Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Home To Heather Creek Series By Kathleen Bauer Blog Tour

/ / Home To  Heather Creek, By Kathleen Bauer / /

{Before The Dawn, Book 1}

{Reviews By Madi}

Title: Before The Dawn
Author: Kathleen Bauer
Source: Review Book From Litfuse
Number Of Pages: 280
ISBN: 978-0-8249-3424-8
Publisher: Guidepost
Publication Date: 2012
Madi's Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

/ / Book Description / /

Charlotte Stevenson's world is turned upside down by the death of her daughter Denise. Denise ran away from home as a teenager, and Charlotte has never forgiven herself. Now, Denise's three children are coming to live on Heather Creek Farm: Sam, fiercely protective of his younger siblings; Emily, desperately missing her friends; and young Christopher, a sweet soul who wants to fit in. Is this Charlotte's  chance to make things right?
While Charlotte helps the grandchildren she barely knows adjust to their new life, she also wrestles with her own greif and insecurity. What if she makes the same mistakes this time around?
But small joys remind Charlotte that God gives grace freely, even in trying times. The miracles of new life, along with God's healing touch, remind all of them that it's always darkest before the dawn.

/ / Madi's Book Review / /

  When Charlotte Stevenson's daughter Denise passes away unexpectedly, she brings her three grandchildren to live with her and her husband, Bob, at Heather Creek Farm. She made a few mistakes when she was raising her own three children, and she doesn't want a repeat with her grandchildren. She tries a few new parenting tactics, but Bob is old and set in his ways. He figures that if it was good enough for his kids than it's good enough for his grandkids. Charlotte struggles with getting these kids back on track, and insecurities in her abilities reach a breaking point. Are her peers right? Is she too old for this after all?
Sam is an impressionable sixteen-year-old boy that loves skateboards and city streets. He is extremely protective of his little siblings, and he thinks he has to be the strong one. He never gives himself time to grieve his mother's death, and when anyone brings her up he just gets mad. His only goal is to find his long lost father and get the heck off of this farm.
Emily is fourteen, and just like all fourteen-year-old girls, she's more worried about friends than just about everything else. She feels like life just isn't fair. Her mother died, she gets moved away from all of her friends, she has her phone taken away, she can't talk to her younger brother about missing her mom because she has to be strong for him, and she can't talk about her with her older brother because he just gets angry with her. She just wants things to go back to the way they were before the accident that so drastically changed her life.
Christopher is a sweet little ten-year-old boy with a love for both animals and people. He's very easy to please, and he rarely ask for anything. He's quiet, and likes to spend most of his extra time in the barn tending to the new litter of kittens.
This patched together family has to do their best to live in love and faith, and to make the best of their new lifestyles. There are always bumps in the road, but with God's help anything is possible.
This book was a little slow at first, but it picked up pretty quickly. It was by no means a suspenseful/page turner, but I still enjoyed it. The value of this book lay in the moral that it shares, and not necessarily it's entertainment value. I loved how God was incorporated into it's pages, and the fact that the story is set in small town USA gives it a few extra brownie points. ;) .
 I would recommend this book to someone looking for a shorter book to read over the weekend.
/ / Favorite Quotes From This Book / /
"Life is pain, princess. Anyone who says differently is selling you something."
"Brother and sister had their disagreements, but it hadn't taken long for Charlotte to realize that when outside forces intervened, they circled the wagons and protected each other."

{Sweet September, Book 2}

Title: Sweet September
Author: Kathleen Bauer
Source: Review Book From Litfuse
Number Of Pages: 246
ISBN: 978-0-8249-3425-5
Publisher: Guidepost
Publication Date: 2013
Madi's Rating: 4.5 Out Of 5 Stars
/ / Book Description / /
Harvest at Heather Creek Farm is an exciting time; the earth burst with life, providing sustenance for the coming winter. However, the Slater children don't seem to be getting into the spirit: Emily is struggling with farm life, Christopher spends most of his time alone, and Sam is failing school. Charlotte is determined not to make the same mistakes she did with her own kids, but how can she get her grandchildren back on track?
Then the vegetable garden by the  house is uprooted one night. Who could have done such a thing? Charlotte is determined to uncover the truth, and as they all pull together to find answers, they learn more about one another and the love that binds them. As this cobbled-together family adjusts to their new life, they find hope for their future in the lessons of their past.
/ / Madi's Book Review / /
 This book was so sweet! The first book was basically just an introduction to the characters and Heather Creek Farm, where as this one had a more interesting story. Burglars in the night, school problems, new friends, faith, family and love. This one has it all. And the characters were so much more lovable this time around! They were pretty used to their new way of life, and it was a lot easier to see their personalities in a new light. I loved Christopher's adventurous spirit, Emily's easy to relate to personality, Sam and Pete's good work ethic, and Charlotte's caring and generous heart. But I would have to say that if I had to pick a favorite character, I would choose Grandpa (Bob). He reminds me so much of my own Paw-Paw. He's been a hard worker his entire life, but now that he's getting older he can't do as much. He's having a hard time letting his son take over some of the more important responsibilities that comes with running a farm. The only good thing that comes out of his lack of farming work is that he gets to spend more time with his grandkids. Though he has a tough exterior, he's just a big teddy bear. If he was real, I would definitely give him a huge hug.
It's harvest season, and at Heather Creek that means barrels and barrels of work. Harvesting, canning, cleaning, the chore list is never ending. Even though it is a time of hard, back breaking work, it's also a time to reflect on the past year and be grateful for such a bountiful harvest. At least it is for Charlotte, Bob and Pete. The kids aren't feeling it though. You have to realize, these kids grew up in the city. Like, BIG city, lots of cars, a mall on every corner. They aren't used to having to work for their keep, but they learn pretty quickly that farm life isn't for the weak.
My favorite thing about this book was the message that it sent to me as a reader. Compassion. This book is full of it. I loved the historical aspect that was provided on this family's lineage, and how it helped along the story. I loved how these people who weren't exactly rich financially but were rich in love would do anything for anyone in need. I wish more books would include things like that. I can't recommend this series enough. It may not be considered fast paste, but you will still love it. I did.
 ~Madi For The Literary Maidens 
 Note: I was provided a free copy of each of these books by the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my thoughts. I was not required to give this book a good rating, and all thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own and totally unbiased.

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