party!


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HD 6

  • One copy of Among the Fair Magnolias

  • Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/13. The winner will be announced at the Among the Fair Magnolias Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tamera, Dorothy, Shelley, and Elizabeth, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!


    RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 13th!

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