I have had such fun inviting guests over and have been known to cook for days in preparation. Of course, cleaning the house is involved as well which isn’t as enjoyable as the planning and baking and decorating.
I must confess, though my husband and I really aren’t messy people, sometimes things might pile up, especially mail that needs to be read. Because of that, the idea of someone just dropping by to visit unexpectedly is a tad bit uncomfortable.
To Claim Her Heart
by Jodie Wolfe
Published by Smitten Historical Romance
Publication Date May 13, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction, Western, Action/Adventure, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Oklahoma Progressive Era – US – 1890s – 1920s
Written for: Adults
In 1893, on the eve of the great race for land, Benjamin David prays for God to guide him to his 'Promised Land. Finding property and preaching to the lost are his only ways of honoring his deceased fiancé. He hasn't counted on Elmer (Elsie) Smith claiming the same plot and refusing to leave. Not only is she a burr in his side, but she is full of the homesteading know-how he is sadly lacking.
Obtaining a claim in the Cherokee Strip Land Run is Elsie Smith's only hope for survival, and not just any plot, she has a specific one in mind. The land's not only a way to honor her pa and his life, but also to provide a livelihood for herself. She's willing to put in whatever it takes to get that piece of property, and Elsie's determined to keep it.
Her bitterness is what protects her, and she has no intentions of allowing that preacher to lay claim to her land . . . or her heart.
I would like to thank Celebrate Lit for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
As I was reading To Claim Her Heart and seeing how the homesteaders claimed their land and lived in such primitive conditions, I had a completely new picture of hospitality. When Elsie dropped by to visit the neighbor’s house and the husband offered to take care of her horse, that light bulb that you see in cartoons went off in my head. Having someone drop by on a horse leaving you to care for that horse while they visit is a LOT OF WORK! While this is not the first Western I have read by any stretch of the imagination, somehow that concept never got through this thick head of mine.
It was such a pleasure to feel so immersed in the process of making the land habitable. Building sod huts because wood was too expensive. Neighbors getting together to help with building. Fighting prairie fires together. Except for the achy muscles and benefit of the exercise, it was as if I was there.
Benjamin and Elsie were a great example of “opposites attract”. He was refined and well educated, which was evident in his speech and mannerisms. As a preacher, that is to be expected. His fiancé had been delicate, dainty and well mannered.
And then there was Elise who was the bane of her aunt’s existence, not acting like a lady and constantly getting into scrapes. Her speech was the simple language of the poorly educated. Having been raised mostly by her farmer father, she didn’t care about society’s expectations.
Elsie was a fun combination of independent and insecure. Throughout the story, I was able to watch her grow in confidence and humility. She had been cast aside by almost everyone except her Pa, so after he died, she felt she had no one, and especially not the Lord. The neighbors were so unexpected to her, the way they cared about her and helped with her needs, and Benjamin helped her to see that God cares for her even more.
There was an undercurrent of bitterness in the lives of several of the characters. Hebrews 12:15 (NASB) warns us
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;
Elsie’s aunt had allowed bitterness to grow up to such an extent that it was choking the life out of her. Her speech and attitudes caused those around her to want to escape her presence. However, as in real life, God was so gracious and kind to her in showing her the folly of her ways and leading her to seek forgiveness as we should do when we allow bitterness to hurt our relationships with others.
I enjoyed the clever way that the author had quotes from Mrs. Wigglesworth’s Essential Guide to Proper Etiquette and Manners of Refined Society at the head of each chapter and then had Elsie break the rule in the ensuing pages.
The story was interesting and touching and sweet. I am so glad that I was able to be a part of this blog tour so I could be introduced to this author through the book.
Preview of To Claim Her Heart
Jodie Wolfe’s To Claim Her Heart Pinterest Board
(click here to go directly to the board on Pinterest)
The Heart of a Book
by Jodie Wolfe
I think there’s always a little bit of the author in each book they write, but sometimes something deeper and very close to the author is wrapped up in the pages of a story. That’s the case for To Claim Her Heart. This is the tale that my mother-in-law always wanted me to write. She was so proud of her family heritage and almost twenty years ago, she was anxious to share it with me. We visited Oklahoma where several of her relatives had staked claims in the last great race for land in our country – the Cherokee Strip Land Run of 1893. This September will mark the 125th anniversary of the land race.
While it saddens me that my dear mother-in-law never lived long enough to see this story in print, I’m thankful that she shared her rich heritage with me. In To Claim Her Heart I was able to mention a recipe passed down through her family for prune cake. I also made sure the heroine had a Rose of Sharon quilt that was given to her. My mother-in-law gave me this quilt dating back as early as 1834 when it was stitched by my husband’s great, great, great, great grandmother. It’s been passed down to the oldest daughter for generations. But, I think one of my favorite memories is the one that concerns outlaws and how my husband’s great, great, great grandmother dealt with them. To find out more about this actual encounter, you’ll have to read To Claim Her Heart. I hope your heart will be as touched by these stories as mine was when my mother-in-law shared them.
Carpe Diem, June 19
Texas Book-aholic, June 19
Blossoms and Blessings, June 20
Remembrancy, June 20
Novels corner, June 21
Luv’N Lambert Life, June 21
Ashley’s Bookshelf, June 22
Connie’s History Classroom, June 22
Among the Reads, June 23
Margaret Kazmierczak, June 23 (Interview)
History, Mystery & Faith, June 24
Reading is my Super Power, June 24 (Interview)
Vicky Sluiter, June 25
Two Points of Interest, June 26
proud to be an autism mom, June 26
Splashes of Joy, June 27
Bibliophile Reviews, June 27
A Baker’s Perspective, June 28
Pause for Tales, June 29
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 29
Christian Author, J.E.Grace, June 30
Red Headed Book Lady, June 30
Janices book reviews, July 1
Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 1
Bigreadersite, July 2
Godly Book Reviews, July 2
To celebrate her tour, Jodie is giving away a grand prize of a Kindle Fire!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cf88/to-claim-her-heart-celebration-tour