Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"where courage calls" by janette oke & laurel oke logan

About the book (from Litfuse): Her courage and her heart will be tested in ways she never expected . . .

Beth Thatcher has spent her entire life in the safe, comfortable world of her family, her friends, and the social outings her father's wealth provides. But Beth is about to leave it all behind to accept a teaching position in the rugged foothills of western Canada. Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years ago, and gently encouraged by her father, Beth resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way.

But the conditions in Coal Valley are even worse than she'd feared. A recent mining accident has left the town grieving and at the mercy of the mining company. The children have had very little prior education, and many of the locals don't even speak English. There isn't even a proper schoolhouse. In addition, Beth's heart is torn between two young men—both Mounties, one a lifelong friend and the other a kind, quiet man who comes to her aid more than once.

Despite the many challenges, Beth is determined to make a difference in the rustic frontier town. But when her sister visits from the East, reminding her of all the luxuries she's had to give up, will Beth decide to return to her privileged life as soon as the school year is over?

My take: Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly is the first "grown up" book I read. Throughout junior high and early high school, I read every Janette Oke book I could get my hands on. Eventually, I moved away from the prairie romances, and it's probably been at least 10 years since I last read an Oke novel.

So why pick up a Janette Oke book now? Because this book is being called a "companion story" to Hallmark Channel's When Calls the Heart series, a series I'm really enjoying watching. So I began reading Where Courage Calls with some preconceived notions about what would happen ... and now I wish I'd gone in blind.

First of all, let me clear something up: When Calls the Heart the TV series is only very loosely related to Oke's Canadian West book series (of which When Calls the Heart is the first book), while Where Courage Calls features some of the characters from the TV series. (Why Hallmark Channel decided to call the series When Calls the Heart is beyond me!) However, while some of the names are the same, the events in the series and the events in the book are completely different. So don't go into the book thinking you'll be reading a retread of the series or even a continuation of the series. You won't. Once I realized that I needed to treat this book as if it wasn't connected to the series, I enjoyed it much more!

Where Courage Calls is classic Janette Oke, featuring a Western Canadian setting, a faith-filled heroine, and endearing children. It's also a bit slow moving, and I did struggle to keep reading at times. Everything—the relationships, the action, and the romance—picks up in the last third of the book, and I flew through those pages. Really, I was quite hooked by the end, and I will probably read any subsequent books in the series. (I assume there will be a sequel, as Beth's future is left up in the air, but I haven't found anything confirming that.)

My rating: 3 stars

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About the authors: Celebrated for her significant contribution to the Christian book industry, Janette Oke is the recipient of numerous awards. Her novels have sold more than 30 million copies and are beloved by readers around the world. Janette lives with her husband, Edward, in Alberta, Canada.

Laurel Oke Logan is the daughter of Edward and Janette Oke, is the author of Janette Oke: A Heart for the Prairie, as well as the novel Dana's Valley, which she co-wrote with her mom. Laurel and her husband have six children and two sons-in-law and live near Indianapolis, Indiana.

About the giveaway: Janette Oke's newest book, Where Courage Calls (co-written with her daughter, Laurel Oke Logan), is receiving rave reviews. It is the companion story to Hallmark Channel's TV series When Calls the Heart, set in the Canadian west.

Janette and Laurel are celebrating with an iPad Mini giveaway and a Facebook author chat party on March 4th.
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One winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 4th. Winner will be announced at the Where Courage Calls Facebook Party on March 4th. Connect with Janette and Laurel for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more!

So grab your copy of Where Courage Calls and join Janette and Laurel on the evening of March 4th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN on the event page. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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