Sunday, October 6, 2013

Author TRACIE PETERSON--"Land of the Shining Waters" inspirational historical romance series offers a fascinating look at late nineteenth-century Minnesota




The Miner's Lady (Land of Shining Water #3)


When Chantel Panetta's younger sister claims to be in love with Orlando Calarco, Chantel knows there is no hope. The Panettas and Calarcos have been sworn enemies for decades, and young love cannot heal the deep wounds between the two iron-mining families. Yet, unable to resist Isabella's pleas, Chantel agrees to help her sister spend time with Orlando...only to have a run-in with Dante, Orlando's brother. The older, more handsome one.


Chantel can't deny the attraction that flares when she's with Dante. But when a tragedy occurs at the mine, is there any hope that the hatred that has simmered between these two families might be resolved? Or will Chantel's hope for love be buried amidst decades of misunderstanding?


MY REVIEW:

"The Miner's Lady", Book Three in author Tracie Peterson's "Land of Shining Waters" series, tells an emotional tale of two feuding Italian families who work the iron ore mines of late nineteenth-century Minnesota. The Panettas and the Calarcos brought their decades old dispute with them from the Old Country to the United States. When young Isabella Panetta falls in love with Orlando Calarco, she turns to her older sister, Chantel, for guidance. Isabella needs Chantel to run interference and prevent Orlando's older brother, Dante, from keeping the young sweethearts apart. Dante is determined to carry out his father's edict that a Calarco can have nothing to do with a Panetta, and Chantel is offended by his abrupt, insulting manner. As Chantel and Dante continue to cross paths and be at cross purposes, an attraction between them grows. Neither of them expected to be so drawn to the other, and their admiration for each other only adds to the complexity of a very problematic situation. However, Isabella and Orlando are determined to be together, and there is as much assistance from Chantel as there is resistance from Dante. After surviving an accident at the mine, Chantel's father begins to make overtures of peace to Dante's father, who is highly opposed to ending the long-standing feud. When tragedy strikes, and strikes again, can faith pull together hearts and lives and allow love to conquer all? A very enjoyable and recommended series from author Tracie Peterson.

Review Copy Gratis Bethany House Books



The Quarryman's Bride (Land of Shining Water, #2)


Emmalyne Knox and Tavin MacLachlan were destined to be together...until the tragic deaths of Emmalyne's youngest sisters. Family tradition mandates that the youngest daughter should remain single to care for her parents in their old age, and now that daughter is Emmalyne. Her father unyielding, Emmalyne surrenders to her duty, heartbroken. Tavin leaves town, equally devastated.

Years later, Emmalyne's family moves, and she and Tavin meet again. Their feelings for each other are as strong as ever, but their painful past and Emmalyne's father still stand between them. Soon both families are in the midst of the growing conflict rising between the workers at the granite quarry that Tavin's father owns and operates. When a series of near-fatal accidents occur, Tavin must figure out who is behind the attacks before someone gets killed.
Bound by obligation, yet yearning for a future together, can Emmalyne and Tavin dare to dream that God could heal a decade-long wound and change the hearts of those who would stand in the way of true love?


MY REVIEW:


With "The Quarryman's Bride", author Tracie Peterson returns readers to Minnesota of the late 1890's. As the twentieth century approaches, and modernization invades, many of those whose families work as manual laborers wonder what the future will bring. Emmalyne Knox has a father and brother who depend on the rock quarry trade to earn a living. Her father, Luthias, had begun as a laborer, but his way with figures led him to work as a bookkeeper and office manager. Emmalyne's brother, Angus, worked in the quarry itself. More than a decade had passed since a devastating storm had passed through their home area of St. Cloud, wreaking havoc and taking lives, including those of Emmalyne's two younger sisters. The Knox family was emotionally torn apart, and Luthias moved the remaining family to Minneapolis, forcibly ending Emmalyne's engagement to Tavin MacLachlan. Claiming an old Scottish tradition, Luthias declared that with his two oldest daughters married and living a distance away, and his two youngest daughters dead, it was Emmalyne's familial duty to remain with her parents and care for them as they grew older. Already a harsh and unyielding man, Luthias could not be dissuaded from this heartbreaking path. Tavin begged Emmalyne to elope with him, but she was a dutiful and devout daughter, and she would not go against her father's wishes. Tavin bitterly let her go, leaving Emmalyne in despair. Now the Knox family has returned to St. Cloud, and this time her father and brother will work for Tavin's father, Robert, who has his own quarry business. Tavin had left St. Cloud not long after the Knox family moved away, and he and Emmalyne had not seen each other or had contact in all those long years. Tavin has traveled and worked all around the country, and when word reaches him that his father had been ill, he returns to St. Cloud to help his father with the quarry business. He is unprepared to be working with Luthias, the man who ruined his life, and when he sees Emmalyne again, he knows that he loves her still. Emmalyne is overjoyed to see Tavin again, but his bitter attitude is still very much in evidence. As circumstances bring them more and more into each other's company, the longing for what should have been grows deeper and deeper. Emmalyne's father is just as dictatorial and demanding as ever, and her mother has grown weaker and more melancholy as the years have passed. Is there hope that abiding faith and true love can change the hardest of hearts? Can the future leave the hurt of the past behind? When threats to the safety of the quarry and their families force them to fight side-by-side, will old wounds be healed? A stirring addition to Tracie Peterson's "Land of Shining Water" series.


Review Copy Gratis Bethany House Books



The Icecutter's Daughter (Land of Shining Water, #1)
Merrill Krause longs for a family of her own, but she's bound by a promise to her dying mother to care for her father and older brothers until they no longer need her. She enjoys being part of the family business, harvesting ice during the brutal Minnesota winters. Merrill actively takes part, possessing a keen ability to work with the horses--despite the advice of her good friend, who disapproves of her unladylike behavior. 



 

When Rurik Jorgenson arrives in their small town to join his uncle doing carpentry, he soon crosses paths with Merrill. But unlike other men, who are often frightened away by her older brothers, Rurik isn't intimidated by them or by Merrill's strength and lack of femininity. As he thrives under the mentorship of his uncle, Rurik dreams of inheriting the business and claiming Merrill as his wife. But while he is determined to start a new life, the past is determined to follow him when his former fiancee and her brother show up in town. Soon Rurik is put in the center of a major scandal that may damage his relationship with Merrill. Can they learn to trust God--and each other--and embrace the promise of love?


MY REVIEW:


Set in Minnesota close to the end of the nineteenth century, "The Icecutter's Daughter" is the first book in author Tracie Peterson's "Land of Shining Water" series. I loved the heroine of this story, Merrill Krause, who is strong, caring, hard-working, and feminine in her own way. Merrill became the "woman of the house" at ten years old when she promised her dying mother that she would care for her father and all her brothers. An excellent cook and housekeeper, Merrill inherited her mother's beauty and artistic flair. However, Merrill works just as hard as the male members of her family, toiling alongside them in the family icecutting business. She enjoys the physical labor, most especially working with the big work horses with whom she has a special bond. Rurik Jorgenson, the nephew of the Krause's family friend, Carl Jorgenson, arrives from Kansas to help his uncle, who is in failing health. Before leaving his home, Rurik's arranged engagement to young Svea Olsson had ended badly, causing hard feelings with Svea's brother Nils, who was Rurik's longtime friend. Working for his uncle in his furniture business is a pleasure for Rurik, made even more enjoyable each time Merrill comes to visit and bring delicious baked goods. Rurik is drawn to Merrill's unpretentious strength and kindness, and she is taken by his admirable work ethic and his respect and affection for his uncle. When Rurik discover's Merrill's artistic talent, he encourages her to join the furniture business adding her painted designs to specialty items. When Svea and her brother arrive unexpectedly from Kansas, they bring trouble with them, and soon Rurik's life is laden with unwelcome complications. Svea tries everything in her power to force Rurik to marry her, and Nils supports her efforts. A scandal ensues, and the consequences could ruin not only Rurik's reputation and livelihood, but also bring to an end his hopes of a future with Merrill. Almost twenty-one years old, Merrill had spent her life putting her father and brothers first, with her own dreams being pushed aside. Rurik is the only man she's ever met with whom she wants to share her heart, but can she trust him with her life and her love? Will they both have the faith and the fortitude to survive their time of tribulations? Tracie Peterson is one of my favorite storytellers, and with each book of hers that I read, my admiration grows for her skill in combining history and romance with inspiring faith.


TRACIE PETERSON

Tracie Peterson


Tracie Peterson is a bestselling author who writes in both historical and contemporary genres. Her novels reveal her love for research as well as her strong desire to develop emotionally meaningful characters and stories for her readers. Tracie and her family live in Montana.

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