I was born and raised in Kentucky, came to know Christ there at the age of 12, was baptized in our Baptist Church, and spent my childhood roaming through the woods and swimming in the rivers of my books.
My earliest memories are of the public library, standing in front of shelves filled with those little biographies of famous historical figures like Daniel Boone and George Washington and Sacajawea. I began scribbling stories at age 7 and thankfully never stopped. My passion then and now is history and all the wonders of past centuries.
It was never a desire of mine to be published. I simply love to write for the sheer joy of writing – and that was enough. But as Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
Currently I’m living in Washington statewith my real-life hero, Randy, and our two sons, Wyatt and Paul. It’s a beautiful, rainy place – perfect for penning stories…
On a bitter December day in 1785, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of master blacksmith Liege Lee in York, Pennsylvania. Just months from becoming a master blacksmith himself, Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship and move west. But Liege soon discovers that Silas is a prodigious worker and craftsman and endeavors to keep him in Lancaster. Silas becomes interested in both of Liege's daughters, the gentle and faith-filled Eden and the clever and high-spirited Elspeth. When he chooses one, will the other's jealousy destroy their love?
Book Review by Joy In Our Journey
Silas Ballantyne has no idea what he is getting into when he takes on a blacksmith apprenticeship in a small village near York, Pennsylvania. A Scottish immigrant who has already been through a lot of grief in his twenty-plus years, he is grateful for the opportunity to finish out the less than one year of his apprenticeship and then be on his way West. This story is set in the 1780’s, shortly following the end of the Revolutionary War.
Silas is a strong, handsome, Christian young man who has an extremely strong work ethic and makes himself very useful in the household of the village blacksmith, Liege Lee, his wife, two quite marriageable daughters, and two very young sons, one newly born just the day of his arrival. The tradition of the family is that whoever comes as an apprentice will marry the eldest daughter and also inherit the “estate” of the blacksmith. Silas is not at all enticed by the eldest daughter, Elspeth, though she immediately sets her sights on making him her husband. He is, however, quite attracted to the younger daughter, Eden, and she to him. It is a very difficult situation in a household with many, many secrets and an extremely strict head-of-household, Liege Lee.
Eden is a lovely 19-year-old who is prevented from expressing herself verbally in her household—part of the “code of silence” they all seem to adhere to in order to prevent the others from knowing their true thoughts and secrets of the heart. She loves the little children, the garden she faithfully tends, books she finds to read, even doing housework, though she ends up working like a servant for all the family. She has never been allowed to go inside the little church on the hill above their house but longs to know what goes on there. Silas shares readings from his own Bible with her and writes out verses for her to memorize.
Elzpeth, a 21-year-old, is totally immersed in her quest for a man and sets no limits to what she will do to get one. She is also her father’s “right-hand man” in his blacksmith shop and takes care of his books and accounts for him. He trusts her completely and even helps her to begin taking advantage of customers who frequent the shop because they are willing to pay even more for the services of Silas, an expert blacksmith.
Love's Reckoning was hard to put down, as there are so many interesting twists and turns in it, never a dull moment. It actually spans several years, and the ending is as enticing as the beginning.
An excerpt from Love's Reckoning:
Joy In Our Journey.com
Love's Reckoning is available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller - from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
I received one paperback copy of Love's Reckoning in exchange for my honest review of this book. No other compensation was provided.
Hi! I'm Julieanne! You'll find me in the kitchen trying new Trim Healthy Mama recipes, loving God, and carrying out that love as I bless my husband and teen daughters.
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