Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Report: Love's Awakening by Laura Frantz

Leave a comment, like our author pages on FB, or follow our blog for a chance to win a free copy this week.
The second in the Ballantyne Legacy series, Love's Awakening has been on my wish list since I first had a sneak peek at the end of the first in the series,
Love's Reckoning. I've been savoring this amazing novel all week, stretching it out, not wanting it to end.

In a few words, it was:
    ~~A Riveting & Sweeping Saga
    ~~Lovely & Winsome
    ~~Trademark Laura

Plot & Setting: In the spring of 1822, Ellie Ballantyne comes back home on the winds of a storm to her family home in Pittsburgh, but the upturned trees aren't the only things unsettled in the valley where the Monongahela meets the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers. Though the Turlock clansmen continue as powerful slaveholders and whiskey magnates, the handsome Jack Turlock tests the loyalty of Ellie's roots and her deep ties to her father's abolitionist views. Determined to find her place in the world, her heart is captured when one of her students turns out to be Jack's younger sister. When the suspicious rival clan brews up a plot to claim victory over the Ballantyne's legacy, Ellie is deeply entangled between the two sides. Will she betray her family and side with the enemy?

Hero: Roguish, yet soft enough to hope redemption can plant a root in his heart. Jack Turlock is a twelve on a one to ten scale of the swoon-ometer! He had me on page 86 at "I'm here Ellie." Check out Laura's Pinterest template for him: Jack Turlock Template.
Heroine: Ellie, the cover says it all. Elegant. Lovely. Innocent. Like a rose you hope won't get crushed between the thorns of the clan.

Themes: What will happen when choosing love means siding with the enemy? How will Ellie resolve the ties that pull her two directions? And will Jack be able to shed the identity of his violent clan for freedom's sake? Laura paints amazing pictures of loyalty, freedom, and powerful illustrations of salvation, paid debt, liberation, and new life.

Favorite line: "As the old saint Whitfield said, we are immortal until our work is done."
Favorite secondary character: Chloe.

About Laura Frantz: 

I was born and raised in Kentucky, living first in Ashland, Mammoth Cave, Bowling Green, and then Lexington. But my heart has always been in Berea, Madison County, the place my family has resided since the 18th-century. I came to know Christ there at the age of 12, was baptized, 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.

I attended college at Denison University in Ohio and also in England, living in a manor/castle and studying the American Revolution from the British perspective. Shakespeare and 18th-century literature form the backbone of my English degree. Strangely enough, I only took one creative writing class.

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.”

Reader Questions for this week's give-away of a free copy:
Did you know the Underground Railroad was alive and well in 1822?
What is your favorite Laura Frantz novel?
Have you ever been to Pittsburgh?






63 comments:

  1. Anne, GREAT REVIEW for a truly GREAT AUTHOR!! Laura is right at the top of my tip-top FAVES list and I absolutely LOVED this book. But then, I can pretty much say that about EVERY Laura Frantz book because each one is better than the next ...

    Don't enter me because I've already had the privilege of reading LA!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  2. There's a CHLOE in the book?!?! My favorite name ever ;) Must order this one, Anne, can you believe I haven't yet????

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  3. Did you know the Underground Railroad was alive and well in 1822?Yes i did my great grandfather was a part of it.
    What is your favorite Laura Frantz novel?I have not read any of her books but i would love to win one and get started.
    Have you ever been to Pittsburgh?No

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    1. Wow Shirley, what an interesting piece of history in your family to treasure!

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  4. Would LOVE to win the book! I am ashamed to say I have no Laura Frantz books but I know she's a stellar author! I follow you all all over the place...love ALL your Pinterest boards--Laura's, Jaime's, and Anne's! You gals inspire me w/your pics!

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    1. There is only one thing that is good about not having any Laura Frantz books--you have so many to read!! I on the other hand, have to wait for the next one!!

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    2. Oh, and thanks for the follow on all our boards Heather!

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  5. I did not know about the railroad.
    I have read all of Laura's books and it is hard to pick one, but I will go with Courting Morrow!
    I have never been to Pittsburgh.. someday maybe..... :)

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    1. Well Candice, you'll visit Pitt in the pages of this book! ;)

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  6. I did not know that about the railroad but it is interesting fact. I really enjoyed The Colonel's Lady. I love stories on forgiveness because we all struggle with it. I have been to Pittsburg as close to where I live. Thanks. Looking forward to your series

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    1. I loved CL also. You will love LA since you can envision the landscape and geography, but more so for Laura's great storytelling.

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  7. I did not know the date that the Underground Railroad was "alive and well". I loved the "Colonel's Lady" and yes, I have been to Pittsburgh!

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    1. I didn't really know it was alive and well that early either. I did know about the slave/free laws at the time, so it makes sense.

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  8. Yes, I knew the underground railroad existed. It's pretty amazing what they were able to accomplish and how much they risked for others.
    I have never been to Pittsburg and I am sorry to say never read a Laura Frantz novel. Thanks for the chance to win and try a new author!

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    1. Oh Rebecca, you are in for a treat, Laura's stories are wonderful!

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  9. love all the dresses you post and look forward to the books....

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    1. Virginia, are you talking about 19th century fashion posts to Pinterest?

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  10. This post caught my eye because I am realizing how much I am intrigued by the underground railroad. Just last night I was researching when it began and then in my meanderings I came across this site. As a teacher I have to say this is probably the best book report I have ever read. I have not read any of Laura's books but this post definitely inspired me to pick one up (or take a shot at winning one). As for Pittsburg, I used to go there every summer as a kid and work on the oldest continuously run miniature golf course in America with my family.

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    1. Oh sweet KD! I'm so glad you found us here. We give weekly book reports on Fridays. Stop by more often, and thank you for the feedback, that's so cool that you were researching this very topic right when we posted this. I cannot imagine that you won't just fall in love with Laura's stories.

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  11. I did not know it was in existence that long. I do know that Canada played a huge part in it :) I have not read one of her books yet :)

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    1. Are you from Canada? I've heard that's true, but I've not researched that part of history yet.

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  12. I didn't know the underground railroad was alive and well in 1822, that's exciting!

    My favorite Laura book is Courting Morrow Little, best romantic scene ever between Morrow and Red Shirt in the barn... and I loved that they got married early on in the novel.

    Never been to Pittsburgh.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  13. No, I didn't know about the underground railroad.
    My favorite Laura Frantz novel is "Courting Morrow Little". I would consider it an "epic" story. I would love to see it made into a "Last of the Mohicans"-style movie!
    I've never been to Pittsburgh, or to Pennsylvania, for that matter.
    Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

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    1. I vote all of Laura's stories made into movies! :)

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    1. Oops, Great interview:) Love Laura's book, the Colonel's Lady is one of my favorites, but I think Love's Awakening is gonna tie that favorite:) I did know about the underground railroad. I have been to Pittsburgh. Thanks for having this giveway.
      Rebecca

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  15. this looks like a great book, thanks for sharing. I was unaware about the Underground Railroad.I enjoyed reading the Frontiersman's Daughter
    and I have never been to Pittsburgh.

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  16. I'm so thrilled at all the visitors. Welcome everyone. I'm running off to go camping. Hope to have internet access! But if not, I'll check back in as soon as I'm able. I wish you were all at my house and we were sharing coffee, tea, and cookies--and chatting about great books like this one! :)

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    1. SO do I - wouldn't THAT be fun, maybe a get-together of blog followers, SOMEWHERE, SOMEDAY! Have fun camping, & enjoying God's beautiful outdoors, Anne! And DON'T eat too many SMores!

      bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

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  17. Answers:
    1. I didn't realize the underground railroad was active that early. I guess I never thought about when it began.
    2. I have not read any of Laura's books yet, but I have two in my TBR stack.
    3. I have never been to Pittsburgh.

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    1. Well, get ready to learn about the RR! :)

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  18. Did you know the Underground Railroad was alive and well in 1822? I don't think I was actually aware that it was already active that early.
    What is your favorite Laura Frantz novel? I haven't had the opportunity to read one of Laura's books yet, but they look wonderful!
    Have you ever been to Pittsburgh? I haven't. I grew up going to Philadelphia often, but never made it over to that side of the state.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

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  19. I did not know the underground railroad was active that early!
    I have never been to Pittsburgh. NYC is the only place I have been in the Northeast.
    I loved theColonel's Lady and am really looking forward to the Ballentine Legacy.

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  20. Loved your book review, Anne!

    I haven't read any of Laura's books, but am certainly going to - I have read SO many wonderful reviews about her books in the last few weeks. Love knowing that she is Ky. born & bred, & lived about 70 miles from me, before moving to Wa. - the area in which her family has lived since the 18th century, Berea, is beautiful, is known for it's crafts, & has a lot of wonderful history. You'd LOVE it -come down when you get a chance, & I'll give you a tour of it & other Ky. historical spots.

    I knew about the Underground Railroad - in fact, there is a large 2-story frame house in my little town, that used to be a part of the Underground Railroad.

    I have passed by Pittsburgh, when traveling - but never stopped, or toured it.

    Thanks to you, Laura, & Jaime - for the chance to win Laura's book!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Bonnie, you will be so blessed by Laura's stories, tell me what you think once you take the plunge! Oh, wow, I'm planning a road trip to KY! Actually, my family roots are in Lincoln Co--Crab Orchard area. And I've traced my husband's side back to his 10th grt g'pa being Daniel Boone's grandfather, and they migrated through KY also. I've had a road trip brewing in my heart for a while. I'll keep you posted!

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  21. Whoops, the test worked and I'm here to say THANK YOU for all the wonderful comments. I feel like I know each of you a little better give Anne's great questions and your great answers. Am having trouble with my cookies and browser but have been with you in spirit all day. Wish I could send a book to each of you! Giveaways are hard for me as I want everyone to win. Love hearing that Love's Awakening might even tie with The Colonel's Lady as a good rest. Now that makes me smile :).

    Anne, enjoy that camping trip. Praying everyone has a wonderful weekend!

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  22. Thanks so much for the review & giveaway! We appreciate it.

    I hadn't realized that the Underground Railroad was alive and busy that early. Thanks for the fact!

    I have not been to Pittsburg before nor have I read any of Frantz's novels...yet. I have heard that they are great and hope to read one soon.

    Thanks!

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  23. Would love to read this book. I didn't know that the Underground Railroad was alive and well in 1822. And as for my favorite Laura Frantz novel... I haven't had the privilege of reading one of her books yet. And no I have never been to Pittsburgh.

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    1. Well, you can go there--in the pages of a book!

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  24. Never been to Pittsburg, can't wait to read my first Laura Frantz novel, and I'm glad the Underground Railroad had a start that early!

    colorvibrant[at]gmail[dot]com

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  25. Subscribed to your blog and liked both your facebook pages!

    colorvibrant[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Sweet! Great to have you Heidi, you will love Laura's stories!

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  26. I really enjoy books that are historical. I am a genealogist and my entire life revolves about history and what occurred then. I have not read one of your books yet, but this sounds like a wonderful place to start doing just that!

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    1. Sonja, Jaime and I write Historical Romance. We haven't been published--yet. But many of our book reports tend to be Historical, though not strictly. So, stop by every Friday for a report!

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  27. Interesting! I never knew the Underground Railroad was happening during 1822. My favorite novel by Laura is The Frontiersman's Daughter.
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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    1. Now is your chance to find out about it!

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  28. Yes I knew about the Underground Railroad. Don't have a favorite they are all good. No I have never been to Pittsburgh. Would love to win this book. Thank you for your awesome giveaways.

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  29. I didn't know about the underground railway and my favorite book by Laura is The Colonel's Lady. Thanks for the giveaway!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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  30. This is going to the top of my TO GET LIST - I have her others and as Julie Lessman says - teey get better and better - who'd a thought, considering how super good her first one was.
    The Underground railway went through our village here in SCHOOLCRAFT, MI- we have several miles of U.S.131 that runs right through the entire length of our state's lower peninsula and has been named UNDERGROUND RAILWAY MEMORAIL H IGHWAY - several historic homes here still have the tunnels and there are plaques on the houses that depict which are landmarks from back then.
    My favorite Laura Frantz book? I think - Courting Morrow Little
    I've been to Pittsburgh once - can't remember much about the trip since I was pretty young.
    Would love the chance to win a Laura Frantz book -

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    1. RIght Joy!!! Waving! I'm only about 1 hour South of you. I've been through Schoolcraft many times on my way to my grandmother's house. I love the old homes there, but I didn't realize it had this history. Cool!

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