Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Reads with Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, and DiAnn Mills

This is the second week where I'll be sharing the novellas contained in The Homestead Brides Collection. There are nine stories, and I will be sharing my review of three of them each time.

In case you didn't read my last post, I will tell you a bit about the book. It contains novellas by eight veteran authors (Mary Connealy, Darlene Franklin, Carla Olson Gade, Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, Erica Vetsch, and Kathleen Y'Barbo) and one newbie (Becca Whitham). The stories provide a quick read that will fit in perfectly to your day. They all focus on the pioneering folks of the 1800s, but each story contains its own cast of characters on a search for land and a new future. This collection is a wonderful way for readers to be introduced to new authors and possibly find some favorites!

Prairie Promises by Ruth Logan Herne: Jack O Donnell is heading to Nebraska to bring his mother Mary back to civilization in Philadelphia. Mary feels that her place is the homestead she began with her late husband. She has taken pregnant widow and neighbor Bridget Murphy under her wing, and they depend on each other. He questions how two women can possibly keep two farms afloat. Bridgette is rumored to be crazy. Is she all that she appears? Mary and Bridget are strong, capable women … even without a man. Herne’s characters remind the reader about the importance of always trusting God. Jack’s father left him with a wise reminder: “Pay heed to the land and the good Lord, son, and everything will fall into place.”

This Land is Our Land by Pam Hillman:  Mollie Jameson is headed to Nebraska, along with her siblings and grandfather, to claim her family’s land so they will not be homeless. Along the way, in the middle of a storm, they encounter Lasso McCall who helps them find shelter. As her parents are dead, and they only have six days to reach Nebraska, Molly worries that they may not succeed. Can Lasso help them? Are they able to trust him with all they have left? Strong family bonds are evident, and the relationship develops at a realistic pace, which is tricky in a novella. The characters remind the reader that God’s plans are always best.

You can find Pam online at

Flaming Starr by DiAnn Mills: Starr Matthews wins a Texas Homestead in a card game. Wanting to change her life, she heads out to lay claim. When she arrives, however, she discovers that the land is already claimed by widower and single father Aaron Conrad. He has no plans for another woman in his life. When it appears that he may have legal claim to the property, Starr worries that she may need to return to her old way of life. Starr’s faith journey is inspiring, as is the reminder that God always works for our good. Two wonderful reminders are: “…life is a progression of always starting over.” and that it is important to treat others as we want to be treated.

You can find DiAnn online at

You can purchase the book at the following Amazon link:


  1. Leslie! Thank you so much for featuring these stories on your blog!!! I had so much fun being part of that collection, and then branched into historical collections with some of my Seeker buds.... and all because of a mistake!!! I got offered a contemporary one-novella deal with Summerside Press.... only it was the historical!!! And I said "even better" and a new side of my mid-life career got launched. I'm having so much fun stepping back in history, creating new "old" stories.

    Huge thank yous to you for doing this!

  2. Ruthy,

    You're very welcome, and thanks for stopping by! I only recently started reading historicals, and I can see why they're so popular :)

    Thanks for sharing the "mistake" that led you in this new direction. It's really awesome to know how things happened.

    I'll see you in Seekerville :)